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Thread: Daily Driver No Longer – Enduro E36 M3

  1. #1
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    '95 M3 & '00 M5

    Daily Driver No Longer – Enduro E36 M3

    After serving admirably for the past 9 years as my daily driver, child shuttle, and occasional track car, it is finally time to retire my 1995 M3 from daily service. After 21 years and 160k miles with stiff suspension and regular trips through the snow, salt, and sub-zero temps of MN, she has begun to sport a few rust spots and the interior materials (gotta love those 90s BMW plastics and adhesives) were beginning to show their age. So what to do with her? Obvious: convert to track/race car. So I am joining the legion of others that have turned their E36s to the dark side.

    It was a balmy 42 degrees in Minneapolis this weekend (a 50+ degree improvement from the week before), so I decided it was the perfect time to get started. So here we go…

    In full winter mode with space heater
    IMG_0201.JPG

    Step one was to remove the interior where I have spent so many hours. The Vaders are still in remarkably good shape.
    IMG_0202.JPG
    Take this,
    IMG_0216.JPG
    Remove all of this and then some,
    IMG_0215.JPG
    And you get this.

    This will initially be a track car, but the cage and other parts of the build will be done with a plan to eventually take the car W2W racing in WRL and/or NASA GTS. Thankfully, two of my friends have already built M3 race cars that we campaign in WRL, so I plan to “borrow” their good ideas and hopefully learn from their bad ones. Because MN has no vehicle inspection and allows cars 20yr old to have ‘collector’ plates, I plan to try and keep the car street drivable for now (windows, HVAC, etc.) so I can drive it to events and for “testing.”

    The current mods on the car include the following:
    - TCK SA coilovers with TCK camber plates
    - GC rear camber arms
    - Eibach swaybars
    - Supersprint Exhuast
    - UUC SSK
    - Euro coolant tank conversion
    - SPAL fan
    - MM underpanel
    - Stewart waterpump

    My new daily ride.
    IMG_0217.JPG
    Last edited by HaraM3; 02-08-2019 at 11:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Charlotte
    Posts
    279
    My Cars
    2012 GTI
    Piece of advice: if you're going to do the UUC SSK, do the DSSR as well. I've had it on both my e36 and S52 e30 and it makes a world of difference. Other than that, everything looks great!
    97 M3 - SCCA TT Prepped
    17 F150 - Tow Pig
    05 S2000 - Sold
    88 325is - S52 powered - Sold
    95 M3 LTW Rep - Death by Altima

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Minniapolis MN
    Posts
    24
    My Cars
    97 M3 and 99 M Coupe
    More race cars for WRL!

    Thanks for the headliner the street car was in need. Also thanks for "borrowing" my your racing harness for the race car.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    '99 M3/'93 LMR-3
    If you guys will be in the WRL race at Brainerd this season, I'll see you there!

    Looking forward to another BMW out there, but will you end up towing once it's time to go W2W? If not, pony up for AAA Premier with the big towing benefits just in case.


    Jonathan
    BimmerWorld
    Race Proven Performance
    www.bimmerworld.com
    www.bimmerworldracing.com

  5. #5
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    Johnathan - I just welcomed my second kid, so no racing for me at BIR this weekend. My team (NLM/Mad Rabbit) will be there though. Look for the orange E36 M3. I may stop by on Sunday.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Been very busy the past few months, but not so much on the race project. Did some work on my wagon, sold it, bought a new DD, and then did some work on that. Obligatory photo of the new DD (and the other constant project car in my life).
    IMG_0471 (1).JPG

    I did get the new Momo Hub and Momo wheel (bought it on Ebay from Jordan of all places in like 2009 and was in our first ChumpCar, so a bit of nostalgia added to the build) with a Snap-Off QR. Very impressed with the QR no slop at all. Much better than the weld on ones or the NRG.
    IMG_0558.JPG

    I also made some progress during my paternity leave on getting the interior of the M3 more stripped in anticipation of cage work. Dash is out and started to remove the unnecessary wiring.
    IMG_0562.JPG

    Jesse and I also rolled the fenders last weekend in anticipation of wider rubber/wheels, since the Pro was kind enough to lend us his fender tool. Looks hilarious with the narrow winter wheels and tires on there. More pics to follow.

    Next up is tackling getting the rest of the sound deadening goo off the floorpans and fixing some of the rust that has developed in the passenger footwell area. That should be tons of fun...

    I have also been training my daughter to hopefully help me with the race car. For now, she is just "wrenching" on her new ride - a pedal Z4.
    IMG_0586.JPG

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Bloomington, MN
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    378
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    99 M Coupe, 08 M3/4/6
    Nice updates!
    -Jesse BMWCCA member 377845
    "Let’s get something straight right away: There are only two reasons to participate in motorsports. The first reason is to impress and seduce women, and this applies when you are single. The second reason is to escape your wife, and this applies when you are married."

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    '99 M3/'93 LMR-3
    Quote Originally Posted by HaraM3 View Post
    Johnathan - I just welcomed my second kid, so no racing for me at BIR this weekend. My team (NLM/Mad Rabbit) will be there though. Look for the orange E36 M3. I may stop by on Sunday.
    Congratulations! We ended up needing to drop BIR from our schedule this year. Some issues came up, but we'll be looking to haul out there next season, I'm sure.

    Car is looking great, and really love the E39 M5. Is that an Elan in the garage? Nice! Great collection you've got there.


    Jonathan
    BimmerWorld
    Race Proven Performance
    www.bimmerworld.com
    www.bimmerworldracing.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Bergenfield, NJ
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    '99 M3, '10 X5 35d
    In for updates. Nice progress thus far.

    Good job getting the kid started early!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    '95 M3 & '00 M5
    Got a few more things done this weekend and plan to get more done this coming weekend - mostly related to addressing the MN rust issues. I also acquired quite a few new parts. Updates to follow once I get some pics and time.

    In the meantime, here are a couple of old pics from before she went under the knife.
    photo 15.JPG
    With the track wheels

    BIR Pic 4.jpg
    First DE in 2009.

    It's hard to make much progress when you have 10lbs of howling infant strapped to you, but some progress is better than none. Getting him started young.

    Q garage.jpg
    Last edited by HaraM3; 06-03-2016 at 11:52 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Making much of a dent is hard when you only get 45 minute windows to knock out part of a task, but made some progress again this weekend. Mostly added lightness.

    Step one in lightness adding was removing the A/C system. It hadn't held a charge in years and was totally dry. The evaporator was looking pretty beat up too, so that should help the airflow to the rad a ton. Not that E36s have any cooling issues...

    2016-06-05_025922000_34759_iOS.jpg

    2016-06-05_184544697_9D179_iOS.jpg
    2016-06-05_184802946_6676E_iOS.jpg

    Then I added some more lightness with the angle grinder.
    2016-06-05_203042635_D8A81_iOS.jpg

    The metal worm got into the passenger floor and rocker a bit after a PO jacked on the fender/floor at some point and was then run through a few salty MN winters. Suffice to say I ended up having to shower a lot of the car out of my hair that night. So we will start addressing that this weekend - cut and paste! Then hopefully on to more fun tasks like the cage and installing all the parts that are sitting in the basement.

    2016-06-05_203030841_44227_iOS.jpg
    That line of metal on the cardboard creeper used to be car...
    Last edited by HaraM3; 10-25-2016 at 02:18 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Victoria, BC
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    10
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    86, 91 MK2, 87 E28
    Looking great!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    SHIFTYCREW RACING

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    It's been awhile since I updated this, but progress continues to be made (slowly). I also lost a lot of photos when my iPhone went brick on me.


    Part of the delay has been that I took on a project to help a buddy get his M3 prepped for some races. Unfortunately,she suffered a pretty hard hit on the driver side at a test day right after we got her finished - RIP, Lucile. Other than a knock on the head, the driver was okay. Something to be said for good safety gear.





    So....he bought another race car, this time an E36 323is - will be familiar to some of you. This car had just finished a 24h race so we had to go over it and get ready for a test day at Road America as part of the ChumpCar race in preparation for the WRL race at COTA in December. The garage was rather full of E36s on jackstands for a bit there. And my car got pilfered quite a few times for parts.




    His new car is basically sorted out now. And I have brake envy…







    But back to my car.


    Since my last update, a few things have happened. On the engine side of things, I welded in a VAC oil pan baffle, this involved a significant amount of elbow grease to get the pan looking respectable again. I also upgraded to an Achilles oil pump and pump bolt setup, with the reinforced oil pump pickup tube. Looks like a nice bit of kit. Of course, I wired and loctite'd the new oil pump bolt (yes, it's a bolt now and not a nut!). So any worries about the dreaded oil pump nut failure or starvation should be dealt with. I considered an S54 setup, but just not in the budget. Finished off this project with some 5w-40 and a new filter.



    This was really not too bad a job, just time consuming to drop the subframe, PS setup etc. This HF engine support worked quite well while I did the pump and pan.

    20160925_173829.jpg

    Of course, the pan got a new gasket. I also went through about a ½ gallon of degreaser cleaning off everything down there. While I was at it I sprayed the subframe in silver with some high-temp paint to better see oil/PS leaks in the future and also painted the X-brace (not shown).


    After getting that project wrapped up, I had a few things to do on the M5 - shocking, right? Decided to fantasize about S62 swaps while I was at it. Maybe someday.



    I then bought all the wet hop ales I could find and turned my attention to getting the updated front suspension on.



    It turns out that my TCKline SA struts were getting pretty tired. I was going to get them rebuilt when a set of GC/Advanced Design coilovers that had recently been rebuilt popped up and I decided to buy those to use for now at least. The front control arms were also due for replacement (I’ve seen more than a few fail in spectacular fashion), so those got replaced too. I also upgraded to Bimmerworld’s adjustable sway endlinks. The brakes are awfully rusty from sitting, but she is starting to look like a car again!



    Need to get the rear suspension on, a driver seat/slider in and a few other things in the next week. The plan is to get her off to my fabricator/friend within the next couple weeks to get the final rust fix done and the cage installed. She’s on the trickle charger and I hope she won’t be too grumpy after 6 months of sitting. Stay tuned… Oh, and stop by the North Loop garage to say hi if you are going to the WRL race at COTA in December.
    Last edited by HaraM3; 10-25-2016 at 02:22 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    NC
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    65
    My Cars
    1997 M3 Coupe
    Looks like a lot of bmw wrenchin' !

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
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    E36 M3 | E46 M3
    I love seeing builds take shape! Good progress so far, keep us posted on how things go!
    2011 F-150 FX4 | 1997 BMW M3 #404 GTS2 | 2006 BMW M3 Convertible
    Out Motorsports

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    So the M3 is off at winter storage with my cage fabricator. I also bought about 100 feet of 1.75 x.095 DOM. Roll cage work should commence in the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed she'll be ready to rock come track season!
    20161214_211542.jpg

    20161126_091402.jpg

    In other news, North Loop Motorsport had a nice showing at WRL's United States Endurance Championships at COTA. We took P1 on Saturday and P2 on Sunday in the GP2 class in my buddy's 323is!
    15327434_10103083954073522_3095530754697839557_n.jpg

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    Minniapolis MN
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    97 M3 and 99 M Coupe
    Its nice you put all the other stuff you have going on, paints a nice picture of when racing is life.

  17. #17
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    Progress continues... If you recall from my earlier posts, there was some rust in the front passenger-side floor pan from an improper jacking that crumpled that area and allowed the metal worm in. Last night, we continued our work to remedy that. Here are some before and after pics.

    Before:

    image.jpg

    After:
    20170209_225346.jpg

    Before:
    image (1).jpg

    Before:
    image (2).jpg
    After:
    20170209_222612.jpg


    Still (at least) a little work left to be done. But we are getting close, and cage work should begin in the next few weeks. Many thanks go to my friend and expert fabricator/welder who did all this amazing work. I mainly supplied beer and DJ'd the welding session. I think you will be hard pressed to see that this area has been repaired once he is done.

    I also ordered an oil cooler setup (details to follow) and a Sparco Ergo seat. So more info and updates coming on those in the future (near future I hope).

    Anyone going to the MN Racers Happy Hour on Saturday at Poor Richard's?

  18. #18
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    Race car projects keep getting in the way of MY race car project, particularly as the start to the 2017 season is fast approaching with the first WRL event of the year at Road American next weekend. The current NLM team car got a new cage and a few more updates and improvements over the winter and then it all had to be reassembled. And as you know, when you change one thing you inevitably then have to change several other things. So per usual, the team car is not quite done and time is running short, but we are nearly there.

    20170407_202242.jpg

    Our new director of the race shop is not proving to be as useful as he claimed, though he accepted a very small office.

    20170409_142014.jpg

    More updates on my car to come soon, including the new seat and cage install process. But for now, off to Road America.

  19. #19
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    Looking good! Subscribed!

  20. #20
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    Progress continues on my car now that NLM's first WRL race of the year is in the books. Things did not go as planned there, as we had a couple of mechanical issues (power steering and then wheel bearing) ruin what could have been very good results in GP2. Even so, it is always a blast to race at Road America and for the first time running the proper configuration with the Kink!

    Helga at RA.jpg
    Thankfully, the car was basically still in one piece even if it needed to be put into the trailer via tow truck. Thankfully, the team owner added a lift to his shop so that will make repairs so much easier. Going to spoil me.

    20170513_134006.jpg

    Sadly, there is no lift where my M3 is getting sorted out. So back to crawling around on my back on the old “cardboard creeper.” But got the subframe and rear suspension removed. After years on the road there is a bit of corrosion, but nothing major. That will all get sent off to get soda blasted and repainted before new bearings and bushings get installed. I recently acquired a 20-ton press so that should come in handy. Also planning to rebuild the LSD before slapping it all back in.

    20170519_222931.jpg

    Thankfully, I had my trusty M5 “truck” to haul all the parts.

    20170519_235608.jpg

    Really hoping to get the cage started soon. Looked at a lot of nice cages at the RA race for ideas and had some good discussions. All the metal for the plates and tubing have been acquired, but still need to prep the car, which is not the most fun job.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    E36 325i (sold)
    +1 for the Lagunitas, live about 40 minutes away from their brewery in Petaluma. Great build!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunB View Post
    +1 for the Lagunitas, live about 40 minutes away from their brewery in Petaluma. Great build!
    Went there a few years ago after a race at Sonoma. Great spot and great beers! Their Wet Dog I tried there remains one of my all time favorite beers, which of course they only had at the tap room.

  23. #23
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    June '17 Update

    Going to try and at least get a monthly update as the build continues. The progress as of late has been partially to lighten my wallet and also to continue work on the rear end of the car and cage install. Planning to spend a full day working on the cage in the next week. Being able to only work on the car one evening a week at my buddy’s (an hr long round trip) means we are going slowly but surely, though we want to advance the schedule.

    Here is the beautiful tool the cage fabricator made to shape some of the roll cage plates to follow the contours of the floor for the main hoop. Don’t have any pics of the plates at the moment, but will get some once they go in.
    20170616_221833.jpg

    Christmas in June was a result of the wallet lightening. Maybe this is what Chapman meant by "add lightness"... Here is a preview of some of the parts that will eventually end up on the old girl. And now my Recaro office chair isn’t nicer than my racing seat.

    20170615_200516.jpg20170615_210306.jpg

    My brake envy from the NLM race car’s upgrade from last summer led me to seek out some cheap 996 P-car calipers (M3 brake setup headed to the classifieds). I have also been rebuilding the brakes for the NLM race car since we had some downtime until our next race at Barber in August. New seals and dust boots are good to go on set #1. Need to do this to my new calipers as well.

    20170625_133106.jpg

    The 3.38 differential from a 97 auto M3 that I installed a few years ago is also about to get a rebuilt LSD thanks to some bits from Thayer. This diff only had 98k, but it felt like it did not lock as well as my old 3.15 that had more miles. I’ll get that sorted with new clutches and then add some bling (and added cooling) with the Rogue cover. BW was running a sale for Memorial Day and I could not pass it up.

    20170608_205042.jpg

    We also got the rear subframe bushings and front diff bushing out. A hydraulic press and a few IPAs and that job is a piece of cake. Took maybe 20 minutes. The subframe itself is due to get some media blasting and paint before we install the new bushings from AKG.



    Also working on getting some of the bolts cleaned up, since the car lived through a few winters in MN. Everyone knows a clean race car is a fast race car (even the underbody). Turns out that the rear suspension and subframe mounting hardware bits are EXPENSIVE. For example the rear subframe mount washers are $20+ per washer. That’s $80 in washers! Nah. Tried Evapo-Rust and have been very impressed with the results. Yes, those bolts are 22 years old I believe. Shiny like new again.





    Maybe the biggest thing I did was to install a screen in my garage so that I can keep the MFing mosquitoes out at night. They find me delicious, and since this is MN, there are LOTS of them.



    That's it for now. Not sure WTF I am doing wrong with the pic sizing.

  24. #24
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    On to the next step - rebuilding the LSD. After you have done it once, it's really not that bad just lots of pieces to keep track of. I try to limit myself to 3 beers when doing it so I remember how it goes back together.

    20170711_211518.jpg

    Decided to paint the case while I had it all apart. Had some high-temp silver paint laying around so went with that rather than factory black. Should make seeing any leaks easier too I guess. Should look pretty with the Rogue cover.

    20170708_101801.jpg

    Also gave the GC lower control arms a touch-up coat. My wife was nice enough to let me use the clothes line for that project.
    20170703_174539.jpg

    Work on the cage continues as well. Had to pull the gas tank to do the rear plates. That is a super fun job. Unfortunately, I was too tired (and maybe still high on gas/welding fumes) to remember to take a picture of the rear plates themselves.
    20170708_182802_001.jpg

  25. #25
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    +1,000 for the garage door screen. Maybe the best $20 I ever spent on Amazon.

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