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BMW 3 Series (E36)

The third generation of the BMW 3 Series line of small executive vehicles, known as the BMW E36, was manufactured by the German automaker BMW from 1990 to 2000. The four-door sedan body style was used for the first models, then in subsequent years, the coupe, convertible, wagon ("Touring"), hatchback ("Compact"), and the uncommon four-door convertible Baur TC4 were added.

Body Styles

1990-1998: 4-Door Sedan
1990-1999: 2-Door Coupe
1993-1999: 2-Door Convertible
1994-1995: 5-Door Wagon/Touring
1994-2000: 3-Door Hatchback


1994-1999: 5 Speed Manual
1996-1999: 6 Speed Manual
4 Speed Automatic
5 Speed Automatic

All models are rear-wheel drive.

Modified BMW E36

Performance Enhancements:

Engine Upgrades: The E36's inline-six engine is known for its potential. Performance upgrades can range from simple modifications like cold air intakes and exhaust systems to more extensive swaps and forced induction. A supercharged or turbocharged E36 can yield substantial power gains.

Suspension Tuning: Enhancing the suspension is crucial for improving handling. Upgrades like adjustable coilovers, sway bars, and polyurethane bushings can significantly transform the car's cornering abilities, reducing body roll and enhancing grip.

Brake Systems: Upgrading the braking system with larger rotors, high-performance pads, and stainless steel lines enhances stopping power, making it safer and more suitable for spirited driving.

Aftermarket Support:

The BMW E36 enjoys a robust aftermarket support system. Enthusiasts can easily find a wide range of parts and accessories, including engine components, suspension upgrades, body kits, and more. This extensive support makes it relatively straightforward to personalize and enhance your E36 to your liking.

Design Upgrades:

Body Kits: Aesthetic customization can transform your E36's appearance. Body kits from manufacturers like M Tech and AC Schnitzer can add aggressive styling, improve aerodynamics, and give your car a distinct look.

Wheels and Tires: The right set of wheels can significantly impact your E36's design and performance. A new set of rims, accompanied by performance-oriented tires, can enhance both the look and grip of your car.

Interior Modifications: Personalizing the interior with racing seats, custom steering wheels, and modern audio systems can elevate the driving experience and add a touch of luxury or sportiness to your E36.

Motorsports Success:

The BMW E36 has a rich history in motorsports. Its balanced chassis and tunable engine make it a popular choice in various racing disciplines. Whether it's drifting, touring car racing, or amateur track days, the E36 has seen considerable success on the racetrack. Many enthusiasts turn to the E36 for its winning potential and continue its racing legacy.

Driving Experience:

Improved Handling: With the right modifications, the E36's handling can be transformed. Upgraded suspension components and wider wheels enhance grip and make the car feel more planted in corners.

Enhanced Power: Engine upgrades not only increase power but also provide an exhilarating driving experience. The improved throttle response and acceleration make every drive more enjoyable.

Customized Style: Personalizing the E36's design and interior allows you to make a statement on the road. Whether you prefer a sleek, understated look or an aggressive, track-inspired appearance, the E36 can be tailored to your style.

Modifying a BMW E36 is not just about improving its performance; it's about enhancing the overall driving experience and making a statement. With a wide range of performance upgrades, a supportive aftermarket community, and a legacy of motorsports success, the E36 offers a canvas for enthusiasts to create a car that reflects their individual style and driving aspirations. Whether you prioritize track performance, daily driving enjoyment, or a blend of both, the E36 is a versatile and thrilling platform for modification.

Best Modified BMW E36 Builds























Performance Upgrades:

The E36 is already known for its impressive driving dynamics, but for those seeking more power and agility, various performance upgrades are available:

a. Engine Modifications: Consider upgrading your engine with performance-enhancing modifications like cold air intakes, exhaust systems, and ECU tuning. These changes can boost horsepower and torque, resulting in a more exhilarating driving experience.

b. Suspension and Handling: Upgrading your suspension with components such as coilovers, sway bars, and performance bushings can significantly improve the E36's handling characteristics. A lower stance and improved road-holding capabilities can turn your car into a track-ready beast.

c. Brake Upgrades: Performance brake kits with larger rotors and better brake pads can enhance stopping power, making your E36 more capable on the street or track.

Aftermarket Support:

The E36 has a robust aftermarket community that provides a wide range of options for customization:

a. Body Kits: Enhance the visual appeal of your E36 with aftermarket body kits, including front splitters, rear diffusers, and spoilers, to give your car a more aggressive and aerodynamic look.

b. Wheels and Tires: Upgrading your wheels and tires is a great way to improve the E36's stance and handling. Custom alloy wheels and high-performance tires not only enhance aesthetics but also contribute to improved traction and cornering abilities.

c. Interior Upgrades: Personalize your cabin with aftermarket seats, steering wheels, shift knobs, and gauges. These modifications not only improve aesthetics but also provide a more comfortable and driver-focused experience.

Design Enhancements:

E36 owners often appreciate the car's timeless design, and modifications can help you make it even more unique:

a. Custom Paint: Consider a fresh coat of paint or vinyl wraps to create a one-of-a-kind appearance. Custom paint jobs can range from subtle and classic to bold and eye-catching.

b. Lighting Upgrades: Modern LED or HID headlights, taillights, and interior lighting can provide a significant visual improvement while also enhancing nighttime visibility.

Motorsports Success:

The E36 has a rich history in motorsports, particularly in touring car racing. Many modifications can prepare your E36 for the track:

a. Roll Cages: Safety is paramount on the track. Installing a roll cage ensures added protection in case of an accident and often meets motorsport regulations.

b. Performance Exhaust Systems: A high-performance exhaust system can improve engine breathing and enhance the exhaust note, making your car sound and perform like a true racing machine.

c. Racing Seats and Harnesses: Upgrade to racing seats and harnesses for improved support and safety during high-speed driving.

Driving Experience:

Ultimately, all these modifications contribute to a superior driving experience:

a. Sound System: Enhance your driving experience with a quality sound system that complements the car's interior while delivering outstanding audio quality.

b. Comfort and Convenience: Upgrade the interior with modern conveniences like a touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning, and power accessories to enjoy a comfortable ride, even after significant modifications.

Modifying a BMW E36 offers a world of possibilities to transform it into your dream car. Whether you're seeking improved performance, a unique aesthetic, or motorsports readiness, the E36's versatility and the rich aftermarket support make it a prime candidate for customization. Just remember that safety, quality, and attention to detail should always be top priorities when embarking on the journey of E36 modification. With the right modifications, your BMW E36 can become a true masterpiece that delivers an exhilarating driving experience on the road and the track.

BMW E36 Turbo

Precision Turbo & Engine - PT6266 Turbocharger

The Precision PT6266 is a popular choice among BMW E36 owners looking for serious power gains. This turbocharger features a ball-bearing design for quick spooling and is available in various configurations to match your power goals. It offers excellent response and a wide powerband, making it suitable for both street and track use.

BorgWarner EFR 6758 Turbocharger

The BorgWarner EFR 6758 is a well-regarded turbocharger known for its exceptional spool time and transient response. It's a great choice for those who want to maintain low-end torque while benefiting from turbocharged top-end power. The integrated wastegate design and modern engineering make it a reliable and efficient option for the BMW E36.

Garrett GTX3576R Gen II Turbocharger

Garrett is a name synonymous with turbocharging, and the GTX3576R Gen II is a fantastic choice for the E36. It offers incredible performance potential with its dual ball-bearing design, and the Gen II improvements make it even more efficient. This turbocharger is suitable for high-power builds and can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Precision Turbo & Engine - PT5558 Turbocharger

For those seeking an excellent balance between response and top-end power, the PT5558 from Precision Turbo & Engine is an attractive option. It offers a good compromise between spool time and peak performance, making it versatile for both street and track applications. The PT5558 is available in various trims to accommodate different horsepower goals.

Garrett GT3071R Turbocharger

The Garrett GT3071R is known for its excellent mid-range power delivery. If you're interested in a responsive setup that delivers substantial gains in the mid-range RPMs, this turbocharger is worth considering. Its dual ball-bearing design ensures reliability and longevity.

Compatibility and Supporting Mods

When selecting a turbocharger for your BMW E36, it's essential to consider compatibility with your engine, exhaust, and fuel system. You may need to make supporting modifications to achieve optimal performance and reliability. Some key modifications include:

Upgraded Fuel Injectors: Larger fuel injectors are often necessary to supply the increased fuel required for turbocharged applications.

High-Flow Exhaust: A free-flowing exhaust system is essential to maximize the benefits of a turbocharger. Consider a high-quality downpipe and a larger exhaust system.

Intercooler: An efficient intercooler helps reduce intake air temperatures, improving power and engine safety.

ECU Tuning: Custom engine tuning is crucial to ensure your E36 runs smoothly with the new turbocharger. Consider a reputable tuner with experience in BMW E36 turbo builds.

Adding a turbocharger to your BMW E36 can transform it into a high-performance machine, taking your driving experience to the next level. The options mentioned above represent some of the best turbochargers available for the E36, each with its unique characteristics and advantages. When selecting a turbocharger, consider your power goals, driving preferences, and budget. Remember that proper installation and supporting modifications are key to unlocking the full potential of your turbocharged E36, so consult with experts and reputable mechanics to ensure a successful and thrilling transformation.

BMW E36 Suspension

Bilstein B8 Performance Plus Shocks and Struts

Bilstein is a renowned name in the world of suspension components, and the B8 Performance Plus shocks and struts are an excellent choice for those seeking an upgrade in both ride quality and performance. These shock absorbers are designed to provide a comfortable ride for daily driving while delivering improved handling characteristics when pushed hard. They work seamlessly with stock springs or lowering springs, making them a versatile option.

KW Variant 3 Coilovers

For BMW E36 owners who want the flexibility to fine-tune their suspension settings, the KW Variant 3 coilovers are an outstanding choice. These high-quality coilovers offer adjustable rebound and compression damping, allowing you to tailor your ride to your specific preferences and driving conditions. The KW Variant 3 is an excellent option for both spirited street driving and occasional track use.

H&R Sport Springs and Sway Bars

H&R Sport Springs and Sway Bars provide an affordable and effective way to improve your E36's handling. These sport springs lower the vehicle's ride height for a more aggressive stance and improved cornering performance. When combined with H&R sway bars, you'll experience reduced body roll and increased stability during cornering. This combination is perfect for enthusiasts seeking a balance between performance and daily drivability.

Eibach Pro-Street-S Coilovers

The Eibach Pro-Street-S coilovers offer a high-performance suspension system with the added benefit of adjustability. With ride height and damping adjustment, you can fine-tune your E36's handling to suit your driving style. The Eibach Pro-Street-S coilovers provide excellent road manners for daily driving and are well-suited for spirited weekend drives and occasional track outings.

Koni Sport Yellow Shocks and Struts

Koni is a respected name in the suspension industry, and their Sport Yellow shocks and struts are a top choice for E36 owners. These shocks and struts are adjustable, allowing you to tailor the damping rates to your preferences. They work well with both stock springs and aftermarket lowering springs, offering enhanced handling without sacrificing ride comfort.

Compatibility and Supporting Mods

Before selecting a suspension upgrade for your BMW E36, it's crucial to consider your specific driving needs and preferences. Additionally, other modifications may be necessary to ensure that the suspension components work optimally:

Upgraded Bushings: Replacing suspension bushings with polyurethane or solid options can further enhance handling precision.

Alignment and Corner Balancing: After installing new suspension components, it's essential to have a professional alignment and corner balancing to maximize performance and tire wear.

Tires and Wheels: Your choice of tires and wheels can significantly impact the handling and ride quality of your E36. Be sure to select compatible options that suit your suspension setup.

Upgrading your BMW E36's suspension can significantly improve its performance, handling, and overall driving experience. The options mentioned in this article represent some of the best choices available, each with unique features and advantages. When selecting a suspension upgrade, consider your driving preferences, budget, and intended use. Don't forget to consult with experienced professionals to ensure a successful installation and alignment, helping you unlock the full potential of your E36's upgraded suspension system. Whether you're looking for a sportier ride on the street or better track performance, the right suspension components can transform your E36 into the ultimate driving machine.

BMW E36 Brakes

Brembo GT Series Big Brake Kit

Brembo is a name synonymous with high-performance brakes, and their GT Series Big Brake Kit is a top choice for the E36. This kit features larger calipers and rotors, providing substantial improvements in stopping power and fade resistance. Brembo's engineering expertise ensures precision and durability, making it an ideal choice for spirited driving and occasional track use.

StopTech Street Performance Brake Pads and Slotted Rotors

StopTech is known for delivering excellent braking solutions, and their Street Performance Brake Pads combined with Slotted Rotors offer a fantastic balance of performance and affordability. The slotted rotors help dissipate heat and prevent brake fade, while the performance brake pads provide consistent stopping power. This is a practical upgrade for those who enjoy spirited street driving.

Hawk Performance HP Plus Brake Pads

Hawk Performance's HP Plus Brake Pads are well-regarded for their track-ready performance without sacrificing daily drivability. These pads offer excellent bite, fade resistance, and high-temperature stability, making them ideal for E36 owners who participate in track days or autocross events.

EBC Brakes Yellowstuff Brake Pads

EBC's Yellowstuff Brake Pads are designed for drivers who demand high-performance stopping power. These pads offer strong initial bite and excellent modulation, making them suitable for aggressive driving and spirited canyon runs. Their high-friction compound ensures consistent braking, even under extreme conditions.

ATE Typ 200 Brake Fluid

Upgrading your brake fluid is often an overlooked but essential aspect of improving your E36's braking performance. ATE Typ 200 Brake Fluid is a high-quality, DOT 4-rated fluid that provides superior boiling points and excellent resistance to moisture absorption. This fluid ensures consistent braking performance under heavy use, reducing the risk of brake fade.

Compatibility and Supporting Mods

Before selecting a brake upgrade for your BMW E36, it's crucial to consider compatibility with your existing brake system. Depending on the specific kit or components you choose, you may need to make additional modifications:

Brake Lines: Consider upgrading to stainless steel brake lines to enhance brake pedal feel and reduce brake line expansion under heavy braking.

Brake Calipers: Upgrading to larger calipers may require modification to your vehicle's suspension components or wheels to ensure a proper fit.

Brake Master Cylinder: In some cases, a larger brake master cylinder may be needed to provide the necessary hydraulic pressure for improved braking performance.

Enhancing your BMW E36's braking system is a wise investment in safety and performance. The brake options listed above represent some of the best choices available, each catering to different driving preferences and requirements. When choosing a brake upgrade, consider your driving style, budget, and intended use, whether it's spirited street driving, track days, or a combination of both. Professional installation and a thorough brake system flush are essential to ensure a seamless and effective upgrade. With the right brake components, you can optimize your E36's stopping power, ensuring safer and more exhilarating drives.

BMW E36 Exhaust

Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust System

Magnaflow is renowned for its high-quality exhaust systems that offer a perfect balance between an enhanced exhaust note and improved performance. The Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust System is an excellent choice for the E36, featuring mandrel-bent stainless steel piping for optimal airflow and durability. This system delivers a deep, refined tone that doesn't become overly loud, making it suitable for daily driving.

Borla Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System

Borla is another esteemed manufacturer of exhaust systems, and their Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System for the E36 is a favorite among enthusiasts. This system is constructed from top-notch stainless steel, providing corrosion resistance and a long-lasting lifespan. The Borla exhaust system offers an aggressive yet refined tone, delivering an exhilarating sound under acceleration.

Supersprint Performance Exhaust System

Supersprint is well-regarded for its European craftsmanship and precise design. The Supersprint Performance Exhaust System for the E36 not only enhances the exhaust note but also offers improved performance. This stainless steel system features free-flowing mufflers and mandrel-bent tubing, making it a great choice for those who seek a refined yet sporty exhaust note.

Remus Sport Exhaust System

The Remus Sport Exhaust System is a popular option for those who want a more aggressive and distinctive exhaust note. This system is designed to provide a deep, throaty growl that adds character to your E36 without being overly loud. The Remus exhaust is crafted from stainless steel and offers quality construction that ensures longevity.

Eisenmann Performance Exhaust System

For BMW enthusiasts seeking a truly unique and resonant exhaust note, the Eisenmann Performance Exhaust System is a standout choice. Known for its exceptional build quality and craftsmanship, this exhaust system produces an exotic and distinctive sound that is sure to turn heads. It's perfect for those who appreciate a deeper, more aggressive tone.

Compatibility and Supporting Mods

Before upgrading your E36's exhaust system, consider compatibility with other vehicle components. Depending on your choice, you might need supporting modifications:

Catalytic Converters: If you're looking for a cat-back system, ensure your existing catalytic converters are in good condition. Some exhaust systems may require the removal or replacement of catalytic converters.

O2 Sensor Bungs: Ensure your chosen exhaust system has the necessary bungs for oxygen sensors to maintain optimal engine performance.

Exhaust Hangers: High-quality exhaust hangers may be necessary for a secure and vibration-free installation.

Upgrading your BMW E36's exhaust system can greatly enhance the auditory and performance aspects of your driving experience. The exhaust options mentioned above represent some of the best choices available, each catering to various sound preferences and driving styles. When selecting an exhaust system, consider your budget, sound preference, and intended use, whether it's daily driving, spirited street driving, or even track days. A professional installation will ensure the best fit and performance, allowing you to enjoy the full potential of your upgraded exhaust system while relishing the satisfying notes of your BMW E36.

BMW E36 Bodykit

AC Schnitzer Body Kit

AC Schnitzer is a renowned name in the BMW tuning world, and their body kit for the E36 is a testament to their reputation. This kit includes a front spoiler, side skirts, rear skirt, and a rear wing. AC Schnitzer's body kit enhances the E36's aerodynamics and gives it a sportier, more aggressive appearance without sacrificing the car's inherent elegance.

Hamann Motorsport Body Kit

Hamann is known for their distinctive designs and high-quality components. The Hamann Motorsport Body Kit for the E36 includes a front spoiler, side skirts, rear skirt, and a rear wing. This kit provides a bold and athletic appearance, making your E36 stand out on the road while maintaining the car's sleek profile.

Vorsteiner GTRS3 Widebody Kit

For E36 owners who want a more extreme transformation, the Vorsteiner GTRS3 Widebody Kit is a top choice. This kit widens the car's body, providing an aggressive and muscular stance. It includes front and rear bumpers, side skirts, fender flares, and a rear wing. The Vorsteiner kit is perfect for those seeking a bold, track-inspired look.

Reiger Tuning Body Kit

Reiger Tuning is a European company known for its motorsport-inspired body kits. The Reiger Tuning Body Kit for the E36 includes front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and a rear wing. This kit not only enhances the car's appearance but also improves aerodynamics and high-speed stability.

KBD Body Kits Polyurethane Kit

For E36 owners who want an affordable and durable body kit, the KBD Body Kits Polyurethane Kit is a great option. Made from high-quality polyurethane, this kit is designed to withstand daily driving and resist damage from road debris. It includes front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and fender flares, providing a sporty and aggressive appearance.

Compatibility and Supporting Mods

Before choosing a body kit for your BMW E36, it's essential to consider the kit's compatibility with other components. Depending on the kit you select, you may need to make supporting modifications:

Wheels and Tires: Upgraded wheels and tires can complement the new body kit and enhance the car's overall appearance and performance.

Suspension: Consider lowering the suspension to achieve a more aggressive stance and improve the car's handling.

Professional Installation: A professional body shop experienced in body kit installation can ensure a seamless fit and a quality finish.

Enhancing your BMW E36 with a body kit allows you to express your unique style and make a statement on the road. The body kits mentioned above represent some of the best options available, each offering a distinct appearance and level of customization. When selecting a body kit, consider your budget, desired style, and intended use, whether it's for daily driving, showcasing your vehicle at car shows, or turning heads on the streets. A professional installation is crucial to ensure that the body kit is fitted correctly and complements the car's aesthetics and aerodynamics. With the right body kit, your E36 can transform from a classic beauty to a personalized work of art.

BMW E36 Wheels

BBS CH-R Wheels

BBS is a name synonymous with high-quality wheels, and the CH-R series is a fantastic choice for the BMW E36. These lightweight forged wheels are not only stylish but also known for their excellent strength and durability. BBS CH-R wheels come in various finishes and sizes, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your E36.

Enkei RPF1 Wheels

The Enkei RPF1 is a lightweight and affordable wheel that is ideal for E36 owners who are looking to improve performance without breaking the bank. These wheels are known for their strength and are often favored by the motorsports community. They come in a variety of sizes and finishes to cater to different preferences.

VMR V710 Wheels

VMR Wheels offers the V710 series, which provides a modern and sporty look for your E36. These wheels are flow-formed, ensuring excellent strength and low weight. VMR V710 wheels are available in a range of sizes, finishes, and offsets to suit various E36 models and styles.

Apex ARC-8 Wheels

The Apex ARC-8 is a popular choice among track enthusiasts and those looking for a clean, classic design. These wheels are lightweight, making them an excellent choice for performance-oriented E36 owners. The ARC-8 wheels come in various sizes and finishes to match your preferred look.

Rotiform LSR Wheels

Rotiform is known for its unique and stylish wheel designs, and the LSR series offers a bold and distinctive appearance. If you want to give your E36 a more aggressive and standout look, these wheels are an excellent option. They are available in a variety of sizes and finishes, allowing you to customize your ride to your liking.

Fitment and Supporting Mods

When upgrading your BMW E36's wheels, it's essential to consider fitment and other supporting modifications:

Tire Selection: The choice of tires should complement your wheel size and provide the desired level of grip and performance.

Suspension Upgrades: Lowering your E36 with performance-oriented suspension components can enhance the appearance and handling capabilities of the vehicle.

Professional Installation: A skilled technician can ensure proper fitment, alignment, and safety when installing new wheels on your E36.

Upgrading your BMW E36's wheels is a transformative way to enhance its appearance and performance. The wheel options listed above represent some of the best choices available, each with its unique style and advantages. When choosing wheels, consider your budget, preferred style, and intended use, whether it's for daily driving, track days, or showcasing your E36 at car events. Professional installation and a thorough alignment are essential to ensure proper fitment and performance, allowing you to enjoy the full potential of your upgraded wheels while adding a touch of personal flair to your E36.

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