1996 328i, what should i look for - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 12:56 AM
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1996 328i, what should i look for

Hi,

I'm pretty new in the bmw world, my friend had one and we swapped the blown motor but that's about it, definitely not new to cars.

I am going to look at 1 1996 BMW 4 door 328i manual with black leather interior.. almost exactly what i've been looking for. I was just curious as what i should look for... here's a description i got:

-Changed the oil(castrol gtx)

-Changed the oil filter(wix)

-Changed the spark plugs(bosch+2)

-New drilled/slotted rotors, ceramic brake pads and new sensors

-Painted brake calipers black(caliper paint)for a clean non-rusty look

-New cool blue headlight bulbs(both dims and brights)

-New fuel filter

-New K&N drop in panel filter(also debaffled the airbox for increased air flow)At the same time I cleaned the throttle body and mass airflow sensor

The car currently has 17in M3 motorsports rims on it and they have minimal curb rash(one has gash, but not too bad). Included in the purchase are the factory alloys with winter tires which have enough tread on them for another winter.

The interior is black leather, and there are no tears and the seats look great for an 11 year old car. There is one piece of broken floor sill trim (right rear passanger). It could use new mats, but the carpet is in great shape.

The exterior is alpine white. There are 4 minor rust spots that should be taken care of before the winter salt turns it from minor rust to major(I hate salt)

There is a small ding in the rear passanger door. The fog lights work, but the passanger side lens is craked. The wiper cowl(plastic piece that covers the wiper motor)is brittle and should be replaced. This is the way I purchased the car. There is no way I would have allowed all this to take place.

I am an enthusiast not a racer and have not raced the car.

There are a few things it needs:

-The rust taken care of

-Check engine light on due to O2 sensor(don't know wich one)

-Brake pad dash light on even though I changed the rotors and pads(so, it probably needs to be reset, by a mechanic or if you have a reset tool)

-The car shifts great, but seems like it needs new stick shift bushings for a tighter feel.

-Emergency brake cable adjustment(doesn't brake)

-A/C doesn't work and I haven't investigated why(hopefully just needs a recharge)

-The 6-disc changer in the trunk is missing the cd cartridge.

-It just started making a rattling in the back(like it's a shock or shock mount)

The car is solid it just has some BMW quirks. The computer sometimes says I have a brake light out even though I replaced all the bulbs. So I clean the sockets and then it's fine for a while.

I wish I could keep the car and do with it what I want, but I have some things to take care of right now. I hope to obtain an E36 M3 in the future.


Sorry to make my first post so long but thank you for all the help i can get.. I'm guessing the e-brake cable is snapped and not sure what "stick shift bushing" he is talking about, sounds like it might be something inside of the tranny..

Thanks again!
Christopher Kipp
MSOE - Mechanical Engineer
kippc@msoe.edu
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 01:22 AM
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My guess is that the drum e-brake pads need to be replaced.

Take the carpeting off the rear shock towers to inspect for tears in the shock tower metal.



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#3 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 08:22 AM
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rattle will probably be the shock mounts
o2 is most likely the front one
e-brake probably the pads

ask if he/she did regular maintenance, like changing fluids/coolant.

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#4 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 10:00 AM
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NWS

The stuff that he listed i'm not horribly worried about, i don't think... tears in the shock tower metal? Is that common in the BMW? I've never heard of that in any other car... sometimes on 240s the front towers rust around one of the seams towards the base of it, something like that? I'll assume it's the pads then, either way it would be nothing that horrible to fix. The things i'm worried about are catastrophic that i might not notice.

This was in another email i got from him:
"My car is strong even with the mileage. The engine has a faint ticking noise(like lifters or something)that
comes and goes. It's definitely not a knock! I guess it's common in some bmw's..."

Is this true, should i be worried? I would be able to judge better if i could hear it myself, might just be lifters? Not sure, what's you input on that?
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 10:24 AM
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Yeah the tower tears.

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#6 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 03:00 PM
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Wow, that's not cool.. do you have a picture of that happening? Is there a common weld seam they tear on? I just want to know where to look exactly.... Also is it something that can be fixed by welding and then a strut bar to reinforce it or by something that can be welded? I'll try to find a picture myself too, thanks for the heads up on this...
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 08:08 PM
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There were some pictures up a while back of one of our members that ripped theirs. Imagine that your rear strut tower is a can... and some one used a can opener on it... but it didn't cut even... and was really more ripped off. Then you get the idea. It's not terribly uncommon any bimmer shop will know how to reweld it. While they are doing it upgrade to E46 rear strut mounts and save yourself another hassle later on.

For the brake light that's on, replace the pad wear sensors. There's 2 one in front/back.
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2007, 10:40 AM
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doesnt sound like an overall bad car... i have the same ticking sound and just havnt gotten time to fix it .. think its a valve prob tho
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#9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 01:46 AM
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Search for threads I started and you'll find a picture of an E36 shock tower tear. It was a $300 fix--they have to cut out the old tower and weld in a new one. Turner Motorsport does make reinforcements to prevent it happening again.

The ticking is quite possibly VANOS (BMW's version of vtec), and is fairly common.



1999 E39 540i/6-VF Stage 1 S/C, Dinan exhaust, Dinan strut+shock braces, Dinan ltwt flywheel + clutch, Dinan Brembo BBK, Dinan monoball, H&R Springs, Koni Yellows, M5 sways, Dinan forged 18" wheels, &c.

1995 E38 740i. Highly modded. Faster than you.

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#10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2008, 12:38 PM
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Tower Rips only happen if you allow your shocks to get in such a bad condition that they break open and start flapping around everywhere....
also look for any RUST around the Base....if there is any then thats likely to cause a rip eventually.. best to sort out why the rust occurred... usually because someone got the (english) boot (american: trunk)wet.
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