Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lot's of work in the past months, here's the update

Like any would be blogger, I started this blog with the best of intentions. However, as work got crazy and life became more hectic, this blog has suffered. I apologize to my readers (all 22 of you) and hope you can begin to count on more regular blogs. In the coming months I plan to add videos and more to help you keep you BMW in top notch shape. Since my last entry, here is a highlight of what I have done to my E46.

Well, it started in late November, the car lost reverse in the old slush box. A group of incredible guys and gals from made some donations and $1000 later, I had the parts I needed for the manual trans swap!

I sourced a used trans/clutch/flywheel/slave cylinder/shifter for $640 shipped from ebay. It came out of a car with only 17k miles on it! I then bought a driveshaft, crossmember, and clutch pedal assembly from my local go to salvage, Vines Automotive, and was ready to begin. It took me a full weekend (Friday thru Sunday night) but was a great success! Best part was, it really awakened my little 2.5L motor and made it fun to drive. That and the fact I still have the 3.46 rear differential. A little revvy on the interstate (3900rpm at 80mph) but a bulldog down low.

Then, after just getting used to my new trans, disaster struck. I began to hear a creak in the rear of my car and an inspection revealed a massive failure of the drivers side subframe. Off to the dealer for the first and only time in her life. Some 45 days later, I got the car back with an entirely new floor section from rear trailing arm mount to the spare tire well. It did however solidify my rear end and added some stability back to the car. My guess is the new 5 speed put undue stress on that mount that was probably already cracked and killed it the rest of the way.

I drove her for a month after that only to find my rear wheel bearings had failed. It HOWLED like crazy everytime I drove her. This was one DIY I am most proud of because of the sheer forces involved to remove the old bearings. Many "experts" told me it couldn't be done without the special tool, they were WRONG. I did it with nothing more than a rented slide hammer and a 3lb sledge (my new favorite tool). Sure, it took some doing, but more than worth it to save the kind of money I saved. My local indy(s) each qouted me $1000 for the whole job including new hubs. I did it for $283 with new hubs. That is the kind of money you can save with some simple tools, a little brain power, and determination. NEVER give up! And as I always say...."what one man can do another can do".

Each of these projects has been covered in detail on, the links to each are below if you'd like to catch up. Otherwise, stay tuned for my next installment coming later today showing how to restore worn window trims. I am happy to be back, stay tuned for tons of money saving, fun projects that will keep your high or low mileage BMW running strong for years to come!

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