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Old 01-02-2013, 10:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Why not lower the Saturn? It might make the handling bearable enough until you can afford to have a second (fun) car.

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Old 01-03-2013, 07:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
Why not lower the Saturn? It might make the handling bearable enough until you can afford to have a second (fun) car.
I've considered that but there are some inherent problems with the Saturn that just seem to make it not worthwhile:
-it's FWD. Even a good handling FWD car still doesn't have the "feel" of a RWD.
-It's got a soggy spongy chassis; lots of flex=no fun
-it has poor suspension geometry, including a touch of bump steer, and slow over boosted steering.

I had a Ford Focus ZX3 before and I sold it (mistake). It was worth lowering (and I did) because it had and EXCELLENT chassis and geometry. That car was a hoot on a twisty road as the balance was very good and the rear would actually step out if you were pushing hard enough. It was a shining example of how good a car can be if a little engineering effort is put into it. Comparitively, the Saturn might as well be made by John Deere.

Ultimately, I do have a "fun" car, my Mustang, I just need to finish it up. I also have a motorcycle for the nicer 8 months of the year. Really, I'm just looking for something more fun to drive on a daily basis that won't break the bank in fuel costs.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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No offense, but I think you need to suck it up. Its winter. How often are you taking a hard corner on salt/snow/ice covered roads? RWD is horrible in winter too. Also, you're driving on the highway a rediculous amount of time, who cares if its RWD or FWD?!? This all seems a bit silly to me...
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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take care of the saturn and get that old mustang running for your rwd fun. too bad you can't get an oil burner bimmer on this side of the pond.
Ditto.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
No offense, but I think you need to suck it up. Its winter. How often are you taking a hard corner on salt/snow/ice covered roads? RWD is horrible in winter too. Also, you're driving on the highway a rediculous amount of time, who cares if its RWD or FWD?!? This all seems a bit silly to me...
No offense taken. I have pretty thick skin so it would take a purposeful effort to offend me.

Winter time is all the more fun as the tail sliding antics can be had at much lower speeds and in more places and without the tire wear or mpg penalties. Also, I have never had any real difficulty driving a rwd in the winter. It takes more concentration and tire choice becomes a critical concern but it's hardly the "impossible task" most people make it out to be. I drove my 80mi commute in a 2wd Ford Ranger for quite a while until I decided 28mpg wasn't good enough. I actually miss that truck.

Anyway, I don't expect everyone to understand my plight; especially someone who drives a Prius (good natured ribbing intended ) Like I said though I was, and still am, a driving enthusiast first and foremost but Iím also a cheapskate who HATES giving my money to gas/oil companies. Iím still searching for the best balance of the 2.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You can squeeze 50+ MPG from E36 Beemer if you go for tds engine (Berta's fuel log) , but as far as I know these were not available in US. But it is possible to put VW TDi engine with VW LT gearbox and you can try to go for 60+ MPG even.
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Gerhard Plattner: "The best attitude is to consider fuel saving a kind of sport. Everybody who has enough money for a strong car, can drive fast and hit the pedal. But saving fuel requires concentration, self-control and cleverness. It's a challenge with the nice effect of saving you money that you can use for other more important things."
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I've owned several Bimmers (93 325is, 98 528i, 06 325i, 07 335i, 08 M3) so here's my take on them.

1. The E36 is an excellent platform that is easy to work on and CHEAP to fix and repair compared to modern German cars.

2. I'd routinely get about 26 mpg out of my 93 325is. I never tried to drive it for economy though.

3. I'd get 31-32 mpg out of my 06 325i. This was the most economical of all of the Bimmers I owned.

4. The best all around car I've EVER owned is my 335i. This car gets just shy of 30 mpg on the freeway and has 382 horsepower at the wheels. It is the epitome of beauty and the beast... once on boost it's mpg would drop near the single digits (as expected) but driving it normally yields the same mpg as my old 93 325is (~26 mpg mixed driving).

I'm a huge Bimmerphile so my perspective may be a bit skewed. I think they are some of the best engineered and most fun to drive cars on the planet. Be ready for some negative attention as well though. People will assume things about you as soon as they see the Bavarian flag on your car... even if it is a $2000, 20 year old 318i.

Attached is a picture of my 450 horsepower 29 mpg daily driver
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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A Nissan 240 SX from the mid 1990s would be a nice RWD car. Definitely not a BMW but they never really wound me up except a 1972 2002. 5k wount get much of a BMW but could land a very nice 240SX with some change left over.

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http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/3512271659.html

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Old 01-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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An E36 318i should be way under 5k, closer to 1k. The engines when maintained are good for about 400-500k miles (words from a BMW specialist mechanic friend), just be sure to check there is no structural rust anywhere.

I`ve checked the BMW specs and rated fuel consumption is 36.3mpg at 56mph and 29.7mpg at 75mph (30.1mpg for the coupe).
And that is full stock, so with grill blocking and coroplasting the underbody and a little driving sense, 35mpg highway is easily realistic. And you also get that mpg dial on the dashboard as standard, that`s what helped me get 45mpg on longer runs on the 520d I used to have.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
A Nissan 240 SX from the mid 1990s would be a nice RWD car. Definitely not a BMW but they never really wound me up except a 1972 2002. 5k wount get much of a BMW but could land a very nice 240SX with some change left over.

regards
Mech

1995 240sx
Thats what I was going to say, early 240's were lighterand after 93 were dohc, pretty slippy aero to. Other options 80-85 celica, early 90's 300 Zx(non turbo), early 90's Supras (non turbo) 1st gen Supras(early 80's)
Driven moderatly thes cars should be alot of fun and get some decent highway mpg, likely high 20's low 30's for the six's and low to mid 30's for the four's.

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