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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello. :hi: 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. :hmm:




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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Discussion Starter #3
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.
Pretty surprised but this actually worked. I just put the SW 3.6 LCM into the car and the rapid blinking stopped immediately. Upgraded from a SW 2.0 module.

So if you have the rapid blinking issue, you've chased all your ground points and have resistors where necessary, change up your LCM. A pretty inexpensive and simple fix (once you've coded out the tamper dot).
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Good evening, y'all.

Some updates! I haven't done that much in the last month or so, but I have been driving the car A LOT. And it's been great.

Re-glued all of my sagging trim from both the 320 and 330. Black is a lot more forgiving, so the 330 looks great now. Beige is grubby in places.



I made a final decision on the interior. I decided against swapping the hellbeige into my 330. I enjoyed the beige in the 320, but I think that's where it belongs. There are some unique features of the 330Ci M-Sport, like the black headliner and pillar fabrics, and I wouldn't want to lose that. So with that... I started at moving over my final bits from the 320.



The cabin is starting to feel more like home already.



Had great fun pulling out an integrated Parrot bluetooth system. Do you guys have those in the US? It was spliced into numerous wires and seemed to be everywhere I looked within the dash. I've cut most of it out now. Still running stock speakers, but will switch in my other ones one day soon.

Had some awful clunking from the rear nearside corner. I was certain it was the shock, and I wasn't wrong. Here's a comparison of old VS new. How does that even happen? New shocks are from my 320 and are only about 4 months old. Very easy swap.



Now for the bad stuff... I got stuck on a curb a few days ago. This is with stock suspension. When I reverse back from the curb, I pulled the bumper out of the clips. I put it back together the best I could but it's not perfect. That edge that you see sticking out was like that when I purchased the car, so this is a good opportunity to fix it for good. It's too stiff to push it back by hand, so I feel I'll need to remove the whole bumper and realign.



And then this happened with my 320. We had so much rain lately and water seems to be getting in behind a tail light. It collected in the bottom of the trunk. See that orange spot? That's a drain plug which you can smash out with some force. It didn't take long to drain and dry out. I've since replaced the tail lights and foam gaskets and all is good.



Ultimately I will sell the 320 once it's ready. But for now I am concentrating on getting the 330 in good shape. Things that still need attention:

- Gear stick 'spring detent' issue (needs transmission dropping)
- Dashcam hardwire (I'm an "add a fuse" kinda guy)
- Definitely getting those wheels refurbished
- Switching fog lights to the LEDs from my 320 (they're good)
- Going to start replacing all rear suspension parts
- Oil, plugs, filters etc. Previous owner says it was 8 months ago
- New fuel pump, fuel filter and the filter attachment lines/clamps
- Refit my LCM. I've just sent off my 4.1 LCM for the triple blink upgrade

Loving this car on a whole different level. The power and the sound is just wonderful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Said goodbye to the budget "Sailwin" tyres that came with the 330. £48 each, apparently. They're dreadful. Plenty of tread left on them, but didn't want to go into winter with cheapo tyres on the car.

Got a great web deal through Black Circles with a discount on tyres and fitting. Went for Yokohamas all round.

The guys informed me that my MV1s are leaking air around the lip, which I suspected. I'll get these refurbed soon!

Plenty of other updates from the last few days, but I'll do those in another post once I've got all the photos together.

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Sup. Quick update on what's been going on lately.

SW 4.0 LCM fitted
Bought a 3.6 through Ebay and sent it away to be upgraded. Had an issue with strobing xenons, but after posting my issue on the main forum, I got this fixed quickly. Just needed to change the PWM setting via NCS Expert. Now working great, and I have triple blink setup. I may do brake force display in the near future.

Dashcam now hardwired front and back
An absolute must for me in any car. Dashcam was fairly inexpensive but I hardwired it to the fuse board and hid the GPS unit away in the headliner.

Fitted a fabricated air scoop behind the grills
Bit of an impulse purchase. Definite 'butt dyno' territory. A guy was selling off a load of these cheap, so I grabbed one. Very well made, and easy to fit.

Ordered parts for the 02 pilot mod
Not 100% sure how my oil consumption is - it's probably too early to tell. But I've ordered the parts anyway. I did this on my 320Ci before I switched to a catch can, so I know it's an easy job. More for peace of mind, really.

Condensation in fog lights
I planned to fix this at the weekend by replacing the seals and drying out the moisture, but they're beyond repair. The metal is flaking away and there's a lot of rust, so I've ordered an entirely new set.

As you can probably see from this thread, most of the work has been cosmetic so far. Mainly due to the engine being in great condition but also in part to the weather. Once it warms up a little, I'll start digging in to the engine, cleaning parts, oil change, sparks, etc.

Next few jobs are probably suspension, and wheel refurb.

 

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I may do brake force display in the near future.
Do it. Not sure what i had to change in NCS, but it was across both AKMB (cluster) and LSW. Need to get my VM working again so i can check what I've changed

I think it is probably better at alerting drivers behind you than just having the outer rings light up like facelift cars are setup to do by default.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do it. Not sure what i had to change in NCS, but it was across both AKMB (cluster) and LSW. Need to get my VM working again so i can check what I've changed

I think it is probably better at alerting drivers behind you than just having the outer rings light up like facelift cars are setup to do by default.
Nice, I think I'll go ahead and do it. Even if I can't get Level 3 working, I'd be happy with the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Winding down for Christmas here, and have loaded myself up with parts for the festive break. Weather depending, I'm going to aim for the following:

***8226; Wiring bi-xenon shutters to LCM (using PDC plugs and BMW pin-outs)
***8226; Eibach SportLine springs all round (always thought my 330 looks a little high)
***8226; 02 Pilot mod (as I said earlier, more for piece of mind than anything)
***8226; Power mirrors (picked up a set off Ebay + the purple switch)
 

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Beautiful colour on beautiful car. I had my touring in topaz blue and I fell in love with it. Now I have midnight blue which is pretty too but nothing can beat topaz. You are very lucky to have it for the second time. I am not fan of grey interiors. Beige, black and silver in your 320i is very nice. If I were you I would switch it from 320i but keep the anthracite headliner. Are you sure with that O2 Pilot mod?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Beautiful colour on beautiful car. I had my touring in topaz blue and I fell in love with it. Now I have midnight blue which is pretty too but nothing can beat topaz. You are very lucky to have it for the second time. I am not fan of grey interiors. Beige, black and silver in your 320i is very nice. If I were you I would switch it from 320i but keep the anthracite headliner. Are you sure with that O2 Pilot mod?
Thanks, man. Glad you agree. Topaz really is one of my favourite BMW finishes. Midnight Blue is also gorgeous.

I'll be honest, I wasn't keen on the grey interior at first. It's an unusual grey and I still think they put too much blue in the dye. It's quite a cold shade. But it's really grown on me lately. If my beige interior from the 320 was in better shape and had electric seats, I'd consider a swap. But I'm happy for now.

O2 mod, I think I'll monitor oil consumption for a few more weeks. It has worked wonders for me before, but if this CCV is healthy then maybe there's no need. Also considering going for a full catch can again, as that's ultimate peace of mind and also quite a fun little job.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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O2 mod, I think I'll monitor oil consumption for a few more weeks. It has worked wonders for me before, but if this CCV is healthy then maybe there's no need. Also considering going for a full catch can again, as that's ultimate peace of mind and also quite a fun little job.
If the oil consumption is less than BMW considers acceptable 1l/1000km (which is unacceptable to me:loco:) for peace of mind I will just change the current CCV for a new one in winter version and I will not alter pressure in engine. But if the consumption is already bad then of course you will have to do something radical like O2. Looking forward to watching story continues.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Classic UK Weather has slowed me down a lot lately. Today was my first time working on the car in a while.

- Fitted new fog housings + LEDs
- Fitted freeze sensor back into bumper
- Started to diagnose dead xenon

Have accumulated some parts over the winter, which include:

- Eibach Sportlines
- M3 power folding mirrors
- M Sport gear knob
- Wiring/plugs for bi-xenon shutters
- Euro tray
- Passenger grab handle delete
- 12/15mm spacers

Once it's a little dryer outside I'll start working through these. Also need to decide what to do with my 320. Grass is starting to grow around it.

Took the 330 on a 500-mile round trip during Storm Dennis. It didn't miss a beat. New tyres were awesome.











 

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Discussion Starter #15
Taking shape really nicely man!

Funny to see you were able to get your new car in the exact same colour as your old one
Thanks, man! I've definitely taken a real liking to topaz blue. It was that or titanium silver.
 

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damn, quite a parts list you got going. Didn't know you kept both, talk about twins! How do you decide what to drive?
 
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