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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 Sat, Jan-28-2017, 10:26:10 PM   #1
betrezra
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Default My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Landed my first M car this week. After making some track events in my C63 507 ed.... and my old C5 Z06..... I really wanted to build up an E36 M3. The good price point, the potential for a future LS swap (vorshlag)..... got me motivated.

I'm keeping the C63 for weekend..... but depending on how this build turns out... I just might off the merc. (more to come).

Time-line:
Last Tues - picked up the craiglist 176K mile 1999 M3 for $8.8K USD. WAs local sellers dd for 7 yrs.... so not from a flipper. Always a Tx car. No wrecks etc..

Comes with mods: Dinan Ported TB, CAI, Tune, and LT Header, Dinan Catback.
Lowered on HR sports, and Bilsteins.

Known Issues: random brake light circuit warning (but brake lights work), air bag light (plan to remove anyway, perhaps install res across circuit), seats pretty worn (recover, or race seats TBD), needs brake job, rear shocks blown... TLC.




Stuff on order:
New OEM tail lights,
New yellow fogs (after market),
New yellow side markers (after market),
New rear struts, strut mounts, gasket set,
New front OEM rotors, pads,
CF door cards (contoured) with racing pulls,
New front OEM carpet kit,
Rear Seat Delete panel,
3 spoke Alcantara steering wheel on order (no airbag style),
All new BMW emblems, wheel caps, etc... (currently has cheesy cf crapppy stuff),



Projects completed this weekend:
1. sounded like the rear subframe was falling off over bumps.... literally on teh drive home and not before... I thought OH Hellllllll I got shafted..... it was just the rear shock mounts on top disintegrated..... so the shocked were dancing in the perches..... what a racket. (no flames.... just installed a couple old 5.0 mustang bushings.... until my new bilsteins arrived)>>>>> works like a charm.
2. rear wing was coming loose.... vibrating like a beeech..... had to tap a hole to mount the broken insert..... probably just going to go with a CF trunk... will research best mfr of this part.... guessing VIS>
3. Totally degreased engine bay..... steering rack was covered in 170k mile of crud..... top end of engine was clean.... perhaps a valve cover service? No record of vanos svc... but pulls good up top.
4. Removed 10 yrs old tints.... what a pain.... remove outer skin... then razor blade glue 1 hr /window!
5. cleaned inspected each wheels well, brakes, rotors, wheels, tires, brake lines.... cont arms, etc.... nothing loose by hand... wheel bearings.. no play..... just front rotors/pads shot. ... just ordered cheapo stock rotors for now.
6. degreased trunk carpets... must have hauled a motor back there!!! removed some insulation in the truck area....
7. pulled a small dent out of the right front wheel arch.... not perfect.. will get perfect on paint time.....
8. dremel the curb rash on wheels..... might get pro done if I keep these wheels.... they do weigh a bit....


After driving high power mercs for years.... supercharged CLK, and a few C63's..... I was shocked at how damn much fun this car is on the street...... engaging to say the least! It's go-cart like...... and the n/a pull of that little motor is pretty intoxicating....... I was pretty sure I would just have an LS motor installed..... but now I'm rethinking my plan.... Just depends on how long this old 176k mile motor will last on a track, and I know its worth more to sell in running shape.....

I'll probably daily drive for a month of so.... work the bugs out.... then hit an autocross.... then a track day..... and go from there.

Glad I found this place.

New..... M fan.....

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Old Sat, Jan-28-2017, 11:26:20 PM   #2
M_Parallel
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Cool. Keep the updates coming.
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 12:52:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Nice pick up, you'll enjoy the car on track. Your C63 is markedly faster, on the streets and circuit alike, however you'll quite possible find the E36 to be more fulfilling to drive.
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 02:15:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

These cars are a ton of fun and everything you said about the handling is dead on. Mine is very track oriented, but I still love just jumping in for errands...never fails to put a smile on my face!
But on the track is where it really makes yah hoot, amazing car on the track.

Last edited by Versingetrix; Sun, Jan-29-2017 at 02:18:43 AM. Reason: phat fingers
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 02:53:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Looks like a great candidate for $10k worth of LSx swap.
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 03:28:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Congrats! I was looking at that car, too, but decided against it. I guess I'll see you at the track.
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 03:31:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Mparrellel---will do. This thing seems to make me want act like a 19 yr old w a driver lic..... Prob because the fun happens way up in the revs:::

Nate--- spot on

Vers---- the merc has been sitting in the gar since I brought this tired //M home..

Pb-- that is my big next fork in the build road------ Freshen up this old 6... I'm sure it could use rings bearings, Or sell it and just get a fresh ls-x.
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 03:33:13 AM   #8
betrezra
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Sq---- yep cota is my goal.. Will be cool to compare to my cota time in the c5z.. And the 507 c63.
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 03:39:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

You guys might appreciate this 90's used car experience:::

I'm so excited to have my toy so I take my wife to dinner in it the night i drive it home.... She's already skeptical when I chirp the alpine alarm and set off the alarm leaving the house... We roll to dinner w the rear shocks missing the top bushings and she suggest my toy is unsafe.... So we arrive at trendy bar rest and I valet:::::: pull up, get out then alarm goes off and valet guy can't get it started.... Wife unhappy w my track project .... To put the final cherry on top--- I pop the pioneer faceplate off and ask my wife to carry it in her purse. Classic 90's flashback. She says no more dates in that car!

Funny how much things change on cars in 18 yrs.

Alarm going in the trashbin... stereo getting upgraded soon.

Last edited by betrezra; Sun, Jan-29-2017 at 11:18:59 AM.
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Old Sun, Jan-29-2017, 03:29:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins

Looks like a great project car. Enjoy!
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Discussing My $8.8K 176K mile Craigslist E36M3 Journey Begins 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)