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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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#1 (permalink) Old 10-07-2013, 03:15 PM
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question newby here

I have had lots of old cars and now i have 65 corvair and 91 geo metro both verts and all older cars where verts. my question.

I'm looking at a 96 328i e36 vert this is what the guy says so far.
Blown head gasket- Boston Green, Automatic, 6 cylinder, 146,000 miles, Wood Grain Trim, New Top, motors and tension cables, Ice Cold Air, Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires, New water pump, Rear shocks, Front Struts, Control arms and bushings. No Rust. Good winter project.

he wants $1800.00 for the car. he said never smoked in no rust under the car and everything works but the head gasket.

I can replace the gasket in a day or so standing on one ear but there are some things I would like to know about these cars before I start standing on one ear?

transmissions. just how good are the 328i e36 automatic transmissions. I had a 95 lebaron once and those cars where known for the tranys failing at 120k like clockwork.

my guess is this car has a 6 cylinder inline engine. how are these cars for mileage as a rule? and are they prone to certain area of rust through so I know where to look at first when I inspect the car?

and I read that the plastic rear windows tend to fail is that normal or just how they are folded up. my corvair has had the same top on it for 25 years and the plastic window is still clear. but I keep it down all summer and only raise it during weekend outings at the casino for overnight and then only at night so the sun is not on it most of the day. thanks bob p.

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#2 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 06:03 PM
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Welcome to Bimmerwerkz.

The automatic transmission in the 328i is the GM 4L30E, which is also found in the Izuzu Rodeo. Providing you dont dont buy into the "lifetime" fluid fill they will last a very long time. 200k or more is common.

The engine is built extremley well and their are numerous high milage cars out their. I have seen an E36 with 600,000 MILES on the odometer. Legit too. As long as the car is well maintained they last a long time.

Most common problem is the cooling system. The plastic used becomes hard and brittle over time and fails. The water pump was plastic and prone to failure, as was the fan, thermostat cover, and expansion tank. Replacing the pump with a Stewart pump will fix it for the life of the car. The Graf water pumps are hit and miss. Stewart is seen as the best.

Some cars have had the shock towers fail because of not changing the shock mounts or other reasons. Inspect these for damage. I dont know where you live, but I live in Canada so EVERYTHING is prone to rust. I have a small rust bubble on the rear wheel arch by the bumper. This is common if dirt isnt cleaned out properly so inspect joints like this. Behind the fender liners is common for rust to form and eat out the bottom of the fender. Happened to mine on the passenger side.


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#3 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 04:48 PM
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thanks this car is in michigan and has 140k on it. it looks good in the pictures the owner said it has no rust under the body but that i have to verify. because it is a 96 i may not have much if any rust and may have only been a summer driver.

it needs a head gasket they replace the water pump but i dont know with what type. so just how much work is ther in changing the head gasket? i do my own mechanical work and even rebuilt my own engines. have not rebuilt many trannys. so is this job a straight forward job or are there some particulars i need to look for? they want 1800 for the car so i think this is a fair price with the head gasket issue.

this is the statement in the listing.
Blown head gasket- Boston Green, Automatic, 6 cylender, 146,000 miles, Wood Grain Trim New Top, motors and tension cables, Ice Cold Air, Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires, New water pump, Rear shocks, Front Struts, Control arms and bushings. No Rust. Good winter project.
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 06:32 PM
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If you are good with cars and think you can handle the head gasket, go for it. I cant speak much about the tranny but ive seen these cars reach 200k miles easy, but a lot of it depends on how it was taken care of by the owner. As for the head gasket you will have to replace the gasket, of course, and then get the head re-machined by an auto shop or machinist shop. Not the hardest job but id be skeptical about driving it with a blown head gasket and about if he had been driving it with a blown gasket.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 03:10 PM
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thanks doing a head gasket is not problem just asking if there may any out of the ordinary thing to watch for. like putting the cams in a particular orientation before reassemble or a special way to remove the head to avoid problems later during reassembly. and i will most likely have the valves taken care of now tell me should i think on re-ringing the engine with new or reground valves? when i did my geo metro i soon discovered that i have to re-ring it because the new heads made the engine suck oil past the worn rings. i don't need anymore surprises. the engine has 140k on it. and maybe should i install new brarings some cars nowdays dont require it but i have to ask again to save headaches later on.

i will not drive it from it present location but i will have to drive it to get it into the garage for repair. i don't think that amount would hurt the engine any at all. i have driven cars home from work before with blown gaskets and none worse for wear. thanks bp.
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#6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 08:29 AM
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Doing a head gasket is actually fairly complicated.

You will need to remove the VANOS and sprocket gears, as well as camshafts prior to removing the head. Upon reinstallation you need to ensure the flywheel is locked to TDC (Top dead centre) for proper timing. You will also need the cam lock tool to ensure the cams are put back into the proper timing while re installing the sprocket gears and the VANOS.

You should replace the VANOS seals while your doing it because they wear out as well.

You wont need to re ring the pistons or install new bearings. That is optional.

However, if you even think their is a remote possibility that you will go Forced Induction (Turbo, Supercharger) in the future then you need get a thicker headgasket (0.040mil i believe) and ARP head studs. Doing this now will save you a lot of time and money down the road.


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#7 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 01:26 AM
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ok thanks not sure what that vanos is but it sounds like variable vale timeing quite common now days. will not turbo it and i will do a compression test before on the good cylinders to see if they may need rings. what i may do is just pull the engine and go through. being i will have it down for a gasket. thanks for the information
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 09:38 AM
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You are correct. VANOS is BMW's Variable Valve Timing.

The seals are rubber and are known to fail over time causing poor performance, and a marble rattling sound. Beisan Systems makes a repair kit for it which is pretty easy to install. If your gonna pull the engine, then its absolutley worth doing!


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