This is my first BMW and first car too. I've wanted an E36 vert for a couple of years now and it had to be a 328i. Moneywise, the M3 isn't interesting and it was going to be my daily driver too. As I like lazy and smooth driving, I had no choice but to get a 328i.
I (still) prefer the e36 shape over the e46 and other shapes; not as 80's square, yet not as (late) 90's roundish. To me, it's the perfect mix. Also, the very new models don't cut it for me. Yes they are modern and sophosticated, but I don't feel any emotions with these cars.
Bought in May 2006, after a 2 year search with 165.000km (A little over 100k miles) and is now at 199.700km(!) (nearly 123k miles) and still going as smooth as when I bought it. Give it fresh oil + filter every year and it will go on forever.
As said, it took me 2 years to find the car I wanted. I did have an extensive must-have list though. I had times where I thought I was never gonna find it, but I percevered and in the end, hit the jackpot. It wasn’t perfect, but as good as a 10+ years old can be expected to be. Keep in mind this model is a “chav mobile” over here, so most are butchered and “modded” beyond recognition.
The car was already well spec'd, as per my must-have list, there’s always room for more. Currently, all I am missing from the leccy/lectronicoptions is Cruise Control, Headlight Washers/Intensive Cleaning, leccy Lumbar support and the über rare e36 in-dash navigation (text based though). ================================================== ===========================
“Be owner of the e36 vert with the longest possible OEM spec list.”
In other words: Find and fit every possible factory option.
As my title says "OEM" I'm very much into modifications in the "BMW Original Parts" way. You won't see Lexus lights or weird bumpers on my car. Just BMW parts.
I'm a sucker for lights and switches and want as many as possible.
It all started with fitting a lit M gearknob. Then I went nuts. The rest is, as they say, history.
The only thing not "OEM" are the wheels of course, but I wanted a set of BBS RS so badly for a very long time and I think they look good under almost every car.
Still have a set of OEM staggered Contours for winter though.
(factory + retrofitted)
- Late 1996 328i Cabrio (1997 model year)
- Cosmos Schwarz
- (320) Model designation delete
- Full black leather "Montana - glad" interior, with
:: Full leather doorpanel inserts;
:: Leather doorhandles;
:: Leather shiftboot;
:: Leather handbreak sleeve;
:: Leather handbrake handle;
:: (473) Leather armrest
- Leather lit ///M gearknob
- (534) Automatic Climate Control
- (528) AUC (automatic air recirculation)
- (554) 18-button MID (OBC V) with remote control (funkfernbedienung)
- (395) Rollover protection (ÜRSS) / Rear headrests
- (431) Auto Dimm rearview mirror + Inner light package
- M-Technic front and rear bumper
- "Lux" sideskirts (also fitted to M3 sedan)
- ///M Clubsport doorsills, replaced by Motorsport sills (feb/2010)
- M-Tech mirrors (heated + electrical adjustment)
- Passenger Airbag
- (481) Sport seats with:
:: (494) Seat heating;
:: (458) Electrical adjustment;
:: Luggage nets;
:: Pyrotechnic tensioners.
- (423) Velours interior mats
- (388) Soft top, Black.
- (399) Fully automatic roof
- (214) ASC+T
- (380) Hardtop preparation
- (982) Hardtop
- (669) BMW Business RDS (not in my car anymore when I bought it)
- BMW Business RDS (CD43)
- (672) CD Changer (not in my car anymore when I bought it)
- (676) Hi-Fi Aktive sound system (not in my car anymore when I bought it)
- (674) Harman/Kardon Top Hi-Fi retrofit (90% finished):
:: Complete wiring loom (brand new)
:: Skipass Subwoofer
:: Rear speakers
:: Hi-Fi switch (Not fitted to a cabrio by BMW).
- (690) Cassette box (not in my car anymore when I bought it)
- Dension Gateway300 for iPod/mp3 playback
- (464) Ski pass + skisack (now H/K subwoofer)
- (971) Exclusive Package
- (508) PDC (retrofit OEM BMW)
- Chrome inner door release handles
- Chrome Tacho ringen
- Chrome exhaust tips
- Original M3 GT carbon fiber "kohlefaser" gear surround ("Blende Ablegefach")
- Original M3 GT carbon fiber "kohlefaser" glovebox strip ("Blende")
- Original M3 GT carbon fiber "kohlefaser" door sills ("Einstiegleisten")
- (255) Sport Steering Wheel II, replaced by:
- (710) M-Tech Airbag Sport Steering wheel + E38/E39 MFL
- (264) Adjustable steering wheel (mechanical)
- E38 ambient lights
- Engine compartment light (OEM BMW)
- Remote central locking (ZV)
- (302) BMW factory alarm (DWA Class III) + remote central locking
- (629) BMW carphone Motorola Phase V with "hands-free function" retrofit. With 2 SIM cards, one in S/E module, one in ejectbox.
- ZKW H1 Projector units (swapped for my ZKW H7 units)
- Pilot 4300K Xenon lights (OEM BMW color)
- (520) Front foglights
- Bosch Aerotwin windshield wipers
- Programmable intermittent setting for wipers (WI-WA + SRA module)
- S818A MAIN BATTERY SWITCH |Battery master switch 900A APPR. VEH.IMMOBILIZAT. ACC. TO AZT/TUEV Electronic immobilizer. (jan/2010)
- (704) M Sport suspension, replaced by:
- Bilstein B16 PSS9 coilovers (not pictured yet)
- (428) First aid kit / Warning triangle
- Trunk luggage net
- (292) M Cross spoke, styling 29
- Winter Wheels: M Contours 7.5/8.5 x 17 with 215/50-17 all around.
- Summer Wheels: BBS RS 8" x 17" ET26 & 9" x 17" ET26
- Bridgestone Potenza's 205/40 & 215/40
- Harman/Kardon doorspeakers midrange & tweeters (on order by BMW we speak)
- Cruise Control retrofit (with MFL compatibility)
- M3 GT kohlefaser rear ashtray
- Fit "lordosis" retrofit kit (Nachrustsatz lordosenstutze)
- OEM Black Leather center console/armrest console/glovebox/steering column panel.
- Headlight washers / Intensive cleaning
- Extended leather package trimpieces
When this wishlist is done, I think I have nearly every possible factory option (the electric/electronic ones), which is my ultimate goal.
New parts round, all OEM of course.
Set of rubber mats (Gummimatte)
Lots of small parts that either always break or are lost by previous owners.
Cylindrical shaped container holds the trunk luggage net.
And finally, I sold my M Clubsport sills, which I really like, but didn't go with the theme of the car anymore, so I finally got the Motorsport Int'l sills (Blende/Einstiegsleisten).
Trunk luggage net
Well here it is, my 1st mod of 2010. After 3 years of looking, I finally managed to source an original killswitch that BMW uses.
MAIN BATTERY SWITCH |Battery master switch 900A APPR. VEH.IMMOBILIZAT. ACC. TO AZT/TUEV Electronic immobilizer.
Supposedly it's used by BMW when they ship and store cars, but it taken out of the car when delivered to the customer. People will have the option on their list, but will not find it fitted to the car.
As I do many modding that needs for the battery to be disconnected, this will make my life much easier
Of course you can buy a killswitch in every automotive store, but people who know me (by now), know that's not the point.
2009 is almost history. Great year again for the BMW. Not too much modifications done, but not much repair work either. The 328i is a great engine.
2010 looks to becoming a very exiting year. I've already have a lists of mods coming up, some of which have never been done on an E36 before. I can't get into any detail yet, as I first have to check if they're possible at all.
I can't wait for 2010.
Back from a week of German Eifel/Nürbugring/Nordschleife.
I love that place so much!
Managed to drive on the Grand Prix strecke too.
Last day on the Nordschleife was very wet and slippery!
My car now deserves the official sticker
Ring°Werk and all the new buildings are great too.
Finally some work done to the car again.
Had a new OEM window fitted on friday, after 3 years(!) as I have been sporting the hardtop for the last year and a half.
Saturday I finally had my Bilstein PSS9's installed. What a great ride it is now.
The stock shocks and springs were 13 years and 200.000km old, so they were in need to be replaced anyways.
Now I can finally give the car a nice lower look with the BBS RS on.
A few quick pics...
They just clear the wheels...(although negative camber was increased by tilting the kingpin). The lower ET BBS wheels will have more clearance.
Not much news for now. I have a few things planned, but things have slipped and time flies.
In the meantime I did some maintanance work as the car has now clocked 200.000+ km and the waterpump died 2 weeks ago (which had a 1996 datestamp on it!)
So while I was at it, I also changed:
- New waterpump pulley
- New thermostat housing
- New belt
- New thermostat waterhoses
- New thermostat
- New seals/o-ring for expension bottle / thermostat housing.
- Cleaned and polished the radiator
Fan and fanclutch are still fine.
Almost ready for my Nurburgring trip!
BMW GT1 System
Finally my own original GT1 diagnosis system arrived. No need to explain what this means. I am now my own BMW dealer.
Some pics with the M Contour winter wheels.
BBS RS will be fitted again in april/may.
Working E38 MFL in E36!
My 1st mod for 2009 and a very unique one! E38/E39 MFL ///M wheel into an E36.
I don't have cruise control yet and my phone still needs to be hooked up correctly so these are not hooked up, but will work from the MFL when I am done.
Right now the radio controls all work.
And here are 2 short clips of the radio being controlled by the MFL.
Cruise Control + Phone functionality due summer 2009.
- Replaced my headrest with LCD screens (from previous owner) for some nice OEM ones without screens.
Through reading on the internet I found out about a little neat option of a programmable intermittent (interval) option on the e36. Turned out that cars with headlight washing system ("ScheinwerferReinigungsAnlage") have this option.
And the WI-WA module that is used can also be used in cars without the headlight washing system.
So I was sniping around on eBay.de untill the correct WI-WA+SRA module was listed and I scooped it up.
Old Wi-Wa module taken out...
Old and new. Notice the "+SRA" on the white module.
And in place...
Finally did another mod this weekend. Another thing off my wishlist: electric seats.
1. You take your seat out of your car
Then strip it to the bare frame
Once you reached this stage, you do a quick "switch-a-roo" en suddenly you are looking at this frame (nice!)
Now mount the pyrotechnic tensioner from the old frame to the new....
Then do what the Haynes manual says and do the reverse of what you did earlier and end up with your old seats, now electrically adjustable
Nicely align all the plugs again...
Yes, looks fine...
Repeat process for passenger seat.
Trip to German Eifel (01-09-2008 - 05-09-2008)
Pics from Nordschleife. What a track! Best piece of road in the world for real!
Entering the entrance
Ready to go!
And we're off!
Overtaken by a group of bikers...
Overtaken by an e46 M3 cabrio...
30-08-2008: Engine comparment light (Original BMW)
The BMW retrofit kit (wiring loom (kabelbaum) is a seperate part(!)))
Switch that comes with the kit.
At night (no flash used of course)
- BMW Motorsport Int'l side moulding badges fitted.
- Finished the installation of the Harman/Kardon sound system: complete audio loom (kabelbaum), amplifier, rear speakerpods and subwoofer. I'm very pleased with the sound. I only need some H/K mids for the doors now. I also retrofitted the H/k Hi-Fi switch normally not found on cabriolets.
- Fitted black kidney grills to see how it would look. I like it, looks agressive. Of course I kept my original chrome kidney grills.
09-08-2008. BBS RS back on again after I took them off 2 months ago. Which also cause me to not have coilovers yet. That will be taken care of in the not too distant future.
Made my choice already: Bilstein B16 PSS9.
Here's a couple of new pic on the (still) stock ///M Fahrwerk
24-05-2008. Finally fitted the new wheels. Yes the front needs to be lowered to look "proper". That will be up next.
May 06, 2008
My new wheels finally came in! Claus did a fantastic job. I love them so much. They're almost too nice to fit and get damaged by stones, dirt etc.
They will be fitted soon! Couple previews
Specs: BBS RS 302 with new barrels and lips.
- Slanted lips.
- chrome BBS bolts
- Painted in BMW Nogaro Silber
- Gold logo's
- 8"x17" ET26 and 9"x17" ET26
As I don't want to do any fender work (yet) I chose not to go extreme in width and very low ET values.
"Im winter ausstattung"
pic taken at meeting today (02-03-2008)
With winter wheels and PDC kit fitted
Pic from last summer:
Clean, 100% original engine:
(notice the M3 strut(shock)covers)
My only mod not "orginal" for e36, but so nice I had to have it:
BMW "moodlights" out of an original BMW e39 domelight. The Cabrio domelight is different shape from other e36 units, so it's not a straight fit.
I ended up modifying the original unit from my car and kept it as "OEM" as possible.
LED assembly taken out of the E39 unit:
Installed into the cabrio unit. Notice the original black led holders.
With lights off: (if you set your monitor to very bright you can make out the parts of the center console (mittel konsole).
With lights on (just the leds)
Fitted OEM BMW M3/Individual carbon fiber glovebox strip.
Picked up an OEM BMW Telephone from Ebay.de
Useless? Yeah pretty much, but cool? Yeah!
And just for the look:
Original PDC Retrofit kit (fitted 28-01-2008)
I need to make some proper pictures of the fitted PDC.
10-02-2008: Fitted Pilot Xenon lights in OEM BMW 4300K color temperature.
15-03-2008: Added new trim to the car for the the hands-free microphone of the BMW telephone and added the hifi switch for another project I'm working on.
21-03-2008: More OEM goodies.
Have been looking on Ebay.de for a long time, but never seen one for sale. Now found one in the USA.
Harman/Kardon subwoofer and amp for the cabriolet
And had a digital pic pressed on canvas as a painting.
BMW Telefon installed and took some nightshots of the E36 cockpit.
Vodafone is still displayed as LIBERTEL
Folkert aka MParallel