cliff95
cliff95 New Reader
6/24/08 7:25 p.m.

So I was out looking at a 5spd 99 328i after work today (209k km) ~130K miles, and realized I don't know much about them. A quick search at work yielded some new/long term reviews of the car. I need some GRM'ers opinions on the vehicle.

The car currently has a check engine light on with a couple of codes: 215,216 O2 sensor no signal, 239 Mis cyl 2, 240 mis cyl 3, 245 flow rate low bank 1, 246 flow rate low bank 2

The price seems to reflect this (as long as it doesn't require opening the engine). Need to do some research on the codes, and to budget for an O2 sensor or two at the least - taking this into account any got-ya's with this model? or things to lookout for?

Miata isn't the answer - maybe as a dedicated autoslalom/track car in the future but not yet anyhow.

Main use will be as DD plus local autoslaloms, once the neon get retired at the end of this season.

Suggestions for good online parts places and forums would also be appreciated, as there seems to be a lot of noise when BMW is one of the terms in the google search box.

ansonivan
ansonivan New Reader
6/24/08 8:25 p.m.

I made a list of the parts I replace with massive frequency on customer e46's, I probably missed a few items. If you are not familiar with bmw's definitely take the car to a bimmer specific shop for a pre-purchase inspection. You may be getting a scorching deal on the car but if the previous owner did not keep up with maintenance your savings will evaporate instantly. I highly recommend that you buy an e46, just make sure it's the right one.

water pump thermostat both belts all pulleys radiator rad overflow tank

lower intake boot oil separator valve cover gasket coil packs secondary air injection pump + valve

control arms control arm bushings front sway bar links

window regulators blower motor control units

Josh
Josh Reader
6/24/08 9:34 p.m.

For parts I have had great experiences with: Pelican Parts and RM European- OE replacement/maintenance type parts

Bimmerzone - limited selection but great deals on what they do have, they do a cooling system bundle for a great price

Bimmerworld - good selection of performance stuff, my goto source for bushings

UUC Motorwerks - Performance parts, Not cheap, but run 15% off specials fairy often, I have their swaybars and shifter bushings.

Turner Motorsports - Selection of performance and OE parts, not cheap by any means but excellent service and they're 1 day ground shipping for me so I have ordered from them in a pinch and been very satisfied.

I do not recommend:

Bavarian Autosport - their "upgrade" M3 control arm bushings completely tore apart within 5k miles, and their jack pad bent the third time I used it. On the jack pad, they basically told me to stuff it, and on the bushings, they told me to send in the torn bushing and they might replace them if it was a defect. If you have ever seen a BMW control arm bushing, you know this was a bullE36 M3 answer because you have to physically destroy the bushing to get it out anyway, so how could they determine a defect? I gave up and got Powerflex bushings from Bimmerworld instead and have been much happier :).

alleykat
alleykat New Reader
6/26/08 10:02 p.m.

I own a 99 323i 5speed non-sport premium package with 105k miles. Bought it used with 50k miles three years ago. It is a nice car. Very rigid chassis. Plenty of power for my needs and a great torque curve. Good gas mileage. We average @25 mpg with mostly in town driving. I made a trip from Richmond Va to NYC. Drove well in excess of 80mph both ways and averaged 32 mpg for the entire trip.

I have had to replace the ac compressor and evaporator and cam sensor. That is it. It is ready for new shocks and bushings so I will use the opportunity to install better springs, shocks, bushings, and struts.

Minor problems included leaking door vapor barriers, and a temperamental central locking system. Vapor barriers are an easy fix.

Common problems I would look for: Rear floor sub-frame failure, rear shock mounts torn, and noisy VANOS.

When it comes time to replace the clutch, I will look for a non-self adjusting one.

pigeon
pigeon New Reader
6/26/08 10:21 p.m.
ansonivan wrote: I made a list of the parts I replace with massive frequency on customer e46's, I probably missed a few items. If you are not familiar with bmw's definitely take the car to a bimmer specific shop for a pre-purchase inspection. You may be getting a scorching deal on the car but if the previous owner did not keep up with maintenance your savings will evaporate instantly. I highly recommend that you buy an e46, just make sure it's the right one. water pump thermostat both belts all pulleys radiator rad overflow tank lower intake boot oil separator valve cover gasket coil packs secondary air injection pump + valve control arms control arm bushings front sway bar links window regulators blower motor control units

On my '99 328i non-sport premium package (for sale btw and I'm only 2 hours from you...) I've replaced:

water pump

thermostat

both belts

all pulleys

rad overflow tank

lower intake boot

valve cover gasket

It needs: oil separator

control arms

control arm bushings

So I'd say you've nailed the list pretty good... I've also done all the radiator hoses as long as I was in there.

It's got 170k miles on it now and still runs like a top. Great power and handling, classic good looks, comfortable DD. The electronics are pretty solid, unlike the E36 cars. What's the price on the one you're looking at?

for forums E46fanatics.com is the only one I visit anymore. Good knowledge and very active.

Scott

bc
bc New Reader
6/27/08 7:49 a.m.

Hi, folks

I have a 99 328i 5 spd with 180,000 mi, and I've replaced most of the items above, including the control arms and bushings (try GRM Bimmerworld for a nice deal on replacement control arms with replacable ball joints and good urethane bushings. I'm really happy with them. (J Clay, I'll be waiting for that check in the mail, hoss...))

I replaced the radiator too, at 120k mi or so, as I'd heard that the upper plastic piece cracks where the hose clamps to it.

Shockingly, I'm still on the original clutch.

And cliff95, I kept my 155,000 mi Neon ACR as a backup/captain's yacht. Costs next to nothing to run.

bc

bc
bc New Reader
6/27/08 7:51 a.m.

And I'll vouch for the tempermental central locking system, particularly in hot weather. Fortunately, the system and I have reached an understanding - for the moment.

bc

cliff95
cliff95 New Reader
7/21/08 11:10 p.m.

thanks for all of the replies, it's in the driveway now - I just need to make some time to wrench on it once the parts arrive.

What is the smallest wide rim that will fit - stock is a 167?, can a 15"8 fit for some R's?

pigeon
pigeon New Reader
7/22/08 8:35 a.m.

I believe that you need 16" wheels to clear the brakes on an E46 328i.

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