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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As stated in a previous thread I made, I'm new to the fest but now I'm addicted. I hope that's okay. ;x. Anyway, I'm looking to buy an E36 5 speed vert, around the 94-98 range and now I have a few more questions. I'm kind of torn which route to go and how I can justify that route.

First topic: I found a 318i that looked pretty intriguing but when I asked my buddy (who loves bimmers and is moderately to pretty knowledgable) he stated that it's going to be slow compared to my current vehicle (2005 Monte Carlo). To further my research, I looked up some numbers and decided I didn't want a 318.

My monte is an auto, fwd and has about 180hp @ 5200rpm. The 318 has 138hp @6k. I assumed the 318 would feel a lot slower compared to my current car so I decided I didn't want to go with the 318. The 325/328 on the other hand have about 190hp @ 6k. I assumed being 5 speed and rwd that it would feel a bit faster than my monte, plus better control of my acceleration due to the fact that it's a manual trans.

I'm not sure if my logic is sound here but what is the draw to the 318 that the 325 doesn't have? Or is the 325/328 simply the "higher end" model? Due to my addiction, I read a thread today and saw someone saying how driving his friend's 318is was stupidly fun due to the handling and that's kind of what spurred this question/thread. I figured this would be the best way to go about it as well because I assume some of these excellent folks in the fest would have driven some of the cars I'm talking about.

Second topic: I was told by the local mechanic I've been talking to that I should absolutely stay away from 323's because the transmission drops out. Is this true? For this reason I've completely ignored them in my 3 series conquest.

Thanks a lot for any feedback and hopefully my rambling is somewhat coherent. :D
 

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hookersandblow
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I'd look for a 328 or 325, simply for the power you're asking about.


When I said I loved driving a 318is, I was speaking about the E30, not the E36. E36 318's are woefully slow, and while they keep their excellent handling, the power just isn't there. 323's are basically a detuned 328, but still with 6cyl's. A full exhaust and chip will really open up a 323 and will pretty much make them equal to 325's/328's.


I tried to keep it short, hope that helps :dunno:
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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There no substitute for cubic inches (or cubic centimeters). And comparing FWD to RWD is apples and oranges. A completely different experience. (RWD FTW!). You're on the right track: inline six with a five speed. I have no clue what your mechanic means by "transmission drops out" of the 323s. That's bull crap. They use the the same manual transmission as the 328s. A 323 is nothing but a detuned 328. Same size engine.

Edit: you beat me to it, Lou. :thumbup:
 

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I Am The Machine
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E36 318i's aren't any more fun to drive than the 6cyl unless you're looking at ti's.

The auto transmission will drop out of any E36, the manual is a solid unit on all of them, including 323s. Not sure what your mechanic was talking about. :loco:




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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmmm. Interesting. Thanks for the info!

I have kind of decided on the 325/328 for the power but this is all good stuff to know. Appreciate it much! It'll be nice when I can actually contribute :x
 

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I'd look for a 328 or 325, simply for the power you're asking about.

When I said I loved driving a 318is, I was speaking about the E30, not the E36. E36 318's are woefully slow, and while they keep their excellent handling, the power just isn't there. 323's are basically a detuned 328, but still with 6cyl's. A full exhaust and chip will really open up a 323 and will pretty much make them equal to 325's/328's.

I tried to keep it short, hope that helps :dunno:
There no substitute for cubic inches (or cubic centimeters). And comparing FWD to RWD is apples and oranges. A completely different experience. (RWD FTW!). You're on the right track: inline six with a five speed. I have no clue what your mechanic means by "transmission drops out" of the 323s. That's bull crap. They use the the same manual transmission as the 328s. A 323 is nothing but a detuned 328. Same size engine.

Edit: you beat me to it, Lou. :thumbup:
Guys, I am pretty sure the 323 has a detuned 2.5L engine, while the 328 actually has a 2.8L engine, making the 323 a detuned 325. So even with, the mods to open it up, you will still be lacking some cubic inches on the 328. ;)
 

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I Am The Machine
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Guys, I am pretty sure the 323 has a detuned 2.5L engine, while the 328 actually has a 2.8L engine, making the 323 a detuned 325. So even with, the mods to open it up, you will still be lacking some cubic inches on the 328. ;)
I think when they said "same engine size" they meant the dimensions of the block, not displacement. The 323 used the same M52 engine as the 328 but with a shorter stroke (2.5L), different exhaust midsection, and computer tuning. It is a detuned 328, not a detuned 325.

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hookersandblow
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I think when they said "same engine size" they meant the dimensions of the block, not displacement. The 323 used the same M52 engine as the 328 but with a shorter stroke (2.5L), different exhaust midsection, and computer tuning. It is a detuned 328, not a detuned 325.

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This. ;)
 

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Yes, I agree they both use the same block and are both M52 engines. I was going by displacement. :thumbup:
 

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BMWCCA HPDE Instructor
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I have no clue what your mechanic means by "transmission drops out" of the 323s. That's bull crap. They use the the same manual transmission as the 328s. A 323 is nothing but a detuned 328. Same size engine.
The 323 uses the Getrag 5-speed, whereas the 328 (and M3) use the stronger ZF 5-speed.

And although the 323 and 328 use the same M52 engine block, they have a different stroke, which affects overall displacement (which is why one is 2.5L and one is 2.8L).
 

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I Am The Machine
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The 323 uses the Getrag 5-speed, whereas the 328 (and M3) use the stronger ZF 5-speed.
Yes, it is a Getrag (can't recall if it's the same unit as the 318/325) but it's not inherently problematic at all.

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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Well the old fart learned two somethings today (although I knew the 323 was 2.5.....don't know why I said 2.8 -facepalm-). I really thought everything after the introduction of the M52 got ZFs. I didn't know they still were using Getrags. Sorry for the misinformation.

Now I need a nap. :snooze:
 

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I Am The Machine
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F you both talking about naps....sounds so good right now.

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I Am The Machine
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I hate you all

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I Am The Machine
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A wise man once said: "Sleep is for the wise"

All this nap talk is disgusting... :tsk:
Fixed

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