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      09-03-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
Prowess Symphony
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Thinking about older m3 for weekend/track car?

Id like a e36 or e46 m3 mainly for a hobby car. The e46s are still way to expensive though so mostly im thinking about a e36. There are some that are just a few grand and im sure I could get some fun out of. My concerns are of course the cost of any little part that goes wrong. Im sure these cars were pushed hard throughout there life.

Im mostly looking for something to play with and restore for a dedicated track or weekend car. Im sure my 335 would be faster around the track but thats not the point here at all.

Im sure lots of you have done this and have perspective. Didnt know where to post this, btw. Thanks
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      09-03-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowess Symphony View Post
Im sure my 335 would be faster around the track but thats not the point here at all.
No way is a 335i faster around the track than a gently modded E36 M3.

Please don't flame...I used to be a 335i owner.
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      09-03-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Z4MCJJ View Post
No way is a 335i faster around the track than a gently modded E36 M3.

Please don't flame...I used to be a 335i owner.
Yes, but my 335 is also gently modded.

But thats not the issue anyway. Living with a out of warranty car like that is. Im not sure on how available parts are and whether its too expensive of a task to be fun.
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      09-03-2009, 11:17 PM   #4
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Im not sure that Id go so far as a cage and whatnot. Id like to keep it mostly stock looking on the interior. Woot, im getting excited just thinking about it. My first dip into the m world.
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      09-04-2009, 12:00 AM   #5
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Exclamation

I don't understand why people here at E90 think they can use the 335i as some sort of track queen. I'm not coming down on anyone in particular, but it's something I see a lot on this forum.

The 335i is simply too heavy. Along with that it has small brakes, inadequate cooling, no LSD, and has a soft "sports" suspension.

It's one of the best daily driver/street cars you can buy, but on a track it kind of sucks. On a drag strip, the 335i is pretty decent admittedly.
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      09-04-2009, 12:16 AM   #6
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Lets keep the discussion to purchasing an old out of warranty m3 and the problems associated with that. Id also like to know of any good experiences that others have had doing something like this. The 335 should not be involved in the discussion. Thanks

Last edited by Prowess Symphony; 09-04-2009 at 07:37 AM.
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      09-04-2009, 10:32 AM   #7
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it might also depend on how mechanically inclined you are (i.e. how much of the work you can do yourself).

the mechanic that i goto is a BMW specialist, and preps race cars for his clients. his own track car is an e36 M3 that is stripped, cage, etc. you might wanna start by talking to local mechanics that do that sort of thing to get an idea of cost, although it looks ilke it can get exp in a hurry.
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      09-04-2009, 10:55 AM   #8
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Parts are still plentiful and not too expensive since they're much older. Plus with a vehicle like that you can always find junker cars around or buy from others on forums. An E36 M3 I would assume to be much faster around a track than a 335i and a hell of a lot more fun to drive.

Do a pre-purchase inspection ($250ish) before you buy the car so you know what you're getting into. Many things are easy to work on and shouldn't brake often with preventitive maintenance. I've owned an E30 for 4 years now and not had much of a problem at all. Just get things repaired/replaced before they go out and you're fine. My only gripe about the E36's are their interior. Shoddy at best. Make sure your door panels aren't literally hanging there ready to fall off. Otherwise it's a cheap drivers car. Go for it!
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      09-04-2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec 1 View Post

Do a pre-purchase inspection ($250ish) before you buy the car so you know what you're getting into. Many things are easy to work on and shouldn't brake often with preventitive maintenance. I've owned an E30 for 4 years now and not had much of a problem at all. Just get things repaired/replaced before they go out and you're fine. My only gripe about the E36's are their interior. Shoddy at best. Make sure your door panels aren't literally hanging there ready to fall off. Otherwise it's a cheap drivers car. Go for it!
+1. I had an e36 that ran well above 370 000km, and was still running fine with minimal problems...well except for the rubbish interior. The door panels fall of so easily, you would think you were driving a TATA or something.
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      09-04-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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lol, ill be sure to check the door panels. Hopefully with parts available things shouldnt be too bad. Theres no guarantee that anything major would go wrong anyway.
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      09-04-2009, 11:13 AM   #11
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Meh on the interior.... Your climate controls probably won't always work, your speakers will crackle if they work at all, the headliner will sag, your windows will come off track at random, and your interior door panels will want to remove themselves from the door. Your sunroof will stick open, necessitating the allen key manual fix.

However, I loved my not-so-gently modded E36 M3 until it kissed a tree a bit too hard (disabled nannies finally got me). I would suggest overhauling the entire cooling system, get a 4-door, and reinforce your strut towers. You've already got the subframe mount reinforcement in the ///M, along with the x-brace, but check just to make sure the subframe reinforcement is still doing its job. There have been failures in that area, even with the reinforcement. And that isn't a cheap item to fix, although it's probaly less than you would imagine.

There's no question my E36 was 1000x more fun to drive. However, I also spent a lot of time on the nagging issues, and it never even saw 70k miles.
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      09-04-2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSong View Post
I don't understand why people here at E90 think they can use the 335i as some sort of track queen. I'm not coming down on anyone in particular, but it's something I see a lot on this forum.

The 335i is simply too heavy. Along with that it has small brakes, inadequate cooling, no LSD, and has a soft "sports" suspension.

It's one of the best daily driver/street cars you can buy, but on a track it kind of sucks. On a drag strip, the 335i is pretty decent admittedly.
love you but, I whole heartedly disagree.

While the car is heavy, it's no obstacle to any performance. The stock brakes and pads are excellent. I've never had a cooling issue. (imo, the guys that have cooling issues don't know how to drive) Lack of LSD is a non-issue. There's nothing wrong with the suspension.
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      09-04-2009, 12:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satakal View Post
love you but, I whole heartedly disagree.

While the car is heavy, it's no obstacle to any performance. The stock brakes and pads are excellent. I've never had a cooling issue. (imo, the guys that have cooling issues don't know how to drive) Lack of LSD is a non-issue. There's nothing wrong with the suspension.

you sound like someone who's never been behind the wheel of a stock e36 m3, let alone a modded one. There is something wrong with the stock suspension, with non-runflats the e90/e92 drives like a boat.
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      09-04-2009, 12:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by doubled24 View Post
you sound like someone who's never been behind the wheel of a stock e36 m3, let alone a modded one. There is something wrong with the stock suspension, with non-runflats the e90/e92 drives like a boat.
lol. If only you knew.

I'm not chiming in on the e36. I don't know enough to weigh in on it.

But, the e90 335... I know a thing or two about it. I stand by what I said.
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Last edited by satakal; 09-13-2011 at 10:45 PM.
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      09-04-2009, 12:45 PM   #15
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An e36 m3 makes a phenomenal track car. The best bang for the buck BMW you can buy (maybe until you start modding it, then it gets expensive). Out of the box they are better than anything you can find stock for that price range. It is definitely a slippery slope tho, and I wouldn't be surprised if you found yourself wanting to put more into the car as parts are readily available and relatively cheap (compared to e90 parts). I will tell you this tho, don't put a euro-spec motor in if you are looking for a budget track car. Parts for that motor surpass e90 parts when it comes to cost.
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      09-04-2009, 01:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satakal View Post
love you but, I whole heartedly disagree.

While the car is heavy, it's no obstacle to any performance. The stock brakes and pads are excellent. I've never had a cooling issue. (imo, the guys that have cooling issues don't know how to drive) Lack of LSD is a non-issue. There's nothing wrong with the suspension.
Love you too.

But we have to respectfully disagree on this. As a track car, the 335i is not very good without some major upgrades (suspension, brakes, and cooling being the major ones). Even then it's about 300-400 pounds too heavy IMO.

The weight is the biggest issue. I would say this about the Camaro SS as well, and it actually laps the Nurburgring faster than the 335i.

If you want to see my idea of a track car, look at the following: M3 CSL, Porsche GT3, Exige S, and the C6 Z06. These cars are LIGHT, have an LSD, have great brakes, and don't suffer from overheating issues. Are these the kind of cars I'd drive my kids and wife to a family get together? Nope.

That's where the beauty of the 335i/328i come in, they are great daily drivers, and that's their strength. Not on the track.
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      09-04-2009, 02:16 PM   #17
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I like to read magazines too. But, I prefer to melt tires. My stock e90 is great for 20+ track days a year. And, I've got no mods planned.

Lets be honest about this thread. The OP has no idea what he's doing. And he'll never buy a track car. For what's ahead of someone like him (lots and lots of humbling learning) a stock e90 will be fine.

Will he be able to over heat the brakes and the motor? Of course. That's what noobs do. Would an intermediate / advanced level driver do that? Maybe, maybe not.

Should he get an e30 or e36? Yes. Not because of any inherent performance potential. But, because he should be able to afford to total it.
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Last edited by satakal; 09-13-2011 at 10:45 PM.
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      09-04-2009, 02:18 PM   #18
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Thumbs up

I've seen Miatas lapping E90s at the track. It's a weight thing.
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      09-04-2009, 02:25 PM   #19
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lol, all this talk about the 335 being a capable track car is REALLY lulz. only track capable after a sizable amount of pricey upgrades...brakes, suspension, wheels, tires, LOTS of cooling upgrades, oil cooler if you don't have one OE, etc. by that point, you'd have a 335 for m3 money. you decide.....
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      09-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satakal View Post
I like to read magazines too. But, I prefer to melt tires. My stock e90 is great for 20+ track days a year. And, I've got no mods planned.

Lets be honest about this thread. The OP has no idea what he's doing. And he'll never buy a track car. For what's ahead of someone like him (lots and lots of humbling learning) a stock e90 will be fine.

Will he be able to over heat the brakes and the motor? Of course. That's what noobs do. Would an intermediate / advanced level driver do that? Maybe, maybe not.

Should he get an e30 or e36? Yes. Not because of any inherent performance potential. But, because he should be able to afford to total it.
Hey, why are you saying I have no idea what im doing. Ive seen many track days and have a track only '88 camaro. This thread ISNT about the e9x on the track. This IS about buying an e36 and what life is liking having an old bmw way out of warranty to turn into a track car.

This threading isnt even about tracking. Its about living with a used e36 and whether the fun factor outweighs the costs. No idea why you decided to call me a noob or other such insults. Thats just rude and way off topic.
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      09-04-2009, 02:30 PM   #21
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OP - if you're looking for a track car, buy something beat up and cheap. e36 would be a great platform. strip it, drop an LS1 in it, and go tear up the track.
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      09-04-2009, 02:59 PM   #22
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get a s2k
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