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Old 01-18-2009, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default E36 m3

Does anybody have an E36 M3? I'm considering buying the sedan model over the summer or the fall for a nice daily driver because the '89 240SX is becoming a POS (go figure). I guess I'm most afraid that they are like the 944's in that they are a pain in the *** to work on due to the general layout under the hood. Anybody have any experience?
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:11 AM   #2
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my buddy has a shell that hed probably sell....

lol. hes doing his second 318 hatch M3 drivetrain swap. Those 318s are NUTS with the M3 drivetrain. i personally got to drive it pretty spirited down a back road. great car.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:36 AM   #3
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^ Does he have pics of the swap?
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:43 AM   #4
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ls1 e36 > *

They're cool cars, really cool, but parts aren't cheap.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:49 AM   #5
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Grassroots Motorsports did a comparo of the different M3 generations a few months back. They took issues with the E36 for taking a softer approach to the M3, departing wildly from the E30 chassis.

I still wouldn't mind having one though.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazda/nissan View Post
Does anybody have an E36 M3? I'm considering buying the sedan model over the summer or the fall for a nice daily driver because the '89 240SX is becoming a POS (go figure). I guess I'm most afraid that they are like the 944's in that they are a pain in the *** to work on due to the general layout under the hood. Anybody have any experience?

Hey now... You do have a point. Never mind.

You know what it took to get to my upper radiator hose? Holy ****. I had to remove my entire intake system and still had headlight **** in the way. Not to mention it took about 45 minutes to an hour to get the replacement hose to fit onto the radiator outlet. **** that. I had to grease it and then wedge it on like a biatch. Took all day just to do that and adjust my fans (which were cutting into the old rad hose).

Its just a pain to get to stuff. Actually working on the car isn't hard. Its navigating the mess of a car underneath the body. I don't think an E36 would be that bad. More engine room and a simpler layout IIRC.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:57 AM   #7
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I love the E36 body, a few of my friends have/had some. Parts are really expensive when something breaks, but they don't seem that horrible to work on. I've always wanted one, prices aren't horrible now.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:39 AM   #8
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M stands for multiplier.

Multiply everything, power, handling, cost to run.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:37 AM   #9
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Like a Porsche, I wouldn't buy high end German vehicle unless the records were kept by the po from day 1.

Now I thought that my 944 was pretty much bullet proof. Over the fews years I had it, I had to replace the cam, balance shaft belts, oil and coolant change and the oil cooler seals. I decided to do that all at once since the cooler seals failed- 1300.00.

Replaced the left rear axle came with CV joints. New not reman- 160.00

Replaced the BOGE shocks with Konis-my choice not needed- 400+

I replaced other bits and pieces, but I found the parts prices not to be too bad. Find a good part supply house. We have one local in Tampa that can get OEM Porsche parts for less than Japanese.

See also Pelican Parts - Porsche Parts & BMW Parts - Automotive Parts and Accessories - Porsche & BMW for both BMW and Porsche

New Bosch Fuel Injector-75.00
Intake routing hose-27.00


The cam and balance shaft belts are recommended to be replaced every 30k.
The expenses that I had was in a 3 year period. My 944 was an 83. 1st in the US. I wrecked it....But here it is sitting in the shop after the accident. Front Passenger corner got smashed. I sold it to the PCS 944 club Champion up in Atlanta.
Attached Thumbnails
E36 m3-944.jpg   E36 m3-944interior.jpg   E36 m3-944interiorb.jpg   E36 m3-944interiorc.jpg   E36 m3-944rear.jpg  

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Old 01-18-2009, 12:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
^ Does he have pics of the swap?
Not that i know of. Ill post pics this summer when he takes his out of storage.

The second one hes building for another kid. If I'm around the shop when they are swapping it ill take pics.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:19 AM   #11
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get M3, It will handle better than 944.
although it costs more.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:29 PM   #12
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The e36 is actually not too hard to work on, most inline-6 engines are fairly accessible and run forever. And they tend to like boost!!
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:53 PM   #13
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A finance guy I know has one. The front lower ball joint went bad. It is only available as a unit with the entire lower control arm because it is pressed in. He said the part was $800.

They sure are a nice ride when they aren't sucking your wallet like a vampire.

A German buddy of mine once described their cars as "labor intensive" to maintain. I think that is a fair assesment.

My next door neighbor in Augsburg, Germany took me for a ride in his 944 Turbo that he just bought (back in '90). Sweet and strong. But, under the hood you couldn't cram 3 fingers together anywhere. I loved that car.

Life is a series of trade-offs...
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
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get M3, It will handle better than 944.
although it costs more.
I'll challenge that statement. Depends on the 944 model. The easy part with BMW's is that if you get an M3 you get power and handling with easy driving. With 944's you need to choose:

Cheap
Powerful
Sweet-*** handling
Easy to drive on the edge

The S2 handles great and lays down good power and torque for a 3 liter 4 banger. But it's pretty pricey. The 951 (944 turbo) romps on straights, but given it's turbo lag, the car is easy to spin. The 944 NA handles great along with the 944 S. Both cars are lightest of the Stuttgart cars, but lack speed down a back straight.

You don't have to worry about power, speed or whatever with a BMW. An M3 will turn and make power without a problem. No choosing one or the other. But when it comes to modding, I'd say you're gonna run into more money issues than I am with my car.

However, I'm beginning to think a 3 series would be the perfect edition to my stable. But a Miata comes first. I need convertible fun.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240_to_miata_OWNER View Post
my buddy has a shell that hed probably sell....

lol. hes doing his second 318 hatch M3 drivetrain swap. Those 318s are NUTS with the M3 drivetrain. i personally got to drive it pretty spirited down a back road. great car.
What year is the shell and what's left? Electronics and interior still there? I'm assuming the whole suspension is swapped.

Frank
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:50 AM   #16
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i've had a chance to toss one around a bit and get a little familiar with the underhood layout. they aren't that bad as far as space goes if that's what you're worried about.

don't expect to not need special tools if you are going to do any kind of in depth work. also the interiors kind of fall apart and i've heard the diff mount can be prone to failure.

i do plan on buying either an e30 or e36 m3 (possibly as my next nice daily driver). i haven't driven an e30, but the e36 is a lot of fun.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:05 PM   #17
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I'd want an E30. I love the older ones. More down to earth. Plus they seem to get bigger every generation. Pretty soon, the 1 series will rival a Mercedes S class in size.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:03 AM   #18
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An e30 M3 in good condition or better will bring $12k or more!!
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:22 AM   #19
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I have one (with a Dinan supercharger, headwork, cams, KW suspension).

What do you want to know? Maintenance?

I can tell you, if could do it over, I'd have waited and gotten a different car... perhaps a WRX wagon.

Parts cost aren't bad at all if you buy online (BMA Auto Parts | Bumper to Bumper since 1978 | Oem auto parts, vw parts, sachs boge, mercedes benz parts, honda auto parts, saab parts), or buy used (junkyard or from bimmerforum pukes).

The problem is that a lot of niggly little things keep breaking on the car, and constantly fixing it gets old after a while. And mine is a relatively fresh '97 with 62k miles. The car is poorly designed from a maintenance point of view - e.g. bolts are hard to reach.

Honestly I miss my beater 97 Civic HX. I should have kept it as my reliable cheap thrifty beater and kept my miata as my sole project "nice" car. The M3 was supposed to be a leave-alone car, but **** keeps breaking. It is nice to drive, save for the steering feel, which has too much stiction (despite switching steering racks).
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:21 PM   #20
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Since you're looking at a E36 M3, another car you might want to look at is the E46 330i ZHP. The ZHPs performance is nearly identical to the E36 M3. The ZHP has a lot of the M features but is a great daily driver. I have one and I love it. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about the ZHP model.
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