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


BMW wheel cap roundels from BavAutoEven the backs are completely redesigned.  They’ve gone from 5 prongs to 10, so they not only look better, but they’re obviously twice as good now.  It’s simple math!
APEX Arc-8 with BMW Roundel capOddly enough, the new Roundel caps from BavAuto also seem to fit perfectly on our new mystery wheels.  Okay, if you’re a BMW nut, you probably know exactly what wheels these are, but we’ll have much more on them in upcoming articles.
BMW E36 cup holdersSpeaking of convenience, some people may laugh at the idea of featuring aftermarket cup holders in a project car article.  Of course, if you’re laughing, you’ve never had to deal with the factory cup holders in an E36.  To say the factory pieces are useless is actually giving them more credit than they deserve.
BMW stock E36 cup holder versus Origin EquipmentYou can see here that the the original cup holder on the left has a slightly deeper design, but the added depth holds nothing other than a skinny can of Redbull, or maybe some pocket change.  Notice the width of the Origin Equipment version on the right!
E36 factory center trayThe new cup holders fit perfectly, but they do require that you make some minor modifications to the factory tray.  Who doesn’t love spending a few minutes with some power tools, though? You can see the marks we made on the factory tray, and that’s where you need to cut out some of the plastic.

If you go with the Origin Equipment cup holders, the main advice I’d give would be to use a white wax pencil or some sort of marker which isn’t black or blue, as well as to use sufficient lighting when cutting.  We didn’t, and that’s why we’re not posting photos.  We were missing a few attachments for our Dremel, too, so we went with the not-so-stable practice of using a small drill bit instead of a cutting wheel.  Did it work?  Absolutely!  Did it look nice?  Well, no.  But you never look under them anyway, so…

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