May 31, 2017

Project M3/4/5 week 1

M3 bought sight unseen, arrived home.

Professional Detailer Cameron Crabtree works for chocolate milk.  

I've sprained my shoulder, patting myself on the back for finding this one in such pristine condition. While not the sexiest car I've ever owned, the M3/4/5 (M3, 4 doors, 5 speeds) as they call it is pretty special.   But, hey, no 20 year old car needs nothing.   Plugs, O2 sensors, drips, and hoses all needed minor attention, but didn't amount to much money.  
It didn't take long for the Service Engine Light to come on.
  Just a loose injector wire.   ( i'm leaving  out that it took me 6 hours to figure it out ). 
There is something very rewarding about such a well matched car.    Gearing, weight, torque, sound, steering and shifter-feel all come together well in this car, even after 20yrs.   It's understandable why its handing was legendary in the 90's.  That could have faded with neglect, but this car was not neglected.
Seattle

The E36 M3 has it where it counts for me.  That's on the road to work, mountain passes and freeway on-ramps. While not powerful at all by today's standards, it's tailored to feel good on the road each day.   Power delivery seems optimized from for the US legal road experience.  I'm not interested in amazing Nürburgring times or over 190mph top speeds.  I'm also not interested in how cool the european models were.
Boulder
Now it's not all sunshine and roses, It did find tell tail signs of a car parked outside in Seattle for many years.  Mildew and sludge buildup was on the exterior crevices.  Though it doesn't show in the photos, it was unsettling.   It took a 3 day weekend to clean this car right.
Inline 6 is favorite motor of mine, more DIY access than V8 cars.
 Certainly easier to access than my Porsche 911's motor.
I dig the "Storm Trooper" White, color. It's no Carrera, but it does still make me smile when I turn around for another glance after parking.   I'll Tint windows soon, because it's damn hot here in Colorado.   Forged Dinan or BMW Motorsport wheels and a factory spoiler install are also on my mind.  
Cut and Buff via my Griots Garage toy box.
Wax and Plastic treatments courtesy of Meguiars.  
Leather didn't crack over the past 20 years, but it was very thirsty for conditioning.  It will take several more treatments to make this leather happy.   I'll spring for a full interior replacement when the kid stops dropping ice cream and gummi bears everywhere.  Meanwhile I clean weekly w/a leaf blower, that gets those goddam Cheerios out of the crevices.
Manual seats,  less failure prone in a car this age, and  much lighter too.
Back seats that don't fold down make for a slightly stiffer chassis I'm told.
   I like this and don't plan on taking it to Ikea anyway.
To address the mildew and grim I took a nausea pill and got to work by watching my Father-in-law clean.   This Seattle grime is a good reason to get a garage for crying out loud.  A travesty explained in my blog on garage abuse.
Door trim after removing the slimy rubber door seals.
I have many sludge photos , but you get just this one.
This is the rich Seattle soil tucked into just one fender's edge!
Again,  no rust at all..

Cookie crumbs will come later, so he's training here.




 Perhaps childish, but for just $21 I like the little "M"s.    We'll see if the EVER arrive from China

HOW I DECIDED THIS WAS MY NEXT CAR, THE PREVIOUS BLOG..

May 7, 2017

Project initiation 1997 M3/4/5

For now all you get is pictures and my plan.

 Compete w/those $60-80,000 sport sedans with about $20,000? I think it's possible.  But we will have to apply your car passion to more than just your checking account.   Though the checking account will be involved.  hehe....  Make those checks payable to Dinan please.
A pleasant surprise in my pile of receipts.  Recent significant suspension work. 


I'm so excited and there is nobody to tell....

So I started  FACEBOOK E36 SEDAN GROUP
Starting point,  is the E36 M3 Sedan which I haven't taken delivery yet, but below are some photos as a primer to this blog's new mission.

Why an M3 from the 90's ? Because they are currently way undervalued. They are advanced, but not complex.  Also, they were regarded as one of the best handling cars in the world at any price in the 90s.  Because they are light, which is always cooler than powerful, if you can't have both. ( more in both later )

I don't vape and don't want to be infotained.  That extra weight in fancy new sport sedans is safety, infotainment and emissions stuff.   Who needs safety? Trump has closed the EPA, and  If I wanted to park while vaping on twitter, then a $60,000 sedan would be perfect.    I like the majority of the weight of my automobile to actually be metal.
For more rational reasons this car is cooler than that new Alfa, read this blog and you'll get the spirit of where i'm coming from http://glenshelly.com/blog/the-gentlemans-sports-car
Post Purchase inspection.  Typically a smart shopper would do a Pre Purchase inspection.  But I am not a smart person, I'm a luckly one.   I hope .   So we'll call it a  Post Purchase inspection.  I'm a risk taker.

This inspection will occur at Meister Werks in Renton WA and that will clear the car for the drive from Seattle to Boulder when I retrieve it.   While most of the work I'll do at home, whatever important things found may need to be addressed there first. I'll scan and post the results of the inspection here.
 I judge a lot from my impression of the seller.  That impression was good, and given the color combo was important to me,  I needed to move quickly.    A car fax report indicated a non-structural accident, so I am interested to see in person the quality of the repairs.  I was however put at ease by the seller, he mentioned all the right repair and maintenance facilities in our conversation.  An 100% virgin paint condition is a sticking point for some, as is a perfect car fax, not for me.  I see opportunity.
Photo from Autotrader listing.


Upon arrival in Boulder, I'll take the car straight to my personal BMW gurus that helped in the search. That would be www.Glenshelly.com,  a broker/dealer for BMW and other nice machines. Though not a repair shop, I'm sure they'll want to rejoice with me and take a look because they are true enthusiasts and not merely sellers of fine autos.   Naturally, I'll share what we find at that time too.
Stay tuned