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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 Wed, Apr-25-2018, 05:12:40 PM   #11
Bimmerman325i
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

I bought my 95 M3 in college as well....still have it although it's changed quite a bit.

OP-- these are excellent first cars to learn how to wrench on. These are horrid first cars to work on, financially speaking. That said, I did it too, and made a number of lifelong friends through my car....so I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Here's what I wish someone had said to me: 1) resist the lure to modify the car. Enjoy it as is and, if the track/autox bug bites, develop as a driver with the car as-is. 2) resist the call of the while-you're-in-there to what actually is needed. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it's throwing away beer/rent money unnecessarily. 3) spend money on quality tools, tires, and brake pads. 4) yes the shifter gets warm and the glovebox sags.

Also, Forum OG wisdom from yesteryear:
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Last edited by Bimmerman325i; Wed, Apr-25-2018 at 05:16:58 PM.
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Old Wed, Apr-25-2018, 05:25:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Congrats on the purchase, enjoy the car and heed the advice in the post above mine. Drive the car stock for AT LEAST a year before "upgrading" anything. Not saying wait a year before fixing anything, but I think you get what I mean.
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Old Wed, Apr-25-2018, 07:50:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Cal lol
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 04:40:24 AM   #14
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasan Shaikh View Post
Congratulations! Enjoy in good health.
Thanks, and I'll try my best!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsperry View Post
A 20 year old German sports sedan, and a kid going to college.. What could go wrong?

Good luck.

Buy a Bentley Repair Manual.
Thanks and will do.

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Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
This thread should have everything you need to get started:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=300562

Tools:
If there's one thing I regret, it's buying SAE tool (or, really, sets with both). I'd focus on getting Metric only sets. You'll also want torx and inverse torx, working on BMWs.

Beyond that, order parts as you need them.
Noted, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texaz3 View Post
Congrats. Lots of work to be done, but if you wrench, then most of the stuff is really DIY. Research the jobs, buy right tools and parts, and dive in.

I would address engine/gearbox first, then cooling/belts, then suspension bits. Then everything else. A lot of the things you mentioned can be done in one go once the the car is up in the air and everything is dropped down. Essentially all the seals, gaskets, bushings, etc.
If you have ALL the parts, thats two solid weekends worth of work though.
Thanks and ok! Are there any other jobs you know of that would help keep an m3 running that I didn't mention in my list?

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Originally Posted by avusblu_e36 View Post
Have fun man, I did the same thing at a few years older than you. Bought a 95M and had never worked on a car before and just dove right in.

By the second week of ownership I had the whole top of the engine disassembled, slapped on a new cyl head and head gasket, replaced everything in the cooling system, bunch of little things here and there. 10k miles and one year later and the car has never gone past middle heat, never died, never left me stranded. I drive it in New York rain snow and sun : )

Not sure if I missed this, is your car 5mt or auto?
Impressive-that escalated quickly. Seriously though its respectable and thats what I'm tryna be doing soon.

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I was about the same age when I got into one. Now that I'm older, I still have one. Fantastic cars! Enjoy yours!
Good to know that im far from alone in the "Stupid kid buying an m3" club! And i'll try my best!

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Originally Posted by Ajcanadian View Post
I'm as the same age as you so I can relate quite a bit. Just finished redoing the head on my 95.

As for parts, buy things on FCP Euro if the price is cheaper than Ecs tuning. One benefit about FCP Euro is they warranty everything. You just need to send the item back. For the sensor, just buy an OE supplier part. Don't buy used parts!

Seems like you are on a good start with maintanace. I'd say upgrade the water pump to a one with a metal one if it still has the plastic one. Don't forget spark plugs. Many say cleaning the MAF doesn't work. I wouldn't touch it unless it's not working like it's supposed to. Get PA BMW soft on your computer or a cheap scanner to pull codes.

I started off with a stanley 123 set tool kit. It paid itself off really quick. I bought a couple of extensions, swivels, torx bits. If you want cheap tools look at harbor freight. That's where I bought my torx bit set for 7.99$. If you end up doing suspension you'd need an impact. But otherwise it's pretty much your basic tools!

Nice ZKWS btw!
Yeah- I read what happened to your car- you may think it sucks but there are many advantages to your situation! And it seems like you've worked it out well. Thanks for all the suggestions- ill look into if cleaning the maf works or not and yeah ill be putting a new radiator, water pump, and expansion tank in soon- and will likely be frequenting Harbor Freight for a while haha. And thanks, left lens is cracked but ill end up replacing that when I can

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Congrats on the purchase. Well written explanation and outlook. Good luck with it.
Thanks and preciate it!
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 05:34:20 AM   #15
Geoby0
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerman325i View Post
I bought my 95 M3 in college as well....still have it although it's changed quite a bit.

OP-- these are excellent first cars to learn how to wrench on. These are horrid first cars to work on, financially speaking. That said, I did it too, and made a number of lifelong friends through my car....so I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Here's what I wish someone had said to me: 1) resist the lure to modify the car. Enjoy it as is and, if the track/autox bug bites, develop as a driver with the car as-is. 2) resist the call of the while-you're-in-there to what actually is needed. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it's throwing away beer/rent money unnecessarily. 3) spend money on quality tools, tires, and brake pads. 4) yes the shifter gets warm and the glovebox sags.

Also, Forum OG wisdom from yesteryear: Shit E36 Guys Say - YouTube
Yeah, Im anticipating that ill become more familiar to a car through my ownership of mine, which was one of the reasons I bought an M3. I'm also anticipating that my bank account will take a serious hit from all this!Thanks for the info- ill definitely regulate my purchases and try to buy good quality stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate047 View Post
Congrats on the purchase, enjoy the car and heed the advice in the post above mine. Drive the car stock for AT LEAST a year before "upgrading" anything. Not saying wait a year before fixing anything, but I think you get what I mean.
Thanks and will do, and yeah I got you haha
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Cal lol
Not sure what this means lol
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 12:37:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Bought my first M3 in college...bought second M3 in college lol they’re expensive to maintain but as long as you’re willing to keep on top of it you’ll be good. I also agree about getting too deep on “while you’re in there” stuff... that’s how my entire suspension was refreshed, scrubbed, painted etc... then the engine came out. It’s a deep rabbit hole lol
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 12:57:39 PM   #17
Obioban
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

I don't agree with not going buck wild on the "while you're in there".

E.g. I do all my bushings/bearings/ball joints every 100,000 miles (except RTABs, which I also do on 50,000 mile intervals). As a result, it always handles nicely, I'm not constantly chasing down handling issues, and I only have to deal with suspension stuff every 100,000 miles.

I'd much rather do everything in an area and not have to be in there again for a LONG time.

Coming up in a month or two, I'll be doing the 200,000 mile refresh on my wagon's S54. Rod bearings, cooling system, belts/idlers/tensioners, valve adjustment, valve guides/seals, injector rebuild, etc.

I don't expect to be in the engine again other than for valve adjustments till 300,000 miles.

And because I'm doing it all at once, I can justify pulling the engine. Adds an hour or two of work, but makes everything I'll be doing super easy.

For me, this is hugely better than... noisy component in the belt drive, hunt down and fix. Repeat 5000 miles later. 6000 miles after that running over cool, replace thermostat. 10,000 miles after that replace a fuel injector. Far better to have the car just be as reliable as new, and functioning 100% (as many of these things are degraded before they get bad enough that you notice/replace) for another 100,000 miles.

If you want to rely on an old German sports car for daily transport, I think it’s the only way to go. Less work, less annoyance, better functioning car, more car enjoyment
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Last edited by Obioban; Fri, Apr-27-2018 at 01:15:17 PM.
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 02:37:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

That’s nice and all and I have a similar mindset. For a college student with limited budget though, they’ll be saving for parts forever and have the car off the road for a long period of time. When I was in college I did what I could when I could and kept the car on the road. When it became a second car I took it off the road to do a full refresh. 2 years later it’s still sitting in my garage with brand spanking new suspension but the engine out ready to refresh.
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 04:55:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Ian, agreed-- that's how I approach the car now with a comfortable income.

When I was a college student working for rent money that would have bankrupted me, so that's the lens my advice was focused through. Sometimes it makes sense to do multiple items (eg replace tensioners+belts simultaneously), sometimes things can slide for a while.

I think too that while you're learning how to wrench in the first place, picking a single job to tackle is much more manageable than the spiraling major jobs.
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 06:20:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

true

Quote:
I have about 4 thousand left over for parts, and a decently paying part time job
though with his budget, he could do every bushings/bearing/ball joints/mounts and the cooling system with new stock (or OEM where available), as well as locking down the chassis weak points (if he's DIYing all the labor).

$4000 buys a lot of parts!
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Discussing Beginner with an M3 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)