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E81 130i story
10-04-2019, 01:30 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2019 01:36 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #1
Music E81 130i story
I've been delaying starting a thread for the better part of two years but finally getting around to it because I don't feel like working right now. I apologise for those using their phones as there’s a lot of pics and catching up to do(just over 2 years).
So here's the story of how I came to own my e81 130i, and our lives together so far.

So its 3rd quarter of 2017, and after driving my trusty Corsa1.4i club all around for around 7 years and 150 000km it was time for something new, as my new job was considerably closer to home, I didn't need a fuel sipper and could finally get me something I would really love, my wife (fiancé at the time) agreed, and said I should spoil myself and get something I would enjoy, needless to say she’s a keeper and we’ve been happily married ever since

Blowheart

So it was time for car shopping, and after being as indecisive as an Instagram model in a makeup shop (I’m just guessing) I finally decided that I wanted… a coupe of sorts, anything with 2 doors, and/or seamless windows, as I’ve had a hard-on for those ever since the 80's SEC jumbo Mercs. That was just the cooles shi!t growing up, sorry BMW

[Image: hqdefault_7243434004.jpg]

I have a fetish for old mercs as my first car was a W123 230e, I started looking for a w123 or earlier 280ce, a 2.8, 6 cyl, rwd 2+2 coupe, a modern classic and a bucket list car for me
but that search was short lived, and eventually I might get one, for now the only place I have one is on the bucket list.

First car looked a little something like this
[Image: 56328661_2750365558339302_87177846229617...670492.jpg]

The 230/280ce body style I was looking for
[Image: 1973-114-1_1367803625.jpg]

So the idea of a more “modern” car seemed the way to go, naturally, I tried to find the modern equivalent of the 280ce, and at best I’d have to sell a kidney to afford a c180 coupe at the time.
So f***it, now I want a 335i, or 135i, and I’m determined to get it, but strangely enough for having a lot of friends with BMW’s, they all tried to convince me otherwise, them having N54’s still in Motorplan might have had something to do with it.

Aaaanyways, I pushed on with the e92 335i search, saw a few, inquired about a few, and test drove a few, all turned out to be duds and nuggets, depressing.
Meanwhile on Gumflea/Ottotrader, I was searching again, and using the filters, but for some reason I had forgotten to untick the 1 series box, and in a thumbnail I saw a black BMW that looked a little different.

It was a 2 door 130i ! A car I had completely forgotten about, despite being driven in one the week they were launched, and then I remembered how it would hoof me into the seat on pull away, and I just hadn't seen one in an eternity, or in good condition at least.

Long story short, didn’t wanna live on edge feeling like I needed to keep 30k for turbos, 12k for HPFP, and more $$$ on coils and injectors in the backpocket for a daily, so I scrapped the 335i and 135i idea all together and haven't looked back.

Reliability FTW !!!

So her she is, in all her splendor and grace, the week I got her
https://www.bmwfanatics.co.za/showthread.php?tid=81343


[Image: b71chu_7729351385.jpg]

[Image: 2dkn9ro_7015974563.jpg]

[Image: 33tnlfk_638745152.jpg]


Sadly Not the real plates, CA 130 belongs to a twat driving a C-class
[Image: pic-this-picture-of-terry-crews-can-help...278833.png]

Now lets test the marriage, and let the parts shopping begin !!!!!smile bounce

Hammerhead

Cartel
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10-04-2019, 01:43 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2019 01:43 PM by ///Avi.)
Post: #2
RE: E81 130i story
Great write up, great story! The E81 130i's are rare to see (manual even more so)

I'm sure you're still enjoying it and even better at the coast!

IG: m3_ct
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Current:
(Daily) 2012 Corolla 1.3 professional
(Weekend) 2008 E92 M3 coupe - Manual, S65, EDC, Alpine white
(Hers) 2014 X3 xdrive20d, Mineral white, auto

Previous:
2009 E82 135i coupe - 2009 E90 320i - 1998 E36 318is
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10-04-2019, 03:25 PM
Post: #3
RE: E81 130i story
my mom's 130i is probably the most fun I had in a manual N/A car, ever. they are no slouches and the 6pot grunt just really gets your tip wet.

Daily: 2011 VW Ama(t)rok D/C a.k.a Badger
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10-04-2019, 03:41 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2019 03:44 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #4
RE: E81 130i story
(10-04-2019 01:43 PM)Avi135 Wrote:  Great write up, great story! The E81 130i's are rare to see (manual even more so)

I'm sure you're still enjoying it and even better at the coast!

Ty

Thanks Avi, there's more to come, I've also purposefully left a lot of it out or it would quickly bea TLDR piece. I'm loving the manual, the box feels great, and oh so satisfying, I probably won't swap to a slushbox or DCT anytime soon.

And yes, when she's close to the sea she's definitely got more than enough get up and go

Tiptoe

(10-04-2019 03:25 PM)Mia225 Wrote:  my mom's 130i is probably the most fun I had in a manual N/A car, ever. they are no slouches and the 6pot grunt just really gets your tip wet.

haha, well said, under any conditions they just do it for me, n54s and n55s are faster for sure (n54 marginally) but they're just not as satisfying or analogue to operate, and from personal experience, the sound just lacks soul or body.

I'm surprised there are so few manual 135i's and 335i's ??
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10-04-2019, 03:48 PM
Post: #5
RE: E81 130i story
Nice man whats the future plans ?

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10-04-2019, 05:02 PM
Post: #6
RE: E81 130i story
looks clean Praise
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10-04-2019, 06:46 PM
Post: #7
RE: E81 130i story
What a stunner of a car!
Always loved the 130i's especially in 2 door guise. It's just one of those cars that are just right, and the engine note just hits all the right spots!

Congrats on the purchase chap! Praise

EX:
e30 320i 2.9l stroker Astral Silver
e36 M3 Avus Blue
e34 M5 Calypso Red
e82 125i Space Grey
e82 135i Alpine White
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10-04-2019, 09:46 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2019 10:26 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #8
RE: E81 130i story
(10-04-2019 03:48 PM)Captain_Stealth Wrote:  Nice man whats the future plans ?

Thanks boet, there's a list of things I've done which I'll add to the thread, some things I'm busy doing, and some stuff I'd like to do.

Without giving away too much, here are some of the pipe dream items I'd like to do money and time permitting:

1. Full NBT retrofit
2. Xenon light upgrade (not neccessarily xenon, but the lenses and LEDs maybe)
3. Msport seat swap
4. interior trim change
5. some software
6. style 216 rims (much lusting after hens teeth, missed two set BlueCry)
7. lower maybe ?
8. LSD ??? Fencelook

these are the items that are not yet in motion, but like I said, don't wanna give away too much smile bounce

back to the story Cartel

I don't have interior pics of when I got the car, but honestly, who thinks to do that.

So this will just have to suffice for now

[Image: 130i interior1_1899348581.jpg]

The car was in mint condition, with a full dealer service history, Pirelli Pzero RFTs to mention a few things, which indicated this car was loved and looked after with little expense spared, according to the dealer, a slightly older lady traded it in for an X3. Fencelook

Yeah, dealers... pinch of salt, I'll leave it at that.

Aaanyway, back to the story, the car as beautiful as it is, had some small issues, which I would later come to find out, were fairly common BMW problems. I managed to negotiate those fixes into my deal with the dealership, as well as a technical inspection from BMW, Auto Atlantic no less (my preferred CT Dealer), which I would find out was owned by the same parent company, Barloworld, so while it was in for inspection, it was treated to a complimentary oil service.

There were one or two thing that I picked up later, but managed to get the dealer to fix it through their customer satisfaction follow up call Tiptoe

The day finally comes to take delivery, I get picked up from work, dropped at the dealership, sign some papers, and I get the keys handed to me smile bounce

... I walk over to the car with a whacking great silver bow on it, aaaaaand they have done absolutely f0ck@ll that we agreed upon. Here were some of the issues I picked up on the first inspection test drive, that weren't sorted when I drove home:

1. faded headlights, indicators and spots
2. peeling steering wheel plastic
3. worn gear knob from the auntie's rings
4. oil sweat around the oil filter housing
5. non-working radio aux port
6. scratched and semi working dash storage bin.

I agreed to leave the car at home for a day, and they agreed to send professional auto trimmers to my house and fix it. Nice I thought, until I got home, and saw the repairs. By the time I got home these jokers were long gone, so I picked the phone and gave customer service a call once again, the nice lady put some pressure on the dealer, and some constructive feedback later, they agreed to replace items as originally discussed.

To give you some context, here are some before and after pics

[Image: dsc_0888_209741308.jpg]

Before autotrimmer repair
[Image: dsc_0892_9401586554.jpg]

After autotrimmer "repair"
[Image: dsc_0934_296096499.jpg][Image: dsc_0935_8148300666.jpg]

RoflRoflRoflRofl

some more befores

[Image: dsc_0902_392800010.jpg]


and the usual suspect

[Image: dsc_0898_6895703398.jpg]

In addition to the items above, there were two things that I only picked up afterwards.

firstly the demister would not work, more accurately, the demister button refused to actuate or latch(light up or stay pressed in), and the rear window washer would not work either (could hear the motor, no spray)

The solutions were pretty simple, but the problems weren't straight forward, or at least to me. so let's start with the rear window washer, for some reason in my mind, I kept thinking there was a rear washer reservoir that I scoured the boot for a number times Hammerhead

simple fix: the dual nozzle was badly blocked, unblocked it with some pins and tiny drill bits I had around the house, preventative maintenance measure now - use it once every few days Thumbs Top Tip

the demister was a little trickier, and if I'm being honest, accidentally fixedFencelook

My buddy and I were busy fitting an amp, because we quickly found out non Alpine/Logic 7 stereos just can't smoke the pipe, and removed the radio to find a remote signal for the amp, and while we were busy I figured it was as good a time as any to poke around the demister "while we were there", and found a small plastic tab had broke off somewhere above the controls, migrated with gravity, and lodged itself behind the button, a quick flick away and the demister was restored to its original glory! smile bounce
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10-04-2019, 10:56 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2019 11:08 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #9
RE: E81 130i story
The only pics I have on the amp & sub install.

The setup is not ideal, but it was free, which made it the ideal setup smile bounce

came straight out of my old car, and had proven itself to be robust as hell. Long term I was looking to install a small Kicker CX300.1 digital monoblock under the boot map, as they don't get hot, and would fit snugly in the recesses of the MULF module(s)

Nothing fancy but for those interested:

The pinout of the head unit harness was tested, and the brown wire serves as the remote signal. another Top Tip free of charge

We ran a high low converter tapped into the rear speaker harnesses for the amp RCA inputs, at this point I discovered the left rear passenger was dead as well, but the system would work fine like it was until I could find a replacement.

from there on it was a straightforward sound install, seatback mounted 4ch amp bridged to a stout 12" sony SVC I have had for years - still banging strong to this day!

If look hard enough, you can probably see what you want to. Had to strip the rear to run all the wiring.[Image: img-20161220-wa0007_9632100374.jpg]

[Image: img-20161220-wa0009_4946416281.jpg]

[Image: img-20161220-wa0008_5893170651.jpg]

after that, gave her a wash, picked up the missus, went for an obligatory Chapmans peak drive, and just enjoy the car as is while I started part shopping again

[Image: inkedimg-20170411-wa0000_li_1814431832.jpg]

(10-04-2019 06:46 PM)UpNcOmiNg! Wrote:  What a stunner of a car!
Always loved the 130i's especially in 2 door guise. It's just one of those cars that are just right, and the engine note just hits all the right spots!

Congrats on the purchase chap! Praise

Thanks boet, I know what you mean, I can't explain it, but it just does it for me.

(10-04-2019 05:02 PM)danieltau Wrote:  looks clean Praise

Thanks Dan, the plan is to keep her spotless, keep it OEM or OEM+, keep it classy.Cartel
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danieltau
11-04-2019, 06:44 AM
Post: #10
RE: E81 130i story
Nice one bro. You know my thoughts around those wheels Fencelook

Current: F10 520D M Sport
Current: Audi A4 B8.5 1.8T
Ex: E92 325i M LCI
Ex: E90 323i Exclusive LCI
Ex: E90 320i Individual LCI
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11-04-2019, 08:44 AM
Post: #11
RE: E81 130i story
Look through this used a lot of this to build up my car

https://babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=103382

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11-04-2019, 08:50 AM
Post: #12
RE: E81 130i story
nice, enjoying the journey Bravo

No, no, he didn’t slam you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you… he *rubbed* you. And rubbin, son, is racin’. – Harry Hogge, Days of Thunder

Current Rides
2007 530d MSport (DP, 76mm exhaust, RK Motion tune, OEM M6 wheels)
2012 X1 2.0D MSport
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11-04-2019, 11:47 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2019 12:46 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #13
RE: E81 130i story
(11-04-2019 06:44 AM)SubLoaded Wrote:  Nice one bro. You know my thoughts around those wheels Fencelook

lol, thanks, yes I do, you love 216's Rofl[Image: bmw-1-series-3-doors--e81--1238_26_7148074838.jpg][Image: s-l1000_7042530518.jpg][Image: aero eg2_5192735735.jpg]

(11-04-2019 08:44 AM)Captain_Stealth Wrote:  Look through this used a lot of this to build up my car

https://babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=103382

thank boet, already a member, and seen your thread there too smile bouncedunno anymore

I've chatted to a few of our brethren across the pond for some technical advice, but never came across this thread. Thanks for the tip off

TyThumbs

(11-04-2019 08:50 AM)sash Wrote:  nice, enjoying the journey Bravo

Definitely! more than you know friend Thumbs

I enjoy doing things myself to my car or cars in general, always have, ever since childhood, I see it as a platform and opportunity to learn new things, develop new skills and better understand how things work to satisfy my curiosity.

I might have some old HotRodder spirit inside me.

If I look around, most of the car guys in SA are obsessed purely with brands and going fast, and paying someone else to do so, this intake, that downpipe, and software etc without every lifting a finger, which is cool, but technically you can't really say YOU did anything to your car??

It has become a brandname bragging arena, which I'm not a fan of, but I accept not everyone enjoys getting their dirty, and at the end of the day, they enjoy it, and the cars are still cool.

Jeez I sound like an Oupa.

So I putted around for a few months and notice the power steering had a hint of whine to it, checked the reservoir, and the fluid was dark as night, barely a hint of green in it, needless to say this needed to be flushed.

Managed to get some Pentosin GHF11s from BMW at some ridiculous cost, because the 130i and 135i don't use regular PS fluid or ATF, because BMW.

I would later find out there are no bleed or drain holes on the PS system, and made use of a large volume syringe and silicone tubing to extract majority of the fluid, top it up slightly, run it for a few cycles and extract again. I repeated this until the fluid had a lovely deep cream soda color to it, and the power steering quit whining again.

[Image: capture_5722069423.jpg]

This stupid stuff is over R300 a litre, and I needed 2 Hammerhead

[Image: capture1_2085559912.jpg]

removing the old fluid
[Image: capture2_2744151223.jpg]

and this is the gunk that came out
[Image: capture3_6465010629.jpg]

after about a week or two I kept thinking back to the fluid change I did, and in my mind wasn't 100% satisfied because they PS steering pump was still barely audible, and I hadn't completely drained and flushed the system as I would have liked to. I spoke to a family friend and mechanic, and he said he could completely flush out the system, he disconnected the high pressure lines, made some magic to not hurt the pump, and replaced the fluid with Ravenol

And I haven't heard it since, can really recommend Ravenol as well, he uses them to service Porsches, BM's, Mercs, and everything else in between.

Ravenol FTW
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12-04-2019, 10:59 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2019 11:04 AM by CA_130.)
Post: #14
RE: E81 130i story
Mod list so far

Completed to date:
Osram night breakers hi and low beams (tried LEDs, poor output due to glare shield)
Warm white LED parks
Cruise control retrofit
Professional HU retrofit with Bluetooth + USB
Msport front bumper
Msport rear bumper
Msport side skirts
Shadow chrome wheels
Blacked out grills
plastidip headlights
Mperformance air intake
Mperformance Carbon Strut brace
Smash n Grab tint


In progress/parts acquired:
Steering wheel swap
BMWP Short shift kit
BMWP Big Brake Kit + powdercoat
135i black tips
Exhaust manifold + decat + software/tune
Rear box mod/135i box swap
Diffuser color change (anthracite)
OEM BMW aerodynamic rear spoiler (hen's teeth)
Carbon fibre rear splitter/spoiler
Carbon mirror caps


Future plans/wishlist:
Mperformance front bumper
Mperformance side skirts
Mperformance carbon difuser
Front lip
K&N drop in filter
Sideskirt extansions??
Smoked headlights
Msport springs + dampers
CDV delete
clutch pin mod
rubber mats
interior trim change
twin slat grills
brake ducting front and rear
BMW Projector retrofit + customize
NBT full retrofit + rear camera
Speaker + underseat sub upgrade
OEM tweeter pods.
Tailored sub enclosure
stubby areial/shark fin
Get my INPA working!!

These are just the thing that come to mind right now.

Will upload pics of the mods completed.
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Kyle
12-04-2019, 11:13 AM
Post: #15
E81 130i story
Nice list. Keen to see more updates.

If you want Motorsport seats e92 might be compatible

Myne are e90 seats in my e87 and they are exactly the same


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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12-04-2019, 11:20 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2019 11:22 AM by CA_130.)
Post: #16
RE: E81 130i story
(12-04-2019 11:13 AM)Captain_Stealth Wrote:  Nice list. Keen to see more updates.

If you want Motorsport seats e92 might be compatible

Myne are e90 seats in my e87 and they are exactly the same


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks boet, they are, but I have a cream/beige interior, and all the scrapyards have black seats Hammerhead

What I'm looking for is evidently hard to find, designarides have an interior in beige, but they want like 6k for the front seat, and I'd still need to ship it to CT.

Suddenly my seats are perfect Rofl

until I can find a pair at a reasonable price
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12-04-2019, 04:09 PM
Post: #17
E81 130i story
Glad to see you’ve got a thread going. Looking forward to reading further updates

F25 X3 35i M-Sport (The family car)
130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust
Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build Thread Here
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12-04-2019, 04:37 PM
Post: #18
RE: E81 130i story
(12-04-2019 11:20 AM)CA_130 Wrote:  
(12-04-2019 11:13 AM)Captain_Stealth Wrote:  Nice list. Keen to see more updates.

If you want Motorsport seats e92 might be compatible

Myne are e90 seats in my e87 and they are exactly the same


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks boet, they are, but I have a cream/beige interior, and all the scrapyards have black seats Hammerhead

What I'm looking for is evidently hard to find, designarides have an interior in beige, but they want like 6k for the front seat, and I'd still need to ship it to CT.

Suddenly my seats are perfect Rofl

until I can find a pair at a reasonable price

I will keep a look out if I come across anything PM me your budget

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14-04-2019, 08:19 PM
Post: #19
RE: E81 130i story
(12-04-2019 04:09 PM)gavsadler Wrote:  Glad to see you’ve got a thread going. Looking forward to reading further updates

Thanks Gav,

The forum was one of the main resources I used when doing research on what car to buy, and your thread might have had something to do with it Fencelook I have a lot of updating to do.
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14-04-2019, 10:18 PM
Post: #20
RE: E81 130i story
so when I got the car there were 3 things I noticed, or rather 3 things I didn't, cruise control, auto headlight, and auto wipers.

This confused me a little, as even my mom's Zafira has this as standard, and BMW is supposed to be a premium brand, and mine being fitted with the top spec engine, thought this was a given.

Anyway, I didn't mind, because this would allow me tinker, and actually add a very useful feature (cruise control), as auto headlights and wipers are just gimmicks, lets face it, that being said I still want it!Rofl even though it turns out, most E9X and E8X drivers prefer to not use them, but none the less, that's still in the pipeline.

Cruise control ! let's do this. I started looking on the net and through various technical docs to see what it would take to do the retrofit, my hope was that it was a simple stalk plug in and recode, but it turned out to be a smidge more involved than that.

So I found out you basically need to swap out the entire clockspring, and code the angle sensor for the car, which isn't a problem, IF you can get INPA and NCS to reliably work on your pc.

I'm not in the business of lining dealer pockets unnecessarily, so the hunt for a worthy donor was ON! and I do mean HUNT! because although the one series and 3 series share nearly every component is one way or another, a e90 simply wouldn't work as there is no rear wiper and washer. I needed a donor with a rear hatch!HammerheadHammerheadHammerhead

What I needed to find was a e81/e87 e84 or e91 with cruise control, and autowipers, if I could find one with autoheadlights, as they feed off the same RLS sensor, I might as well do it all in one go.

That being said, given that the one series is an entry level bmw, 95% of them being stripped were inadequate. Same goes for the e91 wagons, most were 320is/320d and poverty spec, meaning they did not have the cruise control+autowipers combo I was looking for.

After phoning every car breaker on gumtree and OLX periodically for about 3 months with either no luck or state capture prices, I managed to track one down to a local BMW.MINI breaker in the area for the clockspring and lower shroud from a e91 320i.

[Image: cruise 1_7399436030.jpg]

[Image: cruise 2_8277222700.jpg]

[Image: cruise 3_3611775650.jpg]

To do the cruise control hardware retrofit is quick and straight forward.

Precautions and limitations: straighten your wheels, center your steering and maybe roll your windows down, work in a shaded area maybe idk.

Step 1: disconnect the battery, I left my boot open and my doors unlocked as extra precaution. I opened the sunroof as well for extra ventilation, for anyone working in driveway sun, this help alot (top tip)

Step 2: remove the airbag, once you get past the irrational fear it will explode in your face, its rather simple, and there are tons of youtube videos.

step 3: grab the steering wheel, and loosen the main shaft steering nut, you dont want to damage your steering lock components, alternatively, you could have left the "key" in the ignition before disconnecting the battery.

step 4: leave the nut a few threads on, so you don't smack yourself in the face with a steering wheel if you yank it off. Disconnect the steering controls ,and remove the steering

[Image: cruise 4_4762842142.jpg]

step 5: once the steering wheel is removed, unclip the shrouds, no tools needed, remove the clockspring and steering angle sensor plug(s). These are actually two separate pieces and can be changed individually, but I got the whole unit for a steal,so that's how its going in.

[Image: cruise 5_2872397056.jpg]


[Image: cruise 6_8776243226.jpg]

step 6: offer up the new parts, and reverse the installation. At this point you will probably need to install your new lower shroud from you donor vehicle.

[Image: cruise 7_7330873999.jpg]

[Image: cruise 8_3173737060.jpg]


[Image: cruise 9_7056485982.jpg]

step 7: reconnect the battery, and take the car for a spin. If your luck it won't throw any errors. But be in all likelyhood it will.

Started the car, and low and behold, error codes BlueCryRofl, can't say I didn't expect it, was just hoping for the best, took the car for a spin, got on the highway, aaaaand...

... I have cruise control Bravosmile bounce seems as though the car was coded for it, but just never fitted, drove like that for a few months while I tried to get INPA and NCS working, it was a riot, having to actively drive the car and not rely on the electronic baby sitters to keep thing is check, reminded me a lot of my old merc, so it didn't bother me,

Eventually gave up trying get the BMW software to work and took it to a workshop to be calibrated/coded to get the errors gone.

Impressions? It works great, not having TCS was fun, especially in the rain, where the stalk sits, now occupies the area my left knee would be on long journeys relaxing, and with the SZL (steering angle sensor) fault, the hill assist doesn't work.

The cruise speed doesn't show in electronic cluster display, but this is a future learning experience
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