After a relatively short (and extremely enjoyable) stint in owning this car, I have realized I am not able to enjoying this car as much as I can- it being my only daily commuter within the city. It’s lowered, it’s stiff, and I am regularly terrorized about the potential ills of leaving it on the street. And in reality, I’m spending more time combating traffic than opening it up. At the end of the day, I’d also love to find my unicorn Evergreen M Coupe too. Because there was only a handful ever produced, I’d like to not have multiple coupe ownership once it does pop up (big if).
Since March of this year, I’ve put on over 13,000 miles in this car alone. I picked it up in Phoenix from another well-known member of the Z3 community who owned it for 5 years. When he sold it to me he had just realized that after a carfax check was pulled, the car had been labeled as a ‘lemon’ in the state of California when it was NEW. This only shows up on carfax, although the car has spent a healthy 130k of driving joy with its owners, so whatever the issue was- it was fixed. The Illinois title is CLEAR and in MY name.
I drove it home 1900 miles in a single weekend across the country with no hiccups. In addition to that I’ve also taken it down to SOWO in Helen, GA where it received tons of exposure and became recognized as a frequenter of the Rotiform facebook page. It has also been on FluidMotorUnion’s blog as well as canibeat.com and eGarage. I’ve simply lost count of the thousands of “likes” the car has acquired in various places online. The car is downright phenomenal when mated to a proper set of wheels (like my BBS RSs) That’s all storytelling though, onto the important facts:
-1999 Estoril/Estoril BMW M Coupe
-130,xxx miles and growing by about 40 every day
-receipts for about $7000 of work during my ownership
A ton of work done in the last 5000 miles. At 125,000 miles the car had developed a misfire, which I didn’t think was much of an issue, because it still pulled strong and had been excellent in the driving before that. Unfortunately, upon diagnosis, the issue was that the threads in spark plug hole #5 had somehow worn away, where the plug was no longer seated properly and the car was misfiring. Having feared the worst, I had the head removed to further inspect for damage. Luckily- there was NO scoring and NO damage to the bottom end whatsoever. See photos in this ad.
The head was then refinished, a new threaded sleeve was inserted into plug hole #5 and all new head gasket-related parts were purchased. New hardware, new head gasket, new valve cover gasket, new plugs, two coils replaced, the list is long but it was all done to spec. The motor has been flawless since. All in all, there went 2 grand that the new PO will not have to spend.
Additionally, and very importantly- full cooling system overhaul. S54 radiator, Stewart high capacity water pump, new fan clutch, new thermostat, new thermostat housing, all new hoses, new belts, new pulleys, new tensioners, and quite possibly some other things that I’m missing. Differential and Transmission fluid were swapped when I did the head work as well.
No grinds or noises, shifts smoothly throughout all gears. As I mentioned, the fluid was replaced with AMSOIL when I had the head work done. There was a bit of flywheel rattle after the fluid was swapped, but this is not uncommon. It looks to be leaking slightly at the rear seal, but I bought the car that way and the PO had noted it himself. There was never an issue otherwise, and the clutch does not slip. I would confidently say that it still has a good bit of life in it, although I cannot verify if it is the original clutch or not.
Ground Control coilovers with 600/500# springs and flipped top hats and GC RSMs ($1700 in this). New control arm bushings, new sway bar links, new sway bar bushings, new inner and outer tie rods, new front rotors and pads that are full all around. Extremely taut handling with no squeaks or creaks, and I do mean it handles like on rails. I invite anyone over for an extended test drive if you are serious about it. Does not pull in any direction and is rock solid up to 120mph. Not that I’ve ever taken it that fast…
Very presentable, but no show car. No tears, stains, odors or missing trim. Seats have had their bushings replaced (typical of Z3s with rocking seats), and the glovebox reinforcement plate has been installed. Crack in shifter surround piece adjacent to seat heater button. Comes with a lit chrome ZHP knob and stock C33 cassette player. MB Quart speakers all around which will be mated to the factory amp and CD changer. If desired, I will leave the 5 channel Alpine amplifier and Kicker CVT65 sub in for an additional $250. Both are necessary upgrades in Z3s as the stock HK sound system leaves a lot to be desired. Factory wiring was left in place, and the amplifier uses line-level inputs and didn’t require tearing apart the interior to snake thick RCA cables through. The only thing that is of note is the AC. It didn’t blow cold air when I got the car, I haven’t diagnosed why, and I can’t confirm what could be wrong. I won’t even say that it needs a recharge, because I don’t know. I have the blood circulation of a 65 year old woman and drive with the windows down all the time. Everything else electric works. Sometimes the driver door lock can be finicky where it doesn’t want to unlock, but it locks fine. Passenger door is also good. There is also dynamat everywhere. Inside the doors, on the entire trunk floor, on the hatch as well as in the rear parcel trim- so it’s obviously much quieter inside even with the exhaust.
It looks fantastic. ALL original VINs. Including window VINs (yes, I’m that particular). If you are not a paint/body perfectionist, you’ll be extremely satisfied with the exterior shape. As someone who has to walk around the car every day making sure that it didn’t get dinged, I made sure to get most imperfections refinished when I got the car. This involved repainting the hood, bumper and ACS splitters at A&L autobody out of pocket. A&L does the work for IND’s cars, and if you look up IND, you’ll quickly see that they do phenomenal work. The paint match is perfect as is the paint texture that meets the rest of the car’s body. Unless you yourself have ever painted a car, it’ll be extremely difficult to notice it has had work done.
Unfortunately, the freshly painted ACS splitters have contacted asphalt because the car was very low, so they are scratched on the bottom. Unless you are looking underneath the car, you cannot see this. There are no real dings to speak of, except a few very faint indentations left from people opening doors and the edge touching the sheet metal. Once again, these are things you notice from about a foot away and have to look for carefully. There is a finger nail size paint chip in the rear bumper where plastic is exposed, and unfortunately the part of the roof behind the sunroof is showing age. The clear is a bit dull and there are two fingernail sized spots where the clear has cracked. Luckily this is all on top of the roof where it is hard to notice. I have kept the car polished and waxed, although you could easily and inexpensively remedy this with a black vinyl roof if it bothered you.
New Falken ZE-912 tires all around on the roadstars that come with the car. Front roadstars are in good shape, but the rears unfortunately have chipping paint around the edge with one having some curbage. Car has dual Vibrant 3.5” mufflers which sound amazing. Stock mufflers will be included with the sale.
That has been a lot of information, but I hope it shows the kind of fanaticism I have in both car, and coupe ownership. It’s my fourth e36/7 coupe and by far, my most favorite. Almost everything that has been listed on the car I have a receipt for during my ownership. Nothing mentioned is “oh, the previous owner told me… “. All work and parts are from this year alone. Additionally, every quirk and common BMW fault has been addressed on it which the new owner will not have to do. This is dozens of hours in the garage that you don’t have to spend. And of course, the rear subframe is fine. I’ve looked every single time from underneath when the car was up on a lift, and there are no creaks or noises to speak of from the rear either.
With that said, this is one of those “I don’t need to sell it” sales. It’s my only car, I use it every day and I’d let it go if the price is right. It’s also far from the cheapest coupe you can get, but be assured it’s without a doubt one of the best cars at this mileage. If you are in the “why is an S52 car this much money” club, the car is not for you. Know that if you buy any 100k+ mile coupe, you’ll have to do most of the work that I did myself. Not to mention that mine’s got a great body, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…
If you have a close to mint e30 (big bumpers, manual)- I’d consider a trade to have something to drive around. Same goes for a rare-color (evergreen, Dakar, oxford green) M Coupe, let me know.
Price is $16,000. I’m not interested in offers at the moment.
*Subtract $1300 if you want the stock suspension.
*Subtract $300 if you don’t want the ACS splitters.
*Add $250 if you want upgraded sound system.
*Add $5000 if you want the BBS wheels.
IF you are serious and interested in this car, contact me at APRSES at GMAIL dot COM . I have the carfax ready for interested parties