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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, This post made my @westopher had me thinking. Am I doing the right thing?

I was bequeefed (sic) this car from my departed brother, Kenny (also known as Chip) in 2012. At the time it wasn't my first choice of car, but it was a clean example that was reasonably well cared for. That was until he got a little too sick to be able to drive. Then it just sat. For a while. I moved to NYC, and then ended up moving around every year. It became less than sensible to street park an aging BMW with no tools, nowhere to work on it, and needing to switch parking spots twice a week. Then it sat some more.

I've been through a lot with this car. It's scared me when it randomly shut off on the Deegan in the Bronx, it's made me smile with how smooth the engine effortlessly builds revs. I've thought about selling it a million times, thought about its potential, scooted it up to Connecticut to store for a year, accidentally backed into it, worked on it, broken things on it, moved myself to and from several apartments with it, and its gotten me to and from job interviews, work, weddings, etc.

Now living in Baltimore, it's the kind of car that gets respectful nods from the squeegee kids sitting out on Pratt street, but also doesn't look out of place rolling through fancy parts of DC and Annapolis. Without turning this into a sappy love story, I f**kin love this car. It's so good. IMO it's the sweet spot between refined analog machine and enough tech to make it comfortable and feel modern. Even if it's an automatic...it's just such a good thing.

But all good things must come to an end, right? I love the car, this is obvious, but I'm an enthusiast. Like you, I need more.

For a few years now I've just thought to myself "hey...LS swap the thing and be done with it" which all sounds good and is easy to say. But after giving it a lot of thought and knowing that I now have a reliable and fair specialized BMW mechanic less than a mile away...I'm wondering if maybe I should stick with the M54 motor.

This means I would be able to do more with the money, and most of it would need to be done anyway (strip the chassis and address any and all corrosion, POR-15 the **** out of everything, recoat, etc.) Basically without even touching the drivetrain, interior, or exterior I'd be tackling pretty much everything in this video:



Before you ask "what do you want the car to do?" I want it to go fast and I wanna have fun. It'll be a street legal car that I take to the track that retains most if not all factory creature comforts. I want it to be balanced but also make people laugh and maybe scared a little bit. I want the car to last forever.

Spec E46 suspension kits are $5k. Manual transmissions are abounds. I keep thinking about how nice it would be to have a built NA straight 6 that IMO sounds better than the S54, and kinda keeps the spirit of the car alive. But then I get swayed by thinking about doing huge burnouts and having something absurd to play around with.

What say you TCL? Big honkin Chebby V8? Or buttery smooth straight 6 with cams, full exhaust, head work etc.? Let's argue.

Car Wheel Vehicle Tire Grille



TL;DR - LS Swap or no?
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Sooo I've spent a lot of time reading about how to squeeze power out of the M54. The winning combo seems to be an M50 intake manifold with port matching, catless headers, and cams. But you're still not looking at that much power. Sub 300. That being said, how much power do you really need? I have no problem keeping pace on a mountain road in my even slower 325, it lacks a little on the track but you're already ~35hp up from where I'm at. The chassis is the shining point for this car, and the M54 is actually quite reliable, and does sound quite nice IMO.

What I would do is whatever suspension mods you already have plans for, a limited slip diff (I'm very happy with my diffsonline unit), a ZHP steering rack (the yellow tag 712 rack. one of my favorite things I've done to my car, if not my favorite), and then the basic motor bolt ons listed above. Also maybe a BBK for the front, I've read that 330 rears are generally adequate for track use but you'd likely want a little more stopping power. At least it's not the pathetic discs I have on my 325.
Thanks for this. I've looked up some 712 racks and they're still affordable, and I'm all about upgrading brakes too.


Anyways, as far as power goes if you want any appreciable power increase, an S/C is really the only answer. But, i don't think this car needs that type of power. The stock M54 never left me wishing I had more power quite frankly. I did have dreams of doing a full N/A build to make a beautiful screamer though. Maybe get it somewhere in the realm of 250-300WHP N/A; that to me is perfect. That said, I'm not a fan of swaps, and i think if you want to go LS you're better off just buying a car with one in it already.

Sounds like you have some attachment to the vehicle as well, this makes it all the more worth it to make it a revived e46, not into some Frankenstein, and hold on to it. In the long term, a clean example with a warmed over I6 is going to get the looks, not an LS.

My vote is thus warm over the I6, and keep for a long time. I think eventually the E46 will be sought after similarly to the E30, whereas I think for the E36 and E92 gens, it will only be the M cars that keep peoples interest. And if it isnt, you still have a wonderful driver's car that was built in an era where tech had creeped into improve cars and add safety, but not yet taken over and isolated the driver.
Lots and lots of attachment to this car. As I said my brother owned it for a few years and he basically gave it to me because it knew I would take care of it. And here we are. The car is currently in the shop getting a bunch of small stuff (and a couple of big things) that I can't do myself done.

I've already addressed the cooling system, suspension was refreshed with stock Bilsteins a couple years back, and I'm currently replacing the window seals (3/4 windows done) and windshield cowl (done).

The dash cams require having the headliner dropped, and there are already new B and C pillar covers waiting in the car. I'm having them toss the old ones and replace with new ones. I have black M3 sport seats, steering wheel, and aluminum dash trim and door handles inside.


@TheDarkEnergist
I’m big on emotional connections to cars, so I say if you can justify it, keep it. You seem to care about it.
I think the quest for monster power is a great way to win a dick swinging contest on FB, but there is something to be said for cars with usable power. My personal opinion is over 350hp for the street gets a bit pointless. I’d rather wring out my weak ass 4 banger on a back road any day. Manuel and some suspension work with the right tires is going to do wonders for your car. If you do that, and it’s still not scratching the itch you can move onto the power or maybe another car, and I’d bet most of the money you spent, if you wrench yourself anyways, will be gotten out of your selling price and desirability of the car on the current market.
I'll absolutely be keeping it, 100%. Forever. That's the point in making this project something reasonable and maintainable. My reasoning behind the LS swap was mostly the aftermarket support and ease of adding power.

But you do make good points. Growing up I could only think of having a 500hp car for the street, but now that I'm on the street all the time, I just want something with enough power to get out of its own way and then some.


If this is your only car and you live in downtown Baltimore, I'm not sure I'd want anything particularly nice or anything that brings attention to what I'm driving. Also, if this is a daily driver, I'm not sure I'd want a suspension setup from any spec racing series--unless you're planning to race/track it. I'd probably go with some type of low boost FI kit and catback setup for basic street driving.

The use case for the car is really big consideration of the best direction to go, IMO.
Probably should've mentioned this but this is my only car for now. My fiance and I are planning on getting either a Bronco in a year, or something else depending on availability. THAT car will pull daily duty, freeing this car up for work that needs to be done.

And the use case is basically a street legal car that I track whenever I can. My fiance is pretty good with letting me have my hobbies that get me out of the house, so I do think I'd actually be able to make good on the promise of wringing it out in the right (safest) place.




I would LS it. I had a 330Ci, mine was an 01. It was fun, but... I have a buddy that has an E46 wagon with a turbo'd LS. It's ****ing absurd, in all the best ways. It is an absolute blast to drive. Wanna putt it around, no worries at all, thing is super driveable. Want to do a burnout the length of a football field, yes... Even a non turbo version would be a hoot.

LS it. Who cares if it's been done to death, you tryin to win a unique guy car show or are you trying to have a blast with your car?

Definitely the latter. I don't do anything to please anyone else, so I don't think I'd be disappointed either way. The real question is which road would lead to the least amount of headaches and down time when things break.


Another vote for just keeping it well maintained, an ageing E46 should have plently of things to keep you busy, like peeling a-pillars and rotting bushings. I even like the stock exhaust on the E46 330i's, its got a nice growl to it so I probably wouldn't swap it out. If I were to mod anything, I would put some Ohlins R&T coilovers on, they're daily-friendly coilovers that are pretty well reviewed. I wouldn't go too low though, I'm from that part of the world and Baltimore streets are not exactly smooth.

Also, I may be mistaken, but doesn't the LS swap in the E46s have some weird stuff that's needed, like a hydroboost brake conversion because the master cylinder doesn't fit?
Haha, yeah man. There is no lack of things to fix on this car. I honestly really like the way the motor sounds too. The AFE intake I have gives it some awesome induction sound and it's got a really clean rev.

I definitely plan on building and refreshing 'the car' as a whole before I start really messing with the engine stuff, but once I do, there are some pretty impressive LS swap kits available with some really well-made looking parts.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but if being near a good mechanic might influence your decision, and you want the car to last forever, I don't think you want this to be an LS swapped BMW. It obviously can be done but it's not the kind of thing that's going to yield an, erm, OEM+ result.
I don't think anything you said is out of line. This guy near me truly is the real deal and he's commented several times on how nice the car is and how he appreciates customers that take care of their stuff. That does come into play when I don't have a lift or a garage.

That's really what's been keeping me from going all-out on this thing. It's not a 325, or a beater E36. Even the mods I have done have been thoughtfully researched and almost all the parts are OEM. It's yielded some solid results so far.

The problem is that that's not street/track, it's full on racecar. Something like 800lb springs and damping that's set up for a car weighing hundreds of pounds less. On the street the car would neither ride nor drive right. You'd likely be much happier with something like KWs, or ideally, Ohlins. Camber plates I also would not mess with unless you're getting weird tire wear at the track.

Another point, the rear subframe/chassis is liable to crack on these with hard use, it may already have. It can be welded and various companies make reinforcement kits.
Really appreciate your posts here. Subframe bushings are actually part of what the car is in the shop for now. I'm having them diagnosed to make sure they're ok. If they're not, I'll be addressing that before anything else, honestly. Bushings, reinforcement plates, and of course arrest any corrosion before any of that's done.

Also checked out the R&T Ohlins setup and it's much cheaper than the spec setup so, that's a win.

Not to mention there's companies like Wiring Specialties that make plug and play wiring harnesses. Here's one for an LS3 but they have other options. I'm still team M54, keep it simple, but if OP wants to go LS it's good to know about these types of kits
Yep, I've been in casual contact with Vorschlag Tuning who, according to who I spoke to are still making LS Swap kits, and mentioned it's one of their strongest lines of business currently.

Something super important that's not engine related and hasn't been brought up. The way the rear trailing arms are designed, there is slight change in toe when the suspension compresses. This means your alignment will be changing mid corner. This can be fixed with a spherical bearing in place of the rear trailing arm bushing. Poly bushings tend to bind and don't really fix the problem. Since you mentioned tracking the car, this is a must do upgrade. It's likely a part of the spec E46 package but others have suggested good reasons not to go that route, so if you end up piecing together your own suspension package include this.
Great point, and thank you. This kind of stuff has definitely been on my mind as I'm a little paranoid about the subframe bushings. The last thing I wanna do is be one of those guys that throws power at a chassis that isn't ready for it. I've also had too much toe start to eat diffs in previous cars and this is one of those random tidbits you don't learn with some casual digging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
Whatever helps put his kid through college.
Yes. Mike is the mechanic's name and the last time I spoke to him he said "bring the car, a way to get home, and your credit card"

So, while he was half joking, I'm fairly sure he'd tell me to keep the motor that's in it.

This thread made me realize I've never really documented or written down the stuff I've done on the car, so once I get it back next week I'll upload some pictures of the state of things. To date the scariest mod I've ever done was replacing the shift knob on the automatic. IYKYK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Yeah. Vorshlag's kit is beautifully made, and they make it to order so you can get updates as they build.

The Sikky option is cool, but the idea behind this all is to really understand and know this car inside and out. I'm concerned about the future of cars in that they're going to be so difficult to know. I'm not a coder, I'm not an electrical engineer, and I don't know what the hell is going on with the electronics that are now lining every inch of every new car.

I want to stay pretty hands-on with all of this, so I would be handling the swap/majority of the work myself.

It's feeling more and more like I should sort everything but the motor for now.

Get the car bulletproof and reconditioned as far as brake lines, fuel lines, suspension bushings and parts, etc. The Ohlins suspension is affordable and will likely REALLY make a difference in drivability and handling. An LSD installation (according to Turner) sounds like it's a bit of a Rosetta Stone to really unlock the potential of subsequent mods and that'll go hand-in-hand with a 5 speed swap.

I actually already have a Shark tuner, I've just never had the balls to ask someone to install it. I appreciate the 50's Kid shoutout, he's a gem and just recently started posting again thankfully.

You're all inspiring me and motivating me to really do something special with this car and I'm thankful for all the input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
I am an owner of a zhp, and someone who helped do an LS swap. I vote for supercharger, manual swap and lsd.

Just the manual swap and a zhp rear ratio will wake up the car significantly. (Though you may already have a spicy ratio due to the auto) Supercharger can be done in a weekend. Same for a manual swap.

It’s apples to oranges, but when I manual swapped my e30, it was like taking 500+ lbs out of the car. Suddenly the car felt alive.

Yep. I've been doing a lot of research and a few things have become clear. The auto trans is a lot heavier than the manual (imagine removing like 60lbs from the center of a car...awesome) and as you said makes the car feel so much more awake and alive. That's honestly been one of my biggest complaints with the car is that the automatic is VERY sloshy and keeps the car feeling a bit sleepy.

And I have pick & pull yards close to me. If I can save on the parts, that'll be awesome.

As I said, I'll keep folks posted but for now it seems like I'll get the car back, likely do the DISA valve and some other maintenance items here & there, get a lab report for the oil, and then start gathering parts for the manual swap. If I can make sure the motor is in good shape I'm going to leave it be for a while and work on the rest of the car.

I'll be back with pics this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Ok, well. This took longer than expected.

Transmission mounts - Replaced. Though I'm planning a swap (and the mounts likely aren't interchangeable) it's been a bit tough to get into Drive from Reverse. In the city I'm doing a lot of those motions, so it's good to get this done for now. Local junkyards seem to have a good amount of manual E46s coming in.

Subframe - Bushings have some life left in them so I can prioritize other things (See below)

Dashcams - Installed, but not correctly. I wanted the rear camera mounted just below the 3rd brake light, it was mounted near the parcel shelf. Annoying but not the end of the world. They're fixing it now.

Oil Pan - On back order. Once that comes in, I'll have him replace the current steering rack with this:



A proper 712 yellow tag ZHP steering rack. A few years back the PS fluid was shimmery and I can't imagine the condition has improved on its own.

So, the pump, rack, lines, reservoir, boots and tie rod ends will all be replaced along with the oil pan and gasket. It's the most economical way of doing things and I can at least assume/plan to not have the car for a few weeks over winter.

There's always something. I'm sure I'll think of (or some kind folks here) will chime in with more suggestions on what to replace while they're down there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
While I understand your connection to this specific car, I don't understand the love affair with the E46 330ci. I owned a 6spd for a bit, refreshed the suspension and bushings, still never saw it as anything special.
Tim! Idk if you remember me but I owned the white MR2 wayyyyy back in the early 2000's in Rockland. I think we met like once or twice at car club.

I actually would tend to agree with you about the car itself. When I first started driving it I was unsettled by its identity crisis. A luxury sport coupe should either be a luxury coupe or a sports coupe. Not both. I've lusted after an M3 since they came out, but so many M3 parts fit on this car, and so many non-M parts fit on the car too. IIRC the 330 is substantially lighter than the M3 but I could be wrong.

So for me it sits in this pocket of affordable enough to upgrade with M parts and notice the difference, but not a full M-car requiring a premium on nearly every single part.

Yep, you can buy the ZHP control arms from FCP and then you get that lifetime warranty as well. They come loaded with all bushings and are well worth it, and not too expensive either. I’ve got them on mine and I’m very happy with them.
Good to know, thanks.

Too bad the manual swap isn't as easy on the 330ci. It is the only good thing about the SMG in the m3.
True. It's not easy per se but it's not a huge conversions that has a lot of unknown pitfalls. Plenty of people have DIY videos and walkthroughs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
My recommendation for the eventual manual swap is to either find someone with a lift and a transmission/engine removal jack, or to buy one of those MaxJack things. The ZF 6 speed came on dozens of models throughout the years, so don’t worry about finding an E46-specific one (8cyl has different bellhousing).

You’ll likely also need a manual-transmission driveshaft (the auto trans is a different length on a lot of BMW models. I may be wrong, though, about the E46). That means you should also buy a new giubo/flex disk and center support bearing.

Also find a limited slip differential.
Oh for sure. I won't be doing the manual swap with any half-assed rigging. The local shop near me that currently has the car is really open to working with me, letting me bring my own parts, etc. They have a bunch of lifts, etc. If I don't end up going that route and do it at home, I'll absolutely be renting a hoist and trans jack, etc. and will have a daily driver and garage.

And actually I don't think I'll be going up to the 6 speed trans. From what I've read, an LSD with a 5 speed swap, a shark tune (which I already have sitting, just never installed yet) wakes the car up like crazy. Definitely need a new driveshaft and while all that stuff is out of the car I'd be upgrading the clutch, shifter bushings, guibo, probably install a short shifter, etc.

I'm going to modify this car deliberately and logically, meaning when I take a system off I want to essentially address as many things as possible while it's off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
repeating, since this seemed to fly under the radar. :D
Oh my radar picked it up, but...I like revs.


The only problem with this is tires. I'll spend money on tires that would otherwise go towards other parts.

I will say this, the LS swap has never been off the table. The idea is on the shelf for now, but there's no shortage of those motors and I'm not under any deadlines.

I just bought a wavtrac for my ZHP. Way cheaper than a diffsonline. 1200 bucks for parts.
Whoa. Does this just fit into the stock diff?? I'm reading up on it now and it seems really cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
Holy sh*****t this dashcam install is pathetic. I'll post pictures later but the cliffs notes are:

No headliner dropped. The wires from the front camera basically stuffed hanging on passenger side sun visor, so that when you flip it down, the wires fall. From there it goes (visibly) into the A-pillar cover and apparently DOWN (Why down!!!???) to be run below the door. Seriously. Why are you running wires for cameras mounted above the seats, below the seats?

THEN I noticed that where the wire comes out for back camera is...across the entire C-pillar cover. Yes that's correct. It's not behind the C-pillar cover, it's just hanging in front of the C-Pillar cover. Just like a downed power line.

I don't even know what to say. I was so excited to have a GOOD shop nearby but now I'm questioning the level of mechanical work being done, because this is bad. This is worse than when I installed an amp and sub in my friends Civic in my driveway. I had NO idea what I was doing (given the fact that at the end of the install I realized I didn't hook the amp or sub up to the head unit) but I knew damn well there weren't going to be exposed wires in the f**king cabin. I sat my dumb fat ass there for several hours carefully removing seats, carpet, trim, etc.

I'm going to slowly try to cool off this morning, bring the car to a nearby parking lot and take before pictures. Then I'll do the job properly and text this mechanic pictures. I'm super disappointed because I care SO MUCH about this car and I thought that showed through to him. One would assume if you have a customer that really cares about their ****, you let anyone and everyone working on that car that this is the case and the customer is going to be discerning.

And I lose a day of my vacation doing this, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Mechanics usually don’t do aftermarket electronics well. You may be having an similar experience to having a plumber paint a room. Can they do it? Sure. Will they know how to apply primer well? Maybe.
He had a guy come in that does electronics for him. The issue is:

Did the owner of the shop see him do this and think it was ok? Or did the owner of the shop NOT see him do this and didn't inspect it before I picked the car up?

I'm a graphic designer and if you asked me to install a dashcam I wouldn't leave wires hanging off a sun visor. I brought it in because I don't trust myself to hardwire things. That part is done.

The last mile of that job is to hide the wires and perform a clean install. At the very least I'd grab my phone, look up "How to hide wires in E46 BMW" and sit in on YouTube University for 10 mins.

I paid money for a professional install, and you don't have to be anything close to professional to see this guy did a terrible job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Knowing this, I'd just stop by and be cool and calm and ask the owner what he thinks about it. Chances are he didn't see the end result, and he's probably willing to make it right by you.
The owner of the shop has a guy who does installs (or did) them for Best Buy, so it's not like some random lube tech is doing them.

So the issue is - I call him back and ask him to find someone ELSE to do it? Honestly I want a partial refund.

We're not talking about some wires peeking out here and there. It's literally like someone jerry rigged a backseat DVD player with HDMI cables hanging out of random spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Gather round, folks. Fix your gaze upon the worst install of any part on this car ever.

Just a caveat - The tint looks awful, I know. It was done over 10 years ago and I recently removed it by myself under a time crunch. Now that I live in a state that doesn't care about window tint I'll have them redone very lightly to clean them all up. Also, the A, B, and C pillar covers were supposed to be replaced during this install:


Automotive design Azure Grey Material property Automotive exterior




Car Mirror Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design


Love it.

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Leg Automotive design


Brand new hardwire kit supplied to this guy. This is how it comes back.

Automotive tire Road surface Rim Asphalt Synthetic rubber


Stairs Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bumper


"I see no other wires here, great spot for a wire"

Hood Shade Sky Vehicle door Automotive exterior


Definitely use clear packaging tape, and don't even cut it.

Hood Vehicle Building Automotive lighting Automotive tire


Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


Automotive lighting Lighting Fixture Automotive exterior Shade



I sent all of these photos to the shop owner and his response was "Probably a job I should've passed on. I'll stick to mechanical work from now on."

Which...not on my car you won't! I re-ran all the wires properly. Replaced the B and C-pillar covers, ordered new A-Pillar covers and...destroyed the passenger side one on install. This has really become an adventure.

I spoke to the shop owner last night and basically said "I want a partial refund for the install. Charge me what you would charge someone to just hook up the hardwire and leave the wires dangling" (because that's essentially what happened). He'll get back to me in the next couple of days with a financial resolution.

I've found another shop that seems a bit more capable that's fairly close-by, but I'm once bitten twice shy at this point. If my car goes to any shop, I'll be setting up check ins with them to make sure things are going the way they should. I'm not unreasonable, but I'm really unwilling to be taken advantage of more than once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
You seem to know what you’re doing. Why bother with a shop at all?
I wasn't confident in my abilities to hook the hardwire kit up. I have nightmares of touching the wrong wire to something and completely bricking my car.

Wow that initial install is really terrible.
Yeah. I was about 19 years old and installed an amp and subwoofer kit into my friend's Civic hatchback and it was a MUCH cleaner install than this.

Why are you working in the parking lot of the train station?
I don't have anywhere else to work. It's quite fun having to put everything back into the car, lock it, walk back home, upstairs, grab tools, then walk back to the car and unlock it, remove everything again and then continue working.

TDE is homerdash.

homerdash is TDE.
I don't think I'd ever willingly buy a Passat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
I do indeed remember you, those were fun times back then. Your white MR2 was always in the A&P parking lot. I'm Tom (the red MR2 was my car), but my brother is Tim and he often drove it.
Tom! Haha, my mistake. And yes I was always in that parking lot. Never racing.

I shouldn't really talk, actually. Once upon a time I did buy a Tiguan. But it was a total chick magnet. 9 times out of 10 if you see another Tiguan, it's a girl driving it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
UPDATE:

Scraping my tongue of the taste left in my mouth by this bad experience and moving on - I found a promising shop about 30 mins East of me. I took the car to Primecare Auto in Dundalk. Siwan is the owner and met with me and went on a test drive. He asked "on clear day without any cops or traffic, what's about the fastest you'll go comfortably?" and I responded 105-110.

He proceeded to go 120 (we were on 95 and it was empty) and bring it back down to legal speed quickly just to test everything. He gave me a medium length list of mostly minor things and thank goodness was impressed with the condition of the car. Good news headline is the last guy told me I needed a new oil pan and this guy told me no, I just need the gasket.

As I suspected, there's just so many bushings that need to be replaced. The list is basically:

Rear trailing arm bushings
Diff bushings
All 4 shocks and associated bushings and hardware. They're not blown, but they're oldish and it'll transform the feel of the car for sure (I'm looking into coilovers and to just do one and done) bump stops out back need to be replaced too.
Guibo
Brake lines (I'll grab an upgraded set from ECS)
Fuel filter and lines
Swaybar end links all around
Pinion and half-shaft seals
New jack pad
Brake calipers need to be removed and cleaned up

I also have:

A pinhole exhaust leak near the muffler, and badly corroded front exhaust studs and nuts. The studs are somewhat of a priority as the exhaust needs to be dropped for a good amount of the work I want done. I have a small collapsed vacuum line near the starter that seemed impossible to find but he spotted it. I misdiagnosed this as an electrical problem because the car would randomly just shut off in traffic. I'm really relieved this is just a line that can be R&R'd.

All in all, I'm pretty relieved that he gave the car a pretty good list but none of it is major or urgent. Time to save up, because a lot of the stuff that needs to be replaced will be upgraded.

Some of the cars around the shop:

Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle

Wheel Car Tire Land vehicle Vehicle

Car Tire Wheel Cloud Vehicle

Car Automotive parking light Land vehicle Tire Wheel

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Mode of transport Automotive exterior
 

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E46 330ci coupe
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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
That list of bushings should just come with every used E46. Glad you found someone that’s gonna take care of you, and not BS you around. That’s gotta be a great feeling man.
Yep. So much of the rubber and plastic on this thing is gone or going. I'm glad I didn't drive it much (really at all) in any winter, and I did have it covered for a while. So not everything is toasted, but much of it is just old as ****.

did you talk to original shop about the install and what did they say?
I did. He's open to a partial refund which is cool, but I'm totally burnt and turned off. I won't be taking the car back to him. ever.


In other news:

I. LOVE. PICK & PULLS.

I woke up to an email alert from LKQ saying they had a 2000 328i in stock, ready 12/11. I check the photos and sure enough it's a manual. Score!

I show up at like 10 am still half asleep with coffee in hand and get to work. It was gross, and I earned my discount, but I got:

Pedal assembly including lines, clutch switches and wires.
Shifter linkage and associated hardware
Manual driveshaft

for $85.

Idk if they know the mileage of the cars they stock, so I'll call back tomorrow to ask. If this thing had around/less miles than my car currently has, I think I may try to go back next weekend for the whole trans.

It'll add a real interesting step to teaching my fiance to be more comfortable behind the wheel, but it's been like 12 years since I've driven stick.
 
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