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Old 10-13-2009, 06:21 AM   #1
PapayaSF
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Talking Just got one!

Greetings all,

I needed something to replace my boring and aging (but dependable) '84 Honda Accord, and wanted something shorter, sexier and with a sunroof. I came across a 1996 318ti with the giant California sunroof. It looked very cool, drove nicely, and was well within my price range (about $3900, or $4500 out the door with all the fees and taxes), so I got it.

It's a dark purplish-blue automatic with five-spoke alloys. I'm pretty sure it's the California package (and not just the roof), because it has a leather-covered steering wheel. Seems very peppy and solid by my standards.

It's just a bit worn (104K miles). First repair: got a power steering leak fixed today ($95). Hopefully that's the only leak. It needs detailing (especially polishing the yellow out of the headlight covers), a new hood emblem, the parcel shelf in the back is breaking where one of the cords attaches, and the panels in the front passenger footwell seem to be coming loose. Other than that it seems to be in pretty good shape. Wish me luck!
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:25 AM   #2
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welcome, post some pics, and 96 was the only year you could get the actual California Edition so I'm pretty sure that's what you've got
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:25 AM   #3
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Welcome!

I'm fairly new to the site as well. Lots of good info on here for DIY'ers. Parts aren't that expensive if you can fix them yourself. www.realoem.com has all of the part numbers you might ever need.

Best of luck getting it back in top notch shape.

-Josh
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:59 AM   #4
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Default Thanks, guys!

Thanks, guys!

Today's fun was dealing with the big rainstorm. I bailed at least two gallons of water out of the front passenger footwell.... The local body shop was too busy to take it today, because too many other people with leaky cars had already gotten there! I'm hoping they can deal with it tomorrow and that it's just clogged sunroof drainholes.

And here's a pic:



Other things to fix: the little brackets that hold the rear window shelf are both broken. Looks like they are part of the "lateral trim panels" so I'll have to replace those. The shelf itself is broken where one of the hanging straps attaches, but I'm trying a makeshift repair first.

Also, there's something loose or broken inside the driver's side door, because when you pull on the inside door handle, it "gives" a little (maybe 1/4 inch or so), as if it's not firmly attached.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site and congrats on your purchase.

The driver's side windows on these cars are notorious for coming off the mechanism and dropping down into the door, so I suspect the reason your handle is wobbly is because somebody recently re-mounted the glass and was not able to re-install the screw that goes into the hole under the handle when they put the door back together..
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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Welcome. Nice looking ti. I might see you around the city.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:44 AM   #7
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the brackets that hold the back of the shelf in place are only attached to the speaker grills, not the c-pillar cover, but one of my brackets is broken and it always seemed to hold the shelf just fine up until I removed the shelf since I didn't need it
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:43 AM   #8
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Default More progress

The water leak seems to have been due to a tiny (@1/2 inch) missing rubber stop at the front of the sunroof. It's on order.

Apparently somebody did open the driver's side door panel at some point and broke the panel itself. The shop says the only real fix is to replace the whole panel.
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:46 AM   #9
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you can find used door panels here occasionally, people part their cars out
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapayaSF View Post
Apparently somebody did open the driver's side door panel at some point and broke the panel itself. The shop says the only real fix is to replace the whole panel.
The door panel's are a little pricey and unique to the ti... I have repaired a couple of seriously damaged door panels, post up a couple of pics to show how bad the panel is... Maybe it can be repaired (but not by your shop...)
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James 95 active w/leather interior and sport interior conversion, Vaders, full M-Tech exterior conversion. Now m50 swapped* Eibach sway bars, D2 Coilovers, Depo's w/AE's, blacked-out sides and grills, LeatherZ console and door armrests, 1 series starter button mod, and custom finished Style 5's <--- in this color! Named "Roddy": *M50 6 cyl. swap with fan delete, S50 cams and chip, AFE stage 2 intake, M3 clutch and 11.5 lb Fidanza flywheel, 3.15LSD, battery relocated to rear and complete custom exhaust. Sweet! 97 318ti sport, Alaska Blue, Contours, coilovers, Dove Vaders and custom black/grey interior named "Max" 95 318ti Active in Cosmos, S50 swap in progress... named "Pit" SUPPORT 318ti.org! CLICK THE LINK ABOVE! Hosting a forum like this is not free. 318ti.org is one of the best BMW forums on the web because it is member supported, not vendor supported. The cost to become a Supporter is a nominal $10.00... A YEAR! DO IT! NOW!
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Old 10-17-2009, 05:24 AM   #11
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Or bring the car up in person. We need more ti's at our every other Thursday Vallejo meet. The most we have had are 3, even though there are several more members in the area then that.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:00 PM   #12
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Wolferj, I'm not sure how to remove the door panel. I don't yet have a service manual and my skills at such things are fairly generic. I'm afraid I'd break something. Are 318ti doors similar enough to other E36 doors that this is all I need to do?

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=114629

Kilijan, thanks for the invite but my life is in some turmoil right now. I need to move in two weeks and have a million things to do. But maybe after I get settled in.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:29 PM   #13
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The ti's panels are different... the first 2 sections of this DIY explain how to remove and address issues with the panels themselves...

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20666
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James 95 active w/leather interior and sport interior conversion, Vaders, full M-Tech exterior conversion. Now m50 swapped* Eibach sway bars, D2 Coilovers, Depo's w/AE's, blacked-out sides and grills, LeatherZ console and door armrests, 1 series starter button mod, and custom finished Style 5's <--- in this color! Named "Roddy": *M50 6 cyl. swap with fan delete, S50 cams and chip, AFE stage 2 intake, M3 clutch and 11.5 lb Fidanza flywheel, 3.15LSD, battery relocated to rear and complete custom exhaust. Sweet! 97 318ti sport, Alaska Blue, Contours, coilovers, Dove Vaders and custom black/grey interior named "Max" 95 318ti Active in Cosmos, S50 swap in progress... named "Pit" SUPPORT 318ti.org! CLICK THE LINK ABOVE! Hosting a forum like this is not free. 318ti.org is one of the best BMW forums on the web because it is member supported, not vendor supported. The cost to become a Supporter is a nominal $10.00... A YEAR! DO IT! NOW!
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:54 AM   #14
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Thanks for the link! Looks like something I could tackle at some point, after the move....
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:31 AM   #15
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Unhappy Sunroof repair update

So, that missing piece of the California sunroof has been causing the body shop and parts guy at the BMW dealer to pull their hair out for a week. The missing piece is one of two little assemblies from the front of the roof channel, labeled 1, 2, and 3 in the top picture (from the TIS-CALI-ROOF-HELP-2 PDF file I found on the site):



The strange thing is, the BMW parts guy can identify it in an exploded diagram that refers it as part 10, and on a separate page it identifies "10" with a full part number. But when they order that part number, what shows up is the plastic channel part labeled 1 in the lower picture!

Luckily it's not raining....
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