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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #176  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
According to several articles, the 320i is BMW's direct response to the Caddy ATS 2.5L value proposition, by undercutting its MSRP. If true, then undercutting the price is the only goal.
The ATS is barely under radar. They are more serious competitors, like the A4 at 32500$. And it will allow them to jack the 328i MSRP and cash even more all around.
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  #177  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:07 PM
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Back in the day, a 180hp 3 would be a dream come true. I don't even think the M variants hit 200hp.

But BJ's point about handling is fair.

Flashback to the 80s and people were buying 160hp 325s. Great handling; stripped down, not a lot of gadgets, and they were loved by enthusiasts.

They also became a status symbol in the 80s, because they were really out-of-reach for most people back then. Base price was low $30s back then, and you got a lot less for your money than you do now.

EDIT: Sort of interesting that the 320i is coming in with the same base price that the 1988 325 had.
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  #178  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:45 PM
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beden1 beden1 is offline
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Originally Posted by krash View Post
Back in the day, a 180hp 3 would be a dream come true. I don't even think the M variants hit 200hp.

But BJ's point about handling is fair.

Flashback to the 80s and people were buying 160hp 325s. Great handling; stripped down, not a lot of gadgets, and they were loved by enthusiasts.

They also became a status symbol in the 80s, because they were really out-of-reach for most people back then. Base price was low $30s back then, and you got a lot less for your money than you do now.

EDIT: Sort of interesting that the 320i is coming in with the same base price that the 1988 325 had.
I thought this was interesting, describing my 1979 320i with 110 HP (the only 3 Series available in the US Market was a coupe at the time) In 1980, they modified the body and lowered the power to 100HP including their first catalytic converter. My 1979 had a lot of leg room for my 6'4" stature. When BMW made the changes to the 3 Series in 1980, I no longer fit as they made the interior smaller and cut off the ample leg room.

"In the mid 1970s, BMW faced the task of replacing its aging 2002 coupe. But the company also knew that the 2002 embodied the company's spirit. As such, the 2002's replacement would need to keep that spirit intact while modernizing in other respects.

BMW picked a ripe moment in history to introduce the first 3 Series generation, internally designated E21. The world was just coming off the shock of the oil embargo as the first one rolled off the Milbertshofen assembly line on May 2, 1975, and people who never would have considered a smaller car now found the idea of a fun and frugal machine irresistible. In 1974, BMW sold 184,330 cars, but bolstered by the European introduction of the 3 Series in 1975, worldwide sales reached 221,298. The 3 Series hit North America as a 1977 model, and that pushed BMW production over 290,000 that year and beyond 320,000 in 1978.

The only E21 model available Stateside was the 320i. It was marginally larger than the outgoing 2002 (at 100.9 inches, the 3's wheelbase was 2.5 inches longer and the car's 177.5-inch overall length was 1.5 inches longer), and that extra size imbued it with a more stable, yet still easygoing character. As a direct successor to the 2002, the 320i was still available only as a two-door and carried over most of the styling themes established by that car, such as the forward-leaning grille, clipped rear side windows and low beltline.

Under the skin, the car was an evolutionary step up from the 2002. Basic elements like the MacPherson strut front and trailing arm rear suspension and front disc/rear drum power braking system differed in detail and specification, but were similar in overall design. For power, the car had a 2.0-liter Bosch K-Jetronic fuel-injected inline-4 rated at 110 horsepower; it met emissions regulations without a catalytic converter. The standard transmission remained a Getrag four-speed manual, while a ZF three-speed automatic was optional.

The evolution of the American-market E21 320i was incremental. In 1980, the engine shrank to 1.8 liters (though the name remained 320i) and BMW added a three-way catalytic converter to the emissions control system. Though it now produced just 100 hp, the 1.8's performance deficit was ameliorated somewhat by the adoption of a five-speed manual transmission. In any event, this change did not dampen America's enthusiasm for the car, as sales continued to climb, spurred by BMW's growing reputation and a second oil embargo in 1979. As the last few E21s dribbled out of dealer showrooms in 1983, BMW had firmly established its 3, 5 and 7 Series sedan product mix and was ready to move all of its products progressively upmarket throughout the rest of the decade."
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Last edited by beden1; 01-15-2013 at 03:51 PM.
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  #179  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:24 PM
DavidM1975 DavidM1975 is offline
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Wow...very interesting read! Thanks for posting this!
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  #180  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:32 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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But will the 180 hp impress or depress? The fact the 320i cannot be seen apart from a 328i or even 335i (with untrained eyes) gives many badge whores (who are more value oriented rather driving oriented) another chance.
I bet it will wipe the floor with the AtS 2.5 in all performance measures. It's a larger gap than comparing the two 2.os(328)
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  #181  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:40 PM
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The base 3-series has been putting out nearly 180hp (or more) for about 25 years and in many platforms weighing significantly less. The 180hp would be crap except it comes on from a very broad torque curve.

Put another way: the base 4-cylinder honda accords have been putting out about 180hp for almost a decade now

From an actual value-to-performance perspective, I'll only understand it if you get a nice bump in MPG. Otherwise it's just a deliberately de-tuned n26....?
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  #182  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
According to several articles, the 320i is BMW's direct response to the Caddy ATS 2.5L value proposition, by undercutting its MSRP. If true, then undercutting the price is the only goal.
call me skeptical - this kind of move takes several years of planning, BMW was likely planning this before the ATS even came out.
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  #183  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:47 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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The base 3-series has been putting out nearly 180hp (or more) for about 25 years and in many platforms weighing significantly less. The 180hp would be crap except it comes on from a very broad torque curve.

Put another way: the base 4-cylinder honda accords have been putting out about 180hp for almost a decade now

From an actual value-to-performance perspective, I'll only understand it if you get a nice bump in MPG. Otherwise it's just a deliberately de-tuned n26....?
Like I said, wait for the dyno.

Go dyno a 4 cylinder Accord and see 150whp and 145lbs of tq while this detuned N20 puts down 180whp and 225lbs of tq. That is a substantial difference. But as long as BMW is so pessimistic with their crank ratings, it won't look so on paper.
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  #184  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:52 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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call me skeptical - this kind of move takes several years of planning, BMW was likely planning this before the ATS even came out.
How so?

The car already sold for over a year in other parts of the country. Mechanically this car is 99.8% identical to it's US 328 counter, so almost nothing to train it's techs on.

Whole new platforms take several years. Something like this, where the ATS specs were everywhere 8 months ago, yeah-that's enough time.

Did you not see how Honda got skewered by the mags with the '12 Civic and had NEW tooling done with bumpers, lights, interior etc all for the '13 model year. You think BMW can't take an existing car and get EPA and the like done(for all you know EPA numbers being identical to the 328 might mean a half assed speed through) in under a year?
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  #185  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:58 PM
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call me skeptical - this kind of move takes several years of planning, BMW was likely planning this before the ATS even came out.
This car isn't new. It was always available in other countries. What's new is that it's hitting the US market.

There were similar lower cost e90 class models available all over the globe too, just not in the US.

But I agree that this was probably in the plan all along. They probably decided a couple years back that the 320 would hit the US shores in 2013. They didn't just come up with this idea yesterday. The ATS took several years of development too...
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  #186  
Old 01-15-2013, 05:13 PM
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While I definitely think that more choice is better for the consumer, what is the motivation for the 320i other than lower entry price? It might make sense if cars were taxed by horsepower.
I explained this a couple of pages back.

Some of you are really over thinking this.

The existence of 320i allows BMW to move up the lease entry point on the 328i. Even by as little as $20 or $30 a month... at the volume they are doing, this is a significant profit driver. When you introduce a lower price option on an otherwise established product line, it is usually to signal to the consumers that the new middle priced option is the one they should go for. It's a tried and tested pricing strategy. You slice and dice the current 328i buyers... the ones looking for the stripper model will be very happy with 320i and the one that prefers lots of options will see that 328i still offers a compelling value proposition.

For sure BMW will carefully controlled the availability of 320i to the point so that it doesn't overtake the sale of more profitable 328i.

The end game here is raise the actual residual and/or lower the stated residual on the 328i (i.e. close the residual gap) so BMWFS doesn't have to eat $3,000 on each lease return.

Now, if BMW end up poaching a few customers from Cadillac or Mercedes with a cheaper 320i, that's just gravy on top from their perspective.
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  #187  
Old 01-15-2013, 05:18 PM
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If you find the 320 to be so shocking, just wait until the 340 replaces the 335 in a couple months...

LOL!
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  #188  
Old 01-15-2013, 05:42 PM
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$4,000 is a big deal for a lot of people of all ages as is $33,000 price point.

Cadillac has its Buick. Acura has its Honda. Lexus has its Toyota. BMW has no step-down brand so it has to do the heavy lifting itself. Fortunately, there is enough differentiation in the 3 Series to make one variant different than another. It also makes the strategy of the various Lines come more clearly into focus. "If you want a Modern line or a Luxury line or the Technology package, you need a 328i, sir."

BJ
For Honda and Toyota those were steps up. I think people are freaking out because they feel that the mere existence of the 320 makes their status penis shrink. Its understandable. On the outside most people won't know the difference. Especially when people debadge their cars. Now their 320 looks like a 335 sans the dual exhaust......plus everything else that makes the 335 a better car. Joe Blow on the street won't know though. He'll just wonder how that twenty-something can afford that "luxury car".

I think it's a smart move for BMW though. Why not get customers in at a lower price point now and then welcome them with open arms when they earn more money and inevitably spend more on their next BMW.
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  #189  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:09 PM
krispykreme krispykreme is offline
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It allows those on the fence for a 328, an option to still get into a new BMW. I still say, if you can't afford the 3 series, drop to a 1, or find something else to drive.
Sounds like a cocky 335i owner.

320i would be a good commuter car, even a good choice for my college bound daughter. We were set on X1 for her. But with 320i, it may be better choice.
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  #190  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:14 PM
krispykreme krispykreme is offline
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The 320 is already sold in other countries so it's kind of a no brainer to bring it here. It's just a detuned N20.
Its not detuned. The piston head is different. See below link. If you can swap out the piston and upgrade the tuning. Then you have a 328i.

http://club.autohome.com*****bbs/thr...7972169-1.html
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  #191  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:39 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Its not detuned. The piston head is different. See below link. If you can swap out the piston and upgrade the tuning. Then you have a 328i.

http://club.autohome.com*****bbs/thr...7972169-1.html
Detuned, I did not say there were no hardware differences. Could have put a smaller turbo on it too.
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  #192  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by krash View Post
Back in the day, a 180hp 3 would be a dream come true. I don't even think the M variants hit 200hp.

But BJ's point about handling is fair.


Flashback to the 80s and people were buying 160hp 325s. Great handling; stripped down, not a lot of gadgets, and they were loved by enthusiasts.

They also became a status symbol in the 80s, because they were really out-of-reach for most people back then. Base price was low $30s back then, and you got a lot less for your money than you do now.

EDIT: Sort of interesting that the 320i is coming in with the same base price that the 1988 325 had.
I am somewhat confused about the whole handling issue. I know the sport suspension was an option on the E9x. Was that not the case on the earlier models (E46, etc.) How many different suspension options are there on the F30. I was under the impression that you either bot the standard suspension of the sport suspension (same as on the E9x where the sport suspension was standard on the M-Sport, the E92 and the 335is and optional on the E90 and E93. As far as I know it was the same sport suspension.

I know that there is now an adaptive M Suspenion available on the F30, which was not available on any iteration of the E9x, but are their other options as well. I have heard that the F30 suspensions are not as harsh as the E9x (particularly the sport suspension) but I have not heard that the base F30 does not handle as well as the base E9x.

I have very little experience with the non-sport suspension on the E9x (one brief test drive in a 328i Cabrio) and have never driven any iteration of the F30. I have a reasonable amount of time behind the wheel of a 335is and an E90 M3 with the adaptive M-Package (which I liked a lot). At this point I have had non-RFTs and Koni FSDs on the 335i for so long I really don't remember how it felt in stock form, but I do remember that I hated the way it drove in stock form and am satisfied the way it drives in the form it is in now.

CA
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  #193  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:08 PM
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I am somewhat confused about the whole handling issue. I know the sport suspension was an option on the E9x. Was that not the case on the earlier models (E46, etc.) How many different suspension options are there on the F30. I was under the impression that you either bot the standard suspension of the sport suspension (same as on the E9x where the sport suspension was standard on the M-Sport, the E92 and the 335is and optional on the E90 and E93. As far as I know it was the same sport suspension.

I know that there is now an adaptive M Suspenion available on the F30, which was not available on any iteration of the E9x, but are their other options as well. I have heard that the F30 suspensions are not as harsh as the E9x (particularly the sport suspension) but I have not heard that the base F30 does not handle as well as the base E9x.

I have very little experience with the non-sport suspension on the E9x (one brief test drive in a 328i Cabrio) and have never driven any iteration of the F30. I have a reasonable amount of time behind the wheel of a 335is and an E90 M3 with the adaptive M-Package (which I liked a lot). At this point I have had non-RFTs and Koni FSDs on the 335i for so long I really don't remember how it felt in stock form, but I do remember that I hated the way it drove in stock form and am satisfied the way it drives in the form it is in now.

CA
Some make the argument that the base F30 (including luxury and modern lines) just doesn't handle as well as 3 series classes from the past. The sport line is a little more $$$ and then DHP is even more $$$$. But when I drove a modern line with no DHP, I thought it was great.

By the way, the 320 is on BMWUSA.COM now. It's rated at 7.1 seconds in 0 to 60. Not bad.

It looks you can configure a nice 320 with premium, Nav, sport package, lighting package, driver assist, heated seats for about $44,000. This puts this car well out of reach for a whole lot of people. So it isn't like people currently shopping for a Chevy Malibu, Ford Focus, or Nissan Sentra will suddenly buy one of these instead.

No HK available...
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Last edited by krash; 01-15-2013 at 07:09 PM.
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  #194  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:39 PM
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The thing I was most excited when I saw this is that it looks like in some of the marketing materials the car is in a deep sea blue. Sadly that looks like just marketing, makes me sad.

And has anyone actually optioned out on their website? The premium package is totally different, and doesn't include leather. Includes a lot of things that are standard on the 328/335. The choices are interesting to say the least. But on the positive for not getting the sport suspension with the sport package they give you a discount if you have xDrive.

But now the real question, will it have the new or old Nav when it comes out in spring?
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  #195  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:42 PM
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On the outside most people won't know the difference. Especially when people debadge their cars. Now their 320 looks like a 335 sans the dual exhaust......plus everything else that makes the 335 a better car. Joe Blow on the street won't know though. He'll just wonder how that twenty-something can afford that "luxury car".
I want to rebadge my car. I see my trunk lid and it looks very boring now. Who cares about Joe Blow, I much rather impress the women coming out of the Gucci store.
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  #196  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:47 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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The $1300 Sport Package is awesome, you get the suspension, 18" wheels and the M-Sport steering wheel. I hope this becomes an nice alternative to the "lines" to bump up the base 328.
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  #197  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
The $1300 Sport Package is awesome, you get the suspension, 18" wheels and the M-Sport steering wheel. I hope this becomes an nice alternative to the "lines" to bump up the base 328.
That could be seen as the "true enthusiast" config, specially with 3 pedals.
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  #198  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:54 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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That could be seen as the "true enthusiast" config, specially with 3 pedals.
Then I would get a tune to bring close to 328 power for under $400 and a proper exhaust.
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  #199  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:58 PM
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But on the positive for not getting the sport suspension with the sport package they give you a discount if you have xDrive.
It looks like the sport package is basically the same as what you got on the e90. You get the sport suspension, summer tires on 18" wheels, plus the M steering wheel, which I am not even getting on my 335 sport line that I just ordered.

Honestly, this 320 is a real nice option for folks, and this is coming from someone that just ordered a loaded 335 a couple days ago.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I am somewhat confused about the whole handling issue. I know the sport suspension was an option on the E9x. Was that not the case on the earlier models (E46, etc.) How many different suspension options are there on the F30. I was under the impression that you either bot the standard suspension of the sport suspension (same as on the E9x where the sport suspension was standard on the M-Sport, the E92 and the 335is and optional on the E90 and E93. As far as I know it was the same sport suspension.

I know that there is now an adaptive M Suspenion available on the F30, which was not available on any iteration of the E9x, but are their other options as well. I have heard that the F30 suspensions are not as harsh as the E9x (particularly the sport suspension) but I have not heard that the base F30 does not handle as well as the base E9x.

I have very little experience with the non-sport suspension on the E9x (one brief test drive in a 328i Cabrio) and have never driven any iteration of the F30. I have a reasonable amount of time behind the wheel of a 335is and an E90 M3 with the adaptive M-Package (which I liked a lot). At this point I have had non-RFTs and Koni FSDs on the 335i for so long I really don't remember how it felt in stock form, but I do remember that I hated the way it drove in stock form and am satisfied the way it drives in the form it is in now.

CA
My impressions:

In order to get rid of the very firm ride, the feeling of every street imperfection, and the pothole explosions that made my kids nauseous, they softened the suspension brilliantly compared to my E90. Potholes glide under the car like butter, but in hard turns the wheels stay absolutely planted, like glue. The tradeoff, it seems, is body roll. Not in everyday driving, not in quick lane-changes on the highway, but in really spirited and severe curves the F30 body leans where it didn't in the E90. Now, I had an E90 M-Sport with XDrive which theoretically has the standard suspension. Perhaps the XDrive is what kept my car from showing any body roll, maybe it was the sport seats, could be an illusion. But my first impressions on my first F30 test drive were a) the car is much faster, b) the torque is crazy better, c) the wheels are still very planted, d) the body leans in severely harsh curves, e) all the pothole explosions are gone.

While I don't own the F30 Sport suspension, the general consensus seems to be that BMW softened the ride too, it's far more civil, but it's not as taut as the E90. Combined with the vague steering that some report, it's not as good as the E90 Sport.

As far as the third iteration, the Adaptive M Suspension, I've read that as-is it's the same as the standard suspension, but when you hit the Comfort button it gets even more soft and when you hit the Sport button it gets even more sporty. Others can comment there.

Lastly is the XDrive suspension which, I've read, is the softest of all the suspensions, even the Base, but with the Adaptive M Suspension gets right back in business.

But....the main point.....any 320i buyer who expects to get the classic BMW taut and punchy Sport suspension without ponying up the cash for the Sport line will be disappointed.

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 01-15-2013 at 08:23 PM.
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