Say Hello to Andrew’s new Benz!

My past BMW’s were fun cars.  I had a great time driving them, and I learned a lot fixing them.  However, they got a bit repetitive after having cars so similar: the E53 X5, E36 318ti, and the E36 328i.  These all shared so much in common that I could go through the motions to change out a thermostat or replace an oil filter housing gasket with my eyes closed.  So, what does a car guy do when they need a new project to tinker on?

He moves on and gets a 1995 W124 Mercedes E320!

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BMW E36 Bi-Xenon Headlight Retrofit

thumbHow do you get high intensity lighting for under $200 $50?

Easy, peasy, lemon squeeze: all you need to do is retrofit your stock plastic lens E36 headlights with bi-xenon projectors.  With some modification from a Dremel, razor blade, and a pry tool, you too can have HID lighting without resorting to a eat-ramen-every-night college-esque budget.   Continue reading

BMW’s Bastard Child – The Intro of my 318ti

318ti Exterior

Let’s keep things short, and get this started. I sold my E39 M5 at a good price, but I still miss it dearly. I’m in college studying engineering and pre-med, so I’m going to be in school for a long time. I don’t have the time anymore for photo shoots, car washes and detailing all the time. I needed something cheap, reliable and plain; and it had to be a good project car for some great E39Source content. I decided to buy a Ti – it’s a big F-U to all the viewer’s that thought I was going to get something flashy, and worst of all, everybody hates how it looks. Continue reading

BMW Depreciation: E30 M3, E36 M3, E39 M5. Andrew’s Thoughts.

1987-bmw-e30-m3-and-1996-e36-m3-photo-365393-s-1280x782As an automotive enthusiast, I am never content with the M5.  There will always be a car that is more comfortable, there will always be a car more reliable, there will always be a car that is faster, and there will always be a car that is just better.  However, at the price point E39 M5’s are at, it is a great do-it-all car.  And that is why I keep it around. Continue reading

Compromise – Updates with Andrew and His 2000 M5

Screen Shot 2012-12-15 at 5.17.27 PMI’ve had my M5 for about seven months now, but I have only driven it 2500 miles. That is plenty of time to get familiar with my vehicle, but not enough to determine it’s reliability. For example, when I went to top off the tank before putting my M5 back into storage, it threw an SES code on the cluster. I plugged in my cheap-o generic OBDII scanner, and it came up with a P1526 and P0022 code, “A” Camshaft Position Actuator Control Open Circuit Bank 2 and “A” Camshaft Position – Timing over-retarded (Bank 2) respectively. I had the same two related codes over the summer when I first got my car, and that was when I opened up my bank 2 VANOS solenoids to check their operation. I have now confirmed that I need an intake CPS (Camshaft Position Sensor), which I plan on doing in late May. Continue reading

Andrew’s 2000 BMW M5 Information

Andrew M5

M5 ownership is a grand experience, even though it has been riddled with mistakes, hard work, and pure luck.

My name is Andrew, and I didn’t start out with my current M5, but rather another BMW: my mother’s 2003 E53 X5.  It has the 3.0 liter M54 motor, and a religious service history from the dealer/independent specialists so I would never be let down.  It took me until halfway through my senior year in high school and I was using the X5’s utility to the max.  I was a three sport athlete, and also a volunteer fire fighter, so I was driving to-and-from practice, my home, and the fire house quite often.  A plain soccer-mobile X5 was boring for a trending high school senior, so I started to modify it subtly.  However, the interior got hit hard with my crazy hormones, and my style reflected that; I put plaid fabric over the wood trim, and vinyled my center console so all my friends could sign it.  I also participated in two teen driving schools with the X5, one held by Audi Club of NJ, and one held by Tire Rack and BMWCCA called Tire Rack Street Survival.  I took part in a 2-day teen driving school held by BMW at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, SC, where my X5 was also built. Continue reading