Since the hot rod era, guys have been trying to hide the performance appearance of their car. The term “sleeper” was born with manufacturers even jumping aboard the cliché term. Utilizing a chassis that doesn’t fit the bill with a high performance engine pulls a cloak over the eyes of unsuspecting competitors. Francisco’s E36 M3 is no exception.
Employed by Boost Logic, Francisco spends the vast majority of his time with his hands in the parts department. If you’ve ordered parts from Boost Logic, chances are high he’s processed the order from shelf to shipment. Through this connection he was able to purchase the BMW rolling chassis from the in-house tuner. As pricing of S52 motors escalated the decision was made to use a motor Boost Logic was well versed in, the Toyota 2JZGTE.
After coordinating our schedules we decide to meet at my place. A few hours later my windows are illuminated by the HID headlights. The stock body lines of the Hellrot Red E36 Saloon come into view. The temperature outside is approaching the teens and for a Texan this is too cold for comfort. I gladly welcome myself into the front seat of the black leather interior where the temperature is firmly set at 90 degrees. We pull away as the sound of the Winding Road Racing 4” exhaust alludes to the fact that there may be something other than the original S52 engine under the hood.
Francisco speaking with a touch of Spanish accent informs me that he is unsure if we will be able to make any pulls tonight due to weather. As we cruise along the tollway Francisco reneges on his word and downshifts the BMW ZF transmission into 2nd gear. The motor rises to 4500 RPM before he gives the car full throttle. The Borg Warner S366 begins to build boost. The 245 series tires do their best to maintain traction. However boost pressure spikes to 18 pounds and the tires quickly lose the battle. The chassis remains straight as the rear tires spin. As we let off the Tial Q blow off valve echo off the precast concrete sound walls. Under the pretense of “less is more” we pull over to release a few pounds of tire pressure in hopes of gaining more traction.
A few miles later we find ourselves at a traffic light with the familiar sound of a Subaru boxer motor pulling up behind us. As we make the left hand corner the flat four pilot decides to tempt his fate by navigating to the outside of what appears to him as a slightly modified M3. Francisco downshifts and gives chase. The tires spin but regain traction and the Subaru driver lets off after realizing his poor judgement call. We decide not to push our luck and start heading back home.
While the E36 BMW is no slouch on an open road course, it’s typically not associated as a fast straight line car. Francisco combined a well sorted chassis with a fully supported motor to create the perfect confusion for every contender. The purist will scoff with disapproval, but the ones who understand its purpose will recognize what was done and why.
Build Sheet :
98 BMW E36 M3
2JZGTE VVTI Motor
ARP Headstud kit
Aftermarket Intake manifold
Boost Logic fuel rail
Injector Dynamics ID1300s
LQ9 Coil conversion
Porsche DBW Throttle body using E46 pedal
Virtual works Racing Turbo manifold
Single Bw S366 SXE
PTP Turbo Blanket
Tial MVR Wastegate
Tial Q BOV
Winding Road Racing 4” exhaust
ZF 5 Speed Bmw Transmission
ACT 6 Puck Clutch with HD Pressure plate
AEM Infinity 8H
Tuning by Roman Katsev at Boost Logic
Wiring specialties harness
Winding Road Racing motor mounts
Literature: James Elkins
Edited: Kate Callard