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      11-16-2012, 03:15 PM   #1
SimpleMan
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Need purchase advice (04 2.5L Roadster)?

Guys,

I've always loved the E85 and I think I'm finally ready to become an owner!

I found a cherry 2004 2.5L Roadster (Silver, Black Leather, Brushed Aluminum). The car is basically brand new. It's only got 17,000 miles on it. The original owner says he only drove it on the weekend and it definitely looks like it. I could not find anything wrong with it (not even a little scratch or any curb rash). The car has been sitting in a parking garage all this time and is basically brand new and loaded. It's got the Sports Package, Premium Package, clear bra, and Cold Weather Package.

Here's my issues.

Will I regret going with the 2.5 vs the 3.0? I have driven both and the 2.5 felt like it had plenty of power for me. I'd like to have the extra power but I don't think I'll be able to find a 3.0 anywhere near as nice as this car and I need to act ASAP. I have located a 2005 3.0 in my area that has the exact same color combo. It's a one owner vehicle being sold by a broker. It has 25,000 miles and is loaded (sports, premium, zenons, etc.). It also has an automatic transmission. My problems with this vehicle are curb rash on the front bumper, scratches in the paint to the passenger side skirt, a really small ding to the passenger side front fender (right on the crease), a stain to the plastic on the passenger side door, and curb rash to all 18" wheels. It's also being sold by a broker. I'd prefer to buy a used car from an original owner.

Back to the cherry 2004 2.5L. It's a 5 speed manual. I'd prefer an automatic but I'm thinking a manual would be more fun and I wouldn't have to worry about expensive repairs to an automatic in the future.

Last issue I have with the car. It doesn't have Xenon headlights. Could I replace the stock headlights with OEM Xenon's? Would this be plug and play or more complicated?

Any advice would be much appreciated. I need to pull the trigger on the 04 ASAP so please chime in.

Last edited by SimpleMan; 11-18-2012 at 05:14 AM.
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      11-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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I have a 2.5 and it's been great. I got into a similar situation to yours, but mine was nowhere near as loaded. If all things were equal I'd probably say go for the 3.0, but being that the 2.5 is in the condition you mention, I would probably lean toward that as well. And DEFINITELY go with the manual. You won't regret it. Good luck with your purchase. You won't regret getting a Z4.

Oh, also, it's a daily driver that doesn't get tracked at all. If I were to track the car, I would definitely NOT be looking at a 2.5. It's fun for day to day driving, but not nearly what you want for a track car.
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      11-16-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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I'd get the 05, considering you
prefer Auto, and
it's a 3.0, and
seller is local
and 05 has some exterior upgrades compare to 04
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      11-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #4
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I had a similar dilemma , and went with the less mileage 2.5 manual. I have not looked back . The one thing is the 2.5 will get better gas mileage which I bought mine for a DD. So while it would have been great to get the 3.0, the 2.5 had it's benefits. Additionally, if you want to spend the money you can get performance upgrades. Now , my 2.5 sounded a lot like your 3.0 option body imperfection wise . I have had fun fixing all the little cosmetics. These cars are really easy to work on . So unless you can detect any major accidents , or suspect any I would not let that deter you either .


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      11-16-2012, 04:50 PM   #5
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If you are primarily driving around town, you probably won't notice much difference. The car you have found sounds sweet. Be sure to post some pics so we can formally welcome you to the club!

Cheers and good luck!
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      11-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GamblerHydra View Post
I had a similar dilemma , and went with the less mileage 2.5 manual. I have not looked back . The one thing is the 2.5 will get better gas mileage which I bought mine for a DD. So while it would have been great to get the 3.0, the 2.5 had it's benefits. Additionally, if you want to spend the money you can get performance upgrades. Now , my 2.5 sounded a lot like your 3.0 option body imperfection wise . I have had fun fixing all the little cosmetics. These cars are really easy to work on . So unless you can detect any major accidents , or suspect any I would not let that deter you either .


David
The 3.0i gets better gas mileage than the 2.5i because of its 6th gear.
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      11-16-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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Your wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GamblerHydra View Post
I had a similar dilemma , and went with the less mileage 2.5 manual. I have not looked back . The one thing is the 2.5 will get better gas mileage which I bought mine for a DD. So while it would have been great to get the 3.0, the 2.5 had it's benefits. Additionally, if you want to spend the money you can get performance upgrades. Now , my 2.5 sounded a lot like your 3.0 option body imperfection wise . I have had fun fixing all the little cosmetics. These cars are really easy to work on . So unless you can detect any major accidents , or suspect any I would not let that deter you either .


David
The 3.0i gets better gas mileage than the 2.5i because of its 6th gear.
5 speed 2.5 will get better gas mileage than automatic 3.0
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      11-16-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleMan View Post
Guys,

I've always loved the E85 and I think I'm finally ready to become an owner!

I found a cherry 2004 2.5L Roadster (Silver, Black Leather, Brushed Aluminum). The car is basically brand new. It's only got 17,000 miles on it. The original owner says he only drove it on the weekend and it definitely looks like it. I could not find anything wrong with it (not even a little scratch or any curb rash). The car has been sitting in a parking garage all this time and is basically brand new and loaded. It's got the Sports Package, Premium Package, clear bra, and Cold Weather Package.

Here's my issues.

Will I regret going with the 2.5 vs the 3.0? I have driven both and the 2.5 felt like it had plenty of power for me. I'd like to have the extra power but I don't think I'll be able to find a 3.0 anywhere near as nice as this car and I need to act ASAP. I have located a 2005 3.0 in my area that has the exact same color combo. It's a one owner vehicle being sold by a broker. It has 25,000 miles and is loaded (sports, premium, zenons, etc.). It also has an automatic transmission. My problems with this vehicle are curb rash on the front bumper, scratches in the paint to the passenger side skirt, a really small ding to the passenger side front fender (right on the crease), a stain to the plastic on the passenger side door, and curb rash to all 18" wheels. It's also being sold by a broker. I'd prefer to buy a used car from an original owner.

Back to the cherry 2004 2.5L. It's a 5 speed manual. I'd prefer an automatic but I'm thinking a manual would be more fun and I wouldn't have to worry about expensive repairs to an automatic in the future.

Last issue I have with the car. It doesn't have Zenon headlights. Could I replace the stock headlights with OEM Zenon's? Would this be plug and play or more complicated?

Any advice would be much appreciated. I need to pull the trigger on the 04 ASAP so please chime in.
My first BMW! I loved it and you will too im sure. Good mileage, non xenon,auto. Fun car! Perfect car for the "sound generator mod"
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      11-16-2012, 09:46 PM   #9
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Guys,

Thanks for the input. Much appreciated. I decided to go with the cherry 2.5. I'm not into racing and I think the 2.5 will be more then enough HP for me. I'm purchasing this car more for the fun factor and beautiful looks. Plus, my gut kept telling me to go with the perfect original owner always garaged 2.5. Too many unknowns with the 3.0 and I really didn't want to deal with fixing all the little imperfections. I'll post pics as soon as I actually own the car.

Anybody know anything about replacing the headlights with OEM Zenons?

My first upgrade will be a new shift knob. Any recommendations? I'd like something that goes with the brushed aluminum trim. You guys got any other upgrade ideas? I was also thinking about rubber floor mats and a short antenna.

One last thing. While I was walking through the parking garage where the 2.5 is parked, I spotted another E85. It was a 3.0. Anyway, what caught my eye was it had a grey top! I thought the color of the top looked amazing with the silver finish. I wonder how much one of those would cost?
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      11-16-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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The ZHP shift knob is very well balanced and comfy. It's shorter than stock.

I don't know anything on zenons. I thought I'd want them after having them in another car but really don't miss them.
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      11-17-2012, 12:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GamblerHydra View Post
5 speed 2.5 will get better gas mileage than automatic 3.0
the 3.0 auto is a 5 speed auto anyway
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      11-17-2012, 01:15 AM   #12
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It depends on the kind of person you are. I bought a 2004 2.5 because there wasnt a 3.0 available in my area, but i always felt as though i had settled. After a few years i test drove a 3.0si and i had to have it. This time i called a broker and had him search the country and one shipped in. Now I have my 2007 3.0si manual roady and couldnt be happier. Hmm, I wonder what an M roady drives like.
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      11-17-2012, 04:07 AM   #13
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I'm going to disagree with the 2.5i getting better mileage than the 3.0i. With my 2.5i I got the same mileage as the 3.0i owners on here (and less mpg than the 3.0si models). Still better than the M though.

As for your dilemma, go for the 2.5! the manual transmission on that car feels fantastic, you can just throw it into gear it's a ton of fun. If you ever need more power just hold out for an M. I loved every thing about my 2.5i and I'm glad it went to a good home when I sold it to get an M.

In my mind a car with a known history that you know is perfect is a better deal. With any car you will always find details wrong with it after you've had it for a while, if you can already find things wrong with it, you're going to find a lot more down the line.
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      11-17-2012, 12:03 PM   #14
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One of the best looking cars in my town is a red Z4 2.5 with 18 inch after market rims. Ive seen it only once but it's a real head turner.

I can't wait to see pics of yours.

Cheers!
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      11-17-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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Don't underestimate the importance of automatic vs. manual. As you get older, you may find that it was a mistake getting the manual. I know that 10 years ago a manual would have suited me fine, now I don't want to be bothered shifting through traffic, pumping the clutch time after time. I just want to enjoy the pure performance and handling of the car, and the manual transmission makes me have to work in order to do that. Many will disagree, and I respect that, but think about it before you pull the trigger.
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      11-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Don't underestimate the importance of automatic vs. manual. As you get older, you may find that it was a mistake getting the manual. I know that 10 years ago a manual would have suited me fine, now I don't want to be bothered shifting through traffic, pumping the clutch time after time. I just want to enjoy the pure performance and handling of the car, and the manual transmission makes me have to work in order to do that. Many will disagree, and I respect that, but think about it before you pull the trigger.
My thirties are long gone and I don't see age as a reason to get an automatic. Heavy daily traffic yes, but if the car will be used for fun mostly, then a manual is fine I think.
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      11-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #17
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^WHS. For a DD in commute and traffic, yes, automatic. But for a fun weekend type car, MT is probably more fun.
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      11-18-2012, 05:27 AM   #18
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I'm surprised nobody corrected my spelling of Xenon with a Z. I knew it was spelled with an X but for some reason I used a Z.

Anyway, thanks for all the input guys. I should pick up the car on Monday and I can't wait! I really can't believe I found this gem.

Here's the shift knob I'm probably going to go with:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-Matte-Le...880#vi-content

I like the ZHP but I'll probably go with this one because it matches the brushed aluminum interior a little better.

Anyone know of a good detail shop in the Portland OR area? I wanna get the engine detailed since it's a little dusty.

Are there any major services I will need to get done? For example, The M3 has the Inspection I and Inspection II. Anything like that for the Z4? Anything I should have done as soon as I get it? Change the oil, etc.? The car has done a lot of sitting around so I wanna make sure I cover all my bases.
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      11-18-2012, 11:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Don't underestimate the importance of automatic vs. manual. As you get older, you may find that it was a mistake getting the manual. I know that 10 years ago a manual would have suited me fine, now I don't want to be bothered shifting through traffic, pumping the clutch time after time. I just want to enjoy the pure performance and handling of the car, and the manual transmission makes me have to work in order to do that. Many will disagree, and I respect that, but think about it before you pull the trigger.
Exactly when can I expect this to occur? I'm 62 and don't see any signs of this happening yet. I've only owned one car with an automatic, but I was 18 and needed transportation. The last two cars I've bought weren't even offered with an automatic.

Another way to look at it is the older you get, the closer you get to retirement, and then you don't have to drive in rush hour traffic.
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      11-18-2012, 01:17 PM   #20
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Simpleman,
Your going to love the Z4 roadster not matter the motor size
I went with a fully loaded 03 3.0 which was hard to finds 4 years ago and it took a while to find one. I love it and drive it 99% of the time with the top down.
For me it was decision of M or 3.0 and since I wanted a top down cruiser that would get great fuel economy I went for the 3.0. But I will try a M out one of these days

Personally I love the looks with 18" rims so that's the only thing I'd change on your 2.5.
Aftermarket HID are cheap and easy to install but I don't think you'll get the focus of the factory ones. I did just install a set of H11 HID's in my driving lights to match the factory Xenon an am happy with them.


Post those Pics when you get it

Last edited by acvr4; 11-18-2012 at 01:18 PM. Reason: pic
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      11-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #21
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i enjoy my 2.5 after all these years. 65ish on the freeway nets me 35+ mpg. I got some repairs to do and she needs some love but so far i don't regret ever getting the 2.5 over the 3.0.
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      11-22-2012, 03:12 AM   #22
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Picked up the 2.5 on Monday! Love the car. I've never seen a used car in this good of shape. I can't find anything wrong with it. The entire car looks brand new... no joke. I really feel like I got lucky finding this car. I haven't had much time to drive it. It's got run-flat tires so the ride is a little stiff. Anyone replace their run-flats and what are you doing about no spare? I wouldn't replace them until the tread was used up, but replacing them with regular tires is something I might consider. I had run-flats on my old 2007 328i and I never liked how stiff they were and how they liked to jump in and out of the grooves in the road. It's got the 17" Sport Package wheels and I actually like them. I kinda like the fatter tire. It gives the car that classic roadster look IMO. I'm not sure what 18" wheel I would go with if I do decide to replace these... maybe 135s. So here's a pic I took of the car. Anything I should have looked at since the car has been sitting around so much? It's been garaged its entire life so the paint, seals, etc., still look new. I want to get the engine detailed. I might do it myself if I can't find a good place to do it. It's not really dirty, it's just got a lot of dust on everything. I've already ordered a new shift knob. I might pick up a car cover since I don't plan on driving it much until spring.
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