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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 12-14-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
Thate46Life
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e46 to e36 trade?

So, I put my car up on Craigslist a while ago, just to see what's out there. Today a guy got ahold of me with an offer of an e36 m3, the car has 170k miles on the body and 30k miles on the engine. The engine is a professionally swapped z3 m engine. It is apperiantly a S52 3.2 . My car is a 150k mile 2000 323ci with some mods, new cooling system... needs a little more work but in decent shape. My question is, is it a decent trade. I know extremely little about z3 engines and e36 in general. I'm meeting the guy tomorrow and would like a little insight. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
wildirish317
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The interior of the E36 seems to shed. By that, I mean the panels tend to de-laminate. Other than that, they are great cars. What year is it? The earlier models had the OBDI computer, which is easier to modify and tune than the OBDII computer that came in later models (after 1995 I think), and the E46.

Take the car to an independent BMW repair shop and pay them $100 or so to evaluate the car for you.
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:27 PM   #3
Thate46Life
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Don't know what year. I will find out in a minute. I'm confused on the engine mainly.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
Thate46Life
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The car is a 95 and the engine is from a 99 z3.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:35 PM   #5
Thate46Life
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The engine is from a z3 m coupe.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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If you can talk to the shop that did the engine swap, you should do so. Find out what, if anything, they had to do to get the car's computer to talk to the engine. I think the 1995 is OBDI and the 1999 is an OBDII, but the M's may be different. That would be my main concern. If the car runs well, it may be worth buying, if you're a DIY guy. If you pay other people to work on your car, find another E36 M3.
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.

Last edited by wildirish317; 12-14-2014 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:12 PM   #7
Thate46Life
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Yea, if it doesn't run good than I'm not gonna even consider it, would hate to get ririd of mmy 323 though.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Thate46Life View Post
would hate to get rid of my 323 though.
Why did you put it on Craigslist? I only do that when I'm ready to get rid of a car.
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:44 PM   #9
Thate46Life
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Just to see what's out there. I'm always open to offers. Was not planning on selling or trading it as no one ever offers anything good. Until now.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:41 PM   #10
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I had two '99 E36s -- you would have thought that they would have worked out the gremlins by then, but they were both plagued by electrical gremlins (brake light circuit anyone?) and trim pieces falling off . I can't imagine the problems an engine-swapped '95 M3 would bring. OP should find a nice 330i and call it a day.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:50 PM   #11
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i'd like to see this e36
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:02 AM   #12
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Lol, I'll go and look at it. Most likely will keep the 323. But thanks for the help guys.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:29 AM   #13
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The interior of the E36 is hella dated looking, and the overall body design does not stand the test of time that well. Whereas the e46 appears timeless many non BMW people think my car is new...
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:31 AM   #14
Thate46Life
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The exterior also. The e46 exterior looks really new.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:34 AM   #15
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Would this be your DD?

I wouldn't take on someone else's frankencar to be a DD. As a fun toy, this might be alright, but there are plenty of better toy cars out there.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #16
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A good question to ask yourself is "why does this guy want to trade an M3 for a 323i?"
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:01 PM   #17
Thate46Life
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Yea I asked myself those questions. I met him and the car was ok, just not the clutch. It seems to be a good running car but not good enough to be a dd.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kr3678 View Post
a good question to ask yourself is "why does this guy want to trade an m3 for a 323i?"
+1
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:42 AM   #19
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+1
+2

I agree. even though the E36s had subframe issues too. but an E36 M3 for a '00 323Ci. heck the 2000 323Ci had rather high rate of subframe failures.
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