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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 07-02-2004, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face

hi guys,


i'm in the market for a used BMW, i have been going through some classifieds, but am not really too sure what i am looking at.

I'm after a 1992 - 98 318i E36, but the price seems to range alot! Obviously it is because of all the different options avaliable etc, but there are a few questions that keep springing up in my mind:

1) How much is just too much mileage?
2) Are there any common problems that i should watch out for when i go for an inspection?


thanks!
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Old 07-02-2004, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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to the forums!

Too many miles. Really that is personal preference. The last two Bimmers I've purchased had more than 90K miles. I probably wouldn't spend a lot on an e36 with more than 160K, but that's just me.

As for common problems, check the FAQ section of this sight. It has a wealth of knowledge.
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks jllphan !

i'm from Australia and we use KM over here, but i could get a decent ride with about 180,000km on it (112,000miles) for a fair price. the real question is how long would that engine last me? if it went up to 160,000+ miles then that would be sweet, but is that a reality?

it's all got to do with how well the engine has been kept but i guess people who drive these cars would usually take care of them quite well.

another point on the engine, with the 318i it would be a M40/43 engine but if it ever gives up on me, could i replace this engine with something with a bit more grunt? like a 6cyl M50 (just for example) ?
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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BMW engines last quite awhile. I'm at 128.5, had it since 98, not a single part has broken. just replaced standard stuff doing general maint.
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah the four bangers are tanks. You could easily see the 300k mile mark.

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Old 07-02-2004, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tEk@Jul 2 2004, 10:50 PM
another point on the engine, with the 318i it would be a M40/43 engine but if it ever gives up on me, could i replace this engine with something with a bit more grunt? like a 6cyl M50 (just for example) ?
You could, but if that's what you want, I would just buy a 325/328. An engine swap like that requires more than just swapping the engine, and it is ofthen not cost effective.

And just to be clear, I said I wouldn't spend a lot of money on a 160K+ car, I didn't say I wouldn't have one. With proper maintenance these car will last well over 200K+miles.
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Old 07-03-2004, 12:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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ahh, i see u did an engine swap? hee.
well it's not like i am planning on doing one, but just in case i get the car and after 2 yrs or so it needs replacing, if i am still in love with the car i wouldn't mind giving it a bit more grunt if it's possible.
but that is hopefully not going to happen! hopefully this car will last me awhile, until it's time for the next

and about the mileage, the cars i am looking at don't have anything higher than umm 135,000 miles on them. so i guess it should be alright.

btw, the faq section wasn't very comprehensive? did the server reset?

this is one possibile car, it's done 180,000kms (which is 112,000miles). looks pretty smooth, but some downers are: that it is automatic (but this might be better for a bmw), and no sun-roof
the price is pretty reasnoable, esp considering the leather trim. but the rims are not included. stock wheels would be included, anyone know what they would look like? or could it be a wide variety of wheels?
anyway, see the attatched pics!


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Old 07-03-2004, 12:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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5-speed or bust.

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Old 07-03-2004, 01:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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so auto's are no good?
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You will most likely be disapointed by the auto. The 5 speed is really the way to go with the smaller engines. Just hold out, you'll find a good one with a 5 speed

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Old 07-03-2004, 01:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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okay thanks for the advice

my best option would be to get out there and take them for test drives ! i'm not really after an auto, but hey, if it is in good condition and at the right price, then it might be fate...
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tEk@Jul 3 2004, 01:24 AM
ahh, i see u did an engine swap? hee.

2.5L-->2.8L isn't a big deal. No new tranny or anything. Pretty much bolts right up.

The first thing I thought when I saw your pics of your potential new whip was, if you buy it, you will deffinately "drive" it. But Auto n . You deffinately want a manual. Nice looking e36 though. Not much on aftermarket wheels, but if I did I would deffinately go BBS.
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Old 07-03-2004, 09:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yes, a stick is a must if you get the 1.8 engine.
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Old 07-03-2004, 10:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The Canadian 1.9 litre matched to the 5 speed is an extremely smooth engine for a 4 cyl. I would recommend the manual transmission also, but this is not to say that the automatic is bad. I think it comes to personal choise.
As for mileage, the 318i should give you a minimum of 250 - 300K kms if maintained properly.
In Canada it's cheaper to sell and buy another 318i with less mileage oposed to putting a new engine, as this will set you back about $5 - $6K if you don't have "connections" or know-how.

Good luck.
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