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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 07-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #61
Andy2108
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You need reliable transportation to and from work on a $4000 budget, and you want to get into a 20 or 30 year old PORSCHE?! As a Porsche owner I would caution you greatly, especially because you mentioned you will have a shop do most if not all of the work. Where I live there is only 1 independent Porsche shop, and then there's the dealer. Both will charge ALOT to work on a 944. Like, many thousands. Unless you're willing to do almost all of the work yourself (and accept the car as a hobby more than transportation) then don't buy a 944.

You might be able to grab a E36 and be happy, but not a E46. Start looking for an E36 if you want German. An E30 will be too old for you and will require too much work.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:22 PM   #62
EverydayGetaway
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You guys are all so dramatic that it astounds me. I've owned 3 E36's, all for UNDER $3000, in fact two only cost me $1500. The biggest problem I experienced from all of them was thermostat failure. My brother still drives my old '92 250k mile 325is without a single issue other than a weak AC compressor and a broken sunroof. Get an E36, they're amazing to drive, look fantastic and are easy as hell to maintain.

And as for the 944, one of my best friends bought one for $1000 2 years ago, rebuilt the head for something like $500 (can't remember the actual price, know it wasn't very high) and it has been running great for him ever since, he's a broke college kid whose parents don't pay for anything so if he can DD it, pretty sure most of us can.

Stop pretending that your car is made out of some sort of fragile and uber expensive crystal, it's a machine, a damn fine German one at that, it's not a time bomb or a fragile antique... it CAN take years of use and as long as your'e not an idiot about maintaining it, it easily will.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:55 PM   #63
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I have had a 924 turbo, 944, 944 turbo, and 944 S2. All were fantastic reliable cars. I put over 200k miles on each one. Like any car, their reliability is a reflection of its maintenance. The 944 has no real flaws, but some items to watch. Timing belts are just a regular maintenance item on an interference motor. I got over 100k miles out of a rubber centered clutch in my S2, which is the highest torque 944.

As mentioned a plain 944 (realistically the only 944 in your price range), is not fast. Although they do handle and brake great. For $4k, look for a post 1985.5 944. An 89 would be ideal (bigger improved motor), but they usually command more than your budget. Know when TB (water pumps should also be done at the same time w/improved 951 part) and clutch were done to plan out your future maintenance.

An E36 would also be a good choice, if maintained (a 318is or Ti for mpg). BMW's and Porsches are just different cars. You really need to drive both, and see which suits you as a dd better. A 944 will feel smaller, lighter, sharper, louder, and older. An E36 by comparison will feel more luxurious, softer, smoother, etc.

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Old 07-09-2012, 06:34 AM   #64
sennafan1978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverydayGetaway View Post
You guys are all so dramatic that it astounds me. I've owned 3 E36's, all for UNDER $3000, in fact two only cost me $1500. The biggest problem I experienced from all of them was thermostat failure. My brother still drives my old '92 250k mile 325is without a single issue other than a weak AC compressor and a broken sunroof. Get an E36, they're amazing to drive, look fantastic and are easy as hell to maintain.

And as for the 944, one of my best friends bought one for $1000 2 years ago, rebuilt the head for something like $500 (can't remember the actual price, know it wasn't very high) and it has been running great for him ever since, he's a broke college kid whose parents don't pay for anything so if he can DD it, pretty sure most of us can.

Stop pretending that your car is made out of some sort of fragile and uber expensive crystal, it's a machine, a damn fine German one at that, it's not a time bomb or a fragile antique... it CAN take years of use and as long as your'e not an idiot about maintaining it, it easily will.
Ha ha. That is kind of what I was thinking.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:24 AM   #65
ac_2007
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Bottomline, your $4000 Porsche wont be a Porsche.

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The e46 M3 is by far the most boring and worst M3 that BMW has made to date.
It's amazing to me that a non M E46 is such a beautiful car but the E46 M has never done much for me.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #66
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #67
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I have both and can tell you that the BMW is WAY better as a daily driver. With my 944, attempting to DD it will, and I repeat....WILL, make your wallet hurt real bad!! My vote is for the BMW.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:33 AM   #68
AMPGE46
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My 10 cents

Having owned both ( my father owns a 944 S2, I own a 1999 328i, both bought for under 5k), I'd say go for the E46 if you want something you can drive daily. I was in a position oddly similar to yours (4k to spend, ect.) The 944s simply not a daily driver and repairs will be more expensive. That being said, anything in that price range will need to be repaired or at least inspected.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:03 PM   #69
mattcarle21
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I recently picked up an 86 944 for $2350. It just had its timing belt, Oil pan gasket, and clutch replaced. Interior is ok (seats are good), and the exterior looks good on the sides but faded on top. It is in fact reliable and COULD be a DD, but I would beware. At this price, the A/C has been removed (fine with me since I bought it for fun), power steering is done (again just for fun) , and there are a few switches out here and there. Sunroof is funny too. However, it is a fun car, although slow by today's standards, it isn't scary Geo slow by any means. It handles very neutrally, and even with crappy shocks (searching for used Konis now) it will do a 4 wheel neutral slide. I also have a 90s Dodge dakota that I can drive if need be as well as my wife's e90. For 4k you can probably find one like mine with working A/C, power steering and such, but just wait for it to fail and pay money to fix it. My advice for practicality would be e36, but if you really want a 944, find one like mine that may not be the best looker and have all the amenties, but is mechanically sound (at least until the next timing belt change). The lack of amenities will make you less stressed while driving anyways, not worrying about them going out. After all, they are in fact antique cars now.
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