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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    i guess i got lucky with the gaps in the wheel... they are large enuf for me to put my hand in.. once in a while cuttin it on the brake guard...
  • joes230joes230 Posts: 94
    I use Meguiars Gold Class Instant Wheel Cleaner on my 2003 330i SP. It works very well -- just spray on, wait 60 sec, hose off. I've had no problems with the wheel finish.

    Immediately afterwards if you drive a mile or two, centrifugal force sometimes forces out a dirty streak on the wheel exterior. I watch for that and just wipe it off with a soft cloth. m?SrcLine=CW
  • ajvdhajvdh Posts: 223
    E30's rock. I have an '89 325is for winter/bad weather/gonna park in a bad part of town/let's not rack up too much mileage on the turbo E36 M3.

    Sacreligious as it may sound, the E30 is more fun running around town. They're the last link to the original 2002 (two box design, semi-trailing arm rear suspension). So, it's noisy, not real fast, and has a ton of body roll. But there's a level of feedback and involvement that's missing from the e36 or current e46. And E30s love having the tail hung waaaay out. Mine has E30 M3 springs which makes that even easier, so even at legal speeds I can put a stupid grin on my face going around almost any turn.

    They're very durable little beasts. Probably tougher than the E36. Easy to work on. People on the E30 mailing lists actually complain if the motor needs rebuilding at 250k miles.

    You *must* know the timing belt history. It's an interference engine, and going much beyond 60k miles on a belt is gambling.

    There's a near cult following for them, so there are e-mail discussion groups out there. Google will find 'em.
  • sopecreeksopecreek Posts: 203
    Thanks for good info. I've done a lot of web search and agree with what you are saying. Problem is that I live in Atlanta, GA, and it's hard to find them here. Almost all classified ads for 88-91 are convertibles (325i or ic). I even thought about flying out to west coast (some really nice ones are there) but my wife thinks I'm insane.
    One question, you say it has a ton of body roll. I can tolerate noise (no problem), power (to some degree), but no body roll. Is it why I see many sport suspension mod on 325is? I hope you are saying that relative to your M3!
  • bluebeastbluebeast Posts: 261
    For me the ZHP just fit all of my needs, more HP & Torque, short throw shifter, 3.07 vs 2.93 rear, aerodynamic "stuff", blah, blah , blah. I also relish that there is not that many around, I believe there is only 5 in Austin so far. So far I have 889 miles on it and it is so fun to drive. I swear it is as fast as my old 95 M3, but I have yet to see any performance numbers to confirm this.

    Titanium Silver, Black leather, Xenon, sunroof, 6 spd, ZHP, Black cube.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Does the ZHP have a limited slip diff?
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    i dunno why i didn't think of this, my neighbor tony has a 7 series and he actually does put it on those incline ramps once in a while, literally slides under the car and cleans the rear side (insides) of the wheels... its amazing how much brake dust gets baked onto them and the insides of the wheel wells...

    Additionally if you live in one of the colder states (I don't right now), and are in the habit of swapping out wheels yourself before and after winter, that's another time you can get to the back of the wheels...

  • ajvdhajvdh Posts: 223
    My wife thought I was nuts, 'cause I bought mine in Ohio and drove it back to CO. You might look at the ads in Roundel (the club mag). The prices should only be regarded as a (high) starting point. Join some of the e-mail lists, and let people know you're looking. I found mine through a non-E30 BMW list.

    While mine has M3 springs, it has the stock sway bars. There's a fair amount of body roll, but body roll is not necessarily a bad thing. Stiffening the bars would make transitions and turn-in quicker, but at the cost of being more nervous at the limit, and more sensitive to mid corner bumps. I've autocrossed the car and taken it to the track and it's very capable and wet-your-pants fun. Two things to remember in those situations: 1 - Once you commit to a turn, don't lift off the throttle. 2 - If you're not going sideways, you're not pushing hard enough (a local Solo-II guy who runs one in DSP has the vanity plate "OVRSTEER").
  • pmhtvpmhtv Posts: 33
    Recently sold my baby that I've had since new - a 1990 red 325i 2Dr w/ 5spd. Classic BMW style. Thought I would have difficulty selling a manual, but it went on the first day! It was a very good car for me. A blast to drive - did not notice much lean in the turns. Great sounds from the inline 6 at 4,000 rpm and up. Good reliability, although you do have to stay on top of the preventive maintenance. A well- cared for model will serve you for a long time and put smiles on your face.
  • bluebeastbluebeast Posts: 261
    No, the ZHP does not have a limited slip differential.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    current 330i owners: did your mileage get better as the car aged? I've got about 1200 miles on my 330i and I'm still getting about 21 mpg. While that's not horrible I kinda hoped for better, especially considering I only take it over 4k rpms maybe two or three times a drive.

    Now that the car's broken in (according to BMW's manual) I know I'll be playing more often in the higher end of the engine's sweet spot. Considering I've been conservative I'm sorta worried I'll get 15-16 mpg when I'm really driving the car. :O
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    M3 and M5 have LSD. This is a huge shortfall in rest of line. Why can't BMW have LSD as an option like they did for decades???
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    BMW no longer offers limited slip across the model range because ASC suits the needs of 99.9% of new BMW owners. Sad but true.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    div2... I understand. This rot set in during early 1990s as TC systems came along. But BMW knows enough to know it needs LSD for M3 and M5. Sad that other cars like IS300, Nissan Maxima, etc. can be ordered with LSD!
  • sopecreeksopecreek Posts: 203
    Is it really needed for those who do not track their cars? Just out of curiosity...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Do I NEED LSD? No. However, all too frequently I come around a corner with a little sand on the pavement just as I am transitioning to the power, only to have the inside rear tire start to spin. When that happens, the computer kicks in and absolutely TROUNCES on the engine, and it feels like my car is almost dead, only to have it just as suddenly recover. Not the most smooth method of driving. :-/

    If I had been able to order the Limited Slip option that BMW used to have, I would certainly have checked off that box. To my way of thinking, BMW should look at this as just one more "ala-carte" option and just a way to add just a little more to their bottom line.

    Best Regards,
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I am really surprised that ZHP doesn't have the LSD. This would have been far more useful and performance enhancing than some of the trim options. The ZHP would have been a natural place for BMW to insert this option in the sub M3 version of the car. Please note that I am not trying to start a flame war on this subject. An LSD is one of my check boxes for a sporty car. Checking the M3 box is not in the cards at the moment though :-)

    Once you drive a car with an LSD, and feel the car hook up under throttle exiting a turn, you really start to hate electronic traction control. As mentioned above, it is far too easy to spoof traction control. It doesn't know what you know and feel, all it does is sense wheel slip and apply the brakes whether you want it to or not. In my racing days I immediately took a .5 seconds off my lap times by installing an LSD in my car. That is pretty significant improvement in performance. On a wet track it was even better. It is pretty hard to have too much traction in a street car unless you are trying to rotate the rearend with a lot of throttle. So an LSD enhances enthusiast level street driving also.

    For those of you who get BMW surveys asking for feedback on your cars, consider mentioning the lack of an LSD option as being a negative. Until more people start making noise about this shortcoming, BMW will happily take your money and use the brakes as a band aid in place of the real thing. Having an LSD and traction control with an on/off button is the best setup. BMW's cost for an LSD would be about 300-$500 per car; how much they would mark it up would be another question.
  • martini4memartini4me Posts: 13
    Hi: I have a new 2003 328Ci / Steptronic that has about 1k miles on it. I've noticed an odd noise and wanted to see if anyone has any clues about it. When I'm traveling at highway speeds for at least 10 minutes or so, and then ease off of the accelerator, there is a whining noise that seems to come from the engine. The noise is hard to describe...take the word "who" and elogate it..."whoooooooo." When I press back on the accelerator a little the noise goes away. It sounds like it's coming from the engine in the center of the vehicle. It seems unrelated to the climate control system...have tested with fan on and off and a/c on and off and it still does it. Any ideas? I'll also ask the dealer, but will be traveling for work (via plane) for the next couple of weeks and wondered if the boardies here have any experience with it. Other than that small oddity, the car is fabulous. My only complaint is that I don't get time to drive it enough. It'll be even better after the first Zaino treatment. Thanks for any info you all have!
  • joes230joes230 Posts: 94
    First I assume you mean 2003 330Ci, not 328Ci. Your noise and the steps to reproduce it sound vaguely like the known "differential whine" problem. You described it as from the middle of the vehicle, but the differential whine comes from the rear (technically) although to some people it seems to come from everywhere.

    Supposedly a running manufacturing change eliminated this around 2001, but my 2003 330i SP 5-speed had it. I talked to the service manager and they applied the TSB (an insulating strip of butyl rubber tape) on the drive shaft mount, and it basically went away. A few others with post 2001 MY cars have reported likewise.

    Here's a couple of links with more info. Read those more detailed descriptions and see if they match your problem. - 759&highlight=butyl - 4622&highlight=whine
  • martini4memartini4me Posts: 13
    thanks for the "whine" info. I'll ask the dealership about it. I actually have a 325Ci. I'm a baaaad car owner. Had an old 328 and had a quick-typing typo....thanks for the links.
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