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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 04-14-2012, 01:13 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Tempted to get an E36

Hello from the E34 club

Well I recently traded my 525iT for a 535i 5 speed. I'm loving everything about the car, except for the MPGs around town.

So yeah. Now I am half tempted to find a 328i. But it's hard finding one near by that has similar mods that my 535 has :/

I've test driven an E36 323i and I definitely like how the E36 drives.

So do you guys think it'd be a good trade off going from a 535i to a 328i?
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:19 PM
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cmybimmer cmybimmer is offline
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If you enjoy the e34 so much, why dont you just settle with a 525i? has the same m50 as an e36, and you can still enjoy the e34 .. Plus you can take the goodies off the 535 before you sell/trade and throw it on the 525 . My buddy has a clean e34 and makes me think twice about getting one lol
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  #3  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:31 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Originally Posted by cmybimmer View Post
If you enjoy the e34 so much, why dont you just settle with a 525i? has the same m50 as an e36, and you can still enjoy the e34 .. Plus you can take the goodies off the 535 before you sell/trade and throw it on the 525 . My buddy has a clean e34 and makes me think twice about getting one lol
I still want more punch than the 525i and the 328i provides that with being lighter and the M52 has more power output than the M50 (torque wise). Plus the MAF and Chip on my car are meant for the M30 engine. So the only thing I'd keep if I got an E36 would be the wheels.

I actually started looking at getting an E36 in November of 2011, but i couldn't find any deals nearby that worked out (3 fell through, and 1 owner decided to keep the car).
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  #4  
Old 04-14-2012, 02:49 PM
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Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
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this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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  #5  
Old 04-14-2012, 04:33 PM
V_323 V_323 is offline
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Sounds like a decent idea, due to it's weight a stock E36 would most likely be able to match or exceed the e34 performance wise, and there are quite a lot of tuning options available for the platform.
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2012, 02:16 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Buy my convertible?
I'd be looking to do a trade if I do get a different vehicle.
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2012, 02:31 PM
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Yep, an E36 328 will be way faster and get better MPGs than any E34. My friend's E34 525i definitely drinks more gas than my E36 328is. E34s have much nicer interiors, however. IMO, when going from an E34 to E36, you are trading interior build quality for outright performance & handling. I'd say they're similarly reliable, with the E36 probably having a slight advantage, since it has a simpler electrical system. Both cars have the same cooling system woes.
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2012, 03:11 PM
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Moeman10 Moeman10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Yep, an E36 328 will be way faster and get better MPGs than any E34. My friend's E34 525i definitely drinks more gas than my E36 328is. E34s have much nicer interiors, however. IMO, when going from an E34 to E36, you are trading interior build quality for outright performance & handling. I'd say they're similarly reliable, with the E36 probably having a slight advantage, since it has a simpler electrical system. Both cars have the same cooling system woes.
Pretty much the best summary ITT. I was going to say the same things but you beat me to it.


Also, in terms of Mods, E36's will be slightly less expensive across the board, as they're more popular.
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2012, 03:27 PM
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Thirded.

Weight is the enemy of gas mileage, much more so than displacement.

It depends what the car will be used for. Short trips around town and some track days, E36. If you have to spend any reasonable amount of time sitting inside it, E34.

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  #10  
Old 04-17-2012, 04:53 PM
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^ probably the most qualified guy for the e36 vs 5 series argument

i still belive he will one day get another e36
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2012, 05:58 PM
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2012, 06:34 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moeman10 View Post
Pretty much the best summary ITT. I was going to say the same things but you beat me to it.


Also, in terms of Mods, E36's will be slightly less expensive across the board, as they're more popular.
I'd imagine there are more mod options too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Yep, an E36 328 will be way faster and get better MPGs than any E34. My friend's E34 525i definitely drinks more gas than my E36 328is. E34s have much nicer interiors, however. IMO, when going from an E34 to E36, you are trading interior build quality for outright performance & handling. I'd say they're similarly reliable, with the E36 probably having a slight advantage, since it has a simpler electrical system. Both cars have the same cooling system woes.
I wouldn't say an E36 will be way faster. Pretty sure my 535 would keep up with a 328. Also, 540's are no joke. And the interior is probably true. I do like the E36 interiors, especially if its the M package interior. When I test drove an E36 323iS I thought it was pretty much as comfy as my E34.

Does the E36 have any suspension issues? I know on the E34's when it comes to suspension problems, the front end is the achilles heel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
Thirded.

Weight is the enemy of gas mileage, much more so than displacement.

It depends what the car will be used for. Short trips around town and some track days, E36. If you have to spend any reasonable amount of time sitting inside it, E34.

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  #13  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:31 PM
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Meh. A 328 will do 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds (or 6.2 if you ask Motor Trend). I doubt a 535 will hustle that quickly. But that's neither here nor there.
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:40 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Meh. A 328 will do 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds (or 6.2 if you ask Motor Trend). I doubt a 535 will hustle that quickly. But that's neither here nor there.
That's pretty quick.

It's just hard to find a nice 328i/iS with similar miles and mods that my 535 has :/
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:48 PM
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As with most older BMWs, the hardest part is finding one that hasn't been beat to death and poorly maintained. Anyhow, to answer your question about problem areas, the E36's suspension is usually due for replacement every 100k miles. Ball joints and other bushings wear out by then, but they're all very easy to replace yourself with basic hand tools. Rear shock mounts need to be replaced and reinforced. The cooling systems are by far the most important thing to replace every 75-100k miles.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 04-17-2012 at 07:49 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:01 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
As with most older BMWs, the hardest part is finding one that hasn't been beat to death and poorly maintained. Anyhow, to answer your question about problem areas, the E36's suspension is usually due for replacement every 100k miles. Ball joints and other bushings wear out by then, but they're all very easy to replace yourself with basic hand tools. Rear shock mounts need to be replaced and reinforced. The cooling systems are by far the most important thing to replace every 75-100k miles.
+1 on the cooling system. The whole cooling system on my 535 is under 6 months old.

I've seen some nice looking 328's on craigslist, but they're all stock. LOl I guess the only mods I really care about it having if I get one is lowered + wheels, cause I don't really like suspension work. And 5 speed is an absolute must
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  #17  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:11 PM
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r33p04s r33p04s is offline
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buy stock and do the mods yourself... trust me you don't want to work on someone else's canvas
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  #18  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:42 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Originally Posted by r33p04s View Post
buy stock and do the mods yourself... trust me you don't want to work on someone else's canvas
I bought my 535 with the listed mods in my sig. Literally just how I pictured an E34 sedan if I were to get one. Saves a lot of money too

I just want to find one thats lowered. (on good springs and struts or coilovers, not cut stock springs lol)
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:45 PM
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stock e36

racelands


call it a day
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:00 PM
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I bought my 535 with the listed mods in my sig. Literally just how I pictured an E34 sedan if I were to get one. Saves a lot of money too

I just want to find one thats lowered. (on good springs and struts or coilovers, not cut stock springs lol)
You're better than me I would want to rip that thing apart and do everything over...
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:01 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yeah, I'd much rather start with a bone stock BMW than a modded one.
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  #22  
Old 04-18-2012, 01:06 AM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is offline
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You're better than me I would want to rip that thing apart and do everything over...
Yup that's where I am with the Audi lol. De-modding in progress. Wheels are gone, intake is gone, suspension is adjusted and its permanence is still TBD, and the exhaust is going ASAP.

If you're just making short trips in town the E36 would be great. You'll find the more time you spend in the interior the more you'll dislike how utterly terrible the build quality is.

I don't believe there's a snowballs chance in hell a stock 328 will come close to 6.2 seconds, and I think 6.5 is even a bit optimistic.


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  #23  
Old 04-18-2012, 07:16 AM
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OP if you're looking for a trade the go for a bone stock E36 + cash in exchange for your ride. It may not be much cash but i think racelands are like what $200? and then you get the satisfaction of getting the look you want and doing the work yourself.
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2012, 12:34 PM
Gravik Gravik is offline
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Originally Posted by r33p04s View Post
You're better than me I would want to rip that thing apart and do everything over...
Ehh.

I love how the exhaust sounds, so that stays.
Wheels? I like them and no one else in town has them
WAR Chip? This is the best of the best chip for the M30, so that stays. I'll be retuning it though.
NEX Coilovers? Some of the better ones for the E34. Not exactly cheap either.

The only mod on my car that is going to be getting some fabrication is the intake (heat shield + route further from the engine).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Yeah, I'd much rather start with a bone stock BMW than a modded one.
I don't want one that has a ton of mods.

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Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
Yup that's where I am with the Audi lol. De-modding in progress. Wheels are gone, intake is gone, suspension is adjusted and its permanence is still TBD, and the exhaust is going ASAP.

If you're just making short trips in town the E36 would be great. You'll find the more time you spend in the interior the more you'll dislike how utterly terrible the build quality is.

I don't believe there's a snowballs chance in hell a stock 328 will come close to 6.2 seconds, and I think 6.5 is even a bit optimistic.
Ehh, the M Sport interior is pretty nice if you ask me

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Quote:
Originally Posted by veteran011 View Post
OP if you're looking for a trade the go for a bone stock E36 + cash in exchange for your ride. It may not be much cash but i think racelands are like what $200? and then you get the satisfaction of getting the look you want and doing the work yourself.
Sounds good. All the bone stock ones seem to be more expensive than the modded ones though. There was a really nice on on Bimmerforums I was going to jump on but the guy sold it within days of listing it.

How are the raceland coilovers compared to NEX coilovers?
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1995 525iT. 178k miles. Magnaflow exhaust. SOLD
1991 535i/5. 154k miles. |DT Performance Catback|CAI|Miller MAF/WAR Chip|NEX coilovers|Beyern Rapp Staggered wheels| SOLD

FOR SALE

Last edited by Gravik; 04-18-2012 at 12:36 PM.
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  #25  
Old 04-18-2012, 12:36 PM
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