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Old 01-20-2009, 03:19 PM   #1
immolarotzhp
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Default Rare parts? Costly Maintenance?

Hello,
Second time poster here on these forums.

My e30 325iX has crapped out on me and am looking to replace. The reason for this is because the replacement parts I need for it are grossly over expensive ($2300) and i'm lead to believe its because of the rarity.

My question is: Are parts for the 318ti readily available and about the same or maybe just a squeak higher than other e36's ? Or is maintenance ridiculously expensive compared to other e36's?

I had an e36 325i so am familiar with the standard issues for this generation. Will a 318ti throw me for a new loop?

The one i'm looking at has a relatively low amount of miles and appears very clean.

Nic
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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What parts specifically? E30's are dime a dozen and I don't think I've ever heard anybody mention that parts were rare. Some parts are expensive new, but not rare... Most parts for the E30 are going to cost the same as the parts for the Ti.

The flywheel or the catalytic converter is probably the most expensive OE part on our cars. If you need electronics, I would try to find them used as some things like a completely new DME could be expensive as well.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:41 PM   #3
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You'd actually be surprised. It seems like a lot of people are parting out their ti these days. So get the parts you need is fairly easy, and cheap. And all the body work from the A pillar, foward, is interchangable with all e36 sedans. If you do your own work, then labor is pretty cheap. And a lot of the things that tend to go out is covered by one guides on here. If not, there are plenty of people here with a wealth of knowledge that are willing to help.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohaughn View Post
What parts specifically? E30's are dime a dozen and I don't think I've ever heard anybody mention that parts were rare. Some parts are expensive new, but not rare...
Find me two new front cv axles (325iX is all wheel drive). Dealer wants $1150 each side and then think about adding your own time on top of that. I paid $2900 w/203k miles for the car itself. Not worth the replacement parts i'm putting into it.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
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Off the top of my head, the most expensive parts are going to be anything dealing with emissions (secondary air pump - fixable, cat - OEM ONLY). Any accident behind the firewall could get expensive if you have to find body panels to weld in.

Other ti-specific parts like the fuel pump are going to go for a slight premium but are at least within the realm of reason. Most parts are shared with other E36s.

Other differences is the cooling system (weak links - easily preventable) and the frickin windows (fine once you get them figured out).


For a better gauge of maintenance cost, I spend less than $1000/year (on average) keeping the ti going. This includes full-synthetic oil changes, tires, and other wear parts. This past year was just oil changes / inspection and I'm probably looking at at least brakes for the upcoming year.

As for your iX, mind posting pictures of the axles? People here have been pretty inventive on getting an LSD in the back of their ti's, maybe we could lend a hand to get something worked out for your front end.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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I think the parts that are specific to the Ti (interior parts, (rear bumper, rear windows, hatch struts, exhaust, etc) are not really prone to breaking or multiple replacements. If you are looking to heavily mod there is no where near the after market goods for the M42/M44 vs the 6 cyls. I have found both my Ti's very reliable and predictable in terms of maintenance. I also grew up in WI and with a good set of snows and a bit of weight in the trunk you'll be fine. BTW the Ti is the lightest of all e36's (even the Z3) so 138hp goes a bit farther.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by immolarotzhp View Post
Find me two new front cv axles (325iX is all wheel drive). Dealer wants $1150 each side and then think about adding your own time on top of that. I paid $2900 w/203k miles for the car itself. Not worth the replacement parts i'm putting into it.
Probably only going to find that remanufactured. The rear drive assembly on the Ti costs about the same to replace. Right at 400$ for each output shaft if you had to buy from the dealer. However, it would be much easier to find the output shaft for a Ti, than the front drive shafts for an E30. Have you checked with diffsonline to see if they have those front shafts used?

If you are going to own a BMW and want the repairs to be cheap you have to find yourself a good and reputable independent mechanic that doesn't charge full retail mark up on the parts. Or, get yourself a BMWCCA membership and find a dealer that gives a good discount for that.
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