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kirkynut

Kirkynut's own E46

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After my Mrs got an E46 a few years ago I've driven hers and wanted one myself. Where I work has terrible on street parking though and I convinced myself that I therefore needed a smaller car.

I bought a Fiesta ST150 about 18 months ago as a result of wanting to upgrade from the K11 Micra that was a replacement for a Vespa that got written off, then a Suuki Ignis Sport.

The Micra was supposed to just be drier and warmer than a Vespa and be as cheap to run as I could get. I got fed up with no creature comforts as I got used to the niceties of driving and not riding! I then got the Suzuki Ignis Sport but the engine developed Piston Slap so that had to go.

So I had a decision to make about the next car and I got the Fiesta ST150 with aircon and leccy windows. It's a fun car and quick about town. Fuel isn't too bad.

Now the Mrs is pregnant - due in January and 4 doors would be sooo much easier. I know she has her E46 but it would still be a pain swapping about. So I have seized the opportunity to get myself an E46 too! Something I should have done 2 cars ago! Regrets, I have a few, but then again, too few to mention...

Here are the photos from the dealer - it's a one owner 320i SE Auto with heated leather seats, powerfold mirrors and only 73k on the clock. I've paid £3450.00. More than average but I think it's a better than average car. Probably paying a bit OTT for it but I've looked at a lot and they are either closer to £4k or rough. I have also got a good deal on PXing my ST!

I wanted a saloon and really wanted a 330i or 325i and have been swaying towards auto for a while. However, seeing this 320i I think I'll be happy with that power. I'm getting less about the power and more about the comfort these days.

It will be getting 18" wheels and Eibach Pro's though. It will also get a single DIN head unit that has Ipod control for The Mrs Ipod and USB & 3.5mm jack inputs for my music. That's it - nothing else! Money is about to become too tight and this is my last swansong in cars before the little one arrives!

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Now for wheels I am thinking of these:

Dare%20in%20Gun%20Metal_zpsyx0lldvz.jpg

I'm thinking of them for several reasons - Purchase price, the colour will hide brake dust and with a baby and shift work cleaning wheels will not be on the agenda too often and my neighbour's grandson has a black E46 saloon with anthracite coloured wheels, different to these, and they look awesome!

I did want to stay away from the cross spoke CSL stylee wheels as everyone has them, however I do like them and cannot think of any alternatives I like. Feel free to make suggestions!

It's not in quite as good condition as the photos make out but imperfections are small with the odd scratch and small dent here and there and the surround to the centre dash heater vent is broken. On the whole it is a nice car though.

I know most people will look at those front seats and think it needs Sport seats but I am happy with them! Sport seats always wear the side bolster I have found on the many E46's I have looked at. These look nice and I expect will continue to do so.

The wood is an acquired taste too and may be another thing I change but that will not be high on the priority list. A £650.00 push chair comes after new front discs and pads too!

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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Looks good, does it only have the chrome window trim on the passenger side (!) I'm guessing its a trick of the light in the photo, the drivers mirror looks matte too (!) :) Definitely need new wheels, as I own a black car too I'd be interested to see how the dark alloys go with it.

Pushchairs are expensive round your way - or I'm just naive and in for a shock one day ....

Looks in good spec for it's age - clear headlight lenses, always a good sign it's been looked after !

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That looks nice and clean... good luck with your ownership.. look forward to seeing some updates...

Col

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Wow that's strong money for that! Not my cup of tea but looks clean. I'd stick a set of mv2's on it & be done.

EDIT: just liked again and noticed it's got the mtech 1 kit on it, that's a bit strange for a later facelift saloon?

Edited by bungers

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Cheers chaps. It does have the Mtec 1 kit on it. It seems that the original owner ordered it just as he wanted knowing he'd have it for a long time!

It has chrome trim on both sides. It's just the light in the photo.

The driver's mirror is matt. I've had this before on a car and it's nothing that some elbow grease and cutting polish can't solve I hope. I've fixed it before.

I cannot stand MV2's to be honest. I like MV1's but want something a little less usual. We shall have to see.

As for push chairs, you don't want to know!

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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Now I'm unsure of gun metal wheels with the chrome on mine and wonder if I ought to stick to silver wheels as the cars I've seen with gun metal /anthracite wheels don't have chrome trim. I don't want to change the trim.

What's your opinions on these?

http://www.alloywheels.com/8x18-inch-lenso-op7-black-polished-alloy-wheels

Will they look too blingy or chavvy?

Will the black inside the wheel look dirty like black paint on a car or will it hide the dirt?

Kirkynut

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Hey mate, I looked at the Dare wheels for an extra set for mine (I like my MV2s!) but the other ones you've suggested are plain Halfords! Sorry, just my opinion, obvs. Get some CSL reps and be done with it, they suit the 46 so well in all cases.

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Now I'm unsure of gun metal wheels with the chrome on mine and wonder if I ought to stick to silver wheels as the cars I've seen with gun metal /anthracite wheels don't have chrome trim. I don't want to change the trim.

What's your opinions on these?

http://www.alloywheels.com/8x18-inch-lenso-op7-black-polished-alloy-wheels

Will they look too blingy or chavvy?

Will the black inside the wheel look dirty like black paint on a car or will it hide the dirt?

Kirkynut

I think diamond cut or multi faceted alloys like that dont suit the e46. Even on the new cars I am not keen and you may end up with laquer peel on the shiny bits with them dulling them down. There are a lot of OEM alloys that suit, especially the e90 range. If you want practicality look at the e90 style 194 alloy. 17" so you keep the comfort, staggered and better offsets so a better fit and still seem rare on the e46. Likewise, MV3's, if you want something sportier, style 162's for something concave or the Motorsport labelled alloys (cant remember which style number)

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Cheers chaps, that was my fear that they would look like they have come from Halfords! It's OK seeing a wheel you like on a computer screen but when on the car it can look different to how you imagined it and imagining it can be tricky if there's a lack of photos on t'interweb!

I fear I will end up with a set of CSL style wheels but really wanted to go for something that is not OEM and not CSL stylee. I want to be a bit different but on a bit of a budget! There are wheels I love and know I would buy in a heartbeat if money was not an issue - but it is!

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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Those Lenso rims are plain nasty fella. The ones you posted originally look far better. Don't be putting off by thinking everyone has them, how often do you see them day to day ?

I have a similar set on my E93. Great looking rims ;)

20150822_193711_zps7exnmwo9.jpg

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Well I now have the car!

Some good points now I have it but have had a problem.

The paint looks awesome now the dealer had prepared it for me to collect and he put new discs and pads on the rear, which I had thought I was going to have to do but his mot tester thought otherwise!

I also had it in my head that the front discs and pads needed doing but they clearly don't now I've looked today! The front discs are in good nick and it looks like new pads on it.

There was a horrible burning smell from the offside rear wheel by the time I got it home. This was concerning as it had a new rear wheel bearing on that corner for the mot.

I pulled it apart and the handbrake shoes had fallen to bits and the bits were caught up dragging inside the drum causing the smell and a bit of noise. I'll get new handbrake shoes from Eurocarparts and fix it tomorrow as although I think the dealer would fix it without a quibble, he's flown to Italy tonight and I want a hand brake! The shoes are only £20.

The radiator isn't bowed and looks good, so with the handbrake shoes fixed it'll be great mechanically. I think it's going to get an oil change tomorrow mind, along with an air filter.

Then it'll get clay bar'd, polished and waxed.

Hopefully next week I will be able to fit in getting it lowered along with wheels and tyres while I'm on annual leave.

I've got to get a new head unit and fitting kit too. I hoped Halfords would have it all in tonight but they don't include the steering wheel control lead and want £50 for it where as I can get an eBay kit for £25 delivered for whichever head unit I choose. So that's another job for next week.

It also has electric lumbar supports in the heated leather seats and a DAB aerial that appears to have been fitted to a head unit that has been removed and the Business CD player put back in.

I have to say that this wafting around in an auto is rather appealing! Why haven't I done this before? Sitting in my heated leather seat with electrically adjustable lumber support!

I'll have to change the coolant before it gets too cold, just in case. I have loads in the garage from recent issues with the Mrs 325 and my old Fiesta leaking coolant! That'll be for another time though!

I've got to strip the wall paper in the baby's room next week and mot my off roader so lots to do!

Wheels are likely to be these:

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in a square set up wrapped in Avon ZZ5's as the wheels are the same as the Dare's but in silver and will be in a square set up to keep replacement tyre costs more reasonable. We've been using Avons happily for a while on the 325i.

The Mrs has the Dare's in silver so we will have His and Hers E46's! Hers might be quicker than mine but I think I'm pleased to have mine with the auto box and the nice spec! Mine will also be lowered whereas she hasn't let me lower hers. Perhaps that will change when she has been in mine lowered.

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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Well done mate... keep us updated with loads of pics..

Really interested in what choice of lowering and wheels you going for??

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Well done mate... keep us updated with loads of pics..

Really interested in what choice of lowering and wheels you going for??

Cheers - the lowering will be Eibach Pros. I've been in a mate's 323i with them on and they are as comfy as standard but take away any body roll. They don't go so low you can compete with those on coilovers as far as stance is concerned but for a daily they are lovely.

The wheels will be as above unless I find something second hand in good condition. I've just found an eBay shop based in the same town as me that sells second hand BMW wheels, so I might be patient and see what they get in, albeit I wanted to stay away from OEM wheels.

Second hand wheels would likely need a refurb, so that adds £200 to the price. Then they are not far off a new set of the above!

We shall see where the wheel situation ends up.

The other thing to add about it's condition is that it has new BMW badges front and rear and what appear like new lights all round. The clear headlamps are like new and the rear lights also. They are not in any way milky!

I may have paid a bit OTT but I think I have found a good one!

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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I paid over the odds for mine too but it was the car I wanted - seriously low miles, one owner, fully loaded option list and the right colour. Good for you, it feels good getting what you want occasionally, huh?!

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I paid over the odds for mine too but it was the car I wanted - seriously low miles, one owner, fully loaded option list and the right colour. Good for you, it feels good getting what you want occasionally, huh?!

It sure does. It's a shame that the handbrake shoes have put a bit of a damper onto ownership but I'll have that sorted out today. It's no biggie but a shame nonetheless.

Kirkynut

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Its not a big one at all. Much worse things could have happened.

When you change the handbrake shoes make sure you clean everything....very well.

I did a half arsed job when I fitted mine the first time and my handbrake is still cack.

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I paid over the odds for mine too but it was the car I wanted - seriously low miles, one owner, fully loaded option list and the right colour. Good for you, it feels good getting what you want occasionally, huh?!

It sure does. It's a shame that the handbrake shoes have put a bit of a damper onto ownership but I'll have that sorted out today. It's no biggie but a shame nonetheless.

Kirkynut

Handbrake shoes are nothing, after paying through the nose for my car I took it to BMW and paid a further £1100 for belts, brakes, sensors and more. That was a hard pill to swallow! At least my insurance renewal from my E36 328 convertible went down £100 to £276 for the 330... Result!!

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I paid over the odds for mine too but it was the car I wanted - seriously low miles, one owner, fully loaded option list and the right colour. Good for you, it feels good getting what you want occasionally, huh?!

It sure does. It's a shame that the handbrake shoes have put a bit of a damper onto ownership but I'll have that sorted out today. It's no biggie but a shame nonetheless.

Kirkynut

Handbrake shoes are nothing, after paying through the nose for my car I took it to BMW and paid a further £1100 for belts, brakes, sensors and more. That was a hard pill to swallow! At least my insurance renewal from my E36 328 convertible went down £100 to £276 for the 330... Result!!

Geez, that sucks! I think I would have done it all myself!

Well today has been a BMW day! The Mrs took her E46 325i to Fairfield BMW this morning to have the passenger airbag recall done and checked to see if mine needed doing whilst there - it's already been done, so that's good! I followed her to bring her home and had to remind myself not to pull the handbrake up!

Then on the way back we stopped at the new Eurocarparts in Southend to pick up the handbrake shoes, oil and air filters.

Once home I then set to work on the handbrake shoes and they were quite quick and simple to do, which was handy as I didn't really want to be spending my first day of ownership diagnosing a problem and my second day of ownership fixing it!

The passenger side handbrake shoes had barely any friction material left on them. I found this quite irritating as the mechanic that changed the discs and pads had to have seen them and he was the MOT tester apparently! The handbrake had worked though, so I suppose it would pass the MOT.

I think they had set it a bit tight on the handbrake in an effort to make it work on only a few clicks. I have set it a bit looser as it was dragging and I know it is all free now and there are no problems with it. As much as it's a rubbish design as far as how well it works as a handbrake, it's quite simple to put together and adjust. I took your advice chaps and made sure it was nice and clean! I probably would have done so anyway as I like to do things properly.

Then I did an oil and filter change and changed the air filter. I was presented with this:

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Now the one previous owner - Mr Jeremy Fisher, seems to have been fastidious with this car and this is an example of it! Cheers Jezza for keeping your car so nice - now I'm reaping the benefits! I took his lead and wrote today's mileage and date on the new one I put in. I know it had an oil change at the same date and mileage then too.

I then got on with giving it a snow foam session, washed that off, got busy with Autoglym shampoo and my Lamb's wool wash mitt via the two bucket method, washed that off and dried with microfibre towels, clay bar'd it and waxed it with Autoglym HD wax just before the sun went behind the houses opposite and made taking the wax off tricky as the damp comes down! I just had time.

I had a chat with next door's grand son about BMW's for a bit and went and bought a new head unit for it.

The bodywork is in better shape than I first thought now it's been given a bit of loving. The bonnet in particular has only got two small stone chips and to quote some American dude shines like a diamond in a goat's ass!

Have a look:

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So I'm a happy boy and will be happier when I have the stereo fitted and the wheels and Eibachs on it.

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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Looking good after that day of loving..

Real shiny... Well done..

Thank you Sir.

New Sony Head Unit now fitted using this kit: https://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/bmw-3-series-e46-1999-2005-car-cd-stereo-fitting-kit-fascia-steering-control-aerial.html

I can only assume that the car has the standard speakers in it but the previous owner must have liked his music as the car has a DAB aerial already fitted and the connection nicely routed to the back of the head unit by the previous owner. However the Sony sounds much better than the the Alpine in the Mrs 2000 325i. So either BMW massively improved their speakers within 3 years, the Sony sounds better than the Alpine or the car has better speakers fitted. One day I'll have a look but in the meantime it sounds awesome!

The fitting kit made it an easy install, however the single din surround in the kit is poor quality and I shall be looking to get another one. As you screw it to the dash it warps and shows the silver of the cage. I know the head unit is as far back as is needed and the wires behind are not pushing it forward for it to do so as I got rid of some of the connectors down below behind the aircon controls and in the back let hand corner through a hole. It is just the surround being a bit poo I think.

I'd still recommend this kit for the money but get another surround. Halfrauds do an Audioleads one for less than a tenner.

I now have a Bluetooth, DAB single DIN headunit that is Ipod compatible and has a USB input for the memory sticks I have with my music on and a 3.5mm jack plug for anything else. The previous owner left an Iphone to USB lead in the glove box for me too!

Wheels have been ordered. They are very similar (I'm not allowed to call them replicas apparently) to a wheel used on many a German car over the years. They are not CSL reps or LM reps and they are none of those I suggested above.

They are coming from Rochford tyres (alloywheels.com) as they are just up the road to me (literally) and will be 8x18's in a square set up with an offset of 35mm and will be shod in my tyre of choice - Avon ZZ5's in 225/40/15.

I'd love to have a staggered set up but with a baby on the way something has to give. The Avons will be £88.00 a corner in this size but if I get a staggered set up the rear tyre price goes up to £126 each. I know money will be tight in the future so I'm not going to give myself the extra cost in the future.

They would also come in a 9" on the rear and in a 35mm offset. Now I'm no wheel fitment guru but fear I might be pushing my luck on standard saloon rear arches and Eibach Pro's. Someone may tell me I'm being a Jessie now but hey ho - the money aspect still stands! The staggered rears would look rather good though. I will not roll my arches so they need to fit from the off.

So what are they? Time will tell and I hope by Thursday of this week they will be on and photos will be on here.

Now the lowering may be a few weeks away, depending on how soon I can get my hands on some Eibach Pro springs. I have found an Ebay seller with some in stock near to me and have asked him if I can just collect them and pay him upon collection. If he responds early this week I might have them on by late in the week. After that I'm back to work and it will have to fit in around that.

Once the wheels and springs are on it will be titivating only. It looks like I have a new centre vent on the way soon and may have another black mirror casing for the matt drivers mirror that I could get my hands on. Cutting polish is not winning the day at the moment!

Kirkynut

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The eBay seller of the springs near to me ships them directly from Eibach like every other seller so I doubt he makes his claimed delivery times and I'll get them from a more reputable seller. Looks like the lows will have to wait for a few weeks.

Kirkynut

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You can get eibach springs a lot cheaper getting them on ebay from international sellers (mainly germans).

Edited by Alix

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You can get eibach springs a lot cheaper getting them on ebay from international sellers (mainly germans).

I have read this but prefer to get them from a reputable UK seller and have ordered them from Larkspeed now but thanks for thinking of me.

Kirkynut

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