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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 Mon, Mar-04-2013, 09:52:27 PM   #1
englishtom1596q
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Default My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

I've decided on doing a build thread as I get my car where I want it to be. I'm not raking in money, so it will be the more realistic, step by step thread over the next year, giving pictures and information along the way.

I've been working in a shop since i was 16 and helped put myself through college for aviation working at Dealerships, Small shops and Chain automotive shops. I have a decent idea of what i'm doing BUT!! i am in no way an expert and I am always learning.

Onto the car: 1998 BMW M/3/4/5 with 140800 on it when i bought it just over a month ago and now 144124 on the clock. YES! this car is also my daily, making 50 mile round trips to the airport everyday.

The car i bought had Zero maintenance records so It was a gamble. After popping the hood and jacking the car up though, I found no rust and no damage of any sort, so i took the chance and did a loan with a local bank for $8000.

Plans for the car are to get it track ready. I plan to keep it as a daily driver but still ready for track duty. This year i plan to become involved with BMWCCA of Michigan along with numerous autox events. I am young, vibrations and harsh rides do not bother me, Just throwing that out there if you're wondering about my part selections.




Last edited by englishtom1596q; Tue, Mar-05-2013 at 02:23:11 PM.
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Old Mon, Mar-04-2013, 10:11:05 PM   #2
englishtom1596q
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

This weekend i finally got chance to do the Rear Trailing Arm Bushings. Mine were not severely warn but not up to the standards I like. Also Michigan uses grooved pavement in some parts of the freeway and I would find my rear end following the grooves as the RTAB allowed the toe to move.

The parts i selected was AKG 75D RTAB. I know a lot of people choose OEM with Limiters (which is actually on my 99). The reason i made this choice was
*Ease of install
*The low cost
*High quality of product
*Limited amount of movement allowed.
*Longevity of product.

I left everything attached for this job even though removing the brake line and Rear shocks would have given more room to play. After removing the 3x 18mm bolts the arm dropped freely. Then using 2 breaker bars with short 18mm sockets i removed the bolt, which passes through the bushing and holding the bracket in place.

Then i installed the tool (rented from "nitro3421") and began pulling the bushing out



They came out reasonably easy once the rust and corrosion that had built up finally separated.

I then sanded out the pockets to remove corrosion and make install easier. Then i coated with anti seize to ease removal later if necessary.




Next came install which was easy as pie. These CANNOT be pushed in by hand.



But with some ingenuity they went in like a charm.





I used wood to make sure the pressure was placed evenly and using the C clamp the pushed in easily without effort.

Next i filled the inside hole with automotive grease which AKG recommended and slid the metal guide bushing through. Slid the bracket back over, installed the bolt through the bushing and tightened.

I then put the bushing back in the socket and installed the 3 bolts and took it for an alignment today. You MUST get the car aligned after this. The holes are slotted for movement which the technician uses to set rear toe. Although i set mine back where the paint was clean, it was still off by a few degrees.

This thursday i have the AKG RTAB pocket reinforcements which are going to be welded in. This is also a must since i went with a hard bushing, i do not want my pockets getting ripped out!

Last edited by englishtom1596q; Tue, Mar-05-2013 at 02:21:02 PM.
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Old Mon, Mar-04-2013, 10:15:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

Old bushings




After the alignment the car feels superb! Back end feels solid and instills a bit more confidence. Also they aren't as harsh as i suspected. The wonderful quality of Michigan roads are definitely a good test but everything feels smooth so far.

Last edited by englishtom1596q; Tue, Mar-05-2013 at 02:21:43 PM.
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Old Mon, Mar-04-2013, 10:25:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

Subscribed... looks nice!
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Old Tue, Mar-05-2013, 12:41:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

Pics aren't working.
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Old Tue, Mar-05-2013, 01:29:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

Pics should be working now. I rearranged my photobucket into folders which i believe caused the issues.

Tonight i finished wiring up my Euro headlights. I picked them up awhile ago from the UK for a total of $100 by the time they were back stateside. If you're looking for parts, use ebay.co.uk and write to the sellers. Often times they'll just charge you a bit more to ship to the states.

I'd originally bought a set of DDM harnesses which...turned out to be the biggest waste of money i've ever spent. Here are some pics..



And compared to OEM





This was the first of my issues. I got in contact with a guy in the UK who shipped me both headlight pigtails and both aim motor pigtails for a whooping $20. So my plan then became to mate the OEM pigtails to the US headlight plugs so switching back to US wouldn't be an issue.

Next came this issue



This is the wire for the main headlight on both sides and as you can see they've become a little brittle and dry rotted.





Problem solved. Onto my next issue caused by DDM.
Anybody here want to spot the problem?



This caused me to blow out a fuse until i caught it. It was sending power straight to ground every time i turned the headlight on, which in turn would blow my fuse (in the car and my brain). So I ended up pulling the connectors apart and beginning from scratch.



After step by step wiring the plugs to the pigtail, checking continuity along the way, i managed to get one side wired up with the aiming motor wired in for the ground.



And FINALLY!



All heat shrunk and wrapped in electrical tape ready for install tomorrow.



Last edited by englishtom1596q; Tue, Mar-05-2013 at 01:33:04 AM.
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Old Tue, Mar-05-2013, 01:38:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

hey i saw that you are from michigan. im from chicago and really want to go to track this summer,, where is the closest track or where is the track that you are going to.? if we go to same track same weekend we can make Mclub, ..
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Old Tue, Mar-05-2013, 02:18:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

Theres Gingerman which is by South Haven. Grattan which is by Grand Rapids. Tire rack in South Bend IN. And numerous autox events all over the state.
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Old Tue, Mar-05-2013, 04:11:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

Maybe I'm not reading this right, but you got it aligned before having the reinforcement plate welded in?
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Old Tue, Mar-05-2013, 04:55:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread

Great to start to what I imagine to be a solid build!

What type/brand of anti-sieze and grease did you use for the RTABs?
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Discussing My 98 M3/4/5 Build Thread 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)