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-   -   Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it? (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=716581)

SC525iWagon 08-19-2013 10:43 AM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
Hello, I am awaiting having a 2001 325i Sport Wagon dropped off in my driveway today or tomorrow...

I have long admired this car, which has belonged to a family friend for several years. This wagon is a real beauty - Arctic White with a silver leather interior.

Unfortunately, after years of steadfast maintenance the auto/manumatic transmission blew up a couple days ago on the owner. That was the last straw for her - she bought a new car the same day! She hates to see the car go, but after putting in a new rebuilt engine in January (57K miles), she is done.

The reason I'm getting the car is that we are trying to figure out if A) Im going to buy it and have the transmission repaired B) Sell it to a true BMW enthusiast on her behalf C) Figure out its value to determine whether she should donate it to charity.

The car has around 146K miles on it. Other than the trans, the factory stereo system has crackling speaker(s). I will post more info and pics later.

I appreciate any advice y'all may have to offer. Thanks!

Matt in Charleston, SC

Asbradley21 08-19-2013 10:57 AM

Sounds like a perfect time to 5spd swap it. Especially with a new engine.

SC525iWagon 08-19-2013 11:33 AM

How does a 5spd compare in cost to install and durability vs the auto?

bagodonuts68 08-19-2013 01:00 PM

i've come to understand that the swap is a real pain. i contemplated the same issue with my 528 wagon. i ended up putting in a rebuilt tranny that came with a 36month warrantee and have been happy happy happy with my decision.

SC525iWagon 08-19-2013 02:11 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 392417

Here she is, off the truck as-is. Needs a cleaning


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JKRIT 08-19-2013 02:37 PM

Being rust-free and having a new engine already could make it worth the cost of a rebuilt transmission. Even though it belongs to a family friend, you should treat the car as an unknown, which means have a BMW mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection. Has it been an SC (non-rust belt) car all its life? "Steadfast maintenance" means different things to different people. BTW, looks like it has the sport package, at least from the wheels and ride height.

540 M-Sport 08-19-2013 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JKRIT (Post 7783160)
Being rust-free and having a new engine already could make it worth the cost of a rebuilt transmission. Even though it belongs to a family friend, you should treat the car as an unknown, which means have a BMW mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection. Has it been an SC (non-rust belt) car all its life? "Steadfast maintenance" means different things to different people. BTW, looks like it has the sport package, at least from the wheels and ride height.

+1. Get it inspected and I would seriously consider having a rebuilt transmission installed. Just make sure it is a good one, with a warranty.

Doorman 08-19-2013 03:46 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SC525iWagon (Post 7783111)
Attachment 392417

Here she is, off the truck as-is. Needs a cleaning


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Nice!!!




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SC525iWagon 08-19-2013 04:10 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
Thx. It's a 2-owner car. Turns out we know the original owner, too! They didn't know each other at the time-- orig owner traded it in at 13k same day current owner bought it. Bought here in Charleston, rust free best as I can tell.

Owner says it does have the sport package. There is also a full size lace wheel in the trunk-- are these the top wheels available? I'm getting a whole raft of paperwork in the next few days.

The BMW specialtu place she takes it to quoted $2500 for rebuilt Trans & minimal warranty or $7-8,000 for new BMW unit installed...


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mio_e46 08-19-2013 04:45 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
If you decide to sell it let me know - been looking for a wagon for the wifey :)


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Doorman 08-19-2013 04:54 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SC525iWagon (Post 7783339)
Thx. It's a 2-owner car. Turns out we know the original owner, too! They didn't know each other at the time-- orig owner traded it in at 13k same day current owner bought it. Bought here in Charleston, rust free best as I can tell.

Owner says it does have the sport package. There is also a full size lace wheel in the trunk-- are these the top wheels available? I'm getting a whole raft of paperwork in the next few days.

The BMW specialtu place she takes it to quoted $2500 for rebuilt Trans & minimal warranty or $7-8,000 for new BMW unit installed...


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What constitutes a "minimal" warranty?

$7-$8000!!?? Damn!


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DONROD 08-19-2013 05:32 PM

call bav recycling in cali, you can get a rebuild for less then that, or check AAMCO, they quoted me 3600 for mine on my 540it, it turns out i just need the torque converter replaced. bus she looks good, i would keep her,

SC525iWagon 08-19-2013 07:02 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
I had a shop near my neighborhood rebuild a Trans for a '94 Chrysler I got from my folks for about $2k w 2yr warranty. Do these BMW trannies require a specialist or special tools, or could any Trans shop handle the job? Are the stock units known to be trouble prone?


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IndiansFan 08-19-2013 08:36 PM

Here are two shops in North Charleston that I would contact for advice if I were seriously considering the purchase.

Both have good customer comments in their review section. They should be able to assist you in which ever direction you wish to pursue.

European Road and Racing
http://www.bimmershops.com/south-car...oad-and-racing

Karl and Martin Troy @ http://www.europeanroadandracing.com/
They are an authorized Dinan dealer. Martin is the BMW specialist. Karl is the racing expert.

Total Mini and BMW Services
http://www.bimmershops.com/south-car...total-mini-bmw


I'd be inclined to consider installing a manual first and then the automatic. The positives are:
1. New engine, although you did not state why. Did the cooling system suffer a major failure on one of the two previous owners? Which of the 4 motors is in the car now?
2. 146K miles. I have 248K on my wagon.
3. SC car with no rust
4. Alpine White (300) is the correct color.
5. Sport package, as indicated by the 17" Style 5 wheels. They are original for 2001.
6. Probably has the premium package; if it has montana leather, redwood trim, and glass moonroof.
7. It's a wagon!

Speakers are minor. Focus on the tranny and whatever other items need replacing. Again, the two shops above will know what needs to be replaced and at what mileage. If you do your homework here, you will find cooling, suspension-front and rear and other issues to address. If the repair work was performed by BMW or a certified BMW independent mechanic, it should be listed in the cars service history.

Good luck. Hope it works to your advantage. It's a very practicle car for me. I bought the two sedans after driving the wagon.

SC525iWagon 08-20-2013 05:11 AM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
Thanks IndiansFan! I contacted E R&R yesterday, a buddy who owned a 323i also rec'd them to me... I did not know abt the Mini/BMW place. My friend did day that he did NOT like the Bimmer specialty shop in Mt. Pleasant where the car has been serviced.

The wood in the interior looks reddish-brown, and there is a glass moonroof...interior is a grained leather silver/slate color, sounds like it is a premium package. Once I get the service records, I'll learn & share more.


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540 M-Sport 08-20-2013 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SC525iWagon (Post 7784319)
Thanks IndiansFan! I contacted E R&R yesterday, a buddy who owned a 323i also rec'd them to me... I did not know abt the Mini/BMW place. My friend did day that he did NOT like the Bimmer specialty shop in Mt. Pleasant where the car has been serviced.

The wood in the interior looks reddish-brown, and there is a glass moonroof...interior is a grained leather silver/slate color, sounds like it is a premium package. Once I get the service records, I'll learn & share more.


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Karl Troy is a straight up guy, his reputation precedes him in the Ferrari/Lamborghini world. I've visited his shop and met him, super good guy.

BTW, BMW does not (to my knowledge) offer "new" automatic transmissions, only rebuilt, but they are fully warranted, and worth looking into, esp if you plan on keeping the car for a long time.

JKRIT 08-20-2013 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SC525iWagon (Post 7783339)
Thx. It's a 2-owner car. Turns out we know the original owner, too! They didn't know each other at the time-- orig owner traded it in at 13k same day current owner bought it. Bought here in Charleston, rust free best as I can tell.

Owner says it does have the sport package. There is also a full size lace wheel in the trunk-- are these the top wheels available? I'm getting a whole raft of paperwork in the next few days.

The BMW specialtu place she takes it to quoted $2500 for rebuilt Trans & minimal warranty or $7-8,000 for new BMW unit installed...


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Those are the 17" BBS wheels that came with the Sport pkg. The next year, they were 17" seven-spoke wheels that I have on mine. Leather, sunroof, fake wood trim are all stock. You can research what is in the SP, but its mostly suspension upgrades.

One other watch-out on wagons (U can ask others on this board) is if you have the self-leveling rear suspension, it can be unusually expensive to replace shocks; Some people just convert to non-self-leveling set up.

SC525iWagon 08-20-2013 12:55 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Great info, y'all! Attachment 392602

Are these BBS's a one year only deal, or did they just end as OEM in 2001?


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SC525iWagon 08-20-2013 03:52 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
2 Attachment(s)
Attachment 392648

Attachment 392649

Did a quick cleanup and took some pix.
There is some curb rash & etc but overall the exterior looks pretty good.


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SC525iWagon 08-20-2013 04:07 PM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
7 Attachment(s)
I got the most recent service records - from 7/2013 back to 2/2012. Sorry to bore y'all w / the details, but I'm hoping you can tell me if common, 'big' problems these cars may have has been taken care of already. Thanks!

Attachment 392651Attachment 392652Attachment 392653Attachment 392654Attachment 392655Attachment 392656Attachment 392657


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540 M-Sport 08-20-2013 09:42 PM

I didn't read all the invoices, but I saw enough to saw this car is WORTH dumping some money on a quality rebuilt transmission, even if it costs you 5 to 7k, assuming you get the car for a low enough price. It is obvious the previous owner made sure stuff was taken care of, and did not defer or neglect having proper repairs and maintenance performed. Have E R&R do an inspection to ensure there are no other surprises, and ask their advice on a rebuilt transmission and go from there.

add the following to the "to do" list: polish headlight covers and replace windshield trim, refinish curbed wheels... ;)

It looks like a nice car, assuming you like or need a wagon, this looks like it could be a keeper.

SC525iWagon 08-21-2013 07:27 AM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
I definitely dig wagons (our other car is an '06 Outback), and in fact, the 5 series wagon is my favorite BMW 'family'.

After talking it over, and with a recent 'game-changer' that just came up with my fam's transportation situation, I'm leaning towards selling it. The timing just does not seem right.

A key item, as mentioned would be how much could/should the vehicle be purchased as/is for? And what would repairs cost?

Items needing attention:

Mechanical:
1) Trans (the biggie)

Safety:
1) Replace R Rear tire (sidewall gouged)

Cosmetic:
1) Wheel resto/cleaning
2) Grille Kidneys properly secured (currently crudely held in place)
3) Headlight glazings polished or replaced
4) Right rear tailgate taillight housing replaced or polished
5) Stereo repaired or replaced
6) Front right bumper/fascia properly secured (probably just missing a screw)
7) driver seat cleaning (if possible)
8) Windshield trim (did not notice, will have to look)
9) Interior lift gate trim reinstalled around back window.

PS I checked ODO, mileage is actually 143,350. Engine now has @ 57k ( was installed w @ 5k miles in January.





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SC525iWagon 08-21-2013 08:15 AM

Newbie with '01 525i Wagon - should I keep it?
 
Oops, double post ;)

JKRIT 08-21-2013 09:29 AM

I think you are right to be cautious about any 12 year old car. Most people figure roughly $2K per year in upkeep if they DIY on these cars. Double that figure if you pay someone else. So, many DIY E39ers would find this nice wagon (cheap), throw a rebuilt tranny in it and enjoy. Strictly by the book, the cost of the tranny probably offsets the book value of the car, so it has roughly zero sum value, or the value parted out, which would be a waste IMO. Some expensive items have already been replaced (engine, wiper motor, steering rack (with a used one?), CCV). No info on the suspension except for a couple of bushings. Struts, shocks, etc. would be pretty tired by now if all original. Ditto for vanos seals. My conclusion: Nice buy for a DIYer, probably a money pit for non-DIYer.

njbimmerman 08-21-2013 12:50 PM

Hey SC525iWagon:
nice lookin' ride.


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