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Thread: Fixing my ZHP

  1. #11
    Well Isaac, I hope your car brought you enjoyment and learned on how to maintaining these E46. I bought the same car as yours 5 months earlier with 20k more miles for the same price. I noted all the must-fix items and costs($2800) after I did a PPI. I also made sure it was kept\looked OEM and all little electrical things worked before I bought it so I can keep it that way thereafter as my daily driver. The $2,800 went for new suspensions, mounts, fix leaks engine which is what every E46 with 125k will need if it does not already have them done but it's an opp to buy cheaply since those owners will bail out on a good car. I also knew I wanted to better options now than later so got some Micheline PSS and etc . I don't know what to suggest unless I see your car. Just remember it will not be your first car or E46. If you are that dedicated to fixing a car, maybe you can also put that energy amd money in a good (but lucky find) replacement car also. Let us know..

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Rancho Cordova
    Posts
    23
    Hey everybody!
    Sorry for taking so long. I can't get Photobucket at the moment, and most of my photos won't upload to ZHPMafia for some reason.
    I'd rather not pay for Photobucket to only use it once, i need to figure something out.

    My mechanic friend took a look at the wiring and was able to cut and solder everything back into the OEM radio harness, but i found even more bad news. The previous owner spliced his own wiring to the speakers, so even though the wiring to the radio was fixed, there are completely separate wires running to the speakers. We took a look in the trunk, and the amplifier, bracket for it, and the radio tuner computer were gone, and the wires and harness leading to them were messed up also. I forgot to mention in my first post that the subwoofers and their housing have been taken out by the previous owner.
    Basically, my friend fixed the wiring to the radio, but couldn't do more because of limited time, so i have to go back in the future to fix the wiring from the radio to the speakers. I also have to get an OEM H/K amplifier/bracket and radio tuner computer for the radio to work. And get the OEM subwoofers/enclosure/amp.

    My friend also temporarily fixed the AC issue! it feels sooo nice to have good working AC. My friend used the strongest bonding tape he had in the shop, and walled up the part that the previous owner cut out to fit the radio. That simple fix restored all functionality of the AC system. It seems like the whole system runs by the air pressure inside the core, and now that it's been restored, everything works. Before, the climate control didn't change the direction of air from window/face/feet/front defrost. Now that the tape is holding the air in, i can hear the motors in the AC core working, opening channels and changing the direction of air when i press the modes on the climate control. Even the front defrost works now! All thanks to tape! But i know this fix is only temporary. The summer heat could wear out the glue on the tape, or if it lasts until winter, blowing heat through the AC in the winter could wear out the glue, and i'll have to redo the patch. My mechanic friend told me he could cut some plastic panels and seal the core with urethane and it might do the trick, or install another AC core into my car. But that would be very expensive for the labor to take out the whole dashboard for this fix. He said that wouldn't cost any less than $1k. still, im happy having AC and i'll cross that bridge when i get there.

    While at my friend's shop i also replaced my car's brakes. I bought StopTech sport brake pads front and rear, and StopTech stainless steel brake lines. Over a month ago i ordered StopTech slotted rotors for my car, but they were delayed in shipping three times. After waiting a month for the rotors to be shipped, i canceled the order and asked my friend to order rotors for me. He doesn't have StopTech available to him, but he got me Zimmerman drilled rotors instead. I wish i could have gotten a full StopTech setup, but my rotors had formed a lip on the outside edge and i didn't want to drive with them any longer. I had the rotors, pads, and lines installed a week ago and they feel so nice.

    Looking at the damage behind the radio really made me appreciate all that goes into building a car. I saw that anything is fixable if you know how it works. I fixed most of the issues on my car already, and just because the last few are more expensive doesn't mean they're impossible for me. I'm feeling as good about my car now as i did the day i first saw it. I'm definitely going to keep it and fix everything up, and improve it in a few ways.
    I need to redo the wiring of the sound system and install the missing amps/subs/control module, and that'll be fine. The Harmon/Kardon sound system sounds very good to me, and i don't need much more.
    I need to replace the shocks/struts, and i will with Bilstein B6. And i will add an M3 front sway bar while i'm at it, or something bigger.
    I want to replace the front seats with M3 seats. My car's seats don't look very nice anymore, and the driver's seat leather is ripped at the base. Also, i'm a taller guy, and my head is less than an inch from the roof even with the seat at the lowest height. Hopefully i can find good condition M3 seats with manual adjustments, which i've heard sit lower than power seats.
    Then everything else after that will be cosmetic fixes, like new black cube trim, alcantara parts from Coby Wheel, replacing the faded rear parcel shelf, ect.

    But i'm still indecisive even now. I've been thinking about repainting my car or changing the color. I saw a titanium silver coupe with silver cube trim in Classifieds that i love. i don't know if i should modify my own car, or just save up and buy one how i want, because this same thing will probably happen if i buy another car.

    Sorry about the rambling, I hope this update was enough without the pictures
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Socal
    Posts
    1,333
    Use Flickr. It's free. That's what I moved onto. Or you can use imgur, there's lots others.

    Good progress. Honestly, it sounds like you're going to keep it. Just do it. Go ahead and practice and DIY on your car as well. What's the worst that could happen? I would leave the repainting for the last thing you do though. I'd try to fix all the other stuff you found first. It's a lot easier to DIY when you can worry less about breaking shit.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    6,156
    Good to hear your A/C is working fine. And I can see your pic.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    150,000 miles

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    445
    Your car doesn't look so bad in the pics, but to be fair it's from an angle and from further away. I definitely feel for you - I've had both quarters repaired on my car, but luckily they seem to be holding up. Obviously if you have a keen eye you can tell it's been repaired, but unless you get your face up to it (like you're going to kiss the paint, lol) you can't really tell.
    Last edited by t.er; 05-14-2020 at 07:20 PM.
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    17,489
    Yup, agree. Was gonna say flickr too. Also agree, DIY and then paint last.

    Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    ESS Stage 1 Twin Screw Supercharger, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, Ground Control Coilovers, UCC Sway Bars, Apex EC-7 18x8.5 ET38
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection), BSW Stage 1 Speakers, Kicker Amp/Subwoofer
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete, M3 Side Mirrors
    Note: Actual car no longer resembles signature picture

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    980
    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac_Clark View Post
    The second issue is the AC. The AC doesn't blow very hard, only when i turn the fan speed up to the last 3 settings does the air current reach me. The side vents barely blow air at all, even on the high settings. Even weirder, if i close the air vents and turn the fan speed high, air will blow out from the dashboard, in between the gaps of the radio/hvac and storage compartments. The front windshield defrost also doesn't work. If i press the front defrost button, the vents on the back of the dash don't work, instead, it just turns the fan speed on max for the front facing vents. The AC does blow cold air, but it doesn't blow heat well. It doesn't blow hot unless i turn the climate control above 80F at normal engine temperature, and then the heat "runs out" after 15 minutes unless i turn the temperature up higher.
    Sounds like maybe that could be a faulty Final Stage Unit (FSU). When mine went out the lower fan speeds wouldn't work, and at times it would change speed on it's own. You could also have an issue with the baffle that moves to push the air the the different vents when selected.

    The heat issue could also be the FSU, or a thermostat, or the Heater Core Temperature Sensor. I was not getting any hot water to the heater core, so I unplugged my heater core valve and bam...I had heat and plenty of it. Turns out the temp sensor was bad, and causing the valve to stay shut. If both of those are good, and the heat just cuts out when you speed up, then you may have a thermostat that isn't closing all the way.

    Beautiful car!!
    2001 325i Sport Package / Rebuilt Motor at 194K / Lemforder M3 Motor Mounts / Thule Roof Rack / Eagle Eye Clear Tail Lights / Lemforder Sway Links
    BMW Performance Shift Knob / Alcantra Shift Boot / BBS Wheels / 15% Tint
    RIP - 2009 335i xDrive / Twin Turbo / Cold Weather Package / Premium Package / 15% Tint
    ER Chargepipe / Tial BOV / Dual Cone Intake / OEM Roof Rack

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Rancho Cordova
    Posts
    23
    Thanks for telling me about Flicr!

    Here's the earliest photos i have of my car:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/188540.../shares/M8eX7z

    Here are the photos of the damage from the accident:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/188540.../shares/2916kz

    Here are current photos of my car just before i went to replaced the brakes:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/188540.../shares/SUD0gd

    The are surrounding the door handle is like that because the "friend" who "fixed" the dents in the door and fender took out the handle and didn't put it back when he gave me my car back. The key's battery died, and i didn't want to pay $260 for a new key at the dealership, and i was afraid of messing anything up if i attempted to replace the battery, so i had to get in by unlocking manually. When i got my car back, the guy showed me that i can stick my finger in the gap of the door where the handle goes in, and pull a lever in there to open the door. He told me he didn't put the handle back in because the stick key lock's cover is missing, and to find one and paint it before i put the handle back in, and that it just snaps back in when i want to put it back. I found a cover, painted it, and tried to put it back in but i didn't know there was a screw to hold the handle in, i thought i was doing something wrong, so until i could find it out, i put duct tape over the opening so nothing could get in. I left the tape on there for months, getting in my car by putting the stick key in, and holding unlock so the windows roll down enough to stick my arm in and open the door from the inside. now that i figured out that the carrier was busted and fixed it months after, the residue of the tape stayed on and won't come off.

    And finally, here are photos of the damage the previous owner made behind the radio to install their unit:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/188540.../shares/K797gp

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    445
    Yeah I'd say fix all the mechanicals, don't worry about the body for now - a bit of a bummer about the bodywork though. Any chance there is a warranty on it? At least with my first accident (the damage was very similar to yours) I have a lifetime warranty on the work, so if the filler cracks they can take care of it. Luckily for me they pulled 95% of the dent out, then just put a very small skim coat of filler to get it flat and true, and so far it looks like the day I got it back 5 years ago.
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Rancho Cordova
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post
    Yeah I'd say fix all the mechanicals, don't worry about the body for now - a bit of a bummer about the bodywork though. Any chance there is a warranty on it? At least with my first accident (the damage was very similar to yours) I have a lifetime warranty on the work, so if the filler cracks they can take care of it. Luckily for me they pulled 95% of the dent out, then just put a very small skim coat of filler to get it flat and true, and so far it looks like the day I got it back 5 years ago.
    There isn't a warranty, the guy that pulled the dents/bondo/painted the fender does that as side work, and isn't part of an official body shop.

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