More Chris Bangle.

Our Old friend Chris Bangle with some thoughts on design.

 

So…It’s Been Awhile…

And there is a bit to update:

The Daily driver has not yet let me down. I did however have a few brief “Oh Sh*t” moments over the last few months.

The most severe (if you could call it that) of which was a potential issue with the VANOS bolts on the intake cam. The car developed a noise that, after some research, appeared to be the bolts holding the variable valve timing hub to the intake cam gear. This is an not an uncommon issue, but not as pervasive as some like to make it out to be.

I was able to get myself into an alternate vehicle temporarily (Thanks work!) to allow me the time to tear into the car. I figured I’d best order up the parts and tools I’d need to do the job, and tear into the engine as soon as humanly possible. With the car parked and parts and tools having arrived quickly, I started surgery. All of about 10 minutes into dis-assembly, I found roughly half of the A/C belt laying on the under tray, and the other half frayed and slapping the lower radiator hose.

Prior to removing all the fan shrouding and misc. bits, I counted see a thing that low in the engine bay. To my surprise, the belt slapping the radiator hose made essentially the same sounds as a set of dying VANOS bolts. CRISIS AVERTED! Now all that was needed was a new lower hose, and A/C belt. The lower hose is actually rather complex for simply being a hose. It’s attached to the radiator via a hard plastic keyed coupler that locks into place with a wire clip, very much like a fuel injector clip.
There is also a temp. sender boss in that lower housing with the sender mounted in the same fashion. Sourcing a lower hose, and replacing the belt was all that was needed to address the issue. As a bonus, I now have the tools to address the VANOS bolt concern, and may do so when I go back in for the required valve adjustment here shortly.

The only other loose ends with the car as it stands are a bit of knock from the front end over bumps (Most likely stabilizer links or lower control arm bushings, I still need to investigate that one.), and a weeping rear axle seal. I have already sourced the seal and related parts to sort that issue, and also recently swapped the bolts that mount the rear differential to the subframe with a new ‘updated’ design. IT has ever so slightly minimized the 1- 2 shift “clunk’ that these cars are famous for. Last but not least a a rattle from the interior. I’ve narrowed it down to a few possibilities, the most likely of which, after some investigation, is a module located behind the passenger C-pillar that seems to somewhat commonly come loose from its mounting. We shall see with that one….

With that being said, I’ll leave you with a couple pics of the car as it stands today:

BMW Takes a Page From Fast Food Marketing…

..And apparently plans to Super-Size the next 3 Series.

First, let me point out that cars get bigger and bigger, this is just the way things work. Every time we turn around, the old small car is now midsized, and shortly thereafter a newer ‘Small Car’ replacement is available to take up that place in the range…

But this doesn’t seem to apply to ALL the Manufacturers. Take Porsche for example: The 911 has definitely gotten bigger over the years, but only just enough to cram in all the required safety spec., and bigger powerplant and driveline. Compared to most Manufacturers, the 911 of today compared to 20 years ago is a marginal difference, at best.

Not so for the next 3 Series from BMW.

I literally about fell out of my seat when I saw the picture below. I swore it was a 7 Series…But from what I understand, BMW has been testing the next 3 Series in the States, and someone caught a shot of it on the move:

Continue reading BMW Takes a Page From Fast Food Marketing…

Let the Winterizing Commence.

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated things with the Daily E46 M3. Not much has changed lately. I’ve done another round of oil change, air filter, cabin air filter and wiper blades, hardwired the Valentine 1, and started the winter prep.

The hardwire was cake. Pop the cover off the headliner, pop out the map light assembly, find power and a good ground, tie the wires in, feed the Cat-3 (phone) cable through the headliner to where you plan to mount the unit, and done!

I had ordered winter tires a good bit ago, and as my luck works, they are on backorder still. Sourcing though another supplier was to no avail, so I wait, and pray that the tires arrive before the snow does.
I finally decided on Pirelli Sotozerro Serie II tires for the winter months for a few reasons. I have some experience with these tires on a G35, and given the layout is essentially the same, have a good idea what to expect. The tires performed pretty well in the worst bits of winter, and they were very good on the cold dry or wet days. We are not covered in snow all season, and finding a tire that would work well, and last through the entire season was a must.
The big difference here is I opted to run 4 front wheels with 225/43/18 tires, rather than use the stock 9″ wheels in the rear. The logic is that with less width, the tire should better cut through the snow when the weather is at its worst. I am comfortable giving up the exrta rear grip in the dry, as the car is VERY predictable, and surprisingly easy to control at the limit…which I should not see much of through the season.
Jump for Tire pics and more info: Continue reading Let the Winterizing Commence.