Tuesday 16 September 2014

E46: New secondary air-pump - one last bash...

Thought I would have one ultimate stab at the E46 as it is such a nice car to drive and only let down by shabby bodywork, which I can do something about, and the super low idling problem, which apparently I can't.

I refitted the Vanos-actuator and checked for anything I'd disturbed under the inlet manifold, finding a loose wire connector which I clicked back in, though the CCV was all plumbed up fine. A replacement secondary air-pump and its hose / filter was £30 and the only thing now missing from the inlet arrangement. It took no time to fit, just two 13mm bolts holding it on and swapping the hoses over, but has still, alas, made no difference.

I've spent nearly £300 on parts to cure this engine of its fault, but nothing has done the trick so I guess I will have to call it a day and scrap her after all. Again a shame, as it has 9 months MOT and 4 months tax left on it. The running gear is sound, I sorted the brakes and the engine runs fine when underway, pulling well in all gears over 1500rpm. Handling is as sweet as any E46. The interior and exterior are in terrible nick, but thats nothing that couldn't be sorted with a day or two spent on it. That's only worth doing if the car is useable however, and it sadly isn't.

On top of the impossible low-idling, the handbrake-shoes have collapsed in some way and stick on completely in reverse with the handbrake off. This is probably from being used so much to stop the car while my right foot was still keeping the revs up, but is extra work regardless. A large M12 bolt holding one of the front shock-absorber struts broke while I was attempting to fit the coilovers months ago. I've been driving on it and the strut hasn't moved at all, but it too will need replacing at some point and removing the stud will be interesting. Inside the car, the fan for the heater/blower doesn't work and the driver's door card is missing, meaning no speaker or door handle. Exiting the car with dignity can only be done by lowering the window and reaching out for the other handle, but all these foibles I rather liked. Using it every day was a nightmare though and, with the 5-Series engine swap underway I just won't have the time and money to restore it, so I'm hoping I can get the £200 I paid for it back from a breaker. That means I'm down about £300 on the whole deal. I could make the £500 back and probably more by breaking the car, but I could really do with it out of the way quickly now so a loss it may have to be.

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