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New Daily Driver - E90 328xi


SteelBlue
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After selling my F30, I bought an F150.  Drove my parents for a little bit and loved it, so I bought my own. Well after 8 months, I decided to move on from the truck and sell it. Loved the vehicle, just didn't love paying for it(economic crisis on the door step as well). MPG wasn't actually too bad, averaged like 17ish even with the bigger tires. On top of that, I wasn't doing anything to justify having a truck and just felt wasteful. 

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Day before it sold.

2 weeks before the truck sold, I made a trip down to Chicago to pick up my brothers 2011 328xi. The car was having starting issues and he was unsure what to do with the vehicle. We figured it would be best if we brought it back to the Appleton area for further diagnosis and repair. Car made the 3 hour straight drive back to Wisconsin with out a hitch. It was around this time that I was looking for other vehicle options. I wanted to reduce my payment significantly or not have one at all, so I was looking at E46's, E70 X5's and E90s. My brother decided he wanted to find something newer so would be selling the E90. So I bought it.

2011 328xi Titanium Silver, Black Dakota leather, and Burlwood with 99,863 miles. No iDrive.

Car was running lean on both banks. After some research found it likely to be the valve cover with the built in CCV. VCG was leaking anyway so it was time for it to come off regardless. I also had the OFHG replaced along with the power steering fluid reservoir to address any immediate concern areas. Next will be cabin and intake filter, along with wiper blades.

The car is in very good condition minus a few minor things. Was a 1 owner vehicle up to 72k miles when my family bought it. Has always been garaged kept. 

Silver wasn't my first choice, but the color has really grown on me. I also can't say enough about how much I am enjoying the E90 platform.

Only two things this doesn't have which I want; Xenon projectors and comfort access. Comfort access is nightmare to add, so passing on that dream. I have been reading about being able to use the Euro Bi Xenon projectors and having to make only a few modifications to the harness for them to work as opposed to US which have leveling units.

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My brother hit a construction barrel. I am going to do my best to get this looking presentable, but I plan to replace the bumper next year with an M Tech/M Sport one.

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(Ignore my dinner)

 

If it's not going to be the weekend car, it has to look good and be enjoyable to be in. I have a fair number of things on the way to address both of those. But will remain largely stock( I say that now).

To start, the steering wheel. The stock one is fine, but we can do better.

Purchased this heated Sport wheel that I have some plans for. But first to clean it. I used Griot's leather 3 in 1 and leather conditioner in conjunction with a Colourlock leather brush, short hair detail brush, and a tooth brush.

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You can see how much dirt is caked into the grain.

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This was after one pass with the first brush.

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This was after the whole wheel. Clean your steering wheels.

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Grain clean, nice semi gloss matte finish.

More updates to follow.

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Nice! N52 e9x's are probably one of the best 'modern' BMW daily drivers (though I'm a bit biased). I had no idea the euro xenon's had no leveling units, I'd love to get rid of those since they're nothing but trouble. 

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21 minutes ago, m42b32 said:

Nice! N52 e9x's are probably one of the best 'modern' BMW daily drivers (though I'm a bit biased). I had no idea the euro xenon's had no leveling units, I'd love to get rid of those since they're nothing but trouble. 

This thread is where I found that. Having OE xenons on my E46, upgrading the lights in my F30 and F150, I really do not like halogens. I know you can buy brighter, better halogen bulbs, but they last significantly less amount of time and the cut off is not great.

 

Need to do more research.

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Parts and things starting to pile up.

Some basic maintenance items that clearly needed to be attended to. Cabin air filter and air filter, done at 99,873.

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Old filter.

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New filter in housing.

As I had said in my OP, if it isn't a fun car, it has to look good and be enjoyable to be in. I think this accomplishes both, but will have to see how it comes together.

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I picked up a full saddle brown interior for dirt cheap. Not sport seats unfortunately, but I actually like the comfort seats in the car currently. Can always try to find some in the future. Came out of a 2011 335i. It's in pretty great condition minus a few small imperfections.

I had originally bought this Colourlock leather cleaner kit to do my current interior, but ended up using on this.

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Brush is not included but is required if you have dirty leather.

High traffic areas looked like this. Brown, but clearly in need of some attention.

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I don't plan on using the center arm rest for the time being because you have to replace the entire center console, so I used it as a test piece.

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This was just couple back and forths with the brush and the leather cleaner.

Then got to work on doing the whole thing.

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Bottom is clean, top is untouched. Definitely needed it.

Here is a side by side of the cleaned driver seat, and the uncleaned passenger.

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Driver left, passenger right.

I'm assuming the passenger seat got less use as it wasn't as dirty, but still, different shades of brown.

I will have to do some further cleaning once the seats are back in the car and I can recline the seats all the way back.

The top of the driver seat came back pretty decently, but doesn't have as rich of brown color as the bottom half. I'm guessing due to some sun fading.

Now that it's clean, I plan to do a full rejuvenation of the leather using Leatherique. Some spots are pretty dried out, liked the rear headrest on the side facing the rear windshield. But it really could use it everywhere. I also need to get some liquid leather and some color matched dye from Colourlock. Some high traffic areas like drivers door card arm rest and some spots on the driver seat has the leather kind of worn away.

All in all, for how much I paid, it should be a fun project and I'm excited to see how it works in the car. 

Not going in the car yet as I have a few other things that go with this to really set the interior off that I am waiting to receive still.

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Fastest interior swap after buying a car I’ve ever seen (love the natty brown). Silver looks great by the way, classy, shows off the body lines, hides dirt etc.

My E90 was also a factory halogen car and now has LEDs in aftermarket projectors. It looks pretty close to the real deal at a fraction of the cost… great light output too. I’ll have to try and dig up the link. Here’s a pic for reference!

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20 minutes ago, pynacl said:

Fastest interior swap after buying a car I’ve ever seen (love the natty brown). Silver looks great by the way, classy, shows off the body lines, hides dirt etc.

My E90 was also a factory halogen car and now has LEDs in aftermarket projectors. It looks pretty close to the real deal at a fraction of the cost… great light output too. I’ll have to try and dig up the link. Here’s a pic for reference!

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I like the black interior currently in the car, but for the price I couldn’t pass it up lol I plan to keep the factory interior. So maybe enjoy the saddle brown for a bit and go back to black.

also, can you share the details of your headlight setup? I’ve been going crazy trying to find something that would work for my situation and have found nothing. What aftermarket housings? Which bulbs? Plug and play with harness?

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The saddle brown interior idea was short lived. Did my interior mods as seen below and decided it wasn’t even worth giving a go. Love the way the interior looks now and don’t want to mess with it. If you want the interior, will give you a good price on it.

Interior mods:

Glacier Silver interior trim. Similar to the cube trim of the E46, this has a raised texture to it. I love the way it looks in the car.

Sport steering wheel with M sport trim. This was the cherry on top to really transform the interior with the trim. What a difference this makes and looks amazing.

Alcantara ebrake and shift boot with a better conditioned shift surround. Just to freshen it up and some different texture than the dried out leather boots.

I love this interior. I think black sport seats would really set it off.

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1 hour ago, YoungCR said:

Get some black sport seats and you’ll basically have a 335is interior, that was they trim they came with. Looks great.

Going to start looking around. Think I am going to focus on some exterior bits before I revisit the interior after this round of additions. I actually like the comfort seats, but the sport seats definitely look better.

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Car made the 3 hour drive up north without issue. This car is so good, it’s making me reconsider what my aspirations are for cars in the future.

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Did a the sunglasses holder mod before I headed up.

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My cup holder was making some rattling noise(cup holder E90 problems? never). Turns out there is a guide pin on the back of cup holder assembly that goes into a socket behind the dashboard. I’ve seen that it can rattle because this pin is smaller that the receiving socket, turns out my pin is just broken off. 
 

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I might try the one that is sold on Amazon for the $30 bucks or however much they are.

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17 minutes ago, gilber33 said:

Can you elaborate on that? 

The E90 platform has never really crossed my mind as one that I would seriously consider getting into until I’ve started to live with this car. I love the way it looks inside and out, the way it drives, the size of it, etc.

I thought I’d always be a slow boy in the old car, but this is really trying me in terms of my future involvement with the E30. I want my E30 to be a forever car, but it’s hard to ignore the value it holds and the risks involved with driving it, both safety wise and insurance payout if it were ever totaled(I know I could get hagerty or some other policy to insure it for its value).

It really hit me driving home from RA on Friday in the E30, and then the following day in the E90. Some of the modern creature comforts and general engineering improvements are nice to be in. Because it’s old, I’m also a little more constricted in terms of how and when I am using it, but that’s my own issue(even though it just had a significant amount of maintenance done).

I also can’t leave good and well enough alone so I’m always chasing something(or my own tail) in terms of what’s next.

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DId you buy the OEM sunglasses holder or one of the cheap aftermarket ones? I had the OEM one but a little tab broke in it after a few years and haven't decided if I should spend the money for OEM again or just try a cheap one. Definitely one of the best usability upgrades I did to my car (before I broke it). 

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3 hours ago, m42b32 said:

DId you buy the OEM sunglasses holder or one of the cheap aftermarket ones? I had the OEM one but a little tab broke in it after a few years and haven't decided if I should spend the money for OEM again or just try a cheap one. Definitely one of the best usability upgrades I did to my car (before I broke it). 

I bought one of the cheap aftermarket ones on Amazon. Matches the existing trim great and has a nice felt inside.

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8 hours ago, SteelBlue said:

The E90 platform has never really crossed my mind as one that I would seriously consider getting into until I’ve started to live with this car. I love the way it looks inside and out, the way it drives, the size of it, etc.

I thought I’d always be a slow boy in the old car, but this is really trying me in terms of my future involvement with the E30. I want my E30 to be a forever car, but it’s hard to ignore the value it holds and the risks involved with driving it, both safety wise and insurance payout if it were ever totaled(I know I could get hagerty or some other policy to insure it for its value).

It really hit me driving home from RA on Friday in the E30, and then the following day in the E90. Some of the modern creature comforts and general engineering improvements are nice to be in. Because it’s old, I’m also a little more constricted in terms of how and when I am using it, but that’s my own issue(even though it just had a significant amount of maintenance done).

Interesting perspective. The thought of whether the e30 stays in my garage forever has crossed my mind a few times lately. Mostly because of safety. I know my girls have been in the e30 numerous times, but I’m always worried about what would happen if we got in an accident with that car - either by myself or with them in the car. Idk.

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On 6/18/2022 at 8:31 AM, SteelBlue said:

I also can’t leave good and well enough alone so I’m always chasing something(or my own tail) in terms of what’s next.

Amen brother

I will say the E9X platform has been one of my favorites over the years, it just seems like everything is streamlined in the interior, no big screens or anything clouding the space, simple lines inside, but classy. 
Chassis dynamics are great, with solid engine options to boot. 

The fact that you enjoy this more than the F30 says a few things to me

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11 hours ago, GunMetalGrey said:

Amen brother

I will say the E9X platform has been one of my favorites over the years, it just seems like everything is streamlined in the interior, no big screens or anything clouding the space, simple lines inside, but classy. 
Chassis dynamics are great, with solid engine options to boot. 

The fact that you enjoy this more than the F30 says a few things to me

F30 is great, but the E90, even my 328, feels much more of BMWs of old.

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Did a deep clean on the carpet Sunday because of the lack of humidity. Really wasn't dirty but wanted to just so I know that it's done.

Seats pulled out and then I used a drill with a brush attachment and some interior detailer to first agitate the carpet, then went over it with the carpet extractor. No after pictures, but have some before pictures. Usual crumb and change accumulation, but really not much else.

Under the rear seats had a pretty good accumulation of crud that was nice to clean out as well.

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Pulled the subwoofer covers and cleaned those as well.

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Also stripped, clay bared, and sealed my windshield. Used the following to do so.

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14 hours ago, YoungCR said:

What carpet extractor do you have? 

I just rent the rug doctor from Home Depot. It comes with a handheld attachment. I'm sure there are automotive focused ones that would be nice to have, but it's like $40 to rent for 4 hours or something. 

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