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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals,

I just secured a e36 1997 318i convertible, it was abit last minute decision to get it :eek:, but I got it fairly cheap and it looks mint (standard of course). I haven't picked it up yet but going to in a few days. I have absolutely no idea what to look out like problem wise - can you guys fill me in? Also does this model have a detachable manual roof or the power roof?

And one more thing - I know the insurance is pretty cheap on these but can anyone recommend a good company to go for.

Cheers,

brendz :)
 

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I Am The Machine
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Where are you located? (I've never heard of Bournemouth, you in the States or elsewhere?) Congrats on the find! How many miles? As far as problems, IMO your best bet is to have an independent BMW mechanic give it a pre-purchase inspection and find any problems with it. Worth every cent.

I know there seem to be a lot of problems with bushings in the suspension failing, the rear shock mounts, rear trailing arm bushings, rear subframe mounts, control arm bushings, leaky valve cover gaskets, VANOS ticking (don't thing the 318's had VANOS though), and piss-poor quality interiors. Other than that, dunno if there's many more "common" problems.
No clue on the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah man - I'm in the UK! Not too many common problems! Well its only 80k and got full bimmer service history so hopefully I won't find any problems ;)
 

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I Am The Machine
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Whoa! A 97 with only 80k??? Damn good mileage! Pirate_copy is in the UK and I'd say he's by far the most knowledgeable guy on this board for E36's, so hopefully he'll drop in here for ya. Congrats man!

Oh, did think of 2 other things: the water pump uses plastic impellers that break off, usu around 100k. That may go soon. If it goes, replace with one with metal impellers.
Also the plastic fan blades supposedly get brittle and break off. This can cause you major problems as it can destroy your radiator and hoses up front. I've never once heard of any other car having this as a common problem, so I wonder if it has just been trumped up be people. I'm running a plastic fan with no problems, and every other car I've owned has had one....
 

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I'd just check all the maintenance records, which you seem to have. only 80k miles, and all service done and up to date at a dealer, I'd say your good to go right off the bat. I'd say, just for the fact that the car is 10 years old now, you may want to replace belts, hoses, plugs and wires if they havent already been replaced. However most "fully serviced" vehicles have the luxury of having these replaced in a timly mannor. But other than that hopefully they have kept everything else running ship shape, and you should be good to go.

Water pump, and Fuel pump may go out for you relatively soon... so just be weary :)
 
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