EfiniMotorsport
EfiniMotorsport New Reader
10/4/20 9:40 p.m.

Today I started painting my 335xi coupe. I got the interior, engine compartment and underside done so far. The rest of the car is going to need a fair bit of body work as the car was hit and repaired previously, just not well. The car looked ok when assembled but if you look close you can see it ain't pretty. For the hell of it I was looking around at wide body kits and came across a mint M3 shell for stupid cheap. The shell is clean and aside from needed to repaint it doesn't need any work. What I'm trying to figure out is will my 335xi subframes and suspension bolt to the M3 chassis? I know the normal M3 suspension is light/stronger/better/whatever but I want the x drive and n54 I've already prepped. I just don't want to get the m3 shell and find out my parts won't bolt in. If the new shell is $1500 with shipping and both need to be painted anyone wouldn't I be stupid not to do it?

EfiniMotorsport
EfiniMotorsport New Reader
10/4/20 9:42 p.m.

Also, Anyone got an idea on the cheapest way to get a shell that's on a pallet from AZ to CT?

jfryjfry (Forum Supporter)
jfryjfry (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/5/20 9:09 a.m.

Is there any difference between the m3 shell and yours?  Anything special?

 

what about title? 
 

cheapest way to get it would be to go pick it up.  Maybe fly out and drive back.  You might even be able to strap it in the bed of a pickup truck. Or rent a flatbed truck. 
 

or put it in the back of a uhaul.  Either drive out or fly out and drive it back. 
 

Wide body kit on yours after you repair it might end up being the simplest and easiest and fastest and cheapest.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/5/20 9:23 a.m.

Does the stupid cheap shell come with a title?

adam525i (Forum Supporter)
adam525i (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/5/20 9:28 a.m.

I think to find your answer you might need to work backwards and ask, do the M3 subframes fit into my 335xi shell as that will probably be a more common swap. If the answer is yes then the opposite should be true. The nice thing here is that if there are some x specific brackets missing or different you will still hav access to your current shell to pull those bits from and modify the M3.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/5/20 9:36 a.m.

I'd be interested in the trans tunnel width/shape to make sure there is room for the transfer case, and the trans crossmember mounting points.  To be honest my AWD 3er experience is mainly E46s, and they didn't really have "subframes" the same way the 2wd cars had, it was more like bracketry to attach the control arms to the shell and some stuff for the rack to bolt to, so I am curious what is going on under there.

Scott_H
Scott_H Reader
10/5/20 10:26 a.m.
EfiniMotorsport said:

Also, Anyone got an idea on the cheapest way to get a shell that's on a pallet from AZ to CT?

I don't know but there will be someone on uship that can give you a quote.

https://www.uship.com/

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/20 11:43 a.m.

It depends on your state, but in PA I wouldn't worry about a title.  You're just "replacing some body parts" from a donor vehicle.

I built a 64 Pontiac Catalina for a customer.  He wanted his 2dHT turned into a convertible.  So I grabbed a convertible body and put it on his frame.  I kept his firewall with the VIN plate, but honestly it wouldn't matter.

It's legal to swap every single body part individually.  Body shops often buy front halves or back halves of complete cars from LKQ for body repairs.  Not sure why you would need a title to swap a whole body.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/5/20 12:04 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Legally, the bit of the car with the VIN on it IS the car.

 

Pre-smog Bronco glove box doors are worth an entire truck, because that is where the serial number is.

EfiniMotorsport
EfiniMotorsport New Reader
10/5/20 7:31 p.m.

From everything I can find the subframes are interchngable between 335 and M3 and between 335 rwd and 335 awd. I'm going ot take my subframes to my buddy's shop tomorrow as he has a roller M3 I can compare everything too. I got shipping quotes of about $1300 which almost triples the price. Not as appealing. The M3 does have a salvage title. My other option is I found another 335 about 2.5 hours away from me that's already white but needs the frame rails repaired. That car is a roller with wiring, fuel tank, brake lines and other parts that I could sell off to make at least a few $ back. It's also only $550. Given the cost of shipping the M3 I think it's just too much. If I did get an M3 shell I'd have to get a custom license plate that said M3ISH. I also found a complete running 328 in Maryland for $2500 that's also white (no matter what I do the car will be white). I could swap in my 335 parts and sell of that engine and drivetrain and whatever else and probably come out ahead. Waiting to hear back from him now. 

EfiniMotorsport
EfiniMotorsport New Reader
10/6/20 8:45 p.m.

I was able to look at an M3 without an engine today and the mount dimensions are the same. I also checked part #s and the frame rails and front strut housing are the same part number for M and non M cars. Looks like my AWD system can bolt into an M3 shell. I found a guy about two hours away that is pretty sure he can find me a white shell with a clean title in the next few weeks. I checked the CT DMV site and M3ISH is available.

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/7/20 12:10 a.m.

I still don’t understand why you would want to do that...

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/7/20 8:29 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Legally, the bit of the car with the VIN on it IS the car.

 

Pre-smog Bronco glove box doors are worth an entire truck, because that is where the serial number is.

So if I replace the dashboard in my car with a junkyard piece, I have to have to get a clean title with it?  Not likely.

And BMWs have the vin stamped on nearly every body panel.

EfiniMotorsport
EfiniMotorsport New Reader
10/7/20 6:37 p.m.

The only place on the chassis the VIN is stamped is on the passenger strut tower. I've been over every inch of my car. It is usually on stickers on many of the panels and on a sticker in the door jamb. I can get a new door jamb sticker from BMW and it's surprisingly cheap. The VIN plate behind the dash that shows through the windshield isn't even really attached to the car. Once the dash and windshield are out you can actually just pull out the plastic piece it sits on. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/7/20 8:39 p.m.

The VIN requirements vary from state to state but most states have provisions for extreme repairs and/or building cars from a variety of sources.  If you're building something where that's a concern then your best bet is to look at the regs in your state and if there's any ambiguity consult with whoever needs to sign off on the completed build for clarification.

No matter where you live it's good practice to keep receipts for all the major components and don't buy anything without paperwork or with a sketchy provenance.

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