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Thread: Pre purchase recommendations/advice

  1. #1
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    Pre purchase recommendations/advice

    I am looking to buy a z3 for the summer. I've had a few Mercedes sl500s and a few slks, but I want to try something a little different. What are the best years for both power and reliability? What engine is a favorite, 2.5, 2.8, 3.0? And what issues come along with those? All insight is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Take a moment to read the Z3 FAQ, specifically the section about the trunk floor welds, subframe failure, and tears on the differential ears.

    Other than that, the 2.5 - 3.0 range are pretty much identical mechanically with regard to everything except output. The more power, the greater likelihood of trunk floor issues. I'd say get the cleanest, least-broken example with the highest displacement you can afford.

    Other than that, the coolant system is pretty fragile, especially the plastic bits. And the airbag system also can be fussy and potentially expensive to fix.

    But also great fun and very rewarding!

  3. #3
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    If you are buying for performance at all, buy a Z3M. For a little more money, you get a lot more car. I had a 2.8 Z3. Great car in all ways, but for me, a little shy on power. The Z3M is no super-car by today's standards, but it has enough power to be fun to drive. While reading, make a list of commonly needed fixes, with costs, and use it to evaluate all cars you look at. If they don't have that fix documented, then add it to the price you are willing to pay for the car. In other words, a car with 80k miles, and nothing done to it, might be worth less than a car with 120k miles, that has the $2000+ in maintenance/repairs already done. Don't forget subframe bushings. In my opinion a "must" fix.
    \

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zellamay View Post
    If you are buying for performance at all, buy a Z3M. For a little more money, you get a lot more car. I had a 2.8 Z3. Great car in all ways, but for me, a little shy on power. The Z3M is no super-car by today's standards, but it has enough power to be fun to drive. While reading, make a list of commonly needed fixes, with costs, and use it to evaluate all cars you look at. If they don't have that fix documented, then add it to the price you are willing to pay for the car. In other words, a car with 80k miles, and nothing done to it, might be worth less than a car with 120k miles, that has the $2000+ in maintenance/repairs already done. Don't forget subframe bushings. In my opinion a "must" fix.
    \
    +1

  5. #5
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    If you don't want to buy a M version, buy a later model (01-02) 3.0 with low miles if you can. Great drivers and I believe the value for the right car will go up over time.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by healeydays View Post
    If you don't want to buy a M version, buy a later model (01-02) 3.0 with low miles if you can. Great drivers and I believe the value for the right car will go up over time.
    The 3.0 is definitely the most valuable of the non-M roadsters. I'm also expecting clean examples to increase in value (may even trickle down to other straight-sixes in time?).

  7. #7
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    Low mileage examples are out there. Last may I flew down to Ft Myers and brought home a 2001 3.0 with 18K miles on the clock. So, if you have the time, and are wiling to travel, you can get a great car out there.

  8. #8
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    The facelift rears on the 3.0 are pretty cool looking too.

  9. #9
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    If not a 3.0 the early 2.8 was a great engine.

    Saw one on Craigslist with 46K in Orlando https://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/d...450586390.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreier View Post
    The 3.0 is definitely the most valuable of the non-M roadsters. I'm also expecting clean examples to increase in value (may even trickle down to other straight-sixes in time?).
    I would argue with that as widebody pre-facelift (2.8) is the most desireable in looks department. Lots of conversions around to pre-facelift widebody look recently. 3.0 has great low end torque.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by deni2s View Post
    I would argue with that as widebody pre-facelift (2.8) is the most desireable in looks department. Lots of conversions around to pre-facelift widebody look recently. 3.0 has great low end torque.
    +1
    It's a Hybrid--Burns Gas and Rubber

  12. #12
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    side by side.jpg
    One on left was my 97 2.8
    One on right is my 01 3.0

    I personally like the 3.0

  13. #13
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    Id agree that the M is the way to go. Nice thing about the market for the M is that you can pay as much as you want, there are nice S52 driver examples in the low teens all the way up to super low mileage S54s in the 30s...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by healeydays View Post
    side by side.jpg
    One on left was my 97 2.8
    One on right is my 01 3.0

    I personally like the 3.0
    Your 2.8 begs for OEM chrome exhaust tips and clear/red taillights

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by deni2s View Post
    Your 2.8 begs for OEM chrome exhaust tips and clear/red taillights
    Yup, tips were taken off as I was going to install a brand new Supersprint exhaust I have sitting in the garage, but I sold the car before I could.
    Last edited by healeydays; 02-15-2018 at 07:44 PM.

  16. #16
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