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I totaled the amount I spent restoring my e30 and I'm shocked.

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    #16
    Here's an example of what can happen.....

    I rebuilt the engine so was painting, cleaning, rebuilding and reconditioning all the engine bay bits, like starter motor, alternator, brake cylinder e.t.c
    Decided to replace those old yellowed fluid containers. Coolant, wiper and clutch containers were all like $20 each. Cheap I thought. Only one more to go (the brake fluid container).
    How much? $160 USD.

    And for the 323i there was only about 48 left in the entire world, and I doubt they would make more of them.

    So what should a guy do? Have 3 nice white containers and 1 old yellow one in the bay? Nope. cha-ching!

    It just keeps going like this.

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      #17
      At least it's red - maximum smiles/$!

      I've been SCCA club racing for 26 years and learned a long time ago to never add up the costs. I once made the mistake of telling my wife the cost of race tires, but that's a different story...

      The other thing that racing taught me is great rationalization skills, which I now use for BMWs too. Example #1: No doubt I will be into my Touring for close to $30k when it's done (are they ever really done?), but never actually adding up the cost and knowing I will be enjoying the car for many years makes it worthwhile. Example #2: All four of my older BMWs are increasing in value! No need to worry about the annual appreciation never covering the cash outflow.

      Cory
      1992 325i Cabrio
      1988 320i Touring
      2000 M5
      1977 530i
      2015 328i - Euro Delivery/Performance Center Delivery
      BMWCCA
      E30CCA

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        #18
        man, if you think that's bad, don't ever go buying a neglected/basket case M-car. you're in for a bad time. ask me how i know. ha.
        Portland, Oregon
        E28M5 | E30S50 | E30M3

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          #19
          I've chosen to spend most of the money I've put into my E30 into performance related items because a fun and reliable cruiser has been priority #1. I've been quite good about finding deals and sourcing quality used bits and the number is still pretty damn high... I can't imagine how much it'll cost to fix up the outside aesthetics of this machine, but I'm confident I'll be into it for a similar cost as you if and when the time to spruce up the exterior comes.

          In my head, the way I justify the cost is by driving the car. When I first embarked down this route I had a fairly new Subaru Legacy as my daily that I was making car payments on. I figured, If I can spend $250 a month on a car payment for 7 years then I could budget the same into maintaining and modifying my E30. I sold the Subaru and the car carried me for four years and 40k miles while I continued modifying and making it my own. Given the circumstances, daily driving and maintaining an E30 or driving a boring but inherently reliable Legacy for the same price point... the E30 wins hands down.

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            #20
            All of these posts are precisely why I keep mine as stock as possible. Honestly, all I spend on the car is just oil and gas. I'll keep this baby going for as long as I can, put the top down whenever the temp goes up to 60F, and have a smile on my face. Well, I did replace all the suspension parts for about $250.00 this year.

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              #21
              Originally posted by dnguyen1963 View Post
              All of these posts are precisely why I keep mine as stock as possible. Honestly, all I spend on the car is just oil and gas. I'll keep this baby going for as long as I can, put the top down whenever the temp goes up to 60F, and have a smile on my face. Well, I did replace all the suspension parts for about $250.00 this year.
              All the suspension parts for $250? Hope you didn't buy one of those safety hazard ebay kits.

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                #22
                It is what is is. If you want an E30 that looks and behaves as it did when new, I would say $20-25k is around the correct number.
                "Dolphins aren't so smart, they can't even engineer an E-diff"

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                  #23
                  Nice fresh paint and some goodies under the hood! I love the color. Looks like CEP is the only place that has both bumpers at this time. ECS has the front however the back is NLA.
                  sigpic84 325e

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post

                    All the suspension parts for $250? Hope you didn't buy one of those safety hazard ebay kits.
                    Sorry, I did not mean "all". I replaced only the struts and shocks, not everything. I bought parts from RMEuropean.

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by dnguyen1963 View Post

                      Sorry, I did not mean "all". I replaced only the struts and shocks, not everything. I bought parts from RMEuropean.
                      You can at least get a reasonable set of dampers for $250, and good to hear that your ball joints won't be falling out of your control arms any time soon!

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                        #26
                        I've been keeping an excel where I track all my costs restoring my E30. Will never show it to my wife 😄.
                        I've spent much less than what you have, but more than the car is worth for someone else, by far. And I still need to do some struts/shocks and am really trying to talk me to do a manual swap (anyone has a set available at good price?). Like you, I spent a ton on window Weatherstrips and things that, that no one really thinks about and cost a lot. I am still surprised when I see decent E30 well sorted for $10k or less.
                        I restored a Porsche 928 some 5 years ago and it was even more expensive. The saying on the Rennlist forum is that it was $10k away from being a $5k car 😩. But I finished most of it and sold (had to move outside US for a while) for less than I spent, but not much of loss, considering all the fun I had.

                        It is our hobby, if you were doing something else for fun, you would be spending money too. Enjoy it and forget about finance while doing it.

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                          #27
                          It can get very expensive, I have been working on a 320IS tribute, just have the body painted that was $12k, I don't want to even think about how much the total project is going to cost, between paint, complete S14, E30 M3 5 lugs suspension, and E30M3 interior and wheels I am hoping to stay around $45K not including the car.
                          Attached Files

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                            #28
                            OE/ OEM is expensive. Rebuilding my M30, megasquriting my E30, paint, gaskets, door seals, custom emblems etc.

                            I think im around 12-13k but I enjoy the car now and the only things left are the brake lines, fuel lines and rear subframe. Everything else has been gone over.

                            Its probably too much to spend on a car with a student budget tho :P
                            85% of the time i have no idea what I'm doing

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                              #29
                              At least the value is going up now. When I got into E30's in the mid 00's you could drop a lot of money on an E30 and get only pennies when you sold.

                              In fact, the previous owner of my car did the interior and new dashboard, while the owner before him did a high end respray (his father had a car restoration paint shop). I then bought that E30 in 2005 for 7k Aussie (about 5k USD).
                              So I got it for next to nothing and the body/interior were spectacular. You cannot get those sunk cost cars anymore.

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                                #30
                                I have been scared to add up what i have spent so far since i parked the car three years ago. But I just drove the car for the first time since then the other day and i dont regret the money spent at all. Now to get some final things done before I go and get my car tuned. Lets see how much power this K24 powered e30 makes.
                                Originally posted by Good & Tight
                                It takes real man to mount a big woman, all you haters are just scared boys.

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