E91 Straight Six Bearding

E91 Straight Six Bearding

Author
Discussion

JakeT

4,213 posts

88 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
Mine needs the tailgate lip sorting too. BMW did it years ago and then declined another repair. frown

Blueprint

2,045 posts

202 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
Thought I'd chime in here since I used this thread as a bit of research and inspiration before making a purchase!

To set the tone here, we recently moved on our much-loved Disco 4 and wanted to go back to something fun, something lighter, something simpler and something that still retained character mixed with practicality. That meant a fast hatchback or estate car, and it had to be powered by petrol. Other marques were briefly considered, but predictably we landed back at BMW's door having had several over the years and basically loving almost everything they made from the 70’s to the late 00’s.

A 130i and various E61's were viewed and discounted. Opting for the middle ground, we came within a whisker of an E91 330i manual because a naturally aspirated manual car was at the top of my wishlist. However, this car was to be my wife’s daily and she has grown used to automatics and preferred that setup. I relented as I have another old manual car undergoing a bit of recommissioning so that will be my fix when the time comes.

So, we arrived at a beautifully looked-after 2008 E91 335i, and wow, what a machine!

I've taken it out multiple times "just because" which honestly hasn’t happened for longer than I care to remember for a variety of reasons. I had forgotten what it's like to be in a car that you can easily manoeuvre within the confines of your own lane to find the best lines and avoid drains etc., yet is large enough inside to load up to the hilt if required. It is a fantastic combination for us and I'm wondering why it took so long to arrive at this option, such is life.

I suspect the ‘30i sounds even better, but this turbo lump sounds pretty good to my ears, if a little muted at higher speeds, although that is part of the appeal. It is a performance package in a practical suit, and once the rear badge gets whipped off, only the exhaust pipes are likely to give the game away to the enthusiast observer. Most people will not give it a second look and I am very cool with that.

It's in lovely condition and had all the major N54 maintenance done so now I'm going around the car doing bits and bobs to make it as factory fresh as reasonably possible, perhaps a little too fastidiously, but the car has already won me over.
It is early days obviously, but for our tastes, tuning it for more power would be unnecessary, the thing is a weapon as it is. I’d agree that the ride could be improved upon to remove the tendency to skip over imperfections so that may be the route I will take, but other than that it will remain OEM fresh.

It is genuinely impressive that so much car is available for a relatively modest sum. It feels very well screwed together with no shakes, squeaks or rattles that might be expected on a 10+ year old used car. Whilst of course it’s no Lotus, the car feels so crisp, so sharp and so taught. Up until now our favourite car from our back catalogue has been the Legacy 3.0 wagon, but this, has just toppled that.

2 GKC

1,186 posts

73 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
Eat your heart out Hartley


helix402

6,362 posts

150 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
Blueprint said:
Thought I'd chime in here since I used this thread as a bit of research and inspiration before making a purchase!

To set the tone here, we recently moved on our much-loved Disco 4 and wanted to go back to something fun, something lighter, something simpler and something that still retained character mixed with practicality. That meant a fast hatchback or estate car, and it had to be powered by petrol. Other marques were briefly considered, but predictably we landed back at BMW's door having had several over the years and basically loving almost everything they made from the 70’s to the late 00’s.

A 130i and various E61's were viewed and discounted. Opting for the middle ground, we came within a whisker of an E91 330i manual because a naturally aspirated manual car was at the top of my wishlist. However, this car was to be my wife’s daily and she has grown used to automatics and preferred that setup. I relented as I have another old manual car undergoing a bit of recommissioning so that will be my fix when the time comes.

So, we arrived at a beautifully looked-after 2008 E91 335i, and wow, what a machine!

I've taken it out multiple times "just because" which honestly hasn’t happened for longer than I care to remember for a variety of reasons. I had forgotten what it's like to be in a car that you can easily manoeuvre within the confines of your own lane to find the best lines and avoid drains etc., yet is large enough inside to load up to the hilt if required. It is a fantastic combination for us and I'm wondering why it took so long to arrive at this option, such is life.

I suspect the ‘30i sounds even better, but this turbo lump sounds pretty good to my ears, if a little muted at higher speeds, although that is part of the appeal. It is a performance package in a practical suit, and once the rear badge gets whipped off, only the exhaust pipes are likely to give the game away to the enthusiast observer. Most people will not give it a second look and I am very cool with that.

It's in lovely condition and had all the major N54 maintenance done so now I'm going around the car doing bits and bobs to make it as factory fresh as reasonably possible, perhaps a little too fastidiously, but the car has already won me over.
It is early days obviously, but for our tastes, tuning it for more power would be unnecessary, the thing is a weapon as it is. I’d agree that the ride could be improved upon to remove the tendency to skip over imperfections so that may be the route I will take, but other than that it will remain OEM fresh.

It is genuinely impressive that so much car is available for a relatively modest sum. It feels very well screwed together with no shakes, squeaks or rattles that might be expected on a 10+ year old used car. Whilst of course it’s no Lotus, the car feels so crisp, so sharp and so taught. Up until now our favourite car from our back catalogue has been the Legacy 3.0 wagon, but this, has just toppled that.
Good choice. I have a 335d thread which has some suspension ideas you may find of interest.

cerb4.5lee

19,652 posts

148 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
2 GKC said:
Eat your heart out Hartley

hehe

thumbup

g3org3y

17,227 posts

159 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
2 GKC said:
Eat your heart out Hartley

hehe

thumbup
rofl

Swervin_Mervin

3,619 posts

206 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
How much should I be looking at guys for new struts for the tailgate and front wiper arms?

Hinge pins seem pricey as well!

helix402

6,362 posts

150 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
Swervin_Mervin said:
How much should I be looking at guys for new struts for the tailgate and front wiper arms?

Hinge pins seem pricey as well!
Re wiper arms new genuine ones are quite expensive. If I had a pre lci E91 I’d look into a decent pair of used LCI arms. (Guessing they fit). Obviously would need LCI blades too.

RECr

72 posts

19 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
Has anyone had a water trickling type noise in their car? I've noticed that in wet weather a trickling noise comes from the windscreen/scuttle area. It only occurs above 50mph and if it stops raining whilst driving, the noise will continue for a short time aferwards.

I keep the drains at the edge of the scuttle clear, and also keep an eye on the drains at the bottom of the ECU well and brake well, so I am not sure where else to check. The car has had a new windscreen at some point so could it possibly be a piece of slightly ill fitting trim deflecting the water so it makes more noise?

Jakg

2,720 posts

136 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
Swervin_Mervin said:
How much should I be looking at guys for new struts for the tailgate and front wiper arms?
I got these.

I *think* Stabilus are OE.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/173937507003

Blueprint

2,045 posts

202 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
helix402 said:
Good choice. I have a 335d thread which has some suspension ideas you may find of interest.
Thanks, definitely of interest. I read through your thread too, before purchasing mine. Initial thought was to go Birds, but maybe that isn't necessary?
It's already wearing a fresh set of PS4's which I assume must be better than RFT's, but it is still a fidgety ride on back roads when pressing on. New damping should iron out that busyness but most accounts.

I started the fettling this week by replacing the isofix flaps on the rear bench, as well as the aux port in the centre arm rest because the writing was scratched. Has anyone found that the aux box doesn't seat particularly securely, such that anything other than the lightest of pressures will push it down in to the hole in the housing?

Oddly, the vanes and mechanisms in the rear vent had somehow broken making them useless at directing air to the rear occupants. Ordered a used one on eBay and set about making one good one from the existing one and the eBay one. It was a very fiddly job, but also a very satisfying one, and now works perfectly.

Swervin_Mervin

3,619 posts

206 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
helix402 said:
Swervin_Mervin said:
How much should I be looking at guys for new struts for the tailgate and front wiper arms?

Hinge pins seem pricey as well!
Re wiper arms new genuine ones are quite expensive. If I had a pre lci E91 I’d look into a decent pair of used LCI arms. (Guessing they fit). Obviously would need LCI blades too.
Yeah I was surprised at the price. Odd how some things you'd think would be cheap are pricey and vice versa.

JakeT

4,213 posts

88 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
Blueprint said:
Good stuff
Glad you're getting on well with it. smile


2 GKC said:
Eat your heart out Hartley

Like that. hehe


helix402

6,362 posts

150 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
Blueprint said:
Thanks, definitely of interest. I read through your thread too, before purchasing mine. Initial thought was to go Birds, but maybe that isn't necessary?
It's already wearing a fresh set of PS4's which I assume must be better than RFT's, but it is still a fidgety ride on back roads when pressing on. New damping should iron out that busyness but most accounts.

I started the fettling this week by replacing the isofix flaps on the rear bench, as well as the aux port in the centre arm rest because the writing was scratched. Has anyone found that the aux box doesn't seat particularly securely, such that anything other than the lightest of pressures will push it down in to the hole in the housing?

Oddly, the vanes and mechanisms in the rear vent had somehow broken making them useless at directing air to the rear occupants. Ordered a used one on eBay and set about making one good one from the existing one and the eBay one. It was a very fiddly job, but also a very satisfying one, and now works perfectly.
I think Birds have stopped making the E9* kits. They are based on the Bilstein B6/8 dampers. The B8s are the correct ones for an M Sport. They make a huge improvement to the body control and ride quality.

JakeT

4,213 posts

88 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
helix402 said:
I think Birds have stopped making the E9* kits. They are based on the Bilstein B6/8 dampers. The B8s are the correct ones for an M Sport. They make a huge improvement to the body control and ride quality.
Correct. But they will have some in stock. They did their last run of B3 suspension kits toward the end of last year. I bought a kit when they got them in in late Jan.

to3m

1,109 posts

138 months

Sunday 20th June
quotequote all
RECr said:
Has anyone had a water trickling type noise in their car? I've noticed that in wet weather a trickling noise comes from the windscreen/scuttle area. It only occurs above 50mph and if it stops raining whilst driving, the noise will continue for a short time aferwards.

I keep the drains at the edge of the scuttle clear, and also keep an eye on the drains at the bottom of the ECU well and brake well, so I am not sure where else to check. The car has had a new windscreen at some point so could it possibly be a piece of slightly ill fitting trim deflecting the water so it makes more noise?
Yes, I often get this in my LCI 330i when it's raining. I've had the car nearly 4 years, and it's been a thing the whole time, but I've never found any evidence of water ingress in the cabin. So I've never been quite sure what to do. It doesn't seem to be a problem, but I still really do not like the idea of there being trickling water within earshot of the inside of the car. I'd love to find a solution.

I think my car has its original windscreen.

I do ensure the side drains under the bonnet (with the detachable leaf catcher thingies) are clear of mulch, but I wasn't aware of the other ones - I'll try to remember to check in the next few days and see how they're looking.

RECr

72 posts

19 months

Sunday 20th June
quotequote all
Good to hear it doesn't sound like our cars are filling up with water at least. The easiest way to get at the ECU/brake well drains is to remove the wheel arch liner then you'll see where the well is joined to the bulkhead. The drain is just a fold in the metal so that there's a gap in the joint for water to flow put.

JakeT

4,213 posts

88 months

Sunday 20th June
quotequote all
My E91 also makes the same noise. Normally when it’s been rained on and then sat overnight. I think my E46 has done similar, too.

TheGinger1

29 posts

32 months

Sunday 20th June
quotequote all
I also get the trickling water sound. Nowhere internally is wet, but have also been concerned by the noise.

Rear struts, I replaced mine earlier this year. I got them from SGS Engineering, didn't bother paying for new ends, just used the originals. About £30.
Ordered: BMW 3 Series E90 Touring 2005-2011 Tailgate / Boot Gas Strut
GSC2568

helix402

6,362 posts

150 months

Sunday 20th June
quotequote all
TheGinger1 said:
I also get the trickling water sound. Nowhere internally is wet, but have also been concerned by the noise.

Rear struts, I replaced mine earlier this year. I got them from SGS Engineering, didn't bother paying for new ends, just used the originals. About £30.
Ordered: BMW 3 Series E90 Touring 2005-2011 Tailgate / Boot Gas Strut
GSC2568
Re struts, I put Magneti Marelli ones on mine a few years ago. I figured that MM make lots of factory fitted BMW parts so they must be good. Still working well.


Edited by helix402 on Sunday 20th June 21:16