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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-25-2007, 09:54 PM
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PJBIMMER PJBIMMER is offline
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things about E36's, funny but true!

The coolant pump (water pump) will either fail or start leaking around 75k.

The upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing will break.

The cooling system may require several bleed sessions to completely rid the system of air. The coolant low indication will appear on the OBC.

The VANOS rattles like pebbles in a tin can.

The valve train sounds like a diesel after sitting for a few days or on cold morning start ups use thicker oil (15-50).

The brake pad sensors do not require replacement unless the brake pad symbol is illuminated in the instrument cluster.

The brake circuit failure indication on the OBC is cleared by replacing the switch located above the brake pedal.

The clutch pedal squeaks and moves laterally due to worn bushings. Replace with Delrin AF bushings.

The clutch slave cylinder is a high fail component. Replace it and bleed the clutch system before dropping large cash on a clutch job.

Flush and bleed the brake fluid every two years.

Flush and bleed the cooling system every two years. Use BMW coolant and distilled water 50/50 mix.

Replace the thermostat housing with an aluminum aftermarket.

There are no adverse effects of using synthetic fluids at any mileage.

The shifter can be replaced with a short shift kit using OEM BMW parts.

Wheel offset means the number of millimeters the mounting surface is from the centerline of the rim.

Buy a quality clicker type torque wrench.

Buy a Bentley Manual.

Batteries fail when the weather turns cold or when the glove box light doesn't shut off due to poor fitment.

Belt tensioner and idler pullies fail and make hideous noises.

Buy a set of Blitz Rhino ramps.

Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil is available at Wal-Mart for cheap.

Distilled water is in the water aisle at the grocery store.

Buy a quality floor jack.

Buy quality jack stands.

Buy wheel chocks.

Buy a fire extinguisher.

Torque wheel bolts to spec. to avoid rotor warp.

Establish a good relationship with the parts guy at the local BMW dealer or with your mechanic.

Tip said parts guy.

Clutch Judder is normal in traffic jams due to hot clutch plates

Dont buy Lexus type rear lights, its not big nor clever!

Does my car have LSD? Solution; get in some dirt or sandy pavement(as not to abuse the car) and spin the damn tires, or jack the rear up and turn one rear wheel and see if the other spins the same way.

Yellowing and faded plastic headlight covers can be restored by using Mequiars #10 and #17 Clear Plastic Cleaner and Polish

The dealer will try to screw you! If there are no independent bimmer mechanics in your area, leave a jar of Vaseline or KY with the dealership service manager along with your keys

The check engine light is USUALLY caused by the O2 sensor but there may be other reasons for it to be set off

The little O with ridges around it are the brake pad sensors. They are in the LF and RR

The e36 does have a 'natural' lean when driverless and looked at from behind

DTM tips were invented by Osama bin Laden....don't support terrorism

OBD2 cars cannot be 'chipped' there must be a software download, i.e. you have to send your ECU to have it programmed or have a "shark injector" to do this.

Chips and 'sharked' downloads merely advance the ignition timing and will not make your car beat a Corvette

E36's are not drag cars, due to their diff ratios. If an Integra beats you, your stoopid azz deserves it, buck up and buy a new rear differential with Limited Slip

Larger rims, speaker boxes & large tail pipes will add weight and slow down your car although you think louder means it's moving faster

When you hear a "thunk" from the middle of the car, it's probably the Guibo. (flex disk)

When you hear a "thunk" from the back of the car, it's probably the Rear Shock Mounts. (RSMs)

If it's cold and you have trouble starting the car, you probably have a cold starting problem.

$tealer survival list includes: credit card with high credit limit, ETK & TIS, an attorney, and Vaseline or KY your choice (they make a nice warming gel now)

Q: I just changed my spark plugs now I'm getting rough idle.
A: Gee, could it be the new Platinum+4 spark plugs you just put in?

RTFM - Read the Farking Manual!

The *ding* you hear when it is cold out means It IS cold out, duh! (dings at 38F)

325/328/M3 exhausts are interchangeable. 318 are not. The M3 exhaust IS HEAVY!!!

Buy an genuine BMW water pump

All most all shifter rods (not the linkage, but the rod itself) are interchangable among BMWs Euro M3 & Z3 shifters are short throw shifters

Have all rear bushings inspected regularly on 325's

Oil the seats regularly

If your seat stops reclining, the plastic gear has broken inside, look on line order it for $40

There is a moonroof available but it is very expensive & adds more weight to the car = less hp

If you want nitrous, you've bought the wrong car but can be done, you can also put sand in your crank case one is just a little faster at destroying your motor than the other...

The value of a car does not increase with mods by any logical amount

It's a BMW and more than likely its not a rare one...It will depreciate

Yes, red cars ARE faster

This car will NOT get you laid, you do have to have some personality & a good bar tab

A faulty seatbelt sensor will cause the SRS warning light to stay on

Not closing the gas cap all the way will cause an engine warning light just about every time.

Once you take the dashboard apart you will NEVER get the glove box door to line up perfectly again.

Before disconnecting the battery. Make sure you write down the radio code or have the radio code card that comes in the owners manual.

The most popular setup of aftermarket name brand shocks for the E36 are H&R springs w/ Bilstien shocks/struts.

The tire in the trunk helps to maintain a near 50-50 weight ratio. If you decide to auto-X the car, you may want to leave the spare tire in the car & just run less amounts of gas in the tank.

For OBDI E36's you can use the pedal trick to get the fault codes. For OBDII, you will need a code reader.

If you find oil in your spark plug well, most likely cause is that your valve cover gasket is leaking.

You can "double lock" your doors by turning your key all the way to the right from the drivers side door and all the way left from the passenger side door.

The two significant problems on the early 318's were the profile gasket (which is not a head gasket) and the Bad Valeo alternators

Pulsating headlights usually indicates your voltage regulator or alternator needs changing

The profile gasket affected only the M42 engines

The 318's have had 3 separate belt and pulley configurations between the M42 and M44

Cold air intakes do not work as well for the 318, the MAFs don't recognize it.

Altezza tailights were created by Satan himself...do not support raw evil

Chips do work, but the wont make your car wheelie like herbie the luv bug it will simply increase your ignition timing for a more robust/smoother torque curve
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2007, 10:01 PM
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PJBIMMER PJBIMMER is offline
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I just want to say: we all love are cars, found this on a web page thought it was funny, tell me what you all think of it?
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2007, 10:38 PM
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Ronnaferd Ronnaferd is offline
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a great bunch of information for people who don't know about these problems. For me i get a lot of memories and some laughs and "yep been there done that"
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2007, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJBIMMER View Post
The *ding* you hear when it is cold out means It IS cold out, duh! (dings at 38F)

My fav....it makes me feel stupid bc i always thought that it was something wrong with the car. never went through the trouble of having it checked out though. Its my first winter to have the car. So its not my fault.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2007, 01:14 AM
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Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
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Awesome thread

Well done buddy.

U fitted that CAI yet?

BEST BIT - Dont buy Lexus type rear lights, its not big nor clever!
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Last edited by Pirate_copy; 02-26-2007 at 01:20 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2007, 02:15 AM
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Bimmer_Angel Bimmer_Angel is offline
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CAI FITTED!!! AWESOME PIECE OF KIT. FIT ONE TODAY GUYS!

Also agree that RED CARS are faster [lol] and, according to some random survey done through an insurance company here in the UK, if there is an accident between two cars it will invariably be the 'red' ones fault!!!! So, therefore, it confirms that they must be faster because lets face it, being bright red one could not easily fail to see it coming towards you!!!!!!!!
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2007, 04:07 AM
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DominguesE30 DominguesE30 is offline
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This should be a sticky!!!
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2007, 05:25 AM
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PJBIMMER PJBIMMER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate_copy View Post
Awesome thread

Well done buddy.

U fitted that CAI yet?

BEST BIT - Dont buy Lexus type rear lights, its not big nor clever!
I haven't had the chance to work on it yet due to work, family and other things. But hope to have CAI in by weds.
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  #9  
Old 02-26-2007, 05:31 AM
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Family always get in the way

Luckily my mum loves bimmers too (as you can see) and so most of our spare family time is spent playing with our cars hehehe

Good luck with the install buddy
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2007, 11:58 AM
big baz big baz is offline
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thats quality just had my battery die on me last week because it got to cold dam the truth because it hurts lol
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:03 PM
bobby515 bobby515 is offline
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wow i just turned it my o6 lease car..after all that posted knowed problem's. i better get a toyota. i really like this 96 328ci conv 82k. but??????it it worth it..??????? you have created dougt.
bob
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2007, 02:25 PM
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Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
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Am sure toyotas have an equally, if not longer, list mate!
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2007, 03:49 PM
bobby515 bobby515 is offline
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pirate thats what i want to hear thanks bob
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  #14  
Old 02-26-2007, 04:11 PM
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Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
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ALL cars have their problems buddy. The simple reason being that they are designed by humans and even the best of the best make mistakes and dont account for things.

Yes, BMW's have their problems but are a lot more reliable than many many cars. Plus because they are so amazing to drive, you put up with the little niggles.

I would rather have a great car that i love to drive every second that has a few small problems than a car that bores me stupid but is 100 percent reliable (not that a 100 percent reliable make of car exists of course, the Honda V-Tech engine gets close but the car has issues!)

You will note that none of the above are REALLY bad. Not like "The M52 engine is prone to blow up" or "the diff is prone to locking up at high speed", they are little niggles and many of them are cheap (ish) fixes

The one they missed is "All BMW stealers are ar5eholes and the spore of all evil"

Avoid stealers and you will be laughing mate. Put simply, the E36 is awesome....truly awesome
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Last edited by Pirate_copy; 02-26-2007 at 04:13 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-26-2007, 04:13 PM
bblazen bblazen is offline
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ah funny and yet so ture nice post PJBIMMER
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2007, 04:42 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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Heh!! I am ordering a new radiator today, the plastic neck just snapped and its beyond repair..I have 109K on my car!!
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:27 PM
custm42435 custm42435 is offline
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awesome info and a great laugh!
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  #18  
Old 02-26-2007, 06:43 PM
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PJBIMMER PJBIMMER is offline
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I'm sooo glad you all liked this post, I wish I was the one that wrote it, it is a good one and like all of you, I will learn by it also!!
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:25 PM
Simo Simo is offline
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The E36 Tank Trap

Great summary of E36, being my second 325, just can't get enough punishment, will printout and file in the folder along with the steadily accumulating pile of invoices. I heard the water pumps could turn your E36 into a steamboat, so replaced it.....With thanks
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:12 PM
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Heh!! I am ordering a new radiator today, the plastic neck just snapped and its beyond repair..I have 109K on my car!!
mine lasted about 110k new one in place now
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:43 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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mine lasted about 110k new one in place now
It blew up near Stockton, too!!!
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  #22  
Old 02-27-2007, 01:10 AM
silverbmw528 silverbmw528 is offline
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Originally Posted by DominguesE30 View Post
This should be a sticky!!!
x1 Def'o !

Great thread thanks from a relatively new E36 owner. 15 years of owning BM's there’s always something new to learn

Cheers
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2007, 12:19 PM
Bobkitten Bobkitten is offline
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[QUOTE=PJBIMMER;2199813]



Does my car have LSD? Solution; get in some dirt or sandy pavement(as not to abuse the car) and spin the damn tires, or jack the rear up and turn one rear wheel and see if the other spins the same way.



I did this to my car today. When i spin one wheel the other one spins in the same direction does this mean i have LSD or i dont?
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by custm42435 View Post
awesome info and a great laugh!
WOW - LOVE YOUR CAR - this is my next one seeing as my hubby wont buy me a new 6 series convertible!!!!

But what does it for me is the 'teddybear' in the back! Here in the UK Plebs/non BMW owners, hang furry dice from the rear view mirror. Does Teddy give you extra bird pulling power?????

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Old 02-27-2007, 06:29 PM
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PJBIMMER PJBIMMER is offline
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awesome info and a great laugh!
Custm42435: Been wanting to ask, where did you getyour license plate delete panel at?
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