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KwS

KwS's not M3, M3 Project (or, the M328i)

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So four years ago (woah, four years!) I had a rather decent early E36 M3. I had a thread here, 
Unfortunately I made the mistake of selling that car, and M3s aren't getting any cheaper, so now it's harder than ever to get another one. Rubbish ones are expensive and good ones are even more expensive.
 
A couple of months ago I purchased an E91 335i, which although having been modded, so it was fast, it was as dull as bricks to drive otherwise. I wanted another analogue car, like an M3, where the only driving is done by me, not a computer.
 
I put the E91 up for sale and got offered an E36 M3 for a swap, which of course I'm going to be super interested in. Unfortunately the seller was someone reluctant to provide VIN details of the car initially, and it turned out that it was actually a 328i that had had a full M3 conversion. Initially I wasn't interested, I wanted a "real" M3, but the more I thought of it, the more a reshelled car actually made sense to me.
 
I didn't want to modify my previous M3 much, as i was concerned about ruining its "originality", so a car that already wasn't original means i can do the mods i didn't do to the previous M3. It sadly also means that it doesn't hold the same value as a real M3, but oh well.
 
So this is what I have ended up.
 
1996 BMW 328i Shell (New Zealand New)
Boston Green Metallic
Slicktop
 
The donor M3 was a South African spec BF92 1996 M3 in Daytona Violet
3.0L S50B30 engine (no emissions gear, no cats, but the full fat engine unlike the early SA spec cars)
5 Speed manual with LSD
Vader seats (Nappa leather)
M3 suspension and brakes
The donor had aluminium doors, but they weren't carried over :(
 
The only mods are
20" Chrome Work VS-KF
Full sound system with full boot install and a sully sik early 00s flip up touch screen headunit
 
Everything else is stock M3.
 
Unfortunately the car is a complete basket case, and has way more issues than expected and more keep popping up every day. The good thing is that I love a project, and fully intend to have this car as a nice solid car I can enjoy driving.
 
The good first
New headlining
Good condition interior (except steering wheel where all the leather has been removed)
Tidy exterior (and Boston Green is a stunning colour!)
Smooth gearbox and quiet engine (other than Vanos noise)
Head gasket and timing chain recently done, with head professionally cleaned up
 
So far the issues identified are
Vanos is dead. No power below 4000rpm, and can hear the usual grumble/rattle. (Kinda fixed)
Starter doesn't always engage first time (free spins and engages when key is released, and then will start next try) (Fixed)
Passengers window only goes up about an inch at a time (Seems to have fixed itself for now)
Ignition barrel sometimes free spins (Fixed)
Airbag light stays on a long time before going out. Codes for passenger occupancy sensor (Fixed)
Shifter bushings well and truly gone (Fixed)
A high idle (Fixed)
A vacuum leak (Fixed)
Headlight low beam not working on one side (since fixed. Fuse)
Oil cap hemorrhaging oil (Fixed)
All exterior rubber seals badly perished
Driveshaft coupling cracked and falling to bits (Fixed)
Clutch bites at the floor and the clutch pedal is offset/twisted to the left (Fixed)
Washer bottle sensor failed (Fixed. Sensor upside down)
No ext. temp sensor connected
Gearbox selector shaft seal leaking (Fixed)
Hose clamps missing or loose on fuel lines under car (Fixed)
Front LH tire losing pressure (Fixed)
20" wheels rub on all four guards (Also Fixed)
Muffler hangers loose (Fixed)
Throttle stop badly adjusted so no WOT (Fixed)
Worn out and perished throttle cable (Fixed)
Aux fan not working (Fixed, fuse)
 
And there will no doubt be more things I discover as i go. In the meantime the car is mostly driveable, albeit leaking oil from the oil cap quicker than I can clean it off, and pumping the tire up each time I drive it.
 
The plans are to fix all the above issues, starting with the wheels are are stupid and huge, and then finally getting around to doing some mods. I have also ordered a bunch of other parts already, including Vanos seals.
 
Unfortunately the seller twisted the truth on the KM the donor car had on it, claiming the cluster fitted to the car was sourced from a friend and is from a different M3, and the original donor has about 80,000km less than the cluster (and the donors cluster was faulty so it was sold). INPA confirmed that the cluster is the one from the original donor.... so yeah.
 
I'm looking at maybe fitting a pair of Recaro seats, as they are more comfortable than the Vaders, but need to look further into he mounts for the floor.
 
The sound install in the boot will probably be coming out and standard boot linings/trim fitted. The subs sound average, likely due to settings on the amps, and i don't care enough to set them up properly.
 
I also want to upgrade the suspension, but keep standard-ish height (due to my steep driveway). Thinking Koni shocks and either stock springs or H&R. Swaybars are apparently a good upgrade too, as are binning the original rubber bushes.
 
This is the story of my 1996 BMW M328i
 
In the meantime, here are some photos.
pOx6y5r.jpg
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4uEu4Fb.jpg
CMAMu0J.jpg
hqXerrK.jpg
9semk5t.jpg
eIjj5nK.jpg
Edited by KwS
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Awesome, love the colour.

Looking forward to following your progress. 

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wow burberry boot cover!

hahaha but in all seriousness, it actually does make a lot of sense for your intents and purposes.

GL and looking forward to the progress!

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52 minutes ago, Young Thrash Driver said:

You should keep the wheels :ph34r:

They'd suit a 5 or 7 series much better, and probably rub less 😐

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3 hours ago, balancerider said:

ooooh this is nice. OEM wheels please!

At the moment its just a case of getting what ever i can that will fit, with good tires, so i can ditch the 20s as they are stupid.

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I have a nice set of the factory 16 Msport wheels without tyres if that helps? Have a few set of wheels up here if you're interested 

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I can't make this stuff up, I really can't. I found out why the Vanos isn't working, and it's not what I was thinking...

I have been messing around for the past few days trying to get INPA and DIS to work properly. I can get INPA to read everything but the DME (ECU), but I finally got DIS working today, and its reading the engine DME.
IMG_2463.jpg

This means I can finally read engine codes and see if there is anything obviously wrong.
IMG_2464.jpg

That's a yes then. This was the only code, thankfully. I had wondered about the TPS since the reading from live data in the VNC (Vanos Control unit) in INPA was weird, but the VNC didn't have codes for those sensors, only Vanos related ones (of which it had an old code for something random in German, which wasn't an active code).

So what was weird? Well, the Throttle Position Sensor either read as below, with the engine off
IMG_2466.jpg
IMG_2476.jpg

And didn't change when the throttle was opened, or did this when the engine was running (also note the two bars at the very top not reading anything)

 

 

That reading looked familiar.... almost like it was reading engine position.

I disconnected the plugs, and checked the wiring colours. This was the plug off the TPS
IMG_2467.jpg

And the Intake Cam Position Sensor
IMG_2468.jpg

These two live right next to each other, and have identical plugs.
IMG_2478-1.jpg

I check the wiring diagram, and sure enough the TPS colours were wrong. It should be Brown, Brown/Black and Red/Yellow

S50-injecting-schematic-6-1.jpg

And the CPS should be Yellow, Black and Shielded Brown
S50-injecting-schematic-5-1.jpg

So, what does that mean? Well, the two connectors had indeed been swapped. I swapped them over, connected them as they should be, and checked in INPA again.
IMG_2479.jpg

The TPS now read correctly, and I also noted that the two top bars now also had a reading, so suspect that's linked to the cam sensor.

You can also see from the above photo, that the engine finally idles at the correct RPM now too. Obviously the engine thinking it was at WOT, but not moving, was causing the DME to keep the idle up.

The result? Its picked up a lot of down low power, almost like the Vanos is now actually doing something. Funny that. Easy way to gain power, much easier than Type-R stickers or a pod filter.

The exhaust sounds different too, I suspect this is down to the cam timing being correct now, instead of the inlet cam just sitting in one spot (or maybe even varying depending on throttle position!)

With the idle also correct, unfortunately the misfire at idle is more obvious. Hopefully it's either Vanos, or something simple like spark plugs or coils. I'll check them out shortly.

I can only presume this switch happened when the previous owner had everything unplugged to replace the head gasket. That was in 2016, so obviously it's been wrong for a while now, but confirms that I was right about the Vanos not working.

It's still slower than my old M3, but hopefully rebuilding the Vanos can make that gap closer.

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1 hour ago, dirtydoogle said:

I have a nice set of the factory 16 Msport wheels without tyres if that helps? Have a few set of wheels up here if you're interested 

Need to stick to either 17 or 18s

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excellent sussing, Kelvin.  A  big step forward!

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39 minutes ago, Olaf said:

excellent sussing, Kelvin.  A  big step forward!

Sure pulls a lot harder now!

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6 hours ago, dirtydoogle said:

Love Boston coupes! 

Anything called Boston is pretty lovable! 😉

 

This will be an exciting project! And yeah, really nice colour 😁

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Yep, that boot lining is Chav-tastic.

If anyone can get this car well-sorted it's you, Kelvin.   Man, those wheels will sell on FB marketplace in an instant... to someone with dubious taste! 😎

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10 hours ago, dirtydoogle said:

I have a nice set of the factory 16 Msport wheels without tyres if that helps? Have a few set of wheels up here if you're interested 

and I've a set of wheels in Hawkes Bay waiting to get down here too, looking for space in someone else's trip, if that helps!

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14 hours ago, KwS said:

Need to stick to either 17 or 18s

ive got some BBS RG-R 18x8.5 ET38 if you are interested :)

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Good on you.  In my current position I would have to run mile from such a project.  There is potential there.

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23 minutes ago, qube said:

ive got some BBS RG-R 18x8.5 ET38 if you are interested :)

Pm deets and cost plzzzz

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This guy has some rims

Screenshot_20190101-093532_Facebook.thumb.jpg.28361c4374df00200d78f0232bc69a42.jpg

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Thanks, replacement wheels should be with me this weekend though. The 20s are already off the car.

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One thing the car has been suffering from since i got it is lots of play in the pedals. It turns out the bushes on the clutch pedal were stuffed, so new ones are on their way, but worse than that, the whole pedal box moved a lot when pressing a pedal. If you pushed the brake pedal, even by hand with the engine off, you could watch as the master cylinder tilted up a couple of cm. Pressing one pedal also moved the other pedal, it was all over the show.

It looks like the reason for the pedal box moving is that when the car was manual converted by the previous owner, they didn't fit number 4 in the diagram, so the pedal box isn't braced. Sigh.

XWQGN52.png

Just went out and got an M8x25 bolt, loosened off the other 4, and installed the new bolt. Tightened it all up, and now almost no movement in the pedal box or master cylinder. Huge difference. Just another lazy cockup the previous owner did.

As an aside, i managed to get the remote locking working too. I replaced the batteries in the key, and used this video to program it.

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I removed the 20s
awlE8hx.jpg

and on went the OEM M3 Style 24 17x7.5" wheels
xzYQXYF.jpg

They need new tires all around, as 245 cheapies on the back and 215 semi slicks on the front is a bit weird looking ( and the tread is low all around). Will be going OEM 235/40 all around.

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I don't know about you, but I don't like using gross worn out steering wheels, and the wheel on the M328i was beyond terrible. Unfortunately the replacement didn't go as planned.

When I got the car I thought something was weird about the steering wheel. It had a gross rubbery feeling, and it actually turns out that the previous owner has removed the leather and this is the padding that is normally under the leather.
DSC03533.jpg DSC03534.jpg

It wasn't nice to hold, and was kinda squidgy and moved on the wheel. Ugh.

I thought I had won the lottery when a MINT condition, almost new three spoke wheel came up on Trademe. It was from an E46 but looked physically identical (more on that later). I purchased it and marveled at how nice the leather was. So much grain!
DSC03536.jpg DSC03537.jpg

Due to the airbag the first step to removing the wheel is to disconnect the battery. First, move your boot trim, disconnect the LED strip and move your massive capacitor. Wait, not everyone's boot has these?
DSC03543.jpg DSC03541.jpg

And then disconnect the negative battery terminal. Check on the battery which is which, as not everyone has enough common sense to use the proper wiring colours...
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And then go make a coffee, wait for it to cool down, drink it, and then it should be safe to mess with the airbag. I don't know if the waiting time is important, but everyone else says to wait, and hell, I don't fancy an airbag to the arm or face during removal.

The airbag is held to the wheel with two T30 torx screws, one in the back of each side spoke. You can see them either side of the circular center below.
DSC03539.jpg

Once you undo these the airbag can be lifted out. It is hooked into the wheel at the bottom, so you need to pull the top forward and out to remove. On the back of the airbag there is an orange connector, this just pulls straight off, away from the airbag. There is also a small spade terminal to remove.
DSC03546.jpg

There is a large 16MM bolt in the middle of the wheel holding it to the column. Undo this a few turns, but don't take it completely off (it'll stop you taking a wheel to the face), and wiggle/pull the wheel off the spline). Make sure the wheel is dead straight, remove the bolt completely and mark the shaft to indicate center. Before you remove the wheel though, remove the lower steering wheel shroud, and disconnect the two connectors coming from the steering wheel slip ring. DO NOT try to remove the grey connector from the back of the slip ring. It isn't a connector.
DSC03545.jpg

Now you can remove the wheel.

This is where it went wrong though. I needed to swap the clock spring/slip ring from the back of the old wheel to the new one. Unfortunately this is where I learnt that there is one massive different between an E36 version of the wheel, and an E46 one.

On the E36, the slip ring screws to the back of the wheel with three little screws
DSC03549.jpg

It also comes through the back of the wheel at about 1-2 o'clock
DSC03550.jpg

The E46 wheel, although looking identical otherwise, has no mounting for the slip ring, as on the E46 the slip ring is mounted to the column, not the wheel
DSC03548.jpg

You can also notice that the wiring is designed to come through dead at the top
DSC03551.jpg

They are the same, but different enough that you can't easily use an E46 wheel on an E36. Apparently you can machine the back of the wheel to fit the slip ring, but that takes some precision work. You can't use the E46 slip ring or airbag, as they are two stage and have different wiring (not to mention mount to the column).

So my gorgeous mint condition wheel is useless to me. I have found a cheap replacement to my wheel on Facebook, so should have that at some point. It has all its leather, but has aged/worn. I'll probably buy a stitch on leather cover for it, but anything has to be better than the leather-less wheel.

It's a real shame I have a passengers airbag in this car, otherwise I would just bin the airbag wheel and go with a nice Momo or something. It's too obvious that the car should have an airbag wheel, when it still has the passengers airbag (unlike my old M3 with had only the drivers airbag, no passenger).

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You'd be surprised how good the 'lux flakes' cleaning method works. As a last ditch effort also use a magic eraser too. 

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