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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 06-09-2008, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E30 vs E36

what are the pros and cons of each? i'm trying to make up my mind between the two right now. i know that i definitely want a BMW but i cannot decide yet.

also, which are more costly to maintain? thanks.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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pros of e30s:
lightweight
less electronics - less issues with them
cheap to buy
not the ugly dash of the e36
nice engines, although the e36 engine range is better
they're not as safe and don't have as many hp as the e36 models
easy to work on, pretty much all areas are easy to access, enough room in the engine bay

thats my 2 cents
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ok thank you.

now some of the pros and cons of the E36? thanks.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They must have the plastic OEM impeller water pump replaced. By now, they all must have had that done.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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E36:

pros:
good safety
The engine will last a long time if cared for
more horsepower than the E30
more wheel upgrade options (5 lug)

cons:
water pump impeller (can be replaced)
rear shock towers (can be reinforced cheaply)
heavier than E30 (worse gas mileage)
not quite as well-built (so i hear)
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I thought most e36's got around 25 miles per gallon city?

and e30's get around 20? My e30 gets about 20 city, 25 highway...
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought most e36's got around 25 miles per gallon city?

and e30's get around 20? My e30 gets about 20 city, 25 highway...
really?? i have heard quite differently. I can tell you my '95 325 gets 23-24mpg average, 27 on the highway, and ppl i have talked to have said that the E30 325 gets 30-35 average. wierd.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i've also heard that E30's get 30-35 mpg.

ok, i think i made up my mind, i think i'm going to go with the E30. but i'm thinking i'll end up modding it and swapping the engine. i can replace an M20 engine with an S14? or maybe an M50 or M52? thanks.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i've also heard that E30's get 30-35 mpg.
That would be the 4 cylinder models.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by blwalt17 View Post
i've also heard that E30's get 30-35 mpg.

ok, i think i made up my mind, i think i'm going to go with the E30. but i'm thinking i'll end up modding it and swapping the engine. i can replace an M20 engine with an S14? or maybe an M50 or M52? thanks.
you can out almost any engine into an e30, even a V12...
an S14 can be done, m50s aren't a big problem either, and even m52s can be put in although I don't really know about the Vanos
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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the M50 is a common swap, and what is more, i have an extra M50 engine, it has 240,000 miles on it though, but it ran great with no problems when i wrecked the car
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good choice on the e30, they are built like tanks which is a good thing. I wouldn't swap to the s14, There is going to be a lot to pay for maintenance on that engine. I would suggest the m50/52 swap but you can turbo the m20 and get good results. I have a friend who just did his and I think he is putting down about 250hp at the wheels, and it moves pretty well (but there goes your gas mileage). I have the 318is and I get 25mpg average driving like a madman, if I chill out its pretty easy to get 30-35.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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yeah i've been looking at E30's for awhile now. my dad just said he'd loan me the money because i cannot afford gas anymore. what do you guys think of this one?

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Old 06-11-2008, 06:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It looks like a very nice find. I would have a good look at it. Has the timing belt been changed (65,000 miles it should)?
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