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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Need suggestions for a cheap (older) 3-series!



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      10-01-2009, 02:38 PM   #1
jrougeux
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Need suggestions for a cheap (older) 3-series!

It's a sad day for my bimmer. I got laid off today, and since I may be using this opportunity to start a business, I've got to improve my cash flow. Still making payments on my gorgeous 2006 E90, so it will have to go!

Anyway, I need suggestions on a cheap bimmer for $2000 to $4000. I'm thinking maybe an 1987-1991 E30? Perhaps a 318iS or a 325i? Basically, I need something to last for a few years until the cash flow picks up again.

I would value reliability and repairability over power at this point. But I still want a bimmer because I not willing to do the perfectly sensible thing and by a Honda or Toyota. I haven't any kids, so no need for a 5er or 7er.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

(by the way, anyone interested in buying a near mint condition jet black E90 with 43K miles, manual transmission, sport pkg, premium pkg, send me a PM!)
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      10-01-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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The most recent issue of Bimmer has a piece on finding used E30's. Then start looking.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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      10-01-2009, 02:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
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The most recent issue of Bimmer has a piece on finding used E30's. Then start looking.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Unfortunately I do not have a subscription. Anyone have the text of the article they can share?
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      10-01-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
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Forget the E30

My pick a high km (mile) E36 328i coupe - I had one for years - still miss it - the engine was outstanding and a whole lot better than the 325 (in fact many times better) I drove them back to back at the time!

(dont worry the 1st thing I am going to do when I can is buy an E30 to drive on a sunday - M325i in black)
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      10-01-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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live low-work smart

From experience, minimize all your expenses as the upfront capital to start your business may be more than expected. On that note two options.

Buy a old honda civic (more reliable) so you wont have to worry about breaking down on client appointments
OR
Buy a e30 318 which has a very reliable engine but costs are high to replace parts.

Live cheap now and work smart and you will be able to buy an m3 or better later....


I did it in 2008, sold my new 350z for a used accord, dollar sandwiches at MCD's for 6 months, living in Panera Bread (cafe) for 6 months (cold calling in the parking lot), converted a 4X6 closet into a home office, shut the car off at stop lights to save gas= first year revenue 1 million. Profit= 200K-300K

Good luck
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      10-01-2009, 03:15 PM   #6
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I don't think you can get a decent BMW with 4k. Find a used Civic or something along these lines. Good luck!
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      10-01-2009, 03:18 PM   #7
Socom
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Quote:
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Unfortunately I do not have a subscription. Anyone have the text of the article they can share?
You can buy the mag at Borders or Barnes & Noble.
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      10-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 328skidpad View Post
From experience, minimize all your expenses as the upfront capital to start your business may be more than expected. On that note two options.

Buy a old honda civic (more reliable) so you wont have to worry about breaking down on client appointments
OR
Buy a e30 318 which has a very reliable engine but costs are high to replace parts.

Live cheap now and work smart and you will be able to buy an m3 or better later....


I did it in 2008, sold my new 350z for a used accord, dollar sandwiches at MCD's for 6 months, living in Panera Bread (cafe) for 6 months (cold calling in the parking lot), converted a 4X6 closet into a home office, shut the car off at stop lights to save gas= first year revenue 1 million. Profit= 200K-300K

Good luck

WTH? Moving Madoff assets? *joking* congrats.
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      10-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #9
eltoshan
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You can also get a used Miata. They are cheap, fun (more fun than most BMWs), and extremely easy to work with.
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      10-01-2009, 05:53 PM   #10
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There's nothing more expensive than a cheap BMW.
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      10-01-2009, 06:10 PM   #11
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There's nothing more expensive than a cheap BMW.
There's truth in that.
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      10-01-2009, 06:11 PM   #12
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The e30's are great. If you can find one, and get one, post up some pics!
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      10-01-2009, 06:19 PM   #13
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I'd look for a four cylinder E36. The M44 (96'-99' four cylinder) engine is probably the most reliable engine from the E36 line, it's also cheaper to maintain and operate than the 6 cylinders. E36 parts are easier to find than E30 parts too. E30s are good too and I wouldnt talk you out of one, but the E36 (except the 318ti) was a huge jump up in refinement. It's a much more modern car.

As for cost, I can DIY repair my 186,000 mile E36 for FAR less than a mechainc would fix a Chevy or Honda. The only true breakdown on my car was a failed alternator. $125 to replace it which included shipping and a warranty. My parent's '96 Chevy was $330 at the mechanic.

When I swapped to a manual transmission the tranny itself was a whopping $300 this spring. The new transmission on my parents old Escort was $2,700 about 13 years ago.

But really with any car, if you're a slave to the mechanic, you will always pay too much.
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      10-01-2009, 06:24 PM   #14
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E30 or E36 if you can find one at your price..
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      10-01-2009, 06:25 PM   #15
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A 12 yrs+ daily driver is a *bad* idea. Get a 6-7yrs 5-6000$ Honda.
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      10-01-2009, 06:42 PM   #16
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go on bimmerforums and look in the for sale section. There are lots of e36's that are close to or at your price. I had a e36 328i as well, bought it with 12k miles on it and drove it to 100k with nothing wrong except a waterpump. It was my car during highschool and college, i beat the crap out of it and it held up. good luck
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      10-01-2009, 06:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
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There's nothing more expensive than a cheap BMW.
he has a good point, if you can't DIY then you might spend more then you think on repairs ... but good luck, many of us been there, sometimes you just have to ride it out
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