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M3AN

Another e36 - My 328 Beater

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I'm sure the showroom isn't the right place to chronicle my endeavours with my new-to-me e36 328i so I'm going to dump my load in this thread instead.

I have no grand plans for this, it was cheap and in pretty average condition but it's a good (enough) base for a point-to-point daily driver for me. I was originally thinking of a 318 for cost reasons but when this 6 cylinder popped up for a couple of grand I couldn't say no even though I knew it would need another thousand or so (hopefully not much more!) thrown at it to get it to a serviceable state. It's a Jap import with the glorious Jatco auto.

Here she is in her original glory:

NewDaily01.jpg

First thing I did was swap out the wheels with my track ones (and semi slicks, vroom!):

NewWheels.jpg

 

Edited by M3AN
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Second thing I did was blow up the radiator (was already dodgy) so, planning to overhaul the entire cooling system I ordered a new thermostat, aluminium housing for said and water pump which have all arrived from schmiedmann.com (4 days!). I'm still considering my radiator options but will get that locally.

Radiator, trans cooler, expansion tank have been removed. Fan is still stuck on. :-/ All the the "coolant" was just rusty water. Need to drain the block next.

It already had a newish expansion tank and an aluminium thermostat housing so it might also have a new pump but hey, peace of mind when it comes to e36 cooling right?

Edited by M3AN

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Purchased some vanity items also:

  • 1 x rear lip spoiler as per E39 M5 - it's arrived and looks great, yet to be installed.
  • 1 x set of matt black 'facelift' kidney grills for the pre-facelift front panel. Hopefully they fit well

Silly expenditure really but I really do dislike the pre-facelift grills and I've always liked the lip spoilers on a the E36. Less than $100 for the lot, cheap and cheerful.

 

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Swapped the steering wheel over - 4 spoke replaces 4 spoke.

It's not a wheel I like but I had one lying around in pretty reasonable condition from when I swapped that out of my M3 for a 3 spoke in that. The one in the 328 had split leather and felt terrible, my other options weren't that great either. At least this one feels fine. Easy fix.

I also fixed the squeaking, creaking sound coming from the steering wheel which was the bearing in the engine bay. I only used CRC so it will come back but I'll do it properly when I have the inclination.

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Automatic transmission fluid looked just awful as I removed the trans cooler so once I've done the cooling system I think I'll book it in with Glenn at Botany Motor Worx for a fluid, sump gasket and filter flush and replacement.

It doesn't seem too complicated to do this yourself and all I need is an extra set of jack stands which I can get my hands on but it looks like a bit of a pain in the arse so if the price is right I'll outsource it.

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1 hour ago, M3AN said:

Automatic transmission fluid looked just awful as I removed the trans cooler so once I've done the cooling system I think I'll book it in with Glenn at Botany Motor Worx for a fluid, sump gasket and filter flush and replacement.

It doesn't seem too complicated to do this yourself and all I need is an extra set of jack stands which I can get my hands on but it looks like a bit of a pain in the arse so if the price is right I'll outsource it.

Its an easy job except for getting the fluid amount correct.

It has to be done at a certain temperature to get the level right which is pretty tricky.

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It also helps if you have a strong arm to pump all the new trans oil in ;) It even took me a long time! :P

Edited by BatMansWilly
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New and with with alu end tanks to boot. Purdy...

NewRadiator.jpg

Thanks to @richard for a good deal and great chat! :) He even threw in a fan cowl which I needed and some ancillaries I can probably reuse.

Now, just gotta get that fan off!

 

Edited by M3AN
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1 hour ago, M3AN said:

New and with with alu end tanks to boot. Purdy...

NewRadiator.jpg

Thanks to @richard for a good deal and great chat! :) He even threw in a fan cowl which I needed and some ancillaries I can probably reuse.

Now, just gotta get that fan off!

 

Looks nice! What did that set you back? If you don't mind me asking? Just sizing? 

 

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12 minutes ago, BatMansWilly said:

Looks nice! What did that set you back? If you don't mind me asking? Just sizing? 

 

NP. $200 including fan cowl, expansion tank, level sender and ancillary hoses. Really good value!

Tank and sender are surplus to requirements and available if anyone needs them. 

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2 hours ago, M3AN said:

New and with with alu end tanks to boot. Purdy...

NewRadiator.jpg

Thanks to @richard for a good deal and great chat! :) He even threw in a fan cowl which I needed and some ancillaries I can probably reuse.

Now, just gotta get that fan off!

 

Awesome project mate, looking forward to seeing what you do with it 👌, where on earth did you source this radiator?

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8 minutes ago, E36_Turbo said:

Awesome project mate, looking forward to seeing what you do with it 👌, where on earth did you source this radiator?

Cheers bud, hoping it'll turn out okay for a thrash around auto lol! :)

The rad came from a BS member here Richard. He got it new but wasn't suitable for his (cool) race car build so was just gathering dust in his (cool) workshop.

And if you think this is sweet you should see his BBK... lust. 6 pot Wilwoods front and rear. They're absolutely massive and and for only $2k. OMG!!!

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17 minutes ago, M3AN said:

Cheers bud, hoping it'll turn out okay for a thrash around auto lol! :)

The rad came from a BS member here Richard. He got it new but wasn't suitable for his (cool) race car build so was just gathering dust in his (cool) workshop.

And if you think this is sweet you should see his BBK... lust. 6 pot Wilwoods front and rear. They're absolutely massive and and for only $2k. OMG!!!

Arghh! It looks the business though! I was looking at something like this from CES motorsport in the U.S....Wilwoods are worth a fair bit, for a complete setup, that's just awesome haha. Will you be converting it to manual or keep it as auto ?

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8 minutes ago, E36_Turbo said:

Arghh! It looks the business though! I was looking at something like this from CES motorsport in the U.S....Wilwoods are worth a fair bit, for a complete setup, that's just awesome haha. Will you be converting it to manual or keep it as auto ?

Keeping it auto for the time being, fine for a commuter. 

I think you can get full alu radiators here in NZ, check out some of the Trademe suppliers. 

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8 hours ago, M3AN said:

New and with with alu end tanks to boot. Purdy...

NewRadiator.jpg

Thanks to @richard for a good deal and great chat! :) He even threw in a fan cowl which I needed and some ancillaries I can probably reuse.

Now, just gotta get that fan off!

 

Make sure you ground it properly and use a good quality type coolant...I would suggest flush the system and use 3 bottles of BMW coolant.

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7 hours ago, E36_Turbo said:

Awesome project mate, looking forward to seeing what you do with it 👌, where on earth did you source this radiator?

you can get them from here in Penrose

http://www.redlineperformance.co.nz/

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12 hours ago, M3AN said:

NP. $200 including fan cowl, expansion tank, level sender and ancillary hoses. Really good value!

Tank and sender are surplus to requirements and available if anyone needs them. 

That's a good price, let us know how the install goes! 

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Exciting... lol. Black grills.

Facelift type for the pre-facelift panel. They look heaps better I reckon. Not a perfect fit but cheap as chips.

BlackGrills.jpg

 

Edited by M3AN

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On 29/09/2016 at 10:12 PM, M3AN said:

Tank and sender are surplus to requirements and available if anyone needs them. 

I'd keep the level sensor. The one you have WILL fail.

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14 minutes ago, jom said:

I'd keep the level sensor. The one you have WILL fail.

Duly noted, thanks.

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On 7/10/2016 at 9:43 AM, M3AN said:

Duly noted, thanks.

Unless you keep a spare, of course....:lol:

But the foam float does eventually get waterlogged and indicate low coolant level.  Not something to be ignored wirt a 328!  This is the one sensor that you really need to work all the time.

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So I finally got the fan off thanks to Brad suggesting my access and leverage could be better with blades off. Duh. I didn't know you could take them off from the front.

Not very pretty but it's all being replaced...

Yuck01.jpg

Genuine BMW composite water pump, no axial play but you can never tell with these things.

Yuck02.jpg

And boy I tell you want, it's a PITA with the "large" radiator that they chose to wind two hoses through the fan cowl. Even though I was replacing all of the hoses it's a massive challenge getting the hoses, clamps, cowl and expansion tank all in at the same time. Hint: assemble expansion tank, both tank hoses and cowl together as one then install after radiator into car, finally attach tank hoses to radiator overflow and engine block (remove airbox).

But I still can't flush it because the damn threads on the temp sensor socket need to be chased, I can't screw the sensor in. Threads themselves look fine but there's a bit of a lip at the front that prevents engagement.

So it's mostly reassembled and if I get time between chores and Bathurst tomorrow I'll finish it and flush. Otherwise Monday which I've taken off to recover from Bathurst, Japanese F1 and UFC 204 tomorrow (13+ hours of sport).

Edited by M3AN
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Ahh, nothing is easy with aftermarket. I had to tap the temp sensor threads all the way though, something wasn't right with them and I had to buy a damn 14x1.5 tap to do it. Spending $45 on a single use tool is a bit of a kicker but net-net the rad + tap still came out less expensive than the rad would have cost me from the shop. Still, it's going to require some PTFE tape to seal.

Also had to trim down the fan cowl to clear the welds on the alu rad that aren't there on the stock one but this was pretty easy and only a few mill's in a few places to get it flush.

But finally it was good enough to start the car and commence the flush. All sorts of terrible came out, wouldn't drink it for sure, just rusty water plus the flushing agent and tap water I pored in over 20 mins.

Next up thermostat housing back off, thermostat in, fan on and fill her up. Distilled water is on special at New World this week also, $6 for 10l so bonus.

Might be driving it next week! Famous last words? lol.

NB: when I pulled the transmission cooler pipes out I was very lucky to notice the o-rings were perished (they were stuck in the sockets). I picked up 4 new ones from BMW and installed two up front. When I get the trans oil and filter replaced I'll get them to install the two rear o-rings (into the actual gearbox) as well. BMW charge more than $4 per o-ring... <_<

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Right so "finished" the cooling system today and something's not right:

  • Warms up to temp in good time and holds in the middle of the gauge whilst idling
  • Check control is fine
  • No hot air to mention from heater (first sign something is amiss)
  • Within 300m of driving temps start to rise fast and car need to be stopped
  • Check control now says to check coolant level
  • Coolant level is fine once it's cooled down enough to check
  • Clutch fan seems fine
  • System isn't leaking

New radiator, thermostat, thermostat housing, water pump, hoses. So something ain't right. Any ideas?

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Did you put the fan belt back on? ;)

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