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They are chassis designations... (archive)

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Posted by Michael W on October 25, 2000 at 10:05:02:

In Reply to: Please answer a question for a stupid BMW owner. posted by John D. on October 25, 2000 at 09:10:12:

The E36 is the 3-series line that was produced up until 1999, in which the Z3 is based on. Code, E36/7. The Coupe body is E36/8. The "New" 3-series line is based on the E46 chassis. The X5 is the E53. The E30 was two previous generation 3-series.

Engine designations usually have an M in front of them followed by numbers, and perhaps numbers--M engines have an "S". The US M 3.2L is the "S52" motor. The 99 2.8 motors were indicated as "M52TU".

Hope some of this helped.

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