Just bought a 1991 325i sight unseen

John Avis by | July 10, 2012 | My 1991 325i

I had a strange desire to get an early E36 325i as I love E36s, the sound of the M50 engine, and they are available in 4-door and manual.
I have been looking for a replacement for my '94 318is coupe for quite a few months now. I was wanting the practicality of a 4-door due to having to soon carry a baby seat, etc.

I had a strange desire to get an early E36 325i as I love E36s, the sound of the M50 engine, and they are available in 4-door and manual. Turns out manuals are rare as I have been looking for one for some time.

I wanted an unmodified model, preferably no sunroof (rare on the top of the line 325i), pre-VANOS (just because it's one less thing to go wrong), no cruise control, in black with a black interior.

Finally, the other day something close came up on eBay... Silver, blue leather interior (yuck), no sunroof, pre-Vanos, but interstate. I put a bid in at the starting price expecting to get outbid. I didn't get outbid - I won it. So I am now the owner of a car I have never seen in person, have not had looked at by anyone I know, in another state. I didn't even ask many questions about it. It arrives Friday with the extra cost of A$400 for transport.

According to the seller the only problems are sagging headlining, and clear coat peeled a little on right hand doors.

Not sure what I want to do to this 325i. I am tempted to keep it stock appearance (even the unpainted bumpers), change the interior for one in black (dashboard, carpets, seats, everything), and put in some later model suspension (as I think these early models are a bit different) -- maybe just the factory lowered "M tech" suspension.

I found this Russian website where you can look up the original specification of your BMW. Here's what it says about my new 325i.

Vehicle information

Type code CB32
Type 325I (EUR)
E series E36 (4)
Series 3
Type LIM
Steering RL
Doors 4
Engine M50
Displacement 2.50
Power 141
Drive HECK
Transmission MECH
Upholstery (0395)
Prod.date 1991-07-08

Code / Description (interface) / Description (EPC)
S411A FENSTERHEBER,ELEKTRISCH VORN/HINTEN Window lifts,electric,front/rear
S530A KLIMAANLAGE Air conditioning
S556A AUSSENTEMPERATURANZEIGE Outdoor temperature indicator
S564A INNENLICHTPAKET Interior light package
S687A RADIOVORBEREITUNG Radio preparation
L810A AUSTRALIEN-AUSFUEHRUNG National version Australia
S818A BATTERIEHAUPTSCHALTER Battery master switch
S848A ERWEITERTER KABELBAUM Expanded wiring harness
S850A ZUSAETZL. TANKFUELLUNG EXPORT Additional Export tank filling
S925A VERSANDSCHUTZPAKET Dispatch protection pack

Right side
Front left
Front right
Engine bay
Rear seats

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About me

I am a bit of a 3 series fanatic, having owned a couple of E30s and a few E36s, plus a few parts cars. I like the combination of the compact size, good performance and handling, and that they are more sports sedan than an impractical and extrovert sports car. This blog is a place to share my experience and knowledge.


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