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Thread: Danny's 330ci

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Galapolis View Post
    I would honestly just replace the lenses. I used one of those restoration kits and it faded after about 6 months, so I just got $20 eBay lenses and they still look like new over a year later. Super cheap and easy to do.
    Yeah, thatís probably what Iíll do. I didnít realize the lenses were so cheap and easy to replace, I come from E34 and E39 land where itís a lot harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post
    Lucky bastards
    I feel your pain, all my facelift E39 headlights needed baking to replace lenses and adjusters, otherwise polishing was the only ďeasyĒ option.

    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    Could you please touch on what you mean by the 'usual' torque converter lockup issue? Is this a common issue? Which transmission?

    My late 2002 / early 2003 build touring had a torque converter issue right after I bought it (probably already existed) where on lockup, it would shake and constantly alternate between lockup / no lockup (at least that's what I think it was). Mine is a ZF 5HP19; is yours a ZF as well?
    5HP19 just like yours. I think all 2001+ E46ís used the same automatics. My issue is that the torque converter doesnít lock at all, and I got this fun code on the highway last night:



    Alternating between being locked and unlocked is super common too. The torque converter seems to be the Achilles heel with these transmissions, along with losing the reverse gear.

    Thankfully for me, a manual swap was always the plan, so I donít intend to spend any time worrying about the automatic in the meantime.
    2003 Titanium Silver 330ci - Maintenance Thread

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
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    15,770
    Quote Originally Posted by dannyzabolotny View Post
    5HP19 just like yours. I think all 2001+ E46’s used the same automatics. My issue is that the torque converter doesn’t lock at all, and I got this fun code on the highway last night:



    Alternating between being locked and unlocked is super common too. The torque converter seems to be the Achilles heel with these transmissions, along with losing the reverse gear.
    They switched to the GM trannies I think in March 2003+. I had another touring with a March 2003 build date and that had the GM already in it, and we know all the ZHPs with autos had GMs in them too.

    Mine doesn't have the reverse gear issue, but my hope is that with the upgraded valve body I installed, along with using common sense when shifting gears (making sure the car is fully stopped before shifting from or to R), it should hopefully last a long time. I also changed the transmission fluid at 119k, so hopefully I "saved" this transmission, at least until I can get an M54B30 w/ 6-speed in there.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  3. #13
    Over the last few days, I've done a few things to the car...

    First off was replacing the awful tires. Two of them were corded horribly:





    I replaced them with a brand new set of Kumho Ecstas. They're decent all season tires that ride nicely and weren't too expensive for all four, plus I've got the proper tire sizes now instead of the mismatched mess I had before.



    I still don't love the chrome finish style 68's, but at least with fresh tires they're tolerable.



    With the tires taken care of, I moved onto my fun box of new parts:



    First up was doing an oil change, which was long overdue based on how black and watery the oil was. The o-ring on the filter cap was flattened and rock hard, so who knows when the oil was last changed. Castrol Edge 0W40 was my oil of choice for this round, along with a Mahle filter. I don't have any really specific oil preferences when it comes to M54's, I just know that I like a slightly heavier weight for the summer heat here in Phoenix.

    Next up was replacing the awful-looking fluid in the power steering system. It was this weird gray color and didn't look like ATF, so I drained it all from the line at the pump and filled it with fresh synthetic ATF. I'll do a few more flushes in the coming weeks to see if the steering gets better. It feels okay when I'm driving but at low speeds in parking lots it randomly gets kinda heavy. It could very well be a bad pump or bad rack, but we'll see.

    Moving along, the worn control arm bushings got replaced with some fresh new Meyle HD bushings. The old ones were pretty mismatched— the passenger side one was original while the driver side one looked newer, along with the driver side control arm. Presumably the car hit something on that side at one point and got those two parts replaced. It's always funny when people only replace suspension components only on one side, that's always a terrible idea unless it's a brand new car with no wear.





    The car had a pretty good shake at idle, so I figured doing the motor mounts wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm glad I decided to replace them, the mounts were both original from 2002 and the passenger side mount had completely separated while the driver side mount was collapsed.



    You can see how much taller the new engine mount is:



    After I did the engine mounts, I replaced the transmission mounts. Somehow these were even worse than the engine mounts— both were from 2002 and were completely separated! If you're keeping count, that means my drivetrain was held in with only one (1) mount, wow. I'm glad I didn't drive the car very hard with the old mounts, I would have definitely torn a radiator hose or sent my clutch fan into the hood.



    Before putting everything back together, I figured I'd give the reinforcement plate a bit of a cleaning with the pressure washer. It's amazing how much of a difference a few minutes can make.





    I like cleaning things when I work on my cars, it just makes them a little nicer to work on in the future.



    With all the actual work done, I moved onto the easy fun stuff, like replacing the engine air filter. I've replaced a lot of these, but this one takes the cake for being one of the nastiest filters I've seen:





    The cabin air filter was similarly gross and got replaced with a fancy new Mann filter with activated charcoal. Probably not necessary, but it wasn't super expensive so why not.

    Moving inside the car, I installed the factory aux-in kit, routing the plug to the glovebox, mostly out of sheer laziness. The aux-in is somewhat of a temporary setup until I buy a BlueBus kit in a month or two. It's nice to be able to listen to my own music, that truly makes a car feel like my own. Of course the bracket that holds the radio and climate control panel decided to fall apart when I touched it, so I'll have to either buy one new or scour the junkyards for an intact one. It all went back together fine, but it's looser than I'd like it to be. Wood trim needs some new inserts as well, so I'll add that to the list as well.

    All that's left from my big box of parts is the passenger side window regulator, which I'll install in the coming days when I've got some free time. The diff mounts also need to be done, but that's a job for another day. With the new engine + trans mounts, new control arms, and new tires, the car feels so much better to drive. It no longer shakes when I'm stopped at a light, and the engine doesn't feel like it's trying to escape the car when I'm driving it hard. There's still some shaking upon braking, so the brakes will likely need to be done in the near future. The car also needs an alignment real bad, so that's probably the next thing I'll get done.
    2003 Titanium Silver 330ci - Maintenance Thread

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Damn you're really bringing this thing back from the edge! Nice work

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Toronto, ON
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    381
    Nice work! I had the same with my car for the FCABS - the passenger's side was original and the driver's side was Meyle HD, odd.

    Engine mount going bad on the passenger's side first is common because of the heat coming off the exhaust
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ZHPizza View Post
    Damn you're really bringing this thing back from the edge! Nice work
    This car wasnít too bad to begin with, just super neglected. Iíd rather start with a neglected but original car than deal with a poorly repaired car. At 135k miles and with a clean title, I saw the potential for this car to be nice with just a bit of work.

    Cars like this one are super satisfying for me, because with just a bit of work they get so much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post
    Nice work! I had the same with my car for the FCABS - the passenger's side was original and the driver's side was Meyle HD, odd.

    Engine mount going bad on the passenger's side first is common because of the heat coming off the exhaust
    Ah, that makes sense! The passenger side mount has a small factory heat shield on it, but it probably doesnít do all that much.
    2003 Titanium Silver 330ci - Maintenance Thread

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Irvine, CA
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    395
    Great work! Pretty amazing that drivetrain was held in place with 1 mount. Glad you're bringing it back.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
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    17,446
    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Great work! Pretty amazing that drivetrain was held in place with 1 mount. Glad you're bringing it back.
    +1

    Sent from my SM-G935V 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
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    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

  9. #19
    Thanks y'all! I'm happy to be fixing this one up, there's something really satisfying about fixing up a neglected car. A lot of my E46 customers at the shop are pretty budget-conscious so I rarely get to fix everything on an E46, but with this one I'll keep fixing stuff until the car is 100%.

    The other day I replaced the super broken window regulator and removed what appeared to be putty holding the glass in place. The old regulator was original and had completely fallen apart:





    The new ‹ro Premium regulator went in without any problems, and now I have properly working windows on both sides of the car. Now that the window closes properly, the car is reasonably quiet on the highway. I did need to adjust the glass a few times because of wind noise, but thankfully the E46 makes it super easy to adjust the glass position from outside the car by just removing the rub strip on the door.

    The other minor repair was getting rid of the visible zip tie holding the very broken kidney grilles onto the hood. I'll eventually replace these with some black grilles, but for now I drilled holes on the backs of the grilles and ran a zip tie back there. Now the kidney grilles are even more secure and sit properly on the hood:



    Later that night I went for a spirited drive with some friends, so I got to test the car out a bit and see what the next repair needs to be. It was raining so I noted that the wipers were useless, so that's on the list now. The new Kumhos did excellent in the rain, with extreme stability and good handling. They also seem to be quite smooth up to 130mph, and are very smooth while cruising at 100mph.



    My friends and I at Denny's, featuring an S50-swapped E34 that we did at my shop, and a bone-stock 318i/5.

    2003 Titanium Silver 330ci - Maintenance Thread

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
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    6,083
    Making progress one step a time. And that 318i looks like my first BMW (minus the wheels of course) which I bought back in 2004.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    150,000 miles

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