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Old 09-19-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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Keeping the E36....I dunno.

So we have this 1996 328i [convertable] that's been in storage for two years. It's got 47,000 miles, orginal, always garaged, never crashed.

Blue book is between 4 and $6K, which seems really insane for a perfect car - heck wife even had some dents ironed out a couple years ago before we parked it.

Problem is we live on a gravel/dirt road - perfectly OK in most ways except for stone dings.

Wife has a buyer for it, but we got it out, washed it and she drove it again and we are thinking that at that low retail price, why sell it, why not keep it for a summer car since it's a sweet ragtop and it's an E36 with the sport package - the little car hauls ass and gets 30 mpg on the freeway.

I was all ready to part with it, then I looked at the value and thought there is no way we could come close to as good a replacement for $7,000, and sure as shit won't be as much fun to drive - this baby has the 5 speed and goes nice.

This is the only BMW I've owned, and the only one I've really liked that I've driven.

I guess there's no downside to this - we have a garage to keep it in all winter.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #2
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It's almost old enough to graduate high school.

I guess if you can afford future maintenance then go for it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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Put some of that clear armor shit on the rocker panels and other chip prone areas and keep it. It will only run for about 1,000,000 more miles. Maybe you'll need some basic stuff that isn't a regular wear item like a driver's side window regulator or something in 40k more miles. That's a really nice car to drive.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:40 AM   #4
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So you backed out on the sale? I expect to see a JoMomma thread about it in 3......2......1......

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Old 09-20-2013, 05:30 AM   #5
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I have a 95 325 convertible, sport suspension, manual also. Every year I think about trading it in on something new. Then the weather warms, the top goes down, and the grin reappears.
Mine is just turning 60,000 miles and the cam chain is starting to rattle. Ordered a upgrade to hopefully fix the noise. Just replaced the brakes and tires so she drives like new.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:07 AM   #6
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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Originally Posted by jdiaz View Post
So you backed out on the sale? I expect to see a JoMomma thread about it in 3......2......1......

Do you have a sale when no one has agreed on a price yet?
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:24 AM   #7
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Keep it.

Future maintenance cost is negligible if you do any work at all yourself.
I picked up an abused 1995 E36 convertible with 150k miles on it for $500 because it needed a top. With a new top, rebuilt suspension and brakes I'm still only up to half of the cars value in expenses. Parts for these are readily available and fairly inexpensive. Worst part on an E36 is the interior falling apart, but if it isn't pre-broken like mine is you probably won't have much trouble. I had never messed with a convertible before so the top was a learning experience for me, but it was a relatively simple job. It took around 6hours total to replace the top. Fun little cars.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:12 AM   #8
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Hey Bo, where did you source a new top for your car ?
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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pics or it didn't happen
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Keep it! its one of the last collector BMW's...... all the new ones are all made of plastic - that one will last.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bo_9 View Post
Parts for these are readily available and fairly inexpensive.
It's pretty amazing isn't it. For my 1995 e36 I bought a new transmission computer (just to experiment), spotless and works flawlessly for $29. Just received a new radiator for $75 shipped.

The thing I like best about the motor is the relatively few wires. It has a few giant connectors and that's about it.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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Alright, she's gonna keep it - my mom and I gave her a hard enough time and mom will let us store it in her spare garage space, which sealed the deal for her. She e-mailed her friend who wanted it and told her that she changed her mind and decided to keep it.

I think it makes sense - this thing is close to cherry and even if we got top dollar, what would we buy even close to as much fun to drive? Nothing at all comes to mind.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:42 AM   #13
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Hey Bo, where did you source a new top for your car ?
I got it from an ebay seller (topsonebay) that turns out is the Ebay storefront for German Auto Tops in California. Top was excellent quality and "bolt on". I think they also sell a "glue on" but for the cost difference the "bolt on" is an easier option. The "bolt on" top has plastic pieces sewn in the top so it bolts on just like the factory top, but you still have to glue several parts. I have one thing I have to take apart and fix that was the result of not having anyone to help when putting the front section back together, but other than not having enough hands it was relatively easy. It's been almost two years and it still looks good and is leak free.
I'm getting ready to order new leather for the seats from leatherseats.com since all of mine are ruined from years with a bad top.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:16 PM   #14
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Keep it! its one of the last collector BMW's...... all the new ones are all made of plastic - that one will last.
It's not an E30

My Families had a bunch of BMWs the E36 ('95 325is) was the first one that had really fragile interior parts and lots of brittle plastic. The E30s are tanks inside and out but the M52 engine is about as good as it gets, those engines will long outlast the rest of the car.

The depreciation on BMWs is almost comical. My GF bought a 2004 Z4 earlier this year for $12K and 80K mi but the car looked like brand new, engine, interior and paintwork were all flawless. Apart from the SMG awesome car, I bet the thing was over $40K new.

Might as well keep the E36 forever, for $7K there's nothing out there that will be as fun to drive, rowing through the gearbox with the top down and ripping through the mountains is a ton of fun.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:57 PM   #15
Sniper X
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When one gets rid of a BMW one always finds themselves comparing what ever they get to it and what ever that is, it never is as good. Unless it is another BMW and solid.
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