Worth Considering?

thevictor390

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200 HP is plenty to have a little bit of fun, especially with a decent chassis around it. The question is, how much money are you saving over the V8? Is it worth it?
 

LeVeL

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convertible f-body... doesn't sound like a great dd :p

edit: just noticed that it has victor-transmission. :cry:
 

p51mustang23

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200 HP is plenty to have a little bit of fun, especially with a decent chassis around it. The question is, how much money are you saving over the V8? Is it worth it?
My thoughts exactly.. I'd say it would save $1500-$2000 or so. Granted the difference isn't just the v8, the v8's usually include a few other upgrades I think.

convertible f-body... doesn't sound like a great dd :p

edit: just noticed that it has victor-transmission. :cry:
possible noob question, but whats wrong with that? (the tranny, not the fact that it's a convertible) This in a coupe would be my preference of course :)
 

thevictor390

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Assuming I am the aforementioned Victor, the problem is that, like mine, it's automatic. Be prepared for an angry mob at your doorstep.
 

airmenair

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Do you plan on doing any of your own maintenance on it? If so, that firebird isn't going to be any easier to work on that 300Z. Possibly harder. That alone would turn me off of it.
 

p51mustang23

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Well if we're going to hate on automatics, here's something else that looks nice to me. Roughly the same power output as the v6 fbodies. *Edit* they do however weigh about 500lbs less, something in the area of 15% difference */Edit*

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/ctd/1878015819.html

So how are eclipses? They seem to be almost exclusively manual, which is something I've always wanted to learn. (yes I've never driven one :cry:) They certainly look the part and are well reviewed, but what does everyone here think?




For the record, I wouldn't ever avoid a nice car just because it's an auto.


Edit: I remember reading something about f-bodies requiring maintenance to be done from underneath, and pre-1997 models having small engine compartments. Is this related to the high cost of maintenance that you speak of?
 
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LeVeL

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For the record, I wouldn't ever avoid a nice car just because it's an auto.
As much as we here on FG (read: I) love to rip on autos, it all comes down to personal preference. If you want an auto, go for it (we (I) will make fun of you though :p). Learning stick isn't hard though :)

That said, I don't think eclipses are any good. How about an Integra GSR or a Celica?
 
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Der Stig

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The '03+ Eclipses are terrible cars. At your budget, have a look at these.

Obligatory BMWs and NA Miatas:
'87 E30 BMW 325ci with hardtop and newer engine: $3000- needs some work Most likely interior work
'89 E30 BMW E30 325is, 60k on rebuilt motor, needs minor work: $3500

'89 E30 BMW 325is, definitely check out this one, lots of good mods, well kept: $2900

'94 NA Miata, bone stock, 116k miles: $3800 (+1000 for hardtop)- This one you should be able to negotiate a decent amount of money.
'97 NA Miata, bone stock, 144k miles: $3250


Interesting stuff:
'90 W124 Mercedes 300CE: $3000- Bullet proof except A/C system, no info given though
'84 Porsche 944 w/ 95k miles, "all original", sounds well kept, looks great: $3350- Awesome driver, but needs timing chain every 15k miles (someone correct me if I'm wrong)
'97 Volvo T5 Turbo Wagon w/80k miles, fully serviced: $2500
'97 850 5 speed: $3750- High Voltage will be jealous
'04 SVT Focus w/ 61K miles; $1000- Probably something very wrong in this car's history, but it's the best car out of the bunch I'd say, just not this one

Don't look here, these are stupid. You have been warned, now buy them!!! :p :
'75 to '79 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT/Sprint: $3900- Needs a $7800 repair allowance :D
'60 Jaguar MkII 3.8: $600- "Might run" Definitely a project
 
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p51mustang23

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Liking the 325i's any idea what the weight of those is? If it's over 3,000lb I get the feeling they would be a little sluggish (albeit still not a bad car by a longshot).

Miata's seem nice to, I have no doubt that they handle like champs. How to they compare to the 325i's in terms of straight line performance and handling?

And you have no idea how tempting that porche is. No idea. (mostly just a brand name / looks thing, but still) What's the deal with the timing belt? 15k is really often, not to mention expensive (something like 600 or 700$, right?)
:jawdrop:

*edit* the eclipses I was looking at are most '00-'02ish ... did something change in '03?
 
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Der Stig

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Most E30s are under 3000lbs, the convertible would be the heaviest. Here's Wikipedia's numbers: 2,359?3,016 lb. The 2.5L cars a fairly quick, 0-60 comes in around 7 or so seconds. The "is" models are more sporty than the standard "i."

As for the Miata vs. E30 debate, the Miata handles a bit sharper (from what thedguy has said), but obviously the E30 is more practical. It's not really that big of a difference. If you chuck the rear seats and put on lightweight wheels and put on an H&R Cup Kit (this can run any where from $1500 to $2500+ depending on the wheels and tires you choose), I'd wager that it'd be just as good if not better. I'm not sure how fast the Miatas are in a straight line, but I think they're a second or so slower than an E30 325i/is.

The 944 will be expensive. You will have to either learn how to do stuff yourself and acquire the appropriate tools or find a very good mechanic. This website for 944 advice says every 30k miles. But with that service, other jobs are done, so the costs add up. That's why people often drive Porsches/Ferraris/etc. only on weekends, so that mileage is minimized.

EDIT: Also, with the E30 BMW 325i cars, make sure that it has a timing chain, most do, but it's still very important to check.
 
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LeVeL

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An E30 will probably weigh around 2600lbs if its a 318 and 2800lbs if its a 325. (btw, they made AWD E30s - 325ix)
People say E30s handle like slightly larger Miatas. They are pretty reliable from what I gather (although not quite as reliable as Miatas - those things run forever). Straight-line is probably close... Miata might beat a 318 but lose to a 325. E30 might be a little cheaper. Research, research, research - both are fantastic cars. miata.net r3vlimited.com e30tech.com
 

p51mustang23

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Most E30s are under 3000lbs, the convertible would be the heaviest. Here's Wikipedia's numbers: 2,359?3,016 lb. The 2.5L cars a fairly quick, 0-60 comes in around 7 or so seconds. The "is" models are more sporty than the standard "i."

As for the Miata vs. E30 debate, the Miata handles a bit sharper (from what thedguy has said), but obviously the E30 is more practical. It's not really that big of a difference. If you chuck the rear seats and put on lightweight wheels and put on an H&R Cup Kit (this can run any where from $1500 to $2500+ depending on the wheels and tires you choose), I'd wager that it'd be just as good if not better. I'm not sure how fast the Miatas are in a straight line, but I think they're a second or so slower than an E30 325i/is.

The 944 will be expensive. You will have to either learn how to do stuff yourself and acquire the appropriate tools or find a very good mechanic. This website for 944 advice says every 30k miles. But with that service, other jobs are done, so the costs add up. That's why people often drive Porsches/Ferraris/etc. only on weekends, so that mileage is minimized.

EDIT: Also, with the E30 BMW 325i cars, make sure that it has a timing chain, most do, but it's still very important to check.
It could just flat out not have one? Isn't it a required part of the engine? Or maybe you meant check to see if it needs replacing? Will read up myself and mayb answer my own question...

An E30 will probably weigh around 2600lbs if its a 318 and 2800lbs if its a 325. (btw, they made AWD E30s - 325ix)
People say E30s handle like slightly larger Miatas. They are pretty reliable from what I gather (although not quite as reliable as Miatas - those things run forever). Straight-line is probably close... Miata might beat a 318 but lose to a 325. E30 might be a little cheaper. Research, research, research - both are fantastic cars. miata.net r3vlimited.com e30tech.com
i love links, thanks!
 

Der Stig

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Oh no, that's not what I meant :lol: I'd hope they'd have something!- I believe that some 2.5L models were fitted with timing belts, not timing chains. It's not an expensive fix. I wouldn't be too worried, most of these would have been corrected by now.
 

p51mustang23

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Haha you had my basic understanding of an engine in question there:roflmao: I see what you mean now.

Under average conditions how long do these things run? People always talk about how german cars are over engineered and live forever; is it reasonable to expect to buy an E30 at ~150k miles and get 100k more without absurd maintenance?



*edit* "engine in 87-92 325i/iC/iS is the same exact engine with 168hp" quote from somewhere on the interwebs...

What is the iC model? I know what the other two are. There's also a model labeled "325" Will probably find this myself but ill ask anyways. Mayb a different generation... I really hate how BMW names their cars! numbers suck :p */edit*
 
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Der Stig

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It all depends on the previous owner's maintenance. It's not unreasonable for them to go to 250k+ miles, they're fairly simple cars. I'd jump on one with lots of receipts and log books detailing the car's history. A recent engine rebuild/replacement is always good.
 

p51mustang23

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:) I try to amuse where I can.

Anyways, how useful would a limited slip rear differential be in practice? As it's only included in the 325iS that would change my choice possibly. Of course at this point the price difference between the two models is negligible to completely non-existent. (or at least that's what it looks like to me). That's the primary difference between i and iS upon research.

*edit* seems like it might be useful during the winter or accelerating on a patch of sand, but shouldn't be too big of a deal. Nice to have, won't miss it if I don't.
 
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LeVeL

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It could just flat out not have one? Isn't it a required part of the engine?
hehe


Under average conditions how long do these things run? People always talk about how german cars are over engineered and live forever; is it reasonable to expect to buy an E30 at ~150k miles and get 100k more without absurd maintenance?

*edit* "engine in 87-92 325i/iC/iS is the same exact engine with 168hp" quote from somewhere on the interwebs...
What is the iC model? I know what the other two are. There's also a model labeled "325" Will probably find this myself but ill ask anyways. Mayb a different generation... I really hate how BMW names their cars! numbers suck :p */edit*
e30s are fairly simple and straightforward so maintenance shouldnt be too difficult. That said, its just like any other car in that if its been well looked after, it will be reliable; if its been neglected, it will be a constant headache.

Anyways, how useful would a limited slip rear differential be in practice? As it's only included in the 325iS that would change my choice possibly. Of course at this point the price difference between the two models is negligible to completely non-existent. (or at least that's what it looks like to me). That's the primary difference between i and iS upon research.

*edit* seems like it might be useful during the winter or accelerating on a patch of sand, but shouldn't be too big of a deal. Nice to have, won't miss it if I don't.
an LSD can come in handy in the winter but in the hands of an inexperienced driver it could very well be more difficult to control the car. I dont think it should matter to you, although im pretty sure that iS are more rare than just i. iX is awd btw :D
 

AudiV6

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Get a 944S.


The end, no explination needed, just testdrive one, you'll find out! :)
 

Der Stig

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An LSD in a Miata or E30 is not going to make much a performance difference to you unless you plan to do an S50 swap :D

If the 944 is what you really want, find a local mechanic and ask him about rates, what to look out for, etc. Here's a helpful buyer's guide for a 944.

944 Buyer's Guide
 
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