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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 03-13-2004, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm looking to but an M3 in the next month and need some advice.

95 or 96-97?

I know the 95 has a 3.0 liter vs. the 3.2 liter in the later years, but is one a better engine than the other? I've seen the hp and torque specs already. Also I have noticed different Emissions on the '95.

Any pros? cons?

Were there improvements from 95 to the 96, not just engine but overall?

I guess maybe someone who has driven both...how would you compare the overall expirience?

Thanks
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Old 03-13-2004, 10:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The difference is OBDI and OBDII. If you plan to upgrade the engine a lot, the 95 would be a better choice as it accepts mods easier. If you don't plan on doing anything to it, then you would probably be better off buying a 96 or later since it would most likely be in better shape. I have not driven either car, so I can't offer any direct insight though.
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Old 03-13-2004, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ya. what he said

I started to post the obcI, obcII thing but didn't know for sure or what other diffrences.

at least i was on the right track.. I'm still learning....
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Old 03-13-2004, 11:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Even if you buy one of the later cars with OBDII, you can repalce it with the less restrictive OBDI kit fromZionsville autosport. I have a ,96 M52 (2.8L) engine in my 95' 325is and had that conversion performed. Granted, I did it to gain Torque and Hp (two things you wouldn't be too concerned about with an M3), but if you wanted the later model car and wanted to mod it, you still could.
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Old 03-13-2004, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Also consider where you live. BMW changed from OBDI to OBDII to keep up with emission standards. Keep an eye especially if you are in california where emissions are very tough to pass. The car will last long emissions wise but the OBDII will probably pass emissions greater and might last longer than OBDI.

OH, and damn i wish i had ur choices in cars. e36 M3 is my affordable dream!
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Old 03-13-2004, 02:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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95! 95!!!

Besides the engine. The 3.2 is better but who cares. You can drive a 95 better with a smaller engine than the 96 can with more torque.

People complained that the earlier m3s were to harsh to drive so of coarse bmw caters to the rich changed a few things.

The 95 has smaller and equal wheels all around. Theres 225s. on the 96 they put i think 245s on the back to create more understeer.
Second they made the suspension softer and more cusiony. They also raised it a bit i believe.

All in all the 95 is a much more fun car to drive than a 96, even if it does have a smaller engine. Go Go DriftGadget.
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Old 03-13-2004, 11:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fox@Mar 13 2004, 12:11 PM
The 95 has smaller and equal wheels all around. Theres 225s. on the 96 they put i think 245s on the back to create more understeer.
Second they made the suspension softer and more cusiony. They also raised it a bit i believe.
95 was 235 all around, not 225.

from 96 they did go 225/245, but their goal here was not "to create more understeer," although it ended up being a side effect of the change.

the suspension in the 96 is more stiff than the 95, not the other way around.
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Old 03-13-2004, 11:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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get a 95. you can always bore it out to 3.2l
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Old 03-14-2004, 10:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the advice from everyone.

I guess I will just see which one I like better and get the best deal on...It seems the 2 cars were pretty equal. Still kinda wondering why the majority of everyone are pushing the '95???

If I did any mods, just like bolt-ons(Exhaust, CHip, INtake) nothing really more than that. DOes the OBDII make these mods less effective than the OBDI??

Ohh, and I don't have emissions testing.

thanks again
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Old 03-15-2004, 12:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by dapopa9@Mar 15 2004, 12:06 AM
Thanks for all the advice from everyone.

I guess I will just see which one I like better and get the best deal on...It seems the 2 cars were pretty equal. Still kinda wondering why the majority of everyone are pushing the '95???

If I did any mods, just like bolt-ons(Exhaust, CHip, INtake) nothing really more than that. DOes the OBDII make these mods less effective than the OBDI??

Ohh, and I don't have emissions testing.

thanks again
i think the only thing obd-II would affect is the software upgrade, the new flash upgrades for the obd-II's dont seem to have the same effect as the chips. the cai and exhaust would probably yield close to the same results on either engine, and you could always convert to obd-I on the later engines like someone previously said
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you are planning on a chip go with a 95, the chips seem to have much better results than the sharking software. Also consider price and condition with the cars.
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Old 03-15-2004, 09:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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A few more differences.

'95 M3 had heavier dual mass flywheels (can't be lightened, but better idle)
'96+ M3 had lighter single mass flywheels (means it can be machine lightened)

'95 M3 had offset inner control arm bushings (more turn in)
'96+ M3 had centered inner control arm bushings

'95 M3 is only 3.0L compared to the 3.2L of the '96+ M3. However, I've read since the gearing of both cars are different, they actually end up being more or less exactly the same speed.

Anyways, if you can find a low milage good condition '95, I'd opt for the '95, it's a lot easier to modify.

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