deniz merdano pistons and pivots cam bmw arrival cover
Pistons and Pivots

Cam's 2006 BMW 325xi Touring and We Are One Arrival 170

Words Deniz Merdano
Photos Deniz Merdano (unless noted)
Date Sep 28, 2022
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Pistons and Pivots features cool vehicles with character, and a little about their owners and the bikes they ride.


Hello Cam. Most of the readers know who you are but can you introduce yourself to the uninitiated?

Hi. I'm Cam. I admit I'm into yoga, and I've got almost half a brain. I like scotch without soda and riding bikes in the rain.

Also I work here. The idea for this little mountain biking home in cyberia, came to me in 1998 when I was a newly married school teacher spending a one-year-leave in Italy and learning the language. Missing the North Shore inspired me so I wrote down a fairly detailed plan for a magazine that was also a community, and air-mailed it to Trevor Hansen. Who promptly threw it out. I believe a piece of warmed Moroccan cutlery might have further ignited my inspiration that day. The plan involved print at first but I had some friends who saw the potential of the World Wide Web before most of us and pointed me from pulp to pixels.

I grew up in Vancouver and moved to the North Shore in 2001. My wife, who is an accomplished rider, is a teacher here in North Van. She also had a leading role in What I do in Whistler. We have a couple of teenagers. It's hard work but they are the best kids I've ever had. My son, who is in grade 12, rides a little and has some good skills, but he's more into soccer. My daughter is in University in Ontario, playing on the Varsity field hockey team.

None of my family members visit nsmb.com. They only sort of know what my job involves.

cam first car

My first car was exactly like this, but it was white with a black hardtop, back when fake convertible tops were a thing; a 1972 Dodge Polara Custom Coupe. The guy I sold it to got angry one night and destroyed it - or tried to - with a sledge hammer. I can see his point and the hammer might have lost. It may have been slow, but it sure was thirsty. 400 cubic inches of terrifying body roll and indistinct steering. I'm probably trying to heal the scars of that experience with the bimmer.

Despite the beastly size of that motor, it managed only 190 hp and a blazing 0-60 in under 11 seconds. It would cruise at 100 mph however, as my dad discovered driving us home from Manitoba in 1976. This incredible performance came despite the Polara's 4169 lb curb weight. It was a coupe that was 18' 3" long and 6'8" wide.* The trunk was large enough for a poker game. Just firing it up cost $10 despite gas being cheaper than water in the 80s. Its optimistic EPA rating was 11.1 miles per gallon.

*this is two inches longer and 4 inches wider than my Toyota Tacoma double cab long box pickup, which weighs within 14 lbs of the Polara at 4155 lbs

tacoma winnie copy

This is the vehicle we didn't sell. We also have a ferocious 4-year old poodle who loves to go mountain biking. When the weather is less golden, he takes some time to warm up to the idea though, as seen here. He can always keep up. Photos - Cam McRae

tacoma dumpsters

The Taco's natural habitat. #dumpsters

Tell us a little bit about your motoring history? FIrst Car, best car, worst car, etc

My first car was a 1972 Dodge Polara two door hardtop with a 400 cubic inch V8 in it. I bought it from my dad for $900 in 1984 or 85. I have no idea if that was market price, a deal, or if my dad took me for a ride. It was approximately two football fields long and you could hide the bodies of a quartet of basketball players in the trunk. The steering wheel was mostly for show until you got about halfway around when the front wheels would consider your request. It was so thirsty I should have parked it at a gas station. It may have been big, ugly and awkward, but at least it was slow. Its only redeeming feature was being able to hold 8 adults - four in the front and four in the back, quite comfortably. 


My most fun car was an ‘82 Accord Hatchback with Pirellis and a 5 spd. That thing was a blast to drive on windy roads. Coolest car was a ‘64 Sunbeam Alpine with 80k miles on it. Such a beauty. Best cars: '91 Acura Integra Hatch and Toyota Tacomas.

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This "badge" was missing when I purchased the car. I used quotes there because I was corrected at the sales counter when I asked for it. I thought he was going to slap me. BMW calls this a roundel, and it's a source of enormous pride for those involved in the brand. I have to admit that I like it too.

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The starter button, which requires the fob to be inserted in the dash to start, was old and worn so I decided to replace it with a red one. It gets stuck in when it's hot, as it was when this photo was taken. The speedometer is in miles, which I didn't even notice when I purchased the car. Probably because every car I drove in my youth was exactly the same. I later discovered it had been imported from San Francisco. I hope to replace the face plate with one indicating KMs only. I place part of the the blame for my first ticket in years on getting used to the duelling digits.

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I love the long roof. Aside from extra storage capacity it feels nice and roomy inside. I really disliked the "old man beige" interior at first but it's starting to grow on me. Like mould?

2006 BMW 325xi Touring

You have been a tacoma guy ever since I met you, why the change?

I still have a Tacoma. It's the law, by the way. I love it. It’s a 2013 and it only has 119k kms on it. When I started looking for a Bimmer I was looking at 3 series convertibles but I hated the idea of owning a vanity car that lived in the garage most of the time and was an extra vehicle. Instead our little "sportswagon" replaced our family SUV  - now that our kids are older and we aren't regularly driving 7 kids to soccer. I may be the only guy in North America who put spent far less money than I put the bank after his midlife crisis. After I sold the spare wheels that came with the car, I paid $6900.

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2" hitch upgrade for appropriate bike rack.

I know you've been looking for a faster, more nimble car, Why the BMW?

I first became fascinated with Bimmers when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. A friend of my dad brought home a five series and he was closing the door repeatedly to show him the quality of the build. I was hooked after hearing that solid thud. And then I spent a bunch of years as a subscriber to Road & Track and every writer there adores BMW's 3 series vehicles. They would praise their balance, steering precision, and most of all the way they left driving to the driver, although that trait was already starting to be diluted by 2006. I also appreciated the styling and the (former at least) emphasis on the driving experience. They sound pretty nice as well. And at this point in history, for reasons that have become obvious to me, they are relatively inexpensive to purchase.

To own? Not so much.

cam mcrae pistons and pivots 4

The rear 3/4 view is my favourite. Photo - Cam McRae

Were you after a specific year?

I like both the e46 and e90 series. And the e36s, from before 1998, but they are hard to find. This was the golden era when BMW had discovered the joy of building automobiles that were intensely focussed on driving experience at the expense of other concerns. The feel of the steering wheel, the absence of body roll in fierce corners; the sort of car that allows a trip to the grocery store to be fun because you goose it around one corner. This purity and these traits were already being pushed aside for luxury, electronics, and gadgetry by 2006, but this process wasn't yet in full swing.

If I had known then what I know now I might have held out for an e46 (‘98-2005) because 2006 was when electronics started to get out of control. Finding a nice e46 is even harder than finding a nice e91 - and more expensive if you happen to get lucky.

I was uncompromising about three specific factors; it had to be a wagon (or Touring in BMW parlance), all wheel drive, and a manual transmission. I could have gone for a sedan, and got a car in better condition for less money, because it turns out these ones are unicorns, but I'm very glad I got a long roof. These generally last about a day on Craigslist if they are in decent shape and well-priced. I was the first caller for mine and there were two other guys on their way there in case I didn’t buy it.

deniz merdano pistons and pivots cam bmw arrival kuat 19

My shift knob had a crack in the plastic cover over the shift pattern diagram. After a fiasco with ICBC I picked up my car from Parkshore BMW and the iDrive unit, which is a small display that controls everything you can imagine in the car, was dead. I told the service writer I was dealing with and, after speaking to the mechanic, he said nothing he had done could have contributed to this issue. It apparently wasn't their fault, but I was sure it was. I was annoyed but I left anyway. I went back to talk to the service manager, to ask for a diagnostic test and he discovered that the fuse for the iDrive unit had been removed. For my trouble he gave me a brand new shift knob that had been collecting dust on a shelf for a decade.

cam mcrae pistons and pivots 7

Owning an old BMW is kind of fun because there is so much information available and so many parts to ferret out. Because they are very expensive to fix but not so pricy to buy, they are often written off after even a minor fender bender. That means there is a never ending supply of fresh parts and upgrades. I paid $50 for this steering wheel, including airbag. Photo - Cam McRae

Any mods and repairs so far?

Yes indeed. Most of my mods have been minor things like a new black grill, two different sets of wheels because the car came with 17s and I wanted 18s, (and very specific ones) new leather front sport seats from a totalled car, exhaust tips because they look cool, and a replacement steering wheel because mine was a little ratty and I found one with an intact airbag for $50. Finding a wheel from a sport model would be nice but they run around $600.

I broke a front spring in a pothole going down Lonsdale and that turned into a nightmare. I took it to BMW because I thought insurance would cover it. They didn't but they took a month to reach that conclusion. While the car was there, BMW did a check on everything and found three oil leaks. They would have fixed all of them for a little over $3000. Plus tax. Instead I spent $20 on stop leak additive, designed to soften gaskets and allow them to swell, which has been working great. Once I get more comfortable I may dig into one or more of these daunting tasks.

A good news story is that I had the existing trailer hitch converted to 2" at E&H Hitch in Burnaby so I could use the Küat Piston Pro, 2-bike rack on the car. It looks great, is incredibly solid, and is the best rack I've ever used by a significant margin. I've even carried two 55 lb + e-bikes on the back without incident, (with a 2" receiver the Piston Pro will take up to 67 lbs so we were well below the limit, which is likely conservative).

deniz merdano pistons and pivots cam bmw arrival kuat 72

This is the best rack ever in terms of load security, build quality, and finish. The ease of use and convenience takes it to the next level. Read about the Kuat Piston Pro here. It also will connect with a wiring harness so your signals and brakes will be seen on your rack, whether it is up or down. I haven't been brave enough to tackle the job of retro-fitting the wires and connector yet.

Is there an interesting story about this particular 325s history? Is it possible to track a car's past easily?

There were a couple of weird things about buying this car. I didn't actually buy it from the previous owner. I purchased it from the father of the previous owner's friend. As it turns out the young fellow, who had only owned the car for four months, died suddenly at the age of 21. There was speculation it was COVID, since he hadn't been vaccinated but I didn't learn anything else about his demise (may he rest in piece).* As a result I couldn't ask anything about the vehicle's history or even have it checked out before the purchase. As I mentioned, there were several others who were driving to see the car while I was looking at it, one from 100 kms away.

Once I got the carfax report, I found out the car the car had been sold new in San Francisco and then imported to Canada in 2009 where it found a home in North Van. I actually found a photo of it on Google maps when I learned where the previous owner, who owned the car until June of 2021, lived. As it turned out it had been well cared for by and large. Luckily everything checked out adequately and I eventually got service records going back to 2011. There were no mortal wounds that prevented me from driving it right away.

*this at least is the story I got

cam mcrae pistons and pivots 5

Winter wheels. I traded some bike stuff for these. Or rather bike-part-futures since nothing has changed hands yet. Photo - Cam McRae

Any long trips in it so far? Any nervous moments?

I drove the car up to Shuswap Lake on the Coquihala, which has some long steep hills. Overheated vehicles which have burned down to the asphalt are frequently seen there. There is no spare so I threw in a winter tire to keep the anxiety down but the trip was actually trouble free. On my first trip up to Whistler I wasn't paying enough attention as I entered a slow corridor and got nailed by the popo. It wasn't excessive or anything, but I hate the idea of having a fun car to drive and being worried about getting busted for another costly 3 points.

penalty box

"You go to da box for 2 minutes, ya know, by yourself...you feel shame...and then you get free."

Is the 325 fast? or is it fast enough?

Funny you mention that. It's got a 3.0 litre inline 6 that's good for 215 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, at least when new, which made it good for a 7 second 0-60 with the 6 speed manual. So not a rocket at all but it's enough to scoot out of corners or cruise comfortably at 140 km/h on the Coquihala. I was worried it would be a slug but I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it pulls if you keep the revs up. What I'd really like is a 335D motor,* which is an incredibly efficient twin turbo diesel that packs 265 hp and 408 lb-ft and can apparently easily be tweaked to produce much more. Power and fuel economy? Unheard of! That motor wasn't offered in the touring version in those years and it wasn't ever offered with a manual transmission so I'm out of luck. I've done a little looking into what it takes to import a car from Germany. It doesn't seem too difficult actually, but that's a project for the distant future. To answer your question, it's fast enough but I wouldn't complain about more ponies.

*Damn you Deniz Merdano for making me aware of these!

deniz merdano pistons and pivots cam bmw arrival kuat

This is actually mostly my wife's car. She drives it on her short commute while my office is at home.

What are your plans for the car?

There are some more relatively easy mods I want to perform. One is to bore out the clutch delay valve to render it impotent. The shifting, particularly between 1st and 2nd, is notoriously clunky on e90 manuals and the CDV is the culprit. This is a BMW innovation designed to protect the clutch from new drivers but for someone experienced with 3 pedals it probably increases wear and absolutely decreases driver pleasure. The task involves jacking up the car, removing the valve, drilling it out and re-installing it, which might necessitate bleeding the clutch. Part of me wants to avoid that. Otherwise I may put a little more work into the interior and replace a few pieces, like the driver's side door card, and I've been thinking about a conversion of the iDrive system that allows Apple Carplay and add a backup camera.

I have a long list of things to fix as well. I haven't been able to remove the warning codes for the seat occupancy sensor in the car, despite having put in a much newer passenger seat and using an OBD II scanner but I'm going to keep trying. There are about five red warnings on the dash and I get a notice on the iDrive screen when the car is started because of this and I can't wait until they are gone. I purchased, but haven't yet installed, a little device that bypasses the occupancy sensor but I'd prefer to fix it properly. The reverse lights don't work, which could have about 17 possible solutions. It's either the switch on the tranny, the wiring through the boot as it enters the tailgate, the footwell control module... 14 other things, or a combination of two or more of those things. It's not the bulbs though!

The wheels on there are in need of refinishing but I didn't want to do anything to them until I had more experience avoiding curbs. And then I'll install some low dust brake pads in the front because the wheels are constantly covered in black film. The last thing, aside from all the mechanical stuff I'm avoiding talking about, is the paint. The bodywork is nice and straight but the front of the car is covered in chips that look fairly recent. There are too many to touch up and have it look nice so I may look into a wrap if I can get the same colour and not break the bank.

Have you learned anything surprising after owning a BMW for almost a year ?

Whoa have I! And it keeps on coming. BMWs are known to have touchy cooling systems and recently my wife and I began to suspect the car was running a little hot. I say suspect, because there is no temperature gauge visible on the dash or on the iDrive screen. The good news about owning these cars is that there are thousands of well-loved examples still on the road, and they all have lots of issues. Youtube is rotten with channels dedicated to fixing and modifying e90 BMWs, which is where I found the secret code to gain access, briefly at least, to the water temperature gauge.

To unlock this feature, I had to hold down the trip reset button on the dash for 15 seconds or so until a code came up. At the bottom it said FGNSTR, which probably means something in German, and then a series of numbers came up. I was then instructed to add up the digits and remember the number. Then it was into another menu and then I had to press the button 32 times (while holding my breath and mentally whistling Dixie) to gain access to another menu, in glorious red pixels, that eventually led me to the temperature, which seemed fine. Fortunately the next time you have to go through the same arduous and counterintuitive process. It's the sort of thing that is so confounding I have to look up how to do it every time. Similarly there is no dipstick in the car. In order to check the oil, the engine needs to be turned off but the ignition turned on and once you scroll through a couple of menus, there it is. The best exampe though, was when the battery died in my fob.

cam mcrae 2006 bmw 325xi 9

BMW likes plastic covers. That's not a nice looking valve cover gasket.

E90 BMWs have a rather clever system for the batteries in their remotes. There is a rechargeable battery inside the remote and it charges when it's in the dash. There is also a port where you can charge your second key inside the glove box and there is a rechargeable flashlight that lives there the rest of the time. As we have all learned now, even rechargeable batteries wear out eventually, which is what happened to mine. I assumed I just had to pop in a new battery. As it turns out, these are not designed to be user serviceable. The case of the fob doesn't open at all, unless you cut it open. My case had already had that treatment and had been glued back together. Once inside you need to deploy a soldering iron to remove the old battery and install a new one. I found a replacement case on Amazon for about $10, with a blank key, and another astounding feature. Remarkably, it can be opened and closed repeatedly without surgery. BMW's solution to this problem is to sell you a new fob for around $200. I spent about $50 including a new battery and the cheap soldering iron. Virtually everything about the car is over-engineered and over-thought with more energy put into making parts and systems complicated than into making them robust and user-friendly.

Repairs can also be incredibly challenging. To replace the oil pan gasket the entire front of the car has to be removed. I'm talking about the front bumper, the wheels, most of the front suspension components, the axles, and the motor mounts (the motor needs to be suspended by a brace during the process). Many of the fittings and mounts that hold these components in place, including the aluminum bolts securing the oil pan, need to be replaced during the process. One of the many complicating factors is that one of the front axles travels through the oil pan on the way to the front diff, because... BMW.

Did I mention I love my 325xi?

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She even looks slow standing still.

Overall are you happy you bought the car?

I have to say I am. I really like driving the car and working on it and other than being terrified that something expensive is going to break, I'm happy we ditched the family SUV for something smaller and both less and more practical. It can haul bikes and gear, has a panoramic sunroof and it sounds pretty nice as well. The main thing though is the experience behind the wheel. The steering is precise and tactile, the suspension is remarkably responsive and surprisingly comfortable despite not filtering out the road completely, and it's hilariously fun on a curvy road. Sometimes even too much fun. It's also been a great excuse to buy a bunch of new tools. I'm both excited and nervous about taking on some more ambitious projects, like eventually tackling those oil leaks.

deniz merdano WR1 arrival 170 Cam 17

We Are One Arrival 170

I have recently written about this bike, so there isn't too much to talk about really, aside from my loose goal around the build. Because the frame, hardware, handlebars, and rims were all made in Kamloops B.C., I had the idea of trying to build a bike from parts made entirely in North America. Eventually that idea morphed into parts coming from post-industrial nations, to include places like Portugal where, for example, SRAM builds chains, or France where some Pirelli bike tires are made. Unfortunately it all fell apart when I couldn't get my hands on a 13 spd Rotor hydraulic drivetrain. Rotor cranks would have to go along with the overseas components from SRAM for an Eagle AXS system. I love using AXS but from there things fell apart a little. Still pedals and seat post came from OneUp, which is a local company at least. The brakes I'm using now are Hopes, which are made in the UK. Hubs are Hope up front and Industry 9 in the rear. Maxxis tires also fail but I hope to find some that meet my parameters eventually. I've been to the factory where Chris King headsets are made in Portland so that one was pretty clear. I have no idea if I can find a saddle and grips that weren't made in China or Vietnam but it seems unlikely.

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As I mentioned in my recent article, the 170 version of the We Are One Arrival rides entirely differently to the 152. It can be a big mountain bruiser, soaking up rough terrain efficiently, without sacrificing maneuverability. Unfortunately it's parked at the moment while I recover from some mild concussion symptoms.

deniz merdano WR1 arrival 170 Cam 21 copy

I'm looking forward to finding where the Arrival 170 will take me.

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I have a ride Wrap kit for the Arrival but the Cerakote seems to be holding up well, and Dustin Adams told me about someone whose ceramic coating peeled off when they removed their Ride Wrap. That isn't appealing, but I love having Ride Wrap protecting my bikes.

At this point I can't wait to get back on the Arrival 170, and back on the trails in general. Writing about bikes when you can't ride bikes is a slow but efficient method of torture. Thankfully, I can still drive to the grocery store.

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Comments

TomM
TomM
2 months, 1 week ago
+3 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman FlipSide

Kudos for the the Denis Lemieux/Slap Shot reference!

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 months, 1 week ago
+3 Nologo Cam McRae 4Runner1

A roundel _is a_ badge, but a badge _is not always_ a roundel. Calling it a badge is not wrong, and calling it a roundel is not more correct, just more specific.

I'm slightly surprised they don't have a more pretentious name for it, like how Rolls Royce's "hood ornament" is _never_ called that, it's always referred to as "The Spirit of Ecstasy"

Reply

flattire2
Brian Tuulos
2 months, 1 week ago
+3 kcy4130 Cam McRae 4Runner1

Unless your 4 wheeling, too many trucks and SUV's on the road.  Nothing like the driving feel of a good car.

Reply

4Runner1
4Runner1
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Agreed. While we have kept our ‘14 F150 for trailer / hauling duties, I recently sold our ‘06 RAV4 and replaced it with a ‘22 VW GLI. Man it’s great to drive a car again! I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed enjoying the drive itself.

I’ve said it before; that’s a great wagon, Cam.

Reply

puterbaugh_99@yahoo.com
puterbaugh_99@yahoo.com
2 months, 1 week ago
+3 Cam McRae 4Runner1 WheelNut

I still miss my 2007 E91 6mt rwd. I once put 3 fat bikes in the back of that thing. 

One nice thing is the BMW double-lock feature (doors cannot be opened from inside while double locked); which is some assurance that your bike will still be with the car if someone attempts to steal it. 

Fitting a fat bike in the car is a requirement for my vehicles; which my 2006 E46 330ci 6mt ZHP and 2018 G01 X3M40i both do well.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 4Runner1

330ci ZHP? That is a sweet machine! Nicely done. I didn’t realize ZHPs existed before the e90 series.

Reply

4Runner1
4Runner1
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Always wanted a ZHP. Lusted after a red 6 spd back in the day. Still see them pop up occasionally with less than 150 thousand kms.

Reply

earleb
earle.b
2 months, 1 week ago
+3 Dustin Meyer Cam McRae 4Runner1

I have the odd duck cousin of the E46 / E90 Touring....the 2005 E83 X3. It's shares parts with both. Mine also happens to be the very rare manual trans version, who knew you could get a BMW SUV with a stick? . The 3.0L i6 M54 engine mated to the ZF 6sp is ohhhh sooo smooth. I really wanted to find an E46 awd manual wagon but then came across this X3 with the stick. 

Feel bad it's been neglected collecting dust the past year, but it will go back into regular service come ski season doing laps to Whistler most weekends. It has a very planted feel on the S2S and still a touch of fun in some corners. Long live the stick shift.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
2 months, 1 week ago
+2 Vik Banerjee 4Runner1

Glad to see I'm not alone in thinking the Arrivals all have very short head tubes.

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
2 months, 1 week ago
0

the one thing i struggle with (aesthetically) with that bike. it pains me, because i love so much about it. 

the beemer looks great though!

Reply

craw
Cr4w
2 months, 1 week ago
0

I just straight up won't buy a bike that requires me to put 2cm+ of spacers under the stem. Is it petty? Sure. Should I have very high expectations of a $4000 frame? Also yes.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 months, 1 week ago
0

How about 2cm more rise in your bar? looks like maybe a 12 or 15mm in those pics, so a 30 or 35mm rise bar fits the bill for boosting the effective stack without moving the stem. Besides, room for a riser is good, as opposed to having a very tall stack that basically _requires _slammed stems and flat bars. Having some flexibility in that aspect can help tune reach: spacers plus low rise vs no spacers with some rise, that gives a handful of mm for tweaking the bar fore & aft.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Justin White

I like spacers more than I like tall riser bars. Just not my thing. Also, it seems to me, less effective at decreasing reach (not into rotating the bar into a less effective or comfortable position.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 months, 1 week ago
0

I wasn't talking about bar rotation for reach adjust. I also think that's silly: bar rotation is for adjusting the sweeps to hit your own personal sweet spot of up and back to match your hands.

I meant the ability to move the stem up and down the steerer to tweak effective reach: with a 65 degree head angle, raising the stem 20mm along the steerer also brings it back around 8 mm. (20mm * cos(65 degrees))

Sure that can also be done with stem length, but just trying to think about why a designer would aim low with stack height: it keeps options open for the customer. Super tall stack means if you do want to go lower you have way fewer options: there aren't nearly as many negative rise stems or bars out there.

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Justin White

Gotcha Justin. That makes more sense. And that’s exactly what I have done to make the bike fit me better. I’ll play around with lowering the stem some as well.

T-mack
T-mack
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

To be fair Cr4w you're 7' tall. If I was in your shoes I would be happy there are more manufacturers willing to do custom sizes.

Reply

WheelNut
WheelNut
2 months, 1 week ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano

This car looks awesome with the style 270s! I tried to buy this car last summer (or was that 2020?), but I was in Victoria for the weekend and that fated young fellow got to it first. I saw it pop up again but I guess you beat me too it that time haha. It is such a shame BMW didn't sell the RWD E91s in Canada.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Thanks WN! Crazy that we were after the same car. There is a nice looking e46 on CL right now actually. With some better wheels and the new interior the guy has, could be a beauty  

https://vancouver.craigslist.org/van/cto/d/vancouver-bmw-325i-e46-5spd-manual/7538566903.html

Reply

Busta604
Colin Yeung
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Even bigger shame it did not come to North America with the turbo N54 motor.

Reply

1lluma
Guillaume Fortin
2 months, 1 week ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Cr4w

ODI grips are made in USA.

SQ Labs Infinergy saddle are made in germany

Some Selle italia models are made in taly

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Thanks! I knew I'd get some help.

Reply

Andeh
Andeh
2 months, 1 week ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Cr4w

BikeYoke dropper is made in Germany.

Suspension is not too bad for options... for shock you could do either an EXT (Italy) or Push (USA).  Fork you could do EXT (and rumor has it Push soon too).

Tires - I know Hutchinson is made in France.  I think the high end Conti tires are made in Germany.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Good info! I tried to get a Push but they didn’t get back to me. 

Are you sure about Bike Yoke? We have been sent droppers directly from Asia previously I believe. I’ve sent an email to Sacki to confirm.

Reply

Andeh
Andeh
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Hmm I had one of the original ones that I thought said was made in Germany.  Maybe they changed when they got really popular.

I remember seeing that there's at least one other small dropper post company that makes them in Germany or Switzerland.  I can't recall the name of it though.  I'm sure you could find it on a Dangerholm bike lol...

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Znarf
Znarf
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Vecnum seatposts are made in Germany. 213mm travel and light! 

Sqlab makes some saddles in Germany, Selle Italia makes some in Italy. 

YEP components makes droppers in Switzerland.

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mhaager2
Moritz Haager
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

A bit OT, but I would LOVE a more detailed review of the Faction rims. Union rim reviews are easy to find,  factions not so much.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

This is something I can do. I need to replace the front hub on my set and rebuild the wheel.

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cheapondirt
cheapondirt
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Very cool car!

Grips - ODI and other brands (e.g. Sensus) made by them in USA.

Saddle - I think Sqlab makes at least one model in Germany?

Edit: didn't see Guillaume's comment above! Oops!

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cheapondirt
cheapondirt
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Another one that came to mind, Reform saddles are made in Vancouver.

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Jenkins5
Jenkins5
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Great car! I'm in a 2011 328xi myself (one of the last years of the straight 6) and love it. Wish I had a touring though! Check out Leah's Auto on the shore if you want to be treated fairly and spend less than the dealership.....She's a Bimmer master.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Thanks. I've been wondering about Leah's. I may pay her a visit.

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NotEndurbro
Dustin Meyer
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Catahoula Ergonomics saddles are made in Missoula, Montana and have quite a dedicated following from what I've heard. Cyclocross pro and TrainerRoad employee Ivy Audrain raves about them quite a bit.

As far as grips--I think Ergon or SQLabs may have a grip that is made in Germany.

Sweet car! I've got a rusty 2002 325xit manual that has been languishing in my garage for 5+ years. It had the dreaded coolant leak the day after I replaced the water pump. Luckily the coolant line blew as I was pulling into my driveway so there was no time for engine damage.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Projects! Are you planning to get it running again? 

And more good tips. Thanks!

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NotEndurbro
Dustin Meyer
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Getting it running again was the plan, but the dust keeps settling on it. My wife would love to see it wheeled out by any means necessary, but I don't want to see it scrapped when someone could do something ridiculous with it instead like Gambler 500 or gut it for autocross.

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trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Revgrips are also made in the USA.

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DaveM
DaveM
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Welcome to the BMW Touring club! I'm in a later 2017 F31 and loving it.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Nice one Dave!

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just6979
Justin White
2 months, 1 week ago
0

"I place part of the the blame for my first ticket in years on getting used to the duelling digits."

We should use this in the states to help push for metric conversion. If speedos started showing KPH primarily, everyone would end up going a little slower out of confusion, and it would be safer and maybe greener!

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just6979
Justin White
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Or just use the bigger numbers: say, top speed of 150 MPH vs 240 KPH. Bigger is better despite being apples to oranges, seems to work for bikes, hehe.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Gotta stick with Freedom Units! None of that commie French stuff. ;)

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craw
Cr4w
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Hey Cam will you be doing a review on the Hope brakes? Which ones are you using? Tell us a little something :)

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cr4w

I will indeed. I have Tech 4 e4s and they have been splendid so far. Excellent lever feel and modulation and bottomless power.

I’ve only had a few rides on them unfortunately because of travel in August and I’m currently out with some mild concussion symptoms. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m making some progress but I already tried a comeback once and it was too soon. Fingers crossed!

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velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cam McRae

Ooh, take care of your noggin.

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Busta604
Colin Yeung
2 months, 1 week ago
0

This comment has been removed.

danimaniac
danimaniac
2 months, 1 week ago
0

you don't want the 335d, because you cannot get it with awd.

But it is easy to get the same power from a 330xd witih mild reprogramming. ;-)

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

Interesting. I’ve seen newer 335d Xi models but likely not with e90s. The 330 is also available with a stick so that solves two problems. Thanks!

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kos
Kos
2 months, 1 week ago
-1 Colin Yeung

Spooky. I grew up as a kid in the back seat of a 72 Plymouth wagon with a 400 engine. Even worse mileage than your I suspect, and equally, unimaginably, low power!

And I had me a nice little RWD ^MT version of your wagon, a few years older. Just a 2.5L engine, but with the 6 speed and no AWD it was OK. Overall a fantastic car!

"One is to bore out the clutch delay valve to render it impotent." Do this NOW. You will be so damn happy you did. And, yeah, you're going to have to bleed the clutch.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
2 months, 1 week ago
0

That’s pretty crazy. I’m tempted to ask who you’ve dated!

CDV delete soon! Thanks for the nudge.

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