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I'm thinking about buying a ti. Ask all your questions about the possible purchase of a ti. Keep in mind, we are biased.

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Old 04-11-2005, 04:42 AM   #1
1996 328ti
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Default Buyers Guide - What to look for.

This is not meant to scare anyone off who is interested in purchasing a 318ti but to help them make an informed decision. Most problems are easily repairable. The models pertain to the US.

Skip go and go directly to post 31.

1995 M42 1.8L engine
  • Clubsport
  • Base
  • Active
  • Sport
1996 - 1998 M44 1.9L engine
  • Base
  • Active
  • Sport
1999 M44 1.9L
  • Sport
Known problems
  • Window regulators
  • Peeling tape on B pillars (1995-1997)
  • Headliner coming loose
This first message will be edited as time goes on.
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Old 04-11-2005, 06:12 PM   #2
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Brilliant! Don't forget ball joints, control arms, rear shock mounts all at certain milage (?).


Thanks Steve!
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Old 04-11-2005, 06:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96cali
Brilliant! Don't forget ball joints, control arms, rear shock mounts all at certain milage (?).


Thanks Steve!
Well those are things to check in any car. I suppose we can include it but I'd rather be ti specific. If someone has a url for what to look for in E36s, I'd include that.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:49 PM   #4
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I have owned a 318ti (96) for a little more than 3 years now. I can honestly say that this car is one of the best that I have ever owned. I have spent more time and money customizing than doing repairs to keep it running. Very low maintenanace and very practical. The only repair that I have had to make were my radiator(Thermostat froze shut and cracked the radiator) and the rear shock bushings. A very reliable car and worth every cent!
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Old 09-20-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
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So what 5 things should I look for when I am looking at a 318ti?

The headliner is a no brainer. I will test the windows. When do the bushing and ball joints go out?
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:28 AM   #6
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look for cracked thermostat housing. That thing is plastic and may be cracked at a certain mileage. but that thing is very easy to repair. Only cost me around $50 for parts; I did it myself. If you are not a kind of DIY person, it may cost you a coupe hundreds.
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Old 10-31-2005, 07:22 PM   #7
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96; did it actually crack on you or was this preventative maintenance?
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:25 PM   #8
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So far I've replaced my camshaft speed sensor, both oxygen sensors, controll arms and balljoints, halfshafts, rear wheel bearings, clutch, I'm about to change the ignition wires and the tensioner pulleys for the AC, waterpump and alternator. I think that's all I've done so far.
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:08 PM   #9
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One thing to include in this post is the difference between the base, active, and sport models. Things like if all came with LSD, leather ect. For a noob to these cars this is the post I would look in to find that kind of information.
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:40 PM   #10
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Red face Difference between models - active, sport, m-tech etc

Hey,

I agree, I really want to know what the difference is between the various models. I've done searches on this forum, and still haven't found it.

I was about to make a separate post, but did a last search, and found this one...


So, I'll wait and see if this gets answered.

Edit: Hmm... I did just find this which gives an answer: http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthrea...ference+models


Thanks,



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Old 07-12-2006, 02:50 PM   #11
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What milage for shock mounts? I have had my 96 sport since 2001 and at ~150k I replaced motor mounts, and window regulator, and at 180k was the first time I needed rear shocks. Maint has been pricey at times - but worth it!
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALAINEPJ
What milage for shock mounts? I have had my 96 sport since 2001 and at ~150k I replaced motor mounts, and window regulator, and at 180k was the first time I needed rear shocks. Maint has been pricey at times - but worth it!
I replace shock mounts whenever I replace shocks since they're cheap and you're in there anyway. I've seen rear mounts fail (even new ones) so if they break you'll replace them sooner anyway
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyman7931
I replace shock mounts whenever I replace shocks since they're cheap and you're in there anyway. I've seen rear mounts fail (even new ones) so if they break you'll replace them sooner anyway

Thanks!!
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:27 AM   #14
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Default B-pillars

So are the B-pillars on the door supposed to be taped out black? I've seen them both ways. Mine are body color. If black, can I get the "tape" or should I simply get a can of trim paint?
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:02 PM   #15
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It was mentioned before, but I think the window regulator, though apparently a general E36 issue, would be worth giving prospective buyers a heads up about -- perhaps just to let them know it isn't that big of a deal to fix so they don't get upset.

I'm not sure if its worth mentioning, as its probably just normal wear, but the rear hatch struts tend to have some issues (at least on the 2 cars I have owned).

What about the steering column..? Something with a coil in the steering column making noise when you turn the wheel all the way (i.e. parking). This is an easy thing to check in a test drive.

Airbag sensor thing under the passenger seat?
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