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Need Some Direction

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  • Need Some Direction

    I have a bad habit of getting in over my head and then letting projects sit for long enough to lose motivation. 95 M3, car lived in Oregon before coming to me in California- undercarriage is caked in mud and there are no records of previous maintenance. I've had it for about 2 years and started working on the long list of maintenance. Smog is coming up for the car again at the end of the year. The rear end is out and rebuilt, almost ready to go back in. The all or nothing part of me wants to non-op the car, clean every nook and cranny, complete the maintenance list and then re-register the car; even if it takes me many more months or even a year. The reasonable side of me wants to just re-install the rear, smog the car and work on it bit by bit while enjoying the driving experience. My goal is to do the car justice- it's my second E36 and in my dream spec; but I also want to stay motivated and not browse facebook for other cars. Thoughts?
    Last edited by MrMark; 09-28-2021, 01:25 PM.

  • #2
    I'm getting stuck in a similar mindset with my e30. The fact for me is, when it sits, I hate the car. When I drive it I love it. If you can continue to enjoy it until you go ham on it, do that, but eventually there is a time it's gotta come off the road to complete the process if you want to go all the way. Only you can really decide when the best time is. The reward will be huge when it's done. If you have already started, you might be better off being patient and getting right to it.


    • #3
      A krapy driving M is still a great car but for me, getting all the parts together before much driving was important; I didn't want to start hating the car. I did as much as I could, mechanical before cosmetics. Mine isn't finished but my daughters enjoy driving "Ratty", interesting to hear girls ask "have you checked the diff dad, sounds like a toy store back there".
      You do what you can afford, I find the car usually makes it known what it needs.


      • #4
        no point in paying registration if you can't even drive the car.


        • #5
          When I got my E36 it was thrashed. HG, door cards were destroyed/half missing, suspension was cooked, bushings done, almost no paint left. I kept it insured and drove it through my fixing process. I had a lift at my old place so cleaning the underside wasn't as challenging. But I still cleaned the bits that I was working on. Suspension out meant fully cleaning wheel wells, bumpers off for paint meant cleaning behind bumpers, windows out for paint gave access to parts as well. I found joy in feeling the difference each part has made to the driving experience. It will never be "Done" but its in a place where I'm really really happy with my car and the last two years of driving with it and learning it/fixing it.
          If it sat in one place demanding work with no feedback but the promise of being nice when its done: I'd have been less motivated. Evening wrenching meant weekend fun. There was a couple tow truck rides back home.. but the journey was fun as heck.
          If I was making the car a museum piece - I'd take it off the road cause it would probably live a future life of never really being driven again anyways.