May 31, 2017

Project M3/4/5

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 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.  Especially with it's recently installed Dinan suspension, it is quite a rewarding old car to drive.

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 190mph top speeds.  I'm also not interested in how cool the european models were.
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 make this car 90% what I was looking for. Which is a classic sedan that looks as good as it handles.
Inline 6 is favorite motor of mine probably because I learned to drive on a F150 with one.

Easier access than the M5's V8, and certainly easier to access than my Porsche 911's motor.

Lastly the kid can learn and see what I'm doing easier than with those cars
Especially in Storm Trooper While, I find it more attractive than other M3s. 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 Motorsport wheels and a factory spoiler install are also on my mind.  
Cut and Buff via my Griots Garage toy box.   W

ax 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 the rear interior weekly using my leaf blower, that gets those goddam Cheerios out of the crevices.
Part of me misses full power seats of my Carrera, 

but the weight reduction helps with the rationalization.

Surely they are more reliable too.  yep,
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 watching my Father-in-law clean.   This Seattle grime is a good reason to get a garage for crying out loud.   Sadly, property values have climbed so high, everyone in Seattle  is using their garage's as a spare bedroom.  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..
Interior condition was quite neat and preserved,  Seats were removed,  interior was vacuumed and steam cleaned but soil inside was quite minimal.  At least that's what my detailer reported.
Cookie crumbs will come later, so he's training here.
Discovered a  dim radio display.  A quick Googling indicated I could fix this myself.
Later I Googled a replacement on eBay. (after breaking it even more during my "repair")
Sure glad there are people that can solder micro-resistors better than I do.

Goodies I've bought thus far and am awaiting delivery

 Perhaps childish, but for just $21 I like the little "M"s.    We'll see if the EVER arrive from China
Buy $200 steering wheel now, learn of the other $200 worth of parts for intallation later.  That was my plan.
not an easy install, but it's done.
The only way to tell if you need euro indicator lights, is to buy them right?

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