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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 Fri, Apr-27-2018, 07:00:19 PM   #21
englishtom1596q
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

But does he want the car torn apart for weeks while he does it all?
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Old Sat, Apr-28-2018, 05:18:58 PM   #22
Bimma360
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
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 itís the only way to go. Less work, less annoyance, better functioning car, more car enjoyment
This is excellent advice. More or less that is how I've been tackling my M3 over the last 5 years. I bought it at 150K its now at 226k, and it has been very dependable as my daily driver. Another thing to add, is I almost always (unless I can rent) buy the specific tool needed to do the job the easy way the first time around. That, combined with the "while you are in there" mentality makes the best use of my time. These days I value my time more than a few hundred bucks saved per "project." Especially since you are already saving a lot by doing the work yourself.
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Old Mon, Apr-30-2018, 06:04:14 AM   #23
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by englishtom1596q View Post
Bought my first M3 in college...bought second M3 in college lol theyíre expensive to maintain but as long as youíre willing to keep on top of it youíll be good. I also agree about getting too deep on ďwhile youíre in thereĒ stuff... thatís how my entire suspension was refreshed, scrubbed, painted etc... then the engine came out. Itís a deep rabbit hole lol
Yeah i'm planning on staying on top of everything but we'll see how that goes. And actually, I was kinda looking to go down a relatively shallow rabbit hole when working on the car as reliability is my #1 concern at the moment-but ill definitely try my best to make smart and worth it purchases.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
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 itís the only way to go. Less work, less annoyance, better functioning car, more car enjoyment
Yeah this is roughly what I was thinking. I want to do as much work on as many areas of the car as possible before I go off to college since I wont have much time to over there. Concerning while your in there jobs I just thought that since I do the job earlier, the car will both perform better and not need the job done again any later down the line, but I have to gauge as to what my budget allows.


Quote:
Originally Posted by englishtom1596q View Post
Thatís nice and all and I have a similar mindset. For a college student with limited budget though, theyíll 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 itís still sitting in my garage with brand spanking new suspension but the engine out ready to refresh.
Yeah I relate to the "do what I can to keep it on the road" mentality. By no means am I trying to do a big restore on the car or even do too much extra too it, but I do want to do everything right the first time around with good parts so I wont have to waste money redoing it at a later, less convenient time. I just want to drive it and be comfortable knowing its going to be- for the most part- reliable. And in the next 3-4 months I'll try to get as many jobs done as possible to last me at least the majority of the next year, because, save a couple jobs here and there, I don't think i'll have time to work on the car too much in college. And I do have a decent amount of money for parts and a spare car- which is why I'm trying to get opinions on which jobs other than the ones I listed to do, and even feedback on the ones I did list- just thoughts on the car. Do you have any suggestions for any jobs that'd probably help me in keeping this car going? And ill def. watch myself and make sure I'm not too far deep! haha


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerman325i View Post
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.
Yeah, Ill probably be doing a mix of both, first doing the smaller jobs and working my way up, and also somewhat be adopting the lens you look through when im in college- but always making sure a purchase makes sense before buying. As for the jobs you would do at once, do you know of any that are associated with the issues I have, as I want to address as many that are viable to me as I can. I get what you mean though, and I'm not looking to spend all my money this summer so ill be selective in my buying. When you were first starting off what were some good parts that you bought?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
true

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!
Yeah, I was looking to do a handful of the bushings and cooling system components and was planning on doing as much as i can myself. And I was I was wondering I should do my wheel bearings or not but idk. But which jobs are you referencing when you say "every bushings/bearing/ball joints/mounts and the cooling system, as well as locking down the chassis weak points"; i'd like to know. I was also contemplating new reinforcements but most were weld- in and i don't know how to weld just yet and don't know if ill have time to pick it up-but I still am gonna try to fix the car up to the best of my ability.


Quote:
Originally Posted by englishtom1596q View Post
But does he want the car torn apart for weeks while he does it all?
Not really, but it'd prefer that over it being out of commission when I dont have a spare car around.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimma360 View Post
This is excellent advice. More or less that is how I've been tackling my M3 over the last 5 years. I bought it at 150K its now at 226k, and it has been very dependable as my daily driver. Another thing to add, is I almost always (unless I can rent) buy the specific tool needed to do the job the easy way the first time around. That, combined with the "while you are in there" mentality makes the best use of my time. These days I value my time more than a few hundred bucks saved per "project." Especially since you are already saving a lot by doing the work yourself.
That's awesome, I hope mine goes as long as yours has so far and I'll remember that! Im trying to make the most of my money and realized I should look at a lot of these tools and parts as investments since I'll b e utilizing it and that takes a little mental load off of the process. Any such good investments you'd suggest me make? Thanks for your input!


Any feedback is greatly appreciated, and thanks to all who've responded and helped me so far!

If anybody has anymore suggestions on tools to buy when starting off- don't hesitate to educate me! Other than that, I'm going to start buying some and wrenching soon!
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Old Mon, Nov-19-2018, 09:00:48 PM   #24
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

To make a long story short, I've been away from my car for 2-3 months and have had my dad drive it around occasionally to keep things somewhat in order. Now, Ive bought a good amount of parts (cooling system overhaul, brakes, fluids, belts, some bushings, etc.) but before I put all these on the car I wanted to have an idea of the motors health (In the time I had it its never skipped a beat, pulled hard to redline, etc.) so I have a compression test scheduled but was wondering if there were any other real ways to gauge how long the engine (with almost 210k) has left, and if there were any other suggestions on what could need replacing soon (trans and engine mounts are added to the list as well). Thanks for the help, and as always all input is appreciated!
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Old Mon, Nov-19-2018, 09:10:14 PM   #25
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Man there's no real way of knowing how long a motor will last. S52 in general is pretty reliable. If properly maintained, could go 250k or higher. Or it could pop tomorrow, you never know lol. The fact that it drives well is a plus. IIRC compression should be around 170-200-ish and all cylinders should be within about a 10% or less margin, maybe someone can confirm or correct this. The good news is if your motor does let go, you can get a used motor pretty cheap, or rebuild yours.
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Old Tue, Nov-20-2018, 03:37:09 AM   #26
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Congratulations and welcome...I will recommend my first mod...a x-brace if the car doesn't already have it...be sure to always have gas money...the chicks will want to ride in your bimmer.
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2018, 07:38:51 AM   #27
Geoby0
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

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Man there's no real way of knowing how long a motor will last. S52 in general is pretty reliable. If properly maintained, could go 250k or higher. Or it could pop tomorrow, you never know lol. The fact that it drives well is a plus. IIRC compression should be around 170-200-ish and all cylinders should be within about a 10% or less margin, maybe someone can confirm or correct this. The good news is if your motor does let go, you can get a used motor pretty cheap, or rebuild yours.
Yeah, a rebuild is likely coming up- I just hope my pockets will be ready by the time it comes to cross that bridge.
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2018, 09:12:35 AM   #28
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

Did some work today, got more planned for tomorrow. I have until the 10th of January to get this in the best condition I can as its been sitting at my house for the last semester and I want to take it to Tyler with me when its fit to.

RSM's were going well till the bolt snapped clean off. ECS was kind enough to send a replacement free of charge. My water pump's threads were also damaged, and they promptly set up an exchange for that too. Pretty great customer service! I put this off for far too long but did the cars first oil change since I got it, fixing to pass 210k miles. Oil filter, air filter and rear trunk shocks were also replaced.

I inspected under the front of the car noticed a considerable amount of leakage coming off the block and other components (pics below) but im not sure if its been there or actively leaking. Ill degrease tomorrow and reassess when I can.

While i was under the front there wasn't much if any play in the suspension components, and the only "off" thing my inexperienced eyes could find was the what I think is the "Stabilizer rubber mountings" (pt#31351135805) were both split(pic below) but it seems like they're supposed to be like that. Nearly everything else seemed solid and without cracks/excessive wear. PO replaced nearly all the front bushings at around 115k miles so I wasn't too surprised I didn't find much there. The rear end is a different story as I'm sure there's faulty bushings as the rear end at times feels somewhat disconnected and sloppy especially in sharp cornering so I hope to get some bushings replaced back there before the time comes to go.

I have RTABS with limiters already but will wait until I get the differential, rear subframe, and rear control arm bushings in to do that all at once. The pre-load procedure also has me a little confused but I have to do more research into that. Might have to go Contracheatcode on it-or at least try to do something similar but like I said, theres lots for me to research first.

Today I'll attempt to replace the tensioners, belts and pulleys, and if I have time the brake rotors and pads for all corners- both of which seem pretty straightforward.

An entire cooling system is also waiting to go in, so I was wondering if it'd be beneficial to just take the bumper cover and front components off to make things more accessible? Advice how to go about doing that would be helpful.

New fluids, downstream oxygen sensors, and a new glovebox button are also on the list and hopefully competed by the deadline. I also have received my shiftier rebuild kit since my shifter has almost an inch of lateral sloppiness and hope to get that done as well.

Well, I'm going to try my best to tackle these one by one, with the information I have. Any advice is appreciated, and will likely help me. Other than that, hope y'all are having a good start to the cold season!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg brokeee rsm.jpg (103.6 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg leaky block.jpg (131.2 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg leaky trans.jpg (95.8 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg leakyy.jpg (112.5 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg split bush.jpg (89.0 KB, 28 views)
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2018, 04:02:19 PM   #29
englishtom1596q
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Default Re: Beginner with an M3

looks like you have oil pan gasket, oil filter housing gasket and power steering lines leaking. All common issues on these engines.

For the engine health you can do an oil analysis. This will get you an idea of the bearing conditions as well as blowby (ring health). At 210K i would be preparing for a head gasket replacement personally but you shouldn't need to touch the bottom end.

Sway bar bushings are split so you can get them over the sway bar so thats normal.

I would not take the front bumper off to do the cooling system. Once the radiator is out, there is plenty of room to do everything needed. DO NOT over tighten the water pump bolts. I can't count how many people wrench them down and snap the bolts in the cover.

RTAB are the biggest failure point on the rear. with the tool its only a 2 hour job. Just remember you'll need an alignment afterwards as your toe will be changed.

great work so far. you're standing at the bottom of mt. Everest with the work ahead of you.
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Old Fri, Dec-21-2018, 08:43:04 PM   #30
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Hi Geoby0: A few thoughts:

1) I think you need to decide why you are doing this work on your M3.

2) If you are doing the work to learn and eventually help with internships, then you need to make this your goal and think about what companies are going to want to see out of this effort. They most likely won't care about a DIY on RTABs. Rather they would care about why RTAB are important, why they fail, what is the mechanical science behind them, what can make them better, and then how you fix them. Like all problems in life and those a mechanical engineer faces: determine/understand the problem and root cause, come up with solutions, fix the problem. Be the nerdy YouTube DIY guy the sciences the crap out of fixing common issues.

3) If you are doing the work just for fun, then I would suggest not spending the full $4k up front. But rather start to spend on what items have the biggest return on improving the value of the car or are just plain needed for a car with this high mileage. This would include basic maintenance that I have undertaken (shocks/struts, bushing/ball joints/etc.). At any given time, my goal would be to be able to break-even on the car if I needed to sell for money.

As far as tools, I use the following and could not live without.
  • GearWrench 9902D 16 Piece Flex-Head Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set Metric
  • Deep Socket metric set + extensions. 18mm tends to be the most common and you need a set going this large. I have one that goes larger for the occasional large bolt.
  • Breaker bar. I use an old pipe on the end of my wratchet set. Works great.
  • You are going to need a friend with a bunch of other specialized tools. The occasional impact, the random small socket example: 7mm for brake bleeding, RTAB tool to make your life 10000% easier, etc.

Again, understand what your ultimate goal is from this car. This will help dictate how and what to do, along with how much to spend.

Good luck and keep us all posted. Here to help.

Mike
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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)