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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 10-21-2008, 01:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Very General Question?

Hey, I'm very new here I'm turning 17 in two months and have almost definatly decided that BMW is the way to go. I LOVE the look of almost every BMW and have been looking into an E36 probably a 94-98. Now my question is.. I'm from New Jersey and I was wondering how hard it is to maintain an E36? People say parts are pretty pricey but I'm a pretty mechanical person and plan to do all of the work myself, if anything goes wrong.. So does it sound like a good first car? but mainly HOW bad are the prices for parts and how hard are they to find? I work on Volkswagens which are close/similar to BMW's? anyways thanks for any help I realize that these questions may have been answered prior, and i will continue looking but i figured that someone could quickly give me some advice? Thanks

,Pete
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Parts are easy to find, and not that expensive you have to take to mind that lesser makes go wrong more often, so in reality BM's are really cheaper to run, you an find parts at a breakers yard, or on-line or at BM.

As for E36 as good a start as any, just make sure you get one with FULL service history, good luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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hey thanks a lot man i appreciate your help and input glad to get off to a good start here I'll have the money in about 4 weeks so im REALLY excited haha I only have about 5-6000 to spend but from what i see i can get some pretty nice BM's most over 100,000 miles though.. which doesnt really concern me cause my dad used to own a BMW and he said they run forever lol he said his went to about 280k miles before he sold it for 1500$ haha and who knows how long it went after that thanks again for the help and im looking forward to getting to know you all here I used to be on the VW Vortex forum but i made the switch to BMW when my dad suggested it I took a look at some 3 series and considered some 5 series but i like the look of the 3 series front end much better so i've decided ill be goin for an E36 cant wait

thanks,
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Alright mate I have just got another E36.
And i've got three kids.
Good choice of car, hope to see it soon.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello...

I think for a mechanically enclined guy like yourself... it's a great choice.

I do 80% of my own repairs, these E36's run for ever...

My two Beemers came from the original or second owner with a good maintenance record. Take your time and shop around. I got my cars cheap, $2500 (150k) for my 318 and $3500 (100k) from my 325ic. However, they needed some "cosmetic" repairs... for example, new zkw head lights, clear tail lights and used m3 rims plus a little touch up paint went a LONG way! OH... and a $135.00 rear window replacement for my drop top.

Good Luck!

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Old 10-21-2008, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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hey thanks a lot for the inspiration and advice i cannot wait to buy the car and have been looking around for a while now (wish i had the $$) anyways heres a couple that i have taken into deep consideration

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

I haven't decided if i want to go manual or automatic (hope i dont get bashed too bad if i get auto) but idk! lol

whata you guys think?! i love em all! lol



thanks,
Pete

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Old 10-21-2008, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Black one!
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome Peter23 to the Werkz ..........E36 nice start......parts are not as expensive as you think, online stores like Autohaus.com, Bimmerzone.com, Bavauto.com are all cash savers.....BMW parts dept. yes a little expensive, but if you join the BMW CCA you will get a 15% discount at most BMW dealerships... in New Jersey, JMK ON RT. 22 honors the membership.....as far as working on the e36 inline 6.......easy.....I have replaced my water pump, thermostat & housing upper & lower radiator hoses with ease under 2 hours....& for under $150.00. Replaced Spark plugs, valve cover gasket & fuel filter.....for $52.00 & in under 2 hours. Suspension is a little tougher, but not impossible...I replaced my front & rear springs, struts & shocks......Mods out of the gazoo...also easy install.
Go for it...... & when buying your e36....try & find an 1 or 2 owner car....good luck.

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p.s. Cosmos Black preferred......
also their are plenty of DIY LINKS: Here is one:
BMW E36 DIY (Do It Yourself)
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's all a matter of personal choice. My 318 is a 5sp... and my 325 is an auto. I really wish my 325 was a stick... it would have alot more power and more fun to drive.

Soo....

I would go with a BLACK, e36, standard tran... and a 2 dr if possible. No offense to the 4 doors, they look cool too.

Also... In regards to your URL's, these prices are WAY too high. Don't buy from a dealer... Do you have a Craigs list in your area?

(craigslist classifieds: jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, events, forums)


If so, shop there... run a CARFAX and review the maintenance records from the owner directly. The seller of my 94 325 originally wanted $6500.00.... bought it for $3500.00.

My two cents!

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Old 10-22-2008, 10:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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buddy i would most deffinatly opt for the manual. it will be the best decision you ever make. other than choosing a BMW. i agree with agtur, def try to find a private party seller they are more reasonable with pricing and you can always find a few flaws with the car to use as a bargaining point. im on my second bimmer and on both i have dropped the price by over 500 dollars. good luck finding the right one. keep us updated with any luck you have on craigs list.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Bimmer parts really aren't that bad i got my e30 for free when it was a piece and i put $2500 into it and it looks and drives great
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks again for your replies. I decided today, prior to reading the new posts that i will be getting a manual. Realized that i would have much more fun driving it and also my dad says they run longer (if you treat them right) which i will lol I will start looking on craigslist to see what's there i haven't really looked at all yet so im excited to find some new cars to consider.

thanks again,
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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been looking for about 10 seconds and already found a miore reasonable offer lol

BMW E36, 86k on Motor and Modded Nicely

not exactly what im lookin for but makes me happy to see results
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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been looking for about 15 minutes now and have found some MUCH better offers than autotrader lol

thanks a lot,
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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good luck dude i'm 17 too and I've have my 328i for 6 months. so far ive only done an oil change cost me 52 to do it myself good luck and take your time to find a nice one i got mine for 5,000 with 121,000 miles and 2 previous owners.
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