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my 1999 E36 M3 Coupe

QUICK LINKS
SPECIFICATIONS
HISTORY
PROS & CONS

SPECIFICATIONS (Numbers in yellow are after my modifications)
TYPE:Front engine, rear wheel drive CHASSIS:Unibody, fully independant suspension
ENGINE:24 valve DOHC Inline 6
Dinan S1 Package
Weight Dist (f/r)50.1/49.9 50.0/50.0
Displacement192 ci, 3152cc Curb Weight3168 lbs
Bore/Stroke3.40/3.53 in Wheelbase106.3 in
Power240 hp @ 6000rpm
260 hp @ 6000rpm
Length174.5 in
Torque236 lb-ft @ 3800rpm
257 lb-ft @ 4500rpm
Width67.3 in
Compression10.5:1 Height52.6 in 51.2 in
 
TRANSMISSION:5-Speed Manual PERFORMANCE:(rated)
1st Gear4.21 0-60 mph5.7 sec 5.6 sec
2nd Gear2.49 Drag.32 Cd
3rd Gear1.66 Top Speed128 mph Limit raised - Untested
4th Gear1.24
5th Gear1.00
Reverse3.89
Final Drive3.23 LSD

HISTORY
First off, I did NOT trade in the ZHP for this, I still have it in the garage. This M3 is my 2nd car.

I took delivery of this 1999 E36 M3 Coupe on May 16th, 2007. One of the dealers I work with took it on trade for a great deal I could not pass up. The badge under the hood reads Hellrot color, but there are indications the car has been completely repainted. I believe the respray was done in Imola and done very well. It came outfitted with the Dinan S1 package which includes lowering springs and shocks, front and rear strut bars, adjustable anti-roll bars, intake, throttle body, exhaust, and Stage 2 software. I had a friend who has a 98 M3 drive it and he says the engine is strong and pulls as hard or harder than his. It has 71k on the clock. This is now my daily driver and play car.

First thing I did was order the mandatory parts to add such as Euro clears, keyless entry, a new fog lamp lens, and the trim to remove the front plate. When I got it home, I installed those goodies and got under the car to check everything. The front sway was loose and making a clunk and easily fixed. A few screws were missing from the passenger front fender liner so those went in. A few bulbs in the dash and rear wing lamp were out, so I popped in new ones. Once I got under the rear end, I noticed a huge bubble in the driver's side tire. It needed immediate replacement, so I put two new tires on the M Contours. It turns out the wheel was actually bent at the bubble likely from a huge pothole hit, so I will look into getting new wheels soon... maybe some Style 23 Lightweights or the BBS RX/RXII I have been eyeballing.

When I put the spare on the car to go get new tires, it was wrapped in a Kumho track tire and heavily used. This rim also had a decent dent in it as well. I believe the previous owner tracked the car, which I am proud of. Hell, the adjustable camber plates were set to -3.0° camber! I replaced this tire as well with a Kumho Ecsta just as a backup. Even if this car was wrecked, it was repaired in such a condition that I have no issues with it. It drives perfect, hauls ass, shifts smooth (if a little sloppy before I put in the SSK), tracks straight, and no wobbles or loose suspension. It is a good beginning to tinker with and put some toys into.

My plans for this M3 are pretty simple. XM radio, wheels, SSK, new bushings, clutch, and some little appearance bits. Since there are so many DIYs for E36s on the Internet already, I will only list what I have done and where I got the products here. This will be the intermediate car until Project Car #3.

PROS & CONS
PROS: Since this M was already modded with the Dinan package before I got it, I don't have a stock baseline to compare it to. But I will give Dinan some credit in the fact that it handles and drives very well. I wish I knew the previous owner to find out how well it did on the track and what he has had done to it. Other than that, it is fast! You can *really* feel how much lower and lighter this car is than the E46s I've owned. Being an M, it just has a special feeling to it that the non-Ms don't have. It is a free revving NA car with plenty of punch for only 240hp stock (the S1 package brings it to 260). I know someone will ask, and no, it will not beat the Twin Screw on the ZHP. However, maybe I will just have to Twin Screw this S52 and try again!

CONS: It's 8 years old. This means things will wear out such as the common thermostat and housing, bushings, coolant tank, diff bolt, and typical E36 problems. I will keep on top of it. The only other thing I have noticed is that I am missing some of the creature comforts of the ZHP such as steering wheels controls, quieter interior, easier ingress/exit, etc. Also, if you are a big guy like me, the M seats are a bit narrow.

  © 2001-2008 MarvelPhx