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Go with a 96 and up M3 (archive)

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Posted by mark on October 02, 2000 at 08:47:31:

In Reply to: Buying an m3, questions posted by James on October 02, 2000 at 07:33:34:

go with the 96 models and up. they come with the 3.2 L motor compared to the 95 3.0L motor. the 3.0L have been known to blow up when drivers mis-shift from 5th to 2nd rather than 4th. believe me, people have been known to do this on accident. if you're still thinking about buying one, there are certain things to look for: water pump failure-the OEM pumps have a plastic impeller which tends to break and cause problems. change that to a new one with a metal impeller. shock mounts may need changing. watch out for tranny because some people just don't know how to drive. thermostat also has plastic housing which will fail. your main concerns will be on the cooling system. radiator has plastic parts as well. i bought a 96 just two weeks ago, and it had 17000 miles on it. runs fine and looks great. set me back a good $33k. i still have lots to do on it to bring it back to new. my rear shock mounts are cracked, and they need changing, no big deal. since its my 1st bimmer, i did the tune up alone (air filter element, plugs, and oil and filter). took me like five hours. figured out this car has no distributor and rotor, but each plug has its own coil system. takes a while to change the plugs. now you know why these cars are so hard and costly to maintain. the parts were like 75 bucks from dealer. i'm still gonna end up changing fluids of the tranny, and rear differential, the rubber hoses, and little stuff. so my advice is go with the 96. i'm 22 and my insurance (from a cool broker) was 1440 for full coverage for a full year. very good price. i was quoted at 3800 w/ AAA even w/ a clean record. good luck

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