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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-05-2017, 03:03:40 AM   #1
thirtysixnick
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Default Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restoration

Decided I'd finally make a little thread thingy thing to keep up and see the progress of my car while sharing my struggles/stories with everyone else on here. (sorry if it gets a little long. Feel free to just leave if you don't enjoy reading a lot)
Sorry for any grammar errors, how long the story is, and the lack of pictures. I plan to improve everything throughout this thread as time goes on.

I'll start off with a little introduction of who I am and my (short) back story with BMW's/car's in general...
I've always been interested in cars since I was young, but was never SUPER into them until I got my license like the typical young car enthusiast. When I was about 16 or so I finally got my permit and that was when my father was convinced it was time to buy me a car. My father and I narrowed it down to an E46 330 coupe/sedan; He didn't care (and neither did I) too much for the interior/exterior colors as long as it was well maintained. We ended up finding a 2003 (pre-facelift) Topaz Blue 330Ci ZSP with the glorious automagic transmission.
It was a one owner car from an older gentleman in Florida and was packed full with receipts and A LOT of maintenance done.

Welcome in Mr.Reliable 330Ci:
IMG_2069 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr
IMG_2281 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

Yes, that is a ZHP bumper... Let's just say I might've "tapped" a tow hitch with the ZSP bumper a few weeks after getting my license. Good thing the ZSP bumper is ulgy anyways, right?
To finish the story of the 330Ci I'm just going to say it's currently my DD as of this post; If you don't know why I'll explain further down.

Now onto the almighty and glorious story my impulse bought E36 M3/4/5.
After owning the 330Ci for around a year and a half, I realized I was tired of living the automatic life, and decided myself that I'd move onto something manual. So what fits the manual and "cheap" fun category, but still BMW??? Of course an old E36 M3 with more flaws than countable on one hand!!!!
I started looking for E36 M3's after I made an agreement with my dad that if I made $2000 on my own, he'd "sell" the 330Ci and let me use the money combined towards an E36 M3. After saving nearly every penny in my pocket from working as a cashier at our local Sam's Club for a few months in the summer I had $2000 and we went neck deep in looking for one. I had NO clue what I was doing buying one of these things and my dad was basically letting me get what I wanted, as I had earned the money, so you can already expect this to be a great lesson learned. I first went and checked out a Cosmos 96 M3/2/5 which was very beat. It had a magnaflow exhaust so I was basically blinded to every other flaw because of the pretty noises it made. My dad held me back from buying it, but man was I HOOKED on buying one after seeing that thing. Seeing an M3 in person and knowing I would have a chance at owning one, just didn't seem real.

After waiting a little bit longer we stumbled upon an Estoril Blue M3/4/5 that was about 2 hours away from my home town. From the CL ad it looked to be in good shape, but the seller didn't post any front end pictures, only had a few weirdly angled pictures of the interior, and it was on the higher mileage end at 159k. So me and my dad ventured up about 200'ish miles from my town to see this beater, that I would soon call my own.
We arrived and at first sight my jaw was on the ground. It felt unreal to see and Estoril M3 in person. I wasn't the biggest fan of Estoril when I was "looking" for one, but seeing it in person DEFINITELY changed my mind.
I was set on buying this thing, regardless of any issues it came with.

I'll go ahead and state the things I noticed as I walked around the car THE FIRST TIME, that I should've used against the seller:
The car made an OBNOXIOUS rattling noise when the clutch wasn't depressed, which soon was found out to be an improperly installed flywheel.
(PO swore it was the exhaust and it had been checked out at a shop....)
There was a CEL, brake pad light, and check control for a burned out license plate light.
There was a pretty big bubble on the driver's side rear tire.
The car had "new tires" but they were some sort knock of Conti's that were probably sub-$200 from Discount Tire.
The parking break didn't work at all.
One of the blinker's needed to be soldered to work
The bumper was tattered and chipping
The Lux Mulberry interior was definitely pretty beaten, but had no huge flaws besides basic wear.
Headliner was held in by staples (still is currently...)

So, all in all, the car DEFINITELY met my standards at that time!
Me and my dad, for some odd reason, actually purchased the car at the mere $5,5000 asking price.
(my dad didn't sell the 330Ci yet, and just took out a loan for $5,000. I brought $500 of my own money)
The car luckily made the 2 hour journey home and I now own an E36 M3!
To me this car definitely had flaws, but it was still an M3 so I was happy regardless of it's current state...

After going out and learning manual with my dad, I was scared but ready to hit the streets!
I DD'ed it for a little period of time and then it started to leave a pretty decent oil spot in the garage... I stopped driving it just for the safety of the car and I was back in the 330 no more than a month later.
Long story short: $2,000 later I had a new rear main seal, flywheel, clutch, electric fan install, and new fluids she was decent enough to FINALLY drive again.
After getting this sort of "overhaul" of work she seemed to be pretty freaking solid! I had no more mechanical issues to sweat over, besides the parking break not working still.
I had the CEL checked and I was told it was the gas cap, which made sense as the gas cap wouldn't even make the little "click" noise my 330 made when I twisted it tight. With the new gas cap, the CEL was wiped out of existence!
The indy mech that worked on my car said the brake pad light wasn't able to be fixed, and that left me plenty of room to toy with why it wouldn't at my technical school!
I ended up replacing all the sensors and jimmy rigging the RR sensor which ended up clearing the light!
SUCCESS, the car was free of dash lights.
Over time, and as it closer to the winter, the idle started to roughen.
I fixed the problem with a new ICV, and besides the blown suspension and minor dings/pretty ruined front bumper, I was in love with her.

Note: IF I could say one thing about my buying process of this car though I would definitely of done A LOT more research, got a PPI, and probably picked more certain things I wanted and had been more patient to find one that wouldn't of required as much work as this car has.
Live and learn though, wouldn't want any other E36 now so....


So up until about January of this year, she was great. I DD'ed the M to and from school/work.
Near the end of January my rear end started making one of the most disgusting noises, I posted about it on here, and got it replaced with a 3.15 LSD (i got it for a steal and had it installed for free, don't tell me it was a bad choice pleaseeee )
The car wasn't back out on the streets for probably a month due to the diff issues.
I want to say I think I had the car back for three days, until I broke it myself again.
I money shifted merging onto the highway. I accidentally went back into second gear instead of fourth gear at nearly the top of third gear going probably 70'ish. The car sounded like a honda for a straight second and right after that the CEL came on and I pulled off the road, killed it, and had it towed home at around 2AM...

So now I'm back in my first car, the 330Ci. The M3 is going to be sitting in my garage until I can rack up a couple thousand dollars to take it to a professional shop that wants to work on it and diagnose everything I did.

Photo time!
I only have a few photos I took on my iPhone the last day the car was alive, as these were taken the day of the "accident". I apologize for not using portrait mode, and I'll make sure to use it next time I take photos.

(front bumper still tattered, but new one from Khoalty awaits paint after car works again)
IMG_2122 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

(Headlights are glass Depo's that I installed btw)
IMG_2126 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

(the plate isn't the most original, but hey, no one has it in OK so why not?)
IMG_2129 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr
IMG_2169 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

Only "perfomance" kind of mod I've done was installing this track abused Dinan CAI that I snagged for a steal.. It sounds glorious.
I do plan to clean the engine bay and also install the missing beauty cover caps too as the bug the PISS out of me, but that'll be on hold for a little bit due to obvious reasons.
IMG_2168 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

My one reupholstered Mulberry vader that I recently installed looks cool.
I have the other vader, but is pretty beat up so I'm waiting/deciding how I want to handle getting it reupholstered, as I'd want it to match the drivers seat, and I'd definitely want to get the rear seats done too.
I could've waited to put it in, but my drivers seat was getting pretty beat, and my passenger seat isn't anywhere near as bad.
IMG_2185 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

I LOVE this angle. I plan to delete the rest of my woodgrain pieces soon enough. I swapped in this three spoke with my dad, and I also swapped out the woodgrain shifter surrounding for a black one I found on eBay for CHEAP.
I also bought the ZHP off of a repuatable vendor on eBay and I couldn't be happier with how it feels/looks.
IMG_2155 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr
IMG_2132 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

The rear seats aren't the most appealing, but they don't have any rips so I'm okay with them for now.
The rear carpet could use a proper cleaning/steaming most definitely, or maybe just a whole swap itself.
IMG_2134 by Nick Gauldin, on Flickr

That's about it for the pictures and stories I have currently.
I plan to do a lot of things, but I'll save that for when they come up and I'll definitely post updates here when she gets back out on the road!
By the end of all of this, I plan to have her about as OEM+ as it'll get, with nothing over the top done to it.

PS: I believe from a post somewhere that my car is 1/25 for being an NA Spec Estoril on Mulberry M3/4/5!
I'll leave the link to the registry post below for anyone who is curious.
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=413263
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Old Wed, Apr-05-2017, 03:15:18 AM   #2
propchef
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

tl;dr

Clean Estoril over Mulberry.

Welcome.

Sent from Andres' trailer
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Old Wed, Apr-05-2017, 05:07:10 PM   #3
frbz
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

Nice story. Will watch for updates. What is the colour code for the 330?
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Old Thu, Apr-06-2017, 02:52:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

Welcome Nick and nice intro!
I will have to say that I started off similarly. I purchased a 95 Avus M3 for my first e36 that I probably shouldn't have but ended up being a great learning experience. Learned about waiting for the right one, as well as increased my familiarity with the e36 with all the crap I had to fix.
I like the dedication and best of luck with the rebuild. Keep us posted!
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Old Fri, Apr-07-2017, 01:16:41 PM   #5
thirtysixnick
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

Quote:
Originally Posted by propchef View Post
tl;dr

Clean Estoril over Mulberry.

Welcome.

Sent from Andres' trailer
Haha, thanks. Hopefully it'll be more clean sooner than later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frbz View Post
Nice story. Will watch for updates. What is the colour code for the 330?
Color code on the 330 is 364, it's Topaz Blue Metallic; Probably one of my favorite colors for the E46. If I were to get an E46 M3 I'd want to find a Topaz one, but I'd probably end up settling for a Silver or AW one as long as it was a six speed.

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Originally Posted by blatant View Post
Welcome Nick and nice intro!
I will have to say that I started off similarly. I purchased a 95 Avus M3 for my first e36 that I probably shouldn't have but ended up being a great learning experience. Learned about waiting for the right one, as well as increased my familiarity with the e36 with all the crap I had to fix.
I like the dedication and best of luck with the rebuild. Keep us posted!
Thank you!
On regards of learning, this car has really taught me SO many lessons and I haven't even owned it for a full year haha. Hopefully by the time I hit the year mark I'll be back out driving it and remembering why I'm so broke.
Really doing my best to stay dedicated and ignore people (that I call my friends) that trash me/my car saying it's just an OLD BMW piece of shit that'll never be fixed and never stop breaking. I'll remember them when my car is sitting pretty and they'll still be sitting on their asses with nothing they're passionate about.
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Old Fri, Apr-07-2017, 03:57:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

"Really doing my best to stay dedicated and ignore people (that I call my friends) that trash me/my car saying it's just an OLD BMW piece of shit that'll never be fixed and never stop breaking. I'll remember them when my car is sitting pretty and they'll still be sitting on their asses with nothing they're passionate about. "

Funny.... I'm getting the same flack from my car buds...... one dude drives a 997 turbo...... and another dude drives a new m3....... they just don't understand how anyone could love an old e36 and on top of that put any money into it....... to them it's just about magazine bench racing stock cars........


I was saving for an AMG GTS...... but after the initial build quality issues.... .and my experience with a C63S new TT car...... (bad quality)...... I got back to basics..... and I'm loving this old manual analog ride...... and it has so much upside for mods...... and the worldclass driving experience to boot. Nothing like it imho.
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Old Fri, Apr-14-2017, 04:20:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

Nice color combo! Did you have problems fitting the Dinan intake with the European projectors installed?
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Old Fri, Apr-14-2017, 09:12:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

Great story and wonderful car, keep up the good works!!

Love the blue
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Old Sat, Apr-15-2017, 06:36:46 AM   #9
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Arrow Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirtysixnick View Post
Really doing my best to stay dedicated and ignore people (that I call my friends) that trash me/my car saying it's just an OLD BMW piece of shit that'll never be fixed and never stop breaking. I'll remember them when my car is sitting pretty and they'll still be sitting on their asses with nothing they're passionate about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by betrezra View Post
Funny.... I'm getting the same flack from my car buds...... one dude drives a 997 turbo...... and another dude drives a new m3....... they just don't understand how anyone could love an old e36 and on top of that put any money into it....... to them it's just about magazine bench racing stock cars.......
You guys need new car buddies who appreciate modern classics and aren't afraid to do their own work. I've met a lot of great people through my cars, not despite them...
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Old Sat, Apr-15-2017, 03:50:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restorati

Quote:
Originally Posted by betrezra View Post
"Really doing my best to stay dedicated and ignore people (that I call my friends) that trash me/my car saying it's just an OLD BMW piece of shit that'll never be fixed and never stop breaking. I'll remember them when my car is sitting pretty and they'll still be sitting on their asses with nothing they're passionate about. "

Funny.... I'm getting the same flack from my car buds...... one dude drives a 997 turbo...... and another dude drives a new m3....... they just don't understand how anyone could love an old e36 and on top of that put any money into it....... to them it's just about magazine bench racing stock cars........


I was saving for an AMG GTS...... but after the initial build quality issues.... .and my experience with a C63S new TT car...... (bad quality)...... I got back to basics..... and I'm loving this old manual analog ride...... and it has so much upside for mods...... and the worldclass driving experience to boot. Nothing like it imho.
Do your "friends" track their cars, or do they just hardpark at car meets and Starbucks?

Almost no one bats an eye at our old cars, but it's refreshing when people do. I drove my car for 30 mins or so yesterday, and got three compliments during that time. Those people understand.
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Discussing Nick's Estoril/Mulberry M3/4/5 "Build" Thingy That's Probably More of a Restoration 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)