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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all:

I just inherited my late mom's BMW 325 convertible, 2002 (technically, I purchased it from the estate). It seems to be in good shape and has about 45K miles on it. Paid about $9000 for it.

I think it needs a tune up and maybe an oil change, but generally seems to run. Here are some questions that I can't seem to find knowledgeable answers to (all searches seem to lead to websites selling stuff... and not objective information).

a) I'd like to change the wheels. They seem too small (and might be ready for a change anyways). I'd like to get some good quality, good looking wheels and low profile tires, perhaps bigger and sportier looking. I tried looking at the online wheel / tire shops but all the wheels seem tacky and too flashy. I just want a sporty looking, performance-looking tire. Ideally, a tire that was designed for BMW and not to blingy, drug dealer looking. Any suggestions of what tire / wheel combo to get and where to look for them? (pics would be cool)

b) What are my options for aftermarket stereos? The stock stereo with CD player does not fit my needs. I'd like an in-dash XM, ipod / iPhone capable stereo. The hole seems non-standard so don't know what would fit and still look sharp.

c) Also, being new to BMW, I don't know where I should start when it comes to maintenance. My feeling is the dealer is going to be over-priced. Should I look at independent BMW authorized mechanics (my neighbor has a reco)? Are there specialists I should look for? I need to get the system inspected, oil changed and tuned up if necessary.

d) Any advice you can share for a newbie, I would really appreciate it.

-JP
 

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#422323
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A) Look at our sponsors and all of them have great wheels, which will be reps, unless you go the OEM route (expensive). Tirerack has the best selectivity, and I wouldn't go more than 18''.

C) Start with Oil (look at wiki), then look for leaks in the cooling system (common failure, discussed in wiki), air filter, cabin filter, check your CABs. With that low a mileage I doubt you need spark plugs or e new fuel filter. Check you valve cover gasket for leaks.

These things can be done by you, if you are willing to read and learn, but if you want to pay somebody esle then Indy shops are cheaper than the dealer.

The wikipedia has TONS for info, take a look a it.

Pics?
 

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make sure to SEARCH what you are looking before you post or you will get chewed out... just telling you from exprence

but other then that this is a pretty kewl site!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Albo! That really helps. Also, that wiki is very helpful. I'll post a picture of the car tomorrow. I'd love to see what other people have done with their 325ci's to make them look sharp. I'm going to take it to the car stereo shop this week to see if they have any suggestions.
 

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Thanks Albo! That really helps. Also, that wiki is very helpful. I'll post a picture of the car tomorrow. I'd love to see what other people have done with their 325ci's to make them look sharp. I'm going to take it to the car stereo shop this week to see if they have any suggestions.
I would recommend keeping the factory look of the dash. You can get HD radio/iPod functionality with aftermarket modules that adapt to the factory stereo and don't require hacking up the factory wiring. From what I discovered while looking into replacing the stereo, it is not a simple plug and play installation. Crutchfield doesn't even have a harness for the car, they sell you some giant universal wiring kit. I'll pass! :)
 

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a) I'd like to change the wheels. They seem too small (and might be ready for a change anyways). I'd like to get some good quality, good looking wheels and low profile tires, perhaps bigger and sportier looking. I tried looking at the online wheel / tire shops but all the wheels seem tacky and too flashy. I just want a sporty looking, performance-looking tire. Ideally, a tire that was designed for BMW and not to blingy, drug dealer looking. Any suggestions of what tire / wheel combo to get and where to look for them? (pics would be cool)
I'd stick with OEM wheels, but that's just because I like the look of most of them. There is a page on the wiki that gives some good info about wheels and tires, check it out.
b) What are my options for aftermarket stereos? The stock stereo with CD player does not fit my needs. I'd like an in-dash XM, ipod / iPhone capable stereo. The hole seems non-standard so don't know what would fit and still look sharp.
KEEP THE STOCK RADIO!!! Just add either an AUX IN or and aftermarket iPod adapter. It looks TONS better and can be had for much cheaper usually (DICE Adapters are like $150 last place I looked). You can also get bluetooth kits to link up with your phone.
c) Also, being new to BMW, I don't know where I should start when it comes to maintenance. My feeling is the dealer is going to be over-priced. Should I look at independent BMW authorized mechanics (my neighbor has a reco)? Are there specialists I should look for? I need to get the system inspected, oil changed and tuned up if necessary.
Some stuff you are almost required to go to the dealer for (reprogramming etc), but most anything else can be handled by a capable mechanic, preferably one you trust and that has BMW experience. You can also do lots of work by yourself, certainly the radio addons. Other members can advise on preventative maintenance you should do.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys... you guys are very helpful.

For wheels, I think I'd like to stick with OEM too because they seem to fit with the vehicle. I might take the car to the dealer for the initial tune-up checkup and then find a reputable indy guy going forward. As for the stereo, I see that Bavarian Autoworks has an ipod and XM add-ons. That will do just fine! No need to rip open the car for this.

-JP
 

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#422323
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Thanks guys... you guys are very helpful.

For wheels, I think I'd like to stick with OEM too because they seem to fit with the vehicle. I might take the car to the dealer for the initial tune-up checkup and then find a reputable indy guy going forward. As for the stereo, I see that Bavarian Autoworks has an ipod and XM add-ons. That will do just fine! No need to rip open the car for this.

-JP
If money is not an option then I would get OEM too, but rest assured that replicas which meet OEM standards, are pretty good too. Most replica wheels will carry a 95-98% resemble to OEM wheels, for less than half the price. Not bad at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Hey all...

its been a while. I pretty much took everyone's advice. Here's what I did:

a) Put an Alpine iPhone MP3 player unit put in (its not stock, but got a guy who made it fit in as best as possible) and also put in some new speaker systems. Added bluetooth speaker phone unit through the Alpine. still need to come up with a good mounting system, working on that. Spence at SoCal Customs helped me out with that, here in North County San Diego.

b) took the car to an independent shop in Encinitas called Charlies Foreign auto. They helped me trouble shoot the light issues (problems with the accelerator pedal and a few other issues). Wasn't too expensive and the car went from driving clunky to smooth as butter. Niko hooked me up there.

c) got some used OEM M3 Wheels (staggered), had them refinished and painted to look like new and brand new Yokohama tires.

d) got steering alignment, control arm bushings replaced (due to a clunking noise) and the tires rotated and balanced.

The car runs awesome, although now I am hooked and want to do more stuff to it. Here's what I'm thinking:

1) a spoiler. The rear end seems a bit weak (especially since its a white car).
2) some kind of performance modification to make it faster.
3) touch up paint to fix dings and so forth.
4) get new trim on the sides to clean up dings as well.

I've attached pictures. Let me know what you think...







 

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Ubergeek
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Just so you know, those aren't M3 wheels - those are 330 Sport package wheels (They say ///M on them, but they are not M3 wheels).

Look into the small lip spoiler that comes on the performance package cars. You can get them from many of the bimmerfest sponsors I believe. Anything else looks bad, IMO.

Don't waste time on making it faster in a straight line. You'll spend $1000 and get 5hp. Money better spent elsewhere (such as suspension modifications or BMW CCA car control clinics, autocrosses, high performance driving events).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah, yes. You're right. I got a little carried away with it :) 330 sport package wheels. I like 'em. Um, is there any other performance looking stuff I can put on the car, from, say the 330 sport package, that will make it look a little more aggressive? I agree, don't want to add too much wacky stuff.

As for performance, I can't imagine spending 5000 + labor for a supercharger, although it would be nice to have all that power.
 

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Ah, yes. You're right. I got a little carried away with it :) 330 sport package wheels. I like 'em. Um, is there any other performance looking stuff I can put on the car, from, say the 330 sport package, that will make it look a little more aggressive? I agree, don't want to add too much wacky stuff.

As for performance, I can't imagine spending 5000 + labor for a supercharger, although it would be nice to have all that power.
I'd suggest getting clear corners (front, side, and rear)... get rid of all that orange on the car. Black grilles generally make the car look at bit more aggressive... Of course going "all the way" would be getting a MTechII body kit (around $1000 + paint). It consists of front & rear bumpers and side skirts. This is what came stock on 330s with the performance package. Here's an example of a white 330 perf. pkg convertible (this one is a "facelift" car (2004 or newer), you'll see the turn signals/headlights/taillights are a bit different than yours):
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=710974

That car also has the lip spoiler on the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Um... that looks awesome. Actually the bumpers and side skirt are kinda banged up on mine. Hmmm... (checks bank account). Maybe this is the way to go? Also I like the idea of getting clear lamps. I'll let you know what I end up doing.
 

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Um... that looks awesome. Actually the bumpers and side skirt are kinda banged up on mine. Hmmm... (checks bank account). Maybe this is the way to go? Also I like the idea of getting clear lamps. I'll let you know what I end up doing.
You can start small... just get the front bumper...
Umnitza sells a aftermarket clone of it cheap... $310 with new fog lights ($199 + $59 Fogs/Covers + $50 for MTechII Coupe). A local body shop should be able to paint it to match your car for anohter $200ish...

http://www.umnitza.com/umnitza-3series-mtech-style-polypropylene-bumper-p-1132.html
 

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macguy;
I'd like to suggest BMW style 119 wheels for your car. I think they look really nice and classy: here's a pic i found of them:

 

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Living Life At The Beach
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Um... that looks awesome. Actually the bumpers and side skirt are kinda banged up on mine. Hmmm... (checks bank account). Maybe this is the way to go? Also I like the idea of getting clear lamps. I'll let you know what I end up doing.
+1 on getting rid of the orange! Your car will look so much better with the clear corners. Check your local dealer to find out who they use for paintless dent repair to get rid of the dings. You did a great job restoring the car. I'm sure your Mom would be proud of you. (I miss mine too!)
 
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