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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 05-09-2013, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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*** newbie looking for e36, have questions***

i am looking for an e36 of any kind, (m, 325, 318, i, ti, is)
not a beginner with bmw just the e36....

i have found a few on craigslist but most seem to have the same problems...

either no start, overheating, or blown hg.

no my question is if i were to buy one that does not start how much $$$ would i need to have on reserve to fix it properly?

same for overheating or blown hg?

what are common issues i should know about with these cars?

and any other helpful hints in regards to the car is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to Bimmerwerkz.

First, if you want to mod the vehicle performance wise do not get a 318. Performance mods for the 318 are pretty much non existant. Get a 325i with an M50 motor. The M50 motor is practically bullet proof and can handle the increased pressure from a turbo should you ever wish to go that route.

You need to find out why the vehicle isnt running. This will be hard as the seller may not be entirely honest. He may say it needs a new starter, but you may not know that to replace the started the entire intake manifold needs to be removed to replace the starter. Its not an easy job.

Overheating isnt as bad as not starting because at least it runs. But overheating can very quickly become a blown headgasket. This is commonly why their sold off for cheap. Often people who dont know any better will let them get into the "red" of the temperature gauge for too long as this will blow the HG. Most common causes of overheating in the E36 are pump faulure, and thermostat/thermostat housing failure. An entire cooling system can be replaced/overhauled for less then $500 in parts.

A blown headgasket is more complicated. The biggest reason why people sell the car instead of fix it is the cost. Its a very labour intensve process taking between 8-12 hours. Thats almost $1,000 in labour costs alone. The head gasket itself is only like $75, but once the head gasket is blown the head needs to be sent to a machine shop to be planed down and inspected for cracks.

Thier are a few other known issues, but their not more then most other manufacturers. Most are just because something wore out and needs replacement.

If you have other questions feel free to ask.
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