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Old 04-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
bigfeller
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Feeler: 97 M3

I have a '97 M3 that I bought from a friend in Houston, TX, four years ago. Car is a coupe, 5 spd, cosmos black with black Vaders, sunroof, 18 button OBC, 150K miles (243K km)

THE GOOD:
  • NO RUST- Car has only been in Canada for four years, and has only seen two winters; Krown Rustproofed four times in four years
  • Rogue Engineering RSMs
  • UUC Poly RTABs
  • Bimmerworld RTAB pocket reinforcements
  • BMW X-brace
  • Ireland Engineering strut tower brace
  • Koni SAs (front) done in 2011
  • Koni SRTs (rear) in 2011
  • UUC Swaybarbarian sway bars with Bimmerworld HD endlinks and Turner Motorsports subframe reinforcements
  • Oil Pump Nut loctited
  • New Cooling System in 2006; new water pump again in 2010
  • CD43 with JL Audio XD amp and Kicker speakers
  • CSB and Guibo replaced in 2010
  • All belts and pullies replaced in 2010
  • E46 M3 ZCP Steering rack w/ new column U-joint and tie rods
  • Brand New Zimmerman Rotors (front)
  • E21 tranny mounts with enforcer cups
  • UUC Evo SSK (short shift kit)
  • DS1s with General Exclaim UHPs 225/45/17
  • Hamann HM3s with Yoko S-Drives 235/40/17
  • Diff rebuilt in Spring 2011 with Diffsonline kit (new bearings, seals throughout)
  • ZKW Headlights with DRLs (city lights) activated
  • No accidents and clean CarFax
  • Service history from 2006; partial records from original owner

THE BAD:
  • CEL came on last week while merging on the highway, followed by immediate loss of power and rough running. Car is currently at RMP Motors being diagnosed/fixed. Prior to this, car ran like a champ.
  • Foglights are cracked
  • ZKW lens covers both have chips
  • 5th Gear Lean (not worth fixing yet as clutch was done 35K ago)
  • Rear brake rotors are warped

I've spent a ton of money on this car over the past four years bringing all maintenance up to scratch and correcting BMW engineering foibles (RTAB pockets, RSMs, OPN, etc). The paint is decent, and the car is quite solid overall. With the most recent issue, I'm losing my enthusiasm for this car, so I'm considering selling it.

Thinking $9500 fixed and good to go (cert and e-tested) with all goodies, or $7000 as is (needs engine work, not sure yet what).

If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll post pics.

Jarrod
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'97 M3

SOLD- Now Enjoying Honda Civic

Last edited by bigfeller; 04-09-2012 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:09 AM   #2
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Update: For Sale

After speaking with Rocco at RMP yesterday, I've decided to sell the M3. Here's a pic the week I brought her home. It now has DS1s installed, but otherwise it looks the same.


THE BAD:
RMP did a compression test and pulled the valve cover; all the valves look good, cams are fine, compression is low on cylinders 4 and 5, which means it's probably a head gasket failure between these cylinders and/or cracked head. This means it'll need a head gasket ($1000) and it may have a cracked head ($725 from these guys; http://www.autoheadperformance.com/m...bmw_heads.html). Not insurmountable repairs, but I don't love the S52 enough to spend $2000-3000 on it right now. If I don't get any offers at my asking price, I'll park the car and probably swap an S54, LS1, or Ford 302 into it down the road.

THE GOOD:
I forgot to mention the following; car has Alcantara headliner, clear corners, and the Vanos was rebuilt last year with Beisan seals. Axis PBR metal pads front and rear were done last spring. The trunk has been dynamatted. It has a K&N air filter. As I said, LOTS of GOODIES.

I think the going rate for a clean, rust and accident-free, average mileage M3 is about $11K these days ($20K for cherry ones, $5K for basket cases). With that said, in light of the extras the car comes with, and the motor work it needs, the price is $6,500 firm, and I'm keeping the stereo system. You are free to talk to Rocco at RMP about the car- most of the service has been performed there- or you can have your mechanic inspect it.
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'97 M3

SOLD- Now Enjoying Honda Civic

Last edited by bigfeller; 04-10-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
bigfeller
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Up on Kijiji

Here is the ad on Kijiji with additional pictures;
http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ370231614

Please note that I would be willing to accept a trade for a low mileage, rust-free Honda Civic SiR (02-05), Toyota Tacoma, or Mustang (05+).

Thanks,
Jarrod
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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did you over heat it?

sucks you are letting it go.
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Last edited by SiR; 04-11-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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did u change the steering wheel? or did it never come with the 3 spoke m wheel?
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
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did you over heat it?
Nope- cooling system was replaced entirely four years ago, and water pump was done again two years ago. Never overheated, never money-shifted, never over-revved. If I had to bet money, I'd wager the motor probelm is head gasket failure between cylinders 4 and 5, but you're welcome to speak to Rocco directly. He thinks there's probably a crack in the head, but that the bottom end is fine.

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did u change the steering wheel? or did it never come with the 3 spoke m wheel?
Nope- steering wheel is original. Only 98 and 99 M3s came with the 3 spoke. 95-97 all had four spoke M wheel with tri-colored stiching.
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SOLD- Now Enjoying Honda Civic

Last edited by bigfeller; 04-11-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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oh cool.. good to know
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
328IScreamer
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I once had a 97 e36 with the M 3 spoke wheel...

Maybe it changed later in the year??
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:53 AM   #9
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maybe..
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 328IScreamer View Post
I once had a 97 e36 with the M 3 spoke wheel...

Maybe it changed later in the year??
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotcurry View Post
maybe..
I believe the Canadian and US spec cars were the same after 96 (we never got 95s). The 3 spoke wheel is smaller and nicer looking, so it's a popular upgrade, which the '97 you saw probably had.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotcurry View Post
did u change the steering wheel? or did it never come with the 3 spoke m wheel?
Canadian 3.2l M3 always had a 3 spoke steering wheel. US switched to the 3 spoke steering wheel in 1998, but M3 sedan did not get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfeller View Post
I believe the Canadian and US spec cars were the same after 96 (we never got 95s). The 3 spoke wheel is smaller and nicer looking, so it's a popular upgrade, which the '97 you saw probably had.
By the way, we never got the 1996 model either.

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Old 04-11-2012, 12:44 PM   #12
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ouch, i have a feeling that you are gonna get ALOT of lowballs just because of the headgasket/cracked head.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:55 PM   #13
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Pending

Tentatively sold.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #14
SiR
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that was quick. hopefully it pulls through.
I dont see it being a cracked head if it was never over heated. that doesnt add up .
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:49 AM   #15
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Perfect Buyer

It's funny, there has been a lot of interest in the car, but only two serious buyers. One of them would be putting an S54 into it (which admittedly warms my heart) and the other a turbo'd M52. It's amazing how many Kijiji and Trader scammers are out there.

In any event, the S52 will be coming out, so the exact cause of the problem doesn't seem to be all that important. I think there's merit to the cracked head idea though. Under coasting/ deceleration, when the rotating assembly is spinning around but there's no fuel being injected, the engine is totally smooth. No noises, no vibration. As soon as you get on the gas - rat tat tat tat tat - that's the way it is.

I suggested to the new buyer that he pull the motor, salvage the cams, Vanos, and bottom end and recoup some of his investment. Either way, she's getting a new heart.
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