Your advice on 323i purchase - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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 11-15-2005, 06:12 PM
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Your advice on 323i purchase

My son's 1998 Infiniti I-30 was stolen and the insurance company has settled. Now I'm looking at a 1999 BMW 323i with 63,000 miles with one owner and CarFax says it looks honest: no speedometer resets, no accidents reported. My regular mechanic warns that he can't do much and it'll have to go to the dealer for just aobut everything. (He also says BMW stands for "Bust My Wallet.") My son is a graduate student just starting his doctoral studies who drives about 20 miles a day -- to school and back and not much else. He's a serious student. Does this sound like a good car for him? I've never owned a BMW nor has anyone I know. I'm not a rich guy and he's going to school on loans. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-15-2005, 07:13 PM
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If your mechanic can not do much with the BMW, then find a new mechanic that can. There is no reason to send your BMW to a dealership (unless you live in an area where there are no independantly own foreign car repair shops). With such low milege mechanically it should be fine, however, age will start to take its toll on the car. You can look forward to doing things like replacing bushings, struts, seals, belts ect. some time in the next few years. But It would be a good car and I believe is harder to steal than an I-30.
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-15-2005, 07:37 PM
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A 1999 323i would be a good replacement for the Infiniti. As said above, you should be able to find a mechanic who works on BMWs. It really is not necessary to take it to the dealership. My car is a 1996 328i and is running great with 183,000 miles and counting.

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#4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 12:32 AM
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Go for it. Shop around first, of course. That car should suit his needs.

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#5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 05:01 AM
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get a 325 instead or a 328...323 is even below a 325

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#6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 05:02 PM
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I've got the 2dr version of what you said, the 'is,' Unfortunitely for me, it's automatic (No problems with the automatic, I just want a manual after I cought the BMW & racing bug)
For a starter car, this car is absolutely amazing. I probably should have learned why not to do stupid things like drift into a curb while in a crappier car, but this baby has held up to my extreme abuse and constant track-level aggressive driving.
It does not have a whole lot of power, so it's difficult to loose control of it due to the engine being to powerful for you to handle. - It is the least powerful 6cyl they made in this decade as far as I'm aware of. If you are looking to save a decent amount of money, look at the 4cyl 318, it is much more of an economy car, but if money is tight then the only thing different between cars is the engine is smaller. Insurance premiums will like that. Suspension, driveline, etc for the 318\323\325 are all the same and interchangeable. (318 ti [hatchback] does have LOTS of different parts than the rest of the E36, so finding replacement suspension parts for that will be a pain, I'd avoid that one)

Yes, BMW parts are significanlty more expensive than an asian car or american car, but thats beacuse the tolerances in part quality are so high and strict. Notice that it just loves to rev all the way to the redline, and does it with glee and without any vibrations whatsoever, that's what your paying for -> precise german engineering.

You do not have to worry about these two major common problems because they have all been revised before your year:
water pump
subframe mounts tearing from the frame.

Check out the FAQ section on this website & on www.unitedbimmer.com (I frequent there too) to see some common problems with the E36.


BTW, BMW's arn't that hard to work on, in most cases, significantly easier. They were engineered to death. They *ARE* different, all of the measurements on it are in metric, for example, and the parts are more expensive (it's really not that bad if you buy parts online and skip the dealership)
For example, to change the oil, the drainplug is obviously at the bottom on the oil pan, but the oil filter is in the engine bay in a re-usable canister where you do not have to wrestle the filter off and risk having a seized filter and using the messy screwdriver removal method like you would with most other cars. Nor spend too much time under the car dealing with it and the extra mess. Things like that show that the engineers thought of as many things as they could and how they could make them better.


But uh, all that crap dosn't matter if the particular car your looking at was abused and is all worn out :P



Last edited by bitcore; 11-16-2005 at 05:09 PM.
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 05:08 PM
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Thanks for the advice about buying the 1999 323i. The car has 64,000 miles, is a one-owner, has all the service records, and my son is in love with it. So, Saturday I become a BMW owner. Thanks for all the advice and I hope I'm as enthusiastic an owner as so many at this site are. And I'll be back with questions as I gain experience with the car. Thanks again!
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 06:44 PM
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Good Luck with the BMW. I know since your son has alreayd fallen in love with it that basically you have a slim to nill chance of him wanting somethign else than a BMW now.

Just for curiousity, didnt you mean to put this in the e46 section? You posted int he e36 section about a 99 323. Take a look at my car and others cars and the car you are looking at should be more rounded and a bit mroe modern looking. Sadly the car you are buying is pretty weak as far as power goes.

Im pretty sure Infiniti's have had a bad reputation about maintainence. BMWs are pretty good. Just keep an eye out for the elctrical problems it may have. No offense but your mechanic is just scared. He probably just doesnt know BMWs well enough. You can really do a lot of the work yourself. I dont know if your son likes to modify cars but he will basically have a car that has a seemingly endless amount of options to add on to, if that's how you like to do things.

Good Luck and I hope you stick around the forum!


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#9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power
Good Luck with the BMW. I know since your son has alreayd fallen in love with it that basically you have a slim to nill chance of him wanting somethign else than a BMW now.
Isn't that the truth!

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#10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:21 AM
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how about we stop bashing a 323...

-SOLD..
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2229108/1 *UPDATED 8.25.06*
R.I.P Fast 6


stuff for sale on my e36.. CHeck it out!
http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/aft...e36-49128.html
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#11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedInfusion
get a 325 instead or a 328...323 is even below a 325
why do you keep saying that?
not every car shopper is looking for a ferrari speed vehicle.
the main difference between a 323i is that it is non-vanos...
so unless this is life-threatheningly important to you and a 323is is available for a decent price then get it.

325i E36 cars are old at this time since their production ended in 1994.
328i are good and newer as well as 318i and 323is but the 328i E36 will be pricey and not all that faster than the other E36s...

These are all good cars btw....so don't feel gipped if you get a great deal on a sound 318i/323i over a shoddy 325i or 328i

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#12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delmarco
why do you keep saying that?
not every car shopper is looking for a ferrari speed vehicle.
the main difference between a 323i is that it is non-vanos...
so unless this is life-threatheningly important to you and a 323is is available for a decent price then get it.

325i E36 cars are old at this time since their production ended in 1994.
328i are good and newer as well as 318i and 323is but the 328i E36 will be pricey and not all that faster than the other E36s...

These are all good cars btw....so don't feel gipped if you get a great deal on a sound 318i/323i over a shoddy 325i or 328i
323's are vanos equipped 2.5L's with resrtictive software, exhaust system, and manifolds.

325's may be older, but if you can find one in good condition, not only will it be faster than a 323, but it will be less expensive to maintain, and have a lower base price. The 325's production ended in 1995.

Go for a 325 or a 328. You wont be satisfied, performance wise, by a 318 or a 323.

It is my honest opinion that unless you are banking, BMW's are not for folks who are only interested in transportation. The e36 being an older car is going to need things such as fluid replacements (trans, diff, powersteering, brakes), suspension components (CA's, CA bushings, RTAB's, etc), and cooling system components (radiator, waterpump, thermostat). None of these things are abnormal for any performance car, as the suspension is just more aggressive than most cars and gets worn more easily because of this aggresivness.

Basically what im saying is, that if your not interested in doing the above maintenance on a car yourself, be ready to shell out some serious dough, the above parts total to under 1000 bucks, and you wont have to replace them all at once, but those parts will all need to be changed eventually and with labor charges, things could easily spiral to over 3000 bucks.

Just letting you know that what your mechanic said about having to go to the dealer is 100% false. I have stated all the shortcomings of the e36 above, and everything stated can be completed by a competent private party mechanic. Im 17 for crissake, and i have done most of the things i said above in my driveway with regular tools with no problems at all.


Last edited by catalyst.; 11-19-2005 at 05:22 PM.
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#13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 05:18 PM
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but you'll be satisfied with a good dependable car that is a BMW...
when did werkz become so speed obssessed.

don't let the "fast car wool over the eyes" make you buy a shoddy car is all I'm saying...

I'd rather buy a sound quality 1995 318i/ 1998 323is than a 1998 328i/1992 325i that's full of bugs
and worry about getting a fast car when I got M3 or M5 dollars.

I see alot of kids taking the bus because their "fast" cars are constantly in the shop when they couldv'e opt for a nice simple 1st car and get a "real" fast car later on.

in terms of HP scaling on the E36s.

328i = 185 - 190 hp
325i =180 - 184 hp
323is = 179 - 184 hp
318i = 138 hp

so its not that different...

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#14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delmarco
but you'll be satisfied with a good dependable car that is a BMW...
when did werkz become so speed obssessed.

don't let the "fast car wool over the eyes" make you buy a shoddy car is all I'm saying...

I'd rather buy a sound quality 1995 318i/ 1998 323is than a 1998 328i/1992 325i that's full of bugs
and worry about getting a fast car when I got M3 or M5 dollars.

I see alot of kids taking the bus because their "fast" cars are constantly in the shop when they couldv'e opt for a nice simple 1st car and get a "real" fast car later on.

in terms of HP scaling on the E36s.

328i = 185 - 190 hp
325i =180 - 184 hp
323is = 179 - 184 hp
318i = 138 hp

so its not that different...
Quiet you insolent fool. Your hp ratings are skewed to shit too man. Theres nothign different maintenance wise between any of these cars really.. and all the maintenance i said above has to be done eventually anyway regardless of mileage, age, and condition.. so im not sure where your getting that an older car will have bugs or whatever you want to call them.

325's arent really considered speed machines anyway, so 318's and 323's are just abnormally slow.


Last edited by catalyst.; 11-19-2005 at 05:37 PM.
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#15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 01:59 AM
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hey... my 323 isnt the fastest car on the road.. but it doesn't mean its a slug... it gets me to where i wanna go.. and the power is there, if i need it...

my car stock, has 168hp and 172 ft/lb's.. its really not that bad

-SOLD..
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R.I.P Fast 6


stuff for sale on my e36.. CHeck it out!
http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/aft...e36-49128.html
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