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      10-09-2021, 06:02 PM   #1
xlr88r
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E91 330i M Sport Build - M Perf Parts & Interior Swap

Hello!

It's about time I started a build/ownership thread of sorts. My new E91 is my 6th BMW now, and itís quickly becoming my favourite... if I put the fact it's missing a pedal to the back of my mind anyway! Iíve always been a manual/stick shift fan but, auto aside, this was otherwise a pretty much ideal car for my somewhat modest needs. The Ďbox does kinda suit a Touring though, and itís certainly better behaved than the auto in my old 535d ever was, so it gets a pass.

It's also about time for a thread because I've got pretty hands on with this in the 2 months Iíve had it.

So, whatís the car then? Itís a 2006 E91 330i M Sport, in Le Mans Blue with Dakota Beige leather and walnut - the same inside as my old E90, as it happens. Here are some pics:

















This is closing in on 130k but has seemingly been well kept so far. The first owner had this serviced 9 times at BMW (in advance of their normal intervals - bonus!) up to 85k. The second owner added 5 stamps at the same BMW indie in London. Iím the third owner now and bought this in the middle of August.

Itís nicely specced, with about £11k (!!) worth of options, going by an old price list I found online. Thatís small fry today, option wise, but 15 years ago that wouldíve been a big mark-up on the base price. Here goes:

Editions And Packages
S337 M Sports Package
S710 M Leather Steering Wheel
S715 M Aerodynamics Package

Comfort And Interior Equipment
S402 Panorama Glass Roof £1130
S418 Luggage Compartment Package £175
S430 Outside Mirror With Automatic-Dip £250
S431 Interior Mirror With Automatic-Dip £0
S459 Seat Adjustment, Electric, Memory £870
S481 Sports Seat £0
S488 Lumbar Support, Driver/Passenger £225
S493 Storage Compartment Package £90
S494 Seat Heating Driver/Passenger £275
S4AE Armrest Front, Retractable £110
S4NA Interior Mirror With Digital Compass £60
£3,185

Multimedia
S609 Navigation System Professional £1925
S612 BMW Assist £0
S616 BMW Online £0
S620 Voice Control £0
S633 Preparation, Mobile Phone, Business £525
S672 CD Changer For 6 CDs £290
S677 HiFi System Professional DSP £805
£3,545

Driver Assistance And Lighting
S502 Headlight Cleaning System £0
S508 Park Distance Control Front/Rear £355
S522 Xenon Headlights £470
S524 Adaptive Headlights £745
S544 Cruise Control With Brake Function £0
S563 Light Package £180
£1,750

Wheels And Drive
S205 Automatic Transmission £1600
S226 Sports Suspension Settings £0
S249 Multifunction Steering Wheel £0
S2MF Alloy Wheel, M Spider Spoke, MV3 £0
£1600

Environment And Safety
S319 Integrated Universal Remote Control £170
S322 Comfort Access £510
S358 Climate Comfort Windscreen £115
S761 Individual Sunshade Glazing £265
£1,060

TOTAL - £11,140

Crikey!

The tl;dr/nice bits are adaptive xenons, Bluetooth, Comfort Access, electric/heated/memory seats with lumbar and bolster support, front and rear PDC, Logic7, pan roof, and the vintage Pro CCC. That's quite the contrast to my old E90 - itself another 2006 N52 330i - which has Pro CCC and, erm, thatís it.

Mentioning the old E90 once more, with that also having the beige and walnut interior, the E91 immediately felt familiar. Almost too familiar though, and there wasn't much "new car feel" to it. Iíve had the E90 for nearly 4 years and 45k now, so when I say familiar, it really is! Thatís a lot of time to be spent swimming in beige. Anyway, having left a deposit, on the way back from the test drive I started to think about changing the interior - yep, before even picking it up! The rear door cards came to mind as being potentially tricky to find, as there aren't many UK cars with Logic7/HK/Individual Audio.

Happily though, after picking it up (and finding it has atrocious wheel wobble at the front at 50mph or so - damned London test drive!) I found a nice looking interior just a couple of weeks later.

Iím currently off workÖ
The breakers arenít that far awayÖ
They said theyíre happy for me to visit and nab some other bitsÖ

Hands and fingers adopt a Montgomery Burns position.

A plan is definitely formulating, but thatís for a later post... or several.

Last edited by xlr88r; 05-17-2022 at 03:32 AM..
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      10-10-2021, 03:39 PM   #2
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Nice!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you can just cut the holes for the extra speakers in the door cards? They're marked out on the back side. Again, I could be wrong there. And you've found an interior anyhow
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      10-11-2021, 04:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
Nice!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you can just cut the holes for the extra speakers in the door cards? They're marked out on the back side. Again, I could be wrong there. And you've found an interior anyhow
Cheers! Really pleased with it so far.

Have a slightly flickery driver's headlight so the xenon ballast is about shot, and the subs were dead too, but those bits aside everything seems to be working as it should.

Y'know, I wonder about the rear door cards too. Thankfully the donor also had Logic7 (well, HK as it was an LCI) so the cards were the same as mine. It would be great if they all had the mounts for the tweeters though regardless, as they'd be a nice, quick, upgrade.

Will post some pics of the day at the breakers and the new interior soon. Right now I've got soffits to paint. Fun fun fun!
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      10-12-2021, 09:42 AM   #4
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Very rare to see xenons on an E90 in the UK.
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      10-12-2021, 03:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
Very rare to see xenons on an E90 in the UK.
Aye, there aren't many with xenons - they're adaptive ones too.

Ages back I had an old, high mileage, many-ownered Boxster which had xenons, and I kinda forgot just how much of a difference they make. The only down side is the cost of replacing bits when they play up I guess!
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      10-12-2021, 03:31 PM   #6
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It's fair to say work started quickly.

Something really apparent was that the car just needed a good clean in the nooks and crannies. The door frames, bonnet gullies, and the tailgate and tailgate window frames were caked in muck, so they got a good seeing to after a quick (for me!) wash.

Also noticeable were the hazy headlight lenses. There were no severe scratches or chips, but just a general pattering of chips across the face of them. After a great result on my old E61 535d I picked up another 3M Headlight Restoration Kit and set to work. Some pics...







It's clear (pun almost intended) that the kit worked magic once more. For less than £20 and an hour's work, I'm pleased with how they came up.

Last edited by xlr88r; 10-22-2021 at 06:13 AM..
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      10-12-2021, 03:49 PM   #7
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That is impressive! I'm tempted...
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      10-12-2021, 03:58 PM   #8
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Comfort Access.

It's really useful. I'm already a fan of this 'hands free' way of entering and starting your car. The tailgate detection is great too, especially when you have handfuls of shopping to load. I'm wary of the cloning risks and techniques out there, so now my keys always make their way to the kitchen at the back of the house. Safety first, and all that.

As good as Comfort Access is, however, the car came with only one key. Although I've hand-on-heart never lost a key in my life, I didn't feel like tempting fate.

After putting the SOS out on an E9x Facebook group in the UK, one of the group members - a mechanic at my local BMW dealership - obtained a price from them direct: £260. Another member said "Try Tom Kedra" and gave me a mobile number. After a quick Google I found a site for Tom and popped him a call. A few days later I headed to Stoke-On-Trent for a new key to be made up. For £120 Tom:

- Supplied a new Comfort Access key
- Coded it to my car
- Cut the new blade
- Gave me a new shell for the existing key which looking worse for wear.

All in it took about an hour, and only because E9x Comfort Access keys are rare, and he wanted to be doubly certain he was coding the keys correctly. Job done! Here's a link to his site for those in the UK around the Midlands, who might need a new key one day:

https://advancedcoding.co.uk/

If links to companies aren't allowed, apologies, I'll amend this. It does seem a shame to not share Tom's site, as his service, prices, and professionalism are first class.

The old and crispy key, and the new and shiny ones:




Last edited by xlr88r; 11-27-2021 at 01:45 PM..
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      10-12-2021, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
That is impressive! I'm tempted...
For the outlay it's really, really worth spending an hour or so giving them some TLC if they'd benefit.

The kit comes with a drill attachment (a bit like a car polishing head, but smaller), a variety of different grade wet-and-dry sanding discs, and a finishing paste/polish. As you use a drill it takes the effort out a little, though you do need to clean or swap the discs fairly often - the polycarbonate dust clogs them pretty quickly. It can be a bit nerve wracking when you see a completely furry, opaque headlight, but they soon polish up.
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      10-12-2021, 04:39 PM   #10
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I actually need to have a proper look at mine; I think they're a bit crazed, but not yellowed...need to evaluate. It's a way down the priority list though, in all honesty. I've even got 5 chips on my windscreen that I haven't dealt with yet!

Did you apply anything to the lights after polishing them?
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      10-12-2021, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
I actually need to have a proper look at mine; I think they're a bit crazed, but not yellowed...need to evaluate. It's a way down the priority list though, in all honesty. I've even got 5 chips on my windscreen that I haven't dealt with yet!

Did you apply anything to the lights after polishing them?
5 chips! Ah man, that does need looking at. Will you have it replaced through your insurance do you think?

Funnily enough, mine was due a new windscreen on Monday - a chip I'd not even noticed decided to grow into a 6" or so crack, at the bottom of the screen just above the cowl. However, when the fitter arrived he noticed he'd brought a standard windscreen as opposed to the 'Climate Comfort' windscreen. All being well he'll be back tomorrow to replace it.

I've not applied anything to the lights as yet. When I cleaned them up and posted some pics on a Facebook group, a couple of people suggested clear-coating them. I didn't do that on my old E61 and they were still really clear a good 18 months/20k later when I sold it on, but I might with this. Hmm!
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      10-12-2021, 05:14 PM   #12
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They've been there since I bought it in 2018... The garage put them as an advisory on the last MOT, which is apparently useful when running it through the insurance, which I'll most likely do if/when I get around to it. I wonder how much extra they'd charge me to fit cc glass...

That's good to know about the e61 ones. I only mentioned it because I see others mentioning it too...I'm not big on exterior stuff at all!
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      10-13-2021, 04:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
They've been there since I bought it in 2018... The garage put them as an advisory on the last MOT, which is apparently useful when running it through the insurance, which I'll most likely do if/when I get around to it. I wonder how much extra they'd charge me to fit cc glass...

That's good to know about the e61 ones. I only mentioned it because I see others mentioning it too...I'm not big on exterior stuff at all!
Aah righty. Definitely worth asking the question mate. Even if they only fit like for like, I reckon they'd approve the replacement without any hassle, especially as the chips have been mentioned on the MOT.

When I called up to claim on mine there was a press 1 for this, press 2 for that kind of switchboard. The on hold message gave a website, so I took a look at that, put my reg and policy in, went through a few questions, and it was done and booked in. Fingers crossed they turn up with the right screen today!
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      10-14-2021, 01:20 PM   #14
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I can see clearly now, the crack is gone. Apologies!

After a second attempt the right Climate Comfort windscreen is in place. It's amazing how much of a difference new glass vs. 125k old glass is when it comes to clarity.

I'll get this back on chronological order and will start the interior swap bits soon, promise!



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      10-14-2021, 03:36 PM   #15
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Pre LCI M Tech is just beautiful! I think its the best bumper on E9X platform.
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      10-16-2021, 05:04 AM   #16
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Pre LCI M Tech is just beautiful! I think its the best bumper on E9X platform.
Thanks so much! As much as I also like the LCI M Sport bumper too, the work involved in a proper retrofit puts me off, plus, come resale time, people may rightly wonder if it's been in a crash.

This all said, I'd love one of the M Performance front bumpers, but they're proving impossible to find nowadays, and seem to have been discontinued as well, sadly.
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      10-16-2021, 05:31 AM   #17
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Here's a pic of my old E90 and new E91 interiors.

I've owned the E90 for close to 4 years now, and that too has the Dakota Beige interior. Originally that had walnut trim as well, but as Covid hit and the world plunged into lockdown, I replaced that with the 'Diamant Schwarz' P7RUA trims. They're gloss black with a metallic sparkle in strong light, and appear to be fairly rare in E90/91 fitment.

At a similar time I retrofitted an E89 Z4 steering wheel and instrument cluster as well, with custom lighting and needles added later by a talented guy I happened upon in a UK Facebook group. The cluster I'm especially pleased with, as this is a rare mod to say the least... one of one on the inside? Could be.

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      10-16-2021, 05:45 AM   #18
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Despite the work on the E90 interior, the new E91 still seemed very familiar inside and lacked the 'new car' feel. As such it needed an uplift of some sort, and the search for a new interior commenced in earnest.

After just 3 weeks of ownership or thereabouts, I happened upon a Saddle Brown interior on eBay, which was at a breakers about 35 miles from home. They'd listed the seats, door cards, and centre console. Needing pretty much everything else as well (THE. BEIGE. IS. EVERWHERE!) I messaged the seller and they agreed to let me visit and remove some additional parts. The original Dakota Beige interior has beige carpets, beige lower dash, beige side plastics, beige footwell plastics, beige upper/lower door cards, beige centre console, beige boot/trunk carpets, beige boot/trunk panels, and beige boot/trunk plastics. Phew! This won't be quick to do.

A side note.

Trims, steering wheel and cluster aside, the only other "interior trim" work I've done is to fit the BMW Alpine Audio kit. That adds front tweeters and better front door speakers, which saw me replace the front window frame surrounds. This swap was way, way, way beyond anything I'd tackled previously, but for some crazy reason I felt up to tackling it.

And so. The breakers and I agreed a day for me to visit, collect the interior, and make up a pile of extras too. Off I went with some tools and the rear seats removed in advance - would definitely need all the space I can find!

Some pics of the donor, their "carpet removal tool", and my tightly packed E91 after about 5 hours work with the trim removal tools, Torx, and regular socket set:











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      10-16-2021, 06:08 AM   #19
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That was a busy day! There was just a single guy at the breakers, Sam, who spent the full day packing up parts for delivery. As such I was left to my own devices and amassed what I hoped would be virtually everything for the swap.

The original eBay listing was for the seats, door cards, and centre console, but after those 5 hours I left with the carpets throughout, all boot/trunk items, all lower footwell and dash plastics, the 'Satin Silver' trims, the CIC iDrive controller, the HK speakers (which had been left in the door cards), the luggage area roller/dog guard, and a small amount of extra bolts, clips, and fasteners.

(Yes, I know the front carpet is cut in half, but I didn't have time to *remove* *the* *dash* to take that out in one piece! )

Here are some pics of the extra parts and some of the next day's work. I started at the back, removing the boot/trunk parts and rear seats first as they were most fresh in my mind from the day at the breakers. Also included are a couple of pics of the living room, which was quickly becoming overrun with car parts!









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      10-16-2021, 06:21 AM   #20
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That is going to look stupendous when done. I need to get my M tech front bumper sprayed and mounted. Been slacking.
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      10-16-2021, 07:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-technik-3 View Post
That is going to look stupendous when done. I need to get my M tech front bumper sprayed and mounted. Been slacking.
Thanks for the kind words! By a long long shot this is the biggest thing I've ever tackled on a car, so I'm going to make this thread really detailed and photo heavy. I'm so pleased with how it's turned out, and still a bit surprised I took it on!

Hope all goes well with the bumper painting and fitment mate. Are you changing from an SE bumper? That'll look great when done. Good luck!
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      10-16-2021, 07:18 AM   #22
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Yeah it's a SE, wished there was more E91's in local scrappers but they are unloved in N.A. When I would travel through UK with USAF I was amazed at how many Touring's one would see. I was not into them so shame on me, I was feeding my E30 parts stash then. Wished I had grabbed a few E91 parts.
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