old 325i

It is with great sadness that I find that I will have to be replacing my E28 after many years as a daily driver, racking up 340,000 miles. There are frame rust problems that just aren't worth dealing with.
My mechanic has offered to sell me a 1987 325i that looks nearly new, not a spot of rust anywhere and all the body undercoating looks perfect. It was owned by someone he trusted who only racked up 120,000 miles in all that time.
Any comments on those cars? I recall them as being problematic when they were new and I am generally terrified at the notion of having a timing belt, but he's willing to guarantee it and sell it for less than it would sell as a parts car. And it feels like a fun car to drive, maybe more fun than the 535i was.
I expect all the rubber parts to fail within six months as I start commuting daily in it, but I can deal with that. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 23 Oct 2013 20:17:47 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

I've owned four new BMW's in the last 27 years. A 1986 325es, a 1994 325i, a 2003 530i and currently a 2005 M3. I dearly love my M3... but you never forget your first. She spoiled me.
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Oh, I still have my first, a 2002, but with 480,000 miles on the engine I am unwilling to use it as a daily driver anymore. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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The 325i is a rather sweet drive, but IIRC ones of this vintage could be tail happy in the wet and IIRC no standard ABS.
If it is a manual, well maintained and cheap then it could be enjoyable motoring for a while anyway. If auto, neglected or costly then walk away.
Realistically you would probably be better off buying a seven / several year old 5 series depending on your budget.
Not sure where the 535i comes into this - I drove a new M535i in 1987 - it was a bit of a beast!

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It's a manual and it looks nearly brand new. 100,000 miles or so, not a spot of rust underneath.

The problem is that I can't repair those things. The 1980s ones I can do pretty much all the maintenance on myself, the later ones start to become problematic. It's not the up-front cost, it's the long term costs.

It's a fun car, I bought mine 14 years ago knowing that it had some structural rust problems, and I tried to keep them from spreading but eventually I lost the battle. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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wrote:

My mistake - E28.

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On Thu, 24 Oct 2013 17:15:26 +0100, "R. Mark Clayton"

My 1986 325es could be a little tail happy if pushed hard but that was part of the enjoyment. Most cars today have under steer designed in to some degree. BTW, ABS was standard on my 1986 325es.
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Gordon Shumway wrote:

I once heard[1] that the E21 was the unnervingly tail happy 3er and that Received Wisdom tarred the E30 with the same brush while being, as said, sedate unless you really pushed it. Certainly I can't recall direct reports of people spinning E36 Compacts or Z3s (which lifted E30 components) just the "ooh, they've got the E30 suspension they'll be tail happy" rhetoric.
[1] Therefore, possibly worthless post alert!
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Scott

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wrote:

The 2002 was tail happy - I once (~1977) saw one rotate 180 degrees on the M62 and run backwards into the Armco (albeit it was towing a trailer). The E21 was was tail happy too. The E30 could be tail happy in the wet (see above). By the E36 BMW have more or less got this sorted, but without ASC it would still be easy for an inexperienced driver to swing the tail of a larger engined one out by using too much throttle on a wet bend.
I have now looked it up. ABS was standard on the SE and sport versions, but optional on the standard version.

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