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M3AN E36 M3 PLOG (Project Log)

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That guy can't see over his steering wheel! lol

All things being equal, I'll bring it along on Sunday.

 

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Hey Dave, Did you ever get any further on the recaros? Looking at putting some in my car and wondering if you sorted the low height and seatbelts?

@M3AN

Edited by KwS

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@KwS

No, I abandoned that project because I got a full M-Rain interior and the complexity/compliance of the Recaros turned me off (once I'd spent most of the money).

But I considered the following to answer your questions:

Seat Belt receptacle - can't be mounted to the base or sliders even if they have the facility so you need to use use E30 receptacles (no pre-tensioners) and bolt them to the transmission tunnel in the same way Mark (@sweetm3) has and his is fully cert'd.

Seat height - shouldn't be a problem if you're using side mounts but if you're using bottom mounts (like I was) then it's more complicated. I have sliders so they lift the seat about 15mm but still I was going to need to use 25mm standoffs (and longer bolts) between the sliders and the mount base. I'm not sure how certifiable this would be but they'd be pretty difficult to see in there so I was prepared to take that risk.

FWIW I have, surplus to requirements:

  • 2 x NZKW e36 bases (certifiable)
  • 2 x NZKW sliders for Recaros to mount on above bases (certifiable)
  • 2 x used e30 seat belt receptacles

If you need any of that.

 

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Right, some more love for the M3.

This weekend, amongst a million other things to do, I installed the Z3 rack to replace the purple tag that we swapped into Mark's car last weekend.

I'm using an eye-alignment machine and it's far from perfect so I have quite a lot of bump steer at the moment but that'll be dialled out when the pro's give me zero toe hopefully sometime this week.

Initial impressions are good, it's pretty heavy and tight even compared to the e46 rack it's replaced. If I'd come straight from stock I might have wondered where my power steering went. But I love that real tight and connected feeling.

Z3 rack goes straight in with a few notes:

  1. There's no provision for the OEM rack limiters on the Z3 rack so if you want limiters you'll need to go aftermarket altough they don't seem necessary.
  2. If you're using an e3/46 cooler then you'll need to make a bracket to secure it to the Z3 rack, I used a small (50x12x1.5mm) piece of mild steel with 6mm holes 30mm apart and a suitable nut and bolt with a spring washer.

Another update after alignment.

Now for that 3.6x diff...

 

 

Edited by M3AN
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Alignment sorted this week and a quick drive, I'll take it out this weekend for a proper run.

The feedback it gives is amazing... perhaps even disconcerting for some as it translates every imperfection on the surface through the steering wheel. Some may not like this and over a long distance I imagine it'll take more out of you but I really like it, you feel directly connected to the road.

I would certainly say that it's not worth the 100% premium over the purple rack unless you really want that direct and instant feedback. The purple rack is vastly superior to the stock one but the Z3 rack is only an incremental upgrade for me and I reckon many people would prefer the purple as it's a little more compliant. But whatever you do, if you have a stock rack make sure you upgrade it to one of these two.

I've had to recalibrate my turn-in and wind-out but that was easy enough, this rack would be perfect for auto-x or gymkhana events.

My steering wheel is about 1 degree off centre. 😣😬 I'll try and re-centre it at the actual steering wheel this weekend, I'm not sure if it's worth taking it back to the alignment shop or if that's just being a pedantic dick...?

Happy so far... and I've just purchased some more bits that should have me visiting Kayne sometime soonish... 😁

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yes ive always said the Z3 rack is a total have and waste of money.

usually alignment shop have bar that sets the steering wheel straight, and then remove for sweep test to check the steering wheel was centered, this is the first step they do. did they do this ??
check your steering wheel is centered on the spline, there are markers on both the wheel and the end of the spline. its critical its in the right place so you dont wreck the clock spring for your airbag/horn/multifunction. if it IS centered, then sweep the wheels to each side and make sure center on the wheel is center on the rack. if not, then adjust one or two splines at the point between the rack and the column and check again.

you wont be the first person to just throw a rack in and find this, the difference is most are lazy and then adjust the wheel, thats fine on a non airbag car but doesnt take much to over wind the E36 clock spring.

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It's too soon for me to conclude its a waste of money, it is noticeably different to the purple rack so, if you like the differences it may well be worth it. I've reserved my judgement until I can take it on a variety of journeys. I paid somewhat less than "normal" asking price for this and I agree that ~$700 is ridiculous. 

I didn't watch the alignment procedure so can't comment but they know what they're doing. It's off by less than the normal on-centre 'slack' of the wheel at rest so nothing dramatic but enough for me to notice.

As for centring, there are no key marks on the steering wheel or splines and the wheel has been off many times. There's no harm playing around with this, even with an airbag because when you remove the wheel the entire clock spring comes with it so unless you remove that from the wheel itself and bugger round with it you can't damage it by simply changing splines. I did centre the rack when I installed it by making sure that the steering wheel was on-centre and had the same turns from centre to full lock left and right although I accept that it could easily be off by a small margin (but that wouldn't prevent perfect centring, just marginally different left and right lock). What you can't do is be miles off at the bottom spline and try and compensate at the top one as that will surely tear your ribbon cables.

I'm going to try and adjust the wheel this afternoon, if moving it one spline brings the wheel closer to perfect centre then I'll be happy with that. If it makes it worse then I'll revert and take it back in if I don't get used to it (the human brain is an amazing compensator!).

Update: I moved the steering wheel one spline clockwise and now it's about 1/4 degree right down whereas it was about 1 degree left down before. I think I'll be happy with that, I suspect 99% of people wouldn't notice it at all.

 

Edited by M3AN

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Ooh la la...

362GearSet.jpg

Edited by M3AN

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Kept that under your hat 🤗

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Popped up in a casual conversation on the web, had to jump on it immediately. Comes from a proper enthusiast from across the ditch... half of what it would have cost me here and near new... 😋  

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Is your current one 3.15?

 

If so, should be a nice upgrade.

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3.23 is stock for the 6 speed but still, the leap is significant and I'm expecting satisfying results.

Should be about 450 RPM higher per gear which will make 100km/h two shifts instead of one but I don't live my life by the stopwatch, just by the seat of my pants! Shifting all that torque down the range should be fun, it should put the "pull" about halfway between the e46 M3 and the CSL.

I'll keep the original gear set for posterity.

 

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On 2/14/2015 at 6:01 PM, M3AN said:

What you can't see in the pictures above is the horrible condition on the black trim that runs across the top of the windows from the A pillar right back to the C pillar. Mine looked like:

TopWindowsBeforeSM.jpg

So a bit of this:

TopWindowmaskSM.jpg

And this:

TopWindowSpraySM.jpg

And I got this:

TopWindowsAfterSM.jpg

Much better:

TopWindowsAfterASM.jpg

I'm delighted with the results and although the texture is a different to OEM you wouldn't know unless you knew. It looks so much better than it did that I'm happy even if it's not perfect.

I used Dupli-Color "Custom Wrap" which seems to be the same sort of thing as Plasti-Dip. I'm not sure how long it will last but I used about 3/4 of a $28 can to coat each side 7 times.

Application was easy, my second side (driver's) turned out better than the first but even so the first side isn't worth redoing, the imperfections are tiny.

It really looks a million bucks - that trim in poor condition is in a place that you simply can't "unsee".

Its been a couple of years now, how has this held up, Dave?

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4 years in and no looking back. There's a small blemish on one side where I rubbed it when it was really hot from the sun but that's about it and I'm the only one to notice it. I don't treat it any differently when I wash it either.

So, still happy with the outcome. 

Edited by M3AN
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Going legit... after ~15 years of being a rebel.

 

Plates.jpg

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Long time, little love for the M3. But this arrived today after being ordered in April. I knew it was extended lead time but they originally said July, then August, then September. All's well that ends well.

This is just a tempter, more details to follow when I come to install... but feel free to guess. I've been wanting something like this for years.

Turner_Box_01.jpg

Turner_Box_02.jpg

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3 hours ago, M3AN said:

Long time, little love for the M3. But this arrived today after being ordered in April. I knew it was extended lead time but they originally said July, then August, then September. All's well that ends well.

This is just a tempter, more details to follow when I come to install... but feel free to guess. I've been wanting something like this for years.

 

 

KW Coil overs?

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On 9/7/2020 at 9:40 PM, Secniv said:

KW Coil overs?

No, nothing that adventurous. Box is 6 foot long.

Maybe if the weather's good this weekend? 

Edited by M3AN

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Under-tray or front splitter  :rolleyes:

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Old, torn, worn, tired and broken arch liners out... all the guards checked and swept, no rust at all, just 24 years of crap and some fat spiders...

Old_Liners.jpg

Fresh OE liners with all new hardware ready to go in...

New_Liners.jpg

Ohh, what's that in the bottom corner @sweetm3? 😉

Edited by M3AN
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I succeeded in installing the new arch liners today, not a terribly difficult job once you've lined everything up and it looks so much better now and they don't flap around in places.

I ordered 2 x Turner Motorsport undertrays in the first lockdown (April) and they only arrived the other week. I realised they were on backorder but June slipped to July which slipped to August and then September so I did start to get a little concerned but they arrived well packed in the end, Turners aren't a particularly high risk. 

But my install attempt failed, they missed sending a rivnut tool with my order but no worries, mate has a mechanical rivnut gun. No bueno. The mandrel on the gun is too short for the longer rivnuts included in the pack and there's no way in hell I can get enough leverage to squeeze the handles to collapse the smaller nuts (which are stronger than the long ones).

They've posted the tool and that should be here by next weekend. I have another method to try tomorrow which is essentially the same approach as their tool, we'll see how that goes. Both involve nuts, bolts, spanners and ratchets and, whilst more complex to arrange than with a gun tool (barely) you can lean on a spanner or ratchet assembly so much easier.  

Regardless, the tray and accompanying hardware is excellent and they've fixed all of the design problems of earlier trays (such as the Motion Motorsport one). I've been waiting so long for a good one. I got two so perhaps I can sort a pattern part? 🤫

Turner_Tray.jpg

Brackets.jpg

Edited by M3AN
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23 minutes ago, leichtbau said:

Vintage Marantz??

Afraid not, just a nice 2009 Onkyo that does all the basics well.

 

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