PDA

View Full Version : Questions about E36 Engine


starscream
09-30-2010, 09:13 PM
Heya!

So first time posting here. I actually have a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3, however I been looking to get a dedicated track car. Right now the 2 key cars I been looking at are 1) BMW E36 series (325 or 328) and 2) Acura Integra 2nd Gen.

Both have their pro's and con's however being a Bimmer forum I'll ask the Bimmer questions here.

My main question is about the E36 engine: the M50TUB25 and M50B25. I find alot of them on autotrader/craigstlist/kijiji with 280xxxKms and above.

How reliable are the engines?

Estimated life?

Any major things that should be worked on when it gets that high in kms? (headgaskets? etc?)

Any help would be appreciated. I looked/searched the forum but didnt get anything as general that I wanted and more with people that had specific problems. Looking for more of a general idea.

THANKS!

doogee
09-30-2010, 09:33 PM
Get the BMW for the Rear wheel drive :P

I've had a 328 for 2 years now. It has the M52B28.

The motor has been 100% bulletproof. Even when I first got the car, learning stick, I made a moneyshift. But it kept going, no issues. I got lucky.

My motor is at about 300k, and still running perfect. 255hp with a few mods as well.

Only thing that has gone bad on the motor itself was a power steering pump ($50)

You just need to be ontop of the cooling system. If you buy an e36, change the waterpump, thermostat, rad, and thermostat housing to aluminum if it hasn't already been done.

Keep in mind, I track my car often, so it gets beat on. Doesn't burn any oil.

In my opinion, if you keep up on oil changes, it should last a looooooong time.

blk3
09-30-2010, 09:36 PM
my 325i has 340k on it. 1000k a week on it with no issues so far. its been pretty damn solid so far

craigIS
09-30-2010, 10:21 PM
I have a 93 325 with an M50 in it, and the thing runs amazing! 355K on the engine and body, and the engine runs mint, while the body is complete shite.

Obviously your going to want to check all the hoses. Depending on the year, and how the car was cared for, check the headers, and make sure they aren't rusted to complete crap.

If your going to go with a BMW, I would go with a 325 rather than a 328. A common mod for a 328 is to swap intake and headers with M50 intake and headers, and the 325 already has those.

doogee
09-30-2010, 10:24 PM
If your going to go with a BMW, I would go with a 325 rather than a 328. A common mod for a 328 is to swap intake and headers with M50 intake and headers, and the 325 already has those.

This information is wrong.

While a good mod for a 328 is the M50 intake manifold, it adds around 20hp. That already bumps it way past the power of an M50 which already has it.

And I've never heard of a 328 owner putting M50 headers on...why would we do that when we already have the same as an M3?

Overall, there is WAY more potential for power with an M52 over an M50. It also has more torque.

All the exhaust parts from a 328 are an upgrade on a 325!

dble Trouble
09-30-2010, 10:30 PM
I've owned 2 e36 328's and I have to agree with doogee 100%. They are far better, stock for stock and with a few minor mods hp gets bumped a lot better not to mention if you're tracking it ultimate hp isn't what you want as much as torque which the 2.8 has in spades in comparison to the 2.5. If the car has been taken care of it is not unheard of these cars running to 500k. But if something catastrophic should happen replacement engines are a dime a dozen and not very expensive.

richie_s999
10-01-2010, 02:31 AM
First I it's a track car the rwd BMW will out do the fwd/awd platform

Second I would focus more on finding an E36 with a solid shell then worrying about the motor. The motors are easier to find and change then dealing with rust.

SickFinga
10-01-2010, 05:37 AM
This information is wrong.

why would we do that when we already have the same as an M3?


You are right, but to be fair M50 also has the same headers as M3. Same as the S50B30US M3.

The only downside to the 328 I see is the open 2.91 diff. I know there are LSD's but are very rare and it's still pretty tall. 3.15 LSD's are pretty cheap though. I would also recommend 328 over the 325. More torque, newer, stronger gearbox.

richie_s999
10-01-2010, 06:12 AM
You are right, but to be fair M50 also has the same headers as M3. Same as the S50B30US M3.

The only downside to the 328 I see is the open 2.91 diff. I know there are LSD's but are very rare and it's still pretty tall. 3.15 LSD's are pretty cheap though. I would also recommend 328 over the 325. More torque, newer, stronger gearbox.

I have never heard anyone ever say the 328 had a stronger gearbox, or ever
heard of anyone blowing up a tranny in an e36.

LSD diffs are easy to find, lost of E36's being parted out

craz azn
10-01-2010, 09:51 AM
I have never heard anyone ever say the 328 had a stronger gearbox, or ever
heard of anyone blowing up a tranny in an e36.

LSD diffs are easy to find, lost of E36's being parted out

Yeah dude, its true. 328 uses the same gearbox as the M3.

sproule905
10-01-2010, 11:39 AM
there's no replacement for displacement, right?

love my 328is.. and i am sure all owners above do as well.

iverson03tj
10-01-2010, 12:07 PM
Welcome to maxbimmer! 328is is my suggestion. First its a bigger displacement, and mods are everywhere for it, and its the easiest swap if u ever want to put an s52 in it, compared to the other e36s

Honestly i got a integra boosted to 8 psi and all jdmed out... i spent everything i had on it for the last 2 years... n let me tell you my stock 328is is WAY more fun for me than the integra will ever be, after all the suspension mods i did on the integra, the bimmer still feels nicer when hitting turns fast. the bimmer did cost more to mod but its more rewarding. also if u are getting a e36. get the 328i... closest to the m3 and its the same engine as the m3 just a bigger displacement and alot of options for it!

e36 FTW

starscream
10-01-2010, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the welcome and the information guys. I would multi-quote all of you and reply to each one, however the board doesnt have that feature. In anycase i'll kinda generalize it!

I totally get that RWD > FWD for a track platform. What was getting me about the integra was the pretty good handling and cost (cost of car AND cost of parts) is real low. For my first track car thats pretty appealing.

HOWEVER,

I am more leaning towards the E36 chassis, not only because of the RWD factor but seems like theres more room for me to grow and seems better suited to what I want out of the track car. The added fact that iverson has a boosted integra and gave me a honest account of what he thinks helps alot coming from someone who has both a teggy AND a e36.

I DONT think I can get a 328. 1) they are hard to find used in my price range 2) most of them I have seen on craigslist,kijiji,autotrader have been auto. Although I have seen a few 325's that are VERY appealing (price range and condition). I know its not the 328 that I would prefer, however I am thinking that for me to get to know the car, get used to tracking and that I would be gutting it and putting all that together it seems like a pretty decent way to go.

My main concern, which seems to be addressed, is getting the car with over 280K kms on it and knowing that it can still take a beating and that I wouldnt have to replace the engine already (knowing that I try to maintain it, and not just let it go to shit).

Thanks for all the words guys, keep them coming. I know there was a post above going over some basic things to watch out for. Anyone else have more to comment on that? What else I should look out for? What to look out for when buying a E36? Major rust spots? Things to keep an eye out for?

craigIS
10-01-2010, 01:33 PM
Yeah dude, its true. 328 uses the same gearbox as the M3.

REally? I thought there were 3 different sizes for diffs, and gear boxes on E36's.

318 has a small casing, 325, and 328 have medium, and M3 has large. At least that is what I was told when I was looking for an LSD for my 318. Perhaps is just the connections that are 3 different sizes, and the casings are the same?

On the note of headers, I was also told that the headers differ from 325 - 328 - M3. Was I misinformed on that too?

I am only just getting to know my 325 btw.

doogee
10-01-2010, 03:21 PM
REally? I thought there were 3 different sizes for diffs, and gear boxes on E36's.

318 has a small casing, 325, and 328 have medium, and M3 has large. At least that is what I was told when I was looking for an LSD for my 318. Perhaps is just the connections that are 3 different sizes, and the casings are the same?

On the note of headers, I was also told that the headers differ from 325 - 328 - M3. Was I misinformed on that too?

I am only just getting to know my 325 btw.



Okay time to clear this up.

Headers:

325 and 95 M3: Same
328 and 96-99 M3: Same

The main difference in the headers is the port for the secondary air pump on the 96-99 models. But from the headers back the 325 exhaust is more restrictive than a 328 or M3 exhaust.


Diffs:
All the same minus the 318ti and Euro.

SickFinga
10-01-2010, 03:24 PM
REally? I thought there were 3 different sizes for diffs, and gear boxes on E36's.

318 has a small casing, 325, and 328 have medium, and M3 has large. At least that is what I was told when I was looking for an LSD for my 318. Perhaps is just the connections that are 3 different sizes, and the casings are the same?

On the note of headers, I was also told that the headers differ from 325 - 328 - M3. Was I misinformed on that too?

I am only just getting to know my 325 btw.

For US markets there are only 2 sizes for diffs.
Small one - 318/320 and bigger one for 323/325/328 and US M3s.
European M3s got an even bigger diff.

Now transmissions on 4cyl and 6cyl cars have the same bell housing, so you can install 6cyl tranny on a 4cyl engine and vise versa. You will have to play around with the drive shaft though.


Headers are the same on the 2.0l, 2.5l and on the 3.0l M3.
323, 328 and 3.2l M3 use a different set of headers.

doogee
10-01-2010, 03:26 PM
For US markets there are only 2 sizes for diffs.
Small one - 318/320 and bigger one for 323/325/328 and US M3s.
European M3s got an even bigger diff.

Now transmissions on 4cyl and 6cyl cars have the same bell housing, so you can install 6cyl tranny on a 4cyl engine and vise versa. You will have to play around with the drive shaft though.


Headers are the same on the 2.0l, 2.5l and on the 3.0l M3.
323, 328 and 3.2l M3 use a different set of headers.

Correct *rockout*

richie_s999
10-01-2010, 03:28 PM
Something else to consider is your level of track experience, it may be smarter to spend less and get a 325, and put any mod money in suspension, brakes and tires, and the most important mod for a track car, performance schools and laps!!

A better driver is the best mod !!!

Look into the Trillium BMW club events in the track junkie section.

richie_s999
10-01-2010, 03:30 PM
Yeah dude, its true. 328 uses the same gearbox as the M3.

Good to know, I haven't done any reseach yet into the trans as suspension and brakes are next on my list b4 driveline.

sproule905
10-01-2010, 04:06 PM
all the reasons why i went with my 328is.....

iverson03tj
10-02-2010, 10:36 AM
Here is a few things you should read...

Thats if ur interested in m3's

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=300562

This one is the general problems that bimmers have.. dont get scared not all of them are going to happen...

http://www.carsales.com.au/advice/2007/bmw/3-series/used-car-advice-bmw-e36-3-series-199198-7438

This one is also helpful... a must read because these are problems MOST bimmers have...

http://edgemotorworks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=55


All in all... dont get scared by the big list of failures... its more fufilling... mine has 240k and its running mint, there are problems on mine, because i bought it for cheap... so its only expected... i only had to replace a few things though (bigs ones were rear shocks. RSM, Clutch, Spall Fan, Fan delete), and the engine n tranny and diff are bulletproof.. main thing when u are test driving it, TEST everything, press ever button, and turn every knob... and check the jack points for rust, main places are usually fenders, trunk lid, around the windsheild...



I DONT think I can get a 328. 1) they are hard to find used in my price range 2) most of them I have seen on craigslist,kijiji,autotrader have been auto. Although I have seen a few 325's that are VERY appealing (price range and condition). I know its not the 328 that I would prefer, however I am thinking that for me to get to know the car, get used to tracking and that I would be gutting it and putting all that together it seems like a pretty decent way to go.

My main concern, which seems to be addressed, is getting the car with over 280K kms on it and knowing that it can still take a beating and that I wouldnt have to replace the engine already (knowing that I try to maintain it, and not just let it go to shit).

Thanks for all the words guys, keep them coming. I know there was a post above going over some basic things to watch out for. Anyone else have more to comment on that? What else I should look out for? What to look out for when buying a E36? Major rust spots? Things to keep an eye out for?

starscream
10-04-2010, 01:56 AM
Here is a few things you should read...

Thats if ur interested in m3's

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=300562

This one is the general problems that bimmers have.. dont get scared not all of them are going to happen...

http://www.carsales.com.au/advice/2007/bmw/3-series/used-car-advice-bmw-e36-3-series-199198-7438

This one is also helpful... a must read because these are problems MOST bimmers have...

http://edgemotorworks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=55


All in all... dont get scared by the big list of failures... its more fufilling... mine has 240k and its running mint, there are problems on mine, because i bought it for cheap... so its only expected... i only had to replace a few things though (bigs ones were rear shocks. RSM, Clutch, Spall Fan, Fan delete), and the engine n tranny and diff are bulletproof.. main thing when u are test driving it, TEST everything, press ever button, and turn every knob... and check the jack points for rust, main places are usually fenders, trunk lid, around the windsheild...

Dude! Thanks for those threads!

So few more questions:

1) Does anyone have a link to a thread on what to look for when purchasing a E36 BMW?

2) Do all of the E36's come with LSD, or were those options and some MAY or MAY NOT have a LSD?

3) Reading on forums, but were not addressed in any of the links provided. What about bushings? Rear subframe problems? Diff bushings? Those things to be worried about/watchout for?

4) What aftermarket ECU mods are there that people actually have? I know there are a few different type of chips, anyone here use any 1 in particular? Any self tunable ones (I would assume Rom Raider and Open ECU would be required for that...and a EEPROM chip writer).

THANKS for all the help and suggestion guys, Been looking this weekend for some. None of which are coming though (people arent getting back to me to see them, 1 of which wouldnt allow me to test drive it and wanted me to take it as is without that LOL).

iverson03tj
10-04-2010, 11:56 AM
Dude! Thanks for those threads!

So few more questions:

1) Does anyone have a link to a thread on what to look for when purchasing a E36 BMW?

2) Do all of the E36's come with LSD, or were those options and some MAY or MAY NOT have a LSD?

3) Reading on forums, but were not addressed in any of the links provided. What about bushings? Rear subframe problems? Diff bushings? Those things to be worried about/watchout for?

4) What aftermarket ECU mods are there that people actually have? I know there are a few different type of chips, anyone here use any 1 in particular? Any self tunable ones (I would assume Rom Raider and Open ECU would be required for that...and a EEPROM chip writer).

THANKS for all the help and suggestion guys, Been looking this weekend for some. None of which are coming though (people arent getting back to me to see them, 1 of which wouldnt allow me to test drive it and wanted me to take it as is without that LOL).

2) Not all e36 comes with it, mostly m3's and i heard older model 325's came with it... i think the obd1 ones.. i belive the ones with out asc+t... not too sure... but its not too difficult to find the lsd, and the one most people get is the 3.23.. a 3.23 roughly should cost u like $350.. a decent one.

3) as for the bushings, like any car they will wear out,, when they do replace them with poly urethane ones.. and belive me most of the poly ones are about the same price as the rubber ones that u buy them from the dealer. The subframe isnt something that really happens alot UNLESS the cars been beaten... but reenforcement ESPECIALLY for the track is a must. and poly bushings will help.

If you want a chip your in luck.. also obd1 has chips you can do yourself, the obd2 require a shark injector or programed by MarkD. I personally recommend MarkD, he is local, knows what he is doing and IMO has the best on the market... you can find cheaper but i garentee you wont find one like MarkD's. Im just hoping hes going to have that sale this winter like he did last winter *th-up* (Hint)

Its a car you would love to drive n work on. Challenging and you might have to stretch your budget but all in all its worth every penny*th-up* the car will have more personal value to it that most consumers wont see or think is reasonable.

Im actually planing to get a mazda protege5 or a 3 as a winter car, how do you like mazda's? im looking at a 2000-2004 one.

starscream
10-04-2010, 02:01 PM
2) Not all e36 comes with it, mostly m3's and i heard older model 325's came with it... i think the obd1 ones.. i belive the ones with out asc+t... not too sure... but its not too difficult to find the lsd, and the one most people get is the 3.23.. a 3.23 roughly should cost u like $350.. a decent one.

3) as for the bushings, like any car they will wear out,, when they do replace them with poly urethane ones.. and belive me most of the poly ones are about the same price as the rubber ones that u buy them from the dealer. The subframe isnt something that really happens alot UNLESS the cars been beaten... but reenforcement ESPECIALLY for the track is a must. and poly bushings will help.

If you want a chip your in luck.. also obd1 has chips you can do yourself, the obd2 require a shark injector or programed by MarkD. I personally recommend MarkD, he is local, knows what he is doing and IMO has the best on the market... you can find cheaper but i garentee you wont find one like MarkD's. Im just hoping hes going to have that sale this winter like he did last winter *th-up* (Hint)

Its a car you would love to drive n work on. Challenging and you might have to stretch your budget but all in all its worth every penny*th-up* the car will have more personal value to it that most consumers wont see or think is reasonable.

Im actually planing to get a mazda protege5 or a 3 as a winter car, how do you like mazda's? im looking at a 2000-2004 one.

Thanks for the help. I'll look more into the bushings. But what do you mean reinforcement for track? Other then the cage what do ya mean?

I'll also look around for a LSD, however is there any definitive way to tell if the car does or does not have LSD?

As for the Mazda's I personally like them. Always been a Mazda fan. The Protege 5 is cheap to maintain, and they are fun to have as a winterbeater. However they are prone to rusting. The Mazda 3's are nice sometimes you can find them in the cheaper range and they are roomy, fun and have decent aftermarket support.

If your looking for a Toronto based board for them, check out TOProtege.ca (its my home forum when I started with My protege before I moved to the Mazda 3). :P Name on there is the same for me; starscream.

sb_600
10-04-2010, 03:17 PM
Thanks for the help. I'll look more into the bushings. But what do you mean reinforcement for track? Other then the cage what do ya mean?

I'll also look around for a LSD, however is there any definitive way to tell if the car does or does not have LSD?


They're talking about the M3 rear subframe reinforcement plates. You can get them from Turner Motorsports, Bimmerworld, etc... It will require you to drop the subframe and gas tank to weld them in, but it's worth it. You should also consider getting the front subframe plates if you plan on adding stiffer engine mounts.

LSD: all LSD diffs will have an S stamped on the bottom of the case. You should be able to just get under your car and look

iverson03tj
10-05-2010, 02:29 AM
You should also consider getting the front subframe plates if you plan on adding stiffer engine mounts.



I never knew that they had from subframe plates., also doesnt the x brace do the same thing?


As for the Mazda's I personally like them. Always been a Mazda fan. The Protege 5 is cheap to maintain, and they are fun to have as a winterbeater. However they are prone to rusting. The Mazda 3's are nice sometimes you can find them in the cheaper range and they are roomy, fun and have decent aftermarket support.

If your looking for a Toronto based board for them, check out TOProtege.ca (its my home forum when I started with My protege before I moved to the Mazda 3). :P Name on there is the same for me; starscream. Yea i dont really care about a little rust especially for a winter beater, as long as its reliable... and i know mazda's are... plus the last one i drove, had pretty good handling and fun to drive... ty for your help, its either between a mazda or a VW vr6 jetta or if i can find a good altima for cheap... im looking around 3g's for thw winter car... i need a 4 door

lvan
10-05-2010, 03:16 AM
I Have never driven E36 328is and wanna know how it drives. I have driven all E30s, some E46 AND E90s...

richie_s999
10-05-2010, 06:35 AM
Just to clear things up, the plates talked about are not part of the sub frame, they are floor reinforcements that weld around the mounting points. They came stock on the M3, but not on other models. The passanger front and drivers rear mount take a beating under track and autocross use from the twisting action under hard acceleration.

I'm in the middle of installing these plates on my car, 3 are in, overhead welding laying on the floor is a bitch!! lol.

I'll be posting pics of the progress tonight

Turner motorsports had a reinforcement kit that comes with the floor plates, rear sway bar, rear shock tower, front strut tower and front subframe reinforcment peices for $200, which is what the dealer charges for just the floor plates

sb_600
10-05-2010, 07:35 AM
I never knew that they had from subframe plates., also doesnt the x brace do the same thing?



The front subframe plates reinforce the subframe where the engine mounts are bolted to (i haven't installed mine yet, but they'll be going in over the winter). What the x-brace does is connect the front subframe to the car's frame to help reduce any excess movement and improve handling.

richie_s999 is right - they are plates that need to be welded to the car. I did this last winter, but thankfully i had access to a lift so it made the a job A LOT easier - i feel for you richie!!!

As richie suggested as well, if you're going to start reinforcing, also do the rear swaybar tabs and rear shock mounts. I also went even further and reinforced my trailing arm pockets with the kit from bimmerworld - That is a less "popular" failure, but it still happens. I figured while I was doing all the welding, might as well do it right.

I've tracked my build on the website in my sig, so feel free to browse through and see what i've done... if you have any questions let me know!

iverson03tj
10-05-2010, 12:53 PM
I Have never driven E36 328is and wanna know how it drives. I have driven all E30s, some E46 AND E90s...

Honestly i drove a e9x and omg love it... and its way better that the 328is but thats expected froma brand new bimmer.... but it does excel when compared with almost all cars made in the same time line.

Search up the Car and Drivers evaluation of the bmw e36 m3, they called it the best handling car at any price range.

And I wish i could weld.... what kind of welding equipment would i need? Would a tig work.

starscream
10-05-2010, 02:15 PM
Seems like the reinforcements are expensive (especially if you dont have your own welder).

Is it immediately required? Or is it something that I can track the car for a bit while saving and then get it? Any idea on difficulty level of subframe removal? OR is it better to just take it to a shop?

Also is there a factory service manual, any recommendation on where to get it from on the cheaps? I would assume a decent bit of my questions would be answered by looking through that.

For those that actually track their E36 where did you start? Like in my head I feel I am getting too ambitious by thinking RIGHT OFF THE BAT, that I need to do all sorts of stuff. Almost seems like before my first track day I'll be spending 2-3 grand ontop of the car before even being able to take it on the street. Like I totally get that some things need to be done, but how much of it needs to be done NOW vs in a bit so the costs can be spread over time sorta speak.

I should also note, I am mechanically inclined. So its not that I fear doing it as this car wouldnt be my DD so I can take my time. However there are some things that I am kinda iffy on doing from lack of doing them (like subframe removal) never really had to do it so lack of experience there. But removing intake manifolds, exhaust, doing turbo work (on my previous cars) and all that no problem. Just a bit of a FYI.

iverson03tj
10-05-2010, 02:42 PM
Seems like the reinforcements are expensive (especially if you dont have your own welder).

Is it immediately required? Or is it something that I can track the car for a bit while saving and then get it? Any idea on difficulty level of subframe removal? OR is it better to just take it to a shop?

Also is there a factory service manual, any recommendation on where to get it from on the cheaps? I would assume a decent bit of my questions would be answered by looking through that.

For those that actually track their E36 where did you start? Like in my head I feel I am getting too ambitious by thinking RIGHT OFF THE BAT, that I need to do all sorts of stuff. Almost seems like before my first track day I'll be spending 2-3 grand ontop of the car before even being able to take it on the street. Like I totally get that some things need to be done, but how much of it needs to be done NOW vs in a bit so the costs can be spread over time sorta speak.

I should also note, I am mechanically inclined. So its not that I fear doing it as this car wouldnt be my DD so I can take my time. However there are some things that I am kinda iffy on doing from lack of doing them (like subframe removal) never really had to do it so lack of experience there. But removing intake manifolds, exhaust, doing turbo work (on my previous cars) and all that no problem. Just a bit of a FYI.

I got the bentley manual pdf, so pm me your email address and i will sent it.

second you will have to judge the condition of ur subframe, and consider the milage the wear and tear and the PO's.. if they tracked it or drove harsh or if it looks like they didnt take good care of the car.
Also the reinforcements are the MUST IF your building a dedicated track rat. but if ur bushings are fine and if you have no need to touch that part of the car, then i wouldnt worry to much. since your fairly new to the tracking i wouldnt worry you wont hit enough lateral g's to damage it of the bat. (IMO) but also keep in mind that if it does tear its costly. depending on the tools and access to a hoist.. but if your going to do it in your garage, like richie said.. its a PITA... Welding isnt difficult but making stong welds are.... (im still practicing.)

dont worry about every thing that you should do right away, just take ur time. *th-up* rome wasnt built in a day

starscream
10-20-2010, 03:02 AM
Seems like all the ones I am looking at now are in the 280-330K range.

Any comment on how long you guys think the engines would last with that many Kms and going on the track?

doogee
10-20-2010, 05:47 AM
Seems like all the ones I am looking at now are in the 280-330K range.

Any comment on how long you guys think the engines would last with that many Kms and going on the track?

Again, like any other motor, it depends how it's been maintained.

bimmerE36
10-21-2010, 09:13 PM
My 328i has 290+kms on it. Runs beautifullyyyyy :)

I bought mine with 280km on it because i have heard how bulletproof these motors are. I change my oil regularly and run 91 or 94 and she runs like she has 80kms on her :)

Great cars, solid motors

starscream
01-08-2011, 12:11 AM
So back again, back to the search for a E36 track car. One of the questions I havent been able to answer is:

How bad is the rust on these cars structurally? I know costmetically there can be a fairbit (depending on how the car has been maintained) BUT are there really any main trouble spots on the underbody? Spots that are tell-tale of bad maintenance? or any spots that no matter what will have rust?

Any of it repairable?

richie_s999
01-08-2011, 09:53 AM
So back again, back to the search for a E36 track car. One of the questions I havent been able to answer is:

How bad is the rust on these cars structurally? I know costmetically there can be a fairbit (depending on how the car has been maintained) BUT are there really any main trouble spots on the underbody? Spots that are tell-tale of bad maintenance? or any spots that no matter what will have rust?

Any of it repairable?



Rust and rot are always repairable, just depends on what you want to spend, check the rocker panel area, side skirts can hide rust, look carefully, also rear quarters wheel well by the bumper.

Rust isn't realitve to maintenance. You could find a totally rust free car that needs everything else done to it. Rust can show up quickly when it wants too

doogee
01-08-2011, 07:44 PM
Rather then asking all these questions that don't go anywhere, why don't you just buy a clean one with no rust.

If you're going to be building a trackcar, you're going to want a mint body.

dble Trouble
01-08-2011, 11:14 PM
^^x3^^ All too often I see these threads and people really set way too low of a budget to get into a car like this. For example, you CAN buy an e36 325 for 1500 dollars. But, it will be rusty, need all or many of the bushings changed, need tires, brakes, electrical issues etc....or you could look hard and be patient and spend 4-5 g's with little to no rust be a more desirable 328 and have had the previous owner keep up with repairs such as bushings etc. But be diligent in your search to make sure the cars with the premiums on them actually had that work done. If you choose the first scenario, you'll be spending more and not as happy because you made a compromise. It's just not worth it. Also if I may, rust is like cancer, once it starts, you can clear it but it almost always comes back. If something mechanical is broken, you can wrench it off, and wrench a new part on, and voila, as good as new. You're better off with a mechanically broken car but a great body/chassis, rather than great mechanics and rapant rust issues.........

starscream
01-09-2011, 12:50 AM
Rather then asking all these questions that don't go anywhere, why don't you just buy a clean one with no rust.

If you're going to be building a trackcar, you're going to want a mint body.

^^x3^^ All too often I see these threads and people really set way too low of a budget to get into a car like this. For example, you CAN buy an e36 325 for 1500 dollars. But, it will be rusty, need all or many of the bushings changed, need tires, brakes, electrical issues etc....or you could look hard and be patient and spend 4-5 g's with little to no rust be a more desirable 328 and have had the previous owner keep up with repairs such as bushings etc. But be diligent in your search to make sure the cars with the premiums on them actually had that work done. If you choose the first scenario, you'll be spending more and not as happy because you made a compromise. It's just not worth it. Also if I may, rust is like cancer, once it starts, you can clear it but it almost always comes back. If something mechanical is broken, you can wrench it off, and wrench a new part on, and voila, as good as new. You're better off with a mechanically broken car but a great body/chassis, rather than great mechanics and rapant rust issues.........

While I do thank, and respect both of you for the help. My situation, for me doesnt allow me to spend 4-5 grand right now, at once. I agree being able to spend a few thousand more would get me a better starting point, BUT however again, its not something I can do right now, and would take me quite a bit of time to get there. My main thing is getting more seat time and work on a car (truly enjoy doing it, just tired of tinkering with a DD car and being like "shit gotta fix this so I can go to work"... LOL.

I dont have a problem with wrenching on the car, I have been wrenching on all my past cars (current included) however its gotten to a point where some things I cannot do unless the car is off the road for a few days and with me only having a DD, and wanting to go on the track a track specific car makes sense. I can source out parts and all that with more time, and if the car is down for a bit, its down. I dont need to worry about how I am going to get to work.

I know that maybe what I am looking for is a long shot, however I personally think I have got a lock on a decent car for a price that is well within my range. I was merely asking as I am new to this platform common engine issues, longevity and rust spots (however maybe should have been a wiser choice to have a separate thread on the rust as the title of this thread doesnt exactly make sense with some of the questions, again my mistake for that).

Doogee; seems like your coming off hostile and sorry if I am interpreting it wrong but I had tried to do a search and all I got was questions on specific cars rather then a general consensus. For the years of car's I am looking for a 100% mint condition one I am looking at 4-8K (from what I have seen), for that cost there would be other platforms I would pick (not saying the BMW is bad, just saying for that cost I would choose another platform). I need something that is affordable (to me) and able to grant me seat time. Even if its just learning auto-x first.

dble Trouble; I agree with you, however again I gotta look at my situation and what I am able to do. To some I totally get that I am going to get the "well if you dont have the cash, dont do it". However I have seen others do it on other various platforms, I just think its gonna require alot more work from me which I am totally ok to do.

The point for me is two fold, 1) track specific car 2) work on the car/learn more.

Again, sorry for all the questions but hey gotta ask if the search function doesnt return something that I am looking for. Duplicate thread are a bummer, and yeah call me a noob for that, but hey gotta learn right. Dont mean to come off hostile with any of you, sorry if I have. Truly think the bimmer folks are a great crowd.

doogee
01-09-2011, 12:54 AM
Didn't mean to sound hostile at all. Just trying to get the point across that if you want a track car, you can't skimp out on some things, especially when it comes down to the condition of the body itself.

You might be better off buying a clean shell which is how my track car started out.

Eurostyle
01-09-2011, 01:10 AM
IMO "bodywork" and "track car" dont go together...As nothing will last long, with all the body flew. You can try patch things up, but with all the stress on the body, it will always show (crack/rust). Best bet is to find a rust/accident free shell and transfer everything on it. Lots of hard work, but it wouldnt be fun otherwise! *wave*

richie_s999
01-09-2011, 06:51 AM
Starscream

Maybe think of things a bit differently, you seem to have the track bug, and you do realize that that a rwd platoform is the best for the track and performance driving.

depending on how serious you are, you could always sell the Mazda, and split those funds between a good shape E36, and a DD/tow vehicle.

you really have to ask yourself if your serious about it, and go for it. a decent early 2000's pick up can be had for around $3000, its not gonna be a pimped out ride but gonna be reliable and offer you the option of traillering or hauling the car, and parts around when you need, and offer you the chance to build and wrench as needed. I myself am thinking this will be the route I am going after the 2011 season, the E36 will probley be receiving the suspension mods I have been waiting to do, and if so I would like to not drive the car in the winter, but have the option to tow when I want, also extra tires, tools, food, cooler, wife ect really will be easier to get to events with a 4dr tahoe or something along those lines, not to mention is I need a few days to fix something, or want to do a big rebuild/overhaul in the off season, I can.
Guess the option or point i'm passing is, I have realized from going myself and watching friends, a tow/DD is a huge asset for this kinda thing, and usually you gotta pic between a mint/wicked DD and a good track car.

dcramer
01-09-2011, 07:02 AM
Nobody mentioned the oil pump nut ?

Starscream, these engines have a engineering flaw in them. The oil pump nut has to be safety wired on. I'm in the middle of doing mine right now. It looks like a weekend job.

Also if you want one without rust in your price range you will have to go to the states. But seriously you will probably spend 2k in maintenance/upgrades on anything that hasn't been looked after by an enthusiast. Bushings, brakes, etc.

Dave

dble Trouble
01-09-2011, 09:43 PM
Hey no need to apologize for all of the questions, that is what an open forum is all about. Plus we're happy to share our experiences and opinions. I hear you about expenses so if you're buying an older or out of shape car, that's cool too, just get as best as you could afford.

I have a '91 325i as you could see from my sig pic. I bought it with a mint body and floor pan, but a blown clutch and some worn out bushings etc. I paid $1500 for the car, then put a $400 clutch and over time another $1000 in bushings, tie rods motor and tranny mounts and a few other bits. The car was bought with 232000 on the odo. 2 years ago in March, and now has 320000km on the odo. Yes I drive a lot. The car has attended approx 25ish track days and 16 autocrosses since I have it and it tows the Trillium event trailer as well to all of the mentioned events. The only reason why I'm saying this is that if you maintain the vehicle and make sure all is looked after accordingly it will serve you wonderfully! I DD mine, winter drive it and do all of these performance events. I put about 1200km/week on the car and love every minute of it. I hope you find the same success with your search!

Cheers.

John

iverson03tj
01-09-2011, 10:15 PM
Hey no need to apologize for all of the questions, that is what an open forum is all about. Plus we're happy to share our experiences and opinions. I hear you about expenses so if you're buying an older or out of shape car, that's cool too, just get as best as you could afford.

I have a '91 325i as you could see from my sig pic. I bought it with a mint body and floor pan, but a blown clutch and some worn out bushings etc. I paid $1500 for the car, then put a $400 clutch and over time another $1000 in bushings, tie rods motor and tranny mounts and a few other bits. The car was bought with 232000 on the odo. 2 years ago in March, and now has 320000km on the odo. Yes I drive a lot. The car has attended approx 25ish track days and 16 autocrosses since I have it and it tows the Trillium event trailer as well to all of the mentioned events. The only reason why I'm saying this is that if you maintain the vehicle and make sure all is looked after accordingly it will serve you wonderfully! I DD mine, winter drive it and do all of these performance events. I put about 1200km/week on the car and love every minute of it. I hope you find the same success with your search!

Cheers.

John
That is the perfect example of what a bimmer could do.. I gotta say its a very addictive car.. For christmas I bought myself bmw M T shirt And my presents were all bmw related... :)

richie_s999
01-10-2011, 05:47 AM
dble troubles car has a few mods. He was the other inital test car for the ssk I sell, he takes care of the car and because of 3 plus track inspections done so he can hit the track the car is in better shape then most street cars.

He rides this bitch hard all week end, and drags her ass to work Monday!!!