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88 M3 revival

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  • 88 M3 revival

    "as found....after a bunch of cleaning"

    A year ago I acquired an 88 Henna. Second to the last Henna made according to the VIN. Two owner car, garaged its whole life, stored for last 18years, only 39k miles and basically original in every way. Hmmm, what do you do with a car like this one? Well, if it was heading for a living room or to just win local Cars and Coffee events the logical approach would be to Q-tip the car and call it done. That just violates my basic philosophy of cars. Cars are not art. They are meant to be driven…and any “M” car that is not taken on track with some regularity should be considered abused and taken away from its owner….:-)
    At only 39k miles, this thing should be good to go right? It is barely broken in! Wrong. Rubber, plastic and grease are not forever. With nearly everything on this car original as it came from the factory, that made a whole lot of stuff 15-20 years beyond the time it should have been replaced. It is way too nice a car, so I have no intent to turn this into a track rat (I have a 75 M2 for that). I want to treat it to a little fun in the manner for which it was designed occasionally and that ain’t happening on the street. Goal is to “revive” it with just a few select upgrades from stock so I can take it out in the instructor run group at a few track events. Not a restoration, not a restomod.

    Got a couple hundred hours of my labor it so far. I could post up zillions of pictures of the process, but there are many threads out there already with all this maint stuff detailed. A low mileage car can be more work than one that is driven and kept up regularly. Here is a list of most of the items to date.
    75 M2
    88 M3

  • #2
    Timing chain tensioner (S50)
    Valve adjustment
    Alternator bushings
    Engine oil and filter (M1 15-50, Mahle)
    Spark plugs (Bosch)
    HP fuel pump (Bosch)
    Fuel filter (Mahle)
    Fuel tank drain and refill
    LP fuel pump remove, clean, test, rewire
    Rubber fuel lines replace (including clamps)
    Fuel Injectors cleaned (RCEngineering)
    Coolant flushed (X2)
    Valve cover refinished
    Valve cover gasket replaced
    One exhaust manifold stud replaced
    PS belt replaced
    Alt belt replaced
    Engine mounts replaced (750i)
    Connecting Rod bearings replaced (std size)
    Oil pump seal orings replaced
    Oil pump chain tensioned/shimmed
    VAC oil pan baffle installed
    Oil pan gaskets replaced (upper and lower)
    T-Stat tested
    Cooling hoses replaced (OEM)
    Water pump replaced
    Heater core replaced (Behr)
    Heater hoses replaced
    Intake plenum R&R’d, TB’s inspected.
    TB synch checked
    Throttle cable adjusted
    Engine grounds R&R’d, cleaned
    Muffler R&R’d and painted
    Muffler hanger donuts replaced
    IIGO SS91 ECU chip
    75 M2
    88 M3


    • #3
      F&R BRAKES
      25MM Master Cyl
      BW Teflon brake lines (all 6)
      Calipers rebuilt and painted
      PF Z brake pads
      New blank rotors
      System flush with ATE (x2)

      TRANS & DIFF
      Trans oil (Redline MTL)
      Diff oil (Redline 75w90)
      Trans mounts replaced (e28)
      Diff bushing replaced (stock rubber)
      Diff cover removed, diff inspected and cover resealed
      Shifter system bushings all replaced (Turner Poly kit)
      Clutch line replaced (stock rubber)

      75 M2
      88 M3


      • #4
        Sway bar bushings greased
        F&R dampers replaced (Koni Sports)
        F&R springs replaced (H&R Sports)
        Front CAB’s replaced (Powerflex street offset)
        Front top spring pads replaced (3mm)
        Front bump stops replaced (stock, cut by )
        Front strut bearings replaced
        Rear shock mounts and gaskets replaced
        Rear spring pads replaced (15mm)
        Rear subframe bushings replaced (stock rubber)
        Trailing arm bushings replaced (stock rubber)

        75 M2
        88 M3


        • #5
          SI board replaced (Programma)
          RR marker lamp replaced
          LF marker lamp bulb replaced
          R Fog Lamp bracket repaired
          Battery replaced
          Radio R&R’d volume potentiometer cleaned
          Power drain fixed (factory mistake in fader backlight wiring)
          Cig lighter socket removed and replaced with modern size one

          Carpet cleaned
          All vinyl cleaned and treated
          All leather cleaned and treated
          Paint clay barred and waxed
          Any part that came off the car was cleaned prior to reinstall
          Engine compt degreased (was total mess…)
          75 M2
          88 M3


          • #6

            75 M2
            88 M3


            • #7
              With all that done and a couple hundred miles of local drives to make sure all was working correctly, it was time for a proper “test drive”. Off to Summit Point for a day with the NCC BMWCCA. Car preformed flawlessly. Not a track setup, so car was a bit soft, but still was a bunch of fun.

              in car video from part of a session.


              Now I will have to spend a bunch of time cleaning off dirt, rubber bits, and brake dust….but I think I have a happier car!
              75 M2
              88 M3


              • #8
                deleted dupe content
                75 M2
                88 M3


                • #9
                  I like your '88 Henna Red M3 a lot. Here's mine.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    I miss mine but it was wreaked 25 years ago
                    I have to see if it’s been resurrected from the dead like a couple I bought over the years have been crashed and glued back together


                    • #11
                      I'm glad you've started a thread, thanks for sharing the progress and I look forward to seeing all you get up to.
                      1989 Lachs
                      1988 Lachs - sold
                      1988 DS - sold
                      Bay Area M3 FB group


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RichB View Post
                        I like your '88 Henna Red M3 a lot. Here's mine.

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	Best Cropped.jpg Views:	0 Size:	77.6 KB ID:	1293334
                        sorry to be off topic, but do those require hubcentric rings?


                        • L James
                          L James commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yes. Those are from a E39 and require hubcentric rings.

                      • #13
                        Looks really good and very thorough well thought out maintenance list great to see maintenance first cost 2nd, the heater core replaced before it leaks on to the carpet superb.
                        I think 25 years and then all the rubber bushings hoses etc are perished and tired due for replacement.


                        E30 M3 1987
                        Mini Clubman GT
                        BMW E36 323 Msport
                        Toyota Corona
                        KTM 200EXC
                        Honda CB50 (1979)


                        • #14
                          The rims do require adapters being the hub is a different size than the rim opening. They also need a different offset. I didn't like the standard rings so I had a set of spacers, i think they were 10 mm thick) that matched the opening in the rim but were too thick machined down to the necessary thickness. I think they're 5 or 7mm now. Not very expensive and I don't have any wheel vibration and I think its safer.



                          • #15

                            action shot..

                            forgot to mention i also replaced the front control arms.

                            have had 4 set of wheels for it.
                            originals - pristine and i really do not like basketweaves. they absolutely suck to clean. they went off to storage.
                            E39 M5 reps - 17x7.5 et20. pic in post #6. wrong hub diameter and stockish BMW wheels are HEAVY. they went to craigslist.
                            TD 17x8's - fit well, 17's are heavy. these are the running around wheels with pirelli P-zero Nero's on them
                            BBS RX224. 15x7.5 et 15. track wheels. 225/50 yoko A052's. the ET 15 is a bit too much as tires touch the fender wheels at lock. should be Et20. oh well!

                            the current suspension setup (HR sport/koni sport/stock sway bars) really is too soft for track use and has significant understeer. really needs stiffer springs and sway bars...but i really don't want to be welding sway bar reinforcements on the car.
                            75 M2
                            88 M3