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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
=========== Running log =========

Jan 2021: BMW Performance intake fitted
Jan 2021: BMW Performance SSK (Short Shift Kit) fitted
Jan 2021: Replaced Intake and exhaust Vanos solenoids
Jan 2021: Replaced Idrive trim cover
Feb 2021: Replaced battery and coded due to failing original
Feb 2021: Replaced valve cover due to crack in original and gasket
Feb 2021: Replaced water pump, preventative
Feb 2021: Replaced thermostat, preventative
Mar 2021: Replaced kick plates due to corroded originals
Mar 2021: Clutch pedal bump stop fitted
Mar 2021: BMW Performance exhaust fitted
Apr 2021: Michelin Pilot Sport 4. 225/40 and 235/40 to remove the NCT run flats
Apr 2021: Carbon wrap interior, removed the 'smokers pack' ashtray and *** lighter
Apr 2021: Camber pins removed
May 2021: BMW aero spoiler (genuine) painted and fitted
May 2021: BMW Performance handbrake and gearstick gaitors fitted (Royal Steering Wheels retrimmed the originals)
May 2021: Replaced Idrive controller for upgraded Fx controller
Jun 2021: Replaced faded side repeaters
Jun 2021: Replaced 'sound generator' intake pipe with straight silicon pipe
Jul 2021: Original brushed aluminium trim swapped back, I missed it.
Jan 2022: Replaced Valvetronic gasket
Jan 2022: Updated maps to 2019

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I recently sold my previous 130i after owning it 11 years, it was getting a bit tired and needed some TLC to keep it fresh.. 15yr old and 130,000 miles. It really was a good car and has gone to a good chap who is taking it on as a bit of a daily runner project.

My previous 'members car' post and picture just before selling her:


Even after 11years the 130i always kept me entertained with its engine and drivetrain configuration. I added the MP exhaust, intake and short shift. These parts are so rare now I was no way going to let them go with the car. They got boxed up and put away for my next 130i.

Within a week I was regretting it but I had a plan to use the funds and look for another 130i just newer and less miles, as another long term own.

The 'LE' spec was tempting for it's unique look and only 160 were produced, not that rare for an E81 but it has an identity and nice backstory. (apparently, 1 LE was given to each dealer to sell, there were 160 dealers in the UK at the time of launch)

They came with a high spec from the showroom and the spec was not changeable.
LCI E81 (3 door), carbon black, lemon leather, xenons, elec seats, Idrive, brushed aluminium interior and window surrounds. And those gorgeous BBS 216 alloys.
Ohh and the glorious N52 straight 6. 265hp.

The thought of an LE version with M Performance parts was quite exciting and a possible sound investment for 5+ years time.

I picked this up a few months back..







Those wheels....... :worship1:

2007, 69k, full BMW history (even MOTs), massive documentation stack including TAX discs, tracker, everything.
It's a beaut and in fabulous condition.

After missing out on 2 other LE's, I found this one 200 miles away. I got good vibes when talking to the guy for a few weeks over email, so stuck a deposit down, waited for lockdown to end and visited to give it a final shufty and drive.
It's spotless for a 13yr 70k car.

The previous owner had looked after the inside and outside of the car really well. 2 bucket wash only etc etc. That was good to see and backed up the great photos. Nothing obvious just a few previous touch ups that are to be expected for a 13yr car.
The very fact the seller mentioned the term 'maintenance wash' was a good sign.

It was sold by Jason barker a few years prior and after a quick chat with Jason he could remember the car and gave me some history into it and also sent me all the photos he took of it:



Bad bits on inspection, a weepy valve cover gasket and no evidence of a waterpump swap. Other than that, all was fine. A few pounds off for the gasket leak and I was off home.

Absolute horrific weather while driving 200miles home, avoiding rain storms, floods and every idiot determined to crash into me.
I had a massive stone flick up and crack the windscreen too! The original screen.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm well chuffed with the 130i LE so far... Very glad to be back in a 130i.
The 3 door package feels and looks a touch more special to me, coming from the E87 5door and owning our F31 touring for family trips makes the 1er feel a bit more like the toy I bought it to be. If only they made a 130i coupe.

As great as the newer turbo engines and auto gearboxes are. They cannot match the 6cyl NA engines and manual gearboxes for response and driver involvement.. No way.
Ohh and the sound, it's all natural and not enahanced (or removed) in any way.
The N52 with a manual gearbox is a dream to drive. :D

The LE colour combo, just awesome. I love it.
I was undecided from from photos but on the drive it really does look very classy. The brused window trims look proper nice too and although some might say dated, I see more and more modern new cars now sporting chrome trim again. It's the new black.

Initial tasks:
Leaky rocker cover gasket (turned into something bigger now).
Annoying rattle from the Idrive screen housing.
Waterpump and stat.
Remove the runflats.
Vanos solenoid replacement.
M Performance intake, M Performance exhaust and M Performance short shift. (all in a box next to me :love:)

Future tasks:
Rear aero spoiler, these arnt produced now and quite rare so I need to keep an eye out. I really miss the look I had on my previous 130i.
LSD and suspension refresh, E9x lower control arms and the like.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BMW Performance intake installed:


And the BMW Performance shortshift is done (that feckin white lockring is a PITA), using just the internals and original knob as I wanted to keep it looking stock.

On further inspection of the suspected gasket leak uncovered a crack in the cover itself, annoying but no major issue. I'm very glad I found this before doing just the gasket..!



After some more inspection I found oil collecting in the voids around cylinders 3-4 on the top of the valve cover, not loads but enough, that must be the Valvetronic gasket or someone going crazy when topping up the oil.

Anyway, new valve cover, all associated gaskets including oil filter housing and new Vanos solenoids arrived today:



I'm planning to get it booked in at my indy for the work in the next few weeks, along with the M Performance exhaust fitting.
I'll leave the oil filler housing gaskets until they start to weep, based on advice from here.

Using this as reference for all the part numbers:


.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^^ Yeah the whole LE package is really growing on me.
3 door, 216m wheels and the paint/leather combo including the brushed chrome really floats my boat.
But yes, those wheels in particular. !
 

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Agreed, that's a great looking car @MED, props!

I quite like the chrome myself as well, seems to really suit the 3-door lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Centre console trim turned up today for around the Idrive knob and button.. The current one is scuffed up a bit from I assume 13yrs of previous owners grabbing the handbrake and missing.!?!
Also it's gone a bit shiny and sticky/tacky..?



I expect it's use a trim tool to pull up the spinning knob, then the trim pops out?
I'll see tmrw when I attempt the task.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep. Trim tool to pop the metal Idrive knob off.
Then the same around the edge of the old trim.
Move over the metal clips onto the new trim, and screw the controller underneath the new trim.
Sorted. 5 mins.

Yuk! I really don't know what the previous owners cleaned the inside plastics with? It's this horrid thick greasy shiny sticky stuff.
Luckily this is the only part of the trim that is bad, the rest is all fine just a little shiny for my tastes.



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The new water pump arrived yesterday but still waiting for the stat and hose (Brexit!).

I've a list for my indy when lockdown ends:
Valve cover (cracked) and all associated gaskets.
Water pump (precautionary), thermo and hose.
BMWP exhaust (from previous 130i) fitting.
Regsiter/code new battery (original BMW unit has had it and needs constant charging during this cold weather lockdown zero road miles)

Once all that's out the way, it's time to get rid of the Goodyear NCT5 runcraps. I forgot how bad they are. Noisy, lethal and rock solid in the cold. So very, very bad.

I'm opting for my previous 130i tyre setup.
Front: 225/40
Rear: 245/35
I felt that was a good compromise and gave me a nice rim overhang, I really dislike the look of stretched tyres.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·


Swapped the Vanos solenoids for new ones today.

I have a sluggish throttle response when parking, it's like the revs are 1/2 a second behind the pedal inputs and slight hesitation/jolt when accelerating at below 1500rpm. This was a telltale sign on my previous 130i that the solenoids were getting ropey...

Hopefully that will sort it, not that I can take it out for a test with all this lockdown malarky.

I noticed that there is some irregular discolouration to the original soleniods. A bronze colour around the tip of one of them.. Is that normal?
 

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MED said:
I noticed that there is some irregular discolouration to the original soleniods. A bronze colour around the tip of one of them.. Is that normal?
Not on mine but I wouldn't be too concerned about it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
^^ Oooo, I see you did the filters too..
Did you find they were gunked up at all ?
 

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MED said:
^^ Oooo, I see you did the filters too..
Did you find they were gunked up at all ?
No, not really, the car seems to have had a pretty good life (~80k miles). They certainly deserved a clean but that's to be expected, they're filters after all, it was nothing concerning.

If they weren't such a PITA to get to I might clean them every oil change but I think that would be overkill.
 

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I need to stop looking at these threads, it's just adding to my list of stuff I'll need to check.

Those filters have got expensive too, looks like they used to be about £15 and they're not closer to £40 each.
 

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nivens said:
Those filters have got expensive too, looks like they used to be about £15 and they're not closer to £40 each.
They're pretty robust, I can't imagine why you'd ever need to replace them unless something extraordinary happened.
 

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I was having a look to see if it was a part cheap enough to justify sticking new ones in if they're a hassle to get to anyway, at nearly £40 a pop I think I'll just be having a go at cleaning them if they seem robust enough.
 
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