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Tag: BMW


With Tess sold, I wasted no time in lining up the replacement.

I have wanted a BMW 335i for ages, but just havent had the money when good ones were available. The Motorsport spec cars were also generally a fair bit more expensive, and usually out of my price range. Motorsport cars get better suspension, better looking “aero” body kit, heavily bolstered and adjustable seats, blacked out exterior trim, black headlining, and paddle shifters.

Lucky for me, the price of them has come down a bit recently, and I finally found myself shopping for cars at a time where there were a few good 335is in my price range.

There was one car that caught my eye pretty early on, so I added it to my watchlist. The listing was a bit sparse, but the photos looked good and a couple of things caught my eye in the text, namely “new turbos” and “Quaife fitted”. The seller also added a couple of interesting answers to question, hinting that the car may not be as stock as it looked in the photos, and may have some hidden go-fast bits not written in the listing.

The listing ended, and the seller offered it at a fixed price, a couple of grand less than the asking price, so I had to have a more thorough look into it. Unfortunately when a listing ends, it also removes the ability to contact the seller, or see their contact number, so I had to do some digging so I could ask some more questions. I eventually tracked down someone on Facebook with the same name, so fired a question off and sure enough, it was the seller.

We went back and forth for a bit, as I tried to find out everything I could about the car, and eventually when I was comfortable enough with the answers I was given, I accepted the offer and made arrangements to fly to Hamilton and collect the car.

On Monday the time finally came to fly up and drive the car the 500 odd KM back home to Wellington.

My alarm went off at 4am, I was in the car with my lovely (and long-suffering) wife at 4:50am and sitting waiting for my flight at 6am.

It was delayed about half an hour thanks to “printer” issues, but eventually we were in the sky heading north

Hamilton showed up under the plane about 50 minutes later

And then it was a short wait for the owner to pick me up in the car, and take me for a drive to his place

First impressions of the car were good. It looked great, and seemed to run and drive fine. Everything I played with worked, except the bluetooth dongle for connecting my phone (but he was kind enough to throw in an AUX cable to keep me going and it seems to connect OK now).

We did the money thing, he confirmed the security interest was removed, and I set off.

Shortly after picking the car up, bam, a milestone

The car came with half a tank, but I wanted to be sure I had enough gas for the trip, so swung by a BP on the way and filled up with 98. The car has a 95 suitable map loaded on it, but I’ll be running it on 98 anyway, unless I get stuck out in the middle of nowhere with only 95 around me.

All was going well until about 30KM north of Taupo, and this happened. “Tire Pressure Loss”

Needless to say it gave me a fright and I pull over straight away to see which tire was flat. All of them looked visually OK, and having no pressure gauge on me I decided to power on to Taupo and check the pressures there, unless the car started to drive funny. Thankfully it drove fine, other than my nerves being shot, and when I found a petrol station and checked, all the tire pressures were fine, with only a couple of PSI variance between them. I evened them out, reset the monitor, and it didn’t come back the rest of the trip. If it keeps giving me grief, I will see if I can disable or code the monitor out.

Anyway, Taupo was a lovely place to stop and have a stretch. Excuse the bad parking, was my first time parking it and I was more concerned about how low the front of the bumper was, than how straight I parked.

The Desert Road was as un-fun as usual. Plenty of trucks, plenty of slow drivers scared to do the speed limit, and not many passing lanes. The ones I did come across, I would swiftly put the slower cars and trucks far behind me.

On the other side of the Desert Road is the Waiouru National Army Museum. Last time we came through here it was after hours, so didn’t get to check it out, but since it was the middle of a week day this time, I stopped in and had a look around. Well worth a visit if you are into our Military history.

That was the last stop I made before the last leg home. It was all pretty normal, except for beating the emergency services to a serious crash just outside of Bulls, which was a sobering sight.

After something like 8 hours on the road, I finally made it home safe and sound

So, what’s the deal?

Well, it’s a 2006 BMW 335i Touring Motorsport. 3L twin turbo, 6 speed automatic.

Externally it’s mostly stock, with just aftermarket grilles on the front, tinted reverse lights, carbon wrap on the rear bumper and painted exhaust tips. Under the hood, it’s a bit more special….

Its had fitted,
Rob Beck 2″ silicone intake pipes
3″ catless downpipes
AMS intercooler
BMS catch can
Uprated low pressure fuel pump
MHD OTS Stage 2+ tune
xHP Stage 3 transmission flash
Quaife ATB mechanical LSD

It also came with some extra parts, like a pair of K&N pod filters and fitting kit, and a charge pipe with a blow off valve on it. I’ll be playing with these later.

It’s also had some extensive work carried out in the past. The previous owner has had the turbos replaced with new ones under mechanical warranty, new coils, and new injectors. The owner before him allegedly did the HPFP, but the workshop wouldn’t release the receipts for privacy reasons.

Needless to say it pulls like a damn freight train, and will overcome the traction control if you aren’t careful. The LSD makes the rear just push hard, and if it does get a bit lairy its a nice progressive slip. Previous owner claims about 380hp ATW, and the car has done high 12s on the 1/4 Mile.

The other side to it though, is that it’s a nice, quiet and comfortable cruiser. It’s a pleasure to drive around in, knowing that if you have to whip past someone, all you need to do is give that pedal a push. Love the cruise control with braking too, just a shame it doesn’t have the full “active” cruise control, although it can be retrofitted.

There probably won’t be too many updates on this car, as I intend for it just to be a nice regular driver, taking it on trips and things.

Its pretty well loaded too, especially for a Jap import

L807A National version japan
P337A M Sports package
S205A Automatic transmission
S217A Active steering
S249A Multifunction f steering wheel
S2MFA BMW alloy wheel, M spider spoke 193
S313A Fold-in outside mirror
S321A Exterior parts in vehicle color
S322A Comfort access
S354A Green windscreen, green shade band
S386A Roof railing
S417A Roller sun vizor, rear door
S423A Floor mats, velours
S428A Warning triangle and first aid kit
S431A Interior mirror with automatic-dip
S449A Interior toll mirror for Japan
S459A Seat adjuster, electric, with memory
S481A Sports seat
S488A Lumbar support, driver and passenger
S493A Storage compartment package
S494A Seat heating driver/passenger
S4ABA Fine wood trim burr walnut
S4AEA Armrest front, retractable
S502A Headlight cleaning system
S508A Park Distance Control (PDC)
S520A Fog lights
S521A Rain sensor
S522A Xenon Light
S524A Adaptive Headlights
S534A Automatic air conditioning
S544A Cruise control with brake function
S548A Kilometer-calibrated speedometer
S563A Light package
S5ABA Two-stage stoplamp discontinued
S601A TV function
S609A Navigation system Professional
S640A Preparation f tel.installation universal
S672A CD changer for 6 CDs
S676A HiFi speaker system
S704A M Sports suspension
S710A M leather steering wheel
S715A M Aerodynamics package
S760A High gloss shadow line
S775A Headlining anthracite
S818A Battery master switch
S823A Hot-climate version
S845A Acoustic belt warning
S852A Language version Japanese
S876A Radio frequency 315 MHz
S8S3A Automatic locking when driving off
S8SPA Control unit COP
S925A Dummy-SALAPA
S992A Control of number-plate attachment
S9AAA Outer skin protection


Between the sale of the BMW, the Prelude and GRU, and the purchase of the new daily Fit, I had some cash left over. I held onto this for a bit but eventually the hole in my pocket burnt right through and the money needed to be turned into powerz.

I had been watching this M3 for a while on Trademe. It was an early E36 3.0L 5 speed model with the S50B30 engine, producing about 282hp factory. It appeared tidy and was being sold by an older gentleman. I got in touch with him and everything he said was checking out. He had looked after it well, making sure it was well maintained and he had a folder of service history to go with it.

The only catch was that once again it was in Auckland. After the troubles I had in the past buying sight unseen I decided to enlist the help of a friend in Auckland that owns a very tasty E46 M3, so has some familiarity with the BMW “features”. He was an amazing help, going and viewing the M3 on my behalf. He met with the owner, took plenty of photos, and gave me a damn good write-up. Looks like someone is as pedantic as me after all.

So before I got the car I knew it had a few minor issues, but over all it seemed solid. I paid the man, and booked the truck.

It arrived at work and as soon as I saw it I instantly had that dread again, “what have I done?!”. It was filthy from its travels, and getting into it felt old and things rattled when I shut the door. I turned the key, and as quick as that thought popped into my head, it was gone even quicker. As soon as I heard the engine come to life, I was sold. I drove it into the carpark at work and left it until after work.

A fairly uneventful drive home, sure it had some rattles, there was an engine noise at about 1800rpm, and some other small things, but damn it pulled like a schoolboy. It was an endless wave of torque, only interrupted by the rev limiter.

Once home I gave it a thorough going over. Amazingly there were very few surprises that I wasn’t told before I purchased. The fog lights were visually stuffed (looked like they had burnt lenses), and fuel flap didn’t shut, the front lip was stuffed, the paint was dull, the heater and AC didn’t work, and it just needed a good general clean up. The owner even disclosed many years ago that the car had the front end panels replaced due to a couple of minor fender benders. He was a total legend.

The first in the firing line was the fog lamps and fuel flap. As it turned out the fog lamps actually had a clear rubber lens protector on them, and the adhesive had burnt and caused the discolouring. Some heat, and some deSolvit and I had a pair of perfect fog lamps (ironically the covers had done their job, the lenses were as new). The fuel flap issue was solved by removing the spring, flipping it over and refitting.

Next up was a quick claybar, machine polish and wax. The paint came up really well after this. Much improved.

Next on the hit list was the heater. I knew it only went cold, no matter what it was set to. I ordered a used heater valve, and went onto fitting it. Easy enough to do, and that’s listed elsewhere on the site. Here.

Once I was satisfied with how it looked I turned to the performance. The car had a rattle from the engine on startup and a weird noise at about 1800rpm. I knew from previous experience the startup rattle would be vanos, but wasn’t sure about the other one. I ordered a vanos kit from online, and as you can see in the Projects section, I rebuild the vanos system. The startup rattle was gone, power was improved, but the 1800rpm noise was still there.

I was very limited on time with the vanos rebuild as shortly after I completed that I had entered the car in a Dyno day. Thankfully I got the car ready in time, and it got a couple of runs on the dyno. It made a VERY good 179kw atw, which is about 240hp at the wheels.

So it went hard, and the health of the engine was proven on the dyno. I was stoked.

Somewhere in there I did an oil change on the engine, trans and diff. The differential really needed it; it had the wrong fluid in it and as it was a plate type diff it was noisy when turning. New, correct oil fixed that and it was silent.

I added some totes not legit euro plates

Cleaned the steering wheel leather and ///M stitching (the stitching is one of the coolest things about MSport BMWs)

The 1800rpm rattle turned out to be the original timing chain tensioner getting weak. A common replacement is to fit the tensioner from the S50B32, so that’s what I did, and no more rattle.

It made great noises from the exhaust

So I had a lot of fun with this car, and it did me well. I sold it to a chap in Auckland who last I heard, was also enjoying ownership.

Update – 7/8/2018 listed for sale on Bimmersport. Now has polished Style 24 wheels



Related Project Links

E46 323i

Another BMW, and another 323i. This time its a boring low spec sedan.

I wasnt happy with the R33, and I got offered a swap. I’m a huge BMW fanboy so when someone wants to swap me a BMW for a car I don’t like, well, I owned it. The new owner was stoked with the skyline and I was happy with the BMW.

It was low spec, so non-motorsport, 15″ alloys, cloth interior and just a bit drab… it did have a sunroof and the M52TUB25 6 cylinder engine though. It drove really well, and was in decent condition. I guess the low spec materials are hard-wearing.

I hated the cheap wheels that they came with factory, so scored a set of cheap E46 Motorsport wheels in staggered fitment. Jammed them on and damn, made a huge improvement in not just looks, but handling too.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. When I did an oil change I noted that I drained about 3L more oil out of the sump than there should have been (yes it read high on the dipstick, but didn’t seem to have any issues), but seemed to have no ill effects. The car also threw a wobbly one day when we were out and about, misfiring badly and throwing a CEL. Limped it home, scanned it and found the intake piping had failed and fallen to bits, letting lots of unmetered air in the engine. Replaced the piping and the car ran mint for the rest of my ownership.

I sold it to a nice couple that used it as a daily for a bit. I have recently seen it on Trademe, lowered, tinted lights front and rear and the motorsport wheels painted gloss black. Each to their own.

Tastes Like Petrol