News

E30/E36 M3 questions - new DD search

Discussion in 'Other German' started by sherpa23, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,499
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Bastuna
    So it is getting close to the time to get rid of my daily driver - 2003 Saab 9_3 turbo. These new cars do nothing for me and I think that I want to go back to a cool and fun 4 seater that helped my love of cars.

    I want to get an E30 M3. However, I have no idea what they're like to own. I have driven one and I dig it but I don't know what the maintenance is like. Are parts hard to get? Are they expensive to have worked on? What about reliability? Also, what do I look out for when I buy one?

    I brought it up with someone and they said get a 1995 E36 M3 instead. It's a cool car but not as cool as an E30, I think. So I am posing the question to the board - what do you think? Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ryan S.

    Ryan S. Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 20, 2004
    21,159
    imo id go with either a 99 M3 or a last year E30. Id have to say im partial to the E30 though, such a good looking car. Ive never owned an M car, but from what ive heard and from everything ive read all the 3 series M seem to be really reliable as long as you find the right one. I was so close to buying a mint silver E30 for my 2nd car but i made the wrong choice and chose to get an audi A4 instead, nice car, but no where near as cool as an E30. The one i was looking at was a one owner car and was perfect in every way, it even had the original cell phone in it. Another reason why i wish i had the E30 was because of the collectors value to em. You can go to any BMW club event and be one of the stars of the show, an A4 cant do that. Id really like to get into concourse and racing stuff and for that stuff the E30 would be perfect. But, you live and learn, one day ill have one, one day soon...
     
  3. ferraripanoz

    ferraripanoz Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 24, 2004
    1,382
    Full Name:
    Mark
    Yeah I have also heard that you need to get a well maintained and cared for E30 in order to not pay $$$ for later on to maintain it. I was also close of buy one that was really cheap, but back away in fear of have a car with many problems. Do you have any certain one that you are looking at?
     
  4. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,499
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Bastuna

    No specific ones right now. I am now starting to gather information so that I can begin a long and arduous search. The prices seem to vary greatly so I really want to know what to look for.
     
  5. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    376
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:
    Kenny
    The E30 M3 will be more expensive to buy and maintain than an early E36 M3. Good ones are becoming increasingly rare, and low mileage versions in excellent condition will easily run $18k-$20k..

    The advantage of the E30 M3 is the fact that they are a race bred true driver's car and increasingly rare. Good luck...
     
  6. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    376
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:
    Kenny
    They're not many out there, and when a good one at a fair market price comes up, they sell within a week or two. My friend and I looked at a couple months back. A good example sells fast.

    http://www.roadfly.com/bmw/classifieds/cars/listads.php?cat=206
     
  7. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,499
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Bastuna
    Thanks Kenny. That link is great. Any tips on what to look out for and have inspected? Also, what is going to be expensive about owning it and, more importantly, HOW expensive?
     
  8. Tifosi66

    Tifosi66 Formula 3

    Nov 30, 2004
    1,776
    Jiang Jia Jie
    Full Name:
    Li-Ge
    E30 M3, no contest. Not sure if it's available in the States but the Evo 2.5 is the best of the bunch. They have red seat belts, red crackled cam covers and the rear 'wing' have adjustable blades for max downforce and the like.

    Timing chain needs to be checked for slackness and the throttle butterflies can cause a lot of grief but the 4 cylinder engine ranks up there with the best for longevity. As with most BMWs, rear subframe mountings can go and you'd get clonkings but cheap to rectify as with a host of other bushes.
    Price wise,again, not sure of US' but when I was in the UK and had one, you can safely say about an extra 50% for most parts but the timing chain and the sprockets alone can go up to 300%. M-cars are in a different league than the run of the mill beemers. That said, all parts should be available...

    All E30 M3 are built in LHD and the UK is a RHD country but the number of people fawning over the ownership of the M3 attests to the sheer fun factor and joys of having one. Just my $ 0.02.
     
  9. Art

    Art Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2004
    528
    Southern California
    The Sport EVO wasn't available in the US, just the standard 192 hp version. Like others have said, it will be hard to find a clean one that has been properly maintainted. You better have some money saved up if you don't get a well maintained example. Go out and drive an E36 M3 and see how you like it compared to the E30. The E30 is lighter and you feel like you're driving a go-kart , the E36 feels a bit heavier but has quicker steering. In terms of overall handling feel, the E30 M3 is a better choice. The E36 is a LOT quicker though. Go drive an E36 and see how you like it compared to the E30.
     
  10. BlueBiturbo

    BlueBiturbo F1 Rookie

    May 19, 2004
    3,928
    Jakarta
    Full Name:
    TS
    In my own book the E30 M3 is the most fun to drive car I've ever driven. Maybe a little underpowered for the 21st century but it sure is fun. For maintenance reason I think the E36 is a better choice but the E36 chassis does not feel go-kart like as the E30 does.

    Given the right amount of $$$ (read : huge) the E30 can have 320 hp!!!
    http://www.bmwcarclubforum.co.uk/forum_posts.asp?TID=19388&PN=1&TPN=1

    If you're gonna do many track days get the E30, but for daily driving get the E36.
     
  11. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,499
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Bastuna

    Interesting. Regarding track days, I'm not sure. I could take the 430 but I might be a little paranoid about having that out there. The idea of taking the an E30 M3 out there is pretty intriguing.

    I am not too concerned that it's not that fast. I want a fun car, not necessarily a fast car - I have other vehicles for speed :). I have been looking and seeing a few with the e36 m3 engines (S50?). What you think of those?

    Remember, this is a car that I'm going to take to work and do errands with so I need 4 seats but I want it to be fun.

    Also, re: budget. I don't believe in having anything over $30k for a daily driver for myself - I'd rather spend my money on a weekend or fun car, which I've done. So the E30 M3 is very appealing from that angle but here is what I'm looking for: $15k-$17k for the car and $500 to $1000 a year in maintenance. And it has to run everytime I need it to - if not I would be looking at a Maserati Biturbo or an Alfa Romeo GTV. With that in mind, will this be a car that works for me?
     
  12. Sarc

    Sarc Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    196
    sunny detroit
    #12 Sarc, Jul 24, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    E30 no question. The E36 is too modern, like the Saab you wish to replace. As a bonus, if your not happy with it or the maintenance proves more than expected, you can sell it considerably quicker than the more common E36.
    As with all BMWs, parts are at a premium, to which some people take issue with for a 15+ year old car. Keep in mind that this car was essentially a homologated race car for the street.
    Browse through the E30 M3 section of www.bimmerforums.com as well as www.roadfly.com for some useful information. If I recall correctly, one of the BMW focused magazines just had a feature/buyers guide on the E30 that might still be on the newstand.
    Good luck with your hunt, and (a bit off topic) thanks again for all advice you gave me way back regarding my frst road cycle purchase.
    This thread is useless without pictures.....
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  13. mpolans

    mpolans Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2004
    427
    If this is for a daily driver - E36 M3

    If this if for track fun or strictly weekend fun - E30 M3
     
  14. 356racing

    356racing Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 24, 2004
    393
    Paradise Valley, AZ
    #14 356racing, Jul 24, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I love E30 M3s! I've also had and E36 and it's probably better for daily driving but the E36 just doesn't evoke passion like an E30. I even took my wife to the hospital for our first child in my E30 M3. I would drive the car everyday for weeks on end and never get bored with it and at the track it will embarrass cars with 2x the displacement. As far as maintenance, if you start with a nice car a $1000 a year would probably cover it. They are also pretty simple if you wanted to do some of the work yourself. Keep us posted :)
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  15. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,227
    Oregon
    Full Name:
    Scotty Ferrari
    Owned an E36 M3 (and an E46), currently searching for an E36 M3 to do daily driver and track duties. Main advantage of the E30 (as stated in Roundel) is that they are built like tanks--very, very durable. Disadvantages include parts are becoming harder to get, no airbags (which, regardless of how you feel about them, does affect insurance costs), and less torque from the engine (you need to keep E30 engines more "on boil" to have satisfying performance). Lots of handling and go fast mods for each car, so that might end up being a toss up. Kinda depends if you feel like something with a bit of vintage flavor, or something slightly more modern. I'm choosing an E36 because I am familiar with them, and I have never driven anything on the track with more telepathic handling (includes E30, E36, and E46 M3's, Ferraris, etc.).
     
  16. Sarc

    Sarc Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    196
    sunny detroit
     
  17. Lexdiamonnyc

    Lexdiamonnyc Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2004
    505
    North NJ
    Full Name:
    Lex
    #17 Lexdiamonnyc, Jul 25, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  18. Lexdiamonnyc

    Lexdiamonnyc Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2004
    505
    North NJ
    Full Name:
    Lex
    for a steering rack upgrade the one to get is the Z3 rack, thats what the E36 M3 boys are doing........

    i have mixed feelings about the airbag systems in old cars, these are 15-18yr old cars.....and safety technology wasn't all that great back then...
     
  19. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,499
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Bastuna
    Okay, my check book's out. How much?
     
  20. Lexdiamonnyc

    Lexdiamonnyc Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2004
    505
    North NJ
    Full Name:
    Lex
    #20 Lexdiamonnyc, Jul 25, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  21. Lexdiamonnyc

    Lexdiamonnyc Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2004
    505
    North NJ
    Full Name:
    Lex
    in all seriousness, having owned both an 89 M3, 2.5 liter track whore(that started out as a daily driver), and a 99 M3 that was mostly a daily driver...... the E36, it's newer, easier and cheaper to maintain, more powerfull engine.......i know looks are bland and the car lacks soul, doesn't really stand out from the other 3 series cars.....
    the E30 being the looker of the 2, feels like a go-kart, but you have to beat the crap out of the engine to get it moving, it's really peaky.....not smooth like the E36 inline 6....it completely sucks in traffic!........and you have to have the valves adjusted every so many miles.....parts are very expensive and hard to find.........it was such a headache owning the E30, but i'd do it all over again!!.....in my opinion the lack of power makes you a much better driver, and it comes with a widebody kit from the factory, how cool is that!!
    and for those that don't know, the E30 M3 is to this day the winningest touring car in motorsports history!!!
     
  22. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,499
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Bastuna
    WTF? Okay, how much is that one?

    Okay, what if I bought an E30 with the S50 engine already in it? Would that make my life easier? Also, I still need to find a shop near Denver that knows these cars.
     
  23. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 22, 2002
    13,163
    so im 15 years late to this thread, so what!
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1988-bmw-m3-101/
     

Share This Page