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Thread: Thom's bagged E46 saloon/sedan - Airlift, BBS RF - UK Build

  1. #1
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    Default Thom's bagged E46 saloon/sedan - Airlift, BBS RF - UK Build

    Hi guys, not had a thread on here before but have been a longtime follower of stanceworks. up until now ive used Edition38 UK forum for my builds but now ive come away from VW's i thought id move over to here.

    heres my previous car, a 6n2 polo tdi.


    i wanted to stick with german, and have been fancying an e46 for a while now after seeing so many guys in the US make them look unreal. i managed to pick up a 320d saloon from a dodgy garage for a fairly good price.

    the car is a 2002 BMW 3 series e46 saloon 320d in steel grey (which from what i can tell is fairly uncommon). its an SE model with parking sensors, cruise control, climate control, 6 disc changer, but its fairly basic inside.

    i use the car to commute to and from uni 3/4 days a week so i needed something fairly modern, reliable and affordable to run.

    heres the car once i got it home.



    and a shot with it next to my friends new b5 s4



    first thing was to remove the swirl flaps as ive heard a lot of horror stories. luckily mine were fine but replaced them for blanks anyway

    was a bit worried about doing this job but it was suprisingly easy.



    changed the front badge as its taken a beating over its 146000 mile life time.



    managed to source some US front indicators from german ebay for a bargain price.



    and then ordered my coilovers! HSD dualtech model with camber topmounts and 16 way adjustable dampening. ive never had anything other than stupidly cheap 'ebay jobs' before so these are a bit of a treat to make it more bearable for me on the drives to uni.



    also picked up some wheels. although most people run 18's on e46's i decided i wanted to go 17's, mainly because ive had a long term love for BBS RF's. picked these up from a guy on here. 17 x 8/9 5x120 fully polished including centre nuts. sadly at some point in their life theyve been sprayed by some nasty wheel cleaner and the faces are now all hazy and nasty, but im planning to paint them so this isnt a problem.



    and a photo of my coilovers. amazing quality for the price.



    before splitting the wheels i wanted to test fit them to get an idea of how they would sit and what size dishes i wanted to buy (as i knew the 8's were too skinny) i tried both 9's on down one side of the car to see if i could fit them up front. on standard suspension it didnt look good.



    but i test fitted again after fitting my HSD's with the camber top mounts set to maximum negative, and the tyre just tucks giving the perfect look i was aiming for.



    sits perfectly upfront and theres plenty of room to come down on the coilovers now that ive cut out my ARB and taken off the drop link sleeve from the coilovers.

    another photo of the front.



    then pulled the tyres off..



    heres a better photo i got today of one of them.



    im now in process of splitting the wheels down for painting and bigger dishes, ive decided to stick with the 9's up front and run 9.5 out back with camber arms (yet to be bought). im undecided on colour for the faces as of now, grey/silver most probably. ive just ordered some 2.5 inch dishes for the rear from felgen fuch in germany and my front 1inch lips will be up for sale if anyone is interested!

    so far ive split 2, this is my first time splitting wheels so its a bit of a learning curve.



    planning to be on the wheels and running a fairly decent fitment for Ultimate dubs which is the first big show in the UK, March 9th.

    hopefully ill keep this up to date as i go, and get some photos a bit better than all these crap ones.
    Last edited by Thooooom; 02-26-2014 at 09:30 AM.

  2. #2

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    Interested to see where this goes! Looks good so far!

  3. #3
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    Smile

    Can't wait to see more... 👌
    IG- @NickyD_69
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilP View Post
    Interested to see where this goes! Looks good so far!
    thanks, i've got high hopes haha. bit worried its not going to be as good as im seeing in my head but we'll see.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickyd View Post
    Can't wait to see more... 👌
    thanks dude, hopefully ill have some progress on the wheels soonish.

  5. #5
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    Looks promising. RF's are always nice

  6. #6
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    No side shots with the wheels on?

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    very interested to see what you do with this car.
    so happy to see deep dish wheels on this car.
    what will your new specs be once you get the wheels re-barreled? offset and all?
    i ask b/c i have an e46 wagon on 17's and i'm looking for new wheels and want them to fit perfectly.

    what are your plans for the car before the end of 2014?

  8. #8
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    Can't wait to see this fitted, Ive got something for RF's, havent seen alot of facelift sedan with them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuki View Post
    Looks promising. RF's are always nice
    im hoping the same thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by dylan. View Post
    No side shots with the wheels on?
    i got a few, but im not happy with the way it looks height wise so dont really want to post. the car wasnt anywhere near the height i want it to be so looked pretty crap, but from the angle i posted it doesnt look so bad and is a bit of a teaser

    Quote Originally Posted by austinscottphotography View Post
    very interested to see what you do with this car.
    so happy to see deep dish wheels on this car.
    what will your new specs be once you get the wheels re-barreled? offset and all?
    i ask b/c i have an e46 wagon on 17's and i'm looking for new wheels and want them to fit perfectly.

    what are your plans for the car before the end of 2014?
    yeah i cant wait for my new dishes! taking far too long to come from germany.

    new specs will be:
    17x9 et 19 up front
    17x9.5 et 13 rear

    doesnt look like the rears will sit in the arch before ive pulled them out a bit and put camber arms on. but its all in my plans.

    plans by the end of 2014, errr... i dont really know, to be honest i havent thought much past getting the stance right to be honest. the interior is light grey so i feel like changing seats and things will look a bit odd unless i do the carpets and lower dash too. theres a small chance that ill be running it static for this year and then maybe bagging it over next winter, but theres also a chance ill sell it in the winter and get something else to ruin. so its hard to say just yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tino21 View Post
    Can't wait to see this fitted, Ive got something for RF's, havent seen alot of facelift sedan with them.
    ive always loved them so have been set on them for a while, to be honest most of the e46's ive seen run 18's, especially in the UK, so i think thats why its not been done that much, im a bit worried about if ill get low enough to pull it off, but if i do its going to look pretty awesome i think.

    thanks for all the kind words guys.

  10. #10

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    Looks great. Those wheels will pull off an excellent look with larger dishes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thooooom View Post
    theres a small chance that ill be running it static for this year and then maybe bagging it over next winter, but theres also a chance ill sell it in the winter and get something else to ruin. so its hard to say just yet.
    i'm making a detailed install thread for my wagon with bags so feel free to use that as inspiration to bag your sedan instead of selling it.

    why would u want to sell it and what would your be interested in working on next?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by austinscottphotography View Post
    i'm making a detailed install thread for my wagon with bags so feel free to use that as inspiration to bag your sedan instead of selling it.

    why would u want to sell it and what would your be interested in working on next?
    as of yet ive never owned a car for more than a year. by the end of the show im always wanting something different, hopefully that wont be the case with the e46 though.



    UPDATE:

    got all the wheels split down and the sealant off too, hopefully taking them down to the body shop tomorrow

  13. #13

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    looks awesome with those wheels...

    how much of a task is it to remove the swirl flaps ??

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMax View Post
    looks awesome with those wheels...

    how much of a task is it to remove the swirl flaps ??
    easy! i was put off by guides that i saw online, but its basically just moving everything out of the way so you can unbolt the inlet manifold and then just replacing the swift flaps with blanks that i bought from ebay for about £10. theres a few fiddly things to move out the way but i wouldnt say it was difficult. took me around 90 mins

  15. #15
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    Wheels give it a nice touch for sure

  16. #16
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    Looking good bud, been tempted with a E46 as a daily for a while now. Be good to see where this leads

  17. #17

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    very interested in the ARB mod, how does it ride without the sway bar connected? and does it make it so u can put the strut down into the knuckle more?

  18. #18
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    Looks good bud, Any pictures from the side with the rims on??

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrit. View Post
    very interested in the ARB mod, how does it ride without the sway bar connected? and does it make it so u can put the strut down into the knuckle more?
    i went directly from the standard suspension to the coils with not roll bar, so i couldnt really speak on the difference between with or without, as i never drove it with the coilovers on but ARB still attached. on my coilovers (HSD Dual Tech) there is a collar that is used to attach the drop link, now that i have taken this off ive gained the extra 50mm (roughly) of thread that it was taking up. it wont allow me to wind the strut into the base anymore as i could already max that out, but i can now lower the spring seat platform (which will reduce travel, but still get me lower)

    ive just read that back and its quite hard to make sense of. haha. i cant think of a better way to explain it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuts View Post
    Looks good bud, Any pictures from the side with the rims on??
    thanks man. i have a few but nothing i want to post just yet... waiting for the wheels to be on properly first.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrit. View Post
    very interested in the ARB mod, how does it ride without the sway bar connected? and does it make it so u can put the strut down into the knuckle more?
    i went directly from the standard suspension to the coils with not roll bar, so i couldnt really speak on the difference between with or without, as i never drove it with the coilovers on but ARB still attached. on my coilovers (HSD Dual Tech) there is a collar that is used to attach the drop link, now that i have taken this off ive gained the extra 50mm (roughly) of thread that it was taking up. it wont allow me to wind the strut into the base anymore as i could already max that out, but i can now lower the spring seat platform (which will reduce travel, but still get me lower)

    ive just read that back and its quite hard to make sense of. haha. i cant think of a better way to explain it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuts View Post
    Looks good bud, Any pictures from the side with the rims on??
    thanks man. i have a few but nothing i want to post just yet... waiting for the wheels to be on properly first.

  21. #21

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    no it made sense! haha I've read somewhere before that taking out the end links makes the car sit a bit lower because the links pop? i can't really remember it was a while ago. but thanks! ill prob look into taking the ARB out this summer

  22. #22
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    These showed up yesterday. 17x2.5" lips from felgen fuch in Germany. not the widest in the world but wide compared to what im used to! 9J and 9.5J should do nicely.








    hopefully collecting my faces from the body shop tomorrow or Monday to start building. cannot wait!!

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    The wheels and that color look GREAT !

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasen88 View Post
    The wheels and that color look GREAT !
    thanks!


    UPDATE:

    so after removing the roll bar last weekend, today i removed the front struts to take off the sleeve that is used to support the drop links, the sleeve just winds off and has given me much more thread to use to get properly low. you can see here how big it is.



    So next up i wound the car down as much as possible, just to give me an idea of how low i can actually go. its looking good!!



    excuse the rust on the wing, its getting sorted!

    bit of a relay on collecting my faces from the bodyshop but hopefully should be getting them tomorrow, then on with the building!

  25. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thooooom View Post
    as of yet ive never owned a car for more than a year. by the end of the show im always wanting something different, hopefully that wont be the case with the e46 though.
    well that answer raises more questions....
    how many cars have you had?
    what were they?
    what did you do to mod them?
    did you lose or gain money on the sale of them mod costs included?

    sorry for all the questions but i've always wanted to ask people who mod new cars all the time these questions.

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