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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 04-11-2014, 09:08 PM
MikeInValdosta's Avatar
MikeInValdosta MikeInValdosta is offline
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Location: Valdosta, GA
 
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Mein Auto: '95 325ic, '99 323i
How old are you? Why did you buy your e36?

Just curious. I am an oldish man. My first BMW was a 1982 320i and it was awesome. I had to get the top-end rebuilt with my summer job's paycheck, but it was worth it.

Sold it for an Alpha Romeo GTV6. Third biggest mistake in my life.

Anyway. I am curious about the age of the average e36 member here. I realize they are cheap and oh so available now. I find it interesting how so many youngsters are so enthused about these cars, much like kids were about small block 350's in my day.

I buy my daughters older BMWs because I love them, and I know they are safe. I also know I can maintain them and perform most of the maintenance cheaper than the average domestic buyer that relies on a mechanic.

So, how old are you? And why did you purchase your e36?
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2008 Acura MDX
2002 GMC Yukon Denali
1996 Mercedes E320 (gone but not forgotten)
2003 Ford Taurus
1995 325ic "Betty"
1999 323i "Uma"

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  #2  
Old 04-11-2014, 10:37 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
D'oh, You kids!
Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
63 last month.

Bought an E36 because I bought one for my daughter and loved it. Had to have one for myself.... then an E24, and then another one, and now I'm driving an E30 while I diagnose what the crap happened to my '84 633.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2014, 10:53 PM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 323is
I bought by e36 back in November of 2011, shortly after I turned 17. The e36 actually just kind of fell in my lap. When I started my summer job and seriously looking at cars, I made a few rules for the car I was going to get. It could not be front wheel drive, we will drive was preferable, but four-wheel-drive was acceptable. I would prefer two doors, but it could have no more than four. It had to be manual. The smaller the better and I had to think it was good at taking corners, so essentially no muscle cars. After searching for a little while, I quickly fell in love with the Miata. I saved up every penny from my summer job and end up with a budget of about $4,000, which was more than enough to buy a 1990 red Miata with a hardtop in good shape (I seriously saw four separate Miatas like that for about $3,000 each pop-up that summer). Unfortunately though, my parents told me I had to purchase a car with a passenger-side airbag. That meant I had to get a 1994 or newer Miata. All of those Miatas were either out of my price range or beat. I searched everywhere for Miata I could get, but by the time October rolled around, most people stop selling Miatas. The whole time I was looking for a Miata, I was still looking at other cars that met my criterias. Towards the end of October I was getting really anxious to buy a car, when I saw an e36 in my price range pop-up really close to me. The car was in Red Hook and the guy selling it worked at the local Sam’s Club which was only 20 mins away from me (every other car I was looked at was 1-2 hours away). I quickly hopped on the car and within a few days ended up purchasing it for $3,000. At the time I do not think I even knew what an e36 was, I was just drawn in by the BMW badge on the hood. Knowing what I know now, I realize I lucked out and got a really good platform.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInValdosta View Post
Sold it for an Alpha Romeo GTV6. Third biggest mistake in my life.
There is your problem. You bought the wrong Alpha Romeo. You are supposed to get a Spider. It would have never been in good running condition, but it would have looked great sitting in your driveway.
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:43 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
nothing.
Location: Rochester, Ny
 
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Mein Auto: A dream
my mom owned my first bmw way before i owned it. then she sold it to me... then i traded it away for another e36+cash. then i traded that e36 for another e36+cash then sold that e36 then bought my current e36. then bought another e36 while owning this e36 which was since sold.

5 total. since i was 17 im 22 now..... EEK
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2014, 01:15 AM
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Engel12626 Engel12626 is online now
Aim small, miss small
Location: Michigan
 
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Mein Auto: '95 525iT, '97 328is
Well I'm 24, bought my e34 wagon at 19. It was the second car I had earned and paid for myself, the first being an S10 which I ended up tearing apart and had turned it into a drag truck haha.

About a year ago I was on the lookout for another e34, but after having some bad luck finding one locally, this e36 popped up on Craigslist so I jumped on it.
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:34 AM
Homer23 Homer23 is offline
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Location: NC
 
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Mein Auto: E36 328i
I'm 28 and I bought my E36 around this time last year. I bought it because I wanted a RWD car that is handles really good, is cheap, and gets slightly above average gas mileage, and a 5 speed manual trans. I also needed a back seat. This eliminated most reasonable (boring) vehicles and actually eliminated the best car that fits this description, a Miata (except the back seat). It's my second favorite car that me or my parents and brothers have owned, even with the heavy maintenance issues. Unfortunately, excessive repairs have me because it needs heavy repairs now. I also should have known to get OEM parts instead of aftermarket; This time a rebuilt OEM steering rack and an OEM guibo are on my parts list to get it running.

Gas mileage kept me from an E30 but one guy that I talked to has 2 and he says that he hasn't had many repairs on either of them, so I may buy one of those too.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:59 AM
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Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is online now
Kid in Queen City
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
Mike, you didn't say how old you were. I can only assume you are 84 until said otherwise.

I'm 23 in a few months. Bought and am driving my first E36 because it was my neighbor's car for the 8 years I lived with my parents. I gawked at that thing every day, and now I own it
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2014, 09:41 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crimson View Post
Mike, you didn't say how old you were. I can only assume you are 84 until said otherwise.

I'm 23 in a few months. Bought and am driving my first E36 because it was my neighbor's car for the 8 years I lived with my parents. I gawked at that thing every day, and now I own it
^^This!^^

Mike, you can't start a "how old are you" thread and then waffle on YOUR age.

I'm 57 and I had wanted a BMW since I did a business practicum at BMW in Munich in 2001. Bought the E36 in 2008 for the wife. Got her an E46 early 2009 and I took over the E36. Got the Z4 in February because the E36 got totaled last November. E46 M3 still needs to be added to the stable....
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2014, 10:27 AM
96bkcamaro 96bkcamaro is offline
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Mein Auto: 318i
26

I got mine couple of weeks ago I wanted to get one after driving my cousins


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  #10  
Old 04-12-2014, 10:29 AM
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jonesin jonesin is offline
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I'm 35, I bought my E36 as a 30th B-day present/post divorce present to myself. I had tried several (spelled MANY) cars, from Audi B5s to E30s to E46s. The E36 was the all time top condition car I could find sub $10k. I paid $8295 tax in, and put a bunch more into her. She makes me happy.
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2014, 10:47 AM
92lagunagreen 92lagunagreen is offline
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Mein Auto: 1992 325i sedan
28 and I bought mine 3 years ago as a birthday present to myself. I had just sold my impreza and was looking for something that supported all of my criteria for a new car. It had to have potential, be affordable, have a manual, and have four doors because of kids. A good friend of mine had a yard full of parts e36's and a very nice turbo monster of his own and he reassured me that buying the one that I own off of him would be a good idea. 4k later and I'm still daily driving my car that has lots of stories to tell.
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2014, 11:46 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
I'm 35, I bought my E36 as a 30th B-day present/post divorce present to myself. I had tried several (spelled MANY) cars, from Audi B5s to E30s to E46s. The E36 was the all time top condition car I could find sub $10k. I paid $8295 tax in, and put a bunch more into her. She makes me happy.
I am 35 as well and shorter than Ed. I bought my first E36 when I was 32. Now I have 3 E36's out of a total of 5 total that i have owned. I love these cars
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2014, 12:39 PM
john kaminski john kaminski is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 325i
72 here youngsters. When I retired I had a great newish WRX Subi but was itching for a roadster or convertible now that I had more time to enjoy it. However I had a 95 lb lab/golden mix that glued himself to me so a back seat of reasonable size made a roadster a none starter. I've always worked on my own cars - rebuilt my MGA's engine couple of times etc. so an older car that was in reasonable shape and relatively easy to work on would be double fun. I hadn't before thought about a BMW, just thinking it would be too expensive to keep up. However after looking at all the possibilities the E36 started looking pretty good. So when I found a 94 drop top with a hard top I went for it and couldn't be happier. Super fun to drive, very easy to work on, and to my pleasant surprise relatively inexpensive to maintain. My buddy Pete loves to sit behind me, top down and looking for all the world like the King of England being chauffeured around his kingdom.

This forum has been invaluable in keeping my E36 in great shape these past 5 years and quite entertaining as well. Thanks to all !
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2014, 01:18 PM
Freudeam Fahren Freudeam Fahren is offline
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Location: Livermore, CA
 
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Mein Auto: E36 328is
Smile

19 over here, got mine as my first car when I was 18 last december. I originally wanted a W124 Mercedes E-class (was and still am a huge Mercedes enthusiast) with the V8(400E or E420) but I could not find one that was not leaking oil or had questionable history or had like 200+k on it. Then I found the most gorgeous 560SEC and the transmission was behaving erratically. For a while I gave up and almost bought a manual Toyota Solara V6, but then I saw a montreal bleu 328is with a five-speed and an immaculate exterior. I thought it was a long shot that I would go to the dealer, find nothing wrong with it and have my old man agree to buy it for me, but I figured I would give it the old college try before I ended up with some Front wheel drive japanese pooper scooper. I also did not think much of it initially, other than that the Bimmer was very pretty and leak free, but still I was not the biggest fan of BMWs.... Then I drove it... As soon as I got into the driver compartment (which fitted like a glove, and felt more like a "cockpit") I was mind blown. My dad was not a fan of Japanese cars anyways so it was not hard to convince him. Also almost crashing like thrice in that solara due to laggy pedals and numb steering also helped in the convincing haha.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:38 PM
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bimmer claus bimmer claus is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 M3 --- 98 Camry D/D
I'm the baby on here 20 lol.
Bought my 93 318 at 16.....
At 18 I got my 98 323is...at 19 I sold the 323 and got a 95 325i...at 20 I bought my 95 m3 and traded the 95 325i for my current daily 98 Toyota Camry.


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  #16  
Old 04-12-2014, 04:35 PM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
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Location: Doylestown PA
 
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Mein Auto: 330ti/635csi
I'm 19, bought my first car (1992 325i E36) a year ago when I was 18 for $600. My favorite car I've worked on to date. Making a career outa spinning wrenches right now too.
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1992 Black 325i 5 Speed w/ 279k - Parted out
1998 Black 328i 5 Speed Restored w/179k - Sold
1995 Black 318ti MTech 5 Speed w/146k - Sold
1992 White 325i Auto - Lemons race car
1995 Green 318ti 5 speed - OBD1 S52 Race Car
1995 Black M3 5 speed w/191k - Fathers
1995 Blue 318ti 5 speed w/96k - Brothers

And 2 more just for parts
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2014, 06:58 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
I'm 33 (emotional maturity of about 24...), and purchased my E36 in January of 2010 after my rusty '93 Maxima went down an injector (not an easy job on that car...) and needed plenty of other work. Despite being a truly phenomenal car, it didn't make sense to repair it. I had a bank account which could've afforded more, but I wanted a simple, RWD car which was easy to work on and emphasized the driving experience. So, the E36 checked all the right boxes for me and I'd do it all over again.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 04-12-2014 at 07:02 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:03 PM
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MikeInValdosta MikeInValdosta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crimson View Post
Mike, you didn't say how old you were. I can only assume you are 84 until said otherwise.
I'm 46 but feel 84
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-----------------------------------------
"Remove the filler plug BEFORE removing the drain plug." - HornHospital
2008 Acura MDX
2002 GMC Yukon Denali
1996 Mercedes E320 (gone but not forgotten)
2003 Ford Taurus
1995 325ic "Betty"
1999 323i "Uma"

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Old 04-12-2014, 07:03 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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Location: in the sticks you piney
 
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i forget how old i am, but mrs df swears i act like i am 12.

a lot.




have had cadence (95 sedan) since a week before joining the fest. bought her with high miles and a lot of work to be done, but the price was right and i knew i could fix a lot of what ailed her.


have had several since (e32 v12, money pit.... would like another v12 though...), e28 (jr df's car that he did nothing with, so i took it back only to find it became a money pit as well....salvaged what i could and the rest is going for scrap), ti, project car #1, getting a proper inline 6 swap, and 2 additional parts cars (e32 & e36)


would like to get either an e46 //M3 or possibly an e38 and do a 6spd swap.




df
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:04 PM
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MikeInValdosta MikeInValdosta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
i'm 35, i bought my e36 as a 30th b-day present/post divorce present to myself.
winner!!!!
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-----------------------------------------
"Remove the filler plug BEFORE removing the drain plug." - HornHospital
2008 Acura MDX
2002 GMC Yukon Denali
1996 Mercedes E320 (gone but not forgotten)
2003 Ford Taurus
1995 325ic "Betty"
1999 323i "Uma"

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  #21  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:08 PM
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MikeInValdosta MikeInValdosta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john kaminski View Post
My buddy Pete loves to sit behind me, top down and looking for all the world like the King of England being chauffeured around his kingdom.
That is great!
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-----------------------------------------
"Remove the filler plug BEFORE removing the drain plug." - HornHospital
2008 Acura MDX
2002 GMC Yukon Denali
1996 Mercedes E320 (gone but not forgotten)
2003 Ford Taurus
1995 325ic "Betty"
1999 323i "Uma"

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  #22  
Old 04-12-2014, 08:01 PM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
I'm 33 (emotional maturity of about 24...), and purchased my E36 in January of 2010 after my rusty '93 Maxima went down an injector (not an easy job on that car...) and needed plenty of other work. Despite being a truly phenomenal car, it didn't make sense to repair it. I had a bank account which could've afforded more, but I wanted a simple, RWD car which was easy to work on and emphasized the driving experience. So, the E36 checked all the right boxes for me and I'd do it all over again.
Holy cow, I thought you were 40 for some reason. LOL!!
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My 325is M-Tech Restoration Thread
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  #23  
Old 04-12-2014, 08:34 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
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Ha! Nope, I haven't hit that milestone yet. Maybe you thought I was 40 because I do amazing things such as use full sentences and somewhat decent punctuation? Kids these days...
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #24  
Old 04-12-2014, 09:56 PM
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bliger7gz bliger7gz is offline
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Location: Plainfield, NJ
 
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Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 325is
How old are you? Why did you buy your e36?

I'm 25 (and a month) old now. My 36 Feldt was more of an "I'm independent" statement.

Last year (march) I turned 24 I started driving my dad's Odyssey and switched to a job that made buying a car affordable. I am the first of my family to finish High School and go to College. I had to work to pay off tuition and with my crappy job I barely made it.
When I got the new job I knew I could afford a car (and wanted one for quite a while), also I had to transfer to the big U to continue school after getting my Associates from the Community College. The new school would be a 30 min train ride then a 30 min walk to campus, it wasn't practical time and money wise. I decided to look for my own car because sharing the single car at home was not easy between parents (tho they don't drive much) lil bro and myself.
I looked at every make and model around my area, I was shooting for a 4cyl Jap car to save on gas. I had no luck as all cars had no serious sellers, in bad shape and overpriced with big mileage. Top of my list were Sentra, 240sx, 90's Civics, Corolla, Lexus IS300 and Impreza.

I then decided to set some clear requirements, I was looking for a car that had good MPG, not beat up, under 150k miles and fit my budget range of $3-4k. And either manual or auto but preferable manual.

I was trying to stay away from Euro because of parts but the E36 was a car that had enchanted me so I looked for some around my area, found a couple and when I got to Feldt there was something about her, I feel like I sensed her personality (best way I can describe it), we're car guys so you know what I'm talking about, and had that gut feeling "this is the one". I got her for $2k and 143k miles, joined the 'fest and started to catch on maintenance, I'm only left with suspension as of now (and the auto to manual swap ) have put close to another $1k on her but she's solid now.

When I got her, I knew nothing about working on cars, I had only changed a tire and made a single oil change before owning mine. But since I'm a tinkerer by nature, love taking apart stuff, analyze the inner workings and put it back together and fix things, learning about cars and working on her is very easy, mostly thanks to you guys you all been the most helpful, taught me lots and still learning. Now I work on my BMW, the Odyssey and helping my bro with his GTI. My dad knows how to do basic maintenance but he's left all work to me now, he's not a car guy so didn't teach me how to work on them, likes to pick on me about the car (because of BMW lol) he wanted me to get a Honda, Toyota or Nissan (sure parts are "cheap" but they break down more often) and I did too but couldn't find one that was worth it.

So there it is, I worked hard to get her, get her in shape and prove my self first that I'm independent.


bliger7gz
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Last edited by bliger7gz; 04-12-2014 at 10:09 PM.
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  #25  
Old 04-13-2014, 04:09 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Location: Communist Republic of Maryland
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Ha! Nope, I haven't hit that milestone yet. Maybe you thought I was 40 because I do amazing things such as use full sentences and somewhat decent punctuation? Kids these days...
Well no, it wasn't the grammar. It was just the way you carried yourself when you made posts. I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.
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