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  #1  
Old 07-23-2013, 07:48 PM
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Being good to my X3...

My e83 X3 has really been good to me. So, time to return the favor.

Starting off with some new wheels:
Avant Garde M310 19x8.5 front and rear in Hyper Silver , with Kumho Ecsta 4x 255/40r19 tires. Here's some pics hope you like!!







64.5mm BMW adhesive con-caved emblems fit the center caps on these rims perfectly. Used a razor blade to lift & peel off the Avante Garde emblem.

Had some ORO-TEK TPM sensors installed in the new wheel & tire set. Followed the reset procedure... place old tires at least 10ft away, start car but don't drive, press and hold TPM button for greater than 4 seconds but less than two minutes, watch TPM sensor light come on, then start driving and watch for sensor light to go off. With those steps, the new tires are synced to the car.

The tires were road force balanced. Took the SUV for a spin... smooth, crisp, tighter yet not harsher than the 17" I used to have on.

While putting on the the new wheels, noticed that both my rear springs are broken(!). I guess that let's me know what the next thing on the fix-it list will be.

Need to research Eibach springs, Bilstein HD shocks, H&R Anti sway bar, and all the surrounding hardware. If anyone knows who that setup compares to stock sport suspension, please let me know...

Not sure about the Eibach vs H&R... let me know your thoughts. Isbthe ride equal too or better than the stick sport suspension setup?

Some other mods I've added:
Center Console with Garmin mounting ball.
Mediabridge 1500 for Bluetooth audio (the phone still links to car's oem bluetooth for phone conversation, while linking to the Mediabridge for music stream, at the same time...)
Oem Trailer Hitch... for hauling yard supplies or mountain bikes.
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'91 e30 325i



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Last edited by ngcreese; 07-24-2013 at 01:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2013, 12:17 AM
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The dreaded broken spring...

So...


and...



I've got the good 'ole broken spring...

Anyone replace there spring with the Suplex Heavy Duty springs? I've considered the Eibachs but I'm not really interested in lowering the SUV. Especially since I bring home heavy loads of stuff from Homedepot or rent a trailer to haul stuff, often enough.
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2013, 09:17 AM
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Wow - is that a common issue with X3s?
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2013, 01:04 AM
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This snapped spring issue seems to occur often with the e46. It occurs often enough that my service guy down at the BMW dealership was not surprised at all. Also it seems that folks that have an xdrive system tend to not lower their cars when this sort of thing happens. They either go OEM for replacement springs or, aftermarket OEM equivalent.


At least for me the timing was pretty good. I recently did the fix vs. trade in calculation and decided to "fix" whatever needed fixing.

So I've gone ahead and ordered some Suplex OEM Heavy Duty rear springs. Internet has had no complaints about them.....

I'll be sure to take some pics and post...
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  #5  
Old 07-26-2013, 01:14 AM
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Pic of center console with Beanie Man playing on the iPod through the Media Bridge... Zim Zimma!!


Pic of the Mediabridge outside of it normal hiding place...


New headphone aux and usb port... ordered this part straight from china.. It was worth the wait....




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  #6  
Old 07-31-2013, 09:06 AM
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Wink Broken rear springs swapped out

Swapped out both rear springs yesterday. Put in Suplex HD progressive rate OEM ride height springs. Long story short... they feel GREAT! In fact it looks like what I thought was a worn out suspension system was actually the fact that I was riding on the stiffest part of my old broken springs. The vehicle lifted by an inch on the driver's and half an inch on the passenger side. Not too surprised, since the driver side spring was snapped top and bottom. The passenger side spring was only snapped at the bottom.

Removal and installation required the use of jack stands, a heavy duty hydraulic jack, torque wrench, spring compressors, an impact wrench and cargo straps. I'll put in a more complete description later. For now the most interesting points:

I used the flat metal structure just in front of and under the rear diff as the rear center jack point.

I used pieces of scrap wood as a buffer between my jack and parts of the under body.

For removal, the swing arm and hydraulic jack was used as a spring compressor along with 1" wide cargo straps wound 4 or 5 times around the compressed coils to hold the spring in it's compressed state.

For installation, actual spring compressors were used to compress the new springs. Cargo straps were used to hold the coils compressed. This made the install extremely easy.

Rear lower shock bolts were tightened to 88ft/lbs (119Nm).
Found the shop manual after the job as done. It specs 100Nm tightening torque for the bottom shock bolts, but I'm not going back under there to un-tighten & retighten those bolts.

Here's some pics:

Getting ready for the job...


Scrap wood as buffer on jack and jack stands



Center rear jacking point... not the diff but structure surrounding it, near the front of diff.





I started the work before the springs showed up via UPS....


...and then the UPS truck showed up.


One method for removing an old spring involves using the SUV's jack to pry to swing arm open. It only works if your old spring is short enough to be pulled out. This spring was snapped at the top and bottom, so it was possible. There's a limit to how much you can pry the swing arm open, due to the CV axle and anti-sway bar being in the way under the swing arm.


Old spring vs new springs.


My neighbor lent me his spring compressor, when I couldn't find mine. However, the hooks on his were not large enough to handle the thicker segments of spring coil. So I ended up buying a new compressor set from sears.


At this point I've used the sears spring compressor to compress the spring and bound it with a pair of cargo straps making the spring short enough to slip into place...




Once in place and with the jack supporting the swing arm, I pulled the bow open on the bound spring and it expanded into place.



Now for the passenger side. Here the spring was longer so I just went to compress the old spring in place using my hydraulic jack, then bind it with cargo straps.


Once bound, I released the hydraulic jack and slipped the bound spring out. I then clamped it with my spring compressor, released the straps and finally decompress the old spring.


New passenger side spring compressed with sears compressor.


Then bound with cargo straps...


And slipped into place.




The SUV is now level front to back. Also the ride is REALLY plush, yet firm! I'm super satisfied, so much so, that I've decided to leave shock/strut changes for next year.

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'91 e30 325i



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Last edited by ngcreese; 08-03-2013 at 08:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2013, 11:40 PM
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Good write up, thanks! I'll keep this in mind if we ever start looking at X3s...
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2013, 11:45 PM
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Good write up thanks! How did you decide the springs were snapped?
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2013, 02:21 PM
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While putting on new wheels, I noticed that the ends of the OEM springs were rusted through and broken off.

In hind sight, there were tell tail signs that something weird was going on...

A) My wife was driving the X3 one day and I was following behind her in our other car and noticed that the rear wheels had a lot of negative camber, as if it were riding on a lowered sport suspension setup.

B) The ride was harsher than I was used to in the X3, which had me thinking it was soon time to change all of my shocks.

C) The X3 looked leaned to one side. I thought it was my eyes playing tricks on me... until I pulled out a measuring tape to confirm it, lol!

Although the ends of the springs had snapped off, there were no rattling noises in the suspension. This was due to the end pieces still being attached to the rubber seats at the top and bottom of the spring.
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2013, 06:12 AM
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Time to Code....

Next up coding...
I've been reading around the web, that it was possible and relatively easy to plug into my X3's OBD port to tweak some settings for cool stuff and to get rid of certain annoyances... so I took the plunge.

I ordered a diagnostics and coding kit from ebay.

And started playing around...


When my original incandescent angel eye bulbs started to blow out, I replaced them with brighter led driven units. That said, I thought it would be cool to not have the yellow side marker lights on at the same time as the angel eyes, anymore.

What you'll notice in this picture is that the yellow side markers have been "coded off". In other words, they now only operate as turning indicators.

Once I learned how to connect to my X3 based on the instructions in the kit, I started looking at various control modules and their settings. For me so far, the modules that have been most interesting are the light switching center (ALSZ), the body module (AKMB), and the general module (GM5).

(By the way, the settings in these modules are all in german, thank goodness for Google's translator!)


In the ALSZ module, I found these two settings to be pretty cool:

The blink turning indicator it can be set to flash "einmal" (once), "zweimal" (twice), or "dreimal" (three times). In truth this option had been coded to "dreimal" at my request, by the dealer, at an earlier time. The subtle point observed here was that reading out the codes didn't reset them to their default values.
CYCL_TI_BLK
dreimal

The sidemarker disable option (pictured above as disabled -- nicht_aktiv):
SIDEMARKER_US_LM2
aktiv*
nicht_aktiv

----

THE most annoying thing on the X3 for me, is the passenger seat belt warning indicator.There's something weird in my car, where I have to keep that seat belt buckled all the time... regardless of whether someone is sitting there... or not. I've seen blog posts where folks' remedy to this was to simply pull out the dash board cluster and disconnect the beeper soldered onto the circuit board back there.

Well... in the AKMB module:

SBR_BEIFAHRER
aktiv* - enable passenger side fasten seat belt warning
nicht_aktiv - disable passenger side fasten seat belt warning

This setting seems to enable/disable the passenger's unbuckled seat belt timer that starts counting down when the passenger's seat belt is unbuckled. When the counter reaches zero, the seat belt warning lamp and beeping sound will occur. Even if both GURTWARNUNG and AKUSTIK_GURT_WARN are set to "nicht-aktiv".


SBR_FAHRER
aktiv* - enable driver side fasten seat belt warning
nicht_aktiv - disable driver side fasten seat belt warning

This setting seems to enable/disable the driver's unbuckled seat belt timer that starts counting down when the driver's seat belt is unbuckled. When the counter reaches zero, the seat belt warning lamp and beeping sound will occur. Even if both GURTWARNUNG and AKUSTIK_GURT_WARN are set to "nicht-aktiv".


GURTWARNUNG
mit_gurtschlosskontakt* - enable visible seatbelt warning lamp
ohne_gurtschlosskontakt - disable visible seatbelt warning lamp

This setting can disable the seatbelt warning lamp, when you initially start the car. However if you have your seat belt unbuckled and begin to drive the lamp will light up anyway.


AKUSTIK_GURT_WARN
aktiv* - enable acoustic seatbelt warning
nicht_aktiv - disable acoustic seatbelt warning

This setting can disable the seatbelt warning beep, when you are first starting the car. However if you have your seat belt unbuckled and begin to drive the beep will sound anyway.

Since the only issue I am having is with the passenger's seat, that's the only setting I switched to "nicht_aktiv" the other settings I've left in their default state, denoted by the "*". I do actually want to reminded about buckling my seat belt, when it makes sense. Besides, tickets suck.

-----

In the GM5 module I discovered that the windows could be rolled down from the keyfob, by default (so I ran outside, press the open button twice then held it for a couple extra seconds... sure enough all windows and sunroof rolled open... )

However, also by default you cannot close the windows via keyfob so:

module: GM5
KOMFORTSCHLIESSUNG_FB
aktiv - enable comfort close from keyfob
nicht_aktiv* - disable comfort close from keyfob

Now I can open and close windows from the keyfob.
I think the mirrors can be folded in and out as well, but I didn't go there.

Also, I didn't code on daytime running lights, cause I don't think there's a way to make the angel eyes the daytime lights on the e83 lci model. I'm open to correction on this however.

Well, that's my short list of tweaks to my X3's modules. There's a ton of settings buried in this car, I'm sure I'll come across some other goodies as time goes by.

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'91 e30 325i



BMWCCA Member... 20% off BMW Parts, 10% off BMW Labor... best $50 / year you'll ever spend!

Last edited by ngcreese; 09-20-2013 at 06:47 AM.
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