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bradgalbraith

E36 328i coupe 'track' project

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Hey guys, welcome to my new E36 project. I haven't ever created a project log as I've never really had a car for long enough.. This car is a 1995 Pre-facelift 328i E36 factory manual NZ new coupe. She has done 260,000kms but has a fair bit of service history and has been well looked after so I'm confident that it's a good starting point. My plan for it initially is to service, modify and refine it. I won't be doing anything too drastic as it is my daily driver at this stage. The plan after that is to start stripping it out and making it a road/track car i.e half cage, semi-slicks, LSD, 330 brakes etc etc etc. The idea in a nutshell is to have a car which I can drive on the street and have it still be relatively functional but also use on the track on the odd weekend and be able to drive it home- no trailer. 

That's all for now, keep your eyes peeled for updates. Although this is E36 #15 for me, I should be keeping it a while this time.. Time to commit! 

*Oh! And it has NOS by the way.. more on that later

My to-do list with prices is as follows. Some of these mods will be fairly long term goals and may not happen. I don't see many prices put against parts for other build threads so hopefully this will be useful for people looking to do something similar to this.

Engine:

-'230hp' DME upgrade with EWS delete, ABS fix, 7000 rpm rev limited and rev hang fix. $250 Installed (Mates rates)
-Cat/schrick cams
-M3 headers
-M50 manifold
-Waterpump with steel impeller
-Rebuild head. P&P if there are significant benefits, lap valves, new valve stem seals, head gasket, head bolts etc
-Clutch fan delete
-Aux fan install
-Engine mounts
-New rear main seal $55 Installed
-Beisan Systems Vanos rebuild
-New NGK spark plugs  $58.50
-Oil change+ filter About $100
-Fuel filter
-Diff oil
-Replace any perished vacuum lines etc 
-Clean ICV and PCV
-Plastic rocker cover $80 Installed
-New rocker cover gasket $105 Installed
-Fenix radiator
-Sump gasket
-Fill NOS bottle  Sold NOS kit 

Drivetrain:

-New slave and master cylinder
-Braided clutch line
-New guibo
-Gearbox mounts (Powerflex/Nolathane)
-Single mass light-weight flywheel and heavy duty clutch disk and pressure plate  $800 Installed (Discounted rate. Usually $1300)
-Rebuild shifter linkages
-Z3 short shifter
-ZHP gearknob
-Gearbox fluid change About $20. Used half of the $40 bottle
-Replace center bearing
-KBM/ second-hand medium case LSD

Brakes:
-E46 330 front calipers  $250 including rotors. Installed
-E46 328 rear calipers $60
-Stoptech/Goodridge braided brake lines
-Pagid/EBC yellowstuff pads
-Slotted rotors all round

Suspension, bracing, steering:
-New E36 standard front control arms
-Powerflex M3 3.0 Offset LCABs $130 Installed
-Nolathane/Powerflex RTABs
-Convertible X-brace $215 with nutserts. Installed
-Powerflex rear subframe mounting bushes
-Ultra Racing strut braces F+R
-Nolathane Sway-bar bushes F+R
-XYZ/BC gold coilovers  $870
-Powerflex camber arms
-Front and rear strut tower reinforcement plates

Interior:
-Remove rear front and rear seats, carpet and sound deadening.
-Remove headunit, sub and amp.
-NZKW bucket seats, rails and subframe brackets $1000 for 2nd hand Racetech RT1000s with NZKW subframes.
-OMP steering wheel and boss kit/ Mtech 2 recovered in suede 
-Remove boot trims, linings and spare wheel
-Infill plates for drivers and passenger foot well.
-Tidy up wiring and remove SRS
-Tidy up door cards (Already pretty good)  Sold complete interior for $500

Body and cosmetic:
-Fancy wide rear diffuser or similar
-GT front lip
-PDR for significant dents
-Gas struts for bonnet and boot
-Replace door handle rubber seals
-Replace rear vent window weather strip rubber
-Replace windscreen plastic cowl

Wheels and tyres:
-TBC. Currently have a square set of 7.5' style 24s. Likely to keep these as my street wheels and buy a relatively cheap set of 17x8s with usable semi-slicks.
-2x Half worn Dunlop semi-slicks for front wheels- $36 from TradeMe 

Exhaust:
-TBC. SS mid-section and rear if budget permits.. Most likely a cheaper 2-1 from headers to mid-section, resonator and off the shelf 'euro' style muffler.
 

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Edited by bradgalbraith
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First update: When I bought the car it had the typical rocker cover leak onto the exhaust manifold :mellow:. At first I attempted to clean up the original rocker cover (which was pretty dirty..) and refit but since I bought a rocker cover gasket for a face-lift M52, I figured I may as well upgrade to the plastic face-lift rocker cover and have had now fitted it. Huge improvement over the old piece of rubbish! Thanks Brent @BM WORLD. NOTE: Check your torque wrench and make sure it clicks! I borrowed a friends and I was tightening the 10mm rocker cover bolts more and more until I realised something was wrong.. The thing was broken and wouldn't click at all. Lucky I didn't strip the thread.

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I've had these bits sitting around so they will be some of the first parts to be fitted:

-Powerflex offset M3 3.0 lower control arm bushes 

-Nolathane rear trailing arm bushes

-X-brace

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nice tidy-looking example.  nitrous?  wow, that'll be interesting...

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Another little job complete! I decided to fit my new Powerflex offset lower control arm bushes on Friday. My method was somewhat unconventional.. I cut the two rubber flanges that connect the inside of the bushing to the steel outer casing. I then made a cut though the casing with a hack-saw and whacked it out with a chisel. My mate and I sure did butcher the old bushes but nevertheless, the outcome was clean and tidy :lol: I can DEFINITELY feel that the steering is a bit stiffer and not as soft as it was before. Photos below:

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So last night I decided to fit my new '230hp' (coupled with M50 manifold) DME. As you can see from the writing, it features EWS delete, ABS fix, 7k rpm limiter and the dreaded rev-hang fix. The job was really easy and straight forward, not much to it. 

Drove to work this morning and WOW! At first I thought it may be a placebo but it is actually a vast improvement. The car seems to be a fair bit more responsive and not as lazy. Definitely pulls harder than before from 2500rpm. The best part though would have to be how the car revs more freely and doesn't 'hang' like it did before- feels mint where you're flying through the gears. I thought the rev hang issue was only with auto-manual converted cars but its definitely factory manual cars like mine also, though not as bad.

Overall a very nice and cheap mod. 

 

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Edited by bradgalbraith

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Looking good Brad.

Now you just need to get rid of the hot air intake.

Just run a pipe between the maf and the filter so the filter is down behind the bumper - you will be surprised at the improvement.

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Cheers mate. Yeah I haven't decided on what I'll do with the intake yet. I might revert to factory until I do a K&N intake or something.

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What clutch and flywheel combo are you going with?

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I'm going with the single mass flywheel with kevlar disc from Speedfactor in Tauranga. I bought it off someone at a reduced price but still new. Looks like this:
 

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So I managed to finally find some time to get underneath the belly of the beast and whip the old worn out clutch kit over the weekend. With the help of a friend and my father-in-law, it's all running mint with already 100km on it. At first it felt pretty rugged but its easing up with time. See below photos:

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Yesterday I managed to get out and do a long overdue oil change. Usually when I buy I car I change the oil within the first few weeks of buying it... I used Penrite full synthetic 10W-40 racing oil (not cheap!) Yes, the filter is a nasty Repco filter but I’ll do another oil change in about 7000km to clear any crap out that gets dislodged. Will do trans oil soon. Some pics below: 

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sounds good.

Want to shed some light on how the nitrous instal has been completed ?

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13 minutes ago, _ethrty-Andy_ said:

sounds good.

Want to shed some light on how the nitrous instal has been completed ?

Yep! I’ll take some photos soon.

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That 10 tenth oil is decent. Good specs, high ZDDP content which is usually around half of those levels in other oils.

The reason other oils don't have as much is due to the catalytic converters, if you don't use those, high ZDDP oil all the way. 

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yip i use 10/10ths in my M52 race car too.

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The weight reduction process has officially begun. Back seats, spare wheel, rear mud flaps, radio and sub-woofer have all been removed. I have also replaced the heavy electric front seats with some replica Bride seats on NZKW subframes. They seem to be pretty good quality for the most part but I may replace them in the near future with something else if anyone has a strong opinion on the safety of rep seats.. opinions welcome. I will be tracking how much weight I pull out of the car, just need to find something better than a bathroom scale..

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What did you do about the seat-belt stalks? As the original stalks are mounted to the seats, you need a cert if you wanted to mount them anywhere else.

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3 hours ago, Statek said:

What did you do about the seat-belt stalks? As the original stalks are mounted to the seats, you need a cert if you wanted to mount them anywhere else.

The seat belt stalks are connected to the brackets currently. Not able to cert like that but I will install the 50x50mm square plates to the tunnel before cert.

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7 hours ago, bradgalbraith said:

They seem to be pretty good quality for the most part but I may replace them in the near future with something else if anyone has a strong opinion on the safety of rep seats.. opinions welcome.

My opinion on replica seats:

If you use them on the road, then you run the risk of the seat failing and you injuring yourself and others on the road.

If you use them on the track, then you are just asking to be killed in a crash if not seriously injured.

Professional racing/motorsport seats are expensive for a reason, trusted in terms of safety and reliability as opposed to items being built for aesthetic purposes only. 

Wonder what happens if you are involved in an accident and the seat doesnt support your body properly?

Or, wonder what happens when you are driving a corner and the seat fails and throws you against the window or the steering wheel making you unable to control/drive the car? 

Here is a nice post (and plenty more info on the ol google)

https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generation-specific-1993-2002-16/warning-counterfeit-sparco-seat-failure-930854/

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Another little update:

Changed the transmission fluid. Much to my annoyance the fluid that came out appeared to be pretty much brand new but oh well, fresh new ATF nonetheless.

I also installed the X-brace which I've had lying around for a while. My thinking was that you had to have a rivnut gun but as it turns out, a bolt (or threaded rod as I used), washer and nut is all you need for installation. Oh and you'll have to drill out those holes to be a little bigger. See the photos for close ups. I'm pretty stoked to have finally have it installed! So far I can't comment on whether the handling has been stiffened up or not- too difficult to tell when your car still handles like a boat.

Not sure if it's worth mentioning or not but I also cut the kick panel along the joint so that it no longer dangles dangerously above the pedals.. on a number of occasions I briefly had difficulty hitting the brake/clutch. (Best mod for $0). I also rerouted the NOS switches and added an M3 oil cap since I had some spare change in my PayPal account :) 

Making progress slowly but surely.

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Since I couldn't find someone to refill the NOS, I figured I'd be better off pulling it out and selling it to put the money into more important things. @qube I definitely took what you said into consideration and ended up selling the Bride reps. I sold them for the same price that I bought them for, minus the rails and frames-winning! I'm looking at Racetech RT1000s or something similar to replace them with..suggestions?. I also managed to pull the rest of the speakers (Pretty heavy!)+ wiring and rear boot linings out for ultimate weight saving. 😁

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winning indeed! I mean they looked nice for sure.. but with all the effort you are putting in to make the car nice and ready for track I would hate for the seat to randomly fail mid kick-ass drift and wreck the car or you get injured.

Safety first always! isnt that right @CSET?

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Good thread watching your build with interest! 

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Best of getting Racetech 4009's. The 1000's dont hold you in that well on the track

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