BMW E36 325 tds (1996) 160,000 miles - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 07:33 PM
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Question BMW E36 325 tds (1996) 160,000 miles

What a great forum.

I am new here after recently buying a neglected 325 tds (turbo-diesel). It is repairable and my intention is to restore it to a good standard spec and to use it in the way its designers intended.

I've searched but can't find any 325 tds threads/disussions. Who else is out there with one of these slightly dated but supremely capable machines with astonishing mpg? It tends to show that today's so-called "fuel efficient" cars really haven't achieved much at all.

The more recent Beemers are great in many ways but there's something about these older models that identifies them as coming from a different era. That's when cars were more mechanical and user-servicable than today's rather over-computerised electronic boxes of largely unnecessary gadgets for those who have forgotten how to use their hands for basic tasks.

There's a bit of work to do to mine:
1) Small oil leak somewhere around the auto box.
2) New rear springs and shocks and anything else in that area.
3) Parking brake - new shoes, cables etc.
4) Some corrosion around wheel arches - surface only so I've caught it early enough.
5) The On Board Computer/Multi Information Display refuses to work except for showing the time.Maybe I haven't understood the rather confusing handbook OR it's defective (STUFFED). Any hints/advice anyone???
6) Complete change of all oils and filters. Has anyone got recommendations on oils for the diesel angine and the auto box? I want an all round engine oil for all seasons as I'll be using the car as a workhorse rather than as a reasonably high speed crusier.

Neither the Haynes nor the Bentley Manual cover the 2.5 diesel engine so I'm hunting around for another reference for technical/servicing of that lump of metal. Pointers will be gratefully received.

The only car I want apart from this BMW is a Shelby Cobra - but that's a completely different animal - built only for eating Ferraris!

Thanks to all for the many interesting threads I have read so far.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 04:34 AM
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brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice
Welcome to the Werkz.

Its good to hear of someone recovering a neglected car rather than trashing it. Have a look at this link for details on working on your car.
BMW TIS Online • 3' E36 • 325tds (M51) Saloon


Riding in style
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 07:49 AM
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Thanks brettski.

That's a great resource.

Aye, it saddens me to see so many people who believe they follow a 'green' lifestyle - many who spend half their incomes on new cars and ignore the fact that with a little work they can obtain cars that will cost a fraction of the new ones and be just as economical. They'd then be far better off AND they'd contribute to slowing down the throw away society we have become. Today's infatuation with appearance and style is a complete and utter waste of time, effort and money methinks.

Still, that leaves more good older cars for us to choose from.

UPDATE ON WORK IN PROGRESS

1) SUSPENDERS: Avoided being ripped off by a national chain that fits shocks n springs by going to another small specialists who don't demand a banker's salary for doing two hours of work.
2) GEARBOX LEAK: Was initially advised by one BMW 'specialist' that I had a leak requiring dismantling and new set of seals. Again, went to someone else (Top Gear in Rutherglen) who REALLY specialises in auto boxes & transmissions. He hoisted the car up on the lift, inspected all and said there is no problem at all !

NETT RESULTS TO DATE

Saved a wallet full of cash AND found a couple of real specialists.

LESSONS:
A) There are too many rogues and charlatans in the car business...old story, I know BUT be cynical about what some so-called 'professional' people say needs to be done to your car.
B) Get detailed quotes for 'required' work. In my experience the rogues resist quoting. They'll give you some spurious 'estimate' and hit you with a far bigger bill after they've dismantled your car. The better people usually have no problem at all in quoting and giving some form of warranty re parts and labour.
C) This is the downside of life today: Trust no-one until they have proven through their actions that they deserve to be trusted.

NEXT

With more than a wee bit of trepidation I have decided to fix the surface rust on all four wheel arches myself. The existing paint job is BMW Boston Green Metallic. Was quoted/given an estimate (guesstimate) of UK400 (nearly as much as the car cost me) by a body shop for this. My DIY job will be a first for me but I am a "form follows function" sort of guy and I don't need a perfect state limousine paint job, just one that's functional and reasonable. The standard of finish on my wheel arches does NOT improve or degrade my life so why should I care about it in the greater scheme of things?

So, it's up with a makeshift lean-to for the body work, out with the disc sander, various grades of wet & dry, 2 or three coats of acid etch primer, cataloy, 2 or 3 base coats, a good spray of Waxoyl to the inside of the wheel arches and a splendid finish with a couple of lacquer coats and a wax at the local brothel. Well, I THINK that's how it supposed to go!!! No doubt I'll learn a lesson or two in the process.

As the Oates quote goes, "I may be some time".
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 11:39 AM
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The problem with the TDS is they were never offered in North America. Their current market is rapidly shrinking with age, and parts are getting harder to find.

Its very rewarding (and cost effective) to do the repair work yourself. I enjoy knowing that im saving money while ensuring that all the work is done properly and how i would want it done.

Like yours, my paint is on life support in some areas. I should really just do a full respray but i cant afford that. I plan on DIY'ing it as much as i can. I want to do as much prep work as i can and then pay a proffesional to do the paint spraying. After talking to a few people who did paint their own cars themselves, the number one thing they wished they could have was a paint booth. It is super hard to keep dust and other contaminates away when their is not proper ventilation.


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#5 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 12:35 PM
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Lord Vader

I'm going to try this for a home-made spray booth.
Construct a positive pressure tent over car, using large tarpaulin, electric domestic fan and a filter screen and a small air outlet at the end opposite the fan.

If all the filling and sanding ops are done before the above a water mist injection with a squeegee bottle into the air in the 'tent' should help settle dust. The spraying should take less than a minute per coat per wheel arch so I should be able to hold my breath while I'm spraying.

Normal H&S procedures apply - safety glasses, breather mask/filter and a bottle of whisky beforehand, during and after should all help the final finish.

Looks like you're getting on well with yours but I thought all Canadians ran 12 litre, V36 pick-ups :0)
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 01:35 PM
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I rather just do the prep myself and pay somesone to spray it. I have enough different spots that need to be done that its just easier to do it that way.

I would definitley like to hear how your home made spray booth works out.

Not all of us, i still really fancy my Dog Sled and snowmobile. However, the amount of very large pickup trucks driven by douchebags is incredible. Mostly because of all the young guys with more money then brains. Not all provinces are like that though. However i have no emissions laws in my province so i can run a car with no cats and straight pipes as long as it has a "muffler". Some guys cut the insides out of mufflers and bolt em back on. Other guys have cars that run so poorly that you cant even tell what type of car it is when your behind em.


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#7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 02:50 PM
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I fancy that there dog sled. It would raise a few eyebrows in central Glasgow.

Wilco re the spray booth. Y'never know. I might just do it in the rain!

Totally agree with your point about young lads with more money than brains, bigger cars than most of 'em can handle, road manners and sense that are in inverse proportion to the size of their egos. I know...I was one once upon a time...then I grew up.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 03:23 PM
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Its more so becuase of all the oil money. Tons of guys go up and work on the oil rigs here in Alberta and in 5 months make double or triple what i make in a year. Most of them around 25 years old. They pay for those massive trucks in cash. Its not abnormal to see a 22/23/24 year old guy in an $85,000 Ford F350 with a lift kit and 35" tires.


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