E46 - The Program

2003 BMW 325i

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E46 - The Program

Postby professor science » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:27 pm

Recommended Maintenance
  1. Repair leaking Thermostat Housing & Prev. Maint. on Cooling System (DIY 1, DIY 2, Parts Kits: Tischer, Turner Motorsport, Thermostat Only Kit (ECS))
  2. Repair leaking Oil Filter Housing + Oil Level Sensor: (Gasket: ECS, Sensor: Resource 1)
  3. Replace Wheel Bearings (FWB, RWB) - Not so sure I need these anymore. Sound went away when brakes were replaced.
  4. Winter Tires
  5. Take care of taillamp wiring recall
  6. Power Steering Fluid
  7. Valve Cover Gasket
  8. Replace AC & Accessory Belts
  9. Front Lower Control Arm Bushings
  10. Replace Brakes & Brake Fluid (Resource 1)
  11. Replace CCV/PCV/Oil Separator System
  12. Replace DISA/Intake Flapper

Nice-to-have Maintenance
  1. Leaking Differential Drain Plugs/Gasket (Parts Kit, Finned Diff Cover, DIY 1, DIY 2)
  2. Broken Engine Shields/Belly Pan/Lower Grilles (ECS, Grilles)
  3. Replace Delaminating Side Mirror with E-Spec Aspherical Mirrors (ECS Kit)
  4. Replace Centre Console (Base,
  5. Replace Trunk Carpet
  6. Pay for speeding ticket in Delaware
  7. Patch Drivers Side Outer Thigh Bolster
  8. Replace rear deck (faded to blue)
  9. Replace rear speaker grills, faded/cracking ECS
  10. Repair Sunroof (Resource 1, Resource 2)
  11. Repair Intermittent Faulty HID Igniter - Hasn't been a problem in a year or so.
  12. Replace Window Regulators (ECS)
  13. Replace Window Seals/Trim (Matt Shadowline Trim Kit, again from ECS, Windshield Cowl)

Desired Upgrades
  1. Non-bent Summer Wheels
  2. Lip Spoiler (ECS)
  3. Rear sun blind (NLA, Check Tischer. DIY)
  4. Plug in Cooler ECS
  5. Cargo Nets/Tie Down Straps/Trunk Liner (ECS, ECS, ECS, ECS)
  6. BMW Performance Exhaust, Intake and Shifter (with matching parking brake handle and boot)
  7. Bumper & Side skirt (M-Tech II)
  8. Find a CF BMW Performance Strut Bar (for cheap)

Additional Resources
  1. Tischer BMW - BMW Performance Parts Index
  2. BMW Parts Source
  3. BMA Autoparts
  4. KO Performance
  5. ECS Tuning
  6. Pelican Parts
  7. Faulkner BMW Parts Source
  8. Schmiedmann
  9. BMMini Parts
  10. FCP Premium Auto Parts
Last edited by professor science on Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:47 pm, edited 27 times in total.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby professor science » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:05 pm

Got an oil change today, a Power Steering Fluid Flush, a new exhaust hanger, and a quote for repair of all things in need of some maintenance in the next couple years...$4700 (see bolded prices above for the items which were ID'd). Got rid of $400 of that today, which leaves me with a bill of 2000 for parts and 2000 for labour (then add tax.).

Most of the mechanical things are easy and non-urgent... and I can get genuine parts for ~50% off from ECS or other online retailers...I'll be happy with a $4700 fix for $1000.

Anyone want to help? Lol. I think I'm going to learn a lot about my car this summer.

Anyone have any recommendations for the ordering in which I do things?
Service Tech suggested doing the following all at once.
  • Repair leaking Thermostat Housing ($310 labor, $200 parts)
  • Repair leaking Oil Filter Housing ($415 labor, $30 parts)
  • Valve Cover Gasket ($270 labor, $160 parts)
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby wide_load » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:38 am

First mistake was bringing it somewhere for maintenance. :lol: (half kidding)

For the leaking items, it really depends on the severity of the leak. Oil filter housing for example. If there is no evidence of it leaking on a driveway and it just shows some oil around it, personally I wouldn't bother. If something is actually leaving it's mark on your driveway I'd tackle that with priority. Valve cover, again same thing. I think most cars on the road have a leaking valve cover gasket. To be honest, I think even after replacing it you might not get a perfect seal :P.

Again personally, I wouldn't be replacing anything that isn't broken (ie window regulators) as you really don't know and could last you the rest of the life of the car. The internets scares us into a lot of "it's a ticking timebomb!" theory when in actual fact it's a hit or miss occurrence in real life.

The Accessory belts are an easy and quick fix. If they show signs of cracking, I would probably do them as it's probably under and hour job and less than $50 bones.

Brakes I would do before winter (no fun doing in the cold).

LCAB (evidence of play) - unless you can actually feel/hear something I would definitely be putting this on the back burner. When the time comes too I would be looking to do anything else suspension wise that might be close as it will most likely require an alignment.

For things like the thermostat housing, if you could pair them with other coolant tasks I would probably wait until that if possible. Ie, if your timing belt/waterpump (not sure if like VW) are coming up soon, It would probably be wise to do it all at once so you only pay for coolant once.

I'm always up for helping, it's more a matter of having the time to do it lately. :P
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby professor science » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:58 am

Thanks Tristan, that's what I needed to hear.

I know the valve cover gasket is leaking because I get some oil smoke from the engine bay after driving hard/high rpm. When it leaks it runs right onto the exhaust manifold.

I know the window regs are a problem (like w/ VWs) the plastic wheel degrades. I had one fail on me last year, but as they're not a requirement for vehicle operation I'd be doing them when they go.

I'll most likely be doing brakes, belts and diff drain plug before fall. The most expensive thing from the diff service is the diff fluid. I looked at OEM brake parts on ECS and a couple other places and I'm actually better off buying stuff from the dealer. Rotors are cheaper, but set screws are more expensive. I'd rather get it all in one place.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby wide_load » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:19 pm

The dealer has surprised me more often than not on their prices and been surprisingly competitive.

Of course this has worked the other way around too. Just goes to show it always pays to shop around.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby Maraschino Larry » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:41 am



*hides*
.**CLUB.**
**.*SODA**.*

tripwalking wrote:I'd be willing to split it straight up the crotch.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby professor science » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:59 am

Not on the list. Nope. Stupid.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby Maraschino Larry » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:04 pm

Serious Rob is serious.
.**CLUB.**
**.*SODA**.*

tripwalking wrote:I'd be willing to split it straight up the crotch.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby professor science » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:56 pm

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Re: Things I need to do

Postby Dreamstate » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:45 pm

GIS for "rob needs to chillax"

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Re: Things I need to do

Postby Maraschino Larry » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:02 pm

Woah that bear (?) is RIPPED
.**CLUB.**
**.*SODA**.*

tripwalking wrote:I'd be willing to split it straight up the crotch.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby tripwalking » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:35 pm

What's that thing pointing at the bear's crotch?
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby Maraschino Larry » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:44 pm

Kangaroo tail.
.**CLUB.**
**.*SODA**.*

tripwalking wrote:I'd be willing to split it straight up the crotch.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby Dreamstate » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:04 pm

I think it's actually some kind of lion or cougar or something. It's furry is all I know.
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Re: Things I need to do

Postby professor science » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:01 pm

Valve cover gasket is done. Sweet. Smells so much better now.
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby mushroom_curry » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:02 pm

Was it tough?
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby professor science » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:32 pm

Dunno, someone else did it. I didn't have time and the smell was making me feel ill some mornings. LOL.
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby mushroom_curry » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:36 pm

Sounds bad man.
Glad its sorted.

Probably smells like my VR crank case breather without plumbing/venting into the air. YUCKY.
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby professor science » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:15 pm

Just did LCABs and belts.

Brakes are up over easter. My dad replaced the pads at 60k. I'm up at 180k now... They've been saying I'm good, wear wise, for 3 years.

I can get a kit from Turner Motorsport (pads, rotors, sensors and fluid) for just over $300 USD. Anyone wanna helps? :p
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby tripwalking » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:35 pm

Lmk if you need the lift/ don't want to do it in the driveway.
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby wide_load » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:38 am

If the brakes are good, why replace them?
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby professor science » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:51 am

They're not anymore. I'm just surprised they've come this far (since the original pads were replaced at 60,000 km, and it's over twice that since anything has been done).
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby Dreamstate » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:52 am

wide_load wrote:If the brakes are good, why replace them?
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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby professor science » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:11 pm

They're not, anymore.
Upgrade your grey matter 'cause one day it may matter.

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Re: E46 - The Program

Postby professor science » Sun May 26, 2013 10:30 am

Speaking of wheel bearings... does anyone have a bearing press or know of a place where i could press in my rear wheel bearings?

(Found a wicked parts site with great prices!)
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