Ownership Verified: 1995 BMW M3 (US 3.0L), track day car

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
finally got the exhaust on the car. I bought the mid-pipe/cats and cat-back a year ago. The old exhaust was welded where it was supposed to be bolted together, and the muffler was rusting. The muffler produced a bit more drone and low end noise as a result, but certainly didn't sound like anything special. The engine and intake certainly sounded good though.. as good as (better), and as loud as, many M3 exhausts that I've heard.

So I finally did it.. pulled the old exhaust off at a shop.. on a lift. It came off in one piece, due to the aforementioned welding, and I promptly sold it to another shop tech for $50. The OBD2 mid-pipe went on nicely, with all new gaskets/seals between the headers and the cat-back. The Active Autowerke Gen 3 cat-back didn't go on as easily due to worn rubber exhaust hangers and not enough clearance to tighten bolts up, etc. I'll have to get new hangers soon.. and we'll fabricate some mounts up that hold things in a better way than they're held now.

The OBD2 mid-pipe should flow a lot better.. due to a change in design from having a small X-pipe pre-cat, to having two completely separate full-size pipes.

obd2 mid-pipe is at the top.. obd1 mid-pipe is on the bottom:
20110123151815.jpg



The Active Autowerke Gen 3 cat-back is about half the weight of the OEM cat-back, is obviously louder, but also produces more of a growl when you get on the throttle. It's very noticeable when wide open, and I think the sound it produces compliments the engine noise very nicely. This is one of the better videos I've found of an M3 with the same cat-back, though my car has a lot more noticeable engine noise as well:

Listening to that video again.. my car definitely sounds more aggressive than his. He has the S52b32us, and I have the S50b30us engine, and with my mods (cams, larger intake/AFM, larger fuel injectors, and chip) the engine revs a lot higher and sounds meaner. Pushing more air through the exhaust means more noise :D

The car definitely accelerates more smoothly too. I can feel that the car is a little faster as well (the cat-back is proven to add a few hp to a stock car.. who knows how much it's added with mine, especially with the better flowing mid-pipes).


nothing special... phone camera pics:
1238281_721019474582128_1249370613_n.jpg


1231553_721031574580918_616375352_n.jpg



now I really need to install the springs I've had for over 6 months (should happen soon), and then align the wheels properly. Then I might actually be able to drive the car in a way that matches how it sounds.
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
I also polished the windows yesterday.. got all of the ugly hard water spots off.
DSC_3646.jpg



the windows look soooo much better now. This also meant that I could finally install the all-important track decals, for the tracks this car has been on so far :D
1001263_721630991187643_89813695_n.jpg
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
started work on replacing the springs. I am installing Vogtland '95 M3 Club Spec springs onto the Bilstein Sports that were already on the car.

front strut removed with the OEM M3 springs on there. I had a difficult time getting the strut mount nut off the top.. ended up needing a more powerful impact gun.
1236542_724474430903299_1184024484_n.jpg


Vogtland springs installed. I'm now having difficulty getting these reinstalled.. those top mounting bolts are pointing away from each other, which is making it very difficult to get them through the small holes in the strut tower... ugh. I still have to work on the rears too, though they should be a lot easier.
1239999_725612817456127_1976757062_n.jpg
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
was able to bend the mounts a bit today, so that the studs are more straight. The studs slid right into the strut tower holes now.. easy :D
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
some pics :D

shiny Vogtland Club Spec springs in the box
DSC_6238.jpg


had to move some things out of the way to fit a car in the garage
DSC_6239.jpg


confirmed that shims were definitely installed on the car. This is good for about -0.5 degrees of negative camber on each side. This is fine for now.. more negative camber will exist once the car is lowered.
DSC_6245.jpg


first front strut is out! dirty..
DSC_6247.jpg


then six uh-60's flew over :p
DSC_6251.jpg


cleaned things off
DSC_6253.jpg


a full day later.. got the new springs installed after gaining access to a more powerful impact gun
DSC_6254.jpg


pic of the strut mounts bent back up a bit, so the studs are more straight and slide into the strut tower holes nicely
DSC_6265.jpg


my 'triumph!' photo... took this after everything was bolted back up, loctited, and torqued. I just need to run the wires properly now.
DSC_6267.jpg
 

Posmo

I'm a piano until proven otherwise
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
4,204
Location
Finland
Car(s)
'86 Sierra iS, '70 Cortina, '90 Sierra, '04 RS182
One thing I would consider regarding the performance of the car is a better plenum design. Just about every Finnish M3 rally car (and there are a fair few) has a fiberglass airbox with a higher volume and different shape than the original. Just about everyone who races E36's here use these, so I imagine there has to be a positive effect on the performance.

Example:

http://www.lapuanlasikuitu.fi/kuvat/bmw m3 imukotelo.jpg
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
I don't have the same engine as in Europe. In the US, what I'm running is pretty standard.
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
so I made a newbie mistake last night and installed the left side strut on the right side... and the right side strut on the left side. And I used red loctite. I realized this when I went to attach the wires to the struts today. Grr.

So, I spent an hour unbolting both struts before I left for work today. I probably could have had them bolted back in on the correct sides as well, but loctite made that difficult. I'll get them bolted back in correctly after work :(
 

Posmo

I'm a piano until proven otherwise
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
4,204
Location
Finland
Car(s)
'86 Sierra iS, '70 Cortina, '90 Sierra, '04 RS182
I don't have the same engine as in Europe. In the US, what I'm running is pretty standard.

Oh, didn't realize that, I looked at the first page pictures.. No ITB's.. That sucks.
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
Oh, didn't realize that, I looked at the first page pictures.. No ITB's.. That sucks.

yeah.. oh well. There isn't much I can do about it. Finding a euro M3 swap isn't very uncommon in the US, but finding parts is super difficult. It's not good for a car that you want to be reliable and easy to fix.

Either way, my engine currently has about as much power as the Euro s50b30 has anyway, so it's all good.

- - - Updated - - -

so, today I spent some time trying to clean up the lower steering arm -> suspension mounting bolts.. then gave up and drove to Tacoma Screw and picked up new bolts and washers. Nice & shiny. I spent another 45 minutes or so getting the front struts bolted back in, again. So I'm finally back to where I was on Monday night, except things are installed correctly.

now is when I quote what I typed a couple of nights ago, and say I'm still planning on doing that:
I'll probably keep the front jacked up for a while longer while I replace the fender liners, install the brake ducts, replace the passenger fog harness, and clean a few other things up. Then I'll start it on the rear.. which should be a lot more simple.
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
Those aren't coil overs.. at least not height adjustable, which is what most people on forums mean when they talk about could coils .

But, thanks? I'm more interested in how well the springs match the shocks I already have. From what I read online, they should match quite well.
 
Last edited:

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
I finished up the frontend today. The wires and brake lines were attached to the strut housings, I replaced the passenger fender liner, installed brake ducts, fixed the passenger fog light plug, replaced the driver's turn signal, replaced the transmission cross bar, and replaced the bmw roundel hood logo.. and then took the front of the car off its jack stands.. and verified that the battery is still basically dead. It needs a jump.


yesterday.. bought new lower strut mount bolts.... shiny
DSC_6269.jpg


strut mounted on the correct side :p
DSC_6279.jpg


fender liner replacement from today. New is closest to the camera. Note the extra holes in the old one.
DSC_6282.jpg


replaced the crossbrace that goes under the transmission. This was bent before I bought the car, and I've had the replacement bar for several months.. finally replaced it
DSC_6283.jpg


new looking roundel hood emblem that I picked up from a parts car last weekend.. so much better
DSC_6284.jpg


front of the car with its brand new kidney grilles and new hood badge :D
DSC_6288.jpg
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
got the car jumped.. and drove it around a little bit. The front end is definitely a little stiffer (not much). It's hard to tell that it's lower in the front. I haven't measured yet. I'm really curious what the camber is going to be as well.

The rears should hopefully be done tomorrow...
 

Adunaphel

KLAUWD
STAFF MEMBER
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
11,568
Location
Fermany
Car(s)
'18 Clio; '13 Cube Hyde
Any reason why didn't immediately spring for the X-brace from the convertible and the 96-99 M3?
ODE2MzVfcA%3D%3D.png

It's #16 in this pic (your part is #7), it's a drop-in replacement, all the holes needed are there, you just need to attach it, and according to BMW enthusiasts all over the interwebs, it really helps to stiffen up the front end.
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
whenever a cheap one has come up for sale I haven't had the money, and when I do have money they aren't being sold. I'll get one eventually. It's not a high priority for me, though, if you look at the first page and my list of 'things to do', it's on there.
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
one week after starting :)rolleyes:) I finished the spring upgrade.

how the car sat last night, with new front springs in, but rear springs still stock
DSC_6298.jpg


old vs. new rear springs
DSC_6301.jpg


"technology tested on the N?rburgring Nordschleife" :p
DSC_6304.jpg


old springs were pretty easy to force out..
DSC_6309.jpg


new springs were even easier to install
DSC_6311.jpg



back on the ground with all springs in..
DSC_6313.jpg


DSC_6315.jpg


DSC_6319.jpg


DSC_6321.jpg




and I finally took some shots with both seats in :p
DSC_6323.jpg


DSC_6325.jpg


DSC_6327.jpg




so the car sits slightly less than an inch lower than it did before, right now. The M3 was a bit higher than stock with the stock springs on the Bilstein Sports, so this drop is maybe only 3/4" lower than stock, right now. So far the car does feel better.. and it actually feels like it's taking bumps better. I expected the new springs to be a better match for the shocks, but what I'm feeling so far is quite the difference.

The car will be aligned tomorrow. Once camber is changed in the rear.. I might have to roll/pull the rear fenders a bit. Right now the rear tires rub on some dips.
 
Last edited:

nicjasno

BMW Perfectionist
DONOR
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
5,890
Location
Maribor, Slovenia, Europe
Car(s)
'89 BMW E30 325iT, '95 BMW E36 318ti compact
It still doesn't look really low. If you are going to give it negative camber, the tires will stop bothering the fenders actually. :)
 

rootrider

Mr. TDI SportWagen
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
1,557
Location
Tacoma, WA (USA)
Car(s)
'14 Panamera Turbo S
yeah I know. The car was about 1/4" higher than stock, with the OEM springs on the Bilstein Sports. So, it's about 1" lower than that now.. or, about 3/4" lower than stock. I presume it'll drop a little lower after some settling. That is as low as the car will be until I can afford some compression/rebound adjustable coil overs. I just wanted some springs that will actually work with the shocks I already had. So far, I'm pretty happy. The suspension actually feels like it's compressing sometimes now. I wasn't so sure.. before.

I had the M3 aligned yesterday morning. The rear still max's out at -1.6 degrees each side, so there's not much more I can do without buying adjustable rear control arms. The front camber isn't adjustable at all, but shims are installed, so it's also at -1.6 degrees each side, right now, until I can buy camber plates.

So, once I have nearly $1k to spend on camber adjustments, I'll be able to obtain more camber :(


In the mean time, I'll have the rear fenders rolled more. The driver's side also has metal pushed in where the tow truck's cable bent metal when the car was being towed out of the marsh. So I'll have to bend that back as well.


for comparison's sake.. this is a few months ago, at the car's previous height:
DSC_5852.jpg


DSC_5855.jpg
 

WDWBen

Subaru Killer
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
1,396
Location
Disney World
Car(s)
2012 MX-5 PRHT
Gimme your seats!
 
Top