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ideal baseline car

Jason T.

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hey guys,


i need to purchase a new daily driver, figured a e36 would be as good as anything. just on the off chance that i decide to race spec3 in a year or two, what would be the ideal car to buy now? obviously a 93-95 325i with a 5 speed, mostly likely a sedan, and no sunroof if i can find one. what about things like diff and brakes, are they all the same or should i be looking for something specific? thanks

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Find a sedan with the winter package. You'll get the LSD and the convenience of the 4 doors. I don't think the e36s came with out sunroofs, but I could be wrong. I've never seen one.


Brakes are all the same, and per the rules, you just had different pads to run and that is about it. If you aren't looking to buy a custom made diff, then find one that already has the LSD in it and you'll be good to go.


Best of luck!

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cool, thanks. guess i shouldn't bother looking for a non-sunroof car, and i wasn't sure if there were two brake sizes like with a sport package or something. i assume the stock diff ratio (with a manual trans) the one that is raced, is there any visual indicator that a diff is LSD?


i'll be instructing at the nasa-ma vir event in march, hopefully i can check out a spec3 build at some point over the weekend.

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There were no different brake upgrades for different models of the non-M e36s to my knowledge. Either way, we have spec'd a caliper (the stock one) in the rules so if you get a car with something different you'd have to swap back regardless.


The stock diff ratio is the one that is used and there are a couple of ways to check.

- Do a burn out

- Jack the rear of the car up and spin the rear wheels. Both should spin in the same direction if its a LSD

- Check the part number on the diff tag, I think it has an S or something on there that designates an LSD.


I'll be out at the March event running TT and I'm sure there will be others out racing spec3 as well, so stop on by and check it out.


Looking forward to meeting you!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Forgive me for piggybacking on this thread, but I hated to start another for this question alone.


It appears as though my financial situation may be clearing to make way for the purchase of my donor car for Spec 3. It'll still be a DD for a while, but it's a start.


Anyway I was wondering what might be the best place to look for good cars. I've tried all the internet sites including craigslist, but was wondering if y'all might have some good areas to check that the "civilians" don't knwo about. Especially those of you living between DC and ATL, as I'm in Charlotte.


Any help would be appreciated!





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I found mine through a friend, but ebay, bimmerforums, auto trader, local paper, craigslist.


I don't know any secret places, but those are what I would use if I were looking for a donor.


You can also check some mechanics shops as sometimes people leave their cars there and can't pay the bill. We got a 733i for $100 this way.


Good luck!

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