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Supernaut's Fleet - Spaghetti Bolognese

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I have a real soft spot for E36's, my first one was a K plate 318is coupe, (198k ran perfect too), loved it. Followed by another not so good '95 coupe then a '98 Mtec Tourer which was great fun. 

Bought and sold a couple more of the 4 pots along the way too as they were cheap and quite easy to sell on if they ran well, shame a lot of em went in the scrappage scheme :-(

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Oi, when do I get a bloody shot of it?!


I'll take the Lexus to work today, so feel free to stop by and take it.

When picking it up, make it as shady looking as you can...




As well as the exhaust, hopefully this weekend we'll see about fixing the drivers side window switch. 2 E36's in the scrappy so hopefully an easy fix! Hopefully see about ordering a set of front brakes as well, but may hold that off until the sill/jacking point is done!  

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Mr Coffees reported a problem with the driver's side electric window switch.


Fixed it!


The switch itself is fine, but the button over the top decided it would no longer make contact with the pads underneath on the wee board. So I made the switches 'taller' with the use of some tiny blobs of blu tac, and tiny bits of plastic cut off the end of a cable tie.


This was after going to the scrappy and looking at 2 other E36s and finding they had 2 other types of electric window switches! They looked the same on the outside but totally different on the inside! I pootled around for a bit with the driver's window switch looking like this...




If I wanted to adjust the window, I just picked it up and pressed down on the square bits. It now looks proper again though.



I also got a bit enthusiastic and started to remove the rear section of the exhaust. I undid one bolt and achieved this:




All the bolts in question seem to be pretty rusty though, so an angle grinder or a good hacksaw will be invaluable tomorrow.

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So along with the fitting of the exhaust tomorrow, we'll be seeing about getting service parts (Oil, filters, etc) but I'm also wanting to try and decarbonize the engine if possible.

Going by the paperwork, from 1998 - early 2016 it spent it's life in central London (Chriswich), so chances are the engine will be fairly clogged up a silly amount of carbon and such like, even if it has been cleaned before. Which is why I'm wanting to do this. 

Also an excuse to give it a little thrash drive around to help it clean out. 


Not sure if to go the chemical way, or finally give the old "steam is out" way I'm sure some of you's will know about. Will let you know which option we pick...

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The catalyst broke up on mine a couple of weeks ago, loud rattling from the centre of the car. Luckily my £100 spares car donated a perfect front cat section and an almost new rear box - an hour's work yesterday, sorted.


Having spent today working on a festering pile of Renault junk (that narrows it down) , I appreciate how good the old Master Race stuff was. 

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I'd much rather they just hung the exhaust from the rubber hangers. This thing had a horrifically over-engineered bracket that had rusted on.


Anyway, it's done* now. It's still blowing slightly from the join but I think that's our incompetence / lack of gun gum. We just put the remnants of one of those small tubes on. We now have a tub of the proper stuff and I'll cake some of that on later today / tomorrow.

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Proper* Health & safety as always for me as seen from Supernaut's photo...


After 5 minutes of attempting to get the bolts off using spanners/sockets (took less than 2 seconds to know that was't happening) then a minute of using my selections of hacksaws we knew we were getting nowhere. 

Having had my mum deliver the ramps from from 'The Parents', I knew I had no hope of getting the angle grinder delivered as well due to the fact she was in Aberdeen getting shopping. So took to Social media for hope of gaining one, thankfully Tayne had one and was at hand to let us steal acquire it. From there on it was an easy job...

Other than Euro Car parts did there finest on the exhaust, making it so the flange would't fit over the part it was meant to, and the little hanger for the rubber to sit on was facing the WRONG WAY! Thankfully Supernaut had a section of U-bolt/clamps at hand to use insted, which when mixed with ye-old Gum-Gum we managed to get sorted. Well, it's much, MUCH quieter than it was last weekend. And the back box is at least shiny & new now...


Did throw in some generic injector cleaner as well as a full tank (49.99 liters) of fuel in, so hoping for some sort of result. 


Other than Supernaut throwing on some more Gum-Gum on Sunday, the next big thing is the Driver side sill getting done this week!


And on top of that I've blagged a deal with a friend of mine who does 'Detailing' (Cleaning), a challenge to see if he can "Polish a turd". He does work for fussy customers with Nissan GT-R's, Audi RS5's and other such non-shite cars, but also does my LS as well for a good price as I'm not anal about how clean it is. 

So expect a shameful plug for him in the near future, as well as some hopefully really clean photos of the car! :D 

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Tell your friend to do a detailing world post on the old girl! Or give you 364 photos to do one here!


I know what you mean about ecp exhausts! The meriva is on its second klarius one. First one, fine (until it rotted a join out). Second one, the backbox is moulded differently so on short right hand bends it swings on the rubbers and rattles off the chassis


Hopefully in a year or so they will have re moulded them, so when it needs number 3 it wont do that!

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There were two issues with the exhaust section.


The front of it, where it joins the mid pipe, was flared. It fits the mid-pipe properly, but the flange supplied doesn't fit over the flared bit (but it does fit over the rest of it).


The other problem is that about halfway between the back box and the join with the mid-pipe, there's a hook welded onto the pipe that goes onto a rubber hanger. Said hook was welded on 90 degrees round the pipe from where it should be! We still managed to put it through the rubber hanger but it's not properly 'hooked' on but just resting in it instead.

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Gave this a good 80 miles or so worth of Italian tune-up today.


It's running much better. Yesterday we put in a full tank and a bottle of injector cleaner. Now it's no longer hunting for idle on start-up as badly as it did. It just drops the revs slightly once or twice then settles down again.


I also tightened up the throttle cable. I can now do proper Initial D style heal-toe into corners!


It's a lot of fun to drive. Because it's got so little power and it's so basic, it's very chuckable, and you find yourself driving it with your foot mashed to the floor most of the time, while barely hitting 70 most of the time. However, you hardly have to slow down for corners either. :D

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The sill is now welded up. Yay!


However, welder man gave me a few pointers about the car. He said it's generally a very tidy car (but personally he'd put a 2.8 in it...), but he said the clutch doesn't seem to be fully disengaging, and demonstrated it by putting a tiny bit of pressure on the pedal while the engine was running, and you could hear the slight whirr.


I had a look at the brake master cylinder (hydraulic clutch) and the fluid is at the max level. Anything else I could try?

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As Supernaut said the other day, it's been welded.

28927844626_10e1b75a48_h.jpgWelded sill. by C C, on Flickr


As of today, Waxoyl's been applied properly*...

28343543353_4b1f2af690_h.jpgWaxoyled sill. by C C, on Flickr


Expect it to be proper prepped, filled, painted, etc 'soon'.


One point of note is that the knocking from the O/S/F is more than we though, push the wheel with your foot and it moves. Suspecting & hoping it's just a knackered ball joint. 

Car drives fine as ever though. Took for a small blast up Deeside and was lucky to be blessed with no traffic. Really need to do something about the brakes though...

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Got another niggle sorted now. The O/S brake light would work when fitted but as soon as you drove the car it'd move out of place and of course stop working...

28899650802_391537748b_h.jpgProblems... by C C, on Flickr

As you can see here, part of the fitting has broke, meaning it'd be secure enough not to fall out but it would't be making full contact. The bulb holder is somewhat okay, although has been burning hot at one point melting the plastic and marking the metal contact.


So the fix, £7 for a new rear light from the local scrappy, and the bulb holder is in better condition as well. The bad news? When removing the 'new' light, took the rubber seal off and then managed to lose it while wounder the scrappy. Solved by removing the seal of the 'old' light and glueing it to the new, worked a charm. 

The big bit of bad news is there is water in the lens...not too bad considering it's a sort of double glazed set up, with no water actually touching the light circuit or bulbs. Hopefully it'll evaporate away with it being in the light though. 

And yes, the brake bulb is now actually secure in place. :)

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As Supernaut said the other day, it's been welded.

28927844626_10e1b75a48_h.jpgWelded sill. by C C, on Flickr


As of today, Waxoyl's been applied properly*...

28343543353_4b1f2af690_h.jpgWaxoyled sill. by C C, on Flickr


Expect it to be proper prepped, filled, painted, etc 'soon'.


One point of note is that the knocking from the O/S/F is more than we though, push the wheel with your foot and it moves. Suspecting & hoping it's just a knackered ball joint. 

Car drives fine as ever though. Took for a small blast up Deeside and was lucky to be blessed with no traffic. Really need to do something about the brakes though...


Probably the "lollipop" bushes toward the rear of the front wishbone. Can be replaced independently of the balljoint if you're feeling a bit tight. It'll need tracking afterward and you're Track Cntrol Arms are likely seized in the 'Ends

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Going to be having a proper look at what it is with the front wheel, last MOT is had down "both front lower arms play", so that is were we are going to start problem solving from. (The N/S feel's fine enough, but will be checking as well) Supernaut may be doing the front brakes this week so planning on having a poke around at the same time.


Set phasers to ignore, it will soldier on fine in my experience.

Not sure wot ur m8 is on about though, if the clutch wasn't fully disengaging you wouldn't be able to put it in gear without crunching. 


With the clutch pedal, I never knew what Supernaut was on about until he showed me, and your thought's are near enough what I said. 

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Yeah, I think it's just the release bearing. It's otherwise fine. The fact it's a pig to get into first while stationary (but fine while rolling) is a 'feature' with the early Getrag boxes, according to fucktonnes of forum posts I've seen. Ah well.






Productive day was had today. I replaced:


- Oil

- Oil filter

- Air filter

- Front discs and pads


I also repaired the exhaust properly. Well, this was all done with the help of Fathernaut. We removed the loose bit of flange (oo-er) with an angle grinder, as it wasn't doing anything. Then we notched the end of the pipe that joined the mid-section (so it would compress when clamped), then put lots of gun gum on, and Fathernaut had an old exhaust clamp that fitted very very tightly, so we whacked that on.


Had a couple of "oh shit" moments today though. The oil filter is a cassette type, with a coolant hose going across above it. I was happily working around this as it wasn't too bad, but Fathernaut thought he'd help by pulling the coolant hose gently out of the way... then it popped off! Hot coolant everywhere! Turns out it was barely clipped onto the engine block end. We put it back on properly and continued the oil change. Afterwards, I removed the expansion cap with it still up on the ramps, then ran the engine for a minute, put the cap back on and felt the pipes getting hard again. Crisis averted, and coolant topped back up again.


Then, while changing the passenger side brake pads, I noticed a wear sensor, but only on that side. I thought it was just a leftover so ripped the sensor out. Nope. Warning light on dash! Soldered wires back together and clipped the sensor onto the new pads. Crisis averted again!


The drive back into Aberdeen was... euphoric. The car now has a purposeful induction growl from in front of you when pressed hard, instead of a damp fart from underneath. I say the drive was euphoric because I took the long, LONG way back while listening to Delphic, have one of the tracks off their album:



Now imagine that, while blasting through NE Scottish countryside while the sun is beginning to set on a clear night, with the moon appearing in the sky too, with the roads mostly empty, in a sweet little RWD car that's just aching to be revved and revved and heel-toed round corners. Bliss.



A footnote: I had a look at the front lower arms. All I can say is... erm... well. They're an interesting looking design and could be 'fun' to change.

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Front arms are easy on a 36- common issues are rear bushes and ahagged outer balljoints.


the e36 arms have a different setup for the way the outer balljoints are held in. common upgrade is to fit e30 front arms


(or so i recall from the dim distant past)

Well, the advisories on the past 2 MOTs are for the "wishbone bushes" so I assume the rear bush rather than the balljoint.

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If it says bushes it must mean the rear "lollipop" bushes, these can be done in situ with some lube and brute force.


From my e30 days ISTR that it's difficult to get the outer balljoint split without damaging the dust boot so that's why I would do the bushes on the car.

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  • Supernaut changed the title to Supernaut's Fleet - Spaghetti Bolognese

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