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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Sat, Sep-29-2018, 04:34:35 PM   #51
Contracheatcode
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Thank you all. Iíll get a second ground. From the picture the previous technician swapped the 2 bolts. That is why the front bolt is flat. Not sure how he lost the grounding / "earth strap".

VCG.jpg

Thanks,

Mike

Last edited by Contracheatcode; Sat, Sep-29-2018 at 04:49:37 PM.
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Old Tue, Oct-02-2018, 08:14:09 PM   #52
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Default E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain’s Log: A few maintenance items getting checked off the list:

Air filter:


Cabin air filter (I must say the process to replace is somewhat ridiculous):


I can assure you the below mess was properly cleaned before the new cabin air filter went in.


Active work: replacing valve cover gasket, glued glove box separating material (ultra black RTV did work out amazing.... any squeeze out looks original) and now time to eliminate the sag during my install.


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Last edited by Contracheatcode; Sat, Oct-06-2018 at 02:02:32 AM.
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Old Sat, Oct-06-2018, 02:02:01 AM   #53
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain’s Log: After new valve cover gasket oil leak was present. Went ahead and reinstalled. Now no leak.

All buttoned up with new grounding strap:


New ignition coil boots installed along with new spark plugs. Below are the old worn boots:


Now it’s time for rear suspension refresh. Coilovers coming in a few days. Then the fun can begin.



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Old Sat, Oct-06-2018, 02:30:33 PM   #54
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Good stuff! Do you have any documentation for any cooling system work? If not, I'd go ahead and do at least pump, TS, housing, and rad hoses. Not expensive or hard to do, but a must on these cars. Radiator too, if yours is old.
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Old Sat, Oct-06-2018, 06:42:35 PM   #55
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Shatner or Stewart?
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Old Sun, Oct-07-2018, 12:17:07 AM   #56
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
Shatner or Stewart?


Shatner.




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Last edited by Contracheatcode; Sun, Oct-07-2018 at 12:22:03 AM.
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Old Sun, Oct-07-2018, 12:21:45 AM   #57
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain’s Log: Just took out RTAB. Tool was essential and made light work of the removal.

Question: Would you take the time to remove and repaint some of the parts? For instance a bit of the paint has worn off. See below picture.




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Old Sun, Oct-07-2018, 06:56:40 AM   #58
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

I would strip the whole car down and recoat everything. (Leave it alone unless you recoat the entire arm)

Stewart >
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 01:58:40 AM   #59
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Default E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain’s Log: It’s time to start the rear end teardown. Although there are some pretty good DIYs out there, I am going to document the process. Feel free for feedback and advice along the way. This is my first time, so no bashing me for making small errors. Just let me know and I can update the DIY. Though let’s keep feedback those that have actually done this before, as I’ve seen some bad advice out there.

DIY: E36 M3 1997 4-Door: Rear Subframe Removal

New parts going in:
  • Rear Suspension Refresh Kit ES#2804835
  • 2x Rear Shock Mounts (going to use the Buna RSM from TC Kline package)
  • 2x Rear Trailing Arm Bushing with Limiters
  • 2x: 1 Upper Outer Control Arm Ball Joint
  • 2x: 1 Lower Outer Control Arm Ball Joint
  • 2x: 1 Upper Inner Control Arm Bushing
  • 2x: 1 Lower Inner Control Arm Bushing
  • 2x: Rear Sway Bar
  • 1x: Differential Bushing
  • 4x: Rear Subframe Bushings
  • 2x: Rear Shock Mount Gaskets
  • 2x: Differential Mount Bushings
  • 1x: TC Kline Single Adjustable Coilover Kit - E36 - 300 Front Spring Rate, 400 Rear Spring Rate, No Camber Plates, Buna RSM

Background: To complete this work, the entire rear axle / suspension is going to come out of the car. This will give access to all the bushings, especially the subframe/differential/differential mount bushings. The process to remove the entire rear axle is a little intimidating, but not that bad in the end.

I link to a decent DIY on YouTube is below that I referenced. In my DIY, I did not take pictures of every detail because the YouTube video does cover most of what you need to know.



Removing the rear axle / suspension:
  • Step 1a: e-Brake Cable Removal: Remove the 4x buts that hold the e-brake cable next the the driver's seat. Just pull hard on the e-brake surround and these bolts will be exposes. YouTube video does a good job at showing you. The purposes of this step is to allow the subframe to drop as the e-brake cables are connected to each of the rear shoe brakes.

  • Step 1b (alternative to above): Shoe Brake Removal: The above step will eventually allow the subframe to drop and long cables attached to the rear of each Trailing Arm. That's good. The issue I ran into was having enough room to press out the Upper Outer Control Arm Ball Joint and the Lower Outer Control Arm Ball Joint. The brake protection plate is too close to both ball joints. With the protection place so close to the ball joints, I could not get my tools in there to press out the ball joints. To overcome this lack of room, you have 2 options. Option 1) Remove the brake rotor (6mm Hex) and remove the 4 bolts that attach the protection plate. This will allow you to turn the protection plate about 20 degrees and also pull it out a few inches. It will not come completely off without removing the hub (boo!!!). If this affords you enough room to get your tools in there to remove both ball joints then do not go to option 2. Option 2) same as above but also remove the shoe brake. There are some good videos on YouTube that you can reference on how to remove the springs/etc. Once removed, the protection place can spin a full 360 degrees. I had to go to this option as my tools needed the space afforded when I could spin the protection plate to a favorable position while removing each ball joint. If you had to go to option 2, then "Step 1a" was not necessary.
  • Step 2: Separate the Rear Shock Mounts from Subframe: The top of the rear shocks are held to the subframe from within the trunk. I don't have a lot of detailed directions, but basically you will remove a lot trunk interior carpet/panels to access the 2 nuts that hold the rear shock to the subframe. Some people just cut into the carpet, though I am not a fan and think it is worth the time to remove the trunk interior.

  • Step 3: Jack up the car: The entire rear end will need to be in the air. To keep the car level, I used ramps for the front tires and jacks in the rear. You are going to need a pretty decent jack to raise the car to an acceptable height that will allow the subframe to eventually come out and under the car.

  • Step 4: Remove the 3x bolts near the Rear Trailing Arm Bushing on both sides of car: No special instructions. I think I used a extension on my socket wrench and sprayed with BP Blaster just in case the bolts were a little stuck. In the end it did not take too much effort to remove. Below is a picture with the Rear Trailing Arm removed (and nicely cleaned of dirt) and placing the bolts back in to ensure I do not lose them or get them mixed up.

  • Step 5: Remove the Muffler: 2/3rds of the way down the exhaust pipe, there are 2 bolts per pipe that connect a section of the muffler. Remove the 4 total nuts that are a bit of a pain to get to, but doable.
    Below are the 4 bolts 2/3rd of the way down the exhaust pipe:


    Next you need to move the 2x exhaust hangers right near the rear muffler. It's part # 18201401797. Each of the 2x hangers are held by 2 nuts. Just remove the nuts. I placed a tire (with some wood on top to protect rim) underneath the muffler as it's pretty heavy (maybe ~50 lbs). Once I removed the 4 bolts I had to wiggle the muffler around to get it to fall.
    Below is the exhaust hanger removed and you can see where the 4 bolts came from:


    Yay. Muffler out next to old shocks (If you are following this DIY your shocks will still be attached to the rear trailing arm by the lower bolt. I went a little out of order and learned that this DIY is a better order)

  • Step 6: Remove the rear shocks: In step 2, the top of the rear shocks was moved. Now it's time to remove the lower bolt connecting the rear shock to the rear trailing arm. Just remove this bad boy. I think I needed my breaker bar. No need for a picture to show you where the bolt is located. Just follow the darn shock to the bottom and remove this bolt.
  • Step 7: Remove the brake caliper/pads: No special instructions. On the back side of each brake assemble there are 2 large bolts. Just remove these bolts and the brake assemble comes off.
  • Step 7b: Remove the brake line bracket attached to Rear Trailing Arm: When the axle is lowered, we want the brakes separated. Since the break lines are still connected to the Rear Trailing Arm by a bracket held by 2x 10mm bolts, remove these 2x bolts.


  • Step 8: Remove the Outer Lower Control Arm bolt: With the brake caliper/pads removed, the brake lines feeding them are still in the way from lowering the subframe. The brake calipers need to move between the upper and lower control arm. I choose to remove the Outer Lower Control Arm bolt. This allows the lower control arm to be lowered. Now slide the brake caliper between the upper and lower arm. It should now rest on ground and not be in the way when the subframe is eventually lowered. The YouTube video shows you the intent of this step.
  • Step 9: Remove electrical connections: The last think still connected to both the axle and car body are electrical connections. My car had 1 on passenger side near differential in a small plastic box. Open up box and separate the connection. The passenger side has the same black box and 2 electrical connections. Near the rear of the differential is the last electrical connection. This one was a white clip not enclosed in anything. Below is picture of the passenger side 2 connections.

  • Step 10: Lower the axle via the differential: Assuming you and I have not missed a step, the only thing connecting the rear assembly to the body are 4x 18mm nuts/bolts. I had to remove another bolt holding the heat shield so that when lowered the heat shield would not rip. Prior to removing the 4x bolts, get a jack and jack it right up to the differential. This prevents the assemble from falling on you once the 4x bolts are removed. Then remove the 4x bolts. Start lowering the jack. The drive shaft bolts are still sticking into the differential which is a bit of a pain as the whole axle will not just drop vertically down. So it will only come off by getting the differential out of the bolts and then dropping down/back.






Overall Impression: Dropping the whole subframe was a daunting task to me. Again this is my first project car. In the end (once I got over the fear factor of making a mistake and having random parts spread out in my garage for years), I would rate the difficulty as a 5/10. It took me a few days by myself. If I had a partner and the experience, I would estimate it takes 3-5 hours to complete if you go solid over that time. Less time if you have an impact wrench and all the tools right there. I used mostly 3/8th sockets. You will definitely need a breaker bar. I love the 3 foot pipe I put over my socket wrench!!!



Last edited by Contracheatcode; Wed, Oct-17-2018 at 10:38:03 PM.
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 02:58:54 AM   #60
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Recoating everything too?
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Discussing E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)