E36dof 01

Deep Off Blue // Donny’s E36 3 Series

Article is written by Donny the owner himself, and edited by me

“I’ve always been a fan of BMW E36s, as well as any of the various generations of 3 Series. I like 3 Series because, most often than not, they have the largest aftermarket and replacement parts support, both from the manufacturer and also from third parties. For an enthusiast like me, that’s a huge advantage.

The E36 has a design language that is distinctly German in nature; its sharp lines are utilitarian and yet very attractive. The same understated-yet-attractive design elements have become a challenge for us modifiers to improve upon the car, while yet avoiding the tacky look. This is why, in most cases, modified E36s ended up as a lookalike to the M versions of the chassis, very OEM+. For most, OEM+ might be good enough, but for a handful people like me, that idea still left me pretty much unsatisfied. Therefore, to push the limits further, I focus on the nifty little details in order to fully convey my individuality. I, Donny Noegroho, am the owner of this E36 and am one of the dedicated few that has been caught in such detail-oriented quest. This quest has pretty much contributed to the overall look and quality feel of this 320i build. While most of the major body components are general M pieces, it’s the tiny personalizations that I want to emphasize upon.

I began the project by overhauling most of the suspension parts with new parts, and used Powerflex bushing as replacements. I have also found myself the opportunity to obtain a set of these gorgeous O.Z. Hartges. When I first found them, these Hartges needed refinishing badly. Therefore I decided to refinish them and take it a step further by repainting them Titanium silver and widening the width to 18×9 and 18×9.5.

Mind you, judging by the stance, you might’ve thought that it is only a simple “lowered on wheels” build. It is very much isn’t; in fact, there might have been more difficult work done in the other areas apart from the wheels/suspension sector. The M52B20 engine, for example, has been replaced with a M52B28, and the automatic transmission has been replaced by a 5-speed manual.

KW Variant 2 coilovers coupled with Racing Dynamics swaybars have improved the handling characteristics of the E36, while at the same time providing the uber-crushed stance. I have been very careful throughout the build to keep the fenders unmolested, so I’ve decided to install a set of Roque Engineering Rear Control Arms. It’s this kind of attention to detail that I really want to reflect in the overall quality of the car.

The interior was treated to a plethora of quality modifications. The seating is by Recaro, the steering wheels have been replaced with an OEM M3, and I’ve also installed an M3 ZHP Shorty shift knob.

Fresh paint job, new bumper trims, new indicators, new radio, and new emblems were among the other little details that I’ve painstakingly sourced and arranged to come up with the overall look that would differentiate this E36 from the others.

They say it’s just like cooking: it’s the subtleties that truly separate the good from the better, and from the best.”

Owners like him seem to have committed wholeheartedly to every single detail of the modification. It is also enthusiasts like him that could end up bringing the “cool” cars to gathering/show events. Yes, this is a car that he has put so much sweats and tears into. Your average on-looker may not notice, but those in the know will take note and appreciate the extra effort. Look closely and pay attention on your next events – you might have just missed something inspiring.

Modification Specs

O.Z. Hartge 18″x9-9.5
KW Variant 2 Coilovers with ultra low springs
Roque Engineering Rear Control Arms
Polyurethane bushings
Toyo T1R 225/40/18 255/35/18
E46 330i front brake w/ cross drilled rotor
Braided hoses
M3 body kit
License plate deleted trim
Foglights delete
US side marker
Facelifted taillights
Smoked headlights

Recaro Sport Artista
Recaro trimmed rear seats
M3 steering wheel
M3 ZHP shorty shift knob
Black headliner

M52B28 engine swap
ACS delete
EWS delete
Manual transmission swap
K&N cold air intake
M3 exhaust system

Additional Infos

About Photographer – Eric Tanzil: “Feel free to contact me ertanzil[at]gmail[dot]com if you want some shoot from me. Thank you.”

About Photographer – Charles J: “Right now I’m freelancing as an automotive photographer, interested only in cars photography. I would like to shoot my dream car, a GC8 Subaru STI in future. For photography services please contact me jhons.charles[at]gmail[dot]com”