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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, Aug-15-2017, 03:11:20 AM   #1
Chaz17
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Default Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

Back around March(ish) I was searching for an E36 M3 as a project/weekend car to have some fun with/waste money on. After a few weeks of searching I came across this 95 black M3 with 196k on it in Arkansas.

A lot of miles, but it was originally a Texas car so it didn't have a speck of rust anywhere. Needed a few things, but for the price I paid it was (IMO) well worth it.



Drove 6 hours from Dallas, where I was working for a week, to Arkansas. Took my rental car through a literal tornado warning in Oklahoma and some of the heaviest rain I've ever experienced lol.





Got some sleep in a POS motel room with a dog out back that would not shit up all night. Then met up with the seller the next morning.

Checked over the car a bit, handed the guy some cash, and jumped in for the ~20 hour drive home. Brave? Little bit. Interesting? Maybe. Stupid? Absolutely.

Grabbed a drive out tag at the local DMV and bought insurance beforehand, of course.



My (very little) thinking was that if it made the trip home, it would prove itself as a worthy buy. The whole chance of it leaving me stranded in The Middle of Nowhere, USA didn't really come into view until the middle of Pennsylvania.





1,100 miles of smooth, 85 mph sailing. Through some really beautiful parts and some really interesting parts of the country.

And then the rain came. And with that, I could feel the grip of the car disappearing. After trying to sit in other people's tracks on the highway for an hour I finally pulled off and found a sears. I knew the car would need tires soon, but I did not expect them to wear this quickly.





Only 2 hours from home. Nearly made it.

Either way, 2 hours and $750 later I was back on the road. Running on 3 hours sleep and the largest coffee I could find.



The last bit of the drive was *luckily* pretty uneventful. 2 hours later and I was back in my town in NJ. My $4800 purchase had (pretty much) stood up to the ultimate test drive. That 196k mile S50 sat at 4k RPMs for hours without so much as a stutter. What a peach.



Now the fun part begins.
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 03:25:54 AM   #2
Chaz17
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

So what's the first thing I do to it when I get it home? Check the brakes? Change the oil? Some other routine maintenance a 200k mile car undoubtedly needs?

Wrong. PSS9s b****es. With some SPC camber plates.











3 a.m. bath & clay bar after finishing the install





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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 03:26:08 AM   #3
westopher
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

Nice! That was ****ing ballsy, and like you said, what a great way for the car to prove itself worthy. Can't fault it for the tires. Enjoy it!
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 03:31:46 AM   #4
Chaz17
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

Ok. Now really, the routine maintenance. Just drove it 1300 miles straight home after all right?

Nah mate. Recaros.







Side note: got some brackets made by Wedge. They make the brackets so it drops perfectly into stock evo 8/9 seat rails & the OEM mounting points in the E36. The brackets are pretty robust and felt well-built. Only suggestion I have is get your own grade 8+ hardware for attaching the brackets to the rails. You'll re-use the stock bolts/nuts for securing into car. But the hardware they send you is pretty cheap stuff. I snapped one of the first bolts without trying too hard so I borrowed some decent hardware from work.
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 03:32:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by westopher View Post
Nice! That was ****ing ballsy, and like you said, what a great way for the car to prove itself worthy. Can't fault it for the tires. Enjoy it!
Thanks bud! I was looking everywhere for a technoviolet actually. But only found one rusty bucket in Massachusetts that just didn't do it for me.

Maybe I'll wrap this thing one day

Last edited by Chaz17; Tue, Aug-15-2017 at 03:42:39 AM.
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 03:40:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

Ended up doing some detective work the other night. My washer nozzles weren't hooked up from when I first bought it but all of the hoses/wires were there... I hooked up the hoses, pin plug for the washer fluid motor, and then found a harness I thought was to the heated nozzles.

Weird part? One of the two plugs that SHOULD be the heated nozzle dongle was plugged into the horn... and the horn one was just sort of hanging there. Chillin.

After staring at this for 10-15 minutes in a sort of "There's no way this could be the root cause. It's not possible. This is far too simple and dumb." stupor, I switched the plugs around to what I thought was right.

Boom. Washers work. Horns stronger. And the 4 loose dongles floating around my engine bay found a home. Baffling, but satisfying.

Heated nozzle plugged into horn:


Better:


Heated washer nozzle harness
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 03:46:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

One of the biggest factors in buying this car:

This is the book of maintenance records on the car. Nearly every bit and bolt that went into this thing since 2000 is documented.
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 03:52:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

I recently moved to Maryland for work and this 'project' car has all of a sudden become my daily. And *knock on wood* this thing has done pretty well at it so far.

I'll get around to being responsible eventually...


Last edited by Chaz17; Tue, Aug-15-2017 at 03:58:39 AM.
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 07:29:10 AM   #9
Hasan Shaikh
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

Congratulations! Enjoy in good health.

Lovely car and a very interesting test drive.
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Old Tue, Aug-15-2017, 11:28:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 M3

That's a great story. If you see something you like, just go for it. Some people let their dreamcar go, beause it's one state away.

You're PSS9 kit again reminds me on one of my big misteries and I wonder what you P/N is of your set.

I've been on PSS9's since 2009. Back when I only had the 328i. I ordered the M3 version as I wanted to convert to the shock mounted droplinks to make the stock swaybar more effective, without needing to go aftermarket.

When the set arrived (it was ordered by a shop) I noticed there were no shock mounted droplinks and the set even came with a conversion set of control arm mounted droplinks.

I did check the P/N on the box a few times and should be the M3 version.

The shocks don't have the mounts, as there is a second helper spring located on that spot. What's also striking is the completely different mainspring from what you have. Mine is much smaller in width, the same width along its lenght and it's also liniair.

Now I've been told that liniair spring are usually used in a more performance/race oriented setting. Don't quote me on it though.

On a big side step, way back in my scooter tuning past, I had this exotic race shock on the back with adjustable rebound and compression and remote reservoir and a liniair spring.

Now seeing your setup again confuses me.

Now the article on Pelican Parts confirms that my shock is the correct M3 one, even though it lacks the mounts:

Quote:
If you select the PSS suspension system for your M3, first convert the sway bar drop links to the stock E36 setup.

This is how mine looks:


I've thought about removing the helper spring (what does it help for!?) and fitting one of those droplink mount brackets I have seen on Porsche PSS9 kits. Or just fit a bigger front sway, but this usually means numerous pounds of extra weight.
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Discussing Cross-country pickup: 1995 E36 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)