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Recommendations on a daily driver (non-02)


mcope
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Hey folks. I'd prefer a BMW, but others are ok I suppose. In addition to my 02, I own an e46 xi which has been a very expensive and time-consuming car to maintain -- front suspension, final stage resistor, window regulators, cooling system, vanos, cv joints, bushings, auto trans fluid -- are among the many things I've had to deal with over a year.

I'm seriously considering a very nice e34, e30, or e28 -- something that's not too fancy and is reliable. I'd like to spend in the neighborhood of 5 - 8K dollars. Thanks for any advice.

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The E36 drives nicely, but parts seem to fall off it almost as fast as they did

on my mom's Pacer. Seriously.

The e30 is a stout (but old) car, and you'd get a nice example for 5k.

The 540 has always been a sleeper, but if an E46 drove you nuts,

anything BMW more modern than an E30 is also going to be annoying-

lots of little things, lots of little things that break!

t

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great answers, thank you all.

Anyone know anything about

- what year BMW added the vanos to models? Anything pre-vanos sounds like a plus to me.

- whether the nikasil block issue is anything to really worry about? I've read that models with nikasil m52 engines never went to the US.

thanks again.

mc

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You cant beat a well maintained E30. For 5k you should get perfect leather seats and a beautiful car. As to the E36. Nice motor but as stated they are always losing parts. It has also been my experience that they need a cylinder head after 140,000. As to the nyckasal block they are still around and no BMW wont replace it under warranty. Beware of a good deal.....

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These are BMWs I had from my own experience that are in your price range in the order I would recomend.

e36 M3, any year with a manual. Best bang for the buck. Try to find a stocker or adult owned example..not easy.

e30 318is. Great gas mileage, easy to work on, very fun.

e34 525i, I like but not as fun as the other. No issues except window regulator, radiator...

e28 535is, fun but felt really old to me even compared to the e30s. Also felt like a brick after having the e30. Things start to get worn, suspension, steering, etc.

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Hey folks. I'd prefer a BMW, but others are ok I suppose. In addition to my 02, I own an e46 xi which has been a very expensive and time-consuming car to maintain -- front suspension, final stage resistor, window regulators, cooling system, vanos, cv joints, bushings, auto trans fluid -- are among the many things I've had to deal with over a year.

I'm seriously considering a very nice e34, e30, or e28 -- something that's not too fancy and is reliable. I'd like to spend in the neighborhood of 5 - 8K dollars. Thanks for any advice.

if you want a car similar to a 2002, buy a well kept e30 318is

GREAT motor, very good gas mileage, light and nimble with enough power to keep you entertained

best 4 cylinder motor BMW ever built

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Hey folks. I'd prefer a BMW, but others are ok I suppose. In addition to my 02, I own an e46 xi which has been a very expensive and time-consuming car to maintain -- front suspension, final stage resistor, window regulators, cooling system, vanos, cv joints, bushings, auto trans fluid -- are among the many things I've had to deal with over a year.

I'm seriously considering a very nice e34, e30, or e28 -- something that's not too fancy and is reliable. I'd like to spend in the neighborhood of 5 - 8K dollars. Thanks for any advice.

if you want a car similar to a 2002, buy a well kept e30 318is

GREAT motor, very good gas mileage, light and nimble with enough power to keep you entertained

best 4 cylinder motor BMW ever built

plus one over and over....

I track an e 30..90 325i...great car...but if you want fun.....go 318i or iS.

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You cant beat a well maintained E30. For 5k you should get perfect leather seats and a beautiful car. As to the E36. Nice motor but as stated they are always losing parts. It has also been my experience that they need a cylinder head after 140,000. As to the nyckasal block they are still around and no BMW wont replace it under warranty. Beware of a good deal.....

Agreed! For 5 to 8K, you should be able to find a very nice E30

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Are you selling the e46 because you feel its still going to be more expensive or because you want something different.

Any car older than an e46 is most likely also going to need servicing and replacing of similar things or maybe more. It is unlikely that you will find a good buy that doesn't need servicing and replacing of parts.

I have an 03 e46 with 80k that i just replaced the pulleys and tensioner, belts, water pump, thermostat, 3 fuel pumps, pads, rotors, some oil lines and both front window regulators. It wasn't cheap but i know most of those parts will last another 80k.

Also the e46 is not an overly complicated car that has to go to the dealer for everything. Whenever i have issues i go to e46fanatics.com and find all the info i need, and many times its diy stuff.

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Are you selling the e46 because you feel its still going to be more expensive or because you want something different.

Any car older than an e46 is most likely also going to need servicing and replacing of similar things or maybe more. It is unlikely that you will find a good buy that doesn't need servicing and replacing of parts.

I have an 03 e46 with 80k that i just replaced the pulleys and tensioner, belts, water pump, thermostat, 3 fuel pumps, pads, rotors, some oil lines and both front window regulators. It wasn't cheap but i know most of those parts will last another 80k.

Also the e46 is not an overly complicated car that has to go to the dealer for everything. Whenever i have issues i go to e46fanatics.com and find all the info i need, and many times its diy stuff.

Yes, I'm concerned mostly about maintenance costs on the e46. I also don't find them especially easy or fun to work on. I wrote a DIY on e46fanatics a while ago on replacing the front control arms and bushing on my car and what a nightmare (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=778979&highlight=xi+front+control+arm). The total cost for the parts was over $700. For that price I could have rebuilt the entire front end suspension of an e30.

Most of my problems could just be because I bought a lousy example or because it's an Xi. Whatever my next car, I'm going to pay more attention to prior work and look to buy from an enthusiast.

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I own a number of e30's and a daily driver 535i manual e34. The biggest thing to consider is how well maintained they are. I made sure to buy only no-rust items. The 1991 318is is a lot of fun. The e30's have a typical list of maintenance to-do's including timing belt and water pump every 7 years or 50k miles. They've been pretty easy to work on and parts are not too bad. Blunt even sells parts for them. Stay away from kid cars. My 535 has 355k miles and I drive it anywhere.

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