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Thread: Opinions on some dumb questions 95 E36

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Bakersfield
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    5
    My Cars
    95 BMW 325is

    Opinions on some dumb questions 95 E36

    Ok, so no spec 3's in my area so just going to build my car and let the tech guys decide where I fall. Looking for opinions on what needs to stay in the car and what can go. Track use only.
    1. Cruise control( will it effect anything else?)
    2. Power steering
    3. ABS
    4. Stock tank or fuel cell?
    5. Engine mods for reliability issues.
    6. Wiring harness ( probably going to put fuel pump, fans, ignition, and lights on toggles)
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Richmond, va
    Posts
    28
    My Cars
    1993 325is
    Hey richmars, I saw this post as well as your other post asking about Spec3 cars near Buttonwillow. Good news is that you can be the first Spec3 car in NASA-SoCal region! I would highly suggest joining the NASA Spec3 facebook page (if you haven't already) as this has a wealth of knowledge from previous posts and is checked often by members of the extended Spec3 family. As far as your questions above, you can delete cruise control if you wish and I would suggest keeping power steering and ABS. I don't know of any of the Spec3 cars that don't have PS and ABS. The overwhelming majority of E36 racecars keep the stock fuel tank since the infrastructure is already there and the location of the gas tank is good for weight balance. I would address the cooling system (radiator, radiator ducting, water pump, electric fan, non-stock overflow tank, etc.) and update bushing/mounts from the engine back to the subframe first. Addressing these areas up front will knock out the some of the typical failure points of older E36s and ensure you'll have a fun and productive day of driving at the track instead of wrenching. Looking forward to hearing updates on this build! Let us know if you have any questions.

    Charles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Bakersfield
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    My Cars
    95 BMW 325is
    Thank you Charles, appreciate the info.
    Richard

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    657
    My Cars
    99 328is, 03 X5
    I've known other E36 owners who built a Spec3 in So Cal, and who became very disappointed to not have anyone to race with. I recommend going to a NASA, VARA, or BMWCCA event (all 3 had events last weekend in So Cal) and talking with other W2W racers who may have taken a similar path, before deciding on a Spec3 build.

    Do you currently hold a provisional race license with any sanctioning body, or will you be starting in HPDE 1-4 and working toward a Time Trial license first? There is also a BMW Time Attack specific series in So Cal called Bimmer Challenge, which I think is a great place to get your feet wet, get quality seat time, and pick the brains of some really experienced drivers in a DE setting. They have 3 more events at Buttonwillow in the late Summer & Fall.

    Having said that, I'd love to see a Spec3 class get off the ground out here. I'd participate if there were a few good shoes doing it.

    Onto the questions at hand, I will respond to the ones I feel strongly about....

    Keep the power steering, 6.5+ caster (95 M3 offset fcabs help with this) is extremely heavy without P/S... I tested this out to find out for myself. Your lap times will be faster and more consistent with it. Consider upgrading to 1.9L Z3 rack....

    Keep ABS until you get yourself, and the car dialed. You want to be able to threshold brake without engaging the ABS, ever. Flat spotted tires is a good way to cut your day or weekend short at the track.

    Keep stock gas tank for now. Consider adding a second fuel pump, or lowering the current cage with an earlier model FP cage. These cars experience fueling issues below a half tank with race tires, some even sooner.

    Oil pan baffle & a secured oil pump nut. Some do dual pickups from the S54 and such. I have found the pan baffle & secured nut + overfill by .5-1qt to work at Buttonwillow on 40tw tires, without any oiling issues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    101
    My Cars
    E36 M3 SEDAN
    In addition to what was posted above... focus on reliability:
    -Upgrade radiator (Z3 S54 works)
    -Upgrade water pump
    -Apply power steering line fix (BMW CCA method or use the Off Camber Autosport kit)
    -Motor/transmission mounts to reduce flex and likelihood of an unintentional money shift
    -Address chassis weaknesses (e.g., RTAB pockets, rear sway bar mounts at a minimum)

    These cars are old... you will need to fix/address most of the rubber bushings/ball joints. It gets expensive and requires a lot of work. Fortunately the S50/52 is a robust engine and you can avoid modding it much other than the oil and fuel fixes listed above.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Bakersfield
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    95 BMW 325is
    Thanks for the response, I will be starting at HDPE1. I have been racing open wheel on dirt and asphalt ovals for many years, but have never turned right in a race scenario. My car was Frankensteined by a wanna be drifter so I didn’t want to go backwards to fit in a class but also I realize the HP on the M50 is limited mine is a non M model. $ 400 for a starting point and it was already gutted fairly straight body and no stress cracks around suspension points. Plan is to build cage and reenforce common suspension points.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Bakersfield
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    5
    My Cars
    95 BMW 325is

    My canvas or the first $400 down the drain

    So this is what I picked up for $400, "It runs Great" So I was told, mismatched 5 speed out of a 98 and big oil and power steering leaks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kensington, MD
    Posts
    619
    My Cars
    Spec3 & MCoupe
    ...geeze. Let's all pour one out for that transmission tunnel. It can certainly be fixed, particularly if the rest of the car is rust-free, but why??

  9. #9
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
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    4,512
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    96 M3, 15 Golf R, 525iT
    Quote Originally Posted by OCRentAPopo View Post
    ...geeze. Let's all pour one out for that transmission tunnel. It can certainly be fixed, particularly if the rest of the car is rust-free, but why??
    Someone couldn't figure out access to the upper bellhousing bolts? But yeah, WTF?

    Neil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    8
    My Cars
    E36 M3
    Get rid of cruise control. ABS and power steering you should keep, thereís almost no benefit to deleting them. Especially ABS because on Ď95s, or at least mine, the ABS interfers very little if at all and I can lock up an inside wheel and it wonít interfer. For the engine wiring you should just leave it stock unless you want to upgrade to MS41, but donít ask me how Iím currently figuring that out myself. Do oilpan baffles and replace the cooling system at the minimum. You donít want to have oil issues or the cooling system quitting at the track. I have headers, a cai, and a chip other in my car too. Get all the mounting reinforcements for the suspension along with chassis reinforcements and braces. The fuel tanks in the e36 are in front of the rear wheels and they are on both sides of the car so the stock tanks have the best weight distribution.

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