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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 05-28-2011, 07:48 PM   #21
new//M3fan
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I paid $6k for my 04 330Ci with 149k miles. I bought it knowing it needed some work. After $600, all motor maintenance is done. The interior is flawless. I haven't looked at the suspension but it drives flawless. I wouldn't worry about the mileage, in fact a higher mileage one with all of the maintenance done might be better. The things that were replaced before I bought it were cam sensors, oil filter housing gasket, expansion tank, oil separator hose, fuel pump/filter, coolant temp sensor, front bushings, leak in air conditioning, thermostat/housing, rotors, belts. This is just some of the stuff that WILL need to be replaced at some point. There's more, I just can't think of it off the top of my head. So if you buy a low mileage one you can plan on doing all that stuff yourself or you could find one with most of the bugs already worked out. These car are fun, easy and cheap to work on but if you are going to pay somebody else to do the work I would pass on the BMW.
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Awesome job. These cars are fun to work on. I also bought one a couple of months ago with a blown head gasket. I fixed mine on a budget though. I did the head gasket, machining, gaskets, cooling system, several cvv hoses and VANOS seals. I also had several stripped out holes in the block. With fluids it ran me about $600. No special tools needed. The car runs like a champ. With the money I saved I think I will put a 6 speed in it....either that or sell it and get an M3.
You should mention you bought the car with a blown head gasket. hence the 6k price. Not everyone is savy enough to fix a headgasket on the cheap.\

I know someone who bought a 04 330i ZHP with a blown headgasket for 3500k with only 34k miles on the chassis. Buy a M54B30 swap in some schrick cams or ZHP cams for 1.5 k and he has himself a 04 zhp for under 5k.

OP if you're looking for a project car something along those lines would be a great start!
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Last edited by new//M3fan; 05-28-2011 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by BMW330CiEric View Post
I paid $6k for my 04 330Ci with 149k miles. I bought it knowing it needed some work. After $600, all motor maintenance is done. The interior is flawless. I haven't looked at the suspension but it drives flawless. I wouldn't worry about the mileage, in fact a higher mileage one with all of the maintenance done might be better. The things that were replaced before I bought it were cam sensors, oil filter housing gasket, expansion tank, oil separator hose, fuel pump/filter, coolant temp sensor, front bushings, leak in air conditioning, thermostat/housing, rotors, belts. This is just some of the stuff that WILL need to be replaced at some point. There's more, I just can't think of it off the top of my head. So if you buy a low mileage one you can plan on doing all that stuff yourself or you could find one with most of the bugs already worked out. These car are fun, easy and cheap to work on but if you are going to pay somebody else to do the work I would pass on the BMW.
Wow great deal... i gather that the price for the 323i in my first post is wayyy to high, even for a single owner based on some of these types of deals.. Right? Sounds like the 3 liter is definitely within reach for a good price!!
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:51 PM   #23
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You should mention you bought the car with a blown head gasket. hence the 6k price.
Ahh thus the amazing price.. But thats a steal for 7k regardless (incl motor work)
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:54 PM   #24
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Ahh thus the amazing price.. But thats a steal for 7k regardless (incl motor work)
yes it is! Would love to have done that but I couldn't keep driving the POS (although a very well running POS) i was lugging prior to my 330 any longer.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:22 PM   #25
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Thanks for all this feedback... I think im going to pass on this 323 and go for a 330ci instead...and one with maintenance records that i can see... Time to hit the f/s section!
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by newe46fan View Post
You should mention you bought the car with a blown head gasket. hence the 6k price. Not everyone is savy enough to fix a headgasket on the cheap.\

I know someone who bought a 04 330i ZHP with a blown headgasket for 3500k with only 34k miles on the chassis. Buy a M54B30 swap in some schrick cams or ZHP cams for 1.5 k and he has himself a 04 zhp for under 5k.

OP if you're looking for a project car something along those lines would be a great start!
Not a whole lot of difference between doing the VANOS seals and a head gasket. And your right, If I would of known then what I know now I wouldn't have paid more than 3k for it. I certainly wasn't bragging because I got my car cheap! It was a spontaneous purchase that I should not have made. That is what I'm trying to tell OP, You can get a better car for $6k if you look around.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:43 PM   #27
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Manual cars tend to be more expensive it should be the other way around. I haven't come across a better deal then my car was in the last 10 months.
manual transmissions are also way cheaper than auto.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:05 PM   #28
sagar23
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Not a whole lot of difference between doing the VANOS seals and a head gasket. And your right, If I would of known then what I know now I wouldn't have paid more than 3k for it. I certainly wasn't bragging because I got my car cheap! It was a spontaneous purchase that I should not have made. That is what I'm trying to tell OP, You can get a better car for $6k if you look around.
Yuppp point definitely well taken... Think i need to look around and wait for something good to pop up for sale... Im going to aim for newer 330s with a reliability promise ( records' etc ) and a little bit of work if required.. Im not sure i have experience enough to do major repairs yet (nor the confidence?)
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:35 AM   #29
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High miles. 323 would probably feel like too much of a downgrade.

Spend an extra 2k and find yourself a 330 with lower mileage.
EDIT: Seems you already made this decision. GL

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Old 05-30-2011, 11:32 PM   #30
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Damn for 6 grand, that car is spotless.
I'd say it's a steal. The only thing that sucks is that it isn't a coupe
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