Project BMW E36 M3 – New Tires & 1st Track Day

Further photography by CaliPhotography

I’ve owned my new-to-me e36 M3 for just about three months now, so by all rights, I’ve actually just begun to scratch the surface. Commit half an hour on the internet and you will see that pretty significantly anything you could possibly want to do with an e36 has been done, some of it good, some… not so considerably. This wealth of information has helped a lot with the preparing phases of my build I’ve been in a position to get a fairly very good feel for the powerful and weak points of this automobile by driving myself and, of course, with a lot of help from forums and investigation. I stand by my original ambitions still—restoration and preservation, moderate 50-state-legal upgrades, street-friendly suspension and braking overhaul, and period-appropriate European market aesthetic goodies to satisfy my want for style points.

2017 BMW M3

$ 64,000 Base Model (MSRP) 17/26 MPG Fuel Economy

Around town, the e36 M3 is really comfortable and doesn’t leave a complete lot to be desired. Even by 2016 requirements, the vehicle drives nicely and normally has a “doesn’t suck” vibe, aside from a fairly antiquated sound method. I am using one particular of those three.5mm-to-audiocassette-tape adapters to play music by means of blown speakers, and let’s not overlook the also-modest-for-anything-made-in-the-U.S. cupholders. Perhaps I sound like I am defending the vehicle, but I can honestly live with these shortcomings. I will address the sound system later, and I’ll grudgingly find out to reside with much less coffee to go.

Project bmw e36 m3 yokohama s drive tires Photo two/eight   |   Project Bmw E36 M3 Yokohama S Drive Tires

Project bmw e36 m3 yokohama s drive tires Photo 3/8   |   Project Bmw E36 M3 Yokohama S Drive Tires

The a single thing I thought the vehicle required desperately was a new set of tires. I turned to Yokohama for its S.drive in the factory sizing, 225/45R17 and 245/40R17. I chose the S.drive since it really is a correct street tire with 300 UTQG, and hence will make for a great baseline and around-town tire for everyday driving. In the quite uncommon case that it rains in Los Angeles, I will have a very good amount of traction with the S.drive as well. I’d be heading to the track in a handful of days to see how the car acts under a quite different set of situations than standard street driving, but a bit of inspection was in order 1st.

Project bmw e36 m3 wheel check Photo 4/eight   |   Project Bmw E36 M3 Wheel Check

Somehow I managed to stuff the 4 new tires into the back seat and trunk and headed out to Garagerz Automotive, a European and Japanese specialist shop in Burbank owned by my longtime pal Robby Perez. Prior to mounting and balancing the new tires, Robbie and I threw the car up on the rack and gave the underside a good look. The entire cooling system has been replaced already, and we did not discover something outwardly incorrect or in quick need of replacement underneath yes, of course, there are a quantity of bushings that have noticed better days, and the brakes are worn within the expected quantity, but all factors deemed, nothing jumped out as a have to-do before tracking. I had an OEM cross brace lying about so we threw that on. I made the selection to leave the automobile alone, aside from the crossbrace and new tires, and hit the track as-is.

Project bmw e36 m3 tire mounting Photo five/eight   |   Project Bmw E36 M3 Tire Mounting

Bottonwillow Raceway Park is a exciting track positioned just off I-5 in the smells-like-cow component of Central California. In spite of the odor, the clockwise 13-turn configuration of this track is a pretty well used Time Attack setup, and a best baseline for project vehicle builds like mine. There are a quantity of techniques to get on track with your personal automobile in case you are wondering, I booked a single day through Speed Ventures and headed north properly prior to sunrise. On this certain day, it was forecasted to hit a peak temp of 110 degrees F, so I was glad to have a freshly redone cooling system. In the course of what would turn out to be my only session of the day, I was in a position to collect that the S.drive tires are not the best tires for track driving, but to be sincere, the balance amongst street and light track use is acceptable. There is a good quantity of grip with predictable falloff and as it gets warmer, you cannot genuinely ask for much more from a 300 UTQG tire on track. The stock suspension was provided a thorough thrashing. As you can see in the photos, the physique rolls quite a lot, and the suspension really bottomed out at the apex exiting Phil Hill. Brake performance was, how shall I say, “significantly less than best” as effectively. Stock pads are just as well soft for track driving no matter how you look at it. I knowledgeable considerable fade after only a couple of laps.

Project bmw e36 m3 wheel mounting Photo 6/eight   |   Project Bmw E36 M3 Wheel Mounting

My greatest time of the session was an totally irrelevant two:27 with site visitors and a bit of rusty driving on my part. I would have loved to trim that down some more than the course of the day, but an oiling problem forced me to throw in the towel early. For the duration of my session, I lost oil pressure a quantity of times for the duration of challenging cornering and braking, and there was a really loud ticking sound coming from my engine. The typical valve lifter ticking concern is partially at fault, but the timing chain tensioner is loose, and the oil pump itself may turn out to be the actual situation. I had observed the oil light flicker once or twice below regular street driving situations, so this did not catch me entirely off guard.

Project bmw e36 m3 garagerz automotive Photo 7/eight   |   Project Bmw E36 M3 Garagerz Automotive

Back at Garagerz Automotive, Robbie and I have plans to replace the chain tensioner and play it by ear on upgrading the rest of the oiling method. Right after the oiling problem is resolved, we will move forward with the suspension and brakes, with hopes to hit the track once more in an additional two months or so… A bit better ready this time!

Project bmw e36 m3 button willow raceway Photo eight/8   |   Project Bmw E36 M3 Button Willow Raceway

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