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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 09-14-2010, 10:41 AM

    Re: Is the Z3 the next 2002?

    I live in Newnan/Sharpsburg area, would be interested in buying that Z for my wife, or just meeting up to have a beer and talk cars.DconBlueZ
    Sharpsburg,GA USA
  • 09-13-2010, 10:30 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Good deal, but like you say....

    Maybe on a good day, it might be a $2500 car. So $750 is less than half price, but still maybe only a $1500 bargain. We're not talking a lot of money in the greater scheme of things.

    Cars like this can need $5000 in repairs in short order - and maybe go 50,000 miles before crapping out completely.

    Cars get old, period. There reaches a point in the Weibull distribution (or Bathtub curve) where it makes no economic sense to repair them anymore - as everything breaks at once.

    Whether it is the hoover dam, the space shuttle, or a Z3, all engineering systems basically follow the weibull curve in terms of failure modes.

    The trick is to know when you reach that bend in the curve and stop throwing money at it.

    Usually if the door hinges are shot, that is a miner's canary...

  • 09-09-2010, 09:13 PM

    Re: Is the Z3 the next 2002?

    The 2002 was MUCH harder than the Z will be, I should find the before photo;s of the rusted out 02, I put on fender flares, because I thought they looked cool, but mostly because the fenders had a lot of rust in them! I had tons of fun with that car! I sanded down the trunk lid and re-shot it today, yesterday I got the license plates yesterday so it legal to drive now, I am waiting on some parts in the mail, I did take it for a drive and it drove and ran great! So far it seems to be a great deal! after I finish with the Z, I will try to find another 2002!
  • 09-06-2010, 06:40 PM

    Well if you really want to be realistic, then

    you could look around at what any used car is going for today, not just BMW's. You'll see that they're all taking a beating in terms of resale. I'm amazed at what I could move into today that I couldn't have moved into just a year or two ago. And I'm equally amazed at how little my pristine E46 M3 Comp is worth.

    What's going on isn't unique to BMW's. It's not even unique to cars. The economy just plain sux right now.

    As far as this guy's $750 Z3, I have to agree with those that think he got a good deal. Sure, he's going to have to put a little into it, but that's the fun (for some of us anyway) and he fully expects it's going to cost more than the initial outlay.

  • 09-06-2010, 01:02 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Is the Z3 the next 2002?

    I wonder if old Z3s will be the next 2002 or E30 - a cult car. They are getting cheap enough, they are somewhat unique, fun to drive, small, easy to work on, fairly simple, and there are a lot of replacement parts out there as they share a lot with the E36 and E30.

    After seeing your 2002, I think you'll have no trouble with this car! As you know, for a DIY'er, an older BMW can be a good bargain.

    Where I hear the horror stories is when someone without tools, tool skills, garage space, or time, buys a 10-year-old BMW and then takes it to the dealer for repairs. Ouch...

    You may be a pioneer - one of the first people to "restore" a Z3...!

    Tinkering with old cars is fun, but I decided after chasing rust too long that it might be easier to just buy a newer car and let it get old than to buy an old car and try to make it new....
  • 09-04-2010, 06:28 PM

    Re: Pefect car for you!

    I have had a few 2002's Her is the last one I rebuilt, when I get more room I will have to get another![email protected]/4958437056/
  • 09-04-2010, 06:17 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Pefect car for you!

    This is a good car for someone with car skills.

    Never heard of the A/C clutch problem before. Check the continuity on it? Shorted out or something?

    Cars like this can be a fun game. If you can find parts for cheap (from a parted out car or junkyard) you can piece them together and have a nice ride, at least for a time.

    My first BMW I paid $850 for ($100 more than you did!). It had 300,000 miles on it. It needed a new everything. Sounds like you got a better deal than I did.....
  • 09-04-2010, 06:08 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Check your book values first.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but a 200,000 mile 1.9 ain't worth a lot of money and is decreasing in value - rapidly.

    I just sold both of my 1997 E36 cabrios - 318iC's for $6500 each, which was mid-book value, based on Edmunds ($5000) KBB ($8000) and NADA ($7000).

    They had 80,000 miles on them and all the service done (basically everything I listed in my last post).

    I know everyone on this forum would like to believe their Z3s are still worth their sticker price, but it ain't so. My 1999 M Roadster might get 12 grand on a good day - with 28,000 miles on the clock.

    MIGHT get that. The market is the real determination.

    He got a good deal on a fixer-upper. But fixer-uppers are only good deals for people with tools, skill, and a place to work.

    For most folks, it makes more sense to fish further upstream...

  • 09-04-2010, 05:18 PM

    This is where I go somtimes

    for parts that i cant find on my 1.9
  • 09-04-2010, 04:19 PM

    Re: Even if he spends the $5k he only has $5750

    Thanks, will give Max a look, and I hope I wont spend any where near 5k on parts, LOL I do all my own work so that will cut down the cost
  • 09-04-2010, 04:15 PM

    Re: That's the problem with BMWs...

    replaced center support, yesterday and hooked the car up to my laptop via carsoft, and was almost shocked that the only error was a airbag error, on pass seat which cleared and did not come back.
    Car runs and drives well, needs shocks/struts soon, just need to fix a/c, hope to find a clutch for the a/c as I think that is all that is wrong, it worked for a little while but pops the a/c clutch fuse, took the belt off still pops fuse, compressor seems to be good, Anyone know where I can get clutch only?
    I can do all the work myself, so that will save on labor cost.
    Thanks for all the info
  • 09-04-2010, 12:05 PM

    Even if he spends the $5k he only has $5750

    total in the car which is a bit less than what it is worth. I think he got a great deal and will have fun bringing the Z back to life. Remember it is a 1.9 which is a bit less problematic than 6 cylinder cars. When getting parts remember Max @ oem****************, he has some of the best prices and his customer service is unparalleled.
    96 1.9 Z3 black/tan/black
    97 M3/4 estoril/gray
    08 Kubota 3400 HST orange/charcoal
    08 GMC Sierra stealth gray/gray
  • 09-04-2010, 08:28 AM
    Robert Platt Bell

    That's the problem with BMWs...

    An older BMW needing thousands of dollars in work (calculated if you have to use a mechanic) can still look really nice - under the florescent lights at the dealership.

    The paint quality on these cars is very good, and they have decent rust-proofing (like most cars made today). And since most were garaged, washed, waxed, and well-tended, they tend to look good long after the mechanicals are shot.

    If you are handy with tools, such a car could be a fun project. If not, a wallet-emptying nightmare.

    A 200,000 mile BMW could need $5000 in work in short order, including, but not limited to:

    ball joints
    tie rods
    power steering rack
    front suspension bushings
    rear shock mounts
    brakes - rotors, pads, calipers, hoses
    center bearing
    primary oxygen sensors
    secondary oxygen sensors
    intake elbow
    water pump
    Serpentine belt and tensioner (a lot!)
    secondary air pump
    camshaft position sensor
    clutch slave cylinder

    Just to name a few....

    A BMW can run a long time "needing" many of these parts, and then get traded in. It gets wholesaled to a used car dealer, buffed up and sold to an unsuspecting youth who "always wanted a BMW" but is not handy with tools.

    The end result is a very unhappy consumer....

    Unless you are car-savvy, a pre-sale inspection is always a good idea.

    Sounds like this fellow will do OK with his bargain Z3, as he is handy with tools.

    But more and more of these cars are nearing the end of their design life and we'll see a lot of these bargain-basement Z3s on the market. It has already happened to the E36...
  • 09-03-2010, 09:54 PM

    Body and paint look good, though

    At least from what I could tell.
    Phil '97 1.9 Montreal Blue
  • 09-03-2010, 07:55 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Sounds like fun.

    If you can get 50K more out of the car, it is a good deal. But chances are, it won't go far beyond that (on average), without heroic efforts. Most people in the 300,000 mile club do high annual miles. Age, as well as mileage, is a factor.

    Suspension problems are the most expensive fix - a grand or two in parts, even if you DIY. No front-end shimmy at 60-65? Then you are lucky.

    Don't ever EVER let it overheat - that is the end game for these cars - that, or an automatic transmission blowing up (which is why 5-speeds are better). The radiator neck may crack or the water pump may fail, tossing fan blades into the radiator. Keep an eye on the cooling system if it was not already replaced. I tend to overhaul mine (radiator, water pump hoses, tstat, etc) every 100,000 miles or so.

    If it overheats, you are looking at a $3000 engine rebuild, which is far too much for a $750 car.

    Below is a link to a blog entry about the fellow who bought the Craigs List car. You at least paid the right price for yours!

    Such cars are great bargains for the shade-tree mechanic, but a nightmare for someone who has to hire a mechanic, or worse yet, take it to a dealer.

    I suspect you could find the interior bits from a junked Z3, including a passenger's seat, for cheap, and make it into a presentable driver. The body looks good (most BMWs do, they have good paint).

    Drive the snot out of it and enjoy it. And laugh all the way to the bank. $750? You got a deal, even if it lasts only a year. Mine depreciates by more than that every year!


  • 09-03-2010, 07:25 PM

    Re: Ouch! It hurts to see one look so beat up

    Yes I agree, The lady I bought it from just let it sit for over a year, will post pics, when I get it done.
  • 09-03-2010, 07:23 PM

    Re: Where are you in GA? (Exit 29)

    Im near newnan, sw of Atlanta, Yea the car does need some work but I hope not to much! I can do all the work myself, except machine shop stuff of course, Should be fun.
  • 09-03-2010, 02:11 PM
    Robert Platt Bell

    Where are you in GA? (Exit 29)

    Nice car, not a bad price. These cars are reaching the end of their design life and can end up costing a LOT of money to repair, if they need a new suspension, oxygen sensors, brakes, tires, top, cooling system, etc. If you are handy (apparently you are) it is not a bad deal.

    Even so, a car like this can swallow a couple of grand in parts alone.

    If not....well, one fellow told me about his "bargain" E36 he got for $2600 on Craigslist. He's put $5500 in repairs to it. So far... Ouch.

    Sounds like a fun project.

  • 09-03-2010, 12:55 PM

    Ouch! It hurts to see one look so beat up

    Please send pics when you finish bringing her back to life!Read "Through The Esses" on

  • 09-03-2010, 12:08 PM

    Re: my new $750 dollar z3

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