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Thread: M3/4/5 build thread

  1. #1
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    M3/4/5 build thread

    I'd like to share the work I do on my 1998 M3 cosmos on modena sedan.

    I bought the car in October of 2011 with 123,000 miles and have been getting it back to 100% ever since.

    I had a 99 328is prior to this car, so I've learned a thing or two about the E36, more-so this car made me fall in love with the E36 and wanted an M3 ever since.

    I had decided on a sedan for practical reasons:
    -B-Pillar makes it torsionally stiffer than a coupe
    ----easy to reach seatbelt with B-pillar
    -framed doors seal better and don't kill window motors
    -the weight is the same b/w coupe and sedan
    -you can scare friends easier with 4 doors
    --downside is that the coupe has better lines and comes with vader seats

    My plan for the car is to drive it daily and do some track days, drift events and probably auto-x.

    a pic of the car


    Here is the original window sticker


    Close up of options


    My previous E36 didn't have many options, but I'm stoked to have the HK stero, fold down rear seats, rear wing (a must for sedan body lines), seat heaters are nice in Colorado, and of course the modena interior is just beautiful.

    Here's an interior shot:


    I tore the driver's bolster 1 week after I bought the car, EFF.

    I bought it with the following mods:
    1. Ireland Engineering dual-muffler with mild DTM tips- I didn't expect to ever like a DTM tip, but these are mild and very tasteful large diameter.
    http://www.iemotorsport.com/bmw/E36-...tback2muf.html
    2. Motion Motorsports underpanel- pretty nice when you tear the front end apart, very solid piece
    http://motionmotorsport.net/products...products_id=28
    3. Aluminum radiator
    4. Racing dynamics coilovers (bilstein absorbers) - don't sell these anymore, but the spring and damper tuning is firm and well-controlled... but I'm no expert
    5. Blacked out grilles
    6. Broadway rearview mirror- a magical little piece!
    http://www.amazon.com/Broadway-Rearv.../dp/B002IEA96Q
    7. Depo glass headlight housing with HID setup.
    -Audi ballasts / ignitors
    -Acura TSX projector lens
    -D4s bulbs
    8. Aluminum trim rings for the gauges


    Within 2 weeks of getting the car I took it to the track. I threw some BBS-RK wheels + Kumho victoracers and some Hawk HT-10 pads on for a shake-down. Pic from the track...


    A list of not perfect items when I bought it:
    1. Leaking T-stat housing
    2. 2nd + 3rd synchros grind after 10 minutes at the track
    3. Steering vibration under braking
    4. HVAC blew air worse than a panting dog
    5. HVAC motor squeeks after it warms up
    6. Broken wiring for ext. air temp sensor
    7. Power steering leak
    8. Driver + Pass door lock actuators dead

    That's it for the moment... there's more progress to report
    Last edited by HeelAndToe85; 01-07-2012 at 12:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    Shortly after getting the car I swapped many of the parts I had put on my 328:
    Bimmerworld solid rubber engine mounts
    Rogue transmission mounts
    Factory X-Brace
    Cosmos cold air intake (3.5" w/ K&N filter)
    UUC adjustable clutch stop
    3-spoke ///M steering wheel
    Alpine head unit (IDA X-305)



    Bought some smoked tail lights


    Smoked signals


    After swapping these parts I tackled some of the car's issues.

    I started on the coolant leak and bought an aluminum t-stat housing, new stock thermostat and metal impeller water pump.

    For the steering vibration under braking I tried the tie rods and FCABs, these both helped a little but didn't totally fix it. I then bought some OE brembo rotors and PFC z-rated pads for the front and this completely fixed the problem. I found it weird that I never felt vibration in the brake pedal though.



    After this I went to a local drift event and was super happy with how the car handled drifiting. I had some tire rubbing issues at full lock in the front with the fender, but overall had a blast.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-uTfkiPdvo[/ame]

    For the common E36 power steering leak I replaced the two rubber hoses from the reservoir with high pressure hydraulic lines and heavy duty worm clamps.

    Replaced both front door lock actuators and bought a used keyless entry remote from Ebay and got the factory keyless entry working again.

    I fixed the broken external air temp wires using bav auto's repair kit P/N 61131378419KIT. I found that you have to wait 1-2 hours for the sensor to adjust... don't expect immediate results.

    Also replaced cabin air filter to restore air flow.

    With most of the low hanging fruit taken car of I started to focus on some power mods.

    I first went with the M50 manifold and m50manifold.com installation kit, which I highly recommend for the step by step instruction for manifold mods, install, and quality 1-piece silicon piece.

    I really noticed the mid-rpm (maybe 2.5 - 4k) torque loss, but from 4.5-redline the manifold really livens things up. Definitely the best bang for the buck power upgrade.

    Manifold removed..


    M50 installed... I also went with a Bimmerworld silicon ASC delete boot to smooth air flow out..


    The next power mod was a Bosch 809 3.5" MAF, Bosch 24lb injectors, Shark Injector w/ Jim Conforti Stage II software.

    MAF installed:


    With the near-term power mods complete it was time to hit the dyno...

    Power mods at time of dyno:
    Cosmos 3.5" intake with K&N filter
    3.5" Bosch 809 MAF
    Bimmerworld 3.5" ASC delete boot
    M50 Manifold
    24lb Fuel Injector
    Ireland Engineering cat-back
    Jim Conforti Stage II software

    It made 234.4whp and 223.2ft-lbs of torque (corrected)




    I am really happy with the power it made. The only interesting thing to note is the 6k A/F ratio dip close to 12. I wonder if all stage II software has this dip?

    Dyno run video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXSaq...ature=youtu.be

    After the drift event and power mods the clutch wasn't quite the same... I started sourcing parts and wanted to fix the 2nd and 3rd gear synchro grinding, so I found a ZF trans from an E46 328i. I also decided to go with a JB-Racing lightweight flywheel, E34 sprung hub clutch and OE M3 sachs pressure plate. This was also a good time to do a SSK and get rid of the slop in the shifter. I went with the Z3 shifter, billet carrier and billet DSSR and all new / upgraded bushings for the shifter.

    The install overall isn't fun, but was pretty straight forward. Thought it would be best to sign the transmission just in case.


    Flywheel and clutch installed


    Shifter assembly


    I've just gotten out of the clutch break-in period and SO stoked on the SSK / LTW Flywheel combo. The only downside is a little bit of driveability- I've noticed that you can't lug the engine now, 3rd-5th gear above 30% throttle under 1500rpm gives a little much vibration. I'm guessing this is because of the spring rates changing going from a dual-mass to the sprung hub clutch disc. Also has a little more idle vibration, exaggerated by the stiff engine and trans mounts. Overall nothing major, and I would recommend this setup.

    That's it for now..
    Last edited by HeelAndToe85; 01-07-2012 at 02:26 AM.

  3. #3
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    Cool stuff man. Just starting to dig into my 3/4/5 and this is inspiring. Love the mom video haha.

    Any particular reason you went with the E34 clutch?
    Last edited by rwheeler; 01-07-2012 at 02:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwheeler View Post
    Cool stuff man. Just starting to dig into my 3/4/5 and this is inspiring. Love the mom video haha.

    Any particular reason you went with the E34 clutch?
    Thanks. Yeah, the original flywheel is a dual mass which separates the crank and friction surface with springs. Going with a LTW flywheel you lose this function. To gain some spring in your setup the E34 M5 disc is used, it is the same diameter, spline and I think similar organic friction compound compared to original, but has a sprung hub vs a solid E36 clutch disc.

    good article on the discs
    http://www.nexternal.com/uuc/articles/gear_rattle.htm
    Last edited by HeelAndToe85; 01-07-2012 at 02:24 AM.

  5. #5
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    nice shift kit you have there
    "Torque is like cowbell... you can never have too much." - Michael Cervi


  6. #6
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    Awesome thread, dude! It's nice to see people spark some new life into these old cars. And great looking torque curve.... nice and smooth with no low spots down low, contrary to what you'd expect with the M50. I bet that motor pulls hard. Can you give me a little before/after M50 comparo in terms of "feel?"

    My 3/4/5 just hit 98k miles and it's time for a fair amount of work. I've got a spreasheet that lists everything it needs/wants and I'm working my way down it, one thing at a time.

    Next project for me is headliner - it's literally falling/hanging off and flapping in the wind....DOH!

  7. #7
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    how do you like the set up with the 24 lb injectors and 3.5" maf? everyone is telling me thats too much unless im running cams

  8. #8
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    triple rare US E36 M3
    very cool. love the interior combo.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric98Sedan View Post
    Awesome thread, dude! It's nice to see people spark some new life into these old cars. And great looking torque curve.... nice and smooth with no low spots down low, contrary to what you'd expect with the M50. I bet that motor pulls hard. Can you give me a little before/after M50 comparo in terms of "feel?"

    My 3/4/5 just hit 98k miles and it's time for a fair amount of work. I've got a spreasheet that lists everything it needs/wants and I'm working my way down it, one thing at a time.

    Next project for me is headliner - it's literally falling/hanging off and flapping in the wind....DOH!
    The engine feels awesome with the M50, in stock form I felt that the mid-rpm range felt stronger than above 4500rpm but with the M50 the power delivery seems very linear and above 5k it screams.

    I definitely felt the torque drop between 2.5k and 4.5k in part-throttle cruising around town. I would imagine if I had a dyno from 40% throttle the mid-rpm torque lowered 20-25ft-lbs.

    BTW a headliner fix sounds not fun

    Quote Originally Posted by E36M3LX View Post
    how do you like the set up with the 24 lb injectors and 3.5" maf? everyone is telling me thats too much unless im running cams
    I've heard you don't need it without cams too, but I've also seen some people's dyno runs where they are getting a bit lean over 6k. I've also read that it's better to run your injectors at a lower duty-cycle.

    The reasons I went with the 3.5" MAF / 24lb:
    -The Bosch 809 MAF actually puts out higher data resolution, giving faster throttle response and more accurate readings
    -This created a 3.5" intake setup from the filter up to the throttle body
    -I think camshafts are in the cards for the ///M
    -If you want a bosch 809 MAF you need to use the Turner Stage II software, which also requires 24lb injectors
    -New 24lb injectors aren't much more expensive than new OE units
    Last edited by HeelAndToe85; 01-07-2012 at 05:22 PM.

  10. #10
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    very nice build! great numbers on the dyno!

  11. #11
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    intake/X-pipe/ weight redux

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  12. #12
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    Quick update, I put the car on a friend's alignment rack last night after swapping strut hats and dialing in more rear camber. I'm really happy with the outcome.

    (Before setting front toe)


    Now toe is set to zero all around, but more importantly the 96-99 front strut hat swap (left to right) has got me set exactly where I want to be for the track! I didn't measure before but I would guess front camber was around -1.5*.

    On the downside I tripped a CEL and it's P0340, so I'm replacing the Camshaft Position Sensor this weekend.

  13. #13
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    Do not set the toe to zero. You will have really shitty tire wear. These cars require a little offset in the toe. Trust me I have burned through a set of fronts on my car in no time at all with -2.3 camber on the front and a little less in the rear. The other thing is your high speed handling will suck...it feels very floaty and unstable and somewhat jerky. Great progress!!! Keep it up

    329097_10151144875184101_1020786818_o by boomersooner523, on Flickr
    Past:
    1995 Hellrot E36 M3: JBR LTW flywheel, TRM chip, Dinan exhaust and CAI
    1999 Cosmos E36 M3 Engine: TRM Tune, M50 manifold, B&B Exhaust, BW ASC delete, AFe CAI and LOTS of other stuff
    New: 2002 E46 M3, Imola, 6spd, KW V2, Stoptech BBK, Agency Power exhaust, Mason Engineering Strut bar

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomersooner523 View Post
    Do not set the toe to zero. You will have really shitty tire wear. These cars require a little offset in the toe. Trust me I have burned through a set of fronts on my car in no time at all with -2.3 camber on the front and a little less in the rear. The other thing is your high speed handling will suck...it feels very floaty and unstable and somewhat jerky. Great progress!!! Keep it up
    What toe spec would you recommend Front and Rear?

    The 'definitive' alignment guide, admittedly fallible, says to run zero toe on the street for minimizing tire wear... and in my brain it makes sense to minimize tire wear you don't want any scrub, which toe in or out would give. Zero toe should be just rolling down the road, right?

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=995556

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomersooner523 View Post
    Do not set the toe to zero. You will have really shitty tire wear. These cars require a little offset in the toe. Trust me I have burned through a set of fronts on my car in no time at all with -2.3 camber on the front and a little less in the rear. The other thing is your high speed handling will suck...it feels very floaty and unstable and somewhat jerky. Great progress!!! Keep it up
    What toe spec would you recommend Front and Rear?

    The 'definitive' alignment guide, admittedly fallible, says to run zero toe on the street for minimizing tire wear... and in my brain it makes sense to minimize tire wear you don't want any scrub, which toe in or out would give. Zero toe should be just rolling down the road, right?

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=995556

  16. #16
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    nice build! and +1 on toe ^^ not sure what it 'should' be...I would've guessed 0.
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  17. #17
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    I love this build. great job! Similar to what I'm looking to do with my m3/4/5. As for the 12.1 afr, people in the past used to get pinging from the TMS software because the car would run slightly lean so they changed the tune a bit from what I've seen. 12.1 is a little on the rich side though, maybe to be safe.

    Where did u purchase the MAF from btw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moron95M3 View Post
    nice build! and +1 on toe ^^ not sure what it 'should' be...I would've guessed 0.
    I don't think it should be at 0 either. Mine is set to 0 and as BoomerSooner said, high speed stability sucks. Might be 'cause of tie rods or something else, but at 95+ its shaky.
    Last edited by Da Infammus 1; 02-01-2012 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

    Acura 2.3 CL BMW M3/4/5 Ninja ZX6R 636
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Infammus 1 View Post
    I love this build. great job! Similar to what I'm looking to do with my m3/4/5. As for the 12.1 afr, people in the past used to get pinging from the TMS software because the car would run slightly lean so they changed the tune a bit from what I've seen. 12.1 is a little on the rich side though, maybe to be safe.

    Where did u purchase the MAF from btw?
    Thanks man, I got the MAF for bimmerworld. A little pricey, but I couldn't find a better price or a used piece.

  19. #19
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    You will chew the hell out of your rears at zero toe. I don't know what RTABs you have, but I'd recommend about 0.20 toe in. I've had zero uneven wear through several sets of tires running this setup. I currently run about the same as you up front with 0.15-17 toe in up front, and 2.5 camber in the rear with .20 toe in and it's great.
    98 Z3 2.8 Roadster - GC, Vorshlag, AKG, ARC-8
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  20. #20
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    0 rear toe will be pretty scary at the track. You want at a minimum 0.125" (0.25 degrees) total rear toe-in.

    I run between 0.25 and 0.50 degrees total rear toe-in, depending on spring rates/setup. Front toe doesn't matter too much, running 3.5 degrees of camber all the time will wear tires no matter what toe you run. I generally find that a little toe-in makes the car drive really nice on the street, and only detracts a little bit from total grip.
    Chris
    97 M3
    94 325is
    12 Jeep SRT8

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeelAndToe85 View Post
    Thanks man, I got the MAF for bimmerworld. A little pricey, but I couldn't find a better price or a used piece.
    $470 for an 809 MAF is more than a little pricey to me lol. But thanks to our cars being OBD2, I might have to just bite the bullet too

    Acura 2.3 CL BMW M3/4/5 Ninja ZX6R 636
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsmtnbiker View Post
    0 rear toe will be pretty scary at the track. You want at a minimum 0.125" (0.25 degrees) total rear toe-in.

    I run between 0.25 and 0.50 degrees total rear toe-in, depending on spring rates/setup. Front toe doesn't matter too much, running 3.5 degrees of camber all the time will wear tires no matter what toe you run. I generally find that a little toe-in makes the car drive really nice on the street, and only detracts a little bit from total grip.
    From what I understand rear toe-in is better for stability under braking as well as less likely to step out under power exiting a turn. I was leaning towards 0 toe to see if it feels easier to control drifting... and I'm not putting crazy power down so I'm interested to see how it handles out of a turn.

    As for the front I do generally like the way 1/8" toe-in drives in the front but I was going zero for a nice turn-in at the track and easier on the tires on the street. But with -3.5* of camber that might just be a lost cause.

    I'd like to run camber plates but I'm not stoked on a metal ball joint for the strut hats because of impact harshness and chassis life... also if you go to the track and change camber settings, don't you severely screw up your toe-in??

  23. #23
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    I will have to find my sheet that has all the specs on it....I will repost when I find it!

    329097_10151144875184101_1020786818_o by boomersooner523, on Flickr
    Past:
    1995 Hellrot E36 M3: JBR LTW flywheel, TRM chip, Dinan exhaust and CAI
    1999 Cosmos E36 M3 Engine: TRM Tune, M50 manifold, B&B Exhaust, BW ASC delete, AFe CAI and LOTS of other stuff
    New: 2002 E46 M3, Imola, 6spd, KW V2, Stoptech BBK, Agency Power exhaust, Mason Engineering Strut bar

  24. #24
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    Generally, if you setup your street alignment to be around -2 to -2.5 camber and 0.25 total toe in (1/8"), you end up with somewhere between 0 and -0.25 toe (out) at max camber (which is good for turn-in.)

    I haven't experienced any negative aspects with camber plates in my car as far as longevity. I think I've probably had them in the car for at least 120k miles. Maybe a bit more road noise/harshness, but they were always installed in conjunction with coilovers.
    Chris
    97 M3
    94 325is
    12 Jeep SRT8

  25. #25
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    1989 Geo Metro
    The only thing I regret about my e36 days is never having bought a sedan to play with.

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