Hey all,

I'd like to introduce myself and my newly-acquired car. I'm a BMW mechanic/web developer living in Phoenix, AZ, with a strong love for BMW's from the late 90's and early 2000's. I've owned an E39 M5, half a dozen E39 540i/6's, an E38 750il, an E36 M3, a few Range Rovers, an X5 4.6is, and now I've got this, a 2003 330i/5 in Oxford Green.

The backstory is that I had a Techno Violet E36 M3 for a little bit but didn't love it as a daily driver; it was just a bit too unrefined for my tastes. My friend bought it the minute I thought about selling it, and so I was on the hunt for a car that would make a better daily driver for me. I had been curious about the E46 for quite some time, and while I would have loved to pick up a ZHP, my budget was nowhere near that. So I started looking for manual 330i's. Before long, I found this car on Craigslist in Sacramento, with the following maintenance work done to it:

  • Koni Yellow sport shocks and Eibach Sportline springs
  • New front and rear shock mounts and bumpstops and other hardware on the shocks
  • New sway bar endlinks in front
  • New ATE brake booster
  • New ATE type 200 brake fluid
  • New heater core
  • New AC evaporator
  • New AC expansion valve
  • New fuel cap
  • New upper and lower intake boots
  • New final stage resistor
  • New block coolant hoses (the hard plastic ones)
  • New thermostat
  • New expansion tank
  • New jack pads
  • New fuel door lock
  • New fuel door filler pot gasket
  • New AC drier receiver
  • Freshly refilled AC
  • New front wheel bearings
  • New fuel filter and vacuum line
  • New Z4M lower control arm bushings
  • New water pump
  • New hydraulic belt tensioner
  • 2 new idler pulleys
  • 2 new rear tires (Federal SS595)
  • Front and rear shock mount support plates (BMW in front, Turner in rear)
  • Turner hex tip stud conversion
  • Rebuilt driver door lock mechanism
  • VANOS seals fixed with Beisan systems
  • Both airbag recalls done
  • New center support bearing
  • New flex disk
  • E46 M3 engine and transmission mounts
  • 600w subwoofer with amplifier
  • New Pentosin coolant
  • ZHP 5 speed shift knob
  • E46 330d short shifter
  • Shifter mechanism rebuilt completely
  • New valve cover gasket and grommets
  • New intake cam position sensor
  • New BOSCH 120amp alternator, not rebuilt
  • Transmission shift pins replaced

It also had the engine rebuilt by the owner 30k miles prior, with new rings, new gaskets, etc. I immediately called up the owner and had a good long conversation with him about the car. He was very straightforward about the condition of the car, mentioning both the good and the bad. Some of you guys might know him, his name's Dario (Avetiso) and it looks like he posted a bunch on here. I actually found the build thread for this car from back in the day here: http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...ford-Green-ZSP

This is how the car looked in the ad:

We agreed on a price over the phone and I booked my plane ticket to Sacramento for the following week.