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Old 04-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 69
My Ride: 2010 328I M Sport
Steel Blue Sedan Build Thread

Hey guys. I'm a long time car nut and over the last few years a huge bmw nut. Just a little background I own an 07 Z4M Coupe and a M50 swapped e30 that I'm nearly done building. This is my first E46. I got the car in a trade and decided to sell my fiance's Acura and give her this.

The car is a 2001 325i Automatic. Steel Blue metallic with dove grey interior wood grain trim and premium package. 102,000 miles and has lived its whole life in Alabama.

Here are a couple of pics from when I first got it. The hood is very faded and the front bumper has a crack in it. The headlight lenses were hazed up and the car was very dirty overall.

I took off the headlight lenses and wet sanded and polished them. Not perfect but a hell of a lot better than what they looked like before. Visibility at night is much improved too.

So I initially had a ton of smoke on cold start for a few seconds and then it would go away. Also had low cat efficiency codes and a couple misfire codes.

Went ahead and ordered a CCV kit and upper and lower intake boots from FCP. I knocked all this out along with cleaning the throttle body ICV and replacing the DISA gasket. The old CCV was falling apart, clogged up, and all the hoses were cracked. Changing all this cleared up all my smoking issues and got rid of the SES light. Car runs great now.

Then I went on to do some basic maintenance including valve cover gasket, NGK BKR6EQUP spark plugs, oil change (ran seafoam through the crankcase to clean up some of the oil build up from the clogged CCV before changing the oil), fuel filter change, air filter, cabin air filter, etc.

The spark plugs that were in the car before were not only fouled out, but they were the incorrect plugs. Needless to say the car runs like a top now.

Next up was to fix the steering wheel shake under braking. I initially thought the obvious answer would be warped rotors. Took the wheels off and inspected the brakes. Not only were the rotors not warped but the brakes looked fairly new overall. I did notice that the FCAB on the driver side was completely falling apart. So I decided it was time to do control arms and FCAB's. Its a fairly easy job once you unbolt the front sway bar and get a little more room to wrench. The old ball joints had a ton of play and the boots were cracked. New control arms and bushings cleared up the shaking and made the car drive so much better. Cleared up a couple of clunks too. Car needs an alignment bad lol.

Planning to go ahead and get some front sway bar end links (the old ones are completely perished) and tie rods. Once I do that tomorrow I will be dropping the car off for an alignment, rotate and balance.
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