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  1. #1
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    2002 M Roadster or 2004 M3 Coupe

    Hey everyone, it's been a while since I've last posted on this forum, but I am trying to make a decision that has me torn:

    I am looking to buy a 2002 M roadster w/ 36,500 miles on it, while trading in my M3 Coupe w/ 50,650 miles on it.

    I have owned an E36 M3 in the past, along with an 2000 M roadster. I purchased my E46 M3 to use as a daily driver while my wife had a smaller car. The situation has changed where my wife is driving an econo-box, and I have reminisced about the 02 M Roadster for quite a while now. My only dilemma is that my M3 is in perfect running condition, well maintained with an after-market extended warranty to 105K Miles. The M roadster has no warranty and an incomplete service history, though the dealer says that the car has been babied by the second owner.

    I have always believed that the M roadster was much more elemental, which is my driving preference. I feel that M3 is extremely capable, but it doesn't produce the same driving experience that the roadster does. Having the extra space in the M3 is handy at times, and I feel that it will be reliable in the long-haul, while I'm taking a chance on the roadster. I would appreciate any useful feedback that would aid me in making my decision.

    Thank you,
    JD


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    Re: 2002 M Roadster or 2004 M3 Coupe

    Get it....and come to ZFest

  3. #3
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    you realize you're on the Z3 boards...right?...

    Everyone in here is going to tell you to get the roadster. I'm no different :-). I have my nice daily driver, but the Z3 is my fun, top-down, raw driving machine and I never plan on getting rid of it. It sounds like that's what you're looking for.

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  4. #4
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    subframe issue?

    You guys don't worry about subframe issues on the MZ3? Is the issue more hype than reality, or is it something to be genuinely concerned about? Does anyone know a good BMW mechanic in Maryland who can conduct a thorough pre-inspection?

    Thanks,
    JD

  5. #5
    NCZM
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    Re: subframe issue?

    I've had a 2000 M Roadster since about 2003, second owner. While I don't beat it up, it has had some spirited driving in the country. My opinion is that if you drive like a mature adult the car is almost bullet-proof.

  6. #6
    NC02Z3
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    Re: 2002 M Roadster or 2004 M3 Coupe

    I would find it very difficult to sell a 'perfect' running M3 coupe with decent mileage on it. Is there anyway you can keep both?

  7. #7
    SteveJ
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    You can do the inspection yourself

    Remove the carpet in the trunk floor. Check the welds. You can find threads on the internet which include photos of failing welds. If the seller is reluctant, walk away.

    Steve
    2002 Z3 2.5

  8. #8
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    Re: 2002 M Roadster or 2004 M3 Coupe

    I know... maybe they're too close to pit them against each other? I just couldn't swing both right now unfortunately, but that would be the ideal solution!

  9. #9
    st-pete-z3
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    2004 M3 Coupe

    I love my Z but I'd take the M3 coupe.

    The coupe in my opinion has better stability, grip to the road, corners better, better performance.

    Comparing my prior 328is to the 98Z coupe on performance.

    Z if you want top down perfomance.
    Z4 is supposed to be even better- but looks bad.

  10. #10
    NC02Z3
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    Re: 2002 M Roadster or 2004 M3 Coupe

    I guess the key is how much do you want a convertible? If a MUST, then go for it if it checks out OK. Otherwise I would keep the M3. I was in a similar position with an American muscle car when I first moved here to the mountains. It was even lower mileage than yours and in excellent running condition. I HAD TO HAVE a convertible here (way before my Z3 purchase) and sold it to buy basically the same car, although newer, in convertible form. It worked out well for me but I still can't help missing the previous car because it was in such good shape. You may go through similar feelings. I now own 3 verts so you can see where I stand on the 'importance' scale. Good luck!

  11. #11
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    PICTURES to inspect - please help.

    I've received some pictures from the dealer, can someone help me identify any issues that I may be missing.

    Is the level of rust normal?
    Is the diff mount bend normal?

    Thanks!
    JD









  12. #12
    NC02Z3
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    Re: PICTURES to inspect - please help.

    My computer shows 'image not available'. Sounds like you want to sell the M3.

  13. #13
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    Sorry, here's the correct link to the pictures.

    Here are the pictures:

    M roadster subframe analysis

  14. #14
    SteveJ
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    looks OK to me

    The problems that I have seen reported usually start at the spot welds in your picture 002.jpg, and I don't see anything there. I hope others with more experience chime in here.

    Steve

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