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    Thread: The 'you need an E36' thread

    1. Member GTIolot's Avatar
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      03-08-2013 04:13 PM #251
      Quote Originally Posted by JMillerUA6 View Post
      The DJ Auto ones. Got them from DDM Tuning with a 4300k slim ballast H.I.D. kit for around $250 shipped. They are a night and day difference compared to stock and the cutoff is actually sharper than the OEM Bi-xenons I had on the TL. Love them. Finally got around to wiring up the city lights last weekend, lol
      Thx for the suggestion! just ordered a pair of these for my M3 and cannot wait to replace my hazed/yellowed stock lights.
      -WaterCooledMilitia-

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    3. Member DarrenW's Avatar
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      03-17-2013 10:44 AM #252
      Bumping this thread for this:


      Schwarz Black BMW E36 318i SE by retromotoring, on Flickr

      My new daily driver. Picked it up yesterday, covered about 100 miles in it so far. Love it!

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      03-17-2013 01:34 PM #253
      Quote Originally Posted by a2a4raddo View Post
      Any idea what color this is? Looks fantastic!
      It's Sepang Bronze Metallic - it's available on the mid-2000 M cars like the M6 and Z4M.
      "Motorcycles - the cigarettes of transportation." Seth Meyers

    5. Banned baljet's Avatar
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      03-19-2013 02:17 PM #254
      A lot of talk about buying these as track or weekend cars, but are they good and low cost to own as DDs? Say if one were to find a clean relatively low mileage (60-80k) example?

    6. Member a2a4raddo's Avatar
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      03-19-2013 02:22 PM #255
      Quote Originally Posted by epbrown View Post
      It's Sepang Bronze Metallic - it's available on the mid-2000 M cars like the M6 and Z4M.

      Thank you. Great color!

      Quote Originally Posted by baljet View Post
      A lot of talk about buying these as track or weekend cars, but are they good and low cost to own as DDs? Say if one were to find a clean relatively low mileage (60-80k) example?
      Parts are cheaper then any other gen M3 for the most part. That said, the newest E36 M3 is 14 model years old now...so like any other older german car...they are going to require more maintenance then a newer car or even an older Japanese car.

      Really depends how OCD you are about keeping the car 100%.

    7. Banned baljet's Avatar
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      03-19-2013 06:30 PM #256
      Quote Originally Posted by a2a4raddo View Post
      Thank you. Great color!



      Parts are cheaper then any other gen M3 for the most part. That said, the newest E36 M3 is 14 model years old now...so like any other older german car...they are going to require more maintenance then a newer car or even an older Japanese car.

      Really depends how OCD you are about keeping the car 100%.
      How about the standard models like the 325i? I have an opportunity to buy a low mileage one but I'm struggling to see the appeal. Mechanically I've read the chassis isn't very rigid, certainly not as strong as similar vintage C-classes. They're also not that fast but get only about 20mpg. Being an older BMW I'm assuming reliability and cost of maintenance are concerns as well. The car looks handsome, but is definitely not something I'd call stunningly beautiful. I've read that the interior is basically crap, with cheap plastics, poor fitting trim panels, rattles, and sagging headliners. I haven't driven one yet so I can't comment on driving dynamics, but is it really that fun to drive? Or will a modern mainstream hatchback out handle it?

      What is the advantage/appeal of this era 3 series (non M) aside from being the only real RWD compact German sport sedan option of the era?

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      03-20-2013 12:03 AM #257
      Quote Originally Posted by baljet View Post
      Mechanically I've read the chassis isn't very rigid, certainly not as strong as similar vintage C-classes. They're also not that fast but get only about 20mpg. Being an older BMW I'm assuming reliability and cost of maintenance are concerns as well. The car looks handsome, but is definitely not something I'd call stunningly beautiful. I've read that the interior is basically crap, with cheap plastics, poor fitting trim panels, rattles, and sagging headliners. I haven't driven one yet so I can't comment on driving dynamics, but is it really that fun to drive? Or will a modern mainstream hatchback out handle it?

      What is the advantage/appeal of this era 3 series (non M) aside from being the only real RWD compact German sport sedan option of the era?
      I think you need to re-adjust your expectations re: the context into which the E36 was introduced when new:

      -Floppy chassis? It was designed in the late-80's as BMW's first foray into CAD design.
      -20 mpg? That's what six-cylinder engines got back in the 90's.
      -Handsome but not stunningly beautiful? It's a German sedan.
      -Crap interior? Yeah, guilty as charged.
      -Fun to drive? When set-up well w/ fresh bushings, mounts, shocks, etc....Oh, how they handle. In the context of it's day, the E36 was good enough to make a lot of dedicated sports coupes and cars seem rather pointless. The distance between most BMWs of this era and their competitors was not small. With the E36 and other BMWs of the 90's, BMW forced the whole industry to get better. They were miles ahead of everyone. Without the aggressively ascendent BMW of the 90's and early-00's, we wouldn't have RWD Cadillacs, the Mazda 6, the Pontiac G8, or Audis that steer halfway decently. Compared to modern cars, it depends on how high a priority you place on measurements versus the feel-of-your-seat fun-to-drive quotient.

    9. Banned baljet's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 12:27 AM #258
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post
      I think you need to re-adjust your expectations re: the context into which the E36 was introduced when new:

      -Floppy chassis? It was designed in the late-80's as BMW's first foray into CAD design.
      -20 mpg? That's what six-cylinder engines got back in the 90's.
      -Handsome but not stunningly beautiful? It's a German sedan.
      -Crap interior? Yeah, guilty as charged.
      -Fun to drive? When set-up well w/ fresh bushings, mounts, shocks, etc....Oh, how they handle. In the context of it's day, the E36 was good enough to make a lot of dedicated sports coupes and cars seem rather pointless. The distance between most BMWs of this era and their competitors was not small. With the E36 and other BMWs of the 90's, BMW forced the whole industry to get better. They were miles ahead of everyone. Without the aggressively ascendent BMW of the 90's and early-00's, we wouldn't have RWD Cadillacs, the Mazda 6, the Pontiac G8, or Audis that steer halfway decently. Compared to modern cars, it depends on how high a priority you place on measurements versus the feel-of-your-seat fun-to-drive quotient.
      Well the impression I've been getting from researching this car is that it just wasn't a quality car, both from a manufacturing and engineering standpoint, even compared to cars of its time like the Acura Legend (based on how it's aged). Plus it seems if you buy one used now, to get that handeling it was once famous for, you have to sink some money into it. At that point would it not make sense to just get an E46 instead?

      The only appeal I'm seeing in the E36 is with the M3 version as a super fun and cheap track car for enthusiasts who are not afraid of working on their own cars and are willing to add modifications. But I'm thinking the more plebeian versions (i.e. 325i) are not really that good for as a sole daily driver. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I would kill for a
      Last edited by baljet; 03-20-2013 at 12:30 AM.

    10. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 08:59 AM #259
      Quote Originally Posted by baljet View Post
      Plus it seems if you buy one used now, to get that handeling it was once famous for, you have to sink some money into it. At that point would it not make sense to just get an E46 instead?
      E46 will require all the same money sunk into the suspension and bushings plus the extra cost. E46s, IMO, were even more poorly made than E36s.

      [quote]The only appeal I'm seeing in the E36 is with the M3 version as a super fun and cheap track car for enthusiasts who are not afraid of working on their own cars and are willing to add modifications. But I'm thinking the more plebeian versions (i.e. 325i) are not really that good for as a sole daily driver. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I would kill for a

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      03-20-2013 09:42 AM #260
      Quote Originally Posted by baljet View Post
      Well the impression I've been getting from researching this car is that it just wasn't a quality car, both from a manufacturing and engineering standpoint, even compared to cars of its time like the Acura Legend (based on how it's aged).
      The quality issues mostly relate to the interior, which was slowly improved throughout the E36's lifespan. It was never great, but the last couple years are significantly better than the first. E46 interiors are much improved, but have their problems as well (they age terribly). Not sure what you mean by saying it was badly engineered...it basically re-wrote the rulebook in terms of how a sedan could handle. The Z-axis multi-link rear suspension was a hot piece of kit. Nice manual gearboxes, communicative steering, the inline-sixes are all fantastic.

      Plus it seems if you buy one used now, to get that handeling it was once famous for, you have to sink some money into it. At that point would it not make sense to just get an E46 instead?
      So...you're saying it's an old German car? This is true for pretty much anything old that's worth driving. The E46 suffers from all of the same maladies (including the rear subframe thing). Also, E46s seem to be more susceptible to oil condensation problems.

      [QUOTE]The only appeal I'm seeing in the E36 is with the M3 version as a super fun and cheap track car for enthusiasts who are not afraid of working on their own cars and are willing to add modifications. But I'm thinking the more plebeian versions (i.e. 325i) are not really that good for as a sole daily driver. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I would kill for a

    12. Senior Member danny_16v's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 11:34 AM #261
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post


      Depends on what you want in a daily-driver. E36s sure ain't luxurious. The E36 M3 is a great car, but doesn't necessarily have a different appeal from the non-M E36s. It's mostly an E36 326/328 turned up to '11'. E36s all make great track cars. They're easy to work on and are inexpensive for the performance and the driving purity you get for the money. A young guy in an E36 M3 just won the national autocross title in STU...pretty impressive for such an old platform.

      Don't buy one if you're not into doing your own work.
      yes he did, very simple mods done to the car too... nothing really THAT crazy other than the expensive MCS 2-way dampers. He beat the top Evo's and STi's... something that the E36 M3 hasn't been able to do in STU for some years now. We'll see what happens this year. People say it was a perfect storm in favor of the M3 in terms of course lay out etc. but a win is a win.
      GLi : M3 : CX5
      OSD#2

    13. Member jrsmitchell's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 12:27 PM #262
      I love this thread. I can't wait to get mine out of storage once the weather clears up here!

      Quote Originally Posted by jrsmitchell View Post
      I love everything about the car except the transmission. My particular model is an Alpina "Switchtronic" which is a conventional auto with push button shifting. Pretty cool technology at the time and actually more fun than it sounds, but I'm looking into a manual swap
      Replying to myself here... Part of me thinks I should keep this car original and leave the Switchtronic auto in there.



      But that part of me has lost once and for all. To the Alpina engineers I apologize, I just bought a 6-speed manual that I'll be swapping in shortly. Bye bye auto

    14. Member GTIolot's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 01:24 PM #263
      Quote Originally Posted by jrsmitchell View Post
      I love this thread. I can't wait to get mine out of storage once the weather clears up here!



      Replying to myself here... Part of me thinks I should keep this car original and leave the Switchtronic auto in there.



      But that part of me has lost once and for all. To the Alpina engineers I apologize, I just bought a 6-speed manual that I'll be swapping in shortly. Bye bye auto
      Those seats.... mother of g...
      -WaterCooledMilitia-

    15. Member GTIolot's Avatar
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      03-20-2013 01:27 PM #264
      I didn't see this in the thread.. my apologies if it was already posted.

      -WaterCooledMilitia-

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      03-20-2013 01:28 PM #265
      Quote Originally Posted by baljet View Post
      Plus it seems if you buy one used now, to get that handeling it was once famous for, you have to sink some money into it. At that point would it not make sense to just get an E46 instead?
      .
      This is going to be true with ANY old car, unless you purchase one who's bushings, etc were freshened up in the not so distance past. My buddy's E36 M3 Cab has 72K miles on the od. Its a 98...but it drives like its nearly brand new. Its a weekend car he kept bone stock and replaced all parts when needed.

      Buy an enthusiast owned model that wasn't beat to crap and/or owned by a young kid (or VAD) without funds to maintain properly, get a ppi..and you will have a very rewarding and pretty reliable car to drive. At the track, on weekends, or daily.

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      03-20-2013 02:57 PM #266
      Quote Originally Posted by danny_16v View Post
      yes he did, very simple mods done to the car too... nothing really THAT crazy other than the expensive MCS 2-way dampers. He beat the top Evo's and STi's... something that the E36 M3 hasn't been able to do in STU for some years now. We'll see what happens this year. People say it was a perfect storm in favor of the M3 in terms of course lay out etc. but a win is a win.
      Indeed, a win is a win. That an E36 was even in contention 15 years after it's prime is impressive. And, to be in a position to take advantage of an ideal set of circumstances, you have to get there first. I.e., luck alone doesn't win you national titles. You need to make your own luck, which requires a lot of hard work and talent.

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      03-20-2013 03:17 PM #267
      [QUOTE=baljet;81185522]
      The only appeal I'm seeing in the E36 is with the M3 version as a super fun and cheap track car for enthusiasts who are not afraid of working on their own cars and are willing to add modifications. But I'm thinking the more plebeian versions (i.e. 325i) are not really that good for as a sole daily driver. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I would kill for a

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      03-20-2013 04:05 PM #268
      Quote Originally Posted by mac dre View Post
      If you're irritated by cosmetic issues, accessories which malfunction, random CEL's or clunks and jolts from tired suspension components, owning any 10+ year old German car can get expensive fast.
      FTFY.

    20. 03-22-2013 09:03 PM #269
      Quote Originally Posted by jrsmitchell View Post
      I love this thread. I can't wait to get mine out of storage once the weather clears up here!



      Replying to myself here... Part of me thinks I should keep this car original and leave the Switchtronic auto in there.



      But that part of me has lost once and for all. To the Alpina engineers I apologize, I just bought a 6-speed manual that I'll be swapping in shortly. Bye bye auto
      6MT or 5MT?

    21. Member jrsmitchell's Avatar
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      03-22-2013 11:36 PM #270
      Quote Originally Posted by Remedy View Post
      6MT or 5MT?
      6MT. You can swap in a 6MT from a euro M3 fairly easily, although they're somewhat expensive and hard to find here. Otherwise the E46 M3 trans [1] or the 6MT from the E46 330, Z4 or E60 530 [2] will work with the right clutch and some other small changes. BMWs of that era are like Legos.

      1 - http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/98m3/up...6spd/index.htm
      2 - http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/s...ode/6SP000.htm

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      04-03-2013 07:49 PM #271
      Tracking.

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      04-03-2013 08:20 PM #272



    24. Member esrballa's Avatar
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      04-03-2013 08:23 PM #273
      ^


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      04-03-2013 09:01 PM #274
      Quote Originally Posted by Fortythreepercent View Post
      Also, this car is spot-on for the purpose it was built (by the owner).
      I agree with this guy.

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      04-26-2013 03:42 PM #275
      Seems like the right thread for this question:

      Who here thinks I'm nuts for selling my E46 ZHP, putting some money in the bank, and buying a decent (re: maintained) E36 M3 for near daily-use?

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