I don't know if this is of any use to anyone, but I encountered an interesting document in this location:
Converting 3DSMax models to GMax for use with FSX.doc
The document is a very thorough step by step guide. It is for FSX but I thought that it may also be of help for Gmax users with a CFS3 gamepak? and given it is sourced from the Microsoft Library I figure it is reasonably cosher and helpful for people with .3ds models who want to get then into Gmax.