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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, Jan-18-2017, 02:12:54 AM   #11
fiveightandten
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

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Originally Posted by SQ13 View Post
I like red. Ideally I'd want an E36 in a bold color like red, Estoril, TV, BG, etc. Paint on driver mirror and wing are pretty bad, and that leads me to some confusion.. Seller says the car has single stage paint from the factory (Hellrot 314), and the paint damage is due to poor base + clear respray job in the affected areas and parking in the sun. He said the clear coat is failing in the affected areas, and the rest of the paint is faded due to sun. I just tried searching and am finding conflicting answers. Some people are saying clear coat was mixed in with paint from the factory, and others are saying Hellrot 314 is dual stage/base + clear. Just trying to figure out what the situation is with the car's respray history.

The car's body panels have original VIN tags. Carfax and Vehicle History Report show no collisions and no body work. Clean Texas title.

Regarding the story of the car, this is what I've been told: the car was owned by the owner of a local tuning shop, COBB Tuning. He sold it about six months ago due to the head gasket leak to the current owner, who is the shop foreman for another reputable shop here, for $1,500. He likes to part M3s out or bring them back to life during his free time, and he also owns 3 M3s himself. I guess this one was worth reviving. He said he was going rebuild the current motor, but he ended up getting the 70k mile one for free. Again, the car it's coming from just had an S54 put in it at this shop; owner of the donor motor initially tried to sell it but gave it away because current owner didn't want to buy it for $1,000. In the end, he got the car for cheap, will get it back up and running, and eventually sell it for a profit. He thinks the car should be completed by the end of the month, if he doesn't get too busy at the shop. It's been sitting like this for six months so idk. I haven't known him for long, but other M owners in the area say he's trustworthy. But I'll never know if what I've been told is true or false.

If I were to look into buying the car when it's completed, I would be inspecting it myself, as well as have a shop near my home that knows the E36 M3 well to do a PPI. I'd be getting a list of all the parts that were replaced, which could be checked for during PPI. All of the weatherstripping looked fine under my phone's flashlight, besides the back window's. When it's up and running I could get a better look at it under better lighting.

In the meantime, I'll continue searching for manual, non-M E36 and E46 cars. Haven't had any luck yet. A sedan would be preferable, but damn, E46 sedan's tail lights are pretty ugly. Rip. Thanks for posting the review. I'll read through it.
Hellrot is a 2 coat system from the factory. Base and clear.

Carfax isn't worthless, but pretty close to it. Trust info you get from it, but never assume that the absence of info is verification of anything.

Anyways, the more I hear about this car, the more i'd say pass on it. You need a reliable DD, not a car that's been passed around by people who had the means to fix it and decided not to, then passed it on to the next guy. This is a project car, not a turn key DD. The body is beat, and it needs an engine. 9 times out of 10, cars like this wind up being more expensive than just buying something nice.

You're the one seeing it in the flesh, and its your money. But you have to drive the car every day. That means trusting it to get you to your destination safely, and being happy driving it. There are tons of beat up E36 M3's on the road. I'd DD a clean base E36 or base E46 over a beat up and pieced together M3 any day. The engine sounds badass, but something isn't adding up. He can make more money parting out the car, engine, and parts going into it, than selling it to you. Why spend the labor on putting it together?

Something doesn't seem right about buying this car as a DD.
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Old Wed, Jan-18-2017, 03:13:55 AM   #12
SQ13
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

Thanks. Agreed on vehicle history reports. My car's history report returns a clean history.. I was just stating my findings.

I just filtered through base 3 series cars on Autotrader and CL. There are literally no manual E36s and very few E46s within 500 miles, and none catch my interest. I simply see myself in an E36 M3. This also stems from the fact that having driven a bunch of base E9Xs, I don't see how the older cars would be any more fun to drive; they're all boring. Or maybe they'll be slightly more fun due to more rawness? That's my style, which is why I prefer my E46 M3 over the many E9X M3s I've driven.

I'll hold off until I can up my budget and/or find a better E36 M3. They're arguably the more fun cars to drive. I'll keep driving the E46 in the meantime.
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Old Wed, Jan-18-2017, 03:28:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

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Thanks. Agreed on vehicle history reports. My car's history report returns a clean history.. I was just stating my findings.

I just filtered through base 3 series cars on Autotrader and CL. There are literally no manual E36s and very few E46s within 500 miles, and none catch my interest. I simply see myself in an E36 M3. This also stems from the fact that having driven a bunch of base E9Xs, I don't see how the older cars would be any more fun to drive; they're all boring. Or maybe they'll be slightly more fun due to more rawness? That's my style, which is why I prefer my E46 M3 over the many E9X M3s I've driven.

I'll hold off until I can up my budget and/or find a better E36 M3. They're arguably the more fun cars to drive. I'll keep driving the E46 in the meantime.
I do applaud your taste in seeking out an e36. It takes some moxie to step up and own one. Be patient and get a good one, you won't regret it. When properly sorted, they are sweet as a nut...a hard one to top, price/performance wise.
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Old Wed, Jan-18-2017, 05:25:16 AM   #14
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

Thanks. I can wait until I increase my budget or find a nice one for cheap. E46 is a blast to drive, so I don't need to rush. Hopefully the nice ones don't become unobtainable in the meantime.
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Old Wed, Jan-18-2017, 05:47:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

If it'll be done within a month I'd tell him to keep you in mind without committing to anything. Give it a drive, see if it feels like "needs work" or good. You will be able to tell more in a 10 minute drive than anything any of us can tell you.

Furthermore, the wing and mirror fading are not huge red flags to me. The spoilers have a tendency to have paint fail quickly, and side mirrors on the E36 get knocked off and destroyed All. The. Time.

To get the paint back up to snuff completely, you'll likely need to respray the bumpers as well- but a good detailing will close the gap in paint color. Plastic fades faster than metal, but due to the two stage paint the plastic cannot be brought back completely- much of the fade is under the clear.
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Old Wed, Jan-18-2017, 09:59:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

well a DD with no steering wheel could prove to be problematic
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Old Wed, Jan-18-2017, 10:02:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

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well a DD with no steering wheel could prove to be problematic

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Old Thu, Jan-19-2017, 01:46:04 AM   #18
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

I'll take a look at it when it's completed for sure, but I don't think I'll end up buying it. The others in this thread are right as well. If the previous owner(s) truly cared for the car, I would think they would at least keep the paint from progressing to the state it's in. The windshield cowl has been replaced, but the previous owner didn't address the back window weather stripping?. As for the mechanical side, because of the age and miles, parts such as bushings and ball joints must have inevitably worn out and failed at some point. I'd think that the less parts that need to be replaced, the better because that would show the car was somewhat maintained, and worn parts were somewhat recently replaced.

Obviously shit happens, and I fully understand why it's getting a new motor after the head gasket started leaking. I'd actually prefer the new motor because less miles and well maintained. As for other parts, you draw your line in the sand.

The powers of M3F have provided good arguments. I am willing to give the car a chance and see what it's like once completed, but I think I'll most likely end up walking away. Not in a rush, as I have a perfectly well-functioning, reliable car at the moment.

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well a DD with no steering wheel could prove to be problematic
TBH I'd rather have no steering wheel than the school bus style, four-spoke wheel that it'll be receiving.

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Old Thu, Jan-19-2017, 03:58:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

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TBH I'd rather have no steering wheel than the school bus style, four-spoke wheel that it'll be receiving.
this

In all seriousness though, this is more of a question you should be asking yourself... Do YOU want this as a daily driver?
If you believe this is coming from a reputable owner and you think the swap won't be sketchy, then go for it!
Cosmetics can be a *****, as I'm dealing with it myself on my Estoril/Mulberry sedan, but it's also fun to see progress and see how much better conditions my ownership has brought upon the car and it always keeps me looking forward to the future.

Definitely keep an eye out for more manual M3 sedans though because patience might lead you to a better deal. I sort of jumped on one of the first M3's I found that wasn't a whole state away that was in my price range, and I somewhat regret it, but it's still been an amazing car that you couldn't pay me to get rid of now.

Best of luck.

Last edited by thirtysixnick; Thu, Jan-19-2017 at 04:07:37 PM.
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Old Thu, Jan-19-2017, 04:44:09 PM   #20
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Default Re: Thoughts on this E36 for DD use?

Since you know the guy, you can decide whether it is a hack flipping cars after doing cheap crappy work or whether it is someone doing it right. Just don't expect a new car since it is 20 years old and costs $6k, but it seems like the guy is doing some significant work -- lower mileage modded motor, nice vaders, new trans detents. There will still be work for you to do.
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Discussing Thoughts on this E36 for DD use? 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)