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My 10th E36 build

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  • My 10th E36 build

    Hi All,

    I acquired another E36 about 4 weeks ago. This one is an Artic Silver 1997 Coupe with 260k miles on it. A friend of mine offered it to me mid "restoration" and It was too good to pass up. He did an exterior repaint. There was no oxidation or previous accidents but he said the paint was starting to get dry. A huge plus was he also replaced all the exterior rubber seals.

    Here it is the day it was dropped off:





    Before I put the exterior trim on, I wanted the car to get a paint correction and ceramic coated. There wasn't very much I could do to the car before that happened but I was able to install all new front lighting, grills, and wheels.



    This is the car post detail and ceramic coat:



    I started to reinstall the exterior trim after treating them with Cerekote trim coating:





    [



    Here is the car with the exterior complete. I utilized my friend's shop to get the front bumper grill and other odds and ends installed:



    My current project is the interior. I did a good carpet cleaning and installed a few "upgrades." Leather Recaro Pole Positions, Ital Volanti Wheel, Porsche PCCM, and new floor mats.









    If you've made it this far, thanks for looking. I'll keep updating this thread as I make more progress.
    Last edited by Geoff.T; 05-26-2022, 09:16 AM.

  • #2
    shines up real nice... interior looks great!

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    • #3
      Hell yea Geoff, welcome back.

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      • #4
        Looking good
        2018 X1
        2014 335is
        1988 M3
        WTB: E36 M3/4/5

        Comment


        • #5
          Love the car, love the wheels, but the best part is artist in the ambulance.

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          • #6
            I ended up switching out the Fikses for a set of BBS LMs. The shiny wheels on a silver car was a bit too much for me.



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            • #7
              Bronze on silver is such a good look.

              Do you still have that 996? What's it like owning and tracking that car vs say the e46 M3? Or e36 M3 for that matter.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nate047 View Post
                Bronze on silver is such a good look.

                Do you still have that 996? What's it like owning and tracking that car vs say the e46 M3? Or e36 M3 for that matter.
                I still have it



                My opinion is going to be the unpopular one around here. I would take a base 996 over an E46 M3 any day of the week. I love the E46 M3 for the S54 but the overall package of the 996 feels more special. I also like how much lighter the 996 feels over the E46. The 3.6L flat 6 mounted has plenty of low end grunt for getting around town without having to rev it out. The traction out of a corner thanks to the rear mounted engine awesome. The interior styling has aged better than I thought it would and it's definitely held up better than a BMW of the same generation.

                996 compared to the E36? That's a tough one for me. I started subscribing to Car and Driver and Motor Trend when I was about 10 years old. My older sister's school was selling magazine subscriptions. Seeing a Dakar yellow M3 on those pages really stuck with me. There is a lot of nostalgia for me when it comes to the E36. Hence why I'm on my 10th E36. Besides all that, I prefer how an E36 drives over an E46 but it's still not as good as the 996. Like I said before, the 996 just feels more special. If I needed money tomorrow, I'd sell my wife's car and teach her how to drive a manual. E36s are good daily drivers right?

                The real game plan for this car is to swap it with a S54. I'll have the BMW engine I like in the chassis I prefer. If I do it right, I think I'll like the E36 more than the 996. At least until the 996 gets a 4.0L rebuild.

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                • #9
                  Right on, I get what you're saying. I have been kind of throwing around the idea of getting rid of my e46 and getting into a 996. My particular e46 is kind of a piece of shit though, so the choice is not a wash financially.

                  Basically it's between spending some money doing track prep on the e46, or using that same cash on top of whatever I sell the e46 for to get into a 996 in a spec I really like as a road car. Thing is I already love my e36 as a road car, and I don't have unlimited space or money for a bunch of cars LOL. Also my wife just bought a 986 so we're filling up kinda quick over here. Like I would definitely have to lose the e46 if I wanted a 996, no way I can justify both right now.

                  I feel like for me, the e46 makes more sense right now since the consumables are gonna be slightly less, and I can track it comfortably at my high-amateur skill level.

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                  • #10
                    I bought my e36 M3 because it was scruffy and I wanted to drive the wheels off of it, which I have and enjoyed tremendously (although, I've been accumulating parts to have the car repainted and refreshed). It is the best car purchase I made. I purchased a scruffy 996 C4S with the same intention and found one with a rebuilt engine due to "D chunk failure". I had Ohlins suspension and GT3 LCAs installed, along with GT3 sway bars and it drive really nicely and handled nicely on track. However, the engine failed, just as I was preparing to sell it. I sold it as a roller and the purchase had the engine shipped out to LN for a rebuild and it turns out it was the same D chunk failure. I did not dig into it much but it seems to be attributed to hotspots occurring on the engine (going by memory, so I could be wrong), especially when tracked.

                    With that all said, aside from *some* engine weakness and interior quality issues, I agree with posts above that it is a really fun car (and feels more special than e36 or e46, for sure) to drive and with PSE (or Gundo muffler hack) it sounds pretty spectacular.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jbse39 View Post
                      I bought my e36 M3 because it was scruffy and I wanted to drive the wheels off of it, which I have and enjoyed tremendously (although, I've been accumulating parts to have the car repainted and refreshed). It is the best car purchase I made. I purchased a scruffy 996 C4S with the same intention and found one with a rebuilt engine due to "D chunk failure". I had Ohlins suspension and GT3 LCAs installed, along with GT3 sway bars and it drive really nicely and handled nicely on track. However, the engine failed, just as I was preparing to sell it. I sold it as a roller and the purchase had the engine shipped out to LN for a rebuild and it turns out it was the same D chunk failure. I did not dig into it much but it seems to be attributed to hotspots occurring on the engine (going by memory, so I could be wrong), especially when tracked.

                      With that all said, aside from *some* engine weakness and interior quality issues, I agree with posts above that it is a really fun car (and feels more special than e36 or e46, for sure) to drive and with PSE (or Gundo muffler hack) it sounds pretty spectacular.
                      The engine issues on 996s are costly for sure. It's one of the main reasons I'm back in an E36. I can write off the E36 for less than a motor rebuild for the 996. Low temp thermostat and the 3rd radiator help a lot. High engine temps are not friendly to a M96. Fortunately there has been a lot of recently developed parts that will help with engine temp and oil pressure issues.

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                      • #12
                        I installed the new Race German ACS style front spoiler. It came with a smooth, shiny finish. I put some CarPro Perl on it to even out the out-of-the-box finish and now its dumb shiny. I'll probably paint it with some trim black in the future for a more OEM+ look. Fitment is excellent. Overall, I'm very happy with it:





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                        • #13
                          Looks fantastic. Dibs.
                          2018 X1
                          2014 335is
                          1988 M3
                          WTB: E36 M3/4/5

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