Monday, November 2, 2009

49. E36 and E36 M3 differences

I received a lot of questions about transforming regular BMW E36's into ///M cars. Some of them were about the exterior and interior, and some were about the mechanical stuff...

So, what do you need to convert your regular E36 into a M3?

- Front bumper
- Rear bumper
- Side skirts
- Rims
- Side moldings
- Badges
- Rear Lights

- Sport seats
- Shift knob
- Steering wheel
- Instrument cluster
- Upholstery

- M3 engine and gearbox
- Big 2-way limited slip differential (LSD) with 25% lock
- M3 exhaust
- M3 suspention

 So, basically, you need to change almost everything.
And, in the end, even if you DO change everything, your car's VIN number will still reveal that you don't have a 'proper' M3.

OK, so, I know that most of you want to style your car to look like a real M3... So, this list should be enough.

What do I think about this?
Well, I would rather drive a regular-looking E36 with a M3 power plant and suspension, than a M3 look-a-like with a small 4 cylinder engine... But that's just me.

If you still want to do it, I would recommend this:
Install original M3 bumpers and skirts, seats, rims and the instrument cluster. Go after market with the steering wheel, suspension and the exhaust. Then, change the engine cover plastic with one saying 'M Power', and your air intake manifold with an after market ITBs (Individual Throttle Bodies). Hopefully, you already have a Medium Case LSD installed. If not, Install one. Be careful, your diff is probably connected to your drive shaft with 4 bolts. M units are connected with 6 bolts. (And they don't fit in your standard differential sub frame)... :)
I'll soon write a small article about diff swapping on E36's.
(Yea, I bought a M3 diff)... :)

Here's a couple of things you might like:

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