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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have been reading this forum for a while but without registering as an user so first of all: Thank you! Learned a lot and even did some of the maintenance DIY that I saw here.

I bought this car out of NJ and drove it back to Michigan. The car has 184k miles, its a manual and it has the navigation system. The previous owner had some of the maintenance history in a binder and the car is in general good shape. I currently have a a lease but with the whole work from home situation the idea is to use the remainder time on the lease to work on the BMW until its reliable to be a daily driver.

Since I bought the car I have brought it to a shop that only works on BMW and Mercedes and they have done some work on the car: replace front right axle, valve cover gasket and the transmission mount.
I have worked in my garage as well and did an oil change and changed the famous Hela oil level sensor.
Next will be pads and discs all around.

Here are some photos of the car:
924161
924162
924163
 

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'04 325i, '02 325iT
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1,380 Posts
Nice! Sounds like you're on your way with some maintenance and repairs.

Those black mud guards are pretty rare from what I understand and are no longer available. Cool that your car has those installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice! Sounds like you're on your way with some maintenance and repairs.

Those black mud guards are pretty rare from what I understand and are no longer available. Cool that your car has those installed.
Thanks, Mark!
Yeah, this car has a few things that seem to be not so common. The shifter is the metallic one with the details in alcantara.
I have been trying to figure out the nav system as well.
 

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'04 325i, '02 325iT
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Manual transmission wagons are pretty rare in general, around 750 facelift versions (2002-2005) were produced for the north american market, US & Canada. If you haven't already see this thread it might be an interesting read through.


The last 7 digits of your VIN should be between EZ15000 and EZ15753
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Updating this as it has been a while.

1. Oil, filter and sensor changed (Hella) - but still showing the yellow warning lamp as I turn on the car.
2. Cabin air filter, full detail of interior and air ducts.
3. New pads, rotors and sensors, which led me to new calipers since the pistons were shit.
4. 2 of the 16s were visible bent so I went after a set of 17s from an F30.

This last year I almost didn't drive the BMW as I had several other house projects and was working on the car rarely. In January 22 I returned my truck (lease) and had to daily the BMW. That's when the nightmare started - by priority order and not occurrence:

1. I can't, for the life of me get this car alignment adjusted. I brought it over to one of those chains and tried messing with the strut tower and other stuff but it took me nowhere. Current status is the front right wheel is visibly with negative camber (-2 on paper) and the car is pulling to the left. I did a lot of research around here and it seems like I'm due for control arm, bushings and maybe a new subframe.
2. Need to adjust the headlamps. Probably a new level sensor.
3. My HVAC stopped working and I live in Michigan. It might be the resistor inside the panel? I figure it cant be too hard to fix.
4. When the weather gets a bit warmer I get multiple error messages from the injection system about various codes of lean banks (not always the same bank) and the car runs in "limp" mode and failing. No idea what might cause it, maybe a vacuum leak? Didn't try to diagnose as it only happens in warm days and this car will be a winter daily.

If I have to buy new suspension, frame and sensors I estimate around 2k in parts and that hoping it will solve the problem.
I will need new tires as well but I am not taking this into consideration.
The car has 190k miles now so I know clutch will probably go out soon as well, not to mention a need to refresh the transmission.

Now the question really is: should I even keep the car or should I cut my losses and try and get another car in better shape?

edit: some photos
 

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1980 733i, 2006 m3
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...Now the question really is: should I even keep the car or should I cut my losses and try and get another car in better shape?
Sounds like you have a good handle on what is needed.
Most important question is; do you love this car? If it is just a ride and you are not doing the work yourself, sell. Wagons are really hot right now, and car pprices are up from a year ago. You would get more than a fair penny for it.
If the car moves you, or you think you might regret selling it later, do the work and save some cash. This site can walk you through most of it, as you know.
Another car won't be any cheaper, and may not be as easy to work on. At least you know where this one stands.
 
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