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My E36 Hooptiebucket

Project cars, modifications or other general showoff

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JamesAtCT

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  • Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:12 pm

My E36 Hooptiebucket

PostSun Mar 11, 2012 6:12 pm

well, it's a bit of a hoopty. 1997 328i sedan, non sport, 176k miles. Manual, black on tan.

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I got it in August wit 165k on it. I've had to do... a little work.

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M52B28 - 2.8L, DOHC 24v, single "stage" VANOS on intake (probably doesn't work)

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doing plugs. I THINK the originals were still in there(!) they said BMW, and had almost no anodes left

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So this is why it doesn't like to idle! That's the hookup for the idle control valve.

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cleaned throttle body out

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New intake boot

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yeah need new ones...

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herp derp

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new vented blanks, Akebono ceramics

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replaced totally shot original FLCAB's with Powerflex poly ones. +16whp for purple right?

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custom exhaust, still not happy with it though. 2.25" dual from crossover behind cats, no resonators, straight-through magnaflow.

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stupid differential drain/fill bolts... need to order special shorty sockets to get a wrench on them.

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pulled this stupid thing apart and shimmed the display so you can read it... like $8 for double sided tape is better than $395 to get it rebuilt.

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interior, with Z3M shift knob

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they aren't really this dark, the spray hadn't cured yet.

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new belts, and converted the main tensioner from manual to hydraulic

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Pulled steering wheel, gauge cluster, etc to remove the actual gauges from the backing. Cleaned off and reattached with spray adhesive: this took care of the "dark spots" but some of the white material in between the gauges and backing came off, so now I have "light spots." Might just pick up another cluster in the junk yard next time i'm there. As long as it's OBD2, and has less miles, the cluster will convert over to how many miles the car has. My odometer is a piece of crap too.

other stuff I don't have pictures of: has a new metal impeller water pump, thermostat, switched to aluminum t-stat housing, new fan clutch. Still leaking coolant (which it wasn't when I bought it) so trying to figure that out. new trans fluid and PSF (they both use DexMerc... weirdly), all new front/rear brakes, new primary throttle body (long story), some other small stuff (the tinted tails, corner markers and side markers). Has UUC black-density trans mounts with enforcer cups, great mod.

Plans:

-Replace drive shaft ASAP. the rear U-joint is going bad, making my commute pretty vibratey.
-Fix coolant leak. It's not overheating but i gotta top off the reservoir every 3 days or so, and it's dripping coolant onto the belts making them slip when cold. Any BMW guys know where this could be coming from?
-Replace suspension. This junk is worn out. New RTAB, Rogue Engineering RSM's, probably Koni's with Eibach springs, new sway bar mount bushings
-Wheels. These 15's suck. Think E46 ZHP 17's or E36 M3 Contours.
-M3 front brakes - well it would've been a waste, but the car really needed brakes when I got it.
-Engine stuff: rebuild vanos unit, new valve cover and plug gaskets. Delete cats, Innovate LC-1 or just use plug defoulers, delete SAI. M3 3.2L cams, M50B25 intake manifold, ASC throttle body delete (it's useless!), delete clutched fan and replace with electric, get better exhaust, AFE intake, little stuff.
-Drivetrain: replace clutch, get rid of 30-something-pound dual mass flywheel, replace clutch bushings, replace slave cylinder while i'm in there, get a 3.15:1 LSD and M3 diff carrier

other than a color matched M3 front bumper, yellow fogs... that would be about it.

LOVE the car. Just needs... some work.

Anyway, hi hooniverse!
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LeftofLucky

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Re: My E36 Hooptiebucket

PostWed Mar 14, 2012 4:48 am

So much win. I love me some E36. Our valedictorian in high school drove a is coupe that her father bought here. By some small miracle I managed to talk my way behind the wheel for an evening's thrashing. So much fun.

It's getting harder and harder to find legitimately clean examples without a bluebillion miles on the clock. It looks like you're well on your way to getting it properly sorted. What's the plan once all the pieces are in place?
"Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you." ~Chuck Palahniuk
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JamesAtCT

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Re: My E36 Hooptiebucket

PostThu Mar 15, 2012 10:59 am

basic, basic modifications and restoration work, if I can use that term. Repair broken and worn out things with better, aftermarket things. Good, lowered suspension. Thinking i'll convert to M3 style struts (where the swaybar mounts to the strut, not the control arm for better steering response), Konis & some mild lowering springs. Some OEM wheels besides these 15's. Little stuff. Just get it straight, drive the crap out of it.
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JamesAtCT

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Re: My E36 Hooptiebucket

PostThu Apr 19, 2012 9:54 am

updates!

Coolant leak is finally resolved. I ended up taking it to a mechanic with a lift to pressure test it, as I was stumped. I was amused* to see coolant spewing out between the thermostat housing and block!

(*Amused is not the right word. Considering I had recently replaced that thermostat and housing.)

Anyway, grabbed a set of new upper & lower hoses, a new reservoir (because i was in there, why not!) and cap, and went to town. Turns out there was a tiny high spot on the outter right (facing it) edge of the housing. If you know your M52's... that's the thinnest part of the housing! A bit of time with a chisel and fine-grit sand paper, reassembly, no more coolant leak.

Next problem was the squealing belt. It would squeal on cold starts (even in warm weather!) and would slip and squeal when you would put an electrical load or a power steering load on it. My guess was that the coolant from the T-stat had dripped onto the (also recently replaced) main accessory belt and contaminated it. Another day of work off, and no more squealing!

Next project: Replace driveshaft. Yuck. More soon.

Meanwhile, I've posted another goofy Top 10 list at my website, take a look.

http://www.carthrottle.com/top-10-forgotten-sport-compacts/

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