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Old 02-05-2014, 02:58 PM   #1
alien2NL
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E36 1992 BMW 325i - Project

Ever since I was a child, I had my eyes on this car, and finally after dreaming for 16 years, I have her..
Here it is, not much basically paid scrap value for it and I am planning on bringing it to its best.

It will be a slow project as I can't afford to do a quick project..
Please give me as much help as possible, as I am quite new to this.
Thank you
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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More pictures coming soon!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
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what are you looking to do ?
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:25 AM   #4
alien2NL
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Look at the attached picture, that is what's on my mind.

Right now;
There is a problem with electricals, because at night sometimes the [P R N D 3 2 1] lights turn off. as in there is no display in that LCD.
When I turn on the ignition, all the warning lights etc. on the guage cluster light up. and once I start the engine, slowly the lights go out (which is normal) except the ABS light stays on and the brake pad sensor light stays on.

The car needs new rotors and brake pads, from what I can tell all the brake lines are intact, but I will do a thorough inspection and replace any if necessary.

The OBC display is a little off, it works, but I can only see half the text, the other half is not being displayed (Faulty LCD?!?). Quick question, if I replace the OBC, will I still be able to use my existing key? I only have one key that came with the car.

The central locking mechanism is not working right now, I am not sure why.

When I bought her there was a KENWOOD stereo unit installed which worked, since yesterday morning it has stopped working, I have checked all the fuses, so need advice for that, what to check, where to look, etc.

There is rust , substantial rust on the floor and both rocker panels are basically gone. there is a hole in the left side rear fender area becasue of the rust.

The body is not in a very bad state, but its not good either.

I would like to be able to put her on the road by fixing the body first, and then slowly build her up mechanically, once the mechanical side is done, I would finish it with a new spray on the body.


Ideas, Suggestions, etc.?? The picture I have attached is a coupe, where as mine is a sedan.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:56 AM   #5
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Sounds like you are better off parting it out, making a few bucks in the process and buying something that isn't going to cost a fortune to put on the road.
Doesn't sound like the car is worth being rescued.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:06 AM   #6
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I'm afraid you're right buddy, but the place that I live in, its very hard to find an e36 and I simply don't have the money to buy a decent car and get it shipped over to Newfoundland.
Besides, I am capable of doing all the work myself, except for the body repair and I don't mind if it takes me a year to finish the car. It is a passion, I would love to spend a few hours at the end of each day to work on her.
I basically paid scrap value for it anyway.
Bottom line is, this is the car that I have and I have to make her right, apart from the rust I mentioned, it is pretty solid. Hell, the original leather seats are still intact (no rips etc.)
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien2NL View Post
Look at the attached picture, that is what's on my mind.

Right now;
There is a problem with electricals, because at night sometimes the [P R N D 3 2 1] lights turn off. as in there is no display in that LCD.
When I turn on the ignition, all the warning lights etc. on the guage cluster light up. and once I start the engine, slowly the lights go out (which is normal) except the ABS light stays on and the brake pad sensor light stays on.

The car needs new rotors and brake pads, from what I can tell all the brake lines are intact, but I will do a thorough inspection and replace any if necessary.

The OBC display is a little off, it works, but I can only see half the text, the other half is not being displayed (Faulty LCD?!?). Quick question, if I replace the OBC, will I still be able to use my existing key? I only have one key that came with the car.

The central locking mechanism is not working right now, I am not sure why.

When I bought her there was a KENWOOD stereo unit installed which worked, since yesterday morning it has stopped working, I have checked all the fuses, so need advice for that, what to check, where to look, etc.

There is rust , substantial rust on the floor and both rocker panels are basically gone. there is a hole in the left side rear fender area becasue of the rust.

The body is not in a very bad state, but its not good either.

I would like to be able to put her on the road by fixing the body first, and then slowly build her up mechanically, once the mechanical side is done, I would finish it with a new spray on the body.


Ideas, Suggestions, etc.?? The picture I have attached is a coupe, where as mine is a sedan.
Are you rescuing this car because you want to do the work and rebuild it or because you want it to look beautiful? i.e. if you have an emotional connection then carry on, otherwise, there is LOTS to do

for Rust: POR15 is the absolute best ( you have to buy it online)
I would fix the rust first (and by fix I mean stop it from worsening with POR15)

then after that build mechanically.

The OBC and key are not related, your OBC just has dead pixels, you can buy another one for 60-$100

as for all the electrical problems first, check your ground connections, make sure they are all tight and not corroded, clean them if necessary. The second thing to check is trunk harness ( open the trunk, there is a harness on the driver side, slip the cover down and make sure that the wires are not freyed or cut)

its really hard to fix holes and stuff for rust, so that why I ask you if this is something you really want to do.

for used parts and rocker panels etc , check out eurostyle here on the forums, he has the biggest bmw used parts he will be able to help you get a lot of one off parts.

a good website to find what part numbers is:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do
and
http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E36-Sedan


what month is your 1992?
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:21 PM   #8
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Here's the complete information I was able to get from http://www.bmwarchiv.de/vin/

Model Name: 325I
Execution: USA
Type code: CB43
E-Code: E36 (4)
Body: Limousine
Steering: left
Doors: 4
Engine: M50 - 2.50 l (141kW)
Drive: Rear-wheel drive
Gear: Automatic
Exterior color: Lagoon Green metallic ( 266 )
Interior: (0396)
Production date: 06.09.1991
Work: Munich

Sentimental Value, yes definitely, I can put in the money into her, I just cannot do it in quick time.

Thanks for the information about POR15, didn't know about this product before. I will get my hands on POR15 and start sanding down the rust as much as possible, the parts where there are holes I will cut squares out of them, once i have removed at the rust I will start welding sheet metal back, once all the holes have been taken care of, and all the rust has been removed I will put POR15 and a top coat of black. That is my first priority, remove rust, put POR15 on. mechanically the car is fine right now, except for the brake pads and ABS, which I don't really need right now because she is not on the road yet.

I will check the electrical connections in the trunk as well, lets see what that tells me.

I will keep posting the progress.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:46 PM   #9
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I have the exact same car. same colour too. its one of the only non vanos e36 cars out there.. you will also notice that your suspension is different than other E36 cars( back is the same) the front is like the 1995 m3 suspension.

for now you can use POR15 to stop any continuing rust until you get to it. it dries rockhard. Also you can buy 266 colour in a spray can at some napa stores, its not going to be perfect but way better than black
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:00 PM   #10
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Oh thats great man! Nice to know I have a partner out there.... lol
Although your car might be so so better than mine...
Tell me, can I apply POR15 to any non moving part of the car or just the undercarriage?
what is a good product for rust removal? as I understand POR15 is only for prevention, am I right?
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:04 PM   #11
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By the way this is my other german obsession!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:16 PM   #12
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Oh thats great man! Nice to know I have a partner out there.... lol
Although your car might be so so better than mine...
Tell me, can I apply POR15 to any non moving part of the car or just the undercarriage?
what is a good product for rust removal? as I understand POR15 is only for prevention, am I right?

I had to do a headgasket on my car, so I don't know about better, still working on it and have completely refreshed the front end ( now working on the backend as well. I can list all the stuff I've done so far lol ( long list)

Yes you can apply it to any non moving part, just remember if you open that can it will dry rock hard so you can't reopen it unless you puncture it. A little goes a long way, buy the starter kit for now it will be enough for your entire car. make sure you top coat after its dry otherwise it will change colour in the sun.

I think Napa ( I am not sure what stores you have where you are) can also give you the spray can with clear coat in it so you can get as close to the real colour, of course it won't be the same since your car is 22 year old paint ant that would be fresh.

Best way to get rid of rust is to literally grind it or cut it off, its a cancer, you just have to remove it you can't really cure but you can stop it with POR15 ( you can slap por15 right on top of rust without any grinding or what not and grind later when the weather gets better but for now you want to stop the rusting)

since its a 22 year old car, pretty much any rubber has to change
all bushings, all seals everywhere etc but baby steps, stop the disease first then worry about everything else.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:19 PM   #13
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one more thing, I assume you don't have a lift, a jackpad adapter is a great add on. ( you can find it cheaper but this is what it is)

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Site...cker/ES259909/
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:36 AM   #14
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Here is what I have done to my car in the past 3 years

1) head resurface and valve reseating
2) new headgasket
3) oil pan gasket
4) water pump
5) silicone hoses
6) racing rad
7)new coolant bottle
8)thermostat
9)alternator
10)new suspension all around (bilstein sports with vogt land lowering springs)
11) brakes and rotors all around
12)ac compressor
13)spark plugs and injector rebuilding( have the kit for this still haven't done it)
14) control arms and ball joints

Now working on the back and all the other bushings
-tranny bushings, guibo, uuc short shifter with DSSR, m3 LSD diff with new seals and akg polyurtehane bushings
-ebay headers, uuc Corsa exhaust replica(umnitza)
-engine mounts ,all wheel bearings
- grind all the rust and weld subframe, rtab pocket and sway bar reinforcements
-rtab replacement with limiters( don't go with poly here)

after all the above is done, I have a full black leather swap that I plan to dye to cohiba brown and do a 2 tone interior, new m3 steering wheel , ambient lighting, halogen lights with angel eyes

I am sure i am missing some stuff up here
but finally respray.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:13 AM   #15
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Knightowl, please post some pictures of your 325i if its alright with you...

I have come to know about a person who rents his garage to people to work on their cars, I have yet to meet him but I think this could turn out great!

Maybe do the floors, rocker panels and POR15 all in one go..

It turns out I have damaged wires in the trunk harness as well, but thankfully no melted wires! I will trace the damage and rejoin the wires.

The engine has a LOT OF POWER for something that has 171000 km on it... it purrs like a kitten and no odd noise or anything. All the sensors are working.

The brake pedal is spongy.. I don't know why that is, I had that problem with my VW and I had to bleed the system thoroughly; do you think its the same problem?

Just a question, how much does it cost for a manual transmission swap; once I am done with the bodywork, electricals, suspension, etc.

I like to plan ahead, and create a budget..

Pretty much everything you have on your list, I will also need to do, except for the head gasket maybe because the engine looks and sounds fine to me.. besides I topped up the coolant the day I bought her and its still at the same level so I'm thinking if there was a faulty gasket the coolant level would have dropped?
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