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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 08-06-2004, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A few months ago I acquired a 1998 328i Auto with 87k and now Iím pushing 96k. Iím new to owing a BMW but have high aspirations of turning this into a real performer. Iíve spent several months reading these boards and have benefited greatly from the extreme amount of expertise and suggestions people have shared. At this point I think I have mapped a pretty clear path for tuning my car, however I still have some questions about its general care and how to restore worn parts.

Aside form the standard plug/fluid/filter changes and a fresh underbody coat. What can I do to keep my car looking and running its best? Iíve been over the car with a careful eye and can only see a few points of rust at places like the door hinges and some underbody surface rust. The engine compartment looks very clean, but Iím sure that there are things I canít see just by poking my noise around. Would it be a good idea to run a compression test? And how might I go about removing and preventing further rust? (Aside from the underbody coat- i.e. Door hinges)

Basically, I feel the car runs and drives great for its age, (having clocked myself at the listed 0-60mph time of 6.4s) but I donít want to waste my time/money adding performance parts like intakes, exhausts, or blowers if the car is going to wear about before I can enjoy them. I know that there are 20 year old E30ís out there still kicking butt, how can I make sure that my E36 is going to do the same?
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Keeping up on the maintenance is your best shot. Change the oil, do the inspections I and II. Make sure you take care of that rust right away, it only gets worse.
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Old 08-07-2004, 06:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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something that really made my day was after i changed all my belts and hoses! DO IT! also get a fresh oil change, and get everything checked... hmmm
as for keeping it in good shape, feed her 91 octane fuel from now on... and also only high grade oil/coolant (get it from the BMW dealership)
replace your brakes and suspension before they start wearing out...
get your car detailed professionally... and wax/wash it every week... that will keep it looking 100% awesome...
does your car look old to you?

here are some quick fixes:
detail: $100-200
headlights $200-1,000
Black Trim (YES THE BLACK TRIM REPLACE IT!) $200 for ALL of it.
Tailights (but they dont usually look old...)
Wheels! KEEP EM CLEAN OR BUY NEW ONES!
TIRES! Buy tire wax and wax them things every other week...
Paint the entire car: $800-3,000
or if you cant afford that... try and get the black repainted... OR if you cant afford that try
Back To Black ( http://www.epinions.com/auto-Care-All-Prot...isplay_~reviews )

as for the rust... wtf? i dont have rust on my car and its a lot older than yours...
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you havn't already done so, lower controll arm bushings (LCA's) in the front and back can help, swaybar bushings (while the backend's out) can also help. If you have the time, & paitence or the cash to pay someone else to do it, the rear traling arm bushings (RTAB's) would be a good replacement (put some shims in as well). I havn't done RTAB's yet, but they supposidly wear out at about 80,000, so I'm due anyways.
I'd replace all the bushings with M3 parts, or urathane if you can afford them (huge price jump from stock M3 to urathane. I chose M3 and it's a world better.)

Check Bavauto, they have the parts, you may need to call up and order over the phone since they dont list many stock parts on their website. They have a *HUGE* inventory.

There's a guy on this board with an E30 (I think) that has 300,000 miles on his car, and I think he still tracks it. BMW's will last a LONG time without a major failure if you take care of it.
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