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General E46 Forum
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #1
unt0uchable
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New user - e28 Guy Needs Advice on e46...Please

Hey Guys, my names David. I currently spend most of my days over on mye28.com. I've stumbled upon an e46 that's a few hours away and could use some lovin. It looks like a really nice car, the guy seems like a straight shooter, and it seems like either 1. A good car to fix and drive, or 2. A good car to ffix and flip. The outcome really depends on how much I fall for it once it's fixed.

Car in question:
2001 325i Sport, Auto, OrientBlau on Black leather. 160k miles. Hardly any rust at all, 1 small spot on the rear quarter the size of a quarter.

Here is what happened from the horses mouth (the seller):
Quote:
As for the car, I was driving home, approximately a few blocks from home when the engine started running rough. Luckily I was only a block from Romes Standard Service Station where I dropped it off. Keith Rydecki the owner check out the car and said that the DME? Computer that regulates the fuel into the cylinders needed to be replaced. We tried to get a used one but found out only New BMW computers can be installed and I was told that price is approximately $1,000.
I then decided to sell it to someone who was looking for a fixer upper.
Other than that, it needs tires, and probably a good battery charge.

He's asking $1200 for the car. Here is the research I've done so far:

This website called ecudoctors.com sells repaired ECU's for these for $475 and they program them to your car, all that would need to be done is to realign the EWS and the DME, or marry them? I guess it's called. I found that you can buy a Chinese knock off BMW Scanner 1.4.0 off eBay for $30, solder a connection inside, and basically I would have full control over the computer and access remarry these things within 10 minutes or so. Not to mention, I could then play around with other settings such as rolling the windows up with the fob and some other stuff I haven't explored.

Now I realize already, this is a pretty big gamble either way. I could easily get $2k into this thing before it's running again. That's ok tho, because either I've got a sweet car for that amount, or I can try to double my money on it, either way.

Obviously, before I do anything with it after I get it, I would do my own inspection. Test the usual things, crank sensor, fuel pump, do some ECU tests. I would definitely look for other clues.

I just want your guys experienced opinions on whether or not it seems like a pretty good gamble. Another friend from another forum told me it's not likely to be a bad DME. I'll take that FWIW. I know it could be anything, but that's why I am looking for your opinions on this matter.

Thanks a ton, and I'll look forward to all of your replies!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:15 PM   #2
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That could be anything. I would not trust that diagnosis so quickly.

Could be as simple as a $1 vacuum line.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Buy it, if you have time and patience to fix it or part it out.
Even parting it out would get your money back.

Not much to think about when you get it for that price. And as Mango says, it might be as simple as a broken vacuum hose. May be you get lucky and the DME is perfectly fine.

Make sure to check if it is a water damaged car though. Water damage will cause havoc to electricals.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
unt0uchable
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Its definitely not a water damage car. The guy drove it for the passed 6 years until this cropped up. Its been stored in a poll barn out of the elements for the winter since the November. He's on a full disclosure route as he already go a replacement car and just needs to dump the car.

Are the parts desireable if it came down to parting it out? I'm trying to cover my bases before taking a leap. Thanks for the replies already guys!

David
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by unt0uchable View Post
Its definitely not a water damage car. The guy drove it for the passed 6 years until this cropped up. Its been stored in a poll barn out of the elements for the winter since the November. He's on a full disclosure route as he already go a replacement car and just needs to dump the car.

Are the parts desireable if it came down to parting it out? I'm trying to cover my bases before taking a leap. Thanks for the replies already guys!

David
If the panels and interior is good, definitely people will buy them in parts. If its a sport package even better. You should get some amount for engine and transmission too. Not to forget the wheels too.
However, I'd try to fix and drive or fix and sell. Parting out a car is chore.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:38 PM   #6
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$1200 e46? You could buy a brand new DME (I don't believe that's necessary, actually), a full-blown GT1 to code it, new tires, and still come out quite a bit ahead.

I agree that the DME is not a likely suspect. The autos suck in these, I would flip it...easier/better than parting out. Unlike e30/e28 etc, the cars are still worth quite a bit in good working order.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:44 AM   #7
unt0uchable
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Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
$1200 e46? You could buy a brand new DME (I don't believe that's necessary, actually), a full-blown GT1 to code it, new tires, and still come out quite a bit ahead.

I agree that the DME is not a likely suspect. The autos suck in these, I would flip it...easier/better than parting out. Unlike e30/e28 etc, the cars are still worth quite a bit in good working order.
That's what I figured. I know the DME is probably NOT the problem but even then, like you said.

Can someone put a roundabout price on the market value for an Orientblua on black with 160k miles in full working condition? Are these cars hot on the market or do you think I'd be sitting on it for more than....4 months or so?

The whole reason behind this endeavor is to raise funds for my honeymoon in June. The significant other is a little against me spending ~$2000 and not knowing what the outcome could be, since we need that money to pay for the wedding either way. I'm pretty confident it's not something as big as the DME that's causing the troubles. But also, it might need new suspension bits and cooling system work so who knows...That's the risk I suppose I'm willing to take. She's not going for it yet. I haven't really tried my hand at convincing because I'm still asking about some things from the seller. Anyways, you guys have some good points. Thanks for the replies!

PS:
Quote:
Unlike e30/e28 etc, the cars are still worth quite a bit in good working order.
You'd be surprised at what a 150-200k mile e28 would sell for in today's market. It shocked me. One that needs nothing and runs solid could fetch $6-8k, easily. Euro bits? Just keep adding to that. It's crazy. e30's I don't know so much about, but the e28's in good-great condition are really getting up there in price. And they are drivers cars being sold these days, not garage queens. We won't even dip into that topic. $10k+ for a 25+ yr old car.

Anyways, any other comments/concerns/helpful hints would be appreciated!
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