Subframe issues are very rare (mainly in cars that have been tracked) but are potentially a problem w/ ALL e36 cars, not just up to 92 or 95. Heck, this is also listed as a potential problem w/ e46 cars as well.....but i would shelve this in the back of your mind due to it's rarity.
What's more important when shopping for an e36:
1. Any car that comes w/ maintenance records is a plus....i would place a HUGE premium on finding a car w/ records v.s. one that doesn't. Your probably not gonna find a car w/ 75Kmi, so one w/ records will let ya know what's been done (and what hasn't), allowing you to put together a "to do" list.
2. If you plan to mod, look for a pre-'96 car. These are OBDI cars and will allow you to chip instead of shark. Depending on what other mods you add, you have more versatility w/ chips than sharking. Also, the intake on the M50 engines is vastly superior, and will serve as a better platform for other mods.
3. The single biggest pitfall w/ these (or virtually any other BMW for that matter) is the coolant system. If you buy a car w/ more than 100K and don't have proof of a water pump, thermostat and thermostat housing change....plan to drop the change to do so. No major expenditure, your looking at $60 for a waterpump and $40 for a thermostat, both which are easy enough to change yourself, if not your local autohaus will do it for roughly $150. Huge insurance, as both parts are known to fail randomly after 60K. Lastly, if you really wanna care for your new e36, if it has more than 100K, i'd recomend changing out the radiator...if you wanna a nice upgrade and permanent fix, buy an alluminum one.
4. i would highly recomend a manual transmission, as they are much more fun , and the auto's are prone to slipage and the need to be rebuilt as the miles clime. I've known original clutches in these cars to go 175K, and even then, replacement is cheaper than a auto tranny rebuild.
That's really about it, eveything else is just a matter of opinion. Hope that helps.
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