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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 08-29-2007, 10:44 AM
NYe36er NYe36er is offline
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Mein Auto: E36 - 1999 BMW 328iS
My E36 :)

Well I will start by saying hello to anyone I haven't met yet. Haven't REALLY been a member here for long, but I've been lurking for a while. Previously I owned a 1994 Lexus SC300 which was recently totalled:



So after frantically searching for a new car, I finally found the car I wanted (wish it was 4 door, but the iS works too). I'll let the pictures speak for themselves for now, 1999 BMW 328iS 5-speed with 68,000 miles:









I just detailed the car after I picked it up yesterday, and let me tell you it was a MESS. Bird crap etchings in the clear coat, lots of bonded contaminants, swirl marks, hazy/yellow headlights, etc. Took me from sunrise this morning to just about an hour ago, 7 hours of detailing and ALL by hand since I don't have a buffer. I'm sure I'd get better results with one, but I don't feel the need to make that investment when I have two hands that work. For anyone who wants to know/may benefit, my process was the following:

Washed the car with Meguiar's Gold Class Shampoo (there was NO wax on the car previously)
Clayed the car using Mother's Clay Kit
Compounded the paint and especially the bird crap etchings with 3M Rubbing Compound
Polished the paint first with Kit SCRATCH OUT
Polished the paint with a finer polish, Meguiar's Show Glaze
Waxed the car with Meguiar's NXT Paste Wax
Black Magic Tire Wet on the tires and Meguiar's NXT Speed Detailer for the wheels, Armor All on all of the plastic/rubber trim.

OH and I vacuumed, cleaned, and conditioned the ENTIRE interior, but I did that yesterday

I used high quality MF Towels throughout, went through about 7 of them all said and done. My arms hurt and all, but the paint looks brand new for the most part

As far as mods, there won't be much done for now. I don't even know if I'll have the car a year from now so the mods will be few and far between. To kick off my ownership I already placed orders for the following:
Smoked corner housing to replace the amber ones
Smoked GLASS fog lights especially since my right one is broken
Smoked sidemarkers
Black eyelids
XenonDepot Xtreme HID 6500k
Keeping it clean (yes it is a mod!)

For now that will be it, I may look into the smoked red/clear tail light housings a little later this year. Can't decide if I want to take off the 328iS badging or not, are there holes behind it? Nothing will be done in the way of performance/wheels/suspension until next summer after I finish my degree and find a job. It all depends at that point. Any feedback is appreciated.

Last edited by NYe36er; 08-29-2007 at 10:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:12 AM
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First of all, congrats on the purchase. The car looks pretty sweet, very safe and solid black on black. Excellent job on the detailing, I wish you had before/after pics... most car pics posted here are pretty much after full wash/wax and hence all look new, but hardly do you ever see what they looked like when you bought them.

There are no holes behind the badge btw. Go with red/clear tail lights, they looks superb on E36, esp. since you going clear on fronts too.

Try Zimol wax next, im sure result will be even better. Everyone is raving about it, much like about Iridium NGK plugs and Royal Purple oil.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:20 AM
NYe36er NYe36er is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 320what? View Post
First of all, congrats on the purchase. The car looks pretty sweet, very safe and solid black on black. Excellent job on the detailing, I wish you had before/after pics... most car pics posted here are pretty much after full wash/wax and hence all look new, but hardly do you ever see what they looked like when you bought them.

There are no holes behind the badge btw. Go with red/clear tail lights, they looks superb on E36, esp. since you going clear on fronts too.

Try Zimol wax next, im sure result will be even better. Everyone is raving about it, much like about Iridium NGK plugs and Royal Purple oil.
I used Zymol in comparison to NXT one time on my Lexus. I found the NXT gave a deeper appearance. I still have the bottle of Zymol haha, when I run out of NXT that bottle is up next. The real detailing products that people rave about that I have yet to get a hold of is anything by Zaino. $$$$$$$$$ for Zaino.

Thanks for the info on the badge, I'll probably remove it next time I wash the car. The smoked red/clears off of ebay are good enough ($85 shipped for a pair I think)? Or are those cheap and not worth it?
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:36 AM
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Very nice mate

What happened to the Lexus??

Zymol rules!!
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:42 AM
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very nice job. It looks amazingly clean.

Im impressed.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:43 AM
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Nice ride! My old friend had a 323is that looked identical yours back in the day.How do you like it compared to the Lex? I'm sure both vehicles had their pros and cons. Too bad the new SC is a bubble-mobile convertible.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:55 AM
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just make sure you use OEM bulbs in your new tailights, Im sure it doesnt matter if the glass is ebay or oem. but Bulbs gotta be proper quality, the OBC gets sometimes messed up about them and tells you they are not worky.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:56 AM
NYe36er NYe36er is offline
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Mein Auto: E36 - 1999 BMW 328iS
Quote:
Originally Posted by 320what? View Post
just make sure you use OEM bulbs in your new tailights, Im sure it doesnt matter if the glass is ebay or oem. but Bulbs gotta be proper quality, the OBC gets sometimes messed up about them and tells you they are not worky.
Naturally, I'd just swap bulbs from the OEM tails to the new ones. I am not even sure the ebay ones come with bulbs, but I've heard bad stories about people getting blown fuses from those ebay bulbs.
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2007, 12:07 PM
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OEM bulbs is very head ache free. Why you need your OBC flashing and telling you to check your circuitry while all you have wrong is not the right bulbs. For example of course.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2007, 01:04 PM
Admiral-Awesome Admiral-Awesome is offline
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Beautiful car--black on black manual with low miles...I'd do terrible things to have such a beautiful car! lol, congratulations and enjoy!
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2007, 02:11 PM
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Congrats on the new car and your hard work detailing definitely shows. I think you might even get a thumbs up from our resident 'queen of clean' BimmerAngel.

THe interior looks great except for those carpets and mats. If it was my car I would loose the mats and replace with totally new ones as the rest of the interior looks mint.

Look like a great buy and resonably low mileage for the year. Hope you have many happy miles of driving
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2007, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYLexSC View Post
Naturally, I'd just swap bulbs from the OEM tails to the new ones. I am not even sure the ebay ones come with bulbs, but I've heard bad stories about people getting blown fuses from those ebay bulbs.
OEM bulbs from the amber tails are white. Ever been behind an E36 with clear tail lights and white bulbs? It's like getting flashed in the eyes by high beams.
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2007, 04:01 PM
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Congrats man! Looks very clean and well cared for!

Personally I'll stick with Meguiar's waxes/washes and Mother's Claybar, good choice on that! I use the Deep Crystal system, have you ever tried that one to compare? Just curious. Supposedly it's formulated for darker cars, iono, used it on my white Supra and Silver Bimmer and loved the results, so, I'm good with it.

3 things:
Is your shifter knob turned at an angle? Looks like it. With enough force, you can twist it back to center. It's not threaded, just pull on/off.

Iono if it bugs you or not, but the center console/valet thing is rearrangeable as I understand it. I noticed your cupholders are buried under the armrest, if you want I believe you can move them forward and put the ash tray thing in the back. Just thought I'd mention it, cuz it'd drive me nuts

Grab some OEM mats, they're only about 130 IIRC for an entire set from the stealer. They'll be brand new and better condition, and have little rings on them to latch into the floorboard. While you're at it, get the carpets cleaned!

Congrats, tho, man.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2007, 04:16 PM
NYe36er NYe36er is offline
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Mein Auto: E36 - 1999 BMW 328iS
Yup I am going to clean the mats and carpets myself, I have some serious carpet cleaning materials cause my Lexus carpet was tan, you can imagine how difficult that sucker was to keep clean. The shifter knob comes off easily, but it only latches on at that angle. I've been trying to fix it, but I don't know if I can rotate the entire SHIFTER so that the angle is set properly. I tried but it required lots of force, and I didn't want to break anything so I stopped. Can the entire shift lever be rotated so that I can put it at the proper angle?

Also, thanks for the tip on the rearranging of the center console pieces. How does one go about that? Do they just pull out and then you can change it around? I hate that I'd have to lift up the armrest in order to put a cup in and drive. I need the armrest, not so much putting a drink in as I don't often do that, but if the cup holder can be brought forward it would provide an excellent spot for my iPod which at this point I have to leave in the sunglass cubby and it is very difficult to change songs from there lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by v33_n0d3 View Post
OEM bulbs from the amber tails are white. Ever been behind an E36 with clear tail lights and white bulbs? It's like getting flashed in the eyes by high beams.
If I recall, with the red/clear tails, only the turn signal portion is clear...the rest of the tail lights remain the same. So only the tail light bulb will need replacing with a chrome plated amber bulb. I can do that since its just an 1156 bulb. I wouldn't want a white flashing turn signal anyway, IMO thats for civics.

Last edited by NYe36er; 08-29-2007 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:28 PM
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Well, I don't have that valet, I have a one piece molded one (which luckily has the 2 holders up front). But, I've test driven a few cars with that one, and if you look its segmented, each cupholder and the tray are all different pieces of plastic. And I've been told they rearrange, so.....

I'd assume they just pull out, and you can drop em where you want, but I'm not really sure. It's what I've been told, so I'd hate to give a full "yes" and have you break something. I'd try it and see if they feel like they might come out, see if there's any play in them at all or if they feel like they can be loosened. As for the shifter, I believe it can just be rotated, what I'd do (I didn't mention it this way in the other thread) is just pull the knob of, get a good pair of vice grips and put some rubber between them and the shift arm, and try to twist like that. I'd wait to see if Pirate has any input on that though, he's much more knowledgeable than me.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:41 AM
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Thanks Phantom, but you too are an elite!!

You cannot twist the shift arm unless you take it out and twist the whole mechanism, that however is a bad idea as it will be weakened!!

I would just buy a new shifter knob, they are not expensive buddy. The 3rd party ones are secured by a allen-key screw so you can choose the angle you desire
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:51 AM
NYe36er NYe36er is offline
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Thanks pirate, I guess I won't be doing any rotating on it. It doesn't really bother me too much, the way its cocked it makes the lettering flow with the rest of the interior controls and how they are cocked at a slight angle towards the driver. I'll let it be for now
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:53 AM
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:57 AM
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You were talking about de-badging mate

This may help - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...light=abrasive
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate_copy View Post
You were talking about de-badging mate

This may help - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...light=abrasive
yup I know how to debadge, but I use fishing line as opposed to dental floss. the dental floss breaks too easily, fishing line is much stronger. If you break the fishing line, you should stop working out

Phantom...thanks for the tips on rearranging the cup holders and stuff. It worked great! There is only one other configuration you can do though to make sure everything fits back in its place without breaking stuff. Only one cupholder can come forward, the second one must remain in its original spot all the way at the back of the console. Basically the first cupholder and the ashtray thing switch spots, and the change holder moves forwards a little bit. It was easy to remove those pieces, slide the entire unit forward about a 1/4 inch by its base, then gently pull each piece out! and they snap right back into their new spots. Thanks again!
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:46 AM
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Nice ride! My old friend had a 323is that looked identical yours back in the day.How do you like it compared to the Lex? I'm sure both vehicles had their pros and cons. Too bad the new SC is a bubble-mobile convertible.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:14 PM
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Congrats on the car mate !!!
Very very good looking ! Love the paint !
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