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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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  #1  
Old 07-17-2011, 09:11 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
Don't Panic.
Location: Chicago, IL
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Mein Auto: 97 M3, 06 A6
Yet another rear suspension refresh DIY

I've had my 97 M3 for a while now, and aside from a few of the usual maintenance items, I haven't really dug in for any serious fixes. Aside from the failed bearing install a month and a half ago:

-heard a noise, deduced it was the front pass. side bearing.

-replaced front pass. side bearing.

-test drove.

-it was the rear bearing.

-commenced replacement of rear bearing.

*let me stop here and say, if you're EVER going to replace a rear bearing, detach the axle from the diff before you push it through the hub. I know this sounds obvious. I made this mistake.

-DESTROYED rear axle.

-The bearing didn't need to be replaced, it was the emergency brake hardware grinding on the inside of the rotor.

-(face palm)

-commence rear axle replacement.

-in the process of unbolting swaybar end link from wishbone, cracked endlink in half.

-(another face palm)

-replaced axle, replaced end link, removed ebrake hardware and threw it across my lawn.

-test drove - problem solved. (except my driveway is on a hill and I don't have an ebrake.

-commence flaming me for my stupidity.



Having spent quite a bit of time staring angrily at my well used rear suspension, I finally made the decision to replace, rebuild, refresh EVERYTHING below the the trunk. Here follows that quest. I'm sure I haven't broken my last part yet.
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2011, 09:20 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL
 
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Mein Auto: 97 M3, 06 A6
Step one: attain parts.

I decided that I couldn't do the job the right way unless I could take my time. I also decided that I couldn't be without my M3 all summer. My solution was to buy a complete rear suspension off of a 98 M3 that was being parted out in the area. I got a decent deal on it, and I figure when I'm done, I can refresh the parts that come off my car and sell them.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2011, 09:21 PM
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cj.surr cj.surr is online now
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Location: Rochester, NY / CT
 
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Wow, you've got some pretty bad luck there. I think this proves how bad it is to just throw parts at a problem... Especially when the part is a wheel bearing.
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2011, 09:57 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL
 
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Mein Auto: 97 M3, 06 A6
I decided that after powdercoating the major parts, it would be a shame to put all the same rusty nuts and bolts back on, so I set out to create a parts list and shop prices. Before I start with the part numbers, you should know this: I have friends that get discounts at the BMW parts dept. Even WITH the discount, ECS tuning is LESS EXPENSIVE>

Retail Price > Dealer Discount Price > ECS Tuning.

For real. Now you're going to have to pay for shipping $10-$12, but if you're ordering all the following parts, it still ends up being cheaper.

ALSO - please note the conspicuous lack of swaybar hardware. This is because it was replaced when I replaced my broken swaybar end link.

The following are all BMW parts w/ BMW part numbers. The prices are from ECS tuning. Quantities should be correct for a complete M3 suspension rebuild (again, without swaybar hardware). You can search all of these parts on the ECS website with the BMW part numbers. ECS ROCKS! (no I don't work for ECS)

Collar screw #33321139132 $4.16 qty 2
Self-locking collar nut #33326760668 $.47 qty 8
Collar screw #33326760389 $1.27 qty 2
Eccentric Bolt #33326772698 $5.48
Collar screw #33326760386 $1.03 qty 6
Eccentric Flat Washer #33321094653 $.49 qty 2
Lock Plate #33326760364 $5.56 qty 2
Hex bolt w/washer #33321090693 $5.37 qty 2
Hex bolt w/washer #33171090824 $4.24 qty 2
Stopper #33331132546 $3.17 qty 4
Collar nut #33311133463 $3.63 qty 2
Threaded Bolt #33332227291 $6.84 qty 2
Reduced-Shaft bolt #33326760361 $1.69 qty 2
Gasket Asbestos Free #33111211708 $1.65 qty 1 (ECS offers alt. part for less)
Wave Washer #7119932112 $.06 qty 8
Hex Bolt #7119932112 $.63 qty 4
Hex Bolt #7119914114 $.36 qty 4
Hex Bolt with Washer #33171136186 $1.68 qty 2
Rubber Mounting #33321092247 $7.95 qty 2
Rubber Mounting #33326770824 $7.95 qty 2
(In the event that you are purchasing camber arms, you most likely won't need these. Most aftermarket camber arms come with these bushings pre-installed.)

Ball Joint #33326775551 $9.97 qty 4
Rubber Mounting #33171134871 $7.02 qty 1
Rubber Mounting #33171134872 $11.29 qty 2




Next are the Powerflex parts. I actually didn't order the swaybar bushings because I'm not sure yet if I'm going to upgrade my swaybar.


Rear roll bar mounting (19mm) PFR5-504-19x2 $51.99
Rear subframe bushing (purple-street) PFR5-3606/3607 x4 $144.99
Rear trailing arm front bushing PFR5-3608 x2 $74.99


1 set of rear camber arms of your choice/budget.

I know I'm going to get angry comments about this, but I just don't see shelling out $$$ for the Turner part here. It's a pretty basic function. Straight bar. Adjustable. The only possible reason would be weight, and I don't track my car so a few pounds here and there isn't a huge deal to me.


It would also be advisable to visit the AKG website www.akgmotorsport.com and buy the trailing arm reinforcement plates and RTAB pocket reinforcement. If you're overhauling a pre-1997 M3 or any non-M3 e36 (with the possible exception of some 328's) they you NEED subframe mount reinforcements also. (not sold at AKG)

Rear swaybar reinforcement #RSP36 $35.00
RTAB pocket reinforcement #RTRP36 $50.00


This should be the lions share of the hardware you need, however it doesn't cover the hubs and bearings or brake parts at all. I'm sure I'll get to that later in the build though, and I'll post those part numbers at that time.

Last edited by m3me1138; 07-20-2011 at 10:07 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2011, 10:00 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL
 
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Dude, you're not kidding. Ironically, I was writing a friggin huge part list post of things I bought after that catastrophe when you sent me that.
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2011, 10:10 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 M3, 06 A6
Step two: Figure out how bad the damage is.

So I set about disassembling the new (used) suspension to prep the parts for powdercoating. I can strongly recommend two things here:

A. Remove axle nuts BEFORE you take the diff out.

B. Plan on needing new ABS sensors. If you end up not demolishing yours then you lucked out.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2011, 10:32 PM
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drive by72 drive by72 is offline
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Make sure to add this link to the useful threads sticky. Some good info here
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1997 328iS... HR coilovers, Brembo F40 calipers, camber plates, it needs a CUMMINS!!

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  #8  
Old 07-18-2011, 09:33 AM
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ethereal45 ethereal45 is offline
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One of the best places I've found to buy OEM BMW parts is from The BMW Parts Store, they have a thread over on bimmerforums and offer a 10% discount to forum members. I ordered about $200 worth of nuts and bolts for my suspension overhaul and they were great, and much cheaper than ECS.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2011, 09:52 AM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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No kidding!? I'm going to have to check that out. I'm far from done buying things. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:59 AM
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ethereal45 ethereal45 is offline
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http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1586003

I had a good buying experience with them, plus you can pay via paypal which is pretty nice. They have the best prices I've seen behind www.bmwmercedesparts.com, but their service is terrible.
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2011, 10:14 AM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL
 
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Wow, yeah you're right. I ran a few part numbers and they were cheaper even before the 10%. Oh well. I'll go through them next time. Thanks again for the tip.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:01 PM
EuroDriven EuroDriven is offline
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This thread looks great. Waiting ftw to appear.

Do you have a running total of cost so far? I am not sure how much powder coating and the sort would cost.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2011, 05:11 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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I have a spreadsheet at the office. When I get home I'll see if I can get a hold of it. As far as powdercoating. No. Clue. I'm preparing for the worst on that one.
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2011, 05:57 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGutmannnn View Post
This thread looks great. Waiting ftw to appear.

Do you have a running total of cost so far? I am not sure how much powder coating and the sort would cost.
Current Running Total:

$201.90 for hardware and small bushings
$271.97 for Powerflex bushings
$90 I got away cheap on my camber arms
$500 For the donor rear suspension (but I anticipate recovering some of this cost at the end when I sell my current suspension)


Like I said, I'm still not sure what the powdercoating is going to cost.


If any of you know a good, reasonably priced powdercoater in the Chicagoland area, that'd be a big help.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:09 AM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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I received my camber arms today. Having all these new parts sitting around is making me really anxious to get this thing done! I wish I had more time to work on it!
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  #16  
Old 07-20-2011, 06:23 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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I disassembled the diff today. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it'd be. When I have a little more time, I'll mock up the parts and do a little pictorial about how it comes apart.

I started to scrub the diff housing, but it's clear it's going to need more then just a wire brush. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to get this thing clean (suggestions welcome) but I do know I'm not sending it for powder coating. I'd rather give it a few thin coats of good spray paint so that it dissipates heat better. Anyway, here are a few "before" pics of the diff parts.
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2011, 08:53 PM
MikoPr MikoPr is offline
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take it to your closet machine shop and have them hot tank it for you it'll be the best 20-25 bucks spent. In Milwaukee we have a couple of good powder coating places. Depending on what you're coating expect 150-200 in costs
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:34 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL
 
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I was told that the powder coaters did the part clean up before they spray it. Do you really think I should get it cleaned beforehand? Anyway, thanks for your suggestions. I'd ideally like to find something in or nearer to Chicago, but if all else fails, I'll contact you for more info.


In other news (and I know this doesn't belong on a rear suspension DIY) I was on the highway yesterday and I realized that I had a dead-on-center feel to my steering and a vibration at high speeds. I decided that I need to put a little time into my front suspension as well. I'm finding that the consensus on rebuilding an M3 control arm is "you can't". However, never being one to settle for "NO" I've decided to find away. Attached is a picture of the front control arms I picked up to try and rebuild. I'll give a little update on this as I go as well. Wish me luck!
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:54 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
nothing.
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You said that you werent sending it for powdercoating anymore?


did you change your mind again and not tell us?
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  #20  
Old 07-21-2011, 11:02 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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No, no, I'm not sending the diff cover for powdercoating. The rest of the suspension is still getting powdercoated. (if I can find a place that doesn't want my first born and my house)
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:03 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
nothing.
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Isnt the first born the unplanned one usually?

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  #22  
Old 07-21-2011, 11:13 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Ha! Even then, bartering them is illegal.....I checked.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:14 PM
m3me1138 m3me1138 is offline
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Ok, so I meant to post my progress with my diff refresh (as a subset of the overall rear suspension DIY) but I ended up spending four hours just trying to get it clean and trying to figure out how to get my axle nuts off. I still took a ton of pics, but for the most part they are a jumble until I get further along with the diff.

Really need suggestions with these axle nuts guys. My problem is the axle is able to spin freely and there isn't much I can do to stop it. (no diff, not attached to a car, etc...) if any of you have run into this PLEASE let me know how you solved it. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:45 PM
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Heavy duty air wrench. It's the only way I can think you might unscrew the nuts without the unit in the car, the wheel on, and the tire on the ground to secure it.
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  #25  
Old 07-24-2011, 08:52 AM
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cj.surr cj.surr is online now
some kid
Location: Rochester, NY / CT
 
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Some guy tried removing the axle from my hub while it was out of my car... It was impossible. I was standing on the axle with 3 vise-grips, one huge adjustable wrench. The other guy was holding a bar between two lug bolts, and trying to loosen the nut with a breaker bar. And we still weren't able to get it.

I would try what Ken suggested.
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