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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 03-17-2005, 03:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am currently thinkging of getting an E36 M3. I noticed that the 1995 version is different than the '96-'98 versions. Why is this? Which one should I get. And is a 95K mile/old car able to last me for another 3-4 years?

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Old 03-17-2005, 07:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nmtdriver@Mar 17 2005, 05:56 AM
I am currently thinkging of getting an E36 M3. I noticed that the 1995 version is different than the '96-'98 versions. Why is this? Which one should I get. And is a 95K mile/old car able to last me for another 3-4 years?

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-ken
[snapback]313328[/snapback]
Up to '95, it's an OBD I car. From '96 on, it's an OBD II car. If you intend to do a lot of engine mods, OBD I will repond better.

I think the engines are different sizes from OBD I and OBD II. Don't remember exact displacement. However, hp figures are the same.

OBD= On Board Diagnostics the computer that runs the car.

A properly maintained car should last a Minimum of 200,000 miles. so it depends on how much you drive in a year.
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1995 M has the S50 motor. 96 and up had the S52. The HP's are the same becasue OBDII are more restrictive. If you get an S52 you can swap the intake manifold from the S50 and she'd really scream.. Check for head gasket failure and try to get one with receipts. She would def. last you 3-4 years no doubt
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My father has a 1995 M3 with no problems and it already is fast as hell. I would have no reservation about getting a M3 no matter what year. Those are fairly high miles, but it really depends on if the price reflects that. M3's seem to be priced weird sometimes. I have seen people go real low because of the year and I have seen people go real high because of what it is. Look in KelleyBlueBook or kbb.com that should give you an idea.
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What I've heard in regards to the down-side of M3's is that they are EXPENSIVE to maintain.

95k miles? The engine is just starting to break-in. My buddies BMW has 330,000 miles and still runs like a champ.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think that BMW's in general are expensive to maintain. The M3 shouldn't be any worse than my 325is. The difference is that if you had an M3 you are probably going to be driving it harder.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jshearer@Mar 17 2005, 01:00 PM
I think that BMW's in general are expensive to maintain. The M3 shouldn't be any worse than my 325is. The difference is that if you had an M3 you are probably going to be driving it harder.
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I've been told parts/labor on M3 is more expensive then a 325is, otherwise I would've brought an M3.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not that I have seen my dad has an M3, I have an "is" and my mom has a 5 series. Labor is the same, because they all go to the same places. Parts have been the same so far too. Although insurance for the M3 is alot higher.
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Old 03-17-2005, 01:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jshearer@Mar 17 2005, 01:41 PM
Not that I have seen my dad has an M3, I have an "is" and my mom has a 5 series. Labor is the same, because they all go to the same places. Parts have been the same so far too. Although insurance for the M3 is alot higher.
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Yes insurance would defintely be higher. I can see how labor might be same, but parts? M3 parts DEFINITELY have to be more expensive then your standard 3 series parts.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I've been saving up for a car for a while, and Im basically limited to something under 11K. I look in the autotrader all the time, and I've been looking for either a manual 540i, an M3, or a 328is. The M3 is the fastest, the 328is has cheapest insurance, and the 540i is the most luxourious. I figure the M3 is cool becuase its not like i need to modify it to make it go fast. anyways, is there anyhting i need to ask for besides records on these cars, like pumps, a/c, clutch, etc?
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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CARFAX, although you can't rely on it, it's a good start. Then spend $70-$90 to have a mechanic give it a pre-buy inspection (VERY IMPORTANT!!)

Saved myself from buying 2 lemons by doing a pre-buy inspection.

Also run the VIN# through your insurance company to make sure you can afford the insurance.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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the only problem i could see when buying an older m3 with higher miles is that the m has probably been driven a lot harder than other cars. there could be more wear/mileage than you might expect.
and
95 m3 is a 3.0L and 96-99 is a 3.2L
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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jw. how much faster jshearer is ure dads bimmer than ure 325i? im just curious how big the difference is on the e36's m's and regular 3's
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