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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 11-19-2005, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Best E36 Years?? What do yo u think?

Hi everyone!!!
Im brand new to this fourm, and it looks great! I finaly have enough to get my first car and the choice was easy... E36!!!!!
I was wondering if there are any specific years that are more mecanicaly reliable then others? I am very familiar with Mercedes Benz and know that this is true for Mecedes. Is it beter to stick to a late model E36 (like 97,98) beacause all bugs would have been worked out by then?

Any help would be great!!
thankyou!
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, later model years will be more mechanically reliable. If you want OBDI for modding reasons, get a 95. I don't know that there were any big changes in models ranging from 96-98, but in general it will be better to get a newer E36 with mileage as good as you can find and preferably with service records.

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Old 11-19-2005, 10:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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'96 or newer....

I would recommend '96 or newer because they had the OBDII system and I find it makes troubleshooting pretty easy. Other than that they are all pretty much the same.





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Old 11-19-2005, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamfisted
...Other than that they are all pretty much the same.
Many issues were not resolved until the introduction of the 1995 model year. Take for example the fragility of the 1992-94 E36 subframe. SpeedInfusion's craked a few weeks ago. Also, 1992 models are non-vanos.
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Old 11-19-2005, 11:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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92 OBDI non vanos, weak subframe
93 OBDI vanos, weak subframe
94 OBDI vanos, weak subframe
95 OBDI, subframe fixed
96 OBDII
97 OBDII, upgraded front grill
98 OBDII


These are just really basic thigns about the 3 series. OBDII is easier to troubleshoot but a bit mroe difficult to modify. So if you want to modify, get a 95, if you dont mod then anythign 95+ would be ideal.

Also what model did you want to get?

318ti, 318i, 323i, 323iS, 325i, 325iS, 328i, 328iS, M3
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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One of these days I'm going to find a way to be optimistic about not having vanos
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WALSRU
One of these days I'm going to find a way to be optimistic about not having vanos
Wait until some ones Vanos breaks. Then you can be optimistic about not having to pay the money to fix it.

95 is the best year IMO. OBDII is much more restrictive with everything. Thus far I have had no trouble with any type of codes etc, so I can not atest to any "hard" troubleshooting.
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree kid. I was dead set on getting only a 95 5 speed. It took time btu I finally got it.
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok I give up....What the hell is a vanos? lol
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a 97 318i and it has OBDI??? is that uncommon? people say everything after 96 was OBDII...
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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ummm yea... cause you shouldnt have a 97 OBDI.... no way.. unless its european... because it couldnt have been made or sold in the US after 96 with anything but OBDII.

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Old 11-21-2005, 09:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trob
Ok I give up....What the hell is a vanos? lol

VANOS (Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung) is an automobile variable valve timing technology developed by BMW. VANOS varies the duration of the intake valves by moving the fulcrum of the camshaft. BMW recently began offering "double" VANOS, which operates on the exhaust camshaft as well, on a number of its cars.
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedInfusion
BMW recently began offering "double" VANOS, which operates on the exhaust camshaft as well, on a number of its cars.
Well.... since about 95/96.... All european e36 M3s... and since production, all american and euro E46 M3s have double vanos.

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Old 11-22-2005, 09:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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okay...and what advantage is that and why is it so much better?
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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trob you can read more about vanos in the FAQ forum ,there is a few good threads on it, and what exactly it does to better the car.
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