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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 10-14-2003, 09:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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hey whats up
its probally obvious from all my posts but im lookin forward into getting a bimmer before christmas and starting up with some research and stuff.
ok well i look on autotrader for bmws and i really dont see a diffrence between how a 92 bmw and a 98bmw 3 series look.
they look the same to me ! are there any major diffrences ?
the interior probally has changed alot but has the extterior also changed that much ?
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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92 and 93 had solid grey bumpers and similar style air ducts as m3 bumper. 94 and 95 had the top portion painted and new slat style bumper ducts. The 96-98 had the same style, but all body color.

Interior changed in 96 to include digital climate control. No other changes Im aware of inside.
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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but overall they are pretty much the same . meaning if some one doesnt know much about bmws they wouldnt easily tell if its a 92 or a 98
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah they are pretty similar. also another worthy change is when bmw changed the water pump from plastic to metal. sry but im not sure what year this took place.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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yeah that's important - the water pump impeller issue. Changed from plastic to metal in late 1995, I think.
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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how much does the changing of water pumps cost ?
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Old 10-15-2003, 03:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Also the grill changed in 96 or 97 somewhere around there.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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changes made? hmmm well from 1992 to mid 1994 was the first wave of E36 then the second half of 1994 to early 1999 was the second half. major exterior differences are as follows (thinking cap on!)

- grey rubberized sideskirts changed to painted pollyurathane sideskirts (not on all models just the 328's and some of the 325's)
- front grill changed as stated in a previous post
- sidemarkers added in second gen
- rims of course
- front grill changed in 1997
- i believe the rear bumper was painted except the middle apron part (some models but really not sure but my buddies 98' 328 has it painted)

interior

- beats me all i can think of is different steering wheel and an extra button for the ACS+T
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Old 10-17-2003, 09:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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http://auto.consumerguide.com/auto/used/re...dex.cfm/id/2117

check that out B)
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Old 06-28-2004, 02:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I just bought a 98 323IS. I was looking for 92-98. I figured I would not buy the first year of any car. BMW or not. And if money is not an issue I would say go with the last year. You figure they would have fixed all or most of the bugs with that particular model by the last year. For what it is worth. I love my 323IS it is the Ultimate Driving Experience. And I have owned many cars. I am keeping this one for a long time.
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Old 06-28-2004, 10:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I believe the 96 and up E36's have better looking (in my opinion) passenger side air vents in the interior, it's not so boxy...
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Old 06-28-2004, 10:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by FireBlue323IS@Jun 28 2004, 04:27 AM
I just bought a 98 323IS. ......
I am keeping this one for a long time.

word, 323is represeeeent!
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Only 325 and 328 models have the painted side skirts/bumpers? Thats not entirely true...
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Old 06-28-2004, 01:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The following only applies to US cars. (maybe Canada and some other places as well)

1992 is the only year with solid grey bumpers.
1993 has painted bumpers with grey rubberized side panels and lower valances
1994 1st year for 318ti compact model (E36/5)
1995 Last year for 325 model
1996 body colored side skirts and bumpers for new 328i and some 318 models, New more angled kidney grilles
1997 Last year for 318iS and 318iC, Side airbags optional
1998 First year for 323iS and 323iC and Last year for E36 sedans side airbags are standard.
1999 Last year for E36 coupes, converibles and compact.
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