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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, so ive been on the forums or a while now, not really active but I look at a lot of diys etc. Ive seen many build/progress threads and I thought it'd be fun to make my own. Now be warned theres no awesome mods on my car like a supercharger or a S54 swap or anything, but theres some good stuff! This is really for me to keep track of what im doing to my e46 and for anyone who wants to get ideas for themselves! Keep in mind im making this thread after ive already done most of this stuff but theres more to come!
And some mods I didn't take pictures in the process, I didn't think id be making a progress thread!

So heres my baby when I first got her! Honestly it looked pretty bad to me, bumpers chipped to sh*t, NONE of the windows work, and the passenger window is missing. :ben: Oh and the headlights.... This will be a fun project.


So the first thing I did was sand the headlights down and buff them, they still looked horrible but I was busy so I washed her and parked her in the garage for the first time. (you can see their still bad in the photo.)


Next I sanded down the headlights again because they still looked really bad. :thumbdwn: I was at it for a solid hour going from 1000 grit to 2000 and finally 3000 and this time, they looked brand new. Then I got some halo lights off eBay for $60 which id pay $200 for if I had to. I also replaced all the window regulators, put in a new passenger window, and got new emblems for the hood and trunk.


So I was looking at e46 pictures on the internet and I came across this :yikes:


I knew I had to do this. But I looked at them and they're just stickers. I thought to myself, thats not gonna last a month, so I did it my way. I headed to home depot and picked up three cans of spray paint, primer, and clear coat and did this.


Heres it finished.


(Excuse my disgustingly chipped bumper.)


I know a lot of people don't like this because my cars a simple 325i not an M3 but IMHO it makes my car unique. Just a few weeks ago I was talking to a friend at school and we were talking about bmws and he said have you seen that sick black bimmer with the stripes on the front? and I was like yeahhhh thats mine :craig:

Next I got the windows tinted, I didn't want it too dark but not too light either, 25% all around, looks darker than it is in the garage.


Next I installed some gauge rings, I gotta say they make the interior look 5+ years newer. (Check engine and prake bad lights are gone!!!)
Before:


After:
<a href="http://s1215.photobucket.com/user/merlion713/media/IMG_2223.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc509/merlion713/IMG_2223.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2223.jpg"/></a>

The next week I read someones diy on a homelink retrofit and I thought why not


I had already bought brand new cooper all seasons for my stock 16's thinking I wouldn't get rims for a while due to the cost. I did however run into an e36 with some decent rims which were also 16s so I thought why not, so I swapped them. the e36's rims and my tires = decent epicness at almost no cost. :woot:



They put on the tires in a way that the sides that were facing out before were now facing in so I needed a good amount of tire shine when I got home to make it look snazzy! :thumbsup:

I had some extra money lying around so I decided I wanted to put in a dynavin, I found out that the dynavin was almost 1k so instead I bought the replica one on eBay for $500. Yeah I know eBay stuff is this and that but honestly I like it better than the dynavin and it looks and operates like it came with the car. I also got the climate control relocation kit which made the interior look even better because my old console was scratched up pretty bad.


So a while back I saw a guy dye his door panels two tone black and imola, I fell in love with it but dyeing the leather seemed like too much work for me. So after some research, I decided id give duplicolor vinyl and fabric a try. Im still pissed at myself for not taking pictures of the process but this is how it turned out. (The red looks really bright because of the flash because I cant use a camera to save my life, but it really looks close to imola)


I also put in some new shift boots with m stitching!


I also bought some led tail lights! I don't have a picture of the new lights right now but ill get one tomorrow! We all know what they look like tho!
Before (She was getting that infamous OFHG replaced, that thing was solid compared to the new ones)


Next came the part I was waiting for the most, a mtech 2 bumper! :excited:
this was an exciting day! (anyone who needs a stock bumper pm me because I still have the old one! just needs some new paint.)
Before:

<a href="http://s1215.photobucket.com/user/merlion713/media/IMG_1900.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc509/merlion713/IMG_1900.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_1900.jpg"/></a>



After:


I cleaned the garage up a bit and painted the walls, kinda off topic but it gave the e46 a more comfortable home :thumbup:


I didn't really do anything for a while except maintenance for a few weeks. Things like new spark plugs, valve cover gasket, hooked up my new bumpers fogs, put in hid headlights 6000k, and polished her with turtle wax black box kit (great stuff!)

So I had seen a picture of a guy that had some red on his engine cover and intake etc and I thought id do it too. Heres how it looked when I thought I was done with it:



A few days later I was on ecs buying a few parts and I saw some red tubing they had and I thought id put my fog light wires in them to make them look nice. I also got an ecs sticker for the back window, but then I had an idea:


I also found a K&N CAI for a really good deal brand new that I couldn't pass up, so that finished up the engine bay


I love the sound the CAI gives the car, it gives it that extra noise to draw some heads. And honestly I feel a little power gain but its not for someone whos looking for mainly power. I wanted it for the sound.

I also decided to paint my ugly dirty calipers red. Which really made the wheels stand out, sometime in the near future, im looking into some vmrs :excited:




So heres how my baby looks so far, shes come a long way from when I first got her! :pimpin:




Theres more to come, now I know to take more pictures!

Work Done:
DISA Replaced
New Fuel Filter and Pump
New Tranny Pan (it was badly bent), Filter, and Dexron 6 Fluid
Oil Changes Every 4k Miles (yes I know too early)
New NGK Spark Plugs
New Power Steering Filter (reservoir)
New Intake Boots
New Power Steering Pump
Water Pump
Valve Cover Gasket
Oil Filter Housing Gasket
New Front Rotors and All Pads
Coolant Flush
All Four Window Regulators Replaced (PO played with the windows alot apparently)
New Ambient Air Temp Sensors

Things left to do in the next few weeks
CCV replacement
New serpentine belt and pullys
Sport or M steering wheel (PM me if you have one!)
electric fan swap (maybe)
coilovers (not sure yet)
new leather for the armrest that matches the boots with the m stitching.

Anyone who has any questions, ideas, or comments feel free to post them!
 

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the red painted interior panel would look a lot better without that aluminum trim. now had you not painted the panel, the trim would be ok to leave as is but that red is really making the aluminum feel out of place. red is also out of place in the engine bay without some sort of scheme or layout planned. silver would've been a better choice, the same silver that was used by BMW on those engine covers.
 

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Nice ride! :thumbup: I really like your creativity as most people on this forum including me are into cookie cutter mods. It really does make your car stand out and brings about your personal taste. The K&N CAI is on my mod list but after some much needed maintenance and finishing up my interior. Throw some VMR's on your ride, it will look sick, trust me! Oh btw are you in high school or college?
 

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Not a fan of the calipers... but everything else looks very nice. Keep it up. Have you looked into that check engine light?
+1 and I believe you also need either new bake pads or rotors
Nice car tho! Not a huge fan of the wheels or the stripes on the grill with it being still chrome, maybe if the chrome was black
 

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Make sure that you concentrate on your maintenance before spending more money on mods. Unless you've done your cooling system already I'm sure it's in need of refreshing. You obviously need brake work done. Also check our suspension for worn out bushings and other major components. I personally would've kept your factory wheels because I think those other ones look cheap and tacky. You are seriously devaluing your car by painting your interior and adding those other cheap parts. I'm sorry to tell you this but its a public forum so you are going to hear some negative opinions also. You are heading down the typical path of younger e46 owners by spending all your cash on these unnecessary mods instead of fixing the critical components on the car. It's your car and you can do what you want but you are heading for disaster and I'm just trying to help you avoid it. You should look for a set of oem factory sport style wheels to replace those with after you get your car in tip top mechanical condition. As far as the interior goes I would start from scratch and if you want to set it off just get a nice brushed silver wrap to put over your interior trim pieces. Stop the madness and get that thing looking classy instead of looking like a cheap honda ricer car. Good luck and please don't take offense to my comments, I'm not being mean as I'm just giving my opinion and trying to get you off the ricer path.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not a fan of the calipers... but everything else looks very nice. Keep it up. Have you looked into that check engine light?
That check engine and brake pad light are both a thing of the past!!! They were gone the first week. One of the break pad sensors wires was cut and one of the ambient air temp sensors was missing.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh btw are you in high school or college?
Im in high school so maybe that explains some of the stuff ive been doing! :p


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the red painted interior panel would look a lot better without that aluminum trim. now had you not painted the panel, the trim would be ok to leave as is but that red is really making the aluminum feel out of place. red is also out of place in the engine bay without some sort of scheme or layout planned. silver would've been a better choice, the same silver that was used by BMW on those engine covers.
What do you think i shoud do with the trim? and i was planning on making a drug bin cover and making it the same red but im having trouble figuring out how its supposed to fit and stay :hmm:
 

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What do you think i shoud do with the trim? and i was planning on making a drug bin cover and making it the same red but im having trouble figuring out how its supposed to fit and stay :hmm:
Take a step back and relax for a second man. I know you are young but why wouldn't you want to make your car look classy. You are completely destroying it. The red just has to go. Take a few days to look around at some pictures of some other e46s and you will find that there is a better way to mod your car. You have a BMW an not a honda civic. I can guarantee that in a few months if not weeks after you have lurked around here and looked at some really nicely modded cars you are going to hate what you are doing to it. C'mon man get a grip here. I'm really trying to say all this as nicely as I can but why are you making your car look like that? You need a good wack to the head to snap you out of this. Lol.


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You have a BMW an not a honda civic.
I'm glad that you've stepped in (in Mango's absence). However, you should find a better comparison than a honda civic, such as a "toaster" or "hot dog stand".

Some of these cars have devalued to the point that the average high school kid can purchase them for less than $8k. Then they want to spend their considerable discretionary income to make them look and sound exactly like they want.

I did the same thing with a 1968 Camaro in 1979. When I purchased it, it had chrome Crager "mag" wheels with 6" rims in the front and 12" in the back. I took out the ash tray and installed an 8-track tape player (most of the E46F clan doesn't know what this is, but I'm sure you do) in the slot and put a hinge on the ash tray cover so that it would close and hide the tape deck. I added headers and all sorts of mods, that eventually (after my ownership) led to the car's destruction. Today, a clean, stock, 1968 Camaro will fetch between 50k and 100k, depending on options. My Camaro has most likely been recycled.

Most of the high schoolers want to buy a BMW and make it look like their friends' Hondas, only with the BMW brand. They are buying E36s and E46s with one tire in the grave, and will drive it until the cooling system fails and they destroy the engine. That's the life cycle of the BMW.

I support your efforts to preserve what I consider the best all around 3 series BMW has produced to date, but I don't share your optimism.
 

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I'm glad that you've stepped in (in Mango's absence). However, you should find a better comparison than a honda civic, such as a "toaster" or "hot dog stand".

Some of these cars have devalued to the point that the average high school kid can purchase them for less than $8k. Then they want to spend their considerable discretionary income to make them look and sound exactly like they want.

I did the same thing with a 1968 Camaro in 1979. When I purchased it, it had chrome Crager "mag" wheels with 6" rims in the front and 12" in the back. I took out the ash tray and installed an 8-track tape player (most of the E46F clan doesn't know what this is, but I'm sure you do) in the slot and put a hinge on the ash tray cover so that it would close and hide the tape deck. I added headers and all sorts of mods, that eventually (after my ownership) led to the car's destruction. Today, a clean, stock, 1968 Camaro will fetch between 50k and 100k, depending on options. My Camaro has most likely been recycled.

Most of the high schoolers want to buy a BMW and make it look like their friends' Hondas, only with the BMW brand. They are buying E36s and E46s with one tire in the grave, and will drive it until the cooling system fails and they destroy the engine. That's the life cycle of the BMW.

I support your efforts to preserve what I consider the best all around 3 series BMW has produced to date, but I don't share your optimism.
We are definitely losing the battle to preserve these great cars. These kids are cosmetically and mechanically destroying them in mass quantities. Chalk another loss up with the OPs car. It's done.


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I admire your creativity and dedication to your car. Just save some dough for repairs I personally know it sucks to get dropped off in high school because you can't pick up the bill when a batter, alternator, starter goes out
 

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Yeah dude that is way too tacky man. By "modding" the car the way you are going about it.. seriously help contribute to the overall undermining of the prestige and the class of the E46 model. The very same prestige and classiness that caused you to want to buy a BMW in the first place! People like you just help bring our beloved BMW E46 down to the level of some mexican vatozone-pimped Honda I am unfortunately enough to see rolling around on the same street as me and they are just getting more and more. Stop wasting your lunch money on flashy tacky cheapo "mods" and actually do some DESPERATELY needed maintance that I see your poor E46 has NOT gotten since you got your hands on it.

At your mileage, and considering the condition you got your E46 from the previous owner..... I bet your ride flops around like a boat due to blown struts and shocks, your **** polly doesnt track right due to worn bushing, tierod, etc. Your brakes are polly worn so bad the rotors and scrapping against the indicator plate. Your performance is polly sub par because you never bother to do the Besian System VANO seals rebuilt. Your DISA is polly flapping around like no tommorrow and killing your own end torque. Your water pump is polly about to seize due to worn bearings.. the clutch on your mech fan is polly dying and will chainsaw thru your hood taking out god knows what. You polly should renew your gasket cause they are polly about to leak. And the list goes on.....

My ride isn't even close to the best or anywhere close to show room quality, but maybe it would give you an idea how to mod a mature, yet tasteful E46 (in my personal opinion). The showroom section of the forum has alot BETTER examples fyi.








Sorry if i seem to be hijacking the thread.
 
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