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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-28-2018, 08:15:34 PM   #21
tripitz
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Default Re: Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an M3

Sounds like you have a really good plan and found a good car. Your upgrade path sounds good and reasonable. Won't be too difficult or require much work to do most of those changes. All good stuff! Drive it in good health and enjoy.

The full 2 car swap is not worth it unless you have a very specific purpose. Since I self-insured my car on track, I didn't have a nice check to go buy a new car. I had to find a cheap car that I could invest in over time (I just had spent $$$$ building the first car). If I had gotten nice check I would have for sure gotten a complete car and swapped over the MCS suspension and go fast bits...
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Old Tue, Aug-28-2018, 08:26:24 PM   #22
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Default Re: Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an M3

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Originally Posted by tripitz View Post
Sounds like you have a really good plan and found a good car. Your upgrade path sounds good and reasonable. Won't be too difficult or require much work to do most of those changes. All good stuff! Drive it in good health and enjoy.

The full 2 car swap is not worth it unless you have a very specific purpose. Since I self-insured my car on track, I didn't have a nice check to go buy a new car. I had to find a cheap car that I could invest in over time (I just had spent $$$$ building the first car). If I had gotten nice check I would have for sure gotten a complete car and swapped over the MCS suspension and go fast bits...
Thanks! Btw, I'm still not sure about one thing. Other than control arms and trailing arms, what about the suspension/subframe is different between the M3 and 3er? Axles maybe? What else should be changed over?

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Old Wed, Aug-29-2018, 02:12:02 AM   #23
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Default Re: Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an M3

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Thanks! Btw, I'm still not sure about one thing. Other than control arms and trailing arms, what about the suspension/subframe is different between the M3 and 3er? Axles maybe? What else should be changed over?

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Front subframe is the same (I am using the 325 subframe as the M3 one was bent). Rear should be as well. The axles *are* different between the M3 and the non-M3. Spindles are different as well to accomodate the bigger brakes. Since the spindles and rear trailing arms are different, your hubs and rear bearings are different as well. Rear brake lines are slightly different as well I believe as they use a 4 line setup with a middle hardline. I ended up swapping in my M3 ABS pump, although I believe they should be the same. Brake booster and master cylinder should be the same.


As mentioned elsewhere, regular 3 series does not come with reinforced rear subframe mounts. If you are going to put the M3 parts on, that's the time to do it.
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Old Fri, Jan-18-2019, 02:52:39 PM   #24
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Default Re: Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an M3

So an update on this with a question.

I love love love my new 328! Even before swapping any of the M3 parts, it was great. Plus she's Calypso Red and, wow wow wow!!! Gorgeous color. Drives nice, brakes well. Other than a little understeer, handles well at the limit. I'm in love. I'll take some nice photos and do an intro thread when it's not freezing out.

Here's my issue. I thought the subframe reinforcements were on the subframe itself, I didn't realize it was on the body of the actual car. Until I did a little extra homework, I thought swapping the subframe would do the trick. Now the subframe is already on and I'm banging my head on every wall I see, cos I'm gonna have to drop the fraggin' thing again. And since I don't know jack about welding, I'll have to pay someone to do it.

I had a shop inspect it; bushings looked fine, the mounting points were free of cracks or any sign of wear. So, I'm thinking of doing subframe reinforcements after this race season. I'm planning on around 11 weekends of autocross and 1-4 track days. The car's got 150K on it. The motor is mostly stock, pushing around 200-210 (crank) hp. It doesn't get driven very much either (I walk to work), so it's only taken out maximum once or twice a week for racing or a leisurely trip to shop/hang out.

You guys think one season is gonna do any damage to the subframe? Is it not worth the risk? Or is this type of damage more about repeated, long-term, hard driving over a period of many years?

Thanks again for all your help guys!
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Old Sat, Jan-19-2019, 08:53:11 AM   #25
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Default Re: Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an M3

The (front) subframe reinforcements are on the subframe cross member itself, not the chassis. Did I misunderstand you?

E36 chassis requires front and rear shock tower reinforcements, most MY95+ M3's came with the front, use Z3 bolt ons in the rear. RTAB pocket reinforcements are also required as are rear sway bar tab reinforcements, both of which need welding in/on. The front subframe needs welded reinforcements where the lower engine mount bolts go through, nothing on the chassis itself.
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Old Sat, Jan-19-2019, 10:51:49 PM   #26
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Default Re: Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an M3

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The (front) subframe reinforcements are on the subframe cross member itself, not the chassis. Did I misunderstand you?

E36 chassis requires front and rear shock tower reinforcements, most MY95+ M3's came with the front, use Z3 bolt ons in the rear. RTAB pocket reinforcements are also required as are rear sway bar tab reinforcements, both of which need welding in/on. The front subframe needs welded reinforcements where the lower engine mount bolts go through, nothing on the chassis itself.
Ah, should've specified. I mean the REAR subframe reinforcements are the ones that go on the body of the car itself. Where the subframe mounts.

Also, totally planning on going for shock tower reinforcement. But that's easy, just bolt on.

And yes, I was also planning on having RTAB pockets and front subframe reinforcements done too, basically do all the weld-in reinforcement in one fell swoop. I was just hoping to do a race season first.
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Old Sat, Jan-19-2019, 10:58:27 PM   #27
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Default Re: Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an M3

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/// S50B32 / 6MT / Slick Top / Alu Doors / Z3 Rack / Simota / Remus / Bilstein B6 / Eibach Pro+ / BBS RC / Goodyear F1 / Rally Road Bits / 3.62 CWP (TBI)
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Discussing Plan to convert an E36 3 series to an 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)