I'll start off with a few links that I found in my travels and then I'll go into my own personal experiences with owning an 99 M Coupe.
Z3 Pre-Purchase Advice - A pretty comprehensive list of the items to look out for. http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...Purchase-Advice
M Coupe Buyers Guide - If you are looking for an M Coupe this is a good place to start your search. http://www.mcoupebuyersguide.com/listings
M Roadsters Buyers Guide - If you are looking for an M Roadster http://www.mroadsterbuyersguide.com/listings
Z3 Coupe Buyers Guide - If you are looking for an Z3 Coupe - http://www.z3coupebuyersguide.com/listings
Bimmerforums Z3 Section - Not too sure if it's cool to post links to other forums, but that is the forum that I found to contain the most amount of information when it comes to Z3's. It's a great community, incredible amount of DIY information and lot's of help from some very knowledgeable folks if you have any specific questions.
I've owned my 99 M Coupe for close to 3 years now and have put on around 8,000 km during the summer months. It has around 109,000 km now. It was one of my "reasonably priced" dream cars from my youth and once the time was right I started looking for one on and off for close to 2 years before I found the one that is currently sitting in my garage.
Are you looking for a coupe or roadster?
From a maintenance perspective, its been pretty good to me so far. All of the maintenance that has been performed on the car was all preventative and for the most part fairly straightforward to do. So far I've done the following based on the recommendations on the forums:
- Cooling system update. Its been noted that the water pump has a plastic impeller that likes to break off and turn into a little bit of a grenade under your hood taking out everything in its reach. Parts were ordered off of ECS Tuning and the job took me around a few hours to complete. I would recommend purchasing a spare plastic radiator screw during the job mine broke and had to pay a wonderful $17 at the dealership for one where as ECS was selling them for $6.
- Glove box sag kit. Glove boxes like to sag with time due to a big metal piece inside the door. I bought a machined piece of metal for around $40 off of ebay and it fixed the problem.
- Oil changes. I buy my oil filters off of ECS and use the BMW oil. Cost is around $70 and is done once a year.
- Air filter and fuel filter. Fairly inexpensive and purchased parts from ECS.
That is pretty much all of the maintenance that I've completed so far. I have a few other items on my list such as replacing the bushings on the seat as it rocks a little bit, fluids and giving it a nice polish one of these days.
The big one is the subframe / trunkfloor / differential mount failure. It was one of the things that was on my mind when I initially bought the car and I would strongly recommend taking a peak underneath the car to see if there are any spot welds that are letting go, if the differential mount is letting go, or if there are any spot welds letting go when looking from inside the trunk as it is not a cheap fix. There are kits available to fix this issue if you were to encounter it. There is a kit by Randy Forbes, which is I the gold standard and then Dinan also offers an option. There is a shop locally that installs the Dinan kit and if my coupe were ever to experience this issue I would most likely just take the Dinan route since it's an option that is available locally. In my personal opinion, this is a well documented issue and I would not let it sway my purchase from potentially owning an awesome car. Perform as much due diligence as possible with a visual inspection followed by a PPI from a shop that you trust.
Read through the "Subframe / trunk floor / differential mount failure" thread in the Z3 subforum at Bimmerforums for all the subframe information you could ever want. There are also pictures that show what to look out for.
Other than that, I absolutely love mine. I've received plenty of thumbs up, had some great conversations with fellow enthusiasts and it's just a fun car to cruise around in.
If you have any specific questions in regards to the Z3 feel free to ask away. Also, looking forward to hearing what 95EagleAWD chimes in as his is a DD from what I remember and he also has the S54 (2001-2002) where as I have the S52 (1999-2000) motor.
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