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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 06-07-2005, 10:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I've been researching and reading alot on here and elsewhere. I've been wanting to get a 325is for a while now, but haven't had the $6,000 to get one.
I've found a 94 325is with a 191,000 miles on it. Engine runs good, but 1st gear is slow on the auto tranny.
No matter what 325 I buy, i want to do a M3 swap bit by bit as I can afford it. Engine, tranny, suspension, rear end, replacing all the rubber parts with polyutherne where possible, blah, blah, blah.
So is worth getting such a high miles 325 if I am going to be replacing "everything" along the way anyways? Or are there going to be little things along the way that are going to kill me?
I know that I'm going to need to weld and reinforce the subframe. I am a very good DIYer, and I'm sure you guys can help me.
Thanks
Brian
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As long as you are not expecting to be able to drive it daily until you do some serious fixing to it. Also, the M3 swap is a horribly expensive swap to do. It will end up costing you more than the 6k that you are hoping not to spend now. Since you are a good DIYer, then perhaps you could make it work. However, without another car (I am not sure what your situation is) I would be very weary of buying that particular car. On the other hand if you do have anther car then by all means, go for it. But only if you want to sink a lot of money.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you going to be driving it or is it going to be a parked project car?

I ask because if you are going to park it, then it's a good deal. On the other hand if you are going to have it as a daily driver, the up keep costs may prohibit you from ever being able to afford the engine swap.

The big concern is the tranny. You certainly don't want to sink money into a tranny that won't be used in the engine swap. I have a 94 325i that has 206k on it. It still purrs, but its auto is a little flaky. The early to mid 90s autos were built by GM in France for BMW. ??? Crazy I know, I think that's why they tend to be a little less reliable than the rest of the car.

The other thing to consider is the transmission to which you will be mating the M3 engine. If you want a manual, then this car will only complicate things further. Auto to manual conversions arenít unheard of, but why would you want to make an already complicated project even more complex.

------

The counter point is that...say the car lasts a year and then dies. After one year youíre only out a grand and you got to drive a BMW for a year. Thatís less than $2.75 a day to drive one of the finest machines ever built!

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Old 06-07-2005, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I do have other cars to drive, so this can spend time parked as needed.
I figured I would start with a low milage used tranny and engine check-up to get it running well. Check things like the radiator, water pump, coils and so on. Then I could drive it now and again while collecting other parts.
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