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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 04-08-2012, 12:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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recently purchased '95 325is

Just bought a 95 325is to move out and move on from the 240 scene and the kids inside of it. I only have one picture of it as of today.


Overall I'm pretty happy with the purchase. Previous owner got about halfway through an "M swap" along with changing the interior panels to black so it has the black M vader seats, M cluster, and M bumpers. A bunch of the inner panels are still missing so I'll be keeping my eye out for partouts. But I have a couple of questions.

1. Water pump replacement. I noticed pelican parts wants a high amount of money for their metal impeller water pump replacement kits, but rockauto wants about a forth of the cost for a metal impeller water pump. Anyone else go that route?

2. Steering bushings. The steering is incredibly sloppy and numb. I'm assuming it's the rack bushings and not a fluid leak as it does not feel like there is a lost in power assist. Is this common in e36's and does anything have a recommendation on any good bushings?

3. Shifter. The shifter is about as crappy as it gets. While in gear, there's so much slop that it feels as if the shifter isn't in gear while the trans is. Should I just get a z3 setup?
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to Bimmerwerkz. Nice looking Coupe. Your missing the kidney grilles though.

The OEM water pump was plastic and prime to failure. The best metal impeller water pump is the Stewart water pump. This link shows a comparisson between three water pumps. Pelican Parts specializes in BMW spicific parts where as Rock Auto I can also buy parts for my truck. The water pump on Rock Auto is probably a generic water pump. It's up to you which one you choose but read the link first:
Waterpump Comparison - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum

The E36 is known to leak power steering fluid. The best way to solve this is replacing the reservoir and hoses when you notice a leak or low fluid. Costs about $75-80. Another option is the steering rack from a Z3 is a direct bolt in replacement and offers a better steering response. The Rack Doctor has them for under $200 apperantly. I remember reading a thread where a guy swapped his out and I'm pretty sure he paid $175~.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks. The passenger side grille is in, but the I can't get the driver to lock in place. It's in my trunk for now.

Apparently it has an autothority cat back as well.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Never heard of Authority cat backs before. Are all the tabs on the grille intact? Should just pop in with a little force.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The E36 is known to leak power steering fluid. The best way to solve this is replacing the reservoir and hoses when you notice a leak or low fluid. Costs about $75-80. Another option is the steering rack from a Z3 is a direct bolt in replacement and offers a better steering response. The Rack Doctor has them for under $200 apperantly. I remember reading a thread where a guy swapped his out and I'm pretty sure he paid $175~.
Also wouldn't a leak cause a loss in steering assist? The assist feels fine, it just feels very sloppy.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not nessecarilly. Depends on how much fluid you lose. Lose enough fluid and ventually the power steering pump will fail.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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but both of those would cause less assisted steering, not more sloppy steering.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is your steering is "sloppy" your problem is most likely in your front end steering components. Ball joints and tie rods are most common does it feel like when you hit a bump the car "swerves"?
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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a bit yes. i think i'll replace the tie rods and steering guibo first.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Take a look at your ball joints too because they do wear out. Lift the vehicle, and grab the wheel at the 10 and 2 position and shake the wheel. If theirs play it means your ball joints are bad.
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