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Old 11-27-2016, 07:30 PM   #1
Budget M3
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: LA & Colo Spgs
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Default Unicorn: Original 1-owner 1998 318ti Sport DASC Cali roof 5-sp 117k miles

Unicorn: Original 1-owner 1998 318ti Sport DASC Cali roof 5-sp 117k miles
Avus blue with immaculate mill point gray cloth and black leather interior.

I am (finally) out of garage space!

This 1998 US model was bought new in Germany through the Military/Diplomatic Sales program. It was my wife's daily driver in Europe for its first 3 years. The only modification during this time was to add a Remus exhaust for a nice throaty but refined soundtrack and an upgraded Alpine CD head unit with iPod interface, Rockford Fosgate component speakers, Alpine amplifier, and JL Audio 10-inch subwoofer.

Upon repatriation to the US in 2001 at 40k miles, it became my daily driver and was treated to an AC Schnitzer package--ACS springs, Koni adjustable struts/shocks, ACS front strut brace, ACS Carbon fiber interior bits and a few ACS decals and badges. At the same time, I upgraded the front brakes to E36 328i brake calipers and larger vented rotors, and replaced the shift knob. The ultra rare ACS 3-piece rear spoiler was purchased at this time but requires professional painting so was never installed. It is available with purchase.

In 2004 at 75k miles, the car was treated to a California-legal Downing Atlanta supercharger (DASC) obtained through a group buy on Installation was professionally done and documented by Atlantic Autowerks in Virginia Beach and included removal of the left front fog light to allow more fresh air to reach the cold air intake. The resulting ~50% gain in horsepower while maintaining the stock 2700 lb curb weight gives this car the same power to weight ratio as an E36 M3, and also maintains the near 50-50 weight distribution that is often lost when swapping a heavier 6-cylinder motor into the ti chassis.

At the time of the supercharger upgrade, the clutch was also replaced with a UUC Autowerks lightened flywheel and stock E34 M5 clutch and throw out bearing. The shifter bushings were replaced with Z3 bushings which are cheaper and just as effective in creating a short throw as any of the more expensive short shift kits.

The car remained garaged as my daily driver for another 3 years and received a 3.45 limited slip differential (LSD) with fresh Redline fluid in 2007. While the electronic automatic stability control (ASC) was necessarily disabled upon its installation (causing ASC light to be permanently on), the LSD once again transformed the car! At that point, it became our third car and was used primarily for "Sunny days and Sundays". In order to keep everything in proper working condition, it was religiously started and driven at least once every month since.

In 2015, a job transfer to Southern California pressed the ti back into daily service. The car performed flawlessly throughout the 1200 mile journey from Colorado to California and has been my daily driver here almost every day since.

I have swapped out wheels and tires several times during ownership. The car currently sits on 17x8 Momo Arrows with 235/40-17 Goodyear GS-D3 rubber. I also have the AC Schnitzer 17x8 knockoffs with 225/45-17 Fulda rubber if that is more to your taste.

The "Budget M3" does not burn oil or leak any fluids. It comes with all maintenance records since new, including the original MSO when it was shipped to the US, original German "Zoll" license plate, oil changes every 3-5K miles, recent coolant service, recent AC service, recent transmission oil service, new camshaft position sensor, new idle control valve. Although I have all of the records, they are spread out between my Colorado and California homes, so the new owner may receive a "care package" every now and then after purchase as I locate additional records :-)

Never in an accident, although there are some scratches and chips here and there primarily due to carelessness by shipping companies. The paint is original with no fading and it still shines up very well. The canvas California open air roof is free of tears and still works flawlessly. The canvas has been cleaned and UV-treated during each handwashing of the car. It still beads water and looks new!

The only known needs for the car are as follows: needs new passenger seat airbag sensor. The clutch is a little noisy during cold weather shifts, but quiets down after warm up. The original 318ti M44 motor intake manifold and original non-LSD are also still available if someone wants to return the car to a stock configuration.

Although I've had the good fortune to drive and own many more expensive BMWs over the years, the Budget M3 never fails to put a smile on my face when I drive it. I recently had the opportunity to drive it back to back with a new M3 and a 340i Msport package on a short autocross track at a BMW NA event. While it was no match for a 2017 M3, the handling and power delivery were quite comparable to the new 340i--amazing!

I am emotionally attached to this car, and hope to sell it to another enthusiast. Please be respectful and be a serious buyer when asking questions and contacting me. Sorry, I will not consider trades and I will not finance your purchase. The car is currently in California and comes with a Colorado title. I can deliver in Southern California or can arrange professional shipping at the buyer's expense anywhere in the US. Contact via email

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'98 318ti Sport, Avus, Cali roof, DASC, UUC flywheel/M5 clutch, AC Schnitzer springs & trim package, Koni adjustables, Remus exhaust, etc. -- The Original Budget M3

Last edited by Budget M3; 11-27-2016 at 07:32 PM. Reason: Added contact info
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