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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    BMW didn't think it's the right combo & scratched this set up only after 6 months of '01 330i, which forces minimum 17" wheel size due to its std larger brake discs. So all the 330i sedans only came w/ sport suspension afterwards.

    Even the 325ci coupe w/ std sport suspension & the 323i sedan w/ sport suspension/package are matched w/ 16" wheels!

    If I'm getting the 17" wheels, then I might as well get the expensive but more "pwr per gallon" 330i w/ larger discs.

    By the way, are your gf's 17" wheels 8"-wide like in the 325i sport package or the less aggressive 7"-wide like in the AWD (pseudo)sport package & 330i w/o sport package? The camber change in the non-sport suspension might not allow the less elastic 17" wheels, especially the 8"-wide ones, to contact the road as ideally.

    Anyway, I'm just being picky. ;-)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Black trims for USspec 325is? I love it! That's what's making me so proud of the 325i over the more-efficient-but-noisier-powertrain 330i in addition to the smaller-wheel/longer-spring comfy/quieter combination. I also find the 3-series sedan uglier w/o the black horizontal trim above the rear license plate.

    I like light-color cars w/ black trim, ditto the interior. I'd ditch the premium package & forget about the pwr seats, but would opt for the expensive leather in order not to give up the light-color grey interior so I can go find some black panels to replace the silver trim. I find the glossy piano black trim so cool, just like in the Mazda3 concept Sportif, but only the RX-8's ugly-styling interior offers it on production cars.

    I used to hate wood trims, but happened to find the Passat & 3-series sedan's wood on grey classy. & having the no-charge black glossy plastic trim(from non-wood black interior before '02) is even better 'cause it still looks like piano wood but people won't find it too grandpa-ish the way wood trims tend to convey.
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    Has anyone purchased and installed the adapter for the radio that allows you to hook up your iPod? If so, how difficult is the intallation? Is there an online site to purchase, rather than having to go to the dealer? Many thanks.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    When you do that, all you are doing is making it available to logged in members. Among other things, this means that spam harvesters can't collect it.

    If you aren't comfortable leaving it public all the time, you could make it public until you've heard from the person who wanted it, and then change it back to private again.

    Hope this helps. :)
  • poper3poper3 Posts: 8
    I bought mine from the dealer and had them install it, while they swapped my transmission out. So far it sounds great with my ipod, I'd recommend going ahead and getting it. I recall on another board someone with DIY instructions for putting it in, but I'm not skilled enough to take the dash/glovebox apart and put it back together without extra parts left over.
  • adawaaladawaal Posts: 16
    Can you guys tell a little more about this adapter? I've never heard of a fixed iPod adapter for the car. I've seen the one you stick in your cassette player, but who has cassette players in their car anymore? I have the iTrip, an FM transmitter, but it really doesn't work as well as I had hoped.

    Do you have a product name or website or anything on this adapter?
  • poper3poper3 Posts: 8

    I've got an AUX Input, runs from the radio into my glovebox. It accepts a standard audio input cord. I plug it (cord) in and plug the other end into the ipod and presto, thru the radio it plays. I can use both the ipod and car volume to control the sound level. I think only certain years (MYs 03&04?) have the radio that can handle this. You push the MODE button on the radio till it show AUX and it plays. Hope this helps some.
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    I have been trying to figure out how it works as well. According to the BMW brochure, the 04 radio can handle through an available auxilary input, but I assume that you have to install it, since there is no input in the glovebox that I can find. Am I wrong?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Look into the dension icelink if you have an ipod.
  • memphis10memphis10 Posts: 161
    Thank you for hosting the video on your server. I hope it doesn't crash your machine. I have seen the video several times just watching how those drivers can shift so fast and the heel-toe throttle blip is really cool.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You're welcome. ;-)

    The good news is that I'm running a development UnixWare box for one of my clients, and it, A) has lots of spare disk space, B) has lots of spare CPU power and C) has a very stable SCO UNIX as the OS. I'm more of a fan of LINUX, however, the language for this particular client will not run on the "L" box, hence the "U" box.

    Best Regards,
  • memphis10memphis10 Posts: 161
    See that you are not a big fan of Mr. William Gates III.
  • adawaaladawaal Posts: 16
    Poper said:
    "I've got an AUX Input, runs from the radio into my glovebox. It accepts a standard audio input cord. I plug it (cord) in and plug the other end into the ipod and presto, thru the radio it plays. I can use both the ipod and car volume to control the sound level. I think only certain years (MYs 03&04?) have the radio that can handle this. You push the MODE button on the radio till it show AUX and it plays. Hope this helps some."

    Well, I just picked up my new 325xi this afternoon and asked about the AUX input. It apparently doesn't come standard on any of the 3-series but is an aftermarket dealer install. After speaking with the tech guy there, it became clear that the parts were cheap, but BMW charges out the butt for the installation. If I can find the parts, I'll do it myself, but until then it looks like the crummy old iTrip for me. :-(
  • butmywife1butmywife1 Posts: 26
    Thanks Pat! KYFDX---I'd appreciate it if you could email me the link.
  • drmpdrmp Posts: 187
    If you have one, please describe how it defers from stick shift and from automatic transmission. Thanks.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    Can someone point me to research or a recommendation for the cold air intake mod for a 2002 330i?

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I have the ECIS CAI and I’ve been very happy with it. Power gain is noticeable in both the low and high RPMs, engine sound is great under WOT and throttle response is better. It is reasonably priced and the install is very easy.

    The Gruppe M intake looks better, sounds about the same and has a bit less "hiss" but it is $500+ instead of $350.

    You may want to look into JC's CAI on kominsky’s second link – I don't know enough about it but I've heard good things about the foam filter that it comes with.

    Dinan's is by far the most involved install and too expensive. Waste of money.

    The key thing is to get the heat shield and the high performance filter like you do with the ECIS CAI. There is easily a 15 F difference between the engine side and the filter side of the heat shield in my car. I've read that every 4 degrees translate into roughly 1% HP gain and my butt dyno thinks that's about right.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    Do either of these products require a software modification, or is the modification optional?
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I'm sure the ECIS requires nothing else. I believe that's true of the Conforti CAI also but don't know for sure.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    None of the intakes require software. I had the ECIS CAI for over a year before I got the shark injector a couple of months ago. Every mod is a tradeoff, be aware that my "service soon engine" light used to come up the first winter after I installed the intake. There were no issues with drivability and the light stopped coming up over time. Also, the hissing noise at partial throttle may be a little annoying to some people - I got used to it in a few days and do not notice it any more. On the plus side, I get ~ 2mpg better fuel economy, all else equal.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    Anything about the advanced flow engineering (AFE) intake? They have the full page spread in the May Roundel and claim 27 ft/lbs of increased torque for $399.
  • muzzy325imuzzy325i Posts: 19
    I ordered a SMG in Feb and just picked it up about 3 weeks ago. I have about 1400 miles on it. I'll give you my first impressions of it now that I have had a few hundred miles past the break in. First off, this is my second BMW, trade in was an 01 325i manual. My first choice was the Performance Package with a manual transmission, but my wife has a recent disability that make driving with a clutch a bit difficult. I considered the Perf Package with an auto, a regular 330i with Sport and auto and the 330i with SMG (sport package required w/SMG). A good friend of mine has an 02 M3 with SMG that I have driven on occasion so I was some what familiar with the SMG. Although the SMG on the M3 is WAY different than the set up on the 330 and it is even different than the one on the Z4. Note, if you have a friend with a M3 and you can't afford one don't drive his :). I test drove all three, 04 330i with Performance and auto, 330i with Sport and Auto and a 330 Coupe with SMG (only SMG they had to test drive). I could not bring myself to spend an extra ~2500 on an option (auto trans) that I did not want. I was pretty close on pulling the trigger on the Perf Package with auto. So far I like the SMG. It took a while to get used to it, I found myself having to think about what to do for the first 500 miles or so. Once I was comfortable with it, I find it quote enjoyable to drive. Here is what I like about the SMG, You have all the control of a stick, perfect shifts (up and down), automatic rev matching on the downshifts, it is idiot proof (you can not over rev the engine and it will downshift it the rev drop to low if you are being lazy). You can keep both hands on the wheel and still shift or shift with the 'stick'. I feel that I can drive the car harder because the SMG can shift faster and better that I could with a regular manual. The SMG is still a manual transmission. There is a sport mode that will make the shifts very fast, in non-sport mode the shifts are not as abrupt and more 'conforable' for every day driving. Here is what I don't like about the SMG. In auto mode (if shifts for you) the shifts are jerky and seem to lag, in auto-sport mode the shifts are crisp but not suited for stop and go traffic. You do lose the feeling of manual, stomping the clutch and thowing the stick into gear (I do miss that) and with a manual I could just grab the stick and know what gear I was in (by the position of stick in the H pattern) with the SMG you have to take your eyes of the road to visually confirm the gear in the dash. Overall I'm very pleased with the car and I love it. I'm sure that some of the things that I dislke about the SMG are more subjective and I will get over as time passes. If you are condidering the SMG because you want to drive it in Auto mode most of the time, go with a auto trans. The shifting in auto mode is less that desireable for everyday driving. In stop and go traffic (JKF expressway inbound to Chicago at 9:00am on a Monday) the SMG is much more enjoyable than a traditional manual transmission. The speed of the shifts in sport mode are quite amazing, better than I could shift in my old 325. I can drive this car harder than a regular manual with the performance loss of an auto trans. Given equal cars say a 330 manual and 330 SMG. You could put the SMG in auto-sport and you could out drive all but the experienced manual transmission drivers. I also got the NAV system, I can review that in a later e-mail.
  • I tried 330i w SMG and found it to be an elaborated auto tranny; test drove it three times on different dealers, and could not get overcome missing that feeling of touching the stick and knowing where you are without taking your eyes off the road, nor the stomping on the clutch. I ended up with a manual ZHP and I do not regret it a bit. Guess I'm ol'fashioned. FWIW.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Does the smg still have the stick in the middle console? I flat out cannot use the paddle-shifter things as my fingers can't pull like that.

    This isn't a mental block but an actual physical one. So, can you still shift with the gear selector using an SMG? If not and if BMW is really doing away with manuals in M cars, it's likely i'll never own one. Bummer.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    BMW's site shows an M3 with SMG and the stick is still there. Thank god.

    BTW, a simple HUD projecting onto the windshield should show the current gear floating in front of you. You wouldn't have to glance down then - the gear would always be there.
  • "BMW's site shows an M3 with SMG and the stick is still there. Thank god."
    It's there but it does not give you the same feel of the manual stick. Not for a long run. There's a groove, where you end up placing the SMG lever so it can take "manual" commands. In essence, it's almost as a camouflaged steptronic. You change gears with the (+) and (-) paddles on the steering wheel, or rocking the lever forward or backward. That, to me, doesn't cut it. BTW, Blue, what is HUD? Dunno, but could you still see it say, if you driving in broad daylight, you facing the sun and wearing sunglasses?
    Finally, I don't think BMW will be fool to do away with classic manual trannys, they may bangle-ize/i-drive certain models but to eliminate manuals would be equivalent to harakiri.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735

    Common on jet fighters and cars with lots of computer stuff. :)

  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    My main concern when considering the SMG was its long-term reliability. It seems to me to be even more complex in what it does than a normal automatic. Regular automatics have been around long enough that they should have all the bugs worked out, but then we all know of recent problems with the Steptronics. I was concerned about some possibly very expensive future repairs since I generally keep a car for 5 or 6 years or more these days. I've never had a problem with any manual trans car that I've owned. Seems like there are a number of things that could go wrong with the SMG that would render the car undriveable.

    It also seems that, depending on what you like or don't like about it, the SMG could be viewed as either having the best characteristics of both automatics and manuals, or having the worst of both :-). For me it was the latter, so I decided on a manual trans.
  • eman6628eman6628 Posts: 41
    I agree 100% with you about the concern with SMG, but I took the risk and got a 330ci with SMG anyways. I am just hopeing it would not be a problem for me down the line, it is very hard to push the paddles with your fingers crossed :)
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