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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 Tue, May-29-2018, 09:45:05 PM   #11
Braymond141
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

Damage looks like less of an issue looking at it on PC. Car is definitely special ed as it sits now though.

If you're going to track the car, then you're going to want to cage it. I would not build a cage until I knew for sure the frame is straight (and held straight through the entire cage process). But that's just me.
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Old Tue, May-29-2018, 10:31:00 PM   #12
tripitz
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

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Damage looks like less of an issue looking at it on PC. Car is definitely special ed as it sits now though.

If you're going to track the car, then you're going to want to cage it. I would not build a cage until I knew for sure the frame is straight (and held straight through the entire cage process). But that's just me.
Or buy a roller pre-caged. A friend of mine managed to find one for $500. Not sure why I never find deals like that.... LOL.
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Old Tue, May-29-2018, 10:33:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
If you're going to track the car, then you're going to want to cage it. I would not build a cage until I knew for sure the frame is straight
This

I'd rather have a straight car with all kinds of paint damage. If this car already had the upgrades and cage then it makes more sense to repair. Given the damage area i would be concerned about the RTAB pocket moving or deforming. I just wouldn't want to see you put too much into the car and find out you want something cleaner
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Old Wed, May-30-2018, 02:45:30 AM   #14
Aeko
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

At this point, I already own the car. The worst I can do is be out 200 bucks checking the alignment to find out it's not worth it and still make money parting it all out. With just the engine and diff sold and I break even for everything.

The whole point is while I'm still an inexperienced driver (WRT track time) and I don't want to have a pristine M3 to drive to the limits and take out of the pool of remaining good, clean M3s if something does happen to it.

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Yeah I would most definitely listen to everyone and cut your losses now. Looks like one of the tasteless PO's had the moldings shaved after one of the accidents.
Talk about tasteless... they put e39 headlights that don't fit on it, shitty LED taillights, broke the dome light replacing the bulbs with LED lights, shitty carbon fiber hood with a monster logo sticker...

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I do not fully agree with the comments saying to start over. Track cars get messed up and I have seen quite a few E36s with significant frame damage resurrected from the dead and be quite competitive.

The main issue is that you do not have enough information. Go to a good alignment shop and see what they have to do to get it to track straight. If your caster and toe-in are way off side to side then probably not worth it. To me, spend the $100-200 to do this step and go from there.

Rear shock towers are relatively easy to fix, depending on the extent of the damage (I welded in AKG reinforcement plates which was not that difficult to do).

For the record, my "pristine never wrecked" E36 could never be aligned properly, ultimately ending up in a freak accident on track. My replacement "junker" with cracked shocked towers is an EPIC car... straight as an arrow. It has all of the main components out of the pristine car. It drives 100000x better than the original car. Just spend the 1-2 hours and get the alignment done. You'll be able to make an informed decision. Compared to the original car, it is a bit "tatty" and yet it eats other cars for lunch on track.
That's really interesting to hear, thanks for the input. That's what I'm going to attempt to do this week if I can find time is take it by a shop. I'll update once I know more.

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This

I'd rather have a straight car with all kinds of paint damage. If this car already had the upgrades and cage then it makes more sense to repair. Given the damage area i would be concerned about the RTAB pocket moving or deforming. I just wouldn't want to see you put too much into the car and find out you want something cleaner
Alas, there really isn't much available nearby that is cleaner in my price range. It seems either there are really questionable ones like I have, or really well sorted cars that the owners are proud of (and the price reflects that.) As far as the RTAB pockets, they seem to be unaffected. That's something I'm going to have the alignment shop look at carefully though.

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
Damage looks like less of an issue looking at it on PC. Car is definitely special ed as it sits now though.

If you're going to track the car, then you're going to want to cage it. I would not build a cage until I knew for sure the frame is straight (and held straight through the entire cage process). But that's just me.
I definitely agree with this.

Last edited by Aeko; Wed, May-30-2018 at 02:51:46 AM. Reason: Reducing down posts
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Old Wed, May-30-2018, 05:04:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

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Alas, there really isn't much available nearby that is cleaner in my price range. It seems either there are really questionable ones like I have, or really well sorted cars that the owners are proud of (and the price reflects that.) As far as the RTAB pockets, they seem to be unaffected. That's something I'm going to have the alignment shop look at carefully though.
So many people either want a clean one for fun or a whatever one for the track, prices are crazy and supply is tightening up a bit.

How seriously do you want to track? It costs $$$$$ to build a track car. I am scared to admit here how much money I have poured into my $1400 craigslist special chassis. If you want the car to run reliably, there are so many little things you have to do that the costs just get expensive. At least where I live, cages are very very very expensive. There are so many bushings and ball joints that need replacing and while they are individually cheap to replace, the time, tools, and parts start to really add up. If you want to avoid fuel starvation, that costs more. These cars are old and your life depends on it... a lot to replace/fix/update. Buy a track car if that is your real intention.


I'm not against trying to save this car. You just have to be realistic that this is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars in the end.
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Old Wed, May-30-2018, 01:44:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

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So many people either want a clean one for fun or a whatever one for the track, prices are crazy and supply is tightening up a bit.

How seriously do you want to track? It costs $$$$$ to build a track car. I am scared to admit here how much money I have poured into my $1400 craigslist special chassis. If you want the car to run reliably, there are so many little things you have to do that the costs just get expensive. At least where I live, cages are very very very expensive. There are so many bushings and ball joints that need replacing and while they are individually cheap to replace, the time, tools, and parts start to really add up. If you want to avoid fuel starvation, that costs more. These cars are old and your life depends on it... a lot to replace/fix/update. Buy a track car if that is your real intention.


I'm not against trying to save this car. You just have to be realistic that this is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars in the end.
I'm thinking long term. I probably won't even look at bringing this thing on a track for another year+ at least, I just want to daily it until then. I have all the tools I need from working on my 328i and I can do all the work myself. The only thing I really can't do is pull an engine because I have limited garage space.

That's a good point, I may want to look at a purpose built one when I'm ready to track, depending on what's available... If only to see if there's a good deal out there. Sometimes people are ready to move on and let them go for too "cheap."

And yeah I get that you can't put a price on safety. However for me it makes more sense to invest in this stuff a little at a time and build up until I have a solid car. I'd rather enjoy the experience of the build than buy prebuilt.
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Old Thu, May-31-2018, 01:22:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

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I'm thinking long term. I probably won't even look at bringing this thing on a track for another year+ at least, I just want to daily it until then. I have all the tools I need from working on my 328i and I can do all the work myself. The only thing I really can't do is pull an engine because I have limited garage space.

That's a good point, I may want to look at a purpose built one when I'm ready to track, depending on what's available... If only to see if there's a good deal out there. Sometimes people are ready to move on and let them go for too "cheap."

And yeah I get that you can't put a price on safety. However for me it makes more sense to invest in this stuff a little at a time and build up until I have a solid car. I'd rather enjoy the experience of the build than buy prebuilt.
Awesome. Well, this forum is a great place to start! While I'm not as experienced as some, I built a car twice from the frame up and will be more than happy to provide advice/input.

Just be up front with yourself about investing 20k+ in the car, even if you do all the work yourself (I did 90% of it... I had a shop fix some electrical item I messed up and install the safety equipment such as fire suppression, etc.). It's all the little stuff... there are a lot of bushings, etc. that wear out. Control arms? Power steering pump/hoses? Rack? The list goes on.... I had a TON of expensive parts after my wreck, including a full MCS 2-way setup and completely upgraded bushing/ball joints, plus the motor, and it still cost me a ton to rebuild. My cage next year will run 4k on the low end and up to 5k on the higher end. Safety gear alone cost a lot (seat mounts, belts, side mounts, seat, hans, bar/cage, fire? electrical cutoff? suit? helmet? gloves? shoes? ) IF I were to start over clean slate, I would buy a Camaro SS 1LE...
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Old Thu, May-31-2018, 03:23:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

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IF I were to start over clean slate, I would buy a Camaro SS 1LE...
I sooooo thought about selling my car and picking one up. I may still down the road. Sorry for the OT post
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Old Fri, Jun-01-2018, 03:16:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

Took it to another shop yesterday that does collision work and alignments. The owner said he had an M3 himself at one point. He looked at my M3 for 30 seconds and also said it wasn't worth fixing. Gonna take that as a sign and bring this project to a halt. I could get the alignment readout, but I was quoted $300 for that.

I also noticed the parking brake was *completely* gone... current theory is the previous owner drifted this car into a curb.

The question is now... polish it up and sell or part and sell? I really don't want to part a running, driving M3. The main things it needs are not-rice headlights, taillights, OEM hood, and some TLC on the interior and headliner. I can probably make it look nice for < $300. Paid 2600, came with $500 in brand new in box shocks and suspension parts. I can sell it for 4k and be ahead.

What would you guys do?
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Old Fri, Jun-01-2018, 04:16:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: Purchased my first Lemon...er M3!

Sell it for 4k and be ahead. No less.
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Discussing Purchased my first Lemon...er 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)