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Unread 12-09-2008, 09:06 PM
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Default Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

So Paul knew a guy who knew a guy who had a 1995 BMW that was in the shop. It has been there for a month and apparently wasn't going to be fixed anytime soon and he wanted to dump it for what he owed the mechanic, so Paul did the right thing - he called me.

This 200K mile 1995 325i 4 door "wouldn't start" and the mechanic working on it was out of ideas. It was a red, 5-spd manual car and I figured "how bad could it be?" so I went and kidnapped my "volunteer" helper McCall last week and we took the truck and trailer to BFE Arlington to go take a look. It was in better shape than I had hoped for the amount we had discussed, and I actually gave him more for the car than we'd bargained. (thanks for helping me go get this thing, Jason!)


click to enlarge

It was still not much money, was still VERY dirty/full of trash, and I was still taking a risk that I could get it running easily. The former owner warned me that there was all sorts of stuff still in the car, plus "uhh, maybe some bullets". Here's how it looked when we dragged it here:



In the past week we've been super slammed with new product testing and preparation for the PRI show, but last Sunday I couldn't take it anymore and spent about 3 hours cleaning the car. I figured, with my Mr. Clean logic, that I'd rather work on a clean car than a filthy one, so yes - I cleaned it before ever starting to fix the mechanical problem. It cleaned up better than I thought it would, but still has a long way to go. Its a lot better than it was, and a lot of the missing interior parts were found inside the car (yes, it was that dirty) so now it looks like I only need floor mats and a deep carpet cleaning inside, plus swapping in another matching tan BMW seat we have into the driver's side.



I did manage to find a number of live rounds in the car, .22 and .45 caliber, and the "Red Bullet" name seems to have stuck.



Goals:
  • Make a cheap, economical Daily Driver / delivery vehicle for me so I can quit driving a 3/4 ton truck everywhere (12mpg).
  • Make this into a reliable, semi-respectable looking 4 door people mover
  • Maybe throw a few Test parts on it when it makes sense (possibly a lower cost front strut insert, the new wheel studs, etc).
  • Keep 15" wheels and cheap, tall, squishy tires on it for "no fear" driving on any roads.
  • Gotta get this thing repainted...
  • Get drunk one night and prep it for STX! hahaha... (well, its not like we don't have the parts laying around for that)

Known Issues:
  • Won't start, or even crank. This car has BMW keyless entry alarm that I want to discombobulate from the car, first. Then I'll try a new ignition switch/steering column.
  • Interior needs some help - filthy carpets, torn/worn driver's seat, droopy headliner. All stuff I've done before
  • Exterior needs bodywork and repaint. About 50% of the paint is excellent, bright red, but everything on top is baked. (clear coat gone) Big dent in trunk and RR door. Needs some updated trim.
  • Window tint has lived past its prime. Need to remove.

Last edited by Fair!; 12-09-2008 at 09:17 PM.
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Unread 12-09-2008, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

Here's the pics after a few hours of trash removal, washing, vacuuming, and a quickie detail of the trunk and underhood. This was enough therapeutic cleaning for one day and should tide me over until we get back from PRI next week. We have so many other pressing projects (EVO X suspension + exhaust, 08 STI exhaust, Alpha car motor swap, Alpha car safety/prep, etc) that this might be all I get to do for the rest of 2008. When I get some "free time" I will tinker with this until its running, either that or throw a match to it.

Trunk was completely disassembled, cleaned, and everthing reinstalled with replaced hardware from our stockpile of spares. I even found a CD changer in there, and it might even work, ha. Removed pounds of leaves, tree sap and other goo from the trunk sealing area, and got up in there with the brushes and cleaners. Cleaned the trunk carpet liner but its still drying.



I used aluminum foil to temporarily cover the missing fuse panel during cleaning/detail, but otherwise it looks to be "all there". Cleaned up nicely, but the magnesium cam cover needs to be re-plated, re-coated or painted. Its got an eBay cold air that looks brand new. Traction control (wtf?) and cruise control along with some weird contraption attached to the brake booster vacuum line. Unmolested stock suspension and perfect strut tower tops.



Wheels cleaned up pretty well. There's good original finish under pounds of brake dust.



Pounds of junk was vacuumed and compressed air blew more stuff out of every nook and crevice.



More soon... well, sort of soon.

Last edited by Fair!; 12-15-2008 at 10:54 AM.
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Unread 12-09-2008, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

This image just makes me chuckle...



The red car got shoved under the Alpha last night - the 325 was blocking a spot for the M3 and I was trying to get as many cars into the shop quickly when it looked like we were gonna get hit with a tornado (a nasty "tornadic wall cloud" went right over my head!). Might be the only time it gets parked indoors for... forever?



Its comical when the M3 and 325 are parked side by side - 15" x skinny vs 18 x 9" wheels.



Wish the whole car looked as good as the paint on the hood and front fenders.

Last edited by Fair!; 12-09-2008 at 09:36 PM.
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Unread 12-10-2008, 12:04 PM
BrianGT BrianGT is offline
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

Looks like a good car! I hope to see you guys out there in STX.
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Unread 12-10-2008, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

Nice.

My DD is a '92 325i in red.

They do look sharp cleaned up.
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Unread 12-14-2008, 12:15 PM
Chris Chris is offline
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

Traction Control... could mean it has a Limited Slip Diff?
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Unread 12-14-2008, 01:37 PM
bfitz bfitz is offline
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

TC came standard on '95 325's, and the LSD was unavailable. Before '95, both were options, but they could not both be had on the same car.

Brian
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Unread 12-14-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

Really? I thought the TC and no LSD thing wasn't until '96 with the 328.
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Unread 12-14-2008, 07:38 PM
bfitz bfitz is offline
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

I'm 95% certain that TC was standard and the LSD was unavailable in '95. I'm positive that TC and the LSD were available in '93 and '94 but not together.
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Unread 12-15-2008, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Fair's '95 BMW 325i - the Red Bullet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfitz
I'm 95% certain that TC was standard and the LSD was unavailable in '95. I'm positive that TC and the LSD were available in '93 and '94 but not together.
Bad news - Brian seems to be correct that TC and an LSD are mutually exclusive, at least on this car. Just jacked up one side, and with one rear wheel still on the ground the other spun freely. No Limited Slip Diff. Not really a shock, though.

Last edited by Fair!; 12-15-2008 at 03:33 PM.
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