BMW Z3 2.5i 2001


After some initial repairs / maintenance -- the usual suspects, including an annoying airbag light, sliding seats, etc., the car was a pleasure to drive. Unfortunately the top was slashed (to get at a package sitting between the seats) a couple of months after I purchased the car, so a month after driving around with clear awning tape and a plastic drop cloth overhead, a new top was installed.

mileage at purchase: 83,300. Oxford green metallic

BMW Z3 in front of Biltmore House


Mechanical Maintenance June 2012 to the present, other than oil/filter:

(a) a new grommet for the antenna was installed. The old one had apparently rotted away.
(b) had the car gone over by the BEEMER CLINIC, in Fletcher, NC and later at GERMAN AUTO WERKS of Asheville, independent garages, for belts, hoses, fluids, etc.
(c) new water pump, new top radiator hose, new fan belt idler pulley, new gasoline filter. Need new rear shocks, one is leaking.
(d) engine management software was upgraded. My mechanic explained that the software had been upgraded by BMW in 2003. This Z3 still had the original in 2012...
(e) correcting some of the problem bits ignored by its previous owner, the front-corner top triangle-plug window seals were defective, resulting in a very wet floor and a defective impact sensor under the passenger seat. The new top is leakproof, and in order to keep the rear window clear and wrinkle-free, I'm placing a fun noodle wrapped in a microfiber cloth in the fold.

1967 BMW 1600
My first BMW was a 1967 1600 (6 volt!) (1.6L) into which a 2.0L 2002 engine had been stuffed, overwhelming the 1600's transmission with extra torque. With its 4.11 rear end, it was a real screamer and lots of fun to drive (and take apart, a skill I learned on my '55 Pontiac years before) for the two years I owned it. Getting replacement 6v electricals was a real bummer - not easy to find. This is yours truly reinstalling the BMW's cylinder head after a valve regrind.



On the WWW, Route 129, our local challenge: The "Dragon", an 11-mile, 318-turn twisty run down the Smoky Mountains near Deal's Gap between NC and TN is a fantastic ride in a sports car. The video comments re the TN police are a hoot.

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