Dec 23, 2018

What's my car worth? BMW E36 M3/4/5



My stable needs an AWD for my personal winter coolness.  As a poor blogging pharmacist, the M3 may just have to be the car to fund it.  Please comment on the blog, or suggest a value, a trade, send me money or just call me an asshole.

Tiny spoiler is off a E46, but it's applied with tape,
You can peel it off if it offends your sensibilities. 

If it was for sale the add would look like this......................

For Sale:  Made FAMOUS BY THIS BLOG.  MY 1997 M3 4 door 5 speed sedan 116,000 miles and climbing.  All those nagging little projects have been done.  Apparently, I forgot it snows in Colorado. 


This is the car in current state.  Just outside of Estes Park, my favorite Saturday drive.
Saturday drives and cars and coffee is all I do.  I don't have the nerves for  track days
Please note there are no pizza delivery guys or teenagers in it's ownership history.  No offense intended, I'm a big fan of both for different reasons.
  • Owner 1.  ER manager at Seattle hospital
  • Owner 2.  ER physical at same hospital
  • Owner 3.  Pharmacist at Boulder hospital. (Me)

You can see here all the Dinan shocks, springs, sway and muffler.
Dinan is a great compromise between streetable and sporty feel. 
After all, they sold their stuff through most dealerships.

It is not a Carfax virgin, which can put off some folks.  I bought it because the condition was exceptional, not because the Carfax was exceptional. The was struck by a grocery cart, wielded by an angry vagrant in 2007.  Opportunity to paint the entire car and address years of scuffs and scratches presented itself.  So it's been resprayed pretty darn well.

This photo shows the Motorsport belts, but there are other things to admire.
Note the condition of the arm rest, the door panel & the seats side bolsters.
Please note: I'm showing you the worst seat, the driver seat.
Service history: This cars had the privilege of attentive, financially capable ownership.  It is evidenced by a binder thick with original purchase paperwork, maintenance history and repair documentation.  I personally, love service paperwork, just because it shows the owners were obsessed with the car's care. 


  1. Dinan intake, the original carbon not the new crappy ones.  
  2. Dinan Strut Tower brace.  just  front one.  Sedan's w/out a pass through, like this one) are the most rigid M3's you can get.
  3. Dinan Sway bars, front and rear.
  4. Dinan Suspension front and rear.
  5. Dinan Exhaust, not too loud but sounds better than stock.
  6. Dinan short shifter
  7. Dinan pedal kit
  8. BMW Motorsports seat belts.
  9. Aluminum Radiator & upgraded waterpump.  
  10. Kenwood radio well matched to interior coloring.  Pandora, IOS, handsfree etc.   
    1. Installed w/adapter so not a single wire has been cut.  OEM radio included 
  11. M3 Roadster x-brace.  (you know what that is? then this might be the car for you)
  12. Three spoke steering wheel conversion. 
  13. BMW factory alarm system w/remotes
  14. Recent window tint
Stickers are blasphemous I know.  But they come off and I like em.
These are not pristine wheels, but they are pretty darn presentable

Also of note
  • Original window sticker.
  • New plugs
  • New oil
  • New filters: oil, air, interior air
  • New O2 Sensors (Meister Motorworks, Seattle)
  • New seals (I don't like leaky cars)
  • New wipers
  • New clutch  (Glen Shelly, CO)
  • New tail OEM lights  (cheap replacements trigger a service engine alert)
  • New BMW badges, floor mats & many small interior, exterior and engine trim pieces etc
  • New A/C (Dynamic European Service, CO
  • I've had the dent people run through and correct tiny imperfections.
  • Ignition switch issues don't exist. Been there, done that.
  • Door actuator issues don't exist. Been there, done that.
  • Blower motor doesn't rattle.  Been there, done that
New floor mats.  What kind of moron pays $250 for Dinan pedals.
I'm that moron

What you'll need to do
  • If you plan to drive daily, I bet you'll need new tires in 12 months.
  • If you park outdoors (god I hope not) I bet you will need a new Idle control motor too.  When super cold, the idle control feels sluggish.  ($150 for the good ones, $50 for the cheap ones) 


Professionally detailed.
Seriously, I have removed all trim and scrubbed this car to the bone.




Car and it's roommate.  
No, I don't want to sell.  But i'm not Jay Leno, and if I want a new car, something's go to go.
If I can't afford to fund something interesting I can experiment with snow tires and mud flaps
Back seats, that's why people buy these.  Kids actually fit.
I've tested it, and yes you will find cookie crumbs if you look

So, now you've seen it.
A Dinan badge worthy package
Manual transmission
Sedan, not coupe
Black leather, not grey or white.







    Dec 11, 2018

    12 easy steps to ruining a cars originality.

    I bought a 40-Anniversary Carrera because it was an amazing amount of car for an amazing price not as an investment.  I am not afraid to change things up as long as the work is somewhat reversible.  You know, in case I need to sell it to fund a hemorrhoidectomy or something.

    Black accents, Lower, Louder, & Big brakes. I'm done for now.
    I'd like to think Porsche could have offered such a car in 2004. 
    With just 35,000 miles on the odometer and 25,000 on the motor (IMS failure) the car is practically new and was priced to sell.   Finding any X51 power package equipped 996 with this mileage is pretty unlikely so that makes me a fancy-pants guy.


    I'd say the Carrera T is my benchmark.  Not overly powerful, but well sorted  for Touring.
    It comes with something odd, a warranty.   What would I do without the worry of breakage?


    In an ideal world, I'd live in an RV and get a loan for a new Carrera T.  I've always wanted a new unscratched Carrera.   The 996 is as close as I'm gonna get in this lifetime.  And like any new sports car, it isn't an investment, so let's piss off the traditionalists, shall we?


    Here are my 12 steps to ruining the originality of my car.  

    1. Sell the exclusive 40AE luggage to fund this blog

    Buying the most maligned Carrera of our time left me with money left over but not enough.  So I sold off the exclusive 40 AE luggage to have even more money to play with.  I know I'll kick myself later, but bipolar car disorders come with some regrets.


    Ash, enjoy them!    They were sold for some worthy causes below


    2. Embrace the 996 Headlights.

    I am NOT going to deal with those fried egg lights.  Something this polarizing must be celebrated.  Think of it as Cindy Crawford's mole, but two of em.

    I'm going full-on with #FriedEggPride

    3.  Pay tribute to the past with Cocomats.  

    These old-school mats were common in German cars 40 years ago like Carreras and 356s.   I think they have a place in an Anniversary Edition car.  Made of woven coconut fibers, we are recycling all that coconut water consumed by hipsters.  


    Custom a back window deck , just cut a template and mailed it to them.

    Black and white hides Oreo crumbs well.  Good thing.
    4. Enhance wheel appearance with overpriced rotors.

    The OEM wheels are too good to replace so I opted to enhance behind them instead. Giro-Discs are pretty, and the notable braking improvement was a side benefit.

    Bigger, lighter, floating design. 
    Better than black, but not quite red or yellow.  Painted em blue.  


    5. Porsche Sport Exhaust, sort of.Porsche failed by not adding a powerful exhaust note to match the more powerful X51 motor package.   I have rectified this with Fister HD's muffler mod.  For 10% the cost of the sport exhaust option ($4500) you get the same design w/o the ability to turn it off.   Who the hell would turn it off?  
    Recent PCA tour, Bruce's Seal Grey 996's ride height put me to shame. 
    Something had to be done, and fast.
    6 Stance Stance Stance, $400 The 40 Jahre had the good sport suspension option included but being in the USA they were forced to make it a monster truck for DOT compliance. Some geniuses suggest I need new shocks designed to match my 1/2" drop in height.  RUF and I disagree.  



    RUF springs are same spring rate, just a tad lower.
    Fister's don't need ceramic coating but I couldn't resist.

    7. Making the car recognizable Porsche went all out with a silver that's 10% different, Whoopie Do!   Although GT Silver was an exclusive color, it isn't that distinctive. I solved this with a few hideous satin black accents for bedazlementation.  I'll try to pass them off as OEM. 

    Inspired by the new 991T decal.  I think these are pretty understated.
     others have likened it to a tatoo on my face.  Each to his own I guess
    Man Cave hooked me up with my "blackening"  thanks guys.
    At least now I can find my car during PCA club drive events.
    8. Vanity Plates
    It's easier for fill out Hotel forms if you have a plate you can memorize. 
    40 Jahre is German for 40 Fast years




     


    9. RUF Wheels. 

    If/when I'm stupid enough to buy them, I'll get them painted darker grey too. For now I'm skipping this step.  See, I'm not completely insane.

    I know they aren't much to look at, but i'm sure with a a good color selection, they will be amazing
    https://rufautomobiles.com/product/ruf-18-inch-wheel-kit-for-porsche-996/




    10. Fancy pedals make you feel cool.
    One night soon, I'll cave and buy these pedal covers from RUF.   Along with the RUF dead pedal cover, that they brilliantly sell separately.


    Image result for ruf pedal covers
    Maybe someday RUF will get the website certificate right and the links will work.


    11. Fancy navigation and back up camera.  
    Be real, nobody harkens back to 2004 and fondly remembers poor navigation systems.   It's not a crime to update a radio in a 996 like it might be in a 50's Speedster.   That said, it's cool goodies like this that make you get a loan and just buy new.   It's nearly $4000 to put high end system in right.*  Thats money you will never get out of an automobile, so for a guy that rarely keeps a car for 2 sets of tires, I cannot afford this kind of indulgence.

    * By high end I mean Apple Play, Garmin NAV (no data signal required), hidden GPS antenna and camera parking technology.  You can do less, but for me it would be all or nothing.   Porsche used fiber optics in this car, which adds $ and complexity.  Perhaps specialized "MOST" adapters are a way to save here,  I am still waiting on Proof of this concept but many installers I've spoke with won't warranty them and fader control is lost. Any audiophile would want more power since Porsche's amps are under powered in their minds.
    Related image
    Porsche used fiber optics in the 2004 Carrera, so retrofitting fancier radios is hard.
    So hard that i'll keep my money and buy a iPhone mount instead.
    If you are balling after xmas call Rod  https://cai-store.com/ he drives a 996 

    11a.  iPhone Mount.
    This I can do. And since its from Suncoast, a Porsche specialty company, it costs $45 instead of $10.  Worth every penny.  iPHone mount,   cheap thrills

    Magnetic Phone Mount - 996/986
    Worth every penny.  iPHone mount,   cheap thrills 

    12. Make your passengers comfortable.
    While Porsche sells a child seat, you really want one w/out armrests.  It makes it easier to reach the buckles.


    Maxi-Cosi Rodifix is a better fit than anything I've seen before.