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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 09-17-2011, 02:05 AM   #1
karatechop5000
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Self Indulgent Job for Idiot Who Loves His Car Too Much

Times are tough for middle-aged career changers. I thought returning to college for an MIS degree would open more doors than it has. In fact it has not opened any (far enough for my ass to fit through). So... I decided to do an unusual contract gig to get me through this long winter (fuel oil isn't getting any cheaper).
Basically, I'm going to be photographing and collecting information about utility poles all over Connecticut. Driving my trusty XI all around the state. I did not grow up here; so I'm looking forward to seeing all the little towns and back roads.
I want to document the experience and regard each day as a scavenger hunt rally race. This thread is mostly for me to jot down any interesting thoughts I might have (one can dream). I will also probably whine about my maintenance issues and expenses. Hey it's cheaper than QuickBooks (although I do realize the standard mileage rate is pretty generous for taxes).
I'll try to write about each little town, the topography, and the luncheonettes. Hot women in their winter parkas. Lost dogs. Freedom.
Perhaps it will be an interesting relief from XI maintenance; and perhaps it will be corny, or boring, or whatever. I can always take it elsewhere. I'm starting soon with my 03. 80,000 miles. I may try to use my Suzuki gs500e some days when the weather is good (if I can figure out how to carry a tripod); but probably not. It's just a thought.

Last edited by karatechop5000; 09-18-2011 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:48 AM   #2
WilliSverige
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It's always a good idea to jot down notes about your travels! Aside from the U.S., I've lived in Iceland, Sweden and Belgium and have always kept a travel journal of sorts and I'm glad I did!

Keep us updated of your journeys - no doubt you'll have some odd/comical experiences.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:59 AM   #3
TiAgXi
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Better put together a good emergency break down kit. Our cars are pretty reliable, though. At least if you're up to date on preventative maintenance.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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It's always a good idea to jot down notes about your travels! Aside from the U.S., I've lived in Iceland, Sweden and Belgium and have always kept a travel journal of sorts and I'm glad I did!

Keep us updated of your journeys - no doubt you'll have some odd/comical experiences.
yeah.. i've got one of those in brussels. I ran out of gas at 1am in schaerbeek, lol
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
luke1213
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OP, i was in a similar situation earlier this month. i actually bought my 325 xi to drive for my other job of assessing damage to homes affected by hurricane irene while i'm waiting for the construction industry in florida to turn around. ( i own a small construction company) the car actually did really well. i put approximately 2300 miles on it in 2 weeks. i packed a repair kit for the road trip that consisted of new belts, air compressor, tire repair kit and a good set of tools. fortunately, i didn't have to use them. the car did really well considering it had 118k miles on it when i bought it. good luck
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:35 PM   #6
karatechop5000
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I had to wiki Schaerbeek:

"Schaerbeek is nicknamed "the city of donkeys" (la cité des ânes or de ezelsgemeente). This name is reminiscent of times when people of Schaerbeek, who were cultivators of sour cherries primarily for Kriek production, would arrive at the Brussels marketplace with donkeys laden with sour cherries."

Sounds remote. CT is pretty suburban. Except in the most northern region (particularly northwestern) where there are some foothills and river gorges. Besides a tire change kit, a BMW CCA card, cell phone, and a credit card; I don't know what else would be worth the extra weight. I know snow tires are in my future. Maybe some accessory lighting and a handgun. Haha.

Also: Irene blew over one little tree in my yard. My friend lost a tomato plant. The horror.

Last edited by karatechop5000; 09-18-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #7
luke1213
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oh yea pack a gun. i carried a ruger .45.

oohh a tomato plant. lol.

all of my assessments were in NC. saw one home on the beach that had some pretty major damage. other than that, the damage was minuet which sucked because instead of my new job lasting 4-6 weeks, it only lasted 7 days. i actually bought my 325xi for this job and now the job is over and i have a 325xi basically that will be used now as a grocery getter or something. but i think i made a wise decision purchasing it. it will more economicable than my 700hp mustang. anyway, have fun and good luck
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by karatechop5000 View Post
I had to wiki Schaerbeek:

"Schaerbeek is nicknamed "the city of donkeys" (la cité des ânes or de ezelsgemeente). This name is reminiscent of times when people of Schaerbeek, who were cultivators of sour cherries primarily for Kriek production, would arrive at the Brussels marketplace with donkeys laden with sour cherries."
hmm did not know that, it's a part of brussels known for... the lack of belgians living there, lol.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:55 AM   #9
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gl w new job

sounds like it could interesting to travel around
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:02 AM   #10
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Not much to update after most of this weeks training. All of us new guys went out with our trainer/leader today (and yesterday). We were in Meriden. Near Ted's (steamed cheesburgers). I don't know how to describe each neighborhood without sounding like a class conscious DH; but this 'hood' had some old homes split into apartments, some burnt-out industries, and etcetera. One building had a warning to not break in or "you will seriously die". Lot's of cool cars coming in and out of a fenced lot. One e46 2wd Bimmer. A classic Impala. Rumble rumble. It's fall. Working outdoors is a blast. I'm actually walking more than I thought I would (I'm sure that will change when I get out on my own in some rural territory in the Northeast corner).
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:27 AM   #11
luke1213
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i don't think your sounding like a DH. i witnessed the same thing when i was doing insurance assessing for hurricane irene. 98% of the homes I assessed were either in the hood or total shitboxes. their was one home i went to in the hood. the house was nice considering where it was but as i was assessing the damage he began to show me where bullets had went through his house. he wanted to know if he could get some sort of compensation from his insurance for the bullet holes to be fixed. at that time, I pretty much just was trying to get the hell out of there after he showed me that so I couldn't really answer his question. i was already uncomfortable being a white male, driving a white bmw, walking around in a predominately black neighborhood and having about 20 bystanders watching/waiting to see what I was doing there.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:58 PM   #12
karatechop5000
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My wife and I are having a discussion about whether or not it would be more efficient ($$$) for us to switch cars on the days I work. She has a Lexus LX400h. She gets shitty mileage (18) on her highway commute with regular unleaded. It would probably remain at 18 if I drove it from pole to pole (leaving it on and in Park while I'm working).
My XI would easily get 30 miles per gal of premium on her commute. At my job it will probably get about 20 (shutting the engine off and restarting it all day long). She does 60 miles per day and I'll do... ? ...150.

With her in her car she spends $11.67 (reg cost $3.5). In my car she spends $7.40 (premium is $3.70).
I spend $26.50 in her car and $27.75 in mine. In our own cars we spend $39.42. If we switch we spend $33.90. It's too close to matter. Really.

I'm on my own in Woodstock tomorrow (Monday).

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Old 09-25-2011, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karatechop5000 View Post
My wife and I are having a discussion about whether or not it would be more efficient ($$$) for us to switch cars on the days I work. She has a Lexus LX400h. She gets shitty mileage (18) on her highway commute with regular unleaded. It would probably remain at 18 if I drove it from pole to pole (leaving it on and in Park while I'm working).
My XI would easily get 30 miles per gal of premium on her commute. At my job it will probably get about 20 (stutting the engine of and restarting it all day long). She does 60 miles per day and I'll do... ? ...150.

With her in her car she spends $11.67 (reg cost $3.5). In my car she spends $7.40 (premium is $3.70).
I spend $26.50 in her car and $27.75 in mine. In our own cars we spend $39.42. If we switch we spend $33.90. It's too close to matter. Really.

I'm on my own in Woodstock tomorrow (Monday).
If you're that picky over cash, sell the Lexus and get a more efficient car. I mean really, you guys own a BMW, AND a Lexus, you should be able to afford to fuel both. But then again, maybe your wife just likes the E46 a helluva lot better than her Lexus.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #14
karatechop5000
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Actually we both prefer our own cars; but we bicker a little bit about who's is more 'socially responsible'. She thinks any car that takes premium is a waste. I think it's a wash with the improved efficiency. Obviously, a FWD econobox would be cheapest. Economy is only one factor though.
I would be happy with a smaller BMW; but BMW isn't really doing the "economy thing" lately. Maybe next summer I'll see what kind of light weight RWD car I can get with four doors and IRS. Keep the XI for winter.
Money is tighter than it was in 08 when we got the new Lexus and my new cars have always been well used. I'm not saying we can't afford what we have; but it's not like there are extra c-notes laying around and getting stuck in the vacuum cleaner.

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Old 10-06-2011, 09:21 PM   #15
karatechop5000
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This is what I put on facebook today:

"Thank you Enfield PD for checking me out at work today. Seems some people don't like survey takers 'round Enfield who take pictures of electrical transformers and stand in their yard with a spotting scope on a tripod. I'm flattered you sent two cars and a motorcycle to check me out. Thanks for not forcing me to show ID. I really hate that."

I am now (while the weather is good) riding my bicycle around in denser areas. I'm carrying my mountain bike to the work area on a trunk-mount rack. My clearcoat is going to hell. The XI still pulls well on the highway; but I can't throw it into turns as hard with the whiplash tailweight. Ug.
It's worth it though. I feel absolutely great after spending all day biking around, and my numbers are better.

I'm planning to do some maintenance when the air gets cold and dry. Fluid flushes. Cooling system check. Oil filter housing gasket. Check the hoses pipes and oil separator.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:28 PM   #16
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It you want to protect your clear coat a little bit from the trunk-mount bike rack, try wrapping the contact points with cork bicycle bar tape. I replaced the bar tape on my girlfriend's bike because the white was getting grungy looking, so when I peeled it off, I flipped it over and wrapped my bike rack with it. So far, it's made a huge difference preventing scratches on my car.
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