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Secniv

Picking up the baton: ‘94 E36 M3

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So for the past 18 months I’ve had a 1988 E30 coupe project to replicate a Alpina B3 2.7 and have thought for a while I should create a plog.. but maybe the horse has bolted.. maybe I’ll get around to it..

But with buying my long held ambition and first M3 along with some inspirational plogs particularly by KwS and M3AN I could/should/would.

So picking up the baton, in this case KwS’s old E36 M3

 and with thanks to mzhu031 for selling it.

So this was taken the day I brought it 4th April 

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You know I’ve never had a white car and would’ve liked a racing white M3 but not for $38k lol. I have had silver and imho easy to keep looking clean. I like that it’s on 8.5’s all round but not convinced with the polished style 24s tbh maybe they’ll grow on me.

I had it checked by a local Indie which highlighted a few issues all fixable

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Mechanically it’s in good shape and my early stage plan is to fix the above and tidy up the exterior and interior plus a few other enhancements ;)

in no particular order

- Mount front lip 

- Replace rear shock mounts including reinforcement plates DONE

- Replace rear shock absorbers with Bilstein B6’s (Bilstein B6 struts front, stock springs all round tbc)

- Replace front tyres with Yokohama AD08Rs (matching new rears)

- Screws for front valance

- Front subframe reinforce and repair

- Clean engine bay and detail

- Service fluids engine, gearbox, lsd diff

- Source 2nd hand front bumper support brackets, highbeam covers 

- Repair LH door card

- Replace steering wheel with 3 spoke DONE

- Clean interior including steam clean carpet and seats

- Re-trim front seats

- M3 floor mats 

- Check spark plugs, distributor & rotor

- Respray boot lid and front valance

- Replace brake rotors and pads

- Replace exhaust back box

Have completed a few of these in a burst of enthusiasm and posted under “what I did today” forum.

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Oh cool, congrats on buying it. It was a great car and really wasnt showing its age/miles too badly when I sold it. Looks like Mark took good care of it too, and got it bit of use out of it! I saw your post about the steering wheel, recognised the interior and wondered if it was my old one. Hope to see more of it.

Hopefully Mark passed on the folder of receipts, it was massive.

I modified the headlight bulb covers to put a slot in them as the headlights fogged up otherwise. Be wise to vent them again when you get new ones. It was on stock springs, bilstein up front and stock rears. It has coil on plug, so no distributor or rotor to check, but I dont recall if the coils were original. Plugs were done when I had it, not sure if Mark has done them since, and would be due if he didnt.

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10 hours ago, KwS said:

Oh cool, congrats on buying it. It was a great car and really wasnt showing its age/miles too badly when I sold it. Looks like Mark took good care of it too, and got it bit of use out of it! I saw your post about the steering wheel, recognised the interior and wondered if it was my old one. Hope to see more of it.

Hopefully Mark passed on the folder of receipts, it was massive.

I modified the headlight bulb covers to put a slot in them as the headlights fogged up otherwise. Be wise to vent them again when you get new ones. It was on stock springs, bilstein up front and stock rears. It has coil on plug, so no distributor or rotor to check, but I dont recall if the coils were original. Plugs were done when I had it, not sure if Mark has done them since, and would be due if he didnt.

I wondered if you’d pick it, well spotted.

Yes massive folder $25k and climbing!

Read your venting of headlight covers using dremel but I recall it didn’t work? Any other approach’s work you know of?

Thats so funny I have much to learn M20 vs S50.

240k kms probably time to replace the springs along with the rear shocks.

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Lol, maybe I need to read my own posts! Though the notched covers had worked but maybe not. I'm guessing it's a seal or something, maybe between glass and light body?

Yeah I did a spreadsheet ages ago on the total spent. It was a little shocking, but meant all the important parts had been done. 

I don't know if Mark ever received the front lip mounting hardware I sent, I suspect it was lost in the mail >_<

It's a good car and made damn good power on the Dyno 

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Hi Vince - yeah the spark plugs have been changed twice. changed it once, then found the spark plug o rings leaking, replaced them and changed the plugs again. 

Also, the transmission has fresh D4 ATF in it - literally a month old, also the engine is running 5w40 penrite 10.10th, found the 10w50 too thick for it. That was changed in February. 

you found a 3 spoke wheel? awesome. 

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Uh also, The white Dowels and the funny looking screws are the mounting hardware for the splitter. They were ebay items and I couldn't get them to fit after about 10 minutes, so gave up, might need the edges trimmer with a dremmel 

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6 minutes ago, mzhu031 said:

Though... the new wheel, does it have 3 colour stitching? ;D

Thanks for confirming the plugs and fluids Mark most helpful. Know if lsd fluid was changed?

Yes Msport wheel with Msport stitching. Strangely the vin search indicates a Msport multi-function steering wheel but couldn’t find much multi-functional about it.

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3 minutes ago, mzhu031 said:

Uh also, The white Dowels and the funny looking screws are the mounting hardware for the splitter. They were ebay items and I couldn't get them to fit after about 10 minutes, so gave up, might need the edges trimmer with a dremmel 

Yeah I know what you mean I ended up using the other end with a washer with them.

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Diff fluid was changed using a full synthetic penrite - I forget the exact grade but it was something like a 75w140 with LSD additive. that was about 18-24 months ago, so perhaps worth changing soon but i don't think its urgent. (I ve driven about 7-8000ks in the last 2 years) 

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Those white dowels turned my brain to fudge.

You insert them from the outside and then grip the inside (square portion) an twist them 90* to lock them in place... much easier with the spoiler off.

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7 hours ago, M3AN said:

Those white dowels turned my brain to fudge.

You insert them from the outside and then grip the inside (square portion) an twist them 90* to lock them in place... much easier with the spoiler off.

Thanks for the tip. Yes it would be much easier with the valance off. Feels secure at the moment so will leave well enough alone for now. Valance needs a touch-up so will have another go when I take it off.

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8 hours ago, Secniv said:

Strangely the vin search indicates a Msport multi-function steering wheel but couldn’t find much multi-functional about it.

Yeah this is a weird thing with the vin decoders I think. I noticed that on both the M3, and on my earlier MSport 323i that had the same 4 spoke wheel. Both listed it as "multifunction".

The wheel you have fitted is much better than the old 4 spoke, but i never really clicked with that design of wheel. Its pretty ugly imo (that giant airbag, ugh). I had planned on ditching the airbag and going for a nice Nardi wheel. Easy on that car because no passenger airbag, unlike my M328i.

E: oh and the correct fluid for the diff is Penrite 80W-140 (or as i originally used, Castrol Syntrax Limited Slip 75W-140, but its hard to get. We carried it on the shelf when I did parts at Mercedes). Has all the proper additives in it for the LSD. Ill be doing mine this weekend.

Edited by KwS

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  • Function 1 - Steering
  • Function 2 - Horn
  • Function 3 - Airbag

😆

  • Haha 2

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1 hour ago, KwS said:

Yeah this is a weird thing with the vin decoders I think. I noticed that on both the M3, and on my earlier MSport 323i that had the same 4 spoke wheel. Both listed it as "multifunction".

The wheel you have fitted is much better than the old 4 spoke, but i never really clicked with that design of wheel. Its pretty ugly imo (that giant airbag, ugh). I had planned on ditching the airbag and going for a nice Nardi wheel. Easy on that car because no passenger airbag, unlike my M328i.

Yeah it is somewhat ‘bulbous’ but got it for cheap and with a “lux” wash and dye came up ok plus the swap was super straight forward following this 

http://www.frankies-bmw.com/3series/diy/steering_wheel/bmw_3series_steering_wheel.php

I quite like the Sport 3 spoke.. maybe next time..

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A wee haul from pick-a-part while in Auckland today. Can’t believe how expensive door rubbers are new! These ones are in very good shape along with the headlight lenses. Oh and the warning triangle was on the car’s options list but missing.

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Plus Mark was good enough to find mouldings, intake boots and engine hoses and leave them out.. what a good bugger! 

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so had to try on the replacement boot emblem. Much tidier.

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and pop on the high-beam covers

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I wonder if the fogging is to do with seals on the covers perishing?

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these ones look ok. I guess some winter rain will be the proof.

Also managed to score some trim clips to keep the A pillar cover in place.

Hoping rear shocks arrive tomorrow.

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Lubly chubly just in time for Easter

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Been a productive day.

Fitted the Billy’s. Had to loosen off the strut mounts to feed the shock through and to get the right angle for lower bolt (making sure to use the washer provided with the bolt). I’ve read good things about the Koni’s but having Bilstein struts up front and having them on the E30 I enjoy the handling they provide although one part of a bigger equation I know.

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I’m driving to the Hawke’s Bay tomorrow so will be interesting to feel the difference as I noticed a wallowing in the rear with old original shocks.

Given the mileage I have also ordered some springs, pads and sway bar links. Researched H&R vs Eibach vs Kings. I wanted to keep a similar OE ride height and suspension  compliance because I love our back roads so went with the H&R OE Sport Springs over the Eibach as I don’t believe there’s a lot in it. Found this link really helpful http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=261562

Also the H&R were substantially cheaper than Eibach plus FCP Euro shipping costs was half the others. Tried 4 different locally suppliers but both H&R nor Eibach are OOS!

Finished the day with a wash, clay bar, polish and detailing.

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i think the polished style 24’s are growing on me 😀👍

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You should see the polished 24s at night! but really, if i could do it again I would've just bought a bbs set. the cost of buying them then getting it polished + more dremmling and hand polishing........ lol

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I hope you had some helpers with the claybar..... I spent a whole day doing the Mx-5 recently

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15 minutes ago, mzhu031 said:

I hope you had some helpers with the claybar..... I spent a whole day doing the Mx-5 recently

I was thinking you must have done it recently caused it wasn’t too bad!

16 minutes ago, mzhu031 said:

You should see the polished 24s at night! but really, if i could do it again I would've just bought a bbs set. the cost of buying them then getting it polished + more dremmling and hand polishing........ lol

I do like the BBS’s but heck some caraaazzzyy prices

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ive got a very reasonably priced set of bbs for sale.. RK001, 17x8 et35 square

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On 4/20/2019 at 10:18 PM, qube said:

ive got a very reasonably priced set of bbs for sale.. RK001, 17x8 et35 square

I was thinking RC 041

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Edited by Secniv
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Hey Mark M3 handled really well although coming back via the east cost between Wairoa and Gisborne the road is in terrible condition!

Drives differently to the E30 and not as forgiving with poor driver input. Obviously your never too old to learn something lol.

Started missing around Gisborne and progressively got worse. Thankfully I made home but was sounding pretty rough.

Was thinking it was a coil and did the test unplugging the leads listening to the change in sound. Located it to cylinder 5 then swapped coils over and it stayed with 5 so obviously a spark plug. So went to take it out and it wasn’t in tight! Took it out to find..

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yup missing it’s prongs!

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Not sure what to do.

I could try and putting a small magnet down into the cylinder while it’s at tdc and see if there’s anything to fish out. 

Will be replacing all the spark plugs for sure and torquing them down.

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On a positive note the loose light switch was bugging me so swapped it out for a good condition 2nd hand one.

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Undo one screw underneath and it will pop out.

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Switch action is now tight and positive! For $10 easy win.

 

 

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Edited by Secniv
Double up’d on Photo
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