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Discussion Starter #1
Two summers ago, my daily driver Mini was off the road for a full rebuild again, and with no other cars in a state of a quick repair, I was on the hunt for a cheap runabout. I was chatting to a guy down the pub (sounds ridiculous, but true story) that I wanted a cheapo and he made a quick phone call and then said how about a BMW? A mate of his has a garage and was selling a cheap BMW that he took in PX for a van. I went to look at it, only knowing that it was a BMW, didn't know what series or year or anything. I got there and saw it was an e36, It had a bit of crash damage at the front, new front wishbones, new cat, and a full years MOT. That'll do! I took it. I got back home and was going through the glovebox and found a receipt of £300 to supply and fit a Cat 1 alarm, only a year previous to when I bought the car, ha!

This is what it was like when I got it..





Overall it was in OK condition, a bit of a smash on the front panel and a dent in the bonnet. I pulled most of them out and it looks ok from a few feet away until I replace them properly. It came with the clear rear lenses and clear front indicators which was a bonus. Had done 126,000 when I got it and it had some lame Argos value style induction kit (I'm looking for a standard airbox if you've got one!). Inside, good bits include an armrest, dual zone climate control and an auto tint rear view mirror, but that's about it. The grey cloth interior looks like 126,000 miles with a few small tears.

So, first thing was a quick clean and some lowering springs, Jamex jobbies, lowered 60mm front and 40mm rears.





Then the wheels got sprayed black, which looked crap,



Then I got hold of some e46 wheels which freshened it up quite a lot,



I drove it like that for about a year, then fancied something different.

So got these BBS RC041/42s off timbutjack on here,



Someone had sprayed them grey all over, which looked bloody terrible, so they had a refurb,



Centres all finished in gold,



Meanwhile, a made a roofrack I had for another car fit the BM,



And bought these,



They went on without the helper springs,



Can still go a bit lower,





Game over!


Quite a difference between the old lowering springs, notice I'm not using the adjuster either with the new springs.


I should sort this out, its not blowing yet but the rest of the system is in good shape.


Rears in. Still settling in, getting lower by the min. I might have to bring the front up a touch to level it out, and the front springs are still settling in and getting lower. I'll see how it is after a few miles.


Kinda low on the rails. Scrapes on the kerb that you can see in the above picture.


Might not bother with the splitter!

Tyres are 205/45/17 on the front and 215/45/17 on the back. I had 195s on the front for about ten mins, then when the bloke was inflating them, the sidewall just blew out! Lucky they weren't on the car when it did! The 195s gave a bit of stretch but the 205s should be a bit more comfy.

I've run out of paint to do the bolt covers, and polishing the centre nuts is still to come. Although thinking about it, I quite like the wheels without them, although they do look a little unfinished I guess.

Here's some photos I took about an hour ago...

























Let me know what you think :)
 

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Looks good, but not very driveable, my E30 is like that, cant even get the jack under it.

Like the roof rack :thumbsup
 

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Looking really good, mate! Did u refurb the wheels yourself? They look spot on..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments guys, yeah I did the wheels myself, totally transformed them from how mucky they were before :)
 

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Thanks for the comments guys, yeah I did the wheels myself, totally transformed them from how mucky they were before :)
How long did it take to get them in this condition? Only asking because I'm thinking of doing the same thing and would be nice to know what will I be getting my arse into.. :hihi
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not really any other plans for the moment. I wouldn't mind sourcing some grey leather seats but it's not a priority. The car really is what it is, a cheap run around and I've got other cars which need the time spent on. I might not bother replacing the front panel and bonnet either at this stage. There's a few tiny spots of bubbly paint which I will address in the summer.

The wheels took about 3 hours each to get to that stage. Quite an easy job but very time consuming! Just split them, strip the old paint lacquer off, then wet glass paper the lips from 180 grit up to 1500 grit before using polishing mops and compounds to polish them. Bolts can be reused as they are not stretch bolts like used in some other BBS wheels.
 
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Thanks mate, sounds like a plan. Just need to find a spare set of wheels until I get these ones done. What did you use to strip the old lacquer?
 

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Not really any other plans for the moment. I wouldn't mind sourcing some grey leather seats but it's not a priority. The car really is what it is, a cheap run around and I've got other cars which need the time spent on. I might not bother replacing the front panel and bonnet either at this stage. There's a few tiny spots of bubbly paint which I will address in the summer.

The wheels took about 3 hours each to get to that stage. Quite an easy job but very time consuming! Just split them, strip the old paint lacquer off, then wet glass paper the lips from 180 grit up to 1500 grit before using polishing mops and compounds to polish them. Bolts can be reused as they are not stretch bolts like used in some other BBS wheels.
Thats cool not every car needs to have major money spent on, or be in show and shine condiiton. If I had something like yours Id go for the Rat Look :cool:cool
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nitromors paint stripper for getting rid of the lacquer. Just follow the instructions on the tin, it's good stuff. About a fiver and in a green tin. Halfords, B&Q, Homebase etc all sell it.

I agree on the cheap comment. I've spent thousands on other cars and it's nice to have a cool looking car for peanuts for a change :) at the end of the day it's only an old BMW. I don't think the e36 has really reached classic status yet as the shape is still quite modern.
 
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Thanks mate, will get one and see how it all goes down. Nice looking motor, I wouldn't go rat on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yup, full black leather interior in now, and more pics :)





























 
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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah I'd like to come to some. I've never been to a bimmer meet before. Where/whens the next one? Any popular ones?
 
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