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  #51  
Old 01-15-2016, 12:57 PM
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Nice Jazz. I'm starting to think about an E46 to replace the Prius...
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  #52  
Old 01-15-2016, 03:39 PM
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Golf Clap all around!
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  #53  
Old 01-17-2016, 09:19 AM
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220K on original DMF and clutch?

That's impressive ...

*they are all LUK replacement parts FYI.
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  #54  
Old 01-18-2016, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzbass View Post
So here's the car as it sits today. Drove it about 30 miles and it was mostly good. Mostly*.
Here's the write up on the reason for the asterisk next to "mostly": http://dorkiphus.net/porsche/showthread.php?t=35743

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Originally Posted by Jase007 View Post
220K on original DMF and clutch?
No clue as to age or originality. I'm assuming they are, but really have no idea. No service records.
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  #55  
Old 01-20-2016, 11:47 AM
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The main project on round 1 of "upfixen der E46" was the brakes. This here is NOT morning cup of espresso. This is the brake fluid that came out of the E46 when I got it. I'm thinking it might be a little older than 2 years. Because this fluid was so bad I ran two liters of $8 Valvoline synth dot 4 through to flush and then flushed with a liter of ATE200. Did the clutch, too, which was also pretty disgusting.

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New pads and rotors were a definite, but on cars older than 15 years, as a rule I like to replace the rubber brake hoses and rebuild the calipers, because old rubber = bad. Stock calipers on my E46 are single piston, floating, cast iron ATE units. All four calipers were reusable, but I did have to source a replacement piston for one of the rears after finding the original too corroded to use:

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I'm not going to post a lot about the rebuilds - they're as simple and straight forward as a caliper rebuild can be and there are a lot of DIYs out there. The tl;dr version is this: pop out the piston with compressed air (using a block of wood for it to hit when it pops out very fast), clean clean clean, and reassemble.

Main sealing ring (1) goes into the sealing ring groove (red arrow). Lube lightly with brake fluid or SilGlyde. Dust boot (2) goes into dust boot groove (blue arrow), and then insert piston (3) and USING ONLY HAND PRESSURE push smoothly into the caliper. The piston needs to be almost perfectly straight to slide in correctly.

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Getting the dust boot properly installed and seated is probably the biggest PITA in this process. The standard way many people use is to install the boot on the piston first, then install the piston. Push the piston all the way in, then push the edge of the boot into it's groove. I tend to find this a PITA because at the top of the caliper there is precious little room to get in and work the boot into the groove correctly. I like to be sure the boot is seated properly so that it doesn't pop out later and I don't end up corroded pistons like I had above.

So my method is a tad different, in that I install the boots in the caliper first, make sure they're seated correctly, then install the piston. This means I need to dilate the opening of the boot so that I can slide the piston in. For the fronts, the large size of the piston meant there was a lot of working room so I just had my helpers pull the boot open with their fingers goatse style while I put the piston in.

The rear pistons are smaller so not there's not enough working room to manually open the boot up, so I have a little "tool" I made that helps here. It's just a section of scrap exhaust 1 5/8" exhaust pipe that I cut off and polished up so that it didn't cut/scratch anything. 1 5/8" = 41.3mm, so the pipe was just slightly larger than the 40mm piston. To use, insert the "tool" into the dust boot, like so:

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You can see the inner diameter of the boot is now spread open and held open allowing you to insert the piston through:

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Now, you can install the dust boot in the piston and you can make sure the sealing edge is seated properly in the groove:

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Insert the piston through:

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And remove the ring and done.

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  #56  
Old 01-20-2016, 12:03 PM
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Homemade dilator.... huh. Great idea and thanks for sharing!
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  #57  
Old 01-20-2016, 12:03 PM
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kudos to you Jazz for rebuilding the calipers. ~$35 rebuilds are SOP for me anymore. Of course once in a while you get a clunker. I like your seal tool, nice work.
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  #58  
Old 01-20-2016, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzbass View Post
goatse style
The detail that goes into describing the task at hand is what makes the posts on this site so helpful and informative. Messrs. Haynes and Chilton could learn a thing or two from our man Jazz here.

Superb work as always.
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  #59  
Old 02-19-2016, 06:29 PM
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So, back to the E46. After I got the E90 out of the garage, I pulled the E46 in and gave it a quick once-over. With both intake boots replaced the SES light was staying off, and since I was running out of time on my 30 day temp tags it was time to take it to get inspected.

Now for those not in MD, our inspection here is a bit different than in VA. MD inspection is a one-time-only thing (which is not a great idea, honestly), but is a LOT more stringent than VA inspection. It usually costs about $100 for the inspection and takes about an hour for the lift part and 30 mins for the road test. None of the "do all of the light sort of work" stuff they do in VA (trust me, I owned many shitty cars when I lived in VA, all with valid inspection, and none should have been on the road).

So, I make an appointment and start heading over to drop the car off. Within a mile the SES light comes on. MFer. Well, that's it for the inspection; the car won't pass with the SES light on. Drive home, pull in the garage and pull over the lift. What's that smell? Is that coolant? Yup, now in addition to the SES light on, the car is now pissing coolant from a pinhole in one of the water hoses. Awesome!

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I go do some research and reach the following conclusion - this car is old. Profound, I know. Because it is old, all of the rubber hoses in the intake - CCV, SAP, gas purge valve, etc - are probably all dry-rotted. And it's an E46, so the coolant hoses are pretty suspect too. Hell - one of them is actively broken, so god knows what state the rest of them are in. It's decision time now. Do I really want to sink money & time into replacing all of the air/vacuum/coolant hoses on a car with 220k miles? Well... that depends on the condition of the engine, doesn't it?

So... what IS the condition of the engine? I mean, it drives really, really well. Nice and smooth, plenty of power, etc. But that's anecdotal - time to do some actual health checks on the engine. I pour some distilled water into the expansion tank to replace that what just dumped all over my garage floor and take the car out and get the engine at operating temp. Come home, put it back on the lift and pull engine trim, coil packs and spark plugs. The spark plugs, BTW, are ready to be changed :

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First test - compression. With a charger hooked up to the battery and the engine warm, I tested each cylinder with 3 cranks of the engine. The results were very good, and very surprising:

Cyl 1: 190
Cyl 2: 190
Cyl 3: 195
Cyl 4: 195
Cyl 5: 190
Cyl 6: 190

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Wow. Really good compression and consistent on all 6 cylinders. Next up, leakdown. I run this test at 100psi because it makes the math easy :

Cyl 1: 99/100 (1%)
Cyl 2: 99/100 (1%)
Cyl 3: 98/100 (2%)
Cyl 4: 98/100 (2%)
Cyl 5: 98/100 (2%)
Cyl 6: 98/100 (2%)

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Good, consistent compression and 2%-3% leakdown on all cylinders. Well, it seems like the engine is in good shape. All the plastic and rubber surrounding it not so much, but the engine is good. Since this thing comes with no records at all, I'm wondering if there's been a rebuild? I doubt it by the looks of things (you can usually tell when an engine's been out and this car has a lot of bolts that don't look to have been turns since they were in Bavaria in 1999) but who knows? So either I totally f**ked up both the compression and leakdown tests 24 times (I ran each test twice to make sure the results were consistent), or this engine is the tightest 220k mile engine ever.

Well, I guess it's worth fixing...
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  #60  
Old 02-20-2016, 09:52 PM
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Looks like a keeper with that compression.

The vacuum lines, coolant lines, CCV, etc... work is all relatively easy DIY and well documented on Internetz.
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