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theworkerb

E46 M3 - theworkerbee

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So after years of wanting an E46 M3 and years of bottling out and buying different cars only to look at M3s that same evening, I am now finally a proud owner of my realistic dream car.

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Hey, thank you! I had much more of a build thread which was lost unfortunately with the last site. Will continue adding content until its upto date again

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Gave the engine a quick rub down:

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I stripped the boot to inspect the wires but wasn't able to find anything obvious. Got the voltmeter out and the microswitch didn't register a voltage when clicked. It seems that the handle is one unit so looks like I will be ordering a new part and have it painted...

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Passenger door handle stopped working from the outside yesterday, a coupe with one working door and two kids is no easy thing, so removed the door panel and noticed it came out of its clip. I have read that a cable tie sorts this but have no idea where to place the cable tie as there didn't seem like there was much space to loop it. Any suggestions:

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But I found this beautiful thing:

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Gave her a clean today, and used some 'quick wax':

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Bit of the mitt stuck in the side lol:

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Then got my delivery from Prestige:

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Look forward to trying out the drying towel

So started separating the gaiter from the frame:

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Slow and steady and job half completed:

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Will hopefully glue the gaiter to the e46 plastic frame tomorrow night ready for install on the weekend.

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Somebody kindly left me with this:

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At the very least could of left a sorry note...

A friend showed me the 'lace trick' to get a good bond for sagging trim:

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Result:

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Mrs treated me to these beauties:

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All fitted. Love the look!

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Got these to fit and then just need to source the rears:

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Part of me thinks I should of just wrapped my current side indicators, just over £20 each is too much...but done now lol

Some quick snaps, with a filthy car lol:

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Got the side markers on whilst on my lunch break, excuse the filthy car:

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Ordered some clips as when I removed the door card I noticed one was missing, so I did the typical man thing and buy a bunch of them lol:

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Mrs keeps complaining about having to hold my coffee so ordered the cup holder and coin tray:

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Will hopefully fit that over the weekend, as well as finally getting the M5 gearknob installed.

Upcoming purchases will include:
Black centre console
Black armrest
Rear OEM amber lights
Number plate lights
Side lights
Boot lights
Side mirrors as they are turning brown
Single din holder and cage
Single din headunit
Enable the airbag
Replace the faulty parts for the airbag :S

Fitted the cupholder and coin box:

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Was really surprised by the difference in size and feel of the M5 gearknob, much much better:

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So Technosport rang back, good news is they know what the problem is, bad news is that its going to be a painful fix.

So, excuse my lack of technical terms but it was explained and I need the following:
New propshaft
Rear outer driveshaft
Rocker cover gasket
Rear discs have a lip (I can live with that for now)
Play in rear lower bushes
Leaking header - Someone welded it and covered it in exhaust gasses to stop a leak
New exhaust gaskets
AC belt is cracked
Leak from the timing chain? New timing chain tensioner (can't remember)

So will be tackling chassis first I think and potentially exhaust, just waiting for it to be priced up:
New propshaft
New rear outer driveshaft
Rear bushes

So I will be having the following work carried out:

Prop coupling
Prop centre bearing
Ball joint bushes
Driveshaft

All OEM and the car will hopefully be done by Tuesday.

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£2066 later I have her back. Definitely a painful bill, but hopefully keeping this one for a while so should even out over the ownership. Will need to put things on hold mods wise for a while to recover lol

After a much required clean:

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This has made a lovely difference though:

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Noticed some rust bubbles when cleaning the car, was bound to happen I guess:

I knew of the sidemirror base when I purchased the car, and was reflected in the final price:

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Saw this when working on the boot handle:

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And this on the front driver arch:
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Frozen Mystic Blue:

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Saw another Cutter using this so thought I'd make use of a half price sale:

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So installed this bad boy:

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And found this...what does it do in the E46?

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Haha yep thats what I meant, need to get it out as I didn't use it and no longer need it. Fitting all the ables behind the headunit was a ballache so not in a rush to do that lol.

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KDS Tracking values:

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Received this, mrs was not impressed:

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My mother kindly took some home to put in to the summer house, so mrs relaxed a little and then said she prefers the colour, so win win

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Ready to try again on Friday:

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Ready to fit the aluminium trim that I bought:

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Noticed a couple of screws missing:

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Not sure what work was carried out, assuming it was from the audio install but not sure

Picked up the replacement screws, should get the trim in tonight. Will post some pics when done:

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And a few more just came through the letterbox:

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Aluminium dash trim in:

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Went to Manchester to visit the inlaws, lovely northern message:

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Sun caught the bonnet bulge just right:

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Car is now absolutely filthy, will hopefully rectify this tomorrow, depending on the weather:

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What the kids leave behind after a long journey:

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All clean:

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Another thing to sort:

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How the mystic blue and red looks:

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And just a shot of the headrest:

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Couple months in:

Its been epic. Its everything I thought it would be, if not more. I constantly turn round and look at it and, which is a record for me, I haven't been on AutoTrader once, looking for my next car!

Its been expensive, not only due to me buying things to get it to a level where I am happy, if that's even possible, I got stung by a 2k bill a month into ownership. And now there's a clicking/clunking noise as I pull away, but that's another matter, one that I will get checked out soon.

In all honesty, I need to avoid another big bill for atleast 6 months, otherwise I may be in trouble, and to be honest, as much as I love my car, that would be too much for a short term ownership outlay.

I don't drive the car that hard and as such I find the brakes pretty decent, considering its not the lightest of cars. There's some rattles that I am looking for, as well as some creaks, but other than that, it feels pretty well put together. I hate the handles and literally keep expecting them to fail on me. My current rear tyres are dreadful, it never seems to grip the road, although it is very wet and at times frosty so I will need to wait until summer before passing judgement.

There's still a few cosmetic things I need sorting, as well as mechanical, which includes rear discs and pads and changing the AC belt.

Upcoming items:
Amber rears - Ordered 😄
LED interior lights
Black carpet
Black dash
Eventuri intake (perhaps)
Storm handbrake handle
Various interior plastic trims
Fog light (has condensation) - will be ordering soon
Black centre console (currently using a used, scratched one)
Alloys (my current alloys aren't great)
CSL style diffuser
CSL style boot (couple of rust spots on the bootlid seems a solid reason to upgrade lol)
Get a couple of bubbles of rust that has appeared sorted
Rear bumper scrape sorted
Freshen up the front end as its covered in stone chips

So a massive list, that I'm sure will grow. Any plans to sell. Nope. None whatsoever. However, it will only stay whilst its financially viable, so I best pull my finger out lol

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Another shot showing the red interior with the mystic blue. Had to take a dremel to the doorcard which ended up being a massive ballache, but managed to get it on in the end. Just about.

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Received the wrong part for the footwell trim, which is a bit of a pain. Oh well:

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Removed the drivers side grey doorcard, found this mirrors switch a little tricky to get out without scratching the armrest:

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Found this, I know its audio related, but what does it do?

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On a more positive note:

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Had my car in the air:

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So, for reference, here is the front jacking point:

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Where is the rear jacking point in this pic?

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Then spent some time with George's CSL (I'm in love):

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He's building a few track cars for the M3 Cup:

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So first unclip the boot light:

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Unclip the wiring and remove it from its holders:

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There are 3 bolts, 2 are easy to see, one will be in the corner of the light, behind the carpet:

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Bolts are 10mm.

Once you have wiggled the light out, give the area a quick clean, as a bit of crud is likely to have built up:

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Result:

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Need to clean the car, but here's another pic:

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Amber rears - Done 
LED interior lights
Black carpet
Black dash
Eventuri intake (perhaps)
Storm handbrake handle
Various interior plastic trims - Done
Fog light (has condensation) - will be ordering soon
Black centre console (currently using a used, scratched one) - Done
Alloys (my current alloys aren't great)
CSL style diffuser
CSL style boot (couple of rust spots on the bootlid seems a solid reason to upgrade lol)
Get a couple of bubbles of rust that has appeared sorted
Rear bumper scrape sorted
Freshen up the front end as its covered in stone chips

Add:
Rear discs and pads
Oil and filter change
AC belt

 

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New badge, just highlights I need a wheel refurb :S

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One side on, much better:

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Some random pics:

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Replaced the other rear seat belt trim:

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Need to get the triangular piece that clips in to the side of the trim, so opened the window and need to move the cone away:

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There is a slight gap where I placed a thin screwdriver and pushed it away from the window:

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I then put the trim in place and used the screwdriver to line things up:

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Here you can see it all in place:

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Next I removed the trim below the steering wheel, undo the 3 screws:

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Remove the black clip on the left:

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There is a disc at the back behind the pedals that you undo, I just rotated the whole thing and it came off. Then pull the assembly down gently, unplug the obd, lights and unclip the two wires. Then wiggle it around a little until you have it out:

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I then fitted the new black trim that Jason sent:

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Then fitted my new centre console. Start off by pulling the rear tray upwards:

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There are two plastic screws that you need to undo and remove:

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Lift the below assembly out gently as you will need to pull a connector off for the led:

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Undo the following two screws:

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The rear of the console is now loose. Now lift you gearknob gaiter, there are two clips on each side:

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There will be two screws at the bottom, holding your switch surround to tabs (unless they were broken like mine):

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Lift the handbrake gaiter from the back first:

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Remove the connector to the hazard switch:

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Now put the handbrake gaiter trim through the whole and the whole centre console will come out.

I then fitted my new arm rest, here is how the coils should be for reference:

Right

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Left

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All back together:

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And fitted the sill/carpet protector for the drivers side:

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All done. Will need to undo all this work soon to fit the black carpet and dash lol

So started removing stuff to fit the reverse lights:

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Then realised I didn't order them lol:

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So placed an order for them which should come in a day or two.

Original boot light:

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LED light:

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Much better:

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Fitted the sidelights without having to remove the airbox which is a relief, just need to fit the dome, map and reverse lights now. Will order the foglights soon, need to put money aside for the upcoming road tax and insurance so need to resist spending on the car for a little while.

Sidelights and xenons:

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Sidelights only:

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Not got the dome or map lights in yet, but here's a comparison pic:

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The LEDs do highlight dirt though lol

Not sure what to do with these...

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Tabs to aim for to ensure you don't break the light cluster:

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Rotate the holder and pull out:

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It'll look like this, gently pull the bulb out:

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Fitted:

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On:

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I found the C Pillar light very awkward. I used a small screwdriver and tried to locate the tabs and then pried them out:

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Reverse light cover removed:

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Sagging trim on the passenger side:

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Pulled the seal down:

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Glued and laced up:

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Left for 24 hours:

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M3 has been rather unloved at the moment, Mrs told me not to spend any more on it for a little while. Some quick snaps from today:

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So, still no money being spent on the M3, not even petrol lol:

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However, I now have a driveway 😄

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So my time without spending on the M3 came to an abrupt end today:

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And the view that decided it for me...

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First pic of the car on the driveway:

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Hey guys, whats the part numbers to fill the void in my front bumper:

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So finally managed to get hold of a dash, carpet, extra bits, delivered for £125

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Carpet is in excellent condition (terrible photo):

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No idea on when I'll be fitting them yet as I am in the middle of renovating the house. But big changes are on the horizon and I'm a step closer to finishing the interior. I think...

So noticed a leak. Any ideas from the pic?

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Thanks for the reply. Need to get it checked out. Is the oil filter housing gasket a possibility?

More positive news:

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Removed the airbox to see if I could find the source at the top:

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Very grimy:

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There was a film on the 'rail':

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Checked the power fluid level and it was just above min, so perhaps a sign as to whats leaking:

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Will get the tray off over the weekend and have a little look there to see if I can pinpoint the source

Some 'high' (highish) res photos of how it looks once removed:

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This will allow you to get to the little clips that hold the tubes in:

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Release the tabs to take this bracket off:

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When you release the clip slide it to the left, it will stop, release the clip again and it will slide off:

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Couple of pics of how it looks. Need some better pics and need to finish a the carpet trim:

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Job for tonight. Its made more difficult due to all the wiring for the aftermarket speakers.

Put the final trim piece back together:

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Felt epic, went to the next issue and broke my cluster lens...

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Did an oil change today and changed the a.c belt. It didn't exactly go to plan, as you'll see.

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Remove the sump plug cap:

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Sum plug was stripped! I tried a couple of times but left it hoping that someone with more experience can remove it:

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Removed the oil filter:

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Cleaned it out:

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Oil extractor to the rescue:

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Yep, it didn't get all the oil out, as I didn't put in as much as I thought it would, but I think it was definitely needed:

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A.C belt removed:

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Gave the undertray a wipe, hoping the colour will indicate the leak:

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It wasn't pretty under there:

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A.C belt:

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Alan to hold it in place:

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Then took her for a run, feels smoother with the Gulf Competition, but think any oil would of been an improvement:

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Although I love the look, I have been super nervous about catching the lip on London roads and its finally happened. 

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Is there a lip that comes out a little less? Otherwise I think it will have to be CSL style flipper things...

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My boy loves the car as much as me I think:

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All done, was able to reuse the old rings as well, so that was a result:

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Got under again today, some more traces of a leak but quite little and definitely not obvious. The pipes aren't great but nothing obvious:

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This pic seems to suggest the clamp as the rest of the hose as well as the reservoir is bone dry:

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Exhaust clamps don't look too great either:

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Getting ready for the handbrake overhaul:

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First cosmetic change in a while:

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So finally managed to get hold of an Eventuri, of a great cutter. It doesn't have the original heatshields, however, I will be rectifying that soon hopefully:

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Needs a tidy up and a polish but will do that once I get the heat shields

A little sound clip; https://youtu.be/c9_xUYMgMSk

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Just a few pics from MOT day, another great service from Technosport:

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He had his awesome looking track car on stands so got a few pics:

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He had an aluminium expansion tank that he sells using the OEM fitments that looked ace. If/when I need one, definitely getting one of these bad boys:

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Went down to Wiltshire for the weekend, had an amazing time at Lacock Abbey and Bowood House. If you haven't been, I would definitely recommend it. Got a couple of opportunities to take pics of the young lady as well. So completely opposite of grchmason (does the offer to clean it still stand 😛 😞

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Got a weird one, I've heard about the rear earthing fix, however:

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Although the main beams and indicator isn't on in this pic, I can confirm that both are working:

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So, the weather was ok so got round to fitting some more parts that I ordered. Namely, CPD Angel Eyes 😄

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Pop the tabs of the weather strip and slide towards you. The bottom trim piece is then unclipped and just moved forward enough for you to release the lens tabs. By all means, remove your headlight washer, I chose not to:

Start near the grill and push the 'prong' back:

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Then move your way across, releasing each tab. I found it easier to do it in order, rather than skip to the other side to do the 'tricky' one in the corner:

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Once you remove the lens and inner shroud you will be left with this:

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Took a pic of the clips on the box cover as I can never remember how things fit once I've taken it apart:

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So, the result:

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So, with help from a couple of forum mumbers, Mandy and Crapbag (thanks again) I now have the angel eyes wired to fade in/out.

Remove the square grommet:

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Once its removed:

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Then remove the cubby thing from the drivers side, two screws, one on each end:

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Then just feed the wire through: 

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To ensure that the hole for the grommet is as small as possible I cut the crimp off so that I can feed the wire through. You don't have to do this but I was trying to keep it leak free.

Spent some time on the weekend fitting the tank filler pot and new fuel filler cap. I've read that its fiddly, looking at the part I wasn't sure why it would be as it seemed to have decent access and was just a sleeve.

So, the part:

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Where you'll be working (very obvious I know):

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You can't see it in the pic but it had a tear. I tore it a little more for leverage and then simply levered it out. It gets rather tight near the bottom due to the shape, but you can carefully pull it out without too much trouble.

Quick pic showing the difference between my old vs new cap:

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All done:

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So, fitting. Yes, definitely fiddly. It has been advised to take the arch shield off and tackle it from behind, but I couldn't be bothered to carry the jack to the front garden. I put it in sideways to get the little rubber nipple/spigot thing in as there is more space and then rotated it so it faces downwards. Then the fun bit. Getting the edge to fold. This was really weird, as it wouldn't fold over and isn't clear what keeps it there, however, I kept manoeuvring the rubber until all of a sudden it just happened. I know thats not very helpful, but thats literally how it happened...

So ran out of money lol so no more mods for a little while. So I now want the following/having the following done:

Smart repair on the rear bumper (finally) - December
Alloys (unsure what to go for yet)
Carbon fibre side grills
CSL style flippers
CSL style rear diffuser
Supersprint exhaust
Arm rests and dash trim refurb (unsure what finish I want)
Steering wheel retrim
Storm handbrake handle (alcantara)

Also going to whip the door cards off when it warms up and sand down the speaker adaptors slightly as it doesn't allow the door card to clip in fully.

Will leave you with how it currently sits:

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Few pics from the other day:

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Considering tinting the fog lens...not sure though:

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So the leather needed a really good clean, thanks in part to two little ones, after some effort they returned to a reasonable state:

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Then gave the outside a clean:

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I have ordered a new vanos and the o-rings so will be fitting that when I get some time and need to track down an irritating rattle. Fun continues...

Finally had the bumper scuff repaired. Decided to go with a smart repair and very pleased with the service and result:

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So not much has happened recently, here are a few random shots:

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But I did buy these:

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Just need to clean and protect them and then get them on the car at some point. Will probably take that opportunity to remove my front splitter and replace that with some CSL style flippers and start slowly putting together a stockpile of parts for the inspection 2 that I want to tackle.

Minor update:

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So not much has happened recently, going to start getting some parts together ready for the inspection 2 service that I am going to try and carry out.

Sold the interior trim ready for some CF goodness, not had that made/delivered yet.

Sun was out and I had the carpark to myself so took a few pics:

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Couple of pics after a clean:

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Should get my goodies for the interior some time this week and will be taking the car for its inspection 2 in July.

Both wings now have bubbles, the drivers side has really deteriorated. I want to try and find some time soon to get the passenger side wing off, as that has started bubbling, before that goes beyond repair, however, Ramadan is a week and a bit away and the last thing I want to do is work on the car whilst fasting.

Had a chance to get some pics somewhere other than my drive today:

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So I took one of the sills off to give it a clean and an inspection. First time I'd done this since I owned her and I do wish I had done it sooner. Nevermind, its booked in to be rectified next month, will post any pics afterwards:

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Finally got my new interior trim in. Very happy, need to get some funds together for the armrests next:

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Valve clearance done by Darragh at Everything///M3's. He kindly explained step by step and after watching him do it I am definitely confident enough to do it myself next time.

Darragh:
What an amazing guy. Honestly, can't recommend this guy enough. A perfectionist, happy to talk about all aspects of the work he is carrying out and explains everything thoroughly. His passion for cars is evident and he now has another loyal customer.

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Leak down test. Happy to report, a healthy engine!

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That's it for the night:

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Will try and get the steering hose sorted at some point:

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Back to the valve clearance check:

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Darragh giving the cover a quick clean:

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A couple of shims changed:

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And back together again:

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So next up will be an oil, oil filter, fuel filter and pollen filter change. At some point I will tackle the steering hose.

Pollen/cabin filter swapped. Castrol oil ordered so will try and sort that over the weekend:

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Seriously getting fed up with this car now!

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Changed the oil, oil filter and installed the new oil level sensor yesterday.

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Will be tackling the steering hoses at some point next month hopefully:

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Got back to the stripped sump plug that I avoided last year:

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Didn't have a mallet so a neighbor kindly helped:

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Old sensor out: 

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New sensor in:

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Mileage:

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So took a drive down to Reefpaintshop to have the sills repaired. Had some fun on the A roads and left her with Gavin, who I must say, did an excellent job. Pics below:

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Been getting some parts together to refresh some things on her, but other than that, not much has happened. However, we did just pick this up:

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It has lane departure warning, sat nav and city assist brake. Everything else is bog standard I believe. Drove it around for a few days and the softness of the steering and clutch made it feel like a wrestling match when I jumped back in to the ///M. Let's hope it was as reliable as our last Jap motor, a 2004 Civic 1.7 CDTi which was scrapped on 238,000 miles.

Will be my mrs car for the school run etc, and after driving it I can quite easily see it being our main car. Nice place to be, good fuel economy and keeps the kids out of the ///M.

So thought I'd stop being so lazy and finally start removing the last grey pieces from the car.

Removed the rear bench:

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Popped the speaker covers off:

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Put some towel down so I don't indent the leather:

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Removed the C pillars and then popped this black trim off from the shelf which clips round into the boot:

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The rubber bits squeak a little so will put some felt or something on the back:

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Removed the basket which has a few tabs:

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Then slide the shelf out:

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I wonder how long this guy has been there, its been atleast 2 years as I saw it when I bought the car lol:

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Gave the surface a quick wipe down:

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Quick snap of the car:

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Black piece in:

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Can't tell from the outside:

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Took the shelf inside to give it a few coats of satin black:

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After 2 coats:

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After 4 coats:

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Huge thank you to E46CoupeM3 who kindly printed and sent out a quick release tool to me and requested that I put a couple of quid into a charity box. It's members like him that make this forum amazing:

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And another great member has helped me out, more times than I can remember, this time with some black trim that I needed for my rear parcel shelf swap:

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Thank you 0asis2007!

So Saturday I had a MOT done, and good news, both MOTs under my ownership have passed with flying colours, without any advisories. Really relieved as hopefully it means the money that I have spent so far on maintenance, is 1 paying off and 2 going to reduce so that I can spend on the fun stuff instead.

A few pics from the day:

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Track cars:

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Also, bought a new dashcam. Very pleased so far:

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Welcome to the forum, and what a car you have :classic_cool:

You've done some great work to the car - And thanks for the rope trick with the sagging trim idea, that'll come in useful :classic_biggrin:

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On 9/19/2018 at 9:15 AM, Ferret said:

Welcome to the forum, and what a car you have :classic_cool:

You've done some great work to the car - And thanks for the rope trick with the sagging trim idea, that'll come in useful :classic_biggrin:

You're welcome and thank you!

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So I set about refreshing the steering pipes over the weekend using the high pressure steering hose supplied by M3chas as well as a couple of oem pipes for the reservoir and a Febi reservoir tank whilst I was there.

This is the first time I have tried anything like this, and truth be told, I really struggled. There is a quick disconnect on one of the reservoir pipes, the radiator return line, that was a nightmare to remove. It sound simple, lift the pipe, press the plastic release in and then pull down.

Now that it is done, the only thing I can think of is that I didn't lift it enough. However, I didn't want to risk damaging the radiator, nor could I get enough grip/leverage on the return line to lift it enough. The reason why I think I didn't lift it enough is because I actually struggled to get the new line to 'click' on. I thought I had pushed it enough, gave the pipe a firm tug and it flew off. This shows that I had not pushed it on completely, hence my assumption that I didn't lift it enough during the removal.

That said, here are a few pics from the day:

I've said it before, I hate working under cars. I always assume the worse, also, I have to carry everything through the house from the shed which ends up being a chore:

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Lay everything out:

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Finally safe...

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High pressure steering hose fixings:

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Bolt at the pump (22mm):

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At the rack (19mm):

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The radiator return line:

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With the tool on it:

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Ring fully pressed in:

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Had to resort to getting the dremel out:

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Off at the pump:

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Reassembly was relatively straightforward. I ordered the correct clips for the lines, however, I didn't have suitable pliers and ended up removing them whilst trying to compress them over the pipe so I ended up using jubilee clips. Not what I wanted, however, as long as they hold I don't really mind.

The 19mm at the rack is really awkward to get to, whilst trying to ensure you don't drop the washers. Ensure you have a spare(s)!

Need to do the oil cool lines (if thats the correct term):

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No pics of the finished look unfortunately, as I just wanted it to be over with. Ran the car, turned lock to lock to bleed the system and then topped up the fluid. Checked for leaks and then put the cover back on.

On more relaxing news, I tried out a new QD, Gtechniq quick detailer, and was very pleased with the results. Oh, and the front splitter has been removed!

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Ahhh, another noise has developed. Got it booked in for Monday, lets see what it is now...

Broken, but still very pretty:

20181003_175626.jpg

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