Hello ZHP Mafia

My name is Nick and I just recently purchased a 2004 BMW 330i ZHP. I picked the car up from a used car dealer in Orange County, CA. I am the third owner of this 105,500 mile Silbergrau SIlver on Black ZHP. The car was leased for a year, with ~12,000 miles put on it. It was then sold to the second owner, who put drove the car up to 104,000 miles. The PO bought a service package for the vehicle upon purchase, but he kept no records. Carfax is clean and shows a few smaller services done to the vehicle.

I've owned Subarus for most of my years driving. My most recent was a 2014 Subaru BRZ, also Silver on Black, that I purchased brand new with 14 miles on it. I drove the car for ~18 months and racked up a total of 37,xxx miles before the unfortunate happened. The BRZ ended up total, in an accident that was all my own fault. I wasn't doing anything stupid, just wasn't paying close enough attention. I will share the rest of the story and some pictures when I feel better about the whole situation as it only happened a few months ago.

This event put me in the used car market. I was looking around for a few vehicles as I was in between jobs, and was unable to finance a new vehicle. I ended up with some money in pocket from insurance on the BRZ and started hunting for the new ride. I originally was looking for a used Subaru Legacy Spec B, or a Volvo S60R / V70R.

The Legacy Spec B basically has the same motor as the STI, which was appealing. 243 symmetrical awhd HP from a turbo flat-4. Upon reading reviews, I wasn't thrilled about the handling characteristics of the car. Also, Subarus are really noisy on the interior, something I have to change in the BRZ. Lastly, the price. These cars hold their value way too well in my opinion.

I moved on to searching for the Volvos. my first car was a 1997 Volvo 850R touring, so I have always had a soft spot for the R. Inline-5 cylinder, 300awdhp, 6-speed manual gearbox. One of my favorite cars of all time. However, being they are really rare and really prone to certain problems, I could not find one with low enough miles i good enough condition to call my own.

This led me to calling a long time friend who is an engineer and a Bimmer fan. We talked for awhile about cars. He pointed out to great observations. First being that I live in Southern Cali and do not require AWD. Second, Turbo charged vehicles are often more expensive to ensure, and it is another major system to have potential problems with. He told me to start looking around for a used E46. What he sent me out to look for was a 3 liter, sedan (coupes are more likely to have been modded or abused in his opinion), with the ZHP Package. Quick google search and I found 2 in the area for sale. The car I have now, was technically sold on an Ebay auction, but the buyer had to sell his current car first and the deal he had fell through. Jumped on this car shortly after.

While I love this car and enjoy every drive in it, it is not without faults. I will be created a maintenance and build thread for several reasons.

1.) To document my work done to the car over the next several months

2.) To as questions and (hopefully) recieve feedback from fellow members with more experience and knowledge than I

3.) Have my thread available to others who are experiencing the same common issues

4.) to show those wishing to join the e46 community an honest expectation of maintenance costs.

5.) Lastly, Show off my ride, my modifications, and HPDE when that time comes.

My vision for the car. Reliable and comfortable (enough) for Daily Driving, but with enough edge and performance for canyon runs and the occasional track / HPDE

The work the dealer did to my car before I purchased it includes smog testing, new front pads, rotors, and tires. New front lower control arm bushings, new alternator, and new Valve Cover Gasket.

I test drove the vehicle before buying it, and it drove mostly great. I could it needed a few maintenance items, so I used this to my advantage when talking price of the vehicle. However, since purchasing the vehicle, I've had several issues pop up. Listed below are items I need to address.

1.) Sound of a vacuum leak at idle
2.) Rough idle on cold starts, car has since started stalling
3.) Lack of consistent power delivery around ~2,800 rpms

4.) Passenger window regulator starting to make noise

these are the known items at time of buying the car. Since 1/28/16, i've added the following to my list of Problems

5.) Intermittent pulley squeak at start up

6.) Radiator light comes on when heat is turned on

7.) Windshield wiper sprayer motor not functioning

8.) Engine running at a low temperature ( This has only happened twice)

9.) 2/04/16 SES light on - P2237 & P2240 codes pulled, both related to O2 sensors, Pre-cat?? I don't remember

10.) 2/20/16 - Rear passenger door lock malfunctioning

11.) 2/24/16 - Oil leak discovered once the entire Intake, DISA, and ICV where removed.

I knew to expect a fair amount of maintenance with this vehicle, as it is 12 years old, over 100,000 miles, and I did not receive a full work history. However, I did not expect so much would need to be done so fast. I am fairly good at being a mechanic even though this is not my trade nor professional area of study. I've lurked the forums a bunch and feel confident to knock this list out.

My immediate plans:
-replace DISA valve
-Overhaul cooling system
-New belts & pulleys
-New windshield wiper sprayer motor
-New window regulator
-new air filter

Next up:
-New spark plugs
-New battery
-Vanos seals
- Mods
-Angel eyes
-LED Tails
-Square style 135s, suspension, tires

Anyways, I have already begun some work so I'll update this first thread some and as I go along. I'll also add DIYs as I complete projects. I have a NIKON D3000, but there is a problem with the shutter, so once I have some spare funds I will be purchasing a new camera, in the mean time, cellphone photos