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Car ELIZABETH’S #BMW-E63 / #BMW-630i / #BMW-630i-E63 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63 / #BMW
As it’s been a couple of months since my last (and first) report let me give you a quick last episode recap: I bought a 91k mile E63 630i sight unseen, from a car auction in Preston, with the help of a small, specialist trader near me who collected the car on my behalf. The first time I got to actually drive it was when I’d collected it from him, having paid for it and with absolutely no comeback as it was an auction car that I’d bought by myself. How do you think that’s worked out for me? Well, to be honest, it’s not as bad as it could have been. But it’s also kind of not great…
The bodywork has got some pin dents, there are plenty of chips, scratches, stone chips and a bit of lacquer peel for good measure. But it’s a daily, not a show car, and so these things don’t bother me too much, plus I can always get them looked at at some stage in the future, which I plan to. I had noticed from the auction pictures that the bonnet roundel had been completely destroyed, lord knows how, so I’d ordered a brand new one for the trader to fi t before I collected the car. The suspension feels tired and crashes over bumps, but then it would, having covered over 92k miles now, and I’m throwing some coilovers on very soon so that will be that sorted out.
The brakes don’t feel great and while the iDrive tells me there’s plenty of meat left on them, there’s also plenty of wobble under braking and they’re not very good at the whole stopping thing, so they’re going to be replaced soon as well. When I got the car it had no mats and driving around with my feet resting on the cream carpets and watching them instantly get dirty made me feel a bit sick so I splashed out on a set of plush, deep pile black ones. Much better. I also noticed recently that the steering wheel roundel has been pressed in and is now concave, rather than convex as it should be. Someone must have dented it and, while you can’t replace it as it has arms that latch around the back of the airbag, you can buy very thin roundels on eBay in the right size that you can stick over the top, so that’s the plan.
There were, however, a few more serious problems that needed urgent attention, and for these I headed over to BMSport in Bexleyheath, which has looked after all my BMWs for years. I mentioned last time that the driver’s side rear passenger footwell carpet was soaking wet, which was down to a blocked drain hole in the engine bay. Water collects in a compartment by the fi rewall, where the brake master cylinder is located, and, as it’s got nowhere to go, once it reaches a certain level it starts to leak out where the master cylinder is mounted and runs down the driver’s footwell and collects in the rear passenger footwell. Not only do you get a soggy footwell, the water can also damage the master cylinder, so it’s really not great. Jags opened up the driver’s side compartment and, while it was dry, there was a visible tide mark showing us that water had previously been in there and when he pulled out the small rubber pipe that sits within the drain hole itself it was completely blocked with muck and gunk. Once this had been thoroughly cleaned out and replaced Jags poured some water into the compartment and torrent streamed out of the bottom of the car. Success!
Whilst at BMSport I also got the guys to re-gas the 630i’s air con. It hadn’t been doing a very good job of providing any actual cooling and, sure enough, when they plugged the car into their machine it informed us that the system was low on gas. I think this might actually be the first time I’ve bought a car where the air con has just needed a re-gas to get it working again; that’s what sellers always say it needs, but in my experience it’s always ended up being condensers and compressors that I’ve had to cough up to replace. Initially, after the re-gas, the air con still didn’t seem as cold as it could have been, but it seems like the more I’ve been using it (and I always have the air con on, all year-round) the better it’s become and, in conjunction with using the iDrive to set the centre vent to its coldest setting, the cabin gets pretty frosty pretty quickly now.
My iDrive refusing to work with sat nav DVDs was diagnosed as most likely a faulty DVD drive and BMSport directed me to a guy on eBay that they use for all their iDrive repairs. After getting in touch he told me he could replace the drive for £150 or, for £400, he could sort the DVD drive and rebuild the mainboard with new components. I decided to go for the latter option because the #iDrive unit can fail completely and with mine now being 11 years old it seemed silly not to in the name of preventative maintenance. Removing the whole unit took me about 20 minutes as I found an excellent video on YouTube specific to the 6 Series with all the instructions I needed; it probably took me as long to find a box big enough for it to fi t and pack it up securely to send it away. The turnaround was a few days and it came back good as new so that was money well spent.
Finally, we come to the biggest problem and that was the engine almost cutting out at random moments. It was really awful and pretty scary as you never knew when it would happen and leave you completely without any throttle response. The guys at BMSport started off with the most likely cause, that being a faulty Valvetronic motor and as these do fail, I was happy to get a new one fitted as preventative measure. Unfortunately it didn’t solve the problem so the guys got back under the bonnet to work out what the problem was; after eliminating the usual suspects they began searching for other possible causes and that’s when the discovered a massive hole in one the breather hoses. They were amazed it hadn’t thrown up any warning lights on the dash as it was causing the engine a lot of problems, but somehow the N52 had managed to soldier on regardless. With a new breather hose fitted the problem has completely disappeared and the 630i feels very healthy indeed.
With a new gearbox sump having recently been fitted before I’d bought the car, the only boring maintenance thing left for me to do is to get a new water pump fitted as they are a notorious #BMW-N52 / #N52 / #N52B30 weak spot and do fail, but once that’s done we can get onto the fun stuff and I can’t wait.
THANKS AND CONTACT #BMSport 020 8304 9797 www.bmsport.com
BMSport has been looking after Elizabeth’s BMs for years. Compartment where water was collecting.
Blocked rubber pipe the cause of wet carpet.
Diagnostic equipment employed to help track down the engine fault.
New Valvetronic motor has been fitted.
Air con has been re-gassed and now works properly.
iDrive took 20 mins to remove.
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- Post is under moderationFeature Car #BMW-630i-E63 / #BMW-630i / #BMW-E63 / #BMW / #BMW-6-Series / #N52B30 / #N52 /
Text: Faz&Furiouz Photos: Kenny Yeoh
Model: Chew Wei Wei from He & She Management; Wardrobe Sponsor: YFS Concept Store
This BMW coupe flaunts the dual sports and elegance persona to perfection With the numerical order for BMW model line-up having been all accounted for from Series 1 right up to Series 7 (with Series 8 E31 being put on the back burner for the time being), the conforming hierarchy may now be ascertain yes? Yeah well maybe that’d be up for debate as the biggest (7 Series), while being the most luxurious, most opulent of all Bimmers in current production, is by no mean the brawniest or indeed the fastest. And by no stretch of the imagination could you consider the 1 series the least powerful either.
Now why is all the above relevant in this instant? Not too sure really, just thought about pointing that out before I start yammering away on the key merit points on this screaming banana yellow Hamann-detailed 6 Series. Maybe it’s a BMW corporate intention to keep its clientele guessing as to what goes where, and where is whatchamacallit? Maybe their corporate honchos have a monthly game of random dice throwing contest where the stakes would be tantamount to what newest tech goes to which model, what new model is next, or somehow or rather pretty much.
In the mean time we have hardcore car folks yearning for an even more hardcore M machines, equipped with Competition packs, limited edition plaques with unique serial numbers of course, which a certain M5 30 Jahre, with the biggest production horsepower figures ever seen on a BMW, had pretty much satiated, only to be swiped clean off the production line even before they’re actually produced. Not to mentioned coming with stratospheric sticker price.
Such qualms are the norm among those hardy souls who’re in it as per the ‘Ultimate driving machine’ tagline, seeking a legitimate entry into such exclusive company. They are exceedingly well to do gentlemen with pretty fat checkbooks et al, knowledgeable and well versed in the innerworkings of a bonafide performance machine as such. And yet as they maneuver their way into the nether reaches of what’s real and what is at best, a whisker away from their own reality; they’d ultimately had to settle for something a whisker less than the most exclusive of driving machines. Perhaps something with more than adequate oomph, more than adequate style, but a little less dent on the wallet yeah? So as to have more liquid cash I venture. Smart man.
Kinda like our big man right here, the big man sitting snugly all buckled up in the driving seat of this one truly babe magnet of a Bimmer. This Sixer Bimmer was originally in a rather pretty sedate state of being whereas the owner upon deciding to sell it, approached M Custom Cars in his desire to transform his ‘mild’ Bimmer to a ‘wild’ Bimmer. The thing is, the ‘mild to wild’ credo is M Custom Cars own motto, and have hitherto rolled out numerous such examples, ranging from nominally wild to outrageously wild. As for this particular example, it sits right smack in the middle, with its flamboyant color-coded exterior / interior finishing.
The bodykit is a completely customized M Custom Cars version complete with German grill up front as well as customized M6 hood. The Atacama Yellow paintjob was in essence the key characteristic that brought out this classy Bimmer coupe’s ‘wild side’. With the contrasting black detailing therein, plus the utterly gorgeous Breyton rims, the whole ‘wild persona’ certainly fits the bill. The same yellow black color combo permeates the interior, made up for the most part of Nappa leather, fully customized of course. In amongst the eye-catching innards is a kick-ass Rockford Fosgate sound system – amplified to the tune of that Italian Job’s Napster ‘speaker so freakin loud it rips a girl’s clothes to shreds’. And yes, that was what you might call exaggeration; in any case there’s also a lovely set of Hamann foot pedals. Go figure as to where the Hamann emblems and decals came about.
Anyways, having ascertained the cosmetic details, and lovely they certainly were, we absolutely need to ascertain the performance side of this Atacama Yellow enveloped 630Ci. The details given had the 3 liter Inline 6 rated at 325 bhp, acquired through computer remap, lightened adjustable pulley and connecting rods bearing, K&N Air filter and Akrapovic exhaust. Handling improvements were made via a set of Bilstein dampers, with stopping power coming in much more assuring with a set of yummy M6 brakes.
A well sorted approach that exemplifies ‘doing what’s needed’. As classy as it is coo.
Threading with care as per the overall finishing, the builders managed to make the banana yellow & black combo finish look sumptuously good.
Engine Mods: upgraded to 325 bhp; computer remapped, con rod bearing lightened & lightened adjustable pulley, #Akrapovic exhaust, #K&N racing air filter / #N52B30
Handling: Bilstein shock absorbers
Brakes: M6 brakes kit
Wheels & Tires: 19” inch Breyton rims & Kumho tires
Exterior: Customized body kit from M Custom Cars: front lips, side skirts, back diffuser, back spoiler, German nose grill, M6 customized hood; HID lights and LED fog lamps, Atacama yellow paintjob
Interior: custom Nappa leather, Hammann foot pedals interior, floor board & roof sound-proofing, Rockford Fosgate amplifier, 4 speakers,8 inch woofer under the seat.
Wei Wei’s smiley face came off the Bimmer’s radient Persona.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWORLDS COLLIDE #BMW-E90
Strap a supercharger and a turbo to your E90? Well, why not? You’ve never seen a 3 Series quite like this… Combining a turbo and a supercharger with show-stopping looks to boot, could this be the most ground-breaking E90 DRIVE-MY has ever featured? Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Andy Tipping.
When it came to increasing the power of Dennis Wang’s six-cylinder 3.0-litre 258hp E90 330i the objective was to be as creative as possible. It had to be a show car that could perform as well as it looks, and it was the job of Ed Haroutonian, owner of Groma Race Fabrications in Duarte, California, and his team to come up with the solution. They opted for a setup that the Japanese have been doing for years: the instant response of a supercharger with a turbo to provide the rest of the boost. Oh, and for good measure, a nitrous oxide system as well.
Considering they had just 60 days to complete and deliver the project in time for the 2008 Hot Import Nights event in Los Angeles, it was one hell of an ambitious project. Time constraints aside, though, the biggest issue they had to overcome was tuning an engine that has no throttle positioning sensor or, in fact, a throttle body. They drafted in the help of Senior Technical Trainer at BMW of North America, Craig Hillskemper, who explained the system and how to get around it. He then put them in contact Split Second which was able to manipulate it with a piggyback ECU.
First up Groma custom fabricated a manifold to house the Garrett GT30R ball bearing turbocharger. A small Roots-type supercharger provides instant boost up to 2800rpm and a clutch then disengages by an electronic on/off switch-controlled by a Turbosmart e-boost unit, switching over to the big turbo for maximum power. A K&N conical filter draws air into custom polished 2.5” piping, through to the custom air-to-air intercooler (which also ensures added safety and consistency in power along with the oil cooler), before landing in the specially designed intake plenum. A Turbosmart 48mm wastegate dumps unneeded gases, while surplus air is expelled through twin blow-off valves. Controlling matters post combustion is a 3.5” mandrel bent twin-exit exhaust system with custom mufflers to achieve the volume needed for the horsepower without jeopardising back pressure.
What the forced induction can’t accomplish, the NOS fogger system will. The NOS fogger, fed from twin 10lb bottles, sprays directly onto the valves within the manifold, which controls idle and acceleration by reading temperature, volume and pressure, when they’re on full lift. The one-way check valves were installed on a custom dual runner intake, designed especially for smooth flow preventing air disturbance in the manifold. And the result of this whole setup is 408whp running around 6-7psi.
With all of that power, Dennis would need the chassis to handle it. To that end KW’s Variant 3 coilovers were fitted allowing separate and independent compression and rebound damping options to provide a driving setup that exactly meets Dennis’ requirements. Further handling improvements come from Eibach anti-roll bars which significantly reduce body roll to offer confidence-inspiring stability whilst cornering. The stoppers come courtesy of Brembo and would challenge most supercars with four-piston calipers and 345mm cross-drilled two-piece discs outback and a massive six-piston and 380mm setup at the front.
A set of 17s would struggle to accommodate the brakes – and for that matter fill out the extended wheel arches, so Dennis opted for the C20 from HRE, a stunning charcoal-faced rim with a polished lip. Measuring 9x19” at the front and an impressive 11x19” for the rear, we bet it’s not cheap to replace the 315/25 tyres that now put down all of the newfound power.
Whilst it’s fitted with an AC Schnitzer body kit, to truly pull off that stunning widebody look wasn’t simply a case of bolting it on and being done with it. Hours of labour were required to modify the aero kit in order to accept the custom wide-body. On top of that a whole load of custom parts were fabricated and fitted, including a custom aluminum GT-style wing, carbon fibre mirrors and kidney grilles. The expensive lightweight composite has also been used for the B-pillars, door sills and bonnet. Even the lighting hasn’t escaped the makeover with genuine Euro-spec E90 tails and headlights fitted with Fusion HIDs and angel eyes respectively. The entire car was then resprayed in Artic white and gifted custom BMW Motorsport-esque stripes. Suffice to say, Fountain Valley resident Dennis has created a car that’s the pinnacle of BMW customisation and as a result taken top honours in more shows that than we probably have on the UK circuit.
And it doesn’t stop there. Although it’s got four doors it’s technically now a two-seater with a chromoly 14-point cage that intertwines around the cabin protecting the front passenger and driver who now have the added safety of SPG buckets with Schroth harnesses. The cage also doubles as a great mount for the camera, NOS bottles and Defi gauges that are located above the driver and include boost, EGT, oil pressure, water and oil temperature. Boost is regulated with a TurboSmart e-Boost2 and the AFRs are displayed thanks to an Innovate wideband gauge. The carbon doesn’t stop inside with Fusion providing many of the interior accessories including the steering wheel, handbrake, gear knob and various inserts. The rest of the cabin is tastefully finished in sumptuous grey suede.
And last, but by no means least, is the audio, which was actually the first area of improvement for the car. “I was put in a tough place at the beginning of this project when the owner of the shop who was fitting my sound system had a stroke and died. The car was literally in pieces and I couldn’t find anyone to take on the job of completing the build,” explained Dennis. Eventually he found a shop called Mac Car which agreed to take on the project, and it was this point when he made a decision to go all out with the build. As a result the car was kitted-out with a more advanced audio and multimedia system than your average living room, including a fully-functional Mini Mac along with a 20” Apple cinema display and a wireless keyboard and mouse. There’s also a DVD player which is connected to BMW’s iDrive, as is the reversing camera and a Nintendo Wii. The full Helix audio system includes 6” two-ways in the front with 5.5” two-ways in the rear doors and another pair in the trunk, in addition to a quartet of teninch subs and three amps.
Now, don’t get jealous when we tell you that Dennis is just 19 years old and he also owns an Alpine White E64 M6 dumped on 20” matt black Forgestar Concave F14s. Still, there’s no denying that this twincharged spectacle is truly a milestone on the US tuning scene, and whilst Dennis may not be old enough to legally drink he has created one of the most inspiring E90 Saloons around.
DATA FILE #BMW #N52 B30
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre straight-six #N52B30 , 186cc Roots-type supercharger, #Garrett #Garrett-GT30R turbo, #K&N cone filter, custom polished 2.5” intercooler piping, intake manifold, oil cooler, intercooler, radiator and coolant tank, Turbosmart Pro Gate 48mm and blow-off valves, #NOS Fogger System, custom polished exhaust manifold, downpipe, 3.5” mid-pipe and True- Dual exhaust, two 10lb NOS tanks, Spilt Second piggyback ECU, six-speed auto’.
CHASSIS: 9x19” (front) and 11x19” (rear) HRE C20 wheels with charcoal centres and polished lips with 265/30 (front) and 315/25 (rear) Falken FK452 tyres; Brembo six-piston calipers and 380mm discs (front) and four-piston calipers and 345mm discs (rear); KW V3 coilovers, Eibach anti-roll bars.
EXTERIOR: #AC-Schnitzer aero kit, custom wide-body, custom BMW Motorsport colour-themed respray, Vorsteiner double-sided carbon fibre bonnet, custom carbon fibre door mirrors and grilles, AutoTecknic carbon fibre B-pillars, Fusion carbon fibre door sills, custom aluminum GT-style wing, E90 Euro-spec front and rear lights, Fusion Angel Eyes (6500K), Fusion D1S HIDs (6000K).
INTERIOR: #Recaro SPG bucket seats, with Schroth five-point racing harness (driver) and four-point racing harness (passenger), Fusion Titanium carbon fibre full interior trim, steering wheel, handbrake handle and gear knob, Innovate air/fuel ratio gauge, Turbosmart eBoost2 controller, custom suede trimmed dashboard, armrest, handbrake handle and gear knob gaiter, steering wheel, door panels and headlining, custom 14-point roll-cage, Defi gauges for water, oil and exhaust temperature, boost and oil pressure custom mounted on roll-cage.
AUDIO: #Apple-Mini-Mac computer, 20” monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, Nintendo Wii, Helix 6” two-way front speakers, 5.5” two-way rear speakers, 5.5” twoway boot speakers, four 10” subwoofers and A1, A2 and A6 amplifier, custom acrylic subwoofer enclosure, custom 10” boot monitor, DVD player and reversing camera connected to OEM i-Drive, 26” LCD monitor.
Small Roots-type supercharger provides instant low-end power before it disengages and the GT30R turbo takes over.
Hours of labour were required to in order to accept the custom wide-body modify the aero kit.
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