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      12-02-2011, 05:11 PM   #1
saml666
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E90 330d buying advice

Is there a thread already somewhere for buying advice? Tried a search but found nothing specific...

I've had an old E46 330d SE (saloon) for about 18 months and put 20k miles on it without any trouble. Now looking for an E90 touring, 335d would be great but I think the budget will suit a 330d better!

Anyway, what should I be looking for on a car with between 50k and 80k miles?

I know the usual stuff for any average car, I'm particularly interested in anything unique to E90s, 330d msport auto touring is the likely target.

Any advice, links to existing threads etc much appreciated.

Cheers,
Sam

p.s. Yep, my first thread, straight in there on the ask! Not sure how much tech knowledge I'll be able to contribute, my tinkering is limited to TVRs and bikes. If I ever can, I will
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      12-02-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
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Welcome mate,

The 335d is Auto only but has paddles and is a cracking engine. What 330d would you be looking at?! The pre LCi (facelift) or post?! The LCi came in approx sept/Oct 2008 and the engine is all alloy abd 245HP vs the older engines 231HP. The 335d is 286HP.

Generally speaking the engines are bulletproof. Just the odd boost hose partially coming away. That is the main problem which has happened to most owners. Turbo failures are rare but do happen, as they can with any turbocharged engine.
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      12-02-2011, 05:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, yep, 335d is a fine thing but with an extension to build on the house and a fledgling business only in its 2nd year I'm keeping this purchase strictly on a budget. There's always next year ...

Glad the first reply doesn't throw up any big nasties ... been through that with my TVR already. Just Google 'TVR outriggers' and you'll see why a ground-up rebuild was the only way!

Thanks again, was fearing the 'p**s off and find it yourself' posts that so often welcome newbies to the less friendly forums!

Take care,
Sam
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      12-02-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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Hi Sam,

Welcome to the forum.

I currently have a pre-lci 330d in manual guise. Are you wanting an auto or manual? I bought the 330 over the 335 purely for the fact that it came with a 'stick'. It's a very talented car and a fantastic all round package. I can't think of a better all round car, once re-mapped. Pace, presence, space, comfort (well, except the horror run flats) and very fuel efficient. I do around 80% town driving and it returns an average of 38mpg. Not bad for a car with nearly 300bhp and enough torque to build a new planet.

Mines done 90k now and apart from general maintenance, no problems (tough wood)
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      12-03-2011, 03:23 AM   #5
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Ive got the 330d coupe pre lci and its a awsome drive/engine. Even without a remap is a monster. You wont be disappointed with the 330d engine at all mate absolute pleasure to drive.
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      12-03-2011, 03:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vaheed1 View Post
Hi Sam,

Welcome to the forum.

I currently have a pre-lci 330d in manual guise. Are you wanting an auto or manual? I bought the 330 over the 335 purely for the fact that it came with a 'stick'. It's a very talented car and a fantastic all round package. I can't think of a better all round car, once re-mapped. Pace, presence, space, comfort (well, except the horror run flats) and very fuel efficient. I do around 80% town driving and it returns an average of 38mpg. Not bad for a car with nearly 300bhp and enough torque to build a new planet.

Mines done 90k now and apart from general maintenance, no problems (tough wood)
Hi Vaheed,

Thanks for the reply ... my E46 330d has one of those cheap 'not a remap just boosts fuel pressure' things and although not as refined as a proper remap still gives great mpg and a lot more GO ... so am looking forward to an E90 with a 'proper' remap. I'll be having an auto as my daily commute gets bogged down in stop-start traffic and I'm getting lazy. The TVR is always there for manual raw edged thrills

Thanks again, looking good so far re maintenance / issues etc. I assume the run flats can just be swapped for normal tyres? Or are there size/performance/practicality issues with doing that?

Cheers, Sam

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Originally Posted by marshyrob View Post
Ive got the 330d coupe pre lci and its a awsome drive/engine. Even without a remap is a monster. You wont be disappointed with the 330d engine at all mate absolute pleasure to drive.
Hopefully going to try something today, sounds like it'll be good though. And still no mention of any mechanical horrors!

Thanks all ... much appreciated.

Sam
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      12-03-2011, 03:59 AM   #7
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I specifically bought a 330d as no one seems to have a bad word to say about them. I have a LCI 2010 330d and love it ! I've only had it 9 months but it has been superb.
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      12-03-2011, 06:56 AM   #8
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I have a 330D M sport touring Pre LCI Auto. Bought it for 12.5k with 59k on the clock, fully loaded with idrive, heated leathers, xenon's etc. Have to say its the best car I've owned i really enjoy driving it everytime i get in it, the engine is smooth and puts down the power effortlessly. The fuel consumption could be better I'm averaging around 34-35mpg for mainly town driving and about the same on motorway. I'm not heavy right footed either.

Can't comment on the 335D since i've never driven one...but if you have money and want the extra power its a no brainer!
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      12-03-2011, 07:42 AM   #9
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I own a November '08 LCI 330d. After 30k miles I can say it's been a great car so far!

The 245hp engine is a beauty. Plenty of power when you need it and a great cruiser at steady speeds, where fuel consumption is surprisingly low. I don't know of any issues with the 30d engines - unlike the 35i, 18d/20d, for example.

As far as comparing it with the 335d, if you are wondering which to get, go for the 335d. When I bought mine, I had no doubts the 245hp would be enough for a daily ride and I wanted to take advantage of the higher mpg of the 330d. But if you're unsure, then you will always crave a 335d.
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      12-03-2011, 09:12 AM   #10
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FWIW my LCI 330d auto has done 54mpg on a steady motorway drive from Cambridge to Surrey ... but around town tends (if only used in town) to be about 35mpg.

Overall in the 7K I have driven it has averaged 39mpg.

I tried a 335d and TBH I found it too linear and no quicker below about 70mph. Over 70mph it was undoubtedly quicker but not so I wanted to buy it. It left me feeling a bit underwhelmed ... just too linear
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      12-03-2011, 09:46 AM   #11
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LCI models certainly do have a good bit more in the way of fuel consumption... if of course you can afford it lol
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      12-03-2011, 12:18 PM   #12
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Looks like your after something like mine.

I've had it for 40k miles and coming up to 3.5 years. Its not for sale - which is a fair endorsement I think that you shouldn't regret getting one. Main advice is get one with plenty of toys - one of the reasons I've no need or intention to sell.

Lci is better, but they'll cost more - whether it's worth it is up to you. Pre lci still a great car IMO.

Ps the boost hose thing is 335d only, not a 330d issue. I'm not aware of any real issues with the 330d to be honest, though the e9x in general has some very minor potential faults (e.g. fan bearing noise (fixed on mine with lub) steering lock fail (not happened to me but can)). Personally I don't think you need to worry about swirl flaps, so go for it.

Be aware that any turbo diesel could have a need for e.g. injector refurb as the miles pile on and hit e.g, 120k+, but not a reason not to buy IMO.
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      12-03-2011, 01:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by saml666 View Post

Thanks again, looking good so far re maintenance / issues etc. I assume the run flats can just be swapped for normal tyres? Or are there size/performance/practicality issues with doing that?


Sam
What's the reason you want to swap the RFTs for standard tyres?

Since there is no spare tyre, you need to come up with a good Plan B if you do not have RFTs. Additionally, the complaints I've heard about RFTs are that:

- they make the ride too firm
- they tramline/don't handle well etc etc.

I find both these complaints are totally wrong. I can easily drive over potholed London streets at 30mph without slowing down or trying to avoid potholes and without passengers complaining. I can drive right over speed humps with either no slowing down or minimal slowing down.

On the open road I run out of skill level, visibility around bends and definitely speed limit long before I get limited by tyre traction. They work fine in dry weather, wet weather and cold weather. No problems with RFTs for me, OTOH I didn't pay extra for M-sport suspension and oversized wheels only to spend more money to soften up the ride.....

BTW I still get 20mpg around central London in a 330d
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      12-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #14
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M Sport suspension and RFT's are not a match made in heaven. Its nowhere near as bad as coilovers if anyone can relate, but its not a pleasant as it can be. Non RFTs are instant fix from my experience.

I have a compressor and some tyre slime stashed under the boot floor if a puncture decides to make itself known. Jobbed
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      12-03-2011, 01:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saml666 View Post

Thanks again, looking good so far re maintenance / issues etc. I assume the run flats can just be swapped for normal tyres? Or are there size/performance/practicality issues with doing that?

Cheers, Sam
Yes swapping is easy and you can save a lot of money doing so which I think is one of the main reasons for doing so (it is why I swapped to non-RFT - RFT prices are very high). I didn't really mind the ride on RFTs if I'm honest, and the handling is pretty good on them. Lots of posts on this.

A can of tyre weld would be required of course as there is no spare.
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      12-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #16
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I think the suspension setting on LCI and pre-LCI cars are different.

I've always had RFTs on my LCI e90 and never found the setup to be too firm. I think most pre-LCI owners do complain though. I guess you have to try it yourself when you get the car.
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      12-04-2011, 05:45 AM   #17
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SO8, Mr Singh

Well, having tried one yesterday I think I can just about live with one sadly the one I saw seemed to have very varied paint quality. Front plastic and doors were quite textured while finish on front wings was glassy. I'll check a few more out but as far as the drive goes .. yep ... awesome, most pleased . I'm also going to look at 335i cars but at a slightly lower budget to compensate for the fuel cost. We'll see ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRD View Post
...if you are wondering which to get, go for the 335d. When I bought mine, I had no doubts the 245hp would be enough for a daily ride and I wanted to take advantage of the higher mpg of the 330d. But if you're unsure, then you will always crave a 335d.
Yep, thats exactly my position but it seems a 335d costs a little more to purchase too which counts for me as well. All-out power isn't everything with it being the daily driver. My TVR scratches that little itch.

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Originally Posted by ///ajd View Post
Looks like your after something like mine...Its not for sale
Booooo!

Nah seriously, thanks for the rest of the advice you gave though. Whatever I buy should take 2-3 years to get to 120k so I think an injector refurb is fair enough by then. Have to say, all in all, it's looking pretty good so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaishang View Post
What's the reason you want to swap the RFTs for standard tyres?

Since there is no spare tyre, you need to come up with a good Plan B
To be fair, it was a bit of a throw away comment, it would be my first car without a spare so hadn't considered that. I can see by the comments that followed that opinion is split so when it comes to the time to buy new tyres I'll take a view. Certainly wouldn't swap anything before they're actually worn out.

A can of 'stuff' and a compressor seems like a good suggestion to save a few quid ... naturally there is a risk that if the tyre damage is too much you're stuck. I guess I'll see just how expensive RFTs look then take my chances.

LOL, my other car is British ... I'm used to the prospect of getting stranded.

Thanks everyone ... now to find the right car ...
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      12-04-2011, 06:53 AM   #18
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Saml666 ... I had a Griff 500 for a couple of years - superb fun ...

At least in this weather the thing will start when warm after filling up with petrol

Mine was a pig when the starter solenoid overheated every time we went out - a characteristic of the car ... well known ... but not by me until it did it the first time !!

Nothing beats a TVR for sheer grunt and fun - mine was fairly economical too - 18mpg for the performance on offer I thought was pretty good.
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      12-04-2011, 08:27 AM   #19
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Saml666 ... I had a Griff 500 for a couple of years - superb fun ...
I think I remember mine being fun ... but the rebuild coincided with the arrival of a baby, home improvements and all sorts so it has taken 3 looong years. It still needs a rolling road session but has a very lively 280bhp 4.6 which I bought new with all the right heads, cam, valves etc ... I ran it in an old reliant Scimitar for a few years which was amusing Now that the chassis is as solid as a rock, and suspension/brakes have been completely rebuilt it drives superbly, a world away from what I bought.

Anyway ... come on someone, sell us yer tourer eh!!!

Cheers,
Sam
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      12-04-2011, 08:40 AM   #20
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You ran 280 hp in a scimitar GTE? Sounds cool - we need pictures.
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      12-04-2011, 09:12 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaishang View Post
What's the reason you want to swap the RFTs for standard tyres?

Since there is no spare tyre, you need to come up with a good Plan B if you do not have RFTs. Additionally, the complaints I've heard about RFTs are that:

- they make the ride too firm
- they tramline/don't handle well etc etc.

I find both these complaints are totally wrong. I can easily drive over potholed London streets at 30mph without slowing down or trying to avoid potholes and without passengers complaining. I can drive right over speed humps with either no slowing down or minimal slowing down.

On the open road I run out of skill level, visibility around bends and definitely speed limit long before I get limited by tyre traction. They work fine in dry weather, wet weather and cold weather. No problems with RFTs for me, OTOH I didn't pay extra for M-sport suspension and oversized wheels only to spend more money to soften up the ride.....

BTW I still get 20mpg around central London in a 330d
I think the reason why you dont have a problem with runflats is that you have the LCI.
I've owned both pre-LCI 330d M Sport and LCI 330d M Sport and the most noticable difference between the two cars is the ride. The pre-LCI is a great car indeed, but very harsh on the ride. The LCI is significantly better and not only is the ride better - the handling is not affected whatsoever. I'd agree that the LCI does not really need a change to non-run flats, but the pre-LCI does IMO.

For performance delivery, the old 330d is a little more aggressive (more on/off) and thus feels quite fast. For the LCI they have smoothed out the power delivery and it appears to rev a little higher and feels more similiar to a petrol engine. Both have got bags of torque and bags of pull. Ultimately, the LCI is a little quicker, but not by a lot. This of course makes it even closer to the performance of the 335d, as said above. The 335d is no doubt a great, fast car - but only really comes into its own at licence-losing speeds.

Incidently, in the 2 years I owned my pre-LCI, the only thing that went wrong was the CD changer which was replaced under warranty. Fantastic car all-in-all. Engines do seem bullet proof from what I can tell and have read.
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      12-04-2011, 09:23 AM   #22
saml666
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You ran 280 hp in a scimitar GTE? Sounds cool - we need pictures.
Ha ha, it was a dog ... the only thing it did well was look brown and go in a straight line. Was great passing a new Porsche Carrera at 120, poor bloke never saw it coming pics here and video here
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