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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 12:50:03 PM   #1
bimmerteknik
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Default 500k+ Mile E36 M3

Hi guys, Iíve been lurking for a while on here and figured itís time for an introduction.

Iíll get straight to the M3 and then a bit about ME at the end.

1997 BMW M3/4/5
Arctic Silver
Dove interior
LW Wheels



The vehicle was purchased with less than 80k miles on the odometer by a coworker, heís had a 160~ mile commute every weekday since owning it.

As far as maintenance goes it got oil and filter every 5k until about 350k miles when consumption was to the point that oil was being added at a rate of 1 little every week or 800~ miles. At that point the P.O. made the decision to just add the oil as needed and swap the filter at 5k marks. Fuel filter was changed every 60k (itís the original fuel pump). Other than a starter in 2015, an alternator, bushings, suspension, a few drive shafts, an oil pan gasket, a clutch, valve seals and a cyclone separator. This car has needed very little during his ownership up to the point of oil consumption.

The P.O. and co-worker purchased a 335 diesel to replace this as his commute is still the same. I was able to get the car because our sales department was open with him about sending it to auction. So we agreed on a price and now I own what Iím assuming is one of the highest E36 M3ís around.

When I took possession of the car he was adding 2+ liters every week with mostly interstate traveling. I personally had to add 1 liter in the first 40 miles of driving It, but it was a lot of stop and go and I wasnít being kind to it.

I attempted to slow the consumption with just about every additive out there just to see if anything actually worked... it didnít.🤣

So I made the decision to pull the motor and start a refresh.

To my surprise and the P.Oís we found the head was not original to the car.

So I looked the pictures VIN up on DCS and found the last update was in 2002 and it was a Texas car with 80k. So that doesnít negate our mileage by much if anything, as the car had roughly 80k when the P.O. purchased it.

We are assuming either the head was sent out and the wrong one returned, the head was damaged and a used one sourced, or the engine was sourced completely from the Texas car.

As I poked about in the head I found a bit of catalyst material jammed in the valve guide area of cylinder 6 . It was a tiny piece but when I asked P.O. about it he said he removed the cars shortly after purchase knowing these things burned a bit of oil.

So that piece has been in the exhaust valve area for over 400k!!!

After removing the head we located the assumed source of oil consumption. Cylinder 5 and 6 have some heavy scoring. You can see in the last few photos there is also some material, presumably catalyst embedded in the #6 piston.



Iíll have to update with proper bearing photos, but these things were amazing at 500k+ miles.

After breaking the mains loose and removing the rods from the block and the cams/ledges from the head the block/crank and head were sent to a local machine shop.

They gave me a call within a few days to let me know we were going to be boring to 87mm.

So I now have a set of rods and 11.5:1 pistons on the way. They said the crank only needed polishing and gave me the go ahead to order standard size main and rod bearings.

At this point itís a waiting game for pistons to show up and to hear back on the head. (Eta of 5/15)

.................................................. .......

ďThe Parts ListĒ
87mm JE pistons specíd at 11.5:1
Eagle H beam rods
Glyco bearings (standard size mains and rods)
Riot racing cams
INA Followers
(Still deciding on springs and retainers)

.................................................. .......

As for me Iím a Rolls Certified and BMW L1 tech here in Raleigh NC. I came out of the NJ BMW STEP program in 2014.

Iíve owned a few other BMWís in the past, current stable is this M3, a 2003 ZHP and a 2007 X3 and a 2003 525i

The ZHP sees a good bit of track use. Hoping to dedicate this M3 to track days and just use the ZHP for backup/daily or when Iím bringing someone along I can use one or the other as a loaner vehicle.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Last edited by bimmerteknik; Sat, May-12-2018 at 09:07:16 PM.
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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 01:21:29 PM   #2
Double E
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

Thanks for sharing.
Sent a PM.
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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 03:38:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

this is awesome. The car looks to be in good shape for the miles! Especially surprised with the interior, I've seen worse with less than 100k miles 10 years ago!

Kinda goes to show how reliable these cars are, I really do believe this is the most reliable and kindest maintenance M3 there has been yet.

Enjoy the journey! And thanks for sharing. Please continue to document this one. Wouldn't be surprised if some auto-journalist would take interest in doing an article on this. I certainly would if I worked for a media outlet.
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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 04:12:46 PM   #4
bimmerteknik
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by propcar View Post
this is awesome. The car looks to be in good shape for the miles! Especially surprised with the interior, I've seen worse with less than 100k miles 10 years ago!

Kinda goes to show how reliable these cars are, I really do believe this is the most reliable and kindest maintenance M3 there has been yet.

Enjoy the journey! And thanks for sharing. Please continue to document this one. Wouldn't be surprised if some auto-journalist would take interest in doing an article on this. I certainly would if I worked for a media outlet.


Thanks for the kind words, Iíve certainly had a lot of interest from different individuals from within BMW and the BMW community over this car since taking it on.




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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 04:12:47 PM   #5
JaBron_Lames
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

Great story and thank you for sharing! Got me to thinking though, at what point does the mileage go from being a cringe point to a badge of honor? Somewhere north of 300k?
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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 04:18:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

So awesome to see one of these with such high miles! Iím excited to see what you have in store for this thing.
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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 04:19:27 PM   #7
bimmerteknik
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaBron_Lames View Post
Great story and thank you for sharing! Got me to thinking though, at what point does the mileage go from being a cringe point to a badge of honor? Somewhere north of 300k?


It certainly feels like a badge of honor, although I donít feel like Iíve earned it. P.O. gets that credit. Iím just trying to polish a medal I happened upon.




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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 05:26:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

wow that pretty darn impressive! what pistons did you go with? 11.5:1 should be a nice bump in performance.
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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 09:16:19 PM   #9
bimmerteknik
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by englishtom1596q View Post
wow that pretty darn impressive! what pistons did you go with? 11.5:1 should be a nice bump in performance.


Itís a JE piston / rings and Eagle H beam rods they were sold as a kit by CNC-Motorpsorts.

Part number for piston is 297173
Rods are CRS5313B63D

Iím hoping it will be worth the effort.


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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 11:25:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: 500k+ Mile E36 M3

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaBron_Lames View Post
Great story and thank you for sharing! Got me to thinking though, at what point does the mileage go from being a cringe point to a badge of honor? Somewhere north of 300k?
Shouldn't matter. I've seen some atrocious, horribly taken care of, awfully modded sub 100k cars, and some beautiful 250k+ cars.
One of our local guys has over 700WHP in his 600k+ (km) daily driver e36.
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Discussing 500k+ Mile E36 M3 in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)