M3 Build Thread: 2015 BMW M3 (Lots of Photos & Videos!)

suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
After lusting over the F80 M3 and F82 M4 for years, I finally found myself in the position to purchase one. I didn’t want to settle on just any F8X, I needed the perfect one.

Since I already have a 750whp BMW 135i for the track and a BMW 335i for daily duties, I wanted a modern weekend warrior. I found myself leaning towards the M3 because of its wide rear hips and the practicality of a 4-door sedan.

After searching nationwide for about a month with no luck, an M3 that matched my criteria popped up locally! Meet my 14th BMW, but my first ///M...

2015 BMW M3 with 46K miles
  • Mineral Grey Metallic
  • Black Extended Merino Leather
  • Manual Transmission (6MT)
  • Driver Assistance Plus
  • Executive Package
  • Lighting Package
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Carbon Fiber Roof
  • Harman Kardon Surround Sound System

It's stock right now but I have a boatload of modifications on the way. I'll be working with Kies Motorsports and a few other companies for this M3 build. My vision is a functional, good-looking weekend car. But knowing me, I'll probably blow right past that :sweatsmile:

Some of you might've already seen some of my BMW YouTube videos (just hit 26K subscribers!), but I'll be documenting this build on my channel as well. I'll also be posting exclusive high quality photos on my Instagram. I'd encourage anyone who is interested to subscribe/follow on those platforms as well. I usually post on YouTube/IG first, then follow up on the forums as I have time to type up written content.

YouTube: https://youtube.com/jakespence135
Instagram: https://instagram.com/jakespence
Website: https://bmwf80.com

I know my way around the N5X/E9X platform very well, so hopefully I can learn this S55/F80 quickly!

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derekgates

Sergeant
Feb 23, 2018
397
NW FL
Looking great! Certainly one of the best colors.

The detailed photography is really nice. I appreciate your bokeh shots and getting closer to details instead of 'whole car' shots that I see often. That lit shift knob is awesome!

I am confused by one part; it appears yours has adaptive cruise while being a manual?! I thought you had to have DCT for that!


What kind of price range was your M3, if you don't mind mentioning that?
 

suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
Looking great! Certainly one of the best colors.

The detailed photography is really nice. I appreciate your bokeh shots and getting closer to details instead of 'whole car' shots that I see often. That lit shift knob is awesome!

I am confused by one part; it appears yours has adaptive cruise while being a manual?! I thought you had to have DCT for that!


What kind of price range was your M3, if you don't mind mentioning that?
Thank you! I love the color, but sometimes I think it's too "grandpa grey", lol.

What makes you think it has adaptive cruise? I could try it out... I'm still learning away around all of these new buttons and features.

I paid $37,000 + tax, title and registration. It came with two sets of good wheels (original 19" 437M with Michelin Pilot Super Sports and 19" style 251 with Michelin snow tires) and two sets of floormats (original and Weathertech).
 

derekgates

Sergeant
Feb 23, 2018
397
NW FL
Thank you! I love the color, but sometimes I think it's too "grandpa grey", lol.
Sheesh, I freaking love that color. Great contrast with some blacked out parts (or chrome). Looks fantastic to me! Refined but also sporty without screaming "HI I AM FAST CAR PULL ME OVER THANKS".


What makes you think it has adaptive cruise? I could try it out... I'm still learning away around all of these new buttons and features.
Oh... is that lane keep assist?

It has a similar appearance to my i3 adaptive:



I paid $37,000 + tax, title and registration. It came with two sets of good wheels (original 19" 437M with Michelin Pilot Super Sports and 19" style 251 with Michelin snow tires) and two sets of floormats (original and Weathertech).

Hell of a deal! That thing looks mint and a great combination of options.

It sounds ridiculous, but this car is my ultimate except for that damn straight line on front bumper/hood. I CAN'T NOT SEE IT (why am I like this). F80/F82 or M2C are next on my list (if the 335is ever angers me to the point of geting rid of it! :p )



You doing Bootmod3 on this car? Keeping engine stock as the weekend car? I saw you have some mods on the way...
 

suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
Sheesh, I freaking love that color. Great contrast with some blacked out parts (or chrome). Looks fantastic to me! Refined but also sporty without screaming "HI I AM FAST CAR PULL ME OVER THANKS".

Oh... is that lane keep assist?

Hell of a deal! That thing looks mint and a great combination of options.

It sounds ridiculous, but this car is my ultimate except for that damn straight line on front bumper/hood. I CAN'T NOT SEE IT (why am I like this). F80/F82 or M2C are next on my list (if the 335is ever angers me to the point of geting rid of it! :p )

You doing Bootmod3 on this car? Keeping engine stock as the weekend car? I saw you have some mods on the way...
Those two vertical yellow lines in the speedo are the lane assist. If you start drifting lanes, the steering wheel will vibrate.

The car is very clean, but it does have some normal wear and tear not pictured in the photos. I agree, it was a good deal all things considered. I bought it from a guy who wasn't very familiar with BMWs and didn't know it was as loaded as it is.

I do plan on doing BM3 to the car, along with a few bolt ons. But I'm going to focus on a few aesthetics first. You'll see updates soon :)
 
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Reactions: derekgates

suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
The M3 got it's first modification! I couldn't stand the wheel gap these cars have from the factory, especially in the front. So I combed through forums and Facebook groups to find what my best option was for lowering the car.


My goal: eliminate wheel gap and retain comfortable ride quality without spending thousands of dollars.

I narrowed it down to Emmanuele Design lowering springs. I could go on and on about why I bought these lowering springs instead of others, or even coilovers. But I don't want to clutter up my build thread, so I wrote a dedicated blog post about them. The Best Lowering Springs for BMW F8X: EMD Auto Review.

Brief summary:
  • Ride quality remains the same or better than stock.
  • Compatible with both standard and adaptive suspension.
  • Engineered specifically for stock shocks to avoid premature failure.
  • Perfect stance, lowering the front 1.3″ and the rear 0.3 – 0.9″.
  • Linear spring rate, similar to stock springs.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Affordable at $300-350!
I got around to installing them a few days ago. The process was way easier than I thought... so easy that most of you could do it at home! I took photos and video of the whole process and created a comprehensive installation guide. The guide is too long to post here, but I shared it on my F80 blog. If you want to lower your F8X and save money by doing this job yourself, check it out: How To Install Lowering Springs in Your BMW F80 M3 or F82 M4.

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Wrapped it up with a proper 4-wheel alignment.

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Before - front:
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After - front:
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Before - rear:
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After - rear:
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I'm still new around here, but have lots of followers from the E9X platform. I love the F8X platform and can't wait to share more content like this with you guys! Let me know what you think 😎

Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Follow me on Instagram
 

derekgates

Sergeant
Feb 23, 2018
397
NW FL
The M3 got it's first modification! I couldn't stand the wheel gap these cars have from the factory, especially in the front. So I combed through forums and Facebook groups to find what my best option was for lowering the car.

Before - front:
View attachment 36521

After - front:
View attachment 36522


View attachment 36525

View attachment 36526


View attachment 36528

I'm still new around here, but have lots of followers from the E9X platform. I love the F8X platform and can't wait to share more content like this with you guys! Let me know what you think 😎

Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Follow me on Instagram
Wow that turned out great! I've seen too many lowering springs that drop far too much but it seems like that is dialed in well. It is sometimes shocking to see how high up the stock ride height is. Seems like BMW went the safest possible height at the detriment of looks.

Also, that shop's alignment 'area' is incredible. I'm used to the alignment racks being crammed into what feels like a closet. So much room!
 

suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
Wow that turned out great! I've seen too many lowering springs that drop far too much but it seems like that is dialed in well. It is sometimes shocking to see how high up the stock ride height is. Seems like BMW went the safest possible height at the detriment of looks.

Also, that shop's alignment 'area' is incredible. I'm used to the alignment racks being crammed into what feels like a closet. So much room!
Thanks! You don't really notice how high these cars are in stock form until you focus on the front wheel gap. The bumper still sits low, which is probably why it doesn't seem high off the ground. These lowering springs are actually on the lower side of drops compared to most on the market.

Install and alignment was done at Rosenbauer's Garage in Kiel, WI. Joe and I worked together on everything, truly a great shop.
 

Torgus

Major
Nov 6, 2016
1,625
Boston
Thanks! You don't really notice how high these cars are in stock form until you focus on the front wheel gap. The bumper still sits low, which is probably why it doesn't seem high off the ground. These lowering springs are actually on the lower side of drops compared to most on the market.

Install and alignment was done at Rosenbauer's Garage in Kiel, WI. Joe and I worked together on everything, truly a great shop.
That seems to be the design with most newer cars. You have all the spring travel, comfort, and vehicle height clearance that you get with 'healthy' wheel gaps but you put on a bumper that is longer and closer to the ground so the front end looks more aggressive. Makes sense, from a design/mass market perspective.

Compared to cars from the 90s, wheel gap is the same, but the front end is FAR FAR from the pavement.

Car is looking great by the way!
 

derekgates

Sergeant
Feb 23, 2018
397
NW FL
Thanks! You don't really notice how high these cars are in stock form until you focus on the front wheel gap. The bumper still sits low, which is probably why it doesn't seem high off the ground. These lowering springs are actually on the lower side of drops compared to most on the market.

Install and alignment was done at Rosenbauer's Garage in Kiel, WI. Joe and I worked together on everything, truly a great shop.
Agree, certainly a 'trick for the eyes' with the bumper. It isn't a bad thing as the design spec is for comfort with suspension travel. Either way, it looks way better after you got in there!

Sheesh, that looks like a great shop. I really wish we had some shops like that in my area. You are fortunate! :)

That seems to be the design with most newer cars. You have all the spring travel, comfort, and vehicle height clearance that you get with 'healthy' wheel gaps but you put on a bumper that is longer and closer to the ground so the front end looks more aggressive. Makes sense, from a design/mass market perspective.

Compared to cars from the 90s, wheel gap is the same, but the front end is FAR FAR from the pavement.

Car is looking great by the way!
I certainly agree with ya!
 

suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
After lots of research and debating, I got some 20" wheels! I was torn on everything between 18", 19" and 20". Part of me wanted an 18" setup for the track and to get traction on the street, but this is my daily. So I opted for some 20's because I think they fill out the wheel wells better than 19's.

I reached out to Variant Wheels after watching a fellow YouTuber install a set of their wheels. They hooked me up and gave me a discount code to share with you guys if you're interested in purchasing a set of wheels from them (see below)! They have a few off-the-shelf options and allow as much customization as you'd like when it comes to size, offset and color and design.

I chose their machine silver "Argon" wheel in 20x10" and 20x11" I let them choose the offset, but it seems like they recommend ET20 in the front and ET35 in the rear for a flush F8X fitment.

WHEELS:
- Variant Argon wheels: https://variantwheels.com/product-category/wheels/argon/affiliate/jakespence
- Other Variant wheels for your BMW: https://variantwheels.com/cold-forged/affiliate/jakespence
- Use code BIMMERSTREET for 20% off and free shipping!

TIRES (currently on sale!):
- 265/30/20 Falken Azenis FK510: https://amzn.to/2ZLOqiH
- 295/30/20 Falken Azenis FK510: https://amzn.to/2XGVnP4

Check out my unboxing and test-fit video:


Here are some photos of the wheels to hold you over until the tires show up.

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suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
The tires showed up and I mounted them right away! I am thoroughly impressed with the Falken Azenis FK510 tires. Tread pattern is extremely similar to Michelin Pilot Super Sport and the grip is actually better. Not an apples-to-apples comparison because the MPSS tires weren't new and were narrower, but the Azenis are super grippy! Very happy with the look, feel and sound of these tires.

The fitment is perfect IMO. I have since raised the rear by installing the EMD rear spring spacer that I initially left out when installing the lowering springs. It now sits about 1/2" higher than in the video and photos below... will get some updated pictures of that soon. It didn't really rub, but I wanted the extra clearance for when I have a full tank of gas and 5 passengers.

Let me know what you think!

Reminder of the wheel/tire info...

WHEELS:
- Variant Argon wheels: https://variantwheels.com/product-category/wheels/argon/affiliate/jakespence
- Other Variant wheels for your BMW: https://variantwheels.com/cold-forged/affiliate/jakespence
- Use code BIMMERSTREET for 20% off and free shipping!

TIRES (currently on sale!):
- 265/30/20 Falken Azenis FK510: https://amzn.to/2ZLOqiH
- 295/30/20 Falken Azenis FK510: https://amzn.to/2XGVnP4

Check out my initial impressions video (ignore the clickbaity thumbnail):


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suspenceful

700 HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
542
I threw the stock wheels back on and took the car to its first autocross at Road America! This was essentially my first autocross as well, my only other time being a few laps 5 years ago.

That being said, I'd love some feedback/tips/advice on my driving. I'm going to another autocross with it this weekend and would love to improve!


I have tons of parts ready to install on the M3 so be sure to subscribe if you enjoy YouTube content: https://www.youtube.com/jakespence135

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