The Car and The Plan

318ti Club Sport Project, Volume I. December, 2011.

1995 was the first year for the 318ti model in the US and it was the only year for the 'Club Sport' version. There are several things that make a 1995 318ti Club Sport special, not the least of which is the limited production. There are believed to be less than 300 Club Sports produced. The Club Sport package included:
  • Larger front and rear sway bars
  • Shorter and stiffer suspension springs
  • Firmer suspension dampeners
  • Red mill-point sport interior with red stitching on the seats and boots
  • 16 inch wheels
  • Limited slip differential (optional)
  • M Tech front, side, and rear body trim(this became standard on sport 318ti models in 1996)
  • M3 mirrors
  • Red or Black paint, no other color options were available with the Club Sport package

Because the Club Sport models retained the same engine, driveline, and brakes as the rest of the 318ti line the Club Sport package had a much greater impact on appearance than it did on performance. This means that just about everything I do in this project can easily be done to any non-Club Sport 318ti and even many other E36 3 Series models.

The particular Club Sport I will be working with here has traveled over 182,000 miles, the last 50,000 of which it has been in the BimmerBum family and as a result some issues have already been addressed. It is not cosmetically perfect, there are a few dings and the paint is showing its age but the car cleans up very nicely especially on the inside.

Broken window regulators and door panels that separate from the door are typical 318ti issues but fortunately they have already been fixed on this car. There have also been a few modifications performed to this particular car. The engine was warmed over with a Dinan chip, K&N Air Filter, 4 Prong NGK OEM High Power Spark Plugs, and factory BMW Performance Spark Plug Wires. The suspension was treated to OEM BMW Motorsport Lower Control Arm Bushings. The exterior was fitted with Genuine BMW Euro clear front and side turn signals and a set of (period correct) factory 1995 M3 wheels. On the inside the worn out shift knob was replaced with a Genuine BMW 5 Speed ZHP Short Weighted Shift Knob.

Before I can really get started on additional modifications there are a few issues that need to be remedied. Starting under the hood I will chase down an oil leak and address a slightly rough idle. The front suspension struts have failed and need replacing (and possibly upgrading). Finally, a tune up along with a complete filter and fluid change is in order.

With so many companies and magazines featuring over-the-top project cars that will never see daily use and are far beyond what most of us would do to our own cars, it is my hope that this build inspires average BMW owners to personalize, maintain, and enjoy their current BMW even if it is not their 'dream' BMW.

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