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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-28-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
SoCaLe39
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Project "Galatea" | E46 Build Thread

Well, let me first say what a pleasure it is to be part of this community. Having been part of the BMW online community for several years now, I'm always amazed at the amount of technical knowledge that is shared. All of my previous BMW cars were E39 and E60s and although I joined this forum years back, I only lurked here and there on rare occasions.

So why the sudden activity? Well, I was driving a Civic as my DD and finally decided to get something bigger and more comfortable and after 2 months of scrubbing through craigslist, autotrader, carmax, etc. and driving all over SoCal area to see cars I finally landed myself a 2003 325i. Not only was this car in great condition it just felt solid and I fell in love with the exterior/interior color combo.

So although the car is in great shape, I'll be using this car as my DD and having 146K on the clock, its inevitable that somethings will need to be done to keep her running strong. My plan is to showcase the repairs and modifications I do with the car as well as show all of you just how OCD I am about my cars

To wet your appetite or give you an idea what you can expect from this thread, I have a similar thread posted up on the M5board highlighting my 2006 M5 and the extensive maintenance and mods I'm performing......including a complete interior swap happening now. Click the link below to check it out:
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e60...ld-thread.html


Anyways onto the show and I hope you guys enjoy....



Special Thanks to the Following Sponsors/Supporters:



Jesse Solorio @ Crevier BMW
OEM BMW Parts
Gary Carrizosa @ Crevier BMW
Service Advisor



George @ Leatherique Restoration Products
Leather Reconditioning & Dye



Zach, Jamielle and Andrew @ TRS (theretrofitsource)
Headlamp Lighting Solutions



Brandon @ Dose BMW
Transmission Service & Repair
215 Denny Way, Suite E
El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 449-3835
www.dosebmw.com


Purchase of Vehicle
2003 325i SULEV w/ 145K on the clock. And yes I did my research and I'm ok with owning a SULEV....maybe its my way of giving back to the environment for having a 13mpg M5 Not the best pics but these were taken via iPhone 2 days after picking her up. Completely untouched but that will change real soon.




Last edited by SoCaLe39; 11-22-2013 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
guitarhead429
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That interior is Can't wait to see your progress as time goes on!
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
SoCaLe39
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Power Steering Pump Replacement
Well yesterday was a bit unfortunate. Started up the car to head over and visit family and well, lets just say I moved about 10 ft and realized something was terribly wrong.......steering was nearly impossible to move. Eventually I was able to get Galatea in the garage but let me tell you something, it was not an easy task! Once I got it up on the stands and got the belt off it was a quick diagnosis as my pump shaft had broken and the pulley was practically spinning nothing. Since the M5 is down I knew I had to get this fixed ASAP so I called up my good friend Jesse at Crevier BMW and luckily had all parts in stock. Picked up the parts along with a few other things I've been meaning to get and set them aside for a morning install. Here's a list of what I picked up:

- LF-20 Pump (no longer manufactured by LUK apparently)
- Power Steering Reservior
- Both Power Steering Reservoir Hoses
- All new OEM Clamps (have special clamp tool for these)
- New rubber seal for pressure hose
- Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF

Fast forward to this morning and overall the installation of the new parts was a breeze. I will say that although it should have taken around 2hrs, it took much longer as I found myself cleaning the engine block, hoses, brackets and frame rails.

Special Thanks To:
Jesse Solorio @ Crevier BMW for getting me all the parts I needed to perform the repair!


Power Steering Fluid Removal




Pulley with attached broken pump shaft




Old Pump


New parts








Pulley all cleaned up including the bolts!

Last edited by SoCaLe39; 09-29-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
cvx5832
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Project "Galatea" | E46 Build Thread

So you went from an E39, then to an E60, then a civic, then an E46? That's an interesting evolution you've been through.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
ElrichMeister
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Re: Project "Galatea" | E46 Build Thread

Welcome to the sulev camp, not sure if it's a good thing lol.

Looks like he replaced his DD and still has the m5

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
SoCaLe39
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Engine Bay Detail - Part 1
One of the things that drives me crazy the most is seeing a super clean car then opening the hood and seeing what looks like and engine bay that has never been cleaned. This may be part of my OCD but I really get into this stuff and having a clean engine bay is necessary.....especially when you have to work in there. The first thing I noticed were the strut towers looked to have been smeared with what I can only guess would be dirt mechanix gloves. So with a little bit of detail spray and some highly diluted Simple Green I had at it. After the areas were scrubbed, I following with cleaning the paint surface with Menzerna Power Gloss compound which helped remove stains and remaining dirt. Here are some of the results....will be sure to post more very soon.

Engine Bay before Cleaning (not too bad)




Passenger Side Cubby Area




Drivers Side - Fender Area


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Old 09-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #7
SoCaLe39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
So you went from an E39, then to an E60, then a civic, then an E46? That's an interesting evolution you've been through.
Here's my BMW history:

1999 540i
2000 M5
2004 545 SMG
2006 M5 (Current)
2003 325i (Current)

I had a civic I was using as my DD so as not to put too much mileage on the BMWs I had. Got rid of the civic and now the 325i is my DD.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
SoCaLe39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElrichMeister View Post
Welcome to the sulev camp, not sure if it's a good thing lol.

Looks like he replaced his DD and still has the m5

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Thanks!

I think aside from the Fuel Tank/Pump issue the SULEV is really not as bad as people make it out to be. I'm going to try to get my tank done through warranty possibly this week. If I can't, no big deal, I'm prepared to retrofit a Non-SULEV tank and associated hardware.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:00 PM   #9
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Congrats on your purchase!
I'd love to own a V8, but 13mpg with the M5?
It's nice to see 30+ mpg with the E46.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
Nerdy46
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Someone has a dslr nice pics. Beautiful car
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:06 PM   #11
SoCaLe39
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Throttle Body Elbow Replacement
Shortly after purchasing, one of the first things I noticed with the radio off was a whistling sound while cruising down the freeway. After doing some looking around I was quick to see that the throttle body elbow had a small tear. While I was in there I also noticed some small splashes of what looked like coolant....hmmm. Upon further inspection it appeared the expansion tank had a small leak at the top. At this point I figured I might as well replace both tubes, clamps, expansion tank and throw in a new air filter. Overall a pretty painless fix although I will say getting the expansion tank out proved a little more difficult until I introduced a hammer

Old Elbow (I cut it to make it easy to remove)


New Elbow


New and Old Intake Tube


Again, all new parts


Dried Coolant Splashes Found




Old vs New Expansion Tank


And the Easiest Replacement....Air Filter

Last edited by SoCaLe39; 09-30-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:48 AM   #12
Solidjake
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Very nice man. Good to see so many new fresh parts going in.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
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Props for over-documenting what many would consider routine maintenance - never know who will learn something from it.



And a good camera / photographer makes for pleasant viewing, for sure.

Welcome to the alpine white owner's club! Your membership card is in the mail.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:56 PM   #14
SoCaLe39
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New Goodies To Install
Let me just say this, I have ZKW Bi-Xenon Headlights so........needless to say I can't see much at night. Typically this isn't an issue as I don't drive at night however I do get in the office around 6am and I'm a good 45/60min away. Anyways, I did a bunch of research and this seemed to be the best option while keeping everything else stock.....for now. More details to follow this weekend when I tackle this project...



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Old 10-03-2013, 09:37 PM   #15
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Awesome pics make build threads so much better, in.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:28 PM   #16
SoCaLe39
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Interior Trim Wrapped in Brushed Aluminum
Well, since apparently I wasn't sent the hardware for the projector install I decided to do something else. Still debating whether or not I'm liking it. My other option is to try a titanium brushed vinyl and see how that looks. I like the contrast of the brushed aluminum but I think it just might be too much. What do you guys think?????

Apologize in advance for the different lighting environments.

Old Wood Trim






Wrapped in Brushed Aluminum






More detailed photos showing the texture




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Old 10-06-2013, 05:38 PM   #17
SoCaLe39
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Debadge and Trunk Key Hole Cleaning
I don't like chrome so this along with the front grills have to go....Process was very easy, more so than my other BMWs but maybe because the tape was so old. Here's a little slideshow of my progress all done within 5-10 minutes

Final step I used Menzerna Power Gloss to polish up the paint followed by some Meguiars Gold Class wax.









No one like a dirty hole so after using a terry cloth with a little brake cleaner (was sure not to touch paint), this hole looks nice and clean



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Old 10-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #18
David McMahon
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Lovely to see the car and new and shiny bits. With all the enthusiasm, I'm starting to want to move to California.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:15 PM   #19
SoCaLe39
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DISA Replacement w/ GAS Repair Kit
So I decided to inspect my DISA unit only because its very easy to check and let's just say I'm glad I did. Upon removal I found that the pin was loose, the flapper had good amount of play and the vacuum diaphragm must have been shot as it wouldn't hold its position while covering the test port. Since a brand new OEM unit is approx $270 I decided to find a good used unit with only 60k for less than have the cost. At this point I decided, as a preventative measure, to order up the GAS repair kit to extend the life of the unit as much as I could. Overall very pleased with the GAS purchase only I wish they would have responded to my emails....

Some pics of the old unit:




Ready for New GAS Kit


After a little bit of cleaning, the replacement looks better than new





Last edited by SoCaLe39; 10-07-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:31 AM   #20
Schlag96
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Brushed aluminum looks good. What product did you use?
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