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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 12-31-2003, 06:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm thinking of buying either a 95 E36 or 95 GSR (95s because thats all i can afford) both with manual shift. I have owned both cars at different times in my life and I'm now thinking about getting back into one of these. My question is, after reading the typical E36 problems page, I'm wondering if the E36 is going to be more troublesome and costly in terms of upkeep than the Acura. The GSRs have their problems but are pretty bullet proof once the t-belt is changed etc. Do you all find that your E36s are still reliable and fun to drive with 125-150k miles on the clock?
Also, parts for the GSR are pretty cheap and readily available and I'm wondering if this is the same for BMWs or is my wallet going to go empty after a simple service on the brakes or something? I am planning on doing some of the work my self or use a mechanic in the Boston, MA area and not getting raped at the dealer. Therefore, I need to know that there are good resources for parts on the net or where ever.

Thanks
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Old 12-31-2003, 06:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i went throught the same problem when buying my car. a few different cars were under consideration the GSR being one.
put it this way, im more than happy with my choice.
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Old 12-31-2003, 07:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't owned a GSR but I had a pretty highly modded LS Integra and I will tell you I never have regretted trading that car for my 325i till this day! I just love the BMW so much more because it's something different, not the same ol Honda or Acura I used to have...Sure the GSR is cheaper on upkeep but the BMW is worth it in the long run!
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Old 12-31-2003, 10:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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in new york.....EVERYONE has a honda/acura....u gotta invest about $10,000 in mods to be special
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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depends on what your trying to achieve as a goal.. just want something that is a nice luxury car with good reliablilty, go with the BMW.. Go with the GSR if you plan on modding it and doing some good ole fashion street racing... The BMW isn't designed for street racing and isn't capable of pulling out as much of a gain as the GSR is in HP. Mainly for cost wise. I like the 325 I have but i would never drag it.
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Old 12-31-2003, 03:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting replies but my question still remains, is the E36 a fun reliable sports car or will it be troublesome and costly?

I am not planning on autocrossing it but i have been a huge fan of F1 and CART racing for over a decade and i like to go for a spirited drive every once in a while. I used to own a new 94 325iS with ASC and I loved the free revving angine, snickety shifting and fun handling. I only had one unscheduled trip to the dealer (can't remember what for) but I remember needing brakes at 30K which cost me a wopping $700. I'm wondering if the costs for the upkeep for this car have changed over the last 6 years by getting OEM parts cheaply off the internet. Like I said, I would hope that I could do some of the work my self. I do not plan on modifying the car except for replacement shocks or clutch.

This will be a second car and not used as a daily driver.
Also, I am not into the status aspect of whatever sportscar I drive but I certainly want it to look nice after a wash and wax.

So the question remains, do you all enjoy driving your cars or are you constantly digging into your wallet for costly repairs?
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Old 12-31-2003, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Geeforce@Dec 31 2003, 03:53 PM
Interesting replies but my question still remains, is the E36 a fun reliable sports car or will it be troublesome and costly?

I am not planning on autocrossing it but i have been a huge fan of F1 and CART racing for over a decade and i like to go for a spirited drive every once in a while. I used to own a new 94 325iS with ASC and I loved the free revving angine, snickety shifting and fun handling. I only had one unscheduled trip to the dealer (can't remember what for) but I remember needing brakes at 30K which cost me a wopping $700. I'm wondering if the costs for the upkeep for this car have changed over the last 6 years by getting OEM parts cheaply off the internet. Like I said, I would hope that I could do some of the work my self. I do not plan on modifying the car except for replacement shocks or clutch.

This will be a second car and not used as a daily driver.
Also, I am not into the status aspect of whatever sportscar I drive but I certainly want it to look nice after a wash and wax.

So the question remains, do you all enjoy driving your cars or are you constantly digging into your wallet for costly repairs?
biggest misconception about BMW's is that repairs are soooo expensive, yes the dealership is quite expensive but if you find a reliable BMW specialist and youll be paying the same as an acura. the other point to note is that if you choose your car wisely and make sure that the car is legit you wont have to repair anything with regular maintainance.
seeing as you owned a BMW before and you are only going to use it as a weekend driver, then for sure i suggest a BMW over the GSR
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Old 12-31-2003, 04:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 01-01-2004, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 01-01-2004, 01:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The BMW will be just as cheap to maintain as the Acura, as long as you DO NOT get your work done at the dealership, I have been quoted prices that were actually 1,000 dollars cheaper than the quote i was given at the dealership for repairs, so I'd go with the BMW if i was you..
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Old 01-01-2004, 01:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"The BMW will be just as cheap to maintain as the Acura, as long as you DO NOT get your work done at the dealership, I have been quoted prices that were actually 1,000 dollars cheaper than the quote i was given at the dealership for repairs, so I'd go with the BMW if i was you.. "

Thanks guys. I'll search out either a 325iS or 323iS whichever is in better shape and I can afford.

Where do you guys get your OEM parts? Anyone know of a good mechanic that I can take a car to be checked by in the Boston, MA area?
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Old 01-01-2004, 02:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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bavauto is an excellent source for parts and stuff.
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Old 01-01-2004, 03:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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http://www.pelicanparts.com OEM parts at like 50% lower than your local dealer, I've ordered lots of stuff from them and it is all above average, never a problem and their service and shipping is great. I get e-mails with 5% and 15% off online coupons, and free BMW coffee mugs with an order of $100 or more, etc.... They are #1 in my book..
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Old 01-01-2004, 06:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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its the old question of a Honda or a BMW????
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Old 01-01-2004, 07:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I truely was deciding between a BMW and a Turbocharged 98 Acura Integra GSR which had much more hp than the BMW. I bought the BMW instead because I already have sports car, my 3000gt, and I wanted something luxury based that had a smooth ride and was driven lightly.
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