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Thread: The uphill battle... aka e36 M3 STR build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    1997 M3

    The uphill battle... aka e36 M3 STR build

    So.. this build... its been discussed before but I felt like documenting my build to maybe entertain some of you guys and also bounce so ideas off you other guys. I realize its not currently the car for the class and my chances for a jacket are slim to none but I wanted to build it, and though it may not win I want to build my best version of an STR E36 M3 for SCCA solo. Dare to dream maybe some day the M3 gets bumped to STX where it could give the twins a hard time but that's neither here nor there at the moment.

    To give some background on me. I've been autocrossing for over 10 years. Started in a 94 325is car that I set up for the STX class. Learned a lot in that, then did 2 seasons in a 05 Subaru Sti built for the STU class, then back to the BMW. My final big change was a Mazda RX8 for the STX class which I really enjoyed but was ready for something different. I wasn't exactly sure what that something different would be but I was open to different ideas.

    All that was to bring you to this car. I came across this car through a friend of my dads. The two of us will buys cars and flip them with a little work to kind of make some extra money and have fun projects for us to do. We originally bought the car to do one of these flips. That plan changed when I got it up on the lift. We got this car for a song because it had sit in the guys back yard for over a year with a bad clutch slave cylinder and a bad starter. Because of those two things we had no idea on the status of the engine hence us getting it so cheap. Any way once we got it on the lift the body was actually quite straight. I figured this may be a good cheap base from a ground up STR build after so plotting and talking with my racing friends. This brings in another reason a actually decide to do the build. I have 4 other friends in 2 cars that drive E36 M3s in STR so the chance at having triplet M3s battling for the class is going to be an absolute blast.

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    Now that you have all the boring background lets get to the build!

    Basic game plan.... same a basically all builds
    Maintenance
    Maintenance
    Maintenance
    all bushing, ball joints, mounts, alignment adjustment
    Nice double adjustable coilovers
    Built diff (always wanted to do one)
    brakes (stage 1) pads, lines, fluid, solid caliper guides....
    wheels,17x9 light as possible with 255 hot tire
    power- intake, pullies, software, header, exhaust
    weight reduction- stage 2 brakes seats battery
    did I mention maintenance? The car sat in a back yard for almost 2 years.

    Once All of the spider webs were cleaned out the build started from there. The car was originally purchased in June and Its been a huge job ever since then. I'm just now getting to the build write up but the actual build has come quite long way since it started with a few priority changes on my final level of prep in the build. I've gone as far as my budget will allow at the moment but I have a great base to start from already established and this build can only get better from here.

    First Thing that was addressed before my final decision to start a build out of this was the clutch slave cylinder, clutch and starter. Without these done we had no idea of the health of the motor. If a new motor was needed a race build was not in the works.

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    Car making it to the garage after we grabbed it and my Nephew helping with the clutch job. A lift and a tool gofer/ light assistant help jobs go much quicker. Doesn't hurt my dad and my friends are all pretty good with wrenching so jobs are actually pretty fun.

    After we got the car running I borrowed some wheels and took her for a drive. Immediately a bad rear wheel bearing was making tons of noise and a bent rear lower control arm was causing a vibration. Despite this the motor was quite strong and though the suspension felt tired it all felt pretty decent. It was at this point the big build started.

    Sooo the list of things to be replaced is long and well known in the forums. Parts were ordered from lots of vendors many of whom are vendor sponsors and contributors. I can go further into all my choices if people are curious but I was only going to touch on all the big stuff. First the maintenance/refresh stuff

    OEM clutch
    OEM clutch slave cylinder
    OEM starter
    OEM HD Motor mounts
    e46 M3 Transmission mounts
    Powerflex bushing for FLCAB, diff mounts, rear subframe mounts,rear upper control arm inner buchings
    OEM RTAB with Vorshlag Limiters
    Turner Motorsports adjustable LCA
    OEM rear sway bar rebuild kit (bushings, mounts, bolts)
    OEM rear wheel bearings
    OEM Guibo
    OEM tie rod ends
    OEM FLCA
    stainless steel brake lines
    solid caliper bushing
    Coolant system- (radiator, coolant lines, stewart pump, aluminum thermostat housing, new thermostat)
    Valve cover gaskget
    spark plugs
    ignition coil collars
    cam position sensor
    crank position sensor
    AFE intake
    rouge engineering power pullies
    various vacuum and intake hoses
    Oil change
    Transmission fluid change
    Brake fluid flush
    diff fluid
    Euro tail and corner light conversion
    shift linkage rebuild kit
    new shift knob
    Dr vanos rebuilt vanos
    I'm sure there is other stuff that Im forgetting but I'll share some pictures from various parts of all of the rebuild refresh stage. Again if you have questions about any of this stuff just ask I just feel most of this has been reviewed many times in many build threads.

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    Last edited by snakebit8; 12-10-2017 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    continued from above
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    Since it only allows 5 pictures per post here are various pictures throughout. Many many hours going through all these projects.

  3. #3
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    Now to some non maintenance stuff.

    Coil-overs
    I got a good deal on a set of used JRZ RS double adjustable coil-overs from a user on the forum. I had them sent directly to a shock rebuilder and had them serviced since the previous owner said they were due. Rebuilder let me know that was definitively needed but the rebuild just fine and he dynoed them and got them sent to me.
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    I paired these with Hyperco springs , Vorshlag camber plates, and the Ground Control hollow front bar. The oem rear bar will be used for now.

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    Used typical E36 ride heights to start with but made a few tweeks based on what i ran and like from my old 325.


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    Next on the write up

    Built Differential

    I contacted Dan at Diffs online and after some discussion of my needs and uses and driving style we settled on a very cool option. I'm very curious what this will mean in the long term for the handling of the car but I'm super excited to try this out. As with all the vendors I've used so far in this build, he was super helpful and knowledgeable. Definitely a perk to building a platform that has lots shared knowledge in the tuning of it.
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    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by snakebit8; 07-18-2018 at 09:43 PM.

  4. #4
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    1997 M3
    Next in the build

    Wheels, clean up, alignment, shake down test

    Wheels were something that is wasn't sure what my final solution would be. Wasn't crazy about the wheels that can on the car which were 18 inch e39 M5 reps so I wanted street wheels and race wheels that were both 17s so tires could be cycled to the street wheels after they were heat cycled out on the race wheels. That has worked very well for me in the past. What i ended up finding was a nice set or 17x8.5 SSR comps for my street wheels on craigslist and a set of TR motorsports MT1-R wheels in 17x9 from a friend for race wheels. I'm quite pleased with both sets of wheels. At 16.2 lbs the TR motorsports wheels are pretty hard to beat for the price. I was looking at forged wheels in an effort to find comparable weights and they were quite a bit more expensive.
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    The second picture above brings up the alignment for next year. Again went fairly common here since there is lots of feedback on setups on here. F -3.5 camber, full castor avaible and 1/8 total toe out. Rear was -2.4 camber and factory toe in.

    After all this was done it was time to give her a shake down. I borrowed a set of wheels from some great friends that would be out of town for this event which had some sticky bridgestones on them and went to see how the initial feel was. It also highlighted I needed to get nice numbers for next year so she looks as classy as the detail (got a buddy that is a magician) and all the hard work that has gone into her deserve.

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    In the shake down the car feels very tight and predictable. You can feel the diff out back really doing its thing and the shocks feel very interesting. I was trying to get a quick baseline on the shock settings and every click made such a big change I was chasing setting al day. When the spring test and tune comes around I'm going to be taking a much more methodical approach to the setting which will hopefully get me in the sweet spot I have been hoping for. Power feels good even though I had a check engine light that i believe deals with the vanos. I think I have got to pull it back out and make sure do grab that first tooth (dang you P1519). This brings me to my future areas of improvement that I'm still researching.

    With the maintenance for the most part complete (i have the power steering lines and reservoir waiting to go in) and the suspension ready to be optimized. I can finally feel like power and weight reduction are on my list. I added pulleys while the front of the engine was apart and an intake because that was low hanging fruit. This leaves headers, exhaust and tune for all the power I can still do for class rules. With the focus more on low range and mid-range over just peak horsepower Headers seem to be pointing to headers like TMS shorties or getting stepped headers. I read a Vorshlag build thread for their e46 TT car that had a stepped header build that just made me drool haha. Would love header input from those that have tried stuff for autocross rather than all the track cars or supercharged cars in all the headers threads. This may not be completely true but that is how it feels sometimes.

    Next is the exhaust. I figure I'll pair a custom 3 inch exhaust with whichever header I choose. High flow cat and a muffler to bring the sound below 93db are obviously required but I would love it as light as possible. Debated the BW race but didn't know how that would go with the TMS shortie headers. Also have some friends with that on theirs and meeting sound can be challenging some days. If there are other premade options I would love to hear peoples input.

    Finally the tune. Thinking either Epic motorsports or TRM. I've heard great things from both but again I'm open to new suggestions or peoples first hand experience. Just want a fat power band and a raised rev limit (thinking 7200?)

    This brings us basically up to date. There is plenty a left out so that i didn't go over the same ole same ole. That said I can be more specific if people are curious. Also have plans for weight reduction and power going forward that I think will make this project a beast by the end. Thanks for reading my little write up. Maybe the E36 M3 can be competitive if its built to the limit but only time will tell.

  5. #5
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    Clean build--liking the progress so far. Give Zack at 22RPD a call for a tune. He can get you lined up with a nice autox tune with a higher rev limit in 1st & 2nd gear. He's also an AL native who knows his MS41 tunes. What autox group do you run with? TVR?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    99 M3

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by m3leistung View Post
    Clean build--liking the progress so far. Give Zack at 22RPD a call for a tune. He can get you lined up with a nice autox tune with a higher rev limit in 1st & 2nd gear. He's also an AL native who knows his MS41 tunes. What autox group do you run with? TVR?

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Thanks! I'll have to check those guys out. I had not heard about them yet. I'm open to checking out all my options. Yes I run with the TAC/TVR group. Do you come up and run in Huntsville ever?

  7. #7
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    No but we've had several TVRSCCA vs ALSCCA battles where a bunch of Hville people would come down to Bham

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    99 M3

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by m3leistung View Post
    No but we've had several TVRSCCA vs ALSCCA battles where a bunch of Hville people would come down to Bham

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Well you should come up and run some next year. There is a good Group of AL region that comes up. I actually currently live in TN so going down to the AL region is not practical for me right now.

  9. #9
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    Update:

    So have my first update on this thread since I last posted. Few projects were worked on over the holidays to try and get this car streetable and able to pass emissions so that I can get my tags for it. Issue number 1 that needed my attention was a check engine light that kept throwing the Code P1519. If you look it up it comes up as Vanos mechanically stuck, or something like that. Read around the forums a bit and concluded I must have put the Dr Vanos rebuild unit in 1 tooth off, sooooo apart she came again.

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    I'm really not wanting to do this again. Its just so stinking tedious. The good new this did get rid of the code so I must have just missed that tooth first go around. You live and you learn.

    Next on the list of things to do. Power steering leaks and whine. I ordered a whole line and canister refresh kit from ECS on sale to just clean things up with fresh fluid. Didn't take too long, and gave me the opportunity to clean a little more under the car with the pieces out.

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    After all this was done I took the car out for a test drive and realized something was off. The whine became even louder and the power steering was really struggling. Back on the lift she went. Something had to be off so I started exploring. Found the issue pretty quickly.

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    The high pressure line had managed to pinch the feel line shut. No wonder it was not happy. Simple fix of rotating the reservoir and getting the line freed. Next test drive went much smoother which was a great relief. Always nice to find easy solutions to problems.

    Last project was to install a new PCV valve and all the hoses while the intake was apart and I had room. just best to get it all done.

    So After the lasted round of updates the car has no check engine lights for the first time since I have owned it. Its been an uphill struggle already be shes running super smooth now with pretty good power. This also gives me the opportunity to finally get my car tagged in TN where I live. The need to pass emissions has kept me from getting it registered for the length of the build so far si this i a big milestone. Up on the trailer she went and headed north to get her check up.

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    Assuming the emissions goes as I hope, only a few more this to get in place in preparation for next season.

    Tires (BFG or Bridgestone)
    Tune (seriously looking at 22RPD already talked with them and they have left a good impression)
    Data Acquisition (thinking solo storm, has anyone used the OBD2 attachment with an E36? Any know issues?)
    Numbers (thinking vinyls just to make life easier, also may do some sort of extra something to add some pop, because racecar)

    Lower priorities
    Seats (stock seat leather is toast, have a buddy with a nice Sparco for a great price, might be too tempting)
    Steering wheel (again stock wheel is toast, have a Momo I might use to take advantage of the new street touring allowances)
    full header and exhaust (weight and power, just cost so much)

    Thanks for reading my updates. As always I welcome input or suggestions!

    Cant wait to get her running and in good battles!

  10. #10
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    So small update.

    -Car passed emissions so that's Nice. Now I can legally drive her to get some break in miles.

    tK3qFO9.jpg

    -Currently the Co-driver for the next year is working on installing the data acquisition into the car. He is working on figuring out good mounting and which extra sensors to add to the car to capture everything. He will most likely be adding to this thread as he works through that section of the build. His skill set is much more aligned for that type of project so I am pretty excited hes racing with me this year and we get to be Data geeks.

    - Decided on 22RPD for the tune that will go on the car. Zack was great with input on my options and what can be done including the raised Rev limit (7200) to try and extend 2nd gear. I have only heard good things so I'm really excited to get the tune and and get it tweeked for my current setup.

    -Had a compression adjuster somehow get bent and seized on one of the front shocks. I found this while the car was on the lift and and I was just walking around under the car check on everything since the car had been pulled so far apart over the fall. Still not sure how this occurred since the last event. I was able to adjust everything at that event so this was unfortunate. I called up the shock rebuilder (James at SRP engineering) and he walked me through resolving this problem without losing the setting on the shock. He talked me through it on a sunday morning and we got it all sorted out so big thanks to him.

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    Working on a few things that will hopefully get finished before the season gets pretty far along.

    -Seats, Going with Sparco pro2000 2's. Trying to figure out the best mounting options to be both light (shooting for 25lb per side total) and centered for the driver. I have done VAC mounts with sparco side mounts and was never able to get the seat centered quite right. I realize the side mounts were my issue so I'm just trying to figure out my best option. Both VAC and motion motorsports have their own side mounts that seem to solve this but I was hoping for a similar solution in Aluminum. Has anyone here ever bottom mounted a Pro 2000 on a slider and the VAC floor mounts? Trying to see if that a feasible option. The passenger side will be easier since it being centered or having a slider are not issues.

    -Steering wheel. The common path of the Momo 2008 adapter seems to be the most accepted option if you want to retain your horn and the turing signal cancel. The main issue is the airbag light since that one does not seem to have a resistor that cancels the light with it. Can you buy a plug in resistor that does that function separately? I have not see that yet and would be interested in that solution if that was available. Also are there any slim options that retain all those stock features so a quick disconnect could be added and the wheel not get pushed back too far.. Not 100% sure I want one but I figured I would check all the options.

    The beginning of the season is fast approaching with our local test and tune March 11th. I'm super excited to see what the baseline is for this build. Any input on some of my current projects would be greatly appreciated, as always thanks for reading.

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  11. #11
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    I had success in extinguishing my airbag light by unplugging (and removing) the airbag controller.

  12. #12
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    My interpretation of the ST rules leaves me to believe I cant remove the controller completely but I don't see an issue with just unplugging it. Thanks for the input.

  13. #13
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    If you can get your hands on a spare slip ring you can use the wheel side connector + some resistors to have a plug in airbag light tricker. Or wire them in directly, but I wanted mine to be removable so I can resell the car with a stock wheel.

    Let me know if you get the horn to work with your wheel...I had problems with the momo hub. When I tighten the hub to the steering column I lose the ground. Horn will work perfectly if I back the bolt off, but as soon as it goes tight it stops working. Never was able to figure it out.

    Only company that offers a low profile hub is NRG. Used their hub + QR on my civic racecar, works fine but never even tried to hook up the horn and deleted the turn signal stalk.


    A few things I learned from my car:

    Steering wheel transformed the car, much easier to drive than with the stock wheel.

    Motion motorsports side brackets let you get the seat as far over as possible and are super easy to install because of the slotted inserts. They are aluminum. But I'm not sure how you'd get them to work with sliders, I couldn't figure it out and just bolted them directly to the floor plates. The issue was with sliders needed to be installed on the MM bracket first, but then I'd lose the ability to adjust after install. Driver height is also a limiting factor in centering e36 seats. I'm 5'6 and have my OMP jammed into the trans tunnel as much as possible but it's still a bit off center. With an OMP fiberglass seat, motion motorsports side mounts and VAC matrix floor plates I think I was around 27-28lb. Sliders would be close to 30lb total.

    TMS doesn't make the OBD2 shorty headers anymore. To be legal you would have to find a used set, or grind/machine them down to mount the SAP tubes. I just went with the bimmerworld exhaust and y-pipe, a vibrant cat will just fit after the resonator. Not sure it would pass @ 93db though, it is loud.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crustashio View Post
    If you can get your hands on a spare slip ring you can use the wheel side connector + some resistors to have a plug in airbag light tricker. Or wire them in directly, but I wanted mine to be removable so I can resell the car with a stock wheel.

    Let me know if you get the horn to work with your wheel...I had problems with the momo hub. When I tighten the hub to the steering column I lose the ground. Horn will work perfectly if I back the bolt off, but as soon as it goes tight it stops working. Never was able to figure it out.

    Only company that offers a low profile hub is NRG. Used their hub + QR on my civic racecar, works fine but never even tried to hook up the horn and deleted the turn signal stalk.


    A few things I learned from my car:

    Steering wheel transformed the car, much easier to drive than with the stock wheel.

    Motion motorsports side brackets let you get the seat as far over as possible and are super easy to install because of the slotted inserts. They are aluminum. But I'm not sure how you'd get them to work with sliders, I couldn't figure it out and just bolted them directly to the floor plates. The issue was with sliders needed to be installed on the MM bracket first, but then I'd lose the ability to adjust after install. Driver height is also a limiting factor in centering e36 seats. I'm 5'6 and have my OMP jammed into the trans tunnel as much as possible but it's still a bit off center. With an OMP fiberglass seat, motion motorsports side mounts and VAC matrix floor plates I think I was around 27-28lb. Sliders would be close to 30lb total.

    TMS doesn't make the OBD2 shorty headers anymore. To be legal you would have to find a used set, or grind/machine them down to mount the SAP tubes. I just went with the bimmerworld exhaust and y-pipe, a vibrant cat will just fit after the resonator. Not sure it would pass @ 93db though, it is loud.
    Thanks for all the Input! I went ahead and mounted up the wheel and Drivers seat this weekend since I had already bought all the mounting stuff before your response. I'm going to do an update about that when I get off work tonight.

    As far as the header goes, is the only thing needed on the current turner header the holes drilled in them to allow the SAP to be bolted up or is there more to it than that? Looking into custom headers but good lord those are expensive. All of that labor to make stepped headers drives the price up, I have friends that have the BW exhaust with a high flow cat welded in. It just barely makes it under the sound limits but It is doable. The cheap plan is to just buy that and run stock headers. the next step up is modified turner shorties with the BW exhaust, and the more expensive option is to get Zack at 22RPD to put together stepped headers and a catted exhaust that will be built to maximize the mid range. With that option making sure the SAP works would be doable. Thanks again for your input. I appreciate it.

  15. #15
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    Hey Guys, Its been awhile, and I'm a little behind on an update I said I would do awhile ago. Oh well life happens.

    Updates
    Got the driver's race seat mounted as well as the steering wheel. As I had mentioned previously in this thread, there are several options for taking care of both of these. Also added an understray.

    Drivers seat- I got a hold of a Sparco Pro2000 II seat from a buddy that he was selling for a very reasonable price. Initially I had planned on holding off on the seat for a bit but when this deal came up I decided to go ahead and get this taken care of. I have always loved the feel of a good race seat and the stock seats were very beat up. Too much time in the sun had made the leather very week and they are in serious need of being recovered. Since I have a co-driver and will have other people jumping in and out of the car this year I added a slider on the driver's seat to ensure everyone can get to a position that they are happy with. I was looking at several different options for mounting this up ranging from simple sparco bases to having a local shop custom fab up a solution that would be light and still center the seat on the wheel. In the end I went with the tried and true solution of the VAC motorsports bases and side mounts. Adding the slider made this job a little finicky but overall these bases and sound mounts work very well together to get the seat centered and in quickly. With the seat mounts I also ordered the stock seat belt adapter kit so that I could still us the Schroth quick-fit harnesses that I have used in several of my cars and love for auto-x purposes.

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    Steering wheel- I got a hold of a used Momo race wheel from my dad who had one just sitting around from an old car. With the recent ST allowances that now allow an aftermarket wheel I saw this as an opportunity to replace the worn out stock wheel that if I kept it I would want to have it recovered. I was looking at all of the solutions and debating a quick disconnect or just using a wheel adapter that would safely mount the wheel. After looking around the forums and checking supplier website I had noticed that very few options retained the horn and turn signal canceling feature.What I found interesting was that there are two momo adapters available and one is meant for "street" which had these two features, and one that was "race " that did not have these features but came with a plug in resistor to cancel out the airbag light. I was really hoping to find an option that had all three. I ended up going with the "street " option and determined I would figure out the airbag light later. Well I probably should have figured it out ahead of lime and ordered the correct resistor ahead of time because there are almost no options for locat resistor procurement. We ended up rigging two huge resistors together to get us in the ballpark of the needed resistance and the solution so far has worked like a charm. My pro tip would be to make sure you have the needed resistors in hand before starting the job, there are just no radio shacks anymore to go grab stuff quickly anymore.

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    Final bit of this update is the addition of the Motion Motorsports aluminum undertray. The car had none of the factory under tray stuff so this was a much needed addition to help protect the front underneath of the car from those pesky cones. This took a little time to get set properly in place but Its a very nice strong piece that I think will be a solid addition to the front. It stiffened up the front bumper a lot. Time will tell how it will handle the abuse but so far i'm very optimistic based on the quality of the piece.

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    Up next... Trying to get the Shock setting dialed in and still need to get my tune base map uploaded. I'm not around the car all the time so getting the timing right to get certain things done on the car is tricky. As always thanks for following along.

  16. #16
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    So I'm updating this thread for the first time in awhile. I've been busy continuing the build, working out the bugs and trying to continue her improvement. Only able to do one points event so far this year since our second event was canceled for very sever weather coming through. Car was quick but I was dirty so thus is life i guess. First even let me know several of the weaknesses of the car and have helped me continue to make the car better.

    1. Vinyl numbers. I received enough grief from the guys in the club for my painters tape numbers so I knew it was time to have a nice clean low effort solution. I personally hate dealing with magnets and making sure they are together and flat and mounted straight and basically I'm lazy so I did vinyl numbers and letters. Also got the solo contingency decals put on for future events later this year so I just did it all at once to make sure they all laid out well on the car. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Not really a huge build aspect but it made me happy so it gets mentioned.

    1ZRahtG.jpg

    2. Under tray. Sooo apparently hitting cones really hard can be tough on front under trays on car. When I installed the motion Motorsport front under tray I used the plastic anchors for the rear brackets. There was a stronger option included but i don't need that right? Wrong, My co-driver and I made sure to pull all of those mounts out in the first event. Sooo we used much larger hardware to reattach the rear mounts. Hopefully this is the last time we have to deal with it.

    yRk2OYD.jpg

    3.Brakes. During the first event I was pleased with most aspects of the car but the brakes left me wanting. The Axis Ultimates are a great street pad but not what I wanted for autocross. I chose the Carbotec AX6 pads for the nice bite and modulation. Huge improvement just based on the bed in drive alone. I'm really looking forward to being to brake when I want again. The added bonus is that after the bed in I inspected everything and there seems to be a nice surface crack in one of the front rotors. This means new front rotors woohoo. Oh well all part of the game, I had replaced the rear rotors but not the fronts so this is not a huge surprise. I was hoping to do light weight rotors but I still need to do some research to determine the lightest stock sized options.

    832MJR4.jpg

    FARnKL4.jpg

    4. Tune. I finally hooked up with Zack from 22rpd to get my base map flashed on the car before the first event. I've driven several cars with several tunes and returned cars in the past so I had an idea n my head on what to expect. My biggest reason for even getting the tune was for the raised rev limit (7200) but i was very pleasantly surprised with the drivablility improvement and the midrange felt beefier using my butt dyno. Hell it even idled significantly better. I'm definitely pleased with the tune so far and enjoyed talking about my future options with Zack and recommend his tunes based on my admittedly limited time with the car so far. I have new headers to go on with a full exhaust along with fresh injectors before getting my dyno fine tuning done later which is included with the tune. Hopefully we can get every bit of power out of this old girl.

    JXydNpp.jpg

    So whats next. Header back exhaust, passenger race seat, light weight battery, fluid refresh, setup tweeks.

    As always thanks for reading.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    how are your seats? are they centered? nice build

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantuM3 View Post
    how are your seats? are they centered? nice build
    Thanks its been a fun process.

    I really Like the seats themselves, Comfortable and supportive for sure. I'm not as small as I used to be when I ran the regular Sparco evo seats so the slightly wider seat in nice for me and some other not rail thin drivers that drive the car. As far is how centered it is, is very close to center but not perfectly centered, I don't notice it all all when I'm driving , only when I sit there and really think about it.. I'm doubting you can get a wider seat perfect while still having the carpet in the car since the seat is pressed hard against the transmission tunnel to get to its current alignment. I can try to get a picture of it next time i'm near the car if that helps.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Huntsville AL / Nashville
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    1997 M3
    Another update.

    Had a few small projects to do before our event this past saturday. Front rotors needed to be changed out due to a large crack in the face and consequently the brakes had to be rebedded. Its the first time in awhile since I've bedded pads at night. I love that sparks and embers that come out when bedding. I also did an oil change. I went with a pretty thin oil initially and the valve tick was crazy loud so I went a but heavier since it gets plenty hot in Alabama. I decided on a 5w-50 Redline oil, I'm curious to see how it holds up but the valve tick has been greatly lessened during this last event with ambient temperatures around 90 f.

    Event number 2 for the year.
    Fresh tires finally made it on after trying to continue with last years tires during the test and tune phase at the beginning of the year. They must have hit there wall heat cycle wise because grip just fell off a cliff. We attempted to scrub them in before hand but you can never run them hard enough safely on the street so this event was interesting in that the tires need to fully scrub which really had a negative affect on grip in early runs. Local club put on a fun event with a challanging course, nice sunny weather ment 115 showed up to dodge some cones. The local E36 group was out with all 6 drivers cutting up and having a good race.

    ZUZvM4p.jpg

    EivHYEF.jpg

    The change in brake pads made a huge change in the car. I'm super please with the Carbotec AX6 pads, good modulation but awesome torque when you really laid into them. They are super dusty but what do you expect from race pads. A friend had these on his car and the pro tip is wash the dust off after every event to keep it from binding rock hard onto your wheels. Small price to pay for a pad i really enjoy so far. Over all I was super happy with how the car ran, predictable and confidence inspiring. Still lots of changes to make and improvements to be had to get her fully set up but I'm very content with her so far. Almost made my internal goal of quickest street tired car but its early days yet.

    hLXvPIQ.jpg

    2Db7Keo.png


    Next on the agenda.

    nGNPmec.jpg

    Found some OBD-II legal BMP shorties. Now to get together the rest of the exhaust. BW race with high flow cat and I'm thinking the AA track pipe section 1 to connect them since I don't need the added bends of the BW connector with the shorties. At least that's my theory anyway. If anyone has first hand experience there I would love to hear your thoughts.

    As always thanks for reading.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Chicago, IL
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    2001 M Coupe
    Quote Originally Posted by snakebit8 View Post

    2. Under tray. Sooo apparently hitting cones really hard can be tough on front under trays on car. When I installed the motion Motorsport front under tray I used the plastic anchors for the rear brackets. There was a stronger option included but i don't need that right? Wrong, My co-driver and I made sure to pull all of those mounts out in the first event. Sooo we used much larger hardware to reattach the rear mounts. Hopefully this is the last time we have to deal with it.

    yRk2OYD.jpg
    I've done the same in my last event. I don't think I have any hardware left from my install though. Did you still use plastic inserts with those bigger bolts, or are they somehow tapped into the framerail now? I'm going to have to head to the hardware store I think.

  21. #21
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    Jan 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumanchu282 View Post
    I've done the same in my last event. I don't think I have any hardware left from my install though. Did you still use plastic inserts with those bigger bolts, or are they somehow tapped into the framerail now? I'm going to have to head to the hardware store I think.
    The plastic inserts were not retained. We got some coarse threaded bolts that was just oversized for the hole and used the impact to basically ram it home. Nice tight fit and no loosening so far.

  22. #22
    MINIz guy's Avatar
    MINIz guy is offline #buttstuff2k14 BMW CCA Member
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    rolls coal
    Oh I see the national tour stickers! How were your results?

    I'm campaigning an E36 328i in STX. It would be touching the last trophies with a better driver than me. Still fun throwing around this heavy beast against the naturally lighter "sports cars" in its class.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINIz guy View Post
    Oh I see the national tour stickers! How were your results?

    I'm campaigning an E36 328i in STX. It would be touching the last trophies with a better driver than me. Still fun throwing around this heavy beast against the naturally lighter "sports cars" in its class.
    Have not run it nationally yet. I got the decals so I could set up my vinyl numbers and letters and make sure everything was spaced correctly. My originally plan was to start with the Bristol Match and Champ tour but my schedule will not allow me to attend so it may be Dixie next year before I get my first national event in it. I'm fine with the extra time to make the car better and learn to drive it the way the setup requires better. I have very good local divers to use as my yardstick so I have an idea where I would stand nationally. I believe I know the deficit that I need to overcome to have a chance of as a local put it "upset the S2000, Miata applecart in STR" haha. Less weight... more power... lots of seat time with data acquisition. Hopefully I can get there.

  24. #24
    MINIz guy's Avatar
    MINIz guy is offline #buttstuff2k14 BMW CCA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakebit8 View Post
    Have not run it nationally yet. I got the decals so I could set up my vinyl numbers and letters and make sure everything was spaced correctly. My originally plan was to start with the Bristol Match and Champ tour but my schedule will not allow me to attend so it may be Dixie next year before I get my first national event in it. I'm fine with the extra time to make the car better and learn to drive it the way the setup requires better. I have very good local divers to use as my yardstick so I have an idea where I would stand nationally. I believe I know the deficit that I need to overcome to have a chance of as a local put it "upset the S2000, Miata applecart in STR" haha. Less weight... more power... lots of seat time with data acquisition. Hopefully I can get there.
    Nice! Seat time always helps. I felt that I finally had enough experience this year so I did my first 2 nats events. So much fun and doesnít compare to locals. Iím 30/70 on Lincoln now.

    And good luck trying to get into Bristol. My local guys told me Bristol was getting filled up just from guys doing the bundle!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINIz guy View Post
    Nice! Seat time always helps. I felt that I finally had enough experience this year so I did my first 2 nats events. So much fun and doesn’t compare to locals. I’m 30/70 on Lincoln now.

    And good luck trying to get into Bristol. My local guys told me Bristol was getting filled up just from guys doing the bundle!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Oh yeah National level events are a very different game. I used to run them more back in the day with other cars as well as attending nationals one year. Looks like you are giving STX a good run with a trophy recently. Congrats on that! I went through your build thread and i'ts always fun to watch the projects progress. Makes me miss my old STX car but the STR car is filling that void nicely haha.

    Bristol filled pretty darn quickly, quite a few from my region are going up and I wish I could join them but it wasn't in the cards this year.

    Have an update on the car I need to post, with videos this time. I'll get them up once I get everything together the way I want.

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