"New" 330xi owner
Hey all, new member from Minnesota checking in!!!
Earlier this summer I was looking for a second car to do some commuting for a special project I was working on and found a 93 318i 5 speed for a good price. Bought it form the original owner with 150K on it, had the majority of the service records but needed quite a bit to "refresh" it. Did all the needed work myself (conrtol arms, brakes, shocks, struts, springs, alternator, etc.), threw some E46 wheels and new tires on it, drove it the 5,000 miles or so I needed to and fell in love with the handling and drivers position of the BMW. The biggest issue was the fact it was fairly rusty and a 4 cylinder: great gas mileage but no power, and the body was simply falling apart.
I decided that would upgrade the little car to a "real" BMW so I sold it and my fiancees Grand AM and started looking around for a decent 6 cyl and settled on the E46's as they were fairly close mechanically to the E36 I just worked on and it seemed from what I read to still be somewhat serviceable from an owners stand point. I found an 02 330xi for a good price with 119K on it that rode and drove better than all the others I could find in that price range and was in better shape as well. I kept my style 96 wheels and new tires I had put on the 318 as I thought they looked better than the 20 spoke style 73 wheels on it originally. They fit and look great and I still have my originals for spares.
Had it for a few weeks now and so far I love the car, but just had the stark contrast to the simplcity of the E36 vs. the E46 slap me in the face $1,900 later at the local indy shop: a new front CV axle, ball joint, DISA valve, thermostat, waterpump, belts, VC and OFH gaskets, oil change, coolant flush and a few other little misc things after the car threw 14 codes and started misfiring real bad (and making a hell of a racket up front above 70mph) last week. With work and the amount of maintenance stuff it needed I decided it's better to send it to a trustworthy shop who could get it all taken care of at one time; after this it should be up to me to keep her going!!!
Still I think I made a solid decision and am hoping this one will be a great car for years to come. Rides, runs (well, ran) and drives great, like a BMW should. I imagine I will be asking a lot of questions and looking for help here and there, so thanks in advance!
Day I brought it home:
Congrats on the car man! The wheels look great, nice and clean! You thinking of doing anything else to it? I know the bushings on these babies is something that goes bad quite often! We carry the powerflex suspension bushings which are a cheap and easy way to tighten and smooth out the suspension! Hope the car gives you many good miles!
It really needs a drop. Welcome
Not planning on doing too much but once these bugs get worked out and I do a few other small things (like some sort of iPod hookup or new radio) it'll be suspension/spring/bushing time, slightly tinting the windows (maybe 50%) and some lighting work as the tail lights and headlights look kinda old school on such a nice car.
Nothing too low planned for springs, probably just down to "stock" height as I have a bad back and climbing into my lowered 318 was another reason to get rid of it. A lot will depend on what the new shop finds for issues during the repairs; the 2 original shops I had do a ppi did **** jobs.
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