Pure Passion | Apr. 8-12

4:56:00 AM GRIPSET Co. Founder 0 Comments

Michael R. "1993 BMW E36"

Let's all warm welcome Roman A. our newest official Gripset photographer/videographer. YESSS! you read right, VIDEO. Look to the future for some fancy coverage. He'll be representing Gripset from North Carolina - Discovered via this feature, mutual thanks to Michael for recommending him to us as well.

"Just another Love TKO." A beautiful E36 with flare, and "flare'' doesn't mean it's dramatic. It can transcend to convey and overall style. Mike R's E36 is just one of that caliber. The cockpit is the most sensational flare in our opinion, totally different than what we would've imagined. I guess that's why you don't judge a book by the cover. Tailored in fine aftermarket race bred goods it just seals the deal; totally tying in it's outer appearance. Kind of like a classic comic book superhero. To put it into perspective. It's a reminiscence of Clark Kent,  the 'S' on the chest beneath the suit. This car is most certainly an extension of the owner, the aura as I on-look is definitely resounding. Enjoy this Mondays feature.............until we catch our next guest in the streets.

The Motivation
I've had the car for about 4yrs now and it has been nothing but a joy to own.
I traded my 87 jeep Cherokee for it to an old man that never drove the car and was in need of a car for his nephew who was turning 16 and needed a first car, turns out he wanted a jeep and I wanted an e36 so the trade worked out perfect. The car was absolutely bone stock when I got it with only 103k miles on it, which is really low for a 93.

First thing I bought were some lowering springs and some beefy sway bars to make it handle like it should. Second I replace every single bushing front to rear with power flex purple bushings just to be on the safe side, along with all new wheel bearings and ballpoints. I acquired a set of 18x9/10.5 ruff racing split spoke wheels for $300 and couldn't pass up the deal, then the bug for being flush and low got me right in the ass...then it all began! I ran the ruff's for about two years after changing the color on them to bronze to give it a unique look, got bored of having cheap wheels fast and got in the market for some BBS'. A good friend of mine at Import Connection had a set of unfinished style 5's laying in the shop that I wanted with a passion, picked them up after hustling at my car wash and detailing many cars for clients I finally had enough money to get them and to get the faces powder coated in Ferrari silver. I spent about 200 hours in refinishing the lips on them and sent the rears off to Weld craft wheels in Michigan where they cut my barrels in half, added 2 inches to them, and welded it all back together to create the first ever set of 10" wide style 5's.

While waiting for 5 weeks to get my wheels back, I had a chance to get my suspension all taken care of. I cheapen out on my first set of coilovers by getting Raceland...sue me, But got Koni yellow rear struts to stiffen the rear up some to prevent fender damage. When I got my wheels back I had them wrapped in 215/40 Nitto neo gens which I had to cut the rim guards off of to clear the fenders with the 20mm spacers that I'm running. That problem was solved though by running -5deg of camber in the rear leaving it perfectly flush yet functional in the way that the fenders wouldn't get beat up....I aimed to keep my fenders as stock as possible on my build!
After I got my wheel and suspension set up as I wanted it I focused on the interior and got a set of Recaro pole position seats, a Nardi wood classic along with a Nardi hub. Blacked out the door cards and MADE my own shift knob out of a solid bar of brass, machined it down to weigh 2lbs and is about 6" long and simply glides into gear, talk about a weighted knob lol Once looks were taken care of for the most part I turned to the motor work.
S52 cams made their way in, followed by an Active Autowerks tune, Raceland headers, and straight piped exhaust with UUC resonators acting as mufflers in the rear and a short ram intake. Also a CES Motorsport oil cooler kit with a monstrous oil cooler lurking in the front bumper! Got the car painted about 6 months ago in a house of colors Laguna green mystic blue pearl...it's blinding in the sun! The rear diffuser came from a buddy of mine who was doing a 2JZ FD rx7 but never got around to finish it so I grabbed it from him in his part out.

The reason I keep doing what I do...I love it, there's nothing else is rather being doing then being in my garage. Whether it's spending over 8 hours to detail my car or doing more mods, I love the stance game and I intent on doing as long as God grants me permission to do so.


S52 cams. | Active Autowerks ecu flash | Raceland headers | Straight piped to UUC resonators | CES Motorsport oil cooler kit | Intake | UUC short throw shifter.

Now on BC type BR  Extreme low coilovers | Custom valving and spring rates | 10k/ 12k | Sparco front strut tower bar | Mason Industries rear strut bar | Swaybarbarian sway bars | Purple power flex bushings. 

Recaro fixed back pole positions | Solid brass shift knob | Nardi wood classic with Nardi hub | White LED interior lights.

M3 front/rear aero | Mtech side moldings | Djauto projector headlights with custom housings | Djauto euro tails | Amber corners | Fd Rx7 rear diffuser | Alpina roundels | Black kidney grills | Mystic Laguna Blue pearl paint. 

BBS RC090 "style 5" | 17x8 ET10 with 10mm spacer | 17x10 custom widened with 20mm spacer | Stud conversion with neo chrome lug nuts.

Future plans
All black suede interior with peanut butter suede door cards.
Full cage which will also be wrapped in suede.

Shout Out
Just want to thank Gripset for considering me for a feature, I'm beyond extatic!!

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