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Projects and Restorations Building a car from scratch, restoring your pride and joy, building a track car, or starting a long term project? This is your place to document it.

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Old 13-06-2015, 10:20 AM   #1
Barchettaman
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New daily: BMW 320d E90, Monaco blue, low budget tidy up

The imminent expiration of the DMF on my Vectra meant that I was on the look out for a new daily.

First, a brief bit of history. Although based in Frankfurt I drive RHD, initially because the pound was so weak against the euro, but with this latest purchase because it was ridiculously cheap. It´s a late 2007 BMW 320d SE, I think, with the 163bhp Diesel engine. The fact that the steering wheel was on the ´wrong´ side meant that it was approx. half the price of a comprable LHD model.

The (very pleasant) previous owner had returned to Germany after a few years in London and liked the car enough to bring the car back with him, which seemed a good sign. He then went through the process of registering it for DE, which is a bit of a faff and involves swapping the headlights, rear foglight and having a TüV/AU Hauptuntersuchung. Here are some sale photos:







So, it´s in Monaco Blue, 160,000 KM, with a full service record, recent clutch and DMF change, 2 years TüV (MoT equivalent), a wide variety of parking scrapes and dings and a cracked front bumper (more on that later), all for the equivalent of £3,300.

And, here is a sale photo of the Vectra that it replaces, to give you an idea of the standard I´m going for on this restoration/refresh. Apologies to those who have seen this one already:



And so begins the process of bringing it up to a reasonable standard!
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Old 13-06-2015, 10:29 AM   #2
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First job was to have a go at the badly-chipped windcreen. It had one really nasty chip, fortunately on the passenger side, 4 or 5 other substantial ones and about 20 little ones.

I thought I would try on of those resin kits from Amazon (and elsewhere). My €20 got me one of these:



About an hour later all chips were filled. The really bad one still looks sh1te but hopefully won´t propagate further. The other substantial ones now are like water spots - they´re filled but a bit cloudy. The small ones aren´t noticeable.

I´d give the kit a 6 or 7 out of 10. I wasn´t looking for a perfect result, what I got wasn´t as good as promised, but it´s OK and the kit was cheap, easy to use and fast.

Last edited by Barchettaman; 27-06-2015 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 13-06-2015, 10:54 AM   #3
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Next job was the stonechipped and cracked front bumper.

The undertray had been cracked and ripped so was sitting below the blue bumper. Air was being rammed in under the car and had ripped the fixing tabs off the undertray, so I had to make some more (out of old ice cream lids) and stick them on (I used No More Nails, hot glue or epoxy would´ve been better but I wanted to finish up what I had open). They are now absolutely bombproof.

The crack on the front bumper was propogating upwards, so I stitched it underneath with zip ties and more ice-cream lid for reinforcement, it seems OK. You can only see the zip-tie bodge from underneath the car. Cost was time and a few pennies for the zip ties. I still need to wetsand and polish the touch-up repair as it was rushed, and it shows.





I´m pretty sure that the dealer would have wanted to replace undertray and bumper so I´m pleased I got it sorted for basically zero cost (and my time of course)

For the stonechips I followed Naranto´s excellent guide here:

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...d.php?t=334489

And went from this:



To this:



Again, I need to refine down the finish as it´s miles better but still plenty of room for improvement. A bit of 2500 grit and Menz should improve it still further.

Last edited by Barchettaman; 22-06-2015 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 13-06-2015, 11:08 AM   #4
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Other stuff:

-It came on good winter tyres on rough alloys, with a set of summer tyres without wheels. I was looking to mount the summer tyres on a cheap set of steel wheels but then got lucky on eBay. A guy in the next village was selling a set of summer tyres on steels, pick up only, so I got them for €27. 5mm tread still and they went straight on! The other summer tyres are in the loft, I´ll mount them as and when the current set wear out.

-I bought a set of OEM wheel trims, bizarrely enough they were more expensive than the bloody wheelset (€28!) It makes it look a bit less ghetto.

-€30 secured a second hand Powerbox from eBay, this seems to help the pick up above 2300 rpm, it really flies compared to standard.

-Oil and filter change was a doddle. Mannol 5w30 oil is cheap as chips and the filter is conveniently located, I just needed to buy a bigger socket (36mm IIRC). I have an extractor pump so barely got dirty.

It´s going to my friendly local mechanic this week to get the handbrake cable tighted up and to trace and repair a minor coolant leak. Possibly a cracked expansion tank - shouldn´t be too bad.

Next up is a full machine polish and I´m going to try my hand at PDR, I bought a cheap hot glue dent lifter kit and will see if I can do it. What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 15-06-2015, 11:50 AM   #5
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Excellent first post!

It's nice to make a couple of improvements without spending much. I can see you like things nice from your tidy driveway! Looking forward to any future updates!
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Old 15-06-2015, 01:58 PM   #6
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Thanks! If you saw the state of my man cave / cellar your opinion might change a bit, though!

I've always found it's easy to just throw money at something to fix it.....the hard, but enjoyable part, is to think laterally, try and work things out, take one's time and fix without too much expenditure.

Today's fix was the glovebox latch. It wouldn't stay unlocked so I took it off its lid and dismantled it - I managed to get it working off the car so reassembled it. It turns out it needs to be really sandwiched tight together, much tighter than OEM, hey presto, catch locks/unlocks/does what it's supposed to.

The car is now at my friendly local mechanic getting a slight coolant leak fix (nothing too drastic, but needs doing) and the handbrake cable tightend, as it only 'bites' at the top of its travel.

Full machine polish at the end of this week - let's see if BM paint is as hard and uncooperative as others have found!
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Old 21-06-2015, 12:51 PM   #7
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Minor update.

The coolant leak was traced to the water pump, which was basically FUBARed and replaced. Cost for new pump, new coolant and labour was €360/£250 from my friendly local mechanic, so not too bad. He also gave the car a thorough inspection (for free) and pronounced it a 'very sound example'.

So if that's not an absolute guarantee that something major will go wrong in the next few weeks, I don't know what is!

In other news, I did a test polish yesterday on the boot lid to see how the full machine polish is going to work out. Well, 'work out' is pretty accurate. BMW paint is a lot harder than Vauxhall paint, that's for sure. I'm using a DAS dual action polisher, worked up to the the white pad with Menz PF2500 and after a lot of work this got me to about 80% correction. I'm a bit disappointed with that, so any ideas gratefully received. Still, it looks terrific and for the vast majority of people it would be more than ok - it's just the ratio between result and time taken is a bit cack. Or maybe I'm just incompetent.

What else? Did the interior, pictures to follow.
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Old 21-06-2015, 01:15 PM   #8
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So not the best pictures, but hey, an update´s an update.

Last edited by Barchettaman; 22-06-2015 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Resized images.
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Old 25-06-2015, 07:15 PM   #9
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I didn't like the chrome grill much but the replacement black grills were €40.
So, out with the spray cans. I did the lower grill in gloss and the upper in a satin finish.
Looks OK, nice & cheap result.



Last edited by Barchettaman; 25-06-2015 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 25-01-2017, 09:23 PM   #10
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Minor update.

We're currently at 195,000km.
The wheels have gone from this:


To this:


From 16" to 17", I'm not one for massive alloys but bloody hell, they make the car look about a million times better, plus they're in great condition (two look brand new) and there's plenty of tread left on the Brdgestone winters.

The cost to change was €195 once I had flogged the knackered old 16"s.

Did the interior today with my two lads (9 and 11) helping, which only took 5 minutes!

The pantwork badly needs a machine polish as it's swirl city, but that will have to wait until spring as it's baltic here.

Last edited by Barchettaman; 25-01-2017 at 09:25 PM.
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