Well, the E36 wasn't worth selling. It still ran just fine and looked decent. No way was I going to sell a car for $2700 that still provided fun transportation, good looks and the comfort that goes with driving a BMW. I could spend $25,000 for an ordinary new car and not enjoy it as much as this old one.
So I put it in my shop and bought parts and changed parts. Now all the deferred maintenance is caught up and I would just be another one out there wanting $4,000 for my $2,700 car. We will re-evaluate it at 200K.
Well, It's Getting Close.
The E36 is just shy of 197K and has made 4 round trips to Mobile, AL this year (about 1300 miles each time) and never skipped a beat. On the last trip I kept noticing rumbling and roaring noise from the rear that gradually got louder. Peaking under the back I noticed my rear tires were going away fast. You all know what this means. I jacked it up and wiggled the trailing arm at the pivot and it was floppy like fish! Those Louisana beat up roads had finally finished off the bushing on the right side.
It all starts with Disassembly
After getting bushings replaced in the RTA, it is time to put it all back together.
About $200 worth of parts from Pelican and a few hours of labor gets one side disassembled. I decided to just change everything, including the camber arms and their integral inner bushings. As the TA comes back from the press-in guy, I will document the reinstallation of everything as well as the disassembly of the left side. The left side should go quite a bit faster after learning all the tricks on the right side that the book and other people forget to tell you.
With 197K, you really should replace the rear wheel bearings while you have it apart. Mine seemed OK, but one of them did make the very slightest bit of noise when spun, but I was at budget for this job and I needed the car back on the street so I could quit putting gas in the Chevy pickup. Now that the tire noise from the worn RTABs is gone, I can hear a slight moan from the right side wheel bearing. It'll just have to wait. Meanwhile I bought a pair of arms on E-Bay with Turner ball joints installed and I will get new bearings for them and replace the arms when the w/b noise gets worse. I'll be making a press tool set for these things and will post designs and results here. You typically spend about $100 in shop labor for someone else to press this stuff in and out, so that will pay for tool creation easily.