After I got home from the 1,100-mile road trip up the West Coast to bring back my new car—you can read about it in Part II of Project E36 M3—it was time to get to work and get this car back to being an Ultimate Driving Machine. The suspension was blown, the steering was sloppy, and the valve-cover gasket was spewing oil—and I was excited to finally get my hands dirty again!
I mentioned that the previous owner had taken Project E36 M3 in for an inspection at Oceanside Motorsports. Neil Daly, the owner of the shop and a huge friend to the San Diego Chapter, produces a great inspection report. In his report, he gives a 1 to 5 rating of importance for a repair with 5 being immediate. Here is what it said needed to be done:
Transmission shift shaft and output shaft seals leaking - Stage 2.
Valve cover gasket and pcv connector to valve cover leaking - Stage 3.
Power steering feed and return hoses leaking - Stage 3.
Front struts leaking - Stage 5.
Rear trailing arm bushings allowing excessive movement and cracked - Stage 3.
Here are all the parts that I needed:
- Bilstein Sport Front Struts
- Bilstein Sport Rear Shocks
- H&R Sport Spring Set
- Front Control Arms
- Front Control Arm Bushings
- Rear Trailing Arm Bushings
- Tie-Rod Assemblies
- Power Steering Reservoir and Hoses
- Valve Cover Gasket Set
I called up our friends at Turner Motorsport and got things ordered. Thankfully everything was in stock and they shipped it to my house in just a few days. Though I was out about $1500 for everything, when all is said and done, I’ll be into Project E36 M3 for about $7000 and have a fairly decent car that will be ready to hit the track.
Time to get to work! First thing to tackle, that leaky valve cover gasket.—Nate Risch