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Project Canyongrun - E36 Revival

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    Originally posted by CubbyChowder View Post
    That Canyonrot color is amazing. The wheels really suit that car too. E36 sedans are sweet, I totally want one.
    Thanks! The multicolored look has grown on me big time. It suits the general "clapped out" vibe of the car. I'd be hard pressed to change it at this point.
    I normally prefer a coupe, but adding that LTW wing really makes the higher sedan roof line work for me.

    This is my first E36, and it's so good that I would like to find a clean one to enjoy well into the future.
    At least this one makes my winter commute interesting and I don't feel bad getting it all salty with north of 400,000km on the chassis.


      January 2023 Update

      Blew a snow tire right before Christmas time. Not sure if it was underinflated, there was no visible puncture.
      Chalk it up to china special "Mirage" tires I got used on the Style 68 wheels. I was able to source a matching tire to keep the set complete.

      Found out my subwoofer (that is bolted to the floor) has to come out to get the spare tire from the trunk. It was an interesting gas station tire change!
      The spare tire is likely the original from 1998, but it held just fine for a couple weeks of driving. I have since put a newer Goodyear tire on an alloy wheel in the spare well.

      Changed out a fuel hardline last week, as it was rusted through and dripping gas.
      By some luck I had saved the matching line as a spare. (It's from the black E36 vert which donated it's M52 to my E30.) I used some Gates Barricade soft line to connect things back together.

      The car wasn't getting up to operating temperature (thermostat stuck open), even with part of the rad blocked off. I swapped it out for a new Beck/Arnley 180F thermostat in a URO metal thermostat housing. Cabin heat is working markedly better now.

      Also, I shelled out the cash for an OEM rear roundel/badge instead of the eBay version that was on there.

      Last edited by Panici; 01-25-2023, 11:07 AM.


        Glad to see the clapper's still clappin'
        Originally posted by priapism
        My girl don't know shit, but she bakes a mean cupcake.
        Originally posted by shameson
        Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your e30


          The Unclappening - Episode 1

          I really enjoy driving this E36, and it's now been through two winters as a beater.
          It's sketchy, and it's time to make things right.

          I removed the driver's side bottom seat cushion and have been using an aircraft-rated impact-absorbing foam (link) to try and save my spine. It can only do so much, and the foam goes very firm/solid in the cold if I don't bring it inside with me.

          I bought a set of H&R Sport springs to raise the car and get some travel back into the suspension. The existing dampers are Bilstien B8s and (surprisingly) the fronts that I tested aren't blown out.

          It was a royal PITA getting the longer rear springs in there. I ended up unbolting the exhaust and completely removing the rear swaybar. Then I wedged my giant crank pulley holding-tool-of-death in there and sat on it while kicking the spring in with my foot.

          Have only done a shakedown run so far, but the car feels significantly better.
          It must have been literally riding on the bumpstops before with the mismatched set of cut (red = H&R Race?) springs in the front and green Raceland springs in the rear.

          The front is lower then I expected. Front spring pads were pretty thin and those rubber tophats are likely due for replacement. Rear is easily 1"+ taller, will probably settle a bit.

          Last edited by Panici; 02-20-2023, 01:59 PM.


            I like it. Keep the old girl bombing along!


              I know a lot of people don't like the idea, but if you compress the spring, zip tie it excessively, and then drop it in place you should have no issues fitting those troublesome rear springs.


                The Unclappening - Episode 2

                After not driving the car for almost a month, I replaced the steering rack with a new SKP unit.
                On the first couple trips out the steering would no longer self-center, and felt notchy and inconsistent. I actually though something was mechanically binding. I was about to give up on the car and sell/part out (even wrote up a for sale ad).
                But then magically the steering stopped binding up. Power steering loop had air trapped? I took it as a sign that the 'ol girl wants to live!

                The steering is no longer loose on-center with the new rack, so that's one issue solved.

                Unfortunately there is still vibration at cruising speed.
                The front end is also pulling in one direction, but that's likely an alignment issue due to the new steering rack.

                In addition, the new front springs have settled and now the car is sitting near/on the bumpstops again.


                Loaded the parts cannon and ordered:

                -Rear lower alignment bolts
                -Strut mounts/tophats
                -Spring seat isolators/pads (two types/sides)
                -Front brake lines
                -E36 spec front LCAs
                -Rubber centered front lollypop bushings
                -Front wheel bearings
                -E36 spec front inner/outer tie rods
                -Replacement straight front subframe

                I'm going to trim the B8 inner bumpstops while I have the struts apart.
                Also need to repair the front driver's side swaybar as it failed in a similar way to the passenger side (which I previously repaired).
                Going to swap out my whining power steering pump with the one from my parts pile (if an E39 spec will fit) or I can pull one off the spare M52B28.

                If this round of parts doesn't sort out the issue I can't see what else it would be. Bent subframe or tweaked chassis I suppose, but we will find out!

                Last edited by Panici; 11-06-2023, 06:00 AM.


                  Looking good!
                  OBD1 S52 E36 Compact
                  84 318i M10 Zender


                    If it was a proper reman rack they probably had the preload too tight until it self clearanced

                    (clicky on piccy to get to thread)


                      Fall 2023 Update

                      Had to start driving the E36 earlier then normal this year, as my Miata gas tank needs to be replaced (fumes no longer tolerable).

                      Made it a month or so before my starter gave up. It was hit-and-miss for a while, but then it got stuck spinning (but without bendix extension).
                      Sprung for a Bosch reman so I don't have to do this job again.

                      Made my own tool to get at the E-Torx bolts.

                      Aside: Installed some Hella yellow Halogen bulbs while I had the airbox out for access.


                      Less then a week later, my upper rad hose connection cracks in half on my way to work. This was a used rad from my basement and lasted a year (almost to the day) before it failed. I saw the battery light blip on when the belt slipped (covered in coolant) so I shut it down before overheating. Limped back home and grabbed another spare rad I had in the basement to throw in.

                      After bleeding I have some coolant flow/pressure, but I'm not convinced the cooling issues are over. There doesn't seem to be enough flow at idle, so I've ordered a replacement water pump.


                      About those front end refresh parts: They're still sitting pretty in my basement, and I also sourced a used & straight front subframe.
                      Looking like a springtime job at this rate, weather is quickly turning cold.
                      For now, I've greatly reduced the front end vibration by switching back to the lighter 15" wheels instead of my heavy 17" winters.


                      Last edited by Panici; 11-06-2023, 12:35 PM.