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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Three weeks ago I lost the 2000 323i in a four-car pile-up. Managed to snag a '03 330i for $6,700 up in Chicago that's in great cosmetic shape, has some nice features that outdo my last car (gray versus orient blue, OEM bi-xenon, lumbar, fold down rear seats, bigger engine... ) but after 172k and an engine rebuild, it needs some love. It feels hella fast, but I'm no one to judge considering I was driving a 323i for three years.

I've decided it'll be worth it to me to keep the thing alive versus run it to the ground. I need to do rotors/pads, tires (ordered), ignition coils--has had misfires (ordered), and VANOS at some point. I've already had an oil change, topped off the nearly empty coolant (scary), swapped ATF power steering fluid, cleaned the ICV, and put a new intake filter in. Still has lots of idle vibration.

I also did the spark plugs. There were three NGK plugs, two Bosch Platinum+ 4's, and one Autolite plug that wasn't even close to the right spec. :facepalm:

Got a compression test done and a PPI at the local dealer:
150
150
150
145
150
145

Your thoughts on those numbers considering it's a rebuilt engine?

Here's the problem:

It's got stock exhaust headers on it, but an aftermarket exhaust system that's too small and is restricting airflow a bit. The aftermarket exhaust system is WELDED to the headers. :facepalm:


Here are my options as I see it:

1. buy a used set of stock headers and complete stock exhaust from a junkyard​

2. buy a used set of stock headers and aftermarket exhaust (probably Borla)​

3. buy eBay (or other) headers and aftermarket exhaust... still not clear on how I'd do that and fit the catalytic converter in there.​

What would you do if you wanted to keep parts cost low but allow for improvement in the future?


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dang! that is a good condition car for the milage!

cleaner than most people whose cars have 2,000 miles on the odo. Now I have hope that my 330i will last deep into the 100,000s of miles and stay looking fresh
.
Congrads!


I don't understand your question about keeping the parts cost low. It is all relative and I've learned that you truly get what you pay for in the auto world.

I also wish I can help you with the headers. I'm proud to say that I know nothing about ebay headers and what they are supposed to do in terms of improving the car.

I would keep her stock under the hood since engines with that much miles don't like being tampered with OR being tied down to power enhancing modifications. It's like putting a 90 year old man on a high speed tread mill and buying him $150 Nike Air Max sneakers to make him run faster and then cranking up the speed on the mill whiles whipping him in the back to run faster.

My former 1995 318i had 160,000 miles when I started modding her so don't ask me how I know what I am talking about...
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the great response delmarco.

I agree that you get what you pay for in about every aspect of car ownership. I'd just like to have people's input on whether they think I even should worry about it, or if there's a good option outside of dropping over $2,000 for a complete performance exhaust or new OEM one.

Good point about modding the engine. I can only imagine doing engine mods on the car if I actually put a new engine in it, either a low-mileage M54 or S54 at some point.

Right now my goal is to eliminate idle vibrations and make it as reliable as possible.

Maybe a better question would be: What is the likelihood that my hindered exhaust is causing the idle vibrations?
 
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