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Hey guys, I'm new to the thread and have always loved e36 BMW's, its time to get serious about purchasing one. So heres my situation, I have $10-12000 to spend, and am looking for a coupe, possibly a convertable, but a 5 spd is a must. Any advice on where to start my search, what to look for/be aware of is appreciated. How much stronger is the m3 engine compared to the 323 and 328 sixes? I plan on keeping this car for a while, and it will be my only car. I'm in college and can go for a couple of months without a car, so I'm willing to take my time, study up on the e36 series, and make the right decision. Any major pros/cons of the different models? I know noobs are a pain, so I apologize, I just need some place to start. thanks!
 

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Eeeeeeeee36

I would look in web sites like Cars.com, Carmax etc. If you go with a private seller make sure to see the service records. The youngest E36 is now seven years old, so as with any used car there will be some repairs. Good luck...BMWcat :D
 

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hear some info

The e36 is a nice car. Your going to have problems with, but that every car. the only thing with BMW is their exspensive to fix. The M car are cool, but be carefull alot of them are beat.
 

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It will be hard to get a M3 in good condition in your price range. You have to watch out on the M3 make sure it hasn't been tracked (look under the rear seats for rollbar mounts or welds). Also check the strut towers in the front as the M3 that have been tracked have a tendency to get stress fractors there. You should be able to get a nice 97,98 328i for around 7000 to 9000 with under 90k miles. Add $2000 if you want a convertable.

Rules of buying a used car. Even if you are buying from your best friend and think you know the car - get it inspected by a good BMW mechanic (this doesn't mean the dealer always) and if it has close to 100k it wouldn't hurt to get a compression test done. At around 100,000+ the struts/shocks may need to be replaced if they haven't and also the raditor. Just a few points certainly not an exhaustive list.
 
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