BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)

BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X) (
-   E36 M3 (1992-1999) (
-   -   Intro/M3 Build Journal (

cwsly Fri, Feb-24-2017 09:17:28 PM

Introduction/Supercharged M3 Build Thread
Hello everyone, I figured it's about time I introduce myself to the M3 community. I'm Conner, 24 years old, graphic designer and amateur photographer by day, massive car fanatic the rest of the time.

My most recent acquisition is my 185k mile 99 M3 coupe, Cosmosshwarz over Mulberry with all the options. I picked it up about 10 months ago 100% stock besides K&N drop in filter and UUC Corsa catback exhaust. It had been enthusiast owned its entire life, but it's a New Mexico car... Meaning the sun hasn't done her well. Paint is a little faded, front seats are a little worse for wear, plus she was in a mild front end collision a few years back that was never fixed so it's safe to say the car is a bit of a project lol. But, for under 4k as the purchase price and being extremely well maintained mechanically, I think I did alright.

Originally the M3 was bought strictly as a flipper. I saw potential and was going to do a quick fixer upper and call it a day, but it didn't take long for me to fall in love and decide that the car would be getting a full restoration, but would stay 100% in it's stock form, and miles were no concern... It's still the daily driver. It would also be budget minded, spend the right money in the right places but always hunt for deals.

Being that I didn't budget putting money into this car, something had to go... So out went my turbo 93 Cobra (still sad about that one), and in came a whole bunch of M3 parts. The entire OEM cooling system was ordered, top to bottom from the local dealer, door panel refresh was done, new window internals, a used set of OEM HK speakers (RIP to the old ones, bless their blown souls), and after months of searching I finally found a fairly good condition set of Mulberry Vader's for a price that I could live with. Also locally sourced a very clean Cosmo hood, front bumper, and some new OEM headlights to replace my crinkled/broken ones. All of these parts are still collecting dust to this day... Damn only having one working car lol.

Well, fast forward a few months of daily driving and good old me finally got the mod bug... Originally I just wanted to do a Koni/Eibach setup and call it a day, but then along came the supercharger. A local guy is preparing to LS swap his M3, and selling his AA Level 2 supercharger kit to fund it. Well, I just happened to have an LS1 I was getting rid of so I figured hey, why not live a little? So being the car would now be making close to 400 WHP, I now knew that a basic suspension setup would only last me a few months before I got tired of it. Now I'm looking into a bunch of AKG poly suspension bits, BC Racing coilovers, Whiteline sway bars, a Dinan strut brace, reinforcing everything, UUC shifter, South Bend clutch with LTW single mass flywheel conversion, etc etc... So now my flipper turned budget minded daily has become a nearly $10k build. Funny how things just snowball right? Haha :screwy:

Anyway, onto the pictures. I'll throw in some of my car history along with the M3 just because hey, why not? We all need some variety in our lives. Stay tuned for updates/questions as they arise, and I'll try to keep this thread as alive as possible while work goes on :hattip:

Here's the one that started it all. '90 GT, full Cobra body kit, perfect paint, every Steeda road race part in the catalogue thrown at it, cammed, Corbeau seats, built trans. I was 19 and thought it was the coolest car on the planet. Unfortunately it never ran right, so I sold it after a year.

After the Mustang's engine problems, I was so pissed at it that I sold it for a Camaro lol. It was an 01 SS LS1/6 speed T top car, black on tan leather interior. Super fast and cool but never really did it for me, I got bored and sold it after about 6 months.

Up next was my WRX. It was an 02 wagon, built STI motor swap, 18G turbo, built auto trans with 4500 RPM stall converter, and AWD. It was a rocket ship, but even with a built trans it was plagued with issues from day one, and I couldn't keep it together for more than a few weeks at a time so sadly, I had to let it go. Still miss that one to this day, and if I had the opportunity to get it back I'd do it in a heartbeat.

After the WRX, I wanted something stock/reliable so I picked up the GTO. It's an 04 6 speed LS1 car, W40 40th anniversary edition so one of 800 ever made in this color. But naturally I couldn't leave it alone, so over the years I've done simple motor bolt ons (it's always been fast enough for me), and BC Coilovers with custom camber mounts and eccentric rear camber bushings in order to clear Squared 285/30/18 RE71r's needed to make this heavy tank go around a corner (epic tires BTW). Also has some other fun stuff, BMR strut brace, CTS-V 6 piston/4 piston Brembo's, a few Aussie parts here and there, painted Carbon hood, etc etc. Finally after 4 years of owning it, the LS1 is going away for a cammed dry sump LS3 crate motor. It should be nearly 500 whp and around 3400lbs when I'm all done.

Here's the night I got it.

About 2 years into ownership when I went through a lame "stance" phase. At least the MPar's were cool?

Finally, here's how it looked just before I pulled it apart for the swap.

After owning the GTO for a while, I came along an epic deal on this 93 Cobra. Had a forged bottom end, 10th Anniversary Terminator Cobra red/black interior, fresh paint, and an On3 turbo kit. Made 507/536 to the wheels and absolutely hauled! But, all good things must come to an end. I'm sure I'll regret selling it one day, but oh well. That's how it goes.

And finally, the M3!

The one semi decent shot I have of it... Lol.

And now come the potato shots... Here's the day I brought it home back in April of last year. Damn, has it really been that long?

Fun cruise with my buddy's Trans Am. Let's just say he was a little upset when he found out the M3 could actually keep up with his mighty LT1. :parrot:

The bumper/hood damage I inherited. Ouch :thumbsdown:

Sexy NM sun damage... More ouch :thumbsdown:

Finally things start getting better. The new to me, less broken OEM M3 bumper and nose panel complete with single yellow fog light mod! Note to self, I still need to change that... Also took this opportunity to switch to chrome kidney grills, the matte black never really did it for me. Chrome felt much classier, and added some contrast to the black monotony everywhere.

Bath time! Tried paint restoration but it was useless... Paint is a little too far gone, oh well.

Headlight buff... Didn't quite come back perfect, but 100% better than before! :thumbsup2:

Trim restoration. I'm a little OCD. Also filled in some rock chips/flaking paint with Sharpie... For a temp fix, it actually matches Cosmos very well lol.

Finally, the finished product and some snow cruise shots from last week. For the minimal effort I put into it temporarily looking decent, it actually came out pretty well. Now, just a few more suspension parts to buy and it'll be time to bring her back to life, the right way. I can't wait!

englishtom1596q Fri, Feb-24-2017 10:11:04 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Very cool and good job getting it back into shape. You've had quite the collection of cars, surprised you settled on an M3.

cwsly Fri, Feb-24-2017 11:04:00 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Thanks. I know it's a bit of a departure from what I've had, but I've always wanted an M3. You can only have so many V8's before they all start feeling the same, I wanted something different. I almost pulled the trigger on one several times before, but something always seemed to come up. Almost ended up with an original Dinan SC Estoril over Modena sedan with under 100k several years ago, but the guy backed out last minute. Guess it wasn't meant to be.

Side note, I just did a further inspection on my spare Vader's and it turns out they're heated, something I've always wanted in this thing. Nice! :thumbsup:

cblock Sat, Feb-25-2017 03:19:48 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Pretty good car history! Keep everyone updated with the restoration!

legacyej25 Sat, Feb-25-2017 03:30:16 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Nice snag for 4k. Looking forward to seeing you give it a second life.

propchef Sat, Feb-25-2017 03:53:27 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Welcome and nice to see so many e36s being treated to some TLC. Looks like you have some work ahead of you but it comes around a bit at a time. Looking forward to updates.


It had been enthusiast owned its entire life
Obviously an S&M enthusiast.

Tove Sat, Feb-25-2017 04:28:41 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Awesome man, good work

JitteryJoe Sat, Feb-25-2017 06:51:27 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Great bringing back to life an well worn M3! Love seeing this.

cwsly Mon, Feb-27-2017 05:55:41 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Quick update, drivers window motor went out on me for the second time in a year... A little bugged about that. Ordered an eBay replacement, and naturally the seller shipped me a passenger side motor instead... Even more bugged about that.

On the plus side, got my girlfriend's E28 535i up and running after sitting for 4 months collecting parts (and dust). It'll assume daily duty for now, and that'll finally let me start real work on the M3. Sweet!

Suspension is the first to be ordered.
Up front:
New OEM BMW control arms with AKG adjustable lollipops.
OEM BMW tie rods

Out back:
-AKG black subframe and diff mount bushings
-Rogue Engineering RSM's with reinforcements
-Lemforder RTAB's with AKG limiters and RTAB/Sway bar reinforcement plates
-Upper and lower OEM ball joints
-Godspeed eBay camber arms (I know, eBay trash but they're adjustable, run a ball joint rather than a junk bushing, and weak enough to remain collapsable if I hit a curb or something. I won't be tracking the car often, if at all, so I may as well save money where I can.

And of course BC Coilovers to top it all off. My list sound about right?

westopher Mon, Feb-27-2017 06:04:28 PM

Re: Intro/M3 Build Journal
Skip the BC coilovers. They aren't great, and they aren't cheap enough to be that mediocre. ISC, KW V1, ST, GC school are all decent, relatively cheap coils.

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:14:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2017