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Rust repair costs

Posted by FastAndLight 
April 16, 2012 08:57PM
So, I'm looking to buy my first e30, a 325iX, and I was wondering how much to budget for rust repairs. The ones I've seen recently need help on the trunk lid, at the bottom of the doors, and one has a small spot by the sunroof. How much does repair of surface rust spots like those generally run? Thanks for the help.
April 17, 2012 04:35AM
Hi FastandLight!

You don't post where you live, and that makes a diference.
Restoring a rusty body is labour intensive work, and depends mostly on labour cost where you live.
If you wish to do that yourself, it won't cost you money, just take many hours...
Sometimes is better to get a new door or trunk lid than restore a rusty one.

smileys with beer
April 17, 2012 04:54AM
Thanks for the response.

The car I'm looking at is in Wisconsin, but I've also seen others in New York, PA, all over.

I'm not looking to do it myself, but I also have no idea how much either a replacement part or just the paint work would cost in those areas if it is just surface rust. I understand the maxim that you should always buy the car with the least rust. However, if one has just a bit of surface rust and is $3000 less than one that seemingly does not have rust, then is the tradeoff worth it, or is rust repair for surface rust and re-paints only about $2000?
April 17, 2012 07:08AM
If you are looking at a project car, you may bargain a rusty car and restore it.
For such an old car, nobody can assure it won't develop rust anyway, so if you restore the body and repaint, you know you're good for several years on that account.
Get several quotes from a good body shop, and decide from there.
Better buy a car with a dull paintwork and few spots of surface rust hidden at the common places, and get a lower price over that, than a rust pot that has just been resprayed and will soon develop bubbles and holes before your eyes... The e30 came with much better rust-proofing than the e21 and older cars, but 20 seasons sure took it's toll...
Let us know.
April 17, 2012 10:57AM
Not to be glib, but have you considered buying a California or Arizona car? Rust is non-existant on those cars and every once in a while you can find a car that is in excellent shape.

alan
April 17, 2012 02:05PM
You'd need to make sure it is just surface rust, and not rot. You'll need to have a pretty close look at the car at all the known spots.

Depends on what you want, a show car or a hobby car, if $3000 makes the difference between a rust free car and a rusty car, you either need to bargain on the rusty one or go for the rust free one.
April 17, 2012 05:35PM
Much thanks for the advice. I would be just fine with a CA or AZ car, I just haven't seen many pop up recently, but I will hit craigslist a bit harder and see what falls out. It makes more sense that the iX's would be in the snowy (rusty) states.

I am not looking to build a show car...I just don't like rust and am trying to get an idea as to how much it costs to get rid of it. I'm definitely not looking at rust-buckets, but given that I'm also not finding any cars locally the whole process is pretty hard. It is tough to assess rust from a seller's photo.

I think I am getting frustrated with the process of trying and will simply just buy the more expensive one with seemingly less rust. I'll let you all know how it turns out.
April 17, 2012 06:16PM
Alanrw: Your response wasn't glib at all, it was the sort of "ahh, yes, of course" moment that I needed in my search. I was looking a good distance from where I am in North Carolina, but not far enough to hit the rust free southwest. I have found a couple other good options in searching the Craigslists out there. Thank you for the suggestion.
April 17, 2012 07:57PM
check the For Sale section on this forum.

I still have my cabrio and am still trying to downsize my fleet.

Bob in Everett
April 18, 2012 12:41PM
The tricky thing about iXs is that most of them were sold where it snows -- i.e. in the Rust Belt. Not many were sold in California, Arizona, etc., and it's really hard to find a rust-free iX these days. You can find them, but it takes patience. I managed to find one several years ago that had lived a pampered existence and was rust-free, but it took a while a searching the Internet. And even then, years of Vermont winters have taken their toll and I'll looking at some rust repairs in the near future.

IMNSHO the 325iX was one of the best cars BMW ever built smiling smiley, but if you're not set on AWD, then a regular RWD E30 in good condition would probably be considerably easier to find.

Good luck!

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
April 18, 2012 01:03PM
Check for the usual areas, wheel arches, jack positioning point, license plate area, moon roof, battery tray, trunk side pockets. Others might give some more hints.
rkj
April 18, 2012 05:11PM
Quote
FastAndLight
Alanrw: Your response wasn't glib at all, it was the sort of "ahh, yes, of course" moment that I needed in my search. I was looking a good distance from where I am in North Carolina, but not far enough to hit the rust free southwest. I have found a couple other good options in searching the Craigslists out there. Thank you for the suggestion.

If you're in North Carolina you would probably be fine with a two wheel drive car, they might be easier to find too. If you're dead set on the IX, there are people here that know how to inspect them. I think Dave knows the drill well (it's a fourwheeldrive thing).

The trick to finding a good solid car is patients. A small magnet helps too; go over the car (every few inches) carefully and you could give the load areas a check too (like where the top of the rear springs sit on the uni-body), if you see any bubbles there walk away. Take a good look at the floors from under the car, really spend some time under there and get a good feel for things. If you don't feel up to the task it pays to have a pro look for you.

It's all part of the process; taking your time and getting it as right as possible... Good Luck, and we're always here if you have questions.

Rick



perseverance furthers
April 18, 2012 08:52PM
Thanks for all of the tips and inspection points. It looks like in most cases I'm going to have to have a shop conduct a PPI since I am simply not finding any locally.

I am pretty much deadset on the iX. I had a 330Ci for a long time and loved it, until I lost the rear end in a flash downpour and hit the median a few times. I want a different sort of BMW for this project.

I'm not aware of another 2 door all wheel drive car worth getting. I think all of the Subarus are 4 doors...and besides, I love BMWs. I also really like the retro looks of the e30.


That just made me start reminiscing about my old 330Ci and I started looking for those for a minute...
rkj
April 18, 2012 09:21PM
Quote
FastAndLight
Thanks for all of the tips and inspection points. It looks like in most cases I'm going to have to have a shop conduct a PPI since I am simply not finding any locally.

I am pretty much deadset on the iX. I had a 330Ci for a long time and loved it, until I lost the rear end in a flash downpour and hit the median a few times. I want a different sort of BMW for this project.

I'm not aware of another 2 door all wheel drive car worth getting. I think all of the Subarus are 4 doors...and besides, I love BMWs. I also really like the retro looks of the e30.


That just made me start reminiscing about my old 330Ci and I started looking for those for a minute...

Sounds like you're hooked so you better get the advice from a few experts on the IX. Dave and Peter will give you the drill. I doubt anybody you'd hire would know what these two do.
April 19, 2012 05:15PM
Ahh impulsiveness and a flush checking account.

I just put a deposit down on a car in Wisconsin. The guy is letting it go pretty inexpensively. I'm headed up there next weekend to check it out and bring it back.

The next step is finding a shop to help with the turbo install I want to do. I'm leaning towards VAC Motorsports in Philly, but would love other opinions. VAC seems to sell via their website most of the stuff I was looking to install.
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