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      06-04-2011, 05:23 PM   #1

Drives: 1997 M3 Estoril Blue
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA

iTrader: (0)

FS: 1997 M3 coupe, Estoril Blue/Dove Gray, 5-spd (CA)

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1997 M3 coupe, Estoril Blue, Dove Gray leather, 5-speed manual, 147K miles
Lots of upgrades and maintenance

I bought this car in Georgia in 2003 with 100K miles. I've only driven it less than 6K miles per year. It's mainly been my second car, driven in Spring/Summer/Fall, and parked in the garage when not being driven. It has seen some track and autocross time, but it hasn't been abused doing that (no accidents).

I currently live in Los Angeles. The car was in Cincinnati, OH with me from 2003 until Sept 2010, when I moved to LA. Now I live in the city, I'm going to school, and I don't need to drive that much. The car is too good to just sit idle and only be driven 10 miles or less a week. I park in a covered off-street spot. It is still registered and titled in Ohio (I haven't registered it in CA).

More photos here

More photos here

General Specs
5-speed manual trans
Power windows and sunroof
Manual heated "Vader" seats
Forged LTW wheels (7.5x17 front, 8.5x17 rear, with matching full size spare)
Rear spoiler
On-board computer
Harman-Kardon sound system, with aftermarket JVC CD/radio head unit with iPod integration
Power steering
Keyless entry and alarm
Front driver & passenger airbags
Folding/split rear seats
23 mpg overall

TC Kline coilover suspension with Koni shocks (double-adjustable fronts, single-adjustable rears)
TC Kline monoball rear shock mounts and reinforcements
Vorshlag camber plates
M50 intake manifold swap (including DSC delete)
Conforti Shark Injector software upgrade
UUC System U cat-back exhaust
Short shifter
BMW Motorsport X-brace
Underdrive pulleys
ECIS cold air intake
SSI "stealth" front underpanel
Tinted windows
Wheel studs (I will include the original wheel bolts so you have the option to switch back. The studs just screw in to the bolt holes, so they're easy to remove. But the studs make changing wheels SO much easier!)
Schroth clip-in (removable) 4 point harnesses (driver & passenger)

Maintenance Highlights
  • Replaced rear shock mounts (RSMs) (@ 101K miles)
  • Replaced rear trailing arm bushings (RTABs) and added Ground Control shims (@ 107K)
  • Replaced spark plug boots (@ 130K)
  • New radiator, water pump, and aluminum thermostat housing (@ 133K)
  • Professionally aligned and corner balanced (with TC Kline suspension @ 135K)
  • Fuel filter (@ 138K)
  • Regular oil changes with BMW oil (last done @ 146K with BMW synthetic)
  • Regular brake fluid changes with ATE Blue
  • Trans and diff fluid changes (last done @ 137K) with Redline synthetic
  • RR wheel bearing (@ 136K)
  • Spark plugs (@ 141K)
  • Interior cabin air filter, headlight bulbs, wiper blades (@ 142K)
  • Radiator expansion tank (@ 146K)
  • Regular washes, waxes, clay bar treatment, etc.

Other Notes
Honestly, this car is in excellent shape and it looks and runs great. But of course it's not perfect, and here are some things I should point out:
  • Driver's seat heater doesn't work. Has been non-functional since I bought the car in '03. Passenger side works, though.
  • Slight power steering leak. The power steering reservoir cap gets wet with fluid, and it leaves a few drops of fluid on the ground when parked, but doesn't leak enough to worry me (it doesn't require frequent level checks or refills.) I replaced one of the p/s hoses (@ 134K miles) but it didn't stop the leak.
  • A few scratches on middle of rear bumper
  • Driver's seat leather has typical wear (on side bolster, seat bottom, etc.) for a car this age. It could use a simple refinish/re-dye. The passenger and rear seat leather is in excellent condition.
  • The tint on the rear window is starting to bubble. It's not too bad right now, but will require some attention/retint in the future
  • The wheels have some minor curb rash, which they've had since I bought the car. It's not very severe.
  • The driver's door lock recently started not to work with the keyless entry intermittently, meaning sometimes it won't lock or unlock when you use the remote key fob. But it works fine if you use the key. The central locking also works fine when you use the key (i.e., you lock the driver's door and it locks the passenger door and the trunk).
  • The plastic attachment holes for the ///M front floor mats are coming loose from the mats. This is the ring embedded in each mat, not the attachment piece on the floor of the car. They still stay in place, but the mats are not in perfect condition. The driver's mat is pretty dirty, too -- downside of dove gray floor mats. But the carpet in each footwell is in great shape because I always use the mats.

As noted above, I upgraded to a TC Kline track/performance oriented suspension package. Don't be concerned about the ride quality, though. The car still rides nice for everyday street use. I honestly didn't notice a difference in ride harshness on the street versus the stock suspension, but the suspension is a big improvement on the track. Also, the suspension lowered the car about 1.5" inches from stock.

I upgraded to an aftermarket JVC head unit because the factory one had some gremlins. The JVC head is a single CD, AM/FM, with iPod integration (you can control your iPod with the JVC controls) and stereo line in for other devices. The car still has the BMW factory 6-disc CD changer installed in the trunk, but it doesn't work with the aftermarket head unit. The changer did work fine with the factory head unit, though, so it should be OK if you want to recommission it, or remove it and sell it. Aside from the head, it has the rest of the original H/K system. One of the speakers has started to sound weird, I think the passenger door mid.

I'm willing to work with any serious buyer, either in the So Cal area or out of state. I'll help if you want to have a car inspection service look at it, if you fly here to look at it, if you need to have it shipped, etc. I've bought and sold many cars in the past 10 years, including a couple on eBay (my user name is stevegsr if you want to check my feedback -- see transactions on 8/27/02 and 6/28/07 when I sold vehicles). I'm new to this site, but I've used quite a bit (a lot of searching/reading, a handful of posts; my user name is brackethead there, too).

Please contact me if you have any questions!

Last edited by brackethead; 06-23-2011 at 08:42 PM. Reason: Sold
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      06-04-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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      06-23-2011, 08:42 PM   #3

Drives: 1997 M3 Estoril Blue
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA

iTrader: (0)

Sold as of 6/22/2011
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