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Lightest US-Delivery Factory E36 Coupe Shell?

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  • Lightest US-Delivery Factory E36 Coupe Shell?

    I hope this is acceptable in the E36 M3 forum despite being focused on the E36 in general.

    Is there a preferable body shell, all other things being equal? Were there changes in the amount of sound deadening applied and undercoat sprayed on the cars? Sound deadening pads seem to be the same among all M3s with the exception of fixed/folding seat differences.

    Exclusive of option packages (consider the LTW an option package for this exercise, if you will). I've looked through RealOEM and haven't found any noticeable part number changes for any major body shell pieces other than the doors. Whatever my choice, it will be getting alloy doors.

    My next project will start with a factory slicktop, and I want to start with the lightest factory slicktop body shell possible. All other differences can be worked around, and this may be an exercise in futility, but I'd still like to see if I can start with what I consider a "perfect" base for a very particular build.

  • #2
    The earlier cars should be lighter, but I don't have any data to back that up. Things like the rear side bolsters using a thick metal clip on early chassis vs later model using a plastic clip might mean the opposite is true. The doors are heavier on 98-99, but ideally you should be running aluminum GT doors on any year chassis you buy.

    MSportParts | Braymond141


    • #3
      I would just get the straightest body slicktop you can find, regardless of trim. Everything can be swapped or gutted, but paint and body can add up quick so that's where I would put priority.


      • #4
        It's not really a question of anything other than trying to start with the lightest base car for the sake of starting with the lightest base car. Special cars beget special builds.


        • #5
          Not sure what your goal is, race/track car or just a light build, just know that if you want to use side airbags, alu door are not an option. i.e. they don’t
          provide the mounting points. I assume the reason being the alu doors are too weak to handle an airbag deployment.


          • #6
            Light build, like a Peugeot 205 Rallye and a 964 Porsche Carrera RS met in a bar and this build popped out nine months later.

            The car won't retain any of the SRS.