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Blue Zoo - Olaf's LCI e46 325i Touring

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Date: 22 Nov 2023

Distance: 208,921 kms

1. Rack boots & Oil Service

Replaced both rack boots with Febi kits (32131096910).  A shitty job made easier on a rack, somewhat easier when the Repco balljoint splitter is used.  Oil service (because why not, and largely short running since January) with a Mann Oil Filter (11427512300) and Penrite HPR 5 (5W-40 Synthetic).  My thanks to @Autoglym for working through the job with me.  Thanks also to Jon for the "More(y) Orange than Donald Trump super-sticky grease recommendation.  Brilliant stuff.


Fig 1:  A Nice Rack, yesterday




2. WoF re-check and WoF

Secured WoF for the next 12 months.  Now it needs a bloody good clean.  

Edited by Olaf
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Date30 Nov 2023

Distance: 208,yyy kms

1. Wheel Alignment

Got in for a wheel alignment, bonus where times are getting busy as Xmas creeps up on us.  A near zero-toe alignment (around -0.6 each wheel) front and rear, it’s a dream to drive.  Flows beautifully through the curves, easy to bring off-centre… suits my driving style.  Ahhhhh.

2. Photo in traffic cost $150

hmmmm.  On my way home from the alignment, more traffic disruption in Welly.  Stopped in the traffic buildup, I thought I’d document the scene, with our Police managing a difficult situation where what looked like a gang member had abandoned their car at a traffic light.  Summoned to the side of the road by the officers, I was ticketed $150 for “using a phone”.  To my mind I was using a camera - I put the car into park before using it.  Oh well lesson learned, avoid contributing to the consolidated fund - and Police quotas - at all costs.  Wearing my seatbelt, car warranted, registered, insured, well-maintained.  A discussion and a warning would have been more appropriate; we had a most cordial exchange nonetheless.

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Date11-13 Dec 2023

Distance: 209359 kms  

1. Headlamp Lens Replacement

My lenses were looking pretty average.  I scored some from @Autoglym ex pick-a-part (thanks man!) with very nice lenses.  I cleaned them up and got new seals.  Jon did the rest - made one great out of two, where wiring was aging or plastic fatigued from years in the sun.

Fig 1: at 21.5 years old and a number of polishes/restoration wipes, better to replace.  Surprisingly still passing VTNZ WoF.  Impaired vision, IMHO.


Fig 2:  21.5 year old Xenon choke wiring.  Beware!


Fig 3:  After.  Much better night vision.

Oooh as I said vision, twice... how about a musical interlude?


2. Brakes

New flexi-hoses front and rear.  Front calipers sandblasted and painted, new pistons, seals, slider pins, boots.  Full brake fluid flush.  The old pistons were pitted.  It's stopping much more nicely now, I think more of the stopping was acheived from the back!


Fig 4:  a dirty ol' front e46 325i caliper



Fig 5: Sandblasted, painted, ready to re-kit with new pistons and seals.


3.  Diff

Diff service.  Turns out the diff is a little tired (crownwheel and pinion) so looking for replacement 3.46 e46 medium case.  Cleaned, replaced output seals (pinion seal okay), reassembled with new drain/fill plugs, BMW sealant, and Diff Oil. New main bush.  Remember folks, you'll want front header-to-exhaust manifold gaskets (2), four exhaust bolts, and four exhaust nuts for this job, as you need to drop the exhaust.


Fig 6: Genuine BMW rear cover sealant, Input and output seals, Diff Mount Bushing, Fill and Drain plugs, Exhaust Bolt, Nuts, Gaskets.



Fig 7:  Before


Fig 8: "Good Bush"



Fig 9: Ahh, on it's way back together.

Jon also drilled out a broken bolt, helicoiled and found a replacement bolt for Diff Heatshield.

4. Transmission Oil Pan Bolt

Replaced a quick fix bolt with a genuine ZF bolt, so now all ship-shape and Bristol fashion.  During Trans service back in January, we’d spotted a couple of dodgy ones left behind by a previous Te Aro workshop that will not be named… 

Exceptional Service at Begley Motor Works, Marton.  Service photo credits:  Jon Begley (many thanks for the re-use mate).

We've had this e46 11 years 9 months, and she's humming.  I have a list of items for preventative maintenance that we'll tackle in the new year.

Looking at the diff photos, it's time I spent a little time beneath it with PPE, wire brush, rust converter and epoxy rust-seal paint, before those scabs of surface rust around the subframe get out of hand.



Edited by Olaf
Mooo, Photos, Formatting, Vidjo
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Next items list:

  • Replacement diff (e46 medium case) 3.46 (including the two small bushes, input and output seals, fill and drain bungs, oil, rear cover sealant)
  • Replacement starter motor
  • PCV system service (it's been a good 9 years or so since last done - do it while the starter motor is replaced
  • Accessory drive service (pulleys, tensioners, serp belts)
  • ARB bushes front and rear, rear shells (they're rusting)
  • Endlinks front and rear
  • Clean and rust paint the surface rust on rear subframe
  • Replacement rear muffler, including hardware
  • new sunroof seal
  • new speakers in front
  • Maybe install that Msport steering wheel with the stereo integration - need post-Takata airbag.

keeping it well-maintained.

Edited by Olaf
added two items
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