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Old 03-07-2006, 04:28 PM   #1
AJL
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E36 325 question(s) (paging justin)

Guys... i am going to go look at a 325 thursday night and am compiling a list of things to check...

Water pump
rear sub frame bushing
Check fault codes.
window regulators
service history.
Shocks/struts
Power steering pump
rust around trunk seal...

Basically everything i had to replace on my old car.

I know i am missing things but i just want to do a quick check in this guys driveway and if it is acceptable i am having it taken to the dealership for a furthur inspection.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Justin...

Is it possible to tell if the engine was swapped without pulling the drive time off at the shop?
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJL
Justin...

Is it possible to tell if the engine was swapped without pulling the drive time off at the shop?
The vehicle VIN plate (sticker) is located on the cylinder head itself... however, it's difficult to see without some mirrors as the VIN plate is facing the firewall.

Also note that VIN numbers are located on the hood, both front fenders, all doors, B pillar, firewall (see it through the windshield), both rear quarter panels (need to remove bumper to see properly), underneath liscense plate, and I believe the transmission as well. So you can look for those to see if any body panels have been replaced. (possible indicator of a collission.)

Here's a pic of the VIN on the cylinder head:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg head_1.jpg (99.1 KB, 151 views)
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:20 PM   #3
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thanks justin, I was thinking to check the VIN's on the body panels but he claims it has been repainted. Not to sure if they would have removed these perminantly or not.

Either way i am taking the vin to have it run at the dealers to see a history on the car, provided it was truly dealer maintained, hopefully this comes out clean.

But i have a feeling he didn't replace the engine like he claims
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:16 PM   #4
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there are lots of things to check out, i dont know how much you can do as a visual check, but if he allows you to take it to a mechanic's you might be able to get a full just of whats going on..

as for things to check.. i would of course review this comon fault list. lots of the common issues on e36s will be a good place to check..
here are some that i copied/pasted

-Sub frame failure(usually only the 92 and 93 models)
-ignition coils cracking M50 (usually only 92)
-lifter noise M50
-rear shock mounts
-irregular idle
-water pumps from plastic impellers to metal
-window motors
-tranny mounts
-Differential Clutch Pack Retaining Ring Bolts Backing Out
-ABS light goes on
-thermostat housing cracks and thermostat (M50)
-radiator, look for cracks in plastic neck
-Profile gasket on the earlier 318's (M42)
- Outer ball joints go bad
- Rear shock mounts go bad
- Seat heater elements break
- Glove boxes misaligned
- chipping trim around the tweeters in the front door panels
- Plastic headlight covers get foggy over time
- blistering door panels
- leaking or sticky VANOS unit
-rear toe in bushings
-broken fog light
-control arm and bushings
-taillight failure
-steering fluid bottle leaks from bottom at return


here is an article on common issues
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:04 PM   #5
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whatever you buy, expect to put in AT LEAST $1000. Count on thermostat, water pump, mounts, radiator, oil change, tranny fluid, some combination of bushings/bearings/control arms/ball joints/shocks, lightbulbs, window & sunroof parts/mechanicals and belts.

Honestly, buy an E36 for the body or mods and with that $1K, do all the needed maintenance.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
whatever you buy, expect to put in AT LEAST $1000. Count on thermostat, water pump, mounts, radiator, oil change, tranny fluid, some combination of bushings/bearings/control arms/ball joints/shocks, lightbulbs, window & sunroof parts/mechanicals and belts.

Honestly, buy an E36 for the body or mods and with that $1K, do all the needed maintenance.
this isn't said enough. the chances of finding a perfect e36 are slim to nil. i bought a car that i knew the issues with, and repaired them myself. dont overpay for a completly mint car, i have one of the last end e36's made, and it wasn't abused, and still had some problems.


how much maintenance? probably about 1700$ so far. (all fluids except coolant and brakes flushed, new pads everywhere, new rotors in front, new sunroof cartridge, new coils, 6 new plugs, some new hoses, rocco randomly fixing every imaginable problem i had, belts were changed, front balljoints & bushings.

then again, i spend a little more on my car than i have to/need to.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:26 AM   #7
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Miguel... my last one i put 7K plus into in the last year

you saw it when i picked up the CD changer from you... I think your 1k is a little shy of what i think it will need.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:49 AM   #8
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$7000 in a year.. in repairs? What'd it need?
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:40 PM   #9
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sorry i meant two years.

Had to replace both door internals.
Oil filtration seals
Tranny seals
Odometer
shocks
lower control arms... etc.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:18 PM   #10
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wow that doesnt sound like 7k at all, tranny and oil filtration seals arent overly expensive, odometer is a dime a dozen, shocks can be expensive, but i cant see it being more than 1200 at the most.
control arms, again nothing that should be over 1000 in parts and labour


where do you get your work done in london AJL?
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:23 PM   #11
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Grand touring... and odometer was the entire head unit.

I have a file on the car and had to add up all the repairs for an insurance claim.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:07 PM   #12
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man sounds like you got taken for a ride.. i know i paid like 125 for a used M3 gauge cluster and put it in myself, but its still not even a half hour labour including the recoding of it.

i hope you find a great car for the next car. good luck and take your time finding it, i know i took almost a year to find the car of my dreams , but i knew it was the one and bought it 5 days after i saw it and did the check on it.
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:43 PM   #13
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7K, wow.
@ around 4K in repairs + Mods combined in over two years myself.
So far I'v needed, breaks x2 front (need them yet again this time x4), drive belts, tires, exhaust and a ball joint in all that time,+ a few mods just for fun.
Although no A.C., bought it that way ment to fix it but never got around to it yet, hear it's expensive.
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Old 03-09-2006, 04:32 AM   #14
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...or, spend a little extra when you buy your e36 for one that is BMW Certified, or a vehicle with a warranty. I purchased my '92 BMW from a great luxury used vehicle dealership down on Finch, the car came with a 1 year bumper to bumper warranty, and 3 year drivetrain. Sure I paid a little more, and taxes too... but I do think I made that money back in maintenance, plus there's nothing like buying a professionally detailed vehicle.

They fixed every little problem on the car that came up under warranty, including rear trailing arm bushings, windshield washer pump, window switch died, even replaced my foglight when it was stolen, and replaced one of my Type-45 BMW rims when it was found to be bent... they paid to have the tire remounted and balanced too. Most of the work they commissioned out to Munich Motors (the same place Tom got his e46 M3 swap done.), and after that I got my work done by Bimmersport.

Within those three years, my drive-axle broke. I had to pay for a tow, parts, and labour to get it fixed. I later remembered I still had a drivetrain warranty... I brought all the receipts to them, and they reimbursed me in full the next day.

One way or another, you're going to pay when buying a used (early-middle model) e36... buy private and buy cheap, but you'll have to do all this maintenance right away out of your pocket... or buy from a known dealership, and pay quite a bit more up-front, but at least have worry free driving for the next year or two. (would've been nice to know that your $7000 in repairs would've been covered under the bumper to bumper warranty.)
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