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thetunersgroup
09-08-09, 12:44 AM
Hi All,

I'm buying a new daily driver which will then be turned into our next project car and am looking for some input from everyone on the idea ...

I've had a bunch of Japanese project cars in the past, but this time I'm thinking of going for something a bit different - an E36 3 series BMW, but kitted out with a bunch of JDM spec parts.

So the plan is to apply Japanese tuner parts to a Euro project car and see what the end result is like.

I did the BMW advanced driver training course at Norwell in Queensland a few years back in E36 BMW's, so I'm familiar with how they handle etc.

But since I've never owned a BMW before, does anyone here know their E36 BMW's in terms of how we make sure we get a good one as the basis for this project ? I'm looking for someone with a strong knowledge of the E36, particularly in terms of known issues on them to look out for.

We've started a new blog to cover the project which you can find here ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Project_BMW/index.html

- Adam

chadskiiez
09-08-09, 12:58 AM
Goodluck! will love to see how this turns out. <3 BMW.

TONTON
09-08-09, 01:19 AM
Lol thats what im doing but with a E30...

Which E36 are you getting?

The M3? 325, 328?

thetunersgroup
09-08-09, 01:22 AM
Lol thats what im doing but with a E30...

Which E36 are you getting?

The M3? 325, 328?

I'm trying to find a decent 325 or 328.

There are a ton of 318's around though, so it depends - if I can find a 318 and an M50 motor at the right price, then I'll just buy a 318 and do an engine swap.

- Adam

thetunersgroup
09-08-09, 01:27 AM
Lol thats what im doing but with a E30...

What motor are you going to run in the E30 ?

- Adam

black200
09-08-09, 01:49 AM
i read the rear control arms are soft and bend easily. apart from that, stay the fuck away from SMG

chadskiiez
09-08-09, 02:53 AM
Hmm is there a particular reason why your choosing the E36 platform instead of a newer platform, e46?? just curious :)

2GU UP
09-08-09, 02:58 AM
we had a 318is with a 328i motor the thing ripped shit up, it was the most fun car to drive.
All because of the 4 bangers box and diff ratios.
high speed cruising was shit though.

TONTON
09-08-09, 09:29 AM
Im just using a m20

325e block
323i head ported
272 cams, and some other stuff cant quite remember,

But I will get a 325i intake manifold + throttle body though, just due to less air restrictions.

But yeah I reckon you should go with your idea of finding a nice 318 and putting a M50 engine in there, but get the later one with VANOS.

woosh
09-08-09, 01:59 PM
av46 should be able to input here - he had an E36 M3 for a while :)

Are you planning to turbo it? I've heard the non-vanos engine's are much easier to tune than the vanos one's..

Anthony, did you do the conversion?

ps: I've favourited this thread, as I'm thinking about doing the exact same thing in the near future with a e36.

thetunersgroup
09-08-09, 07:34 PM
Hmm is there a particular reason why your choosing the E36 platform instead of a newer platform, e46?? just curious :)

Sure is - if you take a look at the blog we have created for this project we go into that.

As it says in the blog at ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Project_BMW/index.html ...


Why an E36 ?

Simple, because we like cars that can be bought used at good prices and turned into track weapons.

Many companies build project cars that start with brand new, top of the range vehicles, but we find it more interesting (and more relevant for our customers) to start with an affordable, proven platform, that people like to modify, and then apply our own ideas on how to build a track weapon from one of these cars.

Additionally, many new cars these days are very heavy, and when it comes to performance we see no sense in starting with a heavy vehicle - many older cars tend to be lighter, so that makes perfect sense for us as the starting point for a project car.

Our approach to project cars is always the same - improving power to weight ratio by removing weight and adding more power, while only using high quality parts and smart engineering.

These days the E36 3 series is very affordable, and we think it's a truly great starting point for a project car.

We'll also develop some of our own parts for the car, so that will mean those parts will then be available to our customers.

One of the engineers who works with us on product development and fabrication was chief fabricator and crew chief for one of the top BMW factory touring car teams, so we will have the benefit of his very high end experience of the 3 series.



i read the rear control arms are soft and bend easily.

In terms of the rear control arms, that might be an area in which we can develop our own billet CNC rear control arms for the E36.

http://www.blaszakprecision.com/Control_Arms.html reads ...


Early 944 models ('83-85) and the 924S models experience control arm failure. The steel arms in these cars experience metal fatigue in the swaybar mounting area which results in cracking and ultimate failure through the mount area.

Some guys in the US then developed some billet CNC control arms for the Porsche 944 ...

http://www.stableenergies.com/images/WR-944.jpg

So there is no reason why we couldn't develop some billet CNC control arms for the E36.



apart from that, stay the fuck away from SMG

SMG is BMW's sequential manual gearbox as seen in the 2002 BMW M3.

I'm actually quite familiar with those gearboxes - we have a customer in the UK who won one of the big touring car series last year in the UK with an SMG equipped M3. We supplied a Works Bell Paddle Shifter NEO Universal for their car.

The Works Bell Paddle Shifter NEO Universal is a product that has been released by Works Bell specifically to meet the requirements of The Tuners Group's racing customers - we are the only company worldwide that I know of that sells it :)

We also recently shipped 2 Works Bell Paddle Shifter NEO Universals to Germany for a two car team that are running SMG BMW M3's at the old Nurburgring.

We're very pleased to see the Works Bell paddle shifters getting into some Euro cars. We also have a 911 Turbo Tiptronic customer who wants to fit one to his 911 Turbo.

The Works Bell Paddle Shifter NEO Universal can also be used as an alternative to the MCR Paddle Shifter for the Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R.

This is the MCR Paddle Shifter for the Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R ...

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8MPCKJQzPA8/R96j7jwcdfI/AAAAAAAAIGU/FegdLqyUfjw/s320/mcr-paddles.JPG

Most people don't realise that the the paddle shifter mechanism used in the MCR Paddle Shifter for the R35 is actually manufactured by Works Bell. ;)

This is the Works Bell Paddle Shifter NEO Universal ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/images/large/large295.jpg

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Online_Store/Works_Bell_Paddle_Shifter_NEO_Universal.html

Looks familiar right ? :)

http://www.skylinesaustralia.com/forums/Works-Bell-Paddle-Shifter-t240837.html reads ...


WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE THE MATCHLESS CROWD RACING NISSAN R35 GT-R PADDLE SHIFTER ?

Simple - because the paddleshifter mechanism for the Matchless Crowd Racing (MCR) Skyline Paddleshifter is made by Works Bell.

We asked Works Bell about this and they replied ...


"We developed the Paddle Shifter Neo for Nissan R35 GT-R with MCR (Matchless Crowd Racing).

You can tell this to the customers in Australia because MCR wrote our company name Works Bell as the maker for their Paddle Shifter in the instruction book ...

MCR wanted to develop Paddle Shifter for GT-R with us because we had developed Paddle Shifters for many kinds of cars before."

If you are looking for a Paddle Shifter for your GT-R (including for the R35), please see the Universal version of the Works Bell Paddle Shifter NEO on our website at ... http://www.tunersgroup.com/Online_Store/Works_Bell_Paddle_Shifter_NEO_Universal.html

For our project we'll stick to a manual gearbox though, at least in stage one. In stage two though when it moves to time attack mode, there may be a performance advantage to using an SMG gearbox, so I won't rule it out just yet in stage two :)



we had a 318is with a 328i motor the thing ripped shit up, it was the most fun car to drive.
All because of the 4 bangers box and diff ratios.
high speed cruising was shit though.

Ah good point - yeah I guess the ratios between the 318 gearbox and the 328 gearbox will be different.

Thanks for pointing that out - we'll need to check on the ratios here.



av46 should be able to input here - he had an E36 M3 for a while :)

Are you planning to turbo it? I've heard the non-vanos engine's are much easier to tune than the vanos one's..

ps: I've favourited this thread, as I'm thinking about doing the exact same thing in the near future with a e36.

We won't be turbocharging it, but as it says in the blog for the project at http://www.tunersgroup.com/Project_BMW/index.html ...


To make significantly more than that, for us that means a supercharger.

We are looking at developing our own supercharger kit for the E36 (similar to the custom supercharger install on the Supercharged 911) ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/images/large/large752.jpg

http://www.tunersgroup.com/images/large/large753.jpg

The supercharged 911 displaces 3 litres, and in supercharged trim makes roughly 355 hp. With a full fuel tank, no passenger seat and no spare wheel it weighs 1124 kg.



Im just using a m20

325e block
323i head ported
272 cams, and some other stuff cant quite remember,

But I will get a 325i intake manifold + throttle body though, just due to less air restrictions.

But yeah I reckon you should go with your idea of finding a nice 318 and putting a M50 engine in there, but get the later one with VANOS.

Yeah we'll have to look into the VANOS / non-VANOS issue. Thanks for bringing that up SN33KY and woosh. I'll ask the ex-BMW engineer who works with us for some input on this and report back with his thoughts on that issue.

In terms of the intake side, we'll dyno it with the stock manifold, and some other manifolds, and individual throttle bodies.

As it says in our project blog ...


Eurotuner has a tuning guide for those engines at ...

http://www.eurotuner.com/techarticles/eurp_0705_bmw_m50_m52_engine/index.html

It reads ...

"Since BMW sought more mid-range power for the 328i, it used a choked-down version of the 325i's intake manifold (which was also found on the E36 M3 3.2 in '96). The resulting 206 lb/ft at 3950rpm significantly bettered the M50's 181 lb/ft at 4200rpm. However, the M52 manifold's decreased intake runner diameter cost it top end grunt. That's why both the OBD1 M50 engine found in the '92-95 325i and the OBD2 M52 found in the '96-98 328i share the same peak 189hp rating at the flywheel.

As we're always keen to point out, you don't have to live with stock power any longer. We've hunted down some key tuners who take these cars to the next level ...

An alternative for your $1000 would be the Eurosport 325i cam kit. This upgrade uses factory BMW cams from a '95 M3 and includes Conforti-tuned software, as well as its Evo2 carbon intake for $999. The kit has shown sizeable gains, with peak horsepower reaching 195whp, but keep in mind the 6-8 hours of labor...

The company recommends you source the manifold but can supply a new one for an extra $497. The larger manifold sacrifices mid-range torque - a loss of 10-15 lb/ft from 3200-4200rpm - but the trade off is superb at the top end. While the stock car peaks at 181 lb/ft at 4000rpm and immediately starts to fall off, the kit helps sustain 185-190 lb/ft from 4300-5800rpm. The end result is a peak gain of 40 lb/ft and 45whp at 6000rpm, equating to 205whp total.

Eurosport also tested the kit with a factory M3 exhaust (you can find used ones) and got 209whp - now you're in E36 M3 territory!"

Clearly their are gains to be had in the intake side, so I can't wait to dyno it with a range of intake manifolds and the individual throttle bodies so that we can plot and compare the data to show exactly how each intake option compares. It should produce some pretty useful data.

We added some more photos and info to the project blog today. You can find it here ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Project_BMW/index.html

- Adam

2GU UP
09-08-09, 09:00 PM
av46 should be able to input here - he had an E36 M3 for a while :)

Are you planning to turbo it? I've heard the non-vanos engine's are much easier to tune than the vanos one's..

Anthony, did you do the conversion?

ps: I've favourited this thread, as I'm thinking about doing the exact same thing in the near future with a e36.

nah parra prestige did the conversion for the previous owner

woosh
10-08-09, 11:13 AM
^Ah cheers mate. :)

Found some buyers guides online...


Other potential Problems(some may be duplicates):

- Radiator fails around the 120k marker. if it has never been replaced, and is around the 120k mark. DON'T WAIT! you'll need a new one.

-

(http://member.rivernet.com.au/btaylor/BMWText/technical/E36CommonProblems.html)

Driveline:
- - Water pump will need replacement because of the plastic impeller (M50)
- - Radiator - look for cracks in the plastic neck
- - Defective ignition coils in some of the '91 and '92. - Call the dealer to
find out which cars are affected
- - Drive belt tensioner
- - Profile gasket on the earlier 318's (M42)
- - cracks in plastic thermostat cover (M50)
- - sticking thermostats (M50)
- - Tranny Popping out of 1st or 2nd, or 5th gear (Getrag 250's manufactured before 04/98 have this problem)

Suspension:
- - Outer ball joints go bad
- - Rear shock mounts go bad
- - Rear Shock Mounts

Interior:
- - Window switches
- - Door panels seperate because of insufficient glueing
- - Dashboard vinyl can seperate over the center vent
- - Seat heater elements break
- - Glove boxes misaligned - especially earlier models
- - chipping trim around the tweeters in the front door panels

Exterior:
- - Plastic headlight covers get foggy over time

Misc:
- - brake light switch

Another one:


What's good: saloons at first, followed by coupés from April 1992, convertibles from May 1994 and Touring estates from January 1997. Four-cylinder engines: 316i 102bhp; 318i 115bhp; 318iS 140bhp; 318TDS diesel 90bhp. Sixes: 320i 150bhp; 323i 170bhp; 325i 192bhp; 328i 193bhp; B29 M3 286bhp; B32 321bhp; 325TD diesel 115bhp; 325TDS diesel 143bhp.

Six-cylinder cars have brilliant brakes. 318iS coupé and saloon the best four-cylinder cars. Generally reliable. All engines had timing chains from 1994. E36 Convertible carried on until May 2000. Below-average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability Index.

What's bad: average performance in NCAP crash tests. 316i and 318i saloons underpowered. Some M52 six-cylinder 320is, 323is and 328is suffered premature bore wear.

Early E36s had poor-quality trim and now starting to rust. Climate control units (£276) prone to failure. Front suspension lower ball joints and inner bushes wear, but cheap to replace. Rear suspension bushes of coupés can wear, affecting alignment.

What to watch out for: clocked ex-fleet cars. Many early models suffered premature dashboard failure, so indicated mileage might not be genuine. Service light indicator can easily be reset with a £30 tool. Kerbed alloys might indicate front suspension damage. Lift carpets to check for leaks through screen seals. Six-cylinder engines must have replacement steel liner block. Make sure air-con/climate control is working as control panel is very expensive to replace.

Recalls: 1997 (cars from Jan 1996): tighten stub axle bolts. 1997 (77,000 cars built Feb '91-Dec '94): possibility of corroded steering shafts. 1997 (400 M3s): faulty bearings in variable valve timing, official recall. 1998: E36s built before Nov '94, fit new radiator cap. November 2002: all lower steering shafts to be replaced free of charge.

And another which might be useful: http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/f92/bmw-e36-buying-guide-m3-but-applies-to-t63/

Good luck.

scathing
10-08-09, 12:18 PM
I'm not sure if his time will be chargable, but consider asking The Engine Whisperer (http://enginewhisperer.com/).....or at least contact him so you can gauge his level of knowledge before deciding.

Andrew's old boss used to have an E36 M3R that was stripped out and prepped as a track toy, and he later bought an ex-BMW Motorsport supertourer to race. He did a little bit of work on both and so he's at least familiar with the platform, and using it in a motorsport setting.

scathing
10-08-09, 12:25 PM
On topic, they're very popular in Europe. Sorted RWD chassis, come in manual, and cheap in the entry models. There should be a lot of knowledge and parts available via the UK.

I'd love to see one done properly in track sensibilities down here (so not your usual sex spec street cruisers that most 3 Series BMWs get relegated to in Australia), so good luck with the project.

thetunersgroup
20-08-09, 01:14 PM
We've just updated the project blog with a post about bolt on fender flares for the E36 ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Project_BMW/E36_fender_flares.html

- Adam

thetunersgroup
27-08-09, 01:49 PM
Hi All,

We've decided to go with a very exciting change of direction on Project BMW.

Here's a hint ... :)

http://istvan.ffcs.se/albums/userpics/DSC_0066~1.jpg

We're beyond excited about the new direction for the project !

We've just updated the project blog with more info about the new direction for the project and 3 videos here ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Project_BMW/index.html

- Adam

thetunersgroup
27-08-09, 09:37 PM
We've just updated the project blog with more info about the new direction for the project and 3 videos here ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Project_BMW/index.html

Check out the acceleration of this thing 30 seconds into the video - just bezerk for a road registered car ! ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Videos/BMW_M3_supercharged.html

- Adam

TONTON
18-10-09, 08:59 PM
bump

moo moo nel
18-10-09, 09:39 PM
Adam, is that your 911?
Carrera or SC or?
What year model is that?

woosh
18-10-09, 10:03 PM
Any updates? :)

OT: moo moo nel, did you used to have a z4 before?

moo moo nel
19-10-09, 12:43 AM
OT: moo moo nel, did you used to have a z4 before?

Yes who are you? ;)

thetunersgroup
19-10-09, 05:43 PM
Adam, is that your 911?
Carrera or SC or?
What year model is that?

http://www.tunersgroup.com/images/large/large854.jpg

It's a 1971 911T with '73 RS bodywork and a mid '70's 3.0 litre 911 SC motor, which has been supercharged. It is owned by Australian Porsche enthusiast who is aged in his mid 70's.

Full info on it is here - it's an absolute weapon ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/supercharged_911.html

As it says on that page ...

--------
Lap times are ...

- Eastern Creek 1 min 44s
- Oran South 48 secs
- Oran GP 1 min 17 secs
- Wakefield 1 min 06 secs.

Extremely impressive for a car that is 38 years old.

To put those lap times into perspective, check out the lap times at the 2009 Superlap Australia ...

http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?29/03/2009.ORAN

The Supercharged 911's fastest lap time of 1 min 17s around Oran GP would have potentially qualified the Supercharged 911:

- 1st in club sprint class by a margin of 2.4 seconds
- 6th in the open class.
- 9th in pro class.

and placed the Supercharged 911:

- 1st in the club sprint class final by a margin of 1.7 seconds
- 2nd in the open class final
- 5th in the pro class final

The Supercharged 911 is road registered and driven on the street regularly.

All the Supercharged 911's lap times were posted prior to install of the Elephant Racing suspension detailed below.

All it's lap times were running torsion bar suspension with relatively standard single tube shocks, so clearly fully adjustable shocks could cut quite a bit off those lap times.

Superlap Australia 2009 had these three rules so the Supercharged 911 has never run in Superlap Australia:

- "No rear engine 6 cylinder or above vehicles are allowed in the Clubsprint Class."

- "No rear engine 6 cylinder or above vehicles are allowed in the Open Class."

- "No rear engine 6 Cylinder or above vehicles are allowed in the Pro Class."
--------

- Adam

thetunersgroup
19-10-09, 06:01 PM
Any updates? :)

We have literally had zero time the last few weeks to spend on the BMW project.

We found what would have been a perfect base car at the auctions (an E46 323i with a blown engine), but I had to make a last minute trip to visit one of our suppliers and couldn't make it to the auction, so the hunt is still on for a base vehicle for this project.

We've been absolutely flat out with parts orders and adding new manufacturers to our parts catalog.

OMP seats were added last week ...

http://forum.jdmstyletuning.com/showthread.php?t=19603

We have just completed two other new manufacturer deals which will be announced in the next few days in our TunerWire email newsletter ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Newsletters/index.html

- Adam

moo moo nel
19-10-09, 06:16 PM
Awesome, Adam.
Once I found a decent 87-89 Carrera I will ask you more about the supercharger and suspension mods ;)

VTECMACHINE
19-10-09, 08:36 PM
Where is Sergio?

FPV
19-10-09, 11:38 PM
hey adam, do you work with porsche dealerships? or just as a mechanic?

uknowsergio
20-10-09, 12:38 AM
*hand up*

I'm here rick!

Adam, I have a lot of friends in the BMW scene... So whatever direction your going I'm sure i could point you towards someone who has been there and done it!

They will be able to let you know what roads NOT to take; BMW's (as I'm sure you know with Porsche's) can be a very expensive trail and error pitt.

VTECMACHINE
20-10-09, 12:49 AM
Oh snap, there you are...

thetunersgroup
20-10-09, 01:27 PM
hey adam, do you work with porsche dealerships? or just as a mechanic?

We work very closely with a particular factory Porsche dealership, particular on Porsche Motorsport Department brake components, which we can supply for Porsche applications and for other vehicles for use in custom applications, including for track day cars, race cars and time attack cars. ...

We can supply both steel disk motorsport department brake components in disk diameters up to 380 mm ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/images/large/large1237.jpg

and Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/images/large/large734.jpg

More info here ...

http://www.tunersgroup.com/porsche_brakes.html

- Adam

thetunersgroup
20-10-09, 01:35 PM
Adam, I have a lot of friends in the BMW scene... So whatever direction your going I'm sure i could point you towards someone who has been there and done it!

They will be able to let you know what roads NOT to take; BMW's (as I'm sure you know with Porsche's) can be a very expensive trail and error pitt.

Hi Sergio,

Thanks mate - I'd definitely appreciate any input your friends can provide.

We are also very fortunate in that one of the engineers who does some consulting to us was an engineer for the old JPS BMW factory team ...

http://apma.org.au/reference/civilvehicles/bmw/jps/bmwjpsracing.html

... so he has some great BMW contacts too.

- Adam