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My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

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My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:30 pm

Hi guys, so as i said when i get a chance ill start a thread for my car, unfortunately not much has changed or happened, so not many pics at the moment, and i havent been taking snaps everywhere i go lol

So a bit about the car, its a 323Ci, so not the quickest of cars, but all I wanted was a nice cruiser, nothing to race, so I think its spot on. Its got the full AC Schnitzer styling, this includes front and rear lip (unfortunately with the acne PDC), side skirts and boot spoiler. Has the ACS handling package, so the suspension, ARB's but unfortunately the for the strut brace the bar has been removed in the past, but the top plates left on :'( Also has the ACS mats, pedals and short shift gear knob, one on the car currently is worn, but have a mint one i bagged dirt cheap ready to be fitted. Last thing is has ACS type 3 wheels.

Know you can admire the pics before some more reading of whats happened prior to me joining this forum.

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At the moment thats all the pics I have uploaded to photobucket and my phone cable has decided to say no i wont work, so will try and get more sorted.

positive things that have happened so far is ive sorted out the faded boot lid light, both sides where different so corrected that so it looks spot on. You cant see in the pictures but the passenger side skirt was hanging at the rear, new clips from ebay and its once again hugging the car, and the rear bumper was hanging on drivers side, came of the clip used to sort the sagging bumpers.

As soon as I got the car bass was a must for me, summer days, top down bass pumping thats what i wanted. Originally fitted a box in the boot, but i needed the boot space, so got hold of a bargain 10 inch sub, and made my own box for the ski hatch and covered it in leather on the front to match the interior, and seen a can of black spray at home so thought why not paint the cone aswell. End result to me looks brilliant, and for a cheap low power set up, im pleased with the sound quality. Will deffo sort out some pics of this as im chuffed with how it looks.


Other things which have happened so far are, realised my thermostat is stuck open, as it took forever to warm up, and on motorway temp needle would drop. So this was straight away changed for a OEM item.

Then while coming off the M6 my clutch went, it had started slipping a week before, and was booked in following day to be replaced, but AA decided they will deliver the car to the garage for me. know has a new clutch kit :D

and the last bad thing is, a erm curb decided it wants to fight the car, left the left corner of the front lip cracked :(

Plans i have in mind are:

- replace spring pads at the rear, currently has 5MM, thinking of going for the 10MM, as I find its a tad to low, when i have people in the back, it scrapes allot, and do get some rubbing in the arch.

- do something with the exhaust, ideally i want to source a ACS back box, and possibly do a res delete. Tee mod already done.

- try and find a replacement ACS strut brace.

-projector headlights with ccfl rings

-get the lip repaired

- get to the bottom of the coding on NCS expert, tried it once didnt get to far

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby Chrissyp83 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:55 pm

nice that mate and welcome along to the box
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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby mRd » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:25 pm

Nice one mate! Just instead of getting ccfl angel eyes get LED ones. They safer and brighter. And welcome to the Box!

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:36 pm

Thanks guys
Nice one mate! Just instead of getting ccfl angel eyes get LED ones. They safer and brighter. And welcome to the Box!
Thabks for that tip, will check thwm out when im ready to buy them. Need to sort the headlights 1st, looking for a bargain set.

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby Lloyd » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:14 am

Nice example mate and its not a common sight to see the full ACS kit!

Your plans sound good too mate!
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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby rickyh147 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:41 am

Looking good dude! Like Lloyd said its not often you see them with this kit in full. Stands out!

Look forward to seeing what you do with it in the future :)
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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:47 am

That's what made me buy it not something you see. Was originally looking for a facelift m-sport.

Just ordered some 10mm spring pads from BMW. So if weather is good over weekend will get them fitted. And get some before, during and after pics.

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby Darren » Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:56 am

Glad to see another build thread on here! we all love photos of BMWs afterall!

Looks like a clean motor!
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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:07 pm

so I ordered the 10mm spring pads and had them delivered, fitted them on to the car last weekend.

ill let the pics do most the talking as not really much to say.

these are the before shots of the rear end, forgot to take em before i drove the car on to some blocks (without doing that i couldnt get the trolley jack under the car). Its uneven on both sides as the drive is very wonkey all over aha.

drivers side
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passenger side- this side seems allot higher in the pics, can only assume its because of the uneven drive, its wavy as hell.

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difference between old and new pad

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how hight it sat after putting it back on the ground, i got worried at the height, knew it had to settle still but thought that would change it slightly.

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and the following are pictures after taking it for a drive to get it to settle.

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its a slight increase in the height, its allowing me to go over some of the huge pillow humps we have in brum, although 3 in the car and it will still give a slight scrape.

But i think it sits nicer know.

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:12 pm

i need to try and get some more pics on a more level ground, after posting the pics im not overly happy, hmmmm

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:48 pm

So I have been meaning to do a update on this for a while. I cracked my Schnitzer front lip ages ago. And each body shop I spoke to said they would use fibre glass to repair it. I knew this would crack up easily so thought I'd rather try doing it myself.
Before people say anything I'm no body worker and have little experience in this type of stuff. And have never painted before either.
I'll just let the pics do the talking know aha.
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This is actually cracked in three pieces by the time I done the repair :/

so I decided to literally stitch it together to give it the extra strength. What's not shown in the pics is that I ground the bumper back so the stitching would not bulge and once filled would be smooth.
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Once the stitching was done I cleaned it and used fibre glass mesh tape (builders tape aha) and a two part epoxy think it was called araldite.
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As you can see it was in a couple off pieces so I left the corner till last so I could get behind the lip.

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Wasn't fussed how it looks from underneath ahaha

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Already looking allot better. Next step was to use a plastic bumper filler. This took ages!!!! It was apply sand, apply more sand again and apply more ...

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And finally starting to get there
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There was a indent in the bumper for a ac schnitzer badge which I tried to replicate. Borrowed a Dremel from a mate. Didn't come out as expected. But once the badge is on looks perfect.
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Next was painting. Was done with rattle cans. Decided to just do the lip for know, even though the rest of the bumper could have used paint. But wasn't sure how good I'll be able to paint.

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Came out allot better than expected if you ask me. Think it took me 4 days in total.

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:56 pm

Sad thing is, she has been off the road for a while know, due to the dreaded cracked rear end.

I will start tackling this in a few weeks time, so will update on here with how it goes. Got a mate whos a awesome welder, so will get him to weld in the redish motorsport reinforcement kit for me

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby Andy » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:44 pm

When I saw the first few repair pics I had my doubts but it looks like it came out real well. Fair play for tackling it mate, not something I would've attempted, looks spot on in your final pic.
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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:16 pm

Thanks mate and yh, I was worried about it when doing it. I was like WTF have I done aha. My brother gave me the idea, he used to work for a jap import and breaker, and they did a similar style repair.

Ive seen other bumpers crack again with fibre glass repairs so didnt want to go down that route. Its held up well, I scraped it again after doing the repair and the cracks didnt open up. so the stitching and mesh have helped to strengthen it nicely.

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:17 pm

just realised havent put up a pic with the sticker back on, let me find one aha

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:24 pm

Couldn't find one with the sticker. But found one of the car with my brothers toys.
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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby R6HNN » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:11 pm

very impressed with the DIY bodywork skills!
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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:27 pm

very impressed with the DIY bodywork skills!

Thanks mate, never thought it would come out as well as it did. I kept thinking ill have to go to a body shop to get it looking good, but had to give it a try. Glad I did. Will be giving more painting a try, but this time with a paint gun. Hopefully within the next few months. Ive not managed to get out to any of the meets or shows, so this is my year aha. Want it looking as good as it can for the summer.

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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby shabs » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:19 pm

So yesterday started stripping down the rear end to repair the subframe cracks. Here goes with a pic heavy update.

First thing was to get the car in the corner the unit and up in the air. Luckily I was able to borrow a awesome trolley jack of my mate which helped.
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Not sure why I've put the roof down but erm why not aha.

Next step was to remove the exhaust. This was pretty straight forward. Bolts by the back box to drop the back box from the hangers. In the middle of the exhaust there is a mounting bracket. 4 bolts I think.

Then the flanges on the manifold. This was the trickiest. Mine being a 323 there's 3 bolts on each flange. And the flanges are higher up. Pretty sure the 325 and 330 have 2 bolts and the flanges are after the 90 degree bend.
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Unfortunately on one of the flanges 2 out of the three bolts where a pain and the studs snapped. So will have to tackle that a bit later. Maybe drill them out?

And before the exhaust can drop straight down there's some support bars? at the back. I call them them support bars anyway. They need to come off. The bolts for them where pretty tight. But they came off without much hassle. You can see one of the bars on the right of the car, left that one on

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After that the next step is the heat shield, which will then reveal the prop shaft. Sorry no pics of that.

Then the prop, I went to the bolts mounting it to the diff first as I failed to open them when I had to do the centre support bearing, so that time I just split the prop in half.

There's a bracket under the diff to prop mounting area. Unbolt that first. Total of 6 bolts (sorry isn't pictured well). Then the prop is held in with 4 E12 torx bolts. I used a pole on the ratchet which helped break them. Then used a impact driver to blast them out.

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After that remove the 3 18mm nuts and bolts holding the prop to the guibo. Mines in good nick as was replaced in summer with my centre support bearing. The CSB didn't last very long tho :/. That needs replacing again hmmm. Sorry no pics of those two bits. But here's the prop out the car. You can see my CSB is destroyed.

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After that I just went on to cracking lose the drive shaft bolts. 6 each side. Annoying to get at. Again E12 torx. I could only get the socket on one bolt at a time. I read other people saying a few long extensions needed, and undo from outside of wheel arch. Not what I did. Just a ratchet and a pole for leverage.

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This took a while as I had no helper to release the handbrake and then engage it when I had to get to another bolt. But i just cracked them for know as ill be removing the drive shafts later.

I left it at that for the first day of working on the car. Didn't take to long tbh. Started around 12. And came home at 6. But in between did some work on my brothers evo. Helped him do the service on that and fit a hard pipe kit.

So today was the day everything else got stripped. Started with the handbrake cables. Very easy. Remove the leather boot from handbrake. Pull it up from the bottom and it unclips. Well that's what I did. That will reveal 2 10mm bolts. Take them off all the way

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Only one cable shown in the pic as I remembered to take a picture after I started pulling them through. Which is the next step. Get underneath and pull them out int the 1st pic below, on the right you can see the tubes where the cables go through to get to the cabin of the car. There are two clips holding the cables to the fuel tank. And once pulled out of the car pull them out of the underbody and subframe. This bit required some effort. Kept getting stuck.

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its very dirty around the diff as I had a leaky diff which blew and had to be replaced. I should have tackled the replacing the diff but didnt have this storage unit then or the time.

After that I went to the trailing arms. 3 bolts each side holding it to the car. I marked the location of the arm around the bolts to get it roughly back in line so the toe angle is not miles of when I go get it aligned once rebuilt.

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Then the bottom shock absorber bolt which let the hub drop and let the spring come out of the car.

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Then undo the brake lines. I left them attached to the calliper. And put a rubber glove over the line to catch the drips.

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At this point I was ready to start lowering the rear end, or so I thought aha. I decided to lower it all complete then remove the control arms once of the car. So I used the jack I borrowed and a wooden thingy we had lying around.But I decided to put the wheels back on and lower it so I could roll it on the wheels once on the ground. This was my first mistake as I didn't have the car high enough to clear the wheels. Second mistake was I forgot to unclip the abs sensors. Brake sensors where removed a while ago so that wasn't a issue. Pics will explain all.

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You can see my front subframe bushes have seen better days and the metal insert has come apart. This was strangely causing the subframe to get stuck as I lowered it. But some leverage using a trolley jack handle solved that.

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So at this point it was off he car and I realised I f'd up and need to remove the wheels. So back up a tiny bit. And wheels off aha.

And then it was off the car. And yes before any one says the wooden thing used under the diff and subframe has wheels. But I was being a fool.

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The trolley jack just slid straight out as well allowing the whole thing to rest on the castor wheels and roll out from under the car. the cut exhaust is not from the 46, its from a E39, still need to get a replacement exhaust aha.

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And some shots of the worn bushes.

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Then I thought let's show the box the cracks lol. They look allot worse as I decided to bend them out to stop them rubbing and making horrible noises while I drove the car. Drove her for a while like that until I got a banger to use as a daily.

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By the end off the day I took at them with a hammer to make it look better.

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Next was the fuel tank. Removed the hose from the filler neck first.

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Then under the rear seat is the pump on one side. And the sender on the opposite side? Or something is there anyway.

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Lift up those rubbery flaps and on each side 4 nuts to be undone.

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Very dirty underneath the metal plate. I decided I didn't want to remove the big round locking thing. So I just unplugged each side, and cut the metal pipe clips of. If these can be released without cutting. Please tell me how. I always cut them and replace with a jubilee clip aha.

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Then two jacks on each side to support the fuel tank before removing two bolts each side on the hangers. The other side of each hanger is hooked in place. And one final bolt in the middle.

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As I was lowering it found more pipes yay. Most of these just unclip from the tank. But there's two each side which need to be removed.

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Then down it comes.

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Then just started stripping the control arms and diff from the subframe. And gave up for the day whilst doing all that.

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I got to say tho. I'm happy I decided to tackle this job. It's allot easier than I anticipated.

Next step is to start emptying the boot of the car so the access holes can be cut to weld the top off the subframe mounting brackets. The rear left one definitely needs welding from inside the boot. The rear right is fine. But may as well get those welds done to add more strength. And start cleaning up the underneath especially where the welds need to be done. And drill holes for the plug welds for the reinforcement plates. So it's all ready for the welder to come and do his magic on the weekend.

For those that didn't see the pic I posted of the plates here they are. It's the reinforcement kit from redish motorsport.

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Don't mind cutting the boot as those square pieces are used to weld back in place.

But I'm thinking not to weld those in tbh. As it'll be covered by the carpet anyway. And from what I been told those welds inside the boot tend to be the first to go. So with it being open I can monitor it in future. And the bit to be cut open is not a structural piece from what I have read.




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Re: My E46 323Ci AC Schnitzer

Postby Usshuss » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:29 pm

Hi, not sure if the 323i had a dual pipe exhaust box. But I have a remus AC Schnitzer exhaust backbox for sale if you're interested.

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