The multi-link rear suspension was also a significant upgrade as compared to the previous generations of the 3 Series.
The four-cylinder petrol engines used in the E36 range were initially engines carried over from the previous generation 3 Series: the BMW M40 SOHC engine and the BMW M42 DOHC engine.  Cecotto won the Super Tourenwagen Cup for BMW in 1994 and 1998, Winkelhock in 1998. Geoff Brabham and his younger brother David Brabham won the 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000 at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia driving a Super Touring BMW 320i for BMW Motorsport Australia. Cracks are common, and that's a cut-and-weld fix. At the time, it compared favorably with the Acura NSX, the Ferrari F355, the Porsche Carrera S, and the Toyota Supra Turbo – all of which are now expensive collector items. BMW purists will try to keep them as stock as possible while BMW tuners will modify and change the vehicle to the extent of the owners' imagination or, more realistically, pocket depth. In 1995, the BMW M52 engine replaced the M50TU, resulting in the 328i model replacing the 325i and the addition of a new mid-range 323i model (powered by a 2.5 litre version of the M52). The 240hp rating means a V6 Camry will probably walk away from you in a straight line, but as a momentum car for the circuit or twisty backroad, it's excellent. Since even the youngest M3s will now be a decade and a half old, mileage is only one part of the story of any car. Our buyer's guide will give you an idea of what to look out for.
As one older, well-heeled owner put it, "Let's put it this way–I can have any car I want and this is the one I am keeping. Where the boxy, rev-happy original M3 really only made sense to a hardcore track rat, the new car's smooth straight six and more ample torque made it a better daily driver. Only minor quirks differentiate the rest of the E36's production run.
In 1992, the 3.0 L BMW S50 engine debuted in the E36 M3. Go manual.
Clean styling, balanced chassis, BMW inline-six, and cool seats.
It was produced in coupé, sedan and convertible body styles. |
Also, while the E36 M3 is now depreciated to a very accessible price, parts remain pretty much as expensive as they ever were. In 1993, the 325tds model was released, which added an intercooler to the M51. The 1998 24 Hours Nürburgring was won by a diesel for the first time - a BMW E36 320d, aided by its diesel engine requiring fewer fuel stops than rivals. There are no particular best years to look for, though the last 1999 models are occasionally in better condition simply because of the age. Perhaps that of a hamster?
Like the Porsche 911, both the E30 and E46 chassis M3s have pricing that's climbing for the stratosphere. In addition, keeping an eye on the bushings for the rear trailing arms and rear strut mounts can help prevent much more serious wear to metal components and the chassis. We may earn a commission through links on our site. The sedan, coupé, convertible and Touring models use the "Z-axle" multilink suspension in the rear, which was introduced in the BMW Z1 roadster. The temperature gauge is not particularly reliable, so if you live in a hotter climate or plan for more extreme use, an accurate aftermarket gauge would be a good investment. Inspect beforehand, and plan to install reinforcement plates if the car you're looking at doesn't already have them. 1995 BMW M3 (E36) - 3.0L Inline 6 - 5 Speed Manual Transmission - Texas Car - Tastefully Modified (Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1995 BMW (E36) M3 on a website other than... More Info › Initially, the turbocharged straight-six BMW M51 engine was used in the E36 325td model. In Europe, the story is a little different.
Many of the driveline components are shared with the E36 325i, making for good availability.
If considering an M3 as your first German car after an ownership cycle of Hondas or Nissans, there are a few things to be aware of. If you don't mind a reduction in ride quality, this can also be a good time to move to a polyurethane bushing with greater durability. Steering rack leaks are common and perhaps less serious; coolant leaks should be a red flag.
The 3 Series Compact range of three-door hatchback models were introduced in 1993, based on a shortened version of the E36 platform.
In 1993, the M40 was replaced by the BMW M43 SOHC engine and the M42 was replaced in 1996 by the BMW M44 DOHC engine.
In the US, the E36 M3 sort of lives in the shadow of its predecessor, the legendary E30.
This was done in order to save space due to the truncated rear end of the hatchback. The E36 was produced with the following transmissions: All models are rear-wheel drive, since the E36 was not produced with all-wheel drive (unlike its predecessor and successor).
Thinking about buying an original 1980s M3? A five-speed automatic transmission was available, and there were three body styles: coupe, convertible, and sedan. The BMW M3 stands out for being athletic, responsive and fun to drive, as well as relatively fuel-efficient. It's not clear what lifetime BMW was thinking of when they advertised lubricants like the transmission fluid as being "lifetime fluids."
Further, check for any water in the passenger footwell as clogged drains can obviously cause electrical issues.
Safety equipment available included a driver's airbag, passenger airbag (from 1993 production), ABS braking and stability control ("ASC +T"). The E36 M3 is supported by a huge and varied aftermarket. Be picky: BMW sold 36,000 of these cars in the US. The high performance E36 M3 is powered by the BMW S50 or BMW S52 straight-six engine (depending on country). Another problem area to keep an eye on is the single 19mm nut standing between you and complete engine failure. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. The third generation (E36)", "Interview with automotive designer Pinky Lai", https://www.welt.de/motor/news/article168283979/Tradition-30-Jahre-BMW-3er-Touring.html, https://consumerguide.com/used/1992-98-bmw-325i328i323i/, "BEHIND THE WHEEL/BMW 323is; Last Hurrahs for a Star Performer", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=BMW_3_Series_(E36)&oldid=984030014, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 6-speed manual (1996-1999 M3- except for United States), This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 18:58. So you want an E36 M3? Master an E36 and as you'll be moving your skillset towards extracting the most out of a C5 Z06 or similar. | BaT Auction Success Story: 1999 BMW M3 Convertible Takes the Long Way Home, Rare Estoril & Modena: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible, Good Options & 22K Miles: 1999 BMW M3 5-Speed, Dakar Yellow 3/4/5: 1997 BMW M3 Sedan 5-Speed, LS1/6-Speed Swap w/ Air Conditioning: 1996 BMW M3, Dinan Supercharged: Daytona Violet 1995 BMW M3, Rare Sunroof Delete Sedan: 1997 BMW M3 5-Speed.
Whatever the case, all fluids in an E36 M3 should be replaced on the same regular intervals as you would any other car, and more often if you plan to track the car regularly.
Probably the biggest issue to watch for with the E36 are problems with the chassis itself. reset filters to show 303 listings, Privacy Notice Face it, if you're an M3 fan on a budget, you're out of luck.
It was also the first 3 Series to be available with a six-speed manual transmission (in the 1996 M3), a five-speed automatic transmission and a four-cylinder diesel engine. There are a few rarer models to be aware of. All in all, there are numerous potential problems with the E36.
All-wheel drive was not available for the E36, unlike the previous (E30) and successive (E46) generations.
Equipment includes a sunroof, power-adjustable front Vader sport seats, automatic climate control, cruise control, an onboard computer, and a…, This 1997 BMW M3 is a North American-specification sedan that was exported to Japan shortly after production in December 1996, and it was relocated to the UK by the selling dealer in 2019.
Forced induction power adders like superchargers can make real power, but will also accelerate the failure of driveline parts.
There are also no real deals to be had. Here's our look at how to get most of that M3 driving pleasure while minimizing your pain. You'd think that the interest of celebrity owners like the late Paul Walker would have caused a spike in interest, but the combination of availability and late 1990s styling means that the E36 remains relatively affordable. Parts to monitor include, but are not limited to: tie rod ends, transmission mounts, sway bar end links, motor mounts, rear strut mounts, differential mounts, control arm bushings, trailing arm bushings, and the guibo (a rubber flex disc for the driveshaft).
For the six-cylinder models, the E36 was launched with the then-new BMW M50 DOHC petrol engine. Lively, quick, yet very easy to drive at or near the limit, the E36 is sort of a German Miata. The E36 may be a hidden gem, but it's also a potential conflict diamond, ready to extract a pound of flesh from an incautious owner.
not staggered) tires, and simply tightening the nut behind the wheel–you.
Following the introduction of its successor, the E46 3 Series in 1998, the E36 began to be phased out and was eventually replaced in 1999. Development of the E36 began in 1981 and the exterior design was heavily influenced by aerodynamics, specifically the overall wedge shape, headlight covers and smaller wing mirrors. Listen for rattles from the BMW VANOS valvetrain at idle: excessive noise may mean repair is required. Even though we missed out on the sweet Euro motor here in the States, the E36 M3 still remains a proper sports car.
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