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E46 Touring
The E46 touring forum. Talk about your sport wagon E46 here.

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Old 02-28-2016, 02:24 PM   #1
Onizukachan
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Introductory / build/ repair thread

As Jeff Bridges said in Starman: "I send you greetings"

Just bought an e46 touring about 24 hours ago and drove it 6.5 - 7 hours home arriving safely home Early this morning.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I owned an e34 525 touring, and even converted it to manual, and added all kinds of novel little features to it, Euro headlights with working tilt feature, rear fogs, etc.



Many many years later, my gf's Sentra got rearended by a semi, and she wound up getting a red 04 x3 2.5 Sport (nicknamed Natasha) as a replacement and BMW got back into my blood, especially after I learned to code with NCS Expert so I could change things around. I really liked Natasha (named after Black Widow, btw, super cool gf!) but wanted better mpg,

And now here we are.


I just drove home from PHX last night with this: 04 325iT auto, silver over grey, Premium, Sport, and Cold Weather with Nav. I jokingly thought to myself, whomever ordered this one had OCD, they just *HAD* to check mark all the boxes.

Needs a lot of work, it's what we call a 20/20, but the driveline and mechanicals are surprisingly solid for the miles, it's just that the last owner apparently USED it like you'd use a lesser wagon, to haul dogs, etc, and never gave a care about the interior.
Need to replace the NAV screen, and OMG does it need cleaning inside. So much so that I'm investigating whether I can safely use scrubbing bubbles and a brush to save hours of work on getting the dirt out of the leather. Needs a window switch, already know about the colors, just have to determine the right P/N.

Couple of intermittent faults, blower motor sometimes works fine, sometimes doesn't come on until 10-15 minutes later. That's the biggest one.

But I got an average of 30.0 mpg at 75-77 indicated on the way back.

I'll add more pictures later.


Last edited by Onizukachan; 07-14-2017 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:33 PM   #2
Geo31
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Sweet!

Look forward to the progress.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:19 PM   #3
Onizukachan
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A couple of miles after resetting the mpg and filling the tank in PHX.



About 30 miles from home (some 400 miles later) taillight burned out, the washer tank decided it wasn't going to hold fluid anymore (expected that, thing is super crumbly from age and heat) and the tank sensor decided that it wouldn't go back up, just continue down, after I topped off at the halfway point.




And of course it started working again about 15 minutes ago. Lol.


I haven't really checked thru this yet, other than to see what looks like all the manuals and passkey slip etc, and some service records from BMW Monrovia for a Mr. Ferrari, including the all important tank replacement!

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Old 02-29-2016, 03:30 AM   #4
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Sorting thru the paperwork: car manuals, bill of sale, repairs, personal...

just a warning, you might want to do this before you actually sell a car, I now know the both PO's names, addresses and phone numbers, and for one of them I also know his height, weight, eye and hair color, drivers license, birthdate, what other cars he owns/drives, his cell phone provider, type of phones and numbers, dog's name and breed and color, etc...

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Old 02-29-2016, 05:03 AM   #5
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Yessss, can't wait for more pics.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:57 AM   #6
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Nice find. It sounds like you will have your hands full with all the little things that you will have to fix to make it perfect. Will this one also get the auto to manual conversion?

An E39 I once purchased came with the owner's music (cassette left behind in the deck) and his company's financials and payroll data (USB drive in the glove box). The payroll included mailing addresses and SS numbers. When I told him about it and offered to mail it back, he was mad at me for looking at the data. In the end I formatted it and used it to back up my porn collection (I kid, I kid ). I search my cars thoroughly before handing them over to the new owner.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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He was mad at you for looking at what was on the USB?? I'd have offered at that point to mail it to his boss.
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Old 02-29-2016, 03:15 PM   #8
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Amen.

And before anyone gets totally shocked, it's an M56 and former CPO.
Yes I knowingly bought the dreaded SULEV.
Tank and pump were replaced under the 15yr/150,000 mile SULEV warranty a couple years ago, as was a shite load of other stuff.
This thing went to the dealer a lot until a couple years ago, that's why it drives so nice, like new, but looks super well used inside.

JMB: Push comes to shove, I figure if everything fails, I'll find a rolled M54 manual and essentially replace everything from the rad to the bumper, lol! It's just labor and time. But it is possible to swap the tank to plastic standard tank with care, gumption and coding. So I'm ok with it.


For now though I'm enjoying it as it is, I've got stuff to diagnose and fix, (so I'm not bored) and it is ridiculously fuel efficient.
And the back up plan seems to be working.
Son #1 is thirteen and started to get interested in cars, and in three years will be ready for a handmedown... He told me last night when I picked the boys up that he "liked this wagon a lot better than MJs x3" (MJ being short for Miss Jessica, my gf). As I suspected, he's a long roof fan, so I may leave it auto for a while and hand it down.



I'm about to go take cleaning supplies and borrow my ex's driveway while she's out of town for the week and start trying to clean it up inside, check the fuses, do some coding, etc. since I have to wait over there for son #1 & #2 to get home from school. I've got about a 2 hour window to do some serious scrubbing, and fingers crossed I will find the drive is ok, but the fuse is blown.
I'd like to haves the screen working. Even with dead pixels, even tough I don't plan on using the nav itself. Siri is so much better, lol.
I'm also going to do the golf tee mod, if no one has done it before. M56 have it just like 330i.

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Old 02-29-2016, 04:36 PM   #9
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make sure to do an oil change and make a mess in her driveway
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:53 PM   #10
Onizukachan
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This is the kind of crud I'm dealing with

Notice the seat bottom is about 75% clean, compared to the bolsters.


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Old 02-29-2016, 10:10 PM   #11
Geo31
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Try some Leatherique on those seats.
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:25 AM   #12
Onizukachan
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Probably will after I get them actually cleaned and conditioned, if I'm still unsatisfied at that point.

I did get the tail light bulb replaced, the side repeater bulb replaced (I really need a set of e83/clear repeaters I think) and determined my no fog light situation is caused by the lkm faceplate. Tested it in TIS, turned the fogs on one at a time and they worked, tested the button, no change in state on button press.
Good excuse to get a euro one?
Where can you even get one anymore, do the ones on eBay.uk fit (Rhd) or just eBay.de (LHD)?

I miss the days when I could just order euro parts at the dealership.

But it is ready for inspection tomorrow, so it can get plates. Still loads more cleaning and problem solving to do.

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Old 03-01-2016, 10:31 AM   #13
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My gray seats looked like that when I got the car. Leatherique and elbow grease took care of it. The leatherique smell though...yuck.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:46 PM   #14
kaiv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onizukachan View Post
Amen.

And before anyone gets totally shocked, it's an M56 and former CPO.
Yes I knowingly bought the dreaded SULEV.
Tank and pump were replaced under the 15yr/150,000 mile SULEV warranty a couple years ago, as was a shite load of other stuff.
This thing went to the dealer a lot until a couple years ago, that's why it drives so nice, like new, but looks super well used inside.

JMB: Push comes to shove, I figure if everything fails, I'll find a rolled M54 manual and essentially replace everything from the rad to the bumper, lol! It's just labor and time. But it is possible to swap the tank to plastic standard tank with care, gumption and coding. So I'm ok with it.
While it's certainly easily doable, the problem with replacing SULEV components with non-SULEV ones is that it's illegal.

Last edited by kaiv; 03-01-2016 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:52 PM   #15
Onizukachan
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So are smoked or clear turn signals, etc.
Since I don't live in a SULEV state, I don't think it actually is illegal to change the fuel tank. If I wanted to convert it to s54 manual etc I could do that also. The material the tank is constructed from has no real bearing on emissions, and all emissions testing is is checking for codes via obd2. No visual inspection, no actual emissions tests. It's more a joke than anything else.

Pretty sure as geo alluded to that I have an FSR about to go out. On manually selected fan speed it is cycling up and down in speed.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:43 AM   #16
Onizukachan
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Well, I went to put on the plates last night and discovered it uses super short machine screws on the hatch, not normal license plate bolts.
Dropped by BMW of El Paso, and they didn't have the correct PN, but they did have the bolts used on current cars for front plates, which were a perfect match. Just gave em to me since they don't have an actual P/N and are considered shop supplies, lol.
I love my local dealership.

Also did the golf t mod. Not a huge difference in sound and felt slightly slower 0-30, so I may put it back. I'll give it a couple more days.

Since I haven't had a chance to post many of my own pics, of even take any decent ones, here are a few from the seller.



























And one from the mall yesterday...
It really is lower than you think when you see it by itself, not much taller than a solstice!

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Old 03-02-2016, 09:41 PM   #17
Onizukachan
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Some progress being made.
Did some cleaning, but not nearly done yet.

Compare to earlier pic of same door handle.



Also I think I found the problem with the Nav...



Yep, definitely found the problem, lol.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:00 PM   #18
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Outstanding!
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:22 AM   #19
Onizukachan
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Quote:
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Outstanding!
Thanks Geo!
I cleaned the sunroof guides, much grit removed, much smoother now. Needs a relube as soon as I find my can of lithium spray.


Well, I also fixed the foglight switch inside the LKM faceplate.
After removing the LKM, then the faceplate, then disassembling the faceplate and finally disassembling the foglight switch I discovered the reed contacts lost a little tension.

Added a wee bit more pressure and...


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Old 03-03-2016, 12:37 PM   #20
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Looking good! Looks like you've already addressed the grime on the door pull but if you hadn't, I would have recommended (and still recommend) Aerospace 303 spray. Love the stuff.

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