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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 Sun, Sep-15-2019, 09:40:58 PM   #1
911r
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Default I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

Hello all,

I'm looking to put some work into my E36 M3, and I have about $2,500 squared away to do so. As I said in the title, the car has 220+k miles so I'm sure it needs one of everything, but for now I'm on a bit of a budget. The car runs well, and doesn't have any lights on so I'm going to assume it isn't in dire need of anything. Additionally the whole cooling system was rebuilt a little while ago, so I don't need to worry about that. I have a couple things I need to do to make sure the car passes emissions, but once I do that I'm not really sure what to spend the money on first and I was looking for suggestions.

Cheers

EDIT: Also, is it even worth putting that much money into a car with 220k miles? Or should I just suck it up and buy a ~100k mile one instead.

Last edited by 911r; Sun, Sep-15-2019 at 11:02:40 PM.
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Old Sun, Sep-15-2019, 10:01:17 PM   #2
westopher
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

How’s your suspension? Fresh bushings, shocks, tires are all going to be the most noticeable areas, provided they are necessary.
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Old Sun, Sep-15-2019, 10:10:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

How's your steering? My car had 230K when I bought it and handled like a 1980 diesel truck. Upgrading to the ZHP rack with a new guibo made an insane and immediate difference.
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Old Sun, Sep-15-2019, 10:12:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by westopher View Post
Hows your suspension? Fresh bushings, shocks, tires are all going to be the most noticeable areas, provided they are necessary.
+1 on this. If you can do the work yourself, the bushings and ball joints should easily fit in your budget. The question is have they ever been done.
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Old Sun, Sep-15-2019, 10:13:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by westopher View Post
Hows your suspension? Fresh bushings, shocks, tires are all going to be the most noticeable areas, provided they are necessary.
Suspension feels good, squeaks here and there but besides that its solid. Previous owner apparently went through all of the bushings about half a year ago in addition to adding lowering springs and performance shocks. Tires have a good amount of tread but are a bit old, so they're definitely going to be replaced soon.
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Old Sun, Sep-15-2019, 10:15:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JitteryJoe View Post
+1 on this. If you can do the work yourself, the bushings and ball joints should easily fit in your budget. The question is have they ever been done.
Last owner said he did them, but I'm definitely going to be putting the car up on a lift to make sure he was telling the truth.
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Old Sun, Sep-15-2019, 10:19:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

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Originally Posted by jpetro10 View Post
How's your steering? My car had 230K when I bought it and handled like a 1980 diesel truck. Upgrading to the ZHP rack with a new guibo made an insane and immediate difference.
Yup, the steering feels more like a boat than a german performance car. ZHP rack is now on my list, I'm not too handy and definitely don't have the tools to take care of that job. Any estimate on how much it'd cost me for a shop to take care of that for me?
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Old Mon, Sep-16-2019, 01:55:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 911r View Post
Yup, the steering feels more like a boat than a german performance car. ZHP rack is now on my list, I'm not too handy and definitely don't have the tools to take care of that job. Any estimate on how much it'd cost me for a shop to take care of that for me?
Hmm, tbh I'm not sure. I can't imagine a shop charging more than 4-5 hours max to do it but again, I have no clue. What I do know is it made an insane difference!
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Old Mon, Sep-16-2019, 02:45:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

If you want to do it a little cheaper the z3 1.9 rack is also a huge improvement and substantially cheaper than the zhp rack.
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Old Mon, Sep-16-2019, 02:51:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it?

Interesting topic.

I picked up a rust 219k mile 97 m3 zero rust.

With all suspension work done. Ive been toying with the idea of doing the same type of budget for power upgrades.


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Discussing I have $2,500 to spend on my beat up E36 M3 w/ 224k miles. How do I spend it? 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)