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      09-15-2019, 08:23 PM   #45
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Maybe a high mileage diesel M class Mercedes that was maintained well.
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      09-15-2019, 10:19 PM   #46
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I wish I had an answer for you, as I would take the advice myself. I hate paying through the nose for a car, but $4000 would be a budget requiring a lot of due diligence to find a good one. If I only had $4k to spend, I would not focus on the model but the best condition, and would opt for a 6-cyl vs a 4 because the 6 is probably the best engine ever produced. Best wishes on your search.
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      09-16-2019, 12:33 AM   #47
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You can get nice E46 with less than 100k miles for that!
I own a 330ci and a 325i wagon, nothing wrong with both cars and much cheaper than 4k.
I also had a E38 740i Sport DINAN over 6 years and just had the regular maintenance to pay.
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      09-26-2019, 12:37 PM   #48
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It's really more about what you should avoid than what you should get. Avoid:
-turbos
-all wheel drive
-V8s
-automatic transmissions
-direct injection
-iDrive
-air suspension
-convertibles

A non M e36 is a stinking good time, easy/cheap to maintain, and you can get a really nice one for $4000.

An e39 530i 5mt is in budget and a better driving experience than anything BMW makes today.

You should never go to the dealer with whatever can you get (or any car post warranty), and you'll have a better experience if you enjoy working on your own cars (which is far easier on everything pre e9X than post e9X).

After ~100,000 miles, mileage becomes somewhat irrelevant-- becomes more dependent on when the last time things were replaced. e.g. most bushings are worn out at ~100,000 miles. If they're still worn out at 150,000 miles, you're not really any worse off.

... you might find you like your F30 less after you get used to the dynamics of an older BMW

Last edited by Obioban; 10-02-2019 at 02:09 PM..
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      10-02-2019, 12:13 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
It's really more about what you should avoid than what you should get. Avoid:
-turbos
-all wheel drive
-V8s
-automatic transmissions
-direct injection
-iDrive
-air suspension

A non M e36 is a stinking good time, easy/cheap to maintain, and you can get a really nice one for $4000.

An e39 530i 5mt is in budget and a better driving experience than anything BMW makes today.

You should never go to the dealer with whatever can you get (or any car post warranty), and you'll have a better experience if you enjoy working on your own cars (which is far easier on everything pre e9X than post e9X).

After ~100,000 miles, mileage becomes somewhat irrelevant-- becomes more dependent on when the last time things were replaced. e.g. most bushings are worn out at ~100,000 miles. If they're still worn out at 150,000 miles, you're not really any worse off.

... you might find you like your F30 less after you get used to the dynamics of an older BMW
Agree with all the above. In my experience though, the automatics in the E85 Z4 (2003 - 2008) are solid. Go for the 3.0 litre (3.0i for 2003, 4 and 5 or 3.0si for 2006, 7 and 8) if available. The one major Achilles heel with these cars is the power top motor. If you get one and the top is working properly, check zpost.com for how to clear the roof drains to minimize the chance of flooding and killing the motor. And NEVER power wash the car for the same reason. I always hand-wash mine with a garden hose at low pressure and avoid spraying water at the canvas top / car body interface.

There is a guy in my town with an early E85 Z4 3.0i (2005 or earlier) in grey with the style 107 (I think) ellipsoid rims. The thing looks simply amazing. Perhaps I'm partial to the style as I own an E85 myself, but I think it makes the current Z4 look like it was hacked out of a chunk of wood with an axe on a Monday morning by a guy with a hangover. The E85 looks mean to this day and has more graceful curves than Abigail Ratchford.
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Last edited by Huz-Z; 10-02-2019 at 12:21 PM..
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      10-05-2019, 07:38 AM   #50
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OP, I currently have in the fleet 4 BMWs, three are over 100,000 miles, the forth is my '08 Z4 Coupe which is at 99,598 as of last night. I had a fifth BMW, an '89 E30 owned since new and sold 18 years later at 257,000. So I can say that I know quite a bit about owning old, high mileage BMWs.

Don't listen to most of these fools who are scared to own a BMW past the warranty period. 100,000 miles on a BMW is nothing; my E90 is over 300,000. Take your time to find the right car. If you want something still in good cosmetic shape, then an E46 or E90 in the 3-series variant with over 100,000 miles should be near $4,000 price target. I suggest keeping to a normally aspirated engine and a manual transmission for the lowest risk of funding a recovery process to get the car back up to snuff. Try to find one from a private owner where you can get most of the history on the car. Buying from Joe's Used Car lot, is a bit more risky.

The best thing about owning an older BMW is BMW keeps parts available for 20+ years for most models. The BMW TIS is now on line for free. The TIS (newtis.info) is the repair procedures for every BMW back to the 1970s. And the other part of the BMW TIS is the parts lookup system, which is realOEM.com. If you are a retired airplane mechanic, then repairing a BMW is right up your alley.

BTW, I just acquired a 2005 E46 330Ci Convertible for $3,000. It had 99,098 miles on it. It needed some TLC and some PDR is in the works for it, but other than that, it's almost in new shape.

Good luck with the search.
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Last edited by Efthreeoh; 10-05-2019 at 07:51 AM..
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      10-06-2019, 11:04 PM   #51
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Unquestionably an E46. Look for an LCI (2002-2005) and avoid the SULV models. A manual transmission if you are fortunate enough to find one. An Xi is ok, but they can be expensive to restore to a dd.
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      10-07-2019, 03:29 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
Honestly? What about a first year or so Z4 with high miles? The non ///M versions are basically freaking tanks, and are still a hoot to drive and look decent to this day. Can those be had for $4k?
This. I'm actually getting ready to sell one of my Z4s for this exact price. Super reliable in the early years and pretty easy and cheap to work on. I would trust mine all day long.
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      10-07-2019, 09:18 AM   #53
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I bought an E30 iX as my winter car from a dealer trade that they had maintained, ~ 130K. Before taking ownership I had them replace the guibos, shifter bushings, tune the car, etc. I think it was $6K out the door including the price of the car. I replaced the exhaust, rear shock tower mounts, etc. Basically, I refresh all of the wear items. One day while pulling out hard, I heard a weird sound, turns out I broke a lifter. Not sure why that happened. Though didn't keep the car much longer b/c I wasn't sure if that was a sign of something else that might be more expensive to fix.

I had a E70 X5 that I drove to ~128K. The only semi-major and major repairs were the CCV (easy to change on this car), value cover gaskets (2x, independent shop found BMW dealer didn't replace some small part used to line up the cover, only comes w/a new cover, dealer stepped up and provided a new cover, ~$500 part), front timing cover gaskets, rear suspension airbags and the heater solenoid thing. Then 3 years later, I again lost a lot of coolant w/o any leaks. Thinking it was the valley pan again, I ditch the car. I won't buy a V8 again.

Where are you guys finding a Z4 for $4K? I have only found them with 100K-150K miles for $7K.
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      10-07-2019, 09:30 AM   #54
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      10-07-2019, 09:57 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omasou View Post
I bought an E30 iX as my winter car from a dealer trade that they had maintained, ~ 130K. Before taking ownership I had them replace the guibos, shifter bushings, tune the car, etc. I think it was $6K out the door including the price of the car. I replaced the exhaust, rear shock tower mounts, etc. Basically, I refresh all of the wear items. One day while pulling out hard, I heard a weird sound, turns out I broke a lifter. Not sure why that happened. Though didn't keep the car much longer b/c I wasn't sure if that was a sign of something else that might be more expensive to fix.

I had a E70 X5 that I drove to ~128K. The only semi-major and major repairs were the CCV (easy to change on this car), value cover gaskets (2x, independent shop found BMW dealer didn't replace some small part used to line up the cover, only comes w/a new cover, dealer stepped up and provided a new cover, ~$500 part), front timing cover gaskets, rear suspension airbags and the heater solenoid thing. Then 3 years later, I again lost a lot of coolant w/o any leaks. Thinking it was the valley pan again, I ditch the car. I won't buy a V8 again.

Where are you guys finding a Z4 for $4K? I have only found them with 100K-150K miles for $7K.
Literally the post above yours the guy is selling his Z4 for $4000.
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      10-07-2019, 09:57 AM   #56
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Your 2016 328i should be used for your odd jobs.

For the $4000, you can take over my lease for last 3 months.
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