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    Thread: I needed an E36 so I acquired a darling (flaming pile or potential v3.11)

    1. 05-12-2017 07:43 PM #1
      After selling my last toy to purchase a house 2 years ago, the search was on (and off, then on...) for a fun RWD daily capable (emphasis on CAPABLE) relatively inexpensive car (under $10K). I am not a convertible guy at all, and have a motorcycle for those wind-in-the-hair desires despite following the ATGATT mantra.

      I had previously owned an E28 535IS which was good fun. I have looked at purchasing another for years, but the prices have gotten pretty ridiculous for less than decent candidates. I've eyeballed the gamut...from E34's, E30's, E39's, E36's, even 128i's and the occasional ZHP to the typical dooooRRRRRiiiffto crowd (FC and FD RX7, MKIII Supra, 240SX, etc), and always been left wanting. Either too much work needed, or too much money needed.

      Well, after seeing a particular M3 sedan on my local Denver Craigslist for a few weeks (seller and car are actually in Nebraska), I decided to get in touch and talk with the guy. After a phone call and some text messages, a deal was struck and tomorrow afternoon we get to see if I made another good call on purchasing a car sight unseen (my 2008 4Runner was purchased from a Texas dealership sight unseen and has been fantastic).

      I am somewhat particular when it comes to vehicles, I seem to be the guy who likes the oddball spec, with rare options. If it came out of left field I am probably intrigued, this M3 is in that general vein. M3 sedans with 5 speeds seem to be uncommon, and with Vader seats even less so.

      Anyhow, time will tell if I am ending up with a diamond in the rough or a complete flaming pile. Just hope my wife doesn't kill me (even though she knows about it )

      Teaser pics and a cut/paste from the CL ad for now (in all it's banged up glory).

      It's got...
      Minor front end damage
      No headliner
      Blower motor is hit or miss
      Small scuffs and imperfections on the body

      But it's also got...
      New outer tie rods
      New front control arms/bushings/ball joints
      Turner adjustable rear control arms
      Ground control coilovers and camber plates
      Turner wheel spacers
      AKG poly RTABs and subframe bushings
      New end links
      Eibach swaybars front and rear
      New flex disc and center support bearing
      New cooling system including thermostat, aluminum thermostat housing, upper and lower hoses, Behr radiator, metal impeller water pump.
      New belts
      Synthetic fluids all around
      B&B triflow cat-back exhaust
      AA track pipe (A and B) included
      O2 sims also included
      Pretty clean vader seats - no rips

      Corner balanced by Platteforme AG in LA








    2. Member
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      05-12-2017 07:53 PM #2
      Love M3/4/5

      Looking forward to seeing your progress!

    3. Member Ross1013's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 08:02 PM #3
      I'll ask how much you paid. You don't have to answer if you don't want to.
      Past: '06 Accord V6, '95 Taurus SHO, '01 ITR, '98 Civic HX CVT

      Quote Originally Posted by jamerican1
      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

    4. 40 Year Old Madonna Fan patrikman's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 08:09 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Ross1013 View Post
      I'll ask how much you paid. You don't have to answer if you don't want to.
      I'm going to guess $4-5.5k.
      Quote Originally Posted by Code Red! View Post
      Why does a guy trying to shove a water bottle up his ass have anything to do with the Bay area and helping it sustain itsel.....wait nevermind.

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    5. 05-12-2017 08:12 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      I'm going to guess $4-5.5k.
      Pretty close! (Just a little bit more, owner is trailering from Nebraska to Colorado)
      Last edited by jaystone; 05-12-2017 at 08:18 PM.

    6. Member 4th Branch's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 08:37 PM #6
      Looks like a fun project

      I stopped by a local used car lot to check out a Merc and saw this E36 parked in front: http://www.x600.net/vehicle-details/...4f077fdd3e08d/ It's awful in many aspects but that's what caught my eye, asking $50k

    7. 40 Year Old Madonna Fan patrikman's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 09:00 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by jaystone View Post
      Pretty close! (Just a little bit more, owner is trailering from Nebraska to Colorado)
      Can you tell I've been eyeballing E36 M3/4/5s for a couple years? E36 is still my favorite M, and the sedans had been really growing on me in the last few years. Must be the dad in me.
      Quote Originally Posted by Code Red! View Post
      Why does a guy trying to shove a water bottle up his ass have anything to do with the Bay area and helping it sustain itsel.....wait nevermind.

      Support Your Local Homebrewery

    8. 05-12-2017 09:12 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Can you tell I've been eyeballing E36 M3/4/5s for a couple years? E36 is still my favorite M, and the sedans had been really growing on me in the last few years. Must be the dad in me.
      I have always had a thing for 4 doors, from my mk2 golf 4 door VR6 swap to E36 M3's. Added benefit of the E36 sedan vs coupe, the body structure is supposedly stiffer, and the doors have framed windows instead of the frameless coupe doors. The added practicality (whether perceived or actual is TBD) is a plus, despite not having kids.

      I think E36's have reached the point where they are at the bottom of the depreciation curve. Not sure if clean examples can get much cheaper.

    9. 40 Year Old Madonna Fan patrikman's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 09:19 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by jaystone View Post
      I have always had a thing for 4 doors, from my mk2 golf 4 door VR6 swap to E36 M3's. Added benefit of the E36 sedan vs coupe, the body structure is supposedly stiffer, and the doors have framed windows instead of the frameless coupe doors. The added practicality (whether perceived or actual is TBD) is a plus, despite not having kids.

      I think E36's have reached the point where they are at the bottom of the depreciation curve. Not sure if clean examples can get much cheaper.
      Many people also say 4drs are safer...
      Quote Originally Posted by Code Red! View Post
      Why does a guy trying to shove a water bottle up his ass have anything to do with the Bay area and helping it sustain itsel.....wait nevermind.

      Support Your Local Homebrewery

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      05-12-2017 09:44 PM #10
      Looks like a great project.

      White suits these cars really well. I'm one of the weirdos that likes Dove too.

      FYI Vaders didn't come in sedans from the factory. They are a nice addition though, if they fit you.

    11. 05-12-2017 09:58 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by PoorHouse View Post
      Looks like a great project.

      White suits these cars really well. I'm one of the weirdos that likes Dove too.

      FYI Vaders didn't come in sedans from the factory. They are a nice addition though, if they fit you.
      I wasn't 100% sure if the Vaders were swapped in place of the standard seats. Dove isn't bad and it fits the car, not my first choice but the white exterior is about as teutonic as it gets, well maybe 2nd to silver!

    12. Member Nateblizzy's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 10:56 PM #12
      Nice snag. How many miles?

    13. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 11:23 PM #13
      Congrats!
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: '55 Ford 351C, '70 TR6 262Olds, '80 Rabbit AAZ, '84 C30 350, '88 Scirocco 9A, '97 Hardbody KA24E, '01 TJ 150AMC.
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    14. Senior Member danny_16v's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 11:26 PM #14
      Welcome to the club. Yes Vaders were swapped in. Looks like a solid example with quality modifications. Been with my 99 M3 for 11 or so years. Any questions I'll be happy to help. Also on bimmerforums
      GLi : M3 : CX5
      OSD#2

    15. Member Blade3562's Avatar
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      05-12-2017 11:36 PM #15
      My friend had a 3 series sedan that was M3 swapped. Was a fun car, refused to die. Same colors etc as yours. There's so many mods and things that can be done to them your car will never truly be finished lol.

    16. Member
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      05-13-2017 05:37 AM #16
      Nice pick-up

      Looking forward to seeing how this shakes out. I've been passively scouring the market myself for a while myself.

    17. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      05-13-2017 07:38 AM #17
      Also in!

      Hmm, E28 535, Mk2 VR6, and now E36 M? It's like I'm looking into a mirror...

    18. 05-13-2017 07:59 AM #18
      134k miles on it.

    19. Member DrivingPassion's Avatar
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      05-13-2017 08:20 AM #19
      Nice find! Love those seats.
      " If your not breaking parts, your just not trying hard enough to win!"

      Colin McRae, R.I.P

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      05-13-2017 08:24 AM #20
      I think it has potential. You will need to get rid of the clear marker lights or Ross will make fun of you.

    21. 05-13-2017 08:56 AM #21
      Definitely has potential, that was a big factor for sure. I was actually kind of shocked when I threw the owner a reasonable offer IMHO (but low compared to his asking price) and it stuck. I was already trying figure out the logistics of getting the car...time off, fly and drive or drive and tow, when he offered to deliver the car on his flatbed. Well that was easy. DONE!

      The seller has been a real class act, from good information on CL, to honest responses to questions, and willingness to send LOTS more photos of things I asked about. Kept saying to myself, "THAT is how you sell a car, especially when you advertise it a state and a half away." We'll see if I am just some dumb sucker, in which case I need to pepper the angus and prepare to be ridiculed, or if I need to call up Richard Rawlings and ask for a job.

    22. 05-13-2017 09:33 PM #22
      I need to get the car in the air and look underneath, and it needs a general cleaning for sure, but here is the preliminary list of items needing repair or replacement:

      Drivers headlight (think I saw just the frame available, only mounting tabs broken)
      Front fender liners
      Passenger side duct from bumper to fender
      Driver front corner light
      Drivers side door seal (has a split on bottom edge)
      Drivers side bumper corner molding
      1 flanged bumper nut
      Drivers side hood strut and clip (noisy)
      Fog lights
      C pillar trim
      Headliner fabric
      11 button OBC (need to resesrch if pixels can be repaired?)
      Interior trunk side trim
      Remove tint from back glass
      Front castor weird (wheels sit too far forward)
      Paint front bumper

      Pics of interest to follow in a few.
      Last edited by jaystone; 05-13-2017 at 09:35 PM.

    23. 05-13-2017 09:46 PM #23
      Any idea what this is, part number doesn't help?



      Little bit of massaging needed here...PDR maybe?



      Scuff and shoot



      Glass lenses in great shape, just need the frame



      Castor seems off, wheels are too far forward in wheel well (?!?)



    24. Member NoXenons's Avatar
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      05-13-2017 11:34 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Sonderwunsch View Post
      I think it has potential. You will need to get rid of the clear marker lights or Ross will make fun of you.
      Ross would make fun of someone for putting an aftermarket shift knob in an '81 Honda.
      Quote Originally Posted by RS-SIX View Post
      You guys are missing the point with manuals...not only does not one want to drive a manual, many active safety systems do not work with manual transmissions. Soon manual trans cars are going to be the most dangerous cars on the road. If they dont die a natural death, they will be outlawed.

    25. 05-13-2017 11:48 PM #25
      Making fun of people is supposed to make you feel better, right?!

      Camber plates were not adjusted correct as far as I can tell, I made a couple course adjustments and the wheels don't seem to rub the fender liner anymore.

      After performing my best Google-Fu, it appears the euro headlights are only available whole, or just the glass (need to keep digging). May need to try and find a decent used one.

      Which brings me to my next question...what are the better places to look for OEM parts at decent prices? For my 4Runner needs, I usually use Conicelli Partznet. Load up the parts fiche, pick the part, add to cart and done.

      And lastly, besides eBay and Craigslist, what are some active forums for locating parts and pieces?
      Last edited by jaystone; 05-14-2017 at 12:01 AM.

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