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About Joe

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  1. Check for obvious signs of play in lower arms, top mounts, steering rack, track rod ends, steering coupler.... Have you got decent tyres all round with plenty of tread? When was the car last put in for wheel alignment?
  2. I replaced this on mine and it didn't really sort my issue. I then did complete suspension refresh and found my front top mounts were knackered with lots of play present. Made a big difference but still not 100% resolved. I will replace the top half of the steering Union assembly next.
  3. Joe

    The end is nigh...

    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! Joe
  4. Feels like de ja vu doing all of this again albeit on a different E46! A couple of weeks back I sourced new Sachs M Sport shocks all round, Lemforder top mounts, Lemforder tie rod ends and a replacement upper steering union joint from a low mileage compact. And as with the 320d I also bought some Eibach Pro Kit springs. Finally got round to working on the Touring this weekend and started with the rear setup as its easier. Annoyingly the Touring requires half the interior boot trim to be removed before you can get to the sound proofing that protects the suspension turrets. As with the saloon, I decided to cut an access flap in the sound proofing to save the hassle of trying to remove it all completely. Once I was past the interior panels, the shocks, top mounts and springs were swapped out with ease. After some lunch I decided to start on the fronts, it didnt take long for me to remember why I don't like doing this particular job! In my haste I snapped the headlight level sensor arm and also managed to lose the ARB stabiliser nut in the shingle next to my driveway...joy! The biggest issue I had was getting the new EIbach springs compressed enough to be able to screw the new top mounts onto the struts....what an absolute pig that was! I remember it being difficult on the 320d but this time it was twice as bad given the fact that the M Sport struts are shorter than standard meaning the springs need to be compressed even more than normal. I managed to finish one side that afternoon and stripped the passenger side out ready to go again with the spring compressors on Sunday morning. As is always the way, when I did the other side it was done and dusted in about 30 minutes...I think I got the knack with the spring compressors and more importantly worked out the best places to locate them on the spring without hampering the spring fitment. In all of this there was a ray of hope in that the old front top mounts were clearly knackered with loads of play present. Sure enough, when I took the car for a drive there was an instant handling improvement and a lot of the play and vibration disappeared. I'd say it now drives and handles on par with my 320d which has an identical suspension setup minus the shorter M Tech shocks. And given that the Touring has big old heavy 18 inch MV1's I'd say thats probably as good as it is going to get. Regardless, I probably will fit the spare upper steering union joint I have, and I'll also get the Lemforder tie rod ends fitted, followed up finally with another visit to the Wheel Alignment Specialists in Southampton. Beyond that, I might get some yellow stuff pads in readiness for a trip to the Ring in 4 weeks time. Now I just need to find some time to prep the 320d in order to put it up for sale....
  5. i think I just want a replacement to be honest, i can imagine the solid ones would give too much feedback through the steering wheel wouldn't they? You can buy mine if Quicksilver knocks up some more solid ones any time soon? Its been on the car for a few months and its only my wifes runaround...
  6. Oooh I'd buy one of the solid ones if you knock up more? I've recently replaced mine with BMW part but steering is still all over the road, it just feels like there is still some play there...
  7. Subscribed. I have the same issue. Apparently once the box is off its a simple job....
  8. Today I ordered the following for my 330d Sport Touring to try and resolve the wondering front end... Sachs front and rear shocks EIbach Pro Kit springs Lemforder front and rear top mounts Lemforder tie rod ends That lot was north of £450 and I sourced the parts at very good prices! Hopefully I'll sort the front end out once and for all but we'll see...
  9. How was the front end before you replaced the steering parts? I have a 330d Sport Touring on MV1s and it wonders all over the place.
  10. I bought the Touring in readiness for baby number two. I checked a couple out before going for this one and I'm glad I held out. It came up for reasonable money to start with but I highlighted a couple of issues during the test drive and managed to get another £300 off the price so a good buy. Issues being a knocking from the front end suspension and a problem getting into 5th gear. First job was to replace the front lower arms as one of them was causing a massive rattle and play in the steering. I did both at the same time along with the lollipop bushes and ARB stabilisers, all using Meyle HD parts. Secondly I bought all the usual parts to sort the play in the gear selection but limited access dictated I could only replace half the parts. As such the play hasn't been fully rectified. Annoyingly, the issue with 5th gear selection (when cold) also remained, I've since learnt that the fix for this is simple but you need the box off to sort it...one for another day then. Unfortunately, replacing the front lower arms didn't resolve the wondering front end so I opted to replace the worn budget front tyres with PS3's along with booking the car in for a session at The Wheel Alignment Specialists in Southampton. This made further improvement but the car still suffers from tram lining / bump steer... Next on the list was to replace the steering union joint between the rack and column, I did the more common lower joint, new from BMW around £60. Again a slight improvement but it still hasn't sorted the steering. I checked the old UJ part and it did have some play there so not a completely wasted effort I guess. The rear tyres were also budget and one was worn heavier so I bit the bullet and put another two PS3's on the back. Still the handling issues remain!! Finally, today, I have gone all out and put an order in for Sachs shocks all round, Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs, Lemforder top mounts all round and Lemforder tie rod ends. Lets see what different that lot makes! I'm hoping a big difference as I can't see any history of the suspension components being refreshed at any point during the cars 150k life to date. If this lot doesn't sort it then I guess I need to look at the upper steering union joint assembly and possibly even look at swapping out one of the front MV1's as it looks a bit suspect with damage and possible buckling. Other than that I guess it could only be the rack or column itself although I can't say I've felt any play in the rack when I've gone looking for it under the car. Along the way I have also fitted a nice shortened weighted club sport gear knob, resprayed the centre sections with plastidip and also fitted some new ARB bushes on the front. Apart from the wayward handling, I really like this car. The straight six diesel lump is so much nicer than my 320d daily. I'm really hopeful I can get it handling the way BMW intended and will persevere with that in the meantime. I have read that people say the 18 inch rims bring on tram lining but i struggle to believe it should be this bad.... Time will tell....
  11. Joe

    More BMWs than sense

    No updates for ages. Since the last update I have acquired BMW number 4 - in my defence this one is purely to act as engine donor to my E30. Its an E36 328i Touring which has seen better days. Engine runs well though so thats all that matters. I still have the 320D... Its being used as my daily as so far I haven't gotten around to replacing it. I have my heart set on a Fabia VRS though so its only a matter of time before it gets replaced. My noisy engine hasn't re-emerged any time recently so I'm beginning to think it was the engine cover rattling loose, which I had resolved in an attempt to rectify the noise. The only other thing I have done recently is finally getting round to replacing the EGR with a known good unit. I have the main thermostat now so need to get on and replace that at some point before selling.
  12. Joe

    Decisions decisions

    A lot has happened since my last update. I don't think I've done much to the car as such but work and home situations have changed so we have bought a 2002 330d Sport Touring (another baby on the way) I also left the company I worked with so said bye bye to my nice company car Audi. Currently the plan is for the wife to use the Touring as her daily (this car needs a whole new blog of its own!) and I will either use the 320d for commuting or sell it and get something else. In other news, the 320d has started making a loud racket / vibration noise at first start up when cold. It seems to go after a few minutes but no idea what is causing it. It just seems to feel a bit rough in general, no misfire as such just doesnt sound right, maybe a slightly deeper engine note. If I do keep it I will finally get round to replacing the main thermostat, as I know the engine nevers gets up to temp...perhaps that isnt helping things and could explain the not perfect running. I now have 3 BMWs... the E30 325 and the two E46s. I'm tempted to sell the E30 and the 320d and buy an M3 and be done with it. That can then work as a fun usable daily. Decisions decisions...
  13. Joe

    Bmw i8

    You need the keys and owners permission...
  14. Joe

    Gearbox and Diff oil replaced

    Hi Sam, Its a 6 speed manual box.
  15. After finally sourcing a 14mm Draper drain plug key socket bit I found the time to do the oil refresh. The diff was very straight forward, I made sure that the fill plug came out first before draining and all went to plan. I thought the oil looked good as it poured out a kind of golden syrup colour. It wasn't until I opened the bottle of new oil that I realised that the new stuff is pretty much clear! So well worth doing. Gearbox needed the cover removing and the fuel filter cover partially removing. The stuff that came out was thick black, so was well overdue and definitely explains the sloppy notchy gear change I had been experiencing. I did have a bit of leakage from my pump, I went for one from Screwfix and I might have been a bit excited when pumping...causing the oil to pass the rubber bung part and leak out the wrong end! All in a fairly straight forward job, gear change is much nicer now so worth doing! Next job will be to remove the intercooler and give that a clean to see if I can free up some horses...
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