Jump to content
kirkynut

Kirkynut's own E46

Recommended Posts

Bit of an education these last few posts Kirky.

I just passed 81k this week - in a 16 year old car (July '02).

I replaced the valve cover gasket last week - first time it had been changed!!

Also changed the oil to a slightly heavier grade, new filter.

Definitely planning to change all the cooling parts before too long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 26/07/2018 at 12:05, CoupEdin said:

Bit of an education these last few posts Kirky.

I just passed 81k this week - in a 16 year old car (July '02).

I replaced the valve cover gasket last week - first time it had been changed!!

Also changed the oil to a slightly heavier grade, new filter.

Definitely planning to change all the cooling parts before too long.

I use 5w40 as it stops it using as much oil but isn't too thick. Tescos have Castrol Edge at 1/2 price, well they did last week when I grabbed a load.

Go genuine with the water pump, pipes and thermostat, they are not too expensive now. 

As I say,  Eurocarparts do the OE Hella rads and expansion tank cheaper than a main dealer.

Kirkynut 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I've changed the engine oil and filter, air filter, pollen filter, the power steering reservoir cap O ring and the high pressure Vanos oil pipe as it was weeping at the top union and smelt of burnt oil. 

Then I gave it a wash and hoover out. The wheels got some Dragon's Breath as the fronts have needed it for a while. 

This was at 90100 miles, so 6615 miles since the last oil and filter change. I usually do it at 6000 miles.

I've put Castrol Edge 5w40 in it as it was half price in Tescos and is better than the Halfords oil I usually use, albeit I've no concerns about using that.

Now I've replaced the majority of the cooling system and stopped sulking about having to do so, along with the power steering pump saga, I'm likely to keep this as a longer term motor.

Kirkynut

 

Edited by kirkynut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Driving to work last week,  after driving my 2 year old around for an hour and a half to give him a nap before dropping him off at my parents as it was the only way of achieving everything, I realised I'd forgotten my work bag and had to quickly drive home and then to work in a hurry as time was short.

This meant the engine got hot and a leak from them cam cover gasket was made into a big leak. Smoke from the burning oil on the exhaust manifold came in through the vents. Not good.

So I've used the off-roader daily and changed the gasket today. It wasn't old so I was surprised it leaked. It was genuine too, as was its replacement.  They'd not used enough sealant on the half moons though.

All fixed now though!

Kirkynut 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/11/2018 at 15:07, stevehallone said:

Nice bit of jeopardy build up in that post mate... pleased to read 'all fixed now' though lol 

Yeah, I did wonder if I was going to come back to a burnt out shell when I came out of work though! Smoke through the vents was a new one on me!

Kirkynut 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought my 320i in September 2015 it had 73k miles on it and I gave it an oil change and put a new air filter on it. On the air filter, the previous owner had written "27/01/2014 67296, no plugs".

Now that had me thinking then and several times since, that the plugs ought to have been changed at 60k. I'm guessing that the previous owner thought better of spending the extra money on a car he knew he was selling and only changed the oil and filters. 

I really should have changed the spark plugs back then but put it off due to the cost when buying,  putting new wheels and tyres on it, new springs and a stereo and having a new baby! 

It then didn't happen, until today! I have put new Bosch Iridium plugs in, so they should be good for 60k miles.

As you might expect, the old ones were toast. They must be the originals. They were BMW branded and are NGK 4 prong ones. Like Bosch Super 4's but NGK.

The one's I replaced them with are normal type plugs but Bosch Iridium. 

The car is now on 92678 miles and is 15 years old. So those plugs have been in there for 15 years without being undone and have worked hard for 32k miles more than they ought to have. That's more than 50% more.

So it will be of no suprise to you that they weren't keen on coming out. They all took a bit of effort with my 1/4 inch plug removal socket. I don't think a 1/2 inch socket set would fit down the hole too well and I only had a 1/4 inch plug socket in the size.

I worried that one might snap off in the head with each plug as I cracked them undone, breaking the seal. Or that I'd bugger the thread in the head.

I needn't have worried though. They all came out in one piece and all 6 of the new ones threaded in nicely.

Before fitting the new plugs I popped new discs and pads on the front. Another quick and easy job. I opted for basic Brembo parts as I've never tried Brembo stuff and they were middle of the road by way of price with 50% off in the Eurocarparts Black Friday sale. They seem ok this far with painted centres to the discs to keep rust at bay.

I got these as the old ones had warped. This was a bit annoying as I'd not long changed the pads, however auto's seem to use pads quicker than manual's as you've got no engine breaking, so to slow a little you break rather than just take your foot off the throttle. The pads in it were 1/2 worn, so not a compete waste.

I'm keeping an eye on the rear bushes of the front wishbones. Whilst they seem to be ok, I can see they're starting to deteriorate. I think I'll pop some poly bushes in there come summer 2019 or maybe Meyle Heavy Duty ones and get poly bushes to put in the old casings ready for when they go. 

I don't think you can replace the ball joint on the front lower wishbones though can you? Otherwise I could get some old wishbones off a scrapper and refurb them with a new ball joint and all poly bushes. 

I've got a bit of time to see.

Kirkynut 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to go on a training course yesterday with my boss. She cane to my house for us to travel in my E46. When we got back to our house she commented on us having 2 Bmw's on the drive. I told her that mine was 15 years old and the Mrs' 325i is 18 years old and she couldn't believe it. 

Then I had to pick my Mrs up from work in mine and a colleague said "that's flash" when she saw me in it. Again, I pointed out that it's 15 years old and she couldn't believe it. 

It just goes to show how timeless the E46 shape is!

Kirkynut 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been driving the Mrs' 325i the last few days as she's hurt her left foot and can only drive an auto at the moment. Lucky I have an auto then!

I took mine out for a spin tonight to get petrol and had a play with manual mode. 

I've never liked it as if you floor it with kickdown, it drops a gear but doesn't have the puff and needs for you to change back up. I've driven it without kicking down (if that's a phrase) before and it seems flat. I think I've worked it out tonight though. Keep the revs 3k and above by staying in a low enough gear and the power band starts about 3500 rpm but really gets going at 4k.

You can them use all 170 bhp, which is not too much in an E46, so it needs to be kept fizzing.  If you keep it fizzing it's really quite quick for a 320i. 

A 330i manual would perhaps have been better but I do enjoy the auto quite often and it's needed by the Mrs at the moment. 

It's nice I'm really gelling with it at the moment though. 

Front wishbone bushes are definitely needed in the new year mind, with tracking. I might get a garage to bugger about doing it though as I'm not sure I can be bothered!

I'm looking at new number plates soon too. With german style plate holders too, regardless of the negative comments they might generate!

I need to find time to clean the wheels though, with some Dragon's Breath. They're grim at the moment!

Kirkynut 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had an issue the last few weeks where if I boot it the car craps itself and either goes down to 5 cylinders or limp home mode - I could work it out as I stopped the engine quickly after. On restart all was good again. At first the EML came on with this but there were annoyingly no codes.

Then P0303 started to come up and the problem came even when I was not booting it but the engine was cold. It always re-started fine with no light and the problem disappeared.

So this code relates to a misfire on cylinder 3. Given that it was not happening all the time it made sense to me that it would be the coil pack breaking down on that cylinder. £23 later from Eurocarparts I have a Bosch replacement and hey presto, problem solved. Bosch are the OE manufacturer and the old originals have Bosch on them but with the BMW part number as well.

I still need to get the front wishbones replaced as I can feel there is play in the bushes at the rear but I don't just want to replace the bushes, I'd rather do the wishbones and bushes to know I'm back at square one with all good stuff. I'm hoping to stockpile the parts soon and do it next month. I think I'll use poly bushes on new arms.

Kirkynut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Front wishbones replaced with poly bushes last week. The old bushes were shot so the car was starting to want to change lane involuntarily:

v5MTUa8.jpg

Ue6TYBm.jpg

nl57nCm.jpg

So now it's nice and firm with good turn in and no play or bump steer. I thought the bump steer I was getting was due to the wheel size but it was due to the play in the bushes.

The bushes will still silent, so don't think they have to knock before they've had it as they don't!

I'd also been suffering from warped front discs, or so I thought. A bit of reading educated me to understanding that pad deposits create bumps on the discs that are 0.1 mm thick and make it feel like a warped disc. A few sessions of heavy braking from speed without stopping and then from lower speeds without stopping cleaned them up.

Apparently braking to a stop with hot discs and then sitting with your foot on the brake causes the deposits of pad to form. In an automatic you do that a bit but the Brembo discs and pads from Euro Car Parts were perhaps a little too cheap and I should have gone for ATE as I have previously, which are OE.

They're good now though.

Kirkynut 

 

Edited by kirkynut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MOT passed today at 96941 miles with no advisories.

2aUkk9u.jpg

 

I adjusted the handbrake, changed the oil/filter and cleaned up the underside of oil stains/leaks yesterday. This included removing the plastic under-tray and the aluminium support brace the auto's seem to have that the manuals don't.

I de-greased both of those with Gunk, a paintbrush to agitate it and a pressure washer.

Today I replaced the front discs and pads as I've had a bit of a pulsing feeling through the brake pedal when braking hard from high speeds. I put Brembos on from Eurocarparts on 04/12/18 at 92678 miles but I've read how they warp and have a mate who's a mechanic and has had to change Brembos on an XC90 that were from Eurocarparts and had warped.

I'm aware of the theory of build ups of brake pad material giving the same symptoms of warping and that's not the case on my new front discs as I've been careful to bed them in properly and have barely left my foot on the brake at a standstill for that reason. I've also followed the procedure recommended on countless brake manufacturer websites to clean discs of build up of brake pad material before fitting the new discs and pads on the front with little success.

I've put on ATE discs and pads but it's still there a bit. I'll get some new discs and pads on the rear as I fancy it's a warped rear disc. There's nothing through the steering wheel. The rear discs and pads were put on by the selling garage's mechanic when I bought it. That mechanic replaced a rear wheel bearing fine and was forced to replace the rear discs and pads for the selling garage as his MOT man refused to give it a ticket without them. This same mechanic did not change the falling apart handbrake shoes that I had to change the day after purchase though, and the seller had told me he didn't intend to replace the rear discs/pads, so I expect they were the cheapest crap he could lay his hands on. They went rusty on the centres immediately, which kind of shows the quality.

I made sure that the hub surface was clean with a wire brush too, so it's not dirt on the hub causing the discs not to run true.

I've also changed the air filter today, albeit the old one was as clean as a whistle. I'd bought a new one and they're cheap, so it may as well have one yearly - every 6-7k miles.

I put jubilee clips on the power steering pipes under the reservoir too as I feared the old factory crimp on ones were allowing fluid to weep past them, as happened on the Mrs' old 325i. This may have helped on the larger hose to the rack but the smaller one to the cooler has small splits in it from old age and I think it's still weeping from them, so a new pipe will have to come from my local dealer. I believe that this is the cause of the oil I've been getting on the underside of the car as the oil filter housing gasket looks dry (unbelievable) and I did the cam cover gasket on 29/10/2018.

Now that the under-tray is clean, I'll be able to see exactly what colour any leaked fluid is to be able to identify it. No levels go down and it's a 16 year old E46, so to expect no leaks is a bit much. I'm happy to give it a clean and de-grease underneath once a year and keep on top of failing pipes and parts due to age.

I also changed a steering rack boot on the passenger side recently with the BMW repair kit. I got a genuine one but from an eBay seller for speed as they offered quick delivery and work meant I could not get to the dealer when they were open. I'd rubbed the spanner on this when fitting the front wishbones recently and it's age meant it could not cope and it pulled open on the bellows.

Old cars eh! Once I've changed the power steering pipe and the rear discs and pads I cautiously think I'm on top of everything!

I've considered selling up and getting an Octavia vRS like the Mrs has now but I would have to dip onto savings that I don't want to. Also, 3 of the 4 corners now have scrapes from when I've been parked and come back to find them. One had a note left by an old guy but it was so minor it was not worthy of increasing my insurance by claiming off him and he was happy with that, one was in an Aldi car park and I had witnesses who provided a registration and CCTV but again, it was so minor the increase in my premium was not worth it. The other was at a time and place unknown but it the most noticeable, albeit I didn't notice it straight away! I also have a scratch on the nearside from god knows where. I suspect builders from a house across the road when I left it on the road for an hour.

So if I got a nicer, more presentable and younger car, I would not be calm like I am now when this happens but will be very angry. So sticking with an old car seems sensible.

Kirkynut

 

 

 

 

Edited by kirkynut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot to be said for an old car you don't have to worry about the odd scratch on also great fun to bomb down a back road knowing if you end up in a ditch there will be no tears, this is why I also have a 03 focus tdci i paid 300 euro for.

Great to see you staying on top of maintenance keeping her the proper drivers car she was meant to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/08/2019 at 14:23, Andrew Fanning said:

A lot to be said for an old car you don't have to worry about the odd scratch on also great fun to bomb down a back road knowing if you end up in a ditch there will be no tears, this is why I also have a 03 focus tdci i paid 300 euro for.

Great to see you staying on top of maintenance keeping her the proper drivers car she was meant to be.

Cheers. I'm not sure I'd call my 320i auto a driver's car though. When I want to drive enthusiastically it's not really the tool for the job but the other 85% of the time it's just the ticket.

My next car will be a manual and faster!

Kirkynut 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...