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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 02:25:19 AM   #21
Evtron
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Seriously, this is an awesome thread.

As an individual who will be purchasing an E36 M3 in the near future, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to make such a comprehensive pre-purchase thread.

Thank you.
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 02:26:32 AM   #22
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there are more..

Nick, you should add the 3 part youtube vids
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 09:06:19 AM   #23
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Very interesting and well written. Thanks for taking the time to put together. I'm sure the info will be put to good use by prospective M3 buyers. Great post !
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 10:15:14 AM   #24
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Good post, but I feel like it's a little bit scary. As a person fairly experienced with working on cars, I didn't look too far into the m3's maintenance needs before I bought one. I've had no problem addressing them, but if I would have seen this post I would have probably test driven another S2000 before really going with the m3. I guess what I'm trying to say is it needs more praise.

I will post, if I may, a post I found on a different forum.

Quote:
Price: Cars worth buying can be had for $6000-14000. This is pretty cheap

Parts: Readily available and inexpensive. BMW has a stockpile of 50 years worth of e36 parts.

Working on it: Very easy car to work on. Every thing is laid out logically and is easily accessible. It's not a very high tech car and its engineered to be worked on with hand tools.

Reliability: It's very reliable. They can last well over 200,000 miles. What problems they do have are mostly avoidable by performing proper preventative maintenance. 99% of issues they have are easy to fix and extremely well documented. All parts that usually fail can be upgraded in one way or another. Be prepared to replace bushings and wear items more than most Japanese cars, but note that maintaining the e36's rubber parts will keep it driving like new and the difference between old and new bushings is VERY noticeable (so it's worth doing).

Economy: It gets good gas mileage for a sports car. low 20's in town and around 30mpg on the freeway.

Handling. It's well known that the e36 M3 is one of the best handling cars ever made. They can be upgraded to be complete MONSTERS, although in stock trim (with a fresh suspension) they are already extremely capable. It does not feel like a 3000lb car. They all come standard with an LSD.



Acceleration. Not the fastest car ever made but 14.0 +/- at about 100mph is not slow. The motor is torquey and smooth so the performance is easy to extract in all situations. They are geared very very well and can use 100% of the power they make, which is why it's relatively fast despite only having 240-250 crank hp.

Braking: The m3 was the fastest stopping production car ever tested when new. The brakes are excellent even by today's standards. They are track worthy with a simple pad upgrade.

Upgradability: It's expensive to get a lot of power (250whp+) out of the engines. Don't buy one for straight line performance. That being said, they take well to forced induction and can make a lot of power with a turbo. For tracked cars, stick to NA for better reliability. It's easy to shift the powerband into the upper RPM ranges and gain 30whp over stock with minimal modifications.

Usability: It's a fairly small car but you CAN fit adults in the back seat when you need to. The trunk is decently sized. 4 door models are available as well. Much more room than other cars like an s2000 or 350/70Z.



Interior: There are better interiors but the M3's is well equipped and very driver oriented. It's fairly upscale for a sports car and is definitely more upscale and comfortable than most Japanese cars like the STi or evo.







Styling: The e36 is a classic and timeless design. This is subjective but most people think they can look good.

Cliffs: Excellent overall package. Isn't the best at any one thing, but does everything well, especially for the price.

Discuss.
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 10:35:12 AM   #25
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wow.. some stolen pics there, and Jeff's car's interior even made it... What forum is that off of?
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 02:45:24 PM   #26
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Wow....awesome job Nick!!

This should be titled "Everything you ever wanted to know about the E36, but were too lazy to search for."

I've done plenty of research on this board and others, but you compiled a lot of great information and insights for the average reader here. Well done.

Happy New Year!
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 03:09:28 PM   #27
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Quote:
"What's an RTAB pocket"

Exactly...keep reading.


Well played sir. Well played.
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 08:27:04 PM   #28
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good write up nick

aside from teh incorrect engine configuration. i should be fair by saying that teh e36 m3 is a great all round vehicle
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Old Wed, Dec-30-2009, 10:56:01 PM   #29
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Thanks again brosephs. I don't want to muck up the thread multi-quoting. But i've been altering and adding things when they're suggested.

There's a section of pros, for those who mentioned it.

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Old Thu, Dec-31-2009, 12:59:04 AM   #30
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Another chassis weak point is the front shock towers. Based on what I've seen there are more people that have issues with those than the RTAB pockets. Under drivetrain components I would mention the CSB. FCAB's under suspension components since most cars have original ones. Thermostat under cooling system because those seem to fail before other things in the cooling system, at least in my experience, and can be very serious depending what position it decides to get stuck in.
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Discussing Informational thread: "Should I buy an E36 M3?" in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)