E36 at 100,000 miles

What types of things will be necessary to fix or replace on an E36 when it hits 100,000 miles? How about spark plugs, shocks, rotors, pads, springs.......which parts have seen
almost their entire life and should be swapped out?
Tom 1995, 325i convertible, automatic
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Tom Allen wrote:

you mention should all be checked and replaced if necessary.
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That car is near its end life, you can abandon it at my house ...
Leave the keys too. My '94 has passed 210,000 and is going strong despite my best efforts to wear it out.

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i bet the water pump went already. if not, that for certain

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My water pump, or his?

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Tom Allen wrote:

Hey Tom,
To directly answer your question, I don't think there are any parts that I would replace solely based on age or mileage unless they are providing symptoms, with one minor exception area: The cooling system.
Unless you have irrefutable evidence that this has already been done by a prior owner, I would be sure to replace the water pump. The OE pumps had plastic impellers that disintegrate and can cause some serious engine damage due to overheating if (when?) they go at an inopportune time.
The radiators are also prone to breaking off the plastic hose pipes connectors, but when one of those goes, you'll know it right away (clouds of steam) and will surely pull over before damaging anything. The only "preventive" for this is to carefully inspect the area around both radiator hoses regularly looking for traces of dried residue that might indicate a hairline crack forming. Otherwise it's a crap shoot. You can try being a bot rough with them in the hopes that you will break one off now, rather than on the highway at 80mph. You could also just replace the whole radiator prophylacticly, if it gives you more peace of mind (and it hasn't been done yet) but they aren't cheap (~$350). There is an aftermarket company that makes an all aluminum radiator (Fluidyne I think) for the E36, but they are about twice the price of the regular OEM replacement. Ouch...
While you are at it and already have the cooling system drained, Replace the thermostat. They wear out and can cause overheating. Replacement is cheap insurance. And while you have the plastic thermostat housing cover off, hold it firmly in your right hand and throw it as far as you can. It too is plastic and has the same propensity to age and fracture dumping your engines life-blood. All-aluminum replacement covers are available all over the place, and strangely enough, are a bit cheaper than a regular plastic replacement one.
Flush the system vigorously with plain water and then drain and refill it with 50/50 mix of the correct coolant. By correct I mean the blue coolant used by BMW, SAAB, VW and a couple others. Do not under any circumstances cheap out and put the Prestone or Zerex green stuff in there. It has too many minerals that will cause deposits and clogging of the cooling system after only a few years. You can get the blue stuff several places. I get mine from a SAAB parts place (www.eEuroparts.com) because they have the SAAB labeled blue stuff cheaper ($11/gallon).
Other than the cooling system, there are lots of little things that may wear out, but none that are quite so important to the longevity of your car. I suggest browsing some of the many E36 websites for more tips on some of the repairs that will be likely in your future.
http://www.unofficialbmw.com /
http://www.bmwworld.com/models/e36.htm
http://www.logun.org/e36_info.htm
http://www.bmwe36tips.20m.com/fast-index.htm
even
http://members.aol.com/agspeed/bmw.htm
And, as always, google is your friend...
Have fun, -Fred W
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Does this apply to M20 E30's also?
-Russ.
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Somebody wrote:

Sure does. At least in my book. It just doesn't make sense to me to skimp on the coolant, saving what? $4-5 a gallon (you need only a little more than 1 gallon) when you only change it every 3 years...
-Fred W
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This is new news to me, I went through some of these exact cooling system problems about 4 to 6 months ago. I'm sure I used regular coolant. At best I might of used distilled water (if I was thinking straight at the time). I guess you're saying I should flush it and get this 'blue stuff' in there, eh?
Chris 93 325i (son's car)

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Chris D'Agnolo wrote:

Chris,
It all depends on how long you intend to keep and run the car. I do not like to use the green stuff in any of my cars.
Have you ever done much work on the cooling systems of cars that used the "regular" (green) coolant? That coolant is high in Phosphates. This is what causes the white mineral deposits you often see. The stuff cakes and goos up the whole system. Imageine what it's doing in the small passages inside the radiator and water jacket that you can't see...
OTOH, I have taken apart systems that have been running the Glysantin G48 based products (the blue stuff) and even after 3-4 years there is nothing to flush out. It looks like a new engine.
If you can't find the G48, and/or don't want to pay shipping on it, I know that AutoZone carries Zerex G05 (clearish Yellow in a gold bottle) which is also good stuff. Its what Mercedes sells / uses and is also low mineral. I've used that in BMWs before in a pinch and it is fine.
YCMV, -Fred W
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