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Jackzi
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Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 70
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:12 pm    Post subject: Giving up on a 996 - I think it's time for an M3 Reply with quote

After looking for a 996 that ticked my boxes and fit within my budget for over a year, I've come to the conclusion (in a massively simplified sense) that I can't afford one.

It's a hard admission to make. But at least I'm being honest with myself.

And I don't know how many others on here (or who lurk) were tempted by prices around the 15-19k mark, but my experience of looking at around a dozen cars and getting 4 pre-purchase inspections done (all failed) has shown that a cheap 911 will usually need at least another 4 grand spent.

I could have been unlucky. But after spending around a grand on inspections and driving around the country I think I'm done. And the second car that would have been the back up in case the 911 was out is now too worn out to continue to repair. So having a 911 as an only car doesn't really make sense.

It's a shame, as one of the nice things about (potential) reacquisition of a Porsche was the cameraderie and sense of community and friendship on this forum.

So now I'm close to pulling the trigger on an E90 M3. It's a four door, V8 manual and seems to be the best in terms of offering practicality as well as a good laugh on occasion.

I'd ask you lot to talk me out of it (I'm sure you can) but I've started to like the M3s and think they have a fair bit of character. Problem is that I like an M3 a lot. But I love a 911. Sad

Needs must as they say. And fingers crossed that a 996 is still attainable in terms of price in the next couple of years Question
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Last edited by Jackzi on Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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MisterCorn
Long Beach


Joined: 08 Jan 2011
Posts: 6738
Location: Nottingham, England

2004 Porsche 996 Turbo

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered the E46 M3? There is a very nice CS for sale on here. They are cracking cars.

MC
 
  
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Marc_3600
Newbie


Joined: 01 Mar 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Bedfordshire


PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that it will help with your decision, but I have had an e92 and e46 M3, and as much as I can see why people like them, they’re just not for me.
I’ve tried twice now, and think I will have to admit, I just prefer a bit more of a less compromising sports car.

Good luck with whatever you end up with.
 
  
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AlpinaB3S
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Joined: 04 Oct 2017
Posts: 51
Location: Lincolnshire


PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don’t rule out the Alpina if you go down that route. Similar in some ways to the M3 but much rarer and a bit more exclusive ( in my unbiased opinion obviously) Great value too.

I have had mine (the wife’s really) for 12 years and it’s still brilliant. She wouldn’t change it for anything.
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Senoj
Zolder


Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 5167
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The e9x M’s are cracking cars. Quite a bit more of a modern chassis than a 996. They were on the drawing board at BMW same time as 997’s so a generation ahead so to speak.

There will be limited choice on four doors. Enigine is a masterpiece but budget an end bearing change as preventative maintenance if it’s a bit leggy.

Knocks a std 996 into a cocked hat for me.
 
  
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Jackzi
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Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 70
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a lot of time for the E46 M3 and I saw the one on here.

But given that I want to go for a more modern, (hopefully) less maintenance-prone bit of convenience and fun, the E46 would defy the point a bit. I'd put them in a similar territory to the 996 in terms of driving experience.

And you're right Senoj that the M3 would have been on a CAD machine not too long after the 997 was developed. I helped launch the 997 and remember the technological 'evolution' well.

The M3 issues seem a bit easier to stomach than IMS and bore score. The cars I'm looking at have all had the throttle actuators done and a rod bearing replacement comes in around 1.5-2k, which is OK in my book, compared with a call to Hartech.

I love Alpinas too, but there are very, very few for sale. A B3s Estate would be awesome but those are all in owners hands and I doubt they'll let go.

I'll keep lusting after a C4S, but they've gone silly money now and every one I inspected was owned by people who thought 'to hell with maintenance - I've got an appreciating asset - make it the next man's problem'. The good ones aren't for sale, simple as that.

I do hope the M3 grows on me Confused
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Senoj
Zolder


Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 5167
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C4S will have the same engine worries. I lusted too a few years back now and bought a turbo instead. Because Mezger.
 
  
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The return of Marty Wild
Barcelona


Joined: 04 Nov 2016
Posts: 1315



PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost got out of my Cayman literally this time last year due to an incoming bundle of joy, was all lined up for a well kept E92 is it?! 2 door, had the preventative done and was owned by a Detailer...

Really just dont give me the fizz, yeah 410 horses of V8 goodness was nice. Mostly felt like I was sitting in a Transit, both height of seating position and the Micra quality carpets.

BMW interiors leave me cold, E46 M3 over my mkIV R32, give me the Golf interior any day of the week!

Alas, I turned down silly money for my Cayman, still have her. I know that one of these days I’ll need to be able to take the family around... so the Cayman will have to go, I think E92 or S4 is the only viable option at my price bracket. Audi looks way way nicer, but is way too heavy for its power. Beamer undoubtedly goes better, can do track days, but looks plain.
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Senoj
Zolder


Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 5167
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the BMW interior. Always driver focussed and functional. Build quality on e9x was very good, they are a bit heavy! Get an EDC car with the DCT, super combination, box suits the engine very very well.

I had mine for just under two years as a daily and have now turned it into a bit of a ring special, mainly because in stock form it felt so nice and had loads of potential. For a road car just leave well alone apart from an exhaust mod to get a little extra noise out of it.
 
  
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Lukec4s
Newbie


Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 26
Location: Watford


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I owned a 2008 e93 m3, now in a 2004 c4s.

The v8 m3 is prob one of the best cars I’ve owned. The engine is solid. The v8 speaks for itself. My friend has an m4 and although faster on paper lacks the rawness of the e9x.

I actually regret the sale and I’m now looking for a cheap one for track days.

I only sold as I’ve always wanted the 996 c4s at at the time couldn’t have the car sat in the garage. Big mistake ... just like when I sold my Miami blue 205 gti for £500 (I digress)
 
  
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asterix_the_gaul
Suzuka


Joined: 20 Dec 2008
Posts: 1235
Location: Cheshire

1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

E9x have come into a really good value point last couple of years, great as a daily as so useable and yes engine issues much more easy to swallow than a 996 rebuild, were you looking at manual or dtc?
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2002 E46 M3 Cabriolet, Laguna seca blue/LSB
 
  
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Lukec4s
Newbie


Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 26
Location: Watford


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two cents - has to be dct.. bmw got that right ! And putting aside the quality, the blips from the exhaust on downshifts is amazing.

Forum wise which OP mentioned.. m3cutters is good although some argue a lot 😂
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MisterCorn
Long Beach


Joined: 08 Jan 2011
Posts: 6738
Location: Nottingham, England

2004 Porsche 996 Turbo

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have looked multiple times at getting an E9x and thought about gearboxes. I prefer a manual but in this case the ratios on the DCT are much better.

MC
 
  
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Senoj
Zolder


Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 5167
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MisterCorn wrote:
I have looked multiple times at getting an E9x and thought about gearboxes. I prefer a manual but in this case the ratios on the DCT are much better.

MC


I love a manual. E46, manual all day long, 911, manual all day long. In this particular car the DCT gearing just suits it. It’s not an Uber smooth device and has a character of its own. The EDC makes for a very supple car, don’t make the normal mistake of going for heavy comp pack wheels and spacers (or reps as 99% do) takes the edge of the way it handles. I did it, looked great but..
 
  
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Pip1968
Suzuka


Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1158
Location: Blighty


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am with Jackzi in that if you are going down the BMW M3 route, get a manual not an auto box Alpina. I have not driven the e92 but did have the e39 V8 M5 (manual). Bearing in mind it was a lighter smaller car, they are heavy motorway cruisers and not really sports cars like a Porsche.

An e46 M3 is quite a bit smaller than the e92 and there must be some carefully maintained ones at your price level. Either way good luck with the V8 M3 as a family cruiser I am sure it will be great but as a back road fun car it's too big like most modern cars.

There is plenty of time to get into a 996 or 997 later on in life.

Pip
 
  
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TurboRob
Newbie


Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 12



PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can see your logic straying away from a 996 Jackzi. Have you considered the M3's bigger brother, the M5? I've had e39 M5s for the past 7 years and they are a great 'do it all' car.

If your budget is £15-19k as mentioned in OP you'll pick up a very nice, enthusiast owned one that's had all the major jobs done (there aren't any really - bit of rust, brake line replacement). The 5-series is a big step up in quality over the 3-series too, and the e39 interior is one of the best.

Assuming you're happy to be in a 20 year old car (a la 996), if not and you're bit braver the later e60 M5 (v10) is in that budget range but is much more expensive to run.
 
  
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Jackzi
Trainee


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 70
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had an E34 M5 and loved it. And I like the E39 so much that I've kept a 530i as a workhorse for the last 12 years.

I actually felt like the E90 M3 was the spiritual successor to the V8 M5 when I drove it. The weight and dimensions are quite similar (it's actually very close to an E34 and only a bit shorter than an E39).

I can't seem to find any decent ones for sale as they're either very high mileage and cheap or low mileage and 20k plus.

I reckon the E90 is better value for money around the 16k bracket. Even if it won't retain it's value as well as its bigger brother.

I test drove an E60 V10 M5 and didn't like the SMG - it's like someone's changing the gears for you and you're waiting for them to just get on with it.

And I never thought I'd say this but 507 hp is too much for the road. Especially since the performance is mostly accessible above 5k RPM.

I tried a DCT M3 and the throttle blips made me smile every single time. But it also felt a bit to 'Playstation' for me and I wondered whether the novelty would wear off. Has that happened to anyone with a PDK?

Interesting that the discussion has gone towards discussing the BMWs rather than people on here trying to talk me out of it and staying with Porsche Laughing
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UncleP
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Joined: 27 Feb 2019
Posts: 52



PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not long got rid of a manual e92 M3 that I only kept for 3 months and am now looking for a 996.

It was a bit of a disaster that ended with the dealer buying back after much argument and a loss to me. I never really took to the car as the engine was just a bit uneventful until the top end. By then you were in custodial sentence speeds. My main issue was with the gearbox/clutch/flywheel. The shift was awful, loud clunk when shifting and rumbling/vibration when pulling away. The dealer agreed to replace the clutch and flywheel but the box was still horrendous.

So I'm now looking for a 996. I've wanted one for ages and always been too scared. I now figure it's better to suffer the paranoia and financial pain than settle for a car I feel indifferent about.
 
  
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Jackzi
Trainee


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 70
Location: Sussex


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@UncleP: Was the gearbox issue a fault? Or did you just not like it?

The shift feel on the E90 I drove was OK. Different from a 996 for sure as it didn't have that 'rifle bolt' action and heft to it.

In the 996 I had, I actually didn't like the shift that much and ended up fitting the standard shift linkage from the 997 in it. This shortened the throw by about 20% and felt way better than an SSK (not to mention the standard set up).

@Lukec4s - do you fancy selling your 4S? (my last ditch effort)
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JM30
Silverstone


Joined: 28 Apr 2013
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Location: SE Kent


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about your failed purchases, nothing more frustrating than spending money out and wasting so much time with no reward! I have been there a few times myself,

I have had both the E90 4door and E92 M3 and I loved the look and rarity of the E90, as mentioned already about the rod bearings, other than that they are fairly bullet proof, both of mine was 6MT although it’s a little notchy at times it’s still a nice drive, all of my M power cars have been manual so can’t comment on DCT.

Good luck with the search,
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