M coupe Part 1: It Begins

This 2002 M coupe was initially brought to my shop needing some maintenance - not surprising for an S54 with over 191,000 miles! This is the car as it was dropped off early March of this year. I went on vacation at that time and came back to a very different world with the covid pandemic unfolding...



Once home and while waiting for the greenlight to do the work, the customer told me he was tossing around the idea of selling it; saying he wanted to focus on his other Z3 M coupes. I asked what figure he had in mind for the car and after some negotiating back and forth, I paid full asking price and took it home to meet my other Z's...



I immediately got to work repairing the car. There were a lot of little things it needed, many of which I forgot to take pictures of. I'm working on getting better about catalogueing all the repairs I do but here are some of the small things i've done. Devil is in the details, after all. I also took the roof racks off, I prefer the look without them but do want to keep them around to install as needed.



Replaced the dead pedal with a good one I had on hand. It's nice having spares... then installed new M badge stickers



Passed emissions first attempt! I also bought magnetic stone guards for it at some point here, I love the look of the stone guards on white. I just love these coupes in white!



Original M mats were ratty and old, with peeling foam. Installed these OE BMW "Velour" mats - much more plush than the OE ones and I prefer the lack of heel pad. I drive barefoot a lot of the time and so these are much more comfortable. Sorry for the poor picture quality



Lots of small improvements in the engine bay. I also did an oil change at 192,200 and replaced the oil cap with a nicer unit (not pictured)



Up next was to deal with those chrome aftermarket headlights...



I purchased a set of good facelift Z3 headlights (clear corners, chrome rings) and promptly baked them open. The lights were pretty cheap because the lower lens was burned (common for the facelift lights) and the lens was cloudy. Easy fix for both, I had good spare lenses I swapped in with the headlights open and used a plastic lens restoration kit to restore the outer lens to a glass-like finish. While I had them apart I also installed an amber corner light. I love the look of the amber facelift lights, especially on the white



I went ahead and installed some amber coupe tail lights I had (from my other coupe) and ordered a trunk roundel.



New roundel came in and got it installed! I would also like to note that I pried the roundel up from the right side... it looks like the car was repainted somewhat recently and I have a hunch that scratch on the left side was from the previous bodywork. Oh well... cleaned the area under the roundel as best I could and applied the new roundel. This weird paper plate is also what Arizona is doing for license plates temporarily. If you want to know how not white Alpine White actually is, stick a piece of printer paper next to it...




That just about sums up the basic "re-conditioning" of the coupe. I have big plans for this car, but I really wanted to start with a solid baseline, instead of car needing a ton of small random things. It certainly helps that I had a lot of spares just laying around the shop from past partouts and whatnot. I also did get under the car and inspect it thoroughly. Actually surprisingly clean for the mileage and the diff mount ear still looks solid. I will take some pictures next time I get it up on the lift. Next... the fun stuff!

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