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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    platypus - I know what you mean by not winning too many drag races. It took me a couple of hours to get totally comfortable with taking off aggressively in first. Embarrassing as it is, I even stalled it twice - first time in years. I found out that I do much better when I use a little more gas in first - try it and you'll see. Of course, you are dealing with more power in the 330 but it's not all that different as far as taking off. Once I got comfortable with using a little more gas, the car was even more fun to drive because you take off faster. I don't let the clutch hang in there halfway for too long - it's not good for any clutch. But if you use a little more gas, you can drop the clutch pretty fast and this thing is as smooth as ever it's amazing!!

    As far as driving in stop-and-go traffic, yeah, it's absolutely a matter of personal preference - auto vs. stick. I'll still take the stick in any traffic because it allows me to have the car in the right gear at all times and dash for that opening in the other lane. The clutch definitely does not like it when you don't switch gears fast - it is suited for more aggressive driving - I love that!!! However, even in traffic, you can go like 2-3 mph only on first and the band is so wide, you don't need to shift gears all the time and the car is still very smooth. My old Jetta VR6 would snap your head off in first and was a lot more uncomfortable in stop-and-go.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    That'll teach ya a lesson :O)
  • mfeldmanmfeldman Posts: 140
    I concur with the comments about the respectful adult tone of this board. Which allows me to ask a petty question..........Last nite I saw a scuff on the inside of the door. Impetuosly I put some water on my finger and rubbed. Of course, it did not remove the scuff but did darken the grey vinyl in a 3'' oval. I am now kicking myself for creating this minor flaw and am wondering if I can fix it without making it worse.

    I am also excited to have hit 1200mi. Now A can really Open it up.

    Btw, at the dealer isaw a 323 wagon which allegedly was rearended at 45mph on a test drive. The rear end was accordioned but the passenger compartment was intact. A good if unintended ad for bmw.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    A lot of it depends on your car's weight distribution. My VR6's weight dist. was 60/40 F/R and lighter overall than the 3-er, so I was using 30 F / 28 R. As a rule of thumb, you do need more tire pressure for the wheels that drive the car. But it also has to be adjusted for the weight of the car. Ideal tire pressure would also vary depending on # of passengers, luggage, etc. Tires with more air tend to move the car quicker, and they definitely burn less fuel overall. However, I like it better when the tires' air is at the lower permissible interval because they are stickier that way and allow you to handle better. The car would tend to bounce around a little more in corners would more air in the tires. I am changing mine to 30 F / 35 R, as the owner's manual recommends and see how it goes compared to the current 31/32. Will let you know whether you like to hear it or not :O)
  • burrsrburrsr Posts: 255
    I have to admit it -- I actually laughed aloud when I read your "3" oval" story! Mostly due to the fact that I can picture my overly-anal self doing exactly the same thing! Although I've personally never used it, from some of the previous posts on this board, the consensus is that Lexol makes pretty good leather/vinyl cleaners and conditioners -- you might give it a try. I've seen it in my dealership for about $10/bottle, which means you can probably pick it up for $6.99 at any Autozone or similar...
  • mfeldmanmfeldman Posts: 140
    I concur with the comments about the respectful adult tone of this board. Which allows me to ask a petty question..........Last nite I saw a scuff on the inside of the door. Impetuosly I put some water on my finger and rubbed. Of course, it did not remove the scuff but did darken the grey vinyl in a 3'' oval. I am now kicking myself for creating this minor flaw and am wondering if I can fix it without making it worse.

    I am also excited to have hit 1200mi. Now A can really Open it up.

    Btw, at the dealer isaw a 323 wagon which allegedly was rearended at 45mph on a test drive. The rear end was accordioned but the passenger compartment was intact. A good if unintended ad for bmw.
  • I called Dinan yesterday and left messages. No live person answered. I only got voicemails. No reply yet. I, too, am curious. Think--325's with an extra 15-20 HP and boosted torque. I'm salivating, and I don't even have my car yet!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    ... actual HP. The HP and torque curve charts on e46fanatics.com FAQ link rate the 325i's HP at 191, as opposed to the official rating of 184. I'm wondering who posted those charts there and how correct they are. But yeah, another 15-20 ponies would be great.
  • denrightdenright Posts: 285
    This seat issue has been bugging me so much that I stopped by my BMW dealership this morning to take another look and feel of the sport seats vs. the regular seats.

    The bolstering of the regular seats is definitely less formidable looking than the sport seats. However, it is still incredibly firm and supportive. While the sport seats literally fit like a glove, I found the regular seats to be almost as supportive and confortable.

    I think I am going to stick with the regular seats. I know you are all breathing a sigh of relief. LOL Sorry to be blathering, but I need someone to bounce all this crap off, and my wife sure as hell doesn't want to hear it.

    As far as this K&N air filter goes, am I to understand that this air filter will add several horsepower to a 3 series engine? Does anyone know if K&N makes one for the 3.0 liter inline 6 in the 330??? Please advise, I will definitely get one if they make one.
  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    I don't know about 15 to 20 extra HP with intake, exhaust, and software. I had these mods done to a car [Hyper Tech Mods] and they claimed it would give me an extra 25 HP. But when I put the car on a dyno it was only a 10 HP gain. The car had way better accelleration,tons of air flow, better shifting [auto], and driveability. The car felt like a different car, way better!, but the HP gain wasn't anywhere near the extra 25 that they claimed it would have. If I go with the Dinan mods I will let you all know how it did on the dyno, my friend "Motor Ed" has one :o)
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    '...my wife sure as hell doesn't want to hear it.' Man, I can't stop laughing!! Well, my wife is very understanding but I have to admit that our relationship has improved since I started contributing to the board. She loves driving but she wouldn't want to talk about car seats and K&N filters all day long, you know what I mean? I get enough "nicotine" through the board, so now we talk about things that she doesn't have a board to share with :o)

    Well, don't torture yourself with the seats. Go with your gut feeling and get what you are more comfortable with. The car is for you and you should get whatever makes you happy. Once you get the car, you will probably be so blown away by its performance that little choices you had to make wouldn't have the same dimension any more. Good luck!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    ...intake, exhaust, and software set you back when you did it? That was on the 'Vette, right?
  • burrsrburrsr Posts: 255
    Another spin on air intake -- this time in the interior! I truly enjoy driving with the windows down. It enhances the aural sensations of the car (any car, but especially the 3er), allows me to enjoy the weather (esp. this time of year), and keeps off the A/C (which can sap a few hp from the wheels). With the sunroof open, it can give one the sensation of riding in a droptop. However, with the driver's window only open, it seems a little TOO much like a droptop. The crosswind is more than in any other car I've been in. I've found that lowering the driver's side rear window alters the cross-flow effects significantly. Much less buffeting, as the entering air has a more parallel (to the direction of the car) exit pathway. Anyone else notice this? This bugged me at first, but a little experimentation paid off...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I have found that if I put the moonroof in vent mode (aft end up) and open the right front window and inch or so and the left rear window 2 inches or so, the interior is very confortable until the temp gets up to the mid 60's when the sun is shining and low 70's at night.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    These are some seriously advanced air flow techniques :o) I guess air circulates better through the cabin when you create that kind of circular flow. I'm gonna try it on my way home tonight. I actually love this huge moonroof so much that I've been keeping it open pretty much all the time so far.
  • mfeldmanmfeldman Posts: 140
    BTW, do you guys have wheel locks? Are they hard to install? I think my old miata came with them.
  • burrsrburrsr Posts: 255
    Starting to look like a Stallone movie in the topic line...My wife and I, out of curiosity, test drove an X5 a few weeks ago (I know, I know -- blasphemy to the sport sedan set). I'm not a huge SUV fan (my wife certainly is), but I was pleasantly surprised -- had a lot of sport-sedan like handling and feel to it, only you're sitting up about a foot higher. Anyway, I noticed that the standard (non-SP) seats were nearly identical to the ones in the standard 3 series. However, they felt much different for one clear reason: because of the more vertical design of the SUV, the seat is more a "chair" style (i.e., legs bent more at the knees, thighs more parallel to floor). In the 3, I sometimes feel like I'm sitting on the floor, legs straight out. This may be due in part to my seat positioning needs (I'm 6' 2"), but I think it's also due in part to the factothat there's simply less vertical distance between the front of the seat and the floor. And, unfortunately, the only vertical adjustment (can's speak for the SP, though) rasies the REAR of the seat. I found neither any more comfortable than the other, just very different. Any other perspectives on this? Do the SPseats (I keep second- and third-guessing not getting the SP) address this?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    The dealer threw them in for free. There are two types: the ones that need a special mold and the key type. The key type is more expensive but they may be easier to use (they come with an actual key and lock). The regular ones with the mold that I got are easy to use - all you have to do is put the mold on top and work the wrench. Anyone that knows how to replace a flat tire should be able to do that.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    With the SP, you can change the seating position ANY vertical way you want. You can raise the rear of the seat and then adjust the front bolster to any height you want AND extend it forward or back as much as you want. I'm 6'1 and extremely comfortable in it - my knees probably form a 35-40 degree angle (OK, math fans, it's really 140-145 degrees). I hesitate to recommend to you what to do but I honestly feel that you'll be pulling your hair out for not getting the sports seats.
  • burrsrburrsr Posts: 255
    Thanks for the seating perspective; unfortunately I have had my 330i WITHOUT SP for over 4 months. Based on seating discussions alone, I somewhat not getting the SP. I wasn't particularly turned on by the idea of having two sets of tires and wheels, though (would definitely be needed here in Cincinnati -- we don't get much snow, mostly ICE, as temps hover around freezing most of winter). I guess it's all about trade-offs...

    Last time I was at the dealership (very early morning on Sat.), I was able to sample the sport seats for a few seconds, at least. In the showroom sat a brand-new M3. Needless to say I was awed and just HAD to sit in it, big SOLD sign notwithstanding. No one was around, so I reached in, opened the door, and sat down for a few minutes, just to check out the interior. I must say, the sport seats DO fit like a glove...the rest of the interior was very understated -- exactly like my 330i. Anyway, don't crucify me for sitting in someone else's ride; I couldn't resist -- and every one of you would have done the same thing! :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think that I read somewhere that BMW has an un-written rule that current owners can sit in ANY car they want on the show room floor, sold or otherwise. The only catch, if the car is already sold, you owe the soon to be owner, a beer. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    I'm getting a sport package but I must agree with denright's coments (#2504) regarding the seat comfort. There's no doubting the better support and more ajustable seat but I can't imagine that any body riding a 3er with regular chairs would feels anything less than thrilled with the all round comfort and support of them. I have the utmost respect for any "enthusiast" who can see "the big picture" and not get the sport pkg (and hence seats) for reasons which would ammount simply to making the cool descision.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    when I wrote my 'Seating position' post. I got confused...
    Yeah, who wouldn't want to sit in an M3? I was contemplating sneaking into the Z8 at my dealer's - they keep it in a separate room. Damn, it was locked and I wasn't comfortable asking them to let me sit in a $120,000 car - it's way out of my age and wallet league.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    be in the showroom or in front of the dealership is OK too?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think the dealer lot is a grey area, give it a try. ;-)
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    shipo, I've never heard of such a rule. There is absolutly no descrimination between an exisiting client or a prospective client when it comes to any level of customer service. Imagine your new car had just come in and, when you go to pick it up at the dealership, you find some aloof mom chating with her salesman while the rugrats crawl around in your new car, standing on your facory fresh leather/leatherette seats with their shoes and leaving nice scratches on it. In the opinion of, I hope, all dealers, when a sold car comes in or is sold in stock (be it over the phone or with the client at the store) that car is locked and is cosidered the property of that individual. To allow anyone to even sit in it would not, in my opinion, be doing something the client would approve of. An exception would be if the client was present and okay'd it. Your new BMW is a very, VERY special item, and it will be treated as such.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I'll start charging at least two beers next time I park in front of the dealership. they can scratch my interior all they want - I know I'll more than break even on the beer ;O)
  • ds2k1ds2k1 Posts: 101
    It's really weird how quickly your perspective can change. About a year ago, I was fascinated by the A6 2.7T. Had to have it. As I've mentioned, I drove it and it didn't do it for me. Was suddenly pretty happy again with my '91 Legend and figured I'd keep it another year or two. I'd always liked the 3-Series and was very interested when the 330i came out, but didn't initially consider it because of the snob factor and because I thought it would be too small. Finally, I figured, What the hell, I'll give it a drive. Again, as I've mentioned, immediately fell in love with this amazing machine and bought one within a week. At the time I bought it, I thought the sport package totally unnecessary and a waste of money (I also have clearance issues with my driveway and wasn't sure the sport version would get up it without scraping). Thought the same thing about the HK upgrade. Also figured that with my stop-and-go daily commute of 50-or-so miles, the Step would be perfect for me, despite the fact that I've ALWAYS driven a stick and am very comfortable with them, even in traffic. Here I am, less than two months into my ownership experience, absolutely frothing at the mouth over the 330s I see with the sport package and wondering what possessed me to not order it, also wondering why the hell I didn't get the HK upgrade since I'm somewhat of an audiophile, and craving for the experience of rowing this beautiful machine through its gears. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY CAR, but I am having some regrets. Two months ago, I was as ecstatic as a teenage girl on prom night, now I'm completely possessed by the options I didn't get and the one I did (Step). I'm sure I'll get over it, but damn if those M wheels and wide tires and lower stance don't make the car look amazing! Lesson learned? Next time I buy a BMW, it'll be more sport-fitted. It is, after all, the Ultimate Driving Machine and should look and feel the part.

    As for v_tech, he seems like a complete [non-permissible content removed] and should be ignored entirely. Responding to him and making any effort to defend the merits of the fine automobiles we're all lucky enough to own or own soon enough only makes him come back for his daily dose of negativism. He's clearly got an inferiority complex over his newly purchased car and wants the entire BMW community to know it. If he was really as secure with his purchase, would he feel the need to go on and on about how superior it is compared to a car he regards as an overpriced afterthought? He's probably having his own regrets and his pointless, barely comprehensible meanderings are how he deals with it. Forget him and his petty words (as poorly drafted as they are).

    Braveheart - haven't officially congratulated you on your new ride. Sweet piece, isn't it?

    Platypus - I'd almost forgotten about you. Sounds like you had an awesome trip and your car looks great. Now that you've allowed her her proper birthright by motoring her through her native land, I'm sure she'll reward you with many years of faithful service and fabulous performance. I don't envy you your wait, though. Nice pictures, by the way. I'm on my way to Munich in less than two weeks and will also be going to Fussen, then off to Spain. I only wish I had the opportunity of experiencing it behind the wheel of my brand new Ultimate Driving Machine. You are truly a lucky man!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    ...if you are in the Boston area. It's not a 330 but it's still very gratifying to drive. Anyone from the board visiting Boston, send me an e-mail if you'd like; I'll be happy to chat BMWs with you over beer.
  • e46avatare46avatar Posts: 9
    Hello,

    I am about to get a used 2001 325i and I noticed that the service countdown timer is showing 9500.
    The car has 4800 miles on it and I was wondering if the previous owner had driven this car harder than usual. He also has a K&N filter installed and i was wonderng if that will damage the carbs or catalytic converter.

    thanks in advance.
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