I had the same problem with my door handle... I don’t know what the names of the pieces are, but a portion of the handle inside the panel that actually opens the door broke off. The whole exterior door handle directly from BMW would cost $240. They would need to customize it according to your VIN # so that they can match up your key with the lock cylinder. Labor would cost an extra $160.
Screw that, just decided to go to a salvage yard and pick up another handle assembly from another e36, which was $75. Replacing the handles took me a good 5-6 hours.
The MAJOR downside is that I haven’t found out a way to replace MY lock cylinder with the cylinder on the better door handle in order to be able to use my key for locking or unlocking. Basically, I need to lock or unlock the car from the passenger’s side door, then walk back around the car to get in.
But this Friday or Saturday, I’m planning to install a keyless entry and alarm system so I can ‘over-ride’ the fact that I need to always walk around my car to lock/unlock.
But, tell me if any of you guys find out a way to take out the lock cylinders. It’s annoying to have to walk around the car all the time.
here's a picture of the piece that broke off....
the next picture is what it would look like if it was set in place, the arrow points to where the crack is