E36 Reccomendations? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 05:16 AM
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Hi, im new to the site and i hope to fit in nicely.

First off, i became attracted to BMW's because of their good build quality, handling and refinement. As i began to gain interest, i began to look out for BMWs more and more in public and developed some favorites based on looks:

E24 (6 Series)
E30 M3
E36 (3 Series) Especially The Lightweight
E38 (7 Series)
E31 (8 Series)

in fact, id love to have them all! :lol:



Lookings to buy a E36; and i have my heart set on a White 328is 5 speed. Of course id love the sports package, but most ad's aren't very descriptive on what exactly the car has installed. to give you taste of the kind of car i am looking for i used to be considering a 90's Porsche 944...excellent handling if you didnt guess already

i guess i want to buy a BMW for many reasons, from the start of my research and observations i loved and admired the style and obvious attention to driver involvement BMWs are always thought to posess. If there is ever two car companies where i have almost felt close to the designers and admired their design and innovations, it would be BMW & Porsche.

Budget: $13,000 USD (California)

Backround:

This E36 would be my 3rd car, 1st being a E21 3 Series (sold), 2nd Being 1990 Nissan 240sx XE S13 Automatic. My 240sx has been plauged with many problems from day one from the exhaust to the windows and poor workmanship and design on the part of nissan. (i will never buy a nissan again!) (early on ive realized its better to have good quality & replace infrequently, instead of low quality & frequent replacement)

I am looking not only for a car with better reliability, but better craftmanship and of course better performance. I have pushed my 240sx about as far as it can go in it's stock configuration in terms of handling and feel i have learned the "ropes" of driving and have definatly out-grown my car. (and it's 4speed automatic transmission)

I don't see the value in keeping it because of its horrible quality and reliability. I have spent quite a lot of money repairing my car because of its poor quality and it's expensive parts. So i got to thinking...: why pay $200 to replace parts on my nissan 240sx when BMW parts are probably the same in price for the same kind of part? (power window regulators) ghead

Sadly, (and happily), my E36 would be a daily driver and i wont have the time or money to spend $200 a month fixing it. I will be at college away from home and will not be able to afford costly repairs and maitence like in the past with my 240sx. (i will be living on my own) i am also 6'1" so i figured the 328is might be a little better choice than the 328i in terms of leg room, but is it worth the price? i also perfer the looks of the 328is over the 328i...

325is? 328is? cheaper 328i? screw performance and get a toyota? i just dont know anymore... its hard to get the inside information on such details, so i figured id ask the experts!

My thinking is: if im going to be out on my own, and my parents are willing to finally help me buy a good quality car, why not buy the best quality car for the money (BMW from what i have read for so long) do my research and hope for the best?

My aim is to find a car that is: high quality, high performance, excellent handling, med-high in reliability, and of course, hopefully a BMW!

Any help would be greatly appreceiated!

thank you!


<span style='font-family:Arial'>1994 BMW 325is // White // 5 Speed

Slotted Rotors // Hawk HPS Pads <span style='color:blue'>//</span><span style='color:red'>/</span>Motorsport Shifter // De-Baffled Airbox</span>
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 09:33 AM
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well, my suggestion to you...BUY A BMW!


obviously...my BMW is one of the best cars I've driven. Rumor has it that an e36 BMW can outhandle a 944, especially possible if you get a 318is because it is lighter than the other BMWs (but not near as powerful). get a 325 and you get decent power and really good handling (not that a 328 doesn't get good handling). The 328is will have a stiffer sport suspension that rocks. A 328 can also have a lot of parts swapped out for M3 parts, meaning better performance if you want to go that route All these can be found with good mileage and under $13k.

I also wouldn't say don't buy a Nissan again. Nissan's are really good cars. Sentra's last for years. That particular style (88, 89, 90, and 91) were prone to many problems and always have been, but thats about the only Nissan that won't last. They had truck engines in them for god's sake. However, the Japanese spec Silvia's were absolutely sick and with proper maintanence, lasted forever and performed VERY well. After those years, the 240sx was made much better, but sales didn't do very well, so they stopped producing them in the US market.

Not that I'd take a Nissan over a Bimmer, just clarifying that Nissan's are actually very good cars. You are definitely right with the parts pricing idea...BMWs will be expensive, but you won't have to do it as much. So goodluck with your search and keep us all posted

1996 318i
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 09:36 AM
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You're pretty much in the right track... before you buy, just make sure everything was maintained properly, dealer serviced BMW's are usualy the best used cars to buy. The 328 is a perfect BMW for the price because of it's torque, hp, styling, and looks. I think you can find one (probably a '96 or '97) under $13,000 or a little under, with an average amount of miles. Good luck to you
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 01:45 PM
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I think the 328 would be a great choice. BMWs quality is very good, but maintenance is expensive according to more 'normal' cars. But when you like driving and have fun with your car go for a BMW because they are ultimate driving machines Good luck!

Pieter

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#5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 02:54 PM
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thanks for all the replies!

i have finally came to this conclusion after quite a lot of research, the only thing now is to crunch the numbers to make sure i can budget it! :lol:

it seems like according to many online websites (like edmunds) the 328is is only marginally more expensive than the 328i.

but this usually isnt the case when searching autotrader, the 328i's seem to be sometimes a lot less expensive. i guess the ideal car for the cost would be the 328i since the are usually a little cheaper, and if they have the same leg-room and are lighter then i guess the 328i, but why? they should all be 2-doors!

but how is the legroom between the two? i figure the 328is has more up-front room for it's passengers.

i was also thinking about 1995 M3's which are around the same price, but i think the insurance would be quite a lot more expensive, and the car would be also 2-3 years older.

1996 328is @ $13k
or
1998 323is @ $13k (sadly, most are high milage and usually $11k)
or
1995 M3 @ $13k

Easy question? Im not sure.

See, i also have to factor in insurance, cost of parts and maitence of a slightly older car. sadly, i am on a tight budget.

Now if the the insurance isnt much more and the M3 is better quality than the 328's (i have no idea) then maybe it's a good idea.

i also have my idea for some tires eventually when i get more cash in a year or two, hopefully and they are:

breyton inspiration, 17x8.5 in the front, 17x9.5 in the rear.
wide as i can get!

(picked partially from my love of the E38 7 Series wheels, which look similar to these)

Breyton Inspiration / Tirerack.com

hopefully this is also helping other newbies deceide on the perfect E36...

thanks for all the help!

<span style='font-family:Arial'>1994 BMW 325is // White // 5 Speed

Slotted Rotors // Hawk HPS Pads <span style='color:blue'>//</span><span style='color:red'>/</span>Motorsport Shifter // De-Baffled Airbox</span>
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2004, 03:52 PM
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328i, definatly a great choice. It's my first bmw and I love it.

I used to drive a '92 honda accord ... imagine the feeling i got when i first
pushed the gas on my 328i ... ahhh, memories.

98' BMW 328i - Jet Black, Black Leather, Alpine CDA-9831 HU

<span style='color:red'>For Sale:</span> Sony CDX-F5000 Xplod w/ Wiring Harness, iBook G3 900 Mhz 640 MB SDRAM w/ Original Box and Software + OS X Panther + Microsoft Office

(PM on any offers, Going on E-Bay soon ...)
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 04:46 AM
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i have heard some people make comments that a E36 Sedans handle better than Coupes, because their frame is "stiffer" can anyone else attest to this?

does the coupe have more leg room than the sedan?


<span style='font-family:Arial'>1994 BMW 325is // White // 5 Speed

Slotted Rotors // Hawk HPS Pads <span style='color:blue'>//</span><span style='color:red'>/</span>Motorsport Shifter // De-Baffled Airbox</span>
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 09:43 AM
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i drove the sedan for about 3 days, then decided to buy the coupe

the coupe has massive leg room in the front, but not so much in the back. i drove both pretty hard around curves, and id say that the coupe handles better, but the sedan is still pimp


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#9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 10:57 AM
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If your talking suspension... and how a car handels... stock... if you actually think about it... yes a coupe might be heavier cause of the lack of a B pillar... so they beaf up the others to support the roof... But from what I understand and have come to find... that in frame construction of a car.. .it is good to have a solid beafed up frame that connects to your subframe. I have subframe reinforcements in the front and rear of my car just for that... And I'm also talking with TMS in the fabrication of a rollcage that actually doesnt just keep you safe but adds to the structural integrety of the car. To give it more stability in turns and strength.

Everyone has their own opinion... but I think a little more weight is can be looked over for the added strength it gives the frame and subframe. All of this is just opinion.... take it how you want it.


1997 E36 M3 1990 E30 325i
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 09:07 PM
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I finally wound up with a 1994 BMW 325is; White 5 Speed. Thankfully the guy i bought it from works as a bmw dealership repair tech

it came fitted with a m-tech shift knob and m3 muffler and slotted front rotors.

i am a happy pappa and ill try to keep you guys updated :P

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Slotted Rotors // Hawk HPS Pads <span style='color:blue'>//</span><span style='color:red'>/</span>Motorsport Shifter // De-Baffled Airbox</span>
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