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Old 08-07-2017, 01:43 PM   #341
rumatt
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Today I ordered new:
  • Kidney grills
  • Roundel (old one is faded and looks like shit)
  • Horns. Yes, plural. There are two separate horns - high and low pitch. The first died years ago; the second one is dying a slow death as we speak.

Well find out soon whether I can install all of the above without creating breaking anything.

JV: the car is still running fantastic. Still amazed at how strong it feels and smoothly it runs.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:16 PM   #342
equ
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My "horns" died as well (see maintenance list). Roundel was stolen (in a condo garage!). I switched my grilles to black (that's on me).
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:16 PM   #343
rumatt
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It's been 3+ weeks so I thought I'd post some thoughts.

Short version, it's great. I drive it most days and am very happy with the decision to keep it.

LSD: I'm really impressed with how well it works. Stopped at a 90 degree corner, put it in first gear, turn wheel and floor it. The car just goes with no drama. After 14 years of one-tire-fire I'm still not calibrated to the idea that this is even possible. I'm really curious to see how it does in snow, and whether I will feel the desire to keep the wagon.

Engine: smooth and strong. No more 4k rpm dip, no more stalling on idle after getting off the highway. And I'm really liking the 3.15 gearing.

Shifter: I like it. At first I thought it might be too short, but I've been working on my posture (long story for another day) and I now sit more upright. In that position it's just the right height.

Shocks: this is the one thing I might change. The FSD shocks aren't bad but they're fairly soft and allow fairly rapid body roll. I can hear the voices of people who criticize that the E46 as too soft and disconnected, and somewhat agreeing with them. I've been too lazy to pull the trigger but at some point I'll send the Koni DA's away to be rebuilt and swap them on. They were a little harsh over bumps and potholes but they completely changed the personality of the vehicle. I'll keep the FSD's as backups and/or swap them on when I'm in the mood for a soft ride.

The bumper is still smashed and the driver's seat is fubar. I'm continuing to search ebay for replacements.
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:20 PM   #344
bren
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Quote:
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The FSD shocks
My father has the FSD with Eibach springs on his 325. It is definitely still softer than I'm used to coming from the m3, but maybe a set of springs would be enough for you - and cheaper than rebuilding shocks (at least cheaper than it cost to have my DA's rebuilt.)
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:24 PM   #345
rumatt
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I thought about springs, but figured that shocks are important either way.

Now I'll probably end up doing both

I'm not sure I'm excited about lowering the car. Is it crazy low?
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:44 PM   #346
bren
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I thought about springs, but figured that shocks are important either way.

Now I'll probably end up doing both

I'm not sure I'm excited about lowering the car. Is it crazy low?
It's lower than stock for sure. From my recollection the front is a little lower than I think it should be, but it's not like e46fanatics low. The fender gap is gone, but the tire isn't stuffed or anything. I'm sure you can find plenty of internet pics.

We also added the awd front strut reinforcement plates which did raise it a tad.
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:53 PM   #347
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Oh and I forgot to mention: I added a hair of toe in in the front. About 1/4 turn of one control arm. I like it better. The original alignment was 0 toe front and I was sensing a little bit of a dead spot or play on center.

I have a hypothesis on why, but I'll explain it in another thread once I have more data points to support my theory.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:08 PM   #348
Josh (PA)
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what % do you drive this vs the cayman now?

We sent both girls off to school (at some point I'll close out the drama discussion from summer in the parenting thread) and the wagon got fixed from the accident. Since then, my wife or i have driven it every day to work and the X5 hasn't moved. It's such a pleasant little car.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:55 PM   #349
John V
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt View Post
I thought about springs, but figured that shocks are important either way.

Now I'll probably end up doing both

I'm not sure I'm excited about lowering the car. Is it crazy low?
I'm sorry you don't like the shocks. I liked them on my ZHP, but that had slightly stiffer springs, so maybe that was the difference. Strano put lowering springs on the white 330 I sold him. It's not that much lower than stock, looks good, and it's definitely a bit firmer. I think he has it on Koni Sports (yellow SAs).

If you are interested give him a call...

I'm still okay with you bringing the car back to do more work on it once I wrap up (once I start?) the white car. Bumper, seats, etc. The winter is usually a lull for me as far as projects.

John
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:45 PM   #350
rumatt
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Not your fault at all. I wanted to try them. Only one way to find out.

Maybe I should talk to Strano, but I have a feeling I know what he'll say. I'd like to control the body roll more (which the Koni's did fabulously) but while keeping high-speed compression within reason for small bump compliance. Stiffer springs would just make things less complaint, so I should just stick with what I know.... I'm guessing.

I was considering SA's vs DA's (DA rebuild costs a little more than new SA's) but the Koni rebuild guy claimed that the compression rates on the SA's are somewhere in the middle of the range of a DA compression adjustments (!?) and the DA has better overall valving. So I might as well stick with DAs.

Regarding the bumper and seat... sounds great, except I'm having trouble finding anything reasonably priced. No heated, sport seats have come up on ebay. And no bumper covers < ~$600. I'll keep looking.

Worst case I guess I could buy the M-Tech 2 bumper, and get just a new seat cover and the heater internals.

Last edited by rumatt; 08-23-2017 at 04:02 PM.
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