go for it babe. the 318 was a training project, now you know the majority of the quirks the E36s have. The ticking is probably an exhaust tick (just note if it does it cold or hot) they're notorious. You've literally tap danced through the majority of your DIYs, now it's time to move onto bigger & better things. Plus it's an investment and you're way ahead of it at such a low initial investment. Don't you have a sister w/ a wayward E30? Sell her the 318, keep it in the family.
Re: Mturbos' quote - when was the last time your girlfriend rolled up in an M3?