NEW RIDE PANDA's - Ballin on a budget gas saver BMW.


PANDA

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I drive to the Northwoods almost every weekend in my 15 MPG (highway) Tahoe. The money I spend on gas is really adding up. I wanted a second car that's fun and gets good gas mileage. Started looking and realized nothing was really fun with good gas mileage in my low budget. Not to mention rust. Everything that cheap was rusty. Went down a BMW rabbit hole and figured a manual might be kinda fun. If I could find the right combo it should be reliable. I started looking for 2002+ manual BMW 3 or 5 series. No V8's no M cars. Would like to be under $10K but could spend more for the right car. Would consider auto if its something special. Very RARE request and with stupid used car pricing lately kind of a hard ask. Id love a E39 525 or 530. I just LOVE the design. Brings me back to later high school years when they were new. Twin Turbos kinda scare me but I think that power will end up satisfying me. I started my search at Highgate Motors in Barrington. They are expensive but specialize in weird European shit. They had no manuals but I figured I could at least take a look at BMW's they had. Sales guy is awesome over there he let me drive a few cars. He said manual's are super rare and laughed when I asked if he could locate one for me. The first car I drove was a 2011 328xi sedan. I loved the color combo but It had some cosmetic flaws. Drove excellent. Very nice running and sounding car. Very smooth and quiet. Needed front bumper refinished, ALL wheels refinished (curb rash), exhaust tip replacement, tint and clear bra removal. Power was OK but didn't really start pulling until 6000+. Kind of of boring car, but maybe that's what I need to keep out of trouble? Only looked at it cuz it was rust free from Colorado. Sales guy said most BMW's are rust free by design because its illegal to drive a rusty car in Germany. :rofl: I didn't talk numbers but these guys make money from service and don't give a shit about selling XX cars per month or keeping stuff on the lot for months. They don't sell junk either. So I think they are pretty firm on the price. But if they still have this in a few months I might bite if they fix some of the cosmetics or go lower on the price. Drove a bit older auto 325i wagon and same thing. Slow and boring to drive. Also took a Benz 320 AWD Wagon for a rip. Very nice looking car with AMG wheels but also way over budget. Talked with the guy at Highgate for sometime about common BMW issues and what to look our for. He said avoid V8 BMW's at all costs. They have liquid cooled alternators and are very expensive to fix. He said my search criteria should lead to a reliable and cheap to fix car but also warned me about the 335/535 turbo issues even at under 100K miles. A few days later a 2011 535 white 6-speed showed up at a dealer 4 hours away in Wisconsin. It was loaded up also. Nav, adaptive cruse control, window shades. $5K over budget even with 130K but was a very nice looking car. Being Tuesday I couldn't make it up there till the weekend anyway and it was gone in a few days. I probably don't want something with that many fancy electronics anyway. I tire kicked probably half a dozen local automatic 3 and 5 series in the area just to see what condition you get for the money. Some cars were REAL piles of shit. I also realized I wanted a 5 series because its bigger. This made my search even harder. Saw a manual 2009 535 pop up in Kenosha. 60K miles and reasonably priced, but still 2K over budget. I don't like black but I think this was the 2nd one I've seen in the past few weeks I was looking within 250 miles or so. I took a long lunch and drove up there. Car was traded in last night and they didn't have pics on the website yet and was at detail this morning. I got there and a sales guy said it was on a test drive. Sure tell me that to add urgency to the deal. We found it in the back lot by service. Not sure why the test driver would park it back there? I'm looking over the car and a few min later a mechanic comes out with 2 other sales guys. They look up a OBD2 device to the car. At this point I was going to pass on the car regardless. It had alot of paint work done and wasn't perfect. I ask them check engine light on huh? Better reset that before I drive it. Mechanic smiles at me and the sales guys glared. They tell me the other sales guy is old and thought it had a check engine light but it was not on. Sure that's why the mechanic hooked up the scanner? To check on the light that was not lit on the dash? A few seconds later some dude pulls up in a CTS-V wagon manual and im swingin. He says if I drive the car take it on the highway. The check engine light immediately came on. "I am no expert but I think it needs turbos." I said thanks CTS-V bro they just reset the light. Its a good deal for that car and if it wasn't black and wasn't beat up for 60K I would have made them an offer. I expected less shady business from what looks to be a reputable GM dealer. Don't tell me the car didn't have a check engine light when u have a mechanic outside resetting it. Like I said I wasn't interested in the car but I took it for a quick drive in the lot anyway. The first manual I drove and fuck that trans shifted/felt like butter. Really a nice feeling car. Another bro waiting to look at it right after me.

A 6-speed E60 525i popped up at a small used car dealer in Roselle. It was local and manual so I figured I should go look at it. It drove nice. Original owner had it until the warranty expired then the 2nd owner had it until they traded it in the day before I looked at it. Had a extended BMW warranty till 100K and alot of maint records on the carfax. Dealer maintained in Naperville most of its life up until the past few years. Hooked up my obd2 reader and no codes and all systems ready. So that was good the PO didn't just shut off the light and trade it in or the dealer cleared the codes before I arrived. I ended up passing on it because of a airbag light that was on and had some cosmetic issues. Figured it could be a easy fix or a nightmare electrical issue. Dealer took $500 off asking from their already very reasonable price but I still drove away. Went home and did some research online. Not only was their price very fair but my searching once again confirmed what I was looking for is extremely rare. (Manual, no V8, no M, 3 or 5 series under $10k) Manual N/A 5 series even more hard to find. I ended up going back to the dealer to try and beat them up more but they aren't stupid they know manuals are rare and used car prices are crazy right now. They didn't even want to give the $500 off they told me 6 hours ago when I walked but ended up selling it to me anyway. Older and more miles then I wanted but 2-3X less than I thought I would spend so that's good. I looked at quite a few local auto BMW that I had zero intention in buying and this one is in about the same or better shape cosmetically as even the cars with under 80K I've seen. I dropped it off with the BMW specialist in Barrington at Highgate Motors the day after I bought it to look at the airbag light and give it a inspection. Planning on putting some money into it regardless. Being older and N/A with not alot of electronic bullshit the mechanic said it should be good to me. I figure it's something fun to drive that I can get double the gas mileage driving up north and not really have to give a fuck because it's not perfect and has alot of miles. If I can keep with the maint it probably won't loose much value either being a manual. Not sure if I should make thread about $4,000 BMW right away or just show up at TCG Tour.

I was expecting the BMW guy at Highgate to come back with a list well over the purchase price of the car. :rofl: . The airbag light was a sensor and it ended up needing some oil leaks and suspension issues fixed. I bought some used OEM headlights, fogs, and filters and changed them out myself. At first glance working on the BMW was hard but once you figure out how todo something its easy. The headlight bulbs seemed to have the most complicated design ever until I researched how to actually remove them. Next I dropped the car off at Body Shop of Barrington to get the front bumper repainted. I wanted to get the rear done but didn't know how expensive bodywork actually was. My dad used to own a body shop and worked on my stuff for basically nothing. I will live with the scuff on the rear bumper for now. Bumper repaint came out good. Next I dropped it off at Auto Image in Barrington for a PDR on the entire car as well as a full detail and 30% tint. The car looked great after the detail but being polished out now revealed some sun damage on the hood and roof that looks really bad. Oh well its old with high mileage I cannot be anal with this car even though I put a few thousand into it already. TCG Tour came and the car didn't miss a beat. It was very comfortable and got awesome gas mileage. Its really fun to drive until you go wide open and then you quickly realize this car has under 200HP. 100HP+ more would be nice but I didn't really want to deal with a Twin Turbo BMW. Driving civilized on the highway yields 32-36mpg depending how fast I drive. I REALLY like how the car drives and wouldn't mind buying a newer BMW with a payment down the road. Its really quiet and smooth. Sometimes I forget to shift. Winter plans are snow tires and send it.


2004 525i M6 170K

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yes. dem 16's.

I keep em clean tho
 
OP
PANDA

PANDA

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Working in the city and your lawyer girlfriend has changed you, man.
Don't worry bro. I still have the Tahoe. Also haven't been in the office for a year and a half.

I never had a european car. Might be a good idea, might be a horrible idea. Mook said document the repairs and the costs.
 

N20GT

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Older manual bmw's are super fun. I had a 2005 325ci back in the day with a 5sp and legit loved that car. Never understood how you could be at 4000 rpm, feel no vibration, and hear almost nothing. Lol
 

SpeedSpeak2me

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Older manual bmw's are super fun. I had a 2005 325ci back in the day with a 5sp and legit loved that car. Never understood how you could be at 4000 rpm, feel no vibration, and hear almost nothing. Lol
Inline 6cyl engine, they're inherently balanced....
 

blueoval4life

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I drive to the Northwoods almost every weekend in my 15 MPG (highway) Tahoe. The money I spend on gas is really adding up. I wanted a second car that's fun and gets good gas mileage. Started looking and realized nothing was really fun with good gas mileage in my low budget. Not to mention rust. Everything that cheap was rusty. Went down a BMW rabbit hole and figured a manual might be kinda fun. If I could find the right combo it should be reliable. I started looking for 2002+ manual BMW 3 or 5 series. No V8's no M cars. Would like to be under $10K but could spend more for the right car. Would consider auto if its something special. Very RARE request and with stupid used car pricing lately kind of a hard ask. Id love a E39 525 or 530. I just LOVE the design. Brings me back to later high school years when they were new. Twin Turbos kinda scare me but I think that power will end up satisfying me. I started my search at Highgate Motors in Barrington. They are expensive but specialize in weird European shit. They had no manuals but I figured I could at least take a look at BMW's they had. Sales guy is awesome over there he let me drive a few cars. He said manual's are super rare and laughed when I asked if he could locate one for me. The first car I drove was a 2011 328xi sedan. I loved the color combo but It had some cosmetic flaws. Drove excellent. Very nice running and sounding car. Very smooth and quiet. Needed front bumper refinished, ALL wheels refinished (curb rash), exhaust tip replacement, tint and clear bra removal. Power was OK but didn't really start pulling until 6000+. Kind of of boring car, but maybe that's what I need to keep out of trouble? Only looked at it cuz it was rust free from Colorado. Sales guy said most BMW's are rust free by design because its illegal to drive a rusty car in Germany. :rofl: I didn't talk numbers but these guys make money from service and don't give a shit about selling XX cars per month or keeping stuff on the lot for months. They don't sell junk either. So I think they are pretty firm on the price. But if they still have this in a few months I might bite if they fix some of the cosmetics or go lower on the price. Drove a bit older auto 325i wagon and same thing. Slow and boring to drive. Also took a Benz 320 AWD Wagon for a rip. Very nice looking car with AMG wheels but also way over budget. Talked with the guy at Highgate for sometime about common BMW issues and what to look our for. He said avoid V8 BMW's at all costs. They have liquid cooled alternators and are very expensive to fix. He said my search criteria should lead to a reliable and cheap to fix car but also warned me about the 335/535 turbo issues even at under 100K miles. A few days later a 2011 535 white 6-speed showed up at a dealer 4 hours away in Wisconsin. It was loaded up also. Nav, adaptive cruse control, window shades. $5K over budget even with 130K but was a very nice looking car. Being Tuesday I couldn't make it up there till the weekend anyway and it was gone in a few days. I probably don't want something with that many fancy electronics anyway. I tire kicked probably half a dozen local automatic 3 and 5 series in the area just to see what condition you get for the money. Some cars were REAL piles of shit. I also realized I wanted a 5 series because its bigger. This made my search even harder. Saw a manual 2009 535 pop up in Kenosha. 60K miles and reasonably priced, but still 2K over budget. I don't like black but I think this was the 2nd one I've seen in the past few weeks I was looking within 250 miles or so. I took a long lunch and drove up there. Car was traded in last night and they didn't have pics on the website yet and was at detail this morning. I got there and a sales guy said it was on a test drive. Sure tell me that to add urgency to the deal. We found it in the back lot by service. Not sure why the test driver would park it back there? I'm looking over the car and a few min later a mechanic comes out with 2 other sales guys. They look up a OBD2 device to the car. At this point I was going to pass on the car regardless. It had alot of paint work done and wasn't perfect. I ask them check engine light on huh? Better reset that before I drive it. Mechanic smiles at me and the sales guys glared. They tell me the other sales guy is old and thought it had a check engine light but it was not on. Sure that's why the mechanic hooked up the scanner? To check on the light that was not lit on the dash? A few seconds later some dude pulls up in a CTS-V wagon manual and im swingin. He says if I drive the car take it on the highway. The check engine light immediately came on. "I am no expert but I think it needs turbos." I said thanks CTS-V bro they just reset the light. Its a good deal for that car and if it wasn't black and wasn't beat up for 60K I would have made them an offer. I expected less shady business from what looks to be a reputable GM dealer. Don't tell me the car didn't have a check engine light when u have a mechanic outside resetting it. Like I said I wasn't interested in the car but I took it for a quick drive in the lot anyway. The first manual I drove and fuck that trans shifted/felt like butter. Really a nice feeling car. Another bro waiting to look at it right after me.

A 6-speed E60 525i popped up at a small used car dealer in Roselle. It was local and manual so I figured I should go look at it. It drove nice. Original owner had it until the warranty expired then the 2nd owner had it until they traded it in the day before I looked at it. Had a extended BMW warranty till 100K and alot of maint records on the carfax. Dealer maintained in Naperville most of its life up until the past few years. Hooked up my obd2 reader and no codes and all systems ready. So that was good the PO didn't just shut off the light and trade it in or the dealer cleared the codes before I arrived. I ended up passing on it because of a airbag light that was on and had some cosmetic issues. Figured it could be a easy fix or a nightmare electrical issue. Dealer took $500 off asking from their already very reasonable price but I still drove away. Went home and did some research online. Not only was their price very fair but my searching once again confirmed what I was looking for is extremely rare. (Manual, no V8, no M, 3 or 5 series under $10k) Manual N/A 5 series even more hard to find. I ended up going back to the dealer to try and beat them up more but they aren't stupid they know manuals are rare and used car prices are crazy right now. They didn't even want to give the $500 off they told me 6 hours ago when I walked but ended up selling it to me anyway. Older and more miles then I wanted but 2-3X less than I thought I would spend so that's good. I looked at quite a few local auto BMW that I had zero intention in buying and this one is in about the same or better shape cosmetically as even the cars with under 80K I've seen. I dropped it off with the BMW specialist in Barrington at Highgate Motors the day after I bought it to look at the airbag light and give it a inspection. Planning on putting some money into it regardless. Being older and N/A with not alot of electronic bullshit the mechanic said it should be good to me. I figure it's something fun to drive that I can get double the gas mileage driving up north and not really have to give a fuck because it's not perfect and has alot of miles. If I can keep with the maint it probably won't loose much value either being a manual. Not sure if I should make thread about $4,000 BMW right away or just show up at TCG Tour.

I was expecting the BMW guy at Highgate to come back with a list well over the purchase price of the car. :rofl: . The airbag light was a sensor and it ended up needing some oil leaks and suspension issues fixed. I bought some used OEM headlights, fogs, and filters and changed them out myself. At first glance working on the BMW was hard but once you figure out how todo something its easy. The headlight bulbs seemed to have the most complicated design ever until I researched how to actually remove them. Next I dropped the car off at Body Shop of Barrington to get the front bumper repainted. I wanted to get the rear done but didn't know how expensive bodywork actually was. My dad used to own a body shop and worked on my stuff for basically nothing. I will live with the scuff on the rear bumper for now. Bumper repaint came out good. Next I dropped it off at Auto Image in Barrington for a PDR on the entire car as well as a full detail and 30% tint. The car looked great after the detail but being polished out now revealed some sun damage on the hood and roof that looks really bad. Oh well its old with high mileage I cannot be anal with this car even though I put a few thousand into it already. TCG Tour came and the car didn't miss a beat. It was very comfortable and got awesome gas mileage. Its really fun to drive until you go wide open and then you quickly realize this car has under 200HP. 100HP+ more would be nice but I didn't really want to deal with a Twin Turbo BMW. Driving civilized on the highway yields 32-36mpg depending how fast I drive. I REALLY like how the car drives and wouldn't mind buying a newer BMW with a payment down the road. Its really quiet and smooth. Sometimes I forget to shift. Winter plans are snow tires and send it.


2004 525i M6 170K

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yes. dem 16's.

I keep em clean tho
about friggin time you posted this man!
 

EmersonHart13

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Ah the source of my two favorite quotes from Tour.... :ROFLMAO:

I was impressed and proves you can bring just about anything on tour and have a great time.

:bigthumb:
 

Ron Vogel

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17’s aren’t bad, but 18”s Are too much for that chassis. I loved the handling of the 18s, but it totally kills the ride for a DD.

I wouldn’t call working on one hard, but more of just a pain in the ass. BMW likes to layer stuff, so you seem to always taking more off to get after what you’re getting at.

I can only speak to the e39 chassis, but the only real issues I had with them (non-turbo 6) was the occasional sensor, diss valves, and pcv system. If you already have the cold weather package the pcv should be fine. Disa valve disintegrates over time, and probably should be preventive maintenance. If the disa hasn’t been done yet, it’ll probably restore a few ponies
 

Outlaw

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Keep track of maintenance costs. I know you’re good with the OCD shit and doing things yourself. E60 may give more electrical issues than E39 would have, but it’s not going to be anything substantial.

I had that exact drivetrain in two past cars and they averaged close to 30 highway if you kept your speed in check.
 

Bru

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Glad you made a thread :bigthumb:

Congrats and enjoy
 

IDAFC21

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I enjoyed seeing all the BMW representation in the tour pics (y)
 

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