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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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Old 03-06-2013, 01:40 AM
NorCal318i NorCal318i is offline
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E36 318i questions

Hello
This is my first post, and I'm new to owning a BMW. I recently purchased a 1997 318i and fell in love with the car, unfortunately soon after purchasing the vehicle I noticed it began having a hard starting issue followed by blowing steam from the exhaust at start up.After reading through many posts I decided to pull the head and check the head as well as the gasket, and I then found that not only was the head warped .007 it was also cracked, I found this odd as during the short period of time I drove it, it never overheated nor did I mix the oil and water.
I ordered a replacement head from Autohead performance in addition to a new gasket set, water pump, thermostat, head bolts and pretty much everything under the hood that was rubber I.e. radiator hoses, heater hoses, vacuum lines etc in addition to the cooling pipe on the block and the plastic manifold for the back of the head as well as the timing chain rails.My question is, is their anything else that I should replace or address while I have the head tore down? I figure that the car has 161000 miles on it and I want to do this right. Another question I have is, the bottom end looked great, oil was clean no signs of water and it has very pronounced hash marks in the cylinders, all in all clean but I have been told by a local shop that M44 bottom ends rarely ever break 200,000mi and that I'm wasting my time and money being that the car has 161000 mi regardless of me replacing the top end...... Is this true.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:56 AM
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No, that is not true. Bimmer engines (especially from the 90s) are well known for being good for 300k miles. At least. (Provided of course that they are maintained at the recommended service intervals).

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:06 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is offline
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That perry good list. The only things I saw you missed are a new radiator and an aluminum thermostat housing.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal318i View Post
but I have been told by a local shop that M44 bottom ends rarely ever break 200,000mi and that I'm wasting my time and money being that the car has 161000 mi regardless of me replacing the top end...... Is this true.
They were telling a half-truth. They just added a mileage figure which threw everything off. The truth is, M44 bottom ends seldom break. Period. They are probably the most abuse-absorbing lower end of any engine BMW put on the road. There are hundreds of example (probably thousands) of M42/M44 engines with well over 200k miles still buzzing happily along with their original crank, rods, pistons and bearings. Mine has 243k miles and the bottom end is still solid and quiet. It's the blasted cooling system giving me fits now.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:16 PM
NorCal318i NorCal318i is offline
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Thank you for all the responses, I find this info very reassuring. This car is absolutely cherry and I can't wait to have it the road.
Also I agree about the radiator but it appears new, so I decided to flush it and reuse it and I would like to add an aluminum thermostat housing but I couldn't find one listed for my motor, is the one on the 6cyl the same as the one on the 4cyl ? Or am I just looking in the wrong place?
Thanks
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:53 PM
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Any queries regarding compatibility can be solved at http://www.realoem.com. Just compare part numbers.
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