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Discussion Starter #161
Got the detents done yesterday with the help of a friend who had the tools and was fresh from doing the detents on both of his ZF 5-speeds this past week.





I cleaned up the trans a bit after I took those photos - the shift shaft seal has been leaking collected a fair bit of grime. I'll still need to do the shift shaft seal, but for now, I'm going to focus on the front and rear subframes to get the car ready for scrap.

I was also curious and pulled the clutch off the '97 motor. Yeah, it was done. Never had any slippage problems, but I knew it was getting up there in mileage and thought it was prudent to change it out when I had it apart. What came out was a Clutchmasters Stage 3 pressure plate and an organic disk (unsure of the manufacturer) w/ what looks to be an eBay single mass flywheel (weighs 14 lbs on the bathroom scale). Going to get the flywheel resurfaced and then replace it with the Clutchmasters kit I bought last fall.







Which reminds me...haven't updated my total running project costs in a while. I've sold a bunch of parts off the 1998, about $1,900 worth so far, and I haven't really bought much for the car since.

$4,032 - 12/18/2018 total
($201.58) - FCP return on the brake rotors
($1.31) - spare change found in the '98 interior
($29) - sold the Garagistic clutch line to my buddy
($1,900) - parts sold (actually a little over, but I don't have the exact figure in front of me)
+$96.12 - ZF detent kit
+$64.49 - new Guibo - yeah the old one was original and definitely in need of replacement. Like the clutch, I'm surprised I didn't have any apparent problems with the old one
+$10.20 - CT state sales tax
_____________________

Total (rounded up to the nearest dollar): $2,071
 

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That flywheel surface is pretty gnarly :p
 

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...Total (rounded up to the nearest dollar): $2,071
Daaaaaamn, son! That’s amazing! That’s a good ROI, as long as you don’t figure in your time. (Don’t even think about it!)

Are you sure,you want to use a cheap-o flywheel, though? (I don’t know what’s a good idea/bad idea when it comes to dual mass flywheels or BMWs).
 

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Discussion Starter #164
Revising my total, as I opened my spreadsheet and saw my revised sold-parts total as $2,003 (rounded down) instead of an estimated $1,900.

So I’m now down to $1,968 total.

Daaaaaamn, son! That’s amazing! That’s a good ROI, as long as you don’t figure in your time. (Don’t even think about it!)

Are you sure,you want to use a cheap-o flywheel, though? (I don’t know what’s a good idea/bad idea when it comes to dual mass flywheels or BMWs).
Yeah, I’m trying not to think of that either. Some days I’m doubting myself as to why I’m doing this, when I have a ton of other stuff piling up. But I tell myself that it was either this, or buying a Mk7 GTI SE, which are mid-20s used, so in my mind I’m way ahead haha.

The flywheel is a single mass unit, so it just needs a resurface. I showed the PO the clutch pics and he told me his wife installed it :laugh: IIRC from when I bought it, it was a used clutch to begin with. That clutch definitely owed nobody anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #165
Brought the E36 to the scrapper this morning, they didn't accept it because it wasn't cut in thirds. :banghead:



Didn't have that problem with the Mk2 last year...and it was on a sketchy trailer arrangement to boot


 

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Discussion Starter #166
Called another yard...an hour later, $40 in my pocket.



Sold the remains of the interior from the other car for $100, so the updated total is now $1,858
 

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Discussion Starter #168
Amazingly, I'm still at it with this car. 2019 was a whirlwind of a year, with lots of work travel and a newborn. Plus, I was determined to hit the track in 2020 with my VR6-swapped Mk2, so I focused what little time I had - you know, aside from the rehab projects I picked up (the Subaru and Silverado) - on getting that mechanically together enough to survive some shakedown autocross sessions.

Then, 2020 happened. Instead of providing us with an opportunity to adjust to our new life as parents, it threw us a curveball (first of many). Among which was our son being home from daycare from March-July. Now, I'm not complaining that we got to witness such milestones as crawling, first unassisted steps, and ultimately to walking - but that kind of duty on top of trying to work 40+ hours a week just doesn't allow for much free time, even despite gaining back a few hours a week due to the lack of commute.

Anyway...the car. As I said, the Mk2 VR6 was consuming my time. I started Winter 2019 with the caged shell minus the engine, basically the same state it had sat in since mid-2018. By June 2020, I had the VR6 in there and wired up, and minus some minor issues (did not want to start hot, which I traced down to some junk injectors) I was able to get a few autocross shakedown events in by the end of the season.


Anyway...the BMW! That's what this thread is about, stupid! OK.....

Last I left this thread, I had just junked the 1997 shell. The 1998 pretty much sat in the same state (bay on the left) while the Mk2 VR6 occupied the right bay while it was getting worked on.

When we left off:


Fast forward somewhat:


One thing I did do to the E36 while the Mk2 was under the knife is pull out the OG engine and automatic transmission from the '98 and set them aside. Recall from earlier in the thread, I'm using the 1997 engine and transmission, even with more mileage, because I'd previously gone through and done a bunch of re-gasketing and oil system mods. The 1998 engine runs well, but is otherwise untested. It'll end up either as a spare for this car (and will give me time to go through it) or in another car; I've put the bug into my brother's and a friend's ears (with an E30 and E21, respectively) that I could make it available to them if they so wished. I'd rather see it go into another cool car in my personal orbit than sell it for the insane money that these are going for.





I also performed a front subframe swap - control arms, tie rods, engine mounts, PS lines were all newer items vs. the worn junk on the 1998 - and replaced the bushings in the rear subframe from the 1997 and mounted that as well. For the first time in a long time (2 years) it was finally a roller again:







With the car rolling again with fantastic levels of wheel gap, I switched garage bays. The reason was two-fold: the Mk2 was nearing completion (it was driving at that point) and I was getting ready to do the heavy swap work on the BMW and wanted the bigger bay for that task; I was also getting a concrete floor put in the storage room behind where the BMW had been sitting, and wanted to make the job easier for the guys doing it.

Finally getting to present times. The BMW once again sat for a while in the right bay while I tidied up some items on the Mk2 to make the last few autocross events of a shortened season due to COVID. I knocked out a couple easy items in the meantime, like assembling the new clutch components I'd had for the last 2 years. I used the bread method to get the pilot bearing out, science is neat:



Not sure if you want an organic or puck clutch? Clutchmasters has you covered with their hybrid FX250 kit.






I also assembled the ZF with new detents (2 years ago :laugh:) and new delrin shifter bushings, shift shaft seal, and rag joint. I have a Garagistic DSSR that's going in once I get the engine and trans in the car. I'm keeping the stock E36 M3 shifter arm in the car because I didn't necessarily care about the throw length, I just wanted to tighten up the feel with the new bushings and selector rod.

When I parted out the 1997, I couldn't remember if I pulled the hard line for the master cylinder. A friend of mine was parting a 1998 328i for parts for his E36 race car, and offered the line from that car, since he didn't need it. Well, that turned into a bit of a rabbit hole. There was a change in the clutch master cylinder design sometime in 1997 for the E36, and of course my 1997 was the old design, and the pedal bracket is not compatible. So I had to get the pedal bracket, master, hard line, and supply line from him.



Shortly after opening the box of clutch stuff, I found the hard line from my 1997 in another box. I think I pitched the 1997's master cylinder and was probably just going to replace with new. So now I have both setups that I can use, I might just use the 1998 setup, since I have the master on-hand now and it's a more durable design.

And now it brings us to yesterday. I decided to roll out the E36 to power wash the engine bay in anticipation of installing the engine and trans.




I wasn't going for Larry Kosilla-levels of clean, but it'll be more than sufficient for a 200k-mile driver. While I was in there, my buddy texted me to remind me that I need to pull the steering rack out to put the engine in. Now, I've pulled S52's twice so you would think I would have remembered that detail. I decided to humor him since he knows way more about BMWs that I do, and told him he's gonna be the one to help me put the steering rack in when the engine's in the car. In taking out the rack, I remembered how horrible of a job it was, and then remembered that I did indeed have to pull the rack midway through the job of pulling the engine....BOTH TIMES. So yeah, this time I'm being smart about it.



And that's caught up on almost 2 more years with this car. My plan is to have this driving by my 34th birthday in March, and have it be my 3-season daily driver. I'll only need to have my son in rear-facing for 3 months before he turns 2 and can be front facing and much more manageable for front passengers. I can't wait to do burnouts with him in the car and have him experience a fun car at "don't tell Mom speed" at a young age.
 

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Discussion Starter #169
Some nights you make fantastic progress. Other ones you make it as far as taking some door trim off.

In the interest of getting some parts out of the way, I re-installed the door cards on every door except the driver's door, which still needs a little bit of work on the window tracks and exterior door handle. I broke a few clips on the front passenger door as expected, so I'll likely order some, lose them for a few years, and then find them when I go to install the updated window tints (whenever I get around to it).



I mentioned the drivers door needed some help. It's the only side window that's not tinted, because I think at one point the window broke and was replaced by a shop with a 6/10 rating. Not the best or cleanest work, and also part of the rubber track was missing. Additionally, unlike my 1997, the exterior door handle was hanging up on the rest of the assembly, in that it wasn't returning fully when opened.

Fixing the window tracks involved digging through boxes to get the window switches out and connecting the battery for the first time since 2018. Nothing. Then I realized I needed to get the main engine bay harness out so I could connect the fuse box (which is on the driver side of the engine bay) to the distribution block (which is fed by the battery in the trunk) on passenger side of the engine bay.

With that sorted, I got the first part of the track in, and then wound up the window to get the track pulled down the rest of the way. Then I went digging again for other part of the track - the part that wraps up the upper part of the door frame and around the front part of the door where it meets the A-pillar - and came up empty handed. I thought I had pulled them from the 1997 before I junked it.

I then moved on to the door handle. I thought that by winding up the window, I'd have to remove the handle and be able to clearance the part of the assembly that it was hanging up on. But as it turns out, I could just file the bottom part of the handle from the outside while still on the car, so that's I did.

In preparing to remove the handle, I pulled the crumbling gasket trim off. Fearing I had to sink some money into this car at some point, I did a quick search of my order history and found that I'd bought new gaskets for the 1997...3+ years ago. Amazingly, I found them and will install them on ALL of the door handles, now that I know how simple it is to remove the trim. I vaguely remember attempting to remove the trim when I did the door swap on the 1997 and getting completely flummoxed.



Oh, and the window track? I finally did find it...I'd mislabeled it being the Front Right window track (which doesnt' need to be replaced on the 1998) despite the fact that it doesn't fit the Front Right (it's side-specific). I must have been drunk the night I pulled it off. Anyway, that took up my half hour for the night, so it'll get installed at a later time. Same with the deteriorating trunk seal, which is being replaced by the 1997's trunk seal.

 

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Discussion Starter #170
After being convinced that I'd labeled the window seal wrong, I was indeed right the first time that the window seal was for the passenger side front and was not the driver side front that I'd been looking for. So, I must have junked the car with it still installed, which makes no sense because I have the others :confused: Oh well, the junkiness of the 1998's window seal is on the inside, duct tape residue from the aforementioned shoddy window repair; there's also residue on the outside of the door frame that'll need to be buffed out.

Then I fell down the rabbit hole and spent way longer in the shop than I intended, and didn't get much done.

When I pulled the motor from the 1998, I left the A/C compressor attached to the lines and the car because the A/C worked and I didn't want to rebuild the A/C system after leaving it open for a couple years. When I pulled the motor from the 1997, I left the compressor attached to the motor because well, I was junking the rest of the car. So, I needed to pull the compressor in preparation of putting the 1997 engine in the 1998. I got 3 out of 4 bolts out, and then snapped #4. I figured, I would just remove the bracket from the 1998 engine and install it while I had both motors out. Well, turns out there are two bolts that are covered by the crank pulley/harmonic balancer, in addition to the 4 (!!) bolts that are easily accessible from the side of the motor. In addition, on the engine cradle I built, the front of the motor is resting on the tensioner, so I needed to get the weight off that in order to take the bracket off.

That turned into, let's lift the motor up with the hoist -> which turned into "I should really remove the transmission from 1998 motor" -> which turned into a sh*theap of lifting the motor high enough to get clearance on the E-torx bellhousing bolts on the bottom of the motor, then spilling ATF on the ground (I hate oil spills/leaks on my unfinished concrete floor) and finally after some balancing/cursing, got the motor and transmission separated. At the end, I forgot why I was pulling the motor, and for some reason now I can't get the motor balanced on the cradle anymore. I called it in frustration and will probably get it right in 10 minutes next time I'm down there.

Oh, and about getting the harmonic balancer off. I thought it was just 6 bolts, but when I saw what looked like a collar on the Jesus bolt, I thought I had to zing that off in order to get the balancer off. Apparently I was just missing the hammer of persuasion step in order to get the balancer off, so I will soon be doing the same to the 1997 motor in order to do the A/C compressor bracket swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #173
Some progress today, keeping it short with the text since it's pretty self-explanatory:







 

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Discussion Starter #174
With the engine and trans installed, I focused on installing the shifter.

A while ago, I picked up a set of delrin bushings (along with a new shifter cup) and a dual-shear selector rod (commonly shortened to DSSR) from Garagistic. I opted not to replace the shifter arm (common OEM+ upgrade is a Z3 unit) or install a short shift kit because I felt that between the new bushings, DSSR, and new detents in the trans, the shift quality would be much improved and I don't particularly care for shorter throws in this application.

I installed the carrier bushings, shifter cup earlier this year (I think) and had initially installed the carrier with the "b*tch clip" that holds it onto the trans, because as the name suggests it's a PITA to do when installed in the car. Well, when I was installing the engine and trans, I realized I wouldn't have as much room to maneuver as I thought, so I took it out and installed the carrier when the trans was in the car.

Next, I mounted the big, round delrin bushing into the sleeve where the OE bushing was on the '97 car (it was horribly worn). I greased the ID and slid it onto the back of the carrier, then used a floor jack to clip it into the receiver on the chassis. Good thing about the E36 chassis is that it has the receiver whether it's an automatic or manual (remember, the '98 was an automatic chassis)...this is unlike when I did the manual conversion on my old E28, where one has to weld or bolt the rear bushing carrier to the chassis.

After that, I installed the DSSR with new pins and clips (came with the Garagistic kit, miraculously I found them after 2+ years) I stood back and looked at how the car, which came to me as an automatic, is now a 5-speed. It clicks into all the gears with authority and feels rejuvinated compared to the worn out stuff that had definitely earned its keep.





Having installed the shifter, I can now move to getting some other big bones hardware - namely the driveshaft and exhaust - off my floor and into the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #175
The interior center console was fighting me tooth and nail to go in, thanks to some broken clips and some odd inaccessibility. A span of 2 years between taking apart two E36 interiors and trying to assemble one interior is apparently too big of a gap to be able to remember the little tips and tricks. Oh well, keep calm and carry on...

 

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Discussion Starter #177
We have manual pedal:



I finished the manual pedal conversion with a few stragglers that my buddy forgot to pull from his '98 parts car. I swapped over to the later clutch master design, which required swapping out the hard line because I thought I lost the hard line from my '97 (I found it later). Swapping to the '98 design is better from a serviceability standpoint, anyway.

I also filled the trans with ATF:



Minus the check control panel and center stack fascia (need to tidy some wiring) the interior swap is complete, and the electrics are all working:







With the interior now sorted, I'm working on putting the mechanicals together. I'm re-assembling the brakes using the '98 calipers, the pads from the '97, warrantied rotors (since the '97's rotors rusted from sitting), and new stainless lines from Bimmerworld. I got the first corner done, still have to do the other 3. I put the old rattle clips in there for the photo op, but I'm going to be replacing those and the slide pins with new parts, since I'm not happy with the condition of the old ones.

 

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Discussion Starter #178
I started to get pretty cocky after the front left brake line install went smoothly. I moved onto the right front, which also went smoothly. Then I moved to the right rear...

On the E36, there are a total of 4 flex lines, 2 on each side. The chassis hard line connects to the first flex line at the leading edge of the wheel well, which then connects to a short run of hard line mounted on the trailing arm, then transitions to another flex line that runs to the caliper.

I cracked the first fitting - the chassis-side one, removed the line, and then proceeded to install my new Bimmerworld stainless line. It threaded on fine for the first couple of thread, then I met some resistance. Shoulda stopped there, but I did a couple more turns and said 'that doesn't feel right.' Sure enough, when I cracked the lines, a couple of threads on the fitting had damaged (which I confirmed by looking at the old line) and I subsequently damaged the threads of my new Bimmerworld line.

I'm pretty bummed that I didn't think to check the condition of the fitting before installing the new line, I've ordered a tap and die (since brake fittings are M10x1.0, not a common size) to see if I can salvage the pair. If the fitting can't be salvaged, I have a spare and I can cut the factory line and re-flare it - there looks to be enough meat. Hopefully the line can be salvaged, otherwise I'll have to plead with Bimmerworld to send me just the one instead of ordering a new set.

I removed and inspected the other RR fittings (all good) and installed the other flex line without much drama. I started on the LR fittings (got the lines cracked) before I had to stop for the day.

Another issue I ran into are that both the rear caliper brackets have some level of damage. On the right rear, the bottom guide pin bolt is stripped. On the left rear, both guide pin lead-ins are either damaged or just need chasing. Lucky for me, they're also an uncommon size - M9x1.25. Off to order another tap to see if I can salvage the threads - new caliper brackets from BMW are $250/ea. Otherwise I might just have to helicoil them.

Can't really blame the PO of the car for the caliper brackets - they're from my old '97, and yes I did brakes at some point but I don't really remember having issues with the caliper guide pins, which are from the '98.
 

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Discussion Starter #179
With the brake lines pulled, I decided what the hay...why not pull the subframe and see what's going on with the left rear mount bolt and why won't it thread in the body mount.

See the problem?



Neither do I - body mount is solid, it's there, and not cross threaded. So why wouldn't the bolt reach? Take a look at the subframe...see the problem now?







So, I goofed when assembling the bushings and didn't seat the inserts up against the top of the bushing. Thus, the bolt wouldn't reach the threads. So relieved that I won't have to address anything on the chassis, but annoyed that I had to pull the subframe all over again, which is unpleasant to pull whole.

However, there is a silver lining. When I put the subframe in the car, it didn't sit right with me that I put the rusty, crusty subframe from the 220k-mile 1997 M3 - although looking back at the video of my friend pulling apart the subframe I pulled from the 1998, I'm not sure it was in much better condition - so I'm going to take the time to knock back the rust and throw on a couple coats of POR-15.
 

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Discussion Starter #180
The issue with the subframe bushing wasn't the insert being pushed in all the way, it was that the bushing wasn't completely compressed in the subframe. Some work with a C-clamp got it most of the way there - it's within .010" of where the right one is, so I should be OK in terms of bolt thread engagement. In talking with my buddy who's also got Revshift bushings in his E36 subframe, these tend to be on the thick side, so I think this should be workable for now.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to knock back some of the major rust and put a coat of POR-15 on. I didn't get to all the areas, but I addressed some of the major bits. I will likely source another E36 subframe and re-finish it if I end up going the route of restoring this car.

Before painting, after wire wheeling the rust back:



Finished:

 
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