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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:41 PM   #1
RealSavoy
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 5
My Ride: 1999 323i
Repair Help (tons of pics)

Alright, here we go.

I owned a 2004 G35 (Coupe). My family got bigger and I needed a Sedan.

Perfect excuse to get rid of a car note, and an automatic at that.

I got this car for (what I still believe was) dirt cheap ($2,300)... Here comes the but... She was a total slob. The leather is pealing and ripped, some of the wood-grain panels are cracked, dents and scratches all over the car (and some rust). and some parts need to be seriously replaced.

Even with all these issues, I still like this car. I'm sure I can sell this and get more than my money's worth, but I've always liked the style of the e46 and no car note!

I am hoping to get some repair help from the folks here, and would greatly appreciate it.

Oh, and before I bought the car, I took a trip to CARMAX and told them I would like to "sell" the car. They did a full (carfax like report) inspection and offered me $5,000 for it. Since it didnt have any serious engine/transmission issues, and they only flagged body imperfections I kept the car (I've only heard good things about german built engines).

1999
5 Speed Manual Transmission
130K Miles
E46 Pre-Face
4-Door Sedan

You can flame me all you want about my old car, but until you start paing my bills, be courteous about the fact that I live within my means











































Tip or Links would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:54 PM   #2
Alexotronic
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Location: Irvine, CA
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Good find. Maybe consider seat covers. Bavarianautosport sells some "custom fit" ones.

Best thing you can do is figure out what the part numbers are for trim pieces and start replacing them.

For example: your cupholder pops right out and you can get a new one for about 30$.

I don't think you'd be flamed here for owning a car that's beat to hell. If anything you'd garner respect by treating this vehicle with some much needed TLC

Welcome to the club.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:14 AM   #3
mletchworth
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Yeah, no flame here. Spend some time on these forums, then working on your car - you'll learn sooooo much. These cars really aren't too hard to work on either. When it's all said and done you'll have some good repair skills you can put to good use on your other vehicles and in the future.

First thing I would do with your car is make a list of everything you want to repair or replace. Then sort the list by what's most important to you, or what you want to get done first. Then start searching the forums. You can also find some good DIY info here: http://bimmerinfo.com/diy/ and here: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do?vin=NJ27395. You'll want to put in your own VIN or build date into RealOEM to get accurate results, but it's a great way to find part numbers.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:53 AM   #4
vegito
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I think the first thing that you need to do is get this baby to a bodyshop repair the bodywork putting your money for a good paint job and then go further. Its like that the last owner had a dog in the car.

oh year this car need a good cleaning process

Last edited by vegito; 07-21-2011 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
RealSavoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mletchworth View Post
Yeah, no flame here. Spend some time on these forums, then working on your car - you'll learn sooooo much. These cars really aren't too hard to work on either. When it's all said and done you'll have some good repair skills you can put to good use on your other vehicles and in the future.

First thing I would do with your car is make a list of everything you want to repair or replace. Then sort the list by what's most important to you, or what you want to get done first. Then start searching the forums. You can also find some good DIY info here: http://bimmerinfo.com/diy/ and here: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do?vin=NJ27395. You'll want to put in your own VIN or build date into RealOEM to get accurate results, but it's a great way to find part numbers.
Thanks for the resources. I need to dedicate time to her...
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:20 PM   #6
RealSavoy
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Originally Posted by vegito View Post
I think the first thing that you need to do is get this baby to a bodyshop repair the bodywork putting your money for a good paint job and then go further. Its like that the last owner had a dog in the car.

oh year this car need a good cleaning process
Now that you mention it, it does look like a dog was back there!
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:06 AM   #7
9deuce9rr
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no flame here either, props for living within your means and owning what you like! Sounds like a pretty good deal, even with all the problems.

Bumper - wouldn't worry too much about, maybe take it in to get it spot painted and blended to fix the edges... or just completely re-sprayed (if anything)

Fender/Hood - would probably be easier/cheaper to keep your eyes open on CL or the forum for someone selling one you can use, even if it needs to be painted. body work can tend to be $$$, and is never as good as a piece without a handful of bondo on it

Bumper inserts - can be had for fairly cheap, or just remove it as a whole and leave it open. Or find another material you like as a grill, and custom fit that

Driver's mirror - mine is starting to have the same problem. can't figure out how to fix it. might have to live with it while you wait for one to come up for cheap. I've seen just the glass portion come up in the classifieds section for as little as $50

door/window trim - looks like the previous owner tried painting the chrome trim? would suggest sanding it back down, masking it off, and poof can it black.

wheels - now you just have an excuse to go aftermarket! keep your eyes open on CL, picked me up a set of 18's recently, all powdercoated black with brand new tires for $650 - your tires look BALD anyway

exhaust tips - car wash and then take a brillo pad/steel wool to them... will shine like new in no time

paint flake below tail light - search for what paint matches and spray/blend it yourself.... then you get to spray your trim in the process!

trunk key hole - that's just grime, put some extra gusto into it when you wash next time and it will come off. if not, take some WD-40 to it

seats - as said above, pick up some covers, or just some new seats and replace those if you can't/don't want to live with them

dash trim - cover it in vinyl

a lot of it is just some time consuming DIY fixes, or lots of little parts that can be replaced.

Good luck on the fix-up and keep us posted on progress!

hope this helped at least a little?
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:59 AM   #8
RealSavoy
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Originally Posted by 9deuce9rr View Post
a lot of it is just some time consuming DIY fixes, or lots of little parts that can be replaced.

Good luck on the fix-up and keep us posted on progress!

hope this helped at least a little?
This is great help, and I appreciate the breakdown Sometimes I dont even know where to start

I found a couple awesome rim repair resources:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=713071

http://bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/wheel...uff-repair.htm
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:10 AM   #9
Bandit4077
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TOTAL Necro-post here but if its still an issue, leather repair kits, and if necessary; upholstery shops can match the OEM leather it's not to exotic and cows aren't extinct or endangered, so it's not so expensive. take the front seats out, and vacuum and shampoo the carpets... full tune and inspection II
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its the feeling you get when you realized that you have put more money into mods and repairs than have on payments...
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:34 PM   #10
chuckdiez323i
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Location: boston mass
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My Ride: 2000 323i
lucky you!

amazing find !!! blessed to find the car with less mileage could care less about the cosmetics as long as the engine and tranny are in good condition the car will last you a long time i bought my car last year for 3500 in boston with 194k from some old guy who took it to the dealership every time so it was in the best of shape its now at 205k and im still in love with how it runs read through the threads im sure youll find plenty of help
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
Super Sheep
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Dude I'm so jealous, even with the body damage, you got that for bloody 2 grand? Deal of a lifetime. Please will the car to me and come sky diving with me... I'll provide the parachute
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