502 Street Scene Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking to get an E36 (This particular one is a 325is). I've heard lots of folks tell me that Euro imports are nothing but expensive repairs and the like but others have told me they're extremely reliable. Mostly what I've been looking at before has been 740iLs ('95s on up) and several of them have run funny.

One of them (The '95 I believe) had the automatic with the manual mode, except it was stuck in the manual mode. It would drive like normal but if you gave it a lot of gas but didn't get near the red line it was like a clutch and stayed in the same gear. The display was half faded out and the airbag light was on as well.

Another I looked at had around 116k miles and it was a '97 or '98 but it wouldn't stay running. It ran for a little bit but the RPMs dropped real low and the whole car started shaking and then it just died. Wouldn't stay running.

On a more positive note, I looked at a '92 525i with 175k miles and it ran great. The interior was a little rough but a strong running (albeit slow) car. I also looked at a '96 328is with around the same mileage as that 525i and it was a manual and ran excellent as well. I certainly don't want one with that many miles on it though.

I've always been told the BMW six cylinders are the most tried and true motors. Also, how are the auto transmissions? I'd really prefer one in a manual but most of the ones I've seen are autos. Are the repairs really as bad as they say?
 

·
the other white meat
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
7 series usually have more problems because they have so many more parts that can break. of course no part will last forever, and when they start getting old, the parts start going bad. but it also depends on how well the care was taken care of. the only two e36s i have had have been hatchbacks, and i havent had any major problems with either. find one that has been properly maintained, and there shouldnt be any problems with them. every bmw i have owned has been extremely reliable, and all of mine have had at least 80k miles on them.
 

·
Lifelong Mod disease
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
Yes, the E36s are extremely reliable but you do have to do maintenance....at 75k, you should be overhauling the cooling system, O2 sensors as well. Plus, there are a lot of us that know how to work on the E36s and would do much of your maintenance for some beer and pizza....
 

·
C-A-R-D-S!
Joined
·
3,490 Posts
i'm kinda in the same boat here. i'm getting what appears to be a great deal on an e36. def going to get a mechanic to inspect it first although i know the previous owner has taken care of it. where would you suggest having the inspection done and what can i expect to pay?
 

·
the other white meat
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
i'm kinda in the same boat here. i'm getting what appears to be a great deal on an e36. def going to get a mechanic to inspect it first although i know the previous owner has taken care of it. where would you suggest having the inspection done and what can i expect to pay?
i would recommend sam swope, don blacks, or tachyon. i believe all charge about an hour of labor to look over the vehicle.
 

·
www.79auto.com
Joined
·
1,191 Posts
I am dealing almost exclusively in BMW parts now (still doing the other Euros and high end Asians, but more Beamer). The older E30s, had problems, but I agree, the E36 is rock solid platform. SOME new parts from the dealer are expensive, but most are very much in line with other manufacturers. I have most parts in stock for the E36s and many other models.

The 7s are more technically advanced, but the issues have as much to do with maintenance as anything. Many people buy older 7s because they are cheap and then realize they can't maintain them or do not know where to maintain them. Therefore they are neglected. I recently sold two older E38s (96 and 97) that had 180k+ miles and all options functioned without a hitch. Awesome luxury for a $5k-6k car.

I currently dont have any E36s together, but I am working on a 95 4dr black over grey 5-speed 325 and I have a 94 2dr charcoal over black 5-speed 318 with Miglia 1000s. They should be together in a couple of weeks (all parts are in to fix). I also have a 98 528i at, a 94 or 95 530i 5sp, an 88 735i, and a wrecked but driveable 99 740i sport with the 18s and xenons with only 81k. I also personally own my 95 M3 hybrid and my 88 M3 (and Tina drives an 04 Cooper). Beamers are good cars. PERIOD.

If you purchase a car and need anything, I should have it or can get it in a day or two. We have became very familiar with most all of the pre 2005 models doing everything from mecahnical work, to body work, to full interior swaps; I can't say much bad about any of them.

I hope this helps and gives you some confidence when buying one. Like any car, look at the conditoin... if it looks like its been abused, it will abuse you. If its clean and maintained, it should serve you well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,720 Posts
I am dealing almost exclusively in BMW parts now (still doing the other Euros and high end Asians, but more Beamer). The older E30s, had problems, but I agree, the E36 is rock solid platform. SOME new parts from the dealer are expensive, but most are very much in line with other manufacturers. I have most parts in stock for the E36s and many other models.

The 7s are more technically advanced, but the issues have as much to do with maintenance as anything. Many people buy older 7s because they are cheap and then realize they can't maintain them or do not know where to maintain them. Therefore they are neglected. I recently sold two older E38s (96 and 97) that had 180k+ miles and all options functioned without a hitch. Awesome luxury for a $5k-6k car.

I currently dont have any E36s together, but I am working on a 95 4dr black over grey 5-speed 325 and I have a 94 2dr charcoal over black 5-speed 318 with Miglia 1000s. They should be together in a couple of weeks (all parts are in to fix). I also have a 98 528i at, a 94 or 95 530i 5sp, an 88 735i, and a wrecked but driveable 99 740i sport with the 18s and xenons with only 81k. I also personally own my 95 M3 hybrid and my 88 M3 (and Tina drives an 04 Cooper). Beamers are good cars. PERIOD.

If you purchase a car and need anything, I should have it or can get it in a day or two. We have became very familiar with most all of the pre 2005 models doing everything from mecahnical work, to body work, to full interior swaps; I can't say much bad about any of them.

I hope this helps and gives you some confidence when buying one. Like any car, look at the conditoin... if it looks like its been abused, it will abuse you. If its clean and maintained, it should serve you well.

How can you possiably own an E30 m3 and call it a BEAMER!!!!!!;)
It's BIMMER, beamers only have 2 wheels hehe..
Do you know where i can find passengerside window glass for my 90 e30 325is??? My car got broken into and im having trouble sourcing the glass for a decent price?? thanks
Centerconsole pieces and maybe a dash too, DAMN thiefs!!!!
 

·
for_teh_soup
Joined
·
1,088 Posts
How can you possiably own an E30 m3 and call it a BEAMER!!!!!!;)
It's BIMMER, beamers only have 2 wheels hehe..
Do you know where i can find passengerside window glass for my 90 e30 325is??? My car got broken into and im having trouble sourcing the glass for a decent price?? thanks
Centerconsole pieces and maybe a dash too, DAMN thiefs!!!!
Pull a Part on National turnpike. They always have e30s.
 

·
GOT HEEM
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
I think E36 is the ugliest bimmer ever made. I would only own an E46, but then again I'd never own a junky bimmer in the first place. Waits for bimmer kids to go ape shit and take me too seriously like always, LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
546 Posts
How can you possiably own an E30 m3 and call it a BEAMER!!!!!!;)
It's BIMMER, beamers only have 2 wheels hehe..
Do you know where i can find passengerside window glass for my 90 e30 325is??? My car got broken into and im having trouble sourcing the glass for a decent price?? thanks
Centerconsole pieces and maybe a dash too, DAMN thiefs!!!!
I might know of one down here if you want me to check it out let me know..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
You're Kidding, Right?!

I am dealing almost exclusively in BMW parts now (still doing the other Euros and high end Asians, but more Beamer). .
I believe that's Bimmer, not Beamer.

The older E30s, had problems, but I agree, the E36 is rock solid platform.
And you CAN'T be serious. The e30 is one of the most rock stable BMW's ever produced. Hands down. I honestly think this is the first time I've heard anyone say this.

The e36 had a plethera of problems including broken speaker rings, delaminating door panels, faulty climate controls (do you REALLY need dual climate control in such a small car?), poorly designed waterpump impellers, broken radiator necks, and pain in the a$$ servicability. Ever changed a starter on an e36? How about the cooling lines leading to the heater control valve? Ugly indeed.

They are more modern, have more power, have a less maintenance intensive M50 engine, and certainly are more comfy.

But my e30 is a no nonsense car that is VERY rock stable and has given me less trouble than either of the e36's I had. Also, a DME for an e36 will still set you back $400 (used) and I can pick one up for less than $50 for my 325is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I think E36 is the ugliest bimmer ever made. I would only own an E46, but then again I'd never own a junky bimmer in the first place. Waits for bimmer kids to go ape shit and take me too seriously like always, LOL

Then why even come in here, then??? Go on back to riceville......:blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,720 Posts
I think E36 is the ugliest bimmer ever made. I would only own an E46, but then again I'd never own a junky bimmer in the first place. Waits for bimmer kids to go ape shit and take me too seriously like always, LOL
Still dont get it, i mean, if someone said that crap in a nissan or any car specific section, people would get pissed too...Grow up Adam.
 

·
the other white meat
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
And you CAN'T be serious. The e30 is one of the most rock stable BMW's ever produced. Hands down. I honestly think this is the first time I've heard anyone say this.

QUOTE]


the e30 has its own problems, mainly the timing belt, a problem with the cylinder head if the bolts havent been replaced, and the coolant system is just as shitty. it doesnt require less maintainence though, it has fewer parts that can break. thats why i prefer the hatchback, the best of both vehicles. e30 dashboard and controls, e30 rear suspension, e36 front suspension and engine. the most reliable in my opinion, you just have to be able to tolerate its hideous looks, but it grows on you
 

·
the other white meat
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
yeah, in america they only came with the M42 and M44 4cyl engines, which are just about useless. but, the 6cyl is a direct swap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,720 Posts
yep, the little hatchy with any straight 6 swap makes for an awesome bimmer..E30s are pretty rock solid, but yea, the cooling system does kinda suck, but there is not an issue with the timing belt, its just the fact that its a belt and not a chain, so its needs to be changed more often..I love my E30 becasue of the simplicity of the car the ride and the boxy old school styling, but an E36 is a great bimmer too, not as complicated as an e46 and up..
Didnt you know, the E36 is the new E30 hehe..
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top