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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I am new to the forum, but have been lurking for quite some time here. I am searching for a new daily driver to reduce the miles on my other car. I was originally considering an e30, but the maintenance and refurb expense and also the condition of a car within my $15k budget essentially eliminated it off my list.

I am now considering either an e46 with a $15k budget or an e36 with a lower budget of about $10k. Personally, I like the e46 quite a bit more, but don't want to buy one if my budget will get me into a car that could cost me a lot more over time than an e36. How much should I expect annual maintenance and repairs on an early e46 m3? I have had several e39 and e60 m5's in the past that have always been under warranty, so i never had to worry about vannos, cam sensors, transmission repairs in the past, but with this prospective purchase, these cars will not have a warranty.

I know I need to find one that had the bearing recall completed, but what else should I look into to hopefully buy a solid car? Is a $15k e46 m3 trouble? How many miles are reasonable for this price point?

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

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don't spend all your money on an m3 for 15k and expect no repairs. always budget for the worst.
 

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i was told that every 3rd oil change is about $1500 in repairs if driven hard which what M isn't i feel like. Just what I've heard. I personally wouldn't spend all your money on it, just incase something happens. Get a loan build some more credit.
 

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15k on an E46 M3 is trouble, I replaced my original E46 with an M3 for around 22 and it was quite a deal for the year and specs. Unfortunately as most will tell you maintenance is somewhat cost/time intensive. Any E30 M3 in worthy condition is also considered to be a classic to include a collector's price tag. If you're looking at an E46 M3 you probably need closer to 19-22k along with some maintenance funds as at a very minimum any E46 M3 is at least 4 years old.

Good luck in the search
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys for the initial comments.

One scenario I did not ask, but was mentioned here is the possibility of an e46 330i. Would you guys choose a 330i over a e36 m3? I know this is e46 fanatics, but is an M better even though it is a generation older?
 

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Get ZHP and your good to go.. i love my 330i sport package but honestly i wish i had the ZHP all the time its just a perfect car in my eyes even though my car is already pretty darn perfect ;) but they perfected it even more.. especially if your leaning towered M's
 

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the e36 m just isn't as nice of a car as an e46. with the e46 i think you'll be much more pleased if it's a dd. the e36 m can be made to be a serious performer. it's an m either way, but it's still a 20 year old car... (design)
 

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OP, take a look at some semi local 330Ci's.


http://www.autotrader.com/dealers/d...d=200610012&sort_type=make_modelASC&cardist=0

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/2513596535.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/2511620528.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/cto/2510509082.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/2506605907.html

All well within your budget, leaves you plenty extra for anything unexpected.

A 330Ci with these performance mods will be a lot of fun to drive, & still be a great DD.

1) Ebay header = $150
2) Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust #16533 = $556 shipped
3) Shark Injector = $350
4) Under Drive Pulleys = $250
5) Cosmo Cold Air Intake = $145
6) 3.46 Diff = $250


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like a 330i might be the better choice. It has 4 doors, which is a benefit for me versus the e46 m3 coupe and more modern than the e36 4 door m3.

I am not too versed on the ZHP, but is it worth the premium over the 330i? I know the basics, 6 speed, suspension, wheels and some alcantara. How much is the real world premium in your opinion?

Are there any preexisting issues with the 330i?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OP, take a look at some semi local 330Ci's.


http://www.autotrader.com/dealers/d...d=200610012&sort_type=make_modelASC&cardist=0

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/2513596535.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/2511620528.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/cto/2510509082.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/2506605907.html

All well within your budget, leaves you plenty extra for anything unexpected.

A 330Ci with these performance mods will be a lot of fun to drive, & still be a great DD.

1) Ebay header = $150
2) Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust #16533 = $556 shipped
3) Shark Injector = $350
4) Under Drive Pulleys = $250
5) Cosmo Cold Air Intake = $145
6) 3.46 Diff = $250


Good luck.
Thanks Rob. I will check these out.

I am also going to look at 330i's since they are more practical for my needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My car is almost dead even with an M3 with headers and exhaust.

And I weigh a ton more.
Don't get an M3. Your budget will give you only shiit.
I'm assuming you mean even with an e36 m3? I'm starting to get the picture that an e46 m3 might be a can of worms at my price point.
 

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Sounds like a 330i might be the better choice. It has 4 doors, which is a benefit for me versus the e46 m3 coupe and more modern than the e36 4 door m3.

I am not too versed on the ZHP, but is it worth the premium over the 330i? I know the basics, 6 speed, suspension, wheels and some alcantara. How much is the real world premium in your opinion?

Are there any preexisting issues with the 330i?
Only you can decide. When I look for my car, I faced 2 different cars:
1. 02 330i All options included (sport, premius, winter), 90k miles for 9.5k
2. 03 ZHP, Alcantara leather, same color, 102k for 12.5k

It was 3k difference, I can't justify it at that time. I pick the first car. Don't get me wrong, I still love my current car. However, sometimes I wondered whether I make the wrong choice. I found out, ZHP silver grey w/ alcantara is hard to find :p.
 

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Hey a guy on here picked up an M3 for about 12k and it turned out not to be a scam lol. It really depends on your area, but whatever car you end up considering, make sure you get it checked out by a mechanic.
 

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You can buy a M3 for that pretty easy. Just shop around. Stay away from SMG and get the one with the lowest miles you can get for the price. Color will not be an option for that price.
 

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Only you can decide. When I look for my car, I faced 2 different cars:
1. 02 330i All options included (sport, premius, winter), 90k miles for 9.5k
2. 03 ZHP, Alcantara leather, same color, 102k for 12.5k

It was 3k difference, I can't justify it at that time. I pick the first car. Don't get me wrong, I still love my current car. However, sometimes I wondered whether I make the wrong choice. I found out, ZHP silver grey w/ alcantara is hard to find :p.
Yeah you made the wrong choice lol.
 
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