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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Should I buy this e30 bmw m3?


I have found a suspiciously cheap 1990 bmw m3 on my local classifieds. It has over 300000km, a bit of rust, terrible interior, needs a waterpump, and an igniton. Or at least that what he tells me. I havent looked at it in person yet, but the pictures online dont look to good.I am 17 and want to buy a cheap first car. I know this car will need alot of work, but I was wondering how much it will cost roughly to fix it up. And what are some common issues to look at for when I do go and see the car.So I would like some advice , should I buy it and fix it up, or will cost too much and isn't worth the struggle.

Please help.


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Old 06-17-2017, 04:34 AM
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Dmitry at Pelican Parts's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 3,458
Hi James - with the info you gave; it already sounds quite expensive. Do you know what condition the motor is in? Does it turn? Post some pictures of the car, but make sure to get a full PPI (pre-purchase inspection ) from someone who knows BMWs well - other members will likely chime in.
Old 06-19-2017, 09:54 AM
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Typically forumites will say timing belt, water pump, and possibly timing belt pulley; plus whatever parts are needed to fix the starting & ignition system, which could be difficult and expensive to troubleshoot and repair.

The BMW E30 - 3 Series Restoration Bible by Andrew Everett has great chapters on what-to-look-for and should-I-buy-it in addition to great material to supplement the Bentley manual and the 101 Projects book by Wayne Dempsey. Highly recommended - see if your library can provide it, if you can't pick it up from amazon or something.

"suspiciously cheap" is a relative term but imo in that condition I'd say it'd have to be a negative number to qualify: anything above $100 is a fair price; anything over $500 and you'll find much better for not much more.

As a first-car project I think you need to decide if you want the car to get you anywhere, anytime soon. This one could take months or years before it starts and runs reliably depending how much free time and parts money you've got. My first car (also bought at 17) went 200 meters under its own power, pushed 200 meters home, and that was it.
Old 06-21-2017, 08:56 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 90
Prices for the E30 M3 are through the roof right now. Whole cars in any condition are going for $15,000. If you can, post up a VIN to verify it is a real M3. Also verify it has an S14 motor. That is the most expensive part of the car. Cost to fix it up depends on your definition of fixing up. Just taking care of the engine items would be $500 to $2000 depending on if you do the work yourself. A water pump alone is $400. Replacing the other cooling system parts, doing the timing belt and ignition will be $1500 in parts. If it really is an E30 M3 and it is advertised publicly, it will be either sold or have bids way above what you can afford by the time you read this, no matter what the condition.
I am still curious as to how this turns out so it you have any other information, please post it.
Old 07-07-2017, 11:19 AM
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