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Old 12-26-2012, 10:57 PM   #1
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cak323i's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: RI
Posts: 3,661
My Ride: ///M3 & 330i ZHP
Charlie's TiAg ///M Project thread

I've been talking about doing my ///M project thread for quite some time now ( here you go Alex ) and have finally written it so here goes...

I got my second BMW and dream car, this 2004 TiAg ///M3, in April 2009. I spotted my future ///M sitting alone in the back lot and asked the sales person if I could test drive it. He agreed and off I went... Coming from my 323i I was most impressed by everything about this car...all the little details and performance... this car nailed it for me. I then thanked the sales person and left.

Several days later I decided to stop by again to see if I could test drive the ///M again....yes, the power addiction was biting on me real my speed/power fix and then left again. This time the same sales person asked me if I was interested in purchasing the car and I told him I was not looking to buy a second BMW. I wasn't going to buy into his sales pitch. Anyway a few days later... I ended up taking the ///M out for a third test drive and knew that I had to have this the process, I violated everything I knew about buying a used pre-purchase inspection.

Long story short...what clinched the deal was that the dealership included a 5-year wheel and tire warranty and with the wonderful roads here in New England, it made sense to have this for the ///M.

So here I am, the third owner of my dream car which retailed for $56,195.00 brand new. I got the car basically for under 50% of the original value and was a happy camper... Being a used car, there were several issues that I did not care for and knew that there will be many projects in the future before I am truly happy with my ///M. Like my ZHP project thread here are a few pics of the ///M after I had purchased it in May 2009.

The ///M at time of purchase:

2004 BMW ///M3 - build date October 2003
6-Speed Manual Transmission
TiAg / Grey Nappa Leather interior
LCM s/w ver 3.6
Cold Weather Package
BMW Assist
Brushed Aluminum interior trim
Premium Package
Rain sensor / Auto headlight
Harman / Kardon premium sound
18" Style 67 wheels
74,140 miles

Lots of potential for my next projects car!

The car did not have any maintenance history associated with it, however, when I informed the service manager that I was purchasing the ///M, I gave them the VIN and they gave the car a thorough look over and did the research to determine the car's maintenance history. Luckily for me, the ///M has been dealer serviced it's entire life and was assured that I was purchasing a car with a very good maintenance history. I was much more relieved when I heard this and felt relatively at ease with my purchase...

My ///M as it stands currently May 2013:

Laminex smoke film for corner and tail lights
OEM BMW Performance Short Shift Kit
BMW Performance Carbon Fiber Strut Brace
OEM BMW Factory alarm retrofit
OEM BMW 6-disc CD changer
OEM BMW TCU 13th Gen upgrade/retrofit
OEM LCM s/w vers 4.5 coded/installed; one touch-triple blink enabled
OEM Black interior seats front and back
OEM Black door panels front and back
OEM Oval rear view auto-dim mirror
OEM F10 ///M5 lit shift knob retrofit
///M oil cap
OEM E92 LED license plate lights
OEM BMW First Aid Kit
OEM BMW Windshield @ 150,000 mi
Carbon Fiber CSL bootlid
Tekarbon Carbon Fiber CSL rear diffuser
Status Gruppe one-piece CSL carbon fiber lip spoiler
AutoCarbon Carbon Fiber full interior trim
Carbon Fiber CSL center console
BC Racing "BR series" coilovers
Authentic Gruppe M Kevlar CAI
Afe Intake elbow
ARC8 18" hypersilver wheels w/ Hankook Ventus V12s 245/275s (primary ///M wheels)
///M aluminum pedals
Color matched corner reflectors
White LED side markers
CDV delete
Monochrome ///M badges
Monochrome BMW Roundels (TiAg/White)
35% ceramic window tint
Valentine V1 hardwire
Eurosport Design Stainless Steel double-walled exhaust tips
SIRIUS Satellite Starmate 4 Radio integration
HID 6000k lighting (D2S and 9006)
Wheel stud conversion
VMR VB3 19" CSL reps in Hyperblack (alternate wheels for the ///M)
Brake Force Display (BFD) Stage 3 coded in

Future mods / maintenance...
- complete my black interior retrofit (dash, rear deck, and carpeting)
- ZKW lens swap from the OE Bosch lens
- BMW Performance Seats
- StopTech 6-pot/4-pot BBKs
- UUC Stainless Steel brake/clutch lines

On to the list of mods by pics

One of the first mods I did was to get laminate film to cover my headlights, corner lights, and tails...and my color matched corner reflectors (the yellow had to go)
I also got rid of he hideous front license plate bracket in favor of the Skene designs custom license plate bracket.

Next came the Hamann fog light covers

Somewhere in-between during a trip down to Manassas, VA... I decided to tint my windows and had it done there.

Then my friend Anthony told me that blacked out grills/side grills would really have my car pop out....glad I listened to him!

While I blacked out the grills, I managed to get a set of monochrome ///M3 badges

The Strassentech Style front lip to clean up the front end...
Test fitting the lip

Final product

Next came the double-walled tail pipe tips since I am okay with the stock exhaust for the time being...

I had taken off the dark smoke laminate film and was in the process of getting something just a little lighter...

By the summer of 2010 I had sold the 323i and was left with my ///M as my only driver so I chose to drive my ///M full-time during it's only winter driven was a blast but I'll never do that again.....

Before the winter I was at a point where I had to upgrade my OE suspension as it was tired so I, at several forum members recommendations, opted to install BC Racing "BR-series" coilovers. Since several Boston area members were running this on their ///M's I felt that they were more than good enough to use for daily/street driving. So far after two years, I have to say that I'm very pleased with them. I would use these again and highly recommend them

Had the good guys at Kaizen Tuning perform my suspension mods....they are awesome folks to work with!

4-wheel alignment after the install

before the snows...

after the snows...

Didn't care too much for all the wonderful salt and sand the ///M was subjected to

That following spring (2011) I had my second Inspection II coming up so I chose to have my VANOS inspected and VANOS bolts replaced with the new updated bolts.

I was impressed by the relative condition of my exhaust cam sprocket and pump and opted to keep them in place

The bolts were all intact and secure when my mechanic took them out and replaced them with the new updated bolts. Locktite was used and then after the car was put back together I told my mechanic to drive my ///M like he stole it for the awesome work he did....needless to say he had a blast...

While the ///M was at the dealer I had my mechanic delete the CDV and also install my BMW Performance SSK. Looking back at this I could have easily done this and saved money....I know.....

There's more to add but I wanted to get this out first so that I can start to build on what I have already done.
2004 TiAg ///M l OEM CSL Interior Door Panels l OEM CSL Bootlid l CSL Center Console | Nav s/w v32 | LCM s/w 4.5 One-Touch Triple Blink | OEM Black Interior retrofit | BC Racing BR Coilovers l BMW Performance Carbon Fiber Strut Bar/SSK/Cross-Drilled Rotors l Gruppe M CAI l BMW iPod/Sirius Integration l Alu Tech interior Trim l Lit F10 ///M5 Shift Knob l Umnitza Orion V4 A/E's l 365Autosports One piece 1x1 cf CSL lip | BBS CH & ARC-8 wheel sets

Last edited by cak323i; 05-10-2013 at 08:48 PM.
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