M3AN

M3AN E36 M3 PLOG (Project Log)

309 posts in this topic

More Interior

A few things not really on my list but driving me crazy anyway were a missing horizontal slat in my centre aircon vent, loose internal door panels and a broken mount for the warning triangle in the trunk.

I fixed the aircon vent with a bit of cumbersome effort, that thing's a bitch to get out. I purchased a whole new (used) unit from Ray (they're not cheap, even old, filthy, seized ones!) because I thought I might need to replace the whole thing. Luckily I discovered I could swap bits out without complete removal. Although even partial removal was a PITA I managed to replace the missing pin and broken slat and am happy with the results. $60 plus a trip to Silverdale and an hour of cursing but it's fixed now.

The warning triangle mount was driving me crazy, the forward mount had been pulled from the trunk ceiling by a careless valet and the tiny clip was ex-Germany and unavailable in single units. To the best of my knowledge that clip and cap (51478117523 and 51711934930) is not used anywhere else in the car... nowhere (seriously BMW?). So in the end I used plastic versions of these that I picked up from Bunnings and chopped the pointy ends off, even more secure that the OEM part now... $5 and 5 mins.

img54p90.jpg

And now that I've done both doors I'm pretty happy. Both now close with a reassuring BMW thud and absolutely no rattle! It's seriously like the car sounded as new when I slam the doors, I'm pretty happy with this.

When I removed the door panel both lower pockets and the top bracket remained attached to the door! The only thing holding the panel on was the Torx screws and the side clips, all of the glue had failed including some on the side brackets... no wonder they rattled!

I used this DIY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GghftCXKaDA

And carefully hot glued everything back together and replaced all of the clips:

Door%20Cards.JPG

I'm pretty impressed with how solid it all feels now. $30 (gun + glue + clips) and 2 hours to get both doors done really well.

Awesome stuff!

Precisely the same thing happened to me when pulling off door cards, I think the adhesive that holds the plastic panels to the card just decays and when you pull off the door card, the plastic panels get left behind. I used gorilla glue to much the same effect.

Edited by duvey
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I went all out on my door cards, used fibre glass epoxy for maximum strength, so tired of them failing prematurely. Last glue I used failed in less than a year.

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I went all out on my door cards, used fibre glass epoxy for maximum strength, so tired of them failing prematurely. Last glue I used failed in less than a year.

Yeah, I already get the feeling I'll be doing it again!

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I have a little composites experience, but not a lot of specific door card experience. Epoxy is horrendously brittle, whilst strong in cases with vibration it is possible over time the bond will fail. Epoxy can also vary a lot with temperature it is exposed to. If temperatures are too high you can force the resin's atomic bonds to "melt" or if the resin requires a specific temperature before the molecules have enough energy to properly crosslink and you only use it in room temperature it could only be like 10% of its final strength.

Other things too, I'm not sure what's in the other side of the door card, but I would be scuffing both with say 220 grit (maybe even 120 grit) sandpaper, cleaning with solvents and bonding properly.

But as before, perhaps epoxy isn't the best here. Maybe look into more ductile adhesives like urethanes or even silicon sealants? There's a lot of area, so the adhesive doesn't need to be crazy strong.

Edited by tidyverty

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Classic, given the above discussion it had to happen... my door card fix (here) was a total and utter failure... lol. Less than three weeks...

The hot glue basically failed in all of the stress points. I'm not sure if it was poor prep, poor application or just poor glue but the rear door pocket and the upper bracket on the passenger door both dislodged again... :-/

So this time I've used a laminate dry contact adhesive which should surely do the job and if not I'm just going to epoxy those bastards in and be done with it! Some times brute force is required right? lol.

Edited by M3AN

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I just used some max bond liquid nails type stuff that said it will stick pretty much everything. Has worked well so far

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Time for an update or two.

VANOS

The details are all in this thread here but I'll provide a summary here too.

I've completed the full VANOS rebuild and it seems to have been successful after about 800 km's. I hope so because I'm about to put another 700 km's on it this weekend! The main job was (reasonably) straightforward but I had a problem with the chain tensioner (messy threads) that's covered in detail in the above link. When I pulled the VANOS apart seal degradation was apparent, I'm not sure how much life was left in the unit but it's good to know it shouldn't cause any future problems. I've not noticed any performance changes however.

I did the rattle kit as well and that at least doubles the complexity of the job. This isn't an essential step but if you want the system to run as quite as possible it's worth doing it whilst you're in there. Mine is running quieter than I've ever heard it.

It is a DIY but you need the correct tools, time and a lot of patience.

Edited by M3AN

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Headliner

I finally got my headliner recovered and also the rear parcel shelf and a, b and c pillars. I'm happy with the results but my photography skills are not at the standard required to get good photos from within the car or through the glass to present here. I went with an Audi charcoal grey material that has a micro check weave to it and I think it looks quite modern. It's almost an exact match for the front sun blinds... I don't know if they used to be totally black either? Total cost was $550 and that was with me removing the parts and dropping them off at the upholsterers.

Re-installation was a bit of a challenge because all of the tolerances have changed a little and this took me 3 hours. I'm not sure if it's all back in 100% (i.e. all clips) but the km's I'm going to do this weekend should shake anything loose so I can check it when I return.

I got the b pillars trimmed also and they look great but it does affect the seatbelt retract somewhat. It's not a safety concern as one simply adjusts the seatbelt once seated but it does leave the potential for the belt (or buckle) to get trapped in the door when you get out. I'll take another look at this later but for now I'm happy with the trade-off.

Edited by M3AN

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Smoke Test & Oil Change

In preparation for the next drive I changed the oil for Castrol TWS 10/60 based on local and foreign recommendations. I'm interested to see if that changes any behavioral elements of the engine/VANOS. The pan was drained dry using both plugs and of course the filter was also replaced.

I also had a long anticipated vacuum leak test conducted using a smoke machine and that yielded the result I wanted. Yes, I have a significant vacuum leak! And I'm glad... because this is likely to go a long way to resolving my niggling hesitation problem. Unfortunately the parts I need a 3 weeks ex-Germany. But I'm happy this is now confirmed and it only cost me $15 at Bellars (I did try to use a forum sponsor but after talking to them they never contacted me back as promised). Edit: parts to fix are about $40.

I also have an input (pinion) shaft leak from my diff seal and need to replace that. It's small and I have the replacement seal already so no biggie.

Edited by M3AN

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Great work. I know you said the pics arent that flash of the interior but I am keen to see them. I started work on the headliner in the touring last weekend and am looking for some fabric to cover it.

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Smoke Test & Oil Change

(I did try to use a forum sponsor but after talking to them they never contacted me back as promised)

It's a shame when this happens, maybe they were just very busy at the time.

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Great work. I know you said the pics arent that flash of the interior but I am keen to see them. I started work on the headliner in the touring last weekend and am looking for some fabric to cover it.

I have a couple, including a macro shot, of it out of the vehicle so that should give you an idea. How I get them from my camera to my Dropbox whilst I'm in the Bay of Islands I'm unsure but will do my best. Worst case it will be Tuesday evening when I'm back home.

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It's a shame when this happens, maybe they were just very busy at the time.

They probably shouldn't have said yes if that were the case but it's not something to get wound up about, sh*t happens and their loss not mine. Although at $15 plus ~20 mins of labour it's hardly going to be an economic disaster for anyone! :)

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Smoke Test & Oil Change

In preparation for the next drive I changed the oil for Castrol TWS 10/60 based on local and foreign recommendations. I'm interested to see if that changes any behavioral elements of the engine/VANOS. The pan was drained dry using both plugs and of course the filter was also replaced.

I also had a long anticipated vacuum leak test conducted using a smoke machine and that yielded the result I wanted. Yes, I have a significant vacuum leak! And I'm glad... because this is likely to go a long way to resolving my niggling hesitation problem. Unfortunately the parts I need a 3 weeks ex-Germany. But I'm happy this is now confirmed and it only cost me $15 at Bellars (I did try to use a forum sponsor but after talking to them they never contacted me back as promised). Edit: parts to fix are about $40.

I also have an input (pinion) shaft leak from my diff seal and need to replace that. It's small and I have the replacement seal already so no biggie.

Glad to hear you've found the source of your problems. Should probably have mine done for peace of mind :)

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Glad to hear you've found the source of your problems. Should probably have mine done for peace of mind :)

Whilst I'm optimistic this is the cause of the problem, it does seem likely, I'm not going to count on that until it's actually fixed! Knowing my luck it will just lead to something else... :)

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Great work. I know you said the pics arent that flash of the interior but I am keen to see them. I started work on the headliner in the touring last weekend and am looking for some fabric to cover it.

Edit:

20140225_173230_2.jpg

20140225_173344.jpg

20140225_173413.jpg

Edited by M3AN

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Cheers. That looks rather grey or is that just the photos? It's hard finding the perfect material

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It's charcoal grey, certainly not black but it's pretty dark. More so than the light shade in the pics, yes.

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Will it ever end?

RTAB's & Tyres

So the 2,000 or so km's I've put on the car since the VANOS job was enough to totally trash my RTAB's and in the process my rear tyres. The right hand side RTAB has completely collapsed and the left one is pretty shot too - half of the crush sleeve is visible on the RHS! I noticed it on the way up to the Bay of Islands last weekend when the rear end of the car literally "fell" sideways at speed around a tight bend, heart in mouth stuff. The inside of both of my rear tyres are ruined (threads are visible - although they were fortunately due for imminent replacement).

So these are going in on Monday (bushings $175, installation is a LOT more):

RTABs%20(Custom).JPG

And I'm glad I'm not putting them in because they look like a real bitch to install!

After choosing poly over rubber I had to decide what brand I wanted that was available locally and these SuperPro ones have some subtle design characteristics that were appealing such as grease channels to keep the grease in. Also there are significant advantages to the one piece design (which comes at the cost of installation ease) and many poly bushes are two piece.

As for tyres I lucked into a killer deal on new Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrical 2's:

255/35/18 - $299 each fitted and balanced
225/40/18 - $239 each fitted and balanced

More rubber than I need but at less than half of the recommended retail I couldn't resist... I'm getting these fitted tomorrow but will need to keep the k's right down (i.e. drive home and park it) until Monday when the RTAB's go in and Peter Alder does my alignment.

But still... it's another $1800 or so that I didn't expect I'd need to spend right now and I'll soon need 4 new rotors and all new pads... boy-oh-boy...

Edited by M3AN

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RTAB's, Tyres & Alignment

The results of doing this combo are great. I can't compare them to any recent known good configuration because all of mine were in pretty poor shape. I'm very happy with the results and the whole car seems to have responded very well.

The RTAB's took 4 hours to install which is pretty long but matched my worst case scenario so not a problem.

Vacuum Leaks

Unfortunately not all fixed... :( three parts (two hoses and a cap) were replaced but during reassembly another breather hose was found to be bad... ex-Germany of course. I had Bellars Motor Works do the work for me because they performed the smoke test and have been pretty good to me recently. I was astonished when they let me drive away without paying and offered to only charge me once for the hours (airbox and plenum disassemble and reassemble) when I bring it back in. I think that's a pretty amazing gesture given it's not their fault the other hose was bad... and the car does run better!

"GT" Splitters

I was never sold on these but since installing them today they're growing on me quickly. Picked them up in Europe for cheap, they're just ABS reps but I wonder if they might get ripped off anyway!

Splitters01.JPG

Edited by M3AN

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very Spartan looking, which is a good thing haha

any new bushings better than sh*te old rubber, but I tend to find "harder" material annoying as I keep daily driving mine. Don't know if its a sentiment that is shared by the younger members ( Older members has advised against non-rubber bushings, and I reluctantly agree with the "told ya" message).

Edited by dubman

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any new bushings better than sh*te old rubber, but I tend to find "harder" material annoying as I keep daily driving mine. Don't know if its a sentiment that is shared by the younger members ( Older members has advised against non-rubber bushings, and I reluctantly agree with the "told ya" message).

I deliberately went with "soft" poly for the reasons you describe. The ones I have in (SuperPro) certainly transmit some of the rear end undulations but only at a level I find to be reassuring, not annoying. And I'm thankful for this because it can be an expensive mistake!

Edited by M3AN

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Looks good with the splitters! Havnt lost mine yet but just scrape going in the drive.

Glad I took my whole rear subframe to do the bushes. Once it was out took maybe 4-5hrs to do every one. Also the quickest way to do them is with a bit of steel tube just the right size and some big washers, a bit of high tensile threaded rod, some nuts and a rattle gun. Takes about 5 mins a side to "press" them out and same again going in. Less if they're poly bushes as do them by hand and can do it in car too :)

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Hey mate, where about said you have this done?

So I got this installed today and holy crap it's awesome!

ClutchHose.JPG

I got it from BMSport (Bexley) in the UK (link). Top blokes BTW.

I'm astonished at the difference it makes. I know my OE hose was knackered even though it's only done 30k km's but I have never had the clutch feel this good, even when it was a new clutch and hose. This thing works perfectly and predictably across all temp ranges and the engagement point is now 1" from the top of travel, not 1" from the bottom of pedal travel. Clutch engagement itself is also more positive and much smoother. It's like driving a new car (and I will have to relearn the correct muscle memory, a few poor changes so far today already).

I was going to do it myself but after a fixed quote by Bellar's came in at a whole 45 mins it became illogical for me to do so. It would have taken me 20 mins to get the car up on stands lol. And that included a full three step bleed (gravity then bleeder then manual) to make sure it was 100% and a code read to compare with my results at home. Dropped the car off, had breakfast nearby, picked the car up, done. The job, including fluid, cost me less than the hose. Awesome.

Best. Upgrade. Ever. Just do it! :D

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Hey mate, where about said you have this done?

Bellars Motor Works on the shore.

Edited by M3AN
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