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Old 03-08-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Mar 2011
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What to look for when buying an E36 ?

Ive been looking at a few E36's, and am new to the BMW. I have found out about the sub frame ripping issue. What else is that that should really be looked over closely ?...

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:45 PM   #2
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Chances are if you are looking for a used E36 with lots of kms, you should look at the Rear shock mounts, thermostat, radiator. I think there are more, but these are the few I know off the top of my head.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:52 PM   #3
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It's been a while since I saw this video, but for the most part the general idea will help you quite a bit if you have no idea where to start. This video does pertain to the E36 M3, but again for the most part a fair deal of the information is transferable knowledge. There are 3 parts to the video which you can navigate through if you have the time.

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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Check for rust in the wheel wells. ALOT of e36's have been absolutely destroyed in the wheel wells for some odd reason. I know all cars get it there, but e36's seem to get it the worst from what I have seen. lol

Also, once you find one you like, take it to a good shop and get them to give it a once over. There is only so much you can see by the naked eye and taking it for a test drive. I'd suggest take it to Rocco at RMP because hes really the only one that touches my car now, I see you are in Niagara though but it would still be worth the drive in the long run.

Good luck in your search! They are great cars.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:04 PM   #5
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Common places for the e36 are the jacking points, underneath the rubber trunk seals, and the rear arches. the video posted above is very good too. I watched it before purchasing my car and it was really helpful.

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Old 03-08-2011, 11:12 PM   #6
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rust also on the rockers, fender bottoms and below the battery due to leaky batteries.
broken springs, worn suspension bushings
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:04 AM   #7
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RUST!!! lol
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #8
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The entire cooling system needs to be replaced on these cars every 130-170K kms. Rad, fan, waterpump, hoses, expansion tank, thermostat, thermostat housing.

Also as mentioned above take it to a shop. Independant, NOT THE $TEALER! for a PPI (Pre-purchase inspection)
$100-150 now WILL save you hundreds if not thousands.

Also check under the oil cap for a milky colouring, this is one of the prime indicators of a blown head gasket.

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