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milieu
Apr 26, 2003
Vizier of Allah

leica posted:

If I could get an E36 'vert to handle anywhere near miata territory it would be the front runner for sure. I'm assuming it might need suspension mods to get there, but if the aftermarket isn't too expensive I'd be all for it.

With coilovers, urethane bushings, and front+rear swaybars (UUC SwayBarbarian is a good one) you'd be doing pretty loving well in the handling department.

------------------

My first BMW was a e34 525 manual that I bought with 188k miles. I spent a lot of time on that car.


(FOR SALE ON PAGE 6 OF THE AI MARKETPLACE THREAD, FOR ONLY $1,000. WOW!!!!!)

Bearings in the alternator started going out this winter, so I bought a black on gray e46 323 manual as a "new" car, which I love so far. I've been toying with the idea of super charging it but have pretty much decided to wait and buy an M3 in a couple of years instead. Maybe I'll supercharge that!

I still can't decide whether I prefer the 5 series or 3 series.

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milieu
Apr 26, 2003
Vizier of Allah

TreFitty posted:

I'm trying to convince my friend to save his money when it comes to buying a car. He's looking at spending around $30K on a new Nissan, which I don't feel is a bad purchase, but I do feel that he's too young to get in to that kind of debt, despite his salary and lack of current debt.

I'd like to see him get a used car.

His criteria:
-Large in front and in the back in terms of leg room. All of us (except me - 6'1", 175 pounds) are pretty big guys
-Nice looks (I think we can check that one off)
-He really likes the auto/manual shifters in Nissans these days

Is there going to be a BMW out there for him that would save him some money? Are high mileage BMW's super-reliable? Would he be happy with it if he's a very-little-maintenance sort of guy?

I hope this is the right thread to ask in.

I personally don't think a BMW would be the right choice for him. If he's looking at 30k new Nissans/Infinitis then I doubt he's going to want a BMW older than the last body style. He wants front and rear legroom, so that's at least a 5-series, probably a 7-series. So he's likely looking at BMW V8s, which have more maintenance issues than the inline-6s. High mileabe BMWs are reliable as in the engine + drivetrain isn't going to fail on you if maintenance has been kept up with. But there's a lot of poo poo that will break over time that's not necessary to keep the car running, but will annoy the poo poo out of a lot of people. 5- and 7-series cars have a lot of electronics that can/will break. Any higher mileage car is going to develop rattles that you won't find in a new vehichle. Seats will get worn, headliners will start to fall, trim will get loose, etc.

BMWs are great cars if you're passionate about your car, but I feel that the number of maintenance issues + bugs that are considered acceptable to people who are passionate about cars/BMWs would be considered a bit ridiculous by people looking for solid and peppy A-to-B cars.

Your friend sounds like he's looking for a quick, nice looking, a-to-b car. A Japanese car sounds perfect for what he's looking for. He could get a nice Infiniti (made by nissan) g35 for 12-16k that would drat near fit his criteria perfectly. And the g35 will haul some rear end.

milieu
Apr 26, 2003
Vizier of Allah

chem42 posted:

My muffler has the natural weight reduction upgrade so this isnt a problem for me.

Yeah it's really amazing the weight savings you can get from a mild steel muffler after a couple of years driving on salted winter roads.

milieu
Apr 26, 2003
Vizier of Allah

I've got a question for you fine gentlemen: What would you rate are the best bang for your buck bolt-on mods for an e46 323 manual? I've got a 99 323 (2.5L M52) but I'd like to get as much performance out of it as possible sans supercharger or turbo (for the price of doing that I might as well sell the car and just buy an M3).

Here's what I'm thinking that I'd like to do, in no particular order:

1. Upgraded springs and shocks
2. Front and rear sway bars
3. UUC lightweight flywheel + M5 clutch (it's a kit)
4. Underdrive pulleys (eh...I don't know if this is snake oil or not. Opinions?)
5. Remove spare tire and toolkit and replace with can of fix-a-flat (stage I weight reduction!)
6. ECU flash (probably won't do this as it doesn't seem worth it)
7. Cat delete (legal? No inspections in my state -- MI)
8. 300 lbs fiberglass body kit, fuckoff huge spoiler, and neon underglow

Do you guys know of better stuff I could be spending my money on?

milieu
Apr 26, 2003
Vizier of Allah

stump posted:

I got a set of E46 16" wheels for 200 delivered from eBay, with decent quality tires, 2 almost new and 2 legal. But this was in the UK so your mileage may vary.

I'm not sure what model wheels they are, but I reckon they look pretty good on E36's and are cheap and pleniful (at least in the UK)

Those look like the stock wheels on my e46 (EDIT: Durr, I see now that you already said they were e46 wheels). They are pretty sharp, but the best part about them is that they're ridiculously easy to clean. It's great.

milieu fucked around with this message at 12:47 on Apr 14, 2008

milieu
Apr 26, 2003
Vizier of Allah

Guinness posted:

Don't get me wrong, a clutch can last a long rear end time. My Miata is on the stock clutch at 76k, my old 535i was on the stock clutch at 130k, and my dad's '91 Nissan truck is on the stock clutch at 180k (which I and my brother learned on). If you're nice to it, a clutch can last a very long time, especially in something that isn't too exotic.

Learning to drive on a car doesn't necessarily kill the clutch. But driving like a dickhead doing 4000rpm clutch dumps and/or just generally slipping the clutch too often certainly does. With a freshly out-of-lease vehicle with 56,000 miles on it I wouldn't be surprised at all if the previous owner treated it like a rental car... since to him that's what it basically was.

I got up to 188k on the original clutch in my old 1992 525. I probably could have broken 200k with it but the flywheel was baked so figured I'd replace the clutch at the same time.

Adnuo, if your tires are poo poo then it's entirely possible you were spinning the wheels but they just weren't making much noise (like spinning them on wet asphalt). But yeah, do what Guinness said to test for slippage. The e46 clutch should last to 100-150k with normal useage. But all it takes is for the previous owner to be a retard and drive with his foot resting on the clutch pedal to blow that number. Previous owner of my e46 went through a clutch ever 16k miles (three clutch replacements total) because of the old foot-rest-retardedness.

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milieu
Apr 26, 2003
Vizier of Allah

I think up to the windshield the Frau GT4 looks better, but the rest of the 2002 looks better. The 2002 grill looks like a cicada.

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