BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      10-03-2019, 12:57 PM   #1
ncnmra
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2008 135i Buying advice

I had a 2006 Z4M roadster for a number of years and sold it last year. I've had the itch for another "fun car", but with two kids (8 & 10), I'd like something more "practical" in that I could take them with me. I'd love another convertible.

I've been all over the map in terms of Audi S5, Mustang, E93 M3, Corvette (I know, 2-seater only), M235i, etc.

I came across what appears to be a decent deal on a 2008 135i. It has the premium sound & premium package, but not sport/M sport package. It has low mileage (70,000kms / 44,000mi), original owner, and he has service records. He says that the HPFP and injectors were done under warranty. No mods as far as I can tell.

I've read about many of the N54 problem issues (valve cover, oil gasket, chargepipe). I'm ok with these risks, I can likely do them myself as this won't be a daily driver.

However, I have concerns about the turbo issues. Is this problem overblown (pardon the pun)? What is an approximate cost (in 2020+) to get this done? I don't think this is a DIY project for me. Is the wastegate actuator adjustment a first step? The owner says that there is no rattle (I need to see the car yet), but I'm wondering if this is a sure thing to eventually fail, or if at 44kmiles, I would get a few years? I realize driving styles and maintenance play a huge role also.

This vehicle is about 1/2 the price of some of my other options (C6 vette, 235i, 2008 M3), so I guess I'd have some "play" money, but the bottom line is: is this a bad vehicle to get into?

Any insights would be appreciated.
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      10-03-2019, 03:18 PM   #2
The Wind Breezes
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You're trying to ball on a budget. Always a bad idea.
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      10-03-2019, 03:46 PM   #3
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No, I just don't want a money pit. I've had a BMW and know the BMW tax. I realize the N54 is not without its issues, but trying to understand the scope and severity of them. I see a number of 335/135s with high mileage, but am curious the realities of getting there. Are the turbos a guaranteed issue? Its a risk/reward calculation. I'm mostly interested in the severity of the turbo issue(s), and if owning a 12 year old vehicle which I will likely put on 20k miles in the next 3-4 years makes sense.

I decided to forgo the E93 M3 idea because of all of the "M tax" involved including the TBAs and Rod Bearings. Its one thing to have a turbo fail, its completely another to have the engine grenade.

I'm ok with the valve cover/water pump/oil gasket/chargepipe issues, as I can likely manage those myself, but am mostly curious about the reality of the turbo problems and if wastegate actuator adjustment is a viable fix if it happens. If I purchase a $15k car and need to put in $4k into turbos within 2 years, then the risk/reward calculation changes.
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      10-03-2019, 03:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
You're trying to ball on a budget. Always a bad idea.
Where the hell did you get that notion? His other top picks are an M3, C6, and M235i. I dare say he can afford the car and the maintenance. He's simply asking if a 2008 135i is a better investment than those other choices, given that it's half the price. Do you even read peoples' posts before throwing out snide comments?

I don't think the M3 will be cheaper to maintain and may actually cost you more. The 135i will feel lighter and more agile, and easily beat the M3 with a few mods. That said, I think the M3 will always feel a little more "special."

I'd rather have the 135i than an M235i if it's half the price. The 135i is more analog and will have much more potential with your leftover cash.

The C6 is simple and cheap to maintain. Parts will be available forever and it likely won't ever strand you if you perform the barest of maintenance. It will never feel "German" though.

I'd take the 135i over all your choices, but a nice e46 M3 would be even better.

Last edited by Thunderguts; 10-03-2019 at 03:59 PM..
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      10-04-2019, 09:24 AM   #5
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Thunderguts
THANK YOU!

Perhaps I wasn't clear with my question to the other poster. I have a budget of approx $30k CAD, where the other cars fall more or less. This includes a 2008 M3, 2008+ C6 Vette, 2015 M235i.

I wasn't initially considering the 135i because I didn't love the styling and reading up on the N54 issues turned me off. However, I've warmed up to it and did a lot of research and reading regarding the N54 problems to a point where I've become comfortable with managing expectations and risk. I found a single owner, apparently well maintained model for approx $15k the price. I found it interesting that although seemingly well priced, these cars tend to sit for quite some time.

Upon further research, a number of the issues (VCG, Oil Gasket and chargepipe) seem DIYable. Considering it isn't a daily driver, I could fumble with those things over a longer period of time, so those are manageable risks for me.

I'd consider getting a JB4 for additional thrill factor, but just run it on stock components. I don't intend to race it.

My major concern is the turbo issues, and I'm curious regarding the severity of that, and remedy options. I understand that wastegate adjustment is a possible first step prior to full replacement, and that if replacement were necessary, then parts are approx $1500, and about 12-15h of labor. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I realize that the 235i (N55) may have some of the similar issues, and that's a harder pill to swallow at a 2x buy-in.

The M235i I saw was gorgeous, but seems to have been bouncing around dealer lots for 2 or more years, with absolutely no indication of service history. That scares me for a used BMW.

I scrapped the M3 idea given the TBA and RB issues.....that's $30k, and I'd feel the need to do those (at least RBs) preemptively to feel comfortable driving it.

EDIT: I should mention, I had a Z4M, with the S54 engine. I liked it, and considered a convertible E46. HOWEVER, those cars are quite old now and surprisingly going up in value. A E46 with low mileage that hasn't been beaten to death is VERY hard to find, and their prices are skyrocketing. They are in the $25-$30k territory. For that, I'd rather one of the other choices.

Last edited by ncnmra; 10-04-2019 at 09:28 AM.. Reason: Comment on E46
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      10-04-2019, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncnmra View Post
Perhaps I wasn't clear with my question to the other poster.
No, certain people make a habit out of assuming they know what a post is about before they even read it.

You're walking into this with your eyes wide open. I don't think there will be any surprises. Yes, the HPFP is going to fail. Yes, you will need to replace the OFHG, water pump, and charge pipe. They might fail in a year or four years down the road. You can fix most of these issues yourself with hand tools and a jack.

Naturally you're going to get a different answer on each forum, but I don't think too many people will complain that the E82 isn't worth the effort.
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      10-04-2019, 10:54 AM   #7
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You've done your homework, you know BMWs and you can DIY a lot yourself. I have only 2 suggestions: 1. talk to your mechanic-assume you know the good indy garages and #2. consider joining your local chapter of BMW clubs Canada just to get another opinion, maybe more info.
Good Luck; I'm an old fart on a pension so I went with the 128. First "repair" in 8 years was this summer for VCG just before a HPDE and work done at a highly recommended BMW indy for a very good price.
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      10-04-2019, 12:17 PM   #8
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I should have added: the owner said that the HPFP and injectors were replaced under warranty. He also mentioned that he changed the Waterpump and hoses preventatively. It sounds like he's taken care of it.
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      10-04-2019, 02:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncnmra View Post
I should have added: the owner said that the HPFP and injectors were replaced under warranty. He also mentioned that he changed the Waterpump and hoses preventatively. It sounds like he's taken care of it.
I think you've got your answer then.
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      10-05-2019, 10:10 AM   #10
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With 70k on the turbos you've got another 80 to 100k kms before they're really an issue. My turbos started to rattle around the 150k km mark. Became severe around 170k when I changed them. They still worked ok at that point just buzzed and rattled a lot. I changed them myself but it's was a huge pain in the ass. Did the oil pan gasket while I was in there. With that mileage I wouldn't worry too much about the turbos. There will be other maintenance but nothing that severe.
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      10-05-2019, 10:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fast1eddy View Post
With 70k on the turbos you've got another 80 to 100k kms before they're really an issue. My turbos started to rattle around the 150k km mark. Became severe around 170k when I changed them. They still worked ok at that point just buzzed and rattled a lot. I changed them myself but it's was a huge pain in the ass. Did the oil pan gasket while I was in there. With that mileage I wouldn't worry too much about the turbos. There will be other maintenance but nothing that severe.
Thanks! That's what I was hoping to hear. When I had my Z4M, I only put 5-6k per year. If I can get 4-5 years out of this vehicle without major maintenance, then I'd be happy.

I'm trying to see the vehicle today (it is 2h away). Will let you guys know how I make out
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      10-07-2019, 01:04 AM   #12
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Bought the same last year. Absolutely love it. Took a trip through the mountains this last June, and drove it like I stole it. Not a single hiccup. Will do plugs, injectors and a walnut blast next month and add an oil catch can. Wish you luck on your check over.
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      10-09-2019, 09:04 AM   #13
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Sadly, the seller balked last minute.....



This 30 minutes before I was supposed to leave (2h away), having it listed for > 35 days, with title of "MUST SELL".
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