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Old Thu, Apr-10-2014, 11:17:07 PM   #1
LAWLence
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Default LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe - Track Build

Current Mod/Parts List (Updated 9/22/16):
Suspension/Steering
JRZ RS1 Coilovers
JRZ 2.25" Spring Collars
Eibach 750F/900R lbs/in springs
Eibach helper springs
Eibach front spring isolators
Ground Control race camber plates
Ground Control rear weight jacks
Hotchkis Front Sway Bar
Bimmerworld adjustable front sway endlinks
AKG spherical rear shock mounts
AKG front control arm bushings
Turner Motorsport Spherical RTAB
Turner Motorsport Solid Aluminum Subframe Bushings
Turner Motorsport Subframe reinforcement plates (lower)
Vulcan Racing Fab rear subframe half cage tie-in (upper)
Z3 Non-M Steering Rack
OE strut bar

Brakes
AP Racing / Essex 325mm Front BBK w/ J Hook Rotors
AP Racing / Essex Rear Caliper
Centric premium high-carbon rear rotors
Ferodo DSUNO F / DS1.11 R pads
Motul RBF600 brake fluid
HARD Motorsport brake duct kit, driver side modified with 3" intake inlet
Spiegler SS brake lines

Wheels/Tires
APEX ARC-8 17x10 ET25 Hyper Black
Maxxis RC-1 275/40/17
APEX 75mm stud kit

Drivetrain
ZHP 6-speed knob
E60 Shifter
Vorshlag 80A transmission mounts
Amsoil Synchromesh MTF
Clutch delay valve delete
Blanton rear LSD
4.10 Motorsport gears


Engine
///Beary Alpha-N tune, 335whp/249wtq
MAF screen delete
Z-Tek section 3 exhaust
Agency Power V2 Headers
Secondary Air Pump Delete
AKG 95A engine mounts
Fluidyne Radiator w/ 12% coolant, 1 bottle water wetter, remainder distilled water
Massive SPAL fan mounting brackets
SPAL 16" Curved fan 30102049
AUX Fan delete
Viton CPV o-ring
Beisan oil pump disc
Beisan rebuilt VANOS solenoid
Beisan VANOS anti rattle kit

Interior/Safety
Vulcan Racing Fab custom half cage
Recaro Pro Racer SPG (driver)
Recaro slider (driver)
VAC Floor plates (driver)
Schroth Profi Enduro HANS 6pt harnesses
Rogue Engineering Steering Quick Release
NRG Short Hub Adapter
Momo Mod 88 Steering Wheel


Exterior
Euro aspherical side mirror glass
Angel eyes
Flat black kidney slats
Flat black side grills
Smoked corners
LED tail lights
Body matched front reflectors
LED license plate lights

Coding
8100 RPM Redline
Delimited top speed
Shift lights
Oil warm up lights 45-75C, 5C increments
Idle RPM 1070
AUX fan controller trigger temperatures lowered
Cat heating delete
SAP delete
Rear O2 delete
EGT sensor delete

Aero/Body/Weight Reduction
Flossmann Carbon Fiber CSL trunk w/ wing support
Flossmann Carbon Fiber 180cm GT wing
Flossmann Carbon Fiber Front Splitter
Flossmann Carbon Fiber Canards
Custom hood vents
Custom aluminum rear wing risers/adjustment plates
Custom carbon fiber front end plates
Rear/upper interior removed
Airbags removed
Audio system removed
Radio blank plate
Deka ETX30L Battery
S2R Tuning sunroof delete panel


Hi all,
I haven’t really been active on these forums much having never previously owned a real M3. I figured I'd start getting a little more active here since there is a much better wealth of knowledge for E46 M3s on M3F compared to bimmerforums. This is the 6th BMW I’ve owned and will turn into a fun project. I recently sold my S54 Z3 M Coupe and my E46 Touring was totaled last month (it was a 5-speed ), so this new-to-me ’01 M3 is my one and only car at the moment.

Ever since I was a kid, the E46 M3 was something I lusted over. I think it was the first car that made it on my desktop wallpaper. I’ve owned a number of BMWs over the years, and this one is my favorite from a performance/utility standpoint. The E36s that I owned got my foot in the door, but I never really liked the looks of the E36. I had an E30 for like a month when I owned my Z3M and it was the biggest POS ever (granted it was $800 and not the best example). The Z3M was bonkers but lacked refinement. It was an odd little car that was crazy fun on the track, but alas it sat in my garage for months at a time without being driven. I ended up selling it to an older couple who wanted to cage and continue to track it, so I didn’t feel too much remorse for letting it go, knowing at least someone else will drive the snot out of it. The E46 Touring was the most practical car I’ve ever owned and provided all the creature comforts I would want in a modern car, but it was way down on power for its weight. So enter the E46 M3. It’s not as practical as the Touring, but it offers much more performance with the same creature comforts. I guess you could say I’m excited. Although, I am disappointed that BMW never made a production M3 Touring.

Enough about what I used to have. Let’s have a look at this car’s story. I started shopping for M3s months before I bought one, but with prospects of selling my M Coupe being very low, it was just an idea I was toying with. After all, I had spent 5 years building it into a track beast. It took some digging to find an unmolested 6-speed coupe for the right price. I can't believe the amount of SMG Convertibles out there! I found one and picked it up 2 days after I sold the M Coupe (to fill the void in my heart or something lol). I drove from Orange County up to the Bay Area with my girlfriend. Test drove the car in the rain and fell in love.



I bought the car for the seller’s asking price. I figured it was pretty fair for a 114k mile car since he had just gotten the subframe reinforced by a reputable shop and had almost complete service records for the car. I also had a forum member pull up the warranty service history at the dealership, and it had the bearing recall performed. It also got a new motor at 18k miles (bearings wore out) and clutch at 40k, so those two items were a bit fresher than some of the other higher mileage M3s. No accident history whatsoever, so this was pretty much what I was looking for.





I took it out for a Sunday drive the day after I bought the car. I figured Highway 9 in Saratoga would be an ideal place for a shakedown. The road was very damp, and there was heavy fog in some places. Not a big deal, though—the car came equipped with Michelin Pilot SuperSports and handled the damp conditions with a surprising amount of grip. Being that I wasn’t very familiar with the car yet, I didn’t push it too hard and left the DSC on. I immediately noticed that the car was wallowy. The shocks were original at 114k, so they will need to be replaced. The turn-in was not very sharp, so the control arms/FCABs/tie rods will probably need replacing too.



With that said, I expected the normal slew of maintenance for a car of this mileage. New controls arms, bushings, engine mounts, tranny mounts, diff mounts, etc etc. Probably 2 grand worth of maintenance (unfortunately, I lost my job the same week I bought the car. DOH!). My thoughts about the maintenance were confirmed after I got the car up on a lift, and I have a nice list of things I will buy when my insurance finally settles for the Touring.



I gave the car a nice wash after having driven it in the rain for the two days prior. I think this was the point where the mod bug bit, and I had to get my grubby hands on the car! The corner light had a bunch of condensation on the inside of the car, so I immediately ordered some smoked corners. I always liked the ones on my girlfriend’s 328Ci, so I figured I’d buy some too.









And then I noticed the headlight covers were pitted, so I ordered those too. And then some angel eyes. And then new side markers and license plate bulbs. Whoops, that escalated quickly. The slippery slope begins.



Now, I always hated the chrome slats on the M3 grill, so I did some plasti-dipping. I also did the fender grills while I was at it. I left the kidney surrounds chrome since I’m not a huge fan of the blacked-out look.





I wanted to improve the interior a bit as well. The previous owner replaced all of the center console plastic but didn’t do the sunglass holder. It was quite scratched up, so I put a layer of plasti-dip on that as well to clean it up. It’s been a couple of months since I did that, and so far it has held up pretty well. The stock shift knob was worn out and shifted like a boat oar and was unbecoming of the interior around it. I picked up a ZHP knob from Tischer to replace it. I don’t miss the illumination because all it would do is heat up the knob, and I don’t look at it while I’m driving any way.



I moved to a new house after a couple of weeks of owning the car, and the new garage was more to my liking. Really a nice place to work on stuff rather than the dingy dungeon that I had previously. It's actually quite a bit wider than what this panorama makes it out to be. Without the cabinets, it's about as wide as a 3-car garage.





During the freak torrential downpour we had back in March, I took some time to install the new euro wide angle glass for the side mirrors. I’ve had these on my cars ever since I bought aftermarket mirrors for my E36 and haven’t looked back since (pun not intended!). No but seriously, you don’t need to do a shoulder check with these things when you switch lanes, so there is no looking back!



The stock one had the very common corrosion problem on the passenger side. These were E90 fitment, so I had to unbolt the motor from the housing to move the heater wires to the correct side. Aside from that, they were very easy to install.









And then my E46 Touring got totaled. This was a very sad day for me because this car had been my daily driver for almost 4 years. It was a bit of a beater—salvage title (totaled TWICE, now three times) but took whatever I threw at it. It’s gone sideways in the snow, dirt, and rain. It went through 5 window regulars in one year. It was the car that piqued my girlfriend’s interest when we first met—she had an E46 in the same color. We came to find out that the cars were built within a week of each other at the same plant and probably travelled to the US on the same boat. How romantic lol



And this is how the M3 sits at the moment. I have some exciting things planned for the car in the upcoming months, so stay tuned!

Last edited by LAWLence; Thu, Sep-22-2016 at 09:03:18 PM.
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Old Thu, Apr-10-2014, 11:19:54 PM   #2
eson
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Loved your M Coupe. Seems like we made the opposite switch! Can't wait to see what you do here
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Old Thu, Apr-10-2014, 11:21:42 PM   #3
bgale
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

The M3 looks clean my friend! Enjoy this one and hopefully only good things await you, sorry about your touring! Do you have pics of the Z3M coupe!? im looking forward to seeing what you have for this one!
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Old Thu, Apr-10-2014, 11:36:04 PM   #4
LAWLence
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Quote:
Originally Posted by eson View Post
Loved your M Coupe. Seems like we made the opposite switch! Can't wait to see what you do here
Haha funny how things work. How's the new suspension setup coming along?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgale View Post
The M3 looks clean my friend! Enjoy this one and hopefully only good things await you, sorry about your touring! Do you have pics of the Z3M coupe!? im looking forward to seeing what you have for this one!
Sure do. It's probably one of the more uh, recognizable coupes out there





And the day that I sold it:

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Old Thu, Apr-10-2014, 11:47:57 PM   #5
David@ApexRaceParts
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Excited to see what you will do with this car, Lawrence.
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Old Fri, Apr-11-2014, 12:02:06 AM   #6
jeremy5000
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Will this car go down the same route as the Z3M?
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Old Fri, Apr-11-2014, 12:05:04 AM   #7
kaiv
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Your 328 circa 2009



But seriously I'm butthurt you say you don't like the looks of the E36
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Old Fri, Apr-11-2014, 12:41:17 AM   #8
LAWLence
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy5000 View Post
Will this car go down the same route as the Z3M?
Hard to say. It's pretty clean exaple that I'd hate to hack up. I may just end up buying something that is a little cheaper to maintain for the track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiv View Post
Your 328 circa 2009



But seriously I'm butthurt you say you don't like the looks of the E36
Hahaha good times. I should have qualified that statement to say relative to the E46. Maybe I grew up in the wrong era! :P
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Old Fri, Apr-11-2014, 02:32:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAWLence View Post
Haha funny how things work. How's the new suspension setup coming along?
Thanks to your help & advice, I think I'll be real satisfied with my decision. Should be delivered and installed in roughly two weeks, so I'll keep you posted.
I'll keep an eye on this build !
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Old Fri, Apr-11-2014, 10:54:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe

Stoked to see you picked up an E46 M3! Looking forward to seeing you back out on track.
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Discussing LAWLence's '01 M3 Coupe in the Member Journals Forum - Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)