E46 Sapphire Black 330i Sport Touring
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  1. #1
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    Mark_J's Avatar
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    E46 Sapphire Black 330i Sport Touring

    So I needed a replacement for my previous E46 320d Touring. This time I opted for an E46 330i Manual Sport Touring, the only difficulty was actually finding one that I liked that wasn't 200 miles away. Several months later this car turned up fairly locally so I decided to have a look at it. Against my better judgement I bought it.

    So here's the new money pit as it currently stands a day after its purchase. Solid spec according to the sheet I printed out last night and even has a Karman's Hardon speaker system!. It's had a fairly rough history these last few years sadly from what I can tell with some pretty shitty owners doing very shitty things to it. It's going to need loadsamoney and some elbow grease thrown at it to get it decent again. From the looks of it, the majority of the problems are mainly just the usual wear and tear and previous owners neglecting basic maintenance in favour of crap mirrors.

    Am I insane for buying it? Definitely, but I think there's some potential here for an interesting project and if it didn't need any work I'd lose interest very quickly.

    The interior hasn't been subjected to a huge amount of vandalism thankfully, mainly just wear and tear. The leathers are in great condition (a bit wrinkly at the back, but nothing major) and just need a bit of tarting up. Bits of trim are of course broken/missing but it's not a young car and it's had moron owners so I'm not at all surprised at this. There's a phone thing fitted that makes a loud beep when you start the car, which pisses me off immensely so that's going in the fucking bin ASAP.





    Filthy engine bay. I'm guessing that power steering bottle is new because it's only clean thing in the entire bay.



    The car seems to run ok, no weird engine noises or an erratic idle as of yet. Engine pulls fairly well through the rev range which is good but the gearbox may have a problem. The gears are quite limp and not very precise with 4th being somewhat difficult to put in and having a tendency to fall straight back out again now and then too. It does this regardless of whether the car is running or not so I'm assuming it's something simple like a dislodged surround. New fluids should sort out the limp gearing and if not, new gear linkages and bushes will do.



    It handles like total shit currently. The usual bushes are worn so these are going to get replaced and the wishbone arms as well if needbe. To make the handling even worse it also has a wonderful variety of shitty budget tyres ranging from bumrun to a misshaped primewell. Wonderful... So it's going to need a new full set of tyres as priority and I'm still undecided on what to go for. Uniroyal Rain Sport 2s, Falken FKnumbers, or those vredbergsteins or some shit. Not looking to pay a fortune out for some as I need a full set but I'm not looking to put something on that are trash either.



    Minor kerbing on the front wheels... I've never had wheels so badly kerbed before. This isn't really high priority yet seeing as I've got a bunch of tyres to replace but I will check them for cracks when I get new tyres. All of them look genuine though at least.



    These wonderful things make a huge racket whilst driving. They're not electric and whoever put them in damaged the karman's hardon speaker grill to fit them. Such a great upgrade at 22 for a pair... These are going straight into the bin when the replacement proper ones arrive.



    These grills can piss off as well. I'm not a fan of matt black grills either way but had they been decent (I.E if they actually fit) I would likely have left them in. The hard job now is finding a set of intact replacements. Stonechips aren't really a big concern either as they'll get tackled later on.



    So the basic plan is, deal with the maintenance jobs that need doing first and foremost (there's plenty to get on with). Get it on some decent rubber as well as getting the relevant bushes sorted out. Remove cheap and nasty tat and pretty much just get it looking decent again. Shouldn't be too difficult. Once I'm fairly happy with the mechanicals and trim, I'll consider adding some mods to it.

    UPDATE: 13th September 2014

    And this is the car as it stands today.


























    Progress and to do list

    4x New Uniroyal Rainsport 2 Tyres - DONE
    New Wishbone bushes (Lemforder) - DONE
    ARB bushes (Superpro PU) - DONE
    Replace gearbox fluid (Redline D4 ATF) - DONE
    Replace differential fluid (Redline 75W 90) - DONE
    4 Wheel Hunter Alignment - DONE
    Fix passenger seat belt tensioner - DONE
    Fix bumper sag all round - DONE
    Replace missing underpanel and wheel arch trim - DONE
    Golf tee mod - DONE
    Buy new key from BMW - DONE
    Fix central locking - DONE (new key fixed it)
    Replace damaged Clubsport gearknob - DONE
    Scuffmaster driver's bolster - DONE
    Fit front cup holders - DONE
    Remove E36 M3 replica mirrors for genuine E46 Sport mirrors - DONE
    Remove old Nokia handsfree kit - DONE
    Retrofit updated Climate Control unit - DONE
    Remove cheap black grills for genuine E46 chrome grills - DONE
    Fix number plate fixings on the tailgate and fit new number plates - DONE
    Retrim steering wheel and wrap lower trim - DONE
    Full Service (Mann air/oil/pollen filters + Castrol Edge 0w-30) - DONE
    Replace leaking radiator - DONE
    Fit New mats - DONE
    Chrome bulbs (Silvertec) - DONE
    Replace Roundels - DONE
    ISOFIX cover (52207008490) x2 - DONE
    Relocation Panel (51167001409) - DONE
    Fit Dynavin clone Sat Nav (Eonon) - DONE
    Replace side repeaters for new BMW ones - DONE
    Refurb and powdercoat alloys in OEM silver - DONE
    Fit new genuine wheel badges - DONE
    Paint calipers satin black - DONE
    Replace front wipers (genuine evo wipers) - DONE
    Replaced CCV, relevant gaskets and hoses for insulated parts - DONE
    Clean throttle body (replaced gasket) and idle control valve - DONE
    Replace oil filter housing gasket - DONE
    Replace upper intake boot - DONE
    Clean MAF - DONE
    DISA rebuild (aluminium rebuild) - DONE
    Replace Final Stage Resistor (Hedgehog) - DONE
    Replace Scuttle Panel - DONE
    Replace Battery (Exide Premium EA770) - DONE
    Replace Battery Covers - DONE
    Replace Damaged Drivers Air Vent - DONE
    Replace Damaged Central Air Vent - DONE
    Repair Faulty LCM Unit (replaced) - DONE
    Replace Fuel Cap - DONE
    Replace trim fixings - DONE
    Check and Repair/Replace Vapour Barriers - DONE
    Replace Doorcard clips - DONE
    Replace Bonnet Catch - DONE
    Remove CDV - DONE
    Fit White Interior LEDs - DONE
    Fit White Numberplate LEDs - DONE
    Fit Cree Q5 Reverse LEDs - DONE
    New Front Foglight Lenses - DONE
    New Lower Grill - DONE
    BMW Gloss Black Kidney Grills (new genuine) - DONE
    Fit Mtec (black) slotted/dimpled Brake Discs - DONE
    Fit Meyle Handbrake Shoes- DONE
    Fit Mintex handbrake fitting kit- DONE
    Fit EBC Redstuff Pads - DONE
    Fit HEL Braided Brake Lines - DONE
    Replace Headlight Lenses & Gaskets - DONE
    Fit 6000k LED Angel Eyes - DONE
    LED sidelights - DONE
    Replace rusty front wing (new genuine) - DONE
    New headlight washer covers - DONE
    New headlight trim pieces - DONE
    Full Exterior respray (bare metal), dents, broken trim and rust removed and additional rust proofing. - DONE
    Shadowline doortrim restored (2 pieces, bare metal prep) o/s - DONE
    Colour-coded bumper and door trim pieces - DONE
    Numberplate surrounds - DONE
    New Tailgate Lenses - DONE
    Replace both roof rails (new genuine) - DONE
    New Tailgate Hatch Mircroswitch & Mechanism - DONE
    New front wiper arms - DONE
    Replace damaged arch liner - DONE
    Replace damaged arch liner (Again) - DONE]
    New cabin filter cover - DONE
    Replace damaged exterior trim clips - DONE
    New bonnet latches and bonnet cables - DONE
    New genuine indicators - DONE

    VANOS Seals Repair Kit + necessary gaskets etc - BOUGHT
    Replace rocker gasket set - BOUGHT
    New Oil Sensor (Hella) - BOUGHT

    More interior mods (speaker upgrade)
    Refresh suspension (H&R Cup Sport Kit)
    Replace Interior door jam protection rubbers o/s/f and o/s/r
    Fix rear washer jet and surrounding plastics
    Fix rear demister
    S54 transplant
    Last edited by Mark_J; 14-09-2014 at 14:01. Reason: Updated to add to do list

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Mark_J For This Useful Post:

    ABM (25-03-2013),cforehead (25-03-2013),Chris Marron (25-03-2013),jrfty (25-03-2013),MLAM (25-09-2013),simonsays (25-03-2013),watty (29-03-2013)

  3. #2
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    Hey Mark good to see you found one and am sure it won't be long till you've straightened it out

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to simonsays For This Useful Post:

    Mark_J (25-03-2013)

  5. #3
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    Tbmw's Avatar
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    I actually really like that as it stands

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Tbmw For This Useful Post:

    Mark_J (25-03-2013)

  7. #4
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    Niall_farley's Avatar
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    Looks like a good project buddy! Looking forward to regular updates

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Niall_farley For This Useful Post:

    Mark_J (25-03-2013)

  9. #5
    Nothing too graphic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niall_farley View Post
    Looks like a good project buddy! Looking forward to regular updates
    Plenty to do and the list keeps on growing!

    Quote Originally Posted by simonsays View Post
    Hey Mark good to see you found one and am sure it won't be long till you've straightened it out

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
    Me too! It probably won't take long as I think once I've ironed out the mechanical and electrical gremlins (The cluster has dead pixels when it's cold, which is pretty annoying. "O l s rv c 0 21" ). Hasn't got any ECU lights on currently but I probably should try and get an old laptop sorted out so I can plug it all in and... do technical stuff. Unless someone local with experience of such techno-gadgetry wants to volunteer their services... I kid, but it would be nice to find out why my cluster is half dead in the morning!

    A lot of the work I think will be on the getting the bodywork straight. The bumpers have sagged quite badly and will need tightening up and some new trim in places should finish it off too. I'm not sure about the rear wheel arch repair yet as I can't work out how old that actually is. The entire panel has orange peel which you can see in the photos but that's not hard to sort out so I'm not worried about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tbmw View Post
    I actually really like that as it stands
    Looks fine from a distance but up close it's not so pretty. It's all cheap, cheap, cheap sadly.
    Last edited by Mark_J; 25-03-2013 at 18:39.

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    Niall_farley (25-03-2013)

  11. #6
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    Looking forward to seeing what you do to it but looks like it could be a very nice car with a bit of time/cash..
    I run uniroyal rs2's there perfect so they get my vote...

    BMW History
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    Mark_J (25-03-2013)

  13. #7
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    Il take the grills if your getting rid mark! although i think they look good where they are - each to their own though

    I really like the car how it stands too - great project to keep an eye on....

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    Mark_J (25-03-2013)

  15. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strongey View Post
    Il take the grills if your getting rid mark! although i think they look good where they are - each to their own though

    I really like the car how it stands too - great project to keep an eye on....
    None of you buggers have to put up with the annoying grinding sound those mirrors make though!

    Once I get a chrome set I'll post these off to you but I can't say they're good quality though.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim 320d View Post
    Looking forward to seeing what you do to it but looks like it could be a very nice car with a bit of time/cash..
    I run uniroyal rs2's there perfect so they get my vote...
    They seem to do well in some of the tests I've read and I have been leaning more towards them of all of the tyres in that budget really.

  16. #9
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    Niiiiice mirrors

    It doesn't look as bad as you made it sound, and all easily salvageable. As for tyres, don't bother with Falkens. I'd look at Toyo T1Sport or Hankook K107, both of which are around the same sory of money as the Falkens but far superior.

    And again, in case you missed it: Niiiiice mirrors.

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    Mark_J (25-03-2013)

  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_J View Post
    None of you buggers have to put up with the annoying grinding sound those mirrors make though!

    Once I get a chrome set I'll post these off to you but I can't say they're good quality though.
    Nice one pal - ive got one on my watch list on ebay so worst comes to worst il get a new one - but this may save me a few

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