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The slightly wannabe E36 Touring


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#1 pbmwBen

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 02:18 PM

Guess I'd better kick off by explaining my thread title - my Touring isn't really a track car. Far from it really, in the past it's been seen wearing frankly daft wheels, and I do like to run it stupidly low. It's never seen the track, but does enjoy a great deal of fast road use - that said I do hope to get it along to Brands later this year. It's my daily driver and as I've covered 40k miles in it so far, I need to keep it comfy unfortunately. Still, it's great fun and there's plenty more planned for it.

I've owned it for nearly 2 years now, and as I write for Performance BMW, it's had it's build so far pretty extensively documented. It's a '99 323i Sport Touring, so had all the M bits on it when I got it, but was completely standard other than a set of lowering springs. Since then I guess you could say I've tweaked it a bit :)

Spec - (updated 1/4/12)

Engine/tranny:
2.5-litre M52, 170bhp as standard
aFe Stage 1 induction kit, modified
M50 manifold fitted using M50manifold.com conversion kit
Evosport power pulleys
Traction control removed
328i exhaust
Air con belt removed (for the winter at least)
UUC engine mounts
Metal impeller water pump
Lower temperature thermostat with ally cover
Lower temperature fan switch

Standard gearbox, standard clutch and flywheel complete with noisy release bearing
UUC 'Big Boy' adjustable clutch stop
UUC transmission mounts
M3 3.0 prop
Full M3 3.2 rear end

Chassis:
8 & 9 x17 Rota Grids, ET35 with 15mm front spacers, 4mm rear
215/45(front) and 235/45(rear) Dunlop SportMaxx RTs
Spax RSX coilovers
Reversed M3 Evo front topmounts
Rogue Engineering rear topmounts
Eibach anti-roll bars
Meyle HD front droplinks
Meyle HD front wishbones and ball-joints
Meyle HD track-rod ends
Powerflex front wishbone bushes
Powerflex droplink bushes
WP Pro 360mm EX6 big brake kit

Full M3 Evo rear axle
SPC camber arms
Powerflex RTABs
SuperPro upper inner control arm bushes
Meyle upper and lower outer control arm joints
Tarox G88 discs
ATE pads
UUC braided hoses (full 4-hose set)
Royal Purple diff fluid

Exterior:
Complete exterior respray by RT Performance in Brentford
Smoothed rear badge recess
Roof bars removed and holes smoothed
Black kidney grilles
Amber indicators
HIDs and projector shrouds
Angel eyes (LED)

Interior:
Momo steering wheel
Carbon steering column covers
E46 Clubsport gearknob
Carbon handbrake handle
Alcantara gaiters
Porsche GT3-rep carbon driver's bucket seat with VAC Motorsport mounting kit

...and I think that's pretty much the lot.

I've got a Porsche GT3-style bucket and a WP Pro big brake kit to fit at some point, as well as UUC braided hoses for the rears plus all new inner and outer bushes for the arms and the subframe mounts themselves, which are poly where possible. I've also got a UUC braided clutch hose to go on so that I can get rid of the bastard CDV.

I'm also waiting for pay day to order a UUC flywheel/E34 M5 clutch combo, Evo3 SSK and a DSSR. Should be feeling sweet with that lot fitted, and I'll be changing the gearbox oil at the same time.

Onto pics - hope you like it.


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Those pics are now actually a couple of weeks old, and it now looks more like this - new indicators and a bit more smashed up from hard-charging down my favourite B-roads :)

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#2 Al Clark

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:55 PM

Looks wicked!
Nice wheels too. ;)

#3 Blair

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:14 PM

Wheels look better on this than yours Al ;)
Hi Ben :)
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#4 pbmwBen

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:06 AM

Looks wicked!
Nice wheels too. ;)


Thanks Al! Hoping the wheels will look better with some massive brakes behind them ;)

Wheels look better on this than yours Al ;)
Hi Ben :)


Hi Blair!

#5 pbmwBen

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:51 AM

Just realised I forgot to mention in the spec that I've also fitted a metal impeller water pump, ally thermostat cover and a couple of other cooling bits. Now updated.


Also, I was down at RAW Motorsport in Southampton yesterday getting my M50 manifold fitted :)

After a bit of research, I thought I'd try something other than the tried and tested Alpina527 route, and went to the fair expense of importing an M50manifold.com kit, which includes everything you need, including instructions, to fit an M50 manifold. It includes a special one-piece silicon breather hose, all the little other vacuum/breather hoses, a few special little brackets for various bits, new seals for between the head and manifold and a special throttle body seal.

This is the kit, which I got through http://m50manifold.com/

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The guy there, Eric, also offers M50 manifolds and adapted M50 fuel rail covers - as I picked up a manifold for £50 beforehand I had no need though. I'll be on the lookout for a fuel rail cover soon, mind you.

I arrived at RAW to find that Robin and his team were very busy prepping PBMWC E30s for the season opener at Brands this weekend, as well as building quite a few interesting projects ;)

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Anyway, with the Touring rolled inside, things could begin.

Of course, quite a few bits first need disassembling:

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Then the old manifold could come off!

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Looks complicated under there...

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Anyway, Rob set to work making sure everything fitted alright and also modifying the original under-manifold bracket.

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Ta-dah, all done - now to take the stuff off the manifold and fit it to the engine.

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As mentioned, the kit comes with new seals for the manifold, so Rob swapped the new ones in.

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A slight bit of modification to the manifold once it was on...

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...and the fuel rail could be bolted down with the supplied adapters

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With all the hoses and everything re-attached, everything could be finished off - on an M50 the throttle body seal is in the manifold, where as on an M52 it's in the throttle body, so the seal that comes with the kit bridges the gap and replaces both seals. If that makes sense.

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Hey presto!

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Rob then just put the last few bits back together and we were ready to go!

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Rob's done a fantastic job, keeping everything neat and making sure everything was really clean before putting it all back together. He refused to let me take any snaps of him cleaning stuff though, because he wouldn't look very manly!

He's a properly decent guy, I've obviously been lucky enough to meet him a few times thanks to the number of feature cars he's built. If you're down that way I'd highly recommend paying RAW a visit, all the guys there are really friendly, have a great sense of humour and most importantly, know their sh*t! Their contact details can be found at www.rawmotorsport.co.uk

The Touring is now a real hoot to drive, it really pulls well and though it actually feels kinda like before, the speedo needle really comes round very nicely indeed. Admittedly low-end driving seems a little less keen but for pootling around that doesn't matter. It's after 3k rpm that it really takes off, and does so right to the redline.

Rob also had the time to give my noise a bit of investigation, looks like it's probably my diff. I know of someone who breaks M3 Evos and can do me a complete rear axle for £250, all I'd then need is an M3 prop I believe. Could be a go-er...

#6 Marcar

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:45 PM

Yeaa tourings ROCK! absolutely loved mine!

Welcome Ben, you're in BMW heaven on this forum! B)
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John Marcar - E36 Geek, Trackday Organiser, Writer & the TC blogger bloke

TWITTER: @JohnMarcar

#7 pbmwBen

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:17 AM

Yeaa tourings ROCK! absolutely loved mine!

Welcome Ben, you're in BMW heaven on this forum! B)


Thank you! I love mine too, just not the amount of fuel it uses... lol

Switching back to my standard front topmounts at the weekend, the bearings in the adjustable ones have properly had it, there's a touch of play and they don't turn very smoothly at all. Going to be on the lookout for some M3 Evo ones and I've also got a box of lovely Powerflex offset bushes that I can chuck on when I'm next feeling richer. Then I can get it fully aligned, last time I had it done it wasn't wound down nearly as much!

Want to try and get my clutch/flywheel and rear axle sorted for our mag track evening on June 26th. Time to save hard!

#8 pbmwBen

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:14 AM

Gave myself a bit of a task for today - to get my aFe induction kit sorted. It was a good quality kit, just had a couple of bits that in IMO could have been better.

What needed reworking was the heatshield. It didn't give any clearance for the alternator - whether that was due to some sort of difference between US and UK cars or what I don't know, but I wanted to rework it.

This is how it sat before - I'd actually done a bit to it in this pic but you get the idea.

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The other problem was that the heatshield actually blocked off the cold air feed. So that needed changing! This is before:

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So, to the alternator problem. There was nothing for it but to attack it with a hammer!

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After checking it for clearance and doing a few trials got it pretty good.

Then it was time to sort out that cold air issue. First up I sawed off the bracket that you can see sticking forwards in the first pic. Then I started sawing another line to allow a bend for drawing in cold air.

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It then looked like this!

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Then it was time to paint, which I'm still doing now - it's in etch primer here :)

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#9 pbmwBen

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:59 AM

Random mini-update, just fitted my UUC clutch stop. Haven't been out on a test drive yet but it feels great! Much better than the pedal just sinking into mushy carpet.

New vs old - the nut and washer are for adjustment of the height of the stop

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And in!

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An awesome 2-minute modification that should really improve the feel of things!

#10 pbmwBen

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:47 PM

My drivetrain has been gradually getting noisier over the last few months, and a quick diagnosis by Mr Morley yesterday lunchtime didn't result in good news.

He reckons that not only is my diff not sounding good, but my gearbox isn't either. Not good :(

However, I've bought a complete M3 Evo rear axle, which I'll be picking up from RAW Motorsport next week sometime - it's from a car being broken, so I've bought the front topmounts from it too. The M3 rear axle is stronger, with a large-case diff, and also has 312mm discs (my current ones are 276mm).

I'm also hoping to buy another gearbox off a guy on the pbmw forum, and then I just need to get an M3 3-litre prop. I'll also be ordering a UUC stage 2 clutch/flywheel combo, new rear discs/pads/shoes if needed, fitting my UUC braided hoses, refreshing fluids, fitting new or poly bushes throughout and maybe painting it up, before fitting the lot.

Happy days!

#11 pbmwBen

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:14 AM

I made a start on my Evo axle this weekend! Everything was a bit crusted up but it seems to all be in good nick. The brakes don't look to old on it, though I might change them anyway for something a little prettier - the pads have the BMW badge stamped on the back, so I'm presuming they were done at a dealership with genuine parts. I think one of the wheel bearings may have been done recently too by the looks of things.

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Plenty of penetrating fluid was called for! Everything so far has come apart pretty easily, the RTAB carriers were a bit of a pain but nothing a bit of swearing and shouting couldn't sort out.

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So far I've basically removed the ARB (which was fun when a drop link sheared and stabbed my hand), fitted my UUC braided hoses, unbolted and removed a few random bits and also removed the subframe mounting bushes.

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I had borrowed these to help remove the bushes, but I didn't really have the right size sockets, and also with the way most bits are positioned there wasn't anywhere to hook the arms on to.

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So there was only one thing for it!

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So that's where I'm at now, I've got Powerflex subframe bushes to go in tonight if I get the time, then I'll be getting the control arms off to replace the inner bushes with Superflex items. I've also got new Meyle balljoints to replace the outer control arm joints, though I haven't quite worked out how I'll get the old ones out yet - I'll probably use a threaded bar, some sockets and nuts and see what I can do.

The diff seems a bit leaky too so I wouldn't mind getting some new oil seals for that while I've got it on the ground.

#12 pbmwBen

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:15 AM

Also, this just turned up thanks to CA, so I should be able to have my induction kit ready to this weekend :)

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#13 Jonty

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:21 AM

Good effort Ben, keep on with the updates, it's good to see other people getting on with their plans as well- progress for me is so slow it's good to stay motivated by seeing other people enthusiastic!

Jonty

#14 Simonlpearce

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:48 AM

Nice work, would love to get an Evo rear end in mine at some point. Missed out on one on ebay a few weeks back which went for £320 and was already poly'd up with yellowstuff pads!Posted Image

#15 pbmwBen

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:52 AM

Good effort Ben, keep on with the updates, it's good to see other people getting on with their plans as well- progress for me is so slow it's good to stay motivated by seeing other people enthusiastic!

Jonty


Thanks - hoping to get more done with the axle as the week goes on (weather dependant though, and it's not looking good!)

Nice work, would love to get an Evo rear end in mine at some point. Missed out on one on ebay a few weeks back which went for £320 and was already poly'd up with yellowstuff pads!Posted Image


Nice one - I got this one for £250, and got some Evo front topmounts for £40 at the same time. The guy even threw in the Evo front struts! Bargain!




#16 pbmwBen

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:48 PM

Got quite a bit done this weekend - fitted Powerflex subframe bushes to my axle, serviced the missus' Pug, and this - spot the difference ;)

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Unfortunately they don't actually give me any info yet, they light up but that's about it :(

#17 Blair

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:28 PM

Nice mention for TrackCulture in this months mag :)
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#18 pbmwBen

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:36 AM

Had a busy day yesterday, too.

Finished off my induction kit - only got this pic of it before I fitted it. Filter oil smeared across the lens, great! It's all been painted crackle black, the filter has been serviced and I attached some rubber bits to the bottom to stop it scraping the chassis leg, as well as the mods I mentioned a couple of pages back.

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Then before:
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After:
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You'll also notice in those pics that I've now fitted my M3 Evo topmounts ;)

#19 pbmwBen

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:25 AM

Another busy weekend :)

On Saturday I decided not to go to the Ace and instead serviced the Touring - it was due one and as the weather was rather lovely, I figured why not - it's also nice to do things at the same time, so that along with my newly cleaned air filter it now has fresh oil and a new oil filter, along with the usual little bits like a new sump plug washer and oil filter housing o-ring. I also reset my service light.

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I also had a nice big box of bits arrive from BMW, which included new arch liners, bumper corner supports, foglight blanks, topmount covers and various clips and screws - I didn't have time to do everything.

Before:
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After:
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Also, my neighbour was kind enough to give me a pair of 15mm spacers he had left over, as he changed his wheels recently. So I chucked these on the front along with the longer wheel bolts he also gave me. I wasn't sure they'd be wide enough, but it's come out perfect IMO :)

You can see too that I've removed the splitter (the paint is going to have to have a tidy up!) and fitted the foglight blanks.

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#20 pbmwBen

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:47 AM

This weekend was interesting.

Saturday I went to collect my brother from Oxford (a two hundred and something mile round trip). Before I left I thought I'd take a photo of the mileage :lol:

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My car had 84k on it when I got it nearly 2 years ago. Scary! I also managed to get well and truly stuck on my nan's drive. :roll:

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Managed to get it off in the end by jacking it up, piling stones under the tyres and laying carpet under too.

Sunday was better, I managed to get the use of a press for a while and so got a couple of troublesome bushes out from my M3 axle and also fitted my Powerflex ARB droplink bushes - the old ones were knackered and causing my handling to feel a little wayward.

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All done!

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And fitted:

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Handling feels so much better now, I'd highly recommend the Poweflex bushes. They were very easy to fit too, once the old ones were out!




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