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The 318i denotes sedan or convertible. The 318is is the two-door coupe, which I believe comes with sport suspension from teh factory.
 

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I could be wrong, but i think the 's' comes with wider and/or larger rims and tires, and painted side skirts and front bumber. Thats about the only difference i'm aware of.
 

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^-----you just described the sports package. It's also about .7 inches lower all around.


DRZ summed it up nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But guys, what about the engine itself. My brother has a E36 1993 with the standard M40 engine. My car (318is) has a totally different engine.
 

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LYFE SUCK5
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tonysticks said:
But guys, what about the engine itself. My brother has a E36 1993 with the standard M40 engine. My car (318is) has a totally different engine.
92-96 318is has the M42B18

the 90-93 318i had the M40B18 and the 93-98 318i had the M43B18

pretty sure this is all right. i may be mixing some things up with european models im not sure, it can get tricky.
 

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It is hard to expect us to answer a question correctly when we do not have all the information. US and Canada models never used the m40 engine on the E36, so I assume you are outside of that region.

The m40 engine was used on 318i sedans through 1993. The 318is (again, "is" simply denotes coupe) was built with the 1.8 m42 engine through 1996, and with a 1.9 m44 engine afterwards.

Just read it all yourself:

BMW E36 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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i have heard of a 4 door e36 318is... i didnt believe the girl but she had her father check the vin. and it checked out. i want to get pictures and such soon hopefully. anybody else hear of this?
 

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LYFE SUCK5
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e30dream said:
i have heard of a 4 door e36 318is... i didnt believe the girl but she had her father check the vin. and it checked out. i want to get pictures and such soon hopefully. anybody else hear of this?
yeah it started in like 97 or so
 

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i think she said it was a 94.

god how come noone ever told me about this!!


if anyone has a site that has info about these 4dr is models... id love it! thanks!
 

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There were sport model 2 and 4 doors, but in the USA e36 range 'is' denotes 2door. In all other model ranges (e30, etc) the 'is' means sport.

In europe is means sport, as there were both 318/325/328i coupes and sedans with sports models being denoted with 's'.

Obviously bmw further mixed things up with using different engines under the same name, and using faux naming conventions (like 323i which actually uses a 2.5L engine but was named differently for political reasons to further the 2.5l single vanos engine from the 2.8l dual vanos 196hp 328i vehicle..also bmw historically always makes models with at least a '5' between each model... 318/325 were produced concurrently.. 323/328 were produced concurrently... 330/325 were produced concurrently.. 325i/330i / 328ci/335ci (more then 5)... etc etc. i guess 5 is a satisfying number)

this was all off the top of my head at 2:30 in the morning, but im pretty sure its mostly accurate
 

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The main differences in Europe and probably in US and Canada are the following:

318i M40:
- 115HP
- 8 valves
- 1 camshaft

318iS M42/44
- 140HP
- 16 valves
- 2 camshafts

That is why You see different engine in Your car. The cylinder head and cylinder head cover is bigger than 318i. There must be place for all those things.

You have different petrol so all engines produce for US have lower compression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Timtomek,

This explains the differences between my car and my brother's. I've heared that 318is is 16 valves with double camshafts. But in all the forums, the guys just say that 318i means 4 doors and 318is means 2 doors which didn't really convince me.

When I used to have E30 before, I saw some cars with "is" exetension and I was told they're with "sports" package. This means that BMW should follow the same convention for E36.
 

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well i have the e36 318is (1999 model) and they seem to only have been custom from the factory as all the ones i have seen have been quite different.
Commonly: they all have sports springs and 2 doors aswell as the m tech skirt kit (as far as i know).
Personally i havent seen a 4 door "IS" which i thought made sense as the body has a different door build to the I model; it is lower and longer since the seats are also lower to the floor.
Also an IS with 4 doors in my opinion is a bit strange like putting 4 doors on a lotus or something just seems weird but maybe thats just me.
 

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timtomek said:
The main differences in Europe and probably in US and Canada are the following:

318i M40:
- 115HP
- 8 valves
- 1 camshaft

318iS M42/44
- 140HP
- 16 valves
- 2 camshafts

That is why You see different engine in Your car. The cylinder head and cylinder head cover is bigger than 318i. There must be place for all those things.

You have different petrol so all engines produce for US have lower compression.
Yup. The main confusion comes from BMW not using the same nomenclature around the globe. Our first few replies were mostly based on the BMWs that came to the US market.
 

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When i first bought the car, I didn't even know it would be two door.. i picked it up online.. i had the the picture of a plain 318I in my head.. when i saw the two door thing.. i almost cried foul.. lol..
Look at me resurrecting an old thread...
 

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The main differences in Europe and probably in US and Canada are the following:

318i M40:
- 115HP
- 8 valves
- 1 camshaft

318iS M42/44
- 140HP
- 16 valves
- 2 camshafts

That is why You see different engine in Your car. The cylinder head and cylinder head cover is bigger than 318i. There must be place for all those things.
Hmmm......I buying (later today) a 97 318i Sedan (4dr) with a 16 Valve 4 cylinder. It's my understanding that this is the M44.
 
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