Category Archives: E36 M3


The Materialization of Performance.

        Here is another BMW brochure that I picked up. This is a French market brochure that introduced the European E36 M3 equipped with the legendary S50B30 motor. Sadly, this engine never made it into the U.S. market cars… 


Rogue Engineering 2014 Open House/BBQ/Dyno Day/Charity Fundraiser

I’ve known the owners of Rogue Engineering well before the company came into existence. Mark and Ben are both extremely generous individuals so it came as no shock to me when I heard they were hosting an event to benefit charity. All of the proceeds from this year’s charity fundraiser went to support the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).
As expected, Rogue had an impressive turn out for this year’s gathering. The event was not limited to BMW badged automobiles as there were a couple of Nissan GTRs, a Lamborghini Gallardo, C7 Corvette, and quite a few other cars that lacked a Bavarian accent.
Matt Russell of BMW of North America surprised us by stopping by with an Austin Yellow F82 M4. I never got a chance to sit behind the wheel of one at NYIAS, so I didn’t hesitate when I was offered a seat this time. Unfortunately I couldn’t drive it, but I’m sold. Just take a look at the name of the website… BMW owner for life. Looks like another trip to Germany is in my future once these receive an LCI/ZCP. I’m guessing Santorini Blue again, but Signal Green is also a possibility…
As always I ran into a lot of old friends and made a few new ones. I can’t wait for the next one!
Randomly issued NJ plate is strangely appropriate on this car…
Tastefully modded, super clean, Alpine White E46 M3. 
I don’t recall ever seeing this color in person on an E46 M3. As the owner of a Santorini Blue E92 M3, I return the favor often…
ESS Forcefed Frozen Black E92 M3.
Rogue Engineering’s Brilliant White Individual E46 M3 track weapon, partially prepared by IND Distribution.
Alpine White E36 M3 on Rogue’s dyno. See, it’s not just E9X M3s that came in Alpine…
I’m a fan.
What a machine… There will be an M4 in my future for sure.
Huge thank you to Matt Russell from BMW NA for bringing this beautiful Austin Yellow M4 for everyone to drool over.
///M-Ception, Phoenix Yellow E46 M3 and an Austin Yellow F82 M4. 
The massive optional carbon ceramic brakes on the F82 M4.

BMW E30 M3 SIGFest 2013 Concours d’Elegance

SIGFest, one of the largest gatherings of BMW E30 M3s in the world, is held by the E30 M3 Special Interest Group. Now in it’s 14th year, the Concours D’Elegance was held at Ross Dock Park located in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Saturday, October 5th, 2013. The park is situated between sheer cliffs and the Hudson River, with a beautiful view of NYC and the George Washington Bridge. That view improved 10 fold once the E30 M3s started rolling in...

The awards were beautifully prepared by Dave at Renewed Finishes.
My Santorini Blue E92 M3 relagated to the non-E30 M3 parking area. Mike from VAC’s E46 M3, my E92 M3, Godzilla, and a minivan…
It doesn’t get much more rare than a Laguna Green E30 M3 Cabrio. The only think you’ll see rarer than this is a steak on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. “IT’S RAW!!!” -G. Ramsay

The juxtaposition between the period correct Buick and the E30 M3’s really makes the shot. Or something…

If only modern engines looked half as good as the S14…

My guided tour of the BMW Museum in Munich.

Unfortunately on my previous trip to Germany I missed out on seeing the BMW Museum. This time, I made sure that mistake was not repeated. After spending the morning at BMW Welt and on the Plant tour I was finally off to the Museum…
The iconic global headquarters of BMW in Munich, Germany.

BMW E36 Touring spotted while crossing over the road from BMW Welt to the BMW Museum. Why exactly were these never imported to the US? Sigh…

E46 Compact as seen from the same walkway. I should have hung out here for a while…

The Munich TV Tower and BMW Welt during a snowstorm while it was sunny out. Ok then…

A trio of classic BMWs greets you upon entry into the museum.

BMW R32 Motorcycle

Just an M6 hanging out.

The original BMW 328.

The BMW P84/5 V10 Formula 1 race engine.
It’s a tragedy that this engine was hidden by a car. Truly a work of art.

The 2 liter I6, P54 B20 found in the E46 WTCC. 

A fairly ingenious offset intake plenum design by BMW. It makes for superlative throttle response and makes the most of the induction air that comes through the mandated restricted throttle body. 

Another shot of the carbon fiber intake plenum, throttle body, and velocity stack.

The P54 B20’s composite intake runners.

The mighty P60B40 as found in the E46 M3 GTR, sorry Porsche, crybabies. Feed me a 996, nom nom nom.

BMW M12/M13 Formula One turbo engine. This 1.4 liter engine was said to produce ~1,300hp in qualifying trim, and that was in 1986!

Carbon fiber turbocharger housing.

I should buy a boat.

The predecessor to the iconic BMW 3 Series.

BMW E21 323i.

E30 Cabrio.

All-wheel drive E30 Touring?!?! How did we not get these?

Boston Green Metallic E36 328is. The same color as my first car, a 1995 318i.

The 3 Series bloodline up to the E46.

BMW 507

And my dream car, the BMW 2002.


BMW 2002ti

E46 M3 CSL

The interior of the E46 M3 CLS. Unfortunately, due to the lighting and me not having a CPL filter with me, taking decent shots of the interior proved impossible. I could have pressed the lens up on the glass, but I think BMW may have frowned upon that a bit.

E46 M3 CSL interior.

E46 M3 CSL badge.

E46 M3 CSL carbon fiber roof.

Estoril/Black leather Z3 M Roadster interior.

Estoril Z3 M Roadster

E30 M3


The car that started it all, the BMW M1.

E46 M3 CSL carbon fiber valance treatment and exhaust.

The first e28 M5 that I’ve seen that wasn’t painted black.

E21 Racecar on beautiful BBS wheels.

E30 M3 racecar on BBS wheels of course. There were no E36 M3s at the museum.  At the NY International Autoshow briefly spoke with Matt Russel (BMW M Brand Manager) and was told that two journalists wrecked both cars at the Nürburgring. Apparently the cars were running on original tires, which seemed to provide less than favorable grip on the wet track. From what I was told, one of the cars is currently being repaired, but it looks like the other is a total loss.

BMW 2000TI

BMW 2000ti

Massive BBS race wheels. Look at that lip!

Interior of E21 racecar.

The E92 M3 art car.

BBS wheels and Alcon brakes, perfect match.

BMW Welt, Museum and Headquarters as seen from the Munich TV Tower.


Picked up some new shoes for the E36 this weekend…

I’ve wanted a set of OEM Forged LTWs for as long as I can remember. Finally picked a set up this past weekend. I’ll need to get new rubber for the wheels, and I’m thinking about sending them out for refinishing. I’ll also need a stud conversion set and spacers to clear the Brembo brake calipers :-/

My 1999 Estoril Blue M3 Photoshoot

Before I took these pics the car received a fairly decent freshening up after sitting for roughly 4 years…
Eurosport M50 Manifold Converison
Turner Motorsports Underdrive Pulleys
Accessory Belt
Zionsville Autosport Aluminum Radiator
OEM Water Pump
Samco Radiator Hoses
OEM Thermostat
Aluminum Thermostat Housing
Coolant Level Sensor
Brake Light Switch
Redline Trans Fluid
ATE Superblue Brake Fluid
Mobil 1 Engine Oil
Clutch Delay Valve Delete
Center Support Bearing
Turner Motorsports Stainless Steel Clutch Line
JB Racing Aluminum Flywheel
Clutch Masters Stage I Clutch
AC Belt
OEM Battery
In addition to the above, the car has BBS RCJ wheels (18×8, 18×9) Goodyear Eagle F1 tires (235/45/18, 255/35/18), Brembo BBK, Stainless Brake Lines, Hawk HPS Pads, UUC System U Exhaust, Bavarian Autosport High Performance Ignition Coils, Diffsonline 3.46 w/40% lock, Rogue Engineering Diff Cover, X-Brace, Carbon Fiber Door Pulls, Carbon Fiber wrapped OEM Shift Knob, Alcantara Shift and E-brake Boots, Clutch Stop, Benfer Carbon Fiber Intake, Ron Stygar Short Shift Kit, CD43 Headunit, and Bavarian Soundwerks 20mm Upgrade Tweeters and Midranges.
I need to install my Bosch Headlights, Rally Road Alcantara arm rest, JTD RSMs, and just got a set of BMW LTW Forged Double Spoke Wheels to run for a little while I send the BBS RCJs out for refinishing. While the car is down for the Winter and into the Spring, I plan on giving the car another thorough going through, and some significant suspension upgrades as well.

E36 M3 Audio Refresh

Now I’ve never been one for upgrading in-car electronics, but the factory Harmon/Kardon components in my 1999 M3 had seen better days. The H/K midrange speakers were completely destroyed which made listening to music sound much more like listening to combination of livestock and concrete blocks being thrown into a car shredder… Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a slightly purer sound.
This is where my fairly modest upgrade comes in. My first order of business was the replacement of the factory BMW Business headunit. While there was nothing physically wrong with it, I wasn’t exactly enamored with the look, and I hadn’t listened to a cassette tape in well over a decade. I guess I should also add that I had lost the security code and was too lazy to contact BMW for a new one. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I bought a new one. I decided to go with a Blaupunkt CD43 which I sourced from eBay. I cannot recommend this seller enough, he answered all of my questions promptly, the unit arrived from the UK in a few days, and the documentation and installation guide that came with it was very thorough. Please check out his store here: robmarrs’ ebay listings
The installation was extremely straight forward and simple, so I didn’t bother to document it. Once installed, the interior match was perfect, and the unit had no issues interfacing with the factory 6-Disc CD changer in the trunk.
As for the speakers, I went with Bavarian Soundwerks Midranges and 20mm Tweeters. These are completely plug and play upgrades for the factory H/K units. I took a few progress photos of the installation, but my walkthrough has nothing on the Bavarian Soundwerks Install Guide
While I cannot comment on the sound quality vs. a fully functioning H/K system since it had been years since I had used the stereo in my E36 M3. I can say that all of the crackling and popping that existed prior to the upgrade was now gone. While my current setup pales in comparison to the factory premium sound system in my E92 M3, it’s certainly come a long way from what it was prior to the work. I’ll most likely replace the front kick panel speakers and the rear deck speakers next with BSW units.

I was impressed with the quality of the BSW 20mm Tweeters. The factory units were quite flimsy by comparison.
The BSW Midranges were also significantly more robust looking than the factory H/K units.

While not required to remove the door panels and misc. trim pieces, these made it a lot easier. I picked the set up from a local Harbor Freight store for around $8…

I started out by removing the door lever surrounds. After prying it loose, you will need to work the piece towards the front of the car. The clips should release without too much effort.
Trim surround removed.
If you have a later E36 equipped with side airbags, you will find a T-20 torx fastener after removing the airbag trim insert. Be careful here since the tabs securing these are delicate.
The two remaining T-20 fasteners are located behind these trim plugs. Simply pop the plugs out and unscrew the remaining T-20’s.

E36 door with panel removed. Note the holes around the perimeter. I used the plastic pry bars to work the plastic fasteners out before removing the door panel. To re-install, simply align, and pop the panel back in.

E36 door panel, note plastic fasteners around perimeter.

Factory midrange and tweeter.

To remove both the midrange and tweeter, rotate the indicated collar counter -clockwise and remove the speaker though the front of the panel. 

BSW speakers after installation. They snap directly into the factory H/K housings.
Factory H/K midrange, completely destroyed…

Blaupunkt CD43 installed.

Factory Speakers as seen through the grills.

Bavarian Soundwerks Speakers as seen through the grills.