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Old 7th June 2013, 09:31 PM   #1
Dali
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Arrow Dal's 46M

Hello chaps!

I've had my M3 for almost a year now, I thought now was the time to dedicate a build thread to it...

































Purchased in July 2012
  • Saw quite a few M3's that turned out to be utter $hite.
  • The car I bought appeared on pistonheads - it had only been up for 3 hours, it looked perfect, I had to see it next day.
  • Seller was based in central London, so I caught the train - saw the car, absolutely flawless, the seller had not skimped on anything, infact here is what came with the car...

Spec:
  • Nov 2003 BMW M3 Coupe - (Silver Grey)
  • FSH - BMW + 2 Indy
  • New SMG gear position sensor fitted
  • BMW Inspection Document
  • Latest SMG software installed
  • All Options: Heated seats, HK, Sunblind
  • Performance Frictions Pad with Goodrich braided hoses
  • Genuine Eisenmann Sport Exhaust
  • Ohlins R/T Coilovers
  • Eibach front/rear anti-roll bars
  • Eibach front/rear spacers
  • Umnitza Orion II LED Angel Eyes
  • FX-R Headlight Projector Upgrade
  • LED front indicators
  • Rogue Engineering RTABS
  • Evosport Steering Power Pulley Kit
  • Intravee + Alpine 420i Ipod interface
  • All OEM suspension/other parts included in sale including 2 free bmw brake discs!

Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 7th June 2013, 09:31 PM   #2
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The Index

The story so far...

Suspension Overhaul: Bilstein B6 dampers, H&R Springs, GC Camber Plates

Suspension Review: Bilstein B6 dampers, H&R Springs, GC Camber Plates

Suspension Review: Bilstein B6 with OEM Springs Review

Steering Coupler Overhaul

RTABS: OEM Rear Trailing Arm Bushes fitted with limiters

Door Rattle Fix: Removal of Door Cards, replace panel washers

MAF Sensor Replacement

Ignition Coils and Spark Plug Replacement: Swap OEM BREMI for uprated Bosch Coils and NGK Spark plugs

VANOS Lockdown: Part 1 - VANOS Coil Pack and Sealing Plate upgrade

VANOS Lockdown: Part 2 - VANOS Internal Seals, Uprated cam bolts and oil pump disc upgrade

Lightwerkz FXR 3.0 Projector Retrofit

High Performance Dampers - Elite Coilover Systems

Ohlins Road and Track Coilovers - sneak peek


Ohlins RT Install at Center Gravity

Ohlins RT Initial review

Rear Deck Rattle Elimination

Interior Boot Release Switch Install

Side Grill Restoration

Steering Wheel Nappa Retrim with SMG paddle upgrade

Doorcard Grill Rattle & Arm Rest Creak Fix

Electric Cooling Fan Retrofit Fix

Ohlins Install Video

SMG vs Manual Primer for new buyers - my take!

AP Racing Big Brake Kit Install

Leaking Rear View Mirror Fix

E-box fan replacement

Oil Separator Install

Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 7th June 2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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November 2012 - Vines Subframe Check



The car came with paperwork to show that the car had been checked by three independents for subframe cracks and nothing was found. This still wasn't good enough for me (I have OCD), so I got it checked at Vines, and I'm glad I did... Jim found a small hairline crack within 10 minutes!

Within one week the repair was approved and booked in for end of May, a gruelling 6 month wait, but the reputation at Vines/Bodyshop is second to none for their subframe work so I'm happy I waited.

Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 7th June 2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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November 2012 - (Evolve Map - Stage 1)











I met up with Kam (White M3) at Evolve to get the stage 1 map done. You'll hear this recommended as a 'must', it improves the overall power band, better low end torque and top end power. As soon as I drove it I could tell a major difference and love the way it drives now. Think of it as 'sport-lite' version of the 'sport' button if you will.

Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 7th June 2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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January 2013 - Genuine CSL Bootlid



Ordered this from the legend 'stealer' - did me a good deal at the time, although I would say today CA's deal is awesome. I've had this for 5 months and it still isn't on the car

Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 7th June 2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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This post was intentionally left blank.

Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 7th June 2013, 10:11 PM   #7
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Nice build thread sala..
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Old 8th June 2013, 12:36 AM   #8
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that csl boot lid will look mean
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Old 8th June 2013, 07:54 AM   #9
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Nicely sorted m you have there Dali. Looking forward to updates here already
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Old 8th June 2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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Awesome car buddy, looks very nice
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Old 9th June 2013, 12:14 AM   #11
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A very well kept example buddy
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Old 17th June 2013, 09:21 PM   #12
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Nice car Bud.
What's the Eisenmann sport like to live with. I'm lookin for an exhaust that's more like a deep 330ci at low revs, no drone and I don't mind if it wakes up at full revs etc
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Old 17th June 2013, 09:34 PM   #13
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Now I really like this, everything is stunning on the car!
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Old 17th June 2013, 11:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for the kind words chaps!

I will be adding some updates later this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK530D View Post
Nice car Bud.
What's the Eisenmann sport like to live with. I'm lookin for an exhaust that's more like a deep 330ci at low revs, no drone and I don't mind if it wakes up at full revs etc
Thanks. If you want the deep 330 sound, the eisenmann sport has you covered. It's got even more growl. Rasp kicks in at higher revs, you can get some drone on the motorway but I've found having the stereo on makes it vanish... your ears no longer isolate it, rather it gets lost with the music - a bit weird to explain because of psychoacoustics.

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Old 26th June 2013, 10:28 PM   #15
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A quick update...

I picked up the car from the bodyshop (BMW Subframe Repair) - They had done a fantastic job, no scratches on the interior or exterior or warning lights, perfect!

A few months ago I removed the HSD coilovers due to ongoing 'knocking' issues. Since I didn't want to install a brand new suspension until the subframe was done I decided to put the car back on OEM suspension.

In an instant the handling changed from sharp and poised to a boat, but that was to be expected.

Truth is, last week the car had a suspension overhaul, but I'll talk more about that in the next update.

For now, here are some pics a few days after the subframe work was done.
























Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 26th June 2013, 10:43 PM   #16
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That looks extremely sharp buddy, very nice job there then you must be pleased.
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Old 26th June 2013, 10:55 PM   #17
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Looks the dogs danglies

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Old 27th June 2013, 01:26 PM   #18
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Great looking M.

You going to go back on coilys? After seeing it dropped it looks really high up lol.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 10:06 PM   #19
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Thanks for the comments guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbdulC View Post
Great looking M.

You going to go back on coilys? After seeing it dropped it looks really high up lol.
Funny you should say that, OEM suspension was always a temporary solution until I figured out what I wanted to do.

Having a lack of support with my HSD coilovers, I wasn't comfortable going down the coilover route this time, also my mechanic kept banging on about Bilstein dampers... I started researching them and went through a mammoth 50+ page thread on Bilstein B12 Kit, took me months to get through but by far contained the most valuable suspension info for the E46 M3 I have found to date.

The B12 kit consists of B6 dampers and eibach springs - however it should be noted that the serial/part number on these items seem to match 'off the shelf parts'. In other words the B12 kit is actually a set of B6 shocks bundled with eibach springs.

Going from coilovers to OEM suspension was never going to be fun, but I seriously underestimated just how rubbish the OEM suspension was. It had only done 30k and already felt like it was shot!

In the end I didn't go for the B12 simply because I wanted to find a more 'sport/firm' setup but at the same time a suspension that is very 'road' compliant....

.... and I found it!


Bilstein B6 Shocks





H&R Sport Springs





Ground Control Camber/Castor STREET Plates





Rogue Engineering Rear Shock Mounts





Steering Coupler (Upper and Lower)





New OEM Drop-Links





Install









Before: Donor OEM Suspension (30k old - awful ride quality, hated everyday of it)







After Shots (B6 + H&R Springs) (not fully settled, 3 days old)









6 months in the making
It honestly took that long - but finally the car is handling great again. I wanted to wait 2 weeks before writing up about the new suspension so that I could get a feel for it - its firm but not back breaking and very road compliant.

The B6's literally eat all the bumps in the road, its made my commute much more enjoyable, you can really feel the high pressure dampers pushing the wheels into the ground over bumps - fantastic.

This is all without wheel alignment which is what I'm about to do next - I wanted to let the suspension settle a bit first.

Ground Control Street Camber Plates:
At first this may seem like an nice extra, but there is much more to it than that. I had them specially ordered from GC in California to my spec. Having this plate allows me to enjoy the same flexibility you would have on coilovers with regards to more camber and castor adjustment - but that isn't the main reason for my purchase...

In order for a damper to be truly efficient, it must be able to use a decent amount of travel, now the B6's are intended as a direct replacement for the OEM sachs shock, and to be paired with OEM springs.... eibachs are relatively close to OEM hence the B12 is a perfect full kit 'OEM' replacement.

By using a lowering spring like the H&R's the damper travel has been reduced somewhat - this is less of an issue for B6's as they are highly pressurized, but more damper travel would mean better ride quality. So, getting back to the camber plates, their unique design means that the shock will gain an extra 3cm of damper travel without 'increasing' the ride height. When you consider that one can use a lowering spring like H&R and reduce/eliminate loss of damper travel that is truly win win

Steering Coupler
If you have a 70k+ M3 certainly get it done. I had felt some play in my steering wheel a few months ago, strange thing is it appeared to happen overnight. I've had this part for a few months, I decided to get it fitted along with the new B6 kit and it made a world of difference, now have factory razor sharp steering back.

I inspected the old part, you can't tell if its worn visually, I tried to move the linkages and they were very loose! I made a detailed post on these here. 7/10 the lower joint is the problem, it's a cheaper option at 60... I decided to get the upper one done too just in case.


Thoughts
The suspension is still in its settling in phase. First day it was very tight and firm, now I feel as though everything is becoming more 'smoother' . The ride height is still changing (lowering), I'm happy with it as it is but I can see it going lower in the next few weeks. As mentioned before the car feels really 'practical' now, great for rough road and sublime and country roads.

I still have a few more things planned, but the geometry setup is the next thing that needs doing.

Thats all for now folks!

Thanks for reading

Last edited by Dali; 31st October 2015 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 12:41 PM   #20
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STUNNING is the only word I can find to describe the car.

Great progress and awesome read, thank you!
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