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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 Fri, Nov-28-2008, 10:33:03 PM   #1
Junger
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Default E36 M3 for a Track Car...?

Hey Guys,

I'm thinking about picking up E36 M3 and making it into a track car. Porsche 911 has always been my favorite but cost a lot more and expensive to maintain. So looking into E36 M3. How do you like your E36 M3 as a track car? I have driven E36 M3 and it is more nimble and agile than my E46 M3. And what should I look for when purchasing one. I probably won't care of the interior condition as it will be stripped. In mechanics, what should I look for? I know most M are driven hard so what's the life expectancy at given mileage?

Thanks!
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2008, 10:39:58 PM   #2
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check out the race/track for sale forum over on BFC, there are a couple of FULLY built E36 track cars for sale right now...

I LOVE my E36 M3 for a track car... link in sig to my cardomain page with pics of all my track mods, etc..
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2008, 11:36:40 PM   #3
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Very nice! Thanks for sharing that. Your car looks nicely setup. How often do you track?


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check out the race/track for sale forum over on BFC, there are a couple of FULLY built E36 track cars for sale right now...

I LOVE my E36 M3 for a track car... link in sig to my cardomain page with pics of all my track mods, etc..
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2008, 11:37:16 PM   #4
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I have never tracked mine, but I imagine they make excellent track cars. The mileage is almost not an issue, as opposed to the maintenance. If you can find a model with evidence of regular fluid changes, that is the one to go for. You can search for the things to watch out for while buying on the forum for details. For a track car, I would really just start her up and listen to the engine. Make sure it doesnt sound like a diesel (bad VANOS), and make sure your thermostat stays in the middle. Also, listen and feel for a vagueness in the rear end, as it could mean some rewelding if you feel a loose or vague rear end.

hope that helps a bit, good luck on your search! The e46 is an excellent car and I can't wait to be able to afford something like one, but you will also enjoy the agility of the e36!
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Old Fri, Nov-28-2008, 11:55:40 PM   #5
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i have owned my car for a little over 3 years, most of those in Hawaii (no track)

I primarily did auto-x out in HI, about once a month. The car recently got shipped back to my house (IL) and in the 2 months I've been at home to drive it on track, I've done 8 track days.

Depending on how serious you want to get into tracking, building your own from scratch is a ton of fun if you like DIY'ing but the cost does not make financial sense if you already know your going to turn it into a track car. (I didn't at the beginning)

If you want a track car, buy a car that already has a lot of the work done to it. You know its been OVER maintained. I will always buy a car that has been tracked over a daily driven granny car. Someone who takes their car to the track is more "on top" of the maintenance for the car. Granny driven cars tend to "forget" fluid changes, bearing/bushing changes, blown suspensions, etc...

If I had to do it all over again, I would of bought an e30 full blown race car with a trailer.

If you have the funds, already built E36 race car is my vote.
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Old Sat, Nov-29-2008, 12:18:15 AM   #6
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My car isn't a track rat, but I agree with Calvin. I just spent $1000 on parts to simply refurbish my rear end (bushings and seals mostly) with OEM spec parts and put a new clutch in the car (parts sitting right now waiting to be installed)...nevermind the front end, good light weight wheels, tires, upgraded brakes, modifications, ect. A good coilover kit with camber plates will run about $2K. A race suspension kit will run a lot more than that. The car is very easy to work on...it's rewarding and even fun. But you'll save money in the long run over doing all the work and buying parts yourself...fighting with bushings, ect. Not to mention the tools you'll need for that stuff.

Are US E36 M3's underpowered for the track though? Make this decision before you buy, based on what you plan on running with and what your intentions are. Power is expensive for the E36. Just to bring it up to E46 power (in NA form) you'd need full breather mods, cams, software, HFM, ect. That's about $3K give or take. FI will get you there, and a SC would probably be best suited. But, not everyone likes FI on the track, and that's a $4-5K job right there if you DIY it.

Buy a track prepped car and fine tune anything that you need to change to your liking, or that you don't trust.
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Old Sat, Nov-29-2008, 12:34:25 AM   #7
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http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/f...ne_700_907.jpg
hey OahuMpower, what kind of wheels are these?
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Old Sat, Nov-29-2008, 12:35:57 AM   #8
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even e36 stock power, with full suspension and LIGHTENED, makes for a VERY fun car..

my car is not nearly stripped all the way.. you can get e36's in the 2600lb range pretty easily in full race form..

i have all the basic power adders... exhaust/headers/pulleys/intake/m50/software and put down around 235 at the wheels. Figure 2900-3000lbs with some basic light weight mods (rear set removal/trunk strip/spare tire removed/race seats/rims) and you have a VERY fun car...

am I a little low on power on the longer straights at Road America and some other tracks with longer straights, sure, but the power comes on great, is more nimble than the e46, and obviously you can go other ways if you REALLY wanted the power (cams, euro motor, FI if you really want to replace HG's all the time)

after my seats/harnesses get installed my car will be a TON of fun and very competitive even against the e46's as long as there is not an LONG straight aways... obviously an e46 with all the mods I've done though would spank me...

choices.. LOL

e30 gutted/caged with s52 FTW!!!!
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Old Sat, Nov-29-2008, 12:39:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshire View Post
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/f...ne_700_907.jpg
hey OahuMpower, what kind of wheels are these?
that is a picture of a guy over on BFC. thats a 328 with 18x10 DForce LTW5's in silver with 285/35/18's on it. That required the flares and a LOT of work to get to fit.. he ended up doing real metal flares with e46 330 fender flares. IIRC cost him about 1200 in labor/paint to do the flares properly after the CF 240sx flares were removed

i have 17x9 LTW5's in anthracite in a couple pictures on my cardomain page as well as 17x9 SSR Comp C's in anthracite as well. My OEM set of rims are contour's all 8.5" for my daily driving
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Old Sat, Nov-29-2008, 12:49:42 AM   #10
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Thanks guys for your insight. I think finding one made for track is the way to go. But I do like the idea of building one myself as it is something I would enjoy doing. I have driven E36 M3 and I feel I’ll be satisfied with the power. My main concern is the weight as it is the enemy of a good track car. And good suspension setup and great brakes are something I would need… I think biggest gripe I have with Motorsport is the brakes. I feel brakes on all M cars are inadequate. I’m hoping in the future, they would take a page out of Porsche and put some good brakes in the car. And for safety, roll cage would be a definite plus! I’ll see what happens. Anyway, thanks for your responses…
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Discussing E36 M3 for a Track Car...? 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)