1 (edited by ericgavinroberts 2017-07-26 12:39 PM)

Topic: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

Hey guys, we have a newly acquired 1999 four door e36 that will we be racing in November in Houston. Any advice or recommendations for common problems or pitfalls with this platform? We would obviously like to finish so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Heres a list of what we have done:

new radiator, hoses, water pump (metal impeller) thermostat, metal thermostat housing, new coolant overflow tank and cap,  a/c condenser removed, removal of factory fans and replaced with electronic fan.

Still plan on a DIY cold air intake moving the filter behind the bumper under the headlight, replacing the front hubs, and possibly removing the a/c compressor.

For those of you in the north east, it's the e36 Lemons veteran in the orang and white White Castle theme.

Thanks!

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

Normally for e36 I recommend the coolant stuff u listed, the rear diff carrier reinforcement (99 might of had that from the factory, mine is a 93 and defiantly did not), solid flywheel as the dual mass is great for daily driving but not for endurance racing.

Shift at 5500 rpms or less and u will keep the motor in the car.

We have experienced alot of transmission issues and haven't figured that one out yet, might be wrong fluid, might be bad luck, it's Lemons stuff happens.

They can be reliable cars so have fun with it.

Wisconsin Crap Racers #113 E36
2016 and 2017 Cure for Gingivitis Champs!
20+ time Losers!

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

Thanks for the feedback! I'll definitely look in to the rear diff reinforcement.

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

The reinforcement isn't fun to do but it is worth it because we didn't and had a failure of the mounting points.  it is alot worse to fix after the fact.  I know other e36s in Lemons that have been junked with that, ours broke after like 8 races or so, now have another 8 on it without issue.

Wisconsin Crap Racers #113 E36
2016 and 2017 Cure for Gingivitis Champs!
20+ time Losers!

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

heywood220 wrote:

The reinforcement isn't fun to do but it is worth it because we didn't and had a failure of the mounting points.  it is alot worse to fix after the fact.  I know other e36s in Lemons that have been junked with that, ours broke after like 8 races or so, now have another 8 on it without issue.

When you say rear differential, you are talking about the rear subframe reinforcement, correct? Or is there a separate reinforcement for just the diff?

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

Replace the rear axles, nuts, and wheel bearings.  2 weeks ago at NCM we had the left rear axle stub end shear off from fatigue of the old used part, then the bearing fell apart, then the rotor broke as that was holding the wheel on, and then the left rear wheel fell off of the car, with the hub attached.  Fortunately it was in a slow corner, not half a lap away when I would have been doing 110 and loading that wheel.

Video:  https://youtu.be/Y8WekRDQ0Bk

Three Pedal Mafia: IOE > Overall
Wartburg | Wagovan | The Boat | Rolls Royce | Civic Giraffe | Citroen SM | TR7 3800SC | Cressida | Isuzu Hombre
Some IOEs, class wins, org choices, heroic fixes, I got screwed's, etc.

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

ericgavinroberts wrote:
heywood220 wrote:

The reinforcement isn't fun to do but it is worth it because we didn't and had a failure of the mounting points.  it is alot worse to fix after the fact.  I know other e36s in Lemons that have been junked with that, ours broke after like 8 races or so, now have another 8 on it without issue.

When you say rear differential, you are talking about the rear subframe reinforcement, correct? Or is there a separate reinforcement for just the diff?

Yes, sorry.  It bolts to the rear diff so my simple mind says that, but u are right its the rear subframe reinforcement.

Wisconsin Crap Racers #113 E36
2016 and 2017 Cure for Gingivitis Champs!
20+ time Losers!

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

Sonic wrote:

Replace the rear axles, nuts, and wheel bearings.  2 weeks ago at NCM we had the left rear axle stub end shear off from fatigue of the old used part, then the bearing fell apart, then the rotor broke as that was holding the wheel on, and then the left rear wheel fell off of the car, with the hub attached.  Fortunately it was in a slow corner, not half a lap away when I would have been doing 110 and loading that wheel.

Video:  https://youtu.be/Y8WekRDQ0Bk

Good one for us to look at in the future as we have 16 races on ours and haven't touched that.  By the way nice interior on your car, mine looks like a hit mess compared to yours.

Wisconsin Crap Racers #113 E36
2016 and 2017 Cure for Gingivitis Champs!
20+ time Losers!

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

In our experience, the rear axles stopped breaking with regularity when we restored the car to a normal ride height.  Lightening the car with removal of glass, interior, anything else that didn't make it go / stop / turn had it riding quite high.  This increased the angle at which the cv joints were constantly operating, and we believe this led to premature and repeated failure.  Lowering the springs and restoring the factory ride height has seemingly solved the issue.

Overall, we'll second the cooling system as a point of attention more or less end to end.  Intact and proper radiator shrouds are a must to keep air flowing through rather than around the rad in this car.  Like many cars, the OEM temp gauge is buffered, but in the e36, it's buffered to the point of being pretty much useless.  By the time it starts spiking, you may already need to shop for a head gasket.  A good aftermarket temp gauge with separate sender is therefore worth considering.  Another particularly easy thing to miss in terms of cooling- there were factory overflow tank cap versions:  one rated at 1.4 bar (marked '140'), and another rated ad 2.0 bar (marked '200').  You want a fresh cap that says '200' on the top.

Scuderia Regurgito  '75 Fiat 131, '93 e36
2010 Stafford: Winner, class ugly  2011 NJMP: Organizer's Choice and violently exploded gearbox
2011 Stafford: Most From the Least, 2012 NJMP: Shockingly issue free, 2012 Loudon: Rod thru block
2012 Hooptiefest: Multiple spun bearings, 2013 Monticello: Head gaskets, 2013 Loudon: More head gaskets, 2013 NJMP, 2013 Hooptiefest, 2014 NJMPx2 and Heroic Fix

10 (edited by mgavro 2017-07-27 09:45 AM)

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

I'll chime in and suggest securing your oil pump nut.  Ours fell off at Gingerman and trashed the entire engine - I know others commenting above have run for a long time without theirs secured, so it seems to be a hit or miss thing, but you really don't want to be one of the unlucky ones.  We welded ours on the replacement engine but there are other options - google is your friend. 

If you don't secure it tell your drivers if they see the oil light come on to shut it down immediately and wait for the tow.  If you avoid any damage you can probably get that nut back on in an hour or less and be back on track.

I'd also suggest replacing all the pulleys.  We had a tensioner pulley let go, which lead to an overheat that cracked the radiator and the overflow tank.

Electric Mayhem Racing

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

Awesome. Thanks for all the help. We have added the rear subframe reinforcement and oil pump nut to our list. Next up on the agenda is all for hubs/bearings. Watched a lot of YouTube videos on this, looks like it could go really well, or very poorly depending on how much rust and the age. I think they have been changed before, so hopefully that is in our favor.

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

ericgavinroberts wrote:

Awesome. Thanks for all the help. We have added the rear subframe reinforcement and oil pump nut to our list. Next up on the agenda is all for hubs/bearings. Watched a lot of YouTube videos on this, looks like it could go really well, or very poorly depending on how much rust and the age. I think they have been changed before, so hopefully that is in our favor.

Just did our rear hubs and bearings - It's worth investing the $100 or so in the Harbor Freight front hub/bearing tool if you don't have it or an equivalent already.

Electric Mayhem Racing

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

sell it and build a Vega kammback

Silent But Deadly Racing- Chief cook and bottle washer, Former Flyin Turd Race Team Captain 
Ricky Bobby's Laughing Clown Malt Liquor Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Datsun 510, 87 Mustang (The Race Team Formerly Known as Prince), 72 Pinto Squire waggy, Parnelli Jones 67 Galaxie
Besmirching race tracks in the Eastern US since 2001

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

mgavro wrote:
ericgavinroberts wrote:

Awesome. Thanks for all the help. We have added the rear subframe reinforcement and oil pump nut to our list. Next up on the agenda is all for hubs/bearings. Watched a lot of YouTube videos on this, looks like it could go really well, or very poorly depending on how much rust and the age. I think they have been changed before, so hopefully that is in our favor.

Just did our rear hubs and bearings - It's worth investing the $100 or so in the Harbor Freight front hub/bearing tool if you don't have it or an equivalent already.

I bought it after watching some videos. Figure $100 (actually less since I had a coupon) is well worth the time and frustration saved! I already have the BMW tool for the front hubs and that is a lifesaver.

I was just reading today that you can actually drop the oil pan and fix the nut/replace the oil pan gasket without actually dropping the subframe. Anyone else done this?
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/show … PAN-GASKET

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

There's really only one option with an E36.

EV Conversion

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

ericgavinroberts wrote:

I was just reading today that you can actually drop the oil pan and fix the nut/replace the oil pan gasket without actually dropping the subframe. Anyone else done this?
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/show … PAN-GASKET

We were swapping the engine anyway so we did it with the engine out of the car but in theory yes, it can be done without dropping the subframe.  You probably can't weld it that way, and wouldn't want to even if you could, but if you're just doing loctite, peening the threads, or using a nut that is drilled for safety wire you can probably make it work.

Electric Mayhem Racing

Re: E36 Advice/Recommendations for Lemons

Sir Thomas Crapper wrote:

sell it and build a AMC Eagle kammback

Fixed it for you. wink

Terribly Awesome Racing
Dozen time loser. You'd think I'd know better by now.