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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #26  
Old 02-20-2010, 10:44 PM
k.merkel k.merkel is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 Z3 Coupe
I picked up the Coupe today. It still runs like a raped ape at 77,000 miles. Besides a somewhat desperate need for new tires (and some weird handling as such), the only problems I've noticed are minor, most of which have to do with electrical components - the left map light and fog lamp switches are wonky, and the driver's seat goes up more readily than it goes down. The wiper mechanism needs to be re-timed (it doesn't park in the correct position). The little covers on the door panel that cover the screws are missing. Slight seepage from the valve cover gasket. All in all, I see great potential for summer fun.
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  #27  
Old 02-20-2010, 10:54 PM
CaliAgents1688 CaliAgents1688 is offline
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Mein Auto: Caprice on fo's
Real nigs the only kind I knoww
Summatime strapped everywhere we goo
Bust a sweet down twist a fat lets bloww
Hit the projects every state we goo
The world crazy won't break me thoughh
The rap game really make me gloww
All the hoes love me even though a n!gga cooold
All my n!ggas in the hood gettin' doughhh
Gettin' rich but we still feel poor
Got ten whores but I make more off coooke

My S54 Z3M Coupe has been as solid as they come bruh. Know what time it is.
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  #28  
Old 01-21-2011, 08:54 AM
stl-greg stl-greg is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3
2001 Roadster

I purchased my 2001 3.0 in March of 2010, so I've had it less than a year so far. Stuff I've had to replace is: Passenger seat sensor (airbag light kept coming on); cracked thermostat inlet; water pump; shifter bushings were replaced because they leaked. Things left to do: I need to replace an O2 sensor (but can't seem to get anyone on the forum to reply to my questions); and the airbag light started coming on again, this time due to the seatbelt interlock.

So yes, it's had a few problems in the 10 months I've owned it, but I'm certainly not ready to trade it in yet. Best car I've ever owned with respect to handling and sheer driving pleasure!

Greg
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  #29  
Old 01-21-2011, 11:39 AM
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Mpire Mpire is offline
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Mein Auto: S54 M Coupe x2, M52 Z3
The 01 Coupe is a hair past 50k now. The transmission selector input shaft was leaking when I replaced the transmission. Other than that and an exhaust cam sensor, everything else has been perfect. It gets driven every couple weeks at the least. The longer between drives, the more adrenaline I get when I hit that interstate on-ramp.

The 2000 Roadster has been quite a bit more work. It literally sat for 5 or 6 years without moving. It had under 30k miles when I picked it up a year and a half ago...

I have replaced:

A/C Evaporator/Seals/Repaired the blend door control
Rear shock mounts
Speakers dry rotted
Shift knob rubber bushings
Seat bushings were gone
Glovebox rattle fixed
Power steering hoses were leaking badly
Valve cover gasket just started weeping oil

Overall, if the car hasn't been driven, its probably got a long list of repairs/maintenance that needs to be done.

So those unbelievably low mileage cars aren't looking so great to me at this point, the car that has been driven sparingly its whole life seems to be holding up like a champ.
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  #30  
Old 01-21-2011, 09:50 PM
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CarlM CarlM is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 2.8 BG & 5 old Volvos
How did I miss this post

They were throw backs when new, built with parts from other successful BMW's when conceived. They will persist well into the future. Mine is in my will to be passed on to the first grand child that at the age of 18 understands that the left pedal is for the clutch. Paddles are for canoes.. Also it can never be sold.. future generations are only custodians that must maintain it & take it to Randy's kin - maybe Mpires or Vinci's then pass it on. The gift that keeps on giving....
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  #31  
Old 01-22-2011, 04:20 AM
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Mein Auto: S54 M Coupe x2, M52 Z3
People need to stop selling their babies until I get a little bit more money.
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  #32  
Old 01-22-2011, 10:59 AM
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BeemerMikeTX BeemerMikeTX is online now
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Mein Auto: Z3 3.0i Roadster, K1300S
My 2001 just turned 10 years old (with 76,000 miles), and overall the car has held up very well and I am more than satisfied with it. So satisfied that while after 10 years it seems I should be looking for a new BMW, the sad fact is that BMW just does not currently make a car that tempts me enough . . . and the current complexity and reliability issues makes me even more reluctant to "go new". (If BMW brought the 3-door or 5-door 1-series to the U.S. I might be tempted, but right now the soon-to-arrive 265 hp AWD Golf R is looking promising as my next new car.)

The M54 engine has been great, and with BMW oil/filter changes every 5-6,000 miles, it currently uses no oil between changes (I don't know if it would need oil added if I went 15,000 miles between changes, but that is a moot point). I had to replace the water pump at 50,000 miles, replaced intake cam sensor a few years ago, replaced a leaking power steering hose, and replaced a leaking oil level sensor in 2009 (dipstick remains leak-free!), but that's about it. I'm starting to get the sticking 5th gear issue with the ZF, but that goes away once everything is warmed up, and the simple repair should be able to wait until clutch replacement time. I have the HVAC sticking flap/broken pin issues that appear to be common to the Z3 (so much for thinking a "mechanical" system would be more reliable), but now that I understand what the problem really is it seems a little PITA repair/correction will make the system functional over the long term.

Everything else has been what I consider to be normal, acceptable wear and tear (speakers, rear window, driver's seat leather).

And so, I've pretty much decided to keep this car for the long haul, and will plan and implement upgrades and preventative repairs accordingly to promote long-term ownership. This weekend I'm installing PBR XBG semi-metallic brake pads and cross-drilled rotors (StopTech) from Turner Motorsport (yeah, I know you don't need cross-drilled rotors on a street car, but they look nice through the Sport Package BBS wheels!). I'll then install Bilstein HD's along with any needed bushing replacement over the next year. And I know that a comprehensive cooling system preventive repair is in store over the next year or so. While all this will cost $ for sure, it will still be far cheaper than buying a new BMW that I probably would not like as much.

Bottom line . . . good job on the Z3, BMW . . . I wish you designed and built some of your current cars more like this.
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"That's right, you're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway." -LL
2001 Z3 3.0i Roadster (Topaz Blue Metallic, 5-speed manual, Sport Package, CD radio, heated seats and mirrors, non-power top via special order)
"Beemer" is for my BMW motorcycles - '13 K1300S, '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S (gone, but not forgotten).

Last edited by BeemerMikeTX; 02-20-2011 at 06:53 AM.
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  #33  
Old 01-22-2011, 01:17 PM
JLORE JLORE is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW Z4 3.0
Z4 2006 3.0 Still nice to drive.

This is my first BMW and I must say I"m impressed with the performance and quality of build. My Carfax listed a passenger side window mechanism replaced. No other problems of course the car only has 28K on it.

BTW how did all notice the water pump/radiator needed replacement. Was there an early warning? Other than the obvious leakage?
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  #34  
Old 01-23-2011, 06:27 AM
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BeemerMikeTX BeemerMikeTX is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLORE View Post
BTW how did all notice the water pump/radiator needed replacement. Was there an early warning? Other than the obvious leakage?
In the case of my water pump, an independent shop found it when the car was in for some service at 50,000 miles, which I have since discovered is about the life expectancy of the BMW OEM water pump. My understanding is that the telltale symptoms of an impending water pump failure is any axial or radial movement or play when you try to move the fan/fan clutch (which is attached directly to the water pump). I believe the shop installed the updated water pump (I understand that the original pump has a plastic impeller), but at the time of my comprehensive cooling system preventative maintenance (i.e., new radiator) I will probably install the all-metal EMP Stewart water pump, which appears to be a real "life of the engine" component.

As for the radiator, the OEM radiator (Valeo on my car) has plastic end caps on the aluminum core, and these plastic end caps are the location of the failure. (BMW has a fascination with using plastic where they should be using metal.) I understand that experience has shown that this radiator has a life expectancy of about 90,000 miles or so, and you really don't want to wait for signs of an impending failure (e.g., leaks) because you might quickly get actual failure, which could result in overheating your engine . . . which would be bad.
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"That's right, you're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway." -LL
2001 Z3 3.0i Roadster (Topaz Blue Metallic, 5-speed manual, Sport Package, CD radio, heated seats and mirrors, non-power top via special order)
"Beemer" is for my BMW motorcycles - '13 K1300S, '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S (gone, but not forgotten).

Last edited by BeemerMikeTX; 02-20-2011 at 06:55 AM.
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  #35  
Old 01-23-2011, 01:45 PM
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KevinR KevinR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLORE View Post
BTW how did all notice the water pump/radiator needed replacement. Was there an early warning? Other than the obvious leakage?
I heard it making a funny noise while driving to an out of town meeting in a rural location. When I got there, I could move the fan around by hand far too easily.

On the trip home, the temperature gauge never moved from the cold side, until I stopped at a red light. Then it started moving up very quickly.

When I got home a couple miles later, I found the fan blade impaled on the fan shroud with a bit of coolant dripping from the water pump area.
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  #36  
Old 01-23-2011, 02:33 PM
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Mpire Mpire is offline
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Mein Auto: S54 M Coupe x2, M52 Z3
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
My 01 has 22,500 miles on it and it's better than new.
One day you are going to sell it.... and I will be waiting.
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  #37  
Old 01-23-2011, 07:35 PM
rfeirste rfeirste is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 Roadster 2.5 red
My red 2001 roadster has had the front pads replaced. Previous owner fixed the power top. That's it in almost 50,000 miles.
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  #38  
Old 01-25-2011, 08:14 AM
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denhugh denhugh is offline
same but different
Location: Fayetteville, AR
 
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Mein Auto: 135i, Z3 2.8
To: KevinR's Avatar
KevinR KevinR is offline
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Location: Central Georgia

E46 wheels?

I have a 98 Z 2.8 purchased May 10 with 29K miles. Looks and acts new. Now in winter storage with 33K miles (most of those driving the car home form SoCal). I changed the belts and replaced brake fluid with plans to replace transmission and diff fluids in the Spring.
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  #39  
Old 01-25-2011, 08:28 AM
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KevinR KevinR is offline
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Originally Posted by denhugh View Post
To: KevinR
E46 wheels?
E90 wheels. Came from the 2006 325i Sport package car that I used to own.
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  #40  
Old 01-25-2011, 10:30 AM
k.merkel k.merkel is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 Z3 Coupe
Update:
After nearly a year and about 12k miles (currently at 89k) of ownership, I've found that a minimum of maintenance (read: nothing but regular oil changes) was performed prior to the Coupe coming into my possession. Here's a short list of repairs done since I picked it up.

Tires
Blower resistor
Cleaned and lubricated both window regulators
Recharge A/C system (looks like the compressor might be leaking)
Drive belts
Hydraulic drive belt tensioner upgrade
Beisan VANOS seals
Valve cover gasket
Water pump
Thermostat
Coolant renewal (including block drain)
ZHP shift knob
Complete rear brake job (pads, rotors, sensor)
Climate control bulbs
Front ball joints

Yet to be fully addressed:
Driveline whine (differential?)
SRS light
Check engine light (just appeared on Sunday, and I'm guessing secondary air fault)

It's difficult to tell where the line between lack of maintenance and simply old age lies.
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Last edited by k.merkel; 01-25-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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  #41  
Old 02-19-2011, 08:09 AM
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645/333 645/333 is offline
Michael
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Mein Auto: Black Sapphire BMW Z4 3L
!996 z3

Bought my 1996 Z3 in 1998 with 9.5k on the clock, now belongs to my daughter and has done 174K with all the original equipment exhaust etc, never had anything done to the car other than servicing till last year when syncro went on 2nd gear so had the original box repaired and whilst it was out replaced the original clutch. It was one of the first ever Z3's (no.4) into the UK as it was imported and is left hand drive.
Yes it is showing its age but my daughter will have nothing else and has proven to be one of the most reliable and enduring cars ever, and the cheapest cost of ownership ever (other than the last bill for gearbox).
I know that a number of repairs will need to be done, new shocks and springs etc, but it continues to pass all vehicle checks.
We often read on these sites how often cars fail but there are many out there that have gone on and on with nothing more than general servicing. I know the Z3 did not get favour with all of the car journalists, and many of the ones they did favour have turned out to be a box of frogs, but for endurance what more could you ask......good on the Z3
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  #42  
Old 02-19-2011, 08:12 AM
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645/333 645/333 is offline
Michael
Location: uk
 
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Mein Auto: Black Sapphire BMW Z4 3L
1996 z3

Bought my 1996 Z3 in 1998 with 9.5k on the clock, now belongs to my daughter and has done 174K with all the original equipment exhaust etc, never had anything done to the car other than servicing till last year when syncro went on 2nd gear so had the original box repaired and whilst it was out replaced the original clutch. It was one of the first ever Z3's (no.4) into the UK as it was imported and is left hand drive.
Yes it is showing its age but my daughter will have nothing else and has proven to be one of the most reliable and enduring cars ever, and the cheapest cost of ownership ever (other than the last bill for gearbox).
I know that a number of repairs will need to be done, new shocks and springs etc, but it continues to pass all vehicle checks.
We often read on these sites how often cars fail but there are many out there that have gone on and on with nothing more than general servicing. I know the Z3 did not get favour with all of the car journalists, and many of the ones they did favour have turned out to be a box of frogs, but for endurance what more could you ask......good on the Z3
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  #43  
Old 02-20-2011, 10:57 AM
Z4AllMine Z4AllMine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisingdog View Post
I don't know how BMW did it but the Z3 is still a gorgeous car and hasn't aged like all the other mass manufactured cars. I'm guessing it's down to the pedigree of artistry they put into the design. When a car has good lines it becomes a classic. I think BMW managed to do this.

If you look back at the older classics, again you can see why they became classics. The 50's was a time for cars to symbolise the future. They were bold statements as would be a painting or any other form of art. Now that's exactly how they're seen. I think the Z series will fall into that category myself if not already done so.
Wonderfully articulated. I completely agree.
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  #44  
Old 02-21-2011, 02:42 AM
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bob lindquist bob lindquist is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Imola M Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by stl-greg View Post
I purchased my 2001 3.0 in March of 2010, so I've had it less than a year so far. Stuff I've had to replace is: Passenger seat sensor (airbag light kept coming on); cracked thermostat inlet; water pump; shifter bushings were replaced because they leaked. Things left to do: I need to replace an O2 sensor (but can't seem to get anyone on the forum to reply to my questions); and the airbag light started coming on again, this time due to the seatbelt interlock.

So yes, it's had a few problems in the 10 months I've owned it, but I'm certainly not ready to trade it in yet. Best car I've ever owned with respect to handling and sheer driving pleasure!

Greg
there is a service bulletin for changing the wiring harness under the seat which may solve the problem.
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Eurosport Cam Kit 1, touch lane change
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Last edited by bob lindquist; 02-21-2011 at 02:46 AM.
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  #45  
Old 02-21-2011, 05:19 AM
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Mpire Mpire is offline
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Mein Auto: S54 M Coupe x2, M52 Z3
As long as you keep the headlights polished and looking new, the rest of the car will not look dated.

Wheels and headlights are the only things that can make a Z3 look dated in my experience.
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  #46  
Old 02-21-2011, 09:21 PM
k.merkel k.merkel is offline
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Location: Palatine, IL
 
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Mein Auto: 1999 Z3 Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisingdog View Post
I don't know how BMW did it but the Z3 is still a gorgeous car and hasn't aged like all the other mass manufactured cars. I'm guessing it's down to the pedigree of artistry they put into the design. When a car has good lines it becomes a classic. I think BMW managed to do this.

If you look back at the older classics, again you can see why they became classics. The 50's was a time for cars to symbolise the future. They were bold statements as would be a painting or any other form of art. Now that's exactly how they're seen. I think the Z series will fall into that category myself if not already done so.
I also am in complete agreement with this. I just had someone at the gas station this evening complement my car, and last week someone was blown away that the car was over ten years old.
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  #47  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:21 PM
touring intl touring intl is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 528i C230 ML320
Just got a Z3 two weeks ago from the second owner, 141K miles on the clock needs a windshield, rear plastic window, paint, radio, shift knob etc. Took us two hours driving from San Diego to Corona on my way back when I stopped for gas I texted the previous owner to thank him and told him what a wonderful car it is.
I had the windshield replaced, installed a CD43, changed the oil today and will install a Remus muffler tomorrow and see if it's possible to install the roll bars off a 98 Z3 on to my 97.

98 528i
97 Z3
98 ML320
97 E320
97 C230

Last edited by touring intl; 02-21-2011 at 10:22 PM.
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  #48  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:04 AM
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BeemerMikeTX BeemerMikeTX is online now
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Location: League City, TX and Santiago, Chile
 
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Mein Auto: Z3 3.0i Roadster, K1300S
I just read a thread in the General forum, in which it discusses that new BMWs apparently need to have their computers reset when you replace the main battery in order for the car to correctly charge the new battery ("register" the new battery), which I suppose is offically intended to make the battery last longer (as opposed to, say, generating more sevice revenue for dealers). This resetting, or registering, apparently must be done with the BMW computer tool, or by some other special tool, at what I am sure is not an insignificant cost.

REALLY?! OK, I could hook up an extra battery during a battery change to prevent losing power to all the computers, but now I have to go to the dealer (or independent, or buy me a special tool) just to replace the battery? How do all of my Battery Tender chargers keep my motorcycle batteries (and car batteries and boat batteries) charged for YEARS without having to be told they have a new battery to work with?

Jeez, I hope my Z3 lasts forever!
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"That's right, you're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway." -LL
2001 Z3 3.0i Roadster (Topaz Blue Metallic, 5-speed manual, Sport Package, CD radio, heated seats and mirrors, non-power top via special order)
"Beemer" is for my BMW motorcycles - '13 K1300S, '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S (gone, but not forgotten).
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  #49  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:49 AM
CaptBimmer CaptBimmer is offline
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Location: Long Island, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW M Roadster
'02 M Roadster with 102,500 miles and still purrs at idle. As for me doing many projects on it just to do it (shift pin service which I strongly recommend just doing 5th/R gear if it sticks, since my other's were seized in the block and wouldn't cut loose resulting in me replacing the tranny because you end up destroying the sleeves during the removal process and fahgetaboutit...), HP coils, IRID-plugs, Bilstein SShocks, stg 1 racing clutch, etc. etc. This car is a pure champ!!! I used to race it awhile back on the I.S. in Daytona (went to college there and we would rent out the track) and now I get on it occasionally, not often. Original brakes/rotors (tires...many), water pump, cooling system with no evidence of any failures. Should I replace them...most would say yes, I'm tapped out right now after the recent shock purchase so I'll take my chances and at first indication will suck it up. As for leaks...NOTHING but a slight seepage from the oil pan gasket. Other problems: rear view mirror leaking on my center consule (replaced both), wheels peeling (got them resurfaced by wheels of america for 125.00 amazing job matching 100%), climate control cable is a poor design, and cruise control works when it wants to. Not too bad that's for sure for an old buzzard. I'm keeping this thing not only because of its amazing design (done by a Japanese dude, Joji Nagashima---ironic in and of itself) but because it's just an amazing machine, the ultimate driving machine that BMW put out.

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Last edited by CaptBimmer; 03-03-2011 at 10:03 AM.
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  #50  
Old 03-03-2011, 06:03 PM
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Bucko521 Bucko521 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptBimmer View Post
Sweet looking car
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