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

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Old 11-26-2018, 12:21 AM   #1
///Mark_D
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Mark's S54 Touring Build

I'm looking to join the club with the rest of you guys who are building (or have built) an S54 swapped touring. I'd been searching for a while to find the right car to start with and was recently able to grab this one from Virginia and drive it 1200 miles back to Wisconsin:

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpo...postcount=2344







It took a really long time to find what I was looking for but I was finally able to pick up the car that checked (almost) all my boxes. Red, manual trans, power seats, xenons and sport package. Even though I'll be swapping in a S54, 6 speed manual, and M3 subframes I wanted to be able to enjoy this car a little bit as it is before tearing it completely apart. Plus I figured starting with a car that already had a manual trans would save me the work of swapping over a manual pedal box and adding the clutch hydraulics. Power seats were also a must, because as far as I know cars with manual seats are not prewired to easily swap in power seats.

The only major downside to this car is that it has a grey interior, so my latest project has been tracking down black interior parts to swap over. Instead of doing a full black interior I'm thinking I will keep the grey seats, and do grey/black door cards similar to the factory 2-tone option you could get in europe. Basically it'll be like a US spec natural brown 2-tone look but with grey instead of brown.

Here's a euro spec grey/black interior LEDER CHAMELEON/KIESELGRAU (V3KA)





For now I'm storing the car in my garage over winter and driving my 325i sedan while I stockpile parts for the touring. I'm also on the lookout for a good donor M3... I'm lucky to have copart and IAA auction sites across the road from where I work so I'm keeping a close eye on a few salvage websites.

For the exterior I basically plan on giving it the ZHP treatment w/ Mtech front/rear bumpers & skirts with either the style 135 ZHP wheels or possibly the staggered 18" style 189 5 spoke wheels from the E9x. My '04 sedan has the sport package 17" style 119's and I dig the way those look, so the 189's are very similar but a size up.

Major respect and credit to all those who have done this engine swap before and have documented so much invaluable info here on the board. I'm looking forward to all the work, problem solving, and challenges this project will bring. My goal with this thread is to do as much documentation as possible starting with what's essentially Phase 1: Parts hording and interior disassembly. I'll get into that in future posts.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:01 AM   #2
Mannydog
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Good luck with the project!
I like the 2 tone idea. Didnít know that was a euro option.



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Old 11-26-2018, 10:33 AM   #3
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Good luck with the project!
I like the 2 tone idea. Didnít know that was a euro option.



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Yeah I didn't either until recently when I was searching for black touring headliner/pillar trim parts out of European salvage cars. Europe got all kinds of cool stuff on their high end option cars like the M-Sport package, but also a lot of less desirable stuff on the base package cars. Lots of cars with manual HVAC controls and cloth manual seats.

If you're curious there are a bunch of parts cars listed here where pretty much everything is for sale:
https://www.schmiedmann.com/en/show-recycled-cars

I was able to get the A-B-C-D pillars in black plus and all the handles, clips, rear seatbelt trim pieces, rear window vents, and some other misc touring parts for $180 plus 60 shipping to the US. I would have got the full headliner in black too but it requires freight shipping which is silly expensive.

I was also looking into buying the interior door cards with the black/grey inserts like in those photos I posted, but would have had to buy the full interior including seats and center console.

https://www.schmiedmann.com/en/bmw-E...product=R12509




Shipping a full pallet from Holland freight to the US was around $650 so I had to pass on that deal, plus I had no use for another set of grey seats.

My plan is to buy a set of black interior panels from a local salvage yard and swap over the grey inserts from my existing panels. There are a few good DIY threads on the board and it doesn't seem too difficult.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:33 PM   #4
Steve M3
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Look forward to your build.

I'm doing the same with the beige interior in my touring but I'm planning to try to dye the panels first to see how it turns out.
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:07 PM   #5
///Mark_D
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Look forward to your build.

I'm doing the same with the beige interior in my touring but I'm planning to try to dye the panels first to see how it turns out.
Thanks, I thought about going that route too... there was someone else here that dyed parts instead of cutting all the plastic welded rivets on the panels.

Just searched around a little, here's the thread: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1108471
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:11 PM   #6
Steve M3
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Thanks, I thought about going that route too... there was someone else here that dyed parts instead of cutting all the plastic welded rivets on the panels.

Just searched around a little, here's the thread: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1108471
That looks great. Honestly, just doing the carpets on mine made a huge difference so I'm not in a huge hurry to do the rest as it'll be quite the project.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:59 PM   #7
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Today my box of black pillar trim and headliner parts arrived from Schmiedman in Europe. During the unboxing and unwrapping of all the individual pieces my wife asked me if my excitement was going to last longer than 4 hours and if she needed to call my doctor.

Yeah, I was excited.





One cool thing I didn't realize when I ordered the parts was that the sun visors are fabric and don't have the airbag warnings that the US spec cars have. The A pillars are also slightly narrower than the US spec A pillars, but apparently still fit without any issues. Worst case I'd just have to find a set from a wrecked ZHP to use instead. The black C pillars and upper headliner finishers are Europe only parts that were on M Sport wagons that the US market never got.





My PASoft cable also finally showed up today from China (took like 2 weeks ordering from https://www.xcar360.com/bmw-scanner-...de-reader.html

I also did some more digging at a couple of local salvage yards today and picked up a homelink garage door opener for $2 and a set of 4 black interior door panels for $100 including all the HK speakers, window/mirror switches and trim pieces.





The LH front panel had a busted speaker grille so I'll have to grab one from another car next time I'm at a different salvage yard.

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Old 11-27-2018, 05:07 PM   #8
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Yea, I bought a set of the A pillar covers for my coupe... from the UK. They are the narrow ones, would not fit over the airbag parts. So I have a $57 set of covers i can't use. Could probably sell them on to a Fanatic from Canada though.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:49 PM   #9
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how much did all those parts from Schmiedmann cost if you don't mind me asking.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:32 PM   #10
///Mark_D
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how much did all those parts from Schmiedmann cost if you don't mind me asking.
$180 for the parts and shipping was $60.
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:30 PM   #11
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$180 for the parts and shipping was $60.
That was a great deal. I got my off eBay in Portugal. Paid somewhere around $350-375 shipped. The one thing that miffed me is he didnít send the alarm sensor cover. I ended up getting one off eBay fairly cheaply though. Still need the sunroof slide and trim, and the sunroof motor cover.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:59 AM   #12
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That was a great deal. I got my off eBay in Portugal. Paid somewhere around $350-375 shipped. The one thing that miffed me is he didnít send the alarm sensor cover. I ended up getting one off eBay fairly cheaply though. Still need the sunroof slide and trim, and the sunroof motor cover.
I'm seeing lots of full sets, including the sunroof shade and even the matching lower b-pillar trims (Euro upper b-pillars are narrower so need the lowers swapped too to match) on ebay.de lately. I'll be ordering from there once I come back around to the interior part of my project, have to get the paint done first.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:10 AM   #13
///Mark_D
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That was a great deal. I got my off eBay in Portugal. Paid somewhere around $350-375 shipped. The one thing that miffed me is he didnít send the alarm sensor cover. I ended up getting one off eBay fairly cheaply though. Still need the sunroof slide and trim, and the sunroof motor cover.
I didn't get the alarm sensor cover either since the donor car didn't have one. In the US i think all E46's are prewired for the alarm and have the cover as part of the headliner, but in Europe it must have been different.

This was the headliner that was originally bundled with the rest of the parts I got:

https://www.schmiedmann.com/en/bmw-E...product=K01470

I was able to work with Dennis at Schmiedmann to have him separate the headliner out since it was non-sunroof and the shipping would have been too expensive. There doesn't appear to be a cutout for the alarm sensor either.

The European cars must have only gotten the cutout and cover for the alarm if the alarm option was actually chosen, vs the US where all cars had the cover even if it didn't have the alarm option and were prewired to easily add the parts.

We kind of lucked out there since it's easy to get the tilt sensor, motion sensor, and alarm siren out of another car and just plug everything in. From there it's just a little programming with PA Soft to add the audible beep and lights flashing when locking/unlocking the doors.

I'll probably do the same as you did and ebay the black cover or just buy one new from one of the vendors. They're not too bad new at around $20.
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Old 11-28-2018, 11:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by VpointVick View Post
I'm seeing lots of full sets, including the sunroof shade and even the matching lower b-pillar trims (Euro upper b-pillars are narrower so need the lowers swapped too to match) on ebay.de lately. I'll be ordering from there once I come back around to the interior part of my project, have to get the paint done first.
The trick is trying to get them to ship to you. I tried several in Germany and none went along with it. Also be sure to look at the photos VERY carefully. I rejected more than half due to blemishes I could find.

I hope you're able to get them though. It took me about 18 months of searching and trying to get someone to play ball, even though I offered to pay the price of the full set and just not take the headliner card.
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Old 11-28-2018, 11:33 AM   #15
Geo31
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Originally Posted by mjdehlin View Post
I didn't get the alarm sensor cover either since the donor car didn't have one. In the US i think all E46's are prewired for the alarm and have the cover as part of the headliner, but in Europe it must have been different.

This was the headliner that was originally bundled with the rest of the parts I got:

https://www.schmiedmann.com/en/bmw-E...product=K01470

I was able to work with Dennis at Schmiedmann to have him separate the headliner out since it was non-sunroof and the shipping would have been too expensive. There doesn't appear to be a cutout for the alarm sensor either.

The European cars must have only gotten the cutout and cover for the alarm if the alarm option was actually chosen, vs the US where all cars had the cover even if it didn't have the alarm option and were prewired to easily add the parts.

We kind of lucked out there since it's easy to get the tilt sensor, motion sensor, and alarm siren out of another car and just plug everything in. From there it's just a little programming with PA Soft to add the audible beep and lights flashing when locking/unlocking the doors.

I'll probably do the same as you did and ebay the black cover or just buy one new from one of the vendors. They're not too bad new at around $20.
Check the prices from ECS first. Some of the parts are reasonably inexpensive. It's also been an eye opener to see the prices of some stuff on eBay. A LOT of it I can get from ECS brand new for less.

The sunroof card is bloody expensive new. Fortunately it's the same for all cars. However, I've yet to find one on eBay for a decent price. I have a few other sources I may try.

BTW, recovering the sunroof card is so-so. I did that with my sedan and it just never slid so well after. I talked with someone at a shop who does headliners and they specifically asked me about my slider. Apparently I'm not the only one who has run into this.
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Old 11-28-2018, 11:35 AM   #16
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The trick is trying to get them to ship to you. I tried several in Germany and none went along with it. Also be sure to look at the photos VERY carefully. I rejected more than half due to blemishes I could find.

I hope you're able to get them though. It took me about 18 months of searching and trying to get someone to play ball, even though I offered to pay the price of the full set and just not take the headliner card.
I work in a building full of Germans. I'm hoping to be able to make arrangements of some sort.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by VpointVick View Post
I'm seeing lots of full sets, including the sunroof shade and even the matching lower b-pillar trims (Euro upper b-pillars are narrower so need the lowers swapped too to match) on ebay.de lately. I'll be ordering from there once I come back around to the interior part of my project, have to get the paint done first.
Just a heads up from my experience. Would be helpful to others as well.

Euro upper and lower B-pillars obviously are narrower than the US counterparts. A while back, I ordered a brand new set of Euro lowers to work with the used Euro uppers I bought as part of a set, and I can't get the damn things to fit. I have tried numerous times over the last year or so. The lower pillar does not sit correctly and makes contact with the chassis, creating alignment issues with the upper B-pillar and door trims. I have now caved in after a year and ordered new US ZHP B-pillars, and will be reusing my original US lowers. Hopefully that works

To make this all more interesting, a member on here, Kaiv, actually texted me about a month ago asking if I had any idea why new US B-pillars that he ordered were too wide for the original lower B-pillars that were on the car. The Touring was a low option, slicktop US model. I told him to pull the original lowers off the car and look for a PN. Sure enough they were Euro... I'm thinking it has to do with it being a slicktop, but not sure.

I have 2 sets of Euro uppers and a set of Euro lowers if anyone is interested... Lol

Last edited by nickpiper12; 11-28-2018 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:28 PM   #18
Geo31
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Originally Posted by VpointVick View Post
I work in a building full of Germans. I'm hoping to be able to make arrangements of some sort.


Awesome! You're way ahead of me. While I can still speak a little German, I cannot write it for diddly anymore, so I used Google Translate. Not the best, but kinda gets the job done.

I'll bet with a native speaker helping you that you'll have better success. I even went so far as to look up mail/freight forwarders nearby, but that is where I just really couldn't communicate properly to get it done.

Good luck!

Keep in mind you can get everything you need except the C pillars from a ZHP sedan. Problem is, the costs is stupid. I tried with a guy in Austin and he wanted something like $700. I didn't even respond after that.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:30 PM   #19
Geo31
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Originally Posted by nickpiper12 View Post
Just a heads up from my experience. Would be helpful to others as well.

Euro upper and lower B-pillars obviously are narrower than the US counterparts. A while back, I ordered a brand new set of Euro lowers to work with the used Euro uppers I bought as part of a set, and I can't get the damn things to fit. I have tried numerous times over the last year or so. The lower pillar does not sit correctly and makes contact with the chassis, creating alignment issues with the upper B-pillar and door trims. I have now caved in after a year and ordered new US ZHP B-pillars, and will be reusing my original US lowers. Hopefully that works

To make this all more interesting, a member on here, Kaiv, actually texted me about a month ago asking if I had any idea why new US B-pillars that he ordered were too wide for the original lower B-pillars that were on the car. The Touring was a low option, slicktop US model. I told him to pull the original lowers off the car and look for a PN. Sure enough they were Euro... I'm thinking it has to do with it being a slicktop, but not sure.

I have 2 sets of Euro uppers and a set of Euro lowers if anyone is interested... Lol
I remember your thread and have had that in the back of my mind.

As I speculated way back, is the contact you're getting actually with the US restraint system?
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:55 PM   #20
VpointVick
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Originally Posted by nickpiper12 View Post
Just a heads up from my experience. Would be helpful to others as well.

Euro upper and lower B-pillars obviously are narrower than the US counterparts. A while back, I ordered a brand new set of Euro lowers to work with the used Euro uppers I bought as part of a set, and I can't get the damn things to fit. I have tried numerous times over the last year or so. The lower pillar does not sit correctly and makes contact with the chassis, creating alignment issues with the upper B-pillar and door trims. I have now caved in after a year and ordered new US ZHP B-pillars, and will be reusing my original US lowers. Hopefully that works

To make this all more interesting, a member on here, Kaiv, actually texted me about a month ago asking if I had any idea why new US B-pillars that he ordered were too wide for the original lower B-pillars that were on the car. The Touring was a low option, slicktop US model. I told him to pull the original lowers off the car and look for a PN. Sure enough they were Euro... I'm thinking it has to do with it being a slicktop, but not sure.

I have 2 sets of Euro uppers and a set of Euro lowers if anyone is interested... Lol
Interdasting.
Will call for more research.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo31 View Post


Awesome! You're way ahead of me. While I can still speak a little German, I cannot write it for diddly anymore, so I used Google Translate. Not the best, but kinda gets the job done.

I'll bet with a native speaker helping you that you'll have better success. I even went so far as to look up mail/freight forwarders nearby, but that is where I just really couldn't communicate properly to get it done.

Good luck!

Keep in mind you can get everything you need except the C pillars from a ZHP sedan. Problem is, the costs is stupid. I tried with a guy in Austin and he wanted something like $700. I didn't even respond after that.
I've already got sunvisors, sunroof motor cover and alarm cover, and yeah the price was seriously adding up.

I reckon that I'll end up 1. Having a native speaker do the negotiations for me, and 2. have the seller ship to a relative of the native speaker in country who will then forward the package on to me.

I'm thinking that I should be able to get the whole works, less the headliner itself, here for $3-400 at most and then resell the parts that I already have.
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