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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 05-01-2011, 04:35 PM
MCSaints72 MCSaints72 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 BMW 318is
E36 318is Performance Parts

Hey everyone, i'm looking to put some performance parts on my 1996 318is and i need some suggestions. My first priority is a cold air intake but i cant seem to find very many, any ideas? Also an exhaust and i'm not sure what else would be good so your advice would be great, thanks.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2011, 05:07 PM
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Location: Madison WI
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 323is
Look on the little black bar near the top of the page, User CP FAQ etc.... keep going till you find the Search button. Click that baby and type in "air intake", "exhaust", or "how can I waste my money" and you should find the answers you seek.


To make it easy though, I shall sum it all up:

Air intakes are a waste of money.
Exhausts are all different, individual taste determines which is "best"
Go to google and type in "e36 mods" and you'll find a million things to read and learn up on.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2011, 05:09 PM
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drive by72 drive by72 is offline
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Ryan, your list lacks the most crucial point of modding a 318:
It will never be fast short of FI
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2011, 05:17 PM
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Ryan... Ryan... is online now
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2011, 08:06 PM
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Poorboysracing Poorboysracing is offline
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I should go on my usual 318's are great cars and make it handle well and enjoy the good mpg's and I love mine speal but I'm not felling up to it. So can we see a pic of this beast? And please please please tell me its not an autotragic
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2011, 10:40 PM
zacman1 zacman1 is offline
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Mein Auto: E36 318is
Not going to lie.. In all the time I have had my car (3 years) every mod I have done hasn't made it faster in a straight line. It was dynoed at 78rwkw of pure fury! haha

From my experience with the 318is (mine's also a 96) the best thing you can do is regularly service it.
I had a Cosmos Racing CAI, didn't do anything except sound cool. And I have a full custom exhaust system with headers and high flow cat. Didn't notice a performance gain really.

The best thing I have ever done with my car is sort the suspension. Springs, shocks, bushes and rear sway bar. Made a huge difference to how the car drives and handles.
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2011, 10:54 PM
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miles_trail miles_trail is online now
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Location: Lexington, VA, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 96 318ti, 93 BMW 325IS
Okay, here's my go to response to people wanting to spend money to make a 318 fast
1) sell the 318
2) take money from 318 and what ever you were planning to drop on mods and buy a 325.

This is a guaranteed gain of about 60 HP and 50 Ft/LBS of torque.
Once you have a 325 your options for mads are a lot better and most people agree that a CAI, exhaust system, and tune pull a decent amount of extra power out of the 6 cylinder engines, but my decision on CAIs is that they sound cool, but are basically a straw for your engine to suck up puddles during heavy rain, which is a bad thing so I'll be going to a heat shielded short ram intake next week.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2011, 07:19 AM
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Time2Fly Time2Fly is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 318i 1994 325i 1998
You want HP? Add nitrous and a turbo......That will slap your head back....All kidding aside these guys are right, in stock form the 4 runs very well great MPG no real HP you can make it sound cool and with the right mods maybe just maybe get a little more out of it but not worth the cost. When I was looking to buy a car I wasn't looking at BMW's didn't even consider it because I thought I wouldn't have enough money to get one, before I bought the 318 I have now I had a chance to buy a 94 325i red with black leather interior. The difference in the acceleration was like night and day both were basically the same car except the motor. I kinda wish now that I would have gotten the 325i but I really enjoy my 318 and I haven't even started working on the suspension yet. Have fun restoring your 318 to enjoy going for drives that won't clean out your wallet, buy a 325 if you want to go on that same drive just a little faster.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2011, 10:57 PM
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jarozila jarozila is offline
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As been said - a cold air intake won't make the car perform any better but does improve sound; a change of exhaust will also not make any differences as such, aside from sound.

Having said that I did put in a BMA intake and had a Remus system fitted.

If you want to do somthing for "power" than put in a light weight flywheel. Not cheap but does do wonders for the car.

Given the price of cars in the USA, if you want a car with more get-up-and-go get another car. I have a 318is and it is a great car to drive. Spend money on suspension, assuming of course that all else has been taken care of - such as cooling system etc.

BMC CDA


Remus twin 90mm


UUC Light weight flywheel

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  #10  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:32 PM
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Time2Fly Time2Fly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarozila View Post
As been said - a cold air intake won't make the car perform any better but does improve sound; a change of exhaust will also not make any differences as such, aside from sound.

Having said that I did put in a BMA intake and had a Remus system fitted.

If you want to do somthing for "power" than put in a light weight flywheel. Not cheap but does do wonders for the car.

Given the price of cars in the USA, if you want a car with more get-up-and-go get another car. I have a 318is and it is a great car to drive. Spend money on suspension, assuming of course that all else has been taken care of - such as cooling system etc.

BMC CDA


Remus twin 90mm


UUC Light weight flywheel


I get get all gitty when I see a clean motor like your, dude that is one clean motor. nice work. I got a few gaskets to replace then mine will stay looking that good.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:08 PM
okayer2570 okayer2570 is offline
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Location: san pedro, ca
 
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Mein Auto: 1992 BMW 318is
I love my 92 318is. Not the fastest car on the block, but it sounds like it. I pull up to mustangs and ricers and make them take a seat. Now this car has almost no acceleration, but when I get it into 3 gear this baby takes off (thanks to some work on my part) so it now can back the pretty sound that bellows from its parts. these are great drivers cars. I love just driving mine hard into corners handles like a dream, and with a small tap of my gas pedal I can make the back end come out a little to really get the most hp and fun out of this car you need to learn how to drive it. These cars stock can handle great use it. Drive It stock learn to drive it as hard as you can stock, learn how to get all 135 horses out of that little engine learn how to make the back end come out. And when you get good enough with that burn rubber. (lol yes it is possible i have plenty) once you have really got all you can out of the little thing start building on it. I recommend the first thing you do is buy a $30 chip fort the ecu. It takes the limiter off so you can get up to the 160 mark on your speed O and increases acceleration. (just a little) now out of a stand still almost any car will have you but hit 3 gear and it all kicks in like a turbo. I love my little 318. 238.305 miles and it still makes Hondas cry. And mustangs quiver. And remember the street is tight and traffic hardly ever allows for a 1\4 mile so get those shock and struts up to date. An intake and an exhaust are great but get the grip down first. And really learn how to get ever ounce of hp out of your car (yes what little there is) and lets this prepare you for the next one you buy. Have fun with it. Enjoy.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:17 PM
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Moeman10 Moeman10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okayer2570 View Post
I love my 92 318is. Not the fastest car on the block, but it sounds like it. I pull up to mustangs and ricers and make them take a seat. Now this car has almost no acceleration, but when I get it into 3 gear this baby takes off (thanks to some work on my part) so it now can back the pretty sound that bellows from its parts. these are great drivers cars. I love just driving mine hard into corners handles like a dream, and with a small tap of my gas pedal I can make the back end come out a little to really get the most hp and fun out of this car you need to learn how to drive it. These cars stock can handle great use it. Drive It stock learn to drive it as hard as you can stock, learn how to get all 135 horses out of that little engine learn how to make the back end come out. And when you get good enough with that burn rubber. (lol yes it is possible i have plenty) once you have really got all you can out of the little thing start building on it. I recommend the first thing you do is buy a $30 chip fort the ecu. It takes the limiter off so you can get up to the 160 mark on your speed O and increases acceleration. (just a little) now out of a stand still almost any car will have you but hit 3 gear and it all kicks in like a turbo. I love my little 318. 238.305 miles and it still makes Hondas cry. And mustangs quiver. And remember the street is tight and traffic hardly ever allows for a 1\4 mile so get those shock and struts up to date. An intake and an exhaust are great but get the grip down first. And really learn how to get ever ounce of hp out of your car (yes what little there is) and lets this prepare you for the next one you buy. Have fun with it. Enjoy.



quoted for the sake of being quoted.
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:40 PM
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LaCrosse540i6 LaCrosse540i6 is offline
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Location: WI
 
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Mein Auto: '03 540i M-sport
Ohh god.

If you get this hard driving a 318, I would love to read your review of an e36 M3.


P.S.

On a scale of one - fast, 318's are lumbering turds.
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Last edited by LaCrosse540i6; 11-16-2011 at 11:17 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2011, 11:02 PM
okayer2570 okayer2570 is offline
Okayer2570
Location: san pedro, ca
 
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Mein Auto: 1992 BMW 318is
Hahahahaha I'm sorry guys I just love driving and BMW's are the most fun I have had with a car. I mean to me it is the joy of driving these things.
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  #15  
Old 11-16-2011, 11:05 PM
trooper001 trooper001 is offline
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Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Mein Auto: E36 '94 318is
^lmao. Just appreciate the car for what it is - a good daily driver. Plus it's cake to maintaine. It's simple as hell to work on.

Last edited by trooper001; 11-16-2011 at 11:08 PM.
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  #16  
Old 11-17-2011, 08:29 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Ha ha ha ha ha.
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  #17  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:33 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCSaints72 View Post
Hey everyone, i'm looking to put some performance parts on my 1996 318is and i need some suggestions. My first priority is a cold air intake but i cant seem to find very many, any ideas? Also an exhaust and i'm not sure what else would be good so your advice would be great, thanks.
A popular intake option for the 318 is the K&N Performance Intake, is is designed to replace your factory air box without any serious modifications. An intake on the 318 will give you the nice induction sound while "livening" up the motor.

A suggestion for your mod path is to focus on handling. One of my parts specialist runs a 318 in auto X and is able to set faster times than many higher horse power cars thanks to the 318s low weight and his suspension set up. For a while he ran the FK Streetline Coilovers according to him their springs and shocks are matched nicely for auto x and are pretty comfortable on the street.

Congrats on the bimmer I'm sure you are already enjoying her!

ECS Tuning

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Last edited by ECSTuning; 11-17-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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  #18  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:39 AM
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Moeman10 Moeman10 is offline
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What he said ^


I love the coilovers so far.
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  #19  
Old 11-18-2011, 04:25 PM
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Killjoy Killjoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okayer2570 View Post
I recommend the first thing you do is buy a $30 chip fort the ecu. It takes the limiter off so you can get up to the 160 mark on your speed O and increases acceleration. (just a little)
I was not aware that the 318 could hit 160.

All motor, breh.
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  #20  
Old 11-18-2011, 04:57 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Yeah, no way a 318 is getting anywhere near 160mph. Maybe 160km/h.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 11-18-2011 at 04:58 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-18-2011, 05:11 PM
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Ryan... Ryan... is online now
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Location: Madison WI
 
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I missed that the first time around

Didn't know a $30 chip would make a 318 run with an e39 M5, would've bought one of those instead and saved a butt load of money
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  #22  
Old 11-18-2011, 05:15 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is online now
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I'm sure a 318 could go 160 down a 45* grade
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  #23  
Old 01-03-2013, 11:25 PM
Skuzzle Skuzzle is offline
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Mein Auto: 318i touring
Hi all I'm new here but I have a 97 318i touring which I have done standard mods to eg, cold air intake, exhaust system (not cat back), new clutch, full service and new fluids everywhere, not to mention some basic look mods as in flip up tv/stereo with driving cameras, blue door handle lights and blue angel's (which look f**king awesome and mean looking!) and fitted M3 mirrors, and yet on a flat I can get 130 mph! She could go a bit more if I got limiter removed, my guess would be about 140 mph, but that's still not taking into account that I have yet to install new cam, lightweight flywheel, intake manifold and exhaust manifold along with a remap, a very reliable source reckons I could get very close to the 160mph if all this was done, which it will be soon.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:29 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Have fun with that...
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  #25  
Old 01-04-2013, 05:37 AM
jamrobin jamrobin is offline
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Location: Deep River, Ontario, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 94 318is, 99 M3 cabrio
Hi All,
I'm new here as a member but have been a lurker for years to find my solutions. (e39 540i 6spd (gone), e30 325e 5spd, (gone) e36 318is 5spd (DD), and new to me e36 M3 5spd convertible w/hard top (not DD but not a garage queen either)

I've a 318is with an M3 suspension and body kit that's been slammed a couple inches (all PO)... looks fast... isn't. The care DOES handle like a go-kart! I fell in love with the driving feel but when I decided I wanted something quick I started shopping for an M3. I'll keep both because the 318 is SUPER CHEAP on fuel and still has a high fun factor but the closest thing to a "performance mod" I have done was to replace the paper filter with a K&N (more because it's easier to remove and clean a few times per year than to find the correct paper filter in this little town) and replacing the plugs with iridium... I DO have to say that I noticed a difference with the plugs but the ones I took out were pretty worn.

After getting used to the 318 for about a year and a half, driving the M3 home had me giggling like a little girl! It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I had been driving a car that needs to run in high rpm for any kind of throttle response and jumping to the opposite end of the e36 scale but to me on that night I could have been driving a supercar. :-)

I strongly suggest that the best performance upgrade for your 318is is to get an M3! ;-) (but keep the 318 if you can because they're the perfect commuter car!)

My $.02
Jamie
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