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trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/23/20 8:56 p.m.
dj06482 said:

Also replace the radiator cap while you're in there. 

The Mishimoto replacement is capless so no need. One last thing to fail ;)


The expansion tanks themselves are pretty failure prone. The plastic can't take the pressure and temperature variations. I've already mentally committed to upgrading to an aluminum tank when/if the replacement plastic one fails.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/24/20 1:33 p.m.

Wheels  are on order. Newly released so I won't get them until Valentine's Day. Will be showing up with Falken Azenis RT615K+ mounted and balanced on them.


I had originally been planning on getting 17x9 wheels, but sizing down to 8.5 wide really helps me save some money on rubber. Pricing on the 225/45/17 vs 245/40/17 will end saving me >$200 per 4 tire set in the long run and if I don't like the Sparcos, I can always switch over to the slightly more budget TR Motorsport C2s or the Kosei K1s.


Also expecting some Hawk HP Plus pads for front and rear.


Thanks TireRack!

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/24/20 1:48 p.m.

In other exciting breaking news cheeky I finally got my title transfer and classic (emissions exempt) registration finalized.

Typically this would have all been done within 30 days after I bought the car last October, but mileage discrepancies from the engine swap, computer problems at my state DOT and the out of state title transfer all resulted in quite a mess. Thankfully the tags place I was working with was able to resolve everything quickly once I tracked down the cause of the delays.

MINIzguy HalfDork
1/24/20 2:27 p.m.

I think I've seen that around before. Glad to know that it's going to be used properly on the track, rather than look pretty on the street!

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/24/20 5:16 p.m.

Bilstein is running some promotions right now so both ECS Tuning and Tire Rack have dropped about $250+ off the B16 PSS9 coilovers. https://www.bilstein.com/us/en/product-search-detail/?ItemId=2104143634488796380&YearId=3643244676384644908&MakeId=7615861820205103631&ModelId=3662318667712965627&SubModelId=6806355259334546392

Looks like Tire Rack doesn't have a clear timing around their promotional pricing, but ECS claims their special pricing expires at midnight eastern tonight. ECS was slightly cheaper so I placed my order.


Should have them in hand early next week. Install will have to wait while I figure out the following:

  • Camber plates - possibly Ground Control
  • Should I source new mounting hardware?
  • Do I need tower reinforcement? Hopefully already on the car and can be reused.

With luck the existing Scale Suspension coilovers are damage free and clean up well enough to be resold to someone in stance nation on Facebook Marketplace.

OjaiM5 Reader
1/24/20 5:45 p.m.

Ah s52, what a great motor, a match made in heaven in a e30.

There are some M cars that are very difficult to recreate and some that are just too damn easy. To me you have a e36 M3, or something just as good.

The new wheels are going to look great.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/24/20 7:25 p.m.
OjaiM5 said:

To me you have a e36 M3, or something just as good.

I'll have to remember to post a picture of my euro-style front plate that reads "M-IT8ION"

I wouldn't have purposefully sought out a clone but this one isn't even "M" badged so no visual pretense. Hopefully it proves its worth in performance.

Turbine GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/25/20 2:27 p.m.

In reply to trumant :

I'm running the Turner strut tower reinforcement plates on my m3. They're cheap and don't interfere with my GC camber plates. I'd definitely pick up a set if you don't already have them. 

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/27/20 12:27 p.m.

Spent an hour yesterday pulling some front seat belt assemblies out of a new friend's E36 parts car. I had posted a WTB in my local Facebook Messenger groups and within minutes had a fellow regional BMWCCA member offer me his for free.


It was a generous offer and it was great to meet a fellow enthusiast who has his own E36 endurance race car, a 2002tii waiting for a restoration and a great collection of motorsports and local car scene stories to offer as well.


While I was out of the house, my Bilstein PSS9 setup was delivered, so from a collecting parts perspective things are starting to come together.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/27/20 12:57 p.m.

As purchased, the car had a harness bar installed and 2 Corbeau four point harnesses. While the harnesses are pretty effective, they are prohibited by one of the local SCCA groups I plan to do track days with.


So, spent the afternoon yesterday removing the harness bar and the four point harnesses and will hopefully be able to sell them on and recoup some funds for future upgrades. Once the harnesses were out, it was time to remove the passenger side Vader seat and start strategizing on mounting the seatbelts without destroying my already cracked B pillar trim or the Vaders trim in the process.


Temps in my garage are in the low 40s right now and the cold really makes the trim pieces brittle. I think my best plan of attack is going to be opening all the car doors, letting my space heater run for about an hour to get things warmed up and then coaxing the trim off as slowly as can be, possibly using my heat gun as needed to introduce additional flexibility as needed.

Harvey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/28/20 7:54 a.m.

I think you're doing the right thing removing that harness. Maybe review the Bimmerworld harness guide and the rules for your local clubs before choosing what to do next in that regard.


I don't think that Corbeau setup is ASM and honestly I'd be wary of going more than 90% on track without a complete safety setup, including full cage. I took my Z06 out for a Track Night in American event at Thompson here in CT and going 80% I was hitting 130mph by the time I hit the brakes early at the end of the front straight. I was in fourth gear, the car's third gear goes to 130mph. 

Most cars could hit 100+ easily going all out and if you go off into something at that speed in a regular street car you're dead. It was mildly moist that day and two people crashed, one from the Intermediate group and one from the Advanced, thankfully no one was injured.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/28/20 8:56 a.m.

Appreciate the link and advice Harvey!


At this point, the car is destined for a spring, summer and fall of some autox, several track days and weekend fun duty. Based on how my track days go, I may consider moving to fixed back seats, cage and proper harnesses. For now, I can't justify the expense.

Brake_L8 Reader
1/28/20 12:25 p.m.

If you want to do harnesses, do the whole thing as a system - bolt-in rollbar ("cage" means it goes in front of the front seats and is a bad idea for street-driven cars), fixed-back seats, and five- or six-point harnesses. Be sure to give your passenger/instructor equivalent safety as you choose for yourself :-)

Hoondavan Reader
1/28/20 1:36 p.m.

This is such a great color.  I came to chime in on the expansion tank as a weak point.  I like the Z3M wheels on this car, I've never seen that combination on an E36.  If they're staggered you may be happier w/a square setup.  Lots of the E36 track and autocross cars I've seen ran square setups (less understeer).  

Good call on removing the harness bar.  Probably fine for autocross...but without a roll hoop and HANS, not good for the track.  Vaders should be fine for auto-x.  

I recommend FCPEuro for parts.  They offer lifetime replacement, even on wear-items.  Their warehouse is  in CT and I've always received stuff on time (and sometimes early). 

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/28/20 3:03 p.m.

Moving to a square setup right around Valentine's day when my Tire Rack order comes in. Will keep the Z3M wheels for driving to/from tracks though assuming they play nicely with my new suspension goodies once mounted.


As for FCP Euro, I've used them already as part of the cooling system overhaul and their level of service is amazing. Favorite part of the process for me was the no doubt form email I got from the CEO about their mission and service commitment and asking for feedback. I wish more companies took the time to "introduce yourself".

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/1/20 4:30 p.m.

Got my seatbelts installed earlier this afternoon. Temps of 45 were apparently warm enough to ensure that the B pillar trim was flexible enough not to shatter when I removed it. Hurray for small things making a job easier.


The weight of the powered Vaders is ridiculous. Had to completely remove them both in order to get the belts and tensioners mounted and hopefully it will be the last time they need to be removed until they are replaced with fixed back racing seats.


Once the car was buttoned back up, I installed the WiFi OBD2 elm327 reader I just bought from Amazon and got it hooked up with OBD Fusion on my iPhone. For ~$30, it was cool to be able to see coolant temps, MAF readings, etc. Not sure how much I'll end up using it with this car, or my others, but I suspect it will come in handy from time to time.


All of this ended up being a decent excuse to take the car out for a bit. Unfortunately, my right rear tire has a leak, so quick trip to the local gas station to bring that back up to pressure. And, not more than 5 minutes out of the gas station, the left rear starts clunking like crazy and the handling in the rear feels super squirrelly. Quickly turned around and headed back home on straight roads and babying it. Not sure what the hell could be going on, but I'm sure it will become pretty obvious once I get it up in the air to remove the existing coilovers and install my new ones.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/1/20 9:59 p.m.

Installed my classic plate today. Putting a classic plate on a car made the year I started college must mean somehow I got old!?!


On the plus side, waiting for a quote on adjusted insurance to suit the classic registration. More money to put into the car.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/2/20 10:35 a.m.

About to put my baby up on jack stands and I've never had the wheels off. Did a quick walk around so I could verify I had the right socket for the lugs and learned a few things.

  1. Left rear wheel is missing a lug nut. Doubt this contributed to all the clunky, sketchy rear end behavior the other day, but no good nonetheless.
  2. All 4 wheels have a locking lug. Thankfully found the key in the glovebox.
  3. The rear wheels are so deeply dished that I need to get some half inch drive extensions in order to get my breaker bar or torque wrench in there.

Since I know I'm missing one lug nut and I hate locking lug nuts, double-checked my TireRack order for my new wheels and realized that they don't ship any hardware at all with the wheels. Add a full set of lug nuts to the to be purchased list.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/2/20 12:28 p.m.

Run out to grab half inch extensions and whattya know but of course when I get home my socket on the extension now reaches the rear lugs but is too damn shallow. Seems like every time I try to do anything it turns into as much of a tool acquisition journey as anything else.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/2/20 1:45 p.m.

Trip to my local Sears and now I've got the required 19mm deep well socket. My local Harbor Freight is maybe another ten minutes further away, but for my second tool trip of the day, I wasn't having it even if it would save me a few bucks. Took my boys with me to the Sears, and they were freaked out by how much of a ghost town it is. "Its such a big store and I think there are only 5 people in here". Doubt my $10 socket purchase is going to do much to help them stay in business.


Then on to Amazon to order a set of lug nuts in 19mm M12x1.50 open ended. Will need these when my new wheels show up in about a week.

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/2/20 4:11 p.m.

My youngest wanted to watch Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, and I reminded my oldest of his outstanding chore to clean the toilet and shower in the bathroom he shares with his brother. Two kids occupied for at least 40 minutes, so a bit more time to spend out in the garage.


Deep well 19 on my breaker bar with a 6 inch extension and the locking nut key and all the lugs were loose. Got the car up on jack stands quickly. Took another 10 minutes to get the lugs and wheels off. Damn these studs are long. The whole time I was cranking away on my ratchet all I could think about was getting an electric ratchet with 1/2 inch drive that has the oomph to handle lug duty. Anyone have recommendations for their favorite? I'm not loyal to any particular brand and won't be using it more than 20 times a year.


Once I had the wheels stacked, it was time to finally get a good look at parts of the car I'd thus far never seen.


The Good:

Looks like I've got rear shock reinforcement already installed

And 15mm spacers up front. I had expected to see spacers, but expected 10mm or possibly 12mm. I didn't take a good look at the backside before I removed the wheel, but I'm guessing the extra spacer width is for front coilover clearance.

Swift springs used for the existing coilovers. Will need to figure out what spring rate these are once I have them off.

M calipers were swapped over from the donor car on all 4 corners and the front pads and rotors are thick, with plenty of life left in them. Seems like at one point the calipers were painted a light blue. Thankfully no longer, but they could use some love. What do you all like/recommend for caliper paint that will hold up to track temps?

The Bad:

If you noticed that picture of the right rear spring earlier, it was full extension and not fully seated. Well, that explains the clunking and sketchy handling I had experienced yesterday. Turns out...

Pretty sure those are meant to be together, not separated by so much air. Good thing I was planning on replacing the coilovers anyway, because if this fastener was so loose, I don't have high confidence in the rest of the install.

And the mystery of the not so slow leak in the right rear tire has now been solved. Again, thankfully I have wheels and tires on the way, but they don't arrive for another week. Also, I was really hoping to be able to use these as street tires. Looks like that plan may need to be amended a bit. I'm thinking of seeing if I can find a square set of E36 OEM wheels with decent tires on them on FBM. I think I can sell the Z3M wheels for around $6-700 even if one of the tires has a plug in it.

And the really not so bad I suppose, but strange. Each hub has mismatched studs. This wheel has 1 of the hex variety and the rest were rounded over. Different mix per hub of course. I didn't count them up, but wouldn't be shocked if its 10 of one type and 10 of another.


trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/2/20 4:17 p.m.

I haven't opened the Bilstein PSS9s yet but should I expect them to include new hardware? If not, seems like a good time to get new hardware all around if I can find it easily enough locally.


When I do the install, should I be using threadlocker, red, blue?

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/3/20 7:56 p.m.

Took the day off work to enjoy a sunny and sixty day in the garage and running around.


Removed the majority of the old suspension. I think I spent more time removing the front and rear strut braces then it took to remove the coil overs.

Unfortunately I can't manage to remove the adjustable spring perches in the rear.

That bolt and it's buddy on the other side of the arm must be two inches across but only 1/4 inch tall at most and in a confined space. I've sprayed them with penetrating oil and heated them but the only thing I have that fits around them is channel lock pliers and I can't generate sufficient torque to bust it loose.


Any ideas on removal?

trumant GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/4/20 6:15 a.m.

The only complete success from yesterday was getting the nail in my rear tire removed and plugged.


In addition to being stuck on removing the adjustable rear spring perches I also need to hit up FCP Euro or ECS Tuning to source all of the stock shock mounting parts that my car doesn't have because they were removed when the original coil overs were installed. Hopefully all of those parts are in stock and I can get the new suspension wrapped up before my new wheels show up in a few weeks.

Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
2/4/20 8:42 a.m.
trumant said:
dj06482 said:

Also replace the radiator cap while you're in there. 

The Mishimoto replacement is capless so no need. One last thing to fail ;)


The expansion tanks themselves are pretty failure prone. The plastic can't take the pressure and temperature variations. I've already mentally committed to upgrading to an aluminum tank when/if the replacement plastic one fails.

I'd be interested to know if you or anyone else on this board has opinions/preferences on replacement tanks.  We've already gone through a handful of stock plastic tanks on our E36 Lemons car and I'm tired of worrying about it.  Looks like Mishimoto is the most common and less than half the price of a Moroso.

Also, subscribed for awesome-ness. Keep up the good work!

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