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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 02-03-2006, 02:25 PM
cleoburyp cleoburyp is offline
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Location: USA
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Mein Auto: 5351 1998
Exclamation What to buy?

Wife just gave permission to spend 10K on a car!
Like the idea of a 1997 328iC
What do i look for in buying one - can I get someting for 10K thats any good?
Any links to specification and what the options on the car are.
What are the MUST haves on the car - Id like manual trans!
Any reviews on the WWW?
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2006, 07:26 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
BMWCCA 149159
Location: Panhandle of Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,609
Mein Auto: 335 vert//M3/4/ 13Outback
Convertible

First of all for the amount you are looking to spend you will be looking at the 96 year range maybe a 97. What to look for in the vert that should keep you out of trouble. 5 spd hightly recommended as it is pretty bulletproof.
The 96 on models have a fully auto top which means you push the button and hold it and the top will open and close with no actions by you. Be sure it works that way as tops are cloth in BMWs and very expensive. Areas that cause issues are the tensioning straps that run along the length of the top. They are there to help keep the top tight when it is up. Bat wings, yeah really batwings. These are the plastic pieces that are right behind the rear window. They are there to keep the top from flapping in the wind when the top is up and all the windows are down. This is a common issue with cars that are used often. There is a repair kit that will allow new plastic batwings to be installed and strings with some lead seals that will allow the right tension on the bat wings to keep the top inside liner tight up against the inside where it belongs rather then flapping in the wind. Rear window, look to see if the zipper is still attached to the window, that means it is an original BMW plastic window. If the window is slightly foggy meaning you can kind of see through it then it can be ploished with some plastic polish or just car wax to get the oxidation layer off. If really bad you will need to replace it. That is at least a couple hundred bucks. Rubber seals, they shrink on these cars and you will eventully get a leak around the window frame at the top where the frame and top come together. Seal replacement is about 180 bucks for parts which is just one rubber seal and you can install it yourself with patience.
Remember the vert is 300-400 pounds heavier then a regular coupe or sedan so don't expect it to be as fast. Also most BMW issues with an e36 apply, water pump being the prine one with radiator and t-stat t-stat housing the other two.
Also the car is going to flex some which is due to the body not being as stiff due to no top. Expect that, it is normal. I have always eventually bought the hardtop as it makes the car really tight and gives great protection in all weather conditions.

I am making the assumption you are already familar with the normal e36 3 series cars. If not then do a search. The 328 vert is a nice car and fun to drive even if it was an auto. I have owned both manual and auto and the manual is more fun, way more fun but then if you don't care to shift or your wife doesn't drive a stick then the auto is ok. Be sure that the auto shifts smoothly and if so be sure that you get all the fluids changed in this car. Be careful with how the auto tranny fluid is exchanged because you can induce a slippage in transmission 1 out of 3 times doing this. Ask me how I know. If you just suck out what is in the pan and only put the same amount back in and do that a few times you can exchange the fluid with little risk of causing this problem.

If you want to know specifics just PM me or reply back here and I will try to get you an answer....
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2006, 12:48 PM
Sproles Sproles is offline
Hubby of 1, Daddy of 2
Location: Indianapolis, IN
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 55
Mein Auto: 1998 328i 5-speed
In July I bought a 1998 328i with 96k in GREAT shape from autotrader.com

There were PLENTY to choose from in the 9-11K range in the 1998 328s. Look at eBay and autotrader. I was pretty picky on mine and it took me a week or so to find the exact one that I bought - but it was exactly what I wanted and could afford. My self given limit was also $10K


Good luck and keep us posted.
Sproles
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2006, 10:00 PM
DEFKON99 DEFKON99 is offline
man with the plan
Location: sAN aNTONIO
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 62
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Mein Auto: bmw e36
just go with an M3 e36
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2006, 07:46 AM
dzrocks_11 dzrocks_11 is offline
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Location: Wabasso, MN
 
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Posts: 171
Mein Auto: 1996 328is coupe
i think your ten grand would be wisely spend on a bmw, however if you step away from your convertable idea there will not only be more cars availible but also the pice for a car with similer milage will be down compared to a convertable EI: 10,000 might by you a 97 328ic with 100,000 miles whereas the same 10,000 will by you a 98 328i with 75,000 miles
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2007, 07:16 AM
irish189 irish189 is offline
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Location: rochester NY
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 98 328ic
I have just become the proud owner of a 98 328ic and love it. $11k and its in perfect condition. Hope you can find one.

Question fun2drive. Where would i find a hardtop? Sounds like it might be worth the cash.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2007, 10:22 AM
Blake99 Blake99 is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 323is
i got my 99 323is for $6500. has some milage but please dont fear milage. milage means a car was driven and was important to the owners. you take care of important things. cars with low milage means the owners didnt drive them and most likely didnt do normal repairs. only fixed it if it broke and no preventive maintence. trust me

blake
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2007, 10:30 AM
lochness lochness is offline
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Location: PA
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 210
Mein Auto: e46 M3 Dinan / e70 X5 35
Take your time and look around a lot as my friend picked up a 1995 325ic auto, sport, triple black, loaded w/ 36k in perfect condition for $13,500 2 years ago.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2007, 11:06 AM
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Vornado Vornado is offline
Protect your (lug) nuts
Location: N. Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,576
Mein Auto: '97 BMW 328i
Get a brand new kio rio and hang a flower wreath from the mirror.
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2007, 02:28 PM
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Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
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Mein Auto: M3
Check this thread out mate - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=191293

I know it looks a lot, but ALL cars have their problems.

The E36 is an amazing car and the 328iC is awesome
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  #11  
Old 06-23-2007, 07:44 PM
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jh1328 jh1328 is offline
<----MY girl....
Location: PA, USA
 
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Mein Auto: e36 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by DEFKON99 View Post
just go with an M3 e36
+1 go with the m3...theyre available for around that price range
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2007, 07:08 AM
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jason_recliner jason_recliner is offline
Don't ask me, I'm a sofa.
Location: Lovely Tropical Melbourne
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,181
Mein Auto: Bostongrün 1995 320i
E36 M3 for ~$10k???? I wish.
Sadly, even with AUD$1.00 = US$0.84, not around here they're not. You're looking at $40k+
I paid AUD$11k for my 1995 320i, and thought it a bargain. Took one week before I wanted a 325i.

Cleobury, I'd buy the biggest engine you can find for the dollars. You can always improve / repair your trim / body / engine. But going from 320 to 325/328 is only done with change of car.
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2007, 08:39 AM
Conehead Conehead is offline
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Location: Southern Highlands, AUSTRALIA
 
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Posts: 1,460
Mein Auto: e36 316I M
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vornado View Post
Get a brand new kio rio and hang a flower wreath from the mirror.


If we all ignore him, will he just go away.........
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The best predictor for future behaviour, is past behaviour. ALSO, IT SHOULD BE NOTED:......AMATURES BUILT THE ARK..AND PROFESSIONALS BUILT THE TITANIC..................QUOTE FOR THE DAY.. Good drivers know how to get out of trouble, and better drivers know how to avoid it.....The Cone 2006 & 2007
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2007, 08:45 AM
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Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
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Location: Devon, UK
 
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Mein Auto: M3
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330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2007, 10:05 AM
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Vornado Vornado is offline
Protect your (lug) nuts
Location: N. Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,576
Mein Auto: '97 BMW 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conehead View Post
If we all ignore him, will he just go away.........
Think again!
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