It is about time I picked up this dormant blog. After all, I did get a little sidetracked with the French wine tour blog for a while. With that, it’s time to come back to the Land of the Living.
I left the last blog see what would happen regarding the exhaust mounts ; I knew they were gone when I bought the car. Despite the exhaust wobbling about more than a pair of wobbly knockers and sagging just as much I knew those mounts were begging to be changed. All of the tales of sheared mounting studs put me off. There was nothing for it. Off I went to order the exhaust mounts. I was tempted by cheaper mounts but seeing as there was big question marks over their longevity lasting months I bit the bullet and went with genuine items. After all, the car still had the original mounts on going by the date stamps.
Coming to August 2016 I soaked them 2 weeks prior to working on them in WD40. It was then time to tackle the inevitable. Removing the exhaust mounts. Amazingly I did not break a single stud. It is just as well as the exhaust mounts were hanging. Quite literally!
However, it seemed that my perseverance paid off. However, I did not want to struggle with these again. With that in mind I order some new hardware from BMW including the all important copper washers. It also seemed rude to not paint the mount brackets either. It’s a shame to have something so small ruin the details!
For the first time ever I had an exhaust which now sat correctly against the bumper. There was no time to waste however ; I had an Inspection I approaching and truth be told I was not looking forward to tackling the job. Over time I got the ball rolling by acquiring more and more of the parts necessary to complete the job. That is the gaskets, the special tools as well as the usual oil and filter etc.
So, how did I start the job? That’s simple. I initially started by going to the superb Southampton Boat show. What a wonderful place that is. You can almost lose yourself in that place! There were so many boats about the place ; it’s easy to see why some people become water gypsies!
With that in mind I then had a great offer I couldn’t refuse made to me. I had the opportunity to go to one of Darren Langeveld’s fantastic events as part of his Destination Nurburgring outfit. DN16. Being a double weekend this was a special one. It was even more special with it being Darren’s Birthday as well! This would be mega! With a Rent-a-Race-Car Renault Clio 220EDC prepped specifically for the Nurburgring it seemed things couldn’t get better. We had the car, we had the people, and most importantly, we had the post driver’s briefing with beer :).
It was fair to say that procrastination was treating me well! But I could put it off no longer. I’d have to do the Inspection I. So, what is the big deal about the Inspection I? Honestly? Most of it is simple. I started the ball rolling by changing the oil, and also checking the brake pads, adjusting the handbrake as well as briefly checking the spark plugs. At the same time I noticed that the auxiliary belts were not in their first flush of youth, so they also got added to the list.
Then I would hit the small matter of checking the valve clearances. Checking them is a simple after and a small task. Changing the small little blighters was a more arduous process. Removing the shims was not much of a problem. But ensuring that they did not fling out when I removed them was trickier than I expected. I certainly held my breath a few times it has to be said! No shims “almost” dropped into the engine. I did however end up with a situation. Since I did not buy the shims I had an issue of where the shims that I required were on backorder from BMW with a 7-10 working day lead time. Not what you need when you need the car running within the week. Thanks to PistonHeads a fellow E46er came to the rescue and got me out of a sticky situation. I managed to obtain my hands on a set of Wiseco shims. With days before I required the car it was ready to go.
So why did I need the shims so badly? That is simple ; I had put myself down for attending the PistonHeads Sunday Service at Silverstone. To be fair all of the effort did seem worthwhile from the moment I hit the track.
With that in mind it was time to call it a day. But would the remainder of my first year of ownership be plain sailing?