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      03-06-2022, 01:21 PM   #45
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Soon after I bought my first and only new BMW, an '04 330i ZHP 6MT, my daughter was getting her license. We located an AW '95 325is for her. I told her she could never sell that car except to me. It was the one where we learned together how to diagnose, repair and maintain cars. Unfortunately a couple of deer strikes later and there was no bringing it back. Fast forward and she is now 30 and on her 4th BMW, but she still says the e36 was her favorite. I've had a few over the years but have kept my e36/7 Z3 3.0i 5MT, I love that chassis and of course the infamous straight 6. Owned since 2008 and just rolled over 60K miles last summer. I'll also add that the 135i N55 DCT is very quick and fun.
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      03-06-2022, 02:34 PM   #46
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This debate needs to not happen again and again. We get it, bmw detuned the usa version, and yes it still isn't bad
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      03-06-2022, 03:28 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by StradaRedlands View Post
This is exactly the way I'm heading for my next vehicle... the E82 just seems like a great vehicle and closest to an E30 or E36 as you can get. Probably a N52 version if I'm honest with myself. Problem is, they are just plain out few and far between here in The States. Then add in MT, then add in sport package, then add in heated seats... not holding my breath for one!
I have an E30 and at one time also had a 128i M Sport. It definitely felt like a modern day E30 in more ways than one. I know not everyone like they way they look, but I love the E82. It's an awesome car if you can find one.
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      03-06-2022, 04:06 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chihuahua View Post
I have an E30 and at one time also had a 128i M Sport. It definitely felt like a modern day E30 in more ways than one. I know not everyone like they way they look, but I love the E82. It's an awesome car if you can find one.
Yes, that's my thinking on it as well... always kinda' keeping an eye out!
Thanks for being a great enabler!!!
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      03-06-2022, 08:14 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davil View Post
The biggest problem with the Euro motor wasn't spun bearings it was that bloody Vanos. I had one. Great when the Vanos was working. Back in the 90s in the old forums I remember how pissed off US folk were about their engine. With hindsight they probably got the better deal. Improved day to day driveability due to better low down torque and much better reliability. However, I have say when that Vanos did it's thing it felt like you made the jump to hyperspaceÖ in 90s terms anyway.

Steering wheel was the size of a maritime vessel and the rack was so slow in modern terms but with reasonable steering feel. I also remember it feeling like a heavy car in the day which it was.

It was a pretty decent drive overall. An old car now but it would probably be lots of fun just for the retro experience.
Wait...a heavy car?? It was 3,100 lbs!
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      03-07-2022, 06:07 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by wknddrivr View Post
+1

I've had my E36 m3/4/5 for 5 years now. I got it by chance because my E90 was totaled and it was the only BMW I could find at the time that had a manual transmission in the area. I never liked the styling of the E36 prior to owning it, but when I went to check it out and took it for a test drive, I fell in love with how it drove. I've also come around on the styling, and its between that and my E39 M5 for my favorite design...Interestingly, they were both designed by the same guy, Joji Nagashima. You simply can have fun at normal speeds without going crazy and its just so enjoyable.

Since I got the E36, I leased a G30 530i (turned in, boring car), bought an E39 M5 (still have great daily), bought an E46 330xi (would be great but 200k miles and not well cared for so I've got a bad impression of it but it was cheap), and bought an E90 335i M-sport.

I still have all of those cars except the 530i, but the one that I enjoy the most and feel the most connected with is the E36 M3. The E39 M5 is a great all around car, but never gives you the emotional connection or road feel that you get with the E36. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to drive the E36 on a long trip...I've taken it from California to Colorado and my back was killing me...the same trip in the E39 M5 and I was way more comfortable.

Regarding reliability, the E36 has been the least troublesome out of all my cars. I have 160k miles, and aside from the clutch slave cylinder that also left me stranded, its been perfect. The Interior isn't the best quality, but aside from sagging headliner, I haven't had issues. I replaced the original headliner with Alcantara and it looks a lot more upscale with the black Alcantara headliner and Magma leather.

Cant say enough good things about the E36 M3, and out of the 4 cars currently in my garage, its the one I'd keep if I was forced to sell 3 of them.
I've got the exact same feeling you have about the E36 being a long distance cruiser. It's surprisingly bad at it

Although the Vaders look great, they're horrendous after 2 hours and I also start getting lower back pain. On top of that, you've got the S52 revving away at over 3k RPM at 70 MPH and it's just not a great experience.

Having said all that, you're exactly right about the driving experience. The car has so much character, which is something you cannot see on paper. In a way, it's also kind of like the M2C, it doesn't take itself too seriously. You don't have to rev the crap out of it to get the best out of the engine, but you certainly have the option to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfarrzhp View Post
You got the best color, maybe a tie with Estoril, and those wheels just transform the M3 apart from the other wheel options in my opinion.

The E36 M3 was the first BMW I ever drove, which was just a test drive for fun as a teenager. A couple years later I got my first BMW a 2002 330i lease, I couldn't afford to buy it. Lol.

Ever since I've gone straight BMWs, for my daily, 10 to be exact, and on my third M Car.

I still really want an E36, and I should have pulled the trigger years ago when they were still reasonable. It's definitely one of my favorite BMWs of all time, and I only drove it once.
Estoril happens to be my second favorite color actually. Back when I bought the E36, I never thought in a million years I'd be able to find a Techno Violet, but sure enough, mine popped up on Facebook 10 miles from where I live. Also back then, the market for the Style 24 wheels wasn't as crazy as it is now, so I was able to add a square set. It goes so well with the car, I agree.

To be honest, I think you should still consider it even in this crazy market. At the end of the day, you can still find a good one for $15-20k (unless you want a mint one, then it's $20k+ probably). But you can knock that off the list and sell it if need be, you're not going to lose money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IB M View Post
Great video. That blue euro - what color was that?

Keeping my 1999 AW - agree with all the comments, luckily my glove box stays closed and the door cards are fine. Only the slightest headliner sag - a few inch section above driver door. Car was always garaged which is a must with a E36. Jason did not cover 5spd vs 6spd euro. Do wish we had the 6spd in US.
I've had the glovebox sag, but I must be one of the few lucky ones that have never had it pop open on its own (knock on wood). Headliner is also in good shape, but door panel is a completely different story.

I'm surprised so many people have the glovebox issue as my car rides pretty stiff. It was enough to pop the front turn signal housing when I hit a pot hole
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      03-07-2022, 09:34 AM   #51
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To date, I've purchased 28 new vehicles (35 if motorcycles included), and my 1997 M3/4/5 was probably my favorite. I loved the "cockpit" style interior and 3.2 engine. Another thing was the solid bank vault like thunk the doors made when closing. Until early 2000's both MB and BMW had that great solid sound....guess it went away as weight saving became a focus. I wish I could buy that E36 new today at $46K.
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      03-07-2022, 12:58 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTF View Post
To date, I've purchased 28 new vehicles (35 if motorcycles included), and my 1997 M3/4/5 was probably my favorite. I loved the "cockpit" style interior and 3.2 engine. Another thing was the solid bank vault like thunk the doors made when closing. Until early 2000's both MB and BMW had that great solid sound....guess it went away as weight saving became a focus. I wish I could buy that E36 new today at $46K.
The gold old days!
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      03-07-2022, 09:23 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Haywood View Post

Wait...a heavy car?? It was 3,100 lbs!
Yes. Back then when it was new it was a heavyweight. Amazing how times change!
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      03-26-2022, 12:38 AM   #54
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The E36 is absolutely phenomenal fun on a backroad. I prefer it over my E92 m3 for spirited driving. I want to do ITBs in my next one.
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      07-11-2022, 03:23 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Nettles View Post
When I got my E36 back in 2013ish it was the $10k rule. If you donít spend $10k youíll spend the difference to get it up to there. That rule was changing more to $12k as I was looking. Doubt you can find an all around clean one for less than $20k now especially with how all M3 pricing is going these days.
I bought mine in 2019 and the 10k$ rule very well got applied iny case. Beyond that I am on my 2nd 3M headliner adhesive can, couple blown fuses, occasional bulbs blowing out and ac that has been keeping me busy a few weekends now. Oh and I am still rocking factory stereo so no music in this car for me.
Despite all these, nothing else comes close to making me giggle like a toddler.
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      07-11-2022, 04:38 PM   #56
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Biodegradable wiring and poor interior quality is what I hate the most about E36's. Other than that they are a hoot. Take a lowly 318iS and make it an M3, it's just adding the right pieces. We used to race a shitbox lemons 318is that I had a M50 with a 3L S50 crank in with some hot cams. You wouldn't know the difference on inspection....best cheaty engines to build. The problem is every rat box E36 is now a drift missle bs and that has driven up the prices just like the 10 years ago with E30. I was on great terms with my local dealer and they would let me know when one came in on a trade in. E30/6 trade i these days is non existent as is E46.
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      11-09-2022, 07:37 AM   #57
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So far Iíve enjoyed the ownership experience with the E36. Itís kept me busy addressing the small things and finding NLA BMW parts has been half the fun. Recently changed what looks to be the original cabin filter and had the front seats professionally refinished. Took the opportunity to detail the interior while the seats were out. I went for a more period correct restoration on the seats as I didnít want him chasing every single crease and crack, giving them a plastic feel. Iíll eventually do a full interior reupholsterÖ

IMHO, definitely a great compliment to the E92. Recently drove them back to back and couldnít be happier.
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      11-09-2022, 12:34 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sublime00 View Post
not sure if this was posted or not but here's a nice vid on the e36, specifically why the us spec was "better" than the euro spec

Quote:
Originally Posted by sublime00 View Post
not sure if this was posted or not but here's a nice vid on the e36, specifically why the us spec was "better" than the euro spec

🥰🥰
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      12-11-2022, 09:04 AM   #59
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Hello - I’m new here and a bit bummed that there doesn’t appear to be a E36 M3 specific forum, however, elated to see this M3 video! I’m an original owner of a ‘99 M3 coupe, so reliving the accolades this car received when I bought it brings back fond memories - I still have the “Best-handling car in America” magazine .

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this car during its relatively trouble-free 59K miles. It rides and sounds just like it was when I bought it. The road feel of this car, especially when pushing it, is fantastic, as I feel much more connected to the road than more recent cars that have much better technology. So glad I’ve kept it!
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      12-12-2022, 05:37 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3MVA View Post
Hello - Iím new here and a bit bummed that there doesnít appear to be a E36 M3 specific forum, however, elated to see this M3 video! Iím an original owner of a Ď99 M3 coupe, so reliving the accolades this car received when I bought it brings back fond memories - I still have the ďBest-handling car in AmericaĒ magazine .

Iíve thoroughly enjoyed this car during its relatively trouble-free 59K miles. It rides and sounds just like it was when I bought it. The road feel of this car, especially when pushing it, is fantastic, as I feel much more connected to the road than more recent cars that have much better technology. So glad Iíve kept it!
https://nam3forum.com/forums/forum/e36-1992-1999
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      12-12-2022, 12:22 PM   #61
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If we're talking about M3/M4 then the E92 will forever be ultimate in my eyes.
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      02-14-2023, 10:58 PM   #62
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I've owned my 95 M3 for 10 years. It has been an amazing experience. From track days to road trips. Packing it out with my wife and the dog. It is the least expensive but most reliable car that I have ever owned. Now I have upgraded to the g80 m3. I have only 1 garage space so I had to store the e36 at my family's house upstate New York. It was a great decision because now I have endless mountain twisty back roads for spirited driving. This is what the car was built for.

https://youtu.be/6ezkh6Mre8A

https://youtu.be/3k9u8gVunPE
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