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 :-/

Red Bank, NJ Cars & Coffee 8.13.11

Red Bank, New Jersey Cars & Coffee Meet on August 13th, 2011. These are pictures from a past meet, we should be resuming in the spring once the temps come back up and the salt is off of the roads. We typically meet up on the first Saturday of the month at 8:30am in parking lot of The Grove off of Rt. 35.

Imola Yellow Audi S4

The smell of the leather in this Ferrari California was intoxicating… 

Visit to BMW Welt in Munich, Germany.

In order to pick up my car via BMW’s European Delivery Program, I first had to get to Europe… There are a few nice perks that go along with European Delivery, the most generous of which is that your companion flies for free if you book your tickets via Lufthansa. BMW picks up the tab for their ticket cost leaving you responsible for only the taxes and fees. Not exactly a 100% free ride, but still way better than paying for the whole thing. I had moved my flight up by a day so that I could make it to the last English speaking BMW Plant Tour of the year, and was impressed with Lufthansa’s customer service. My Alpine White E92 M3 ZCP Euro Deliver post can be found here.

Well onto the pictures…

I felt like I was right at home when I came upon this display in  the Munich Airport. Clearly, I was born in the wrong country.

After sitting on a plane for ~9hours, the enthusiastic for my trip/living was pretty much  sucked out of my soul, as pictured here.

Arrival at BMW Welt! It took me a few hours to figure everything out, but I would up falling in love with Germany’s train system. I could take the S or U line to pretty much anywhere I wanted in Munich. I took the S1from the airport directly to my hotel, without ever having to walk out on a street. I was able to take the U line from the hotel directly to BMW Welt/Olympiaplatz

I couldn’t get over the number of 1 series hatches, it felt like every 5th car that I saw was a 1 series diesel hatchback…

BMW Headquaters

I loved the interior in this car, very impressive attention to detail. It’s a shame that the E92 M3 did’t have similar interior trip options. 

BMW Welt downstairs cafe. 

While I typically think white Christmas trees are tacky, I’ll let this one slide.

Took this pic for any Apple fanbois…

BMW/Mini store

Motivation for wanting children someday…

BMW Headquarters as seen from BMW Welt

I received a complimentary copy of this book when I took delivery of my car.

Upstairs BMW International restaurant.

European Delivery Floor

Olympiaplatz can be seen through the windows.

Typical BMW 507 Christmas display…

Such an amazing building, they actually have architectural tours. I’ll be sure to sign up for one on my next visit.

Complimentary tickets to the BMW E90/E91 Plant Tour. Sadly, no pictures were allowed once inside of the plant.

BMW Museum 

Sup bro in lower left/center window!

They don’t smoke much in Europe…

Got a nice photo op after the BMW Motorad show!

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.