The BMW E36 M3 was then available as a saloon, a coupe and the convertible. There aren’t any particular rust spots to note that BME E36`s are known to have, nevertheless it`s wise to check out the car for anything looking like signs of corrosion. Same with any car really, do pay particular attention to the door sills, the door bottoms, and the wheel arches, get it up on a ramp if possible. Given the best rust proofing in the world, it will only be a rust free car if it`s been applied properly, and hasn`t ever needed a repairs.
The 3L engine is based on the BMW M50 engine, that`s also seen in the BMW E36 325i and of course the E34 525i. A 24 valve power unit that develops a healthy100bhp per litre, and uses the BMW VANOS cam timing set up. The actual torque curve is similar to Ayres Rock, meaning that it`s high and flat. The dual mass flywheel actually contributes towards the engine’s capability to rev to a staggering 7300rpm. In the year 1996, the BMW M3 was breathed upon, and so became the BMW M3 Evolution. The extra 30bhp found inside the engine, that now had grown to a massive 3.2 litres and had surpassed the very magical 100bhp per litre mark. Often lambda sensors as well as oil pressure valves give up and the seals and the gears within the BMW VANOS cam- timing mechanism, both are prone to premature failure, which is a job that`s best entrusted to a BMW specialist. The BMW M50 engines are known in their terms of reliability, and shouldn`t pose problems.
It`s not the same as the standard BMW E36. The springs for a start are shorter and much firmer, and with much firmer dampers coupled with thicker anti-roll bars. The BMW gearbox is actually from the 5 series. The Evolution cars actually use the 850 drive-shafts and also the wheel bearings, along with the E34 M5 trusted limited slip diff, and the uprated proprietary control-arms. Basically the rear shock-absorber top mountings are a very weak point – by lifting at each corner of the rear of the car should high-light any known issues there. The exhausts and of course the tyres are very expensive, so do make sure that they’re all very as good. Tyres with something like 3mm tread left could be used as a bargaining point.
BMW M-Technic seats are in fact the sole difference that there is between the BMW M3 and anything else in the range. This means that E36`s in scrap yards will yield interesting as well as useful trim. There is nothing that`s particularly worrying, as most were the leather version whilst stuff isn’t very cheap, at least the leather is able to be re-trimmed. With space and comfort for 4 adults in comfort, and a very well laid out dashboard, and generous boot-space for say, a touring holiday. This is actually where the BMW E36 differs a bit from the BMW E30; it is a GT car, rather than a lunatic.