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Old 16-06-2018, 05:02 AM   #1
beambeam
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Beam's wagon: BMW E91 325i M-Sport Touring (Sapphire black)

Figured it's about time I throw something up, I will be mostly transferring posts from another forum where I keep a WIP journal going but it's getting quieter and quieter over there, sadly. Had the car just over two years now and I'll try and summarise the efforts thus far to its present stage.

After buying our first home in 2015, the time came to release some finances for a new car and having taken on the responsibility of two dogs and eventually keeping one (the other rehomed to a colleague), there was a pressing need for a more capable motor than the 3 series saloon I was cutting about in! Picked up this lovely wagon in Sapphire Black with 77k on the clock in a lovely 6 pot flavour in April 2016.



I don't have good interior photos from the time I picked up the car so I'll reuse the ones from the original advert:




The first month or so was lovely then I ran into a few troubles...

First of all, the mirror being knocked off by passing traffic. Unfortunately I don't have a drive and have to leave it parked on the main road so it's just asking for trouble - in the two years I have owned it this has happened three times, twice when the mirror was folded in which is utterly despicable when you think about it.

Secondly, the water pump, radiator and thermostat needed replacing. I was livid at first but reassured by the RAC Warranty I took out for a year on purchasing the car I wasn't too stressed. That was until I had an argument with the RAC about them insisting on ECP parts and not BMW which I and my garage refused to use. It was agreed I would pay the difference for BMW parts until it transpired that the thermostat had been bypassed by previous owner/garage causing the fault, RAC wriggled out and voided the cover.

Thankfully, the trader I bought the car from stepped in and covered the cost of parts and labour without hesitation and because of this and how well the car was presented initially I will more than likely make my next car purchase with them. All sorted in the end and I was able to start enjoying the car in time for summer.



Not much else happened in the first year of ownership after that apart from the odd clean and occasional B-road blast. It's been difficult to maintain it properly from a detailing perspective because a) I don't have a drive b) I have a mucky pup and c) limited detailing experience and products! Whenever I was at my parent's home I would have a quick go at cleaning it though...






Last edited by beambeam; 19-06-2018 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 16-06-2018, 05:06 AM   #2
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May 2017...



Picked up a parcel early one morning and whilst reversing out of space a bit too sharply, I had a mishap. Heard the first 'beep' from the parking sensors as I made impact. Idiot.





The culprit... Admittedly I'm a d*** for using a disabled space but it was 8am, no other available spaces (only a handful anyway utilised by energy company/post office staff vans) and I was in/out inside three minutes.

It's a pain trying to find a decent M Sport bumper in Sapphire Black without a premium price tag but I was prepared to sit on it for a while, keeping an eye on eBay. I also had the damaged bootlid to attend to and discovered this rust issue. It is caused by the plastic trim rubbing the paintwork but despite a 12 year rust warranty BMW turned me down for repair citing previous painting/repairs done to the car at some stage of its life. I beg to differ but left it as I had stuff like exams and life going on at the time.




Annoyingly, I did end up order a good condition bootlid but it arrived with two dents in it that were not there when I requested images prior to purchase. :x Guy refunded me no bother and moaned that the same courier company had ruined a door for him the week before. It was in great nick aside from the dents with no corrosion and just needed a good polish of the paintwork, disappointing.



With a reluctance for another one to arrive damaged off eBay I swung past a place in Edinburgh to see what they made of it. To my untrained eye they actually pointed out other dings but said they could sort them out and respray it for £270+VAT. Factoring in an OK replacement costing about half that plus the online gamble I just went for it. Turnaround time was superb and I have it stashed away for now. Thumbs up to ECS Accident Repair centre at The Gyle, Edinburgh.

I also had to address some more coolant issues around this time. Ever since the first carry on I had found that I needed to top up the water/coolant level on a regular basis. During a trip to Japan at the end of April 2017 I left my car with a friend to see if he could address it as well as any other issues like oil usage (roughly 1L to 1000 miles of driving.

After a pressure test he found that part 17 in the image below was the problem. Sounded more like a cracked fitting than the hose as he described a bit of coolant crystalisation around that portion. Replaced for £135 as it's a BMW part only with no labour charged as a thank you for regularly kidnapping their dog for walks with mine, which was very kind.


*Hose runs from underneath the radiator to the heater control valve.

So, a wee bump and solving coolant issues finally resolved to tide me over, I treated the car to a private plate!



I had been on the prowl for a private plate for ages but lacked inspiration. Struggling to find something that suited myself personally meant I bought one for my girlfriend instead. She was quite chuffed with it, the last three letters are her initials. Quite pleased for 250 notes as 6 digit variants weren't so aesthetic and were much pricier.

Daft update for June 2017 was this: Somehow the "rear window, catch bracket" (part no: 51248218850) for the bootlid worked itself loose and disappeared whilst driving home from work. Unable to secure the car I had to order a new one from BMW. Toured two scrapyards but no joy, £30 for essentially a miniature towing eye hook. :?



After this I started to lose a bit of love for the car. The damage to bumper and the bootlid woes plus the repeatedly knocked off mirrors were doing my nut in. On top of that I was now starting to notice the odd scratch or small dent across the car. Working as a bouncer means I am parked in city centres most weekends and the ignorance and stupidity displayed by drunk people leaning on cars, etc defies belief. The drivers door was keyed quite deeply, for example... It's frustrating but sadly a part of life for me and meant I felt I was unable to enjoy the car really especially as some more mechanical issues started to rear their ugly heads...

Last edited by beambeam; 16-06-2018 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 16-06-2018, 05:33 AM   #3
beambeam
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So, last christmas I updated the front end of the car with genuine BMW black grills. Love how the car looks with these.





I also ditched the awful run flats that came with the car and opted to boot it with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3's all round. Totally transform the car especially in terms of road noise. The ridiculous tram lining I would experience with the RFT's also became non-existent which meant the tyres were worth their weight in gold to me. Unfortunately at the time of writing this post I have punctured three of the tyres in three months thanks twice to the awful state of Edinburgh's roads and an unlucky contact with a screw or similar. A claim has been submitted to the council as there was more than the tyre damaged but I will await the outcome before I update about that. The culprit is pictured:



Being at home for Christmas meant that I was able to utilise their drive and address a daft issue I was having with the bootlid area: 1) why the boot was opening when sticking the car into reverse 2) faulty rear lights and 3) a leak in the rear down by the battery.

1) So, using a few guides online I was able to strip trims from the bootlid and check the wiring harnesses running from inside the car to the bootlid. A common issue reported that opening and closing regularly over a long period of time can cause some of the wiring to deteriorate. As it happens, this is exactly what I found with one wire close to severing completely. Stripped out some clean ends, soldered in a section and put everything back as it was - result, it's been several months and the boot has not opened when I select reverse since. Prior to this effort it was constant.

It was nice to start poking about around here and figuring out how to remove trims and where wires were running - this will come in useful when I eventually get around to switching the dented and rusted bootlid with the one I acquired and had painted last year.



:shock:

2) So, faulty lights!

CC-ID 87 right rear light failure
CC-ID 114 rear fog light failure
CC-ID 115 reverse light right failure
CC-ID 117 reverse light left failure

Having addressed the reverse/bootlid issue above, I inspected the drivers side of the boot areas where wires feed through to the bootlid and could see that someone had previously been in about. Indicated by roughly banded electrical tape in places. It's very tight here and I wasn't confident of immediate success so explored alternatives first:

I tried swapping in new bulbs as well as bulbs from the opposing light cluster, the cluster itself after sourcing a replacement one from Sports Car Breakers of Edinburgh. No joy.

I then read online about using Tool32 software to reset a short circuit counter in the FRM module. Apparently once the fault has exhibited 50 times it can then be isolated by the FRM and cease to function altogether. Resetting this count from 50 to 0 remedies this. Using a fully software loaded laptop my mate gave me once he started trying to sell his Z4M I was able to see that the short circuit counter was already at 0 and thus the fault lay elsewhere. (I was pretty sure it was broken wires by now). Clearing the faults using INPA then restarting the car only threw the faults up again.

Long story short I finally resolved the wiring/dodgy lights and found it due to a typical hinge harness break. Exactly the same as when I addressed the random opening of bootlid when putting the car in reverse.



Typical hinge breakage, probably accelerated wear and tear by having a dog in and out the boot all day.

Whilst poking about the boot area I also figured out the original cause of the leak feature 3).



Situated just above where the battery is located, it had obviously been leaking every time I operated the rear window washer. It wasn't as separated as the image displays but rather seated in the right position and not pushed in tight to prevent such leaks. This annoyed me a bit as it was a simple fix I wish I had spotted sooner. The first time I realised there was an issue was when this happened:



I cleaned the area up as best as I could but at some point down the line I'm going to poke about further and fully dry it out and treat if possible. The corroded wire terminals were cleaned and tidied up too and all has been good since. As you can imagine when someone was trying to create some slack and repair wiring damage they have probably yanked so hard that it caused the washer hose to separate. :roll:



With the boot stripped I gave it a good clean taking out the boot protector and dog cushions too then squirted fabreeze all over the boot. Nice and lovely too once the dog stopped sneezing!

Last edited by beambeam; 16-06-2018 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 16-06-2018, 06:03 AM   #4
beambeam
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So, almost up to the present day barring a few long-running engine issues I will detail at a later date. The car passed its MOT in April after a replacement wheel bearing and has now nudged over the 100k mark. Around about this time is when I started putting plans into place to get a drive installed at my house and when I started considering looking after the car a bit better again.

With the decent weather we've been getting lately I was able to poach the neighbour's drive and give her a decent clean and polish. I would have waxed it too but the poorboy's stuff I had was well past its best (10+ years old!). I even gave the engine bay a little clean and inspected the car throughout, some amount of scratches/small dents present now but there are some tiny spots of rust breaking out that will require attention at some stage. We reckon we will stick with this car another two years at least so it's in our interest to sort them out. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed giving the car a proper clean and find I'm feeling some love for it again for sure!




If I recall rightly I rinsed the car off with a hose and hozelock spray gun, washed it 1BM with a mitt using Chemical Guys shampoo. I then went over the car again with another bucket of this and rinsed off with the hose as I went along. The car was FILTHY prior to cleaning and needed that extra bit of attention to shift the dirt. I then polished with Poorboy's and coated the windows with Rain-X. I would have waxed the car too but the poorboy's natty's paste stuff I had was well past its best (10+ years old!). The wheels were scrubbed a bit but honestly are so badly kerbed and damaged that it feels hardly worth bothering with until refurbished.

So, if you've reading this far you will be aware that with main road parking I've had an issue with my mirror being knocked off on occasion...

Mirrors:

About a year ago I purchased some powerfold mirrors via eBay since my car didn't come with them from the factory. Initially, one of the gloss black baseplates was broken. The seller, apologetic, rightfully offered to take them back but I suggested a partial refund since I was sure it wasn't that big a deal to swap out my old baseplates. Well, a year later I found out I was wrong. :roll:



This is the damaged powerfold mirror I bought - further broken up as I tried to remove the gloss black baseplate. The mirror cap, the surrounding trim at the front and the mirror glass all removed easily. As did the entire mirror itself from the door. However, where I thought you could slip the baseplate under and out from the internal mount/workings of the mirror this is not actually the case. The only way it could be achieved was to break it up since it wasn't going to be used anymore.

The spindle/rotating arm of the mirror is a very simple but tightly wound unit. It is flanged at both ends and a spring helps retain it in position. Looking at the metal parts in my photo, in order to operate the mirror from the base plate fixture you see requires drilling out one of the flanged ends (opposite from sprung end).

My brother is a welder so was confident he could repair the flanged section. He did, but it was extremely difficult retaining any strength or resistance to the mirror action once it was fitted to the car, it felt very slack and my fears were that once wired up and coded in to the system the mirrors would potentially fold outwards and beyond the point they are meant to sit due to the motor being stronger than the spring action.

Unfortunately, there was much arguing, gobbing off, head scratching and sheer frustration with just a dash of "Why did I bother?" which meant further images to display all this aren't available so I hope my description makes sense? :?:

Both mirrors fitted to the car but not wired/coded in yet. They came with fresh glass too whereas the previous ones were broken and had that brown leak effect (delaminated?), so that was nice. However, constantly tucking the mirrors in when parked gave me a daily reminder that the butchered mirror was weak and floppy which drove me to keep an eye out on eBay for a decent but cheap replacement. Looking at prices left me feeling like I was into these mirrors for much more than they were realistically worth but I know it will be worth it in the end.

As it happens, I paid £220 for the mirrors originally less £20 agreed refund and found a replacement mirror for £55 a couple weeks ago. That's been fitted and now I just need to wait for some proper free time, space and patience to wire them in. It's been a struggle to find a guide for the wiring but I believe I've discovered one via a 1 series forum (I believe the E87/E91 have many similarities). Hopefully an update on that over the next couple of months.

Since then I have bought myself a Nilfisk C.110 via an Amazon daily deal and a demon sport foam lance. Using Autoglym Polar Blast I threw this out:



On this day I robbed the neighbour's drive again (he's actually a colleague and good mate too). He was so impressed he decided he wanted the same pressure washer too. Since then my Dad has been equally impressed meaning I've ordered the same deal three times recently! This was a cracking day actually because ourselves, his flatmate ended having an impromptu BBQ with NA beers and a power wash session ensued on his drive! The afternoon ran into the evening with much banter, cooking and cleaning with another colleague/mate driving past and joining us for a bit which was class. FFS, even my dog was heavily involved in the BBQ sausage situation!



Car came out well with the snowfoam product. It sprays well and gives that satisfying foam effect which surely thrilled my barbecuing spectators. My experience is very very limited but it seems to cling well to the car with a slow and steady run down the sides which I believe would contribute to an efficient cleaning process. It rinses off OK but I found a hose was more efficient for the remnants after using the pressure washer first (as you would do, of course).

My only quibble and this was something I had seen mentioned on a forum review here on DW was that the foam lies on the ground for a long period afterwards. It was still present late into the evening and so I would suggest that hosing it off in the direction of your gutter or drain would be ideal especially since it flicked up on to my arches when I drove off afterwards despite taking care to drive away slowly.

As for the pressure washer, I'm quite happy with it. More than enough power to do the job but not enough that you can do damage if you're not paying attention. I had wondered if the significant oomph I was missing out on with superior models was worth the sacrifice but for £60 I can't complain. I achieved the desired snowfoam effect. My only criticism is that the 6m hose the machine comes with isn't great nor long enough and I will be looking for a longer superior version at some stage. (Any advice?).



Quite an apt photo with the cherry blossom in the background, this time last year I was on an epic trip to Japan!

This was afterwards when it had dried off on its own. It's still shining off the back of a polish with poorboy's a few weeks prior but needs doing again followed by a wax. In other detailing news, I have various leather cleaning products that I've accumulated over the years and now have some colourlock brushes and accessories on their way to me too - the leather is looking filthy and rubbish and my plan once the drive is sorted will be to remove the seats entirely and give them a proper going over.

Bodywork woes:

In one of my earlier posts I had mentioned finding a couple spots of rust on the car whilst polishing it. I've also identified a patch bubbling up on the rear drivers arch. I was fobbed off last year when I enquired at a dealership about my bootlid and BMW's 12 year anti-corrosion warranty but I have been on the blower to another Edinburgh dealership and will be popping in during the week to see what they say/can be done. I'm hoping to haggle it back and forth about the bootlid too and sweeten the deal by providing my fully sorted and painted replacement bootlid if they will fit it (cost-saving to them, hassle-saving for me!) in addition to addressing the rust.

I called on 11th May to find out if I need to book or anything. Alarmingly, whilst I was on the phone, I came across a vin decoder that stated my car was built on the 12th May 2006! The lady on the phone was lovely and said the car itself wasn't registered until the 27th of May that year. Still, better act quick if I've any chance.

I'll keep you all posted on this corrosion warranty query but additionally I have also sourced a replacement bumper in sapphire black via eBay! I'm quietly confident it's going to be a great example as the seller featured 12 clear images, a lengthy and seemingly honest description and even emailed me photos of the shipping ticket! A rare beast indeed.



That's all for now. Here's a photo I took at 5am in the rain whilst fobbing off a site patrol due to such weather! The wheels look dreadful but I can't help think that if I can get them refurbished eventually, rust addressed successfully, bumper and bootlid on and mirrors working, I'll have a car I can be very proud of.

Cheers if you read all that, I know it is a bit lengthy but I thought it would be a nice read for some considering I have enjoyed so many of the lengthy project threads since rejoining DW again recently. They certainly help pass the time during nightshift!

Enjoy a photo of the reason we bought a touring in the first place!


Last edited by beambeam; 16-06-2018 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 16-06-2018, 08:55 AM   #5
archiebald
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Nice thread, car looks nice considering you don't have a drive
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Old 16-06-2018, 09:05 AM   #6
James_R
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Nice car beam beam

Be good to hear what happens with the 12yr anti corrosion claim.

Love the black kidney grilles
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Old 16-06-2018, 09:34 AM   #7
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Looks great - especially as you’ve not got a drive to look after it.

Fingers crossed with the bodywork
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Old 16-06-2018, 02:46 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, pleased to inform that work on a drive commences on Tuesday!


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Old 16-06-2018, 05:07 PM   #9
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Great car and write up cheers!
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Old 16-06-2018, 05:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beambeam View Post
Thanks guys, pleased to inform that work on a drive commences on Tuesday!


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Excellent news - don’t forget to add / start a thread regarding the drive
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