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E81 130i story
15-04-2019, 09:40 PM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2019 09:58 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #21
RE: E81 130i story
on to the next one...

The biggest pet peeve I had to deal with on a day to day basis was the crap audio quality, this was compounded by the fact that business radio has really low output even on max, and the aux input really strangles the audio even more.

I don't really listen to radio, so it was either CD or AUX until I had a solution, I chose the lesser evil, although I do have an MJ Gold Anniversary greatest hit CD just in case Cartel

"in case of what" ? I don't know, but its there lol.

[Image: radio 1_467451815.jpg]

Having gotten used to having a USB front loader in my last car for the past few years, this was an absolute necessity in the 130, and while I was at it, bluetooth ...because BMW, and because I have a 'speak' button on the steering wheel, it would be a shame not to use it.

The research kicked off once again in the quest for better audio, and after trawling the net for possible answers/solutions to my dilemma, reading through various manuals, drawings and forums, I came to a conclusion... BMW drivers are ANAL about factory OEM retofits!!! despite its exuberant costs, and small returns. Its like we love the dealerships??

Everything I had read up until this point all said the same thing, upgrade the MULF unit to a BT+USB one, do a full harness transplant, and do the factory ALPINE retrofit... no thanks, I'm a poor boy, and I wanna finish this before I die, where the hell will you find a parted out car with all that for a decent price?

Short answer you can't, so I decided to forego the ALPINE/speaker upgrade for now, and figure something out for the BT and USB.

So I found out eventually (through digging) that the last of the LCI e90/e87 variants that had Bluetooth and/or USB, had it built into the radio itself, damn BMW, took you bloody long enough.

But once again there was a hiccup, most cars being stripped were 320i's or 320d's that were pre LCI and poverty spec, no BT or USB, and because most stripping ads don't show the interior or radio functions, here's the criteria I used to narrow it down at face value. The car had to be a late model LCI e90, that was at least a 323i or 320d (wasn't even gonna waste my time with any 1 series' ads). After that a series of highly specific questions to a few quickly irritated scrapyard owners (silver buttons, usb port under the armrest, connectors at the back of the radio, specific stickers on top etc.)

I found quite a few for sale on the forum, but none of them what I was looking for, got a few leads from dodgy ads on scamtree and b-OLl-o-X, but none of them materialize as soon as you ask for pics.

The radio itself was only one ingredient in the mix, as I also needed the USB+AUX armrest port and correct FAKRA to FAKRA cable (beige to white, more on that later).

[Image: fakra table_8092674165.jpg]

...Eveeeeentually after a few months I managed to track down the parts I needed, sort of. Got the USB socket, the correct headunit with BT & USB, which is a Logic7 unit, as it turned out to have the fibre connectors for the amp if I decide to go that route down the line, and the correct FAKRA cable(WHITE to BEIGE or so I thought).

[Image: radio 2_4588090917.jpg]

[Image: radio 3_9237113841.jpg]

[Image: radio 4_5937266680.jpg]

I set about removing the HU and a few clips, screws and plugs later and it was out.

I plugged in the new HU and cable to test the functionality, and success, it works, but not the usb BlueCry The bluetooth, aux, and usb icons all display, along with some other nifty features like parked car ventilation and a secondary economy display to name a few.

[Image: radio 5_3888278426.jpg]

[Image: radio 6_1663850466.jpg]

[Image: radio 7_2128836014.jpg]

[Image: radio 8_4299064958.jpg]

The Bluetooth could receive calls through the speaker(s) but there was no mic. So I removed the cable and left it like that until I could find the time to sort it out over the weekend.

[Image: radio 9_77047361.jpg]

I'm also still looking for a volume button if anyone has one Ty

got a few with spares other spares that I've bought over the past two-something years, but they were never the right one, (need to be 2010 and up).

No-one wants to sell it loose, and all the scrapyards have theirs removed as they got stolen. BMW wants like R200 for it, and no-one wants to sell it loose, not a chance, maybe one day I'll give up, just looking for a good Samaritan as I've payed it forward in the car community. I don't drink, but we can surely share a gatsby togetherBlowheart

[Image: knob_7190571385.jpg]

[Image: snip 1_5424915649.jpg]
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danieltau
15-04-2019, 10:05 PM
Post: #22
RE: E81 130i story
Awesome work. Love the 130i must be a beast at the coast

Current rides
1995 E36 325i [Unfinished Monalisa]
2004 E46 330D M-sport [167wkw 556nm]
2012 Yamaha FZ6R - Stock
Ex Ride
1998 160i Conquest Rs
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16-04-2019, 11:40 AM (This post was last modified: 16-04-2019 11:56 AM by CA_130.)
Post: #23
RE: E81 130i story
(15-04-2019 10:05 PM)Nikhil Wrote:  Awesome work. Love the 130i must be a beast at the coast

Thanks man, indeed she is, buttery smooth and pulls like a freight train.

So Friday evening comes around and I can't wait til Saturday morning, I'm anxious to get this thing working, and because I hate keeping music on my phone I decide to try it again, using a slightly different cable.

...No luck, same result.

[Image: dsc_1610_3358527650.jpg]

And I must admit the professional radio really helps lift the feeling of the interior, especially at night.

[Image: dsc_1539_3092774935.jpg]
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16-04-2019, 01:10 PM (This post was last modified: 16-04-2019 01:11 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #24
RE: E81 130i story
Righto,

Its weekend, all my admin is done, and I finally have time to troubleshoot. Initially I thought the pin to pin wiring of the two FAKRA connectors weren't wired correctly, I had a look at the USB socket and there was no internal circuitry, so to me the cable was just an extension.

After breaking out the multi meter and ringing out the cable, I could confirm the pin to pin wiring was correct (wired as an extension) At this point I should probably mention that even though the connectors were color coded, I had to cut away the some of the tabs so it would fit in its color coded female? it seems the color codes might differ between manufacturers???

Eveeentually it dawned on me that USB's ports aren't meant to be matched up, or at least in my case

[Image: usb_2581206900.jpg]

So I cut the cable and turned it into a crossover, or simply terms swapped the send and receive (or data + and Minus) midway

Success Tiptoe

[Image: borat 1_7334811817.png]

[Image: cable snip1_5013228990.png]

[Image: cable snip_3848314937.png]

With the USB now working, I soldered ad heatshrunk the cable, popped out the old aux only armrest socket, and swapped in the new unit.

[Image: cable snip2_2513603889.png]

[Image: cable snip3_7312181126.png]

[Image: borat 2_9513838929.png]
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danieltau
17-04-2019, 09:42 AM
Post: #25
RE: E81 130i story
Praise

That's some exceptional work right there!
The things we do! haha.

Well damn done!

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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17-04-2019, 10:04 AM
Post: #26
RE: E81 130i story
Wowww your dedication to DIY'ing is impeccable Praise

I highly doubt I would of ever thought of swapping the send and receive in the USB wire Hammerhead

Amazing car you have there, always admired the 130i's, they were very underrated in my opinion Thumbs

Current: E92 335i N54 (Manual)
Daily: 9n3 Polo 1.9TDI SL

Ex:
Pre LCI E90 330D (RK Motion Tuned), 9n3 Polo 1.9TDI SL, Golf 1 Velociti (2L 8v fully worked), Corsa Utility 1.7DTI
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17-04-2019, 10:48 AM
Post: #27
RE: E81 130i story
Fantastic outcome
Bravo

[Image: img-20170810-wa0007_2499791248.jpg]
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18-04-2019, 09:58 AM (This post was last modified: 18-04-2019 10:02 AM by CA_130.)
Post: #28
RE: E81 130i story
Thanks for the compliments gents ! I'm pleasantly surprised at the responses Ty

Thanks Alley-C, I grew up doing anything and everything in and around the house with my dad, I wasn't fortunate enough to have had a SEGA or PS growing up, but I could wield a tool and had lots of time ! smile bounce Hammerhead

Because of that, I enjoy DIY-ing, and even my wife will tells me, it doesn't matter what M3 or AMG I buy, I will still tinker on it.

Coming back to the USB, I actually found an old post detailing the fix, in the "electronics & audio"

USB cable help wanted

It explains the same thing just differently, (better), if anyone is interested.

the updates (or backdates) will continue.
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18-04-2019, 01:39 PM
Post: #29
RE: E81 130i story
During the holidays between all the weddings, births and family functions, I had some down time and decided to start searching for the rest of the components in the RLS/Autowiper/autolights system.

To this point I only had the autowipers' stalk as it came with the cruise control retrofit, so there was still a few things I needed, and some things I wanted, which as usual, was harder to fin than it should've been:

1. Rear view mirror cover
2. RLS (Rain/Light Sensor)
3. RLS lense
4.auto headlight switch - chrome one.
5.A patch harness that I would probably make up myself.

Rear view mirror cover - haven't gotten so far, I might change to the mirror with the built in high beam assist, so not too phased at this stage.

RLS sensor - easy enough, find, harder than it sounds to buy, it took me quite a long time to find a willing party who would sell me the RLS sensor without the Windscreen Biglol but eventually we got there

[Image: capture1_3400375889.jpg]

[Image: capture2_3370614624.jpg]

RLS purple lense - here's the tricky part, the entire retorfit hinges on this piece, as this allow the sensor to interpret outside light etc, without it you might as well keep on trucking.

The problem is these are bonded to the windscreens from factory, not the BMW factory as far as I can tell, and there's no replacement/repair kit, so if you want one, be prepared to end up buying a windscreen, not worth it of you ask me, you might be able to do it through your insurance, but that's between you two.

anyways after searching for this thing for months found out its a non-BMW specific part used on Mercs and a number of French cars too, tried a few of those dealerships and scrapyards... but no luck. I found my way back to the breakers where I got the cruise control clockspring, and after weeks of pleading we eventually set about removing one to shut me up smile bounce Unobtainium

[Image: capture3_2678607059.jpg]

[Image: capture4_306402943.jpg]

autoheadlight switch - If you've read this far, thank you and bear with me. I needed the correct headlight switch as the current one lacked the extra position for "auto", so I set about my way, the problem is I wanted the chrome knob, as I didn't have the blacked out Msport trim, this would tie in nicely with the interior silver accents.

So here's the problem, or problems should I say. I have ordinary halogen lights with the black switch, which has both fog light buttons and a height adjustment

[Image: my light_4746813816.jpg]

and the car(s) with the switch I needed were unicorns, you have to remember, whenever you are looking for parts and retrofits, you are limited by the number of people that ordered it from factory, something we tend to forget from time to time.

I decided the softest target would be an LCI 320i, as there were plenty around in 320i/320d spec and increased my probability of success

Here's what made it hard to find one, only the LCI's had the chrome knobs. Most e90's came factory with xenons, which means there's no height adjustment wheel, and no front fogs either, because you have Xenons. The chances too were that if you if you were spending the money on a 323i and up, you probably ticked the xenon and auto headlight box too. So I was basically looking for someone who wanted a BMW with all the features but couldn't afford it, or got a good deal and didn't know why, hence 320i or 320d.

Finally managed to track one down. Cleaned it up nicely and popped it in Thumbs

[Image: capture5_528161432.jpg]
[Image: capture6_1981973657.jpg][Image: capture7_7385208574.jpg][Image: capture8_6983946012.jpg][Image: capture91_8181237662.jpg][Image: capture92_9265015129.jpg]
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Kyle
22-04-2019, 01:49 AM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2019 01:54 AM by CA_130.)
Post: #30
RE: E81 130i story
more minor mods...

one of the things I thought I would be welcoming into my life was Xenons, but as I did my utmost to find the cleanest example of whatever car I would end up with, beggars could not be choosers, and I settled for halogens instead. Long term I plan to do a projector lense/LED/Xenon retrofit, so I thought I would trial the LEDs.

I managed to get a decent set from a local off-road outfitting company during some promo they were having, and was quite excited when they arrived, even got a set for the wife's then car, might have been black Friday, can't recall.

[Image: led1_6466000489.jpg]

[Image: led2_7505082720.jpg]

Got home after work, and test fitted them the same time Tiptoe

first impressions, superbright ! Cartel

[Image: led3_8824976612.png]

[Image: led4_1182526960.jpg]

[Image: led5_9517921074.jpg]

...But then the excitement died down, and I started to see things clearly after a few days.

The first issue is error codes, the units, though specifically not setup for CANBUS claimed to not throw error codes because of their current draw, and although not the end of the world, was an inconvenience.

Secondly was the light output and color, LEDs are superbright when you look at them, but that does not necessarily translate into better light where you need it, and although the higher kelvin temp lights (the bluer ones) look a better to some, their effective working distance suck!

No pics unfortunately, I took a few vids on my old phone, can't find them now, sorry guys dunno anymore

third thing, because of the 1 series halogen reflector with glare-shield design, significant light is also lost, you find yourself illuminating overhead signs more than tar.

[Image: glareshield_6821487485.jpg]

Longevity - not that great, because the LEDs generate substantial heat, they need air to cool via the heatsinks, our headlights are tightly sealed to prevent ingress and and need to be removed to allow for ambient cooling, which in my mind would expose the motors to unfavorable conditions, unless you're willing to take a gamble with the connectors and motors.

Long story short, I one popped about a month later, removed it, and got my money back.

In conclusion, looks cool, but not worth it because of the glare-shield. Might work better as high beams as there is no shield.
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danieltau
23-04-2019, 01:38 PM (This post was last modified: 23-04-2019 02:25 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #31
RE: E81 130i story
Moving on to some cosmetic mods,

I decided to change the front bumper to give the car a sportier/meaner look. I've always the original E87/E81 Msport front bumper, but they are hard to come, and even harder to find without cuts tears or filler in them, and when you do, you better be prepared to trade your inheritance for one Thumbdown

[Image: msport original_5340649695.jpg] Blowheart

After tracking down a few and not being satisfied with the condition of the bumpers out there, I halfheartedly gave up looking, and tried finding out what else I could do to improve the facade to something my taste, when I stumbled across some 1 series pornography

[Image: mperf_3985172705.jpg]

PraiseChef

but seeing as how it is a BMW Performance catalogue part, the thought of the price tag alone scared me off Fencelook

I started looking at other options, and my eye kept drifting to front end of my friends 135i. I did some quick eyeball measurements and reckoned I could transplant the bumper skin.

not long after that my buddy had some bad luck with a curb that was quickly sorted out with an insurance claim, and after some phone calls managed to keep the old damaged skin.

The day I picked it up

[Image: white bumper2_3490575938.jpg]

[Image: white bumper1_9704529731.jpg]

the damaged area

[Image: white bumper3_1563833961.jpg]

[Image: white bumper4_8984091053.jpg]

This was the only damage to the bumper and purely cosmetic as far as I could tell, and a trip to the plastic repair guys would sort this out.

On to another parts hunt HammerheadHammerheadHammerheadHammerhead

The issue I had now was tracking down the 3 missing grills and fog lights which are easier said than done. Same as before, no-one was willing to sell the parts separately, which made things... challenging

It was all a case of "worth more in parts than as a whole", and no-one wanting to sell the individual parts at the same time

[Image: jackie_155963962.jpg]

After some quick maths, I realised it would be pound foolish and extremely lengthy to continue to try and 'build up' the bumper I wanted

[Image: bcf_398168442.png]

I put the bumper up for sale, and within a week I think it was gone.

the search continues...

Eventually after a few months of searching, I found a guy stripping a sapphire black Msport 125i, Jackpot!... in Durban, smaller jackpot.

The fact that I couldn't see the bumper skin in the flesh made me a little nervous, but if it was in the same colour as the car it might be worth the gamble (it was the same colour, I checked Thumbs).

So after sending a large amount of money to a stranger, and equally large quantity to the courier company, I all I could do was wait, until my mini Christmas day: smile bounce

[Image: black bumper1_1799297723.jpg]

The parts were not exactly as advertised, but the meat of it was there, bar the two hook cover, I was fine just to have received it, and the little niggles I would easily deal with later, namely the missing tow flap, moisture in the fogs, and the scratches and small dings in the bumper.

[Image: black bumper2_2972085131.jpg]

Fitment day arrived, set about stripping the old skin off the car and fitted the new parts

[Image: bumper removal before_7595044821.jpg]

[Image: bumper removal during_8413362964.jpg]

[Image: bumper after 1_1913362499.jpg]


A quick scratch and dent trip later and it was sorted Thumbs

[Image: scratch and dent1_7770470976.jpg]

slick and sexy as ever !!
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danieltau
23-04-2019, 04:38 PM
Post: #32
RE: E81 130i story
Looking good Blowheart

/o(O)(O)\(|||||)(|||||)/(O)(O)o\
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23-04-2019, 04:49 PM
Post: #33
RE: E81 130i story
Awesome thread man, great work!

Current:
'09 BMW E90 320i Exclusive

Ex:
'03 BMW E46 330i Individual, '02 BMW E39 525i Individual, '06 Impreza 2.0R Wagon, '03 S3 8L, '11 A3 1.6TDi, '70 VW Beetle 1600 Twin Port '00 A4 2.4 V6, '09 Ibiza Cupra 1.8T, 2013 Vivo Gran Turismo, E36 M3 Coupe, E46 320i Individual MSport, '98 Civic V Tec, E36 318is Msport, E30 318i Coupe,GOLF MK1 GT
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23-04-2019, 05:38 PM
Post: #34
E81 130i story
Amazing !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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24-04-2019, 10:06 AM
Post: #35
RE: E81 130i story
Thanks guys Ty
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24-04-2019, 12:56 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2019 01:03 PM by CA_130.)
Post: #36
RE: E81 130i story
on to the next,

When I fitted the Msport bumper it came with the standard chrome kidney+black grill combo. I could have transplanted my full chrome grills, which turns out is an optional extra on everything but the 130i and 135i, but I had been playing with the idea of murdering the car out (black everything!), and thought this might help visualize it Cthulhu

the plain Jane poverty grills, and the effect of the full chromies circled in the back. They just look better

[Image: old grills_5710218767.jpg]

So after having then on for a bit I decided they weren't for me, and was too lazy to remove the bumper in the rain just for the grills

[Image: meme_9382238495.jpg]

Eventually I found the correct motivation, I sold the white bumper to a panel shop who were repairing a white e88 125i and needed the grills as well, I had no use for 2 set of grill on one car, but still wanted a spare set to play around with. Long story short they twisted my arm and took the grills out, I drove all the way home looking like a victim of theft

[Image: sold grills_8571691457.jpg]

I'f I'm honest I actually kinda like the look, but knew that it would probably be damaging to the radiator long term.

So back in went the Chrome ones...

[Image: so-shiny-so-chrome_4764682003.jpg]

...But not before my brother in law got a hold of them Biglol

He's been wanting to spray them satin black ever since I got the car, and with me liking the originals, we met in the middle and finally settled on plastidip. I know plastidip is the bane of existence for some people, but its my car, so enjoy shouting at the screen with clenched fists Biglol

He had some left over for playing around after a custom job, he does custom sprayjobs on rims, engine covers and accessories, that kinda thing, so not wanting to just black everything out, we decided to invert the colors of the standard bmw grills, to something more along the lines of the old Mercury Lead sleds (did I mention I love old carsHammerhead), and set about separating the kidneys and grills

[Image: lead sled_9523475929.jpg]

[Image: lead sled2_324558275.jpg]

this made cleaning all the nooks and cranny's childs' play in preparation for spray.

[Image: plasti dip strip_9438962345.jpg]

first coat going on

[Image: plasti spray_4727671304.jpg]

[Image: plasti spray2_4714128980.jpg]

after the dip

[Image: finished product2_5722153503.jpg]

and the final product:

[Image: fitted_4302487079.jpg]

CartelThumbs
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24-04-2019, 01:29 PM
Post: #37
RE: E81 130i story
Looks great! You should consider a joey mod on the headlights to complete the look!

Current:
'09 BMW E90 320i Exclusive

Ex:
'03 BMW E46 330i Individual, '02 BMW E39 525i Individual, '06 Impreza 2.0R Wagon, '03 S3 8L, '11 A3 1.6TDi, '70 VW Beetle 1600 Twin Port '00 A4 2.4 V6, '09 Ibiza Cupra 1.8T, 2013 Vivo Gran Turismo, E36 M3 Coupe, E46 320i Individual MSport, '98 Civic V Tec, E36 318is Msport, E30 318i Coupe,GOLF MK1 GT
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