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  •   Wilhelm Lutjeharms reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    ADE’S E36 #BMW-323i-E36 / #BMW / #BMW-323i

    As clean as the #BMW-E36 was, original owner Malcolm had a few mishaps with it in his later days of ownership. Nothing serious, but a bump on the front and rear corners were enough to persuade the 90-year-old to give up driving and sell up. Fast forward a few months and I’ve sorted the basics, had some fun on track and now I’m ready to freshen up the cosmetics.

    As much as I like the simple SE looks I do prefer the Sport styling, and when both front and rear bumpers were required I couldn’t bring myself to not have some M3 influence coming into play! Up front, a cheap but surprisingly good-quality reproduction bumper was bought new from eBay for under £100. Complete with all fittings, trim and even an M3 Evo splitter it’s a total bargain! At the rear, the M3 rear bumper is subtly different in its shape towards the lower edges with a boxier design, plus there’s also the obvious rear diffuser. This isn’t such a bargain new, so a good used example was sourced locally. Same goes for the ‘twist’ side skirts, which will nicely bulk out the sills. The nose cone was also damaged, so the chance was taken to fit a new pre-facelift version which houses more discreet sunken grilles. Lower down the 323i’s front end was also personalised with some amber crystal fog lights. An unusual touch, but one which perfectly suits the car’s colour scheme.

    With all the parts collected it was time to deliver it to a capable #bodyshop , and there are few places more on the ball than #KD-Kustoms in Lochgelly, Fife. Just down the road from Driftland and more than used to dealing with old cars, drift cars and E36s in particular, they really are the right team for the job. A full respray would be nice in an ideal world, but this is meant to be a budget fun car, so Neil and the team got to work on repairing and blending-in the areas which needed TLC. Tricky areas like the rear quarter with its integrated seam were pulled out and tidied expertly. The rear arches were also trimmed and sealed around the inner lip as I was having hassle with rubbing. It wasn’t even tyre rubbing, but instead the actual wheel lip!

    With spray gun guru Toole finished applying the fresh Canyon red metallic it was time for assembly and then on to KD’s sister company, HyperKleen, for a full detailing session by Kara. The results speak for themselves and are way beyond what I ever expected from a budget tidy up job. Now the E36 is back to the condition it was in for most of Malcolm’s ownership, just now with a bit of an M3 flavour sprinkled on!

    The E36 ready for its transformation. The E36 was delivered to KD Kustoms for its makeover. Damaged areas were repaired prior to the fitting of the M3 parts. M3 bumper looks great and Ade has added some amber foglights as well. Replica M3 bumper with Evo splitter. The E36 was treated to a full detailing session. ‘Twist’ side skirts and M3 rear bumper
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  •   Bob BMW reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    BEN’S #BMW-E36 323i TOURING / #BMW-323i-Touring / #BMW-323i-Touring-E36 / #BMW-323i-E36 / #BMW-323i

    The other month was an absolutely hectic one to get ready for the Gaydon #BMW Festival. I haven’t done many shows at all this year and so I wanted to make an effort to tidy up the Touring for it, as this year’s various thrashes around Wales had taken their toll.

    Not only was my M3 splitter missing but my bonnet cable had snapped, meaning that a crude and ugly roadside fix (having the cable hanging out in front of the radiator) was still there, and the power steering pulley had taken a hit and had a chunk missing, which was pretty unsightly. I’d also picked up a set of rare saloon-fitment #AC-Schnitzer Cup mirrors, which I was keen to get on. I set aside a few days, assembled the parts I needed and got to work. As it’s becoming more and more of a track car, I decided there was little point in carrying out the fiddly task of replacing the bonnet cable. So that was cut out and I fitted a set of quick-release bonnet pins instead. Drilling through my bonnet was a little bit daunting but after some careful measuring the job was done.

    There is now no need to go into my cockpit area to open my bonnet, which makes things easier for me, as I’m quite often tweaking something. The only down side to this type of bonnet pin is that they’re not legal for use at the Nürburgring, but I’m not planning on going over there for a while yet. I’ll probably also have a fibreglass bonnet by that time, which will be a good excuse to fit some AeroCatches, which are ’Ring legal and do look that bit nicer.

    Reattaching my splitter was an easy task and I complemented it with some foglight blanks, ordered from my local dealer. The mirrors were the icing on the cake. I’ve wanted a set of these for as long as I can remember, so when a slightly shabby black set came up on eBay, which I won for the starting price of just £100, I was pretty thrilled. One of the threaded inserts on each mirror was missing, and there was evidence of a dodgy attempt at a fibreglass repair on the backs, too, but nothing that put me off.

    Once the mirrors arrived, I popped the glass out and took them straight to my painter, Paul from Automotive. He set about sorting them and giving them a beautiful coating of the allimportant Hell red, of which he keeps a stock of ready-mixed for me at all times. Once I had them back from him, I finished off the repair with a new threaded insert for each mirror, and popped the glass back in. The finishing touch was a pair of domed Hack Engineering stickers to replace the original ACS ones.

    The final bit of work was to get the power steering pulley replaced. The vibration caused by the missing chunk of pulley actually seems to have done the pump’s bearings some damage as that’s become noisy of late, but more on that in a later issue. Needing to replace a damaged part is always a great excuse to upgrade and underdrive pulleys are something I’ve been wanting to fit for some time. After a customer cancelled an order for a set of #VAC-Motorsport pulleys from me, I knew that it was meant to be, and they made their way onto the S54 . The T6061 billet aluminium pieces not only look fantastic but give a claimed 8whp and 7lb ft of torque on an otherwise standard engine, achieved by underdriving the water pump and power steering pump. The upshot of this is that it also brings a welcome touch of added weight to the steering. It reduces the power assistance just enough to really improve the amount of feedback through the steering. I plan to add VAC’s alternator pulley to the setup at some point, said to be good for another 3whp and 2lb ft of torque. There were now just a few items left to sort before Gaydon; more on this next month.
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  •   James Page reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    BEN’S #BMW-E36 / #BMW-323i TOURING / #BMW-323i-Touring / #BMW-323i-Touring-E36 / #BMW-E36 /

    Last time I covered a couple of new parts that I’d fitted in time for the Gaydon #BMW Festival however, there was one thing I needed to fix that I needed help with.

    My hectic last minute rush to get it looking presentable (and driving as I wanted it to) all took place over the week running up to the event. Thursday morning saw me leaving the house at 6.30am for an important visit to RAW Motorsport in Southampton. The reason for my trip was that my nearside rear wheel bearing had been sounding poorly for some time and after a trip to the Nicky Grist Stages rally in Wales the noise just got to the point where I was unhappy to drive the car at all. RAW Motorsport has extensive experience with all things M3 and there’s no one else I trust with the car, so I got myself booked in with RAW front man and namesake Robin Welsh.

    I’m usually more than happy to get out the spanners and have a crack at things myself but the wheel bearings on the rear of E36 are a known problem area, with the driveshafts usually getting stuck into the back of the bearings and all sorts. With the risk of leaving my car stranded in the workshop, doing it myself wasn’t something I fancied. On top of this, RAW has a method it uses which works perfectly every time.

    Onto the shopping list. I’ve always highly rated Meyle parts and so using its rear wheel bearings was a no-brainer. I have Meyle front wheel bearings, too, so why not keep things matching? Coupled with these, I opted for a set of CAtuned chromoly heavy-duty driveshafts.

    Not only do the shafts look fantastic but they use a solid 4340 chromoly shaft at their centre for seriously beefed-up strength. This is without any extra weight over the standard shafts – a win/win. Luckily, both the bearings and the shafts are available in the UK through Hack Engineering, making buying it all nice and easy.

    Once up on the ramp at RAW Motorsport, technician Tom could start disassembling the rear end. Sure enough, the nearside wheel bearing was very noisy indeed and both driveshafts were also very much worse for wear. The offside wheel bearing seemed to be in perfect health but was changed anyway.

    I also asked Tom to check the rear trailing arm bushing bolts as I’d been having a strange clunk from that area and, sure enough, I had good reason to be cautious. The track action that the Touring has been through is taking its toll on the poor girl, with the trailing arm mounts being close to torn out of the underside of the car. In the usual RAW Motorsport style there was no deliberation about a fix and Tom and Clive simply got straight on with a repair, welding the damaged area, undersealing it and then remounting the trailing arm.

    Of course, this is not the end of it. I’ll shortly be back at RAW with a set of reinforcement plates to have the job finished off. Thankfully my subframe mounting points are showing no signs of damage. One last request I had for Robin was to see whether he had a set of secondhand seats. The GT3 replica seats look great but on track they just don’t have enough support. I needed something proper and, of course, Robin had just the thing: a set of FIA Sparco Corsas. Of course, they’re out of date (in fact, the production date on them is only a few months after that of my E36) but they’re in great nick.

    Thanks to my #VAC-Motorsports Race Seat Installation Kit, swapping between seats was a relatively straightforward process, and the new seats were fitted in no time at all. They feel fantastic and allow a whole new level of feel and support. I can’t wait to use them on track. Finally, the E36 was given a quick detail over at Soap Grenade Detailing, leaving it ready for the show and looking pretty respectable! There’s still a ton more work I’d like to do to get it looking its best, but for now, I’m pretty happy.

    Meyle rear wheel bearings – £29 each #CAtuned chromoly driveshafts – £602

    THANKS & CONTACT Hack Engineering 01444 617365
    RAW Motorsport (Now at Thruxton Race Circuit) 07795 563223
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