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E36 M3 (1995-1999)

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  #1  
Old 05-27-2005, 10:14 AM
platypus platypus is offline
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Location: San Francisco
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: E36 M3 Cab
I Love / Hate my M3!

Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their E36 M3?

Why I love it:

- classic styling
- sleeper looks
- soon to be 2 generations removed
- wind-in-the-hair droptop
- glorious engine and exhaust note (even stock!)
- superb handling - this car feels planted to the road
- steering feel is a dream (especially after coming from my overly light steering 2001 330i)
- inspiring to drive

Why I hate it:

- chassis flex and cowl shake (prolly unique to the 'verts though)
- rattling over anything but the smoothest roads (exacerbated by mine being a 'vert)
- sucky electronics
- seems like every visit to the shop is $500+

I bought this car in August 2003 from the original owner with 28k miles and paid $27k for it. I was happy with the price because it was super clean, had low mileage, was the exact color combo I wanted and had all my desired options, including the rare LTW wheels. Had it checked out by a shop and they verified that that it had no major issues except for a squeaky clutch, which soon after purchase, I paid to have fixed.

Drove it seldomly for the first 18 months (about 6k miles) since I took mass transit to work. Then I started a new job in April and now commute 105 miles a day R/T. Current mileage is 39k. I love to drive this car!

However, after nearly two years of ownership, I've had to replace:

- failed brake light circuit sensor
- failed engine coolant sensor
- failed power passenger seat motor
- failed passenger door lock actuator
- some failed rubber gasket which was causing a burned oil smell

In addition:

- My driver side one-touch up window has a mind of its own, requiring me to just keep it depressed until it's fully up.
- My instrument panel is not evenly illuminated with a dimmer spot in one area.
- The oval plastic surrounds which house the front seat belts are either cracked or have completely broken.
- One of the small plastic covers which retracts during convertible top operation fell off.
- And just last night, I noticed that the top liner on the passenger side near the rear window has started to separate from the top itself due to a cheap plastic housing which has given away.

I was telling a buddy about all this the other day, and he asked me, "Why don't you just get rid of it?"

I thought about it for a moment, and then decided that despite all of its faults, I would just miss this car way too much. After all, it's an E36 M3

Am I nuts??

BTW, there's a pic of my ride in my sig. What do y'all think?

One more thing: I put on Pilot PS2's about 4k miles ago, and I must say they are a great tire, but pricey. Very sticky on dry surfaces and excellent wet weather traction, which was important for me. Quiet also for a performance tire.
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1998 M3 Convertible 5-spd
Cosmos / Dove
LTWs

Last edited by platypus; 05-27-2005 at 10:18 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2005, 10:50 AM
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RChoudry RChoudry is online now
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Mein Auto: 86 325es; 87 325iC; 06 M3
keep it.

It looks fabulous! Those quirks are part of the experience.
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-2006 Z4 M Roadster (Sapphire Black/imola red)...12/9/2006
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2005, 04:12 PM
TD330ci TD330ci is offline
Lost
Location: San Rafael Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 903
Mein Auto: 2003 M5
Quote:
Originally Posted by platypus
Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their E36 M3?

Why I love it:

- classic styling
- sleeper looks
- soon to be 2 generations removed
- wind-in-the-hair droptop
- glorious engine and exhaust note (even stock!)
- superb handling - this car feels planted to the road
- steering feel is a dream (especially after coming from my overly light steering 2001 330i)
- inspiring to drive

Why I hate it:

- chassis flex and cowl shake (prolly unique to the 'verts though)
- rattling over anything but the smoothest roads (exacerbated by mine being a 'vert)
- sucky electronics
- seems like every visit to the shop is $500+

I bought this car in August 2003 from the original owner with 28k miles and paid $27k for it. I was happy with the price because it was super clean, had low mileage, was the exact color combo I wanted and had all my desired options, including the rare LTW wheels. Had it checked out by a shop and they verified that that it had no major issues except for a squeaky clutch, which soon after purchase, I paid to have fixed.

Drove it seldomly for the first 18 months (about 6k miles) since I took mass transit to work. Then I started a new job in April and now commute 105 miles a day R/T. Current mileage is 39k. I love to drive this car!

However, after nearly two years of ownership, I've had to replace:

- failed brake light circuit sensor
- failed engine coolant sensor
- failed power passenger seat motor
- failed passenger door lock actuator
- some failed rubber gasket which was causing a burned oil smell

In addition:

- My driver side one-touch up window has a mind of its own, requiring me to just keep it depressed until it's fully up.
- My instrument panel is not evenly illuminated with a dimmer spot in one area.
- The oval plastic surrounds which house the front seat belts are either cracked or have completely broken.
- One of the small plastic covers which retracts during convertible top operation fell off.
- And just last night, I noticed that the top liner on the passenger side near the rear window has started to separate from the top itself due to a cheap plastic housing which has given away.

I was telling a buddy about all this the other day, and he asked me, "Why don't you just get rid of it?"

I thought about it for a moment, and then decided that despite all of its faults, I would just miss this car way too much. After all, it's an E36 M3

Am I nuts??

BTW, there's a pic of my ride in my sig. What do y'all think?

One more thing: I put on Pilot PS2's about 4k miles ago, and I must say they are a great tire, but pricey. Very sticky on dry surfaces and excellent wet weather traction, which was important for me. Quiet also for a performance tire.
I know exactly what you mean. It really is Love/Hate.

I hove replaced Much more then that in my 20 months with my 99 vert.

Bought with 40K now almost 60K. Its meant to be driven.

My biggest hate are the cracking seats.

I suggest you get a front tower bar for the cowl shake. I installed the stong strut bar and it made a HUGE difference in mine. Best thing I have done to the car. It really locks things down.

Here is mine.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2005, 08:25 AM
platypus platypus is offline
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Location: San Francisco
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: E36 M3 Cab
Quote:
Originally Posted by TD330ci
My biggest hate are the cracking seats.

I suggest you get a front tower bar for the cowl shake. I installed the stong strut bar and it made a HUGE difference in mine. Best thing I have done to the car. It really locks things down.
Guess the cracking seats are something I have to look forward to.

Which front bar do you have and is this a DIY job? Sounds interesting if it will help tighten things up...
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1998 M3 Convertible 5-spd
Cosmos / Dove
LTWs
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2005, 09:00 PM
///Tom ///Tom is offline
BLOW ///M3
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: ///M3
i love mine
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-Tom

95 Dakar M3
Euro HFM / 3.5" PAR Intake/24# Injectors / Jim C chip / UUC DTM Exhaust / Bilstein Struts/Shocks / Eibach Springs / 18" BBS RC Polished / Fan Delete / Stygar Short Shift Kit / Euro corners/tails / AC Schnitzer Carbon Fiber Trim / AC Schnitzer Carbon Fiber rear roof spoiler / Alpine CDA-7878, MB Quarts all around / JL 10w7.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2005, 10:00 PM
TD330ci TD330ci is offline
Lost
Location: San Rafael Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 903
Mein Auto: 2003 M5
Quote:
Originally Posted by platypus
Guess the cracking seats are something I have to look forward to.

Which front bar do you have and is this a DIY job? Sounds interesting if it will help tighten things up...

Sorry for the late reply. I bought it off another board member here. TD actually. Its an old Strongstrurt. The local shop put it in for me during a serive but its definetly an easy DIY.
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2005, 10:58 PM
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Jon Shafer Jon Shafer is offline
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Location: Santa Barbara
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 14,212
Mein Auto: E92 M3 Cp
I'm kinda of a newcomer to this club, but I can appreciate what you are saying
(there is a permanent "things-to-do-to-the car"/fix it list), but it is clearly a labor
of love. In my one month of ownership I've had plenty to keep me busy...
No car that I've ever owned compares to the subjective phenomenological
experience of driving it, or even comes close for that matter.



Here's a pic:
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2005, 09:06 AM
///Tom ///Tom is offline
BLOW ///M3
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: ///M3
beautiful car!
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-Tom

95 Dakar M3
Euro HFM / 3.5" PAR Intake/24# Injectors / Jim C chip / UUC DTM Exhaust / Bilstein Struts/Shocks / Eibach Springs / 18" BBS RC Polished / Fan Delete / Stygar Short Shift Kit / Euro corners/tails / AC Schnitzer Carbon Fiber Trim / AC Schnitzer Carbon Fiber rear roof spoiler / Alpine CDA-7878, MB Quarts all around / JL 10w7.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2005, 08:03 PM
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jrp jrp is offline
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Location: Fremont, CA
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 460
Mein Auto: 04 M3 und 02 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon
No car that I've ever owned compares to the subjective phenomenological
experience of driving it, or even comes close for that matter.
I'm gonna have to go out for a drive now...before I start missing my previous cars too much.

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