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The Showroom
This is the place to show off your BMW to other members of the community. Post pictures and videos of your car and the modifications you have done to it. If you need a picture of something on a coupe, sedan, convertible or touring you will probably find it here!

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
Bimmerguy91
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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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Old 04-18-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
Bimmerguy91
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The plan for the car is as following: Finish maintenance, get rid of all the amber, drop the car about 1". Normally would go lower but my fiance isnt careful enough for me to trust her with the car dropped significantly, put the OEM Style 224M wheels off my Z4MC and put them on the E46 when I get new wheels for the Z4MC, have the hood and bumper repainted, tint the windows, make the interior sportier like the ZHP interior. I will do a little here and there since I am also working on my E30, going to college full time and working full time.

Last edited by Bimmerguy91; 04-18-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
Baasman
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Sounds like a good plan to me
It already looks pretty good to me with the clean lenzes +1
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #4
Bimmerguy91
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Thanks! Yeah the headlight lenses made a big difference but the cracked bumper and faded hood drive me absolutely bat **** crazy
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
Baasman
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Only thing that you should consider adding: Clear turnsignals, together with the mods you have planned, would really finish it
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
Bimmerguy91
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Completely agree, I was including that in "get rid of all the amber" haha. I hate amber its so ugly
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
Baasman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerguy91 View Post
Completely agree, I was including that in "get rid of all the amber" haha. I hate amber its so ugly
Oh, sorry, not completely awake today.
I think your wife will love it when its complete.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:07 PM   #8
DavidDee
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Pics of the M coupe?
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:09 PM   #9
Bimmerguy91
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Baasman: Yeah I think she will too. Hopefully it will be done before shes my wife haha. Not getting married for a few months still.

DavidDee: I knew that was coming haha. Yes I will post pics of the M Coupe
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #10
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And a little sneak peek at the E30

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:16 PM   #11
Baasman
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The Z4 is a beauty, and are you going to change the rims on the E30, they look like they came off a first gen skyline GTR to me
And I told you I wasn't very awake today :/
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:33 PM   #12
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I may change them at some point down the road to BBS RS. Right now these do the job since they give the car a wide track and are lightweight ~13 lbs a wheel. I am building the car for autocross so the look of the wheel is secondary to the function for now.

Last edited by Bimmerguy91; 04-18-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:18 PM   #13
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Got new tie rods and sway bar end links. Probably going to install them tomorrow.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:34 PM   #14
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nice!

steel grey is better though
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #15
Bimmerguy91
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I agree! Tie rods and sway bar end links going on today!
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #16
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Okay so I installed the new sway bar end links and tie rod ends. Steering does feel much tighter but, I don't really have any driving impressions other than that yet because its way out of alignment. So its off to get an alignment and wheel balance this week. Here are some pics of the new parts versus the old.

Sway bar end links. Can't see it as well in the pics but the rubber was literally falling off.



Tie rod ends. The old ones weren't really that bad but I figure since I replaced everything else up front I might as well do these too. They did have some play even though the rubber boots were mostly intact

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Old 04-21-2013, 11:05 PM   #17
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Minor detail but I also ordered some silver trim rings for the gauges. About to order some black alcantara to do the headliner, ABC pillars and rear deck in. Probably order some Di-Noc CF for the trim too.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:39 PM   #18
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Okay so I got the alignment done today. The car drives so much better. I can really tell all the parts I've swapped out have tightened up the steering and improved the handling. Still have a minor vibration that I am trying to remedy. Getting the tires road force balanced this weekend.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:28 PM   #19
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Alright hopefully picking up a Mtech 2 bumper and facelift hood with black kidneys today Also tossing around the idea of painting the whole car instead of just the hood and bumper. Atlantis blue maybe?
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:16 PM   #20
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Nice steel blue man!
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