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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 01-02-2014, 11:44 AM
Mr. Crimson's Avatar
Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
Kid in Queen City
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 380
Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
Post Mr. Crimson's E36 Adventure (pic update last page!)

Warning: TLDR
Hey everyone. I'm making this thread not only so I can track progress for my self and other benefits, but for your speculation, feedback, and admiration



A little backstory & how I acquired the car...

I'm the third owner. The owner before me, my neighbor, took very good care of it. It's an automatic 1993 325is with 170k something miles(why don't i know the exact number? keep reading). For those that don't know, the 325is is the naturally aspirated inline-six M50 engine, two-door sports model. It has an onboard CPU that tracks and displays many different things, all power controls, heated sport front seats, sunroof, a limited-slip differential and the VANOS variable valve timing. The interior leather and center console/dash is all in very good condition thanks to the window tint. The car has a very nice custom paintjob (very $$$, I have the paperwork) that is a nice darker metallic green with a hint of pearl dark-blue in the right light, and tires/rims that were taken from an M3, according to her. The head and tail lights were blacked out aftermarket, andt also has a $$$ window tint job. The sound system had some work done as well, with an aftermarket Kenwood stereo, and a small 4-channel Alpine amp mounted to the back seat in the trunk to drive the speakers. The front speakers were JL Audio Evo's, the rear was stock, and sadly the tweeters weren't working. She included the original owner's manual and case, and all the paperwork she could find for the work done to it in the last 4 years. These things include:
-Cooling system overhaul (radiator, belts, upper & lower hoses, t-stat housing and gasket, water pump)...done 2 years ago
-Rear shocks, mounts, valve cover gasket, plugs and boots...done 3 years ago
-Power steering system overhaul (reservoir, hoses, o-rings and clamps)...done 3.5 years ago
-Other minor things like basic maintenances, window and door seals and moulding, window motors, seat motors, etc
This car was my then-neighbor of 7 odd years. She had it since we moved in and I've loved it every day since then. Upon taking the car out for a test drive, it ran very nice, except for one thing which I mention below*. Engine was responsive, tranny shifted very quick and smoothly, the ride was nice, alignment checked out fine, and drove with no odd noises, ticking, rattling, etc. She gave it to me for a very very good price (let's just say the paintjob was more than I paid for the car), with a few known-problems off the bat. Those problems were:
-About a dozen penny-sized hail dents from a storm a few years back spanning the hood, roof, trunk, and one on the rear bumper. A quick quote from a PDR shop around the corner estimated $500 max to get them all out.
-The instrument panel needed replacing (this was potentially a costly replacement, but turned out to be mere dollars). None of the gauges worked at all. Including the speedo which meant the original mileage is forever gone and the whole year since it went out hadn't been tracked. However...
-It sat for a whole year with minimal to no driving (She replaced it with a new truck) so it badly needed a nice thorough tune-up.
-**It had this peculiar problem where, when you put the pedal to the floor, it would not kick down a gear and accelerate, the revs would kick up but wouldn't go any faster. Skeptical of this potentially deal breaking problem, I took it to a euro specialty mechanic recommended to me by my regular mechanic, and he was confident it wasn't the engine or the tranny, and said this was most likely the explanation...
-His checker threw codes for an O2 censor and a speed censor (Check Engine light).
Optimistic about his results, I made an offer and sealed the deal.

First things first, drove to an Autozone and replaced the disgusting and leaf-encrusted air filter. That turned off the Check Engine light and I'm assuming fixed the O2 censor reading...didn't fix the kick-down problem though. Then took it to a shop and did a high mileage, fully synthetic oil change, tire alignment and rotation.

In the next few days I went to a pull-a-part junkyard with a friend, and managed to find ONE e36 in the lot with the instrument cluster still intact. Upon swapping them and it working perfectly, I'm happy to report, that fixed the kick-down problem! I also replaced the bulbs, and swapped the housing with the original cluster because the junkyard one looked like, well, junk. At this point, I am very satisfied with myself and the car for fixing these problems for very cheap $$.

With all of the known "problems" fixed or out of the way, I took it back to my mechanic for a final review and diagnostics report. With a chunk of courtesy cash and a few hours of alone time with my new baby, I left my new mechanic to do his work. Fortunately, his results list was pretty short. He said it needed a new tensioner pulley, fuel filter, spark plugs, the power steering system needed an overhaul, and the valve cover gasket was leaking. Oddly enough, I have paperwork for the last 3 things being done as mentioned earlier. I guess that's what happens when the car isn't driven for a year, which means I'll have to keep a closer eye on everything else. Rubber and plastic freezes and cracks, seals stop sealing, things aren't getting oiled or expanding and contracting like they are supposed to, etc. Other than that, he said there were no other leaks, everything major looked and sounded good. Engine, tranny, brakes, suspension, exhaust all looked good. However during our first test drive together he noted that the exhaust sounded very loud and asked if it was stock or not...after the final diagnosis he said it was indeed stock and the reason why he suspected it was loud was because it hadn't been driven in a long time, and the metal had contracted or "shrunk," and that driving it will be the cure. Anyhow...

That was about a month ago.

So far I've replaced the steering wheel with an NRG racing wheel. The original wheel's leather was in bad shape, and the cover I put on it made the wheel seem huge which bugged the crap out of me. Along with the car's already very tight steering, I felt the replacement would be necessary and beneficial. A power steering flush, reservoir replacement, and a new steering wheel later, the car handles like a large go-cart and I love it. I've also done minor touch ups and small things like replacing the washed out hood and trunk roundels, replaced the rear speakers with some nice 6x9 JBLs via adapter mounts I found on amazon. They sound amazing btw, especially driven by that amp. Still need to get my tweeters worked out, but it sounds pretty damn good as for now. I've also tried to restore the headlights with decent results.



With the gasket, nut seals, and the "101 Performance Projects" book in the mail from Pelican, the plugs in-hand, and a new craftsman tool set, I'm ready to go and eager to get started on this adventure. This is the first real work in a long line of DIY upgrades, maintenance, and cosmetic work that I'll be putting into the car and I will update this thread every step of the way. I plan on using this thread as a way to track and post progress, ask questions, get feedback and suggestions from you guys, and a nice way to test out my new camera! Yes that means I will try to include pictures as much as possible.

My overall plan for this car is to make it last as long as possible. I'm talking 10+ years so that my kids will grow up to know it as Daddy's Bad-Ass Car (I'm newly married @ 22 years old). That means gas mileage as well as power gaining parts. Nothing that will hinder the longevity of the car's life. I'm fairly new to the mechanical and DIY scene but I've been around it forever, I am very good with my hands, and I have plenty of friends and relatives who are very smart with cars and their mechanical workings. I plan to learn quickly and do everything myself with minor help except for the major jobs like engine and tranny work. So that's why I'm here, I need your guys' help. For the few weeks that I've already been here I'm liking it a lot and can tell I will get all the help I need. So thanks in advance, and in return I'll include eye candy for you all

Finally... My name is Adam. You can call me that or Crimson, Mr. Crimson, Crimmy(old forum nickname), whatever you prefer. I'm here to stay.
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Last edited by Mr. Crimson; 05-05-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:45 AM
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Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
reserved for updates, notes, links, etc
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:45 AM
Mr. Crimson's Avatar
Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
Kid in Queen City
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 380
Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
This is the general outline for the life of this car (8+ years??). Assuming it doesn't get totaled or something heart-breakingly awful like that.
This will be a very slow endeavor. I work full time, will be in school for some of that, and am a husband. Not to mention most of this stuff costs several hundreds of dollars and will need to save up, budget accordingly, etc.
With that being said, please bare with me. Here goes...

==================================================
1993 BMW 325is Coupe Laguna Green

Everything listed in this document is in chronological order or guesstimated to nearest possible.
Bold = Done

The Basics (completed as of 11/26/2013)
-Air Filter (Check Engine light turned off, fixed O2 censor reading)
-Instrument cluster replacement (included housing swap & new bulbs, also fixed kick-down problem)
-Tire Alignment & Rotation, Oil Change (synthetic, high mileage) @ Griffin Bros. & new oil cap
-Restored headlights (Turtle Wax kit)

-Replaced BMW trunk and hood emblem roundels (genuine OEM)
-Rear deck 6x9 adapter mounts & speakers (JBL GTO938)
-Aftermarket Steering Wheel (NRG 320mm, boss kit hub adapter)

[Updated] Bold below was completed through October 2014.

february '14
-Power Steering minor overhaul (reservoir replacement, fluid flush and fill w/ Castrol Import Transmax ATF)
-Replace Valve Cover Gasket (Elring Klinger)
-Replace Spark Plugs (NGK BKR6EK)
-Lubricate Steering Bearing with PB Blaster
-Debaffle Airbox & Modify Brake Duct
-Replace Hood Shocks

-Replace Fuel Filter
-Change Transmission Fluid
-Fixed Fuel Leak (Replaced and reconnected lines)

april '14
-Coolant flush
-Install Door Speakers
-Fix Loose Rattling Doors

-Install Painted M3 Front Bumper
-Sparco strut bar
-New Summer Tires
June '14

-Koni Str.t with H&R Sport kit
-Lemforder SB links front and rear
-TMS strut/shock mounts & reinforcement kit


-Replaced Windshield
-Install Painted Rear Lip Spoiler (Laguna Green)
July '14

-New Timing Chain Tensioner (M3 single-piece upgrade)
-New Drive Belt Pulley



Immediate Plans (as of November '14)
-Performance Chip
-Stoptech Drilled Rotors & Pads all around

Sooner-than-later Plans
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My big (but minor) motor refresh project = $302
Valve cover gasket...........$36 pelican
VCG strip&paint................$20 misc.
Spark plugs .....................$35 AAP
oil change w/ filter ...........$50 AAP
plug boots .......................$40 pelican
upper chain tensioner .......$52 pelican
timing chain rail ...............$19 pelican = $252

cam locking pin ................$7 toolsource (32)
vanos wrench................... $8 toolsource (37)
camshaft holder ...............$35 toolsource (164) <--first cost
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-All new belts, tensioners, and pulleys

I'm aiming for the new year to be some where around here

-A proper cold-air intake (like this one)
-OBX Catback exhaust (or RSC36 when I get rich )
-SS Brake Line
-Brake fluid flush

Future Plans
-Cooling System Complete Overhaul before summer hits
-Five speed swap before the summer's over
FORCED INDUCTION!!
==================================================

Feel free to comment and critique, suggest things I've left out, etc. Cheers!
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Last edited by Mr. Crimson; 11-06-2014 at 02:46 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2014, 02:13 PM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 128i ///M Sports Pkg
My two cents: forget an AWD or AWS (all-wheel steering) conversion. The latter is impossible without (probably) a few million in R&D, since as far as I know it's never been done on an E36. It's been done on various Nissans from the 90's - mostly with less than stellar results from what I've read. The new 991 GT3 has it, and it's supposedly good. I'd forget about it, after all the E36 M3 got C&D's best handling car award of the 90's. Steal some M3 steering/suspension components from the M3 parts bin and you'd be good to go.

AWD is also nigh impossible. Since BMW never offered AWD on the E36 generation iirc, you'd be looking at custom parts. Not impossible, as similar things have been done before, but very very difficult and expensive. Possibly impossible, as I understand the E36 to have a very cramped hood, so fitting front diff and driveshafts in there is probably a no go. Sorry.

Good news: a manual conversion has been done many times, and is pretty simple. Mostly plug and play, with some electronic fiddling from what I've read. I'd suggest waiting for the auto to die (which Mike Miller tells us in an inevitability - I'd guess 150k-250k if properly maintained), then go grab a manual tranny from a donor car (plus the auxiliary parts - search for other people's conversions for parts lists).
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:46 PM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 128i ///M Sports Pkg
More commentary: those wheels definitely aren't from an M3, but they are BMW-style. Can't tell if they're OEM without seeing them in person, but close enough. If you want upgrades to 17" (I think that style wheel is a 16", also can't tell without detailed pics), M3 wheels are available aplenty. If you're going to recolor wheels, I suggest powercoating for durability. Personally, I prefer the stock silver, but to each his own Gunmetal might go nicely with your green though. If you change wheels, I suggest going with a square setup as well (this affects your choice of tires).

Regarding the racing seat + 5 point harness: The first question I would have is whether you have plans to track the car. Yes? Well, tracking isn't a particularly cheap hobby, nor is it good for longevity. It's not disastrous, but it's accelerated wear/tear. But if no? I've "heard" (only heard) that having racing harness w/o a cage is deadly in a rollover due to the lack of give in the system compared to a standard 3-point. You'd have to do more digging into the matter to verify that (or disprove it). Also, racing harnesses aren't particularly comfortable or practical on the street. Forget opening your glovebox at a light, or swiveling around to look elsewhere, or a reaching for an ATM or drive-thru bag, or many other simple tasks you'd take for granted on a daily basis. As far as racing buckets go - reclining models don't really save weight at all compared to stock seats so they're not really suggested ever. Fixed buckets *can* save weight depending on the model, but they definitely impinge on practicality and general comfort. I would probably suggest getting some M3 vaders from someone who's dumping his old seats, or even someone elses sports package seats, since it looks like you just have the plain-jane seats.

Also, since it's an E36 make sure the rear subframe is good to go. I forget what the problem is, something to do with lack of reinforcement causing structural issues. Chances are it's already taken care of/good to go as its both plenty old to have had problems show up and it was onced-over by your mechanic, but I thought I'd throw that out there.

Nice car, welcome to the forum!
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2014, 03:26 PM
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Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
Kid in Queen City
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 380
Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
Thanks for the words of wisdom!! Greatly appreciated. The all wheel drive and steering was something my friends and I were talking about. They talked about a HICAS (high-capacity active steering) kit that you can get for your rear, saying that it was already "built in as an option." But hell, what do they know?? As for the AWD, thanks for the info. It was more of an unrealistic wish anyhow. That would probably drop my power as well, since the motor is working to push four wheels instead of two.

As far as the racing seat, you're right. I've actually been looking at the vader seats and really enjoy them. A nice set of those will definitely be in her future.

And the tranny. My car is in it's mid 170's and the transmission still feels excellent. The plan is to swap out the auto box when it dies, which probably won't be for 5+ years. That gives me time to save up. Why dump a good tranny? After all, the gameplan is to make her last as long as possible. (giggity?)

That being said, I will be impatiently waiting for the day my tranny dies For the past 2 years all I've driven were sticks, and I miss it so bad. My wife drives my 2009 Kia Optima five-speed and honestly it feels quicker and more responsive than my bimmer. Don't get me wrong, my car is not lacking and I love it's power at full throttle. But the auto tranny hides so much of it and just makes it feel sluggish.
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Last edited by Mr. Crimson; 01-14-2014 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:54 PM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
Just a kid with a toolbox
Location: Doylestown PA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 675
Mein Auto: 330ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crimson View Post
Thanks for the words of wisdom!! Greatly appreciated. The all wheel drive and steering was something my friends and I were talking about. They talked about a HICAS (high-capacity active steering) kit that you can get for your rear, saying that it was already "built in as an option." But hell, what do they know?? As for the AWD, thanks for the info. It was more of an unrealistic wish anyhow. That would probably drop my power as well, since the motor is working to push four wheels instead of two.

As far as the racing seat, you're right. I've actually been looking at the vader seats and really enjoy them. A nice set of those will definitely be in her future.

And the tranny. My car is in it's mid 170's and the transmission still feels excellent. The plan is to swap out the auto box when it dies, which probably won't be for 5+ years. That gives me time to save up. Why dump a good tranny? After all, the gameplan is to make her last as long as possible. (giggity?)

That being said, I will be impatiently waiting for the day my tranny dies For the past 2 years all I've driven were sticks, and I miss it so bad. My wife drives my 2009 Kia Optima five-speed and honestly it feels quicker and more responsive than my bimmer. Don't get me wrong, my car is not lacking and I love it's power at full throttle. But the auto tranny hides so much of it and just makes it feel sluggish.
Personally I would move the 5 speed swap to the "sooner rather then later" area. Who cares if you are taking out a working GM automatic trans. Makes a lot more sense then a CAI or painting your rims, considering a 5 speed swap will make you car so much better in every way imaginable. Quicker, more (1000000x) fun to drive, better gas mileage, etc. And it's not that hard.
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1995 Hellrot Red 318ti - 100% Rebuilt Chassis/Motor M50 3.0 Stroker

1992 Black 325i 5 Speed w/ 279k - Parted out
1998 Black 328i 5 Speed Restored w/179k - Sold
1995 Black 318ti MTech 5 Speed w/146k - Sold
1992 White 325i Auto - Lemons race car
1995 Green 318ti 5 speed - OBD1 S52 Race Car
1995 Black M3 5 speed w/191k - Fathers
1995 Blue 318ti 5 speed w/96k - Brothers

And 2 more just for parts
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:23 PM
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Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 380
Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakobie1086 View Post
Personally I would move the 5 speed swap to the "sooner rather then later" area. Who cares if you are taking out a working GM automatic trans. Makes a lot more sense then a CAI or painting your rims, considering a 5 speed swap will make you car so much better in every way imaginable. Quicker, more (1000000x) fun to drive, better gas mileage, etc. And it's not that hard.
Bro I agree with you 100%!! I love driving the manual. But this is the difference between a need a want. It changes from a want to a need when the auto tranny fails and I'm down to buying a new car or fixing it. I would do it first thing tomorrow if I had the money. But that's all this comes down to...At the point in my life where priorities are needed and I don't have thousands of dollars to dump on this car in one sitting. As explained in my first post, it's a slow and long work-in-progress. Small things like the cai (slight hp and mpg boost) and painted rims, bumpers, etc. is chump change compared to a tranny or engine swap. Especially since I'm doing all of that small stuff myself and not needing to pay my mechanic the big bucks.

But mark my words...it will happen one day

Hypothetically...how much could I sell a good tranny for?
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:27 PM
CC516 CC516 is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
 
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Posts: 80
Mein Auto: 98 328is
Follow these instructions, enter the last 7 of your VIN and you can check the options that came with your car from the factory. That way you'll know for sure if you have an LSD, or from what ive read on here you can check the diff for an "S" stamp on it (someone correct me if im wrong). Good luck with the car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akibo View Post
Here's one I didn't see listed yet:

Find out which (optional) extras were fitted to your BMW from the factory:
bmw.com/ETK



Click on electronic parts catalogue and input the following:
U: eu111111
P: bmwetk1

Input the last 7 digits of your vehicles VIN and click on the button ->>


Then click on "options" above:


Once you've clicked "options" a pop up is displayed with list of (optional) extras fitted to your vehicle:


Credits to Ivari from bmw-club.ee for the find



Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:40 PM
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Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
Kid in Queen City
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 380
Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
Thanks very much CC516!! Turns out I do have the 25% lsd! Says nothing about the vanos though. How can I find out exactly which M50 engine i have?
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:50 PM
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jonesin jonesin is online now
The Canadian Prick.
Location: Fort McMurray AB
 
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Mein Auto: '96 328is Cosmos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crimson View Post
Thanks very much CC516!! Turns out I do have the 25% lsd! Says nothing about the vanos though. How can I find out exactly which M50 engine i have?
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...t=vanos&page=2

Yours being a '93 would be VANOS. Non-VANOS was '92 only.

btw: phenomenal write up. I look forward to following your progress!
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:30 AM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 128i ///M Sports Pkg
Also just noticed, it appears one of the previous owners already swapped in European taillights/front corners (OEM or not, can't tell. BMW lenses usually have that stamped on them iirc). You can tell by the lack of the ugly amber on each end. Another upgrade you may consider is getting European headlight assemblies as well, since they're made of glass and therefore will never haze or turn yellow.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:47 PM
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Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
Ahh good catch my friend! I have forgotten to mention it. I could not stand the orange As for the lights, I plan on getting a new pair of factories . I want to keep the OEM look, plus they are cheap compared to the others.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:14 PM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
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Location: Doylestown PA
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Mein Auto: 330ti
A more rare 3.91 LSD too. Nice!
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1995 Hellrot Red 318ti - 100% Rebuilt Chassis/Motor M50 3.0 Stroker

1992 Black 325i 5 Speed w/ 279k - Parted out
1998 Black 328i 5 Speed Restored w/179k - Sold
1995 Black 318ti MTech 5 Speed w/146k - Sold
1992 White 325i Auto - Lemons race car
1995 Green 318ti 5 speed - OBD1 S52 Race Car
1995 Black M3 5 speed w/191k - Fathers
1995 Blue 318ti 5 speed w/96k - Brothers

And 2 more just for parts
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:17 AM
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Brake_L8 Brake_L8 is offline
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Location: Fairfax, VA
 
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Mein Auto: '09 128i | '97 M3
Are you positive the car has a LSD? A very large majority of the E36 non-M's were open diff cars.

Your wheels are from an E82 128i non-sport and are 16's.

Coming from a track junkie with a mostly-prepped M3 that's still street legal... don't do a racing seat and harness. It makes street driving the car suck exponentially. Get vaders if you like the look (I think they're uncomfortable) or some E36/E46 sport seats. The E46 M3 seats drop right in with minimal modifications to the rails and car wiring, and they are kickass. If you do a racing seat type of thing, you need to have full safety upgrades (i.e. roll bar, harnesses, no airbag system). Otherwise, keep it 100% street-friendly. I would recommend ditching that NRG wheel. It looks kinda silly and there's no airbag. My roommate (SlimKlim on here) bought a really nice wheel from a guy overseas, who takes stock wheels, makes them thicker and re-skins the leather, and sells them as "like new." Expensive but worth it - looks much nicer than a 4-spoke but retains the airbag.

Anyway, welcome to the forums! I'm Jake, we all hang out in the OT thread, and feel free to click on all of our signature links if you want to read project threads for inspiration!
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:37 AM
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Mr. Crimson Mr. Crimson is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 1993 325is Coupe
Thanks Jake! According to the website posted above, I have a 25% limited slip diff. Have I actually looked at the diff from underneath the car? No not yet.

I have decided to skip the seats as for now. At least until the existing leather gets worn enough that it needs a replacement. Also, I love my NRG wheel I understood the implications of no airbag and did it anyway. After driving my friend's, I had to do it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:29 AM
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Time2Fly Time2Fly is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 318i 1994 325i 1998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brake_L8 View Post
Are you positive the car has a LSD? A very large majority of the E36 non-M's were open diff cars.

Not entirely true, most cold weather packaged E36 will have a LSD. I have three of them in my driveway right now. Most auto tragic E36 will have a 3.91 gear ratio at least everyone I have encountered have. If your looking one I have 2 to trade for a ratio around 3.7 or 3.5 LSD. I have done the trany swap and it not difficult at all and not that expensive, mine cost around $650 including everything but I looked long and hard to find the best deals and had a complete donor car. If you can get your hands on a ZF manual tranny you would starting off good everything else needs to come from one car if possible if not keep track of what you get and what you will need. Read through some my post to get more info on this. Start buy the parts now not so much the trans but the little stuff because that's where the money adds up quickly. I spent more in all of the little things than I did for all of the stuff from the wrecking yard, what I got there was all the big stuff.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan Engineer View Post
I've "heard" (only heard) that having racing harness w/o a cage is deadly in a rollover due to the lack of give in the system compared to a standard 3-point.
It's not a lack of give or lack of a roll cage issue, it's improper tensioning on the racing harness. In a serious impact or a roll over, the pre-tensioner on the 3 point belt fires and pulls it so tight you can barely breath. You typically have a friction burn mark on the left front part of your shoulder (driver) and some bruising on your chest from the speed and severity of the tightening. No one manually tightens their race harness like this for street driving, and many don't even get them tight enough for the track. Without being this tight, neither the standard 3 point or the racing 4/5 point really work very well at containing you in place in the seat.

Driving without an air bag and without a HANS device is just asking to get a basilar skull fracture (Dale Ernhardt fracture) in a severe impact. The sole purpose of the air bag is to prevent your head from pivoting forward severely and protecting you from this FATAL injury.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:10 PM
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So I figured it's time to give you guys an update.

Got my bimmer back from my mechanic today. He was fixing a rather large fuel leak. Replaced bad lines and made sure everything was connected properly. My car was leaking gasoline so bad it was "raining" underneath my car before I got it to him.

Anyhow, also had him change my auto tranny fluid and fuel filter while he had it up. Now, I'm glad I got this all done at the same time. The car is running better than ever so I'm happy with the results. However, I've learned a "valuable" lesson. Do not take it to the pro unless you can NOT do it yourself or it's an emergency. With 80 bucks an hour, the price adds up very quickly. With those 3 things, it ended up being almost $600. Really, I was planning on doing the filter and ATF change myself. But since she made a surprise visit to the shop I decided to go the "convenient" route and have it done professionally. My wallet hates me for this. I could have done it all myself for a third of that. But in the end I am happy.

I'm happy to report that completes my maintenance check list for the time being. Except for the sea-foam which I am going to do in the next few days, she's running very good with no leaks, weird smells or noises. The odd bearing related noise I've heard recently has gone away completely since it warmed up.

In the mean time, I changed my valve cover gasket and replaced the plugs at the same time. It went smoothly, and I will post pictures soon.

Cosmetics? I've installed an M3 rear diffuser into the back bumper, and I'm picking up my new M3 front bumper from my bodyshop tomorrow. I must say, I swung by today to get a sneak a peak. He had just finished painting the moulding trim pieces(they were still wet when I walked in), and the finished bumper looked very slick. The Laguna Green metallic paint is just gorgeous.

I'll get a good picture update in tomorrow or the next day. I think you guys will really like the car, so I'm excited to it to show you!

Until then, I'll be anxiously waiting to get off work and go pick up the bumper. I might even install it. But we'll see how the day goes. Cheers!
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:23 PM
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FYI, $80/hr. for a mechanic is DIRT CHEAP these days. BMW stealerships charge about $130/hr. More than that some places, less at others.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:48 PM
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Yes I know that. He is a good guy. He's a european specialist and has owned that garage for 25 years. I've gotten on pretty good terms with him, so I know the work is genuine and quality.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:32 PM
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Alright guys, here she is!





















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Old 02-11-2014, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crimson View Post
Ahh good catch my friend! I have forgotten to mention it. I could not stand the orange As for the lights, I plan on getting a new pair of factories . I want to keep the OEM look, plus they are cheap compared to the others.
One thing I did notice about your headlights and I know this is an old quote is that one of them is newer looking than the other. that usually indicates that it has been in some sort of accident. Not saying that it has but the plastic cover on these are kinda hard to break, plus the gap between the hood and the nose section is a little wider than it should be or it could be the lighting. Anyway something you might want to check on. Love the Green color.

How much did it cost to have the front bumper painted?
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Time2Fly View Post
One thing I did notice about your headlights and I know this is an old quote is that one of them is newer looking than the other. that usually indicates that it has been in some sort of accident. Not saying that it has but the plastic cover on these are kinda hard to break, plus the gap between the hood and the nose section is a little wider than it should be or it could be the lighting. Anyway something you might want to check on. Love the Green color.

How much did it cost to have the front bumper painted?
If you are referring to the pic in my first post, that is a comparative photo of old vs restored. I'm fairly certain it's never been in an accident, but now that you mention it I will have to find out

I took it to the same bodyshop that the PO had done all of it's work done at. The guy impressively remembered the car with explicit details. He even had a small amount of paint and some moulding pieces left over from years ago that he gave to me for free. He charged me $150 cash to do it personally, instead of doing it "through the shop."

As far as headlights go, these are actually next on my list. ebay I hate the old hazy headlights on my car. They are the last thing holding the car back from looking not-old.

Also, I'm currently debating fog lights vs. no fog lights, or tinting them, if you guys would like to comment.
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Last edited by Mr. Crimson; 02-11-2014 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:54 PM
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DDM tuning has some good deals on headlights and fog lights. I would keep the fog lights. That makes sense about the difference in your headlights but the reason I mentioned it was because of the way the hood looked compared to the front nose piece. After looking at your more recent pictures it doesn't appear to be that way. It looks fantastic. I want to get the M3 bumper for mine.


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