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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 03-25-2004, 10:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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hello everyone i hope i am posting in the correct area. my name is ben, im living in gainesville FL and im seriously considering buying a 95-99 M3. my boss has one, and i love it. i have only read high reviews on them, aside from $cost$ (maintenance cost/gas/purchase price etc).

i am leaning towards a newer one, 97-99 with around 50-70k miles. 5spd coupe of course, with the M contour wheels and prob either black, silver, or blue in color. i have a red mustang 5.0 now and it draws far too much attention.

anyone have suggestions, comments, thoughts, opinions on these cars?

where there may be a good place to find one? (close to FL preferably)

anything i should try to avoid or watch out for?

i have read the 95 have the best OBD for modding, but im gonna try to do my best to avoid too much modifying aside from maybe a chip or CAI. i also read the 95s have probs with the orig water pump. im also wondering if there is a way to know if the inspection II has been done, since the mileage im looking at is right where it should be performed.

i'm looking to spend between 15-20k.

thanks for any/all input.
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Old 03-25-2004, 10:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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oops, just saw the m-series section. my fault.
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Old 03-25-2004, 10:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Correct. If your state were as strict as my state (CA) on emissions i'd say go with the obdII. You have done ur hw and you have said everything i would have said about 95 beign easier to mod and such. One note, you will have to shark injct instead of schip on odbII

ill post mroe l8r sorry in a rush
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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With the 95 a chip will be better than sharking a 96+. BTW I am also from gainesville, Fl.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I just came from a heavily mod'd Mustang to a BMW. I recently totalled the Stang, so I decided to try out a Bimmer. You're not going to find the torque you have in your Mustang in a M3, but there's quite a few things about them I'm starting to enjoy. Let us know what you get..
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Old 03-26-2004, 07:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks for the replies so far guys.

///m power: i read about shark injection, why is it not as good as the chip on the 95? (if it isnt too much of a difference, im still leaning towards the more recent years 97-99, i also like the side markers on the later years better).

andrew, any bmw clubs local to gville? i was in a stang club here for a while, good wealth of info/parts/races etc.

bimmer_boy, yeah i figured i would notice a big drop in torque, but the enormormous improvement in handling would make up for that. plus, i really like the sleek look of the M3. im just worried a little about how low the front end hangs, since i cracked my front air dam on a parking space stop on my lowered stang.
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Old 03-26-2004, 10:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The shark programmer doesn't give as much power as a chip.
I'm not sure about any bmw clubs, it seem there aren't too many people modifying their Bmws up here, mostly rich college kids who have new completely stock 3 series.
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Old 03-26-2004, 10:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I too cracked my front bumper on my stang. Along with the side skirts, too! lol I havn't had a problem bottoming out at all with my BMW. I have it sitting on 18's, so that may be why.

Yes, the handling is EXTREMely better in a BMW. Stangs and BMW's are just two different machines with seperate purposes. For instance, the turning radius on a Bimmer will simply AMAZE you after coming from a Mustang. Along with the smooth cornering ability, it's a great asset. Another thing is you no longer have to worry about those NASTY hydroplaining situations as much at all.(That's how I totalled my stang) I havn't slid once yet in the Bimmer. Most of them have traction control mechanisms you can turn on and off. Great stuff.

I just miss the torque quite a bit. heh..
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i believe in florida you can total a car but then
you can fix it and it will have a clean title, make sure you
get a car that has not been in a accident.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, there is nothing like roasting the tires and feeling the rear start to kick out. Although that got me in trouble a few times.

I read a review by someone that said the M3 handles quite poorly in the rain. Could he have just been comparing it to how it normally handles? Im sure it cant be worse than the stang and its fishtailing on wet grounds.
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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SOCALGUY, i wasnt aware of that. i guess thats the bonus with going through my auto broker friend. he has a paint tester, that checks to see whether a car has ever been repainted.

any other things out there to be aware of?
is there any way to tell if the inspection II has been performed?
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If inspection II was performed by a dealer or bmw garage there should be a stamp in the owner's manual.
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Old 03-26-2004, 02:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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thanks andrew, thats good to know. arent most inspection II's performed at a dealership or bmw garage? what does the stamp say and where is it located?

i havent looked at a bmw manual and may need to relay this to my friend who will be checking out auctions for me.
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Old 03-26-2004, 02:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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When you've seen the car of your dreams, check the VIN number at carfax.com
This can concern a lot of trouble
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Old 03-27-2004, 02:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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dutch, i completely agree. i got a month of carfax first to help sell my car, and also to check out the M3s.

there was a black 97 5spd coupe with 63k miles in good condition i was looking at, but all the tires needed to be replaced.

anyone have recommendations on tires for this car? good wet traction is a bonus.
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