Current Car projects status

I have found myself with way too many cars (and as of right now, they’re all BMWs…), and a lot of projects.

Two I’ve had for about 10 years now! The summer car, a 335i convertible, I’ve had for the longest. Shortly after that, I got a 325xi wagon for my winter / all around car. Both of those are semi-automatic transmissions, with slapsticks (and the 335 has paddles too).

I’ve always wanted to be able to drive a manual transmission, and while I knew the concepts, it wasn’t second nature to me. I figured the only way for me to learn to level I wanted was to get a manual car and drive it. A few years ago I started looking for the cheapest manual cars I could find. I looked at a civic, and a saab, but neither were great. I eventually found a 1995 BMW 318ti for sale, it was a little bit more than what I was hoping to spend, but not much. I checked it out, and it was in much better condition than the other cars in that price range I had seen. The interior needed some work, but that was all non-essential stuff. I could still use the car in the condition it was in. I didn’t even haggle on the price, I just paid the asking price. I drove that car here and there for a year or two, then it turned 26. In Michigan, that means I can register it as a historical vehicle, which costs much less than normal registration and insurance is also a lot cheaper. It makes me have little interest in getting rid of this car, it’s so inexpensive to keep.

Earlier this year, the wagon has some issues, and I wasn’t able to get it diagnosed in a reasonable amount of time (and it seemed like it might be the transmission), so I decided to get another car instead of fixing the wagon. I wanted an electric car, and a used one (since I’m planning on getting a new electric truck once they’re… more available), so looking at the options, there was a pretty easy choice for me. The BMW i3. I found a 2015 with the range extender in Nashville. My dad and I drove down to pick it up, trailered it back to the kentucky/ohio border, then I drove it back from there.

Eventually I was able to get the wagon diagnosed, and it’s just the CV joint. I had jiggled it out of position when seeing how bad the CV joint was, and if I needed to replace it, and some transmission fluid leaked, and it stopped changing gears. During the diagnostics, they reseated the CV joint, and now the transmission shifts and putting it in park holds the car stationary again! But the CV joint is still shot, and it’s not drivable due to that. I’d like to fix that at some point, but it’s lower on the priority list now.

The last car was even more unexpected. My uncle had a BMW Z3 convertible for maybe 20 years now. Sadly a couple years ago he unexpectedly passed away, and the car sat for a while. It wouldn’t be a Z3 if it didn’t have a roof leak, so unfortunately that meant it was in pretty rough condition. I helped my aunt get it started again, and at least drivable so it could be taken in for detailing and cleanup. After that, she decided that I would be a better steward for the car, and would appreciate it more, so she gave it to me ❤️
This has been the main car project this summer, and is definitely still ongoing. There were gallons of standing water in the floorboards when I got it (though I didn’t discover that for a week or two), and mold growing on the dash. First thing I did was to have it detailed, and it was better. Then I found the water under the carpets, and took that day off work and completely removed the interior of the car. there is not a single piece of carpet left in it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to reuse all the carpet, but I’m not sure yet.

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