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      07-16-2019, 09:34 PM   #23
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I owned a 1995 M3 for ~5 years and it was a great car.

Is the US-spec S50/S52 anything spectacular? Not really. Is it a fun, reliable, great-sounding engine? Absolutely.

The car won't feel super fast by modern standards, but you'll still have a blast driving it. They sound great, they handle well, they're easy and cheap to fix, and they're old enough to have a fresh cool / vintage factor that they didn't have in the early 2000s.

I owned a 335 as well, and while a 335 is faster (as anybody on the planet would tell you), I personally had more fun with my E36 M3, and the E92 gives me some similar vibes.

If it's clean, I say go for it! They're not getting cheaper, they're not making any more, and they're getting harder to find in decent shape every day. If you hate it, the market at large certainly doesn't, so you won't get wrecked on resale.
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      07-16-2019, 10:01 PM   #24
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      07-17-2019, 10:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BapeDrop View Post
Hi all,

New to the forums, apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place. I purchased my first BMW this winter (2015 228i), and I love it. I'm looking to expand my arsenal and have been looking around at older M3s. What do you all think of this? Would be a car a drive I few times a month at most. I hear these older M3s can have 'rod bearing' issues that destroy the engine. Trying to weight the risks/rewards here and I thought you all would be the best people to ask! (110k miles, $12,800 btw) Thanks.
https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...ting=197653984
This listing has been up for a long time...almost a year and a half. Try and talk him down. He's already come down from $15,000.

My E36 was the most rock solid BMW I have owned. Vanos was the only issue I had with it with over 10 years of ownership.
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      07-17-2019, 10:23 AM   #26
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      07-17-2019, 12:31 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by revengeismine View Post
This listing has been up for a long time...almost a year and a half. Try and talk him down. He's already come down from $15,000.

My E36 was the most rock solid BMW I have owned. Vanos was the only issue I had with it with over 10 years of ownership.
Agreed, I will for sure. I really love the red it'll contrast nicely with the sapphire black on my 228i. Hopefully I can talk him down to <10k.
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      07-17-2019, 03:47 PM   #28
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95>>>>>>96-99 cars. OBD2 brought a long a TON of headaches.
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      07-17-2019, 06:15 PM   #29
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That is what people thought 15-20 years ago. Today, the OBD2 cars are more tuneable and the better choice.
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      07-17-2019, 08:47 PM   #30
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I have no experience with an e36 M3 but it seems like not that much car for a lot of (relatively) money.

Is it going to be substantially more fun than your 228? Is it way cooler and more interesting? Maybe the answer to both is yes... but is it $13k + maintenance and insurance yes?

If I were to add a cool old BMW in addition to an already small bmw (228) I'd look at z3 or z4 roadsters... now THOSE will be different and weird.

Once again maybe I'm stupid and the M3 is obviously worth it/amazing. Owning a 135i myself however, I don't see the point of another similarly positioned car.
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      07-17-2019, 10:14 PM   #31
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My track car is E36 M3 '95 with 300,000+ miles on body. It has some mods but still close to stock and it's really a joy to ride. Very raw car comparing to E9X, when I get back into my E93 i feel like I'm driving Mercedes for a bit (yeah I know that many think that E93 is not a real M3 =). It doesn't have that much power, but it's about 500 lbs lighter than E9X series, it sits lower and you can push it around quite hard. The best part is that it's all mechanical. In E9X we do not have real throttle pedal, it's electronic, and there are all the other nannies which help us to be safe, but at the same time it's them driving the car, not us =)
BTW, they introduced S52 engine in 09/95 so that car still might have 3.2L engine.
Anyway, if you are looking for investment I would recommend something else, but if you want a different BMW experience then go for it.
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      07-17-2019, 10:34 PM   #32
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95 M3- I own one and it is a blast.

I currently own a 2016 M235i and a 1995 M3. The '95 model has the same HP as the 96-99, but a little less torque. In reality, there was very little difference in actual performance. The steering is much better than current BMW's but the suspension is definitely much less supple. They make terrific track cars as they don't have all of the electronic nannies that hide your mistakes, and these older cars also don't have the instant torque of the modern turbo cars that can get you into trouble if you don't have a lot of track experience. Just like Porsches, the best one to buy is one that has been babied and meticuously maintained, or expect to have a fairly big bill to make the car reliable. I bought my '95 with 95,000 miles on it for $7,500. I have spent over $8,000 replacing old parts to make it reliable car. A partial list: entire cooling system, oil pump nut (crucial on these cars!), struts, shocks, springs, all suspension bushings, engine and transmission bushings, Brake hoses, external trim, brighter european lights, headliner, door seals, shifter linkage, clutch master cylinder and throwout bearing, and more.
Don't make the mistake thinking that a low mileage version will require less maintenance, as many of these parts need replacement due to age, not wear.
You won't find the old M3 to feel that slow, as it sounds better than the current turbo cars, unless you own a newer M2 or M3. The E36 is also much lighter than current cars which makes it feel very nimble. It is a lot of fun to drive fast, but is no where near as quiet and sophisticated feeling as my M235i. To sum it up, I couldn't live without either car, but the M235i is a much better daily driver.
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      07-18-2019, 09:41 AM   #33
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Yes buy one! But try to find one stock or at least very close to stock. Modified cars are often badly modified and have been beaten...
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      07-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #34
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I'd say yes, go for it, if you have room and time to work on them. They're fun, reliable and cheap for an M. What else are you going to get for under $15k that can do what this car does, at least within the BMW family?

Mine gets the least used out of all my cars, but I enjoy taking it out on drives. Makes my E92 M3 feel like a 5 series in terms of size and insulation. I wouldn't call the engine super special, but at the same time, it's still a great inline 6 made from BMW, so since when is that a bad thing? Consumables are pretty damn cheap compared to anything after that, but the plastics/interior/exterior doesn't wear that well.

Here's mine:

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      07-18-2019, 10:54 AM   #35
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If it helps your decision, I drove a E36 M3 for years and loved every minute of it. When I "upgraded" to an E46 M3, I sold the E46 within a month because I hated it so bad. It's the only BMW I never enjoyed, I can't explain it, but I just detested the E46 M3. I even blew a motor up in the short time I owned it (rod bearings), what a pile that car was.

As others have mentioned, there are no rod bearing issues with the S52. What you do need to look out for on that motor however is the oil pump nut. It can come undone, and the engine will starve for oil. If you do wind up getting one of these cars, make sure the oil pump nut gets some loctite or similar done to it.
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      07-18-2019, 11:16 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFCM3 View Post
i have owned 2 e36 m3 in the past, the most recent one was 5 years ago. I had alot of fun in those cars, but have zero urge to buy another. There is nothing they can do better than a newer generation m3, except maybe appreciate in value if really really really clean.

That being said, i still have my e30 (non-M) that i bought 16 years ago. I drive the car about twice a year to and from the track, but its not enough to keep me interested...and thats after sinking about $50k into the damn money pit of a car. E30 and E36 drive VERY similarly, and yes i know the rear suspension is different blah blah blah, they still feel very close when driven back to back.
Just curious, how did you spend $50k on a non-M e30? Holy moly
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      07-18-2019, 11:51 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by yousefnjr View Post
Just curious, how did you spend $50k on a non-M e30? Holy moly
Luckily my wife doesnt care to look at forums so....

s50B30US SWAP - DROPPED VALVE 3 YRS IN
S52B32US SWAP WITH ZF320 DRIVETRAIN
UUC STAGE 3 CLUTCH/FLYWHEEL
UUC STAGE 3 SSK
DR VANOS UPGRADED VANOS/GEARS/CHAIN
3.15 TORSEN REAR END
CUSTOM FRONT AND REAR SUBFRAMES
FULL POLY BUSHINGS THROUGHOUT
4TH ITERATION OF EXHAUST SYSTEM ON CAR
ZENDER NLA FRONT AND SIDE BODY KIT
APR CF FRONT SPLITTER
HELLA COLORLINE HEADLIGHTS
MHW TAILLIGHTS
CF AC SCHNITZER MIRROR REPRODUCTIONS
CF HOOD
CF TRUNK
AKG DTM MONO-WIPER CONVERSION
FACELIFT BUMPER CONVERSION
FULL PAINT CHANGE TO STERLING GRAU METALLIC
E30 M3 5-LUG
STOPTECH E30 M3 BBK
SPEC E30 BILSTEIN/H&R/GROUND CONTROL SETUP
RECARO SR3
AUTOPOWER ROLL BAR
FULL CUSTOM STEREO
REWIRE DOOR LOCK SYSTEM TO INTEGRATE KEYLESS PROPERLY
BBS RZ 17X8.5 ET13
BBS CH 17X8.5 ET15

Plus alotta small stuff everywhere, and a pile of parts that havent touched the car yet. this is with me doing all work myself as well....
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      07-18-2019, 12:34 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
If it helps your decision, I drove a E36 M3 for years and loved every minute of it. When I "upgraded" to an E46 M3, I sold the E46 within a month because I hated it so bad. It's the only BMW I never enjoyed, I can't explain it, but I just detested the E46 M3. I even blew a motor up in the short time I owned it (rod bearings), what a pile that car was.

As others have mentioned, there are no rod bearing issues with the S52. What you do need to look out for on that motor however is the oil pump nut. It can come undone, and the engine will starve for oil. If you do wind up getting one of these cars, make sure the oil pump nut gets some loctite or similar done to it.
Dang, never heard anyone actually hate the E46 M3 before. I love the way they look, but I personally prefer either the E92 M3 or Z4M over them.

So just to get it right. You bought it, hated it, blew it up and then sold it within a month??
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      07-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
Dang, never heard anyone actually hate the E46 M3 before. I love the way they look, but I personally prefer either the E92 M3 or Z4M over them.

So just to get it right. You bought it, hated it, blew it up and then sold it within a month??
Pretty much, a bit longer than that considering the downtime while the motor was completely replaced. I just hated everything about the car, personal preference only. I pretty much bought it sight unseen, and signed the paperwork without even driving the car. Big mistake, but oh well.
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      07-18-2019, 12:46 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFCM3 View Post
Luckily my wife doesnt care to look at forums so....

s50B30US SWAP - DROPPED VALVE 3 YRS IN
S52B32US SWAP WITH ZF320 DRIVETRAIN
UUC STAGE 3 CLUTCH/FLYWHEEL
UUC STAGE 3 SSK
DR VANOS UPGRADED VANOS/GEARS/CHAIN
3.15 TORSEN REAR END
CUSTOM FRONT AND REAR SUBFRAMES
FULL POLY BUSHINGS THROUGHOUT
4TH ITERATION OF EXHAUST SYSTEM ON CAR
ZENDER NLA FRONT AND SIDE BODY KIT
APR CF FRONT SPLITTER
HELLA COLORLINE HEADLIGHTS
MHW TAILLIGHTS
CF AC SCHNITZER MIRROR REPRODUCTIONS
CF HOOD
CF TRUNK
AKG DTM MONO-WIPER CONVERSION
FACELIFT BUMPER CONVERSION
FULL PAINT CHANGE TO STERLING GRAU METALLIC
E30 M3 5-LUG
STOPTECH E30 M3 BBK
SPEC E30 BILSTEIN/H&R/GROUND CONTROL SETUP
RECARO SR3
AUTOPOWER ROLL BAR
FULL CUSTOM STEREO
REWIRE DOOR LOCK SYSTEM TO INTEGRATE KEYLESS PROPERLY
BBS RZ 17X8.5 ET13
BBS CH 17X8.5 ET15

Plus alotta small stuff everywhere, and a pile of parts that havent touched the car yet. this is with me doing all work myself as well....
Haha goddamn my dude, you went all out nice!
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      07-18-2019, 01:33 PM   #41
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Ahh, yes, the red headed step child of the M3's. It makes me laugh to read comments from people who have never driven one or owned one. That the 335 is a better car! That's a funny one.

After owning my e92 M3 for several years, I felt it was time to look at a 1st or 2nd gen M3. I knew someone who had an e30 and I drove it a couple of times. I was not blown away by the experience and the prices were too ridiculous. The e36's were affordable, a step up in power, and were easy to work on. I was lucky to find one that was unmodded and under 80k miles. The person put $7k into the car in less than a year, but was an Audi guy and really wanted a TT. I pretty much stole it from him. I loved the car from the first drive. So much lighter and more nimble than the e92 due to the significant weigh reduction. Within 6 months, I sold my e92. It wasn't being driven much because I preferred the e36. This is coming from someone who did a lot to the e92 and praised it everyday. Yes, we didn't get the engine that Europe got, but at 3100 lbs, the S52 has plenty of power. 3rd gear on this car feels like a turbo engine. Don't be fooled by the 245hp number.

You would be hard pressed to find any car new or used under $13k that handles and performs better than an e36 M3. I have really gotten spoiled by the older, analog driving M cars vs. the more modern electronically controlled versions. It's the same reason I bought an e39. As others have mentioned, I would try to look for a '97-'99. There were more improvements done compared to the earlier models. Spend more time on M3forums.net. They are a lot of great owners on there who know these cars inside and out. You won't be sorry if you buy one. It still puts a smile on my face everyday. Especially, taking exit ramps at 80+ mph's with my PS4's on and having the car planted throughout the whole turn! Good luck with your search.
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      07-18-2019, 02:28 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFCM3 View Post
Luckily my wife doesnt care to look at forums so....

s50B30US SWAP - DROPPED VALVE 3 YRS IN
S52B32US SWAP WITH ZF320 DRIVETRAIN
UUC STAGE 3 CLUTCH/FLYWHEEL
UUC STAGE 3 SSK
DR VANOS UPGRADED VANOS/GEARS/CHAIN
3.15 TORSEN REAR END
CUSTOM FRONT AND REAR SUBFRAMES
FULL POLY BUSHINGS THROUGHOUT
4TH ITERATION OF EXHAUST SYSTEM ON CAR
ZENDER NLA FRONT AND SIDE BODY KIT
APR CF FRONT SPLITTER
HELLA COLORLINE HEADLIGHTS
MHW TAILLIGHTS
CF AC SCHNITZER MIRROR REPRODUCTIONS
CF HOOD
CF TRUNK
AKG DTM MONO-WIPER CONVERSION
FACELIFT BUMPER CONVERSION
FULL PAINT CHANGE TO STERLING GRAU METALLIC
E30 M3 5-LUG
STOPTECH E30 M3 BBK
SPEC E30 BILSTEIN/H&R/GROUND CONTROL SETUP
RECARO SR3
AUTOPOWER ROLL BAR
FULL CUSTOM STEREO
REWIRE DOOR LOCK SYSTEM TO INTEGRATE KEYLESS PROPERLY
BBS RZ 17X8.5 ET13
BBS CH 17X8.5 ET15

Plus alotta small stuff everywhere, and a pile of parts that havent touched the car yet. this is with me doing all work myself as well....
How much did the paint cost you??? Did you do the work yourself, that seems a lot for what you did, but I guess if you have labor in there it could bump up.

With Paint I will be in less than $30k for a fully restored (every bolt, nut bushing interior etc) S54 E30 with an OEM Mtech II Kit.
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      07-18-2019, 02:42 PM   #43
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For not much more you can buy an E46 M3. A much more fun car to drive.

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...ting=246033903
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      07-18-2019, 03:41 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staszek View Post
How much did the paint cost you??? Did you do the work yourself, that seems a lot for what you did, but I guess if you have labor in there it could bump up.

With Paint I will be in less than $30k for a fully restored (every bolt, nut bushing interior etc) S54 E30 with an OEM Mtech II Kit.
California premium parts tax.....also that cost is over 16years of ownership, i cant list every nut, bolt, washer, body trim, etc would take forever. You have e30 m3 5 lug as well?

paint i had done at a body shop before i was in the industry, cost me $3k not including body repairs and replacement fenders/valence/windshield/bumpers.


EDIT: nice build thread on r3v, i havent been on that forum much in the last 5 years, but i was super active back in the days.
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