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      09-21-2014, 07:02 PM   #1
spmd11
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e36 M3

Anyone own one? What's it like? About to buy a very nice example
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      09-21-2014, 07:22 PM   #2
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I bought a 99M3 in 2005 and still have it. Modded it a lot, all the naturally aspirated mods, a stage 1 and 2 and 3 centrifugal supercharger and now a turbo. Redid the suspension as well. Does 134 in the quarter now, full interior, AC, pump gas plus meth. Great cars, but they are 15 years old. I probably drive mine more than my 08M3 because it is more fun and faster.
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      09-21-2014, 07:43 PM   #3
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Is it a livable daily driver? Like for a 16 year old?
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      09-21-2014, 07:56 PM   #4
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Sure. Kids think these are really cool cars. As with any 15 year old car, be prepared to do some maintenance and repairs.
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      09-21-2014, 09:15 PM   #5
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I daily mine. I love it. The simplicity in terms of tech and looks is what I really like. It's a lot of fun even with the U.S. engine. Just be sure to stay on top of the maintenance because it can pile up if you don't take care of it.
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      09-21-2014, 09:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spmd11 View Post
Is it a livable daily driver? Like for a 16 year old?
personally i wont buy my kid a 15 year old car IF i can afford something newer. for safety reasons, and reliability

but if you are looking to get one for the hell of it, the US spec E36 has said to be the worse M3 yet.
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      09-21-2014, 10:18 PM   #7
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I've owned one for 11 years and it's been hands down the best and most reliable car I've ever owned.

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      09-21-2014, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexter View Post
Who said? Why do you try and pass your subjective comments off as fact?

Just like any car, there are well kept ones and beaters. Do your homework and buy one that is well documented and taken care of and you'll be fine.

I would focus on 1998 and newer modes as they received subframe re-inforcements and front end suspension upgrades.
heard many times the US spec one was detuned version over the euro one. personally i wont like the idea of that.
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      09-21-2014, 11:40 PM   #9
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My Love for the M3 started with the E36 back in the mid 90's. Still one of my favorites. My love affair ended with the new car.
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      09-21-2014, 11:55 PM   #10
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My Love for the M3 started with the E36 back in the mid 90's. Still one of my favorites. My love affair ended with the new car.
I might be in the same boat, dated a girl with estoril e36 for a bit and first m3 i drove. as far as the new car. I'm not in love yet.
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      09-22-2014, 12:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezio View Post
heard many times the US spec one was detuned version over the euro one. personally i wont like the idea of that.
Yea it's not a great engine, but people still love the car. I get excited to drive me e36 in a way that my e90 can't match and vice versa. Saying the e36 was the worst m3 isn't saying much when every generation dominated it's segment in their respective ways
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      09-22-2014, 12:50 AM   #12
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so it looks like most people here like the E36 because it holds some sentimental value. Take some one who have zero sentimental with any M3 other than the E92 m3. I was born in the 90s.

If i were to buy a older M3. It would be the E46, i think they look cool. they have a high revving I6 engine with ITB. win
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      09-22-2014, 12:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
I might be in the same boat, dated a girl with estoril e36 for a bit and first m3 i drove. as far as the new car. I'm not in love yet.
Estoril blue w/ dove interior was my favorite
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      09-22-2014, 02:04 AM   #14
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I may have a bit of a biased opinion. They are cheap, reliable, and more importantly, very very good. They are considered great track rats not because of the US spec motor, but because they are supremely balanced and lightweight. Fully stripped with full cage and you can get them below 2500lbs. Remember guys, BMW built this car across the pond with 321hp S50 euro motor. The chassis was designed to handle that power and more. Keeping that in mind, going to the e46 that weighed hundreds of pounds more and offered 343hp in euro trim and 333hp stateside, the e36 with its lighter weight has its appeal. Sure the e46 is the "looker" and the chassis improvements are significant. But what other M3 gen was compared to this kind of company of cars? And won!
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      09-22-2014, 07:17 AM   #15
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The chassis reinforcements for the subframe mounting appeared on all year USA spec M3s, not just 1998 on.

The USA spec M3 is, to some degree, a lightly modded 325i/328i. The engine was simply bored and stroked to more displacement and fitted with hotter cams. Power gains were about 25%, but still far below the power of the Euro M3.

It is still a great car, though not as special as the E30M3, E46M3, or E90M3, because the engine is just an upgraded version of the base engine rather than a special M engine.

Modify it and it does pretty well. With bolt on mods, it can run with a stock E46M3. There are several centrifugal supercharger and turbo kits available. With a Technica, TRM, Technique Tuning or CES turbo kit, it will beat a Stage 2 centrifugal E46M3. Also loads of suspension mods available. Even today, it is a popular track car for enthusiasts. And it is not as expensive to own, maintain, repair and modify as an E30M3, E46M3 or E90M3.
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      09-22-2014, 10:07 AM   #16
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The E36 M3 is a fantastic car. I think its the perfect size for a daily driver with the ability to carry 4 people in relative comfort in a pinch, or a ton of stuff in the back with the rear seats folded down. While the power isn't great (we really should have got the Euro motor), the chassis is really good (ride quality, great handling, nimble, balanced, etc...). I have the tms stage 3 (291bhp - 243whp) and it really woke the car up.

HOWEVER - the car is getting older and BMW's rubber does not last. Expect to replace: Subframe bushings, Rear Shock Tower Mounts, Lower Control Arm Bushings, front lower control arm bushings, diff bushings, guibo, and be prepared that much of the plastic can crack if the car is not well taken care of. I've taken great care of mine yet had to replace the plastic button for the glove box 4X (it's cheap and easy to replace). Vanos solenoids can go, the climate control spikey blower resister and a $0.50 microfarad capacitor in the climate control are known to go out.

If you're decent with a wrench, the car is pretty easy to work on and every issue is well documented. Since the engine is a modified 325 motor, they are trucks and last forever. I think if you're okay with working on the car yourself, its too great of a platform to pass up.

I'm also selling my Silver/Black 99 coupe which everything has been gone through:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1017737

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      09-22-2014, 12:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spmd11 View Post
Is it a livable daily driver? Like for a 16 year old?
They are great cars, but not for a 16 yo IMO. At that age, they need something safe, reliable, easy to maintain, and good on gas.
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      09-22-2014, 12:46 PM   #18
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. Here is the car. It is owned by a current BMW drivetrain engineer that works in SC. He has owned the car 6 years and done a lot of work himself on the car.

http://s1240.photobucket.com/user/mw...racite%20Cloth
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      09-22-2014, 02:02 PM   #19
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They are great cars, but not for a 16 yo IMO. At that age, they need something safe, reliable, easy to maintain, and good on gas.
the e36 m3 is reliable, easy to maintain, and good on gas. it'll be as safe as any car that is 15-20 years old
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      09-22-2014, 02:19 PM   #20
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But certainly if you would like to buy your kid a new car, go ahead. Please adopt me. I'll take an M3 or M4, or even an M2 when they come out. An M235i would get me by in the meantime.
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      09-22-2014, 04:30 PM   #21
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the e36 m3 is reliable, easy to maintain, and good on gas. it'll be as safe as any car that is 15-20 years old
You can do much better in every single one of those categories. A 20 year old car is not going to be that reliable. Maintenance costs are much more expensive. And there have been so many new innovations in safety features of newer cars, why would you skimp there? Don't get me wrong. I'd drive one as a DD for sure and would even argue so far as to say that it's a purists car. I just don't think it's appropriate for a 16yo.
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      09-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tinman831 View Post
You can do much better in every single one of those categories. A 20 year old car is not going to be that reliable. Maintenance costs are much more expensive. And there have been so many new innovations in safety features of newer cars, why would you skimp there? Don't get me wrong. I'd drive one as a DD for sure and would even argue so far as to say that it's a purists car. I just don't think it's appropriate for a 16yo.
for a 16 year old couldn't agree more
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