Friday, December 10, 2010

78. 323 Coupe - Restoring the M3 look

So, another E36 has visited my garage...

My friend wants to restore the original M3 look on his E36 323i. And there are some electrical issues that need sorting out. Of course, I'm more than willing to help... So, here are some pictures...

My tiny garage is going to provide shelter for another E36 - my drift machine is looking poor under that snow...

Kidneys and lip painted black, removed that hideous lights... Will fit some nice angel eyes...

I just love to see when people decide to restore E36 cars to their former glory. Rice just doesn't fit here...

Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

77. My new E36... Again!

You've probably know this by now - I'm a total E36 nut.
Yea. I've bought another E36. If you follow my blog, you'll recognize this one. It was from my friend.
It's the one that we had to break into...

And, now, some pictures:

Yeeees! We have snow! It's great fun to drive around when it's snowing. The rear end of my BMW is all over the road. All the time. :)

The yellow car is from my other friend. (The one who owned that red 325 limo.) He's planning on restoring the original M-look on this car.

My 'new' E36 is 316. The yellow one is 323.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

76. Drift car dashboard

This is how my drift car's interior looked when I bought it:
Not pretty... I know.


That's why I pulled out my tools... (check out the wall decoration) ;)

And, the dash is starting to look better:

I'm still working on it, but this is how it'll look...

75. New rear lights

I did treat my 318is with some new rear lights:

Ordered them from German eBay.

Don't you love that red/white combo?

A small job, and not very expensive either -> Big difference! :)

Only $96,44

74. Breaking into a locked E36

Well, my friend locked his keys (all three of them) into his E36. And, to top it off, the car was running.
Don't ask me how he managed to do it... :) LOL!

Well, we had to break in.

And, after 15 phone calls to various BMW technicians, we decided to do it our way:

Shady characters:

Let's try the hammer:

No go. Let's try something bigger:

Finally - we're in...

If you do this in front of your neighbor's house - don't forget to clean the mess:

We broke the window, because I have 5 sets in stock:

 Yea, this one will fit nicely:

Damn! Who's gonna clean this mess?

73. Suspension and brakes on my E36 318is

Brake pads are something I have to change two-three times a year. (Front ones, I don't have rear disc brakes... yet.) Here's a couple of photos from the last change.

My car in the air:

New stuff:

Brake changing DIY for dummies:

 Old VS. New:

Old ones:

 Did you notice how uneven did my old pads wear out? I'm guessing, my right disc is bent...
Not much, but enough to destroy the pads...
I started getting some slight vibrations, and noise from my front right wheel... And that's why I decided to change my front suspension and brakes. Completely.

First of all, I have an extra suspension from one of my EX cars - 325 limo. And, since my car was originally a 316, I have smaller, non-vented discs on my car. I guess, that I'll solve a problem or two with the swap. Not to mention the benefits of a brake system upgrade. :) I'll do it this weekend. And you'll be the first to read about it. ;) Huh :)

Oh, and, almost forgot - I'll spice things up a little with some new springs:
Vogtland! :)

Pretty in pink! ;) 


And a few items... for the next change:

BMW OEM Textar Front Brake Pads for Z3, Z4, E36 & E46 3 Series Sedan & Coupe & Convertible & Touring & Compact
Only $59,99 

72. My E36 almost caught fire!

So, this was a real shocker!

One day, while driving home from work, nasty smell started coming out of my air vents. The smell was easy to recognize - it was burned plastic.

As soon as I drove off the highway, I stopped the car. By the time, there was a lot of smoke coming from the vents, as well. Believe me, that's not a good sign. (Especially if you don't have a fire extinguisher in the car.) I quickly stopped the car, and disconnected the battery in a couple of seconds. I might have set a new world record in doing it.

At first, I thought that my head unit installation was bad, so I pulled it out of the dashboard. (If you remember, I installed it a couple of months ago.) It wasn't bad.
Then, I tore out the panel that's under the steering column... And there it was. All of the wires, coming from the light switch, were melted together.
Luckily, there was no real fire, just a lot of smoke. I waited for the smoke to clear, and I started investigating. I found out that, the previous owner had installed some over-kill fuses. The fuses didn't break, and that's why my wires started melting (and fuses, too).

Right. The first thing for me, was to buy some new fuses, and 200 meters of insulation tape. LOL. (And, I bought a fire extinguisher, as well.) After a couple of hours, my BMW was again, on the road. Well, half of the electrics didn't work, but I could drive home, at least.

It took me two days to repair/replace all the melted wires (All of the wires under the dash started melting).
And it took me a day to find the cause of the whole mess. I found it on my trunk lid. There was a short at the hole where the wires come out of the lid. I fixed that, and from then, no problems. :)

Sorry, I don't have a lot of pictures. I was tight with time (since, I need the car to drive to work.). And, it was raining at the time... So, here's just one little detail - after fixing the short on the trunk lid. (Note - those huge red and black wires are for the third brake light on the wing). I did put some silicone there after I took the picture, so, now it's fully water-proof. :)

P.S. I used self-extinguishing tape to wrap the wires. :) Yea!

What have I learned?
  •  NEVER put over-sized fuses in your car.
  • ALWAYS have a fire extinguisher in your car.
  • REGULARLY  check your electrical installation for sings of wear.

 This is a nice thing to have!

Monday, September 13, 2010

71. My first E36 coupe


Well, just a few photos... I have a lot of stuff going on, so I'll write some meaningful posts in a while...

Friday, August 6, 2010

70. New stering wheel

Yeeea! I finally have it!

A cool, racing, suede, deep dish, QSP steering wheel. I ordered it on-line, from a shop specialized in racing equipment:

And to fit it, I ordered a Momo steering wheel hub. :)

Here are some pictures:

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy...

Uuuuuu! Nice!

I won't use the BMW horn switch - it doesn't fit properly...

69. Freshing up my E36

For the first time in my life - I had experienced a flat tire. And to make things a bit interesting, I had TWO flats at the same time, and I don't drive around with two spares. I called my friend, and he brought me my 16" style 45 rims, with GoodYear Eagle F1 tires.



And this is how my 16" rims look:

Had to put wheel spacers in front, because the tires were 'almost' rubbing against my shocks.


Right then. After that was sorted out, I took my car for a windshield replacement...
My friend (the one that sold me the car), broke the windshield when he was replacing the rear view mirror.
The result was one broken windshield, and no mirror:

This is the windscreen before installation:

I didn't replace it myself... I took it to a specialist. (


And, the probably stupidest investment on a future drift car:

Yes. I bought the covers for the fog light holes. :) I'm not putting fog lights on a regular bumper.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 2, 2010

68. Fixing up my audio system...

Unfortunately, my old head unit died on me... probably because of the heat... Last month was scorching hot here... So, i had to buy a new one. I had great experience with Alpine and Pioneer head units, so this was what I was looking for. And, on top of that, I wanted one with USB input, orange illumination (to match the BMW dashboard), and with iPod compatibility. Lucky me - I found a perfect one, with the addition of Blue Tooth. And the price was minimal. So, here it is:
Alpine CDE-111RM

And, then, I decided to upgrade my speakers. For now, I replaced the ones in the foot well, and in a month, I'll replace my rear ones, and my two pair of medium and high tones on the door. This is what I bought:

Nothing fancy. SXE-1325S two-tones. I was never a big fan of car audio installations... But, as it looks now, I'm going for a all-Alpine installation. :) So, stay tuned. :)


When I removed my old head-unit, I found a bunch of messy wires.

I decided to fix things a bit, since I had all the connectors in my garage.

And, this is how it looks now:

My friend was so impressed with it, that he bought the same unit the next day:

And, for the end, here's a couple of photos of the speaker installation...
Boy, those Nokia speakers were playing from the day the car came out of the factory:

That's it for now... Next post: general updates on my E36. ;)