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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The idea of selling my E46 and buying a clean E30 has been creeping up on me for a while now and Im really torn about it. :( I LOVE my touring, Ive invested a lot of money in it and Im even in the process of building a new engine for it. buttttt when I got the chance to drive my friends 88 Is with a 288 cam, 4.10 lsd and suspension it was like a revelation. Ive always had a thing for E30s, but experiencing one was everything Id hoped it be and more. I cant even describe to you how much fun that car is. You just feel so much more in control, less between you and the road, not to mention that m20 just PULLS. Parts are cheap too and its dream to work on when compared to my awd E46.

So what do you guys think? E30 or E46?
 

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I had an 89 325is. BEST CAR I'VE OWNED!!!!
LIke you said it's a different experience all together. The challenge is finding one in decent condition. They are 25 year old or so now. Good ones in my area go for at least $5K.
I have a one car garage, but if I had more space I would get one and restore it.
 

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I wrestle with this question on a weekly basis. The e30 was the first BMW I fell in love with. Even after owning 2 e28s and 2 e46s, I still find myself longing for one. I will own one someday. I've sort given up on the idea of selling my e46 for an e30 & jeep setup because my e46 is such a well maintained example, but that doesn't stop the longing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had an 89 325is. BEST CAR I'VE OWNED!!!!
LIke you said it's a different experience all together. The challenge is finding one in decent condition. They are 25 year old or so now. Good ones in my area go for at least $5K.
I have a one car garage, but if I had more space I would get one and restore it.
I can get $6,000 for my touring now and pick up a very clean 325i or 325e coupe for 5 or 6 easy. over on Rv3limited and e30tech there are some nicely modded ones for dirt cheap. Its very tempting
 

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By the way the M20 is nice, but before long I know I would be dying for an M30 or M50 swap.
 

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Why would you like to trade for an e30 from an e46?
I would buy an e30 separate and keep the e46 as a daily.
Too much practicality in e46 to give it up for an e30.
Just my two cents.
 

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i've been thinking in 2 weeks man.. i do really want an e30 with an lsd.. e46 parts are so expensive..


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i've been thinking in 2 weeks man.. i do really want an e30 with an lsd.. e46 parts are so expensive..


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It depends on what you want. For the vast majority of people out there, owning a 25 or 30 year old car gets old after a few months. The E30 is indeed more raw and is a lot of fun. But are you out to have fun 100% of the time you're driving?

For me, weighing the refinement, creature comforts, and more modern design of the E46 puts that car over the E30 for a daily driver. A fun car isn't all that fun when you're in traffic, or commuting home from work dog tired from a long day. In those instances, the more modern and refined car (that's still tons of fun) is the better choice for most.

This is coming from someone who has a fun car (E36 M3). If I had a DD, I would pick up an E30 in a heartbeat. If I could only have one car...as cool as they are, the E30 would not be it. But everyone is different. I had a 325es and loved the thing to death. But not as an only car.


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basically: i'd never own an e30 as an only car. it'd have to be a secondary car. and that's what mine is. that being said, i love it.
and the m20 doesn't really pull... lol. in fact i hate comparing my e30 engine to my e46 328. so much torque in the 328 down low compared to the m20. there is no power in the m20 untill like 5k rpm. then it's nice. but at that point i'm always scared of my rockers snapping so i rarely ever go there.
 

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honestly... e30 non-M is overrated (for that matter, so is the E30 M3). It would be cool to toy around with and even use it as a beater on crappy days, but no way would I keep one as my only car.
 

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basically: i'd never own an e30 as an only car. it'd have to be a secondary car. and that's what mine is. that being said, i love it.
and the m20 doesn't really pull... lol. in fact i hate comparing my e30 engine to my e46 328. so much torque in the 328 down low compared to the m20. there is no power in the m20 untill like 5k rpm. then it's nice. but at that point i'm always scared of my rockers snapping so i rarely ever go there.
I found the power to be right around 4k, then the car rips.

I had a 1988 325is and it was sweet. I had a lot of fun in that car and it was my first car. The car can get up to 135 easy at stock. Really ridiculous for such an old ass car. Would not go back to it, exactly as Peyton said, they are good as second cars but definitely not your only car.

On the other hand, I owned it for about 2 years with 130k miles and never put a dime into maintenance besides oil, filters and spark plugs. Everything on the car was original, except for paint because it was faded. With my BMW now, i'm already in the hole over 2k in maintenance and i've only had the car since 139k and it's at 154k now.
 

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honestly... e30 non-M is overrated (for that matter, so is the E30 M3). It would be cool to toy around with and even use it as a beater on crappy days, but no way would I keep one as my only car.
Your car is overrated.
 

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I had an e30 before the e46 and i can make this quick. For a daily driver use the e46, for a toy have the e30. They are two absolutely diferent cars
 

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I've contemplated this aswell, I don't have an e30 anymore.
I would love to pick another one up but wouldn't trade my e46 for it. I've put too much blood, sweat and tears into the e46 ( and it still not up to par yet) but I do want to either pick up another e30 or e34 once I get my e46 sorted out.
 

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I had an e30 before the e46 and i can make this quick. For a daily driver use the e46, for a toy have the e30. They are two absolutely diferent cars
this. well said.
if you want to be comfortable and reliable in an e30 expect to pay $8k+
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
lots of good imput. ^ thanks.
I WISH I could own both but right now I cant :(
I'm a teenage guy, I really dont care about the amenities too much. for example,I hardly ever use the AC in my E46, I just roll the windows down. Same with the electric seats, I really could go without them. The ammount of unessesary **** in my dads e90 and the f30s Ive seen makes me sick. Its just more stuff that can break and Ill be spending more money on. I feel an E30 would allow me to spend less money on fixes and more money on new tires and track days.

And idc what anyone says, the M20 is a beauty of an engine. Especially with my friends 288 cam , tune and lsd. Pulls all the way to the redline
sunroof open, windows down, lighting up the rear end, spinning tires through 3rd, haha I love that car.
 

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E30 is ideal as a second car and you'd save money even with two cars, because you'd drive the E46 less, so less wear on all components.
Having one newer and one older is a lot of fun, it reminds me when I had an E36 M3 and a modified 83 VW GTI.
 

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lots of good imput. ^ thanks.
I WISH I could own both but right now I cant :(
I'm a teenage guy, I really dont care about the amenities too much. for example,I hardly ever use the AC in my E46, I just roll the windows down. Same with the electric seats, I really could go without them. The ammount of unessesary **** in my dads e90 and the f30s Ive seen makes me sick. Its just more stuff that can break and Ill be spending more money on. I feel an E30 would allow me to spend less money on fixes and more money on new tires and track days.

And idc what anyone says, the M20 is a beauty of an engine. Especially with my friends 288 cam , tune and lsd. Pulls all the way to the redline
sunroof open, windows down, lighting up the rear end, spinning tires through 3rd, haha I love that car.
I was 18 I think when I got mine. Bought it for cheap. Fixed it up. Put a LOT of labor into it. Sold it for more and bought my current e30 that you see in my sig. I've put maybe $300 into it so far and it's 800% better than when I bought it. I love buying cars and making them better in every way. If you're smart with your money and know how to work on cars very well you can afford it. Trust me. Unless you don't have a job.
Do you have any expendable income? What is it? It's not hard finding a sub $2000 e30 that needs work.
The biggest weakness of the e30 is kinda also it's biggest strength. By that I mean, the biggest weakness is its old so it's basically falling apart and things need replaced and fixed all the time. But the biggest strength is that parts are CHEAP. Not Honda civic cheap. But there's normally a cheap fix for everything. For example you can get a LSD for $300. You can't get a LSD installed in your e46 for less than $1500.
 
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