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The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Printable Version

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The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-11-2018

Hello all. I should be working right now, but I can't stop day dreaming about the future of this car, so I'll put the cart before the horse and start my build thread. 

I've been talking to Simon Kim about Jake's old E36 (95 325i Sedan Sport Package) for almost a year now. Some time at March VIR Jake mentioned his old E36 325i Sedan he had like 30 years ago and mentioned someone in Nasa currently owned it. The way everyone spoke about the car made it seem like a great base for track car and Spec3 has really piqued my interest. As much as I'd like an M3, I don't have the money, nor do I have the desire to constantly tweak my car with aero and other parts, so any class an M3 would end up in would not interest me. I love E30s, but they don't love me and the amount of money it would take to make an E30 just survive the trip to VIR and back doesn't make sense. Spec 3 makes the most sense, no?

So, after bugging Simon on Facebook messenger once a month every month since March, he agreed to let me drive out to his house and look at the car. For some reason, I don't have any pictures, but the car looks pretty good for sitting in his garage for 2 years. We've agreed on a roundabout price, and he's doing a cooling system refresh and replacing some gaskets before we finalize the deal in a week or two. The car has been owned my 3 NASA MA members over the last decade and was maintained by RRT, so I feel good about it. The car will be coming with an old Spec 3 suspension, new cooling system, vanos lines, new gaskets, and some other goodies.

What's a better decision than buying a 20 year old BMW? Buying parts for it before you buy it! You may have seen my safety equipment thread. Thanks to the generosity of some good friends (Kaan, Jim, DJ, Tian, etc), I've been able to scrape together 2 seats, harnesses, and seat mounting hardware.

DJ also tipped me off to a roll bar for sale, which was scooped up immediately, but I found the manufacturer of the bar on BimmerForums and contacted him. https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1795962-FS-Brand-New-Custom-E36-M3-Roll-Bar. He completed a new bar from scratch for me in 4 days and is shipping it off tomorrow afternoon. 

So what's the plan?

Around Christmas, if the car isn't ready, I'm going to spend a weekend over at Simon's and help get the car ready for me to buy. I'll spend some time around the new year throwing all of the safety equipment in and checking the car over.

Hopefully get the car sorted with brakes and the other necessary things. Sign up for a refrigerator bowl some time in January or February. Then start the car in DE 2 at VIR in March. 

I plant to take my time and stick in DE for a few seasons with the car with the plans of hopefully caging it, and really going racing in the future once my career is a little more stable. 

I'm still on the lookout for harness mounting hardware, and any other hand-me-down E36 go-fast parts. I really appreciate the generosity of my older race track friends so far. This certainly wouldn't be possible without all of you! 

... and yes. I know this is like the third or fourth time I've said "It's really going to happen this time!" I really hope it does work out this go round.

To begin. What things do I NEED to do before doing DE in this for a full season?

I figure probably get shock tower reinforcement plates, and do the oil pump nut safety wire mod?

-- Edit:

Spec 3 rules: https://nasa-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/document/document/4275/2019_Spec3_Rules_Final.pdf


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Jake - 12-11-2018

It's actually been owned by four NASA-MA guys at this point: me, Paul. Rob, Simon. I was able to find the original owner of the car back when I bought it and he actually replied to my totally-not-creepy message on LinkedIn:

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He replied to that email with more fun details:

Quote:Jake - Looks as sweet as the day I bought it. I replaced it with a new 1998 328ic - I loved that car. Then I took my company public and bought a Porsche Boxster. Then I sold it and bought a z4. Sold it and bought a new Porsche Cayman. The engine on that blew so I now drive a 911 Cabriolet. Have fun with that car. @150k miles the engine is just breaking in!

Shock tower reinforcements would definitely be a good idea. The BMW plates are like $25 for the front to help prevent mushrooming. Rear doesn't really need anything as long as it's not swiss cheese back there. I have a front strut brace if you want it for like $50. Doesn't fit with my adjustable knobbed front struts.

Oil pump nut is a lot of work if the pan isn't leaking, I waited until my car was dumping oil on the garage floor to do it, and it was already tight, but it's a gamble.

It was so clean when I had it. I still miss it. Glad to see it's finally going to get some track time though.

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RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-11-2018

Yeah, I'll take the strut tower dilly from you. Do you really think it was black at some point, or do you think he misremembers?

Also, afaik, I'm getting the contours (Simon says they are some M3 wheel, so I'm assuming he means these), some steelies, and it comes on Kosei K1s.


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - JPolen01 - 12-11-2018

That car was really nice. I remember going out for pace laps at VIR in the passenger seat years ago.


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Jake - 12-11-2018

(12-11-2018, 12:44 PM)Senor_Taylor Wrote: Yeah, I'll take the strut tower dilly from you. Do you really think it was black at some point, or do you think he misremembers?

Also, afaik, I'm getting the contours (Simon says they are some M3 wheel, so I'm assuming he means these), some steelies, and it comes on Kosei K1s.

It was absolutely black, I ran the VIN and it was a black/black sport package car from new. Our collective guess was clearcoat failure and the second (Navy) owner paid to have it resprayed. I think there was a record from the BMW of Fairfax body shop for the work. It is Oxford Green from an E39, not Boston Green that was actually available on some E36s. I went over to the body shop and we held up paint chips 'til we matched it.


The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - ryangreen1 - 12-22-2018

This is the most Taylor way to do a build and I love it. If you ever need a hand I’m sure I can make an excuse to come make bad decisions in NOVA with you and Tyler.


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RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-22-2018

(12-22-2018, 05:58 PM)ryangreen1 Wrote: This is the most Taylor way to do a build and I love it. If you ever need a hand I’m sure I can make an excuse to come make bad decisions in NOVA with you and Tyler.


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Come visit before school starts!

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RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-23-2018

Went over to Simon's today to hang out with the gang and lend a hand if needed. Simon replaced a vanos line and the entire cooling system more-or-less, with a CSF aluminum radiator, also replaced some gaskets.

She fired right up after sitting for 2 years and idled fine. Everything else worked as I poked around the car trying to find issues. There is a distinct tick that is most likely an exhaust leak that I found before the cats and there is a whine that seems to be coming from the accessory belt area. Simon is getting it inspected and emission tested tomorrow to see what happens and will be addressing these final issues before I hopefully take delivery of it around the new year. It's coming on these 17 inch Kosei K1s, which I think I'll try to swap out for something in the 15 inch size for I can get cheaper tires and not have to run the spacers that are currently on the front.

Also, found out that Jake installed HIDs in this as well. I keep feeling the urge to say " this is too nice to track ", but my problems thus far in life have come from having that mentality and buying shit cars.

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RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Jake - 12-23-2018

You can sell the entire interior, the K1's, and the glass headlights/HID kit and have a nice chunk of cash toward the build. I'm glad it's been kept in such good shape though. If you go to Spec3 you'll need 15x7 wheels so keep an eye out - good thing is they are cheap. E36 or E34 wheels both work.

And before you start yanking shit out of it, I want one drive for old time's sake.


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-23-2018

(12-23-2018, 09:32 AM)Jake Wrote: You can sell the entire interior, the K1's, and the glass headlights/HID kit and have a nice chunk of cash toward the build. I'm glad it's been kept in such good shape though. If you go to Spec3 you'll need 15x7 wheels so keep an eye out - good thing is they are cheap. E36 or E34 wheels both work.

And before you start yanking shit out of it, I want one drive for old time's sake.
Yeah, I've already reached out to people about some E34 basketweaves. Definitely want to sell the K1s.

Interior is staying in (mostly) for a little while until I can shake the car down and make sure it's not a pile of ass. That way, I can sell it and find another shell if needed.

I would like to snag a cheap unit to install as there isn't one now. Need entertainment on the drive to the track.

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The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - D_Eclipse9916 - 12-23-2018

I have a bmw to aftermarket wiring adapter. 100% this time hahah


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-23-2018

(12-23-2018, 10:28 AM)D_Eclipse9916 Wrote: I have a bmw to aftermarket wiring adapter. 100% this time hahah

You're such a tease. Still waiting for that message with the items you have to sell :Big Grin

Also, I pointed out a slight vibration when the revs are coming down after revving it in Neutral. Has anyone experienced this? First thought was engine mounts and trans mounts, but I don't see much movement in the engine. It was very slight, but I know these motors are fairly smooth, so I know it's not 100% correct.  

Also, for my seating situation, I ordered VAC Motorsports lap belt and sub belt mounts so I don't have to drill through the floor just yet.

I planned on mounting the passenger side side mount brackets to the floor, but that may not work now because my belt mounting tabs need the floor adapter matrix to mount to. Hopefully I snag another one of those used.


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Scott - 12-23-2018

Tell me about these K1's


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-23-2018

(12-23-2018, 12:20 PM)Scott Wrote: Tell me about these K1's
17s with 5 lug pattern. Not sure the offset or width. I believe it has 245s or 255s on the wheels currently. Tires are Continuing Extreme Contacts I believe.

I wonder if they'll fit over the brakes on my GTI.

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RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Jake - 12-23-2018

(12-23-2018, 12:20 PM)Scott Wrote: Tell me about these K1's

They'd look v. good on a red M3.


The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-23-2018

Oh yeah, I forgot he had that. I'll get you more details once I get them off the car and cleaned.

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The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - JustinG - 12-26-2018

You keep those K1s or die a slow horrible death.


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-26-2018

(12-26-2018, 12:22 AM)JustinG Wrote: You keep those K1s or die a slow horrible death.
I like K1s, but these rub and require spacers on this car.



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RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Jake - 12-26-2018

(12-26-2018, 08:43 AM)Senor_Taylor Wrote:
(12-26-2018, 12:22 AM)JustinG Wrote: You keep those K1s or die a slow horrible death.
I like K1s, but these rub and require spacers on this car.



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If we're going for "Maximum Attack Spec3" then he can't keep them Sad  They do look good on it.

Taylor, I (and others) have had to run spacers up front with most 17" wheels. I think a 10mm will do it, but you'll need a hub extender unless the spacer has a lip on it. Most 10's do not. A 12mm will have the lip and work fine. Just an FYI - not sure what you need for 15" wheels. I suspect no spacer but perhaps the E34 fitment requires some schmoozing between fender/wheel/hub/etc.


RE: The Cart Before the Horse: Spec 3 Build - Senor_Taylor - 12-26-2018

(12-26-2018, 10:59 AM)Jake Wrote:
(12-26-2018, 08:43 AM)Senor_Taylor Wrote:
(12-26-2018, 12:22 AM)JustinG Wrote: You keep those K1s or die a slow horrible death.
I like K1s, but these rub and require spacers on this car.



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If we're going for "Maximum Attack Spec3" then he can't keep them Sad  They do look good on it.

Taylor, I (and others) have had to run spacers up front with most 17" wheels. I think a 10mm will do it, but you'll need a hub extender unless the spacer has a lip on it. Most 10's do not. A 12mm will have the lip and work fine. Just an FYI - not sure what you need for 15" wheels. I suspect no spacer but perhaps the E34 fitment requires some schmoozing between fender/wheel/hub/etc.
Good to know. It has spacers up front right now, but doesn't need them with a suspension with a less prominent spring perch. The current spec 3 suspension and stock suspension warrant a spacer with this size wheel. The old spec 3 suspension used a coilover type deal that had a less prominent perch that didn't rub. Not sure about the 15x7s. At least, this is what was explained to me by Simon.


Edit: @scott. The K1s are 17x8.5

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