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Discussion Starter · #141 ·
Thanks guys! And @Mr. Bigglesworth I'll keep an eye out for the electric fan. I may have found one on Marketplace already, but I may also just get something from FCP Euro

Spent a couple hours cleaning up everything last night, just so I don't get coated in grime every time I move it.

Wood Automotive wheel system Engineering Auto part Machine



And in a rare moment of organization and coordination, I created a deck for this car with links to threads, DIYs, photos I felt were relevant, a parts list for each system, and basically my ideas and wishes/wants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #142 ·
I should also mention a couple of other things:

I'm going back to the stock intake. Over at the nerdory on E46Fanatics I've found overwhelming evidence that it's very hard to beat the stock intake for air temps. So over the past couple of months I've been pilfering parts from junked cars.

I just received a $150 refund for the hackjob install of the dashcam. $250 would've been nicer but in the past 3 weeks this guy has gotten some really bad Google reviews so I think it's time to retire.
 

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How did I miss this thread until now?

I haven't read every bit of it, but on a car that you want to drive daily I do agree with your approach. A well sorted engine swap can be a great thing, but it's the "sorting" that can be the issue. By "issue" I mean "time, money and inconvenience".

The manual swap would make me want this car in a bad way, and it will only help if you ever decide to sell it. Since it's a car that pulls at your heartstrings I understand if decades pass before that even becomes a possibility. ❤

Rock on, and I'll try to keep up now. 🍺
 

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I should also mention a couple of other things:

I'm going back to the stock intake. Over at the nerdory on E46Fanatics I've found overwhelming evidence that it's very hard to beat the stock intake for air temps. So over the past couple of months I've been pilfering parts from junked cars.

I just received a $150 refund for the hackjob install of the dashcam. $250 would've been nicer but in the past 3 weeks this guy has gotten some really bad Google reviews so I think it's time to retire.
I remember doing enough digging and coming to the same conclusion. Throw a K&N filter in there, they were pretty cheap for the E46 IIRC. Really upped the induction noise, which on that straight 6 is where the magic sound is moreso than the tailpipe.
 

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Yep. I did the aFe thing for a bit. While it sounded good there was no real improvement in power, not noticeable anyways.

I got a stock airbox on eBay for $150 that even came with a MAF.

Then I went ahead and listened to a stock air filter again and I wanted just a hair more. At that point I ordered a drop in oil-less aFe filter and threw it in the stock box, sounds great and retains all the good parts of the stock box.

This is the filter I went with fwiw. BMW Magnum FLOW Pro DRY S Air Filter - aFe 31-10015
 

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Yep. I did the aFe thing for a bit. While it sounded good there was no real improvement in power, not noticeable anyways.

I got a stock airbox on eBay for $150 that even came with a MAF.

Then I went ahead and listened to a stock air filter again and I wanted just a hair more. At that point I ordered a drop in oil-less aFe filter and threw it in the stock box, sounds great and retains all the good parts of the stock box.

This is the filter I went with fwiw. BMW Magnum FLOW Pro DRY S Air Filter - aFe 31-10015
I hear good things about aFe, but never went that route because they seem to charge 40% more for the same stuff K&N offers. The K&N filter is $50 vs the $88 for the aFe.

And before the whole dry v oiled filter debate starts, I had that filter in the car from approximately 80K miles till when I sold it at ~160K, no issues. The MAF was replaced prior to the filter being installed as part of a once over on the car when I bought it from a BHPH lot.
 

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I hear good things about aFe, but never went that route because they seem to charge 40% more for the same stuff K&N offers. The K&N filter is $50 vs the $88 for the aFe.

And before the whole dry v oiled filter debate starts, I had that filter in the car from approximately 80K miles till when I sold it at ~160K, no issues. The MAF was replaced prior to the filter being installed as part of a once over on the car when I bought it from a BHPH lot.
I've only had the oil mess with one MAF, and it was with my MkIV 1.8T.

I went no oil because I don't like messing with it. I can just spray this one off and let it dry, then re-use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #149 ·
Looking forward to following along 🍺



A what now?
Thanks! A "deck" is what I call basically a powerpoint presentation or pitch or plan but not just text based. If you've ever heard the term "pitch deck" it's like collection of 10 slides that show the who, what, where, when, and why, with photos and if someone was so inclined, links to videos or websites (which will be helpful for DIYs).

There are a ton of little things that I've come across in my research like the clutch delay valve, things like the electric fan conversion and how that's not only a necessary mod but an upgrade sometimes. Do this before you do that kinda stuff. I'm always in powerpoint anyway so in my work-time browsing I end up just dropping everything into a master document that autosaves

How did I miss this thread until now?

I haven't read every bit of it, but on a car that you want to drive daily I do agree with your approach. A well sorted engine swap can be a great thing, but it's the "sorting" that can be the issue. By "issue" I mean "time, money and inconvenience".

The manual swap would make me want this car in a bad way, and it will only help if you ever decide to sell it. Since it's a car that pulls at your heartstrings I understand if decades pass before that even becomes a possibility. ❤

Rock on, and I'll try to keep up now. 🍺
Thanks man. Yeah we're just sorting the entire car besides the engine for now. It's pretty healthy still, so if it can stay together for the next couple of months I'll be able to get a lot of much needed and transformative work done.

It's a "daily" for now but I haven't hit 130k yet and won't need to drive to the office for the foreseeable future so daily is more like 2-3x a week. I make sure it's all the way up to operating temp too.


I remember doing enough digging and coming to the same conclusion. Throw a K&N filter in there, they were pretty cheap for the E46 IIRC. Really upped the induction noise, which on that straight 6 is where the magic sound is moreso than the tailpipe.
Yeah, I've had my fun with the AFE intake and while I love the noise, heat is this car's enemy so I'd like to make it as cool as possible.

In other news:

I finally sacked up and ordered a PS pump. I found an LF-30 in a junkyard that I thought would fit but it would require different lines and turns out operates at a higher PSI, reducing feel in the wheel. It LOOKED like what I needed but the only difference is a slight angle discrepancy with one of the nipples. Oh well.

I managed to get a heavy duty OE LF-20 with a beefed up shaft so it won't die like the stock one. Also a new oil pan gasket, new exhaust studs, a new A-pillar cover and that pump are all on the way.

I'm going to have to grab shifter bushings, rear main seal, a bunch of fluids, vacuum lines, most likely a CCV replacement kit, and DISA valve because at this point the manual swap, steering, front suspension, oil pan gasket and all that other stuff should be done all at once.

I am "while you're in there". Hear me spend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #151 · (Edited)
Very nice man. ECS Tuning sells a shifter bushing kit, and you can get it in OEM flavor or poly. You're doing everything right, love to see it.
Weird, I had a reply to you written but I lost it. Anyway, yes! I'm cross shopping pretty much every retailer for bushings, the 5th gear detent fix, rear main seal. There's a lot of stuff that goes along with the manual swap for sure.

Another successful junkyard weekend. I refuse to spend $600+ on a shadowline trim kit, so I grabbed and cleaned these off an 04 325ci at the yard:

Fixture Architecture Flooring Floor Line

Wheel Tire Bicycle Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel


They're in great shape besides being filthy. I cleaned them over and over again with degreaser, hot water, rinse, repeat. I removed the crappy rubber seals in the photos and ordered some (hopefully) quality replacement weather stripping. There are a couple of DIYs floating around that have proven you can replace this stuff and it'll look OEM.

I can't wait to get rid of this chrome.
Wheel Car Tire Land vehicle Vehicle



The plan is to replace the rubber seals when they get here. Measure twice, thrice, fourice, drill some holes for the screws to go through, and then grab this:



Word is it's pretty forgiving and adhesive backed, so it should work. Once I removed all the rubber off the trim pieces I found perfect places to end the wrap on the backside. I'm thinking this will be easier and more resilient than painting it.

In other amazing junkyard news: A freaking practically NEW DISA valve on the same car the trim came off. I love finding well-maintained cars in pick & pulls. I noticed that the hardware holding the DISA in wasn't all as old looking as everything else, and the intake boots were in good shape, and there was an old throttle body in the trunk. So it stood to reason that this person had the throttle body and DISA replaced recently right?

YUP. I pulled it off and tested the motion and it snatched right back to normal position. All the plastic was in great shape, it's totally clean and it's a Vaico unit.

The guy at the yard charged me for a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee for all this stuff. 2 $300 pieces of trim and a $200 DISA valve for $29 out the door.

More stuff to order soon. I'll keep you all posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #153 ·
I'm so jealous of your junkyards having decent examples to choose from. There are hardly any imports at all in the yards around here, it's all F-150's and Silverado's, I'd love to go dig around some E46's.
It has become a real game for me. I have alerts setup for all 5 LKQ yards in Maryland (FIVE OF THEM) and they're all within a 45 min drive.

Let me know what you might need dude, because a lot of these cars are sedans. I would be more than happy to grab stuff for you if I can. You can even just text me random parts and I can send you pics when I get there. If it's something I can ship reasonably I'll totally do it.
 

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It has become a real game for me. I have alerts setup for all 5 LKQ yards in Maryland (FIVE OF THEM) and they're all within a 45 min drive.

Let me know what you might need dude, because a lot of these cars are sedans. I would be more than happy to grab stuff for you if I can. You can even just text me random parts and I can send you pics when I get there. If it's something I can ship reasonably I'll totally do it.
I'd love some grey sport seats for the front, obviously that wouldn't be "relatively easy to ship" but still could be done? You have my phone number. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #155 ·
I'd love some grey sport seats for the front, obviously that wouldn't be "relatively easy to ship" but still could be done? You have my phone number. :)
You got it. I'll keep my eyes peeled. I switched to sport seats too and it's a huge difference. There's a Greyhound station nearby which I think can ship big stuff pretty cheap. We'll figure something out.

Speaking of that, the dude M539 Restoration guy on YouTube is fantastic. The leather repair and restore stuff he used was amazing. I'm going to buy a kit of it. I think it was called ColourLock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #157 ·
Oh man nothing like a good junkyard find. Once this house is done ima grab a project car, but in the meantime I’ll live through threads like this. (y)
I'm living through your thread about your project house! (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #159 ·
Annnnd I'm an idiot. I snagged the wrong driveshaft from the junkyard last month. Or whenever the hell that was.

The 330s all have the 6-bolt input flange through a CV for the rear diff, the one I have is just a 4-bolt flange.

**** on a Pringle. I'm annoyed but...it is what it is. I might have to just suck it up and buy a reman'd unit unless an actual manual 330 shows up in the junkyard. Not the kinda thing I want to count on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #160 ·
Small update/wins:

Flipped a pair of OEM LED tails last weekend for a nice little profit, and I have a pending sale on the driveshaft that won't fit my car. I think I may have found a new side hustle. I have a fairly good eye for parts that are still usable.

Tracking number for the new driveshaft that WILL fit my car should be arriving today. I'm also trying to secure an electric fan for the raahdiatah. The mechanical/clutch fan is unreliable, loud, bulky, and requires special tools (that I don't have and refuse to buy) to remove. I'll be making the conversion during my next oil change.

Small wins:
I'll update with pics tomorrow, but the interior has all but fully recovered from the dashcam debacle. I managed to get the new A-pillar cover on the passenger side installed, and I replaced the 3rd brake light cover and alarm sensor cover as well. She's looking all right inside.

Don't smoke cigarettes in cars. Also, sunroofs are magnets for crap:
White Light Automotive exterior Bumper Gas


This is the alarm sensor cover.



One step closer to shadow line:
Car Wheel Vehicle Tire Window

Car Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle


I photoshopped the goal. I think I still like it:
Car Automotive parking light Wheel Land vehicle Tire


Next up: my trunk lid handle has been barely hanging on for years. I found an Orient Blue coupe at the pick & pull and grabbed a nice new one off that. Little did I know that the structure of the handle is the same width, but the actual painted body panel on the 2004 coupes is like 6 inches wider than the 2001 coupes.

Automotive lighting Hood Grille Motor vehicle Vehicle



Since I try to save every penny I didn't get the warranty, so no returns. The OEM paint matched version of this is about $200. This was $6.

I love a project, so, presto separato (because clips):
Table Wood Rectangle Floor Flooring


New structure fits nice and tight:
Vehicle registration plate Automotive tail & brake light Car Grille Vehicle


Old piece was...wow. I patted myself on the back for undoing this without completely shattering it:

Wood Hardwood Electric blue Varnish Insect


BMW used glue. Lots of it. Thick globs of it. This car has nuclear grade adhesives wherever adhesives are used. Because of that...I will not feel bad about gluing the old piece over the new structure. There are tabs, but they weren't really doing anything and amazingly did not shatter either. This should hold up. Economical, OEM, and kept me busy.
 
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