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2002 330i 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve always loved BMWs and have owned a M50 swapped E30 and an i3. I’ve been watching M539 Restorations on YouTube a little too much and I decided I wanted to replace our 1988 Volvo 745 Turbo with a manual E46 sedan. Over the last two years I’ve gone through the wagon and refreshed and upgraded basically every system on the car.
Wheel Flower Tire Car Vehicle


After a few false starts looking at rough and expensive manual E46 sedans on Craigslist, I finally found the right one for me.

The car was on Craigslist about an hour and a half away. Last Tuesday, my wife and I packed our two year old into the Camry and headed north. The PO lived up a gorgeous canyon. We crossed the wooden bridge in their driveway and I saw the car. I wish I snapped some photos of it parked on their property but I planned to snag them from the CL ad.

After a test drive and a bit of rolling around on the ground, I decided to purchase it. The body and paint are in good condition. The leather sport seats and interior were disgustingly dirty (I think I’ve pulled about 5 metal forks out from under the seats and ???battery???) but otherwise complete.

The car made the drive home and aside from the horribly worn brakes felt pretty solid.
here it is the morning after I brought it home.
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2002 330i 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I’m trying to resist diving into it until I sell the wagon but not doing the best job lol.
I started by cleaning the interior and conditioning the leather
. Mercifully I don’t have any before photos on the interior. I’ll take some afters when I finish.

Then did a key battery replacement:
Watch Table Finger Thumb Nickel


the headlights need new covers but a little polish took them from this:
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To this:

Vehicle Car Grille Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


somewhere in there I found out that the positive battery terminal was held on with a massive c clamp. Needless to say t clamps were ordered right away to rectify that situation.
Wood Font Gas Paint Concrete


I replaced the cabin and engine air filters. They were both pretty gross
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I’ve also been working to bring the HK stereo and Nav back to life and started replacing rotors and pads on all four corners. I’ll update those project in a few days but I wanted to start a thread and start catching up before I get too far into the project.
 

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Forks are a rare commodity, that's a good bonus! ;)

MTech bumpers!!, @e4t6 just mentioned this in this month's E46 of the month!!! Makes for a very unique looking car!

Nice find!!!

I owned a M50 Powered E30 as well.
 

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2002 330i 5MT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Forks are a rare commodity, that's a good bonus! ;)

MTech bumpers!!, @e4t6 just mentioned this in this month's E46 of the month!!! Makes for a very unique looking car!

Nice find!!!

I owned a M50 Powered E30 as well.
I should have never sold the E30 but I basically had to when I moved to California from Oregon since I would have never been able to register it here.

I’m a big fan of the MTech look too, as soon as I get the fog light cover retaining clip from FCP so I can mount the cover I’ll get some better shots!
 

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I have done 6 of these, and have a pretty good sense of the tasks. Here is a cost breakdown for my latest:

Look at my signature for a maintenance guide and the intake refresh guide.
 

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2002 330i 5MT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I love threads like this, where we get to follow along over stage of the refresh process. I wish I'd documented the journey I've had with mine this way.
It’s the way to go from a tracking standpoint. Hopefully it becomes a decent read as well!

I have done 6 of these, and have a pretty good sense of the tasks. Here is a cost breakdown for my latest:

Look at my signature for a maintenance guide and the intake refresh guide.
Thank you! I was just reviewing that guide for a complete “while you’re in there” when I do the CCV. What an incredible resource!

When I bought the car, the radio fuses were pulled due to a parasitic drain. When I put them back to troubleshoot, the NAV screen was totally blank. I also noticed that the red light on the NAV computer in the back seemed to be always on and the disc was always making noise like it was just trying to read over and over again.

After research on this forum I pulled the trigger on a used but tested MK4 NAV computer on eBay.

I plugged that in and had NAV and OBC! The screen doesn’t even have splotches on it. I quickly realized that I didn’t have audio and the left side buttons didn’t work.

More searching on the forum and I narrowed the likely culprit down to the BM53 tuner module. I snagged one off eBay and while waiting for it to show up I pulled mine out and disassembled it. The top of the PCB looked great, when I finally found a T8 Torx and saw the bottom of the board it was a little suspect.
Circuit component Hardware programmer Urban design Electronic instrument Computer hardware


The solder joints look okay to the naked eye but there are a lot of hard water deposits and one clearly shorted connection under a capacitor.

The new to me BM53 showed up this evening and after slapping it in the car I have audio!!

I’m tempted to clean and reflow the solder on the original unit to see if that brings it back but I want to tackle other projects first.
 

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2002 330i 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I finished up the rotors, pads and rear wheel speed sensors! I went with Zimmerman Rotors and Akebono pads. Very glad I did.
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Rotors had like 1mm ridges and the pads and wear sensors were almost worn down to the metal.

This fixed the brake wear light on the dash!

When I was finishing the final corner I saw a puddle that looked like brake fluid on the ground under the master cylinder area. After some head scratching I popped the hood and saw that the top of the reservoir was soaked. Since the pads were so worn, I had to compress the pistons quite a bit to get the new pads on and I pushed fluid out of the cap (at least I’m hoping it was the cap because the alternative is that I blew out a seal in the MC…) The pedal doesn’t feel great so I’ll bleed them and hope that brings it back.

While doing the fronts, I also noticed that the tires are showing cords on their inner edges. Somehow I missed that when I inspected it. The list of repairs that I need to do before driving it just got longer…
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Had a few minutes tonight and knocked out the spark plugs. Yuck
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very glad I did that as well.

Also got the DS fog light trim painted and clipped on plus the DS rocker reattached with the proper plastic rivets.
Car Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Grille Automotive tire


Tire Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire

She’s coming together and I can’t wait to drive her once I get some safe tires on the front.

Anyone have experience with Falken FK510 they seem to come in the staggered 225 40 R18/ 255 35 R18 that the Style 72s call for. If I went to a 265 In the rear I could do F615K+

open to suggestions since it is going to cost a lot to get new tires all around
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
New front tires are on. I went with General GMAX AS-05 since they come in both front and rear factory tire sizes.
Now I’m trying to decide if I do an alignment now or replace the FCAs, tie rods, struts etc and then get it aligned. I don’t want these new tires to meet the same death at 8k miles that the old Arroyo Grand Sport tires met.

I couldn’t see anything obviously wrong when I poked around the front suspension but in reading it sounds like bad FCABs can cause crazy amounts of wear to the inner edge of the front tires (exactly what killed the previous tires).
While contemplating that decision I went ahead and installed a new jack pad and a badly needed genuine BMW cowl cover and ceramic coated the car.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After a little more reading this evening, I put the front end back in the air and wiggled the front tires at 9 and 3. The car made a clunk and I could see the control arms moving in the bushings.

I ordered some new FCABs from FCP and will throw them in before getting an alignment next week!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice revival! I did the same to a steel Blue Mtech-I 330i recently. Love the silver ones, too!
Thanks! I’ve been reading through your threads as well. Our cars look like almost identical specs. I think your car is a better color.

Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle

Hit a big milestone this afternoon when I took the E46 to pick up our daughter at preschool! It definitely needs at least the FCAB replacement but it was great. Our daughter’s review was that “the silver car breathes loud”. I’d say she was correct since our other cars are a Nissan Leaf and a Toyota Camry
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I’m trying to mix in some satisfying cosmetic improvements while making my way through the real issues with the car. So I went from a really nasty under hood insulation panel to a nice new one.
Tire Vehicle Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle

Bicycle White Hood Tire Light


My awesome neighbor who happens to have an E46 M3came over with his Foxwell NT530 scanner came over this afternoon and scanned all the modules on my car. (What a great tool by the way). All the codes aside from the 5DF5 on the ABS went away and didn’t return.

From what I am reading, 5DF5 indicates a failed module, which is super common on the 2002 MY cars.

After I replace the FCABs tomorrow I’ll move on to sorting the trifecta. It’s awesome to be heading in the right direction since the early indications from a years old scan was a failed SAS.

As an aside, I think I’m going to buy my own Foxwell since it is such a great little tool.
 

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As an aside, I think I’m going to buy my own Foxwell since it is such a great little tool.
Don't buy a Foxwell (or other generic scan tool) unless you're a general mechanic needing to work on a variety of different makes of car, and you don't care if the tool doesn't do everything on a BMW. BMW owners are far better served instead by the BMW's own Standard Tools. Follow the link in Bali's "Important Links" sticky to download for free and install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Don't buy a Foxwell (or other generic scan tool) unless you're a general mechanic needing to work on a variety of different makes of car, and you don't care if the tool doesn't do everything on a BMW. BMW owners are far better served instead by the BMW's own Standard Tools. Follow the link in Bali's "Important Links" sticky to download for free and install.
I should have mentioned that my neighbor also has a laptop with all the Standard Tools. Since I don’t have an old Windows laptop laying around I figured it would be better to have the Nt530 so I could do almost everything with it and then only have to borrow his laptop for coding modules etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Man those FCABs did not want to come off. I fought it all weekend. Finally got them off a few hours before the new Lemforders arrived last night.

The new bushings went right on with some dish soap and I got the car put back together and back on the ground before it had a chance to dry. My impression from the quick test drive is that it made a huge difference. The car didn’t seem to wander as much and seemed more sure of itself under braking. I’ll get it aligned in the next week.

Next up, I’ll be tackling the Trifecta via an EBay dsc/abs unit with the same PN. The new unit came off a 2003 and is allegedly good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I fixed a few more issues on the car this week. Starting with the easiest, three replacement engine cover bolt covers
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Followed by a father-daughter BMW home link retrofit
Car Vehicle White Hood Motor vehicle

Super easy and not having a garage door opener on the sun visor is well worth the $20.

Saving the best for last, I decided to tackle the trifecta. Once the replacement eBay module of the same PN from a 2003 330i arrived I couldn’t help myself.

The abs block wasn’t capped and it looked a little scary in there. I used the original block and pump with the new controller. The job was pretty fiddly but the DIYs are super helpful.

Before buttoning it up last night, I scanned the car and the 5DF5 error was replaced with an error about VIN mismatch which seems like progress. I’m cautiously optimistic but won’t know for sure until I can code the new module hopefully later this week.
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The VIN mismatch code means the MK60 just needs to be coded to your car. Follow this guide to code it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you! I should have my NCSexpert equipped laptop up and running by Friday so I’ll be able to code it then.

Now I’m battling some brakes that don’t want to bleed. Once I reload my supply of Dot4 fluid I am going to town with all the tricks I have learned reading other peoples posts about the same post-ABS module install bleeding woes. One round of power bleeding followed by the Foxwell ABS actuation bleeding wasn’t enough but I might have stopped bleeding the right rear a little prematurely since it was taking forever.
 
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