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Hi,

I posted this on the 390 thread, as well:

Decisions, decisions!

I am almost ready to place my order for a 335 sedan, 6spd, SP but I am little hesitant. One crazy idea I am now contemplating is this:

Instead of spending ~$45K on a new car, I could spend around $6K upgrading my current car to the same level of performance.

I have a ’97 540i, 6spd, with SP and I was just looking at the Dinan stage 2 setup. Here’s what I’m considering:

Part #: SE39-40ES1M
Price: $4358.70
Labor Hours: 17.00
List of Included Items: Stage 2 Engine Software; High Flow Cold Air Intake; Free Flow Exhaust; Stage 1 Suspension System (Koni); Front Strut Tower Brace; Rear Shock Tower Brace; Signature Floor Mats; Serial Numbered Dinan S1-540 Plaque; Dinan Deck Lid Badge
Peak Horsepower: 305 @ 5700 rpm
Peak Torque: 341 lb/ft @ 4000 rpm

I can also get the M-aero kit and should be done with all this with ~$6.5K (or maybe ~$8K to fix various little things in my car).

The thought is that I could squeeze another 4-5 years out of it and then just get the next generation 3 series in ~2011.

Any thoughts?

Thanks everyone. This is a great support group!

-Tip
 

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335 hands down.

How many miles do you have on the 540?
 

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E30 Maniac
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fwiw i'd go with the 335. newer tech, lesser maintainance issues, warranty, maintainance covered for 4yrs/50k. plus with vishnu pro-cede you can blow dinan away.. it's not worth sinking 8-10k into a car thats not worth much more than that to begin with imho.
 

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Something to consider with the 335i which by many accounts is a great car, but many automobile mags are reporting problems with the oil overheating or something to that effect. I remember reading, however, that some versions of the 335i come with an oil cooler to minimize the overheating. I specifically recall a comparo against the 335i and the Infiniti G37 in which the first 335i went into limp mode because of oil temperature.

The 540i has its share of problems and whatnot, but if you know the condition of your car and the costs are what they are, I too would seriously consider performance upgrades for the 540i if performance is what you are leaning towards.

Also, consider that:

1. The 335i sedan looks fugly (my opinion) while the coupe looks okay. The 540i looks so much better.
2. The interior size difference, while not huge, can make a difference for you. I know for me, the 3 series cars are a bit too small inside. I have a soon to be 3 year old daughter and her Britax Marathon seat takes up a good amount of back room space.
3. Reread number 1.

Bottom line I think you should stick with your 540i.
 

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E30 Maniac
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Something to consider with the 335i which by many accounts is a great car, but many automobile mags are reporting problems with the oil overheating or something to that effect. I remember reading, however, that some versions of the 335i come with an oil cooler to minimize the overheating. I specifically recall a comparo against the 335i and the Infiniti G37 in which the first 335i went into limp mode because of oil temperature.
they've sorted those issues out.. mar 07 and up sport package builds have an oil cooler which is what it should have come with to begin with. i believe they are retro-fitting cars that came without.
 

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Only the sport package 335s will have the oil cooler though. I think the non-sport package ones still can potentially suffer "limp mode"-itis.

I remember when I spec'ed a 335i, out the door price was going to be in the 50-51k range. It's nice, don't get me wrong, but sheesh that's a lot of green.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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The cheapest car is always the one you already own. However, it makes little finacial sense to sink that much into a 10+ year old car.

If it's perfomace you are after, what about a compromise. For less than you are spending on a 335 you could have a used low mile 2003 M5.
 

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E30 Maniac
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Only the sport package 335s will have the oil cooler though. I think the non-sport package ones still can potentially suffer "limp mode"-itis.

I remember when I spec'ed a 335i, out the door price was going to be in the 50-51k range. It's nice, don't get me wrong, but sheesh that's a lot of green.
well the thinking is that only sport packs need it because non-sports will not be driven hard enough to need the cooler.. is that a valid assumption? maybe not but 99% of bimmers aren't really driven that hard.. besides i wouldn't get a bimmer without sport pack.
 

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I thought M cars couldn't be CPO'ed?

If you can find a nice low mileage, documented M5 that would be your best bet. Probably in the 24-28k range you could find one. Approximately half the cost of a new 335i.
 

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well the thinking is that only sport packs need it because non-sports will not be driven hard enough to need the cooler.. is that a valid assumption? maybe not but 99% of bimmers aren't really driven that hard.. besides i wouldn't get a bimmer without sport pack.
That's the problem though. I know that the enthusiast will get the sport package, however, if I recall correctly in the comparo with the Infiniti G37, the 335i went into limp mode after only two laps around a track. I don't consider that heavy driving. It would scare me to think that moderate driving could potentially get me a visit from Mr. Flatbed Tow Truck Driver. Then again, my 540i has that chance too (though I did replace the radiator recently :rofl:).
 

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E30 Maniac
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I thought M cars couldn't be CPO'ed?

If you can find a nice low mileage, documented M5 that would be your best bet. Probably in the 24-28k range you could find one. Approximately half the cost of a new 335i.
e39 m5's could be. newer m cars cannot. bmw decided to stop cpoing them due to high maintainance costs that came back to bite them you know where.. :rofl: Tough to find an 03, low mileage M5 cpo or not in the price range your talking about..
 

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e39 m5's could be. newer m cars cannot. bmw decided to stop cpoing them due to high maintainance costs that came back to bite them you know where.. :rofl: Tough to find an 03, low mileage M5 cpo or not in the price range your talking about..
Yeah 2003 will be impossible, I was thinking more like 2000-2001 maybe 2002 if lucky.
 

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E30 Maniac
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That's the problem though. I know that the enthusiast will get the sport package, however, if I recall correctly in the comparo with the Infiniti G37, the 335i went into limp mode after only two laps around a track. I don't consider that heavy driving. It would scare me to think that moderate driving could potentially get me a visit from Mr. Flatbed Tow Truck Driver. Then again, my 540i has that chance too (though I did replace the radiator recently :rofl:).
i'm assuming the 335 in the comparo was a sport pack? i'm also assuming it didnt have the oil cooler being an older build perhaps? i havent seen reports of newer 335s having the issue. then again i havent been researching 335s lately.. depending on the e92 m3's price point, that maybe a better buy considering that they hold value better. it's a tough call.
 

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Low mileage to me means 50k or less. Everyone will have their own definition of "low mileage." Especially if you consider a 2002 (for example) at 50k miles means 10k miles a year. The "norm" being 12k miles a year. I personally drive closer to 30-35k miles a year. So don't expect any low mileage cars from me :)

Found a link to the Motortrend comparo. I know that there have been other auto mags that did similar comparos.

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/112_0708_infiniti_g37_bmw_335/video.html

Also, I remember reading on the new 3 series boards that there is or was issues with fuel pumps being poorly designed or fabricated in early 335s. I don't know if that problem has been remedied but I remember several people were waiting for several weeks for replacement fuel pumps. I guess that's to be expected in a first year model.

Linky for one of many fuel pump problem.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2491232#post2491232
 

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Freude am Fahren
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A lot of M5's are only driven on weekends. An enthusiast recently posted a 2000 m5 for sale w/ 20k on it. Now, that's low miles. They are out there, you just need to look. I bought my 03 540 //m-tech w/ less than 17k on it.

I'll take the "experienced" car w/ less than 20k for less half the price it was new anytime. Wait 24 months and that 335 will be less than half as much. But, then, I've never bought a new car in my life, I let some one else lose $30,000 to drive my car 17,000 miles, but that's just me.
 

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E30 Maniac
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A lot of M5's are only driven on weekends. An enthusiast recently posted a 2000 m5 for sale w/ 20k on it. Now, that's low miles. They are out there, you just need to look. I bought my 03 540 //m-tech w/ less than 17k on it.

I'll take the "experienced" car w/ less than 20k for less half the price it was new anytime. Wait 24 months and that 335 will be less than half as much. But, then, I've never bought a new car in my life, I let some one else lose $30,000 to drive my car 17,000 miles, but that's just me.
that's why cpo is a great deal for most. let someone else take the depreciation hit and still be covered under a warranty for most big ticket repairs. buying new is ok if you plan to keep the car for a while. the depreciation is more spread out..
 

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Brevity= the soul of wit
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335i hands down. we are comparing twin screws to a V8. you can do much more with twin screws.
'Twin screw' is a supercharger configuration, and is not used to refer to twin turbo chargers.



as for the topic, I'd drop a ten year old car for the newer 335. The car- is about the same size as the E39, more nimble (stock)-especially in AWD, and quicker with an inexpensive chip.
 
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