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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 12-07-2008, 05:03 PM
TiAg323i TiAg323i is offline
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Question Any Advice?

So I am thinking of getting a 1996 328i that was involved in a front-end collision for a "project car." The guy wants $1,600.00 for it and at minimum it needs the following repairs: new bumper, fender, radiator, grill, headlight assembly, strut, wheel, etc. The damage is only to the front passenger corner. The car has ~125k and is supposedly a single owner car. Has anyone on here ever attempted a salvage car? What is the life expectancy on the 328i engine? (it's an automatic) This would be to fix up in my spare time and maybe do some nice mods to (I already have a 1999 323i daily driver).
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:32 PM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is offline
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The engine is bulletproof, as long as it wasn't overheated. Being all-aluminum, if they overheat they're pretty much just paperweights from there on out. Other than that, you won't have trouble.

Tranny is your basic GM-built 4 spd. It'll go for a while longer, but who knows how long. It's American built, which means it's the equivalent of a ticking time bomb just waiting to grenade itself.

Bumper, fender, grill, headlight, wheel, etc will all be EASY to source. I know it doesn't take much to salvage an E36, but be sure to look into the suspension assembly closely. Chances are good it's gonna need a lot more than just a strut if it severely damaged the wheel, and you want to make sure none of the mounts or anything are bent, or you'll have a hell of a time chasing down ghost issues.

Basically, depending on the condition of the suspension there in the corner, it could be a good buy or it could be a complete headache. See about having it towed to a mechanic if you're not so inclined and have them check out the geometry and what other issues could be lurking.
// Chad //
// 2006 BMW 330i Sport 6MT // 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid //
// 1997 Range Rover 4.0 // 1994 Range Rover Classic //
// 1997 Land Rover Discovery // 1998 Land Rover Discovery //
// 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 // 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 //
// 1999 Chevy Tahoe //
Ok...this is getting ridiculous. Someone come buy a few of these things.

Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
You're a derbanana
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:12 PM
e30e e30e is offline
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Have you been able to see if the frame has any damage? How mechanically inclined are you?
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:32 PM
bimmerking bimmerking is offline
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Don't know about you guys in the US but in the UK prices on Bimmers are dropping like anything. I mean i'm finding 328i's between £600-800 in totally fine working order. With the credit crunch and all, you might wanna just hold on a little longer 'till you find a better deal maybe? As I said, don't know much about the US market so if the price is good for the US, then I guess it'd be good. Am itching to get a 328i myself and started some research on it and am loving it already, so bet you'll have a hell of a ride once you're done with it.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:27 PM
TiAg323i TiAg323i is offline
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Thanks for the advice guys...especially E36 Phantom
I will be going to look at the car in person later this week I hope; dependent on my diesel F-350 getting fixed so I can take it home if I decide to buy...
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