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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having had a very uneventful 18 months with the cheapy 116, with enough nagging I managed to wear my other half down into swapping her car for another one, but this time with a proper engine. Initially I was focussed in a 130i, but there were limited pickings in budget. There was an E81 that had a good spec but needed some love (lacquer peel, bumper scuff and all wheels needed a refurb) but I missed out whilst fanning about. With limited 130's knocking about, I started to include 125i's in the search.

A little grey cab popped up and looked clean and got both of our attention. Being so different to her 116i it made it an easier sell (the idea of swapping a hatch for another hatch was a bit lost on her). It was for sale through a small dealer who has picked it up from an elderly neighbour (I thought was salesman flannel, but am not so sure now....). I arranged to see it before New Year's Eve, but snow out any end to it. It was minus 4 where the car was and still covered in snow so not ideal conditions to check on a cab and make sure the roof is working etc.

Then lockdown 3.0 arrived....joy. After lots of pictures, a video and various conversations a deal was struck and I decided to take a punt and click and collect the car with the proviso of a refund if it was a turd. The MOT history was good and there were no hidden horrors on V Check.

It's a 2009 125i M Sport in grey, black leather 82k on the clock and some Ok options; cruise, heated seats, folding mirrors, Bluetooth, auto dimming rear view mirror and a few other odds and sods. No xenons though.

We went to collect it last night, from the chaps house with the keys left in a plant pot! :lol:

It looked well enough when we arrived.


The drive home was uneventful; it didn't break down or explode into a ball of flames.

I took it out for a drive this morning and the alignment is out (seller will pay for it) but other than a few rattles and creaks from the roof it seems fine. It's not fast (a trip to P Toqrue is on the cards) but it sounds lovely, really nice and it's smooth. I've not driven a car with run flats for nearly five years; my god they're ****. Awful things.

Took a few pictures whilst out today sorting the tax








Going back to my previous comments about the guy selling the car telling me that it was owner by an old chap as his last hurrah before giving up his license. I didn't believe him at first, but when I tried to tax the car online it was exempt due to previously being registered someone with a blue badge. And then when I was rummaging around in the boot, I found a pack of tenna for men! So perhaps he was. Tax sorted at the post office.

Got home and made a mental list of stuff to do:

Steal some parts from the 116 (black grilles, red starter button, M Performance gear knob and gaitor).

Then tackle a few jobs;

Remove the old dealer sticker from the rear window
Fiddle with the bonnet bump stops because it was sitting a bit low
Fix the dash trim; the finish / cover has come away from the back piece
Fit the bits from the 116
Clean it; stuff like rage fuel filler was hanging
Debadge

Worn M Sport gear knob


Replaced with the M Performance one


I also swapped over the hand brake handles and gaiters too because I fitted a nice new one to the 116 when we got it.

It needs a proper detail, but it was cold and time wasn't on my side so. I sprayed it with some fall out remover to remove the worst of the crap.


It was then washed and dried and given a coat of Sonax BSD. Scrubs up pretty well



It's not perfect, but it's nearly 12 years old. There are two slight parking dings which I'll sort and a few scratches most of which will look better if not disappear with a machine polish.

Plans are...

Alignment (hopefully in the next few days)
New tyres when we sell the 116. Run flats are awful. I'm hoping it'll ride a bit better.
Proper detail when the weather allows; clay, two stage paint correction, wax, proper roof clean and treatment
Wheel refurb (two have slight marks) others just look a bit old
New centre caps
Sort the exhaust trip (they're minging....I'll try some metal polish first)
Smooth air box lid to see if it makes a bit more noise
Fit a double din screen at some point for CarPlay (the factory Bluetooth feels, well old. Really old).
Fit the alcantara whee from the 116 (need to buy a new steering wheel trim)

Today didn't go entirely to plan....I've managed to lick the fuel filler flap whilst cleaning it and now I can't get in. I'm hoping that the little green pull cord will save me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Octavius said:
That looks a great example. Nice clean car that shouldn't take much sorting &#x1f44d-1f3fb;
Cheers. Fingers crossed it'll be ok.

Just need to release a bit more noise to be enjoyed with the roof down (when it warms up a tad).
 

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Nice to see it's arrived! You must be glad it's got leather seats after that find in the boot :lol:

My exhaust tips were the same, they're pearl chrome plated so wouldn't clean up and I ended up sanding them then spraying them with VHT rather than spending £55 a tip on replacements.

If you can find an N55 135i backbox it'll be nice sound upgrade, I got bored of waiting for one to pop up at a realistic price and modified mine which I'm very happy with (Edit 2: re-hosted the vid).

FYI, half way down your post there's a weird link - ctrl+f for "poem" :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nyxeris said:
Nice to see it's arrived! You must be glad it's got leather seats after that find in the boot :lol:

My exhaust tips were the same, they're pearl chrome plated so wouldn't clean up and I ended up sanding them then spraying them with VHT rather than spending £55 a tip on replacements.

If you can find an N55 135i backbox it'll be nice sound upgrade, I got bored of waiting for one to pop up at a realistic price and modified mine which I'm very happy with (Edit 2: re-hosted the vid).

FYI, half way down your post there's a weird link - ctrl+f for "poem" :shock:
Cheers...it did kind of back up the story with the car (although I'm not sure that's a good thing...).

If I can improve the tips, it'll do for a while. Can get them for £44 each but it's still a big increase on the £30 each I paid for new E90 tips a few years ago.

I'll be on the look out for a backbox in due course. I'll try the golf tee mod first (will try and unplug the valve rather than jam it open).

That was part of a link to an advert from post image. I'll remove the rest of it now.

I've got some less yellow bulbs arriving tomorrow so no doubt I'll be swearing like w trooper getting them fitted tomorrow (offside isn't too bad but the near side :evil: ). My Mishimoto intake pipe arrived yesterday so I need fo for that at some point too.
 

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SamM140 said:
I've got some less yellow bulbs arriving tomorrow so no doubt I'll be swearing like w trooper getting them fitted tomorrow (offside isn't too bad but the near side :evil: ). My Mishimoto intake pipe arrived yesterday so I need fo for that at some point too.
The airbox is just two 10mm bolts and the hose clamp on the MAF, I'd just remove it and change the intake pipe while you're there - all of that will probably take less time than just fiddling around doing the bulbs with the box in the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nyxeris said:
SamM140 said:
I've got some less yellow bulbs arriving tomorrow so no doubt I'll be swearing like w trooper getting them fitted tomorrow (offside isn't too bad but the near side :evil: ). My Mishimoto intake pipe arrived yesterday so I need fo for that at some point too.
The airbox is just two 10mm bolts and the hose clamp on the MAF, I'd just remove it and change the intake pipe while you're there - all of that will probably take less time than just fiddling around doing the bulbs with the box in the way!
Was taking the air box out...I still have flashbacks of battling with her old 116 and that air box is dinky. My E90 was just as infuriating with stupid access hatches in the wheel arch liner.
 

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Lots of remaps out there for 125i that will release the power and also make it sound a lot more sporty particularly over 4500rpm.

I also have done K&N filter and cut the bottom out of the airbox which gives plenty of induction roar.
 

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I'd go with modified lid and unmodified box being as this is the Mrs' car, lid is a nice subtle improvement that you only really notice once VANOS kicks in, opened box is loud, the noise grew on me, but the drone between 3-4000rpm didn't. Lid and box together is genuinely unbearable, so loud it hurts your ears and vibrates everything in the car. That was with the flap functional too, would be even worse with it disabled!
 

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Still look fresh those!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cheers for the comments chaps.

It looks like the battery is poorly. The car is a tad slow to start sometimes and I've now had the yellow battery light on twice whilst fiddling with it whilst the ignition is on. I accessed the hidden menu to check the voltage and it's showing 11.8. It forgot the time on Saturday too.

New AGM battery ordered from Tayna which will be here tomorrow. A genuine BMW was £165 delivered from Cotswold, but I've bought an Exide one for £98 delivered. I'll get that fitted tomorrow and registered to the car and will then keep an eye on it. If the slow starting contained I'll check the engine ground and then failing that it's a new starter motor. I'm hoping is the battery, it wouldn't surprise me if it's died having been sat for a wee while plus the car has done a fair few short trips.

Today, I battled with the bulbs....1985 called and wanted their crappy yellow halogens back. I fitted some Osram Night Breaker laser bulbs to the dipped and main beam and swapped over the side lights too.

Whilst remixing the air box for access, I fitted my Mishimoto intake pipe too.




I'll pop out in it later today to see if it sounds much different. It want that expensive with an eBay discount code.

Once the battery is sorted (hopefully) I'll do a bit of coding with Carly. We both miss the digital speedo, so I'll add that and change the key to eject with a long push of the button etc.

The new steering wheel trim for the wheel from the 116 will be here this week, so I'll get the alcantara wheel fitted to the 125i over the coming days.

It's booked in for an alignment on Wednesday. As soon as the updated V5 arrives for the old car having removed her private plate, I'll get the 116 advertised and as soon as that sells, I'll get some new tyres for this.
 

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Nice buy. Its great when you get another toy, I can tell your enjoying it as its supposed to be your other half yet a lot of effort has gone into the car from you already! My journey to the M Lite started with 1 Cabrios, I came close to a 135i Cab numerous times, but the N54 twin turbo issues that some reported put me off. I drove a 125i cabrio, and I enjoyed it as a cruiser. Performance compared to the M lite though is very different. Also, this IS a cabrio that exhibits the usual traits expected, rattly, bangy and stiff. The M lite cabrio drives silk in comparison. However there is nothing wrong with that at all, it looks in great condition, nice colour and your touches have already added a lot to it. A remap should see 275bhp on that no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dizeee said:
Nice buy. Its great when you get another toy, I can tell your enjoying it as its supposed to be your other half yet a lot of effort has gone into the car from you already! My journey to the M Lite started with 1 Cabrios, I came close to a 135i Cab numerous times, but the N54 twin turbo issues that some reported put me off. I drove a 125i cabrio, and I enjoyed it as a cruiser. Performance compared to the M lite though is very different. Also, this IS a cabrio that exhibits the usual traits expected, rattly, bangy and stiff. The M lite cabrio drives silk in comparison. However there is nothing wrong with that at all, it looks in great condition, nice colour and your touches have already added a lot to it. A remap should see 275bhp on that no problems.
Cheers. To be honest, I enjoyed mucking about with the 116. It was a much nicer car afterwards than the one that came home!

It's certainly a lot slower than my M140i, but it makes a great noise which will be enjoyed in the summer. A remap should perk it up a bit too.

I'm hoping that binning run flats in a few weeks will improve the ride, but BMW's of this era do ride badly. My E90 used to crash and bash through pot holes too.
 

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Exactly the same as my 2008 with 60k on it, 2 of the things I did in the 1st week was full alignment adjustment and mine was waaaay out and crabbing all over the place.. just that transformed the car.. then I fitted Michelin PS4s tyres and it totally changed the drive of the car for the better over runflats.... I'm interested in the airbox and pipe mods you've done, any noticeable gains??. I've also had it remapped and its allot more responsive
 
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Read this the other day Sam but forgot to comment.
I said similar before in your thread for your mrs old car, she must love it how you tidy up all her cars. All the little things often overlooked, you seem to have a good eye for attention to detail.
For example, That gear knob and gaiter has literally lifted years off the interior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Baldguy said:
Exactly the same as my 2008 with 60k on it, 2 of the things I did in the 1st week was full alignment adjustment and mine was waaaay out and crabbing all over the place.. just that transformed the car.. then I fitted Michelin PS4s tyres and it totally changed the drive of the car for the better over runflats.... I'm interested in the airbox and pipe mods you've done, any noticeable gains??. I've also had it remapped and its allot more responsive
I've not done the airbox lid yet, but will over the next few weeks. The Mishimoto pipe sounds a bit better (hopefully it'll be more apparent with the roof down). It might rev a bit better, but it could be a pure placebo. It's not crazy mo day, so I'm not stressing too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
G90 said:
Read this the other day Sam but forgot to comment.
I said similar before in your thread for your mrs old car, she must love it how you tidy up all her cars. All the little things often overlooked, you seem to have a good eye for attention to detail.
For example, That gear knob and gaiter has literally lifted years off the interior.
Cheers.

She seems pretty happy with them to be honest. She's mega pleased with this though.

I've quite enjoyed mucking about with them to be honest. This has had a few issues, but so far they've been pretty minor nd easy to resolve.

The battery will be here tomorrow but the car is at the garage tomorrow, so I'll pop it in on Thursday (plus the forecast tomorrow is grim).

Another hiccup today....the bottom of the seat belt was damp this morning (the bit that goes across your lap). Whilst feeling, I noticed the rear passenger mat behind my seat was a bit damp too. First thought was ****. The roof is buggered. Cue me flapping about feeling the seals, all parts of the roof. Nothing, bone dry.

Bit of head scratching and sweating. Checked the boot / battery area...all dry. Pulled the base of the rear seats up...dry. Absolutely zero evidence of drips / water staining on any trim.

I then started poking around the external seals and I spotted this...


This seal is damaged, I'm guessing from the previous owner squeezing in and out of the car. Bad news is the seal doesn't appear to be available on its own but a window from a breaker is peanuts. For now I'm going to try a bit of subtle, black silicone in there to see if that stops the issue. If it does I'll replace the rear window. I'll check the drainage channels over the next few days too.

On the good news side, this arrived today


Which means I can fit the alcantara wheel from the 116 (will do it whilst I'm pissing about with the battery).
 
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