Did you check the fuel injectors and fuel lines? On something as old as the E36 the fuel injectors may have worn seals, especially if they are original to the car or are several years old and may have been rebuilt but the seals are shot again. They do sell machines to test them as well so you can use one of those for testing and see what happens outside of the car. If that doesn't work (and they are in good shape), check the sparkplugs. If the injectors are bad you will need to either find brand new Bosch OE for this car (same type as the "OEM" BMW ones) or reconditioned BMW OEM Bosch.
At this point, BMW probably no longer sells the parts so it's either buying new OE from Bosch or rebuilt ones that were once sold by BMW. Mercedes does the same with Bosch parts and jacks the price up with a 3-pointed star engraved on the part but if you can find a place to find the OE injector for your Mercedes (or the Bosch part#), then you save the "3-pointed star" tax.
If neither of these help, get a compression tester and make sure the reading is in line with the spec it should be at. If it's out of spec and very worn the engine needs to be rebuilt. The spec is based on the engine, but the gauge should give you a good feel.
For the electrical guides, here's a copy: http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/1997%2...
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