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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Looking to join the BMW owners club
Want to buy an entry level Z3
Don't want to sound cheap but as this is my first BMW looking to buy a reasonable priced car
Anything I should avoid
Any pitfalls to look out for
Been warned not to buy a 1900 ?
Just looking for a fun weekend car
Any advise and guidance much appreciated

Thanks
 

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Bimmerfest Founder
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welcome to Bimmerfest! I've moved your question to our Z3 forum, you'll get more help in here.

Tim
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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5,171 Posts
... Want to buy an entry level Z3.. Don't want to sound cheap but as this is my first BMW looking to buy a reasonable priced car... Been warned not to buy a 1900 ?...
You were warned not to buy the four cylinder 1.9, which is the least expensive entry level Z3. Many six cylinder owners look down on it, but some people prefer it.
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?2161496-Should-I-*****a-1-9&p=28333419#post28333419
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...models-should-I-avoid&p=27670832#post27670832
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...-1-9l-Owners-Check-In&p=27134494#post27134494
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...-C-on-amp-off-results&p=28655216#post28655216
 

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Hi, good luck finding one. Try as many as you can before you decide. I love my 1.9L, and I got to test drive quite a few before it. But, if you are looking for an automatic car, then go with a 6 cyl. I think the 1.9L is pretty popular around your region. This can be a plus for you as far as sourcing parts and getting help/ tips...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks

There's a lot to consider
Don't want it get it wrong
Struggling to control my enthusiasm and make the wrong choice
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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5,171 Posts
There's a lot to consider Don't want it get it wrong. Struggling to control my enthusiasm and make the wrong choice.
The only wrong choice is to buy a car and be surprised by its problems. Go for condition and history more than the price, unless you want to spend money and time fixing things.

Read:
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1295727-Z3-Pre-Purchase-Advice
http://www.carproblemzoo.com/bmw/z3/
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...all-do-that-quot-list&p=26973905#post26973905
and for a 1.9:
http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=16068&highlight=cooling

Then for cars you look at:
1. Put the last 7 of the VIN into http://bimmer.work to see all the info on its build.
2. Pay for a CarFax to see its ownership history and possible accidents.
3. Ask to see its maintenance history and receipts. For a 1.9 especially, the cooling system should have been replaced.
4. Take a thorough drive. Note what the instrument cluster is displaying, the feel of the shifter, the feel of the suspension.
5. Work all the accessories, features, controls and switches.
6. Feel for dampness in seats, floor, trunk.
7. Be wary of aftermarket alarms and sound systems. Poor installations or removals can cause problems.
8. If all seems good, then pay for a Pre-Purchase Inspection by a knowledgable import shop. It should cost around $100, will put the car on a lift to look at the brakes, drivetrain and suspension, and scan for any stored trouble codes.
9. Ask the forums questions if any.

If you feel a 1.9 does not have the torque, acceleration, and passing ability at high speed that you want, get a six. Also, I think it will easier to find a good six than a good 1.9. The 1.9s are the oldest and cheapest Z3s, often bounced down through the most low-budget owners, suffering the worst care.
Where is Edinburg?
 

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Like Eagle Creek I also have a 2001 3.0i. Absolutely love it. For me it is the right combo of looks, power and style. Like Vintage 42 said, do your homework first. Get any one you are considering checked out. Whatever engine choice you settle on, you have made a great choice on the Z3 in general.
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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5,171 Posts
... Want to buy an entry level Z3... my first BMW looking to buy a reasonable priced car... Just looking for a fun weekend car...
I drove all engine sizes and found I liked the power and torque of the 3.0i...
The OP would have to raise his budget from the early entry level 1.9 to the latest top of line 3.0i.
 

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The OP would have to raise his budget from the early entry level 1.9 to the latest top of line 3.0i.
I bought my 3.0 with 73,000 miles for the same price as the 1.9, 2.3's I looked at.
Be diligent and don't impulse buy. The one you're looking for will come along. I'm proof of that.
However... Vintage42 has very sound advice:)
 

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I bought my 3.0 with 73,000 miles for the same price as the 1.9, 2.3's I looked at.
Be diligent and don't impulse buy. The one you're looking for will come along. I'm proof of that.
However... Vintage42 has very sound advice:)
This is very true. I looked for almost a year for a roadster before I found my 2000 2.3. I had primarily been looking for a Mazda Miata but then came across some Z3s that were in the same ballpark price wise as the Miatas. And to me...the Z3 WAY out classes the Mazda.

But as Eagle Creek says...don't be in a rush to buy one. Keep searching Craigslist, Ebay, etc. and you will find the car you want. It just takes a little time. And it WILL be time well spent. Getting in a hurry and buying something on impulse will just cost you in the long run.
 
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