McArthur Boys BMW

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Postby Tim_M » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:11 pm

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Decided it was time to indoctrinate my young assistant into the fun and frustration of automobiles.

Chose a 1997 BMW M3 4 door automatic with 220,000 miles on the odometer.

Never been hit with original body panels and only paint work is bumpers and sideskirts...likely due to entire life in FL with 6 previous owners!

Luckily the original price of $6500 degraded after a year of no sale...likely due to the beautiful, hand painted mural on the hood.

Goal is simply a refreshed M3 (one of the best handling autos in history, no?) with a few more beans under the hood.

Admittedly, this project is well under way...figure we would document portions appropriate to this forum...
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Postby Loren » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:18 pm

Very cool. How old is the young'n?
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Postby CaptainSquirts » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:29 pm

That's brawler! Cant wait to see it in action :thumbwink: .
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Postby Tim_M » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:19 pm

First task remove the hood ornament!:

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Had to replace a cracked (and welded) wheel. Local junkyard sold a scuffed one for $100. Another $80 it looks like new...but we chose the wrong color...:

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New brakes required:

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My assistant is nearly 12 years old...this might be more for my enjoyment than his...teaching tool, I sold it to HQ.
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Postby Loren » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:41 pm

I'm not seeing dirty kid hands here. :dunno:

Hope he's digging it!
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The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
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Postby Native » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am

Loren wrote:I'm not seeing dirty kid hands here.
Sure you are.
Mechanix gloves and crocs ftw!
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I'll get to it. Eventually...
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Postby supraslaya » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:48 pm

Cool to see another E36 M3 being refreshed for spirited driving. Can't wait to see it out at an event!

I'll have to check my old parts to to see if you could use any of it for your project. Iirc i still have my old 3" intake setup that could work well

And I hope a manual swap is on the future mod list...

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Postby jbrannon7 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:08 pm

I just helped a guy do all the bushings in the rear, a 14 hour painful ordeal.
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Postby AScoda » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:49 pm

Thought you were in Germania.
Back in town?
Loren wrote:Freakin' Drew and his freakin' Mustang. :no:
dan wrote:Freakin' Drew and his freakin' Miata.
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Postby twistedwankel » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:56 pm

jbrannon7 wrote:I just helped a guy do all the bushings in the rear, a 14 hour painful ordeal.
Joe, you should save those jobs for after summer. I'll talk to you in December about a suspension rehab for an adult daycare deal or something after I get my info system sorted out. Who puts the emergency flashers in the radio bezel with no fix other than a whole new Bose bezel? Holy crap Batman. Mazda does. Short, poof mushroom cloud from Hiroshima again.
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Postby twistedwankel » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:01 pm

Interesting project. I saw a 99 Clean M3 2 door for sale "green" CL in our area last week. Checked the specs but only 240HP...gack cough....ONLY 2 more HP than my Mazda with less weirdness. Yours will be much cooler than the 100k one here.
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Postby Tim_M » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:09 pm

Not looking forward to the bushing replacement. Surprisingly the high mileage chassis has been preserved a bit with an automatic and no hot rodding prior to us getting it. Inevitably we will have to address.

The Chinese struts (no kidding) didn't last but a thousand miles after purchasing. One bump and the right front strut was limp. So had a coupon for a Bilstein and Eibach Sport spring set.

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We took turns doing the install on one side while the other got the cleaning duties...it honestly was awesome to clean off FL grit which was nil compared to a northern tier car...amazing chassis shape...no rust and all the bolts came off...appeared the major suspension had never been apart.

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While we were at it...all the seals were rotted...so new control arms were bolted in place:

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Car is now 'safe' by our standards...

Now to address the stink...

Wondered why it was a bit ripe inside...and AC flow was nil...even at full. The absolute worst cabin air filter we've seen. We are now filterless...

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Then a bit of annoying aesthetics...PO at one time apparently locked the keys in the car and decided to pry on the door to pop the lock. Resulted in a damage trim piece and thankfully not a tweaked door...many OEM BMW parts for these cars - amazing and reasonable cost.

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Finally a trip to the strip for a baseline...a bit disappointing!

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15.40 @ 92 MPH. A fresh stocker should run mid 14's...now days that is a snooze. Times have changed.

Also put it on the scales...no fuel/people...3237 pounds.

Dupont Cars and Coffee in the AM...so FAST have fun at the autocross tomorrow! You might see this Estoril Blue at a future event... :grin:
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Postby twistedwankel » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:34 pm

Tim_M wrote:Also put it on the scales...no fuel/people...3237 pounds.

Dupont Cars and Coffee in the AM...so FAST have fun at the autocross tomorrow! You might see this Estoril Blue at a future event...
Tim,
Apparently since you've been gone so long you gained more than the 5 hours that would be normal? You are a week ahead of yourself. Very Fast man in a slow ass old car :lol:
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Postby jbrannon7 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:58 am

twistedwankel wrote:
jbrannon7 wrote:I just helped a guy do all the bushings in the rear, a 14 hour painful ordeal.
Joe, you should save those jobs for after summer. I'll talk to you in December about a suspension rehab for an adult daycare deal or something after I get my info system sorted out. Who puts the emergency flashers in the radio bezel with no fix other than a whole new Bose bezel? Holy crap Batman. Mazda does. Short, poof mushroom cloud from Hiroshima again.
That was the job that pushed me over the edge, no more working in the heat.
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Postby supraslaya » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:51 am

Just stumbled across your thread on bf.c. Nice!

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Postby twistedwankel » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:07 pm

twistedwankel wrote:
Tim_M wrote:Also put it on the scales...no fuel/people...3237 pounds.

Dupont Cars and Coffee in the AM...so FAST have fun at the autocross tomorrow! You might see this Estoril Blue at a future event...
Tim,
Apparently since you've been gone so long you gained more than the 5 hours that would be normal? You are a week ahead of yourself. Very Fast man in a slow ass old car :lol:
**Apparently I didn't get the memo about the Exotic Event. My bad. Once again you beat me. :thumbwink:
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Postby Tim_M » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:12 pm

Dupont Cars and Coffee is every third Saturday of the month...only car show I will visit. Not much of a car show guy, but the Ferrari's, etc are fun to see/hear.

More previous owner fun...at some point it likely went into the ditch and got pulled out from the rear...using the sheetmetal lower control arms...no wonder we couldn't get any camber in the rear:

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OEM replacements went back in...fit like OEM (of course):

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Also scored (or so we thought) a pedal setup...remember this is an undesirable slushbox auto:

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As we pieced it together using internet diagrams...we were lacking many key parts...much easier to start with a stickshift! But certainly not impossible. The pedal 'box' is only held in with 5 bolts so quite simple.

Complete with 'euro' aluminum clutch master:

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How to convert E36 from auto to manual...just pop these cardboard plugs out...ok not quite that simple, but these cars are still from the good generation.

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Yup...more previous owner fun!

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Replaced by a radio delete plate...like $10 from BMW! Why don't all cars offer that...

Then to address the disgusting interior...it could be worse, but it appeared a 12 ounce of soda drained from the center console to both rear footwells...another stench producer:

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Some burly carpeting it is...1-2 inch foam backing...no longer sold new...so Simple Green and elbow grease to the rescue. My assistant was surprisingly absent on a campout this very weekend...:

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You can see the radio delete plate in this image...serious floor pan!:

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And the the clean final product...took like 3 days of fan/blow dry to rid the foam of moisture...:

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The other reason for pulling the carpet...front to rear battery cable was failing...clamp was inoperative...assistant was the one that discovered that during trouble shooting. No wonder the car would skip a beat at night when we hit a bump...car would cut off for an instant - including the lights!:

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And to keep the enthusiasm up about a slow 4 door...last years Daytona 24 hours event displayed a 1997 BMW M3 race car...why...to advertise the first year 4 door offering as an M3...first year for the auto as well (although don't believe the race car was an automatic...):

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Postby Tim_M » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:20 pm

More used car fun...someone got too close to the parking block and ripped all the plastic off from underneath. And the M3 has quite a bit...to the tune of ~$400 worth! Inner fender liners, brake ducts, lamb chops, and a central belly pan. Took some time to figure out how to piece it all together...but it is well engineered unless you snag an obstacle!

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Upgraded the OEM BMW unit with a Volvo unit...twice the CFM and two speeds:

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Then to stop one of the 4 leaks the car has...new later model Z3 rack (quicker ratio!):

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This one I did solo...for some reason:

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Possibly because of the gook:

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And to address another leak...new Mushimoto radiator...the big one...dropped right into place!:

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And finally, to update the ratio to a more fitting performance 3.91 gear vice the auto's 3.23...still using the original 230,000 mile limited slip...not bad for $90:

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Installed cost $150...which seemed like a deal even with us supplying all bearings, seals, gaskets.
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Postby Loren » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:38 pm

Dang, somebody's keeping busy!
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Postby Tim_M » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:49 pm

Loren: We've been working on this car for nearly a year so this is a condensed version...money/time tend to spread the updates of course.

Drew: Apologies missed you question. Germany is still on the horizon...possibly end of the year. USG system is not swift.

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