"California Paint" on my 2003 BMW E46 330Ci

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Originally Posted By: Torrid
It's amazing how hard it is to get a fairly optioned up car without a sunroof. I could go without it but I don't think they made a VDP without one.
And it's amazing how hard it is to find a luxury car that has all the options, very few actually do it as the cost really skyrockets if you check off all the boxes, but they're great if you buy them used because the book doesn't always take into account the value of all the options and book is what dealers tend to go by. I actually ended up buying my used Mercedes for slightly under book but it had about 10k worth of options that most other base models didn't have. And it was still missing a couple other minor options that would have added another 2-3k to MSRP.
 
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Originally Posted By: gregk24
Very nice! Why no sunroof though? I love mine!
In the case of an E36 BMW, it adds @60 pounds of weight to the highest point of the car. Couple that with the fact that I never open one(I've had my 2er for 11 months and have yet to touch the sunroof switch) and it's an easy call for me.
 
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It looks good. I think it's my favorite 3 series body style. I would imagine it has a lot to do with being garage kept and out of the sun. The sun here is brutal to paint, and basically the rest of the car. Once cars that sit outside start reaching the 6-8 year mark, the sun damage start showing up in the form of clear coat failure. It's basically inevitable even with regular washing and waxing. Not too worried about rain, unless it etches. Plan on keeping my new car in the garage as long as possible.
 
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Originally Posted By: michaelluscher
What's with all the sunroof hate? It's my realistic daily approach to riding around with the car top down and the radio on
Once the car ages and the seal degrade, they start leaking. And if I want to see the sun I'd get a proper convertible.
 

slo town

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Originally Posted By: Silverado12
I don't like them because I'm 6'6" and they really cut down on the headroom.
This is my main reason for not liking sunroofs (I'm 6'5"), along with weight up high, possible leaks, and an unnecessary addition of mechanical bits. Thanks to all for your nice comments. I appreciate it. From April 2016; a full body shot, some interior shots, and an undercarriage shot (!!!!). Scott
 

slo town

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Originally Posted By: MCompact
That's just an immaculate car; I love the ZHP.
Mine is a ZSP, not a ZHP. The ZHP option was not available when I ordered mine. FWIW, here is a list of modifications I have done, 100% of all work done by me. Scott 2003 BMW E46 330Ci ZSP Modifications: BBS CH 19x8.5, 35mm offset Bridgestone RE-11 Y-rated 235/35-19 Eibach Pro-Kit Springs Bilstein Sport Struts/Shocks, E36 M3 Versions On Rear BMW Motorsport Front Strut Tower Reinforcement Plates Rogue Engineering Rear Shock Mounts H&R Sport Adjustable Anti-Roll Bars, 27mm front, 21mm Rear Turner Motorsports Adjustable, Ball Jointed Front Anti-Roll Bar Endlinks Mason Engineering Adjustable, Spherical Bearing Rear Anti-Roll Bar Endlinks Mason Engineering Front Strut Brace BMW ZHP Front Control Arms BMW M3 Engine Mounts BMW M3 Transmission Mounts Lemforder 66mm Front Control Arm Bushings BMW M3 Rear Control Arm Bushings Turner Motorsports Rear Control Arm Bushing Limiters BMW M3 Spherical Bearing Rear Lower/Outer Control Arm Bushings BMW Group N Spherical Bearing Rear/Upper Control Arm Bushings Stoptech Stainless Steel Brake Lines F/R BMW Motorsport Cross-drilled, Fully Floating Front Brake Rotors Jurid Sport Front Brake Pads BMW M3 Rear Brake Pads Turner Motorsports Brass Brake Caliper Bushings Borla Catback Stainless Steel Exhaust Meyle Heavy Duty Rear Differential Mounts BMW ZHP Finned Rear Differential Cover/Cooler BMW ZHP Shift Knob B&M Short Shift Kit UUC Stainless Steel, Weighted Shift Rod Mason Engineering Quick Shift Geometry Clutch Pedal Arm Stewart Engineering Water Pump Rogue Engineering Underdrive Pulley Set BMW M3 Trunk Lid Spoiler Lip BMW Motorsport Alcantara Steering Wheel Center Arm Rest Delete
 
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I forgot that the coups didn't get the ZHP until later. Regardless, you have an outstanding car.
 
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Back in Arizona. Finally
The E46 is the last of the great BMWs IMHO. The equation of a simple driver focused car, devoid of any unnecessary electronics has escaped BMWs of late. To view more true BMWs check out www.enthusiastauto.com. Note the prices, they confirm my opinion that the great Bimmers are not necessarily new.
 

slo town

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Originally Posted By: double vanos
The E46 is the last of the great BMWs IMHO. The equation of a simple driver focused car, devoid of any unnecessary electronics has escaped BMWs of late. To view more true BMWs check out www.enthusiastauto.com. Note the prices, they confirm my opinion that the great Bimmers are not necessarily new.
Double vanos! Love it! You are a knowledgeable enthusiast using the term "Bimmer" properly. . For the sake of other readers, "Bimmer" = car, "Beemer" = motorcycle. Agree with your comment about the E46. My wife's 2011 E90 M-Sport, BBS, Bilstein Sport is a very capable machine. Nice chassis dynamics. But you can feel the extra 200-250 pounds. My E46 feels both spirited and capable on the road, the E90 only capable. Scott
 
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Very nice! Just a note for those of us with sunroofs, consider a ceramic aftermarket tint film applied to the sunroof. It makes it much more useable with the shade open. Blocks most of the heat. Our new forester got Llumar ceramic film applied to all glass, including the whole windshield and sunroof.
 
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Nice! I'd like to see it outdoors. I learned the hard way that incessantly changing the oil to guarantee engine immortality was a dead end if the rest of your car looked like a rolling compost heap. I notice that you took the time to deal with the interior and even the undercarriage. I'm real proud of myself if I squirt the underside of my car for a couple of minutes at the coin-op car wash. Off topic: of all those modifications, which was the most/least worthwhile?
 

slo town

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Originally Posted By: jimbrewer
Nice! I'd like to see it outdoors... Off topic: of all those modifications, which was the most/least worthwhile?
Jim, this may surprise you. One of the finest upgrades was the "Mason Engineering Quick Shift Geometry Clutch Pedal Arm". BMWs of the era had a Self Adjusting Clutch (SAC) and a "clutch delay valve" (CDV). These two items combine to make the clutch take-up and engagement too slow. Even when making a fast shift perfectly, the clutch never seems to bite hard enough and slips slightly between gear changes. I removed the CDV years ago and never noticed any difference (and that is supposedly the cure). Full clutch engagement used to take about 2 inches of pedal travel, with the Mason Engineering pedal the clutch fully engages within an inch or so. The clutch pedal arm changed the entire character of the drivetrain! I cannot overstate the value of this upgrade! The worst modification; perhaps the RE-11s. They have fantastic dry grip when they've got heat in them (and they look great!), but they have relatively poor transient response. I like my cars to have instantaneous directional changes with even the smallest steering inputs. I've had PS2s on the car and they had even worse transient response than the RE-11s. Tire-wise, Continental Sport Contact 3s suit my handling preferences best. Not the best outside picture, but it was taken the day after the "paint pictures" I posted at the beginning. Cheers, Scott
 
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