Project E36 M3: Part 2 – Wheel Studs, Motorsport Bracing and… Cup Holders?

Project E36 M3: Part 2 - Wheel Studs, Motorsport Bracing and... Cup Holders?

Project E36 M3: Part 2 – Wheel Studs, Motorsport Bracing and… Cup Holders?

by Jonathan Lawson

We managed to get the handling of our E36 M3 back up to a stock-like feel in Part 1, so the car has been feeling almost new.  With some exciting parts on the way, we decided to keep ourselves busy while we wait by adding a bit of convenience which the Germans didn’t seem to have as a priority.  We also wanted something a little fun to help us pass the time, so we increased the crisp feel of our chassis with a simple but effective part from the BMW Motorsport division…  

Anyone who has multiple sets of wheels, or just happens to wear through tires or brake pads at a higher-than-normal rate, knows that mounting wheels on the car can get to be a hassle.  This is particularly true if you need to get wheels swapped out in a hurry at the track.  With factory lug bolts, the rear isn’t usually too bad, but the free-rolling hubs on the front make things a bit more tricky.  Throw in a set of wheel spacers, and it becomes a lesson in patience.

 

Achilles Motorsports wheel stud conversion M3We solved that issue by going with the 75mm TUV-approved wheel stud conversion from Achilles Motorsports. It’s not likely that we’ll need wheel spacers larger than the 12mm versions already on the car, so 90mm studs would’ve been overkill at this stage.  Plus, I’m not a personal fan of the Roman chariot look. Both sizes offer the bullet-nose design for easier alignment of the lug nuts, and for less likelihood of any cross-threading issues.
Achilles Motorsports wheel studs bullet-nose hexWe decided to go with the zinc-plated nickel black versions instead of the silver zinc-plated versions.  Yes, our choice was slightly more expensive, but they’ve also gone through an additional Torque ‘N’ Tension process.

That process involves multiple washing and degreasing steps in preparation for final activation, zinc plating, and lubrication.  The final lubrication process serves as a seal which has a protective function, making the studs much more resistant to the effects of weather and corrosion.  With track use on the schedule, and a full spectrum of harsh seasonal conditions for Project E36 M3, it was a no-brainer.  Plus, they just happen to look better in our humble opinion.

 

Rogue Engineering 12mm wheel spacers on M3Lining your front spacers up is simple on its own, but once you get a wheel on and try to keep everything together, that’s when the F-bombs can start to fly.   Yes, these are the original brake calipers from 1999 with well-worn rotors, but we’ll get to that soon enough.
Rogue Engineering wheel spacer removalAside from the weight-saving design and having the thickness engraved on the face, the greatest feature of the Rogue Engineering wheel spacers is their notched back.  This keeps a lot of the frustration down by allowing you to use a flathead screwdriver tip to pop them off, no matter how long they’ve been mated up to rusty old rotors.

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