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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 04-03-2004, 02:56 PM
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I am looking to buy a 328is and I am in need from you guys any advice can give up... like; what should I look for in a used one, what should I replace as soon as I get it, what are the horse power and torque ratings,what mileage should i shoot for, what mileage do they develope major problems, basically anything and everything you can tell me will be appreacheated, I am some what new to bimmers so I need a crash corse...
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 03:43 PM
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First thing to learn, bimmers are cars, beemers are motorcycles.

The 328is is a great car. I recently purchased a 325is with a 328engine that has been masaged to produce more than enough horsepower and torque. Out of the box the 96-98 328 came with 190hp and 207 ft/lb torque. This can be increased relatively inexpensively and what is left is a fantastic driving experience for the price of a new civic.

Look for the same things you would look for in any car. First and foremost, records. I would certainly look for a car complete with maintenance records. Beyond that just the regular things: signs of abuse, paint work, leaks, creaks, etc.

Once you've bought her, change the water pump to one with a metal impeller. The oem pumps are notorious for crapping out often times taking other parts with it. These cars don't require as much maintenance as their more expensive counterparts (5,7) and when they do, it is cheap and often times a do-it-yourself project. I recently sold a Porsche and wanted something that was still a blast to drive, but not a repair hog. I've found precisely this in the later e36 coupe.

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 04:01 PM
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How much does a new water pump like you described usualy cost?
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 05:56 PM
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Around $100 i beleive.
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 06:00 PM
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Here ya go...

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#6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jllphan@Apr 3 2004, 04:23 PM
First thing to learn, bimmers are cars, beemers are motorcycles.

The 328is is a great car. I recently purchased a 325is with a 328engine that has been masaged to produce more than enough horsepower and torque. Out of the box the 96-98 328 came with 190hp and 207 ft/lb torque. This can be increased relatively inexpensively and what is left is a fantastic driving experience for the price of a new civic.

Look for the same things you would look for in any car. First and foremost, records. I would certainly look for a car complete with maintenance records. Beyond that just the regular things: signs of abuse, paint work, leaks, creaks, etc.

Once you've bought her, change the water pump to one with a metal impeller. The oem pumps are notorious for crapping out often times taking other parts with it. These cars don't require as much maintenance as their more expensive counterparts (5,7) and when they do, it is cheap and often times a do-it-yourself project. I recently sold a Porsche and wanted something that was still a blast to drive, but not a repair hog. I've found precisely this in the later e36 coupe.
that was only the earlier e36's that had the plastic pump

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#7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 06:18 PM
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When you say "earlier" you mean 98 and on then yes i agreee, but the 328 model was available in 96, which left it prone to failure.

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#8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jllphan@Apr 3 2004, 06:58 PM
When you say "earlier" you mean 98 and on then yes i agreee, but the 328 model was available in 96, which left it prone to failure.
true true

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#9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 09:06 AM
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jllphan, you said 'This can be increased relatively inexpensively and what is left is a fantastic driving experience for the price of a new civic.' What should to be changed for just a faster 328 (AND inexpensively)?

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#10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 02:24 PM
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axtually, it is my understanding the waterpump was changed to a metal impeller in 95-96, not 98.

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#11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 07:16 PM
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Prez: Not to argue but ive read two sources that say that cars made during 1997 recieved the upgraded water pump but only half way through the year. Thusly those cars made in late '97 were deemed 1998 model year were the ones recieving the upgrade. Check the info on this out, I attached this earlier in thread but maybe you didn't see it.

Dutch: inexpensive is a relative term. I think it would be better to define expensive. To me, expensive is 8-10K on a turbo or supercharger. Having the heads ported and polished, and putting in new cams are also IMO expensive. Converting the airbox to a OBDI system, software upgrades, etc. are to me relatively inexpensive.

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#12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2004, 02:27 AM
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come on guys I need more wisdom... If you were out to by a 97 328is what would you think about? also; What does "is" mean, and my dad used to have a 1988 528e and I remember some big deal about having the timing chain fixed. Will I have to do this on a car that I buy? I also have heard that a new fuel pump is a must, is that true? What kind of milage will I be running into some problems?

P.S. thanks for all the help thus far.
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#13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2004, 06:54 AM
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328i is four door, 328is is 2 door.Havn't heard about the fuel pump, i have a 93 325i and havn't changed mine. Noone can tell you when your car will develop problems, it all depends on the history of the car. If its been ragged out then the problems are gonna start earlier than if it had been cared for. BMWs don't really develop major problems unless they have been abused. Where you're looking at a 97 its not too old so if it has been cared for you should be fine if you continue to treat it good.

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#14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2004, 02:55 PM
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Does anyone know about the timing chain?
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