E46 Anniversary Updates - Page 2 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 09-23-2015, 06:09 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuMafiaV View Post
Still a beautiful E46.
Thank you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
An E46 that gorgeous, in that condition, is not just a car. It's a responsibility. You -must- repair all damage and report back a year from now!
Have no fears, the damage will get repaired. Just in discussions with various shops as to how to do it in least intrusive manner and deciding which shop will do the best quality work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by allikanbe View Post
Man, put some shine on that car. I see dust on it from way over here.
Srsly, nice car.
Haha, first two were pre wash and in CA water restriction land that means several weeks of dust and bugs on the front bumper, third was post wash. Admittedly not my best photography work...


Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChevelle View Post
Don't ever sell it, you'll regret it.
I'm with you, I learned my lesson when I sold the beautiful 88 325i convertible that preceded this one. Selling that car is the absolute worst automotive related decision I ever made, but I needed the dough to fund the new car so it made sense at the time. Love the E46 but wish I still had the E30. Here is the E30 back in 2002 when it was for sale. Sigh...



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  #27  
Old 09-23-2015, 06:28 PM
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I love reading your updates. My regret is selling my Porsche 968 back in 2001. I really can't imagine ever selling this car. I've owned mine for almost ten years now. It went from a daily driver to only coming out on days without forecasted rain. And because I don't drive it every day, I really do appreciate every minute in it.
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  #28  
Old 09-23-2015, 06:35 PM
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I'm with you, I learned my lesson when I sold the beautiful 88 325i convertible that preceded this one. Selling that car is the absolute worst automotive related decision I ever made, but I needed the dough to fund the new car so it made sense at the time. Love the E46 but wish I still had the E30. Here is the E30 back in 2002 when it was for sale. Sigh...
Damn, that WAS a mistake. That thing was a beauty.

I won't sell my E46. I will probably buy a second car, but I'll keep this one indefinitely.
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  #29  
Old 09-23-2015, 08:12 PM
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Don't start listing cars you wish you had kept. I hate to see a grown me cry.
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  #30  
Old 09-24-2015, 10:20 AM
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**** damn that's a flawless E30. I can see why you'd be upset. I feel the same about getting rid of my supercharged E46
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  #31  
Old 09-24-2015, 10:28 AM
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All things considered, car [still] looks sharp.

What's with the front license plates?
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  #32  
Old 09-24-2015, 10:44 AM
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Car's still looking great Fred.
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  #33  
Old 09-24-2015, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
I'm with you, I learned my lesson when I sold the beautiful 88 325i convertible that preceded this one.
Oh my, I sold almost the same car twenty years ago. Same color plus a top and two more doors though. Still have an itch to find another like it, only go two doors this time around.
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  #34  
Old 09-07-2016, 08:13 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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14 years ago...

So it's 14 years ago since i took delivery in Munich this week. I was in France visiting relatives at that point all these years ago. Here is the yearly update:

The shameful part is I did not drive it much. Just a bit over 1,000 miles. It is now at 64,150 miles. Reason for the low miles is it's been an incredibly busy year and this summer we have been getting our main and biggest of three houses ready for sale. That means hauling a lot of crap to the other places and that's what the X5 and the Jeep are for. The E46 has only been driven around Reno and Tahoe.

The good news is I got the underside damage fixed last spring. The muffler was damaged so that was my chance to switch to a Dinan exhaust. I had trepidation about it because I did not want it obnoxious and it turns out I really like the sound. It's barely noticeable while driving but I know it's there, especially when I back the car into the garage. No mechanical issues or fixes, it's still going strong. I did replace the rear brakes, but I don't consider that a mechanical issue and they had 63k miles.

Here is what it cost me this year:
- $253.10 for BMW rear rotors, sensor, and Akebono pads. I did the job myself.
- $81.99 for oil change kit with BMW oil and filter, again, I did it myself.
- $126.10 for brake fluid change at BMW independent earlier today. I know it's not cheap but they are good and recycling the fluid is a problem around here.
- $0 out of pocket for underside work and Dinan exhaust as the part price difference between the OEM muffler (I have an OEM part endorsement on my insurance policy) and the Dinan made the $500 deductible go away. Estimate was just under $2k if I recall correctly.

Not sure what next year will bring. I expect more miles put on it, it will probably need front brakes for first time, and I think the mechanicals will hold up. Since I am losing my biggest garage with sale of house mentioned above I need to get a storage space for one of the cars but I am also entertaining the crazy idea of shipping the car to France to be at my parents' house. I go there about four times a year and will spend more time there in the future.

Now for pictures. Here it is after a bath:


and today before the brake fluid change:



Cheers everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying their E46.
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2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions

Last edited by FredoinSF; 09-07-2016 at 08:26 PM.
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  #35  
Old 09-07-2016, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
Now for pictures. Here it is after a bath:


and today before the brake fluid change:



Cheers everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying their E46.
That thing is absolutely gorgeous! I don't normally like black cars, but yours is a real beauty.
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  #36  
Old 09-07-2016, 09:39 PM
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Another timeless classic....lookin` good, mang !
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  #37  
Old 09-08-2016, 09:55 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
That thing is absolutely gorgeous! I don't normally like black cars, but yours is a real beauty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Another timeless classic....lookin` good, mang !
Thank you! The E46 will indeed soon be shifting from just old to more of a classic. BMW 3 series are almost as common as Camrys around here but people must be starting to notice the clean E46's because I am getting questions from random folks when I am out and about.

@ John, Black was not my first choice when I ordered the car. I really wanted dark blue but the top and interior color combos were not as appealing as in the E30 days, to me at least. I went with the Black Sapphire instead of jet black because I thought the metallic finish made it more unique and worked with the leather color.

I am planning on a deep detail and another photo session for the 15 year anniversary, similar to what I did when I started the thread.
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1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
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1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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  #38  
Old 09-08-2016, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
Thank you! The E46 will indeed soon be shifting from just old to more of a classic. BMW 3 series are almost as common as Camrys around here but people must be starting to notice the clean E46's because I am getting questions from random folks when I am out and about.

@ John, Black was not my first choice when I ordered the car. I really wanted dark blue but the top and interior color combos were not as appealing as in the E30 days, to me at least. I went with the Black Sapphire instead of jet black because I thought the metallic finish made it more unique and worked with the leather color.

I am planning on a deep detail and another photo session for the 15 year anniversary, similar to what I did when I started the thread.
I think the E46 will become a classic in somewhat the way the Mustangs of the mid sixties are classics: they don't look modern, but they look good in a timeless way, and although they were once as common as sparrows and very used and cheap (like E46s are starting to be), if you see one now that looks like new, your head turns. The E46 will be a classic like that, though less iconic for most people than the Mustang. I get compliments on mine now and then, mainly because it looks new.

I saw an E46 M3 in cosmo black, and that's a great black too.
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  #39  
Old 08-29-2017, 01:40 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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Fifteen years!!!

Fifteen years, wow... At this time fifteen years ago I was heading to Munich to take delivery of this car. I gave it a birthday wash and milestone birthday photo shoot around scenic Healdsburg CA yesterday, so here is the update.

First, there was a life event that impacted this car. We sold our primary residence in the SF Bay Area and lost garage space as a result. With five cars and only three garage spaces between our remaining two homes, I looked for garage space for the E46. I found a great space for the winter, then the home owner sold her place in March. I decided I would send the car to my parents' house in France as I am spending more and more time there, it gives me a car I like to drive while there, and it solves the garage space issue. I then embarked on replacing many parts I knew would eventually fail, many of which were still serviceable, but I wanted the car to be perfect for use in France. As a result this year's expense is greater than it would have been had the France plan never been put in motion. Ironically summer weather came and I decided I wanted to keep the convertible in the warm NV and CA climate and sent the 650i coupe to France instead. It's currently on a ship, I have a thread on that on E63 forum if anyone is interested:
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?t=1011297

First mileage update. It now has 66,645 miles so at least I got quite a bit more use out of it this year than last. Happy about that.

Here is a list of expenses:
- $126.16 for brake fluid change at a new shop, expensive. I also lost my trusty independent as part of the house sale so trying new places. Not going back there.
- $249.47 for front Akebono pads and BMW rotors. I installed them myself.
- $25.30 for replacement EMP Stewart water pump. The one I installed a couple of years ago failed, the $25.30 is the difference between the cost and credit I got from the lifetime warranty inc coolant. I replaced it myself.
- $208.91 for various gaskets that would eventually leak (VCG, OFHG, Vanos seals) and nearby sensors that came with the kit. I replaced them myself. It was a big job by my standards but very rewarding. The Vanos seals really gave the car back the oomph it had lost, highly recommend doing them if you are still on originals.
- $79.35 for DISA repair kit from German auto solutions. I tested my DISA and 100% fine, so the kit is in the trunk waiting for me to have more time.
- $317.93 for Bilstein HD rear shocks, mounts, and bump stops. Was high on the list before going to France as mine are pretty much shot, but then focus changed so they are pending install which will happen over the winter.
- $311.99 for LCA and bushings. Same as above, the original ones are mostly shot, to be installed next winter.

At the risk of really showing my OCD behavior, I will include a snap shot of my per mile expense tracking by category over time in the picture below. Since I record everything, I can tell you the total spend on this car since new (outside of purchase price) is $28,605,43. This includes all running costs like gas, insurance, reg, maintenance, repairs, wear parts. As I said, totally OCD but I like Excel almost as much as my cars...


Now for car pictures:
By Lake Sonoma:


Then by the vineyards on the way home:






Interior holding up well.



Engine shots mid VCG and Vanos seals replacement. Given the goldish burnt oil sheen I've seen on how to videos, I think my oil change schedule is paying off. Cleaned up engine after all buttoned up.


__________________
Current:
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2015 428i convertible
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2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
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2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions

Last edited by FredoinSF; 08-29-2017 at 01:44 PM.
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  #40  
Old 08-29-2017, 04:41 PM
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Nice follow-up report !
The car looks perfectly at home in that environment
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  #41  
Old 08-29-2017, 11:15 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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Thanks. This car has become a labor of love.


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Current:
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Past:
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2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
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2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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  #42  
Old 09-09-2017, 12:32 AM
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That's a nice looking ride! Think you should let me drive it on the weekends.
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  #43  
Old 09-09-2017, 06:52 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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That's a nice looking ride! Think you should let me drive it on the weekends.


Haha. Partner drives it all the time and friends once in a while. Although a friend behind the wheel is what resulted in the only body work ever. There was a rock on the road, she thought car would clear it and it didn't. Under side got a bit of a reshape but muffler was whacked.


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Current:
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Past:
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2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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  #44  
Old 09-09-2017, 07:30 PM
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Mine now running like a fine Swiss watch. I dread such events and won't even let my wife drive.

what your post brought to mind. Hehe
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  #45  
Old 09-03-2018, 10:04 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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Another year, another update.
16 years and 1 day... Still have the car, still driving it, still enjoying it, although ironically it does have a problem that is limiting its use, more on that later.

Mileage is at 69,729.
It's been a mostly uneventful year.

What I spent and did to it:
- $450 for tires, shipping, mount and balance. Tires are Continentals, my brother works for Continental so I get the tires at roughly 50% of list, then add all the extras at regular price.
- Over the last couple of weeks, DIY installed of the rear shocks, LCA's and bushing that were purchased in the spring of 2017. I had help from a friend with more tools and better jack stands than I have for the front end parts; very grateful for the tools and the extra hands as I would never have been able to get those suckers off with my tools. Very happy this is done as the jolt I was feeling when braking and going over big bumps is gone. The parts were not totally shot, it just did not feel like it used to with. The friend mentioned earlier kept my LCA's to use on his kid's car.
- $145 for an alignment following the front end work.
- $28 for a convertible top bowden cable which is supposed to get installed today. Possibly.

That last bullet point it the reason why miles are not over 70k. The convertible lid bowden cable snapped 2 -3 weeks ago, the top is inoperable and in open position, I have been out of town nearly the entire time, so no opportunity to change it yet until today. I have a thread on that here.

And that's it. Another update in about a year.

The running costs:


The snapped bowden cable:


Caught in freak rain storm a few weeks back:
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Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions

Last edited by FredoinSF; 09-03-2018 at 05:38 PM.
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  #46  
Old 09-09-2019, 09:22 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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E46 Anniversary Updates

17 years and 6 days since delivery in Munich.

It is at 70,889 miles so I have only put 1,100 miles on it this past year.... Shameful, but I can explain.

My Dad, who lives in France and had been fighting cancer for three years lost the last fight last December. I basically spent the last 3 months of 2018 in France to be with him and Mom. I am truly thankful for a job where my geographic location is irrelevant 80% of the time, an understanding boss, but it makes for some conf calls at crazy hours... Since Dad passed I have gone to France four times to help Mom and also fly with her when she came to visit in April through early June. Turns out she prefers to ride in the X5 rather than the E46 so I missed most of the early season. Then I took her back to France and spent three weeks there which takes us into July when I started a complete Reno house remodel that had the car in the garage covered and blocked by tools and materials most of the summer.

As far expenses, my laptop took a dump and yours truly who works in high tech had not done a backup since 2016. So I lost a lot of data and my spreadsheet has a huge gap. As my French compatriots would say: “pheuque!l. I can recreate the data from receipts and fuely gas logs, but it has not been a priority. I have only put gas in the car since the last update so no biggie. I bought front suspension parts with every intention to complete the refresh this summer, but they’re sitting in the garage. Too much stuff going on.

I did take a glorious drive from Reno to Incline village on Lake Tahoe last Saturday evening. Had Mount Rose highway to myself. Was kind of solemn because the first time I had ever been to Reno or Lake Tahoe was on the evening of September 12th 2001. I was supposed to fly to France for vacation that day but given 9/11, I was not flying anywhere. I took my 88 325i convertible for a looong drive from San Francisco to the Sierras, ended up in Reno, then drove to Tahoe on Mount Rose Highway. I had the road to myself that evening as well. The emotions on that top down drive with what was back then an aging E30 convertible were indescribable; I will never forget that drive. Saturday felt like a flashback driving a now aging E46 convertible under similar conditions.

A couple of picture from Saturday’s drive


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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions

Last edited by FredoinSF; 09-09-2019 at 09:24 PM.
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  #47  
Old 09-10-2019, 01:45 AM
meinbills meinbills is online now
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Still a timeless look. Warm states = nice looking cars. I don't know what it is but I was not moved by your E30's looks. The E46 is the generation that I first started getting into BMW. I'm curious as to whether other people's who got into the generations after the E46 would think of the E46's looks as highly as we do. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
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  #48  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:56 PM
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Beautiful car! Glad you've kept it and enjoyed it this long.
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  #49  
Old 09-11-2019, 03:27 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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Still a timeless look. Warm states = nice looking cars. I don't know what it is but I was not moved by your E30's looks. The E46 is the generation that I first started getting into BMW. I'm curious as to whether other people's who got into the generations after the E46 would think of the E46's looks as highly as we do. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder indeed. While I wish I still had the E30, it didn't even have any airbags, operating the top manually was getting old, and the single alyer top was rather loud on the freeway. The E46 design was always well accepted and I can see why it was the first BMW love for many people a few years younger than I. Also, as old as they are getting, they still have enough safety and creature comfort features to feel modern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Beautiful car! Glad you've kept it and enjoyed it this long.
Thank you. It's my forever car...
__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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  #50  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:00 PM
Mike Pratl Mike Pratl is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: St. Louis
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 124
Mein Auto: 2017 330i Sport Wagon
Wonderful journal! I need to fire up my 2001 330 ci and take a drive!
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