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Driftit

US Runabout 05 E46 325ci

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Drove into the depths of Baltimore this afternoon to have a look at this old girl.  (Think of the TV Show 'The Wire').
2005 325ci.  Stock standard.  US spec (very strange).

Pretty well optioned for a 3 series.  And what the yanks would call low mileage.  128K miles.  128k miles is nothing here.  I have seen E46's with 450k miles.
Though I would not touch a car in NZ with this many km's.

These vary in price so wildly in the States.  From $1000 to $12000.  Then the M3's go from about $8000 to $30000.
By the time I get this back to DC and sort tax and registration it will prob owe around $4K.

Specs:  https://www.etkbmw.com/bmw/EN/vin/decoder/PL07660/EN

 

Sorry about the sh*t pics.  But less than 1 min later there was a brutal thunder storm and I had to leg it.

 

Roadtrip time!!

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Spend enough time there and you'll start think like the rest of us Americans. Beware the abyss!

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I cleaned it up a bit yesterday.  Going to polish it today.  I don't think it has been polished since new.  So it will take a while.

Ordered some new trim and a few other bits and pieces from ecstuning.  Just damaged weather stripping etc.

Oh and no roadtrip time :(  Stupid DMV is closed on Sunday and Monday.  And my insurance didn't start till Sunday.  So I couldn't get it registered.
So I will just clean it instead.  Should be a great little runabout.

 

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You start to realise how easy things are in NZ when you have to deal with the DMV in the US... 

Looks like a nice car, lots of good driving roads near where you are once you get out of the city. 

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were you by chance listening to Lyle Lovett's song about Baltimore on the way there?  If you had, you might not have gone to Baltimore!

Looks like a good score, Dan.

 

 

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6 hours ago, NZ BMW said:

You start to realise how easy things are in NZ when you have to deal with the DMV in the US... 

Looks like a nice car, lots of good driving roads near where you are once you get out of the city. 

This can be true, or not. Lots of variables, like what state you're in and whether or not you're a citizen. Since going full xenophobe as a nation, the US is quite a bit more obnoxious for non-citizens when it comes to bureaucracy. 

13 hours ago, Driftit said:

I cleaned it up a bit yesterday.  Going to polish it today.  I don't think it has been polished since new.  So it will take a while.

Ordered some new trim and a few other bits and pieces from ecstuning.  Just damaged weather stripping etc.

Why ecstuning versus fcpeuro? Oh how I miss American convenience (even if I miss near nothing else...) Free shipping, and meaningful warranties/returns policies. Ah, to have Amazon Prime again...

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7 hours ago, NZ BMW said:

You start to realise how easy things are in NZ when you have to deal with the DMV in the US... 

I was wondering how much that DMV scene from the movie Zootopia imitated life.

 

Edited by EURO V12

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47 minutes ago, EURO V12 said:

I was wondering how much that DMV scene from the movie Zootopia imitated life.

The most inaccurate thing in that video is the lack of queues everywhere ;) 

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16 hours ago, Driftit said:

I cleaned it up a bit yesterday.  Going to polish it today.  I don't think it has been polished since new.  So it will take a while.
So I will just clean it instead.  Should be a great little runabout.

 

is that the parking at obsv circle? 

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The car is in the underground parking in Observatory Circle yes.

The area I got the car from in Baltimore was ok-ish.  But the dudes just staring at me were pretty unsettling.  They scuttled away when the owner showed up his Porsche.
I made it out with a cheap car though.

DMV just has zero leniency.  If there is the smallest thing wrong they will send you on your way.  I was there before opening and was already about 30th in line.  But as I was only after temp tags i was called up quick.  Getting my license was slow going though.  Took around 3 hours.  I had very little input.  The test only took me 10-15mins.  It could be worse though.  I could be going to the state department.. man I hate that place.

I ended up polishing it yesterday.  I didn't have the right polish or a clay bar so I did my best.  Came up OK.  But I would like to give it a machine polish at some stage.  There is a few areas of paint i think I will get touched up first.  I cleaned the leather again and then borrowed some expensive looking leather conditioner which made the leather feel great.

Oh and I went with ECS as they listed everything I needed cheaper than FCP (who I used when in NZ).  ECS is on the East Coast somewhere too.  Stuff arrived already and for free.
I still need to get a few items.  Like a power steering cap o-ring, some floor mats and the rubber seals at the bottom of the back windows.  Then I am happy for a bit.

I have a feeling there is a small oil leak though.  Which will annoy me to no end.  So I will hunt that down.  Hopefully it is something like the valve cover gasket or the oil filter to block gasket.

 

 

Edited by Driftit

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Just now, Driftit said:

Oh and I went with ECS as they listed everything I needed cheaper than FCP (who I used when in NZ).  ECS is on the East Coast somewhere too.  Stuff arrived already and for free.
I still need to get a few items.  Like a power steering cap o-ring, some floor mats and the rubber seals at the bottom of the back windows.  Then I am happy for a bit.

Major reason I'd use fcpeuro in the US is their lifetime warranty even on consumables. Like you can send them used oil you bought from them and they'll send you new oil! Wipers, ATF, filters, etc... I still get non-liquids from them, because liquids would be unfeasible from NZ.

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how cool is that.  I've only been in that carpark once, or maybe twice, more than 20 years ago.  

oil leak?  M54?  naaaaaaaah.  ^_^   yep, likely both your valve cover gasket (and the corresponding seals around the spark plug wells), and your oil filter housing to block.  Also check out that power steering reservoir cap and hoses that you mentioned earlier.  Hopefully it's not your sump gasket - they go later.

I'd be very happy with that as a runaround, late facelift coupe to boot.  Nice buying.  Looking forward to seeing your progress on this.  You'll be pleased to have that independence to travel around DC and surrounding states without having to arrange a vehicle.  happy days.

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1 minute ago, Gabe79 said:

Major reason I'd use fcpeuro in the US is their lifetime warranty even on consumables. Like you can send them used oil you bought from them and they'll send you new oil! Wipers, ATF, filters, etc... I still get non-liquids from them, because liquids would be unfeasible from NZ.

I will have to look into them again.  I did have a conflict with them a few years back.  Purchased some wipers for a NZ E55 AMG.  They stated Universal.  They were not.  LHD only.  But they would not take them back at their cost.

But I am not worried about that sort of mistake here in the US.

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Just now, Driftit said:

I will have to look into them again.  I did have a conflict with them a few years back.  Purchased some wipers for a NZ E55 AMG.  They stated Universal.  They were not.  LHD only.  But they would not take them back at their cost.

But I am not worried about that sort of mistake here in the US.

This came up in r/BMW a few times. Their business has had a major overhaul in the last few years, where they are top notch now with regards to service specially.

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Just now, Olaf said:

how cool is that.  I've only been in that carpark once, or maybe twice, more than 20 years ago.  

oil leak?  M54?  naaaaaaaah.  ^_^   yep, likely both your valve cover gasket (and the corresponding seals around the spark plug wells), and your oil filter housing to block.  Also check out that power steering reservoir cap and hoses that you mentioned earlier.  Hopefully it's not your sump gasket - they go later.

I'd be very happy with that as a runaround, late facelift coupe to boot.  Nice buying.  Looking forward to seeing your progress on this.  You'll be pleased to have that independence to travel around DC and surrounding states without having to arrange a vehicle.  happy days.

Trust me the place has not changed in at all.  Haha.  Though there is much more security now that Pence lives over the street.  I don't mind watching Marine Two landing multiple times a day.
 

I really can't wait to get out onto some of these roads.  Whilst Skyline Drive is pretty slow going these days it is still an amazing road.

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Winterising the E46 today.

Ugly ass wheels with Pirreli Snow tyres I picked up for $200.  Nearly new.

I won't use them in DC.  But need them for Quebec.

 

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Edited by Driftit
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$200 - bargain.  You're heading to Quebec? 

I see you've got the engine shroud off; new plugs?  Coils?

 

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I was just having a look.  I think i am going to have to hunt down a vacuum leak somewhere.  Every now and then i get a code for bank 1 running too lean.

It is the only code I get though.  So I was going to go on an exploration and pull off anything that is attached to the intake.  Which seems to be a number of things.

 

Heading to Quebec for Xmas.  Never had a white xmas.  And to be honest it looks amazing there.  Staying inside the old walled city.

Winter tyres are compulsory up there.

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