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FAB's E46 330d(204bhp) Sport Touring *Carbon Goodies*

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BMW E46 330d Sport Touring

Well after having her for a couple of months now I thought I'd best copy over my project thread.

I wasn't particularly looking for another car, I had my E46 320d SE Touring, and I was quite enjoying the ownership of it, it was cheap to run and the touring aspect suited my needs. Then a couple of weeks ago on a Friday, work screwed me over and I ended up working late, which meant the following Saturday morning I couldn't get up for the gym, and ended up staying in bed just browsing autotrader to see what was about. I happened upon a nice looking E46 330d Sport Touring, so I opened up the advert and saw that it was in fact my BMW Indi selling it! I know for a fact all the cars he sells are handpicked and always quality, so I had to go and see it. I arrived and Andy gave me a quick synopsis of the car, it was in fact his Wife's but she wanted something bigger so after he had spent a small fortune on it, it needed to sold.

I actually saw this car over a year previously when I dropped off my 320d for some work, and I complimented the owner on its condition.

I found out that it had a new auto box fitted in October last year, which relieved me somewhat, and then I was informed of the work that the previous owner has done, which I'll document further down. Anyway, after a nice test drive I put a deposit down and the rest is history as they say.

The car itself is an E46 330d Sport Touring(204bhp) with Tiptronic transmission. It's extras include;

Silver Grey Metallic Paint
Full M-Tec 2 body styling
Sports suspension
Grey leather Sports interior with Black Cube Trim
Black headlining
Sports steering wheel
'M' Kick plates
Shadow line exterior Trim
Electric Glass Sunroof
Bluetooth
Xenon Headlights
18"MV2 Alloys
Other bits and bobs that I have more than likely missed!

Here is the main picture from the advert:

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The previous owner to my Indy was a major car enthusiast and fettled with race cars as a hobby, and as a result the car has had a few upgrades. It's had the suspension fettled with, apparently it's got M3 bits fitted, what though I'm not sure. Everything is polybushed, and set up, and it shows. The car is ridiculously planted in any situation, made even more crazy by the fact it's easy to forget you are in an estate car. The brakes are also mildly upgraded with drilled and grooved discs. 

Here is how she sits;

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Power wise, it must have been remapped at some point, as the car is very fast. I've driven other 204's, as well as the 182bhp 330d, and owned a 330i petrol, and this car destroys them. There is practically zero lag, and it just pulls and pulls, when Lauren and I drove it home, neither of us could believe it. It has certainly shocked a few drivers...

So after having it for a couple of weeks now I can safely say that I absolutely love it, it's a completely different animal to the 320d. Apart from the obvious speed and handling differences, it (in my opinion) looks the nuts in Sports guise. It's like a cross between my 330Ci Convertible, and my 320d Touring, which suits me down to the ground.

To be honest there isn't a great deal that needs doing to it(Touch wood), but like any enthusiast, I'll find stuff!

First job under my ownership was to give it a clean and a wax;

So I started off giving it a good snow foaming

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I then treated the wheels to this new cleaner that is like a cross between iron-x and normal alloy wheel cleaner

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I then used the 2 bucket method to wash the car, and then towel dried and laid down a layer of Blackfire Wax/Sealant. So here's how the car stands now!

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Thanks for looking!

Edited by FAB_BMW

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First Update

Well, over a month into ownership, I still absolutely love the car. There isn't a great deal to update to be fair, but I like keeping a record of everything I do, so though I would do an update.

Maintenance wise so far all I've had to do is change the O/S sidelight bulb;

Before;

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During;

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After;

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When it comes to mods, even though the car is pretty much how I want it already, there is always room for improvement and personalisation. The one thing I don't like on the car is the exhaust, it's a twin down turned pea shooter jobby. The tailpipes are also looking a bit worse for wear now. When it came to weighing up replacements, the sensible Fred considered just having the tailpipes cut off and some nicer ones welded on.

Unfortunately the BMW Enthusiast Fred ended up online and spending a fortune on a brand new Eisenmann Exhaust from Germany, oops! It's a 70mm Race Version and it turned up earlier this week.

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I've got it booked in with Style Dynamics for next Saturday afternoon to have it fitted, and I'll be sure to have before and after updates!

Edited by FAB_BMW

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Eisenmann Exhaust

Just an update about the exhaust, I had it fitted about 2 weeks ago by Style Dynamics based in Hayes. Now, there are exhaust places much closer to me, but they are such a hit and miss industry that I needed recommendations. I've seen in various project threads over the years the name Style Dynamics, and only ever read good things about them, so my mind was made up. I contacted them through email and told them what I needed doing and booked in for a Saturday.

I arrived there at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, and was welcomed by the staff and talked through what was gonna happen. Even though exhausts like Eisenmann are 'Straight Fit', very rarely are things ever 'Straight Forward'.

With the car up on a ramp immediately one problem became clear. The gap between the 2 pipes that enter the backbox are not wide enough to fit exhaust clamps. The only remedy to this is to weld the backbox onto the centre section. Also, the clamp that holds the centre section to the downpipe had rusted away and the whole exhaust was loose.

The first job was to measure up the new backbox against the rest of the system so they knew roughly where to cut. This was done and the new backbox was offered up to car. After this was done I was asked to come and look at the positioning of the exhaust, to make sure I was happy with how it sat. Once I was satisfied with it, it was tacked on to the centre section, and then the whole lot was removed and transferred to the bench for final welding.

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After this was done the exhaust was then transferred back to the car and refitted. While this was done they were also kind enough to weld a new BMW clamp to the downpipe for me. They then spent about 15 minutes checking the positioning for me before tightening everything up.

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With everything done, the car was started up, moved off the ramp, and I paid my money and made my way home. Epic noise here I come! Or not...

My heart completely sank as I pulled off the industrial estate, the car sounded the exact same as it did standard! I thought to myself 'maybe I need to put my toe down abit to hear the noise', got to the motorway, and nope still quiet. I drove the 30 miles home deflated. I got Home and as I opened the gate, the car had developed a very slight burble on tickover.

I then googled quiet aftermarket exhausts, and found that sometimes they can take up to 1000 miles to 'break in'. So I thought I'd persevere, and sure enough as the miles piled on, it started to come into its own. I'm 750 miles in now, and I love it. If you poodle along around town, it sounds pretty much stock. But when you put your toe down, it makes a nice sporty roar, with a nice whistle from the turbo.

I haven't got any videos yet, as I want to see if the noise changes any more over the next 250 miles.

Thanks for looking :-)

Edited by FAB_BMW

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Lovely example mate,love the colour and the subtle things that have been done,that exhaust is pure quality[emoji106]

Cheers mate, this is my 3rd Silver Grey E46 in a row, lol.

I agree, you'll struggle to find a better quality exhaust than an Eisenmann. I had one on my 330Ci, and it sounded amazing from the get go, but then it was 2nd hand and had already been broken in.

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Good thread. Was it Sak at style D who done the work?

i have been friends with them for years. Used to hang around with the brothers and we used to do sound installs and engine conversions with them. 

Great bunch of lads. Good to hear from another happy customer

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Good thread. Was it Sak at style D who done the work?

i have been friends with them for years. Used to hang around with the brothers and we used to do sound installs and engine conversions with them. 

Great bunch of lads. Good to hear from another happy customer

Cheers mate, I'm pretty sure it was Azeem who did the work, either way they were all fantastic blokes. Definitely the best experience I've had with an Exhaust business.

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14 hours ago, FAB_BMW said:

Cheers mate, I'm pretty sure it was Azeem who did the work, either way they were all fantastic blokes. Definitely the best experience I've had with an Exhaust business.

azeem aka jimmy

top bloke :D

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Nice touring you have there, very similar to mine. I have also just bought an eisenmann rear box and it was delivered today, only thing is I ordered the sport type but the race type has turned up! Just wanted to ask you if the noise yours makes is intrusive inside the car when driving? Every now and then I have to do long drives and don't want an exhaust that will give me a headache after a few miles. Many thanks. 

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Nice touring you have there, very similar to mine. I have also just bought an eisenmann rear box and it was delivered today, only thing is I ordered the sport type but the race type has turned up! Just wanted to ask you if the noise yours makes is intrusive inside the car when driving? Every now and then I have to do long drives and don't want an exhaust that will give me a headache after a few miles. Many thanks. 

Cheers mate, is yours petrol or Diesel? If it's diesel then you won't find the noise intrusive at all.

If it's a petrol then it will certainly be louder. I had an Eisenmann Sport on my 330 petrol convertible and it was perfect, and never too intrusive even with the roof down. Can't comment on the race version though on a petrol.

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On 03/07/2016 at 12:27, FAB_BMW said:

Cheers mate, is yours petrol or Diesel? If it's diesel then you won't find the noise intrusive at all.

If it's a petrol then it will certainly be louder. I had an Eisenmann Sport on my 330 petrol convertible and it was perfect, and never too intrusive even with the roof down. Can't comment on the race version though on a petrol.

Thanks. now i just need to find somone to fit the box in my local area.

Has your's broken in anymore yet?

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Carbon Fibre Bits

Another update on the old girl. She got me and my better half to our honeymoon and back again without drama so I thought I would treat her to some goodies.

When I got the car I had an image in my head as to how I would like it to look. I love tourings and the practicality they bring. It suits my lifestyle perfectly, especially with having a dog. However, when we were planning our honeymoon we soon came across a snag. The dog takes up the whole rear load area, and we had too much stuff to cram on the back seat(plus I didn't want my interior ruined!).

Our only option was a roofbox, which worried me abit as I've seen some complete and utter abominations. A little bit of research later and I was set on a Thule system. Not only do they have a good reputation, but they look fantastic. In the end I decided on the aerodynamic wing bars, and the Touring 200 gloss black box. Fitting was a piece of cake, and the box was fantastic for fitting all our stuff in. It opens both ways too which makes loading and unloading a breeze. The shape of the box also suits the lines of a BMW too;

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Next I wanted to start putting my own stamp on the car. I have always liked carbon fibre but never really had a car that I thought it would suit.

After getting the Eisenmann fitted, it really showed up the tatty rear diffuser. The two choices here were to either tart up the original one, or replace it. I took this as an excuse to buy my first carbon fibre piece. I went online to SSDD Motorsport, and looked at what was about and Teddy had one in which was a 'direct fit'. As I was ordering it I started wanting something for the front to balance it out, so a set of Carbon Fibre Clubsport Splitters were ordered.

They both turned up in good time and I spent yesterday fitting them.

I started with the rear diffuser. The old one was easy to remove, so that was put to one side and I attempted to fit the new one. I will say now, it is not a straight fit, and if you buy one then be prepared to either start cutting about, or get it fitted by a professional. The problem comes with the fact there is no flex like the original plastic one, and the top lip is far too thick. Thankfully my workshop is still fully tooled up, so I took it over and modified it until it fitted nice and flush. However like I say, unless you too have an old body shop in your yard, then prepare for a poorly fitting product. As it happens I managed to get it so it looks factory finished;

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The front Clubsport splitters were much easier to fit, aslong as you're competent with a drill and screwdriver you could fit them, they look lovely and balance out the carbon on the rear;

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Next are just a couple of boring bits, I had a rear sidelight bulb out, so got another one and fitted it;

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I also fitted new Bosch wipers front and back. The rear was abit of a pain because I wanted keep the original plastic look, and the new one was just a standard skinny metal one, and stood out like a sore thumb. So I just dismantled the new one and old one, swapped over the blades, and voila I had a nice new rear wiper that doesn't stand out against the rest of the plastics on the tailgate;

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Not sure what's next on the agenda, as my other half is entering the BMW world, and hopefully having my old 320d, so I need to get her car sorted. The reason this is relevant is because the idea was to move all the Parrot Asteroid stuff out of it, the dash cam etc and fit it to this car. But if she likes it then it looks like I'm gonna have to start again!

Thank you for looking!

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Carbon bits look great. I have front splitters ready to go on my coupe but wanted to get a rear diffuser on at the same time, do you think  the modifications to make it fit could be done ok with a dremel? I was looking at the SSDD one's my self.

Your roof box looks pretty good too, suits the tourer anyway.

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Carbon bits look great. I have front splitters ready to go on my coupe but wanted to get a rear diffuser on at the same time, do you think  the modifications to make it fit could be done ok with a dremel? I was looking at the SSDD one's my self.

Your roof box looks pretty good too, suits the tourer anyway.

Thanks mate. They make a nice addition. The 2 tools I used were a Dye Grinder and Mini Orbital sander, so in theory you could do it with a dremel if you have the patience.

The issue is the top of the diffuser where the clips are. The edge of this is much thicker than the standard diffuser. This means it doesn't slot in the groove on the bumper properly, so you just can't get the clips anywhere near locking in.

At first I tried making the edge thinner, but it didn't work. In the end I had to remove about 1cm from the top inbetween the clips. As there is no flex in the carbon diffuser it doesn't make any difference that it doesn't go into the groves. Also there are no predrilled holes for the screws underneath, so have a drill to hand also.

Now I'm not sure if I was unlucky with getting a dodgy fitting one. As I'd heard good things about them. So you may get one that fits straight on. But it's something to keep in mind.

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3 hours ago, FAB_BMW said:

Thanks mate. They make a nice addition. The 2 tools I used were a Dye Grinder and Mini Orbital sander, so in theory you could do it with a dremel if you have the patience.

The issue is the top of the diffuser where the clips are. The edge of this is much thicker than the standard diffuser. This means it doesn't slot in the groove on the bumper properly, so you just can't get the clips anywhere near locking in.

At first I tried making the edge thinner, but it didn't work. In the end I had to remove about 1cm from the top inbetween the clips. As there is no flex in the carbon diffuser it doesn't make any difference that it doesn't go into the groves. Also there are no predrilled holes for the screws underneath, so have a drill to hand also.

Now I'm not sure if I was unlucky with getting a dodgy fitting one. As I'd heard good things about them. So you may get one that fits straight on. But it's something to keep in mind.

Thanks for the advice mate. We have sanders and the like at work which I can borrow if necessary.

You are not the first person who's had to modify a diffuser from SSDD, I've heard someone else mention it so I suspect they all require some work to get a proper fit.

If I can get mine looking like yours I'll be happy.

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Thanks for the advice mate. We have sanders and the like at work which I can borrow if necessary.

You are not the first person who's had to modify a diffuser from SSDD, I've heard someone else mention it so I suspect they all require some work to get a proper fit.

If I can get mine looking like yours I'll be happy.

No worries, when you get it if you need any advice just drop me a message.

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58 minutes ago, FAB_BMW said:

No worries, when you get it if you need any advice just drop me a message.

Nice one! Cheers.

Have you thought about changing your front bumper grille? My one was all faded like yours and it drove me nuts. I must say it doesn't stand out as much on a grey car, stuck out like a sore thumb on my imola red, but BMW only charge £25 for a replacement and (on the coupé at least - assuming the tourer's the same) front bumper removal is a piece of piss. People paint them too.

 

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58 minutes ago, FAB_BMW said: No worries, when you get it if you need any advice just drop me a message.

Nice one! Cheers.

Have you thought about changing your front bumper grille? My one was all faded like yours and it drove me nuts. I must say it doesn't stand out as much on a grey car, stuck out like a sore thumb on my imola red, but BMW only charge £25 for a replacement and (on the coupé at least - assuming the tourer's the same) front bumper removal is a piece of piss. People paint them too.

 

Yea it annoys me too, I had considered painting it, but I'm gonna put it in for some paint next year, so I'm living with it until then and then I'll get it replaced with a new one.

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Lovely car and you've added some nice mods too. I was looking at the carbon splitters and diffusers the other day as I'm happy with the CSL bootlid I bought from SSDD, and seeing them on your car is pushing me more towards carbon than painting them Gloss Black.

 

Has the exhaust started to open up noise wise yet? I've read nothing but good reviews on Eisenmans on E46s but I've only heard them on you tube etc.

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