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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Interior Overhaul - Headliner Swap and More Parts Arrive

Before I took delivery of the headliner I pulled it about half way out the box and examined it as best I could before accepting the part and taking it home. When I got the part home I pulled it completely out of the box to take pictures of it in support of the last blog entry. As I closely inspected the part I realized that portions of the fabric along two sharp points at the rear (back where the C-pillars mate with it) were separated from the fiberglass substrate.

The parcel shelf came wrapped in several protective layers -- in fact, so many that it was a real pain in the ass to open it for inspection at the dealer. For whatever reason, however, the headliner was shipped in an oversize box without any form of wrapping or edge protection. It wasn't difficult to figure out that the damage was caused by the fact that these two points absorb all the stress during shipment with the box in the vertical position. While I probably could have fixed the headliner, I have this thing about getting parts in perfect condition when I'm paying top dollar for them. So this week I asked the parts guys to order another headliner and arranged to swap it with a new part that was, fortunately, undamaged in this manner.

I also ordered a new beige headliner trim kit (what BMW refers to as a "synthetic strip", part number 54128173540) simply because it was only $42 and I didn't want to deal with any possibility of the original part snapping in half, as 14 year old rubber has a tendency to do. And in a fit of annoyance at the deterioration of the exterior rear window seal, I decided to order a new seal on the advice of a reader who emailed to say that it is quite possible to replace the seal without pulling the window. The seal comes in two pieces, the top portion (61311977608, $27) and the bottom (51318119281, $24). All three parts arrived today.

Aside from any parts needed to address any issues I discover (or cause) with the sunroof and the visor clips which are still on the boat inbound from Germany, I appear to have all of the parts required to complete the "upper half" of the interior overhaul project. Now all I need is some time and good weather to complete the task. I would have started the work this weekend but we're dealing with Hurricane Irene at the moment: a forecast of 12+ inches of rain and 60-80MPH winds are conspiring against me.

When I do finally begin work, the plan is to remove the headliner, remove the sunroof panel, clean the sunroof cassette and tracks as best I can without removing the unit from the car, install the new sunroof trim panel, and then reinstall everything. Given the cost of the parts involved and the prospect of very expensive mistakes I plan to take my time with the project. As a consequence, the E46 will likely be brought into service yet again.

Secondary Air Pump Disassembly

Believe it or not, I saved the secondary air pump I replaced a few months ago with the intent of taking it apart, learning its secrets, and possibly figuring out a way to overhaul the pump with a new motor so I could put it back into service the next time the pump fails...thus saving myself several hundred dollars.

I was able to drill out the aluminum rivets binding the case halves together easily enough, but to my dismay found that the manufacturer really doesn't want or expect anyone to service this thing. They pressed a collar onto the motor shaft to retain the radial blower and I can't get the thing off. I could have destroyed the blower to work around that problem, but something tells me it would be more difficult to replace the blower than the motor and I still want to try to repair this unit. The solution may involve bringing the unit to a machine shop to see if they can cut off the collar, but I don't have any time to deal with that right now so I put it back on the shelf for now. In the meantime, I figured you might find the pictures interesting.

Construction Update

Here are a few more pictures showing the state of my brother's toybox. Since these pictures were taken, ice and water shield was applied to the entire top of the roof and the first bundles of shingles perched at the ridge, but the builder decided against installing the shingles before the hurricane, since he said they are likely to lift in high winds until the dab of tar on each tab binds to the shingle under it, and that if he went ahead he'd likely have to repair it. It's raining and blowing like mad as I type this so I can't blame him for being cautious (or lazy).

I also figured I'd present one final picture of the dealer's refurbished shop because this really shows off the tile I mentioned in an earlier entry. I think the tile looks great and would seriously consider doing that in any garage of mine. The only difference is I'd probably want to install 12x12 tiles because merely looking at all those grout lines make my knees ache. I realize larger tiles can be more difficult to install, but the fewer tiles I have to place, the better.

Mileage: 211736, Parts $100