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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I have an idea for a project:
I'd like to find an e36 BMW M3 Sedan with the automatic transmission, and start modifying it. I'd like to make something like this as the end result:

jonsibal_GTS_Hood10_001.sized.jpg

What should I be looking for when searching for these cars? What work do you think it'll entail? I've noticed that their prices have been going up, I'd like to snag one before they increase even more.


Thanks!
 

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E46>E36. Look for a car with good maintenance history. How much work it will entail depends on what specifically you want to do.
 

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It's hard to find an E36 M3 in good condition. Most of them are fucked up by racer kids. E46 would be a better option as stated above.
E36s need good maintenance, but are quite reliable if maintained well. If you want it to last you should put around 1000 euros into basic parts on the engine, bushing (not sure if thats the right word), rotten pipes, gasket etc.

If no rust and only cosmetic changes are switching parts and PAINT: 2500 euros.
Wheels: 1000 euros.
Suspension: 300-1500 euros.
Turbo setup: Pricy, 2000 euros for a reliable one, minimum.
1 euro = 1.37 US dollars. Shit in the US tend to be a lot cheaper so you might not have to spend that much.

When buying the car check theres no ticking noises from the engine, idle isnt rough (air leaks), bushing in the rear is okay, LSD works (and under the car its properly intact!!!), engine DOES NOT overheat/oil and coolant isnt mixed and there is no leaks (will be expensive), gearbox changes well. Rust will be in the spots where you place the car jack and in the trunk lid. See under the car!
All of the above are basic stuff that can and will go wrong with the car around 250 000 kilometer mark (180 000 miles?).

I've owned 3 e36 BMWs and raced the shit out of them. Good luck, its a damn nice car (but the one you posted is just ugly lol, sorry :D)

edit: No for automatic, youll regret it. I don't know why you americans prefer automatic cars and I don't wanna hear no explanations.
Oh and make sure the motor oil has been changed regularly, the engine is damn picky about it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I liked the e36 because of it's "simplicity" and because the sedan is available. I like how the e46 is more modern, but the lack of a sedan and with the SMG issues, i'm kinda scared by it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
5W-30 and 0W-40 oils?
I actually no longer have a preference for the auto, seeing how rare these sedans are. They're all beat to shit on craigslist!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I read that the e36 automatic have a better balance ratio than the 6MT, is this true?
 

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As is already mentioned, performance cars from the 90s have usually been picked over by kids and had the crap run out of them. I really, really wanted to find a clean stock B5 Audi S4, but every single copy I saw had trashed paint, a neglected interior, a poorly maintained powertrain, or all of the above which while not uncorrectable leads to a ton of re-work and expenditure. Some people have no problem doing this but most, when they realize what's really required to get the car to where they want it, find it's way over their head. The cars you seek are out there, but it just takes time to find them. My advice is to find a primary car for your everyday transportation needs, then keep your eye on various channels like auto sales sites and forums dedicated to the car(s) you want to pick out the car you want when it becomes available because, unfortunately, finding a clean auto 4-door E36 M3 is not a car you'll find often.
 

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I really, really wanted to find a clean stock B5 Audi S4
Be glad you didn't. Just kidding, they are awesome cars, but if it makes you feel better I have helped friends (2 different cars) take the front clip off 5+ times now in the past month, and my neighbor had his whole bay torn apart a few days ago, wrenching on it all day. #b5S4Life

I do love E30s though!

 

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Discussion Starter #14
E30 prices are skyrocketing, though. I'd love to have one some day, they're so cool and a ton of fun. The car and the driver have a really intimate relationship in all BMW //M cars, especially the earlier ones. I'd like to pick up an e36 before they become ridiculously expensive, but it seems that my criteria is too difficult to meet. Will definitely be patient, thanks.
 

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e30's and e36's are fun and very accessible in the parts department.
however I'd also take a look at the e34 series; the 5 series is often overlooked but the simplicity of the damn thing is what I've always found lustful.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
e30's and e36's are fun and very accessible in the parts department.
however I'd also take a look at the e34 series; the 5 series is often overlooked but the simplicity of the damn thing is what I've always found lustful.
I'd go for a 5 series, maybe an E39 M5 if the e36 falls through.
 

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5W-30 and 0W-40 oils?
I actually no longer have a preference for the auto, seeing how rare these sedans are. They're all beat to shit on craigslist!
Castrol Edge 0W-40 OR Castrol Magnatec 5W-40. Make sure its Castrol. Oil change interval max 4k miles, don't believe what the cars own oil change thingie says. Good thing you are not buying an automatic.

e30's and e36's are fun and very accessible in the parts department.
however I'd also take a look at the e34 series; the 5 series is often overlooked but the simplicity of the damn thing is what I've always found lustful.
e34 is almost the same as e36. The engines are the same... M series differs a bit.
 
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