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pimpm3 SuperDork
12/19/17 8:21 p.m.

So I decided to build an M3 sedan.  I wanted something with a useable back seat that would work for the occasional track day or autocross.

I found a nice 1998 380 miles away in Charlotte NC.  It has 151,000 miles.  The previous owner owned it for the past 10 years.  He didn't want to sell it but a growing family called for a 3rd row SUV.   He was truly sad to see it go and stood in the road watching as I drove away.

He did a ton of maintenance:

The entire cooling system was replaced including a Mishimoto aluminum radiator and a Stewart water pump.  The oil pan, valve cover and oil neck gaskets were replaced. 

The suspension was refreshed two years ago with Koni sport shocks and eibach prokit springs. The front control arm bushings, ball joints and rear subframe bushings were replaced.

The car has a new starter, a new air pump, and a guibo. The engine and tranny mounts have been replaced.

It needs a few things still...

The rear brakes need to be replaced, the rear tires are super bald.  The headliner is sagging.  The drivers seat has a rip and needs a recliner gear.

All in all I am happy with my purchase...

Link to my trip to pick up the car...

Road trip

Lof8 Dork
12/19/17 8:26 p.m.

Looks great!

pimpm3 SuperDork
12/19/17 8:34 p.m.

I ordered new rear rotors and hawk pads all around.  I also picked up a set of Turner Motorsports front and rear sway bars.  While i was ordering parts I picked up a new shift knob, a set of wheel spacers and some extended wheel studs.

I will grab some more pictures once I start tearing into it.

dannyzabolotny Reader
12/19/17 11:26 p.m.

Heck yeah! I plan to track my recently acquired 2000 540i/6 as well. It's a bit heavier than your M3 but with 300hp and a bunch of torque it'll still do pretty well I think.

docwyte SuperDork
12/20/17 10:36 a.m.

These things like real track pads for track work, unless your a track novice.  Best to swap over rotors with the pads, so have a set of street rotors/pads and track rotors/pads.  Make sure the rear trailing arm bushings are good.  Check out the front diff bushing/bolt. 

Pull the oil pan and tack weld or safety wire the oil pump nut. 

jr02518 Reader
12/20/17 11:14 a.m.

The next hurtle, what size tires are you going to build the car too.  The rim size will follow the tires. Any thing wider that 235 is going to mandate that you work the front fenders. Adding more tire has positive consequents, up till the point that you start thinking you have to have an S54. 

If that happens, can I be first on the list for your S52?


docwyte SuperDork
12/20/17 11:48 a.m.

Eh, that's very dependent on the suspension.  I run 245-40-17 Hoosier R7's on Kosei K1 17x8.5 ET41 wheels.  Need a 12mm spacer up front to clear the strut, -2.75 camber.  Out back they fit with no spacer but I did roll the fenders.

onemanarmy New Reader
12/20/17 12:58 p.m.

please keep the stock wheels.  How wide of a tire can be fit?

They look the best.

pimpm3 SuperDork
12/20/17 2:25 p.m.

I like the stock wheels as well, but two more rears to run a square set up is going to cost around $500.  The rears on the car have a slight wobble when I spun them on the tire machine, not enough to feel while driving but If I am going to invest $500 in rear wheels for the front I would prefer to start with a perfect set.

I will sell the stock wheels to offset the wheels I ordered from Tirerack yesterday.  I got a square set up of 17 Inch A15 wheels for the bargain price of $101 each.  


They are lighter than the stock wheels and are easier to clean.  I also ordered a set of four 245/40/17 RS4 Hankooks.  I bought a set of 12mm spacers for the front to go with my extended wheel studs from Turner Motorsports.

I ordered a set of Hawk "Street-Race" pads which have the same compound as Hawk DTC-30 track pads but is allegedly still  useable to drive to the track.  They would also work if I can pull off doing the onelap this year.

The previous owner said he used red loctite on the oil pump nut when he replaced the oil pan gasket.

docwyte SuperDork
12/20/17 3:34 p.m.

Yeah, I wouldn't trust the locktite.  He was right there, fix it right the first time!  Now you have to deal with it. 

Sonic UltraDork
12/20/17 9:33 p.m.

245s fit fine on the front. I used to have an identical 98 M3/4/5 and had a square setup with 4 rear DSIIs and 245/40/17s, and even lowered on Dinan springs it never rubbed in daily driving, autoX or track days. 

I think that might have been the best “do everything” car I’ve ever had.  

pimpm3 SuperDork
12/21/17 5:18 p.m.

New wheels and tires arrived!

sleepyhead HalfDork
12/21/17 7:00 p.m.

looking good

Go_Gators Reader
12/21/17 7:37 p.m.

wish you had gotten this while i was still running my ZHP... would have been an interesting comparo! 

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
12/21/17 7:46 p.m.

Wish I had knownabout the Charlotte trip. Im 40 miles east.

pimpm3 SuperDork
12/21/17 7:47 p.m.

Good point. I am taking it to roebling in February, bring the ZHP...

pimpm3 SuperDork
12/21/17 7:47 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13 :

Dang, I would have swung by... oh well next time.

CyberEric Reader
12/21/17 8:21 p.m.

Great car! As has been mentioned, do the RTABs. A fresh set with limiters made a big difference in the rear of my old 99 M3. 

These cars are a lot of fun! Enjoy!

Go_Gators Reader
12/22/17 5:57 a.m.

In reply to pimpm3 :

what event at RRR??

pimpm3 SuperDork
12/22/17 7:45 a.m.


Feburary 10th and or 11th with PCA.  $285 for the whole weekend or $150 for one day.

pimpm3 SuperDork
12/31/17 10:01 a.m.

I got a chance to install some of the parts I ordered yesterday.

Started out by fixing the exhaust leak the car came with.  New gaskets from Turner Motorsports fixed the problem.

Then I tackled the front brakes and installed a set of Hawk Street and track pads.  They are basically the DTC-30 compund that is streetable. 

While I was at it I also installed a set of wheel studs.

I then changed to oil and the plugs...

And started on the front bar.

I say started  because the brackets had some rust scale on the inside so I threw them in a container of evaporust.

Then I stopped to play with my kids.


Go_Gators Reader
12/31/17 4:10 p.m.

pebble embedded concrete. worst stuff ever!


pimpm3 SuperDork
12/31/17 6:13 p.m.

It's day's are numbered,  we are doing pavers this next month.

pimpm3 SuperDork
1/1/18 8:45 p.m.

Finished up the front bar install.

Rear trailing arm bushing is shot.  Good thing I had a set left over and uninstalled from my last e36 m3.

New rotors and wheel studs.

Removed the seat and center console to get the leather repaired.  When I get it back from the upholstery shop I will install the new recliner gear.

loumash New Reader
1/2/18 7:45 a.m.

In reply to pimpm3 :

I have your twin!  98 M3 in cosmos black:


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