E46Fanatics - View Single Post - From a 320Ci to a 330Ci: Maintenance, upgrades and progress
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:23 AM   #1
bendoscopy
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 733
My Ride: 330Ci M + 320Ci
Transmission: 5MT
From a 320Ci to a 330Ci: Maintenance, upgrades and progress

Hello. New car, new thread.



My 320Ci (6-cylinder M54, which is a 2.2)


About 2.5 years ago, I bought a 320Ci and spent many months maintaining it and adding tasteful upgrades as I went. My goal was to be meticulous and to keep it as close to stock as possible, with a few modern additions invisible to the naked eye. This is all heavily documented in my older E46F thread. Recently, I found myself looking for something new with more excitement and power; a Z4, an E92, and various other ideas. When it came to the crunch, I couldn't bring myself to leave the E46 platform. I didn't want to throw away all that M54 knowledge, and realised I was more attached to the E46 than I'd let myself believe.

So I started to look for a good 330Ci.








As luck would have it, I found another topaz blue car fairly local to me. The previous owner hadn't had it for long, and was looking for a quick sale. Long story short, within a week of seeing it, I bought it for 1,800. Pre-facelift, 110k miles, manual, Sport, M kit, MV1 alloys, no sunroof, Powerflow cat-back exhaust (great sound, not too obnoxious), grey interior and power seats.

Having put a lot of love, care and attention into my 320Ci, and due to the fact that my 320Ci had some extra options from factory, my plan was to move some parts over to the 330Ci. This included tail lights and bi-xenons, head unit, speakers, CD changer delete, non-smokers pack, etc.





I've also been toying with the idea of an interior swap. The black and grey 330Ci interior is a much 'darker place' than my beige 320Ci (with sunroof). I would be swapping carpets, seats, door panels, and pillars. There are no beige headliners to be found without the sunroof cutout, so I'd retain the black head liner. Seems I'm one of the few who prefer the beige interior, but I'm willing to put in the work to move this over.




Hell on earth




Fresh new badge




Back to black


Things have been going 'okay' so far. Putting the bi-xenon assembly into the 330Ci was indeed plug and play. Getting the old halogens out was an entirely different story. Rusted torx bolts and a hell of a lot of yanking, pulling and breaking. Safe to say, the halogens aren't reusable. Tail lights went in fine as expected. I do have rapid blinking on all indicators, which is frustrating. It's the very same setup as in my 320Ci, so I'm unsure why thew new car has a problem here. I do have a 4.0 LCM on the way via Ebay (to enable triple-blink) and I wonder if this will help.




Just no


The car came with the air box completely removed and a cheap cone filter attached directly to the boot. I did find the MAF sensor in the back of the car, but the car won't start with it attached. Even after cleaning it, nothing. Car starts fine with my smaller 320 MAF attached, so I went ahead and ordered a genuine/used MAF for the 330.

Other issues that will need attention in the coming weeks:
  • Windscreen is badly cracked. Luckily that's inexpensive and covered by a small insurance excess
  • Knocking from rear suspension. Will get this seen to ASAP. It's passed its MOT recently so perhaps it's diff mounts
  • Car feels skittish on long turns. Feels like tracking could be out
  • Front arches are showing very early signs of rust on both sides. I could swap over my 320 arches which are in good shape
  • Oil consumption seems okay. Monitoring it closely. I have a catch can on the 320 that I could swap in
  • Driver's window is completely dead. Is this the motor or the regulator? I'm presuming the motor?

Right now, I'm really happy with the 'upgrade'. The extra power is very, very welcome. I always held off on doing any major work to my 320. With the 330 and its extra power (and better looks), I'm keen to go a little further with this one.






As for the old 320Ci, it could do with some TLC before I pass it on. Obviously, its spec will be all over the place once I've swapped parts in and out. But in the final months of driving it, I was suffering misfires, poor clutch and a warped disc. So either way, it's going to need some work to make suitable for sale.

Will try to keep this thread updated the best I can. Any advice on dead windows would be most welcome. I'd rather avoid replacing the regulator if it's just the motor.

Thanks. Here's to another E46 getting the VIP treatment.
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BMW E46 330Ci M-Sport 2001 topasblau/grau 118k miles
BMW E46 320Ci Sport 2002 topasblau/hellbeige 125k miles


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Last edited by bendoscopy; 12-09-2019 at 06:42 AM.
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