E92 Alpina B3 Biturbo #185

E92 Alpina B3 Biturbo #185

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Discussion

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Sunday 26th May 2019
quotequote all
Where to begin?

I have from time to time over the last couple of years played about with the online configurator for the F31 B3S Biturbo 'building' my ideal spec wagon waiting to be in a position to actually be able to go for it. I've never bought a brand new car yet its something I've always wanted to do from a young age but it needed to be something special and something i would keep long term.

With the realisation that F31 touring production was due to end pretty soon and now being in a position to go through with an order, about a month ago i made a call to Sytner Nottingham and asked the question of when F31 B3 production would end to which i was told 'one more car was to be built' so in effect the last one which appealed massively but it was a canceled order already specced. I asked if the colour or spec could be changed and it was a flat no.
Now i know that if a car has not been built there are ways of getting changes made so i ran with it basis that i would try to get it changed.
Cut a long story short after several calls and emails to various people it wasn't until a contact of mine at Rolls Royce found out via their opposite in Munich that the car had already been built a month before I made my initial enquiry despite being told otherwise!

After much thought i decided not to go ahead with the purchase as A, despite being a canceled (already built!) order, all I managed to get was a paltry £2750 off the full list price and i just couldn't justify close to £80k on a compromise.

So that brings us to the E92 B3.

As well as some other Alpinas, I have owned few earlier B3's over the years, (E46 B3S cabrio #34, E36 B3 3.0 coupe #185 and E46 B3 3.3 Saloon #114) and have worked on and driven many others throughout my working life so with the brand new car dream on hold the natural progression would be an E9x Alpina or a used F3x Alpina. After trawling the web and drawing a blank on a petrol F3x Alpina with none for sale other than a couple of used offerings from Sytner that were more than what i wanted to spend on a used car, i started looking at E9x petrol Alpinas.











Pictures taken from the advert. B3 Birturbo #185 was for sale fairly local to me at Jame Paul who were a pleasure to deal with and after an inspection of the car on the ramp and a road test a deal was done.

S2KEA BMW light alloy wheel, V-spoke 188
S459A Seat adjustment, electric, with memory
S481A Sports seat
S502A Headlight cleaning system
S520A Fog lights
S522A Xenon Light
S704A M Sports suspension
S853A Language version, English
S2XAA Sport leather st. wheel w/ shift paddles
S205A Automatic transmission
S249A Multifunction f steering wheel
S302A Alarm system
S320A Deleted, model lettering
S4ADA Interior trim strips, brushed aluminium
S4AEA Armrest front, retractable
S423A Floor mats velours
S428A Warning triangle and first aid kit
S430A Interior/outside mirror with auto dip
S431A Interior mirror with automatic-dip
S441A Smoker package
S470A Isofix-System
S494A Seat heating driver/passenger
S508A Park Distance Control (PDC)
S521A Rain sensor
S534A Automatic air conditioning
S544A Cruise control with brake function
S563A Light package
S6AAA BMW TeleServices
S6ABA Control, Teleservices
S6FLA USB/audio interface
S609A Navigation system Professional
S612A BMW Assist
S616A BMW Online
S620A Voice control
S633A Preparation, mobile phone, Business
S654A DAB tuner
S676A HiFi speaker system
S694A Provisions for BMW 6 CD changer
S760A High gloss shadow line
S775A Headlining anthracite
S8SMA Car ident. number visible from outside
S8SPA Control unit COP
S8S2A Coding, alarm signal
L812A National version England / Ireland
S863A Dealer List Europe
S877A Omission of non-combined operation
S880A On-board literature, English
S9AAA Outer skin protection
S920A Alpina without registration document
S925A Dummy-SALAPA
S940A special equipment BMW Individual

A decent spec, in overall very good condition and a fair price saw me collect in on Monday and its nice that I've now owned a pair of #185 build Alpina B3's!

Ive done a few miles in it so far and i have an impending road trip to Scotland in a few weeks time so will get the chance to stretch its legs on some decent roads.

I also have plans for some upgrades and retro fits as and when time allows.





Back at work the day I picked it up.

f1nn

2,653 posts

169 months

Sunday 26th May 2019
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Nice.

N54, have fun.

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Monday 27th May 2019
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First actions have been some general tidying up of some details.

Ph1listine

1,245 posts

77 months

Tuesday 28th May 2019
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That's stunning! How do these compare to the 335i? Slightly bigger turbo / turbos? Presumably it was a fraction of the cost of the newer model?

Jour Poubelle

772 posts

157 months

Tuesday 28th May 2019
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Lovely! I have one as well, in silver with the dynamic wheels and the pin striping.

They sure are a rare beast, I've had mine over a year now and never seen another one, seen a few D3's but never the B3, good luck with it!

ZX10R NIN

23,947 posts

102 months

Tuesday 28th May 2019
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Great cars very understated.

Felix79

121 posts

42 months

Wednesday 29th May 2019
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Wow nice find there Baz dude! Is this going to be use alongside you're E30 M3 you've been restoring?

I seriously wanted to find a good Alpina for me last year, but there was never anything that was right for me (due to me wanting a manual mainly) and even looked at the Alpina Roadsters until I read a few too many downsides to owning it, which is why I got my E85 Z4M, which my old man loved as you know is very much a M/// guy. I would love to get a set of classic style Alpina wheels (not the star shaped ones) for my Z4M but the offset is making it a mission impossible for me.

I'll keep an eye out for your updates as your threads are always second to none and a great way to pass the time in sodding waiting rooms at the hospital!

Podie

46,545 posts

252 months

Wednesday 29th May 2019
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Lovely lick

Although a touch over badged at the rear!

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Wednesday 29th May 2019
quotequote all
Ph1listine said:
That's stunning! How do these compare to the 335i? Slightly bigger turbo / turbos? Presumably it was a fraction of the cost of the newer model?
They have a useful amount of extra power and torque which on the B3 is achieved by different pistons, a bigger intercooler, better exhaust and revised software.

Alpina's software for the automatic gearbox is also a vast improvement and the ride and handling is like night and day compared to the harshness of the M sport suspension and run flat tyres most E9x 335i's are blighted with.

All of these improvements can easily be achieved on a 335i but with the Alpina its all wrapped up in a cohesive exclusive package.

And yes this car cost less that all of the optional extras on the new F31 B3S I was offered.

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Wednesday 29th May 2019
quotequote all
Jour Poubelle said:
Lovely! I have one as well, in silver with the dynamic wheels and the pin striping.

They sure are a rare beast, I've had mine over a year now and never seen another one, seen a few D3's but never the B3, good luck with it!
Nice! One of my customers had a blue one which i got a taste of before taking the plunge with this one.

Funny you mention stripes......

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Wednesday 29th May 2019
quotequote all
Felix79 said:
Wow nice find there Baz dude! Is this going to be use alongside you're E30 M3 you've been restoring?

I seriously wanted to find a good Alpina for me last year, but there was never anything that was right for me (due to me wanting a manual mainly) and even looked at the Alpina Roadsters until I read a few too many downsides to owning it, which is why I got my E85 Z4M, which my old man loved as you know is very much a M/// guy. I would love to get a set of classic style Alpina wheels (not the star shaped ones) for my Z4M but the offset is making it a mission impossible for me.

I'll keep an eye out for your updates as your threads are always second to none and a great way to pass the time in sodding waiting rooms at the hospital!
Thanks, was handy being local to me!

This will be my 'daily' but i dont do that many miles any more but yes this will be used regularly, the M3 no so much.

What downsides did you read about on the Alpina Z4 roadster?

Mr Tidy

17,053 posts

104 months

Wednesday 29th May 2019
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That looks great! thumbup

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Wednesday 29th May 2019
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Overall the paint is in reasonable condition but some prep work was needed to get rind of some swirls before an important next step so I called in the services of Mark at Marells to do the business.



Alpina stripes are very much a marmite thing especially outside of Alpina circles but im firmly of the opinion that Alpinas need their full warpaint and as my B3 is on the more subdued side with its space grey with back combo, it needs a visual lift.





THE man for this Simon who not only is very reasonably priced but more importantly the quality of the decals and his attention to detail is first rate!











The result has given it the visual lift that it needed without being OTT and im over the moon with it!

rayyan171

1,293 posts

70 months

Thursday 30th May 2019
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You should have no regrets whatsoever over those Alpina stripes, I absolutely love them and think that they should be on every one they make. Especially more recently, they have been warming to them much more, with show models from them exhibiting stripes.

Lovely car anyway, certainly a good M3 alternative if you don't want to deal with small fuel tanks and possible bork of the S65.

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Thursday 30th May 2019
quotequote all
rayyan171 said:
Lovely car anyway, certainly a good M3 alternative if you don't want to deal with small fuel tanks and possible bork of the S65.
Thanks!

I did contemplate going for an E92 M3 but despite being epic cars one wouldn't have felt special enough to me, probably in part due to me being exposed to them on a weekly basis.

f1nn

2,653 posts

169 months

Thursday 30th May 2019
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I am right in thinking these are N54 engined?

If so, there are items that you’ll want to take a look at.

Felix79

121 posts

42 months

Thursday 30th May 2019
quotequote all
BSSBMW said:
Thanks, was handy being local to me!

This will be my 'daily' but i dont do that many miles any more but yes this will be used regularly, the M3 no so much.

What downsides did you read about on the Alpina Z4 roadster?
The key aspects that put me off were,

1. The Alpina's use the electric power steering system, rather than going with a hydraulic system.

2. A lack of a "LSD"

3. On a Z4 forum, I came across a thread where a number of members were having head gasket problems, with a wide range of severity and cost to repair. (while I know first hand how pricey it is when things go wrong with an S54, I read in various buyers guides, that the S54 and the revised VANOS system, were actually less likely to fail, but there is an issue with some shoes for the crank)

4. When I was looking at Z4's , my max budget was £16,000, which gave me the choice of two different Alpina Roadsters on the market. In the end my folks and I P/X'd a 2010 factory JCW Mini and a few grand to cover the £10,750 price tag on my Z4MR.

5. Not so much a downside, but I liked the styling difference the M had over the normal Z4's, such as the quad pipes and bonnet's power bulge. Also the "standard" style of Alpina wheel didn't look as cool as the iconic classic's


With my dad having to let go of his E46 M3, I really missed hearing the S54 and I was struggling to find an E46 M3 Coupe with a manual box, that was within the price range and not showing the signs of a hard life.

Originally we were actually going to look at a couple of Z4MR's not too far from you, so when we could get an appointment with the dealership, we did plan in getting in touch with you and seeing if you be interested in going over it for us (we would have paid you for your tine). But after calling the dealership up 3 times and being told we'd get a call back. Eventually after around 3 weeks, we noticed the dealership who had the Z4MR I tried out, still hadn't sold it, so we went back and the owner gave a much fairer price against the Mini and extended the warranty for the Z4MR.


As you know Baz dude, I am such a fanboy for Alpina's (and often get fact wrong with them) and I was looking at both B3's and D3's , but with it being in mid November , I couldn't find the right combo for me. It was sheer dumb luck that I ended up with such a mint and well looked after example. I really wanted to get the E86 Z4M Coupe, but prices are so strong on them that I settled for the roadster, which really made my dad happy.


Slightly off topic, are you still active with car shows and meets? I've made it my goal this year to get really active and attend as many friendly events as possible. While meeting members from "You know where forum" would be really fun now I am back in a BMW, but I really don't want to have to deal with one person in particular, who made it his goal to troll/be abusive towards me and my car at every possible chance.

Edited by Felix79 on Thursday 30th May 20:55

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Thursday 30th May 2019
quotequote all
f1nn said:
I am right in thinking these are N54 engined?

If so, there are items that you’ll want to take a look at.
Yes they are indeed N54.

I'm well aware of the potential pit falls of the N54 as I happen to work on BMW's for a living.

sagarich

1,140 posts

126 months

Thursday 30th May 2019
quotequote all
How strange, I rang up to enquire about that one last weekend but they hadn’t updated their site and you had already done the deal.

I can also confirm that James Paul are good to deal with, I still have my 130i LE 5 years later from them. It’s been great and don’t really know what to replace it with until o stumbled upon this. Will follow your ownership with interest.

Stripes look great too!

BSSBMW

Original Poster:

395 posts

90 months

Thursday 30th May 2019
quotequote all
Felix79 said:
The key aspects that put me off were,

1. The Alpina's use the electric power steering system, rather than going with a hydraulic system.

2. A lack of a "LSD"

3. On a Z4 forum, I came across a thread where a number of members were having head gasket problems, with a wide range of severity and cost to repair. (while I know first hand how pricey it is when things go wrong with an S54, I read in various buyers guides, that the S54 and the revised VANOS system, were actually less likely to fail, but there is an issue with some shoes for the crank)

4. When I was looking at Z4's , my max budget was £16,000, which gave me the choice of two different Alpina Roadsters on the market. In the end my folks and I P/X'd a 2010 factory JCW Mini and a few grand to cover the £10,750 price tag on my Z4MR.

5. Not so much a downside, but I liked the styling difference the M had over the normal Z4's, such as the quad pipes and bonnet's power bulge. Also the "standard" style of Alpina wheel didn't look as cool as the iconic classic's


With my dad having to let go of his E46 M3, I really missed hearing the S54 and I was struggling to find an E46 M3 Coupe with a manual box, that was within the price range and not showing the signs of a hard life.

Originally we were actually going to look at a couple of Z4MR's not too far from you, so when we could get an appointment with the dealership, we did plan in getting in touch with you and seeing if you be interested in going over it for us (we would have paid you for your tine). But after calling the dealership up 3 times and being told we'd get a call back. Eventually after around 3 weeks, we noticed the dealership who had the Z4MR I tried out, still hadn't sold it, so we went back and the owner gave a much fairer price against the Mini and extended the warranty for the Z4MR.


As you know Baz dude, I am such a fanboy for Alpina's (and often get fact wrong with them) and I was looking at both B3's and D3's , but with it being in mid November , I couldn't find the right combo for me. It was sheer dumb luck that I ended up with such a mint and well looked after example. I really wanted to get the E86 Z4M Coupe, but prices are so strong on them that I settled for the roadster, which really made my dad happy.


Slightly off topic, are you still active with car shows and meets? I've made it my goal this year to get really active and attend as many friendly events as possible. While meeting members from "You know where forum" would be really fun now I am back in a BMW, but I really don't want to have to deal with one person in particular, who made it his goal to troll/be abusive towards me and my car at every possible chance.

Edited by Felix79 on Thursday 30th May 20:55
Fair points raised regarding the Alpina roaster S.

An LSD can be retro fitted and even hydraulic PAS can be as well.

Head gasket aside the Alpina Iron blocked M52 based engine is a lot more robust than an S54 which themselves are not immune from HG failure.

Indeed, finding the right Alpina can be tricky though due to such low production figures.

I rarely get time to go to any shows these days to be honest but would like to change that in the future.