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Old 12-21-2013, 08:52 PM   #1
TheColdE46
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 140
My Ride: 2003 325i
My New Progress Thread (Photo Heavy!)

So Ive made a thread like this before but people misunderstood me and thought that I threw crap on my car and didn't do any maintenance. Ive done all the maintenance that was needed but I dont post pics of it. So please understand I do maintain my car and treat it like its a brand new car. Anyway, ive had this car for three years and ive loved it so far! Im gonna skip all the talking and go strait to the pics. Enjoy!

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
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 Rotors and Pads
Coolant Flush
New serpentine belt and pulleys
All Four Window Regulators Replaced (PO played with the windows alot apparently)
New Ambient Air Temp Sensors

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. Oh and the headlights.... This will be a fun project.

 photo 551732_3394569876525_332891289_ncopy.jpg

So the first thing I did was sand the headlights down and buff them, they still looked horrible but I was too busy to do it again.

 photo IMG_5991-1.jpg

Next I sanded down the headlights again because they still looked so bad. I was at it for a solid hour going from 1000 grit to 2000 and finally 3000 and this time, they looked brand new. 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.

 photo IMG_1143.jpg

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

http://www.eurosportdesign.com/image...lestripes5.jpg

I really liked this and wanted to do it, but I looked at them and they're just stickers. I felt like they wouldn't last very long, 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.

 photo IMG_2448-1.jpg

(Excuse my disgustingly chipped bumper.)

 photo IMG_2335-1.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_1463-1.jpg

Next I installed some gauge rings, I gotta say they make the interior look 5+ years newer.

 photo IMG_2223.jpg

The next week I read someones diy on a homelink retrofit and I thought why not. I bought a used one off ebay for $40 and went to work.

 photo IMG_2226.jpg

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. I know the rims arent very nice but honestly I hate the stock rims.

 photo IMG_6023-1-1.jpg

 photo IMG_1488-1.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_2224.jpg

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)

 photo DSC04912.jpg

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

 photo IMG_1710.jpg

I also installed some new led tail lights but didnt get a picture. We all know what they look like.

Next came the part I was waiting for the most, a mtech 2 bumper!
this was an exciting day!
Before:

 photo IMG_1901.jpg
 photo IMG_1900.jpg

After:

 photo IMG_1904-1.jpg

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 new 6000k bulbs, 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. This was a really bad idea and it is now reverted back to black. I thought it would have turned out way better but it obviously didnt, oops.

 photo IMG_2104.jpg

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.

 photo DSC04909.jpg

I love the sound the CAI gives the car, it gives it that extra noise to draw some heads. And honestly I feel no power gain but its not for someone whos looking for power. I wanted it for the sound.

I also decided to paint my dirty old calipers red. Which really made the wheels stand out a bit.

 photo IMG_1786.jpg
 photo IMG_1787.jpg

So heres how my baby looked for a while. I took a break from modding for a while and focused on maintenance again.

 photo pic.jpg

So after a few months i decided i wanted to plastidip my rims black. After much thought i decided these rims were ugly and small so i picked up four 18" MSR's with decent tires for $500. They were pretty scratched up when i got them.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So I decided to give them a new paint job with duplicolor rim paint.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Next I ordered a custom euro plate off ebay for $60 with a frame. I love this thing!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I replaced all my emblems with black and white carbon fiber ones. I dont have pics of the hood or trunk but heres the steering wheel. Sorry the pictures turned sideways, i have no idea why.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Next I got my hood repainted due to all the chips. I also put on new grills since the clips on the old ones broke and were basically falling out. This time i didnt do the stripes.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I wanted to make my car pop so i decided to plastidip my wheels red. These are going back to black, I wanted to try something new but its time to go back. A few days later we did a photo shoot with some friends.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Heres me and my friend with his MK6 GTi. I gave him the idea for the plate.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And a few more pics...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*UPDATE*

So first of all, the red in the engine bay is gone. I realized how bad it looked. Some ideas sound better in my head!



Also I finally got a carbon fiber csl trunk lid from ecs tuning! The fitment was okay, some inner parts didn't fit right but some trial and error and a dremel did the trick. Im very happy with it!

Before


After


And yes the taillights and trim are in I just took that picture before I put them in and it was too dark for a good picture after. Better pictures are coming soon.
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Last edited by TheColdE46; 02-15-2014 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
SoCaLe39
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I have to ask, check engine light still on?
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:21 PM   #3
Chaplian
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So you claim you do maintenance, but you didn't change your expansion tank or any of the hoses, or even do your VANOS. Instead, you painted your wheels red.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
TheColdE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCaLe39 View Post
I have to ask, check engine light still on?
It came on again but went away when i replaced the fuel pump. Only light left is the airbag light and i dont have a scanner for that so i need to take it to a local shop to get it checked out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplian View Post
So you claim you do maintenance, but you didn't change your expansion tank or any of the hoses, or even do your VANOS. Instead, you painted your wheels red.
Top hose replaced, ET and lower hose are still okay. ET was replaced by PO. And why should I do my vanos when its perfectly fine? If it was needed, i couldve easily done it when i did the VCG
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
PH03NIX46
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The red rims are a bit much. I think some nice mesh wheels in a shade of silver with a proper drop would set the car off right.

Also I absolutely hate yellow tinted foglights on any car. Looks extremely tacky and does not belong on anything, even a Kia much less a BMW.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #6
mjpgolf1
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My New Progress Thread (Photo Heavy!)

Sorry but the car is completely destroyed and looks like it belongs in a parade. I hope you have thick skin because I'm not going to be the only one telling you this. Also I'm sorry but your maintenance list doesn't include anything really when it comes to the items that need to be refreshed on an E46. Entire cooling system needs done including all hoses, expansion tank, radiator, etc. Also fuel pump, complete suspension overhaul, etc, etc, etc. I'm not trying to be mean but I have to be honest. Don't sweat it too much because anytime someone shows their car on a public forum there are going to be people that like it and others that don't. When it comes down to it its your car and all that matters is what you think. You did jump the gun and blow through quite a bit of cash on stuff that you should've waited on and done the maintenance I listed. Especially cooling system and suspension. Your not even experiencing how great the E46 can perform if your riding on a blown out suspension.


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Old 12-21-2013, 10:40 PM   #7
BeMyWhip
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You blacked out your window trim, but left the grills chrome? not a good look/match.
When you did the gauge rings... why didn't you do the red needles (a.k.a. sharpie mod)?
I like the mods you did, but the red rims don't really excite me.
I think if you wanna go a little extreme and still look nice... go bronze or copper; it looks awesome with black and looks like it belongs/goes.
Black or silver would even work, but red... not a fan.
Just doesn't go with the rest of your look/theme.
Overall, you're on the right track by enjoying your car, but try to picture the end result; the look you are trying to achieve.
Good job OP.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:17 PM   #8
TheColdE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeMyWhip View Post
You blacked out your window trim, but left the grills chrome? not a good look/match.
When you did the gauge rings... why didn't you do the red needles (a.k.a. sharpie mod)?
I actually didnt black out the trim the car came like that. I did once plastidip the chrome on the grills but i didnt really like it. I might do it again but im not sure. and as for the sharpie mod i didnt like it at the time but you bringing it up makes me want to do it. Maybe if i have some time tomorrow i might do it. Thanks for reminding me!
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:33 PM   #9
Evo Panda
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tbh the red wheels are the only things killing the whole thing for me. if they were silver, or bronze like someone else said, your car would be sweet! but that's just my opinion and I can appreciate it when someone enjoys their car.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:41 PM   #10
TheColdE46
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Originally Posted by Evo Panda View Post
tbh the red wheels are the only things killing the whole thing for me. if they were silver, or bronze like someone else said, your car would be sweet! but that's just my opinion and I can appreciate it when someone enjoys their car.
I dont know i guess the red was different to me and i just wanted a change from black. Its plastidip so ill probably end up taking it off sooner or later.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:46 PM   #11
davidmaria1
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You're taking the criticism pretty well. My 330 sedan is fern green, tan interior and stock 17" wheels. I'll be 50 next year, so this car will blend nicely at the senior center.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:55 PM   #12
CharlzO
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To me, it's just too much..red accents. The wheels especially, but it's a personal taste so I can certainly say to each his own, and if you're happy with it, and can brush off other people's opinions without too much effort, all the more power to you. I think the engine bay pieces are a little too contrasting. They just stand out way too much for my taste, and not really in a good way. Maybe it's because it's such a bright contrast to the darker bay. But then again, people have different taste. Those same pieces in CF or even with a CF overlay would be a lot more in line with how I'd expect, but really..they just look like painted pieces. If they were some wild aftermarket pieces molded in red, where it would at least kinda seem "unique" in that regard, it might be different, but...just not my thing. Just make sure you keep some budget set aside for unexpecteds. I know you said the PO had some stuff replaced too, but never hurts to be ready just in case.

As long as you enjoy it in the end, that's the important thing.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:41 AM   #13
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HOLY CR@P - this needs to be posted in the "See Rice? Post it!" thread
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:49 AM   #14
Skryt
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Get rid of the wheels/grill colours and focus on more maintenance rather acting like a teenager with aesthetics.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:51 AM   #15
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You replaced the PS reservoir and pump but didn't change any of the PS lines while you were there?
New waterpump/belt/pulleys but no thermostat, upper/lower hoses, ET?
VCG but no Vanos seals?
You went from an ugly 16'' BMW wheel to an uglier aftermarket. Then bought new wheels again.
Had spare cash- bought a double din.....

Your thought process seems a bit off and incomplete to me. You did some good things here, but you missed out on a great opportunity to restore the car to a reliable ultimate daily driver. What good is a car that "looks" good but is only semi maintained?

painting the parts in the engine bay is tacky to me, its an abomination. I think the interior was a better attempt to spice up the car.
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Christ...

I hope you come back in 5 years and read these posts.
You come off as an angry ghetto kid with mental issues.

I'm sure its really a stellar achievement to buy a five thousand dollar car, pimp it out craigslist wheels, and slap on some ebay springs.

Congratulations, your car is a disaster.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:59 AM   #16
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You should upgrade the headlights to HID projectors instead of using those blue H7 bulbs.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:02 AM   #17
TheColdE46
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Originally Posted by Lusticles View Post
You should upgrade the headlights to HID projectors instead of using those blue H7 bulbs.
I was thinking of doing the retrofit i saw somewhere on here. maybe thats next on the list
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:08 AM   #18
TheColdE46
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Originally Posted by umpersav View Post
You replaced the PS reservoir and pump but didn't change any of the PS lines while you were there?
New waterpump/belt/pulleys but no thermostat, upper/lower hoses, ET?
VCG but no Vanos seals?
Lines were fine, just needed new clamps, tstat was fine, hoses were fine, and et was fine. I dont see why i should spend money on things that arent broken. and as for vanos, it will be done once i see signs that it needs to be done. everyone on here replaces things that dont need to be replaced and i dont see why. If something goes out that makes the car not drivable, i take a different car for a few days and fix what needs to be fixed, not spend thousands of dollars replacing every damn part in a 10 year old car that im not planing on keeping for the rest of my life.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:19 AM   #19
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If you don't plan on keeping this car, you better stop painting everything bright red like a really bad extra from F&F....
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:23 AM   #20
mjpgolf1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheColdE46 View Post
Lines were fine, just needed new clamps, tstat was fine, hoses were fine, and et was fine. I dont see why i should spend money on things that arent broken. and as for vanos, it will be done once i see signs that it needs to be done. everyone on here replaces things that dont need to be replaced and i dont see why. If something goes out that makes the car not drivable, i take a different car for a few days and fix what needs to be fixed, not spend thousands of dollars replacing every damn part in a 10 year old car that im not planing on keeping for the rest of my life.
You say you don't see the point in spending thousands replacing parts that may or may not break yet you spent money replacing the radio, wheels, and other items that weren't broken. You are not against it, you just choose to replace the "fun" stuff instead of the "responsible" stuff. You had such a great start with your maintenance that you could've ended up with a very nice, reliable, and great performing e46.


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