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Old 25th December 2011, 14:48   #1
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Default Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Hi everybody

Joined BHP sometime back back but have been travelling quite a bit hence no prior posts. Guys, I am working on a beautiful project - E36 BMW M3 1998 convertible. No guesses as to who owned the car before!! Suffice to say, it has only got 8673 miles on the clock, still has the original michellin pilot tyres.

I am the third owner and have just started working this honeypot. The previous owner got very annoyed with all the smg trouble he had and decided to sell the vehicle, as there was nobody to buy the car in a non-drivable state, I managed to get the vehicle.

Since the car has been standing for ages, and I am in no mood to buff out the minor scratches, the first thing that I am doing is getting a complete paint job. But dont stress, the original colour will be kept for the purist in me - Techno Violet Colour Code 299.

As we stand now the car is striped of the soft top hood and will be replaced with the company hardtop. By taking out the soft top and its ancillaries, there will be a 40 kilo saving on weight. I want to get this machine as close as possible to a CSL - by the way that also includes me getting into a stringent diet, need to lose 12 kilos and I will be racing fit.

The main job on this vehicle is going to be the stripping and removal of the SMG gearbox and replacing it with a manual gearbox. Yes!! Tuff!! Hell yeah! This going to be the most challenging mod that I have done in my entire life and believe me when I say I have scoured every possible resource that there is out there but am none the wiser. Obviously the main worry is the electronics and how to get the DME to accept that the car is now a manual rather than an smg offering that it was when built. Any inputs on this are always welcome.

When the gearbox is sorted, the next part is to get the seats redone - the paint coating on the leather seats have started peeling off and it looks downright ugly. This I am going to change, gonna change the colour from cream to a light brown tan.

Lots more to add and do, will keep you in the loop
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Old 25th December 2011, 18:03   #2
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Default re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

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Originally Posted by digital4u View Post
E36 BMW M3 1998
Love the E36, and an M at that! Lucky you, congrats. These cars aren't easy to come by.

Quote:
as there was nobody to buy the car in a non-drivable state, I managed to get the vehicle.
At a mouthwatering price?

Quote:
As we stand now the car is striped of the soft top hood and will be replaced with the company hardtop. By taking out the soft top and its ancillaries, there will be a 40 kilo saving on weight.
Nice. Always preferred coupe over convertibles.

Quote:
The main job on this vehicle is going to be the stripping and removal of the SMG gearbox and replacing it with a manual gearbox. Yes!! Tuff!! Hell yeah!
Now we're talking.

Quote:
Obviously the main worry is the electronics and how to get the DME to accept that the car is now a manual rather than an smg offering that it was when built.
Swap the DME?
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Old 25th December 2011, 18:37   #3
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Congrats and all the best of the project. This is surely going to be a close to the heart restoration.

But I have to say "You have started the restoration with an incorrect start". The beautification,etc has to be done at the last. In such projects, the first thing is to get the mechanicals working first, iron out all small niggles. Once that is done, you start with paint, alloys, interior, tires". But it appears that you have done restorations in the past so I am sure you pretty well know your tasks.

Hope you have a competent mechanic to do the swap for you.

An offtopic unasked suggestion. Fly in an competent mechanic to do the job for you. Give the mechanic all the required information etc, so that he is well prepped before he actually starts and you can keep all parts ready. Most of the mechs in india would do atrial and error job. These professional mechs would be willing to be paid only if they meet with success and the task accomplished. The same think can be negotiated with BMW dealerships in India too if flying a mech does not seem workable.

Keep sharing all detailed work in progress pics. Such jobs may be common in other countries, but in India it is a very special one.

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Originally Posted by digital4u View Post
The main job on this vehicle is going to be the stripping and removal of the SMG gearbox and replacing it with a manual gearbox. Yes!! Tuff!! Hell yeah! This going to be the most challenging mod that I have done in my entire life and believe me when I say I have scoured every possible resource that there is out there but am none the wiser. Obviously the main worry is the electronics and how to get the DME to accept that the car is now a manual rather than an smg offering that it was when built. Any inputs on this are always welcome.
Are you sourcing a original used 6 speed Getrag box. The ratios too are the same as the SMG. And Getrag boxes have proven their mettle in almost all performance MT cars including the Skyline GTRs

Last edited by dipen : 25th December 2011 at 18:47.
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Old 27th December 2011, 23:13   #4
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Guys! Yes, I totally agree with any other project cosmetics would be the last in line, but with this babe, I have finally sourced the gearbox and it should arrive in three weeks time. In the meantime, this car standing for so long had me itching all over to get started..haha.. impatient me,,, I know.

Owning these cars are nothing special overseas, a well kept M would cost only about 8 quid in the UK but here man, it is special and Dipen this car was in Mumbai originally, Napean Sea Road...guess who stays there??? And no...I will not confirm the previous owner. Definitive no!

I have had four E30's(325is, the 2.7 litre Alpina mod), seven e36's(from the basic ti versions to the the Magic M) and the last beemer was an E46 330i(2005) but I tell you mate, getting back into the game after so long has got me goosebumps all over again. I last drove an M overseas over 8 years ago and never thought I would be able to have this opportunity again and that too in India. Having walked into many BMW showrooms in India, the M dream was just way out of my reach - 90 odd lakhs for the E93...you could buy 2.5 M3's overseas for that kind of money for sure.

The gearbox is going to be the six speed getrag, absolute standard. I am trying to source aluminium doors and hood. I think the only non-standard item I am gonna be tempted by is the Brembo Big Brake Kit and decent set of PSS9 coilovers. No turbos, superchargers etc. I want the engine untouched save for the time it has a little bit of wear and then I will get the works on it - forged pistons, precision engineered boring..the whole bang.

DME swaps are not the easiest of jobs on a Beemer, you have EWS and whole lot of wiring - if you ever get chance, go to a scrap yard and ask the lokes over there to show you a beemer's wiring cable set - you are gonna be blown away man, forget the blokes in NASA, these guy who work on this wiring are miles ahead.

There is a buddy of mine who has done a few swaps and yep he is gonna fly in. I tried speaking to BMW India, but the response I got from them was far from inspiring. In short, they wanted me to purchase all the parts from them and then charge me to fit on top of that, conservative estimates would be about 15 lakhs!! I aint gonna be suckered into that.

Will try and send you guys more fotos in the next post...thanks for the support and encouragement and great to know that there are people out there who share the same passion. LOL.
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Old 28th December 2011, 01:28   #5
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

There are very few threads that get me really excited. This is one of them.

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team: Please avoid quoting an entire large post. It inconveniences our small screen & mobile readers.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 30th December 2011 at 08:48.
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Old 28th December 2011, 03:15   #6
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

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Originally Posted by digital4u View Post
Owning these cars are nothing special overseas, a well kept M would cost only about 8 quid in the UK
You mean 8 grand and not 8 quid lol

This one thread I will definitely be following, good luck with your built and I hope the car turns out the way you planned.
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Old 28th December 2011, 07:56   #7
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Yep 8 grand. Thanx for all the support and the Lord willing, by end of Jan I should have a legit street scorcher.
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Old 28th December 2011, 08:02   #8
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Sending you guys a few more Photos. Out of the five rims, there is one that has a few irritating scratches, will be sorting this out in the next week. Have already started to look out for a strut bar, choice between UUC and AC Schnitzer.
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Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual-scratched-alloys.jpg  

Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual-almost-ready-paint.jpg  

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Old 29th December 2011, 08:35   #9
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Reading this thread is pure nostalgia for me. I owned a E36 in the middle east.....Joy in its purest form. You could try sourcing parts from Uae/Saudi. I presume E36 M3 would be 6 cyl and 178 bhp ?

Wish you all the best !!
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Old 29th December 2011, 11:16   #10
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

I am going to follow this thread quite intently. Keep up with the restoration job. My best wishes.
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Old 29th December 2011, 12:09   #11
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

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I presume E36 M3 would be 6 cyl and 178 bhp ?
Wish you all the best !!
Most likely it would be the 240 or 286 hp version of the 3.2 motor.
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Old 29th December 2011, 12:11   #12
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

I love pre-Bangle era beemers! E36 is my favorite only after e46 which i wish to own at some point of my life. I am going to be following this thread closely. Pls keep us updated .
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Old 29th December 2011, 20:57   #13
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Really good start, pre y2k model cars were really cool, good luck for your restoration. Techno Violet is one color pretty difficult to replicate hope you get the correct shading
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Old 29th December 2011, 23:41   #14
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Default Re: Project : E36 BMW M3 1998. And swapping the SMG with a manual

Congratulations on the car!

The new paint looks great! Can we have some more pictures after the paint?

Are you doing the conversion yourself?
I converted my E46 M3 from SMG to manual too. Im a little rusty on the details for E36's SMG system but if I remember correctly, for the gearbox itself, theres 2 ways to go about it. You've already ordered a new one, so the only advice I can give you is send your old box to the seller and get a discount . The other way to do this is to use your old 'box and machine the detents etc into it (only if you know a good machine shop) This is the way I did it. Also, along with the gearbox you should require a new DME (or reflash maybe?), engine wiring, a new clutch slave, pedal box (to add a clutch pedal), some trim bits and dashboard instruments. Most importantly, find a good car electrician!!
If you have any doubts regarding the procedure, PM me, a friend in England has done this on the same car.

Let me know if I can help in any way

Congratulations again and drive safe!
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Old 29th December 2011, 23:59   #15
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Hi

The car is a 321hp, evolution spec as it was from Europe not the watered down version that the USA and South African versions got.

As to the inevitable doubters as there always will be, here are the last 7 digits of the Beemer - EX66512.

As for sourcing parts from Dubai, UAE.....sounds good but never easy. Have gone this route bro, but believe me it ain't worth the effort nor the time. Best bet is one of the salvage yards in the uk.

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Really good start, pre y2k model cars were really cool, good luck for your restoration. Techno Violet is one color pretty difficult to replicate hope you get the correct shading
You dead right, that is one difficult colour, much tougher than the various shades of black that one gets in the market. I personally would have liked to go with a really aggressive colour, an imola or hell rot red, possibly even Dakar yellow but I just don't think the community is ready for such an in your face colour adaption.

I consulted with Sikkens and prior to that with spies hecker, ppg, glasruit e.t.c but nobody over here could get the very perfect shade that I was looking for. Cause the techno violet colour has a bit of speckles and whenever these guys tried to get that part sorted, the colour would be either too dark or too light...eventually just to stop being sworn at, I settled for sikkens and kept my mouth shut. Most things car related here in India, one just has to put up with as most guys will make silly comments like if you want that kind of colour perfection, you might as well buy a new car, hahaaha....so in the end you just shut the ....up! What else can you do?

Last edited by GTO : 2nd January 2012 at 12:41. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
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