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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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Old 08-31-2012, 08:37 AM
stgreen stgreen is offline
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Couple Quick Questions - first time potential buyer...

Looking at 1998 E36 328 convertible.

1) is there a website that shows the option packages for the 1998 models? (are there PDF brochures available online?)
- I am trying to piece together what options this car really has.

2) I have various VIN decoder websites. Is there an especially good one for BMW's?

3) Car has 'wood trip' strip along glove box but NOT wood piece along window switches or 5 speed shift boot. I have seen 1999's with full wood on dash AND along shift boot. Did they change this?

4) Are 15 inch wheels the stock wheel? (I am assuming this car does NOT have the sport package).
4a) if car does NOT come w/ stock wheels how difficult are they to source?

Thanks in advance and I appreciate anyones time! If another site or sticky that has these answers please let me know. Again, thanks.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:13 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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I'm assuming you've read this already:

References M3s in particular, but is totally applicable to any E36. If you haven't read it, please do so, the whole thing (only 2 pages so far).

As for VIN decoders, none that I know of will list all the options the car came with. has a VIN decoder that will give you build date and original engine and chassis/drivetrain info.

The wood trim (which I happen to like, but most members here seem to hate ) came in different levels of application, but it sounds like the glovebox piece may be an add-on.

15" wheels were stock on the base model. Upgrade models got 16"s. You can find all sorts of OEM wheels in all sizes on Craigslist, in the want ads here on the fest, on bimmerforums, and eBay, among other places. Pay attention to offset and center bore. E36 'normal' offset ("et" in wheel parlance) is 40-45. Center bore is 72.56mm. Wheels for E39s can be used, but since they're 74.1mm bore, you MUST use a hubcentric ring to locate them. ALL BMW hubs/wheels are hubcentric, that is, they locate the wheel on the center of the hub by contact with the hub. They do not use the lugs to center the wheels.

You'll find many wheels that are much lower offset. Some will work without rubbing, many won't. Mostly depends on what tire size you run. I have 235/40/17s with a 25et on my 325is and they rubbed a tiny bit until I rolled the fenders.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:10 AM
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jonesin jonesin is offline
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Here is the link:
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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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Old 08-31-2012, 11:48 AM
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^that was cool... never seen that before
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