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Personal Touches on Your BMW

Pelican Technical Article:

Personal Touches on Your BMW


1-24 hours






Set of Torx drivers, set of metric sockets, metric wrenches and metric line wrenches (for adding custom brakes), flatblade and Philips screwdrivers, pliers, vise-grips, workbench vice, in essence a well-equipped garage

Applicable Models:

BMW E30 3-Series (1984-93)
BMW E36 3-Series (1992-99)

Parts Required:

Carbon fiber hood, body kit, big brakes, engine mods and all manner of other personal custom touches

Performance Gain:

Personalize your BMW to your taste and to your desire for speed and handling

Complementary Modification:

Give your BMW a sleeper look and add some big power under the bonnet
101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

As principle owner, buyer, and photographer of the Internet-based BMW parts company, I've had the opportunity to photograph a lot of different modifications people have done to their BMWs over the years. While not all of them improve the looks of the car, in my own opinion, it can certainly be said that BMW owners like to modify their cars more than most people.

Whether it's the addition of GTR flares and body panels, or the installation of carbon-fiber panels--if you can think of it, it's likely that some passionate BMW owner has spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to do it. This gallery of images is designed to give you some ideas for your own BMW projects.

If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs. If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one. Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Figure 1

This photo shows the front of a modified E36 M3. Among the styling touches are clear corner lenses, a lower skirt on the M3 spoiler, a blacked-out chrome grille, European headlamps with angel eyes, and eyelids above the lenses. When you see this baby coming, you can't help but think it's bad-ass.

Figure 2

A sporty and popular addition to your car may be the BMW Motorsport front and rear decals. These are available in many different colors, and give your car the sporty look--just like the BMW Motorsport E36 M3 lightweight. The front and rear decal set can be found in original tricolor (blue-purple-red) and also a handful of solid colors (white, black, silver) for use on nonwhite cars.

Figure 3

Here are two clever paint jobs on two four-cylinder M3s, reflecting the traditional BMW Motorsport colors.

Figure 4

These days, nothing says cool like carbon fiber. This car has an entire hood manufactured out of it, complete with matching Roundel emblem (see Photo 1 of Project 77). Also shown here are the E36 eyelids that cover the top part of the headlamp for that sleepy, sporty, low-down look.

Figure 5

Simple stylish touches can accent your interior. Shown here is an AC Schnitzer emergency brake handle--a vast visual improvement over the stock unit.

Figure 6

It's common to put on a new exhaust for your BMW. Even more common are chrome exhaust tips that can spruce up the exterior of your car. These have the small head of a cat actually cut into the pipes themselves.

Figure 7

Engine compartments have so much potential for detailing, and this one does not disappoint. Check out how this E30 M3's valve covers and intake air box have been painted in the traditional BMW Motorsport color scheme. A lot of detail went into making this look just perfect, so kudos to the owner!

Figure 8

This is one of the most unusual cars I've seen in a long time. It's an E46 pseudo-GTR clone with Lamborghini-style doors. Definitely very bling and very unusual. The owner of this car apparently decided that money was no object to creating one of the most unique BMWs on the road today.

Figure 9

Pedal upgrades are another common accessory for BMW owners. A word of warning: Make sure you get a set that isn't slippery. These pedals may be great looking, but they're a little too slippery for my tastes--particularly if I'm wearing leather-soled shoes. I recommend sets that have integrated anti-slip rubber inserts in them.

Figure 10

Check out my choice for "best in show" from the 2005 BimmerFest 2005--this 1995 E36 M3 club racer built by Evosport. It has a normally aspirated S54 race spec engine with an AEM Race EMS engine management system. But it also has a Brembo race-spec system with an RRT brake cooling kit, Advance Design custom-valved DA true coil-overs, H&R race springs, Ground Control adjustable camber plates, TC Kline adjustable rear lower control arms, and RRT front control arms and bushings. The interior sports a Sparco seat, harness, steering wheel, and fire system. The body is mostly carbon fiber by MA Shaw. The wheels are CCW competition wheels running 18x10 in the front and 18x12 in the rear, equipped with Dunlap racing slicks (280/650-18 in the front and 315/680-18 in the rear). Sweet!

Figure 11

More carbon fiber--this one with a unique twist. The left and right side of the hood have been painted, along with the front grille, to match the rest of the car. The wheels on this particular car are the somewhat-uncommon M3 Motorsport wheels from 1995.

Figure 12

When you see one of these installed in a car, you know the driver means business. The small blue box that has replaced the gauges is a System 2 compact dashboard display. When used in conjunction with the Pi Club Expert software, the system becomes a data logger perfect for club racing events. The dash displays speed and user-definable alarms for rpm, two temperatures (typically oil and water), two pressures (typically oil and fuel), and two user channels. The floor pedals, gear shift knob, and steering wheel with quick-release hub are part of a matching set from Sparco.

Figure 13

Here's one of the most popular upgrades these days, the European ellipsoid headlamps with built-in angel eye rings. These lamps, sometimes called "daylight demon eyes," are modeled after the BMW factory angel eye lamps used on the late-model BMW E39 5 Series models. See Project 94 for installation instructions.

Figure 14

This car is one of my favorites. One look at it and you can tell it definitely means business. The dominant features on this car are the large GTR-style flares on the front and rear. If you look closely, both rear quarter panels, the skirts, and the doors themselves need to be highly modified to fit the huge rear Kinesis wheels. The front flares (inset) are a bit easier to install. The aluminum racing-style gas cap is a clever addition to a car that needs no excuses on the road.

Figure 15

To many people, there's no such thing as too much carbon fiber. Originally created as a next-generation high-strength fiberglass replacement, carbon fiber has emerged as a cool, though expensive, way to decorate your car. Nearly all of the carbon fiber I've seen installed is only for show, but it certainly looks great when used in the engine compartment.

Figure 16

Here's a highly modified E30 M3. The owners of these cars usually take one of two paths. Either the cars are bone stock or completely decked out with the latest bling. This particular E30 M3 has an aftermarket spoiler, a carbon-fiber hood, blacked-out grille, matching blue-tint driving lamps, European ellipsoid lenses, and, if you look closely, you'll see there's a salute to the E46 M3 with the small grilles on the side.

Figure 17

One of the smallest detail touches you can place on your car are BMW valve stem caps for your wheels. These are really neat, factory OEM valve caps (part number 36-11-0-009-840) and a set typically runs about $20 at

Comments and Suggestions:
Georgi Comments: Can anyone link me to a page on how to change a 94 320i e36 boot, if possible? Can't find it anywhere! Thank you!
October 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Powerflight Comments: In figure 6 the"cat" is actually a wolf and logo for The Remus sport exhaust brand
February 25, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Frank Comments: I am trying to find a full fiber carbon applique job, like painting a car, that someone recommended I see on your site. I have found the appliques, but not the entire project of a car. He mentioned someone Nuccio?? perhaps that had the project. Do you have that on the site?

I drive a 1995 M3, and am interested in some paint or other work.

thank you.
Frank Swope
September 24, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure where to find that. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts

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