325 vs. 328, is there a difference in reliability?

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I've been pricing some used BMWs and have zero'd in on the 3 series, and would rather have a 6-cyl over the 4. My question to the owners of the 325's
and 328's is this- is the 328 any more reliable than the '25? Are there advantages or disadvantages to either one? Both seem like fine cars but I want some opinion from those who have experience.
Thanks,
Casey
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Are you looking at the E36 or E46 models?
ie. Older than 2000
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The E36 series fits my budget a little better, so thats the most practical series for me to consider.

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I owned a 97 E36 and except for a few oxygen sensors going out, the car was awesome.
Several of my friends have the E36, 325/328 and they noted few issues. The cars are built well with few electronic gadgets to go wrong as the car ages.
I would opt for the 328. I don't suspect there will be a huge cost difference between a 325 and 328 given the age of the vehicles.
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go to http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums /

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Sharkman540i wrote:

It's the same engine. Both are damn near bullet-proof.
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The 328 is used in the E36 cars after 1996, the 325 is used in cars before '96. The 328 gives 1 more HP, but has about 30% more torque, give or take a few foot pounds. The 328 is an OBD II engine, and you can pull trouble codes with readily available diagnostic equipment, the 325 is OBD I, and pulling codes requires equipment that costs much more.
I'd recommend getting the best condition car you can find, whether a 325 or 328, but the 328 would be the better choice if you can find a good one.
The 328 used in the E36 cars is also detuned and called a 323. I am not certain, but my guess is that an E46 car with a 328 or 325 motor is also the same power plant. The E36 cars use the M52 motor in the 328 and 323 applications, and the M50 motor in the 325 applications. I think the E46 cars use the M52, but I'm sure that if this is wrong, I'll be corrected soon.

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You are correct, with the small correction that the M52 in the E46 cars was called the M52TU (Double VANOS). When the E46 got bumped to the 325 and 330 in 2001, the engine changed to the M54.
Kyle. 98 740iL 97 M3
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So, the E46 started out with the M52 motors as the 328 and 323, and now gets the M54 motors, as the 330 and 325?
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Yes, the M52TU had double VANOS on the original E46 cars. Basically the same engine as in the E36 except that one was single VANOS. When they got bumped up in 2001 to the 325 and 330 the engine changed to the M54, essentially the same engine. Not to be confused with the N54 in the E90 325 and 330 which is completely different. There was an article in Roundel a few months ago that detailed the evolution of the M20 engine that the M50, M52 and M54 were all based on.
Kyle. 98 740iL 97 M3
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Actually - OBD-I codes can be retrieved with no equipment at all.. it's called the 5-stomp method. Turn the car to the run position without starting it - stomp the accelerator to the floor 5 times within 5 seconds. The codes will read out as the CEL flashes. Does in a sequence of flashes representing the numbers.
HTH
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That's true, but OBD II simply plugs in, reads, then resets. No holding your tongue just right while stomping the gas pedal ...
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On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 08:00:14 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"

You sure about those numbers? I find it hard to believe that a motor with only 12% more displacement could have 30% more torque, when they are of similar design.
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wrote:

Edmunds list the following....
95 325i HP 189 @ 5900 Torque 181 @ 4200
96 328i HP 190 @ 5300 Torque 207 @ 3950
My math (which is subject to correction) gets about 12.5% more torque at 250 RPM lower. I'm not certain, but I think I remember the torque band being wider on the 328 as well (starting to pull lower and continuing higher).
Kyle. 98 740iL 97 M3
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On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 01:00:53 GMT, "Kyle and Lori Greene"

This makes sense, with the peak torques in ratio with the displacements. To get the same peak HP, the smaller motor has to be tuned to make it's best torque in a narrower range, higher in RPM's.
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Kyle and Lori Greene wrote:

Actually the 2.8 makes less tourque at 5900 RPM than the 2.5. If it made more than it would have more HP at that RPM then 2.5 does. Remember HP is just a function of tourque and RPM. The 2.8s power band is just lower and wider. The reason the 2.8 is so much faster than the 2.5 is because it makes a whole lot more tourque from 3-4K RPM. From 4-5K there isn't a whole lot of difference, the 2.8s a little bit stronger. From 5-6K the 2.5 starts to catch up (by not having the power fall off as much as the RPM climes).
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Todd Zuercher wrote:

Well it's lower alright. I don't think the 2.8 is *so* much faster than the 325/2.5.
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It is in day to day driving.
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I can definitely vouch on the torque advantage.
Did a test with a friend. Me = 96 328is him = 93 325is
We matched speeds going uphill around 3500rpm. Then we both floored it. The 2.8 steadily pulled away on the hill and kept spooling. Test lasted 10 seconds.

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BC wrote:

The 328 has different gearing to the old 325 I believe which will also have an effect. The 328 has an extra 300cc so one would expect it to be a little faster. But how about this - if one bored out a 325 to 2.8l you'd get about 215hp out of it but woudl it be faster than the regular 328i??
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