So today i have the task of copying my project thread, most of it should make sense. Thank god it was only a few pages long Enjoy.................
Right first things first......
I bought the car October 2009 after a lot of saving a searching. Originally I was after a 1998/99 E36 323 Convertible M-Tech and spotted the perfect one on autotrader. 1999 323 Converible - Dark blue, white leather, full M-tech with 18" MV1 alloys but had 81,00 miles on the clock and was a little too much money, it dropped in price and my dad and I thought that it was good to go......but by the time we rang to arrange a viewing it had sold. Bored on a Saturday afternoon I sat down on the PC and searched google and on the 7th page found this.........
2000 E46 323ci Converible - 54,500 miles, Black full leather memory seats, black trim, 6 Disc multi-changer 18" MV3 style alloys (copies unfortunatly). And got it for the price that the E36 was up for. This is how it sat first day i got it -
And this is how it stayed until now really (I was an apprentice so had a sh#t wage and towards the end of my time I was on the verg of being made redundant so modifying the car wasn't really top priority). I'd sorted a few bits out like fitted mats, replaced a broken air vent, replaced f#cked bonnet badge and wheel centres and then a bill for 4 new tyres!!
New job and more money, then the first kinda proper mods......I got rid of those horrible ambers
I also fitted german plates and surrounds - I know it has M Power on the number plate surround and its not an M car (I'm with the majority of people....if its not an M car then there shouldn't be an M badge on it). But the other choices were Alpina, AC Schnitzer (which it clearly isn't) or plain boring black.
Between the bank holidays just gone the postman dropped of a new inhaler to make the BM breath a little better.....hopefullly
I also gave the engine bay a little clean while I was there.
The bracket needs some modifying as the intake sits to close to the radiator but other than that it all good and sounds amazing!! Gave it a good blast up Stratford high street between all the tall buildings mmmmmm. I was intending on putting the cold air feed on it but after reading LiloCollinsy's 325ti compact project thread "i have removed the cold air feed. It was practical silent with it on" i decided against it.
As we all know, BMW don't really have great sound systems so I started ripping the old one out. Started off with the head unit
The head unit is a Pioneer AVH-P4300DVD.
Massive thanks to Lee from Quarry Motors for supplying the A/C relocation panel/ashtray.
Then all of this turned up on my doorstep (over a period of a month, not litterally at once ) (one amp took 6 weeks to come)................
1 x Pioneer PRS-D1200M (Mono amp)
1 x Pioneer PRS-D420 (4 Channel amp)
1 x Pioneer TS-W259D4 (4 Ohm 10" Sub)
2 x Pioneer TS-E130Ci (Component speakers)
1 x 4 AWG wiring kit
2 x Speaker adapters - Only require 1 set now
(The idea of my ICE install was to remain as OEM looking as possible, with exseption to the amps).
While i was waiting for the amps to turn up i started making the false floor. I started off by drawing round the original boot floor on 15mm MDF and also made a spacer (8mm MDF) as the amps were deeper than the recess in the boot floor
Once all the bits were cut on i glued them together, sanded any excess between the floor and spacer and then began drawing the holes for the amps to show through, beer was a must at the stage
When the amps finally came i was able to check that the holes were going to right and went ahead and cut them out. Any eagle eyed viewers may have noticed i had to fill a bit of the left hand side hole, got a little eager with the sanding and started sanding at an angle f#cking it up a little. I used a rotor to cut recesses in the underside of the floor to allow a little more clearance for the amps (not pictured).
I ordered some capervan lining carpet (1.5mm thick) and carpeted the false floor. The carpet is a near perfect match to the original colour of the boot lining. I used M6 tee nuts and allen key head bolts to secure the false floor to the original boot floor. I then lined up both amps and bolted then down (from the picture they look wonky, but trust me there not. I spent about half hour lying each one up). I also used a race strap to allow me to pull the floor up to gain acess to the wheel-well
Out the car (obviously)
The wiring so far looks like this under the flase floor
Once i had the amps wired up i began wiring my front speakers up. I used the speaker adapters for the component speakers and then 3mm MDF to create a housing for the tweeters which I sprayed black.
I mounted the crossover using durable double sided tap.
To try and stop all the wires vibrating and giving them the OEM look (I know nobody can see them but I'd of know they were in a state) I used fabric wire harness tape to wrap them in. I also stuck them to the door card to stop them vibrating (cant be seen that well in the picture).
The routes for the wiring -
Red = Component speaker
Blue = Tweeter
I also secured the old speaker cable and wraped the new one in the fabric tap
I dont want to sing my own prases but considering I've never done anything like this before I dont think I've done a bad job
Then a little more messing around with MDF
I had previously made the facia (the filter is to cover the holes I completely messed up) so that saved me some time.
I then made a surround to fit where the ski-hatch plastic had been
And a box that would fit into the ski-hatch hole. Although nobody would know him - A big thank you has to go to my mate Will who got me the corner pieces as I could find anything anywhere for a reasonable price.
Once everything was carpeted I assembled it all and fitted it to the car. I had to redo the leather look facia as I scratched it during fitting. Although the sub box without the carpet fitted perfectly with a little give, with the carpet it was a right f&cker to fit, at one point I kicked it to get it in I ended up having to beat the ski-hatch out a little. Absolutely $hit my pants when the roll bar popped through the rear head rest, I saw pound signs failing out my pocket, went on YouTube and found how to reset them luckily.
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By this point I still haven't lowered it as I keep buying things that I shouldn't. These are the latest things that I shouldn't really have bought -
They are RC041's and RC042's, which I believe are the preferred choice?
I found them on eBay and were only in the next village along from mine 2 miles away, if that. According to the listing they had a refurbishment about 2 years ago, but the company who did them cheated and didn't split them. 2 front tyres (Goodyear Eagal F1's- if i remember correctly) have a good bit if tread on them but rear 2 were just about illegal. I picked them up for £235 which I didn't think was too bad?
Pics of the worst bits -
Initially I was going to follow Stu's BBS RC refurb guide and do the whole lot myself bar the centres. So I removed all the nuts and bolts and began trying to separate the centres from the barrells, notice the word TRYING.
Knowing that the wheels had been sprayed as a whole I brushed nitromores around the edge where the centre meet the barrel. I used a piece of 2x4 (all I had to hand) and some rags to protect the alloy and set about splitting them.
What a f@cking ball ache!! In the end I stamped on one and shot through the wheel, 1 down, 3 to go. I set about the next one. Again, nitromores around the edge, smack with 2x4 and lots of stamping. Nothing. Re-applied nitromores, smack again, stamp again. Nope.
So here's my ingenuity -
It consists of the front door recess, rags to protect the alloy, a Renault car jack, and a short section of 2x4.
2 down (RC041's), 2 to go. Unfortunately I couldn't split the RC042's. So I began stripping the barrels while thinking how I would split the other alloys (I almost used a friends 10 ton hydraulic tractor press, but decided this would probably damage the wheel).
I applied god knows how many coats of nitromores to the first barrel and gave up. There was about 3 layers of paint on them so I decided to find someone who could acid dip them. Alloys Wheels Leicester | Perfection Group | Alloy Wheel Refurbishment/Polished Wheels/Diamond Turned Wheels/Alloy Wheels/Trim Repair They used a butterfly press to seperate the 2 remanding alloys.
A week later I picked up the wheels completely stripped and the centres sprayed.
With the centres I wanted something a little different from silver, grey, black or white (no offence to anyone who has their centres sprayed in these colours). I took them the paint code I wanted and they matched it perfectly.
Oh n the alloys won't be going on until I get the car lowered or it will look $hite
Comments very welcome good or bad. Plus did I pay over the odds for the alloys?
Right not a massive update - Been very busy finishing the new drive way with my dad. It was meant to be done for when I passed my test, 5 years in thought, 2 years in planning
Anyway whilst doing that I haven't had any decent amount of time to sand and polish my wheels. So starting on the first 1 I manged to get through the pitting which was left by someone sandblasting them, I went through all the grits listed in Stu's guide and then using a car body detailing mop I applied cutting compound, t-cut and then autosol. Mopping between applications. Here's the end result. I poped the centres in earlier and they looked mint
So before (after the acid dip)
After all the mind numbing sanding
Well the colour i went for is an Individual Mora Metallic (purple), it was this or phoenix, think i picked the right colour. Enjoy!! First 3 pics are a bit dark, last 2 I've angled a light on it to show the colour properly
The pictures don't really do them justice, they look much better in the metal.
A big thanks has to go to Stu for the centre caps
So Lowtec H9.3 coilovers went on after recieving them from Chris at Madeone. Heres the results
V Quite like this shot V
And then with my top off
So finally got the wheels done and the rubber on them, they were then just teasing me in my room. Yes there in my room because if they were in the garage they would be trashed by mum putting things on them, shoving them around and so on. Women ay
RC041 with 205/40/R17
RC042 with 215/40/R17
Not massive mods but mods all the same. Replaced the standard aerial for a little stumpy one
Popped some stickers on the back screen, they won't be to everyone's cupa tea but there growing on me
Next up is a bit hit and miss. I was thinking of something that was very subtle but something I hadn't seen on a BM........
These turned up a little while ago and decided to put them on the rear. 15mm
I've ordered some 20mm spacers for the front but won't be turning up for another week or so
As there on back order. Will be on for the Northampton meet though.
I will add pictures of the wheels on once the spacers arrive as the fronts look lost in the arch. Although wheel have been on for 2 weeks now. When the sun hits them and the purple 'pops' got they look good :Hihi
Right well the front spacers didn't turn up in time for the Northampton meet and didn't turn up today. Hopefully tomorrow though. But some new front indicators turned up today so slotted them in quickly after work
Found out the original indicators weren't actually original BMW.......
And that brings me upto date. Finally the spacers turned up Thursday so they went straight on when i got back from work. Took a few snaps Friday afternoon, the weather wasnt great and the RC's look black.......
I will get some better pictures when the sun is out and I've got my camera
All comments are welcome as usual, good or bad. Thanks for looking