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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 12-16-2004, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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a real newb question here, but i've decided i'd like to purchase an E36 and basically its come down to an OBDI 325is or an OBDII 328is.
what if any advantages of one over there other are there? i plan to mod this car very heavily (all suspension mods i can find, supercharger, ?M3 cams?, LSD, wheels, brakes..etc..).
i am thinking the active autowerke supercharger is a better deal than the turbo kit for my use, however the turbo kit isnt availible for the 328, at least that i've seen, if i end up choosing to go that route when the time comes. i know i should be looking for the rear subframe mount tearing and wont buy a car that is affected (i suppose the logical idea would be to use the turner motorsport reinforcement brackets unless anyone has a better idea). i'm still a few months away from buying. i posted this same question on offtopic.com and the only response i got was "get an M3". is the M3 really worth $4-$10k more than the 325/328? besides, with the money i'd save on the cost of car and insurance i could mod the sh*t out of the 325/328 whereas the M3 would stay stock for quite some time. i've had 2 E30 325e's in the past and loved them, but moved on to japanese cars..now that i've decided to start track racing, my old nissan maxima(heavily modded 92SE 5speed) definitely isnt the platform to track race with and requires constant work (i'm keeping it anyway, theres just something about it) so why not the ultimate driving machine? like i said i've had 2 in the past and loved everything about them except the cost of maintainence (more so the labor aspect), but i've learned quite a bit in that time, so i can do much better for myself now. i do all my own work now, i've got access to garages and tools so anything but an alignment i'm capable of so long as i've got a general idea of what i'm doing, and i think a comprehensive manual would give me that (bentley?).
i'm willing to pay for a perfect condition 3 series with the options/color combination and milage i want and since i've got another car in the meantime i can afford to be picky. so which is it? 328 or 325?
i've got a few other questions on more in-depth mods but that can wait for another time.
thanks in advance!
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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a 328 is faster than a 325....bottom line. Go with an M3 though.
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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325's are a little easier to mod, but the 328 will be better performance in the long run, and stock. If you plan on modding heavily, just go with an M3 and mod a little, that'll give you the performance and handling you need IMO.
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by robbins6103@Dec 17 2004, 12:45 AM
a 328 is faster than a 325....bottom line. Go with an M3 though.
[snapback]252822[/snapback]
but does the 325 have more power potential in the long run than the 328? i mean with the supercharger the 325 eeks out a few more HP according to active autowerke, i also read somewhere that the M3 cams swap in and with a chip designed for use with them, they make 20+hp more to the wheels(over an already chipped 325). i was thinking the cams combined with headers/testpipe/catback, clutch, flywheel and hfm would be quite peppy to say the least.

what is your reasoning for saying to go with the M3? is the handling really any different when modded properly? i've got no reservations about frankensteining something if need be as long as the function and strength is are there(M3 parts on 325/328). i'm only 20(almost 21) and even though i make a decent wage, money is still somewhat of an issue. $4,000 could go a long way to surpass an M3 in some way in a 325/328, $10,000 could go even further plus whatever i'd save on insurance. i'm not looking for the fastest car in the world for sure but something competitive on the track is a must.
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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you seem to be a money man, just get an m3, works out cheaper in the long run with all ur m3 mods
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally posted by mmclaren@Dec 17 2004, 01:16 AM
you seem to be a money man, just get an m3, works out cheaper in the long run with all ur m3 mods
[snapback]252847[/snapback]
not really but over the course of a year or year and a half i could have pretty much every mod if i play my cards right.
what would i need from an M3?
edit: as i've said i'll frankenstein if need be. if theres no reason to take a stock part off an M3 if a comparably priced aftermarket part that functions better is availible i'd do that...like springs. why would i waste my time getting M3 springs when i can get a set of coilovers for not much more than regular H&R springs and new struts/shocks? am i missing something here?
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Old 12-17-2004, 12:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you really want to MOD, then your probably better off just getting an M3 and going from there...

A 328 w/ Custom Software+CAI+Intake+UnderDrivePulleys+Exaust basically equals the RWHP of an M3. *you'll still need to swap Differentials to get near the same real world performance though so take on another $1,000+. Add all that together and depending on how sweet the 328 was you grabbed, and you probably could of bought a M3.

If you live in an area where emmissions is not an issues, then the 328 is a perfect candiate for an OBDI swap, which will yield for greater power then you could ever get out of a 325 without FI. (again this mod could be applied to the already more powerful M3)

If your on a tight budget and you want to mod, then you MIGHT be better off getting a OBDI 325. Just chipping the car brings it into 328 performance territory (Im probably opening a can of worms here.) With the price difference between the 325 and the 328 my guess is that for the same amount of money a 328 costs you could mod a 325 to be more powerful then a stock 328.

I love my BMW, so don't get me wrong here........ if you really want to mod cars for max performance etc etc, your looking in the wrong place if bang relative to buck is a factor.

Example: A basic S/C kit for a 328 runs about anywheres from 4000-7000 and you'll get ~65hp. My friend who runs a VW Jetta got ~100hp out a stage 1 system for half the price. Hell my neighbor bought a stage 1 chip for his A4 and got 30+ HP out of thin air.

In the end, money no object....... the larger the displacement the more potential of the engine.

Good luck.
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Old 12-17-2004, 12:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm with you all the way. Modding the shit out of an e36 is a great idea vs. an ///M3. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with an ///M car, I just wouldn't want to go crazy with the mods. And my insurance company wouldn't cover me in an ///M car due to some B.S.

If you don't mind getting into the car, I would buy a 328is and convert it back to OBDI, or buy a 325is and drop in the M52. This gives you the better powerplant, and the ability to go all out with the bolt ons including software that isn't possible with the OBDII system.

Then you can have fun. I'm not much for FI, but that's your call. If you abstain, you could add the following to get 225hp to the ground (which isn't a lot less than a turbo running 8-10psi)

-Shrick cams
-24lb injectors
-M50 intake
-CAI
-e39 540 HFM
-Free Flow Exhaust

Just a few ideas, most of which I've done or am working on.
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Old 12-17-2004, 12:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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jllphan is the man to talk to on this subject, i would probably say buy a 328.. but if you can find a nice 325 but it, they are both great cars and both great platforms to mod, i have a 325 and love it! would never trade it for the 328. But it is your call. Also i agree and disagree with the m thing, if you got the money to get it and pay insurance etc, get it, but a 325/328 is a great car to mod too!

m3 just comes to you like a modded 325 would

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Old 12-17-2004, 03:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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God, you guys have almost convinced me to sell my 325 and buy a 328!
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Old 12-17-2004, 06:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally posted by jllphan@Dec 17 2004, 02:36 AM
I'm with you all the way. Modding the shit out of an e36 is a great idea vs. an ///M3. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with an ///M car, I just wouldn't want to go crazy with the mods. And my insurance company wouldn't cover me in an ///M car due to some B.S.

If you don't mind getting into the car, I would buy a 328is and convert it back to OBDI, or buy a 325is and drop in the M52. This gives you the better powerplant, and the ability to go all out with the bolt ons including software that isn't possible with the OBDII system.

Then you can have fun. I'm not much for FI, but that's your call. If you abstain, you could add the following to get 225hp to the ground (which isn't a lot less than a turbo running 8-10psi)

-Shrick cams
-24lb injectors
-M50 intake
-CAI
-e39 540 HFM
-Free Flow Exhaust

Just a few ideas, most of which I've done or am working on.
[snapback]252888[/snapback]
well you've convinced me. however i've got a few questions..
-how extensive is the OBDI conversion?
-i want FI regardless, will the OBDI conversion interfere with supercharging?
-what is stopping me from turbocharging a 328?
-those mods you listed above, minus the injectors, should all help out with a supercharger. with the cams, intake, HFM, headers, test pipe and catback along with the supercharger, what kind of power could i be seeing on 7-8psi?

thanks guys!
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Old 12-17-2004, 06:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally posted by bigred318@Dec 17 2004, 02:51 AM
jllphan is the man to talk to on this subject, i would probably say buy a 328.. but if you can find a nice 325 but it, they are both great cars and both great platforms to mod, i have a 325 and love it! would never trade it for the 328. But it is your call. Also i agree and disagree with the m thing, if you got the money to get it and pay insurance etc, get it, but a 325/328 is a great car to mod too!

m3 just comes to you like a modded 325 would

David
[snapback]252895[/snapback]
i definitely would prefer to not spend the extra money on the ///m as i feel like i could make a 325/328 better in some way for the money i'd save on the cost of the car. like i mentioned above, if i'm going to be replacing stuff, why pay the extra money? it may seem as though i'm overly concerned with power, but thats only because i've seen the awesome availibility of suspension/brake mods from a few places (turner comes to mind), very different than what i'm used to.
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BeakMoney+Dec 17 2004, 06:30 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(BeakMoney @ Dec 17 2004, 06:30 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-jllphan@Dec 17 2004, 02:36 AM

[snapback]252888[/snapback]
well you've convinced me. however i've got a few questions..
-how extensive is the OBDI conversion?
-i want FI regardless, will the OBDI conversion interfere with supercharging?
-what is stopping me from turbocharging a 328?
-those mods you listed above, minus the injectors, should all help out with a supercharger. with the cams, intake, HFM, headers, test pipe and catback along with the supercharger, what kind of power could i be seeing on 7-8psi?
[snapback]252959[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]
The OBDI conversion consists of the following
-Airbox
-AFM
-Throtle Body
-ECU/Wiring Harness

It''s relatively extensive, I wish I could tell you labor involved, but I didn't do it myself (obviously the wiring harness is the biggest pain). The guys that did my car make a kit, and will do it for you if you wish...{CLICK HERE}. Keep in mind, a 325is will already have all this, and you could just drop the M52 in. Either way's good, unless you don't plan on messing with the asthetics too much, then I would go with the 328is and the conversion, as the exterior on the 328is is a bit updated. And OBDI would be the way to go with FI, because you would need to flash a new prom to the ECU, something that is not really possible with OBDII (that's why you don't see the kits for the 328).

As for power gained, check out activeautowerke.com, they have done all kinds of stuff to the e36 cars and have dyno sheets on their site to compare various mods.
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