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The MR E30 Project Thread - 97 M3 #2 Edition

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  • #46
    99 had different clock spring cause of the dual stage airbag, I believe. The wheels themselves are identical.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by TexaZ3 View Post
      99 had different clock spring cause of the dual stage airbag, I believe. The wheels themselves are identical.
      Got it. Thank you.

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      • #48
        October 5th, 2020

        Yesterday I finished cleaning all of the parts and hardware that I pulled off of the LM7. It's all organized, stored, and I am ready to do more engine disassembly.

        With a satisfactory amount of parts on their way to me, I spent the day focused on automotive tasks that weren't M3 related.

        Started out the morning by washing, claying, correcting, perfecting, sealing, and then waxing the truck bed portion of my Tacoma.

        I scratched the crap out of it on a 5 day trip earlier this year, and finally got around to addressing it.

        Photo is hard to see, but the bed portion is shiny and smooth after the 6 step detailing process I have become skilled at over the past few years.

        The main scratch down the entire side is visible under the rear window. It used to continue all the way to the taillight. Got that one going through the "Devil's Chasm" near Lake Roosevelt.

        Tacoma Bed Detailed by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        Tacoma Bed Detailed by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        After lunch a buddy came over and we installed a lift kit on his Raptor. Now it is even more large and aggressive. Which it does not need.

        Lifting Raptor by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

        55 mile mountain bike ride "Around The Peaks" here in town tomorrow morning, so no car stuff for the next couple of days probably. Will need serious time to recover.

        Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 184

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        • #49
          October 12th, 2020

          Progress has been a bit slow with the M3 the past few days, mainly due to some more Tacoma polishing, and the impending engineering exam I have to further boost my career.

          Though progress was still made.

          I pulled my grey door sills in anticipation of receiving my used, but 'mint', black replacements from a guy on the east coast. Unfortunately, despite referring to them as 'mint' on two separate occasions, it is obvious once I received them that our definitions of mint are not the same. Paid good money too. And it was a guy from Jersey, which doesn't help my subconscious opinion of folks from that area. Oh well. I'll see how they look after a thorough cleaning and install.

          05 - Removed Door Sill Passenger by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          It was messy under there, and all the clips broke, but I have new ones on order. I did a quick clean up of the door jamb area but didn't go too crazy as I am sure this area will get repainted when that time comes.

          I used my need to strip the paint off of my front nose panel to buy a few more tools and used them to get this piece stripped all the way down. Went all the way down to bare metal since the nose panel had so many large marks/chips in it that went down to the metal anyway. This was the only way to make sure the final product is smooth enough to pass inspection. The photo doesn't show it fully stripped, but I finished it a bit later.

          06 - Stripped Nose Panel by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          This was set aside on a shelf with the bumper for the future.

          I then started the messy process of stripping the hood. Grinder mounted flap discs and paint stripping discs make quick work. Throw on the headphones and the noise cancelling ear phones and go at it. Took about 25 minutes to get this much stripped off. Called it a day after getting this far to do some more housework (boring I know), but I will be back at it tomorrow morning. The hood will get fully stripped as well, I'll have a PDR guy come out and smooth out the two dings as well as possible before I finalize them with Bondo to get them nice and smooth.

          Then the carbon fiber vinyl will be applied. Kinda racecar, but I am certain I will like the way it looks once the car is completed.

          07 - Partially Stripped Hood by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          Note the OEM BMW Sunshade. Yeah, yeah, the car doesn't have seats, or a steering wheel (yet), or an engine even, but by golly does it have a sunshade! Haha.

          The project kind of took a turn for me mentality the last time I was working on it.

          I think I am going to shift focus towards getting all the things done that need to be done so that it can be driven. So that means I will divert more finances and time towards getting the engine in, the suspension refreshed, and a drivers seat in the car.

          I have a full blown living room switched to a kitchen remodel going on in a couple of weeks that will cost more than 3 or 4 of these projects, so project car money will be scarce for a little bit. But it will be worth it. Big time.

          This doesn't mean that I will decrease the attention to detail paid to any work I do, nor does that mean I will skip things that are a necessary step towards drivability, but I will put the acquisition of interior components on the backburner. I still have interior parts on there way to me, but I won't get lost in trying to finish the interior 100% before moving on.

          Once my steering wheel arrives the car will be trailered to the Garage Mahal for the winter. I will begin by tossing it on stands and refreshing the underside of the car to my liking. New suspension components and a thorough checking over are on the list. That should be this week, though my exam is in 11 days so I may be distracted by that until it is over.

          On a final note, finally finished the 12 hour process of detailing my Tacoma. Glad it's done with for now (until the next trip that involves making my way through Arizona bushes and trees where it will get scratched again!). I have to sand and then recoat my sliders to bring them back up to snuff as they have taken a beating over the past year as well. Though that shouldn't take as long.

          Serious scratch before:

          DSC_2194 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          And after, completely gone:

          DSC_2196 by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

          Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 187
          Last edited by MR E30; 10-12-2020, 05:40 PM.

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          • #50
            You've made more progress on this in the recent weeks than I've made on my car all year. Coming together very nicely.

            Past: '99 Hellrot/Dove M3/2/5 | '97 S14 1JZ | '06 Triumph Daytona 675 | '01 330I M-Tech I | Current: '96 Estoril/Black M3/2/5

            ‚ÄčInstagram

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Mike0032 View Post
              You've made more progress on this in the recent weeks than I've made on my car all year. Coming together very nicely.
              Thanks Mike. I get absorbed. And I have a lot of free time since I live a pretty simple life.

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              • #52
                October 17th, 2020

                Spent some time with the M3 today.

                I had been spending 20-30 minutes each morning for a few mornings using my grinder with flap disc to strip the paint off of the hood.

                I finished that yesterday and today I used a palm sander with 100 grit pads to finish removing any remaining primer/basecoat. I followed that up with a 220 grit pad to smooth the surface a bit more.

                Here you can see the right half of the hood hasn't had the palm sander yet, while the left side is much more uniform, though not perfect.

                08 - Hood in Progress by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                After the 220 grit. Smooth enough for me and the vinyl I ordered yesterday. I went with a cheaper brand than 3M for my first time, as I am not sure how good I will be at this, so I opted to risk $40 instead of $200 for this first go around.

                09 - Hood Strip Complete by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                After that was finished I moved on to installing the steering knuckle so that I can steer the car onto the trailer in the next couple of days. I also pulled the hot boy gold tape and started investigating the hacked up wiring, pulling tie-ins and poor wrap jobs off as I went.

                04 - More Stripped Engine Bay by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                I had more availability in the afternoon so I opted to pull the driveshaft so it couldn't get caught up on the trailer. I also don't need this, as Vorschlag makes a slip yoke driveshaft that I will purchase from them specifically for an E36 M3 with a T56. So I'll clean this one up and put it up for sale. Removal was easy, thankfully.

                01 - Removed S52 Driveshaft by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                While I was down in that area I decided to pull the rear bumper as well, just so I have a few projects I can work on in my garage while the M3 is away. It has numerous scratches, so it needs the attention anyways. I also need to see what the car looks like behind it for 'research purposes'.

                10 - Removed Rear Bumper by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                This will get fully sanded like all of the other parts thus far. Then I'll tuck it away for the time when I set up the paint booth to repaint all of these parts.

                I have never seen the rear end of an E36 without a bumper, so this is new to me.

                11 - Naked Butt by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                I need to schedule a time to get this over to the Garage Mahal. I head down to Phoenix this Thursday, so I want it put away before then.

                That's it for now. All parts I had ordered have arrived, though few have been installed. The others will have to wait for the right time in the process. I will be shifting focus to the engine tear down next.

                Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 195
                Last edited by MR E30; 10-17-2020, 04:02 PM.

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                • #53
                  No kidding, I recognize this M3. I nearly bought this exact shell to do an LS swap myself. When I went to go see it the weeds were so grown around it, I couldn't even get to the doors. So glad to see it's getting a second lease on life!

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Bwwaaaa View Post
                    No kidding, I recognize this M3. I nearly bought this exact shell to do an LS swap myself. When I went to go see it the weeds were so grown around it, I couldn't even get to the doors. So glad to see it's getting a second lease on life!
                    Oh, no way!

                    Yeah when I first heard of it the pictures I received were pretty unsavory in Ryan's backyard. But they knew I was coming down with the trailer so they had it backed out and sprayed off when I arrived, so I was able to check it out without hacking through the weeds.

                    Definitely a huge project but I am a firm believer that cars like this should not be left to wither and rot away in some corner. It's a friggin' M3 for crying out loud! So the time and energy and money is invested. Because it is worth it.

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                    • #55
                      October 20th, 2020

                      Yesterday I had some time to continue pulling apart the LM7 at the Garage Mahal. I helped Dan troubleshoot one of his Camaros, as the gas gauge doesn't go anywhere apart from the 3 o'clock position where it sits.

                      Pulled the timing cover after removing the main pulley. Also removed the valve covers and was happy to see that the rockers look great and all match (condition wise).

                      Engine Teardown Continued by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                      Pulled the heads after freeing the (10) head bolts (per side) and (5) additional smaller bolts near the valley pan (per side).

                      Engine Teardown Continued by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                      The head gaskets all looked old, but in good shape. No blown out sections or damage of any kind. Also reassuring.

                      Will need to get the engine off of the stand to remove the oil pan as it all ties in at the bellhousing area on the back of the engine.

                      After loading the truck up with parts to clean and go over very closely, it was time to do the major deed. Transferring the M3 to the Garage Mahal.

                      Hooked up the trailer and headed home. The trailer came with a battery and an electric winch, so loading it up was a breeze.

                      M3 Reloaded by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                      Dropped it off at Dan's after throwing it on a set of rollers. It felt weird to see a car moving sideways, but it is an incredibly convenient way to push this thing around.

                      It looks right at home around all of the old school Chevy muscle. Ok. Maybe not. But still exciting.

                      Rehomed for the Winter by Michael Rickerd, on Flickr

                      I am busy the next few days but plan to get to more engine tear down and the front end suspension refresh next week. The garage has in-floor heating so sitting on my butt while it is cold outside will actually be comfortable.

                      Approximate Hours Invested in Project Since Purchase: 201 (cracked 200 hours!)

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