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Thread: 1995 M3 coupe .. track day car

  1. #1

    1995 M3 coupe .. track day car

    my attempt at prioritizing work on the car, based on importance and cost:
    • fix tail lights (done)
    • remove all seats (done)
    • install OMP Champ seat (done)
    • install driver's Schroth harness (done)
    • clay bar, seal paint
    • paint chrome kidney surround black (done)
    • fix horn hanging down, and brake duct being loose (done)
    • clean as much oil and dirt as possible off the engine and transmission (done)
    • check front sway bar end links for wear (look good, but will replace when sway bar is upgraded)
    • replace vanos oil pipe, crankcase breather and vanos oil line o-rings, oil filter housing gasket (done)
    • install oil pan baffle, secure oil pump nut, upgrade oil pump/shaft, replace/reinforce oil pick up pipe, replace oil pump chain, replace oil pan gasket
    • swap steering rack out for late model e46 330i rack (?)
    • buy/install oil pressure/oil temp gauge and water temp gauge
    • replace selector shaft seal, shifter bushings, guibo (done)
    • replace center driveshaft support bearing
    • upgrade transmission mounts (done)
    • upgrade motor mounts
    • check valve cover gasket for leaks and replace if necessary .. looks like it might be leaking (so far it looks ok)
    • replace belts (done)
    • flush brake fluid, replace/upgrade brake lines and clutch line (done)
    • weld in rear trailing arm reinforcement plates
    • install new undertray and a radiator baffle (was installed.. need to replace again)
    • check for lower temp aux fan switch (done.. installed)
    • replace windshield (done)
    • buy new track tires (done)
    • buy/install passenger OMP Champ seat (done) and Schroth harness
    • buy/install front x-brace
    • replace clutch pedal and bushing
    • upgrade rear sway bar end links
    • check timing chain for stretch
    • replace hood cowl cover
    • replace BMW roundel hood badge (done)
    • buy Euro aspherical mirror glass (doesn't seem like passenger side is available)
    • replace window motors & regulators
    • replace top window trim on both sides
    • touch up paint chips
    • replace scratched bumper trim
    • replace torn driver's door seal
    • remove sunroof assembly & motor, replace with carbon fiber panel
    • upgrade springs.. interim step (done)
    • upgrade to coilovers, front camber plates, front wheel spacers, rear adjustable control arms
    • upgrade/change front & rear sway bars
    • change brake pads to something I like better
    • install/lube brass caliper bushings
    • upgrade front calipers
    • install OBD2 headers?
    • install OBD2 mid-pipe/cats, Active Autowerke cat-back exhaust (done)








    part of original first post:
    ================================================== ==


    My primary requirements for a car are as follows:
    • physically in good shape (exterior especially). I do like a car to look nice
    • well maintained, ideally with records, and proof of preventative maintenance. I want to see that the car has been taken care of
    • any mods need to be pretty well in line with what I would do anyway

    So, I've always thought that I'd have to spend over $8k to get a pretty good E36 M3. I have no huge preference between a coupe or a sedan (sedans are stronger, but the coupes have more body parts easily available) or color (though I do like earthly tones.. black, silver, blue, etc.). But I was hoping to get a car with about average mileage (roughly 130 - 150k these days) and I figured I wanted an OBDII car ('96 - '99).

    1995 was the first model year for the E36 M3 in the US. It was OBD1 and came with the 3L "S50B30US", while the later cars were OBDII, came with the 3.2L "S52B32US" engine and a host of other small changes, including traction control, upgraded climate control, slightly updated suspension geometry, etc. About 8000 1995 models were sold in the US (manufactured from mid-1994 to early 1996), while about 9000 1996-1999 cars were sold (if I remember correctly), so there's actually a ton of 1995 cars around. They're a bit cheaper on the insurance (just because they're older), and the emissions system is hugely simpler.
    Last edited by joel; 2013.09.26 at 16:38 PM.
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  2. #2
    So this ad has been on in the PNW regional bimmerforums forum for over a month now. I asked him.. he hasn't posted it anywhere else yet.


    the photos are 1.5 years old.. but he says the car looks the same (we'll see). He said much of the recent work has been performed at TC Motorsports in Auburn. I know the shop fairly well.. they work on a lot of Pro-3 E30 race cars and are pretty well known for their motorsport tuning and related work in the area. So, that's a plus. The mods are all things that I'd be doing first anyway, so that's a plus. And, he's replaced almost all of the known failure items on the car recently. There's only a couple more things I'd have checked soon (notably the oil pump nut inside the oil pan). It has a cracked windshield (ugh), a loose exhaust (it'd be the next thing I upgrade anyway), a broken glove box latch, and one door speaker that's not working perfectly. It's missing the front undertray, and the photos do show some scratches on some bumper trim and one of the door trim pieces is coming off. All of these pieces can be purchased new for $100 or less (total), from what I can tell.

    He's asking $5500.. down from $5900 earlier, and has 192k miles (not an issue if the car is maintained).

    Quote: The car has had a ton of work done to it in the last couple years, basically every E36 problem has been addressed and fixed. It currently has about 192,000 miles on it, but it does get driven so that is likely to go up slowly. I also track the car occasionally, so am sure to stay on top of major issues as the pop up.

    Since I have owned the car, the following work has been done.

    Modifications and Repairs
    DSR Cams
    Turner Euro Intake (3.5")
    Cosmos CAI
    TRM Tune
    Headgasket and head refresh
    Poly bushings all around (FCAB, RTABs)
    New control arms (with balljoints)
    New clutch
    New cooling system (radiator, hoses, thermostat housing, overflow tank)
    Sparco R100 seats (both driver and passenger)
    Z3 shifter
    Rebuild driveshaft
    JVC Bluetooth/CD/Etc stereo
    Stock springs with Bilsteins
    Rear shock mount reinforcements
    New rear shock mounts

    Pictures from about 2 years ago, I will try to get it cleaned up at take more recent ones ASAP - http://www.flickr.com/photos/4279997...7624302118477/

    Other
    2 sets of wheels
    TR Motorsports wheels (17x8.5) with Continental DWS tires (plenty of tread left). One tire has a chunk out of the rim protector, and the wheel has a mark at the same spot. The rest of the wheels are straight and without any rash.
    Kosei K1s with RE-01 tires (almost done, probably need to be replaced soon but f
    or the street they should be good through the end of the "dry" season)

    The car made 225rwhp at the last dyno I did. It runs great, and pulls plenty hard through the power band.

    Needs
    Exhaust system has seen better days (other than the headers). Muffler has a hole in it and for some unknown reason a previous owner welded the catback to the mid pipe. I've been putting off replacing it because I kept thinking I'd step up to a header/custom setup. I never did, so you get to if you buy the car!
    Missing front under tray
    Left front door speaker either is failing, or has some kind of loose connection in it.
    Windshield *just* got a crack in it, this may or may not be fixed soon depending on if I can get around to it.
    Even with all of that stuff, the car is solid and has had most of the expensive parts replaced or fixed in the last 2 years.
    The seats he's using are lighter than stock seats, but not nearly as light as a good fiberglass or carbon fiber seat can be. I already have one of those, so I'll probably sell both of these and just pick up another lighter front passenger seat.


    Anyway, I am going to pick the car up from his work in south Seattle this Friday a little after noon and take it to South Lake European in Renton to have them do a quick drive and mechanical inspection of the car. If they give it the all clear, and if the car lives up to his descriptions, I'll probably buy it. If not, then I'll move on and keep saving my money.

    the photos make the paint look pretty awesome.. I'm looking forward to seeing if it looks as good in person.
    Last edited by joel; 2012.09.27 at 06:47 AM.
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  3. #3
    Plans for an M3, once I own one:

    I'm buying a track day car. I'm not buying a race car. I'm not buying a car for the E36 community. I'm not buying one to look cool.. though I'll admit that I do think the cars look pretty good.. and I've always been a fan of E36's. I've always wanted a BMW as well... so this will be fun.

    The immediate work will be to pull all of the seats (front & rear), and possibly the trunk padding (we'll see.. not interested in the car being very loud just yet). I may pull the sunroof assembly next and replace it with a carbon fiber delete panel that is going for $250.. looks really well made. I may remove the auxiliary cooling fan and maybe the AC (depends on how difficult it is to do so). I'll probably leave the stereo in for now, since you have to have music when driving to tracks far away

    Next the car will need to be looked over for any more upcoming maintenance issues (timing chain?, vanos?, etc.). I'll take care of any of those, as well as install track pads, racing fluid, sticky summer tires, and good suspension (typically Koni dual adjustable struts with whatever springs you want to run, on these cars).

    After that comes some more performance mods.. such as a front splitter and rear spoiler, lighter wheels, cat-back exhaust, redirecting air from underneath to the radiator (since aux fan will probably be gone), etc. Scroth DOT harnesses are also in the cards.. along with a rollbar and some other safety equipment (fire extinguisher).

    Looks are still important to me.. as is lighting. The car needs to have Euro headlights (most already do). Euro turns and tails are less important to me. I actually rather like the amber lights on these cars right now. I'll probably black out the chrome around the kidney grilles if I end up with a '95, but I'd leave the grilles and not upgrade to the 'later look' grilles.



    Why did I decide to buy an E36 M3?
    • I want a car that is faster than my wagon currently is. Not many cheaper cars are.
    • I want a RWD car
    • I want a well balanced car that is at least a little common to see on track, so there is some other experience to draw off of
    • I want a car with good aftermarket parts and tuning support
    • Reliability is important
    • I didn't want a project car. I would prefer to mostly take over on maintenance, fix a few things, and start enjoying
    • I knew the price range was likely going to be somewhere between $5 - 10k

    cars I did consider:
    • Porsche 944 (not easy/cheap enough to find cars, parts.. not very common on the track)
    • Miata (first gen (NA) are cheap'ish, but slow. Second gen (NB) are faster, but much more expensive and still not faster than my wagon. All are soft tops.. would be interesting to work with if I ever did decide to race. Still a good option though.)
    • E30 (great car, especially if you're going to race (where you can lighten it up much more and make faster). Not very fast when not extremely lightened or without swapped engines. Super popular makes it harder to find clean cars and parts.. getting old.. and good cars are as expensive as E36's)
    • E36 (also great car.. heavier, but can be lightened to be similar to E30. Similar aftermarket and community support. As expensive as E30's, but easier to find cars and parts, much newer cars, etc.)

    I don't think I seriously considered many other cars. The Porsche just never became much of a serious candidate for me.. and it really came down to the Miata, E30, and E36. The first two need serious mods or lightening to make faster than my wagon, but they're both great handling cars and good for more serious track days and racing. They're both about as expensive as cheaper E36's, if not more expensive E36's. The E36 is a great car as well with similar possibilities, but faster, etc. The E36 just made sense for what I wanted and needed.. a track day car that I can easily drive to & from the track, to events, and still have some fun in... I can work on it if I want to, parts are easy to find, there's a lot of other people tracking them, and they don't have to be super expensive.
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  4. #4
    Quote: Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Anyway, I am going to pick the car up from his work in south Seattle this Friday a little after noon and take it to South Lake European in Renton to have them do a quick drive and mechanical inspection of the car.
    Slight change in plans.. he got the afternoon off, so he's just meeting me at the shop at 3. This should work well.. plenty of time to look at the car and talk about things, if I like it.
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  5. #5
    I love these kinds of threads. They seem pretty rare babies people are normally to flame paranoid to dream publicly. I can't wait to watch the story play out of the course of a few years.

    I'm excited for you! Very excite!
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  6. #6
    Although you still should get an e21.
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  7. #7
    I like E21's.. just like I like most other 80s and 90s BMW's. But I don't want an older car right now. It's bad enough that I'm looking at a car with 190+ thousand miles today
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  8. #8
    been around the block a few times unimogken has a spectacular aura about unimogken has a spectacular aura about unimogken's Avatar
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    Awesome thread Joel!

  9. #9
    I'm buying the car..


    fixed or replaced in the last few years:
    • headgasket replaced, head work (polished, cleaned up, inspected, etc. ("refresh")).. cams upgraded
    • vanos replaced
    • timing chain replaced (I think?)
    • all cooling items replaced
    • clutch replaced
    • rear shock mounts replaced with reinforcements installed
    • new control arms with new ball joints and poly bushings
    • new poly rear trailing arm bushings with spacers to limit play

    Also, it looks like the whole car was resprayed some years ago.. before the seller bought the car (he picked it up around 3 years ago with about 150k on it). The driver's fender is probably a BMW OEM replacement (it has a tag, but it's been sprayed over). The paint is in good shape except for a few small chips and small rust spots. He does track the car a few times a year, and commutes with it sometimes (he also has an E39 M5). All work has been done at well known and reputable shops.



    problem areas:
    • rear transmission seal leaking and guibo/flex disc has some wear
    • oil leaks from vanos oil line, breather, and probably the oil pan (most expensive fix, but I'll get into there soon anyway to check oil pump nut and install baffle)
    • windshield has a crack and the "hood cowl cover" at the bottom of the windshield is pretty worn
    • muffler is rotting.. and one of the pipes was welded rather than bolted where you'd normally unbolt to upgrade to a cat-back, but it's ok for now
    • acceleration is a bit dead from around 3000-4000rpm and after about 6200rpm.. the chip tuning on the obd1 cars is a bit more crude than on the newer engines. It still pulls wonderfully beyond 4k and sounds amazing even without an exhaust
    • there's a few rattles (mostly interior).. but this is to be expected for a 190k E36
    • needs new 'undertray' underneath the radiator.. and might need a new driver's side brake duct
    • has some small paint chips and rust spots that I'll want to take care of quickly. The car itself looks to be in good shape

    the car's mods:
    • djauto Euro glass projector headlights with DDM Tuning HID kit (cheaper lights, but still immensely better than stock US lights) .. worth a couple hundred or so
    • Sparco R100 fixed back seats with Sparco adjustable seat rails. They're in good shape.. but not very comfortable. My OMP Champ seat is definitely going in. Worth around $200 each.
    • Bilstein Sport (?) dampers with stock springs.. rides fairly well
    • poly FCAB and RTAB bushings (rear bushings also have spacers in them that limit rear trailing arm play.. this is the way to go). New control arms.
    • Z3 shifter/Momo shift knob
    • CAI, Euro 3.5" intake/AFM, TRM chip, 24 lb injectors.. dyno'd at around 221hp. Should probably dyno a bit higher.. engine could be a bit worn.
    • doesn't have stock wheels anymore, but has two sets of light (~16 and 18 lbs) 17" wheels.. one with DWS's and the other with the RE-01's
    • AUX fan/fan clutch delete


    Overall the car is in really good shape. The interior is good.. AC runs really cold.. windows work great.. sunroof works great (but headliner piece is missing from it).. body is in good shape.. car is structurally sound and everything is really dry and pretty clean except in the oil leak areas. The tech that looked over the car is looking for an M3 track car himself and was considering buying the car if I didn't.


    I'll probably take it to the autocross next week (it has some worn RE-01 tires on it now) and maybe to a track day next month. It'll start seing work probably in September when I have money again (going to be a bit low this month).


    I'm paying $5200.. down from his current $5500 asking price, which is down from his $5900 asking price from that he had up earlier.

    I'm meeting him at his place tomorrow to pay for the car. I'll probably pick it up on Monday by riding public transportation from Lynnwood to Boeing Field (ugh..) and then driving it back home, unless someone wants to drive me to Maple Valley tomorrow afternoon, or to Boeing Field on Monday


    Last edited by joel; 2012.09.18 at 01:11 AM.
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  10. #10
    everyone probably knows me by now Jazzydub has a spectacular aura about Jazzydub has a spectacular aura about Jazzydub's Avatar
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    Sweet! Should make for a really fun track car.

  11. #11
    WOOT!!!








    I'm happy that now I'm not the only bimmer owner to frequent this forum. Congrats Joel!
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  12. #12






    Last edited by joel; 2012.08.10 at 17:22 PM.
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  13. #13
    Does it have a pair of those seats? If so, do you plan on changing them? And to get to my point, I want those seats.
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  14. #14
    Yup.. it's a matching set in good shape, and I'm definitely getting rid of them. I'm not sure what they should go for yet, but you can make me an offer. The seller is not small and 6'5".. and he really likes the seats.
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  15. #15
    $500? They're probably worth more. But, that's my seat budget.
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  16. #16
    everyone probably knows me by now Iroczgirl has a spectacular aura about Iroczgirl has a spectacular aura about Iroczgirl's Avatar
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    Congrats! At least you are quite below budget, so now you have the money to fix the problems and buy 'go fast' parts too.

  17. #17
    looks like they're all $300+ new, so $500 for both seems reasonable

    I'll look them over better tomorrow to make sure they are definitely in good shape
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  18. #18
    BMWCCA Puget Sound's "M Car Day" is at Griot's in a couple of weeks
    http://www.bmwpugetsound.com/events/...8217;s-garage/
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  19. #19
    so I'm picking the car up tomorrow.. a friend is willing to pick me up from Lynnwood and take me to Maple Valley to pick it up.
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  20. #20
    Are those seats grey cloth or black vinyl?
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  21. #21
    They're black cloth. They look just like most of the images I've seen when searching for the seats online.
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  22. #22
    NM. Cloth, yuck. Sorry for jumping the gun.
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  23. #23
    Haha.. not interested then?
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  24. #24
    Normal Member VWsEatRice is on a distinguished road VWsEatRice's Avatar
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    Quote: Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Haha.. not interested then?
    i might be

  25. #25
    Quote: Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Haha.. not interested then?
    No sorry. I really need black vinyl/leather.
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