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Old 07-29-2019, 03:41 PM   #1
roadrash
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Default Repair vs. Replace? Replace with WHAT though?

Greetings!

I've been lucky enough to have a trustworthy mechanic as long as I've owned my 318ti. He has owned several 318ti's and loves them so I just followed his suggestions regarding maintenance and everything has gone pretty well.

But now we're battling oil leaks. He's dealt with most of the easy/typical leaks, but it looks like it's going to be one of the big/expensive ones now. It's one of those situations where if you fix "this," it's cheaper in the long run to go ahead and replace "that" while you've done all the work to access "this" and it would only be a little more work to access "that." So, a rough guesstimate of $2500-3000 to replace the 3 major seals and the car isn't worth that.

He suggested that I start shopping for another car due to the cost of repairs vs. the value of the car. There are a variety of factors to weigh, but one of the major factor that makes me lean towards repairing the car is that I just don't know of another car that I'd like.

So... any suggestions on a replacement for the 318ti?

Also... I just saw the notice that this site is closing. Maybe that's a sign that it's time for me to sell the 318ti?

Sad times. *sigh*
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:48 PM   #2
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I saw the notice today too, can't believe the org will be gone. The traffic has definitely slowed and a lot of the old timers haven't signed on in a long time, it happens I guess.

Yeah, there aren't many cars out there like the ti. Certainly there are some cool hatchbacks these days but they aren't rear wheel drive and they are certainly more complicated.

I just picked up a 128i, not a hatch but it's a fun small bmw. Relatively "simple" since it's a manual, rwd, 6 cyl. The N52 has tons of sensors and stuff that may go wrong but the new sport seats are comfy and it has some newer creature comforts.

If you still enjoy the ti and don't see other options out there, then fix it and keep driving it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:04 PM   #3
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At the end of the day, we're here for emotional reasons, not logical ones. We love these cars and "normal" people don't understand why we don't get a new one. I've spent way more dough on my TI than I should've because I know that the experiences I have in it can't exactly be replicated in a modern car. You see the world through a different lens in an older car (literally, because the windshield is technically a lens).

That being said, if it's just oil, just keep topping it up. Be diligent about it. Unless it's raining oil under there, that's not a huge deal, it's just a little inconvenient. My '68 2002 has been dripping oil for probably 30 years, and it still chugs along. Newer cars with oil leaks will not last as long as ours, since they were built to a different standard.

I'm also very bummed about the news. Wondering if there's a way we could save it, or at least all of the info here.
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Old 07-31-2019, 02:51 PM   #4
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Coincidentally the reason I have the 318ti is that my previous car (1989 Honda Civic Si, which generally fits the same description as my 381ti) developed an oil leak and I "just kept topping it off." Obviously I sometimes I let it get too low on oil because eventually a cam shaft broke. I repaired that, but it spurred me to look for another car.

One other issue with the Honda that pushed me towards a different car was that it finally developed a bad spot in the paint and a hole in the drivers seat. The last time I washed the 318ti, I noticed the clear coat coming off at nearly the same spot as it did on the Honda.

The 318ti also has a bit of rust behind the rear wheels which isn't going to get any better on its own.

So this sort of stuff makes me think "replace."

But I still like the 318ti. It suits me. It runs well. Its issues are "a known quantity." I've got a trustworthy and affordable mechanic and would need to find someone else trustworthy if I changed cars.

These things make me think "repair."

@FunElan... you're exactly right... it's a decision between emotion (repair) and logic (replace). LOL I know my mechanic understands that given how many 318ti's he's owned. :-D

So, I'm still struggling to decide which route to take. I'm also afraid that if I change cars, it'll trigger a "mid-life crisis" purchase of something like a BMW Z3 or a Honda S2000. LOL

Anyway... blah blah blah... back to work I go.
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From Page 68 of the 1997 Owners Manual: "Vehicles equipped with ASC+T remain subject to the laws of physics."
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:53 PM   #5
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I've decided to repair. Now it's just a matter of who to have do the work. I was chatting with my regular mechanic yesterday and finally got him to admit that he didn't really want to deal with it if he could avoid it, which I 100% understand. LOL So, I have his blessing to get some estimates and I suspect if they're too high, he'll be willing to do the work.

The best part of repairing is that I avoid the temptation to buy a Honda S2000 or a BMW Z3. *chuckle*
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Mods 'n' stuff: Star Spoke 43 wheels - X-Brace - Mason Engineering front strut brace - CF gauge overlay - ZHP shifter knob - Racing Dynamics cat-back - Doubled brake lights - M-tech rear spoiler
From Page 68 of the 1997 Owners Manual: "Vehicles equipped with ASC+T remain subject to the laws of physics."
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:05 AM   #6
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Glad to hear it! There's nothing like a TI. Did 300+ miles yesterday in mine down highway 1 in CA and got 30.5 mpg. Smiled the whole time. A Z3 could do that too but can't haul all your stuff in the back!
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:52 AM   #7
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Here an idea for you:

Get another engine, either 1.9, or perhaps an upgrade is in order (hint, hint)...

Sort it all out and then do a swap one weekend. Then thereís no pressure and you do it how you want it done and... then itís done!
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:26 AM   #8
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I once faced this dilema too. Swap to S52, or get a whole new car? I even had an itemized list of everything needed for the swap. It finaly came down to this. Even after swaping to a more powerful engine, ur still left with a 20+ year old car with issues like window regs and heating issues. I decided to switch to a porsche 911 996.2 turbo. Solved both problems, got a car 3x more powerful, much MUCH better reliability. I still love BMW, its among my top 3 manufacturers. But theres a point when somthing must be done.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:04 PM   #9
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Yeah, Estii, but that’s far from apples to apples.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J!m View Post
Here an idea for you:
Get another engine, either 1.9, or perhaps an upgrade is in order (hint, hint)...
Nah, I like that this car isn't "fast." It's far better for me to not have a fast car. *chuckle* Besides we all know that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slowly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J!m View Post
Here an idea for you:
Sort it all out and then do a swap one weekend. Then thereís no pressure and you do it how you want it done and... then itís done!
I have neither the place & tools to do an engine swap, nor the skills.

If I were going to do any sort of engine swap... I've always wanted a Metric Mechanic motor just 'cause it'd still be a 4-cylinder.
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Mods 'n' stuff: Star Spoke 43 wheels - X-Brace - Mason Engineering front strut brace - CF gauge overlay - ZHP shifter knob - Racing Dynamics cat-back - Doubled brake lights - M-tech rear spoiler
From Page 68 of the 1997 Owners Manual: "Vehicles equipped with ASC+T remain subject to the laws of physics."
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:06 PM   #11
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Have you seen the price of metric engines? Its a pretty massive investment, and thats just the engine. Other components will need to be upgraded to handle that engine too. They are beasts though!
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estii View Post
Have you seen the price of metric engines? Its a pretty massive investment, and thats just the engine. Other components will need to be upgraded to handle that engine too. They are beasts though!
I haven't looked at prices for those in years, and they were out of my budget then. It's definitely just a fantasy sort of idea. If you're going to dream, dream big. Right?
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THIS IS A MILLPOINT BLUE INTERIOR

Mods 'n' stuff: Star Spoke 43 wheels - X-Brace - Mason Engineering front strut brace - CF gauge overlay - ZHP shifter knob - Racing Dynamics cat-back - Doubled brake lights - M-tech rear spoiler
From Page 68 of the 1997 Owners Manual: "Vehicles equipped with ASC+T remain subject to the laws of physics."
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:52 PM   #13
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Metric engines are more of a wet dream
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:45 AM   #14
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A 996 is close to 20 year's old now too. Sounds like you shelled out for the turbo, so don't have the ims issue. But I'd bet dollar's to donuts that maintenance is a lot cheaper for our lowly 4's. Not to mention the initial investment being 7x's more.

...I won't speak of interior's btw..those in glass house's...

But come on, bouncing off the rev limiter coming back from the grocery store. What's better than that?
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estii View Post
Metric engines are more of a wet dream
Exactly! LMAO
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Mods 'n' stuff: Star Spoke 43 wheels - X-Brace - Mason Engineering front strut brace - CF gauge overlay - ZHP shifter knob - Racing Dynamics cat-back - Doubled brake lights - M-tech rear spoiler
From Page 68 of the 1997 Owners Manual: "Vehicles equipped with ASC+T remain subject to the laws of physics."
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