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Discussion Starter #1
For fun I buy, fix, drive and eventually sell broken BMWs. My wife has generally received the best one in the fleet, recently that was a 330i sport sedan and then a 335i coupe. Lately she has been hauling a bunch of items and the 2 door coupe has been less than ideal. Couple that with my love for the E46 chassis and specifically the wagon had me on the lookout for a specific car for her. She's very easy going and only want on her list was not beige interior, lol, ALL of her previous BMWs have been beige. But I know she has always like red or black exterior. So I started the search for a budget E46 sedan or wagon, preferably a "mechanics special," ‘02+, automatic, black or red outside and black or gray interior.

I had been keeping an eye on craigslist and ran across a couple of options, but nothing that was really a solid fit for us until I found a 2000 323iT in Houston. And as luck would have it the car was appropriately priced and ticked all our main needs, the only downside being some cosmetic defects and 238k miles. My wife and I had high hopes that this was the car for her so we set a meeting and drove down to Houston to buy it.





















First impression of the exterior is there are definitely defects I would like to address but overall the outside is very nice considering age and mileage. Looking inside and the interior is fantastic arguably as nice as any E46 daily driver out there. The only issues to note are the sunroof floating headliner material is a bit off and the A-pillar covers are loose, but otherwise the interior is absolutely stellar and really was the main selling point. The car has an essentially currently present DSC light. I brought my scan tool and found it to have brake pressure sensor faults, fingers crossed just brake pressure sensors. Next, during the test drive there was a fairly heavy rattle from the LR of the car (shock mount) and the steering was a little loose (steering coupler) and a bump from the rear on gear selection (diff bushing).

A deal was made and we now own another touring. I drove it home just in case as the mileage made me nervous, but there was no reason for concern, the car drove great (considering a few issues).










Once home I’ve got it on the lift to give it a thorough inspection. The bottom side of the car did not disappoint either. The repair list grew a little longer but nothing to crazy.
*Control Arm Bushings, one blown out
*Oil Pan Gskt, slight seepage
*Shocks, completely wasted
*Front brake lines, dry rot cracking

First step was to replace the shocks and mounts, it was just to loose for me to feel comfortable with my wife driving it. The front struts are Bilstein B4s and look to be relatively new, so a matching set of B4s for the rear were sourced, along with new bump stops and mounts.







Next on the list are SS brake lines, brake pressure sensors, oil service and brake lines. To be continued…
 

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Very nice. I'd love to do the same thing if I had the space and time... some day.

Sent from my SM-G930P
 

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very cool. i've done this a little bit (fix, drive, sell.... rinse and repeat). i love the hunt, the transformation of broken car into usable car, and then hopefully making a little something for my efforts... however, as of late i just don't have the time. if i continued doing it i would have to consciously allocate part of my week to it as a 'real job.' :)
 

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Love wagons! Congrats on the new daily!

-James
 

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Nice! I currently have an E46 wagon, AWD, with a manual. I love it! So does my whole family (of four). We’ve driven it from ATL to NYC a couple of times.
It feels like the steal of a lifetime. Sporty enough to scratch my sports car itch, feels luxurious to me, and at a fully depreciated price? You can’t beat it in my book.


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Discussion Starter #7
Little bit of an update on the black wagon.

My wife has been driving the little black wagon and it has been great. Unfortunately it developed a coolant leak from the heater pipes under the intake manifold. As the saying goes the cobbler's kids are always shoeless, same here. We parked it while she drove another one of our wagons and I finally had time to go through it and get it back up to ship shape.


Intake manifold off and the pipes accessed. You can see these have definitely seen better days, lol, but no complaints after 246k miles. With the manifold off, I replaced all the vacuum lines going to the manifold for the sec air system and fuel pressure regulator.










Also found the o-ring for the CCVV drain hose had been cut and leaking. Replaced the o-ring and good as new.




Final drive mounting bushings were all shot, so those got replaced as well.






And that's pretty much it, been a great little car, next up is an oil change and rear brakes in a few thousand miles.
 

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I'd do the vanos line(s) and oil filter housing gasket it's all apart still and never done. How'd ya press out the drive mount bushings? They look like a B*tch..
dlm ny country
 

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I'd do the vanos line(s) and oil filter housing gasket it's all apart still and never done. How'd ya press out the drive mount bushings? They look like a B*tch..
dlm ny country
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Vanos line has been replaced in the past, current line looks solid. When I replace that hose I only pull the airbox and when I do replace it with the OFHG I don***8217;t tighten everything until the OFH is bolted back on so it***8217;s not a huge ordeal if I have to change it in the future.

I have the BMW adapters and fixture to press all the bushings, it***8217;s the only way to do it IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Vanos line has been replaced in the past, current line looks solid. When I replace that hose I only pull the airbox and when I do replace it with the OFHG I don’t tighten everything until the OFH is bolted back on so it’s not a huge ordeal if I have to change it in the future.

I have the BMW adapters and fixture to press all the bushings, it’s the only way to do it IMO.
 

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With the right cups and jack screws those diff bushings are pretty easy. Like George said, the right tool is the only way to go. It only took me a little over 2 hours to do mine with the right tools (and a lift.)

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