Project E36 M3: Part 5 – Suspension V1.1 – Sway Bars, Control Arms, and Fender Rolling


E36 M3 front control arm installed
Joy at last! The new control arms were incredibly easy to install compared to the removal of the originals, and you can see that we swapped our Rogue Engineering control arm bushings over from the old. There are obviously a few other parts looking their age, but no signs of needing replacement, so we’ll call it an artistic mix of shiny and new with old and hazy.
E36 M3 rear fender room 245/35-18
With the 18” x 9” ARC-8 wheels we have some room to play with tire sizes. Planning ahead, however, the rear fenders of the E36 chassis don’t allow a whole lot of room compared to the E46. You can see that the 245/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 have enough room, but with plans to go a bit wider with track tires, we knew it would be in our best interest to get the fender lips rolled for more room. Not being overly confident with my body shop skills, this was a job best left to the professionals.
Butler C&D Merriam Kansas, Kansas City
One of the greatest things about the Kansas City area is the local KC BMW Club and its tight-knit group of avid BMW fans. One of the most supportive club members is Ron Butler, and he just happens to be the go-to guy for anything related to body shop needs, as he’s the owner of Butler C&D – a major supporter of the KC BMW Club. Plus, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and he’s done plenty of work on the BimmerWorld CTSCC cars, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong.
Eastwood fender roller Butler C&D Kansas City
While fender rollers are available for rent online, and people seem to have decent success using them on their own, I’ve also seen rolling jobs go terribly wrong, including on one of my previous cars where a roll turned into a flare… n one side only. I had no intentions of repeating that scenario with this car.
E36 M3 rear fender roll
Before getting to work with the fender roller, there’s a good amount of seam sealer that needs to be removed. A job I could’ve done with my own Dremel tool, but then it’s easier to get pictures of someone else doing the dirty work. You can see the sealer coming out without too much effort.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *