E46 M3 Project

Author
Discussion

mwstewart

Original Poster:

5,750 posts

145 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Hi All,
I haven't given up on the Fiesta project http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a... but have devoted a couple of months to my M3 in order to create my ultimate version of the model. The CSL is awesome but too focused for daily use, and what I really want is something that's a half way house (the CS can't genuinely be called that) which can deal with the kind of regular long trips I make as well as be entertaining when required to be.

The car is a 2004 E46 M3 finished in Titanium Silver and manual gearbox. It car popped up on eBay and was only six miles from me in London, so I went to view it, liked it, and ended up buying it. Two previous owners and has covered just 27,600 miles. It has been garaged all of its life and still smells new inside; the black plastics are perfect and even the parcel shelf is not faded.




This post represents phase 1 of the project which documents upgrades the interior trim and options. The second phase will be suspension and the third powertrain.

The Beginning
Here's are some photos of the standard car.



The first task was to strip the interior to gain access to a number of areas.



Bluetooth Retrofit
I wrote up a Bluetooth guide years ago which was based on using a touring loom to retrofit a Convertible:
http://www.mwstewart.co.uk/articles/e46bluetooth/
http://www.mwstewart.co.uk/articles/e46btretrofit/

This time around I am taking the same approach by removing the BT element from another infotainment loom and creating a retrofit loom for my own car. Please note that if you are taking this approach you will need the donor loom to match your head unit type i.e. Nav or in-dsah head unit. I started with a Saloon Nav, TV & Bluetooth loom.


What I have done is strip out the Bluetooth element of the loom without cutting any of the host loom wires. I found the BT loom is joined to the rest of the infotainment loom in the following places:

1)Behind head unit - Red/Yellow wire to Pin 1 of the car loom connector


2)Behind head unit - Grey/Red wire to factory splice/junction point taped up close to car loom connector
(No photo)

3)Behind head unit - Purple/Grey wire to factory splice/junction point taped up close to car loom connector
(No photo)

4)Boot area - Brown wire to common ground


5)Boot area - White/Red with yellow spots (i-bus) to factory splice/junction point taped in loom


6)Black removable plug (Aux) in Quadlock - Black wire to pin 6


7)Black removable plug (Aux) in Quadlock - Yellow wire to pin 12


8)Centre fixed plug in Quadlock - Black wire to pin 10 and White wire to pin 11


So what I am left with is a Bluetooth loom complete with pins ready to insert into my existing loom, and a completely uncut Saloon Sat Nav & TV loom (not shown) that I will recover in fleece tape and sell on.


The following two photos show how I have joined to existing splices on my car loom, rather than cutting wires half way along their lengths etc. This takes a far greater amount of time to achieve but means that the car can be diagnosed with factory wiring diagrams including location of terminal positions.



The Bluetooth loom was wrapped in fleece tape and follows the factory wiring routes.


Eject Box and internal antenna wiring in place.


Next on to the overhead Microphone. I know that cars with a sunroof have a separate binnacle up here in the roof lining which makes adding a microphone very easy, my car however did not have this so I've added the microphone directly to the headlining. A template was made and the headlining cut with a scalpel.


The later type microphone was used, as identified by the green back plate. This supposedly provides better voice quality.


Grille pushed into place.


Again, wiring follows OEM routes.


Now on to power for the Bluetooth system. As I wrote in my previous guides, despite the infotainment loom being of a modular construction, if the host car never came from the factory with Bluetooth then it will not have a Terminal 30 wire (Red/Yellow) at pin 1 of the car connector. By far the quickest solution is to bridge the Bluetooth power feed to a neighbouring wire in the car loom around the boot area, however I wanted to wire my car to be OEM so looked to add the missing fused feed. Here is the missing wire added to the car connector using new BMW terminals.


The wire run to the fuse box to position 39


I found that the box had to be stripped down to its constituent parts before I could insert a new fuse leaf. The design of the fuse box is really very good.


New internal antenna, bracket and screws etc. were used.


Internal antenna mounted.


I bought a second hand Shark Fin and sprayed it with Titanium Silver.


There is more to come on the BT retrofit.

Edited by mwstewart on Saturday 27th January 12:01

em177

2,973 posts

121 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
mwstewart said:
I have been taking an unplanned sabbatical from my Fiesta project (http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=47&t=975921&mid=134724&i=20&nmt=500%2Bbhp+Mk3+Fiesta+Project&mid=134724)

The car is a 2004 E46 M3 finished in Titanium Silver. It has a manual gearbox.
There better be no more wood content in this thread! hehe

mwstewart

Original Poster:

5,750 posts

145 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
em177 said:
There better be no more wood content in this thread! hehe
biggrin Not anymore.

Mark Benson

5,740 posts

226 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
I do love your attention to detail, the Fiesta thread is one of my favourites and this looks to be no less impressive in attention to detail - adding another feed with BMW plugs to keep it OEM rather than doing what 99.9% of us would do and just splicing into a nearby feed bow

NotNormal

2,221 posts

171 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
mwstewart said:
Next on to the overhead Microphone. I know that cars with a sunroof have a separate binnacle up here in the roof lining which makes adding a microphone very easy, my car however did not have this so I've added the microphone directly to the headlining. A template was made and the headlining cut with a scalpel.
I think its more a case of the car being fitted with the phone from factory that the larger binnacle was fitted as mine doesn't have a sunroof and has the larger binnacle which incorporates the OEM microphone location.

mwstewart said:
The later type microphone was used, as identified by the green back plate. This supposedly provides better voice quality.
No supposedly about it. When I bought my car it had the older microphone and it was really bad, the person the other end of the line just couldn't hear any voice. I swapped it out for the newer green backed version and its a MASSIVE improvement.




5potTurbo

9,254 posts

125 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Mark, I can't quite put my finger on it, but somehow your threads are always, well, lacking in detail.















Now, get on and finish the Fiesta! wink

mwstewart

Original Poster:

5,750 posts

145 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Mark Benson said:
I do love your attention to detail, the Fiesta thread is one of my favourites and this looks to be no less impressive in attention to detail - adding another feed with BMW plugs to keep it OEM rather than doing what 99.9% of us would do and just splicing into a nearby feed bow
Thank you

NotNormal said:
No supposedly about it. When I bought my car it had the older microphone and it was really bad, the person the other end of the line just couldn't hear any voice. I swapped it out for the newer green backed version and its a MASSIVE improvement.

That's good to hear (no pun intended) biglaugh- cheers!

mwstewart

Original Poster:

5,750 posts

145 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Here's some more. I didn't give enough consideration to how long this would take to write up. Must take less photographs.

AV Inputs
I purchased a BMW Aux input socket which I will fit to the centre console, however I since decided to go for an Alpine iPod interface with Intravee which does make this lead kind of redundant.


I have bought an AV input/output lead for the TV tuner and run a set of Audio/Video RCA leads to the centre console area, ready for an iPod AV lead.


I'm also wiring in a reversing camera, which I'll cover in a later update.

Boot Release Button
I have added a boot release button which came from an E39 Touring. It is illuminated. I used new BMW connectors/pins and also the correct OEM wiring colours throughout.


Switch fitted.


Extended Storage (Power) Pack
The extended storage pack turns the rear ashtray into a storage bin and adds two handy flip-up power sockets to the rear. I bought everything new from BMW and the correct wiring from www.Autosparks.co.uk.


Here's the loom I made. I also added a small two pin (purple) OEM connector just underneath the centre console storage tray area so that I can easily add a USB charging socket that can be removed when required..


I soldered my loom to the front cigarette lighter terminals. Note matching wiring colours.


The rear of the centre console had to be modified slightly to provide clearance.


Here's everything fitted.


Sound Deadening
In preparation for some upgraded speakers I have chosen to vibration damp key areas of the car.

Here is the rear bulkhead/parcel shelf area exposed which is where the factory Harman / Kardon Subwoofers mount to. I noticed that the three rear seatbelts did produce some noise and vibration when the radio was on, so these were an area I wanted to focus on.


I have used Silent Coat 2mm Damping Mat to reduce resonance and damp vibrations in the rear panels. The rear quarter panels were actually already well damped from the factory and so didn't require much material at all.



The parcel shelf area on the other hand, did.


It turns out that the seat belt mechanisms 'float' on these hard plastic springs, which can make a horrible buzz on the exposed metal bulkhead.


To combat the seatbelt noise and other sources of vibration such as the diversity amplifiers, I'm using Silent Coat Sound Absorber 15.


I applied Sound Absorber 15 to all rear trim surfaces and in the seat belt mechanism mounting areas.





Harman / Kardon Speaker Replacement and Upgrade
The Harman / Kardon system has a reputation as being pretty poor, and I happen to agree. The standard system comprises 12 speakers; two subs, four midbass, four mid-range, and two tweeters. I am going to replace all of them with Dayon Audio Reference Series drivers.


Starting with the front doors, which each have three drivers.



The tweeter/mid pods were unscrewed from the door cards, and I adapted the Dayton mids so they would screw into the OEM housing. Unmodified on the left, and modified on the right.


The OEM tweeters were removed and the replacements glued in their place, and Sound Absorber 15 used to replicate the original material which had to be removed. I also used a bead of black Tiger Seal behind the drivers to prevent unwanted vibrations.


Moving on to the midbass drivers, I chose to disassemble the HK speakers to salvage their mounting rings, which were actually fairly sturdy. I bonded and screwed the Dayton drivers to the HK housings which meant they would mount straight up to the original locations. I did this for both front and rear Midbass drivers as all use the same mounting. Again Sound Absorber 15 was used to replicate the original noise reduction material which had to be removed during the process.


I then cut off the original BMW/HK speaker plugs and soldered these on to the Dayton drivers so I could keep the factory looms in tact.


The speakers were then mounted to the doors.


I finished by applying vibration damping to the rear of the door cards and also the doors themselves.


I wanted to keep the original speaker baskets at the rear of the car as their secondary function is to keep the parcel shelf secure against the rear deck. I made clearance holes in the baskets so that the new speakers would work with them.


To fit the smaller Midrange drivers in the rear quarter cards I first removed the HK speakers from their mounting ring, then screwed in the Dayton versions. This part was straight-forward.


The rear subs were mounted on adapter plates and then wired in parallel in order to match the original HK impedance.


Electric Rear Blind
I purchased the rear blind loom from BMW and it is simply a yellow and a white wire with the required terminals at each end. The loom runs from the centre console area to the rear parcel shelf.


The rear blind I bought from eBay came with a parcel shelf however it had faded, so I chose to use it as a template to cut the required aperture in my un-faded shelf. I used a Dremel for this.


Here's the blind fitted.


Silver Cube Interior Trim
I have decided to go for Silver Cube interior trim. I purchased a second-hand set from eBay but hardly any of it was up to the required standard, so I ended up buying most of it new from BMW.


Heated Seats
I bought the retrofit looms and switch block from BMW.


The looms were covered in fleece tape and run to the factory termination points.


The original looms were reassembled and look totally original.


I now need to purchase a new set of seat covers from BMW with the integral elements, but I'm going to wait until my car has a few more miles under its belt and the seats are more worn, as currently my existing covers are nearly perfect.

Intensive Wash Program
The E39 and X5 have an 'intensive wash program' which sprays the washers at intermittent intervals when the wipers are also on intermittent. This is useful for example when the roads are salty and the windscreen is frequently soiled. The wiper stalk is interchangeable between E39 and E46 models.

I got this idea from a guide on e46fanatics, however when I cross checked the wiring diagrams it soon became clear that the E39 uses a completleydifferent generation of GEM - General Electric Module - and this mod would not be possible. What I did instead was wire the 'S' button up to the headlamp washer pump instead.

First the standard stalk is removed.


New stalk and pins purchased from BMW.


A grey/Black wire is added to pin 10 of the wiper stalk plug.


And run to Pin the General Module pin which earths the headlamp washer relay coil.


Everything refitted.


Alcantara Trimming
I bought another steering wheel and had it trimmed in the CSL style.



And likewise with a handbrake handle, however I first had the CSL style replicated which is a plain grey stitching, though I have since decided to get another trimmed with tri-colour M stitching. I'm waiting for that to arrive.

Edited by mwstewart on Monday 23 December 21:13

em177

2,973 posts

121 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Awesome attention to detail. All those Genuine BMW bits must have cost a pretty packet!?


tjlazer

862 posts

131 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
This is going to be VERY interesting. Glad you choose the M3. I await the results with interest!

M159V8

2,536 posts

103 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
You're creating the ultimate OEM+ M3! I can't wait to see the finished article, but at the same time, I want to keep reading updates - forever! biggrin

M159V8

2,536 posts

103 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Double post fail

Edited by M159V8 on Monday 20th May 18:32

Lynch91

457 posts

96 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
This is an awesome thread and awesome car! Wish I was brave enough to start stripping my car like this but too scared I'll break something!

mwstewart

Original Poster:

5,750 posts

145 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Thanks Gents. If I owned an Enzo I'd still pull it apart to do things biggrin

Alfa GTV

215 posts

120 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Great write up and attention to detail, subscribed smile

XJR500bhp

1,122 posts

167 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Wow this is going to be some car, how do you ever sell a car, it must be too personal? Fair play

martin mrt

3,322 posts

158 months

Monday 20th May 2013
quotequote all
Mark, I always enjoy reading your threads as they are so informative and more importantly everything you do is done properly, to look OEM as possible

I like how you are taking a moderately specced car and adding the most desirable and rare options

I will keep an eye on your progress

Alonso92

232 posts

115 months

Tuesday 21st May 2013
quotequote all
I wish I had half the skill you do with electrics!

rumple

8,978 posts

108 months

Tuesday 21st May 2013
quotequote all
I'm enjoying this, also its giving me abut of motivation which at the moment I'm sadly lacking, your boot release is spot on, my 330 has it and yours looks just as OEM.

JameshGT

92 posts

106 months

Tuesday 21st May 2013
quotequote all
After lurking throughout your fiesta thread, i am so keeping an eye on this one!

Great stuff! your skill amazes me.