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Old Mon, Oct-29-2018, 04:18:57 PM   #1
larzagarden
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Default 1995 M3 Diary

Purchased my 1995 M3 Luxury Package with 110,000 miles on 10/24/2018


Later, Focus

List of Modifications Upon Purchase:
All assumed to have been added around 80k miles
- Cooling system overhaul (New water pump, stock radiator. Not sure of the full scope of the overhaul)
- Bilstein B16 PSS9 Coil-Over Suspension
- Ground control camber plates
- E46 ZHP 5-speed shift knob (stock one in trunk)
- Headliner Replaced (Nice!)
- Tinted side and rear windows (rear bubbling)
- Tinted fog lights
- Spare M Contour Style 23 Wheel

Issues Upon Purchase:
- Clock spring sounds broken
- Driver side window motor broken (purchased with interior panel, regulator, and motor uninstalled. Window is being propped up with a screwdriver wedged above the interior handle.)
- Tool kit is missing everything but tow hook (previous owner said the tools may be rolling around the spare tire compartment)
- Left brake light, right fog light, right rear license plate light out
- Seat belt receptacle causing airbag light on temporarily on startup
- Oil filter housing gasket needs replacing
- Brake rotors appear slightly grooved
- 3 or 4 minor dings on driver side hardly visible
- Rear window tint bubbling
- Passenger side rear armrest/interior side panel glue partially worn away
- Luxury slot grill broken (replacement mesh style grill in trunk)
- Wheels worn, need paint
- Cigarette lighter missing

Under My Ownership:
- Opened window motor and turned the copper coils by hand. What looks like carbon build-up started falling out. I plugged it back into the door and it worked. Need to reinstall with the regulator and interior panel. 10/25/2018


- Ordered parts from Turner Motorsports - 2 window regulator slide guide clips, OEM cigarette Lighter, Turner Motorsport rear shock tower mount reinforcement kit, oil filter housing gasket, OEM Mahle oil filter kit, BMW e36, Z3 strut tower reinforcement plates 10/26/2018

- Central locking stopped working. Investigated trunk wiring harness. Pulled back black rubber housing around Trunk Wires. Colored rubber insulation around most of the wires was broken. All but a solid brown wire were still connected. Twisted the copper of the brown wire together and covered all exposed copper on the wires with electrical tape. Reinstalled Wiring Harness. The Harness seems tighter and has tension on it when the Trunk Lid is fully open. Central locking was not restored by this. Will check fuses. Anyone feel free to tell me I'm doing something wrong or give tips, trying to learn here! 10/27/2018



- Upon closer inspection on 10/27/2018, small ~1/2" cracks (one in each strut tower) were found which extend from the bolt hole.


- Replaced the left brake light and right rear license plate light. Brake light failure showed on the OBC about 10 miles after replacement. CHECK CONTROL OK after starting car again. Could be some kind of bulb housing or circuit issue. 10/28/2018


Love the car
Pictures to come.

Last edited by larzagarden; Thu, Nov-08-2018 at 07:33:16 PM.
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Old Tue, Oct-30-2018, 02:46:48 PM   #2
larzagarden
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

Left brake light went out again. I thought it must be some issue with the bulb contacts in the tail light assembly. I didn't think it was the circuitry or switch because I believe the OBC would say BRAKE LIGHT CIRCUIT. I went to clean the contacts for the brake light and noticed it's worse then I imagined. There is a hole straight through the contact point in the assembly and wear on the bulb socket housing connection thing. I noticed this is not a brake light bulb. I think it's for the regular tail lights. I put a proper single filament brake light bulb in after these pictures.


I noticed my rear left tire is leaking air. It went from about 34psi to 18psi in two days. Just another thing I have to fix.

Interior lights didn't turn off immediately when locking the driver door. I didn't notice if this started at the same time as my central locking failed so I guess I'm hoping that the two issues are related and not separate problems. I went to look at the fuses but found all the ones responsible for Central locking were fine. Fuse 41, which is listed as an auxiliary fan fuse, was fried and I don't have a replacement for it yet.


Tried to pop the hood but the handle inside the car had a lot of resistance. I didn't want to pull too hard and break something and I thought I might have better luck in the daytime when it's warmer. I ended up being able to push and pull the hood to get it sitting correctly in the latches and then pulled the interior lever to pop it. The lever feels bad to pull so I'll replace the cable when I'm working in that area. Maybe during a radiator upgrade. Here's the dirty old beast (need new hood struts).


I received my parts from Turner Motorsports today. I'm looking forward to installing the plastic slide guide clips for the window regulator the most because then I can finally get out of the car without having to hold the window up and pull a screwdriver out from under it to be able to pull the door handle.


I called for a welding quote for my strut tower cracks. I sent them pictures of the cracks. I'll find out the price tomorrow.

Last edited by larzagarden; Thu, Nov-01-2018 at 03:47:49 PM.
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Old Thu, Nov-01-2018, 03:28:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

I cleaned out the window motor a little more because I'm ready to reinstall it with the regulator.



I have been gathering any loose hardware I found inside the car assuming it must all be for the regulator and door panel. I have a feeling there was a screw sitting in the door well that fell out while I was driving. If so, it's probably related to my leaking rear left tire. I still have a lot of screws and stuff left over lol.

The screwdriver that I've been using to keep the window up is visible in the second picture. It prevented the handle from being pulled from the inside so I'm really happy I got this sorted out. The window is not aligned properly yet. There is a small gap between it and the front of the door frame. I still haven't replaced the interior panel.


My friend came over and left me his soldering tool. I have never soldered before but I read that it could be a quick fix for my brake light issue. I also sanded the corroded looking bit on the bulb socket. Here is the soldered connection point in the tail light assembly. I don't know if I did a good solder job or not because I have nothing to compare it to but I works and that's what matters. Plus, this fix gives me more time to decide if I like the OEM, clear/white/euro, or smoked tail light look.


I called about my welding quote again and should get a real estimate today.
Happy Halloween

Last edited by larzagarden; Tue, Nov-20-2018 at 02:46:47 PM.
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Old Mon, Nov-05-2018, 12:57:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

Driver side window motor stopped working again. I opened it up and spun it by hand and it worked briefly but failed again the same day. I may suck it up and buy a new one.

I went to get my rear driver side tire patched and found out it was leaking due to the wheel being bent. I found a set of 5 Contours for sale and picked them up the next day. The seller said he had 4 Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires that were dismounted from them that morning so I picked those up as well. The 5th/spare wheel has some Toyo tire with zero tread just like the spare Contour that's already in the trunk of my car. So now I have 6 matching wheels and some summer tires ready to go (once the tires are re-mounted).



The place I want to go to for welding hasn't called me back and I forgot to bother them about it. I'll call them again today and pick somewhere else if this takes any longer.

Last edited by larzagarden; Tue, Nov-06-2018 at 01:58:18 PM.
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Old Thu, Nov-08-2018, 05:12:28 PM   #5
md36
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

Looking good so far! Just picked up a black 99' m3 coupe last night. Love it so far!
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Old Thu, Nov-08-2018, 06:48:24 PM   #6
larzagarden
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

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Originally Posted by md36 View Post
Looking good so far! Just picked up a black 99' m3 coupe last night. Love it so far!
Nice, congrats!

Also, Diary update: I got pulled over last night coming home from my friends house. We were working on my window motor which is now able to spin again but grinds/slips the gears between the motor teeth and regulator teeth. oof.

Anyway, we decided to go back to my place and grab some beer on the way. The officer apparently watched us and go into the store and come out and followed me after I exited the parking lot. I pulled over in another lot once he flipped on his lights. I parked, put on my interior lights, kept my hands on the wheel and asked if it was okay before I reached for my ID or registration which I think he appreciated.

I thought I accelerated too quickly getting up to speed but he told me he was stopping me for improperly displaying my front license plate (it's in my windshield). I told him I ordered a mount for it and it should arrive on Tuesday. He asked me to step out of the car and patted me down and I gave him permission to visually inspect my car. He kept asking if I had drugs or anything. He went wild looking for illegal substances. He pulled the cover for the sunroof motor off and whatever else. I didn't see everything because he called two more officers for back up to stay with me away from the vehicle. Weird flex, but ok... He insisted he found bits of weed in a backpack which is 100% a lie and then gave me a written warning for the license plate and I went on my way.

I don't know why he was so persistent with the drug search but I'm clean and happy not to get a fine for the license plate.

Welding update: Taking car in Tuesday for strut tower welding and front and rear reinforcements. Should be an 8 hour job.

Last edited by larzagarden; Thu, Nov-08-2018 at 06:51:46 PM.
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Old Sat, Nov-10-2018, 06:20:26 PM   #7
GG///M3
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

Welcome to the forums. Make sure the strut mounts are not shot. I just had my tower replaced on my 95 m3.

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Old Tue, Nov-20-2018, 02:25:55 PM   #8
larzagarden
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

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Originally Posted by GG///M3 View Post
Welcome to the forums. Make sure the strut mounts are not shot. I just had my tower replaced on my 95 m3.

Thanks! I forgot to ask the guys at the shop to check that while they were in there but I trust they would have noticed. They made detailed notes of everything from drive shaft to brakes. I did ask them to inspect the suspension specifically so I think my strut mounts must be fine... for now.


I got my car back from welding last night. The strut hats look brand new; you can't even see the welds! Front and rear reinforcement plates are installed and the bent wheel is fixed. The car needed an alignment and height adjustment too. The rear left was 1/2" higher than the rest of the car. Now everything feels tight and smooth. Here's the end result:


The shop I went to is impressive. They had a huge American Field Yellow Lab and let me take a tour of their current projects. They do mostly big builds - engine swaps, transmission conversions, custom cars - so I'm thankful they took the time to fix my comparatively smaller problems.

Central locking is fixed. It turns out I was right about the trunk wires. They caused a short and blew a fuse. The one that was blown was listed for the auxiliary fan (fuse 41) but when replaced, the power locking problem was solved.

I also got the front license plate mounted on a tow hook mount from amazon so hopefully that's the end of getting pulled over. Sorry for the over-edited black & white pic. I did this at night so the original picture didn't come out great.


Three more things require attention right now. Power steering leak...ugh... airbag light staying on (seat belt receptacle issue?), and noisy steering wheel which is probably the clock spring/slip ring. Thinking of swapping out the steering wheel for the 3 spoke anyway but I haven't decided.

Last edited by larzagarden; Mon, Nov-26-2018 at 06:21:10 PM.
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Old Wed, Nov-21-2018, 03:20:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

Some things I did recently:

I went to pick up some beater 15" wheels to use for winter since a friend of mine had some old Blizzak tires from his MKIV GTI. I met with a guy from craigslist who has a cool E36 graveyard and ended up also getting a second driver side window motor from him just in case I might ever need it.


Here are the wheels (Style 41) with my winter tires mounted.


Sadly the M3 front brakes are too big for 15" wheels. I saw some people recomend grinding down the caliper but that's not for me. I decided to repair my bent DS1 and run them for now. I would like to repaint them properly.


I amassed a few parts


This was a gift. Pretty neat cigarette holder. I have no use for it but it's neat.


Replaced air filter with a new one from Mann Filter.
Here's the old one:

Last edited by larzagarden; Wed, Nov-21-2018 at 05:08:17 PM.
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Old Mon, Nov-26-2018, 04:10:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1995 M3 Diary

Looks like you are off to a great start. Good luck with your build! These cars are a lot of fun to work on.
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