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Thread: e36 M3 - IP Build Chronicles

  1. #1
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    #818 IP M3, '08 F250

    e36 M3 - IP Build Chronicles

    I bought this 5/96 Build M3 back in September of 2006 with the intent of turning into a track day car. Theres more to the story, and I will get to that later.

    Initial Purchase vitals:
    5/96 Build
    140,000 miles
    Single Adult Owner for 11 years
    Religiously Dealer Maintained
    Manual Seats
    No Sunroof
    Re-enforced rear shock towers
    Mild mods - Bilstein Sports, H&R Springs, ZKW's, X-Brace

    Here is what it started out as...




    Heres quick photoshop concept image Ive worked of what it will very likely look like at the end.




    When I bought the Coupe I had just come off a driving event at WGI with with an M3 sedan. The sedan, when I bought it was supercharged, but when I made the concious decision to go back to the track, I converted the car to NA.

    Before that event the last time I saw the Glen was in a e30 318is 2 years prior. Obviously the M3 was much faster, but that was ok as I knew how an s52 felt from the time I tracked an Z3 M Coupe.

    After that August event I started looking for a track car. My goals then were not as lofty as they are now. I just wanted a fun track car. A week later I located the Arctic Silver Coupe near boston. Mileage was a bit high, the price was fair, lightly modded, amzing inteior, but more importantly it was a non sunroof optioned car and the same adult owner owned it for 11 years.







    Before agreeing to the price I had PPI performed by BMW of Peabody. After extensive owner questioning about certain key components replacement intervals (radiator, TAB, CAB typical e36 items) I negotiated a price of $9200. Perhaps a bit high for the mileage, but the car had a very extensive maintenance history - in excel!!. Upon receipt of all documentation, it came to light that that even TMS serviced the car to address common e36 maladies - water pump, thermo housing.

    A deal was struck, I flew to Boston and drove the car back to NJ. ON the way back I stopped at HMS to try out fixed back seats and HANS devices.

    Within days of coming home, I performed a slew of preventative maintenance work - Radiator for one. 140k on the same rad. Time for a new one. I think the reason it lasted this long was because the PO had the cooling system fushed at least once a year.

    Rear Shocks - they were on the way out so they were replaced with new Bilstein Sports.

    Installed GC Rear Shock Mounts. Probably overkill considering the PO had the rear shock toweres re-enforced with an additional layer of factory sheetmetal.

    So after that work, I had a decent platform to start with.

    Then I let my wife drive the car....

    She loved it so much and being the good husband that I am, I gave her the car. It was fall anyway so my driving was over. Over the fall I focused on developing my M3 sedan in the spring.

    Then in January I went to India on a business trip. Since the M3 was seldomly driven in the winter, the battery was dead. My wife when she tried to use the car was unable to. She was left to drive the family van, which she loves. But during this time she came to a realization. Why do I need a car I hardly drive. She made me a proposition.



    I cant keep both M3s. We already had 2 other cars (a 328 and the Van). She proposed that I sell one of the two M3s. Whatever one I kept, I could use the money from the sale of the other to put into the remaining one.

    In an instant I decided to sell the sedan and keep the sunroofless coupe.

    Thats where the journey starts.
    Last edited by TIATO; 01-17-2008 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Sweeeet. Keep us updated on the progress to IP Mario!!
    -Ted

  3. #3
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    cant wait to see more pics budd

  4. #4
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    #818 IP M3, '08 F250
    Ted how have you been?

    Door panels - LOL...I will be removing the drivers side soon to prep for cage work and door gut. Templates will be made.
    Last edited by TIATO; 01-17-2008 at 10:40 AM.

  5. #5
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    Then in January I went to India on a business trip. Since the M3 was seldomly driven in the winter, the battery was dead. My wife when she tried to use the car was unable to. She was left to drive the family van, which she loves. But during this time she came to a realization. Why do I need a car I hardly drive. She made me a proposition.



    I cant keep both M3s. We already had 2 other cars (a 328 and the Van). She proposed that I sell one of the two M3s. Whatever one I kept, I could use the money from the sale of the other to put into the remaining one.

    In an instant I decided to sell the sedan and keep the sunroofless coupe.


    .....Hmmmmm, never crossed your mind to keep both cars and lose the wife..?...

  6. #6
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    #818 IP M3, '08 F250
    Quote Originally Posted by bmw15012
    .....Hmmmmm, never crossed your mind to keep both cars and lose the wife..?...
    Maybe for an instant...

  7. #7
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    Tiato's wife comes to the track and supports his addiction, that's a keeper in my book.

    I was going to make one of these threads but you did it for me, thanks. I'm about at the same spot doing the same thing, just imagine a white car in the pictures.


  8. #8
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    well my Baby is trailing behind you guys....slower project....but this is her last year on the street....just installed the roll bar and BOY IS IT NOISY inside now without the rear seat....

    THen off Monday to TC Kline for some suspension work.

    Hoping to have her IP ready for next season in roughly April...

    Bob

  9. #9
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    #818 IP M3, '08 F250
    Quote Originally Posted by JClark View Post
    Tiato's wife comes to the track and supports his addiction, that's a keeper in my book.
    Yes sir, def. a keeper.


    Once I decided that the coupe will become a track car I put to paper my plan.

    One goal was to make the car reliable, no exotic parts, just simple tried, true durable stuff. Another goal was to focus on driver safety.

    Relialibilty:
    AA Diff Support Bracket
    Oil Pump nut
    Aluminum Thermo Housing
    New OEM Motor Mounts
    UUC Race Mounts
    Ground Control Rear Shock Mounts
    Conforti CAI
    PWR 57mm Rad
    New Rad Hoses
    Stewart H20 Pump
    New Front Control Arms
    New Tie Rods
    New FCAB
    New RTAB
    Z3 Steering Rack
    New PS Hoses
    Lower rear ball joints
    TMS adjustable rear control arms
    TMS Sway Bars
    TMS Sway Bar Tab Re-enforcements
    TMS Wheel Studs
    Spal Fan
    Fan Delete Mod
    New Clutch
    New Flywheel
    New Rear Main Seal
    New Transmission Input Shaft seal
    New Guibo
    Shifter Assembly re-build

    Driver Safety:
    Kirk 4 pt rollbar
    Cobra Suzuka Seats
    VAC Mounts
    New 6pt Harness
    HANS
    New Helmet
    MA Shaw Wing
    LTW Splitter
    (While not exactly safety mods, the wing and splitter help plant the car at high speeds. In my mind a stable car is a safe car)

    Driver Controls:
    Momo Mod 78 Wheel
    Momo Competition Shifter
    UUC Clutch Stop
    Gauges for Oil Temp, Oil Press., Water Temp


    So that was the plan on paper. Focus on reliability and safety before speed.

    One thing that I did forgot to mention was that one of the very first and very important preventative maintenance performed was the securing of the oil pump nut. Cheap insurance.

    Since this was in the middle of winter, my first priority was to swap parts between the M3 sedan and the coupe.

    I needed to move the following: Full suspension, rotors, exhaust, acc. gauges, senders and wiring.

    While that was going on I ordered Cobra Suzuka GT seats, side mounts, VAC plates and a momo type 78 steering wheel from HMS. Sway bars, rear sway mount re-enforcements and rear lower control arms from Turner.










  10. #10
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    Mario!

    likin' the potential graphics scheme! blue on silver looks goooood
    get some more damn interior pictures up from that thing and show everyone how gosh darn clean it really is there!


    OT: thought you'd like to know I have a set of EvoII's, harnessses, bar, and VAC mounts on the way and its all your fault because sitting in your car, although it has those very nice cobras, set me on getting fixed back seats. Not sure if you remember Rick from Ken's demo day, but I'm getting it all through him.

  11. #11
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    Hopefully....you also have a printing press for money....go with $ 20.....less obvious...

  12. #12
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    #818 IP M3, '08 F250
    Quote Originally Posted by luv4myE36 View Post
    Mario!

    likin' the potential graphics scheme! blue on silver looks goooood
    get some more damn interior pictures up from that thing and show everyone how gosh darn clean it really is there!


    OT: thought you'd like to know I have a set of EvoII's, harnessses, bar, and VAC mounts on the way and its all your fault because sitting in your car, although it has those very nice cobras, set me on getting fixed back seats. Not sure if you remember Rick from Ken's demo day, but I'm getting it all through him.

    Thanks Mike.

    Im glad to hear you are heading in the right direction. Thats money well spent. Im happy I was able to influence your spending habits... You working on those "special" projects we spoke about?

    Ill be chatting with Rick in the spring about gloves, nomex under garb and a suit. Heck, we may have another demo day in the spring...




    Id love to have a printing press...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TIATO View Post
    MA Shaw Wing
    LTW Splitter
    (While not exactly safety mods, the wing and splitter help plant the car at high speeds. In my mind a stable car is a safe car)
    Interestingly enough, I take the opposite approach. Aero grip, while it "feels" good and planted, can bite you in the butt a lot more than mechanical grip. When you overstep the bounds of mechanical grip (i.e. exceed the optimal slip angle of your tires), the car tends to be catchable because the grip drops off at a reasonable rate...with aero grip, when the car starts moving sideways, the aero grip tends to fall off at a much sharper rate and you've already exceeded the maximum mechanical grip. It's not a huge deal on these cars, but somewhat noticeable even with a basic wing/splitter setup. It's an entirely eye opening experience when you get a formula car a little too much sideways and you go from feeling planted to wondering why you're now facing the car that was just in your rearview.

    Project looks fun. I did something similar with a 325 back when I first started racing. You'll appreciate everything about the car while at the same time wondering why you didn't buy a fully built car for 50 cents on the dollar.

  14. #14
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    ....because we can ALL build them better.....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Watts View Post
    Interestingly enough, I take the opposite approach. Aero grip, while it "feels" good and planted, can bite you in the butt a lot more than mechanical grip. When you overstep the bounds of mechanical grip (i.e. exceed the optimal slip angle of your tires), the car tends to be catchable because the grip drops off at a reasonable rate...with aero grip, when the car starts moving sideways, the aero grip tends to fall off at a much sharper rate and you've already exceeded the maximum mechanical grip. It's not a huge deal on these cars, but somewhat noticeable even with a basic wing/splitter setup. It's an entirely eye opening experience when you get a formula car a little too much sideways and you go from feeling planted to wondering why you're now facing the car that was just in your rearview.

    Project looks fun. I did something similar with a 325 back when I first started racing. You'll appreciate everything about the car while at the same time wondering why you didn't buy a fully built car for 50 cents on the dollar.
    Bryan,

    Excellent information!


    During this build, the thought of "I should have bought a built car" has crossed my mind several times, especially when I was facing one problem or another. In the end I suppose I enjoy the process involved and all that I have learned.

    Next time, Im buying pre built.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TIATO View Post
    During this build, the thought of "I should have bought a built car" has crossed my mind several times, especially when I was facing one problem or another. In the end I suppose I enjoy the process involved and all that I have learned.

    Next time, Im buying pre built.
    Same exact thoughts here! I've heard the warnings over and over, but it wasn't until I got impatient with a stuck seat and used an exacto knife to cut out 90% of what used to really nice carpet that I truly understood what people were telling me. At least mine's almost done and will be on track in a few weeks.

    Stay strong!


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

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TIATO View Post
    Thanks Mike.

    Im glad to hear you are heading in the right direction. Thats money well spent. Im happy I was able to influence your spending habits... You working on those "special" projects we spoke about?

    Ill be chatting with Rick in the spring about gloves, nomex under garb and a suit. Heck, we may have another demo day in the spring...




    Id love to have a printing press...
    safety first! especially when comfort is included!
    your car is influencing a lot! im not going to say in terms of what else but ill supply a hint... MASHAW

    hey just so you know, soon you may be able to chat with me about getting things from midatlantic too


    and about the "special projects"...i already spoke with my uncle. he said at the very least i need a drawing with dimensions. CAD would be nice but he knows i don't have access to that at the time. I came up with a few different ways to make them level too as you suggested. I have one thing in particular I'm waiting on before i can get things rolling with him. I promise you tho, you will at least a set of that one little thing i initially mentioned by the time you and I do our first track days of '08

  18. #18
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    such a nice m3, must have been hard...
    I miss her, back in a BMW for the time being

  19. #19
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    While the parts swapping was going on, a few items arrived

    1. 4 pt Kirk Rollbar, Da'Lan Hitch and some super blue




    2. MA Shaw Carbon LTW Wing






    3. Cobra Suzuka GT Seats + Cobra Side plates (not pictured) and VAC PLates (not pictured)






  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TIATO View Post
    While the parts swapping was going on, a few items arrived

    1. 4 pt Kirk Rollbar, Da'Lan Hitch and some super blue
    Is this just a recap of what was on the car before your IP plans?

    -Carlos.

  21. #21
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    A key part part of this project was preventative maintenance. as I was swapping parts over, from the suspension to the exhaust I used new mounting hardware.

    Once the car was back on the ground, I began preparations for the rollbar and seat install by removing the stock seats. I had placed the passenger seat in loosely to determine how far back I wanted to move it. I still had reasons to move the car so I had to improvise with one of my 4 year old's chairs.




  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by clopez95m3 View Post
    Is this just a recap of what was on the car before your IP plans?

    -Carlos.
    Yes, this is my cars complete evolution from DE to Race car.

  23. #23
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    Maybe I'm alone, but I have no regrets about putting my own car together. I enjoy it quite a bit. :shrug
    FMJ Motorsports
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    [16:04] spg383: my vagina gets cold below 40

  24. #24
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    more...

    Mike... aka Track Junkie
    '98.5 M3 Coupe Titan Silver

  25. #25
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    #818 IP M3, '08 F250
    Once I had an idea how and where to mount the seats ans well as the lapbelts I turned my attention to the 4pt. Kirk Rollbar. Work was made easy by the fact that I already had the seats out.

    I took my time searching for rollbars the previous winter. While I was really hoping to get a HMS/TC Kline/MacMahon rollbar, it became evedent that they were no longer being produced. That prompted me to look at Kirk, Autopower and Safety Devices.

    Safety devices required welding. Not what I was looking for at that time as I wanted to keep options open. That left Kirk and Autopower. Research showed that autopowers quality left a lot to be desired.

    Kirk turned out to be the best bar for the money while at the same time offering excellent build quality and features. I bought the Kirk bar for non sunroof cars with a welded diagnoal.

    While the install was straight forward, the bar's weakness are the mounting feet. Not a deal breaker by any means, but I would have spent a few more dollars to get feet that were contoured to the surfaces they would go against. Case in point - the rear leg mounting plates required some massaging with a BFH.

    Once the bar was in, I added high density foam padding (love that stuff -self adhesive backing, easy to cut), installed my schroth belts (which since then have been replaced with HANS compatible Schroth belts).












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