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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 02-14-2005, 11:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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If I decide to look for one of these I'd be patient and take the time to locate a well maintained one or two owner car with full history. But I have a few questions:

Edmunds puts the private party price on a 94 318 vert at $5k and 325 vert at $7k, but are these prices realistic?

Are the 318 verts rare?

How do the 318 and 325 compare in terms of reliability/longevity? (I would only be considering manual trannys)

How long do the convertible tops last and what do they cost to replace?

Do the tops have major leakage issues?

What kind of rollover protection do these cars have? Is the windshield reinforced?

Do the rear seats fold down and is there a pass-through--if so how big is it?

What's the the main things to watch out for on these cars and what are the big ticket repair items?
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a '97 318i and just love it. The rear window has issues, doesn't like to fold well at all...needs much help folding the top down or the window gets creases. Had to replace at 7 years due to cracks. I get about 26 MPG with my daily commute of mixed freeway/city. Realistic pricing totally depends on where you are. I looked at one in S. Cali and it was $3K more than the one I found in Idaho for the same car.

I've never been happier with a daily driver. I've had Mercedes in the past and I just loved them, but there is something about dropping the top and crusing up in the mountains that is just awesome...it reminds me of my motorcycle days.

I don't have issues with top leaking except every now and then I get spray by at the self serve wash if I aim right at the window/top junction.

Don't get the 318 if you are a speed freak...it's pretty gutless under 4K on the old revomiter...not bad for a 4cyl, but I miss my benz six sometimes.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-14-2005, 11:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Too Slow Monore@Feb 14 2005, 09:29 PM
I have a '97 318i and just love it. The rear window has issues, doesn't like to fold well at all...needs much help folding the top down or the window gets creases. Had to replace at 7 years due to cracks. I get about 26 MPG with my daily commute of mixed freeway/city. Realistic pricing totally depends on where you are. I looked at one in S. Cali and it was $3K more than the one I found in Idaho for the same car.

I've never been happier with a daily driver. I've had Mercedes in the past and I just loved them, but there is something about dropping the top and crusing up in the mountains that is just awesome...it reminds me of my motorcycle days.

I don't have issues with top leaking except every now and then I get spray by at the self serve wash if I aim right at the window/top junction.

Don't get the 318 if you are a speed freak...it's pretty gutless under 4K on the old revomiter...not bad for a 4cyl, but I miss my benz six sometimes.

Good Luck.
[snapback]292057[/snapback]
Thanks for the reply. I figure anything will be gutless compared to my current ride (60s Mopar with a big block V8). I also grew up with a BMW 1600 and four banger Bimmers seem cool to me. I just want a simple, rugged little RWD vert that will seat four and don't want to pay too much...
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 66Satellite+Feb 15 2005, 01:08 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(66Satellite @ Feb 15 2005, 01:08 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Too Slow Monore@Feb 14 2005, 09:29 PM
I have a '97 318i and just love it. The rear window has issues, doesn't like to fold well at all...needs much help folding the top down or the window gets creases. Had to replace at 7 years due to cracks. I get about 26 MPG with my daily commute of mixed freeway/city. Realistic pricing totally depends on where you are. I looked at one in S. Cali and it was $3K more than the one I found in Idaho for the same car.

I've never been happier with a daily driver. I've had Mercedes in the past and I just loved them, but there is something about dropping the top and crusing up in the mountains that is just awesome...it reminds me of my motorcycle days.

I don't have issues with top leaking except every now and then I get spray by at the self serve wash if I aim right at the window/top junction.

Don't get the 318 if you are a speed freak...it's pretty gutless under 4K on the old revomiter...not bad for a 4cyl, but I miss my benz six sometimes.

Good Luck.
[snapback]292057[/snapback]

Thanks for the reply. I figure anything will be gutless compared to my current ride (60s Mopar with a big block V8). I also grew up with a BMW 1600 and four banger Bimmers seem cool to me. I just want a simple, rugged little RWD vert that will seat four and don't want to pay too much...
[snapback]292124[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]

I have a 1994 325iC and LOVE it. Got her with 27k miles 4 years ago for $20k even. This past month is the first time I had to put any serious money into the car: new clutch and heater core.

The top has been flawless, and I have 115k miles now. The rear window sucks. I put the top down until it practically snows, and now the rear window is all cracked and fogged where it folds. I guess it can be easily replafced by unzipping it out, but you need a special BMW tool to reseat the top fabric into the plastic window molding.

Before this I owned a 1993 rx7, and a 1994 300zx conv. and definately downgraded in outright performance, but to tell you the truth I do not miss it. Driving with the top down, and my XM radio cranked, my daily hour commute each way is the most enjoyable part of my day.
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1994 325iC, 130k miles
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