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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
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A little late on the updates but had nothing really much to update about. Shes still running strong at 166k miles and I'm convinced it was the radiator since I haven't experience any over pressure since changing the rad a few months ago.

I did have to change the Hard coolant lines a couple of months ago since I experience a small leak coming from them. They were old and broke when I was removing them so they were on their way out anyways. Since changing them no loss of coolant and no over night pressure. I replaces all vacuum lines and gaskets in the intake manifold, cleaned the ICV and throttle body, The PO replaced the throttle body with an oem vdo throttle body, wonder why?

I bit the bullet and drove my car to Miami for the weekend a couple of weeks ago and other than a weak start or two no issues what so ever!

Still had the starting issue, its a long crank then weak start, sometimes blue smoke but only caught it once or twice. I took out the injectors the other day and they aren't leaking, maybe #3 is but its not dripping but more like it has a little at the tip but not enough to drop on the shop towels below so that cant be the issue right? Sometimes the car starts on the first crank which seems odd too 🤔

I just did the oil change at 5k miles and swapped to 5w30 Valvoline full synthetic since a friend of mine warned me about mobile 1 thinning out and swears by Valvoline. I was worried since I had 0w-40 so I did the oil change. I do agree with him on Valvoline, my mothers 04 Galant is at 340k miles only running on Valvoline 5w30 synthetic blend so why not on the bmw? (no oil fights please, I know how touchy oil threads can be). After the oil change I'm not getting the starting issue so maybe was the oil? My oil did smell like gas so maybe I do have a bad injector? 🤷‍♂️

Hope everyone is staying safe and new pics are coming soon!

Also love the new look of the site, kinda miss the old emojis tho

(Late edit but I did have two leaky injectors so that fixed the starting issue! (y))

79 Posts
Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
Hello everyone! Some recent pics!



















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Maintenance Update:

She's at 167.6k and still running strong, No major issues at all, oil burn is minimal, temp and coolant is where it should be and no overnight pressure! I've driven her everywhere even up to Orlando and Cape Canaveral to see a rocket launch! (last two pics)

I'm really happy on how shes preforming on long trips! After 6 months of driving her on the new rad and gaining the trust on this new engine, I'm finally driving her worry free! 😄😁 (mostly worry free because its still a 16 year old bmw that I put together lol)


  • CEL is on but its still just for the lack of catalytic converters :rolleyes:
  • Replaced 2 fuel injectors #3 & #4 were leaking pretty bad when warm so I replaced then with oem VDO purple injectors and fixed my starting issue! (y) (tempted to get 4 new ones to just have all new injectors just because 🤷‍♂️)
  • My Yellow traction control Light and yellow "BRAKE" light comes on now and then but idk what that could be. It usually goes away after restart or when I drive but last time it came back was on my 3 hour road trip back from Orlando the other day and stayed on the whole trip, that was fun :rolleyes:
  • Replaced the drivers side Kidney Grille with an Genuine BMW Performance Gloss black one because the fitment on the cheap ebay ones is getting on my nerves so if anyone has a passenger side one collecting dust please message me!
  • Been getting a lot of complements on the car lately, Its really fun to see a persons reaction when I tell them I pulled the engine out "because I wanted to" and be surprised that she's an 04 model. They keep telling me she looks for her age! 😁
- The Parts car (I haven't come up with a name yet) is running strong too but still missing a few things. She needs new Grilles and a hood (The hood has some rust spots and losing clear coat) I would love to get a Facelfted hood! I think that would make it look great with the pre-facelifted headlights! But that has to wait till ! get her all sorted but she drives very well!

- My brother moved out for college and before he did, I did all the maintenance on his 330i which required me to pull the engine out to change the torque converter from the transmission, It was easier for me since I need to do ALL the gaskets, ALL vacuum hoses, CCV, spark plugs, all coolant hoses including the hard ones, water pump, oem thermostat (the new one sucked so had to put the old one back on) and pulleys. I told him it would be better, since we are pulling the engine out, to just manual swap it since his TC was shot and the new one would probably fail too but he likes the auto so we just replaced the TC, change the filter and changed the pressure regulator since this was a zf auto and No leaks! the New TC is quiet and running smooth!
While the engine was out I notice that the cylinder head and block had LKQ stamps on them! This engine was/is a junkyard engine! I thought it was funny so did my brother, It didn't bother us since we had it for the last 30k miles and has been reliable since we got it. It was a fun/stressful 4 days for sure but now he can drive it reliably for a while without worrying about any engine problems! (mostly without worry because its still a 17 year old bmw that I put together! lmao😅)

Anyways nothing really more to report other than I'm taking another trip to Orlando after this tropical storm passes Florida so another 350 mile round trip here I come!

Hope everyone stays safe and hope for another 1000 trouble free miles!

Quick edit: Drove back from my 350 mile road trip with zero issues! :D I've driven her some more and now I'm at 168.2k!

-Side note-
Unfortunately, for some reason, Google drive links don't work with the add picture link option, I had to upload pics directly to the forum site and it only allowed me 10 pics so that's a C- for the new forum layout (n)

Also I would update my Sig but it will yell at me that I have too many links soooo I'm not updating that until that has a solution or just leave it like that 🤷‍♂️

79 Posts
Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
Alrighty! Hope everyone is doing well and staying safe! Here's a round of pics!






New to me Bmw Performance Intake! :D



Is it a pain in he butt to check the coolant level? Yes, yes it is, but worth it







Maintenance Update:

  • About 8-9k miles on the new engine! I've put alot of miles on her lately too, including a few trips to Orlando, that shes at 170.3k miles with no issues! :D
  • CEL is on, you can guess why...
  • As shown above I got a new to me BMW Performance Intake from a fellow fanatic! I got it as a birthday present for myself and I couldn't be happier! Butt-dyno feels a bit more but I can defiantly hear a difference and I didn't pay an arm and a leg for it! Yes its a bit rough cosmetically but that doesn't bother me too much, The engine bay looks amazing, now I just need a pretty strut bar to match... I'm kidding 1k for a Bmw performance strut bar is too much for me but I am looking at this company called DMG that makes simple but beautiful strut bars for the e46 m3, If aura is good this year she might get it for Christmas :p
  • Got a email from BMW stating that I have another Air bag recall on my car. I did all of them 2 years ago but apparently this one is for cars that already had the recall done on the passenger side. :rolleyes: So looks like I got to go to my dealership, They're nice and I never have a problem with them, plus I love going there because they have a huge window into the service area and you can watch the techs work on some cool cars (y)
  • My Driver side Angel Eyes bank died on me a week ago, I notice when I was parking and saw my reflection and noticed my car was winking at me, I disconnected the other side and later found out a capacitor blew on the controller box. Contacted Umnitza and they sent a replacement for free! (y) My AE were only out for a few days but now they're shining bright again! :D
  • I used the parts car as a guinea pig for these Amazon/Chinese window regulators. They're alright, they do their job but they look like they have some resistance and the motors seem like they're working harder to move the winow up and down or they could be just old, its a 01 325i after all. but for 26 bucks each they're ok especally for just keeping the window up like what I needed for the parts car;.
Story time!

About a month ago I got a notification about a manual 330ci coming into the junkyard. I wanted to start collecting little bits for a manual swap just in case my fathers or my auto transmissions decide to take a dump and at least I'll have some parts available when I have to do a swap. Welp as soon as I saw it had a stick I headed towards Palm Beach, an hour and a half drive. As soon as I arrive I saw a few bmws in the parking lot, worried someone beat me to it, and sure enough there was a young guy about my age getting the hood up. He was a nice guy and he told me its a 6sp and hes planing on getting everything for his manual swap and I gave him advice on what he needed like the electric fan. I told him good luck and I was a little bummed but I was glad it was going to an enthusiast rather than a mechanic trying to flip it.

Anyways it was getting hot, and not to waste a trip, I grabbed a few odds and ends for the parts car and somehow I manage to forget my electric ratchet, I only noticed when I got home when my Intake came in.

At that point I wanted to go back the next day because there might be a chance I can find my ratchet and maybe the guy left some bits on the manual car I can salvage. My father came along and I didn't expect much nor did he. Well as expected my ratchet was nowhere to be seen but for shits & giggles I went to the 330ci and to my surprise EVERYTHING (other than the pedals) was still there!! Looks like he gave up at the shiftier. I reconnected the shift linkage to confirm it was a 6sp and yup it was! Called up my dad that was waiting in the car and we went to work

To make a very long story short 5 hours later with my dads help we got the damn thing off and yeah, him and I never taken a transmission off when it was on a car but I'm glad none of the torx bolts stripped, that was my biggest fear. Now the tranny is living in storage at my hangar until its needed, all I need now is the pedals 😁


Oh if that guy that I met at the junkyard (sorry I don't remember your name) is reading, please message me cuz I wanna buy those pedals off you, Its a later mode clutch switch and pedals that I'm interested in, less hassle to wire than the early model ones. Worth a shot right? 🤷‍♂️

Anyways A few days later I drove back to the junkyard to get the driveshaft (I literally couldn't sleep at night knowing I left it) I didn't bring my big pry bar the first time around so that cost me an extra trip but it was still there, and I also got some eBay headers off another new arrival! The flange on one is kinda off but it was 18 bucks so I'm not that far into it and its for the parts car. :p


A big thank you to everyone:

This month marks 4 years owning Aura, I never planned on doing so much to her this quickly but opportunities came up and I took them. I'm truly surprised it's been only 4 years but regardless I'm extremely grateful for this community that have indirectly helped me so much over the years. If not for this forum and all its helpful members, with their countless write ups, and the YouTube Content Creators, I couldn't bring up the courage to do any of the stuff I manage to do, from pulling engines to simple valve cover gaskets. I'm also very grateful to my father as well. He taught me the basics on his car and encourage me to get Aura since I worked on his car so well. And because of this knowledge I've acquired over the years, I will keep Aura running for as long as possible! Thank you to everyone and I hope for many more years and miles to come! :)

That's pretty much it! Hope everyone stay safe!
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