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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As Jeff Bridges said in Starman: "I send you greetings"

Just bought an e46 touring about 24 hours ago and drove it 6.5 - 7 hours home arriving safely home Early this morning.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I owned an e34 525 touring, and even converted it to manual, and added all kinds of novel little features to it, Euro headlights with working tilt feature, rear fogs, etc.



Many many years later, my gf's Sentra got rearended by a semi, and she wound up getting a red 04 x3 2.5 Sport (nicknamed Natasha) as a replacement and BMW got back into my blood, especially after I learned to code with NCS Expert so I could change things around. I really liked Natasha (named after Black Widow, btw, super cool gf!) but wanted better mpg,

And now here we are.


I just drove home from PHX last night with this: 04 325iT auto, silver over grey, Premium, Sport, and Cold Weather with Nav. I jokingly thought to myself, whomever ordered this one had OCD, they just *HAD* to check mark all the boxes.

Needs a lot of work, it's what we call a 20/20, but the driveline and mechanicals are surprisingly solid for the miles, it's just that the last owner apparently USED it like you'd use a lesser wagon, to haul dogs, etc, and never gave a care about the interior.
Need to replace the NAV screen, and OMG does it need cleaning inside. So much so that I'm investigating whether I can safely use scrubbing bubbles and a brush to save hours of work on getting the dirt out of the leather. Needs a window switch, already know about the colors, just have to determine the right P/N.

Couple of intermittent faults, blower motor sometimes works fine, sometimes doesn't come on until 10-15 minutes later. That's the biggest one.

But I got an average of 30.0 mpg at 75-77 indicated on the way back.

I'll add more pictures later.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
A couple of miles after resetting the mpg and filling the tank in PHX.



About 30 miles from home (some 400 miles later) taillight burned out, the washer tank decided it wasn't going to hold fluid anymore (expected that, thing is super crumbly from age and heat) and the tank sensor decided that it wouldn't go back up, just continue down, after I topped off at the halfway point.




And of course it started working again about 15 minutes ago. Lol.


I haven't really checked thru this yet, other than to see what looks like all the manuals and passkey slip etc, and some service records from BMW Monrovia for a Mr. Ferrari, including the all important tank replacement!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Sorting thru the paperwork: car manuals, bill of sale, repairs, personal...

just a warning, you might want to do this before you actually sell a car, I now know the both PO's names, addresses and phone numbers, and for one of them I also know his height, weight, eye and hair color, drivers license, birthdate, what other cars he owns/drives, his cell phone provider, type of phones and numbers, dog's name and breed and color, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Amen.

And before anyone gets totally shocked, it's an M56 and former CPO.
Yes I knowingly bought the dreaded SULEV.
Tank and pump were replaced under the 15yr/150,000 mile SULEV warranty a couple years ago, as was a shite load of other stuff.
This thing went to the dealer a lot until a couple years ago, that's why it drives so nice, like new, but looks super well used inside.

JMB: Push comes to shove, I figure if everything fails, I'll find a rolled M54 manual and essentially replace everything from the rad to the bumper, lol! It's just labor and time. But it is possible to swap the tank to plastic standard tank with care, gumption and coding. So I'm ok with it.


For now though I'm enjoying it as it is, I've got stuff to diagnose and fix, (so I'm not bored) and it is ridiculously fuel efficient.
And the back up plan seems to be working.
Son #1 is thirteen and started to get interested in cars, and in three years will be ready for a handmedown... He told me last night when I picked the boys up that he "liked this wagon a lot better than MJs x3" (MJ being short for Miss Jessica, my gf). As I suspected, he's a long roof fan, so I may leave it auto for a while and hand it down.



I'm about to go take cleaning supplies and borrow my ex's driveway while she's out of town for the week and start trying to clean it up inside, check the fuses, do some coding, etc. since I have to wait over there for son #1 & #2 to get home from school. I've got about a 2 hour window to do some serious scrubbing, and fingers crossed I will find the drive is ok, but the fuse is blown.
I'd like to haves the screen working. Even with dead pixels, even tough I don't plan on using the nav itself. Siri is so much better, lol.
I'm also going to do the golf tee mod, if no one has done it before. M56 have it just like 330i.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
This is the kind of crud I'm dealing with

Notice the seat bottom is about 75% clean, compared to the bolsters.

<pics lost when Photobucket committed seppuku>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Probably will after I get them actually cleaned and conditioned, if I'm still unsatisfied at that point.

I did get the tail light bulb replaced, the side repeater bulb replaced (I really need a set of e83/clear repeaters I think) and determined my no fog light situation is caused by the lkm faceplate. Tested it in TIS, turned the fogs on one at a time and they worked, tested the button, no change in state on button press.
Good excuse to get a euro one?
Where can you even get one anymore, do the ones on eBay.uk fit (Rhd) or just eBay.de (LHD)?

I miss the days when I could just order euro parts at the dealership.

But it is ready for inspection tomorrow, so it can get plates. Still loads more cleaning and problem solving to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So are smoked or clear turn signals, etc.
Since I don't live in a SULEV state, I don't think it actually is illegal to change the fuel tank. If I wanted to convert it to s54 manual etc I could do that also. The material the tank is constructed from has no real bearing on emissions, and all emissions testing is is checking for codes via obd2. No visual inspection, no actual emissions tests. It's more a joke than anything else.

Pretty sure as geo alluded to that I have an FSR about to go out. On manually selected fan speed it is cycling up and down in speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well, I went to put on the plates last night and discovered it uses super short machine screws on the hatch, not normal license plate bolts.
Dropped by BMW of El Paso, and they didn't have the correct PN, but they did have the bolts used on current cars for front plates, which were a perfect match. Just gave em to me since they don't have an actual P/N and are considered shop supplies, lol.
I love my local dealership.

Also did the golf t mod. Not a huge difference in sound and felt slightly slower 0-30, so I may put it back. I'll give it a couple more days.

Since I haven't had a chance to post many of my own pics, of even take any decent ones, here are a few from the seller.



























And one from the mall yesterday...
It really is lower than you think when you see it by itself, not much taller than a solstice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Some progress being made.
Did some cleaning, but not nearly done yet.

Compare to earlier pic of same door handle.



Also I think I found the problem with the Nav...



Yep, definitely found the problem, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Outstanding!
Thanks Geo!
I cleaned the sunroof guides, much grit removed, much smoother now. Needs a relube as soon as I find my can of lithium spray.


Well, I also fixed the foglight switch inside the LKM faceplate.
After removing the LKM, then the faceplate, then disassembling the faceplate and finally disassembling the foglight switch I discovered the reed contacts lost a little tension.

Added a wee bit more pressure and...

 

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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Coded the TCU to Bluetooth aktiv and mobile handset aktiv. It works.
Also comfort open to aktiv. And dwa to on with light confirmation.
Now I can tell which car I am unlocking, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Well it was time to get serious in the war on grime.
As in Scrubbing Bubbles and a toothbrush serious.

Brought my rear seat bottom upstairs to the apartment and got to work. As the grime was Liquified and lifted out, I used a microfiber towel to wipe it off.
Don't recommend it for regular cleaning, of course, but if you have seats where every pebble crease and wrinkle is filled with yellowish black grime (sweat? Old product residue? Dirt? All three?), it works.
I then sprayed the leather with griots leather cleaner and conditioner (works and I like the smell, it's like walking into Wilsons leather goods in a bottle, lol) let it soak in, sprayed again and let it soak in, then misted it a third time and buffed it dry with a clean microfiber towel.

End result:
It looks clean as new (finally).



Not much done mechanically so far, waiting on paycheck Friday. Did a little more coding, enabled fogs with highbeams, turned off progressive unlock, and the lock at __kph feature.
Started researching some parts I know I need:

1: how to change FSR via solidjake YouTube video. The FSR needs doing first since reliable a/c is a must here, especially for my dd/ kid hauler. We are already in the mid 80's F since last week.

2: The washer reservoir is specific to intensive clean vehicles, not many (any?) in the desert junkyards.

3: left mirror has bad memory module, so I possibly need a good used one, my painted cap is transferable so any color= junkyard possible

4: the antenna amplifier seems to be failed and is specific to tourings. (No surprise as it was right next to the nav drive Mr Tint Guy ruined for some previous PO with his tint spray runoff.)

Update on other resolved? issues:
The fuel gauge started working again (for now) a couple days after a bottle of techron additive and a partial fill from chevron. We'll see.

More adventures await, so till next time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
It was my moms idea.
I googled and others have done it so I tried it.
Worked for me.

Still have a seatback and both front seats to do. I'll see how it goes, but the hardest part is finding enough clean microfibers to get all the grime off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Got all the seats cleaned, finally. Or at least round one and two are done.
I'll continue to clean and condition them weekly for a while till I'm satisfied they are as good as they will be, like I did with GF's e83. Hers are awesome feeling now.



Decided to look and see if the airbag recall had been done. Big no. Going to an event at BMW Saturday, and I will mention it and see when the ETA is for at least passenger side to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Well I did my first mod tonight.

Had everything typed out and lost it so here goes.

Installed aux in with BT adapter. (tired of FM radio)

I did not have to remove the bordmonitor, climate controls/ ashtray, or actual console, just the shifter surround and AC vents as well as the console inserts.
The plug for the aux is wrapped in the bundle of wires to the left of the bordmonitor and can be accessed by removing the front trim, passenger side first then the nav section, then the center AC vents pull out.
Once connected drop down the right side of the board monitor and the thing will come out right by the shifter opening. Push thru from shifter area to the actual console area by pushing it right under the hazard switch.

Tools required:
nylon trim removal tools (Harbor freight $8)
Phillips screwdriver
Drill and bits for the headphone jack hole
Brain

Parts used:
OEM Aux in for nav ($32 shipped from BMW San Fran via Amazon)
Bluetooth audio receiver ($22 in store Best Buy)

This is just a temp/proof of concept/ shakedown install, once I get a euro tray the BT, aux, and USB charging cable will be installed *under* the console, but I needed access until I'm convince it is reliable. Tested wired connection vs this BT connected and no difference I could hear between them... at least not while using Apple Music for streaming (INXS FTW!)
Could have been done in under an hour, but I sat around listening to music for a while, trying iPad vs iPhone, etc. It is reversible, where I drilled the holes is covered by the rubber insert if I take them back out, but I just set the insert on top to hide the addition from spying eyes.



 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Watched solid jakes video, but I actually used this guide.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=713544
Wasn't a bad job getting it out, did it during my lunch brake, but trying to get the FSR to go in straight enough to where it would sit inside the flange instead of atop it or crooked took many many attempts. Like 20 minutes worth of attempts until I got it right.
Now to put the car back together so I can leave work, lol!


Edit: I'm an idiot. I put the old one back in by accident so now I get to do it again.
 
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