In Reply to: I just did exactly what your asking (long)........ posted by Brad B on October 08, 1999 at 16:55:16:
: I just bought a 95 M3 and am now selling my 91 300ZX TT. I'm not crazy for trading, I absolutely loved the car. It just go to me a maintenance nightmare. I kept having to spend money on service: clutch master cylinders, new oil pump, timing belt & water pump, brakes, new rotors twice (they suck), clutch, tires, etc, etc, etc..... I just got tired of writing four figure checks. Zs are a VERY complicated cars -- too complicated. And if Z's have been abused by a previous owner, they can really be a pain in the ass (translation = wallet).
I am sorry to hear you have had so much trouble with your Z. I bought my Z in Dec of 1994 and it had 9k miles on it. The car now has 99k on it. I have done most of the work on the car (everything but clutch). You are correct because they are very complicated cars. My dad has a TT also and I had both of our intake plenums off at the same time doing the engine stuff. It was a lot of work. As for rotors that is a given if you have a pre 93 Z car. I fixed my problem with the Skyline package and it is just awesome now. Braking is not as good as the Brembos but it is so much better than stock and NO WARPING!!! I also did the timing belt and stuff myself as well. It saves a bunch of money if you can work on it yourself. There is enough help on the internet now which make problem diagnosing very easy too.
: How are your turbos? It's inevitable, all turbos fail. Your driving habits either prolong or hasten the failure date. It's $4,000 to replace both turbos with new ones. It's $2,000 in labor just to take the engine out (correctly), not even replace any parts. And while you have that beast torn apart, you might as well rebuilt it. Add another $2000. That's $6,000 -- half of what it's worth on the fair market. This is my real reason for trading. That's better than a decent down payment. See my line of thinking?
This is a very good question. So far my turbos are in good shape. When I had the intake off I got to see the intake tubes and there was no oil residue so far. I figure they will last for awhile longer but they will not live forever. If I keep the car I will upgrade them anyway so it will be a good excuse. I tend to be a very mild driver overall. I don't drag race my car and I rarely ever hit full boost. Since I have owned the car I knew that if I respected the turbos it would really benefit me financially.
: Do you think you can get a good price for your Z / good price for an M3? Sounds like you have a REALLY nice Z, do you have an interested buyer who is willing to spend the money that you have invested in it? That's my problem now. The real out-of-pocket-cost is what you'll have to pay -- the difference between what the new M3 will cost and what you get for your Z. My local BMW dealer wouldn't give me anywhere near NADA trade-in (which is the ONLY true price guide to use) on the Z NOR would he budge on a 96 M3 ($37K !!!!). I told him to keep his damn car. The one I ended up buying was in the paper a few weeks later & I jumped all over it.
I have some body repairs that are going to be made (damn hit and run drivers) and the whole car is getting painted. I had an offer in June for $20k and turned it down. I am kicking myself now (well only a little). What sucks is that I found the M3 I want here in OKC and am not in the position to buy it. 95 with Jim C. chip, 29k miles for $26k obo. I know I will find another if I have to.
: Are you ready to drive something different? I wouldn't have sold the Z if it wasn't becoming a liability to me, I really do love driving it. The M3 is a MUCH different driving experience -- not bad, just different. A little slower (that can be improved). You're not driving in a Lazy-Boy anymore like in the Z -- your sitting more upright. The dash is much closer. It seems a little more compact, though. The M3 rides better and (I think) handles better. Better gas mileage. More looks, too! :)
In some ways I am really ready and in other's, I know I will really miss my Z. I had to drive my dad's 91 750iL for a month while the clutch work was being done and I really got tired of driving it even though it was fast. My main reason for wanting an M3 is it is a civilized version of my 71 datsun 510 that I am selling. Lots of raw power and 50/50 weight ratio. I have never had the opportunity to really test the handling of an M3 but I am sure it is what I am looking for. The Z is awesome for handling but the boost is tricky to control in tight corners. It is very easy to screw up. I would like a more neutral feeling car. Granted if I turbo'd an M3 I would be stuck in the same boat but I think a SC might be a little bit better for this. I used to do the lazy boy thing in the Z but I have stopped somewhat since trying to be a better performance driver. I found it hard to feel the car while laying in it =)
: The Z is a true sports car that is too complicated for the price bracket it is in. It was one of the best looking ever designed and one of the only cars to ever make Car & Driver's Top Ten list almost every year it was imported. I always wanted a Z. So when I saw the one I always wanted (cherry red pearl), I got it. Then I wanted an Avus Blue M3, and the time was right to make the jump, so I got it.
: If you are ready to make the jump, do it. Only you can make that determination, and i's more than the issues I listed here. Hope this helps. Email me if you want to talk any more.
I guess I could have emailed this to you but it's to late now. Thanks a bunch for you input. I was hoping a Z owner would be on here that could give me some insight. The fact probably is that I have done too much to my Z to sell it which means I probably need to find a way to do both cars. If you have anymore insight please feel free to email me.