Back on the Wagon! 2005 BMW E91 3 Series Touring 325i

Back on the Wagon! 2005 BMW E91 3 Series Touring 325i

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Discussion

sortedcossie

232 posts

93 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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I wish mine had the Xenon type lights, as a few have mentioned the standard halogen ones are pretty much useless.

Looks a great example, hope it serves you well.

pmorg4

121 posts

81 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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beambeam1 said:
I would definitely switch then now if they need it, saves some hassle. As for angel eye bulbs, check out the thread I linked in my last post for more info as I found it very useful. Ended up buying from Xenons4U but you need to check the top of your headlights and find out if they are ZKW or Valeo units before ordering. Mine, pre-LCI and 2005, are ZKW and I bought "BMW E91 E90 Pre-Facelift & Facelift H10W CREE LED Angel Eyes Upgrade Bulbs".
Thanks. I'm pretty sure mine are ZKW, so sounds like I can use the same ones that you bought. I'll go check out the thread.

pmorg4

121 posts

81 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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sortedcossie said:
I wish mine had the Xenon type lights, as a few have mentioned the standard halogen ones are pretty much useless.
Agreed! Coming from an E46 with bi-xenons, I was determined to find an E91 with xenons. However once I'd realised how rarely manual E91 330i come up for sale (and also how rare bi-xenon seems to be, despite it being only £400 on the options list) I decided that I wasn't in a position to be too choosy. Mine currently has halogens, but I've since bought a pair of bi-xenons to fit when I get time (I don't expect it to be difficult but it's a bumper-off job).

Court_S

4,678 posts

142 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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pmorg4 said:
sortedcossie said:
I wish mine had the Xenon type lights, as a few have mentioned the standard halogen ones are pretty much useless.
Agreed! Coming from an E46 with bi-xenons, I was determined to find an E91 with xenons. However once I'd realised how rarely manual E91 330i come up for sale (and also how rare bi-xenon seems to be, despite it being only £400 on the options list) I decided that I wasn't in a position to be too choosy. Mine currently has halogens, but I've since bought a pair of bi-xenons to fit when I get time (I don't expect it to be difficult but it's a bumper-off job).
Yup, the halogens are crap. My E90 had halogens and they weren’t great and my other half’s 125i has them (although I’m tempted by a xenon conversion).

Mr Tidy

13,865 posts

92 months

Thursday 4th March
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Court_S said:
pmorg4 said:
sortedcossie said:
I wish mine had the Xenon type lights, as a few have mentioned the standard halogen ones are pretty much useless.
Agreed! Coming from an E46 with bi-xenons, I was determined to find an E91 with xenons. However once I'd realised how rarely manual E91 330i come up for sale (and also how rare bi-xenon seems to be, despite it being only £400 on the options list) I decided that I wasn't in a position to be too choosy. Mine currently has halogens, but I've since bought a pair of bi-xenons to fit when I get time (I don't expect it to be difficult but it's a bumper-off job).
Yup, the halogens are crap. My E90 had halogens and they weren’t great and my other half’s 125i has them (although I’m tempted by a xenon conversion).
I'd have to agree!

The Halogens my E91 had were hopeless, but the Bi-Xenons on my manual 330i (albeit E90 not E91) are so much better.

d_a_n1979

2,844 posts

37 months

Thursday 4th March
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beambeam1 said:
d_a_n1979 said:
Looks really well pal smile Deffo a good project you've taken on there
That's a cracking endorsement from yourself, thanks!
You're welcome biggrin

I do like a good touring project cool

beambeam1

Original Poster:

279 posts

8 months

Saturday 27th March
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From my last update when I swapped all the xenon bulbs:

beambeam1 said:
...I checked all was well before reinstalling any covers, wheel arch liners and wheels. And of course, error code CC-ID 132 still present. I poked around some more and was pretty hacked off to realise I had made an oversight and that it was the angel eye bulb that had failed. This PH thread in "BMW General" makes it clearer and I now have some replacements on their way to me. An unnecessary expense but a worthwhile one in end because compared to the OEM units, the OSRAM replacements make a massive difference. I might try and punt the OEM ones on eBay since I have a good set going spare now.

Fortunately, I feel like I am a dab hand at wheel and wheel arch removal now so I'll fit the angel eye bulbs as soon as they arrive.
Well, the angel eye units arrived swiftly but guess who lost their BMW locking wheel nut? Yep, me. Couldn't find it for love nor money on the drive but I reckon I left it attached to the wheel and drove off next day so it has flung itself off into oblivion somewhere in Edinburgh.

ABC - 37 - Ordered a replacement from Eastern BMW via the VIN number and collected next day. Of course, I didn't think to check it before driving 6 miles home to find out it was the incorrect locking nut for my car.

ABC 32.1 - After much squinting of the eyes and counting of splines, I rang BMW to see if they had locking wheel nut "ABC 32 - Type 16 Spline" as I believed that was the one I needed and I could I come in and swap. "Yeah". Turned up and they didn't actually have it, in fact they had about 1/3 of a complete set so I left, rather annoyed whilst they said a new set was on order and pop back in during the week.

ABC - 32.2 - Stuff BMW, I'll order it off eBay instead. I was that annoyed with the previous visit that I had it in my head I wouldn't return to BMW again. Two weeks later the eBay locking nut hadn't arrived and I moaned at the seller who promised a replacement or refund. Nothing again this week so I got my money back, made peace with my pettiness and popped out to BMW again. Parts guy went through all the nuts and it was actually "ABC 31 Type 15 Spline" I had needed all along, sorted! Got home, the (wrong) locking nut from eBay had finally arrived but whatever.

So, it took a few weeks longer than it should have due to incorrect ordering, useless eBay sellers and some stubbornness but I've finally swapped out all the front end lights barring the fogs.



Left headlight has replacement angel eye bulb fitted, right is still OEM before replacement.



Both fitted. Difficult to capture the separate lights with just an iPhone in low light conditions. I'll try get better images eventually, gone extremely lazy with photographs these days!

Anyway, that's the faults re: lights all cleared but over the last week I've been getting an airbag/seatbelt fault popping up on my dashboard which I think is related to this issue discussed in the linked thread: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10... will address that tomorrow.


Court_S

4,678 posts

142 months

Sunday 28th March
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I lost the locking wheel nut when I fitted the refurbed wheels on the 125i. I think I left it in the wheel too.

Luckily a replacement was easy because my mate has a 125i and his locking nut was a perfect fit.

d_a_n1979

2,844 posts

37 months

Sunday 28th March
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TBH I don't bother with them now

Alloys are rarely nicked unless they're the likes of BBS etc (or if you're local to a rough area and you know they get nicked) etc...

Staves off this potential issue IMO

JakeT

4,070 posts

85 months

Sunday 28th March
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I only leave them on as it may stave off an opportunist. I'm more concerned about having my tyres nicked rather than the wheels. hehe

Even after 15 years, BMW still were able to get the right one for my car after I lost one last year. I now have the number on the invoice, so if I lose it again I can order a new one easily enough.

d_a_n1979

2,844 posts

37 months

Sunday 28th March
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JakeT said:
I only leave them on as it may stave off an opportunist. I'm more concerned about having my tyres nicked rather than the wheels. hehe

Even after 15 years, BMW still were able to get the right one for my car after I lost one last year. I now have the number on the invoice, so if I lose it again I can order a new one easily enough.
Thing is for me, if they absolutely wreck the locking wheel nut and alloy at the same time trying to remove it and don't succeed, you're left with the bill of the removal of the nut, sorting the alloy and probably something else as they may have tried it with all 4 wheels!

Most OEM alloys are easy enough to get hold of to replace if necessary

Plus the shysters seem to be more interested in the cats these days rather than the wheels...

jackcactii

49 posts

3 months

Monday 29th March
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Nice, detailed thread.

I'm surprised at all the drainage issues. Also had a car with pano roof for 10 years and none of that ever happened. It, however, never spent any time sitting under trees, and was properly washed regularly. Maintenance and a good wash go a long way, people, but still, poor design by BMW.

Also surprised at the lack of nicely-specced E9x in the UK. Awful selection. But these cars are timeless already, in my opinion. Would not mind a second one.

Mr Tidy

13,865 posts

92 months

Monday 29th March
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JakeT said:
Even after 15 years, BMW still were able to get the right one for my car after I lost one last year. I now have the number on the invoice, so if I lose it again I can order a new one easily enough.
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that there are only 12 different versions and most BMW dealers keep one of each, so they can find the one that fits and order it.

beambeam1

Original Poster:

279 posts

8 months

Tuesday 30th March
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That would be the clever option but no, when I rocked up seeking the first swap they had a box with about half the locking nuts missing. Honestly, it's like opening a box of chocolates only to find out all the good ones are gone.

From what I recall, there was about 4-5 rows with 6-8 per row. I believe there are different types for E and F Series cars now too. The old ones are about £12 but I've heard the newer ones are 2-3 times that!

helix402

6,145 posts

147 months

Tuesday 30th March
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Mr Tidy said:
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that there are only 12 different versions and most BMW dealers keep one of each, so they can find the one that fits and order it.
A decent dealer will have a full master set. I have two different master sets. You can buy them from aftermarket sources.

d_a_n1979

2,844 posts

37 months

Tuesday 30th March
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beambeam1 said:
That would be the clever option but no, when I rocked up seeking the first swap they had a box with about half the locking nuts missing. Honestly, it's like opening a box of chocolates only to find out all the good ones are gone.

From what I recall, there was about 4-5 rows with 6-8 per row. I believe there are different types for E and F Series cars now too. The old ones are about £12 but I've heard the newer ones are 2-3 times that!
How's the insurance hunt got on pal?

beambeam1

Original Poster:

279 posts

8 months

Tuesday 30th March
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d_a_n1979 said:
How's the insurance hunt got on pal?
Sorted! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Chris Knotts, very pleasant to deal with and quoted me £315 if I could verify that my current insurance and renewal were in fact aware that the car was a Japanese import. Rang Aviva up and went through it with them as well as my recent non-fault accidents and all was good but they were now quoting me £329 and had made notes that it was an import. For the sake of £14, less hassle and assurances about insurances I renewed immediately.

For those unaware, insurance renewal was due (changed car on last policy) and I came to realise that imported cars = premium. For example, Chris Knotts as @d_a_n1979, fellow insurer of imported BMW's, suggested quoted me £315 but should I not be able to verify my best renewal price included the knowledge of import status then next best price was £800+...

It's enough that it would have had me considering putting the car up for sale if I hadn't found a better price.

beambeam1 said:
Anyway, that's the faults re: lights all cleared but over the last week I've been getting an airbag/seatbelt fault popping up on my dashboard which I think is related to this issue discussed in the linked thread: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10... will address that tomorrow.
Had a poke around here yesterday. Found the clamp wasn't securing the battery down at all so readjusted and screwed it down again before checking and pressing all lead connections in firmly. No lights on the dashboard since I cleared the codes with Carly and drove 40 miles or so. Hopefully that's sorted.

beambeam1

Original Poster:

279 posts

8 months

Tuesday 27th April
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Bit of a graft this past weekend when you're not as experienced with spanners as you'd like to be. Brand new shock absorbers, brake discs and pads all around the car @ 69556 miles. My parents recently moved down to the central belt of Scotland from the north east to be closer to myself and my brothers. Thankfully the new house came with a garage so you can imagine I've had my eyes on tackling a few jobs round there soon enough.



Please excuse the state of the garage, overflowing with the monumental amount of stuff that moving house after 35 years comes with!

I've also been looking forward to tackling some of these jobs with my old man now that he's closer. Growing up it was always him that maintained our cars and he always lamented my lack of interest in mechanics whenever I returned home from uni with something else broken on whatever clapper I was cutting about campus in. I guess when younger, between the lack of garage or somewhere to store tools even, I was just never interested in picking up beyond the most basic of skills. I regret that to a large extent as over 10 years ago I picked up a lovely MK1 Golf shell that was to be a proper project but never got off the ground due to a total lack of ability and experience.

Nowadays, I find it much more appealing and easier to get stuck into a toolbox when armed with forum DIY's and YouTube tutorials (especially since the N52 seems to be well covered). This ultimately results in not really knowing how to bleed brakes traditionally but suddenly being able to use BMW's INPA and do it electronically to my Dad's amazement this weekend. It only took me the time to brew a cuppa and watch a YouTube video to pick that up whereas earlier on Friday I could not be arsed flicking back and forth between the pages of my E91 Haynes manual when I wanted to figure out how to remove the front struts... go figure.

Anyway, armed with good weather, a garage and a grumpy old man to fall out with and throw some of Halford's finest Advanced tools at I set about attempting to swap shocks and brakes for the first time. Forgive the lack of photos towards the end of the process but frustration and tiredness took its tool and I set aside the camera for large periods of time. There are plenty of DIY guides out there anyway and I'm sure for the majority of PH this is not unfamiliar territory!







Brake pads for sure benefitted from a swap at the back.





All the callipers more of less came off in this flavour so were treated to a proper scrubbing with wire brush, rags and degreaser where appropriate before I gave them a spray paint in silver to bring them back to life a little bit.,





New discs, pads and shocks replaced at the rear of the car was much easier to do than the front, absolute mission dealing with control arms and getting the strut dropped down low enough for clearance and removal. We then had an absolute nightmare trying to compress the spring and build up the replacements so I organised for one side to be dropped off to a garage nearby whilst I set about the other side. Garage owner kindly popped over to have a look at the strut whilst fully assembled as he was struggling too but £50 and a bit of swearing later he came through for us which was a result after 5pm on a Friday.



As I already explained, maintaining regular images fell by the wayside the deeper I got into this job but this is an old v new rear shock absorber with replacement lower mounts and fresh uppers too. Major thanks to a handful of posters in the PH BMW section who popped in and out of the "E91 bearding..." thread with helpful guidance and part numbers which meant I had a fully refreshed setup going back on the car.



And these are the fronts. I activated the new ones by pressing the rod back into the shock a few times and the return was nice, smooth and quick. The old ones, front and rear, when pushed down never returned again which confirmed any suspicions that they were long gone. This was particularly satisfying at this point because it 100% justified the expense and hassle of replacing them. I'm not sure how long to expect out of them but they were BMW originals going by the stickers on them. The car was imported to the UK 2 years ago this month @ 45,000 miles and the owner before me added 20,000 to the clock ferrying his kids all ever the Cairngorms with kayaks and mountain bikes onboard. I can only imagine that this may have accelerated any fatigue or wear and tear but it's exactly the type of activity I feel these cars should be good for.



With everything reassembled and all nuts and bolts double checked for tightness we bled the brakes with fresh brake fluid, assisted by a laptop loaded with INPA donated when my mate sold his Z4M a couple of years ago. Very quick and easy process which even a hardened old home mechanic like my Dad was, begrudging, impressed with. I chose this option because I understood that it also cycled fluid through the ABS system which seemed the best approach to take.

Initial test drive was fine apart from needing to reset the service information and clear some sensor faults using Carly. I've since covered 150 miles and the car is totally transformed with regards to handling and braking. Noticeably quieter too but I guess that would be because I'm not trawling the streets on my bump stops anymore! I'm getting the alignment looked at sometime this week just to make sure everything is spot on but other than that, delighted. Delighted with getting this bit of mechanical work under my belt and equally delighted with the distinct results afterwards.



Well deserved.



Edited by beambeam1 on Tuesday 27th April 07:25

d_a_n1979

2,844 posts

37 months

Tuesday 27th April
quotequote all
Great job...

New suspension makes such a difference; my touring was transformed when I put the new Sachs shocks on all round, even more with the Eibach front springs smile

What are the E91s like for subframe bushes; do they need to be changed liked the E39s, do they have them?!

JakeT

4,070 posts

85 months

Tuesday 27th April
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Nice work. I did the dampers on my E91 a few weeks ago, too. I managed to compress the spring enough in the arch as removing the arms was a job I did not want to do. I’m sure it drives much better for having them done, too!