Keeping the E36....I dunno.

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Manuel Garcia O'Kely, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,668
    Location:
    Central Colorado Rockies
    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.
    #1
  2. Jonnylotto

    Jonnylotto All out of care

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    15,522
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    It's almost old enough to graduate high school. :lol3

    I guess if you can afford future maintenance then go for it.
    #2
  3. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    34,824
    Location:
    OAK
    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.
    #3
  4. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    32,324
    Location:
    Flyover State
    So you backed out on the sale? I expect to see a JoMomma thread about it in 3......2......1......

    :lol3
    #4
  5. DUNDERHEAD

    DUNDERHEAD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    CT
    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.
    #5
  6. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,668
    Location:
    Central Colorado Rockies
    Do you have a sale when no one has agreed on a price yet?
    #6
  7. Bo_9

    Bo_9 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    S.E. Kansas, two hours from everywhere
    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.
    #7
  8. DUNDERHEAD

    DUNDERHEAD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    CT
    Hey Bo, where did you source a new top for your car ?
    #8
  9. davethegoat

    davethegoat bahhh....bah...

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Walking my dogs
    pics or it didn't happen :deal
    #9
  10. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,956
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Ca
    Keep it! its one of the last collector BMW's...... all the new ones are all made of plastic - that one will last.
    #10
  11. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,707
    Location:
    Sea-level
    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.
    #11
  12. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,668
    Location:
    Central Colorado Rockies
    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.
    #12
  13. Bo_9

    Bo_9 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    S.E. Kansas, two hours from everywhere
    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.
    #13
  14. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder 速 Flat Biller 速

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,748
    Location:
    Pinewood Springs, Colorado
    It's not an E30 :lol3

    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.
    #14
  15. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    33,351
    Location:
    Central New Mexico, 7420ft above sea level
    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.
    #15
  16. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,668
    Location:
    Central Colorado Rockies
    Went for a mid-week fall-colors drive today, nice to beat the traffic - thru Redcliff, Leadville, Aspen, Glenwood Springs and home - the snow last week killed off the high country scrub oaks and there's some color left to come in the Aspens, but it was a fine sunny day and it's supposed to snow tomorrow night, so we figured now or maybe not at all.

    The Car: Two year old gasoline, we fired it up, put the top down - had a minor glitch going down but it went OK, then back up after the end of the drive - I kept looking at my wife, saying 'what was I thinking when I suggested we sell this car? Damn thing ran just fine for a couple hundred miles.

    I must have been out of my mind thinking about selling this car....

    Top of Independence Pass:
    [​IMG]

    Twin Lakes on the way up IP:
    [​IMG]

    And on the way down towards Aspen:
    [​IMG]

    Not a bad way to waste a sunny day - she does not ride at all, so a ragtop is as good as it's going to get - and we were not the only people with the roof down today - it got up to 77 degress but was 50 on the passes - had the heat going full blast to keep the feet warm.

    We need new tires, but since it does not pay to buy them before you will use them, I'm going to park it with the almost worn out ones for one more winter, then next spring I'll get a set of nice new rubber for it. Pretty sure the wife will use this as her summer ride, and why not?
    #16
  17. aftCG

    aftCG Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Steilacoom
    Hate to sound like a car snob but I have to agree. My first BMW was a '92 325is with some mods. Traded it in on an e46 which had more features but wasn't as fun to wring out.

    After a streak of other cars I found myself comparing them to my BMW experience. Now I have an e46 sedan 330i and find it just suits me. Original window sticker says $39k and I paid $5500. I say I got the best deal.
    #17
  18. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,668
    Location:
    Central Colorado Rockies
    I'm not generally a car person these days - I'm a pretty sedate driver, but this 328 is so comfortable and gets such great mileage, is a blast to drive, and at this point, costs us virtually nothing to own.

    We don't need a navigation system, and it's so old that it does not have a CD player, but who uses those anymore anyway. It's got the old school trip computer. We wished for heated seats.
    #18
  19. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,645
    Location:
    Orygun
    I kind of have the same problem; I have a '04 325ci.

    Very nice to drive (which is important because my commute is one hour each way), gets decent mileage and is reliable. I have two 4x4 trucks if it snows (it does at least once in a while here on the mountain).

    But the last 2 miles to/from my house to the road are gravel. It is also wet 6 months out of the year. I am thinking maybe in a year or two of getting a used Audi TT to replace the BMW, but until then I will keep it.

    I was thinking of using the small truck for commuting, but it has a lot of miles on it, is not fun to drive every day, gets only 20 MPG and not as reliable (clutch is starting to slip). I am going to put an MB diesel in it and keep it and the big truck for traveling when I retire in about 5 years, but until then I think I will stick with a car of some sort for a daily driver.
    #19
  20. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,652
    Location:
    El Segundo, CA
    Maintenance on new vehicles costs way more than older vehicles. Plus higher insurance rates. Plus huge depreciation. All for roughly the same fuel economy.

    How can people afford to not have old vehicles?

    Signed,
    The dude that got an e30 for free off craigslist.
    #20