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So, I thought it was about time I finally got together a full write up about my car. So much has changed during my time of ownership. Mostly the wheels, having been through six different alloy wheels and styles, and on the second lowering method, with the third sat in my garage ready to go on. This is the first car I have owned for more than twelve months which must be a good sign. Basically my aim with this was to get it as low as possible, as wide as possible and as attention seeking as possible and what better for this bright yellow wheels on a BMW.
The car began life back in January 2002 when it left the BMW factory to be registered on the road for the first time in March the same year. It is a Sapphire Black BMW 330ci Sport, only two factory options - aero rear spoiler and a CD player. Now don't think that because of this it was base spec, it still has full black electric leathers, air conditioning, cruise control, rain sensitive wipers, headlight washers, the list could go on... the only big missing parts were Xenons and a satnav unit with Harmon Kardon sound. It had 2 owners prior to me, the first covering the majority of the mileage with 90,000 clocked up in the space of six years. When I went to view it in the snow back in December 2009 the previous owner had managed to bump the mileage right up to 128,000 and it was still running sweeter than anything. I knew the moment I drove it this was the car for me and picked it up New Year's Day 2010. Very good condition considering mileage and age and came with Eibach Pro Kit springs and a stunning set of staggered 19x8.5 and 19x9.5 Moven CF-1s. Everything about it satisfied my needs, it was a big engined, fast, black, low (or so I thought) BMW rollin' on some sweet rims. Everything was perfect, until I discovered the world of 'Stance'.
This blog's aim is to go through the progress I have made, and will hopefully make over the next few weeks with all the ups and downs of the car along the way.
Bought them looking like this..
Then I had them refurbed, lips polished but not lacquered and centres painted in an Audi metallic grey colour
Next I had them shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 225/40/18 on the fronts and Bridgestone RE040 255/35/18 on the rear.
Here are what I've considered and will probably buy one of the top 3 cars:
E92 335d or 335i - logical step forward really, but they're starting to look old already and I don't want to be in this position next year when I'm bored of looking at it
Mercedes C class 320/350 cdi - very comfy cars and I prefer the styling to the BMW, but the BMW 335d is more powerful, economical and pollutes less - also the emergency / parking brake thing is very confusing.
Audi A4 'vert or A5 3.0tdi quattro - Quattro ftw! everything else reminds me of a Skoda though...
And then I got thinking, do I (we) really need a big German car for the school runs and occasional weekend to London?
First thought was a Fiat 500, i love the styling and for my mrs I think it'd be fantastic, but only 2 small seats in the back mean it's completely unsuitable as my sons car seat is massive and would probably go on to 2nd seat, making the car a comfy 3 seater instead!
From the Fiat 500, I saw the twin air engine and thought about pollution and onto hybrid cars, only one car stood out from the crowd which was from honda:
I really like the look of the Honda CRZ - again 2 seats in the back slightly bigger than the fiat 500 but I was willing to compromise for a fun hybrid car and the price of these things aren't bad either.
I thought hybrid cars used only the electric motors under a certain mph and again when you floored it for some extra push. Wrong - they're petrol cars pretty much all the time and only the electric part comes in when you floor it, some research on fuelly.com shows hybrid cars give pretty pathetic MPG gains, which seems a lot of hassle for a car which will eventually need the batteries replacing - I have no proof of this, but I expect if you owned a hybrid from new and kept it for 10 - 15 years with maybe 2 battery changes you'd be out of pocket compared to a small petrol or diesel car. I feel sorry for people on the 2nd hand car market buying a hybrid and being whacked with a massive dealer bill for new batteries after a year or so.
Another odd car thought I had was a new KIA, I'd like to say I've never driven or even been in a KIA, but a new Picanto costs less than a year of my daughters school fees and the 7 year warranty is enough to get anyones attention, in fact I bet everyone who's seen the adverts has said "thats not bad actually".
Not a looker but a keeper (well until the 7 year warranty runs out)
The last car I've seriously thought about is a Clio 200:
This seems to tick all the right boxes, 3 seats in the back (just) is fun and quicker than my 320d bus and returns and moderate MPG compared to the turbo'd megane, Focus. Unfortunately the mrs says no and thats put a stop to that (I also think at 31 I may be too old for this car).
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Basically the same as my thread in the photo zone but decided to make a blog where everything I do from now can go.
ive owned my e46 saloon since october 09 with all intentions of keeping it as a standard SE saloon but that went out the window after 4 months of ownership!
first off was a set of 18'' e90 m3 rep wheels
next up was a set of led angel eyes which i wired up as drl's
then it was time to sort the ride height out so ordered a set of eibach pro kit springs and haad them fitted straight away.
i hated the single tailpipe exhaust so bought a set of porsche c4 exhaust tip and fitted one of them, i also had the car remapped at this stage.
i then changed the chrome grilles for black grilles as the chrome ones were broken.
next i changed the standard tape player for a dynavin d90
then i purchased an m-sport kit and a set of 19" Cades Tyrus wheels with 235/35/19 fronts and 265/30/19 rears .
lastly on my list was i changed my rear numberplate bulbs to led ones.
the next things on my to do list are changing the suspension as im now not happy with the ride height with the cades on so ive got a set of coilovers which will be going on this weekend and my front brakes are due to be changed so have a set of brembo disks and pads also goin on this weekend.
hope i didnt bore you all to much
I've recently had issues regarding my parking sensors, all were ticking correctly apart from one. *Each time I put it in reverse it beeps for 5 seconds) removing the back bumper from my car I discover that that one of the 4 cables from the loom isn't outputting anything, which is why the forth sensor isn't working. As a result I have ordered a replacement cable loom for the sensors. Can anyone advise when this loom plugs into the car? I attempted to follow the cables back but had no luck.
(BMW E46 Convertible 320D)
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Well, since joining the forum - in the short time I have been here (very short) I have found it to be the best Forum on the web for the E46.
The advice received has been great, and some of the cars here are stunning. - What am I saying??? They are all E46's - there a stunning!
Anyway, following some of the sound advice received (no pun intended) I have ordered the following:
Pioneer MVH-8300BT Headunit - Ordered this due to its iPod control/ display. It also has 3x 4v Pre-Outs - which was essentially the minimum I wanted.
Alpine PDX 4.150 Amplifier - 150W RMS x 4 [4Ohm@14.4V 1% THD]
Focal PS165 Components - 80w RMS
12awg Gauge Speaker Cable
5m ISO Extension
40 Pin Flat to ISO Connector
20 Sheets of Silent Coat Sound Deadening
20 Door Panel clips
20 Trim Clips
New OEM Boot Carpet
Antislip grip liner
2x 6.5" 68mm deep mdf baffles
OEM Single Din center console
Single din fascia adpater
Alpine Front Window Mount Invisible Antenna
I will start by stripping out the entire interior, documenting it as I go, place sound deadening under both front seats, under rear bench on both sides, in the spare wheel well, in side both rear quarters (boot and back seat area), both front doors, Boot lid, both front foot wells, both rear foot wells - giving it all a good clean at the same time.
I will mount the mdf baffles direct to the door, so I can mount the speakers directly into them, and place the focal tweeters in the bottom corners of the windscreen.
The current 40pin connector block is in the boot (due to originally having OEM Nav), so I have bought an ISO adapter lead with a pioneer patch lead, and a 5m ISO extension, I will cut the canbus adapter of the lead, and extend it up behind the dash along with the iso extension so it can plug into the headunit with the patch lead.
I have high quality OFC RCA leads which I will run down the center of the car, by the gearbox tunnel. directly to their appropriate amps. I will then use the 12AWG speaker cable and follow back up the RCA leads from the amp, behind the dash, and fed across to each of the focal crossovers, which will be mounted behind the dash, I shall then feed from the cross overs to their tweeters on the dash and mids in the door.
Despite having a 4 channel amp, this is for possible future upgrade, as I will only be using two channels for now and its already almost double the output of the speakers nominal input as well as this, I need to consider the 4v high input from the RCAs. I will have the gain down pretty low, which should almost eliminate THD altogether, also allowing the amp to run cooler and under much less pressure.
I have a sheet of MDF (12mm) which I am cutting to the size of the wheel well, I am going to cut the old boot carpet to cover the mdf as the edges are frayed and torn on the carpet anyway. The amp will be mounted on this with cables from the battery, rcas and speaker cables running down the side of the MDF and being fed back up through the bottom, to try and keep wires hidden as much as possible. (obviously power cables will be kept away from all other cables) I will then place the boot liner, and new boot carpet over everything, so nothing is visible.
I may use the 3rd and 4th channels on crossover to feed my 12" subwoofer (instead of using my JL or JBL amps = ess Wires and Less Power Drain), which is where the nonslip grip liner comes in, I will staple it to the bottom of the sub, and hopefully it will help hold it in place - it should work better than velcro.
I bought the window mount antenna as I didnt want to run the fakra extension right up through the car. it will be easier to set up.
the Ipod touch, is obviously for storing apple lossless audio, for playback on the headunit - i didnt want to have to keep plugging my phone in and disconnecting it all the time, hence the choice for a permanent fixture (will only remove to add / change tracks)
As I have obtained a non NAV oem center console with business radio, I have been able to place the new A/C control unit to the upper part of the dash, and add a tray underneath it. Which meant I could buy a single din fascia adapter and fit the single din unit.
I can almost guarantee some door trim clips will break, as will some of the boot lining clips. hence buying 20 of each, so I don't end up breaking them and "putting back together for now" ending up with rattles that wont get fixed for months lol.
The clips I choose are anti rattle with rubber grips under their heads, giving a tighter fit.
I will document the whole project, with pics of everything. trying to find the most efficient placing of sound deadening, places noted are ideas, but I will be tapping different panels and measuring reverberations, getting people to hold the sound deadening in place and trying it again before permanently attaching it. I will share my findings if anyone is interested.
Is there anywhere in the forum I could document the install other than here?
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I've only just joined this site as I've only just got my first bmw.. but its ace. It helped me out a lot reading all the info you guys put on here about common problems and what to look for when buying an e46.
Keep up the good work!!
Also does anyone know of any Eonon group buys going on?? Im after one.
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hi im new to e46 zone because im stuck with a problem, iv got a 2001 e46 330coupe and im having trouble with the airbag light staying on, first of all i came across this problem when i first bought the car, it had cloth seats, i took them out and changed them for leather seats out of a srap front end smashed/ damaged e46 at work,
when putting in the leather seats an pluging them in, i found that on the passengers side the is a wire, one blue and one brown with a yellow connecting plug coming up from the floor carpet, there is no where for this conector to plug into?????????
after fitting the seats iv tried to find out what this plug is for with no luck???? anyone????, so i tried the seat mod bypass, after cutting the plug and diy the bypass, i turned the ignition 1 click and the light showed up, then procceded to start the engine and the light swithced off and the came back on????????
im running out of ideas?
maybe because the seats came out of a crash car the seat pretentioners are at fault,
or do i buy a computer to reset the light? please if anyone can help me,
i will post a pic up of the mysterouis wire soon thanks
In amongst the work on the 330d Touring, I have recently acquired a cheeky little Skoda Fabia VRS with the idea of using it as my daily. As a result, the 320d will shortly be put up for sale. With that in mind, I will probably carry out an oil service and stick another 12 months MOT on it as its due in the next couple of months. Then its just a case of giving it a very good clean!
Its been a good car and has certainly served its purpose, I just don't need a saloon car as my daily any more and it is a continuous annoyance that I cant get my road bike in the boot.
Someone will be getting a fully up together car that wants for nothing in its current state. Story of my car life really, get a car in tip top mechanical shape and then sell the thing on for someone else to benefit from...typical!
Firstly - a disclaimer: I am clearly not a mechanic and not very capable. If you do what i do and it goes terribly wrong then do not blame me. The tools that i generally use are a hammer, pry bars and an angle grinder so think baboon with power tools and you'll not be far wrong. It will not be neat or pretty but hopefully functional and i'll learn bits as i go along...
To be honest the 328 sounded a bit weedy and had hardly any noise at all.
On my previous 325 i had taken off the huge air filter box and the filter sat above the alternator and would get a bit hot.. I'd never really wanted to purchase one to increase the power but more for the intake noise. My old K&N on my 325 lasted in excess of 50k miles and i didn't really have an issue with heat soak. and this time I had a cold air feed from a previous K&N air filter and many cable ties so i though sod it i'd give it a go.
So i looked on eBay and loads of other stores so see what filters i could find. I bidded on a few eBay specials but lost out.
In the end I bought a massive universal air filter for £25, i went for Silver over the red or blue from motor ``mania in Witham and set to work.
I took out the old air filter and measuring up the filter it looked like it would actually fit in the original air filter box so long as i left the top off. This meant that the new filter could sit in the original box which meant that i had a ready made basis for a heat shield - bonus!
The filter went onto the hose on the largest intake so i didn't need any of the other reducers in the box.
I cat a "U" shape in the back of it so the filter would be held in place within the box. I also cut a smaller U shape in the front left side where the original air intake came in (through the top section of the box) and moved it down so that it threw air at the filter.
Next i cut a hole in the bottom of the air filter for the cold air intake pipe and set about botching the front bumper to create an air intake. I drilled several holes and cut between them in the bumper blanking plate rather than disrupt the brake cooling ducts. This was the biggest t**t of the job and it was fiddly and i couldn't get the bumper blanking plate out to do it neatly on a bench so did it lying down and swearing a lot.
Zip tied it to the front banking grill and started it up to check for any issues. None - so all good.
The end result is much much better noise and its only bedding on so hopefully will get better.
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Well this is my first blog.....EVER!
Firstly I just wanna say this site is much better than another site I am a member of which I now rarely use. The members on here are far more supportive and helpful so thank you.
I rarely get a chance to get on t'internet due to work so I'm not ignoring anyone.
So I bought my car as when I had my 328i e36 touring I wanted a black 330i touring sport e46 with black leather and everything black and as many nice options as I could. Took me 3 years to find the one want but I got it
I've replaced the front bushes (lower arm and anti roll bar) with poly ones, rear poly anti roll bushes, lower arms, drop links, front tyres, discs and pads and the bugger still wobbles but I'm sure with persistence and support I'll get to the bottom of it.
Looking to upgrade the cd sat nav to the dvd sat nav along with the maps and software and purchase a dension unit so I can keep it all pretty stock.
Few other bits I need will be, in time:
a spare MV2 alloy (front size) as a spare
new door motors
short throw shifter
I've not opted for major power upgrades as I want the car to ride sweet and be audibly pleasing from a music perspective.
Thats it for now. Thanks for looking
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