Originally Posted by Manolito
A 330 ZHP is a highly desirable car. They say that they just spent about $3k in parts, all routine stuff for a car of this age and miles. It was pretty early to need a clutch. If the cooling system is relatively fresh, you MAY drive it the next five years with almost no repair.
It is still a little scary to invest that much money in a car with as many miles as the one you are getting rid of. In general, I recommend BMWs with over 100k miles only to people who have tools and like to do their own work. Is that you? You definitely want to invest in a Bentley Manual for e46, and a code reader. Expect to have plastic parts breakage in the window regulators and the sunroof sliders, but that stuff is not expensive and not hard to fix, just annoying.
If you have ever worked on the sunroof of your e36, you will find the e46 sunroof to be more cheaply made but much easier to work on.
Also, at 140k miles, if the fuel pump has not been replaced, it is about due. If you hear it buzzing, or the car starts to sputter below 1/4 tank, particularly on long uphill grades, get a fuel pump. Very easy to replace but a little dangerous.
Yes I heard the same thing about the ZHP, it seems like a capable downgrade from an M3, esp at this price point. I actually replaced my clutch at like 100k, but then again I was popping it a bit so I cant complain.
You know, every time I bring up the mileage thing to some other enthusiasts, the overwhelming response is always a "So what? Why r u so concerned with mileage, its a BMW." Honestly I dont mind the little things, since I have found a nice indy within 3 blocks of my work, its perfect. Which means even though I am mechanically inclined, at this point, with no time, I am much more likely to pay someone I like for some work than spend double the time struggling with it myself. I love cars, but at this point I have no desire to learn and be my own mechanic only because of time constraints. (Also my community doesnt allow car repairs outside our homes, so anything that needs to be jacked up, I'll be looking for more compensations)
Thanks for the detailed response... I think from what u said I am still positive on this one as opposed to some other guy much closer to me claiming to sell a 3 series with an "M package" but when I asked him if it were a ZHP, he said, "no" and also "no" to carfax, etc.... and that was it... wth... I doubt that will be a pleasing buy experience.
As far as the purchasing process, someone told me also that the steering wheel is not the original... with that and whatever else you stated, do u think its wise to try to negotiate something before I make the drive up, or just risk it all and get up there and negotiate in person and risk driving back down without the new car if he doesnt budge? Also I guess I should still get the PPI when I am up there?