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325_driver

E46 325ci Restoration Project

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Signing off for the day. Wanted to get some of it sealed off before I leave it over night.l. Looking pretty darn straight. It's the second half of the the panel that needs some work.

 

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Looking a hell of alot better

Can see a few tiny grooves with the primer on.

Not long to sign off on this side

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Edited by 325_driver
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While the weather's been crap, and the OBD is now reading the car, I thought i would dig into the final warning light on the dash, the ABS

Thought this might be a helpful write up if anyone else comes across this problem, because I would say wiring / connection issues are probably more common than the actual pre-tensioner failing.

** Edit **

I'm writing this because I don't want anyone else reading this to get the wrong idea or bad information, as I am aware pretensioners and air bags have pyro charges in them.

If you're planning on doing your own testing, seek advice from an electrician about this and follow correct procedures before commencing.

The battery had been disconnected for atleast 15 minutes prior to me unplugging or inspecting any harnesses / plugs.

The pretensioner was removed from the seat and placed in a vice when I tested for ohms.

To measure resistance of the pre-tensioner the short tabs need to be dis-engaged, i'm aware why these are there, to prevent the device accidentally being set off outside of it's intended purpose in a crash. 

I am aware that a multi meter sends a small amount of current in order to measure resistance, from what I've always been told on a 200 ohm scale a maximum of 3 volts will be used, which I am told is not enough to set off a pyro charge but seek your own advice on this.

I am also aware that static electricity carries enough voltage to set off a pyro charge

The purpose in why I posted this up in the first place was more to show where the failure for me occurred, as I couldn't find much about it specifically online about "Low resistance" fault, and the small adjustment I made to ensure the shorts are dis engaged when plugged in, doesn't compromise the safety circuit of the pre-tensioner, when the plug comes out, the shorts engage again anyway.

** Edit **

So the 2 codes it pull was 

- resistance too high passenger, I pulled the pre tensioner plug out, cleaned it put it back in, and that code went away

- resistance too low driver side, pulled the plug out cleaned it, put it back in and code persisted.

From my research that code of low resistance is usually a sign of either a failed pre-tensioner, or one that has been deployed.

Found a spare one with wiring at pickapart for $12, so swapped both tensioners onto both sets of wiring, no avail

Took the driver seat out again, measured the ohms on the pre-tensioner, seemed to be Ok about between 1-2 ohm ish (not sure my leads on the multimeter are still 100% accurate anymore)

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Plugged it in, and measured from the larger plug, you have to dis-engage the metal tab from the pin in there too, which is a pain, And measured 0 ohm.

So still suggesting a short circuit some where.

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Cut the wiring insulation from the main plug to look for a break in the connection, found nothing.

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So thought that's strange, which left me with something at the plug in the pre-tensioner end

I thought maybe when it was plugged in, the tabs weren't disengaging from the pins, thus creating a 0 ohm curcuit,

tried adjusting the tabs a bit so it would push back easier with the plug engaged to no avail,

so I adjusted the end of the plug by adding a tiny bit of a lip to push back those tabs when I inserted it

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Measured it from the larger connector and sure enough, showing correct ohms again

------------------------------------

Installed tensioner back on the seat, plugged it back in, then connected the battery.

Loaded up ISTA, reset the Errors, and warning light finally gone!

Hope this helps, wrote it up because I was struggling to find a description of this specific issue, about the plug not disengaging the metal tabs (that act as a fail safe) when performing service work

Onto more body work tomorrow, got to get rid of some final low spots.

Edited by 325_driver
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So you were testing for ohms back into the pre-tensioner after disengaging the safety shorting bar.  The pre-tensioner didn't go off?  You were lucky. 

I have heard of others who have had the pre-tensioner or airbag go off in front of them when doing this sort of testing.  The 9V battery in the multi-meter can have sufficient energy to set them off.  BMW have put the safety shorting bars there for a reason.

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@NZ00Z3 

** EDIT ** 

For the sake of safety I have updated my original post on it, I don't want people getting the wrong idea about what I was posting up, since I am talking about components of the SRS system.

Edited by 325_driver

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11 hours ago, zero said:

No mixing

I think I might actually get some, over the years mixing up a small amount of filler has really started to get to me for the tiny bits.

Been meaning to get some but keep forgetting every time I order panel and prep stuff haha.

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This panel section has really got my work cut out for me.

Don't know what happened to this side but very subtle ripples and dents all over the show.

Done several runs over with guide cost, block sanding and filler.

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They looked straight in many places, but far from it.

And it's obvious now someone has also done a hack job Rollin the rear guards.

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I know it would been a lot quicker if I didn't take the entire panel back. But not knowing the condition of the repair would have eaten away at me after I finished painting.

Edited by 325_driver
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I now know why panel beaters charge so much, 

challenging is probably an understatement, body work isn't my strong point, but i'm not going to be accepting a not perfect finish.

The more i get into it trying to rebuild curves on it, it becomes more apparent that this vehicle was probably drifted into a bush of sorts in an accident, all sorts of ripples in inconvenient places and low spots.

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rebuilding that edge is probably the most difficult part, it's slightly dipped in a spot, and a curved lip, so very hard to even have a guide coat as the method of making it flat

Lost count of how many rounds of guide coat -> sand -> filler -> guide coat -> filler, and cold weather not making it easy for curing time!

Onto another layer of high build primer now, going to have another guide coat over it, see where i'm at tomorrow

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Also having trouble deciding between 2 colours on the car, so i've got some base coat, and going to do a test spray on the front in the next few days, instead of spraying a swatch.

Edited by 325_driver
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So the colors I was contemplating over were

Steel grey and silver grey.

The paint shop doesn't do test spray swatches, so got 100ml of each. Wanted to use up the 100ml of clear coat I had lying round too.

I was pretty sure steel grey was going to be the preference, but I thought I might slap some color on each side as a test spray to be sure.

Man that steel grey colour is Incredible in real life, photos of it just don't do it justice.

Driver's side steel grey

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Passenger silver grey

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And btw that base coat is a group 4, $170 for a litre (in Paraglaze) and even more in Deltron ... Wowsa. (Cheaper when you get 4l) but at that price and doing a full respray I wanted to atleast see both options.

Will Chuck the lights in tomorrow and take some more photos.

Edited by 325_driver
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hard to tell but the steel grey looks nicer to me. a bit of a blue hue to it?

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@qube yeah I'm pretty sure im going with steel grey, not sure what pearls go in it but it's pimp.

Found lots of photos on BMWs steel grey but it's such an interesting colour that looks so different in lighting I really wanted to do a test spray first.

Silver grey looked real sleek to me and wanted to try it, but the steel grey definitely has more character.

I think it's BMW colour code 400.

Bluer face redder flop? Lol

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Closest I've found end result in that lighting will be this for steel grey

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And for silver grey

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Polished up those fogs too, and JB welded the bumber guide.

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Edited by 325_driver
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What about a dazzle ship camo scheme of stahlgrau and silbergrau?  It'll be extra-stealthy!   Seriously though, the stahlgrau does seem to have the edge.

For the left side dent under the hofmeister kink, as you've still a ways to go - how about the old-school slide hammer?  Drill hole(s), screw hammer tip in, gently pull out.

It's coming along brilliantly, keep up the great work!  Patience, time, and attention to detail.  Nice one!

Edited by Olaf
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12 hours ago, Olaf said:

left side dent under the hofmeister kink, as you've still a ways to go - how about the old-school slide hammer

Yeah had considered that. I have a heat gun now, pretty sure with heat gun plus suction cup I'll get it. I was making progress with the hair dryer and suction cup on it but very slowly.

Would be super happy if someone in Tauranga had a rivet gun / dent puller and an angle grinder haha. Oh well, hard road for me.

The rhs quarter panel is within micro meters of something I can live with, guide coats showing less and less low spots. Never thought I'd find it such a challenge!

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Also today something arrived, couldn't resist. You can't have an e46 without halos.

Did my best to keep the wiring neat with bullet connectors, soldering and heat shrink tubing. Plan on putting a relay in eventually so I can have halos linked to the interior lighting / unlock mechanism too.

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The steel gray looks nice

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After weeks of weather too cold or wet to even bother with filler body work, put in some more hard yards on getting these contours 99% there.

Lost count of how many guide coats, filler and primers I've done but it's finally nearly there. Started making some real progress when I got innovative with a long sanding block a half cut knee pad as I was not keen to pay $100 for a durablock. 

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In saying that, I know why panel shops probably spend thousands on an war chest of sanding blocks shapes lengths and firmness. And I probably would have got this done in fewer runs with better tools.

It finally looks good by eye now so going to sand down this layer of black paint as guide coat, and either cry or celebrate. Hopefully seal it with high build and move onto the other side which won't be too hard because I actually have metal reference points as opposed to a over all rippled panel.

 

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I think I have pretty much nailed that panel, 

But now Ive pretty much realized that the owners before me have flared the rear guards and it's horrible. 

So back to the grind 😭

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One step closer to the edge

And imma bout to 

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Approximately 15.5mm on the guard edge, took measurements off front un munched ones and it matches the rear left one minus the crow bar rangi job from beforehand, and rear right one is way off haha. (Looking ok now following some hammer time and filler)

Atleast I have something to go off and build to keeping it symetrical.

Not fixing this guard flare would have haunted me if I went to respray. They were munched on the rears

 

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