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      07-23-2020, 05:47 AM   #1
BBri89
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Drives: F31 320d xDrive M Sport
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: West Sussex, UK

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bbri89's F31 320d xDrive M Sport (UK)

Hi all, pretty new member on the forum, although been a viewer for a few years.
This is a pretty long post but got pictures too. Itís my progress so far on my 320d Touring xDrive.

Hope you enjoy the read.


The Background

Coronavirus lockdown has given me quite a bit of time, so Iíve sorted out all the photos of my car, got a timeline together and decided to make a progress thread.

Back in early 2017 I replaced my 13 year old Mk1.5 Ford Focus which was costing about as much to keep running and getting through its MOT as it would to replace it.

Iíd always wanted a BMW 3 series, and particularly when the E91 Touring M Sport came out, I was a big fan of that, particularly the LCI.
But in 2017 when I needed a new car I decided an E91 was a little too old by then, and an F31 a little too expensive in the M Sport spec that I wanted, and I didnít want a lower spec.

I ended up going for a 2014 Ford Mondeo Titanium X Sport estate, 2.0 diesel auto. And it was great. Very high spec as standard, far more than you get on the BMWs, which seem to be a cost-option for anything worth having.
It even had features like climate-cooled seats, which pumped cold air conditioned air through the seat cushions, perfect for hot summers days.

Unfortunately back in late February 2018 there was a pretty horrific week of weather (ďBeast From The EastĒ for anyone in the UK) and there was 5 days of continuous heavy snow.
Growing up in ďThe NorthĒ of England (actually hilly Yorkshire, so not that far north, but try telling that to anyone south of Leicester) there were usually quite a few snow days each year, so ever since Iíd been driving Iíd always stuck winter tyres on my previous 3 cars for about 4-5 months over November to March.
Having been ďDown SouthĒ since 2016 though and being mocked by everyone for my winter tyres and snow shovel in the car, I didnít bother with a winter wheel set on the Mondeo, and I had an oh-dear moment.

Because of the week of snow, and a little short of cash at the time (so no purchasing winter wheels and tyres) I found a supplier with some Autosock snow socks that was in the warehouse next to my father-in-lawís business, so on my way to work I took a little detour to pick them up as there was more heavy snow forecast that afternoon, and thereíd been moderate dusting of snow all morning.

Driving about walking pace, literally 3 or 4 mph, the car started moving sideways, and not responding to steering, throttle or brake. Despite smooth gentle inputs on the wheel and lifting off the gas and manually shifting the auto box down a gear, the 235-wide summer tyres just did not respond, and the car picked up a little bit of speed down the slightest of slopes, and came off at a slight off-camber bend, hitting a tiny tree at no more than 6mph.
No airbags went off or anything, but the hazards came on, the car went into ďCrash ModeĒ and the engine shut off and wouldnít restart.

Turns out the road had actually been compacted to firm ice by all the lorries driving up to the rural industrial estate, and the snow on top was just thick enough to hide all the ice, and the tyres just didnít grip. Even winter tyres probably wouldnít have had too much grip.

Managed to get the father-in-law to tow me out in his A4 AllroadÖ Quattro is pretty impressive! And thatís when we saw the full extent of the damage. Instant write-off, despite how pathetic the speed was.

Both xenon headlights damaged, fog lights, front bumper, coolant radiator, air con radiator, bonnet, the oil sump had been buckled so that was leaking, it was a proper mess.

Oh, did I also mention, this was 12 hours before I was leaving to go on a 7-day skiing holiday, and 8 hours after getting back from skiing I was supposed to be driving to work again.


So I spent a spare couple of hours on Autotrader looking at cars. Fortunately because I had GAP insurance, I knew I was going to get paid out to the full invoice amount for the Mondeo, so Iíd essentially had a free years finance lease. That meant I could now afford the F31 I had wanted a year earlier.


Because I no longer had a car, I couldnít afford to take my time waiting for the ideal one. I set my must-haves and my budget, and settled on the first one I could.

Those must-haves were: M Sport, auto gearbox, xDrive, xenon headlights.

In hindsight I wish Iíd taken the 320d off the table, and only considered 330d or 335d, because the used prices werenít all that different, and insurance was within £50 a year too. It just happened that the first one at the right price at the right time was the 320d.

Anyway, one came up in spec and budget so whilst sat on the balcony of our chalet overlooking the slopes, I emailed and paid a holding-deposit to take the car off advertisement, and booked a test drive.


Getting towed out by the future father in law




Snow on top of iceÖ no grip!!!




Quite the bit of damage!!!




All the broken bits in the boot




My view whilst scouring Autotrader!





The Test Drive, mid-March 2018

Two weeks later and back in the UK, we made the 200-mile drive to the dealership in rural England. The car hadnít been through its preparation yet, so it was a bit dirty, as the previous owner had only collected his new car a few days earlier.

Happy with the test drive and very impressed overall with the car, I began the haggling. From chatting with several friends whoíve had lots of new and used Beemers, it seems BMW dealers are just allergic to discounting cars.

The salesman wouldnít even give me a token £1 off the price of the car (ďthe price is the price, if you donít want it Iíve got plenty who willĒ).
But on agreement of a full deposit there and then, and conditional on using the dealerships finance rather than my own, I did manage to get him to agree to fix a few small dings/car park dents, and refurbish all 4 wheels plus new centre caps, and the major one for me, to discount some parts down so I would pay 25% of the difference between cost-price and list price. Basically I got them for a bargain and the dealership made virtually nothing on them.


On the forecourtÖ









Delivery Day, late-March 2018

The car arrived 10 days later at the end of March, delivered the 200 miles for free, another thing I got them to chuck in, which they normally charge £1/mile for if itís not local.

It arrived late afternoon, loaded up with the winter wheels in the boot. The anticipation all day and the excitement when it arrived, but that did not blind meÖ a quick inspection of the car identified some issues, mostly that not all the dents had been fixed, and the wheels that had actually been refurbished had been done terribly. Missing bits of paint where the primer was clearly showing through. ďDiamond cutĒ with an angle grinder and a flap wheel by the looks of it. Or maybe a rasp. Severe orange peel lacquer. They were a mess really.


Winter wheels:






First Touches, slightly later-March 2018

Because it had arrived late afternoon I didnít have time on delivery day, so the next day I went about fitting some of those parts Iíd got so cheap.

- M Performance black kidney grilles
- M Performance pedal covers
- M Performance twin-exit exhaust

All of which the M Sport really should come with anyway.

Unfortunately despite being a pretty competent DIY driveway-mechanic my angle grinder decided to die on me about 5% of the way through the exhaust pipe, so nipped down the road to the local garage and bought one of the mechanics a £3 meal-deal lunch to whip it off for me. He even stuck the M Perf tips on as well, good lad.


I also fitted the BMW coat hanger, because Iíve often got a suit or jacket in the car and donít like chucking it across the back seat, and rubber boot liner mat because Iíve got a dog that gets wet and muddy. And when heís not wet and muddy heís just hairy.

Having heard great reviews I opted for a Travall dog guard, which was so quick and easy to install, 5 minutes or less, and quickly removes if needs be. And also got a matching boot divider which is great for separating the boot 50/50 so the dog can have one half and the luggage goes on the other side and doesnít squash him. We usually go away a couple of times a year with the dog so very useful that thing is.

I also debadged the ď320dĒ and ďxDriveĒ badges on the boot, and stuck some chrome indicator bulbs in the headlights .


Grilles:






Pedals:




Pea shooter:




At the local garage borrowing their ramp and angle grinder:




All fitted:






Dog guard:








Bonus picÖ the dog surveying his kingdom:





The Wheels Get Sorted, May-June 2018

After several emails and phone calls over the next two weeks, between the Salesman, Aftersales Manager and the Dealer Principle, the threat of escalating it to BMW UK or even rejecting the car, they eventually agreed to rectify the alloy wheels, and less than 2 months after I got the car, they took it away again, leaving me an X1 20d M Sport while they had mine sorted.
The X1 is pretty decent actually, not my cup of tea, but the kind of car Iíd get for my wife if she wasnít insistent on having a Jaguar F Pace.
Another couple of 200-mile drives, my car was picked up virtually empty, and dropped back with a full tank, so at least they paid for the best part of 2 tanks of fuel as well. In the 6 weeks my name had been on the logbook, the dealership had done over 50% of the mileage.
Issue fixed though, second time round the wheels were much better.
(Although a slight bulge in one of the runflat tyres when it came back, and it was slightly imbalanced. I decided not to argue though, and a quick spin on the tyre balancer down the road, a couple of 10g weights and the vibration disappeared).


Terrible refurb job:









Drivers Glovebox Install, July 2018

The original owner hadnít specced the Extended Storage option, and I was finding I could do with some more cubby holes, so seeing the DIY thread on the forum, I decided to get the parts to fit the Drivers Glovebox.

Got the parts from my local BMW dealers, not too expensive considering, and I went about cutting away at the plasticÖ no going back now. Fortunately the DIY guide was spot-on and the glovebox is fitted.








The Long Wait, late 2018 and all of 2019

Bought a house, that needed renovating, also got married.
Expensive year. Iím now poor.

I also did about 100 trips to the tip whilst doing the house, not even exaggerating. If I still had the Mondeo then itíd probably have only been 60.
You can fit quite a lot in the back of an F31. But you would not believe how much you can fit in a Mondeo estate.

Did go to a friends wedding held at their parentís farm. You could pay to glamp in a tee-pee. We decided to put the back seats down and sleep in the car. You can just-about-comfortably fit two adults in for the night.
That was a good trial run, as we were off camping at the Belgian Grand Prix only 6 weeks later. We decided if it was raining all the stuff was getting put in black sacks in the tent, and we were sleeping in the car. Fortunately it was a scorching weekend and not a drop of rain. A nice 800-mile round trip though, very enjoyable roads and scenery, but unfortunately because the car was so loaded up with stuff we couldnít push too hard on the twisty roads.



The Boot Strut Saga - part 1, December 2019

Around first-frost in December, the electric boot started acting up, not properly closing, either sticking partially open so you could move it around in the latch, sometimes taking 3 or 4 attempts to properly shut, or it would just slam down really hard and lock. The soft close system was not behaving.

The car was out of both its original and its approved-used warranty, but still less than 5 years old.
The local dealership at first were not having any of it, initially wanting me to pay £180 up front for it to be plugged in to diagnostics to read the error codes, (despite that not being their normal practice) and then werenít willing to try and put it to BMW UK for consideration.
They agreed to invoice me after diagnostics though, which took less than 10 minutes, and so after sitting around sipping several coffees and eating all their biscuits, the idiot who I first had to deal with went to lunch and I spoke to someone else.
The second person was actually pretty helpful and said that itís unlikely BMW would contribute to the labour, but they might provide the part for free as a goodwill.
15 minutes later he said theyíd agreed to comp the parts and contribute 50% of the labour cost, so it would be a total cost of £120 to me, and booked it in for 2 weeks time, which was the earliest I could get back in due to work.


The Boot Strut Saga - part 2, later-December 2019 through to early-January 2020

The car went in again, and unfortunately I had to deal with idiot once more, but I thought at least heís only booking me in for a 90-minute job, so I figured expect them to take 3 hours, and off I walked 20 minutes into town with my laptop and found a coffee shop to do a bit of work. Still no word after those 3 hours so I headed back to the dealers, and I wait until idiot is free, and he tells me theyíve ordered the wrong parts, and the new parts are non-stock so theyíll take 3-4 days to come from Germany. More idiots. Except they had already dismantled my car by the time they figured that out, and still hadnít put it back together, and would I mind leaving it with them for a few days. Oh but we donít have a service department courtesy car for you to take, theyíre all out at the minute.

Well how am I supposed to get home when I live about 18 miles away?!
A few gently raised voices with the Service Manager and he scurries off to the Sales Dept, comes back 30 minutes later with a key and says I can take the brand new G20 320d M Sport demonstrator. And it really was brand new. 17 miles on it.

Iíve got a dog, pretty obvious from the dog guard and dog bed in the back of my carÖ can he come in this car, because he clearly canít go in the boot of a saloon/sedan car. ďOh yes sir, thatíll be absolutely fineĒ. Ok then.


Six days later, a phone call from idiot. The wrong parts have arrived again. But at least the mechanic absolutely definitely knows which one is the right part now. Apparently.
But, you guessed it, non-stock from Germany. 3-4 working days puts us bang in the middle of the week between Christmas and New Year. I donít care, Iím enjoying this brand new G20, putting hella miles on it driving round the M25 and up and down the M1. I just wait for the phone call from idiot to say itís done. The call never comes.

So at the start of the second week of January I call the dealership, and to no surprise, idiot has actually been sacked. Someone else has taken over all his cases, but a lot of it has fallen through the cracks, mine being one of them. Anyway the car is now done and ready to collect. Finally. I pay my £120 and off I go.


Three days later and the problem comes back continuously.


The Boot Strut Saga - part 3, March 2020

This was no longer something for a phone call, I drove the 20 miles to the dealership to have it out there and then.
End up speaking to a really helpful chap, who gets one of the mechanics (an old housemate of his apparently) to run it onto the diagnostics again and see whatís what. Exactly the same fault codes as before. Rear boot struts sticking allegedly. Despite being replaced only a week before.

Not at all happy, and so the dealership agree to take it back in to resolve, replacing the parts if needs be as under warranty, and I tell them that they really need to make it up to me for keeping my car for 3 weeks and not even fixing the problem.
Asking what I expect, I say a free service & MOT, whilst actually fixing the problem. They say yes to the first two, but tell me that if any additional parts need replacing for the boot then either Iíll need to pay or itíll have to go back to BMW UK to see if theyíll contribute. I say fine.

Car goes back in the next week, and low and behold, the mechanic spots that the boot trims have been put on upside down, back to front, inside out and the wrong one on top of the other. He switches it all round and fits it as it should be, and the problem has never occurred since.
Free MOT and service to boot.


The Lockdown, March 2020 til ???

So like most people, I had a lot of time on my hands stuck at home. Unable to work from home, and unable to go into work, I was furloughed. Aside from doing about 60 days of manual labour in the garden and digging up a front garden to build a driveway, I also spent quite a bit of time on the forums, chatting with friends and I got the car bug again.

I made a list of things to do to the car, and started working my way through them.


The Wheel Refurb, June 2020

My neighbour has an F30 335d and both our 403M wheels had got the dreaded BMW white-worm corrosion that seems to affect mostly the nice expensive wheels and never the cheap ones. After debating whether to go powdercoat or diamond cut, speaking to a few people including the refurb company who said diamond cut will not only be more expensive, but also will only last a few years before happening again, we decided to get them powdercoated. Him in silver, but me, Iíd always loved the E91 LCI M Sport with the ferric grey wheels, so thatís what colour I went with my 403Ms.

During lockdown, one of the other things Iíd been doing was watching a lot of youtube videos, and really got into the Tyre Reviews videos (check him out, heís brilliant).
I decided based on forum and friends advice to ditch the runflats at the same time and go for some Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S, and boy am I glad I did.

The wheels came back fitted with the new rubber, and I promptly sealed them with some Gtechniq C5, and fitted them then went for a drive.

Wow, what a difference. First of all the noise is much quieter, you donít get that roar/drone like you do with the runflats. Then comfort, it bumps over speed bumps rather than crashing. You feel a break or bulge in the road surface like a little bump, not the jarring that I used to get. And boy, the grip. I got a bit carried away and might have gone round the same big roundabout 5 times getting faster each time.

I went for a 30 mile drive on country roads and it feels so much more, I donít even know, it just does what you want, goes where you want it, grips like expect. It made me realise that Iíd adapted to the runflats and drove accordingly, but these are how the car should have come. I still donít know why BMW insist on fitting them, no other manufacturer feels the need to, and even the M cars donít have them because they donít provide the necessary performance.
Anyway, I know now, and Iíll NEVER get runflats again.


The dreaded white worm (not mine, but pic borrowed off the forum)




New tyres:






Sealed with Gtechniq C5:




Fitted:







The Coding, June 2020

Something else I discovered, was the possibilities through coding. I read the forums and watched youtube videos, and decided I had to get involved. So I bought a Vgate iCar Pro adapter off Amazon, and downloaded the BimmerCode and BimmerLink apps.
I made quite a few changes including
- Alarm acoustic lock/unlock beeps
- Tyre temps on the TPMS page
- iDrive start up animation
- Headlight & windscreen washer settings
- Convenient open/closing settings
- Boot open/close settings







The Lowering Springs, early-July 2020

So one of the things that really bugs me about this car, is that despite being an M Sport, because itís the xDrive they put the standard SE springs on, so itís really soft and rolls in the corners, and the front sits really high too, like a speed boat.
Iíve no idea why, they clearly could have managed with a lower ride height, but I eventually got so sick of it I went for lowering springs.

I know on the forum thereís the arguments between ACS, Eibach, H&R etc. On two of my previous cars Iíve had Eibachs and cannot fault them. I know on the F31 the Eibachs donít drop too low, and a friend with the same car had them fitted and loves them, so I decided to go ahead.

At the same time, I thought I might as well change the rear anti-roll bar too, because itís tiny, 12mm on my car. I went for a BMW OE 15mm one from the M135i, which if my maths and engineering knowledge is right, has over double the torsional stiffness (15^4 = 50,625 whilst 12^4 = 20,736Ö 50,625/20,736 = 2.44Ö so close to 2.5x stiffer).

The springs made a massive difference, there is so much less body-roll in corners now, and the front doesnít dive down under heavy braking as much. It feels much more poised, and looks soooo much better.
I can definitely feel a difference in the initial turn too, which Iím putting down to the rear bar, the front feels tighter and more connected, less prone to understeer. It handles great, and itís now been just over 2 weeks so next week itís getting the alignment sorted.

In total, the front arch gap reduced from approx. 78mm to 42mm (35mm drop) and rear 40mm to 28mm (12mm drop). The difference between the front and rear has gone from 40mm to just 14mm, which makes a noticeable difference to the look of the car. That front arch gap was huge before.

Big thanks to Warren @ WGMotorworks for supply & fit. He can do all sorts from simple service to complex gearbox rebuilds, engine and gearbox tuning, dyno tuning etc.


Ready to be fitted:













Old 12mm rear anti roll bar




New 15mm RARB




Settling down




Before vs After




Numbers talk:





The Gearbox Tune, mid-July 2020

My car has now done 80k miles. It turns out ZF recommend servicing the gearbox at 50-60k which I wasnít previously aware of, because when I asked BMW they gave the ďsealed for lifetimeĒ and whole doesnít need servicing story.

I noticed that there was a little bit of slip in 1st and 2nd, more than I remember when I first got the car at 50k miles, but not enough to worry me, but I thought that a service would be wise.

So took it to a reasonably local ZF specialist who did the change and even washed the car for me. Fortunately being Alpine White, it doesnít show swirls too bad, so Iím not as fussy with this car as I have been with others when it comes to cleaning and detailing it. As long as they donít jet wash the wheels or strip any paint off the panels, Iím not too bothered.
The gearbox service was worthwhile though, the gear changes afterwards were so silky smooth. Driving around in Comfort/D you couldnít even feel it change 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4.
A big improvement, but I guess you donít notice it get very gradually worse over 2 years and 30k miles, but notice it get instantly better again.


A few days later once Iíd let the new ZF oil settle down and my MHD Black adapter arrived, I installed the xHP tune, straight to Stage 3.
I had a 40 mile drive down to a family member to do that day which I stretched out to 60 miles, just did the trip in Comfort/D to let the gearbox sort itself out, and didnít notice much difference. It was handy having the gear indicator in D mode though.

On the way back once I got the engine & gearbox up to temp, I dropped it into Sport + and S mode and wow what a transformation. That is definitely worth the money. Nice firm aggressive gearshifts without being too harsh or violent. Thatís what a ďSports AutoĒ should be like in Sports mode. It is almost as good as a DCT, and infact with the ZF8 and this xHP, I donít think Iíll ever go back to a manual gearbox ever again, and probably not even a DCT.
Such a broadly-fitted gearbox, but now with this xHP tune, I can see why Aston Martin and Lamborghini use it, among other manufacturers.

Pulling out at junctions with decent throttle the torque convertor locks up much earlier now so you donít get that slipping, it just launches away. I havenít even tried Launch Control yet. Not sure I want or need to!






The Sliding Armrest, same day in mid-July 2020

I cannot believe on a £50k car (the original new order form shows the first owner paid just over £50k) that clearly has a sliding armrest available, that itís not just standard fit to all of them.

I am not the tallest person, 5í9 so not too short, but the armrest is just not in the right place. The front edge of it would be right in the soft part of my elbow between the bones. A few inches further forward would be perfect.

I managed to find a sliding armrest in the black leather from some variant of F30 or F80 on eBay the week before, which arrived that same morning as I did the xHP tune.
Nice quick fix to install, took about 10 minutes, although I did poke some of the rear air vent little up/down moving things out accidently when I was pulling the trim away.

They took over an hour of fiddling at the kitchen table to put them back in. Every time I got one to go in, another would pop out of the thin metal bracket at the side. I managed to get 3 in, then the 4th one popped 2 others out again. I almost went onto eBay and just bought a new rear air vent, but eventually I thought if I was going to do that, then Iíd first risk individually supergluing them to the metal bracket which held them just long enough to get all 5 in, then moved them around before the glue set. I thought Iíve nothing to lose if Iím going to buy a new one anyway. But now it works perfectly again so saved myself a few quid.











The FutureÖ

- Wheel spacers

Iíve got 4 pairs of hubcentric wheel spacers in the garage. 5mm, 10mm, 12mm, 15mm. Iíd heard that the 10mm and 12mm wouldnít fit on the rear of the F30/F31 because of the hub protrusion, but I did a trial fit when I put the refurbed wheels back on, and if you remove the dustcap then they fit perfectly. I wondered if I decided I need 10 or 12s on the back, if I couldnít just fit the dust cap on top of the spacer, then put the wheel on. I didnít fit them back then though as I wanted the car lowered first so I could see how it sat. Now it is lowered, Iím undecided. I might just get another pair of 5mm and go for 5s allround. I need a day when I can be bothered to do lots of jacking up and trying them all on for size and seeing how it looks.






- Goodridge braided brake hoses

Iíve ordered some of these with stainless steel fittings, which Iíll do next time I do a brake fluid change. Should be arriving next week. My discs and pads still have a bit of life left in them but Iíll be fitting Brembo drilled/grooved discs and the Brembo X pads when they need replacing, as well as going for Motul RBF600 fluid. I change my fluid every other year, and have let the dealers change it every 2 years too, so its always 12 months or less. Iíll just change it and leave it off the dealers to-do schedule once I use RBF600.


- Remap

Now Iíve got the xHP done Iím definitely after a remap. A friend with the same car went from dyno recorded 178hp to 214hp. I know the numbers arenít necessarily real true horsepower, but itís more about the before/after comparison, and itís a decent amount. He loves it and says its like a whole different car now, particularly in the mid-range. Hoping to get that done in September 2020.


- Dual-Exit Exhaust, and maybe M Performance diffuser

I do like the twin-exhaust, but I love the dual-exit like on the 340i. I know Cobra in the UK do an off-the-shelf kit for the 320d, and I had a custom designed Cobra exhaust on a previous car, so their stuff is good. Itís a little more than I would hope to spend though, and I know some people just fit a standard 340 exhaust, so I need to do a bit more investigation first, keep an eye out for a bargain etc.
Obviously Iíd need a new diffuser as well, Iím undecided whether to stick with the M Sport gloss-grey but with the two exits, or go for the M Performance diffuser. And then if I did go for the M Performance, I donít know whether matt black or gloss black. Decisions decisions.







- LCI Taillight retrofit

The E90/91 pre-LCI looks very dated now. The LCI doesnít, itís aged much better.
I know there are more differences than just the lights, but I still think the LCI looks modern enough.
So I thought about future-proofing my car a bit to prevent it getting that aged look.
The F30/31 LCI lights look great. Iím not a fan of those black M Performance lights, but I do like the slightly darker M Sport Shadow lights. So if I can source some of those, great. If not, I might put a very, very light tint on, just to tone the red down a little bit. Definitely not a dark tint taillight fan though.





- M Performance front splitter, maybe

Iíve been undecided on this one, because Iíve seen it on Alpine White F30/31s before, but the whole thing is black, which I think looks a bit odd. So if I did get it, Iíd get a bodyshop to spray those two bits either side that attach to the bumper to match the car, then leave the rest of it black.





- 3D Design (or other) roof spoiler, maybe

Iím undecided. I want something that looks good and sporty and natural, not OTT or too obtuse. So Iíll see.





- Sunvisor label removal

Iíve got the meths spirit, Iíve got the tools, Iíve even got the time, I just havenít have the effort. But Iíll do that some time. When I can be bothered.

Drivers sunvisor in the UK RHD cars is fine, without label.
When the passenger sunvisor is up, even though its got a label on both sides, I donít really notice it. But when the visor is down, ie when my wife is in the car, the sticker is quite noticeable and ugly and annoying. So it has to go.


- Folding rear headrests

The centre one folds. The outer ones do not. Iíve got the part numbers. Itís something that Iíll just occasionally check classifieds and eBay for. Itís not a major thing, if I find a bargain Iíll do it, but I wonít pay for new ones from a dealer.


- Seat back storage

Something else that would have been good if the first owner specced the Extended Storage package is the storage nets on the backs of the front seats.

Like the folding headrests, if I find a bargain, great. If not, I probably wonít spend the money because itís not that important to me.


- Reversing camera retrofit

I miss this feature from my previous car. I never thought Iíd need it, but itís so useful to have, and I would always spec it on any new car I got. I actually find it more important with PDC fitted. Iíve been distracted by the PDC before and reversed into a traffic cone that the sensors clearly hadnít detected. Fortunately no harm done, but if it had been a concrete post or a bollard, it could have done some damage.

Iíve done a little bit of looking into it, and I know there are aftermarket ones out there that can be done, and I know you can retrofit the OE BMW one too. I want genuine OE but itís not cheap, so Iíll see.






- Next Car, one day

G21 M340i. Iíve already been mentally shopping.

My car is 5Ĺ years old now, 80k miles and still for the most part going like itís almost new. I reckon Iíll keep it until early 2025Ö Iíll have had it 7 years then and itíll be 10 years old, and probably around 150-160k on it by then. They might have a decent nearly-new G21 M340 LCI, or maybe Iíll treat myself to my first ever brand new car.
Iíll probably more likely end up with an M340d though due to the mileage I do.




__________________
2015 F31 320d xDrive M Sport (Plus pack)

My progress thread

Last edited by BBri89; 07-23-2020 at 06:09 AM..
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      07-25-2020, 05:21 PM   #2
project.f31
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this was a great write-up! got some ideas for my own F31.

some rapid fire questions:

- part # for that driver side storage cubby
- part # for the sliding armrest
- part # for the rear seat storage nets
- did you change the bump stops /shocks / dampers after the springs?

looking forward to the next steps!
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      07-25-2020, 07:15 PM   #3
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Wow............that is one helluva a write up.

Love the sportwagon!
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      07-26-2020, 01:25 AM   #4
BBri89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project.f31 View Post
this was a great write-up! got some ideas for my own F31.

some rapid fire questions:

- part # for that driver side storage cubby
- part # for the sliding armrest
- part # for the rear seat storage nets
- did you change the bump stops /shocks / dampers after the springs?

looking forward to the next steps!

DIY thread for drivers glovebox (has the part numbers in there)
https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=901534

I didn't replace the bumpstops, only changed spring for spring, nothing else. I haven't noticed any issues, but then as you can see from the pictures, the rear doesn't drop by much, 12mm maybe over stock xDrive.
Due to budget at the moment I didn't replace the shocks either, but when mine do need replacing I'll probably get some shorter Bilstein ones.


I'll get the other part numbers when I'm next on the computer.
I just found them on RealOem though, but then ended up buying the armrest on eBay, which I'd probably do with the seat backs as well.
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      07-26-2020, 06:09 AM   #5
BBri89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project.f31 View Post
this was a great write-up! got some ideas for my own F31.

some rapid fire questions:

- part # for that driver side storage cubby
- part # for the sliding armrest
- part # for the rear seat storage nets
- did you change the bump stops /shocks / dampers after the springs?

looking forward to the next steps!

So, for the rear seat storage nets, it's not just the nets, its the whole plastic trim to the seat. - https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1556295
The part number for mine imitation leather, schwarz (black) is 52107288400.
But depending on your interior, it could be different. Try RealOem.com to look, theres so many options.

Same with the sliding armrest, it depends on your interior. (I can't find the part #, maybe I didn't actually write it down as there was one on eBay at the time so I bought that).
Black dakota leather will be a different number to cloth or red leather etc.
Again try RealOem.com for that as well.

They're both under Vehicle Trim section once you put in your VIN # or choose your car.
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      07-26-2020, 04:12 PM   #6
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thanks for the info! will do some digging!
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      07-27-2020, 08:07 AM   #7
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Hunter 4-wheel Alignment - July 2020


It's been a few weeks since the Eibach springs and RARB went on, so time to get the alignment done.

In the time I've had the car, it hasn't been redone (although it was done as part of the AUC sale), but in 2 years with runflat tyres on UK roads, I suspected it was out a little bit by now anyway.

Went up to Abbey Motorsport in Oxted, Surrey who have a Hunter 4-wheel laser alignment setup there.
They are a mostly Japanese motorsport-oriented place, but do non-Jap and road stuff.
Fantastic staff, and meticulous mechanics with great attention to detail.


Despite spraying a load of Plus Gas on the rear adjustment nuts, as I know they have a habit of seizing, it must have not made much difference, as they had to get the induction heater out (better than a blowtorch but not cheap... £150 filaments that only last several times apparently). That's why its quite expensive if everything is seized, it takes time and costs money.

Anyway they managed to free them off without too much trouble, and got about adjusting. He got it pretty much in the middle 1/3 of the green range, but that wasn't good enough for him, so he spent about 5-10 minutes on each adjustment making micrometers of adjustment so it was bang in the middle. Went back and made a few more adjustments and tweaks again.

All in all was about 60 minutes on the ramp, and worth the time/money.
Surprisingly not too far out of whack beforehand, considering its been a couple of years and it's been lowered.






Room for a bit of spacer action there:







Heating the bolts up:




Penetrating spray burning off:







Rear's almost done:




Front's turn now:




Printout:





BONUS PICS:

Supra loving... 2JZ:




295-wide Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s on the Supra... some serious traction there!




Drag Mk1 Escort. Over 600 hp, less than 900kg. 9.something 1/4 mile.




Needs a wheelie bar and parachute pack!




As a child of the late 80s and 90s, I grew up on Fast & Furious and Gran Turismo.
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R, in Bayside Blue. It was my dream car as a teenager. A real 4-wheeled hero.

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Last edited by BBri89; 07-27-2020 at 08:24 AM..
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      07-27-2020, 08:21 AM   #8
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Sun Visor warning label removal - July 2020

It's a wet and miserable Monday. The wife is at work, and I'm on a day off.

So I decided to remove the airbag labels off the passenger-side sun visor.


Surprisingly easy to remove... I've had cars in the past where they are basically fit-once-and-never-remove, and attempting to remove them causes damage to bits that aren't really fixable or replaceable.

Fortunately a nice easy T20 torx once you lift the screw cover. Even the bracket and wiring comes out easily.

Took about 40 minutes, although most of that was waiting around whilst the spirits soaked the labels.

The inside label (vanity mirror side) was easy to remove, the other side a bit more difficult. No idea if that's because its usually up so the mirror-side one isn't exposed to sunlight/UV as often.

Managed to get them both off with a bit of rubbing, and then got rid of the gluey residue around the edge with some Gtechniq panel wipe which is basically isopropyl alcohol. (I used methylated spirits for most of the label, because its much cheaper than the panel wipe).

Almost can't see where the labels were, certainly better than before.












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      07-27-2020, 10:54 PM   #9
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Nice read!
I can conform your sliding armrest is the f30 variant because it is Dakota leather,
Though I Can only tell bc I have an f80 one with merino leather.
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Ď15 F31d M-Sport with the usual OEM+ mods:
B Pillar Ambient lighting, LCI AC control & ambient lighted panel + LCI anthracite trim & vent,
F80 paddles + extendable merino armrest + trim cover w/ merino knee bolster, EU headlight switch, 340/330 brake upgrade.
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      08-24-2020, 11:03 AM   #10
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LCI Tail Light Retrofit


As part of my plan to freshen up the back end, and to avoid it looking too dated too soon, I went about searching for some LCI rear lights.

eBay had several but all way way over my budget, so put a WTB thread of the forum and AR68 had some that would be available once he fitted his new lights.

They arrived last week and today I went about fitting them, having read through the various DIY guides, and youtube videos. It all looks far more complicated than it actually is. But it is very fiddly and time consuming as you have to remove lots of trim pieces and refit it all.


Original non-LCI lights (quite flat)













Old ones off...






Boot trims all taken out








LCI lights fitted (much more sticky-out and rounded)








Tail lights (also now coded in as DRLs)






Indicators






Fogs






BEFORE vs AFTER side by side








Big thanks to @ar68 for the lights, and to @jdr78569 and @RJF92 for their DIY guides.
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