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Old 09-25-2013, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default E36 M3, or Saabaru?

So I haven't posted on here in years but always found the opinions on here useful, or hilarious.

I've got a 96 M3, just finished refreshing the suspension and adding some bolt ons, it's a great car but the looming expense if something goes horribly wrong is getting to me. The clutch has 124k on it, and that means replacing the flywheel and driveshaft/csb as well (rear u-joint is going). As a college student I'm not thrilled about the prospect of spending another thousand or so dollars on the car... and that will certainly not be the last thing I have to replace.

Here's the M3

Would you sell it for a newer (2005) 92-X Aero? I had a WRX before this and loved it, but didn't love the attention it got from police, or the interior. The Saab has a more refined finish, STI steering rack stock, and lower insurance rates. My WRX also went through 3 engines... but I'd like to think that was a result of the crazy high miles and abuse it took (and one half assed engine builder re-using a contaminated oil cooler).

Thoughts? Opinions?

I'm thinking a newer daily driver will let me focus on another turbo miata project more than my M3, which I'd love to track, but don't trust to make it through a full day's event.

And yes, it's my car and personal choice at the end of the day, but a fresh perspective may be what I need.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:05 AM   #2
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Love the saabaru! Aren't those all 2.5's as well?

The m3 is cool, but if you are going to build a miata anyways get rid of it while you can come out on top. Saabaru is practical, could be just as fast in every aspect, but wont have the same f/r "feel" to it. Miata could replace that down the road.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:28 AM   #3
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I would ditch any E36 anything in a heartbeat. Every single one I've seen or been in has problems everywhere. 4 of my friends have E36's and none of them are running.

Kinda weird, I never got any attention from cops in my 04 WRX. Had exhaust on it too. Nobody ever gave me a second look.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:04 AM   #4
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I've never owned a BMW so I can't say much about the E36, but it sounds like you aren't really enjoying it enough to justify the future maintenance costs.

As for the Saabaru, at times I wish I would have got the Saab instead of my Forester XT. The Saab's are generally cheaper than the Foresters and have most of all the benefits. Cheaper insurance than WRXs (this is true for FXT also), wagon convenience, etc. etc. I still really like the idea of a Saabaru, but I wonder how much more refined than the WRX and FXT they really are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireindc
Love the saabaru! Aren't those all 2.5's as well?
Unfortunately, no. The 2005's are 2.0s while the 2006s are 2.5s. The problem is they didn't sell very many 2006s, and most that they did sell were Autos. So finding a 2006 9-2x MT is a bit of a chore, they are rare and most often they are quite a bit more expensive than the 2005s.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
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always wanted both cars...
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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I think selling the M3 for a Saabaru would make plenty of sense, especially if you can stay disciplined with any modifications for the 9-2X. Your first priority should be school, so spending extra money on the car should come as a luxury (modifications) not a necessity (repairs) when plausible.

A newer, lower mileage, Japanese car theoretically improves the odds of the latter.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:51 AM   #7
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Never really heard of that saab before but I will definitely keep them in mind when I'm shopping for another daily.

My friend let me ride along with him in he e36 m3 at a track event and that thing was scary fast. But he was a pretty damn skilled driver too so idk how fast it is relative to other cars.

No matter what you decide I will be envying you as I'm stuck in my 98 camry until I pay off college loans =(
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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I can say that owning an M3 for 2 years has been a nightmare. It's something else every 2 weeks, little plastic bits breaking, interior crap falling apart. The car does have 170k though.

Never owned a SAAB, worked on my bosses 9/3 wagon a few times, it wasn't the most enjoyable experience.

recently switched back to driving the miata, and although I miss the comfort of the M3, the miata is nice because I can beat on it and not think twice about it.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond View Post
Never owned a SAAB, worked on my bosses 9/3 wagon a few times, it wasn't the most enjoyable experience.
The 9-2x isn't a SAAB. It's a Subaru Impreza with some badge engineering and a nose job.

=

Subaru build quality, engineering, design, quality, etc. etc.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #10
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The linked looks like its in pretty good shape. I could never find them with lower mileage (if at all) in good shape.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:36 PM   #11
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I vote E36 M3. I had one for 3-4 years and it was an all around great car. There are some known quirks/failure points with those cars, but most are relatively inexpensive to fix (plastic end tanks on radiators crack, plastic water pump impeller on early cars, leaky power steering hoses).
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:15 PM   #12
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DITCH THE M3.

Friend has one. Granted he's a bit ---- with maintenance, but apparently that's the attitude you need unless you want unknown parts failing. So pick your poison. $100/week in planned maintenance parts or $100/week in surprise failures!

The Saabaru wouldn't be my first choice for a DD though. They're great for a younger fella, but even in my late 20's...er...50's, I'd much prefer something quieter, smoother, and more comfortable. Now if they had put Saab 9000 seats directly into the Subaru, that would be something I'd consider. But it looks like they're just recovered Subaru overbolstered seats.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies!

I agree with what most people are saying that the M3 is going to keep costing me money in the future. I think the biggest thing holding me back is the fact that I'd probably be financing a small chunk of the Saabaru (maybe less than half) vs my paid off M3. That and the fact that no matter how hard I try, I like the M3 a little more every time I drive it and something doesn't brake lol.

My other hesitation is the fact that I've spent over $4k on this car in the last 6 months. It feels like I'm selling it right after I got the suspension and handling where I want it. Here's what I've spent on it roughly:

$1000 coilovers
$200 linear #500 rear springs
$200 spacers/bolts
$250 intake
$300 reflash
$120 O2 sensors
$60 plugs
$100 fluids
$120 floormats
$167 rear brakes/asc/wipers/motor
$200 front brakes
$220 rouge suspension goodies
$600 track tires
$350 street tires
$350 wheels
$150 rad hoses
$100 alignment

I know that I'll never get the $ back out of the car if I sell it, but the flipside is this list of things I potentially need to replace:

$900 Clutch/flywheel
$400 driveshaft
$100 CCV
$120 engine mounts
$200 shifter
$200+ power steering
$250 headliner

I'm contemplating selling the track tires for it and using the M3 as strictly a daily driver, but it does seem to consume some oil, and as mentioned earlier I'm not sure how much longer this clutch as in it.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinezA92 View Post
I would ditch any E36 anything in a heartbeat. Every single one I've seen or been in has problems everywhere. 4 of my friends have E36's and none of them are running.

Kinda weird, I never got any attention from cops in my 04 WRX. Had exhaust on it too. Nobody ever gave me a second look.
I'm curious, do your friend's E36 all have engine failures/issues? That's one part of my car this is a complete mystery. The compression test came out ok but I'm not sure about the health of the head/valves/vanos.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:17 PM   #15
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I just can't imagine spending $10k on a 9 year old car with 130k miles on it that won't even hit 30 MPG highway and isn't really all that quick.

That being said, the example you linked does look really clean from the pics. Being from a dealer you won't have maintenance records, so that's a downside. However, considering it's from a dealer, they likely have more room to negotiate in price on that used car.

It seems silly to me that you've dumped that kind of money into the M3 and yet are too scared to even drive the damn thing. Serious lack of foresight. It's not like you have an unlimited budget while you're in college. If you like the M3, I'd say fix the remaining issues and drive the thing, or de-mod, sell parts, sell car, and buy the Saabaru or something else you like. Buy something you can drive and not be afraid of!!
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
It seems silly to me that you've dumped that kind of money into the M3 and yet are too scared to even drive the damn thing. Serious lack of foresight. It's not like you have an unlimited budget while you're in college. If you like the M3, I'd say fix the remaining issues and drive the thing, or de-mod, sell parts, sell car, and buy the Saabaru or something else you like. Buy something you can drive and not be afraid of!!
This ^

I can't agree more, I do feel pretty stupid selling a car I just dumped most of my cash into over the summer. Considering the list of things to fix is dwarfed by the list of things I have already fixed.

I think the other solution is as I said to drive this as strictly a fun DD and not try to prep it for the track (which would probably lead to way more problems). It's looking like selling the more track focused mods and saving up to work on the miata track **** makes way more sense.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedf50 View Post
I'm curious, do your friend's E36 all have engine failures/issues? That's one part of my car this is a complete mystery. The compression test came out ok but I'm not sure about the health of the head/valves/vanos.
One of them has engine management issues, one of them has a vanos issue, the other one pissed coolant everywhere, I'm not sure what happened to the last one.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedf50 View Post
This ^

I can't agree more, I do feel pretty stupid selling a car I just dumped most of my cash into over the summer. Considering the list of things to fix is dwarfed by the list of things I have already fixed.

I think the other solution is as I said to drive this as strictly a fun DD and not try to prep it for the track (which would probably lead to way more problems). It's looking like selling the more track focused mods and saving up to work on the miata track **** makes way more sense.
I think this seems like a very good intermediate resolution. Daily driving an older, higher mileage BMW will be costly enough for someone in your situation, so adding the wear and tear and consumables of track time seems like a bad idea.

Keep tinkering with the Miata, keep the M3 presentable and running, and focus on school. Once you graduate and get a reasonable job you will have more flexibility in your future plans (e.g. turn the M3 in to the track toy, go all out on the Miata, etc).
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