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Thread: 97 e36 m3 turbo build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    97 M3, 08 X3, 96 VW TDI

    97 e36 m3 turbo build

    I just picked up a black 97 m3 coupe. The car is very clean, 140k miles with a completely stock drivetrain and sitting on ISC coilovers. I've been itching for a project since I sold my 930 this summer and I think this car will do nicely. I'm a bit new to the e36 scene, so don't be afraid to make a suggestion or point me in the right direction.

    Goals:
    • I'd like to end up with a fun car that can be daily driven and I'm not afraid to send my wife out in, if needed.
    • roughly 400whp with early spool, just enough to have a little fun.
    • retain AC
    • budget as close to $4k as possible, I'll be doing my own wrenching (with some help from friends)


    What I've purchased so far:
    • ARP head studs
    • Cometic .140 MLS gasket (decided on CES cut ring gasket and copper spacer)
    • Active Autowerke Bottom mount t3 with 44mm waste gate tube attachment
    • Vibrant Intercooler
    • Turbonetics BOV


    What I'm planning to purchase:

    • FX stage 3 clutch with chromoly flywheel
    • TRM Turbo motor mount arm
    • RK OBD2 tune, MAF, 60lb siemens deka injectors (undecided on tune at the moment)
    • some name brand 44mm v-band wastegate (picked up a Tial 44mm)


    What I'm still working on figuring out:

    • low pressure t3/t04 60-1 turbo (ended up with a Garrett GT3582r)
    • will fab my own turbo back exhaust
    • some type of advanced electronic boost controller, perhaps this one
    • possibly used the meth injection i never installed on my 930?


    For October, I'm planning to at least pull the head, get it planed and/or polished, reinstall with ARP studs and MLS and install new pressure plate and clutch disc.

    What is the consensus on removing the factory exhaust manifold and installing to turbo manifold/turbo with the engine in the car?

    Is there anything I've overlooked? any comments or suggestions?

    Finally, here are a few not-so-good pictures of my new car:







    Last edited by fletcher0780; 12-12-2014 at 09:27 AM. Reason: added links
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    97 M3, 08 X3, 96 VW TDI
    So, I'm a bit torn between a Garrett BB water cooled GT3582R and a Turbonetics 60-1 BB stage 5 .68 A/R. I also found a deal on an FX stage 3 with chromoly flywheel for $350 shipped from a guy who sold his car before he installed it. Should I look at using a factory TO bearing instead of what the clutch comes with?
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Renton, Wa
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    My Cars
    98 m3
    I would do studs, 35r, and wmi. 400whp
    1989 535i - sold
    1999 Tiag/Dove M3 - sold
    1998 Turbo Arctic/black - current
    2004 TiAg/Black - Current

    PTE6870 | 1.15 ar | Hp Cover, Custom Divided T4 bottom-mount, 3.5" SS exhaust, Dual Turbosmart Compgates, Turbosmart Raceport BOV, 3.5" Treadstone Intercooler, 3.5" Vibrant resonator and muffler, Arp 2k Headstuds | Arp 2k Main studs | 87mm Je pistons | Eagle rods | 9.2:1 static compression, Ces 87mm cutring, Custom solid rear subframe bushings, Akg 85d diff bushings, 4 clutch 3.15 diff, , Poly engine mounts, UUC trans mounts W/ enforcers, 22RPD OBD2 Stock ECU id1700 E85 tune, 22RPD Big power Transmission swap w/ GS6-53

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Concord, NH
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    08 E90M3; 99 E36M3 Turbo
    GT35R is a great turbo if you can spend the money. I have really enjoyed mine over the past 4 years. I would say it is a good choice for 450-550 rwhp on an S52. For just 400 rwhp, it is also a good choice, maybe with a small 0.63 turbine. but you could step down to a GT30R.

    If you want a less expensive journal bearing, the old Garrett 60-1 is a reasonable choice. Precision also makes some that are worth looking at 6262 might be comparable to the 35R in flow, so that or smaller.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Tampa, FL
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    E36,E38, and E46
    is price driving you? maybe a borg warner efr. they include allot of stuff to save on fabrication time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    97 M3, 08 X3, 96 VW TDI
    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into all of them. Price is always a factor, isn't it? That being said, I'm not looking for a high horsepower monster, just a reliable street car with enough power to surprise the unsuspecting... I do want to focus on reliability and longevity though. This will not be a daily driver, but I would like it to behave like one.
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
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    '97 M3
    Quote Originally Posted by fletcher0780 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into all of them. Price is always a factor, isn't it? That being said, I'm not looking for a high horsepower monster, just a reliable street car with enough power to surprise the unsuspecting... I do want to focus on reliability and longevity though. This will not be a daily driver, but I would like it to behave like one.
    Price being a factor depends on your hp addiction.

    If all you want is a reliable car with enough power then you might as well ask for a unicorn as well. Reliability and longevity come from a new stock car with warranty.

    Sent from my GTX3582R
    '97 M3, Estoril blue, 2 dr, euro 6-spd, EFR 9180 divided T4 .92 IWG, RK tuning, CP 8.5:1 pistons, Eagle rods, Schrick cams, L19 11 mm ARP studs, O-ringed block, Supertech stainless/inconel valves, Supertech springs & Ti retainers, ported head, S54 oil pump/pan, 80 lb. injectors, OBD1 intake manifold, Steedspeed twin scroll T4, 3.5" SS exhaust, eBoost2 EBC, HFS-4 W/M injection, AEM Failsafe, Zeitronix data logger, Racelogic TC, OpenOBC w. ethanol %, Ireland Eng. engine mounts, UUC black tranny mounts w. enforcers, UUC twin disc feramic, ARC-8's, MCS 2-ways, Z3 rack, Rallyroad strut bar, X brace, Eibach sway bars, Ground Control LCAB bushings, Bimmerworld RTAB's, Powerflex subframe bushings, 210 4-clutch LSD, Stoptech BBK, titainium shims, steel braided lines, brake cooling ducts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    With your goal of being fun, but yet being able to have your wife take it out if need. I would consider a more laggy turbo then. That way, if she should ever get into the throttle and hit boost, a snappy turbo will light up tue tires and she would find herself going sideways if not going out of contol towaf d a powerpole, God forbid.

    Case in point: I had to take my wifes car somewhere and it was her day to pick up the kids from school. She had two other cars to choise from but ended up driving my turbo m3. Long story short, the teenagers egged her to race just about everyone on the road, so when she did lay into it, she hit boost, but obviously with my laggy turd, she didn't kill anyone. Just food for thought.
    WOT

  9. #9
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    oh, makes sense now. I thought the wife was costing you too much so you wanted to save money by putting her in a car that would take her to the next dimension. sorry

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    San Diego,CA,USA
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    1997 Turbo M3 Coupe
    Great car and build idea.

    With that MLS...make certain it is 0.140 size so you can boost 18psi on 93 octane or 16psi on 91 octane.

    Adding Water/Meth/Injection is always great for more power and peace of mind.

    I'd go with 3582R all day long.
    Where have I been? Astral projecting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jszy25 View Post
    Get drunk with Mike Radowski they said, it'll be fun they said...A broken toe, the worst hangover known to man, and bite marks in my arm said otherwise

  11. #11
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    Thanks again for all the feedback. I'll continue to collect parts and post updates. Unfortunately, I'm now dealing with a cyl 5 and 6 misfire that I can hopefully remedy before I'm ready to dive into this project. I've posted about the misfire in the e36 section and will update once I have it figured out. Right now I'm leaning toward knock sensor, crank sensor, intake gasket, or head gasket. I've already ruled out injectors, coils, plugs, and cam sensor.
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fletcher0780 View Post
    Thanks again for all the feedback. I'll continue to collect parts and post updates. Unfortunately, I'm now dealing with a cyl 5 and 6 misfire that I can hopefully remedy before I'm ready to dive into this project. I've posted about the misfire in the e36 section and will update once I have it figured out. Right now I'm leaning toward knock sensor, crank sensor, intake gasket, or head gasket. I've already ruled out injectors, coils, plugs, and cam sensor.
    How did you rule out the plugs and coils? Did you gap tight enough? Try a tighter gap first.
    Where have I been? Astral projecting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jszy25 View Post
    Get drunk with Mike Radowski they said, it'll be fun they said...A broken toe, the worst hangover known to man, and bite marks in my arm said otherwise

  13. #13
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    97 M3, 08 X3, 96 VW TDI
    Swapped coils around, skip stayed in 5 and 6. new plugs with correct gap, skip still stayed in 5 and 6. verified 5 and 6 had spark, verified 5 and 6 injectors were providing fuel, swapped injectors around just in case.
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  14. #14
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    1997 Turbo M3 Coupe
    Coil harness issue?
    Where have I been? Astral projecting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jszy25 View Post
    Get drunk with Mike Radowski they said, it'll be fun they said...A broken toe, the worst hangover known to man, and bite marks in my arm said otherwise

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    1997 328i turbo
    Bent valves or blown head gasket ??

  16. #16
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    2001 E36 M57TUD Compact
    residue on the valve seats ?
    Viktor Agnar Falk Gušmundsson
    -----------------------------

    Signature idea, courtesy of 5mall5nails

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    98 m3
    Condoms in the intake manifold?
    1989 535i - sold
    1999 Tiag/Dove M3 - sold
    1998 Turbo Arctic/black - current
    2004 TiAg/Black - Current

    PTE6870 | 1.15 ar | Hp Cover, Custom Divided T4 bottom-mount, 3.5" SS exhaust, Dual Turbosmart Compgates, Turbosmart Raceport BOV, 3.5" Treadstone Intercooler, 3.5" Vibrant resonator and muffler, Arp 2k Headstuds | Arp 2k Main studs | 87mm Je pistons | Eagle rods | 9.2:1 static compression, Ces 87mm cutring, Custom solid rear subframe bushings, Akg 85d diff bushings, 4 clutch 3.15 diff, , Poly engine mounts, UUC trans mounts W/ enforcers, 22RPD OBD2 Stock ECU id1700 E85 tune, 22RPD Big power Transmission swap w/ GS6-53

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    97 M3, 08 X3, 96 VW TDI
    will be doing a compression test and leak down this weekend.
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  19. #19
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    97 M3, 08 X3, 96 VW TDI
    Blown head gasket. 5 and 6 have 45psi.
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    1998 328is
    i don't think i'd feel comfortable with any girl driving my car with an f1 stage 3 clutch kit... its not a bad clutch but not that comfortable for daily driving.. i'm one of the only guys on the forum that will harp about it and advise otherwise. i'm putting in a uuc performance organic clutch with an m3 DMF thats good for ~380lbs of torque.. see how it goes. i recently put a trm clutch disc in but the clutch is dragging between 1st and reverse... can't be shutting my car off every time i do a parallel park.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1998 E36 M3 4-door Seda
    How quickly would this destroy my automatic transmission & torque convertor?

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    AA turbo 332i
    Good idea for a build and great vehicle to start with! I have similar goals to have an aggressive semi-daily to take to the track sometimes and that my wife can drive if she wants/needs to.

    Sorry to hear about the head gasket but take the positive out of the situation and it's a definite source of motivation! It can all be done in the car but it would all be much, much easier with the engine and trans out especially doing HG, manifold/turbo and clutch. Give you a chance to become more "acquainted" with the car and make sure everything is perfect like I should have done a better job with.

    Agreed with Cy on the Gripforce stage 3 clutch. I'm only 150 miles into it and it is "tough." If it doesn't get any better I'm still ok with it, especially for the price and capability. Not to knock any girl's ability to press a clutch but I can see it getting old very quickly.

    Interesting choice on the AA manifold, I have one too and it's quite the relic but cant find much bad about it. I vote build for 500whp and settle or turn it down for less if needed. 3.2L with 60lb and 35r or similar is my goal and I just finished mine with 42lb and 20g last week!
    Last edited by jjjjjjj; 09-27-2014 at 09:23 PM.

    1995 325i | OBD1 S52 | S50 cams | AA Turbo TD06 20g / 42lb / Porsche maf | .140 MLS | F1 s3 clutch | Ultimate SSK | AKG 75D subframe/diff bushings | 3.23 LSD | Powerflex LCAB/RTAB | e46 fca | Raceland coils | BMP rear arms | DEPO HID | AEM Failsafe | Aeromotive FPR | Walbo 255 | 3" Magnaflow muffler/cat/res | 17x8.5/9.5" 225/45 & 255/40

  23. #23
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    97 M3, 08 X3, 96 VW TDI
    I really like the looks of the car and it handles awesome. My 930 was fun too, but I couldn't really enjoy driving it for fear of damaging some insanely expensive part. I got a really good deal on the gripforce clutch, so I couldn't pass it up, we'll see how it does. I'm actually relieved about my current head gasket failure, at least I'm not guessing at what is wrong anymore. I plan to pull the head this week and drop it off to be resurfaced and vacuum/pressure tested. The ARP studs and MLS head gasket are on backorder, so we'll see how long they take. I'd like to get the head back on, clutch installed and drive it around for a week or two before starting the turbo project to break in the clutch make sure the head gasket holds. I still need to get a turbo, catch can setup, exhaust system pieces, turbo oil and coolant line and components, and boost controller. I've been scouring the sale forums, craigslist, and ebay to find quality used components and seem to be doing well so far.
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1998 E36 M3 4-door Seda
    How quickly would this destroy my automatic transmission & torque convertor?

  25. #25
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    I have no idea what the auto trans can handle, you may want to start a thread to find out.

    Upon further reflection, I think I may just pull the engine, trans and all, and do everything at once. It looks like this will allow me to complete all work required (clutch, turbo conversion, and head gasket) with the least amount of effort. An added benefit will be that I'll have a bit more access to the block surface for MLS prep and make that install easier. Hopefully I can find some time to yank the engine this week.
    Last edited by fletcher0780; 09-28-2014 at 07:11 PM.
    S52, OBD2 RK 60lb, cutring and spacer, ARP head studs, GT3582R, AA bottom mount, Tial 44mm WG, Tial QR BOV, Vibrant 3.5" IC, FX stage 4 clutch, hobbs switch meth injection, working AC, and 516 RWHP!
    97 BMW M3
    | 96 VW Passat TDI | 87 Porsche 930 | 92 Toyota Pickup | 00 S10 ZR2

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