Thread: On to an E36 M3
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      05-26-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
Private First Class

Drives: '07 335i
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bay Area

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Originally Posted by jbass524
I recently purchased an E36 M3 after 6 months of not being on track with my 335. The 335, as we all know, is finicky and as you progress with your driving it, often, can't hold up. I had ER OCs, no tune, but it was an AT. I didn't see any way to make it track worthy, hence, the M3.

This is a little comparison. I just drove my stock (just had ARC-8s with NT01s) E36 M3 with 209,000 on it at Infineon. Lots of clean laps so the times are a great indicator of it's track worthiness and cost.

Comparing to a 335 with TC Kline DA sus., Code 3 Intercooler, ER race OCs, R888s, StopTech BBK, full chassis setup with M3 bits and bushings. I probably spent 70,000 on mods and the service.

I paid 5,200 for the E36 and put another 5,400 in to make sure it was track worthy: ARC-8s, NT01s, fluids, worn bits, and a brake rebuild including race pads and SS lines. That's it.

The times:
  • 335 - 1:57.4
  • M3 - 1:57:8

The feeling:
You are so much more connected to the driving with the M3. It's raw and I love the MT. Everything feels so uninsulated when compared. The soft suspension with stock is a challenge but that's part of driving.

My max speed was 107 MPH where w/ the 335 it was always above 115. That means the E36 is that much better in the corners than the 335, even with basic suspension.

I can only imagine what it would be like with the same suspension as I had on the 335.

I thought you all should know.
While I paid a bit more for my m3 and spent a lot less on my 335i, totally agree. My laptimes in the m3 are definitely faster - though I've gotten better at driving for sure. Running the 335i on the east coast now and hit limp on my first time out (manual with ec coolers) though not due to temps. Wish I had an E36 out here for the track...