RE: BMW 320Ci Cabriolet | Shed of the Week

RE: BMW 320Ci Cabriolet | Shed of the Week

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Discussion

Jhonno

4,544 posts

122 months

With a little bit of love..

the M54B22 is a decent motor, sounds sweet and revs well.

Low to mid 20's on mixed run.. Hmm.. I currently run an E46 330i and am seeing ~30mpg for the mixed short commute. On a run it does high 30's.

If you are a DIY'er most things are cheap to fix on these and readily available.

Martin 480 Turbo

556 posts

168 months

Well. I bought a 318Ci of that year and simular package out of Switzerland. Significantly more on the continent. But with actual proven mileage.

Those seats and (BMW original) wheels are part of the E46 bow out "Edition Exclusive". The seats are Nappa Leather of high quality. To look like that (see armrest at drivers side) this poor thing must have been to the moon and back several times. This does not compute. The "spares or repair" could mean a lot of things.

Sad to see one of these gone so far. Really best for spares. Beautiful shed fail.

(The lights are BI Xenon, but not cornering lights. Those were available post facelift, but sit in silver colored casings.)

Loplop

1,834 posts

166 months

Triumph Man said:
I had a 530i with the M54 engine (obviously 3 litre instead of the 2.2 here) it was an extremely tractable engine, reliable, and felt "bomb proof". The only problem I had was shocking oil consumption. It wasn't worn (to the extent that it did not smoke at all), it only had a minor leak but that didn't correlate with the amount of oil it was using. It also sounded glorious when rung out, so I can imagine an E46 with a renowned better sounding exhaust as standard would be even better!

Just don't cook them!
It may have been mentioned elsewhere, but I can't be arsed looking through the rest of the thread.

Pre 03 cars want 5w40, post 03 want 5w30, a lot of people and sites just suggest 5w30 for all M54 engined vehicles, but this can cause excessive consumption.

There was a change in pistonrings pre and post.

I had a 52 plate 530i Sport Manual until a few weeks, owned it since 2018, did 30k miles in it and didn't have to top it up much between it's annual/6k mile service.

My friend had a 52 plate 330Ci Clubsport, always used Castrol 5w30, topped it up every other week and was doing less mileage than me.

Oh and my best in the 530i on a run was 43mpg with the cruise set a 62.

Jhonno

4,544 posts

122 months

Martin 480 Turbo said:
Well. I bought a 318Ci of that year and simular package out of Switzerland. Significantly more on the continent. But with actual proven mileage.

Those seats and (BMW original) wheels are part of the E46 bow out "Edition Exclusive". The seats are Nappa Leather of high quality. To look like that (see armrest at drivers side) this poor thing must have been to the moon and back several times. This does not compute. The "spares or repair" could mean a lot of things.

Sad to see one of these gone so far. Really best for spares. Beautiful shed fail.

(The lights are BI Xenon, but not cornering lights. Those were available post facelift, but sit in silver colored casings.)
Or lots of short journeys..

Jhonno

4,544 posts

122 months

Loplop said:
Triumph Man said:
I had a 530i with the M54 engine (obviously 3 litre instead of the 2.2 here) it was an extremely tractable engine, reliable, and felt "bomb proof". The only problem I had was shocking oil consumption. It wasn't worn (to the extent that it did not smoke at all), it only had a minor leak but that didn't correlate with the amount of oil it was using. It also sounded glorious when rung out, so I can imagine an E46 with a renowned better sounding exhaust as standard would be even better!

Just don't cook them!
It may have been mentioned elsewhere, but I can't be arsed looking through the rest of the thread.

Pre 03 cars want 5w40, post 03 want 5w30, a lot of people and sites just suggest 5w30 for all M54 engined vehicles, but this can cause excessive consumption.

There was a change in pistonrings pre and post.

I had a 52 plate 530i Sport Manual until a few weeks, owned it since 2018, did 30k miles in it and didn't have to top it up much between it's annual/6k mile service.

My friend had a 52 plate 330Ci Clubsport, always used Castrol 5w30, topped it up every other week and was doing less mileage than me.

Oh and my best in the 530i on a run was 43mpg with the cruise set a 62.
My 330i is using around 1L every 2k I think. I will be trying the O2 Pilot mod to see if that improves it.

wpa1975

4,305 posts

95 months

Sandpit Steve said:
Ooh, that looked like a great shed at first glance…

But no, it’s a parts car with no MoT and unlikely to get one at any reasonable cost - because they would have, wouldn’t they? Bring a trailer!
It is mot'd until March 2023

stuart100

175 posts

38 months

Triumph Man said:
BFleming said:
I ran an M54 for a few years in a 330i. Some of my experiences:
Rebuilt the vanos as I had no faith it was working
Replaced cam position sensor
Replaced all the air intake pipes & vacuum as they were split
Replaced ICV
Replaced the radiator which was bowed at the bottom & split
Replaced the expansion tank when that exploded
The gearstick wouldn't centre - common issue needing a gearbox-out fix
Oil leak from (I think) the filter housing
Replaced the CCV to try to stem the oil consumption - it didn't help
Replaced the belt & failed tensioner
Replaced leaking water pump

The oil consumption was incredibly bad in the end - 1 litre for 250 miles. No blue smoke though & no oil leak (in the end).
It seems the 320i, 325i and 330i M54s all have pretty much the same fuel consumption - mine averaged 28mpg over 3 years.
I can't say I'd want another.
Yeah, as my previous post, I know what you mean! I've heard the 3 litres are worse for oil consumption than the 2.2 and 2.5 (although some don't use any - it's a lottery). I never replaced the CCV on mine - it wasn't giving any failure symptoms. I did however rebuild pretty much the entire cooling system, although it was fairly easy and not that dear.
I had a 2000 330 Ci. It would consume less than 1 litre every 2,000 miles. The car had done 140,000 miles.

Loplop

1,834 posts

166 months

Jhonno said:
Loplop said:
Triumph Man said:
I had a 530i with the M54 engine (obviously 3 litre instead of the 2.2 here) it was an extremely tractable engine, reliable, and felt "bomb proof". The only problem I had was shocking oil consumption. It wasn't worn (to the extent that it did not smoke at all), it only had a minor leak but that didn't correlate with the amount of oil it was using. It also sounded glorious when rung out, so I can imagine an E46 with a renowned better sounding exhaust as standard would be even better!

Just don't cook them!
It may have been mentioned elsewhere, but I can't be arsed looking through the rest of the thread.

Pre 03 cars want 5w40, post 03 want 5w30, a lot of people and sites just suggest 5w30 for all M54 engined vehicles, but this can cause excessive consumption.

There was a change in pistonrings pre and post.

I had a 52 plate 530i Sport Manual until a few weeks, owned it since 2018, did 30k miles in it and didn't have to top it up much between it's annual/6k mile service.

My friend had a 52 plate 330Ci Clubsport, always used Castrol 5w30, topped it up every other week and was doing less mileage than me.

Oh and my best in the 530i on a run was 43mpg with the cruise set a 62.
My 330i is using around 1L every 2k I think. I will be trying the O2 Pilot mod to see if that improves it.
1L every 2k isn't actually too bad for an M54, I think mine was about a litre every 3.5k.

I think 'spec' is 1L/1200miles.

Water Fairy

4,261 posts

136 months

otolith said:
Water Fairy said:
My 2004 E46 currently has 192k on it and the interior is 100x better than this. I have had the arches blown over in the past but at least it's all the same colour.

This one is very questionable.
Might have passed through the hands of someone who does haircuts for profit?
Perhaps, but mine has a fixed roof thank you smile

Mave

7,861 posts

196 months

Loplop said:
It may have been mentioned elsewhere, but I can't be arsed looking through the rest of the thread.

Pre 03 cars want 5w40, post 03 want 5w30, a lot of people and sites just suggest 5w30 for all M54 engined vehicles, but this can cause excessive consumption.

There was a change in pistonrings pre and post.

I had a 52 plate 530i Sport Manual until a few weeks, owned it since 2018, did 30k miles in it and didn't have to top it up much between it's annual/6k mile service.

My friend had a 52 plate 330Ci Clubsport, always used Castrol 5w30, topped it up every other week and was doing less mileage than me.

Oh and my best in the 530i on a run was 43mpg with the cruise set a 62.
Is that a convertible or a coupe? I've got a manual 330i convertible and have never got much more than 30 on a run - mid 20s around town.

otolith

49,244 posts

185 months

Water Fairy said:
otolith said:
Water Fairy said:
My 2004 E46 currently has 192k on it and the interior is 100x better than this. I have had the arches blown over in the past but at least it's all the same colour.

This one is very questionable.
Might have passed through the hands of someone who does haircuts for profit?
Perhaps, but mine has a fixed roof thank you smile
The kind of "hair cut" I have in mind is not performed in a salon wink

Maxus

840 posts

162 months

BFleming said:
I ran an M54 for a few years in a 330i. Some of my experiences:
Rebuilt the vanos as I had no faith it was working
Replaced cam position sensor
Replaced all the air intake pipes & vacuum as they were split
Replaced ICV
Replaced the radiator which was bowed at the bottom & split
Replaced the expansion tank when that exploded
The gearstick wouldn't centre - common issue needing a gearbox-out fix
Oil leak from (I think) the filter housing
Replaced the CCV to try to stem the oil consumption - it didn't help
Replaced the belt & failed tensioner
Replaced leaking water pump

The oil consumption was incredibly bad in the end - 1 litre for 250 miles. No blue smoke though & no oil leak (in the end).
It seems the 320i, 325i and 330i M54s all have pretty much the same fuel consumption - mine averaged 28mpg over 3 years.
I can't say I'd want another.
I've run a 330ci manual convertible for 10 years or so now and (touching wood) it's been great. I've done a sub set of the above wear and tear replacements in addition to standard servicing:

Replaced/upgraded vanos seals (best thing I ever did)
DISA valve upgrade
Rad and expansion bottle replacement
Suspension bits etc.

Uses a little bit of oil over several thousand miles but I do limited mileage so end up putting a drop in now and again. Averaged just over 30 MPG in my ownership. Will do 35 MPG on a journey. Always amazed at how quiet and smooth the engine is.

Mine is a totally pampered car, this shed looks in need of a little love though which is a very different proposition.

cluckcluck

814 posts

166 months

Beef curtains. That was the first thing that sprang to mind looking at this used and abused bruv beemer

mwstewart

6,956 posts

169 months

Interesting to see Futura leather in an SE.

yme402

160 posts

83 months

Nail

E63eeeeee...

1,413 posts

30 months

Well, that's a mess. And it's probably over-priced. It's not like there's a shortage of reasonably tidy six-figure mileage E46s for 2-3k that don't look like someone has been using the front seats as the base for a barbecue, often with some kind of service history, some of the jobs done, and all of the exterior painted the same colour.

I have - for perfectly sensible reasons - two 330Ci convertibles, a 2000 and a 2003. I wouldn't fancy a lower powered one, even just for summer weekend cruising, they're lovely engines and a nice drive, but still quite a heavy car.

Swapping the seats is easy, especially in the convertible, although collecting a replacement set is a bit of a faff. They're heavy and awkward with enough sticky out sharp bits to damage each other. I thought those seats with the double stitching were all individual colours, I've recently acquired a set in garnet red, no idea why you'd pick grey though.

miroku1

234 posts

88 months

Scrap it whilst it worth something

Loplop

1,834 posts

166 months

Mave said:
Loplop said:
It may have been mentioned elsewhere, but I can't be arsed looking through the rest of the thread.

Pre 03 cars want 5w40, post 03 want 5w30, a lot of people and sites just suggest 5w30 for all M54 engined vehicles, but this can cause excessive consumption.

There was a change in pistonrings pre and post.

I had a 52 plate 530i Sport Manual until a few weeks, owned it since 2018, did 30k miles in it and didn't have to top it up much between it's annual/6k mile service.

My friend had a 52 plate 330Ci Clubsport, always used Castrol 5w30, topped it up every other week and was doing less mileage than me.

Oh and my best in the 530i on a run was 43mpg with the cruise set a 62.
Is that a convertible or a coupe? I've got a manual 330i convertible and have never got much more than 30 on a run - mid 20s around town.
The 530i? It was a four door saloon with a couple hundred kilo on top of an 330i...

Is yours a manual or an auto? From experience, petrol or diesel, BMWs of that general era got terrible economy with an autobox, but we're far better with a manual.

Around town in the 530i I'd get 24 average, but was easy to get it to 28.

The E350 CDI estate that has replaced it does 32 easily around town, but only gets another 10mpg on a run.

Mr Tidy

18,012 posts

108 months

6 cylinder E46s are great cars, but maybe not this particular one!

I bought a 325ti Sport Compact in 2018 that was on 80K and the only issues I had with it were the banana-shaped radiator that started leaking soon after I got it so I had a cooling system refresh and then one PAS pipe split. But it drove really well, only used 2.5 litres of oil in 15K miles and averaged 32mpg.

I foolishly sold it on 103K for Shed money to buy an E91 and my interior looked barely used - unlike this one!

broadspeed1

32 posts

17 months

CornedBeef said:
I don't think it's that horrendous to be honest, you must remember the price tag.
The seats are rough, but remember it's a convertible - perhaps lots of exposure to sun and no leather treatment to keep things fresh (how many non-PH normal car users would even be aware that's a thing?).
Admittedly probably had a bit of a front end shunt from the bumper paint and tie wraps, but meh - £1500!
I payed that much for a manual 325 coupe that's nicely specced, the bodywork is presentable and it's been mechanically looked after too. That thing is horrendous, when you're dealing with cars this cheap it's better to just spend a little bit more and get better one. Think about what a decent set of tyres cost in relation to the car, labour on the parts install etc.