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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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  #1  
Old 09-25-2012, 01:53 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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1995 325ic interior question..

hey guys... new to the forum. Picked up a vert for cheap. I have owned many bmws in my day, from a 2002 to a 740.

anyway. the back seat of this car is in rough shape. i have found quite a few nice back seats on ebay for e36 325's but they are all fold down, not for convertibles. My question is... since the cars are the same size, can I use the fold down back seat in my 325 ic? Obviously it wont have any use in folding it down, but I am wondering if it will fit. are the two seats convertible and 325 2 dr is the same size?

if not, does anyone know where I can get a new seat or seat cover that will fit perfectly at a good price?

thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2012, 02:08 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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I don't think a back seat from a non-convertible (even if it's a coupe) will work, since the rear seats are not as wide in a convertible. New seats don't really exist, so your best bet is to find some good used seats from a parts car on Craigslist or eBay. That said, trashed seats in convertibles is pretty common, since they leak a lot with age. Also, you could probably have your existing seats reupholstered, but that is never cheap.
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1966 Pontiac GTO
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For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 09-25-2012 at 02:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2012, 02:39 PM
Echo46 Echo46 is offline
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True, I went through this process. The rear seats are vert specific. Keep you eye out for someone parting out a vert. Tough to find.
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2012, 02:51 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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so the back seat in a 2dr 325 is is not the same width? that doesnt make sense to me... arent the bodies the same width? what is different in the vert body? I know the seats look different, but I mean shouldnt the actual width of the back of the car be the same size?
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2012, 03:53 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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No, because the convertible uses up space for the folding top, which cuts into the interior space, which then mandates that the rear seats have to be physically narrower than a regular 2-door hardtop.
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2012, 04:13 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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Do this. Problem solved! I have these in my car and they are great.
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Last edited by dc_wright; 09-25-2012 at 04:18 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2012, 09:27 AM
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Short answer is no.

Do what DC did.
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2012, 04:49 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Do this. Problem solved! I have these in my car and they are great.

awesome DC! they look really good and appear to fit nicely. so please supply me with the link to buy them. I lived in Orlando for 10 years. A few of my friends own many of the clubs on church street. I assume those are seat covers? How much were they? is the fit as good as it looks?

thanks,
Dennis
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2012, 04:52 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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He already gave you the link. Click the word "this" in his post above.
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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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  #10  
Old 09-26-2012, 04:58 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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my bad. thanks. the word this isnt a different color. I missed it... thanks
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2012, 04:59 PM
Echo46 Echo46 is offline
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Yea, I checked the site, they appear to do really nice work. Wondering what you paid DC?
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:02 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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They've got their price list HERE. Seems like the "plush vinyl" would be a good way to go.
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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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  #13  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:03 PM
Echo46 Echo46 is offline
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Ahh, thanks Ze. Wow very doable
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:04 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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woah.. I just checked out the link. There are no prices on it, but surfing around the site leads me to believe that covers for front and back will be between 600 and 1000 dollars. I am fairly sure I can have an interior shop do them for that price. and that is for 50-50 leather vinyl i believe. DC, can you tell me what you paid please? Hopefully I am off on price assessment for those covers, but I dont think i am.

I have a 600 rwhp Mustang gt that I had all all 3 seats recovered in black "leatherette" for 900 dollars. Since this BMW vert is more of an amusement car for me than anything else, i was hoping to do it much cheaper than that. Ebay has a set of nice rear vert seats but they are tan. Is it possible to change the color on them? I am thinking probably not.
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:06 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
They've got their price list HERE. Seems like the "plush vinyl" would be a good way to go.
725 dollars for seal covers is a lot of money I think. especially for vinyl. from the pic dc posted, they appear to fit pretty good, but i wonder how much different the fit is from actual recovering. as I stated in my previous post, recovering in vinyl isnt so much if you bring them the seats removed.
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:11 PM
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You paid $900 to have your Mustang's seats recovered in leatherette, which is vinyl, so I don't see why $725 to do the same thing with your BMW's seats would seem excessive. I guess you'd have to pay the labor fees on top of the price of the covers themselves, if you weren't doing it yourself.
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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; 09-26-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:24 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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truthfully, it is because my mustang is $55,000 show / drag car and I bought this vert for 1400 dollars. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE BMWs, but it just seems odd to spend 725 on a car that cost only twice that.

this little vert runs great and otherwise is in really good shape.. paint is good, ac is cold, etc. this is my 5th car in the driveway right now, and my woman isnt supper enthused. After all the time and money i have spent on "my mistress" ..that is what she calls my mustang, i am trying to keep this low budget.
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  #18  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:32 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yeah, I hear ya. My old lady loves to blame my cars for all sorts of things...

And yeah, even a new set of decent tires would cost you about 1/2 the value of your car, so at some point you have to just admit that what you're doing does not make financial sense, and simply view it as paying for your hobby.
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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
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  #19  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:38 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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true enough. I found a set of covers on ebay that are custom made for the e36 vert. They have a full set of cloth covers front and back that appear to fit perfectly for 235. They also have leatherette front seat covers for 100 bucks. I contacted them and asked is they would make me a full set in leatherette. it is a company from Greece, and they say in their listing that they make them all custom so it shouldnt be a big deal. here is the link to the cloth covers. notice that they show you how to sew the back cover so it fits the hump perfectly...pretty cool. :

http://www.ebay.com/itm/for-BMW-E36-...ce01af&vxp=mtr
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  #20  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:46 PM
Echo46 Echo46 is offline
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Amen to that Ze. Wifey thinks I am out of my mind to keep pouring money into the vert. Wheels, tires, vanos refresh and anti rattle kit, cooling system refresh, suspension, fan clutch, power steering reservoir, rear window, brake light switch, transmission filters and fluid change, rear diff fluid change, oil changes, air filters, cabin filter, brakes, rotors, brake fluid change, fuel filter, valve cover gasket, icv clean etc etc etc. Why, why-- because it is the last of the truly great cars to actually drive. Nothing fancy but a car that chews up asphalt, claws at turns and curves and makes me happy to be in the cockpit. If I were a better wordsmiths I might be able to explain it but damn it really is the best platform BMW built and that's coming from a ZHP owner.
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  #21  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:55 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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I really like the car so far. I have owned many Bimmers in the past.

I am not sure if it is just from coming from a 600 hp mustang, but my vert doesnt have much pick up. I think the guy I bought it from was running bad gas in it. I have been running 93 through it with a quart of techron in every tank. I have run 3 full tanks through it already, and I notice a little bit of improvement, but it still seems to be sluggish. it isnt throwing any codes, so i dont think it is COP related. I am not really sure what the story is.

it seems as if it doesnt like to pull hard at all when I start out. it almost feels like it is a 4 cylinder. my idle is smooth, and it runs very smooth and clean once it gets going. it just doesnt have any acceleration at all.

the other car that I drive often has ridiculous acceleration.... I mean like ludicrous speed, so maybe it is just a bad comparison. I dont think so though. I had a 320i years ago that pulled a lot harder than this car as far as I can remember. Plus, this is a 5 speed, and i think should have decent acceleration.

for those of you who have had e36 for a while, what should i be expecting acceleration wise? as of right now, I am hesitant to pull out into traffic if there is a car within 100 yards of me coming up onto my position.. it is that slow.

suggestions? if it were COPS (coil on plugs) i would have bad idle no? or throwing codes of some kind? I am going to change the plugs tomorrow if I have time, and look at the air filter... maybe switch to a CAI or just a k and N filter. any other ideas? Do these cars have mass air flow sensors? I noticed a few things plugging into the intake. I was a MAF or an air temp sensor. If it has a MAF, where is it exactly? u know cleaning that with brake cleaner spray can sometimes restore performance. suggestions welcome please.
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  #22  
Old 09-26-2012, 06:05 PM
Echo46 Echo46 is offline
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First thing is that the vert is heavier than the standard e36. Is it auto or manual? You also might need to refresh the vanos and plugs. When I first purchased my vert I really noticed that it was very sluggish to accelerate. I performed the beisan vanos refresh and replaced the plugs and noticed improved performance. However, it is nowhere near the pull of my e46 ZHP. However, when it gets to cruising speeds and settles into the turns it is a joy to drive for sure.
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  #23  
Old 09-26-2012, 06:15 PM
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Just now catching up with you guys on this thread. I paid about $800 installed 4 years ago for the 50/50 covers. You can't tell the vinyl they use from the leather so I think the 100% vinyl should be fine. The fit and finish on these covers is equal to or better than OEM. They have 4 years of wear on them and still look brand new. I got prices ranging from $1500 to $2500 to have the seats professionally reupholstered so the $800 looked pretty good. The set also includes new covers for the head rests and the arm rest so keep that in mind with the price.
Also, I have the sport seats that have the extendable thigh support so my seat covers are bit complicated as well.
A lot of what you spend should depend on what your plans for the car will be. In my case I was planning to keep this car long term so I've been trading off the cost of refurbishing my E36 against the cost of buying a "newer" used car so the $800 for the seat covers wasn't a big deal for me. With everything I've done to date I have about $10K in the car but it's relatively low mileage for a BMW (105K), the body is in great shape, the engine is in great shape, the tranny was replaced with a factory rebuilt last year, and the interior is in great shape.
In the current market here to buy a car with 60K miles that's in similar condition would cost $15K-$18K. It would be newer but wouldn't necessarily be better.
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  #24  
Old 09-26-2012, 06:26 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo46 View Post
First thing is that the vert is heavier than the standard e36. Is it auto or manual? You also might need to refresh the vanos and plugs. When I first purchased my vert I really noticed that it was very sluggish to accelerate. I performed the beisan vanos refresh and replaced the plugs and noticed improved performance. However, it is nowhere near the pull of my e46 ZHP. However, when it gets to cruising speeds and settles into the turns it is a joy to drive for sure.
it is a 5 speed manual. My Vanos system isnt making any noise like I have been told they do when they need work... no tapping or anything like that. the car just seems sluggish and accelerates very slowly. I understand it is a 2.5, so maybe that is just as fast as it is supposed to be. I read it has 170 hp.. it doesnt feel like it does. I had a vw gti with 95 hp that seems a lot peppier than this car does. Maybe it is just plugs or something. like I said, it runs very smooth and idles perfectly. it just doesnt accelerate worth a damn.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:29 PM
ledee416 ledee416 is offline
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I just found a site that will do fully tailored custom "leatherette" seat covers front and back for 470 shipped. they have 2 options... custom...and then "tailor made 3d" covers which is what I choose. if you wanted to get vinyl instead of the pvc leather version, it would be like 350 for the whole set. The vinyl is only offered in custom, and not tailor made. I am sure custom is pretty good too. here is the link:

http://www.seatcoversunlimited.com
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