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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 08-16-2004, 11:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Whats up people? I am a bimmer newb and helping my bro find the best overall 3 series sedan in terms of reliability, performance potential, and comfort. What years and models should I avoid? btw, if I can find a good deal on an E46, is it much better or worth it? His budget keeps it under 14k, so which year + models should I look for? I like M3 sedans. Thanks!
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When will the "Big 3" American brands learn that the replacement for displacement is technology?
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Old 08-16-2004, 11:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm happy with my 328i. You could get one of those and have a few k left to do some modding...

You'd be hard pressed to find a decent e36 m3 > 96 for around 14k. That's the very bottom of their price ranges so be careful for ones being sold with potential problems.
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Old 08-17-2004, 12:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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there are alot of e36 m3 sedans on autotrader for under 14k, but they all have really high mileage, which isn't that much of a problem with a well maintained bmw, you can however easily find a low milage, perfect condition, e36 3 series sedan for that price range
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Old 08-17-2004, 12:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, man. Were there any lemon year E36 sedans? I will take care of the modding, he just pays!
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Old 08-17-2004, 12:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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hey
get a 96-98 328i , they run really good, i am really happy with it.
Actually if he wants to do heavy mods u will be better off with a 95 or older, but I think with a 96 and newer sufficient mods can be done too..
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All right. Were there any bigger engine/tranny combos out there for the '96-'98 3 series? What is the stock power for the 328i? I also wanna know is there room in a 96-98 engine bay for a turbo kit or other I-6 swaps easily? thanks for the replies.
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Old 08-17-2004, 04:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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hey
i think for that time frame 328 were the biggest engines. If i am right the 328i comes with 190bhp and just over 200 ft of torque, quite sufficient for the ride, besides you can do a lot to improve performance.

not a pro at all on engine swap but all i know is you gota change a lot, for a 3.22 M3 engine to be swapped in there it cost around 7 grand.

dont know much about turbo either because I dont think cars like bmw should be turbo'd cuz they will loose their charm, more like ricers...but thats just my opinion.

hope the little info helps
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<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><a href='http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?&collid=10038932107&page=1&sort_o rder=0' target='_blank'>PICTURES!!</a></span>
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Old 08-17-2004, 12:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Q_BMW@Aug 17 2004, 05:22 AM
hey
i think for that time frame 328 were the biggest engines. If i am right the 328i comes with 190bhp and just over 200 ft of torque, quite sufficient for the ride, besides you can do a lot to improve performance.

not a pro at all on engine swap but all i know is you gota change a lot, for a 3.22 M3 engine to be swapped in there it cost around 7 grand.

dont know much about turbo either because I dont think cars like bmw should be turbo'd cuz they will loose their charm, more like ricers...but thats just my opinion.

hope the little info helps
Q
Swapping the M3 motor isn't the most practical thing one could do; after all is said and done, you'll have a regular 3-series with a big motor and it would have cost a good deal more then if you had just bought an M3 to begin with :-/

As far as turbos are concerned, what's not to like about them? Are you opppsed to forced induction in general, or just the turbos? There really isn't any replacement for displacement, other then FI. You'd be damn hard pressed to make anywhere near the amount of power that you'd get even at a few PSI through NA mods. Now the question is, do you really need more then you have - and if the answer is yes, you might as well save some money
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Old 08-17-2004, 02:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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my very serious opinion on this...

save more money (like 3 or so more thousand)
and buy a mint condition car....

or you will end up spending hundreds after hundreds on broken stuff
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Old 08-17-2004, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good stuff. I'll start looking for a clean 328i w/ not too many options. We want a comfy, tight-handling car that won't get owned by some guy with a beat-up 3rd gen Celica. I am a FI advocate. Why not add 100 hp while not burning much more gas if you have proper engine management, tuning and stay out of the gas?
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