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M3AN E36 M3 PLOG (Project Log)

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That looks so much better than that ugly white leather. Really like the recaro.

If you dont mind me asking, what sort of money is the work to recover the seats costing?

Thanks and no problem...

Reupholster supplied rear seat (base/back) retaining existing leather and using supplied material

Reupholster supplied front seat inserts (base/back x2) using supplied material

Create new front seat base bolster covers (x4) using supplied material

Repair front seat base bolsters (x4)

= approx. $1000

So, add the seats, the material, the mounting bases, the sliders, the belt buckles, the door cards and you're looking at a silly amount... :-/

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So with re trimming the seats how you have how much material did they use to recover the centers front an rear?

im looking to buy some 1.5m wide fabric but don't want to end up with too much

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11 hours ago, WYZEUP said:

So with re trimming the seats how you have how much material did they use to recover the centers front an rear?

im looking to buy some 1.5m wide fabric but don't want to end up with too much

I'll have to measure how much is left when I get home but they used way less than I expected!

Edited by M3AN
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20 hours ago, WYZEUP said:

So with re trimming the seats how you have how much material did they use to recover the centers front an rear?

im looking to buy some 1.5m wide fabric but don't want to end up with too much

So it looks like 1.5m wide should be enough to do both the left and right seat panels (assuming you're not doing the bolsters) and 2m in length should be okay to do the front and rear seats but that probably won't allow for any cutting errors so I'd go for 3m. Of course it will depend on the seats and I only have experience with mine. If you measure the outside of the panels as rectangles and add 100mm to each dimension you'll be safe.

Edited by M3AN
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Thank you very much for that, helps me with ordering my material

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It's been a while, not much to say really except the car's off the road at the moment because of a dodgy DME (ECU).

In the meantime I've been replacing the wiring loom in the trunk, it's common for the wires from the lid to the main body to wear and break or short (you should check yours if you have an e36 or e39).

Anyway, the e36 replacement "repair" loom from BMW (61-12-8-391-788) comes with wire tails and silly little solder connectors so I replaced those with a proper plug.

How they come:

WireTails.jpg

Spades clamped on ready to solder:

ClampSolder.jpg

Finished plugs:

LoomPlugs.jpg

 

Trunk lid is now done and back together, including routing the existing spoiler cable.

Now I need to do the chassis side which will be a little less convenient!

 

Edited by M3AN
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What has been happening with the DME? Water ingress or something? 

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8 hours ago, Michael. said:

What has been happening with the DME? Water ingress or something? 

No, was dry as a bone in the compartment (a fair bit of dust though) but the PCB has what looks like some fouling on it. There's an intermittent ECU code being thrown and the car stutters when this happens so I'm hoping a] this is the cause and b] it's not too expensive to fix.

I've had an offer of help, I just need to follow that up.

So I thought I'd do the loom and I might also replace the fuse box whilst I'm at it. It looks like whoever did the aftermarket alarm all those years ago was a little rough.

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Finished the trunk loom, should be good for another 20 years and it's one of those little details that I'm hoping sets my example apart from the masses.

In the end I ran the spoiler cable (two wires in a rubber sheath) on the outside of the repair loom. Feeding it through just didn't seem feasible (it probably is, I just don't have a method). It's weatherproof and fed through both boots so fits the bill just fine.

Pro Tip: when you're checking continuity then your separate earths will still connect... duh. Don't spend 30 mins trying to work that out.

Brake light, plate lights, lock actuator and lid closed signal all work! Nice.

 

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So, long time no post. This is a bit of a reminder for me to update:

  • ECU repaired
  • Fuse box replaced (PITA)
  • Injectors being serviced
  • Front bumper repainted (new fixtures arrived for fitting)
  • New fuel filter to go in
  • Replace windscreen washer pump and level sensor (new parts arrived)
  • Swap alu radiator from the 328 into M3 (new OEM rad for 328 has arrived)

Some work to do...

 

 

 

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What turned out to be the fault with the ecu, and how hard was it to fix?

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12 hours ago, zero said:

What turned out to be the fault with the ecu, and how hard was it to fix?

One of the components was fried, sent it away to Christchurch to get fix. Aside from the hit on my wallet it was easy! :)

 

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I installed the refurbished injectors (PITA) and new fuel filter and took her out for a spin... and wow, the beast is back!

I'm actually quite stunned with how the car feels, drives and sounds now, it's almost a different machine. And no codes! :wub:

First, there's no hesitation, idle is smoother, there's no unburnt fuel smell in the engine bay and the exhaust smells almost neutral (used to smell rich). The pickup on throttle is far quicker and the sound on WOT is rabid, the good old M3 rasp is back in spades. I'm quite surprised at how much better it feels (and sounds - I didn't expect that).

The injectors really needed a service, 2 were at ~85% flow and another 3 were at ~90% flow which really is far from optimal. The amount of sediment that came out of the lines and filter was also quite impressive (i.e bad).

Injectors went into place quickly enough but getting the back two clips on (6th injector and fuel rail clips) took me as long as the rest of the job, really difficult access. But hey, the engine bay isn't full of fuel so that's a good sign. Phil at InjectorTech (http://www.injectortech.co.nz/) did a really good job and even fixed a broken injector for me, nice one, highly recommended. 

Fuel filter was a cinch once I worked out how to decouple the Dorman connectors (I think that's what they are). No tube and clamp setup here like a "normal" e36, mine (and I suspect all M3's) has fancy-pants couplings. The good thing is they go back on so easily with a reassuring 'click' to confirm they're engaged and sealed. It actually took me longer to get the (extended) under panel off and back on than it did to swap out the filter.

Front bumper is also back on with all new fixings and cracked front fog lamp swapped with a good one out of the 328.

So, back on the road after ~6 weeks and well deserving of a good wash and clean which she'll get tomorrow.

Front strut bar is at the powder coaters for a matt black finish rather than the shiny anodised finish it has now.

Next? Install the alu radiator which I need to get out of the 328 first. Have the replacement for the 328 and now the M3 is up and running I might tackle that this weekend.

Then? Probably a steering rack swap from purple tag to Z3 which I have sitting in the garage. 

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Oh, and I replaced the level sensor and pump in the windscreen wiper reservoir since both had failed. Paid $5 for a new pump from China rather than the $50+ people want locally - even if I need to replace it every 2 years I'll still be ahead in another 15 years.

Both work flawlessly now so no WoF issues expected from that (no pump = failed WoF).

Is there a good way to clean/decalcify the washer lines?

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15 hours ago, M3AN said:

 

Is there a good way to clean/decalcify the washer lines?

Best to just run some new hose.

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Got the front strut bar back from the powdercoaters today, I don't think I've ever been this impressed with matt black, it looks awesome! Better than I expected TBH.

Big shout out to Craig and the team at Mikestan Powdercoating they're a real pleasure to do business with and it only cost me $40.

I didn't actually get the strut caps done because they didn't look like they needed it, they seemed much darker than the bar. I'll reserve judgement until I check them again in the sunlight tomorrow but I may end up taking them in as well.

And still no codes! :wub:

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Update on the radiator...

I took the alu one out of the 328 and replaced that with the OEM one, all good. Cleaned and flushed the alu one and even spent 30 mins straightening out all the bent fins; put it in the garage.

Got the old rad out of the M3 a few days later which was easy as I have no fan or cowls, three hoses, two clips and uncoupling the oil cooler. Lost only a few mils when draining so I could reuse the (expensive) BMW coolant (it's only a year old).

Dropped in the alu rad and got it settled into place no problem. Got underneath to hook up the oil cooler and... no go. The brackets are there on the radiator but the actual radiator design makes it impossible to fit the cooler, there's simply not enough room - it's a lazy design oversight. No amount of fettling, hammering or even pounding was going to create room for it to fit.

Do NOT buy a Redline Performance alu radiator for an e36 M3!! Fit's fine in the 328 (no oil cooler) and should fit in the M3 but it's miles off. Avoid.

So I had a beer to consider my options. I'm glad the cricket was on the radio. Didn't take long for me to work out my only practical option.

Drained the 328 and hauled the OEM radiator back out, slotted that into the M3 and hooked up the oil cooler no problem (of course). Filled it (NB: make sure drain plug is in rad before filling!) and made sure everything was tight. Self bleeding cooling systems are the biz.

Put the alu radiator back into the 328 and faffed around with refilling and bleeding that again... :-/ 

So, I could have:

1. Taken OEM radiator from box and put it in the M3: 90 mins max.

What I did was:

1. Drain and remove perfectly good alu radiator from 328 and replaced it with an OEM one: 3 hours

2. Drain and remove old radiator from M3: 30 mins

3. Fit alu radiator to M3 and wank around trying to get it to fit: 60 mins

4. Have beer and decide what to do: 10 mins

5. Drain and remove OEM radiator from 328: 60 mins

6. Install OEM rad in M3: 30 mins

7. Reinstall alu rad in 328: 60 mins

How to turn a 90 mins job into a 6+ hour job.  Nice.

Anyway... one change I made on the M3 was to install a lower aux fan temp switch (from the E30 I think) into the M3. This one operates at 80/88*C (low/high fan speed) as opposed to the standard 91/99*C. I've kept my 88*C thermostat. The reason I did this was because I'm not using a clutch fan at all and wanted to provide some extra cooling as soon as the thermostat opens. The front (aux) pusher fan is really powerful and should be enough (unless you blow a fuse, ask me how I know). My oil temps (measured using the dash gauge) have dropped 8-10*C (!!!) as a result of this change so I'm quite happy. Aux fan comes on far more frequently of course but that's not an issue at all.

 

 

Edited by M3AN
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I had a secondary code that was annoying me - a sporadic Tank Vent Valve error. I found a Youtube tip to measure the impedance across the pins to determine if it's faulty... as it turns out both the 328 and the M3 read outside of the suggested range so I wasn't sure the info was accurate.

It turns out it was. 29 or lower Ohms for a good one, anything above 29 and it's bad. So I replaced that and code gone. 

Bad

Bad_Tank_Vent_Valve.jpg

Good

Good_Tank_Vent_Valve.jpg

Edited by M3AN

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Oh yeah, I shouldn't forget this...

MRain_Rears.jpg

Edited by M3AN
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Added a rear bar. I'm sure it's entirely unnecessary but now the car will be as square as possible front and rear. It's an Ultra Racing bar that I picked up for a good deal on Trademe. I might get it powder coated in grey or some colour other than white at some stage. At this point I've just added a bit of ///M.

Rear_Bar.jpg

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1 hour ago, M3AN said:

Added a rear bar. I'm sure it's entirely unnecessary but now the car will be as square as possible front and rear. It's an Ultra Racing bar that I picked up for a good deal on Trademe. I might get it powder coated in grey or some colour other than white at some stage. At this point I've just added a bit of ///M.

 

Do you feel any difference in the handling with it?

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4 hours ago, zero said:

Do you feel any difference in the handling with it?

Haha, haven't even driven it yet! Needed to do some chores after I finished. :blush:

But I don't expect to feel any difference for some time yet, it's one of those 'on the limit' things.

At worst, it won't hurt having it. It was a long time ago that I needed all of the load space.

 

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Starting from page one to fix the pics.

Finally settled on AWS S3, that's not going anywhere anytime soon.

 

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All pics in this thread should now be fixed. Thanks heaps Dropbox and Photobucket for killing directing linking... 😕 And what a PITA with the new forum software and no source editing!

 

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