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Old 23rd May 2018, 06:14 PM   #1
trent
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Default E46 M3 Convertible - Laguna Seca Blue

Hi all,

Thought I'd start a thread on my new toy. Only purchased a couple weeks back to enjoy through the summer as I have another soft top toy which should have been on the road by now and was getting earache from the kids about it not being roadworthy. That said, I'm already harboring thoughts of keeping this a long time…. I’m in love!

Back in the day when the E46 M3 was new I bought a 6-month old coupe in Steel Grey with Imola Red leather. I had a real thing for the M3 at the time because now as then I think the designers got the changes required to make the regular E46 coupe into the new M car absolutely spot on. Here’s a shot of the coupe I had. Maybe someone on the forum has it now?

M3_Coupe_1 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

At the time I collected all the dealership M3 booklets and brochures and always admired the convertible, especially in Laguna Seca Blue with matching leather. For those that don’t know it was the launch colour for the vert. Not for all tastes granted but horses for courses and all that. After some digging I came across the brochure, so really a bit bizarre 14 years down the line finding myself with my own brochure car!

M3_Convert_7 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_8 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

A little bit of searching via every outlet and platform netted a small selection of available cars. With a budget set and trying to tick as many boxes as possible I came across one with just two of my tick boxes missing > folding mirrors and heated seats. Not a big deal as both of course can be added. The main thing for me was it had to be LSB/LSB and SMG which I personally love as these days I can’t be bothered about having a third pedal. I know there will be all those people who cry it’s not a proper M car if it’s not a full on manual and the SMG has lots of faults etc, but it’s both a personal choice and to an extent it’s also an age thing! (can’t be bothered to move my left leg!).

Anyway here she is, an 03 plate facelift car registered in August. Although she’s had ten owners she came with a FSH, 100k miles with a previous owner who was also an enthusiast (thanks Paul!). Despite what the photos show, she’s not perfect, there is the odd ding, a few paint chips and areas that need attention but mechanically she seems sound and everything works as intended. To be honest I’m pleased to have found a standard car which needs some further TLC as I’ll enjoy improving her as time goes on.

IMG_E1063b by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_2 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_3 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_4 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_5 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_6 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

Last edited by trent; 23rd May 2018 at 06:19 PM. Reason: updating
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Old 23rd May 2018, 08:21 PM   #2
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Looks good great colour picked up my 3rd one 3 months back LSB and a vert too. If I can work out how to put pictures up again I'll start a thread too. Good luck with the car and progress I'll keep an eye out.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 10:28 PM   #3
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Awesome read, I look forward to seeing more updates and pic's




.
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Old 24th May 2018, 05:38 AM   #4
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Keep the updates coming mate. Looking forward to it
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Old 24th May 2018, 11:07 AM   #5
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Looks good great colour picked up my 3rd one 3 months back LSB and a vert too. If I can work out how to put pictures up again I'll start a thread too. Good luck with the car and progress I'll keep an eye out.
Thanks Jphud. Would like to see your car. I find using Flickr easiest way of hosting and linking pics.
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Old 24th May 2018, 11:11 AM   #6
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Awesome read, I look forward to seeing more updates and pic's




.
Thanks. I spent a good hour reading and looking through 'The Rise of the Phoenix' last night and what you've done is inspirational for me.

Aiming to do something similar although I don't think my M3 OCD is as bad as yours!
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Old 24th May 2018, 11:11 AM   #7
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Keep the updates coming mate. Looking forward to it
Will do, thanks for the comments.
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Old 24th May 2018, 01:27 PM   #8
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Hey Martin, she is a beaut.. Hopefully you can bring it back to your standards.. I look forward seeing the progress..
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Old 24th May 2018, 05:06 PM   #9
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Hey Martin, she is a beaut.. Hopefully you can bring it back to your standards.. I look forward seeing the progress..
Thanks Saty. Your journal has also been an inspiration!
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Old 24th May 2018, 05:56 PM   #10
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First few little jobs completed.

First was the replacement of the silly looking aerial. Could never work out why BMW didn't come up with a different plan for this. Having looked around at other convertibles I decided the best and most acceptable option was to change it to the short stubby type. A loss of performance for sure but what price style?!

M3_Convert_9 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

You'll note from the above that I was also lucky the previous owner had fitted the coupe lip spoiler. I assume I'm correct in thinking no convertibles had these from new and would have added it myself so one less job to do.

Replacement side indicators were next. New OEM parts of course. It's not until you see the new item against the old you realise how much they've changed over the years. The drivers side looked perhaps a little worst than the passenger side.

M3_Convert_10 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_11 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_12 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

And then a change to some LEDs for the rear number plate light. Again, quite a difference between the old and new.

M3_Convert_13 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

M3_Convert_14 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr
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Old 24th May 2018, 08:59 PM   #11
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Thanks Jphud. Would like to see your car. I find using Flickr easiest way of hosting and linking pics.
Ill defiantly have a go as soon as I get a bit of time mate. Been keeping pics of everything just need to upload.
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Old 24th May 2018, 09:00 PM   #12
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Keep up the good work and updates.
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Old 24th May 2018, 09:01 PM   #13
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Welcome..love the 46 Vert!!
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Old 25th May 2018, 08:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Thanks Saty. Your journal has also been an inspiration!
Glad it is helping mate

Quote:
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First few little jobs completed.
Good start to the little jobs. And also I have not lost any signal quality with my stubby aerial..

Keep up the good work
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Old 25th May 2018, 06:18 PM   #15
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And also I have not lost any signal quality with my stubby aerial..
Interesting, perhaps I've got a rubbish quality one then??!! Have you still got your vert saty? Saw you did have it up for sale.
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Old 25th May 2018, 06:47 PM   #16
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A quick search on the tinterweb discovered that to get decent iPod/iPhone sounds in the car controlled via the factory system required the use of some aftermarket electrickary!

As most seem to have fitted the tried and trusted Intravee II and Alpine KCA 420i units the hunt was on. Luckily thanks to good old ebay I found a good second hand set up only just removed from a Range Rover and while a tad scruffy was reported to be in full working order with latest software update. Bonus was in the inclusion of a genuine Apple Lightning connector.

So as I basically canít drive without sounds this was high on the list to get sorted ASAP. As soon as the units arrived it was on with the task. Although simple to implement, no one comments on how tough the boot side liner molding is to remove. Donít know if the same for everyone but mine needed the sort of effort that meant it was either going to rip in two or come away from its intended position. Luckily for me it decided to part company with its intended position!

So here we are with the liner pulled back, CD changer, holding bracket, DVD Nav and tuner removed:

M3_Convert_15 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

I was pleased to find out that the harness for the CD changer is indeed a direct plug into the Intravee:

M3_Convert_16 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

The Alpine was then connected to the Intravee and an iPod to the Alpine:

M3_Convert_17 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

With a little trepidation on whether it was as simple as I'd read it to be, I went to the front, flicked the ignition on, selected CD and up came the iPod. All working from the system and steering wheel controls so happy bunny!:

M3_Convert_18 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

Next thing was the decision on where to place the units. I decided that for now the Intravee could sit on the inside of the bracket which held the CD changer while the Alpine could sit under the boot carpet. I orientated it so if required I can run the wire into the car and have easy access to the iPod. Both units were secured in place with velcro:

M3_Convert_19 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

So with that done, it was time to refit the liner. Nowhere near as difficult as removal but it still required some fiddling to get it to sit right and to line up the retainer holes:

M3_Convert_20 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

So all done, a very important task completed!
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Old 25th May 2018, 06:56 PM   #17
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Some more new items.

In preparation of hopefully a delivery tomorrow from CMWheels it was time to secure some new OEM wheel centre caps, M logos and some natty M logoed dust caps:

M3_Convert_21 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

New shoes have also arrived. I decided to go with the Continental Sport Contact 6. Here's the rears. Nothing like new rubber!:

M3_Convert_22 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

Will be happy if I can get tyres fitted and wheels on tomorrow. Have a good weekend all.
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Old 25th May 2018, 07:05 PM   #18
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Loving your work...labour of love
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Old 30th May 2018, 08:57 PM   #19
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One particular thing bugging me on the car was the condition of the exhaust tail pipes. It was clear following washing something else was required to remove the build up of carbon, so out came the Dremel and the Autosol:

M3_Convert_24 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

Even though the Dremel and Autosol combination was having an effect there was a lot of ingrained deposits that were proving tough to remove:

M3_Convert_26 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

Additionally years of proper cleaning had taken its toll on the chrome finish, with cracks and a weathered patina to the lower areas:

M3_Convert_25 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

I've already considered replacement of the back box with a Supersprint item but quite like the original sound so am not sure I want to lose that just yet, if indeed at all.

While the easiest option would have been to replace the tips I decided that until I know what I'm going to do with the back box I'd carry on with the clean up as any improvement was better than it was. As more drastic action was required to remove the embedded carbon deposits I used a rotary sanding piece on the inside tip areas which worked a treat. Good as it was I now had the issue of removing the marks left by using the sanding wheel!:

M3_Convert_27 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr

This is how far I've got. A big improvement but another round of wet/dry and polishing coming up to remove the scratches. All good fun!:

M3_Convert_28 by Martin Fenner, on Flickr
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Old 31st May 2018, 08:57 AM   #20
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Interesting, perhaps I've got a rubbish quality one then??!! Have you still got your vert saty? Saw you did have it up for sale.
Mine was just a flebay jobbie but seems to work a treat.

Still have the old girl Martin, nearly sold it about 15 months back but decided to keep it.

I also had the Intravee in mine but got fed up of the screen dead pixels and the general clunkiness of it so got an E46 specific Alpine with Apple CarPlay, works a treat.

Great work on the zoorst pipes, with look factory fresh..

What wheels did you go for?
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