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kirkynut

Kirkynut's own E46

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Don't don't get me wrong mate, your car look awesome but just out of interest sake I would like to see what it looks like with those anthracite colour wheels.

i also really like the height and it will be the height I am looking to do mine, I have done the stupidly low and undrivable before and it not much fun.

Edited by Lovin_it

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Don't don't get me wrong mate, your car look awesome but just out of interest sake I would like to see what it looks like with those anthracite colour wheels.

i also really like the height and it will be the height I am looking to do mine, I have done the stupidly low and undrivable before and it not much fun.

Cheers mate. We'll have to use our imagination on the anthracite wheels though. 

I don't think they'd work with the chrome trim to be fair, which is one reason I didn't get them. That and the fact that these are the same price and what I really wanted! 

I'll take more piccies when I get time. I have a baby's room to decorate first! 

Kirkynut 

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I was at Tescos the other day and as I walked back to my car this was the view:

20151025_155851_zps7vstxneo.jpg

 

I know which one I prefer and it's 12 years older!

The doughnut skid marks are nothing to do with me!

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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Just drained the water out of my cooling system at 74428 miles and replaced it with coolant 50% mix. I wish I was saying I'd drained the coolant but it was clear to see (quite literally) it was mostly water! 

Now I can sleep safely in the knowledge my head and block won't be cracked one cold morning! 

It's had a wash too!

Kirkynut 

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20:45 hours tonight ~ My Mrs comes out to the front garden where I had gone to water the garden... My Mrs "I thought you came out here to water the garden?", Me "I accidentally washed my car!".

You've gotta take every opportunity when it's this hot and you've got a baby! Especially with a black car!

Kirkynut 

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I've had a dodgy bearing in one of the pullies that the alternator belt runs on and changed it with the water pump this morning. The bleed screw on the expansion tank wouldn't seal, so I have had to prat around solving that after it pissed out for a while! 

I took the belt off in the week to see which pulley had the dickie bearing and found it to be the tensioner. I thought I saw the water pump weep when I checked it so got a new pump to be safe. I'm glad I did as once I got it off I could feel play in the bearing on that too!

I used a genuine pump after the Circoli one from Eurocarparts lasted 13k miles on the Mrs 325i! 

I researched the tensioners sold by Eurocarparts and found that the brand they sell are the same as Luk and FAG bearings. So I bought one of them and a belt just to find that Genuine ones are a fiver more! Never mind! 

It sounds lovely now!

I'm doing a 5 hour round trip in it tomorrow to look at a 325i convertible with the Mrs brother! He's keen so I think he'll be buying it!

Kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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All is well with my E46 after the 5 hour round trip to collect the brother in law's E46 convertible and also a trip to Wales Rally GB, round Wales and back again!

It's a great comfortable ride, even with the Eibach springs. A bit more power wouldn't go amiss though and I think I prefer a manual but the auto is nice when wafting about town in traffic and on motorways when stuck in that stop start traffic.

Perhaps I ought to splash out on an M3 with SMG Lol!

Kirkynut

 

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Today I lavished some love on my 320i auto.

20170525_141333_zpsxdtsy7nr.jpg

I broke out the tools and managed to get the following done:

  • Engine Oil and Filter changed
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid changed
  • Air Filter changed
  • Cabin Filter changed
  • Brake Fluid changed and bled

The Automatic gearbox had been juddering when going at a static speed of either 30,40 or 50 MPH (you know, those speeds you have to do!) as it is always about 1500 rpm. A few weeks ago I investigated and found the Automatic Transmission Fluid to be black. It did not smell burnt but had done its time! I have read on here that in the US they change their Automatic Transmission Fluid at 60k miles but over here it's supposed to be Lifelong. Well it aint Lifelong as my car has 83485 miles on it and needed changing!

Peilican Parts suggest changing the Fluid at 60k miles and the fluid and filter at 120k miles. So for now I've not done the filter.

What a difference it makes! The judder has gone and when you floor it and it kicks down it really does go now.

I was getting quite downtrodden with the car. It was not as quick as I a 170bhp car should be. I'm used to the Mrs' E46 325i with 192bhp that goes quite well and is manual and my previous car was a Fiesta ST150, so less power than the Mrs' 325i and an automatic gearbox made if feel slow and the brakes were crap. I got brake fade in October at Wales Rally GB and think it was due to the fluid being old with moisture/air in. They felt spongy too. A sure sign of air/moisture in the fluid.

Now it feels noticeably quicker and the brakes are on point with no fade after repeated heavy braking from speed on a twisty country road. The fluid must have been boiling.

So I am a happy bunny, save a little rust that had started to form on the rear off side wheel arch. I suppose it is par for the course on a 14 year old car!

I love the stance on the Eibach's with the CH reps and M-tec 1 bumpers. I know it's not "Stanced" as such but the way it sits looks purposeful and realistically, the Eibachs are comfy and the best compromise for a daily I think you can have. I certainly wouldn't want it lower as a daily. My Halfords Low Entry jack (which isn't that low entry really) won't go under the jacking blocks unless I drive onto a wooden block at the front! My Racing style jack is fine though, but I only have one and like to lift both sides together for safety.

I'd love to have an E46 really low, as in properly "Stanced" but not as a daily. Maybe a convertible 330i scraping its belly would be fun as a toy!

Kirkynut

 

 

Edited by kirkynut

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I replaced the front brake pads the other week in preparation for the trip to Centre Parcs we did last week in my E46. So this was at 87k or just over I think. 

I've got front pads on the bench for the Mrs 325i E46 too but need the time and for her to let me have it to change them.

Mine didn't need doing quite yet as there was a bit more meat on them than I thought from looking through the caliper recently but I prefer to replace them early after bad experiences of the friction material coming off the backing plate when pads have still had a reasonable amount left on them. 

I think that age is a reason for this often but as I didn't own the car when they were fitted I don't know how old they are or what quality they are.

I've put Pagid on as I've been using them for a while now without issue.

Kirkynut 

 

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A couple of weeks ago my power steering pump shaft snapped. I know this because I took it apart to see if there were any metal filings in it or damage to indicate there maybe some in the system.

I was lucky.  It snapped 50m from my house and I shut it off as soon as I got home. No filings.

I ordered a recondtioned pump from my favourite motor factors. I needed a recondtioned LUK LF20 but their supplier sent an LF30, the revised pump that needs a new high pressure pipe. They sent it back but I only had that day to fit it. 

Then the Mrs' 325i started pissing out coolant. A week went by with me driving my off roader daily and topping up her coolant every ten minutes.

I got the right pump but decided to try to find and fix her coolant leak on a Sunday. I found the leak but can't fix a radiator where the bottom few inches are bent over 45'! 

So I fixed mine and ordered a new radiator for hers. Then it snowed, a lot! We had to share my off roader anyway!

I had a day planned to fix hers but the weather was too bad. I'v built a car through winter when I was younger and swapped gearboxes in snow. Not now though.

So her 325i awaits fixing and the new radiator is in my garage waiting patiently. 

I'll be glad to get my car back off her!

Kirkynut 

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The Mrs 325i is all fixed with a new radiator and a return hose that was either leaking or about to do so but my coolant level has been going down. 

Yesterday I set to it and it appeared that the thermostat gasket was leaking. A quick call to my parts man at Fairfield BMW and he says "Yes Mr Kirk, we have 5 in stock", which to me speaks volumes about how rubbish the design is! 

Why BMW have to use push fit hoses and silly designs like that thermostat housing seal I don't know. I'm willing to move with the times but there was nothing wrong with the old type of thermostat that dropped into a moulding in the head with a paper or rubber gasket you could replace. 

After all, I only needed a gasket. I suppose a new one prevents failure of the actual thermostat but they themselves are cheap. It's the housing and heating element that makes it £80!

Kirkynut 

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After sorting the coolant leak my E46 has decided to see how much more fight I have in me.

Coming home from work at 10pm one night there was a knocking noise coming from what I thought was the 4wd in front of me until I pulled off and the 4wd didn't but the noise remained. It wasn't the 4wd in front knocking, it was my 320i.

I didn't want to get home and it make loads of noise to wake my boy up so pulled over to see if it was something simple round the corner.

As I steered to pull to the curbside it got louder and I could feel the steering get heavier. I popped the bonnet and there was nothing obvious. I guessed it was the power steering pump.  I turned it around to go home and then all went quiet but the power steering stopped working too.

I had no time to look at it for a while as any time off work I had was when I was looking after my boy when the Mrs was working. A bit of Google power led to me learning that the early pumps - LUK LF20, like to snap their shafts and the result is swarf from the shaft and impeller connecting with the housing as it spins. This swarf can then bugger up the new pump and the rack. So how the heck do you flush the system without using the new pump to do so?

I got the old pump off, collecting the old fluid for examination in a washed out old milk container. It was old and burnt but clean of swarf.

I took the old pump apart and it had no damage except for the snapped shaft. There was no swarf! Hurrah I thought! I checked the filter in the reservoir, still no swarf! The internet told me this is where it would be.

I put a recondtioned LUK LF20 on it rather than a revised LF30 as the original has done 87k+ before the shaft snapped and I'd need to buy a new high pressure hose from BMW for £100 when there's nothing wrong with the old one.

At first the motor factors supplied an LF30 and I only had the one day free before I went back to work. So another week passed before I could fit it.

Then the new pump failed. I hadn't even done 100 miles on it. I was gutted. I'd been driving my off-roader daily all this time with its big noisy tyres and whiney custom transfer box. 

Yesterday I set to it again and fitted another pump replaced under guarantee. My motor factors were great, getting a replacement pump on guarantee the next day after I took them the failed pump. There was nothing obviously wrong with the first replacement pump from the outside but I couldn't open it up or I'd void the guarantee. 

Again I collected the fluid to check it for swarf. There was none. So there could only be a manufacturing issue with the first recondtioned pump.

My guess is that the impeller parted with the shaft and the shaft slipped inside it. The failure happened all of a sudden. If swarf had been present and stopped the little slithers of metal that fly out of the centre of the impeller to meet the casing and push the fluid round had been clogged by swarf it would have been a more gradual failure.

The first replacement pump didn't seem to pump when I was bleeding the system until I revved it up to 2k revs. This latest one sucked fluid out of the reservoir quickly and I had to shut it off before it went dry to top it back up. A marked difference. 

When I got to work today there was a tapping noise. I began to wonder what it could be and it struck me that I couldn't recall tightening the 3 pulley bolts on the pump once the belt was on and tensioned to keep it still. 

I worried that I'd lose the bolts and that the pulley would come off with the belt and take the radiator and transmission oil cooler with them. I got it home tonight and took the viscous fan and shroud off again (for the hundredth time) and tried to tighten the pulley bolts up. I shouldn't have doubted my workmanship, they were fine! 

I think the fan shroud was not seated quite right and when the viscous fan got going it was just tapping on it lightly. A test drive has checked it's sorted. At last. 

With all this grief I've been falling out of love with it. My off-roader is a Jimny, so Japanese. It's been through hell and back off road and the power steering pump on that deals with tyres much bigger than it was designed for off road. Nothing has failed. So why all the trouble with a BMW?

It's just a good job it's so nice to drive and is easy to work on. 

When you consider all the known issues that E46's suffer from it's unbelievable:

Water pump failures where the plastic impellers used to come off the shaft.

Thermostat housing gaskets leak

Radiators bow and split

Expansion tanks split 

Power steering pumps fail and fill the system with swarf

Diff carrier mounts split the boot floor on more powerful models

Window regulators are made of cheese

Rear light plugs are not man enough and melt 

Now granted, if you treat the whole coolant system as a serviceable item and replace the main components at suitable intervals they will go on for a long time. If you boil a 6 cylinder engine up it's pretty much scrap though. You can't bolt the head bolts down twice as the alloy black is too soft. The only solutions I can think of are a stud conversion or helicoils. 

The Mrs 325i has had it all done and isn't far off 150k miles now. I plan to get it to 200k before we replace it. The passenger rear window glass is held up by a bit of 2x2 inside the door at the moment though as I've not had chance to fit the new regulator yet. It needs a new front one on that side really as my cable ties repair isn't holding well now.

Driving my E46 for the first time in ages today was bliss though. I cleaned it yesterday too and still glance back at it when I leave it. We could do with a smaller town car for parking at work, so I might part exchange it but the spec will be hard to replicate and I need some speed back in my life.

We shall see.

kirkynut

Edited by kirkynut

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jesus,,my e46 (330d) has been the best car and longest owned ive ever had...but i have read quite a few stories about the 320i  and its sister in the e9x models   ... very poor

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32 minutes ago, rasa said:

jesus,,my e46 (330d) has been the best car and longest owned ive ever had...but i have read quite a few stories about the 320i  and its sister in the e9x models   ... very poor

All the 6 cylinder E46's share the same components I've mentioned above. The E46 320i is 6 cylinder but the E90 320i is 4 cylinder and has it's own issues, such as oil seperator issues.

Kirkynut 

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timing chains also,,and in the 320d also some n57 330d

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I think the E90 6 cylinders are quite good though are they not?

I've driven my E46 a fair bit over the last few days and gave it a wash on Friday, so it looks pretty again! 

I don't like using car washes, albeit swirl marks are not a worry for my old beast now, I've given up being a bufty! 

I have a 2 year old and work shifts. This leaves no time for car washing.

I am now starting to forgive it for the grief it's caused me. It's a lovely car to drive.

If the pas pump goes again I'm going to get one from another company, so I know it's ok and get rid for a smaller car. 

I really could do with a city car for parking at work but if my E46 behaves I'll keep it as I do like how it looks and drives, albeit I wish it was a 330i for the power!

Kirkynut 

Edited by kirkynut

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i have an e90 also, m57n though,,the newer e90 330d  lci are n57   which suffer more than the m57n,,

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I've had yet another coolant leak over the last few weeks. Investigation showed the radiator to be leaking from the front. 

The leak was behind the air conditioning condenser so I couldn't see exactly what was causing it but I could see coolant being sucked through the radiator fins by the fan.

When I got it off I could see It was bowed at the top. I couldn't see this with it in situ. Bowing at the top us a new one on me. I thought they bowed at the bottom and had been checking it there whenever I've had the under tray off. 

I got a Hella replacement radiator and expansion tank from Eurocarparts as they are the OE parts. Experience has taught me to replace both to make sure they seal together and expansion tanks split. 

It seems that the expansion tank has been replaced before as it was a Meyle one.

I used a smear or red rubber grease on all the pipe joints to aid assembly and to stop the O rings and seals from being damaged and it made a big difference to the fitting of the expansion tank. When I've fitted expansion tanks to E46 radiators before they've not wanted to slide into place well, even when lubricated with coolant. The red rubber grease made it easy. 

Now I've replaced the radiator, expansion tank, water pump, thermostat and some pipes. The coolant system has to be reliable now!

The high pressure oil pipe on the Vanos system is weeping at the crimp on the top end and smells a bit when the engine is hot and the O ring on the top of the power steering reservoir is weeping. A couple of easy fixes and it should be all good.

I'm touching wood now though!

Kirkynut 

 

Edited by kirkynut

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Crickey! I've just realised I've owned this car for coming up for 3 years now! 

I know I've had a sense of humour failure about the number if things I've had to fix lately but all the usual suspects are taken care of.

Looking through this I've realised it's due an oil change. So I'll perhaps do that with the other little bits that need doing I've mentioned above. 

Kirkynut 

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Fingers crossed you have no more coolant leaks then. I’ve just got together the parts for a coolant change including Meyle water pump, Wahler thermostat, bmw coolant temp sensor and new dayco aux belts. My radiator and pipe work look fine and the expansion tank seems to be ok too. I currently have coolant leaking from the thermostat housing and temp sensor (failed O - ring). Bmw don’t sell just the O-ring so I’ve had to buy a whole new sensor for £36! 

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48 minutes ago, gaz-777 said:

Fingers crossed you have no more coolant leaks then. I’ve just got together the parts for a coolant change including Meyle water pump, Wahler thermostat, bmw coolant temp sensor and new dayco aux belts. My radiator and pipe work look fine and the expansion tank seems to be ok too. I currently have coolant leaking from the thermostat housing and temp sensor (failed O - ring). Bmw don’t sell just the O-ring so I’ve had to buy a whole new sensor for £36! 

Take the oring to a local bearing stockists and they'd sort you an oring for 50 p!

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12 hours ago, 2clubsp said:

Take the oring to a local bearing stockists and they'd sort you an oring for 50 p!

They are made to different grades according to what they have to deal with by way of temperature and chemicals, so I would get the right one and changing the sensor is one less thing to fail on our older cars.

I suppose I forget that my car is 15 years old but Jap stuff does seem hardier.

Kirkynut 

Edited by kirkynut

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