|3 Series - E36 (1990 - 1999)|
|Compact and Touring|
The 3 series version 3.0
Introduced in 1990 BMW completely redesigned the old 3 series (the e30) and came with the new and refreshing e36.
The e36 had a long development period of 9 years (started july 1981) and when first entering the market they released 4 different models,
the 316i, 318i (both with M40 4cylinder engines), 320i and 325i (both with M50 6cylinder engines). All as 4 door sedan versions.
The 6 cylinder versions all had a new 24-valve 6-cylinder engine (M50/M51/M52), at that time available in the e34 5 series.
In 1991 the 325td was introduced, and had a 6 cylinder engine with 115HP,
later, in 1993, an intercooler was added to the engine and the 325tds was born.
The coupés were added from 1992, these sporty new 3 series blew away the competition with their smooth design and powerfull engines.
The 318is, 320i and 325i coupé were available first. The 318is with it's M42 engine was a real high-rev sporty car and has 140HP,
and had a nice sports-package available, preparing the audience for the M3. Later the 316i (1992), 323i (1995) and 328i (1994) were added.
The M40 engines (<1993) had one real problem. The cooling system gasket ("timing case profile gasket") fails between 65.000km and 130.000km
and can cause serious overheating and damage to your engine if not noticed.
From 1993 these older 4 cylinder engines (M40) were replaced by the newly developed M43 engine.
The cooling system gasket should last longer (200.000+ km).
Later in 1993 the first e36 convertible was introduced, the 325i, and from 1994 the 318i, 320i and 328i were added to the convertible series!