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M3AN E36 M3 PLOG (Project Log)

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Happy New Dave

I lube mine 4 time a year, no biggy

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Happy New Dave

I lube mine 4 time a year, no biggy

Taken out of context... this is an interesting quote.

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you got a LHD cowl

So I have confirmed I am a tool and ordered the LHD part. I'm normally very conscious of the R/LHD differences but due to the circumstances of this purchase completely overlooked it. My penance will be drilling the correct two holes and finding black rubber bungs to suit the redundant holes. The bungs aren't entirely necessary but this is punishment after all.

There's a lesson here to buy local in some cases. Net I think I saved 25% of the purchase price (which only equated to about NZ$40) by importing. And now that I can't return it (practically speaking) I realise how well that extra $40 might have been invested into the NZ economy!

Happy New Dave

I lube mine 4 time a year, no biggy

Cheers buddy you too and that's good to know. I thought it would probably fit somewhere in that 3-6 month maintenance window.

Need to get the brakes on first... but I'm waiting for a few bits so I can do everything at once:

S/S brake lines - en route

Rear rotors - en route

F/R springs - en route

F/R sway bars - en route

Sway bar bushings - en route

15mm rear spring pads - I should order these soon or my 255x35x18's ain't gonna fit!

Taken out of context... this is an interesting quote.

That made me cackle a little... I scrolled back up and saw what you meant! :)

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I've unfortunately had to spend the last 4 days getting my car started again after a VANOS solenoid crapped itself. Details in this thread but it involved a new VANOS unit (thanks Mark!) and taking the exhaust cam out so I had to re-time the entire lot (again). The solenoid that failed was the only part I couldn't clean/repair when I did my VANOS overhaul about a year ago (see this thread). Now I have the task of cleaning my VANOS unit up and getting it fixed and bench tested.

Car is humming now and no error codes but I've not stressed the engine yet and won't do so until I can get a new chain guide because I broke mine (it was very, very brittle - like the e46 ones that go boom). I've ordered the part.

On a happier note my pile of parts is building up and this lot arrived from Amazon yesterday. Eibach Pro Plus kit matched to my Bilstein B6 shocks (the combo sells as the B12 kit direct from Bilstein). Will lower the car by 25mm up front and 15mm at the rear but I'm going to use spring pads to push the rear back up when I'm using my 18" wheels (i.e. most of the time). Sway bars F/R are 26mm/24mm and adjustable (stock is 23/20 fixed).

Not bad for less than NZ$190 eh? See here for the crazy details.

EibachProPlusSM.jpg

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More parts arrived... water pump, belts and tensioners. Ordered on Sunday, shipped on Monday received on Friday, great work Schmiedmann!

And no duty! :)

IMG_20150123_164417.jpg

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Nice mate

Adjustable drop links ?

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Nice mate

Adjustable drop links ?

Cheers and no, the drop links aren't adjustable although the bars themselves are.

With this kit you reuse the OEM front links and replace the rear links and since the suspension isn't height adjustable I shouldn't need to adjust the link length.

The bars are set to soft, medium or hard based on which hole you use to attach to the drop links. I'll be using the hard front setting but I'm undecided about the rear yet.

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So far so good on the VANOS front but I've still not reved it out and won't until that chain guide arrives - it's halfway here now. FYI - Dealer = NZ$135 and three week delay - Schmiedmann US$29 and delivered within 7 days.

I'm also running without my clutch fan and have been doing so for over a week. It's an interesting experience that has taught me a few things:

  • The fan is absolutely superfluous in anything other than hot weather (by NZ standards)
  • The fan does nothing at all over about 80km/h, natural airflow simply overcomes it's ability to keep up
  • The electric fan does a fine job of keeping everything under control
It has averaged 25 - 27 degrees here in Auckland over the last 8 or 9 days I've been driving without the fan and even in stop/start traffic on the motorway the water and oil temp needles (which I've been keeping a hawk eye on) very infrequently move above their nominal centre point. It's important to point out that both needles do push past the halfway mark occasionally when stationary or going very slow for extended periods but they don't rise further 1 - 2 mm past centre and then they stop. As soon as airflow picks up they drop back down.

I find the electric fan comes on quite late so I wonder if we can get a lower temp thermostat for that so it kicks in a few degrees sooner?

I wouldn't recommend this for an Albany to City run in rush hour at 27 degrees but that's an unlikely scenario for me. But it does seem that for at least 9 months of the year, whatever your circumstances are the fan is unnecessary.

It would definitely not be providing any benefit whatsoever for a track car (or any car on the track for that matter).

I'm leaving it off for now and will report back if I notice anything untoward.

Edited by M3AN
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Yeah I ran the AC electric fan on the E36 V8 for a while and it seemed fine. Temps increased a bit in traffic and hot runs but nothing to be alarmed about.

But later I installed a hydro fan that was solenoid controlled.

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Yeah, I think if I did put a fan back on I'd probably get an electric one anyway...

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The viscous units arent that bad. It doesnt suck that much power from the engine, and it moves a TON of air. A good viscous unit should only be engaged when it needs to move air, otherwise itll be freewheeling.

Edited by KwS

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Yeah, I think if I did put a fan back on I'd probably get an electric one anyway...

Why? Its not like the viscous unit sucks that much power from the engine, and it moves a TON of air.

I agree but parasitic loss is parasitic loss and electricity is "free" if the car is running.

TBH I don't imagine I'll need to do it but if I did it would be because:

  1. No parasitic loss
  2. Lower profile fan, easier to get out
  3. I could control when it operated
  4. Less stress on the water pump

But don't get me wrong - I don't believe for a minute that it's a significant "upgrade" and I have no intention of buying one at this stage!

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Weeeeellll, its not really "free", too much load can strain the electrical system ;)

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Weeeeellll, its not really "free", too much load can strain the electrical system ;)

True, true... lots of alternator amps available for us though... :)

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Hey Dave,

Finally got around to reading the whole of this thread. Nice to piece together the details of what I've seen in the flesh!

One thing that you didn't seem to have planned was the top plates for the rear strut towers. Did you have something going on back there or was it a precautionary measure?

I often think about cracking of the chassis at the top of those towers. I understand it's a common problem and do a visual inspection often (not that I really know what I'm looking for..!). It had happened to my fronts but this was picked up in the pre-purchase inspection and got fixed as a condition of sale. Wonder if a strut brace like yours would help prevent further issues...

I've got a power steering leak too but it's a slow viscous affair (I guess because it's been happening for a while and has created a long sticky snail trail). Doesn't leave anything on the ground.

Anyways, VANOS and braided lines for me next. Thanks for the heads up with those.

James

Edited by jaimzthedrummer

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Hey buddy, glad to know it's of some use. The list never gets shorter so keep an eye on the thread!

One thing that you didn't seem to have planned was the top plates for the rear strut towers. Did you have something going on back there or was it a precautionary measure? I often think about cracking of the chassis at the top of those towers. I understand it's a common problem and do a visual inspection often (not that I really know what I'm looking for..!).

I had nothing going on, it was a precautionary measure. It's inexpensive and easy, not sure why I delayed it for so long. You can use stock Z3 parts to reinforce this spot, no need to go aftermarket (see here).

It had happened to my fronts but this was picked up in the pre-purchase inspection and got fixed as a condition of sale. Wonder if a strut brace like yours would help prevent further issues...

Good for your fronts, they actually reinforced those from the factory in 96+. A strut brace does away with the need for reinforcements but if you already have reinforcements after the repair you're good to go.

I've got a power steering leak too but it's a slow viscous affair (I guess because it's been happening for a while and has created a long sticky snail trail). Doesn't leave anything on the ground.

It will probably get worse, the silicon (?) inside the hoses deteriorates over time. New clamps will help, then after 18 months tighten those, but eventually you'll need new hoses. Take it to a hydraulics shop, not a mechanic!

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Good for your fronts, they actually reinforced those from the factory in 96+. A strut brace does away with the need for reinforcements but if you already have reinforcements after the repair you're good to go.

No reinforcements... just the repair. I asked the ex owner about it (he's part of the race series exec and knows his stuff) and he said don't bother... just reweld if I see a crack! It's what he does with his race car... but maybe has a different perspective on things.

I'll think about a brace or reinforcements :-)

Thanks dude.

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No reinforcements... just the repair. I asked the ex owner about it (he's part of the race series exec and knows his stuff) and he said don't bother... just reweld if I see a crack! It's what he does with his race car... but maybe has a different perspective on things.

I'll think about a brace or reinforcements :-)

Thanks dude.

I have a spare clutch delay delete valve if you're keen. Bought one from the USA only to find I already had one installed along with a braided clutch hose :)

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I'm also running without my clutch fan and have been doing so for over a week.

...

I'm leaving it off for now and will report back if I notice anything untoward.

Okay so I wonder if it's an omen? One of my aux fan fuses blew today effectively eliminating all low speed cooling. Not good.

I was at my destination and had a spare fuse but this certainly illustrates the benefits of redundancy.

I'll be getting a spare fuse but may just chuck the clutch fan back on to avoid the hassle of future worries.

Edited by M3AN

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I replaced the chain guide yesterday and re-torqued everything up top which took a few hours but I learned a trick for the hard to get bolts on the valve cover. Ratcheting hex bit screwdriver -> hex to 1/4" socket adapter -> 1/4" universal joint -> 1/4" extension bar (to suit) -> 10mm socket or similar arrangement - perfect, wish I'd discovered this the first time.

ValveCoverTool.jpg

Took it for a test drive up to red line in a few gears and no codes so it seems okay.

Eibach suspension (springs and bars) and rear reinforcements (rear trailing arm pockets and sway bar mounts) go in on Tuesday.

New gaskets and HT bolts for VANOS rebuild should be here in the next few days. Big cleanup job ahead.

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Just installed the official Motorsport cap nuts on my front struts - these are the ones that come with the official Motorsport strut brace and are much cooler than the standard 13mm self locking nuts.

CapNuts.jpg

Edited by M3AN
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Yeah, a couple of people have mentioned that they're not beyond repair but it will take a lot of manual labour to bring them back. And TBH on that basis I'd probably pay to have them done, my time is too valuable.

Whereas I wanted to do the VANOS myself (arguably more time) because I was interested in the mechanics, I'm not particularly interested in leather restoration.

Another member here posted a thread with some amazing restoration results about 8 months ago and I called the lady that did his. She came around and took heaps of photos but never got back to me and it just fell off my list in the face of other priorities. I was still looking at over $800 as a rough estimate for a job that would look good for 2-3 years.

So I'm weighing up lots of options, repair, new leather (AutoBerry.com), recover (Alcantara etc), replace interior (full Alcantara M3 swap in)... DIY aside, nothing will cost me much under grand, most options much more...

Priorities are wheels first though and that's next on my list (QUBE will be happy!).

Thanks for the link, it's an encouraging read!

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I've got the kit from furniture clinic to do my seats, but have a few other urgent projects to get to first. The good thing about this kit is that you get the sealant coats which should help greatly with longevity. Will post up my findings and results when I get around to it.

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Do your seats have the m stripes, Dave? If not, there is an NZ product which will restore them well for under $250. Used it on my old 540i and it took 6-8 hours max and did a great job.

Paul (Central3) put me onto it after he did his daughter's seats - http://bimmersport.co.nz/topic/43406-leather-refurb/?hl=leather

I've got their contact details somewhere if you want them.

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