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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #6951  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:43 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
BMW Farm, eh? Today it was more like the BMW mechanic's insane asylum ........

The 633 had a leaking water pump. Not undriveable, but it would lose maybe a quart an hour. You just had to keep an eye on it. Eddie ordered a water pump locally, and it came in today. I was going to do the valve adjustment at the same time, since I'd have the radiator out and could reach the crank pulley bolt easily to turn the crankshaft.

I took the rocker cover off first so it could be cleaned and painted (pictures later), then took the radiator and fan out. Finally went after the pump.....the M30 has SIX water pump bolts -facepalm here- so I just KNEW one of them was going to be trouble. Sure enough, the hardest to get to, most buried bolt, the very bottom one, was the culprit. All the rest made that satisfying "snap-and-loosen", but that bottom bolt just sort of 'oozed' a quarter turn and the head snapped off, and the fight was on!

Before you ask, yes, that's a BMW attitude adjustment tool next to the head.

I managed to get the pump off, but I had to break the bolt off to do so. I tried everything in my bag-o-tricks to get it out of the pump body before I resorted to breaking it off. Then I was left with a tiny nub of a bolt firmly stuck in the block. Can't grab it with Vise-Grips, can't get to it to drill on it. I tried welding a nubbin of steel on the remains of the bolt, but that was a no-go. I'm sleeping on it, and I'm going to go at it again in the mid-morning. I'm probably going to bite the bullet and pull the A/C condenser and grill so I can go straight in at it with the welding rod.
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Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?


Last edited by hornhospital; 10-09-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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  #6952  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:42 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Ken's BMW Farm Report

I inadvertently posted this in the wrong thread, so I'm reposting it here,

E24 update:

Tried in vain to (1) grip broken water pump bolt with Vise-Grips (2) weld an additional piece on said bolt to grip and remove it. Gave up, bit the bullet, pulled nose grills and passenger side grill, passenger side horn and the air conditioner condenser so I could reach through the opening and attack the bolt head-on. Drilled out the offending bolt nubbin EVER so carefully, cleaned the threads with a tap, and then put everything back. I got as far as connecting the lower radiator hose before my knee would no longer support me to work on it any more today.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #6953  
Old 10-11-2012, 09:17 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Excellent triumph, Ken. Oh, the pleasures of working on old cars!
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  #6954  
Old 10-11-2012, 10:09 AM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
So far I'm enjoying it. I haven't driven the car as much as I'd like to get a comprehensive sense of things, but on the few trips I've taken after installation, I'd say it's a worthwhile investment. It will probably take me a month or so to travel a super wide range of road surfaces to get a full impression. Thus far, I wouldn't say that it's night & day revelatory, but my car does feel a good amount more solid and composed, and that is exactly what I wanted. E36s are not the most rigid chassis out there, so every bit of reinforcement/bracing helps. You can certainly feel the improvement with it installed, and my car did seem to track straighter over a particularly uneven/rutted section of road near my house. As mentioned earlier, it also makes the car feel more solid, like a more substantial vehicle. Expansion joints & cracks in pavement seem to produce less noise inside the cabin, and it seems to make the car feel like it's screwed together better.

Given how little it cost, how easy it was to install, the benefits of stiffening up the chassis, and protecting the oil pan, it's a no-brainer to me. I'd definitely recommend it. If anyone wants pointers on how best to install one, I can walk you through it. I installed mine using hardware I that bought from a local hardware store, not from BMW, and the way I did it is not only easier to install, but provides superior anchor points without the need of buying or borrowing expensive tools.
Karl, you still feel this way about the X-Brace?

It seems so easy to install.

Thanks!
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  #6955  
Old 10-11-2012, 10:30 AM
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cj.surr cj.surr is offline
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On the topic of an xbrace... what do you guys think of a ghetto-fab xbrace? I was thinking of welding up a couple lengths of metal to the existing crossbrace and then welding that to the subframe. I could do it for free, so I think I will give it a shot. I don't see myself needing to remove it for anything less than a trans removal, so welding should be fine.
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  #6956  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:08 AM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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why not just weld up some steal with ancor points to attach to the crossbrace? would be almost like the x-brace...

but yeah, I don't see why that wouldn't work.
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  #6957  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:12 AM
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jonesin jonesin is offline
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... CJ ... ... ... Just to be sure that you are who I think you are, aren't you the guy who dropped his tranny 4 times in a one week span?
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  #6958  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:26 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFinanceGuy View Post
Karl, you still feel this way about the X-Brace?

It seems so easy to install.

Thanks!
Actually, yes, I still really like my x-brace, and I would do it all over again given the choice. The car just feels more solid now, and I notice it every time I get behind the wheel. And yes, installation is incredibly easy. I highly recommend NOT using the OEM BMW nutserts, since they don't have the ridges on the outer surface to minimize chances of spinning in the hole like the AK ridged nutserts do. Plus, the AK nutserts only cost me a few dollars from a fastener store, and I'm sure BMW charges considerably more for an inferior product. And then the rest of the hardware was cheap, too - just make sure you use grade 8.8 or higher. I had to buy a drill bit specifically for this job, and borrow a 1/2" drive drill, so you'll have to get your hands on those items, too.

Another thing is I just can't figure out why anyone in their right mind would recommend using the silly (and expensive) nutsert compression/plier tool which you see in some of the DIYs online. From what I've read, it's extremely difficult to use because the handles do not provide enough leverage to crush the nutsert down. The homemade "tools" that I made with hex-head bolts, nuts, and washers were both super cheap and incredibly easy to use. Honestly, the most annoying part of the entire installation was jacking my car up high enough to fit the drill underneath it. Everything else was a cakewalk.

Here's what the AK nutserts look like:


And here's what the OEM BMW nutserts look like:


The OEM BMW nutserts are also annoying because they have tapered heads, so they should really be counter-sunk to provide a flat mating surface, whereas the AK nutserts don't require this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
On the topic of an xbrace... what do you guys think of a ghetto-fab xbrace? I was thinking of welding up a couple lengths of metal to the existing crossbrace and then welding that to the subframe. I could do it for free, so I think I will give it a shot. I don't see myself needing to remove it for anything less than a trans removal, so welding should be fine.
I would definitely not do this. It would be an insane PITA if you ever have to remove or replace the oil pan, sub-frame, etc.
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For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 10-11-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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  #6959  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:30 AM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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Cj just just use the pre exsisting bolts and bolt a road sign. Thats what I did.

Why do you need a skid plate for a car that is so high?

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  #6960  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:12 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFinanceGuy View Post
why not just weld up some steal with ancor points to attach to the crossbrace? would be almost like the x-brace...

but yeah, I don't see why that wouldn't work.
The anchors would only prevent flex in one direction. If I am understanding you correctly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
... CJ ... ... ... Just to be sure that you are who I think you are, aren't you the guy who dropped his tranny 4 times in a one week span?
I has new clutch now... Shouldn't be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
I would definitely not do this. It would be an insane PITA if you ever have to remove or replace the oil pan, sub-frame, etc.
Meh, not really a huge hassle. The only welds I would have to grind down would be the ones on the subframe. I have at least 2 spare subframes if I grind down too much or whatever. I just did the oil pan, so that won't have to be replaced, and that's really the only thing.

I am planning on swapping everything over to my new E36 this summer, though (If I can get it painted). But again, grinding down the welds should be easy. Plus I have a fresh subframe in the new car. I think I'm just gonna try it out so I can tell if I wanna do it again in the new car. My car has kinda turned into a beater as far as aesthetics and easily replaceable parts since I know I'll be done with it soon enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight Thirty View Post
Cj just just use the pre exsisting bolts and bolt a road sign. Thats what I did.

Why do you need a skid plate for a car that is so high?

Sent from my Desire HD using Bimmer App
:shifty:


Lol, it's not for a skidplate, it's for stiffening up the chassis. Don't think that your road sign does that.
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  #6961  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:14 PM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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[QUOTE=ZeGerman;7127608]Actually, yes, I still really like my x-brace, and I would do it all over again given the choice. The car just feels more solid now, and I notice it every time I get behind the wheel. And yes, installation is incredibly easy. I highly recommend NOT using the OEM BMW nutserts, since they don't have the ridges on the outer surface to minimize chances of spinning in the hole like the AK ridged nutserts do. Plus, the AK nutserts only cost me a few dollars from a fastener store, and I'm sure BMW charges considerably more for an inferior product. And then the rest of the hardware was cheap, too - just make sure you use grade 8.8 or higher. I had to buy a drill bit specifically for this job, and borrow a 1/2" drive drill, so you'll have to get your hands on those items, too.

Another thing is I just can't figure out why anyone in their right mind would recommend using the silly (and expensive) nutsert compression/plier tool which you see in some of the DIYs online. From what I've read, it's extremely difficult to use because the handles do not provide enough leverage to crush the nutsert down. The homemade "tools" that I made with hex-head bolts, nuts, and washers were both super cheap and incredibly easy to use. Honestly, the most annoying part of the entire installation was jacking my car up high enough to fit the drill underneath it. Everything else was a cakewalk.

Here's what the AK nutserts look like:


And here's what the OEM BMW nutserts look like:


The OEM BMW nutserts are also annoying because they have tapered heads, so they should really be counter-sunk to provide a flat mating surface, whereas the AK nutserts don't require this.

QUOTE]

Thanks. I'm really wanting to do this. I was reading up the differences between the BMW nutserts and the AK Nutserts. I agree that the AK's seem to be the way to go. All the online diy's go the route of the AK's.

Found the brace for 165 at ECS. Might wait to see what chirstmas bonus looks like. I like to source the parts at different times though, meets my spending habits a bit better.

I drive on back roads 90% of the time, while smooth and not very bumpy, they are crowned and the car tracks to one side often. been reading the x-brace will help the car track better down the road.


CJ- take pictures of this weld up process... I'm not going that route, but would be interseted to see how it goes.
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  #6962  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:17 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is offline
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Yeah I'll definitely do a writeup if I go through with it. Will probably be during Thanksgiving break.
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  #6963  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:21 PM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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nevermind...





blond moment....



cept I don't really have hair, and its not blond....
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Last edited by TheFinanceGuy; 10-11-2012 at 12:38 PM. Reason: answered my own question :)
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  #6964  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:38 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is offline
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Aftermarket sway bars and strut bars, that's about it.
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  #6965  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:47 PM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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done and done...

I'm doing the RSM's and reinforement plates in Nov when I switch to winter wheels... and maybe x-brace then too?
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  #6966  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:51 PM
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bimmer claus bimmer claus is offline
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Trying to figure out a name for my car >.> .....made a ram air kit with the deletes for my fog lights from some steel braided tubing and old grills off my skidoo and a dremel tool
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  #6967  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:59 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFinanceGuy View Post
Found the brace for 165 at ECS. Might wait to see what chirstmas bonus looks like. I like to source the parts at different times though, meets my spending habits a bit better.
Yeah, ECS was the cheapest I could find when factoring in shipping, which is odd, because their prices and shipping rates have gone up a lot lately.
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  #6968  
Old 10-11-2012, 02:04 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Ken's BMW Farm Report 10-11-12

Buttoned up the M30 in the 633 and took it for a cruise. No leaks, runs straight up on the temp gauge, and the valves are SO much quieter after adjustment!

It still has an annoyingly high idle and surge, so I looked for the obvious...bad vacuum hoses, and boy, did I find them! The worst was the line to the fuel pressure regulator. It had a 2" split on the underside! I'm waiting on the big boxes from Pelican to arrive tomorrow, and the first thing I'm grabbing is the roll of vacuum hose to start replacing all of them.

I'd noticed the exhaust was, shall we say, throaty. I mean like THROATY. No drone, no rapping and popping, just really deep and rather loud. I'd been under it before, looking at the suspension bits, but paid no attention to the exhaust until today. Mystery solved. Custom-welded system. No cats, no resonators, just twin pipes back to about mid-car, then one larger pipe to the muffler, then the tiny twin pipes out the back. It's pretty weird. You hear the car idling and walk back and see those tiny pipes and go Sound clip coming when I get it idling correctly.
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BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?


Last edited by hornhospital; 10-11-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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  #6969  
Old 10-11-2012, 02:21 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Cool. Looking forward to the video. Sounds like you're making good progress on the old gal.
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  #6970  
Old 10-11-2012, 02:26 PM
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wash, clay bar, and wash again...

hopefully tomorrow wax job..
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  #6971  
Old 10-11-2012, 02:35 PM
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great progress on old shark nose glad to hear its coming along man!
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  #6972  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:38 PM
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that's a lot of work right there, ken...

can't wait for the vid...


cj, thought about doing something like that for cadence. wouldn't weld directly to the chassis, though....




df
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  #6973  
Old 10-11-2012, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivinfaster View Post
that's a lot of work right there, ken...

can't wait for the vid...


cj, thought about doing something like that for cadence. wouldn't weld directly to the chassis, though....




df
I wouldn't be welding to the chassis. Just to the crossbar and subframe.
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  #6974  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:32 PM
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Finally replaced my fuel filter. Never did it before on my car. I have it a quick bath too.

Stupid location for the filter btw....

Thanks for the filter Joey!


Here is the adapter used for the fuel pressure gauge:


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  #6975  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:37 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
How bad are your vacuum hoses?

This is the FPR vacuum hose from the 633. Hmmm, no wonder she was idling so strangely! That wasn't the only one that was bad, and I'm still chasing down the last vacuum leak, but it's WAY better now.
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Quotes to live by:
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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