DanielCut New Reader
Jan. 27, 2014 1:24 p.m.

I recently stumbled upon a 1996 328i that belonged to a friend of my wife. After asking a few questions it's now mine. Cosmetically it's seen better days but it seems to have been at least modestly cared for mechanically. The shift lever has about a foot and a half of slop and the red oil light comes on briefly under braking so there's that but I couldn't pass up the deal.

It got really interesting when it was mentioned that the original owner was stationed in Germany and purchased the car there and had it shipped to the states after his service ended. I'm mainly curious on what this means as far as differences go. The innanet says everything from they're the same to the euro has 300 horsepower (no). I do believe one difference is the euro has an aluminum block where the states got iron. Anyway, any info or tips would be helpful. I do plan on replacing the cooling system and bushings in addition to the usual replacement of fluids, etc.

bludroptop SuperDork
Jan. 27, 2014 1:30 p.m.

Run the VIN through RealOEM to see if it comes up as US or Europe model?

Jarod Reader
Jan. 27, 2014 2:14 p.m.

As far as I understand if you buy a car in Germany while in the service using the AAFES programs it is still a North American spec car.

stuart in mn PowerDork
Jan. 27, 2014 3:15 p.m.

Yes, it's almost certainly a US spec car.

edit: you may be confusing the regular 325i with an M3 - there was quite a big difference in the M3 engine output between euro and US spec, but I don't think there was much at all (if any) for a 325i.

Sky_Render Dork
Jan. 27, 2014 3:22 p.m.
Jarod wrote: As far as I understand if you buy a car in Germany while in the service using the AAFES programs it is still a North American spec car.

This is correct.

DanielCut New Reader
Jan. 27, 2014 4:21 p.m.

This is interesting. I will check the VIN.

yamaha PowerDork
Jan. 28, 2014 12:10 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn:

For the lesser models, non-E36 M3 that is, the HP variance would have been under 10hp. IIRC, only the m3 had a large discrepancy.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
Jan. 28, 2014 1:28 a.m.

USDM E36 M3 + cams = Euro with far less maintenance and far more reliability.

DanielCut New Reader
Jan. 28, 2014 5:32 p.m.

Thanks for the tips guys. NOT a Eurospec car.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
Jan. 28, 2014 5:38 p.m.
kanaric wrote: USDM E36 M3 + cams = Euro with far less maintenance and far more reliability.

Not really.

More like 3.5" MAF, OBD-I intake manifold, quality full-exhaust, Shricks AND a tune = Euro HP.

And all that is going to be a $2000+

Mr_Clutch42 New Reader
Jan. 29, 2014 3:13 p.m.

I hope the oil light was for oil level and not oil pressure.

mr2peak HalfDork
Jan. 29, 2014 8:07 p.m.
z31maniac wrote:
kanaric wrote: USDM E36 M3 + cams = Euro with far less maintenance and far more reliability.

Not really.

More like 3.5" MAF, OBD-I intake manifold, quality full-exhaust, Shricks AND a tune = Euro HP.

And all that is going to be a $2000+

Actually no. Totally different engine, and it's really hard to even come close to the euro motor output. Gonna need more than that to make 80 more HP. 80x3 = 240. Gonna take more that to get there.

Slippery HalfDork
Jan. 29, 2014 8:18 p.m.
mr2peak wrote:
z31maniac wrote:
kanaric wrote: USDM E36 M3 + cams = Euro with far less maintenance and far more reliability.

Not really.

More like 3.5" MAF, OBD-I intake manifold, quality full-exhaust, Shricks AND a tune = Euro HP.

And all that is going to be a $2000+

Actually no. Totally different engine, and it's really hard to even come close to the euro motor output. Gonna need more than that to make 80 more HP. 80x3 = 240. Gonna take more that to get there.

I am pretty sure Z31 knows its a different motor, no one is arguing that. Take an S52 and add the mods Z31 listed, and you will be pushing 280 rwhp without a problem. Very close to a euro motor.

Slippery HalfDork
Jan. 29, 2014 8:22 p.m.
Mr_Clutch42 wrote: I hope the oil light was for oil level and not oil pressure.

Most likely the switch, just buy a new one at the dealer as they are cheap. Its a common problem.

Joshua
Joshua Dork
Jan. 29, 2014 10:01 p.m.
DanielCut wrote: Thanks for the tips guys. NOT a Eurospec car.

Ouch!

DanielCut New Reader
Jan. 29, 2014 10:19 p.m.

Glad to hear that, Slippery, as my first thought was that it was probably something electrical related. I'll report back when I've changed it.

Thanks for the sympathy, Joshua.

DanielCut New Reader
Jan. 29, 2014 10:26 p.m.

If anyone is interested, here's a picture. It's covered in ice, a rare thing for Louisiana.  photo 92E825A1-7DFE-4FC6-830F-1A0CAAE22110_zpsgnwxmfsw.jpg

P.S. Does anyone recognize those wheels? The caps say Imola but nothing else.

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