Fast2L New Reader
July 11, 2014 2:57 p.m.

I want to buy a dedicated track car, and I've found my 6'8" frame does fit in an E36 M3. I haven't been able to find too many M3's around me but I went to look at one the other day that had clearly been tracked by a previous owner.

'99 M3 150k mi Body was sunbaked, curbed rims Interior was decent Engine and Drivetrain seem smooth and the engine is quiet Nice coil overs with external reservoirs and camber plates Expensive mods including Cams, exhaust, Header, intake, braces, adjustable control arms, delrin/poly bushings, race clutch of some sort, etc. New cooling system, new brake system (master and calipers), steering rack and tie rods.

It was being sold by a 18yo kid who got in over his head, didn't know what he'd bought. He's dropped $4k in parts into in it 6 months. The kid wants $7k for it. Has anyone ever bought an abused M3 for a track car? This sick side of me just low ball him knowing that he'll probably take it. Should I do this or am I in for a world of pain?

z31maniac UltimaDork
July 11, 2014 3:30 p.m.

My buddies M3 had 210k miles on the original engine. It was still showing comp/leakdown in spec after 2 seasons of racing. Only reason he pulled it was to drop in a 302.

Huge parts supply and aftermarket. I'd go for it if there are no obvious negatives like rust, etc.

Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
July 11, 2014 3:49 p.m.

If you live in the DC area, I've got a '95 I'm interested in selling. I could let mine go for much cheaper than that (~$6k) and its never been tracked (no mods, 163k, runs like a top, great body).

Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
July 11, 2014 4:10 p.m.

It sounds like the owner previous to the kid did it right--- but who knows how much track time that car has seen. I'd do a thorough PPI at a reputable shop that specializes in BMW before purchase. It could be a good deal on a car that is ready to go. It could also be a money pit. I'd do a compression test to start, but the S50 / S52 motors are pretty darn stout. Mine has 165K and is at least as strong as it was when new.

Where are you located? I'm sure the board can help you find a good BMW shop nearby.

ddavidv PowerDork
July 11, 2014 4:35 p.m.

I wouldn't be afraid to buy it, but I wouldn't pay that asking price. Those cars are really tough. Get it cheap enough that if it winds up being a turd or gets wrecked, you can part it out for close to your investment. There are plenty of E36 M3's around if you look and are patient.

Fast2L New Reader
July 11, 2014 6:35 p.m.

I'm in the DFW area, so no rust just lots of sunburn. That's a good point parting the car out, this car is worth more dead than it is alive. I'll offer him $4-5k.

Most of the M3s I've looked at around here either really nice $10-15k, or they're automatic or convertibles.

maj75 Reader
July 11, 2014 10:37 p.m.

I bought an abused '95 M3. Had no good parts and front end damage. I paid $4000. I installed all new suspension from Ground Control, all new cooling system, new motor mounts, trans mounts, lightweight weight flywheel, racing clutch and pressure plate, euro MAF, euro headers, 3" straight exhaust, etc.

I think this is a good place to start a track car build. If you start with a car that is too nice, you feel bad about hacking it up. You build it yourself, you know what you have. I still have a roll bar, sunroof delete panel and harness to install. Track event on the 19th so I don't think I'll try to do the pending mods before then. Track prepping tomorrow morning at a friend's garage!

I've been very happy with my car. A minor fuel starvation issue that I think is sorted out was my only issue.

z31maniac UltimaDork
July 11, 2014 10:39 p.m.

I never feel bad about hacking up a nice, stock car.

Beer Baron UltimaDork
July 12, 2014 1:55 p.m.

Sounds like a decent starting point. I would not worry about 150k miles or the cosmetic damage. As mentioned, I'd get a good PPI. I would be dubious about the quality of the "coilovers" but bushings, cooling system, and clutch are all good things.

Mr_Clutch42 HalfDork
July 12, 2014 2:23 p.m.

I bought a regular E36 that was maintained at an average level for its age and I'm in a world of pain because companies don't want to pay me the $$ I want. Just be prepared for the maintenance costs.

That kid should have spent $2K doing track days and HPDE instead of half of those parts.

Fast2L New Reader
July 12, 2014 7:33 p.m.

Yeah, the kid didn't do the mods, the owner before him did everything (Which is probably good). The kid just paid for all the new brakes, steering, and cooling system. I emailed him an offer, and told him if he can't sell it, I have the cash.

mr2peak HalfDork
July 12, 2014 9:05 p.m.

Get it if it passes compression/leakdown. Nothing wrong with a well-maintained higher milage car, just make sure it shifts smoothly. Everything else is easy to replace, and it sounds like most of that stuff has already been taken care of.

jdbuilder Reader
July 13, 2014 7:02 a.m.

Subscribed, planning on building one myself.

ddavidv PowerDork
July 13, 2014 7:21 a.m.

Drove one on the track yesterday (one of my students' cars). Hot damn, they are fun.

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