I'm new here, but not new to e30s, or BMWs for that matter. I picked up an 88 M3 zinnoberrot/natur about 2.5 months ago with 135k miles on the clock. It is in decent order but with ownership you find out more and more about the vehicle. I unfortunately found out after the fact that the car was in some sort of rear end collision during its life (interesting since VIN numbers on all panels matched...shady). However, that's okay, I don't want a mint car. I like things that need fixing since I like to tinker. Anyways, There are no mods with the car, outside of alternate BMW wheels. I have a decent amount of documentation, including original service booklet and the supplemental M3 owner's manual
Here is the day we settled.
First things in order was finding a new exhaust, be it OEM or something else. I originally planned on doing OEM+, but there are some things that won't remain OEM based on previous experienced with e30s. I managed to find a Raven exhaust from a buddy. It was mid-pipes and final muffler. 55mm through and through, no cats except some resonators. Got it for $200 since it had been sitting at his shop for a few years. Based off reading around on here (prior to being a member) the evo headers/exhaust might not benefit the car much, but for $200 I couldn't say no. The old one was rusted out.
About a month later during the beginning of the exhaust swap...
After putting it on jack stands I went through the normal procedure of purchasing a new (used) car. Fluids, filters, etc. During this time the exhaust I had purchased got dropped off. I decided to get the gaskets and at the same time refresh some of the shifter bushings.
Here is a pic of the final muffler. I don't think it is OEM since the tips are not OEM, but maybe it is with aftermarket tips? The exhaust was very bassy.
Here is the mid-pipe, it is OEM. I scrapped it. It was rusty and had some holes around the cats. I imagine no one would want it.
So while waiting for the gaskets and bushing for the shifter my DD e30 (325is) started getting clunking in the rear end. Since I had replaced everything but the subframe bushings and trailing arm bushings I knew what it was. Seeing as the e30 M3 was on stands with no exhaust I figured why not do those bushings now? Well, prior to ordering the parts I got my shifter bushings and gaskets for the exhaust. I didn't realise how easy it was going to be to remove the old shifter bushings. I got more off than I ordered. So....when I ordered subframe bushings, etc. I ordered some additional shifter bushings. I refreshed the shifter with all e30 M3 bits. I figured I could upgrade to a Z3 shifter down the road, but I was curious how the shifter was suppose to feel in 1988. My other e30 has a Z4 3.0 so I know what to expect from a SSK.
While waiting for parts to get in I started to remove the subframe. I decided to get it powder coated since it was out. I also replaced a lot of nuts and bolts since the car is 24 years old. Ignore the e46 M3 OEM exhaust
That really brings us to where I'm at now. The car has been on jack stands longer than on the ground during my ownership. It has been a snowball effect, but I think it is for the better. Next up is cooling system refresh and suspension bits (billy sports, h&r race, and bimmerworld bwsport FCABs).
I mentioned at the beginning of the post that this isn't my first e30 or BMW. I own an 87 325is which I generally DD. It was the car I used to teach myself how to work on cars as well as learn stick on. The other is a 2004 M3 which I'm in the process of selling.