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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 11-12-2006, 07:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First post, with a few Q's

Hey everyone,

I just registered here so I figured I would introduce myself. I've been a VW/Audi enthusiast for a while now, but I'm seriously considering defecting to the BMW camp early in '07 when I buy a new car. I'm seriously considering an E36 325i or 328i after driving one and falling in love. I do have a few questions though, as this will be my 365 days a year, all-weather daily driver and I haven't driven anything RWD for a daily in the winter.

First, I would definitely plan on getting a set of steel wheels and good winter tires(I'm partial to Nokian) but how do these cars do in light to moderate snow?

I live in SE Michigan where it's pretty flat(my driveway and freeway offramps are about the biggest hills I regularly have to scale) but it does get kind of nasty in the winter here. We don't get as much snow as some locales, but the city of Detroit is pretty lame when it comes to plowing in a reasonable time frame.

Second, what model years for the 325 and 328 got a LSD? I figure this would be good to have in snow/slush etc.

Finally, when I seriously start looking for a car, what should I be looking out for? Are there any major repairs that NEED to be done on an E36(I guess I'm looking for the BMW analog to Audi motors needing their timing belts changed waaay before the specified mileage or else the time bomb starts ticking, Audi control arm/busing issues, HVAC control issues etc.)

Anyways, that's it for now. Thanks in advance for any input and I'll be seeing everyone on the forum.

-Dave
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the boards!

Almost any non-M E36 could have a LSD but most do not. You can run the vin or test it when the car is up on a rack. You should make sure that the waterpump has been replaced with a waterpump with has a metal instead of a plastic propeller. If you buy locally, of course watch out for rust. If you buy one pre 1995 then check the rear subframe for damage or shady welding jobs and the rear strut mounts.

We don't get much snow here in the south and when we do it is usually ice. But with regular tires on I had no problems driving the car the second day that I had up down a street that was closed off due to snow/ice that was a "roller coaster" if you will of large hills. The car got a bit sideways going up one, but a smooth steering correction and modulation on the gas pedal had the car pointed in the correct direction again. Since then I've drive the car in sleet, and besides the rear kicking out to the left (manual transmission) at every start, the car handled itself very well (once again with all-season performance tires). I've been told that winter tires make these cars very easy to handle in the snow. Just keep it smooth and don't go nuts with the gas. But if you do, the car is a joy to control unless you go waaaayyy overboard.

Last edited by thekid; 11-13-2006 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey man, I've got a 328i for sale with a set of snow tires and I'm in michigan too. Maybe we could work something out.


All the info is there. Let me know!
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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are you planning on modding it out? e36 take alot of money to do that, i would reccomend an e30, mod it out cheaply, and it will turn out great
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