e30 vs e46

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Necromancer, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Necromancer

    Necromancer Guest

    I'm getting rid of my e46 because all the fucking problems (now it won't stop over heating after replacing water pump and thermo) but luckily my dad wants it and is willing to fix it up. He's home like once a month anyways. So that puts me into a 'what-car-to-buy' situation. Searched around the market, WRX's, V6 6MT accords, other e46's, etc but since I am in college and don't want to put up with high payments, I started to look below 8k in spendings. I really enjoy the e30 and from I've searched it seems to be one of the more reliable BMW's produced.

    I'm looking into the late 80's, early 90's 325i (maybe IS if I can find one) I'll probably end up picking one up off a forum where they have done preventive maintnece and maybe some mods/upgrades. Who knows, but the question is, can I go wrong with buying a BMW e30?
     
  2. jeyur

    jeyur cum fairy OT Supporter

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    i have heard many stories of e30s lasting an extremely long time. My cousin had an e30 that went 300k miles. I currently have a 20 yr old e30 with 177k miles on it, yes we don't drive it that much. I plan to keep the car, even when it does, and turn it into a project car
     
  3. Necromancer

    Necromancer Guest

    Right now it's either an e30, or late 90's accord/camary.
     
  4. lathrash

    lathrash New Member

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    if you get something that has been taken care of, you should be ok. try to find one from an enthusiast that really took care of it. i have one and they are fun if you like the twisties... not all that fast in a straight line.
     
  5. Necromancer

    Necromancer Guest

    Just like most BMWs
     
  6. amdspitfire

    amdspitfire New Member

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    get an e36, a lot better car than an e30, sportier than an e46 and far higher refinement and comfort over the e30. 97+ 328 or m3 are superb cars.
     
  7. BarbaraWaltersPegleg

    BarbaraWaltersPegleg Irish Guido

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    Yah but the e36 will have its fair share of problems as well.
     
  8. waspride

    waspride Can't this wait till I'm old, can I live while I'm

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    Less then that of the e46.

    One thing to think about is that fixing an e36 is not going to be cheap shit.
     
  9. amdspitfire

    amdspitfire New Member

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    e30 will no doubt be the cheapest, but e36 is becoming very cheap as well. Lots of vendors, lots of parts, and lots of totalled e36s. I have not had any problems finding parts for a good price.
     
  10. Necromancer

    Necromancer Guest

    I find most repairs on an e46 are pretty cheap (taking into consideration I can do all the labor myself, just pay for parts)

    I've never worked on a car before my BMW and find it pretty easy, but when again I'm quite mechanically inclined.

    Most common problems are DIY's and have guides already made for them.
     
  11. Nihilation

    Nihilation New Member

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    E36's are cheap to repair. Lets cover the basics of what will be most likely to fail and the cost of repair, shall we?

    Water pump- $80 + $20(coolant) and an hour of your time
    T-stat housing- $30 + 1/2hour of your time
    Radiator- $100(used up to $350 for an all aluminum Zionesville)
    RTAB's- $100 + 2 hours labor
    Power steering lines- $150 + an hour labor
    Ball joints- $200 + 2 hours labor

    Of the items mentioned above you realistically may only encounter failure once ever 60k miles or so, sometimes not even till 100,000 miles. The water pump, radiator and thermostat are issues because the OEM parts are made of plastic and are known to crack, after market parts are aluminum so once they are replaced you never have to worry about them again. There is no cure to the power steering lines other than continuing to purchase new ones when they start to leak. The RTABS and ball joints are just basic suspension wear items, the E36 handles great and this is a small price to pay for the performance.

    If I was to get another E36, it'd be a 328is, but that's only because I like my cars modified and barely street legal so half of the "upgrades" that the M3 has over the non-M would just be replaced with even better aftermarket parts anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2006
  12. thedguy

    thedguy New Member

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    My experience with the e36 vs e30 is the e30 318is is extremely chuckable, and I've found several people who bought good condition ones and they are great. If you don't mind keeping the maintenance up, it'll be a great car.

    My friend has an e36 325 that I liked a lot, the motor was great, I loved the sound it made, and it handled better than the e30 325i's I've been in, but it was noticably heavier, than the e30 318is.

    My friends car only needed some of the cooling system repaired, and he and I did it following a guide off the net and took a couple of hours, mostly screwing around rather than getting anything done. Nice thing about the e36 325's is they have chains rather than timing belts, and they don't need valve adjustments.

    As far as refinement goes, I didn't notice much of a difference. But the e36 was only a 93 vs the 91 e30. If I was going for more freeway cruiser than backgroads bruiser, I'd be all over an e36.
     

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