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Thread: Graduation to M-Power

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    50
    My Cars
    99' Cosmos M3 Coupe

    Graduation to M-Power

    This is my first attempt at a build thread so its gonna be a lot of reading as the title has a back story... my car obsession started in the JDM world surprisingly and my first car was a slammed AE86 coupe that I spent a good amount of time tinkering with but after owning three and learning how to drive on a lightweight, lower powered FR platform I was itching to find something more.

    On the hunt for a more powerful chassis and always being fond of BMW's I started looking for E30's and E36's with a limited budget of 3k. I stumbled upon an old craigslist ad for a 97' manual 328i with no pictures but for 2500 I figured what the hell, contacted the owner and was surprised when he sent me some photos of a silver on black sport package sedan that had most of the maintenance records. I went to go see it and I bought it on the spot. Frankly it was nothing to write home about having 356k km on it, but was rust free and the interior was in great shape as well it had a new clutch, water pump, thermostat and no leaks and plus a skorpion catback exhaust and sounded great. I was hooked.
    Enjoy the iphone 4 quality picture
    [IMG]IMG_0165(1) by Paul Claassen, on Flickr[/IMG]

    Drove that around for the summer and sold it when I decided to go back to school for business. Fast forward 6 years and 22 cars later including 9 different BMW's later that received various levels of upgrades including getting half way through a Lq9 6.0l swap into a 92' coupe before I had to sell it after breaking my leg in a soccer match.

    Bringing us to this point, I am currently in my last year of school of my mechanic program (two year diploma) at SAIT which is the trades school in my city and one of our classes was a modifications class where we were given a 50k including labor hypothetical budget and were allowed to create our dream car. With my history I chose my dream car which was a black 99' M3 coupe and came up with a 400hp supercharged dual duty track/street car. I ended up getting runner up for best build! Finished the semester and after doing hours and hours of research on parts and reading hundreds of build threads the itch to find a bmw of any kind was real. I spent most of my time over christmas break on kijiji (canadian craigslist) as well as local forums looking for a suitable example.

    My twin brother had previously owned a 98' Boston Green M3/4/5 and had sold it to fund his E92 M3 build. I had always loved the car and how it drove with a plethora of suspension and chassis work done it drove like a go-kart. In my search a friend of mine had messaged me saying he had acquired my brothers old car a year ago and was daily driving it but his small business plans were not allowing him to give it the attention it deserved and he was thinking of selling it and he offered to sell it to me for $3900.00 as it needed some top end work and an overall refresh. I jumped at the chance and a couple weeks later I was back in my brothers old M3.

    The day I got it home at the beginning of January. It was almost the same as when my brother had sold it minus a Momo wheel. It had a AA Gen 3 catback, UUC short shifter, BC coilovers, X-brace, reinforced RSMs, UUC strut bar, Strut towers were reinforced and some other small stuff. It needed some quarter panel work as the paint failed, had a pretty bad lifter tick and needed a front end refresh as well as a driverside window regulator. Did an oil change which helped the lifter tick and cleaned it up and it cleaned up nicely. The plan was to do the lifters with upgraded valve springs, a front end refresh and get the quarter repainted while finding some summer wheels however something better was coming.
    [IMG]IMG_0056 (Edited) by Paul Claassen, on Flickr[/IMG]
    [IMG]IMG_0069 (Edited) by Paul Claassen, on Flickr[/IMG]

    I drove the car around for a while like this, it was great fun especially in the snow but I have always loved coupes and the desire to find one was huge however being able to pick up where my brother had left off was a really cool opportunity. Desire getting the best of me I figured I had nothing to lose and threw up an ad on kijiji looking to trade for a coupe. After receiving tons of cash offers and other trade offers I was about to take it down and just keep going when I got a text reply wondering if I would be interested in trading for a cosmos 99' M3 coupe with the downside that it had some rust (while mine was rust free) and needed quite a bit of maintenance. I couldn't believe it, I was getting the chance to build my dream car.. Its funny how things seem to workout. After texting back and forth trying to make a time work to meet up we finally did. It was completely stock and the paint was faded from sitting in the sun, after a short test drive I had a mental list of everything it needed mechanically (Pass. front wheel bearing, centre support and flex disc, intermittent blower operation, power mirrors don't work, oem radio needs a code, oil change, trim pieces). After some negotiating we came to a deal, I would keep my brand new winter tires, my sedan seats over the vaders, my momo wheel and he would ad $200 cash ontop. I was over the absolute moon. It was completely stock aside from some Bilstien struts and shocks on some sort of lowering springs.

    Photo from a couple weeks ago when I brought it home ft. the girlfriend.

    IMG_0150 (Edited)(1) by Paul Claassen, on Flickr[/IMG]

    With current temperatures in Calgary averaging around -25 degrees, the no heat and especially no defrost was a huge problem. Rockauto had a FSR for $35 while my local parts store didn't have one for less then $95 even with a friends discount. I figured I could wait the two days and suffer it out. Got the new resistor pack in and heat is glorious now. I also ordered a new bearing, flex disc, centre support, coil boots, new injector o-rings (mine started leaking when it hit -45 a couple nights ago), a new serpentine belt and some new HK door tweeters (cold weather sucks! ). Had a couple nice days last week (-5 degrees, us canadians consider that shorts weather ) however and was able to wash the salt and grossness off the car from daily driving it spent about an hour in the heated wash bay washing and drying the car off. Came out quite nice I think.

    [IMG]IMG_0147(1) by Paul Claassen, on Flickr[/IMG]
    [IMG]IMG_0285 (Edited) by Paul Claassen, on Flickr[/IMG]

    The rest of the maintenance parts showed up yesterday finally after shipping delays due to weather. I will also be putting the BC coilovers from the green m3 into this car as the new owner does not like how stiff it rides or how low and is willing to trade for my bilstien setup which is a huge plus as shipping anything from the states to canada at the moment is awful with our dollar in the garbage. As for getting all the parts installed it should be this week hopefully as my brother works at a local Mercedes dealership and they are allowed to bring in personal cars in every wednesday day which will give me access to the lift and a warm environment to work in.

    The long term goal for the car is to be much like my build in the class, however without the forced induction and a dual purpose streetable car that I can keep for along time and maybe give to a future child if that time ever comes. Short term plans are to get it up to spec and sorted out suspension and braking wise as these are the most attainable while in school and only working part time. If you have read this far congrats and thanks for reading and if you have any suggestions in regards to good track focused street pads, wheel suggestions or in general feel free!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    houston
    Posts
    112
    My Cars
    2017 F150, 97 M3
    Where does the new car have rust? I am surprised you would have given a clean chassis up for one with rust, I don't think that is something most people would do. Pretty lucky to be getting those coil overs back though! I just installed a set on my 97' and am loving them so far.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    50
    My Cars
    99' Cosmos M3 Coupe
    Quote Originally Posted by DSTX17 View Post
    Where does the new car have rust? I am surprised you would have given a clean chassis up for one with rust, I don't think that is something most people would do. Pretty lucky to be getting those coil overs back though! I just installed a set on my 97' and am loving them so far.
    Only decided to trade because of the fact that it’s a 99’ five speed coupe which was the ideal project car from the beginning when I was in my Mods class. The only rust is some on the trunk where the wing mounts too... it’s saveable but I have picked up a new one as well as the pass. Door which I also have a clean one. The car itself otherwise is rust free including underbody.

    As for the coils yes I am quite stocked to get them back as I love how they ride even being dumped and quite stiff. It’ll be raised and the dampening set to semi soft for the remainder of the winter. Updates hopefully coming tomorrow with new parts installed!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    7
    My Cars
    Mk7.5 Volkswagen GTI
    Excited to see how the thred turns out! I just picked up my own personal shit box 98 M3 coupe 5 speed with a rebuilt motor and solid trans. I have pretty much the exact same plans as you do, just with less mechanics knowledge . Keep us updated!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    50
    My Cars
    99' Cosmos M3 Coupe
    Some small updates and sadly are all maintenance items but BC coilovers and momo steering wheel as well as a UUC Evo shifter should be in this weekend as well.

    Finally got the car in the shop and was able to get the new wheel bearing in which went smoothly as we were able to do it at my brothers dealership after hours instead of in my underground parking spot.
    IMG_0438 by Paul Claassen
    New wheel bearing in!
    IMG_0435 by Paul Claassen

    Also was able to remove the clutch fan since I already had a low temp aux switch and thermostat installed as well as got some new injector o-rings in after being sent the wrong size twice by rockauto, its nice not having the smell of Shell 91 first thing in the morning.

    We are sometimes allowed to bring in personal cars to shop class and I was lucky enough to get the M3 in and do the CSB which I had diagnosed to be the heavy vibration and a knock sometimes coming from the rear in third under heavy throttle. Got it in without dropping the exhaust and only having to sag it. The Flex disc looked brand new and I am not sure why the PO thought that was the problem when taking one look at the CSB and giving the driveshaft a shake it was quite easy to see the issue. After taking it for a test drive after the vibration seemed to be mostly gone with only a very slight vibration now felt in both high and low speed pulls. My class mate says my assometer is extremely sensitive as he couldn't feel it.

    This was when I found a slightly larger problem... Someone at some point had tried to lift the car by the floor pan on the passenger side and all though the pan is not noticeably caved in at all it is still an issue being a winter driver car in Canada. The split is where the frame rail and floor pan meet and its about a 3 inch section that has separated.

    There isn't any visible rust around and no debris inside the split which is good. So the next larger project will be removing the carpet and steam cleaning it as well as trying to tap out the floor pan and resealing it myself.
    54349959_280034182891937_8304644494624555008_n by Paul Claassen

    The next bit of work is to get the new rust free door swapped over with panel and electronics and new speakers, coilovers in and dialed up, Momo wheel installed and get the short shifter in as well. I have also ordered new tie rod assemblies and Condor Speed Shop control arm bushings and front sway bar bushings to freshen up the front end a little more.

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