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Thread: my new $750 dollar z3
09-03-2010 12:01 PM #1
my new $750 dollar z3
This is what I picked up a couple days ago for 750 bucks, it runs great and drives good now, (needed a center support bearing) Its does have 200k miles on it, and needs some work on the seats and console, and a/c compressor clutch is shot.If any one has a compressor that is shot but clutch is good drop me a line. Also If any one has a rear upper console door let me know, or know where I can get one let me know, I will drop a few pic of my new project here
09-03-2010 12:02 PM #2
09-03-2010 12:04 PM #3
09-03-2010 12:07 PM #4
09-03-2010 12:08 PM #5
09-03-2010 12:55 PM #6
- Selden, NY, United StatesMember No: 73453
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
- Rep Power
09-03-2010 02:11 PM #7
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 07:23 PM #8
09-03-2010 07:25 PM #9
09-03-2010 07:55 PM #10
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 09:54 PM #11
- Mechanicsburg, PA, United StatesMember No: 100814
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
- Rep Power
09-04-2010 08:28 AM #12
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:
power steering rack
front suspension bushings
rear shock mounts
brakes - rotors, pads, calipers, hoses
primary oxygen sensors
secondary oxygen sensors
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...
09-04-2010 12:05 PM #13
- Colmesneil, TX, United StatesMember No: 6602
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- Rep Power
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 04:15 PM #14
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 04:19 PM #15
09-04-2010 05:18 PM #16
09-04-2010 06:08 PM #17
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 06:17 PM #18
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 06:28 PM #19
09-06-2010 01:02 PM #20
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....
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