23 Pictures Bmw E36 Wallpaper Amazing Pictures
When you think about the BMW 3 series, your mind probably goes straight to the E30, the E46, or maybe even the E90. Those are some of the most legendary cars that BMW has ever made. But there’s one BMW that has been overlooked for decades. And that’s the E36. So today, I’m going to talk about some of the German engineering that makes the E36 such a great platform for enthusiasts like yourself, and specifically, we’re going to look at the engine and the chassis. So buckle up, Bimmer boys and gals, because we’re going to B2B on this BMV while you’re probably on the toilet taking a BM. Big thanks to Omaze for partnering with us to bring you another episode of Bumper 2 Bumper. If you don’t know already, Omaze is this cool company that offers you the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences, all while supporting amazing causes, like the Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA.
The same center that helps saved James’ life when he had a heart attack. We love them over there. Have you seen James lately? He’s freaking svelte, man. He’s a healthy boy thanks to UCLA. But when you donate at Omaze, you’re not just supporting great causes, you’re also entered for a chance to win amazing experiences, ranging from dream vacations, all across the world to hanging out with your favorite celebrities. You can also donate for the chance to win super sweet dream cars. Like the 2020 Corvette Stingray Z51, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet, the Ferrari GTC4Lusso. The list goes on and on. It’s a ton of cars. You can check out all those cars at omaze.com/cars, and while you’re there enter for a chance to win one. Thank you, Omaze, for sponsoring this episode and thank you for supporting the companies that support Donut. We love you. Now, inline sixes are exactly what they sound like. They’re six cylinders arranged in a line, and compared to smaller four bangers, for example, six cylinders are pretty long. And generally, they’re too long to be mounted transversely. That’s this way. So they need to be placed longitudinally.
That’s the length of the car, which requires a much longer hood line. Now that might be a great look for sports cars, but most manufacturers tend to use the same engines across the various platforms. And a super long block just isn’t very practical in other cars like a minivan or an SUV, or I don’t know, a very small front hood car. Now let’s get back to the E36 and what makes its six-cylinder engine so good. And by six-cylinder engine, I really mean six-cylinder engines. Because in the 10 or so years that BMW produced the E36, they offered 10 gasoline powered straight six engine options. It’s a lot of engines. If looking at all 10 of those engines makes your brain just turning to mush a little bit, you’re not alone, my friend. But it’s not that confusing when you break down those engine codes. Me and you were gonna be the Alan Turing of deciphering engine codes right now. Let’s get into it, okay? So the first digit tells you the engine family. So M means it was the standard engine produced until 2001 and the S designates that it’s a performance engine. So they used S engines in M cars like the M3 but the M engines in non M cars, like the 330ci. Off to a totally non-confusing start. Thank you, BMW engineers. I told you, I keep telling you guys, engineers don’t know how to name stuff. Now, the second digit tells you which cylinder configuration it uses.
And in this case, five indicates it’s an inline six cylinder. And you might think, Hey, you should probably use number six to designate this. But apparently BMW decided six should represent V8 cars. I’m telling you right now, an engineer did this and he was bad. Now the third digit represents the variation of the engine. Now these engines evolved over the years. So the zero in M50 means it is the original design. M51 would have been the first variation. That’s the diesel one I was talking about. And M52 is the second variation. Now most E36s are either gonna have an M50 or an M52. Now, moving on to the fourth digit. In this case, B tells us that it’s a gasoline engine. Why didn’t BMW used a letter G to designate their gas engine? Well, because the German word for gas is benzin. – [Announcer] Benzin. – How did I pronounce that, my German friends? I hope I did good. Now the next two digits are pretty easy. They tell you the displacement. So 30 means it is a 3.0 liter engine. And lastly, TU is BMW’s special designation to let you know there was a technical update. Nailed that. And finally, the US means it was only sold in the United States. Pretty simple. Now, all this confusing jargon aside, these engines all share the same basic architecture. A dual overhead cam shaft with four valves per cylinder. That’s 24 valves total, which is double what you got in the E30’s single cam six-cylinder engine. So what’s the benefit of having twin cams? Well, you’re more efficient and you get more power. Now, one cam regulates the engine’s intake valves and the other regulates the exhaust valves. And the distance between those two cams means that the valves can be placed further apart, which is great because that improves the flow of exhaust gases through the engine. And this extra valve distance also means the spark plug can be placed in a more ideal position for sparking up all that free flowing air fuel mixture to get sucking in your intake belt. Now, a cool benefit to dual overhead cams is less valve noise. Have you ever heard a BMW E30 before? Here’s actually a clip of one of our editors’ Max’s E30. Listen to this sucker tick away. – [Max] Real stinky. – But the 24-valve engines, on the other hand, they’re quiet as a little mouse.
So compared to the E30, the E36 engines are more efficient, more powerful, and lighter, but that’s not the only thing they’ve got cooking. It’s time we talk about the real meat and potatoes of the E36’s sexy sixes. That’s right. I’m talking about BMWs legendary VANOS. And VANOS stands for Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung. I hope that… And that word is German for Variable Cam Timing. And it’s the same principle as Honda’s VTEC, Toyota’s VVT-i, or Nissan’s VTC that we talked about in the 300ZX episode. Now, if you want to learn more about variable timing, I’ll slip the link in the description below. Still, in a nutshell, the engine’s timing, which is when the valves open and close, can change dynamically depending on driving conditions. You get the benefit of having a very sensible economic engine at lower RPMs. Still, the timing is advanced at higher RPMs to allow more air and fuel into the combustion chamber. Say it with me now, kids, you got more air, you got more fuel, and James, what do we have? – Are you serious, dude? Nah, come on. – Now, VANOS isn’t exactly like variable cam timing used in other cars. And in typical BMW fashion, it’s slightly more complicated because it wouldn’t be a BMW if it weren’t just a little more complicated. I will compare it to VTEC, which changes the engine’s valve timing by hydraulically switching between a high lift and a low lift cam lobe. The load lift profile gives you higher efficiency at lower RPMs, and the high profile gives you a little squirt of power in the high RPM range. On the other hand, VANOS does what’s called cam phasing, where the camshaft itself is rotated to adjust the lobe angle. Now, depending on the engine’s load, the ECU will send a signal to the solenoid that sends pressurized oil to a helical gear. And that pushes into the camshaft. and that’s what causes the camshaft to rotate. And that rotation either advances or retards the timing of when the valves open. Now, most E36s had a single VANOS, meaning it only affects the intake cam. So when that helical gear engages in advancing the timing, you get a slight overlap between the intake and exhaust valves. Now this allows for exhaust gas recirculation or EGR. Because of that slight overlap, not all of the exhaust gases can escape through the valves. So some of it gets sucked back into the cylinder, and the recycled exhaust gas dilutes the oxygen in the air coming into the cylinder, which helps absorb some of that heat from combustion.
Now, less heat means fewer pollutants into the atmosphere. So a big part of EGR has to do with emission. And I know, Jerry, what the heck? That sounds counterintuitive. Why would you want less oxygen in your combustion chamber? But when you’re just cruising around town, EGR helps keep your engine running more efficiently. And efficiency is something those German engineers happen to absolutely love. But hold up, okay, you’re in a BMW. You’re late for your latte appointment, and you need to get across town fast without using any blinkers in typical BMW fashion. So you put the pedal to the floor, and your E36 brain decides it’s VANOS time. The helical gear retracts back into its little hole, and your intake cam pivots back in place. No more stinky exhaust gas in the chamber now. We need more air to get more boom, a boom so that we can get more power. so we can get to our latte appointment. because you know, if you show up late, Dylan’s going to order your latte with oat milk, and then you’re going to wanna punch him in the face because you don’t like oat milk, you like almond milk, but you call it almond juice because how the heck can almonds have milk? It should be called almond juice. I stand by that. So today, in 2020, you can find a running and driving E36 that uses this fancy-schmancy technology for like $4,000. And that’s one of the reasons why this car is so common with drifters and other enthusiasts who like to get their knuckles a little greasy. I’m talking to you, D List fans. You greasy, fricking knuckle freaks. So now that we’ve got the basics of how these engines work out of the way, it’s time to talk about the chassis. The chassis. But why am I Italian? Doesn’t make sense. The chassis. There you go. When the E36 debuted in 1990, it had a lot to live up to. I mean, it’s older bro, the E30 is supposedly the most successful touring car platform of all time. So how do you take something that’s already the best and make it better? Well, just like when Taco Bell released the Nacho Cheese Doritos Loco Taco Supreme, the E36 was beefier, it’s stronger, and it’s packed full of delicious crunchy flavor. And that all starts at the chassis. And yes, our sponsor for this episode is not Taco Bell, but if you work at Taco Bell and want to sponsor us, we would love that. Now for one, the wheelbase is five inches longer than the E30.
That’s about this long. And what that five inches meant for BMW owners in the ’90s was more legroom and more trunk space. But what do those five inches mean for you? Does the dollar store drift frat in the year 2020? Well, it means this boy’s easier to get a little sideways. So let’s do a little imagination. Say you’re in your Catfish Camaro. You got T tops open. You got CD blasting from your six-CD changer. And all of a sudden, the road gets a little twisty. So naturally, you give the steering wheel a nice little yank, you dump the clutch, and you start to oversteer or, as the youngsters call it entering a hectic skid. Now there is a lot of physics going on while this happens. But what we care about right now is rotational inertia. And more specifically, the force required to rotate the vehicle. Now, a longer wheelbase means a longer distribution of a vehicle’s mass. And longer distribution means it takes a lot more centripetal force to rotate the vehicle. And in a shorter car, the vehicle’s mass is condensed. So it has less rotational inertia, meaning not as much force is needed to rotate it. Do you want to see how you can put rotational inertia to the test? Well, come on. Let’s hop in the old Jerry bus, and let’s take a trip over to my sports lab. Come on, let’s go. So I want to talk about the polar moment of inertia, and that’s how difficult it is to get an object to rotate around its axis. So to demonstrate this, I have a basketball, and I have a broom pole. And they weigh roughly the same. Let’s say they have the same mass. Now, if I want to go and rotate this basketball around its center of mass, it’s pretty easy to do that. It has a low polar moment of inertia. Now, if I take this broom pole and try to get it to rotate around its center of axis, it’s a lot harder. It takes a lot more effort to get it to spin just as fast as that basketball and as many times. it has a high polar moment of inertia. So just like a car, this has a higher polar moment of inertia. It’s harder to get it to rotate around its axis. Imagine this being a long front-end car, and this being a little smart car.
There you go. But if a longer wheelbase needs more force to go sideways, why would anyone prefer that in motorsports? Well, mainly because it gives the driver more control over the car. Sure, a shorter car will rotate faster, but it’ll also be a lot more squirrely. I mean, think about what would happen if you yanked the wheel in a smart car. I mean, you’d probably flip it, but you’d also probably have a real hard time keeping it under control if it wasn’t flipping, and it would be complicated to link your drifts together if you were trying to drift your smart car. But what a longer wheelbase does, is the Juris will be more smooth and predictable. The E36’s wheelbase is a good compromise between short and squirrely and long and slow. Now, as I said before, there are a ton of other factors that are going to affect how a car behaves when it’s getting sideways. But this is the main reason longer cars are generally preferred in drifting. The E36’s suspension also makes it favorable to modern-day car moderates, aside from having a slightly longer wheelbase. So just like the E30, the E36 uses an independent MacPherson strut front end. And this is the same type of front suspension found in most modern cars today. You have a telescopic strut mounted vertically between the top of the wheel hub and the lower strut tower. This is your classic coil-over-shock absorber, AKA a Coilover. And this technology has been around since the ’50s, and it’s still used today because one, it’s simple. Two, it’s beefy, and three, it is cheap to produce. But unlike its elder brethren, the E36 came equipped with a Z-axle multi-link rear suspension. And what is a Z-axle multi-link rear suspension, Jerry? Well, to put it simply, the rear suspension uses multiple links, and it looks like a Z. Now, BMW used multiple rear control arms that allow suspension geometry to stay the same even under heavy cornering. See, before multi-link rear ends, BMW used what’s called a rear semi-trailing arm suspension, where each wheel connects to a single A-arm that pivots at the body. And semi-trailing arms are not horrible, but they don’t allow you to adjust toe or camber.
Should I get a wheel? I’ll get a wheel. Here, I got a tire. I got a tire from my dirt bike here. So camber is this. That’s this angle. That’s how much the tires rotated this way, and toe is this. How much it toes. And on a track car, you want all the suspension fine-tuning that you can get. So this can be a pretty major drawback when you’re trying to tune your suspension. Another problem with rear trailing arms is that as the wheels travel under suspension, load camber changes, which affects the car’s handling throws off your balance, like a ballerina with the wrong shoes. And drifters are just like ballerinas. They’re precise and delicate, but they’re full of power. So the E36’s multi-link suspension eliminates most of the drawbacks of a trailing arm setup. Your wheels make better contact with the ground, you get more adjustability, and less noise and vibration travel to the body. Again, BMW was going for comfort here, but what’s the main benefit nowadays? Well, you get lots of aftermarket opportunities. You could throw some nasty coil overs on the front, stiff rear springs and shocks, and maybe some poly bushings to replace your old, worn-out multi-link rubbers. I love aftermarket people. Aftermarket is what makes the business go round and round. Now, between the easily customizable suspension and the beefy yet reliable engine options, the E36 chassis is set up well for people who want a cheap entry point into motorsports. It might not have the cold status of the E30 or the fancy technology of the newer cars, but it’s a great value when you consider the engineering that went into these things. Thank you guys so much for watching this episode of B2B. I love making this show. I thank you guys for watching. I hope you learned some stuff. I hope you laughed a little bit.