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docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
2/21/24 8:08 p.m.

In reply to roninsoldier83 :

Sweet!  Glad that worked out for you

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/1/24 6:28 p.m.

I did a minor "mod" to the 128i today: I added a $20 eBay clutch stop to the car. To explain, since I bought the car, with my right leg in a comfortable distance to the gas/brake, I've felt like the clutch pedal was a bit of a stretch to push all the way down (almost like my left leg was on tippy-toes with the clutch fully depressed). It's a very minor annoyance, one that I mostly only notice in light-to-light traffic. This is the extended eBay clutch stop: 



I would post an OEM vs eBay clutch stop comparison photo, but while removing the OEM piece, it slipped out of my hands, behind the dark recesses of the carpet, never to be seen again. Translation: I didn't want to pull the carpet/dash to scour for a tiny piece of plastic. Either way, suffice to say, the eBay piece is a good bit thicker (likely around 3/4" or so, maybe a tad more). 

Installation is slightly awkward, but can be done in about ~3 minutes total. It's really that easy. Just unscrew the old one and put this one in it's place. It's right above the clutch pedal. You can't hardly see it unless you're a contortionist, but it's very easy to do by feel alone. Here's a quick photo of the eBay piece installed: 



I initially removed 3 washers, thinking just a bit of extra distance would be just about perfect. It was definitely an improvement, but I ended up putting all of the washers in it- which made the driving experience noticeably more comfortable vs stock. 

I put the car in Reverse on an incline and depressed the clutch fully- to which the car rolls backwards without hesitation, which tells me that the clutch is fully disengaged. You can do the same in 1st gear, but the car has hill assist, so you have a wait a second or 2 before it will start rolling backwards. 

I now much prefer the feel of the clutch as well. It now "feels" like it's engaging closer to the ground, which I enjoy- it feels more like my Integra. To be clear, the clutch engagement point hasn't changed at all, but since I added the clutch stop, the distance between the fully depressed position to the engagement point is now shorter, making it "feel" closer to the floor. It allows me to shift just a bit quicker and also just a bit smoother. Cheap mod, but overall, it definitely has my seal of approval! 

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/3/24 8:57 p.m.

So, I've been spending quite a bit of time driving the 128i here lately. Today specifically, I took my wife and our oldest daughter on an adventure downtown, followed by some tight, twisty roads. I haven't spent much time really driving the 128i in anger. It's a better daily that can be driven in a spirited manner than it is a backroad burner. 

On a tight, twisty road, it can't match my S2000 and Integra for driver involvement- it doesn't inspire nearly as much confidence as either of them. 

I've intentionally held off on bigger mods for the 128i for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was I wanted to really get to know the car and figure out where it's weaknesses are, or more specifically, what I believed it was lacking. I think I'm now at that point. 

As a daily, the car is now pretty damn good. It's pretty easy and low stress to drive. On the highway, this car eats up miles and miles easier than anything else we own. I wasn't a big fan of the somewhat lazy clutch engagement- which, for a few bucks and very small amount of my time, I believe that's been remedied. I also wasn't going to use it as a daily without A/C- which, thus far, the A/C is still blowing ice cold! (knock-on-wood!)

So, the car is comfortable and easy to drive. It's playful, but I now feel it could use a bit more driver involvement. However I don't want to go down the rabbit-hole of turning it into a track car and ruin it as a street car. I've been doing my homework and over the next however many months, I think I know what would wake this old girl up: 

-BMW OEM 3-stage Intake Manifold. I've had it sitting in the garage for months. Before I install it, I'm going to install brand new OEM DISA valves, which aren't exactly cheap (~$700). There are cheaper aftermarket units that might work just fine, but once I put it in, I don't want to remove it again if I don't have to, so I'm going OE through FCP Euro (lifetime warranty). I plan on using the Bimmergeeks software to upload the 130i performance tune. Together, this should give the 128i an extra ~25hp and similar torque, throughout the entire powerband and since it's just an OEM part that came on these engines, it shouldn't hurt streetability in the least; if anything, the added low-end torque should make it even better on the street. 

-Rear subframe bushings. When you push the 128i up to around ~7/10ths or so, on a smooth road, it's a lot of fun. If you push it much beyond that point, it feels sloppy and disconcerting. It's substantially worse if the road in question is rough. The entire interwebs claims this is because of the mushy OEM rear subframe mount bushings, which allow the subframe to move around a bit. The theory is that BMW did this in order to spec these cars with run-flat tires (which are long gone), as the squishy rear mounts take down some of the NVH caused by the harsh tires. The E90/92 M3 and E82 1M both use hardened rubber rear subframe mounts. I'm leaning towards OEM M3/1M rear mounts only because BMW likely knew what they were doing. I suppose I can be talked into some flavor of poly mounts (much cheaper), but at this point, I'm thinking about just eating the bullet and ordering the OEM M3/1M pieces from FCP Euro. Without the OEM run-flats the general consensus is that they shouldn't add any noticeable NVH. 

-3.73 rear end and LSD. These cars come with tall gears from the factory- the manuals come with a 3.23 final drive. The Euro 130i comes with a 3.46 rear diff, which, unfortunately, is very tough to find here. The automatic cars here come with a 3.73 that literally bolts right in. The 3.73 diffs are also dirt cheap and easily sourced. The best upgrade I ever did to my DC2 (by far) was the shorter geared Type R transmission, so I figured the biggest change I can make to the 128i to make it feel more like a proper driver's car is a shorter final drive and LSD. I figure if I'm going to a shorter final drive, I might as well spend the money and swap a LSD into it... I'm not big on clutch diffs for a street car, so I'm leaning towards a Wavetrac unit at the moment. The only drawback here is that at freeway speeds, in 6th gear, my revs will go up by about ~400rpm at 70mph. This didn't really bother me in the DC2, so I'm assuming it won't bother me here, either. 

For now, that's the plan. Once the above-listed mods are complete, I plan on re-assessing and seeing if she could use anything else, or if the above-listed mods will leave her properly sorted. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/3/24 9:12 p.m.

I know you just put in a new clutch pedal stop. Did you see the new M539 video about his E92 M3? He seems to loves his new Ultimate Clutch pedal

https://youtu.be/3s71WYgyYjo?si=h_xAeDu0NEwMdf46

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/4/24 9:58 a.m.

In reply to OHSCrifle :

I didn't even know that thing existed! That's a pretty nice piece! 

I'm pretty happy with how the clutch feels right now, but if I ever get an inkling, I might give that pedal a try! 

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/8/24 1:11 p.m.

I've been dealing with an issue since I bought the car- a whistling noise from the driver's side, just behind the driver. At the time I bought it, it wasn't a big deal as the A/C wasn't working, so I was regularly driving with the window down/cracked anyway. Plus, it was initially supposed to be a track car... I likely would have fixed it sooner, but over the past few months my funds were going towards getting everything working/deferred maintenance, plus a huge sum of money was put towards prepping my Integra for track work, so this got put on the back burner. Until now. 

When I bought the car there were a couple of glaring issues: there were multiple tears in the rubber door seal and the rear quarter window trim was broken. So, being a cheap bastard at the time, I attempted to "treat" this issue by trying to fill the tears in the rubber seal with sealant. It wasn't pretty, but I figured it might mitigate the issue, which, maybe it was slightly improved after that? I forgot to take pictures before I added the sealant, but here's what it looked like with the sealant and broken trim piece: 



Fast forward many months. There's still a whistle and I've decided to put funds towards fixing it. I decided to spend all the money on a new OEM door seal: 



After adding the new door seal, there was probably a mild improvement in the whistling sound, but it was still there, leading me to believe that the door trim was the ultimate culprit. So I ordered a new trim piece from the fine folks at FCP Euro. 

I took my time removing the old broken trim piece, with a combination of a heat gun, plastic pry bar and a razor blade (to cut the adhesive strip off of the back). Before I started I used a piece of electrical tape to try and mark the position of the trim piece: 



The old broken piece removed: 



After removing it, I used a combination of adhesive remover and plastic razor blades to scrape off the rest of the adhesive, then cleaned everything up with rubbing alcohol. I then finally applied the new OEM trim piece: 




I haven't actually driven the car yet, but I'm pretty excited about the prospect of the whistling noise being gone! I'm currently giving the OEM adhesive strip some time to cure (I turned on the heater in the garage) and I'm waiting for it to stop snowing. I'll report my findings sometime in the next few days. Fingers crossed! 

rdcyclist
rdcyclist GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/8/24 2:31 p.m.
roninsoldier83 said:

I'm currently giving the OEM adhesive strip some time to cure (I turned on the heater in the garage) and I'm waiting for it to stop snowing. I'll report my findings sometime in the next few days. Fingers crossed! 

Heater in the garage! Happy thought indeed!

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/8/24 2:39 p.m.

In reply to rdcyclist :

It's nothing crazy. We have a 220 power outlet in the garage from when I used to have a Tesla. My wife bought me a 220 plug-in heater a couple of years back that works pretty well! 

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
3/8/24 5:31 p.m.

When we redid our kitchen 10 years ago we ran a gas line for the cook top.  I asked to also run a gas line to the garage and a I had a Hot Dawg heater installed in there.  Works awesome!!

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/9/24 5:28 p.m.

Well, there was a minor reduction in wind noise, but it still persists. 

So, I was feeling along the gap between the rubber door seal and the trim piece. On the passenger side (where there is no noise), there's no gap between the door seal and the trim piece... on the driver's side, there's a slight gap. Thinking that might be a contributing factor, I ran a very thin bead of RVT silicone between seal and trim, hoping it might make a difference... which, maybe there was an ever-so-slight reduction? But that surely wasn't my problem. The RVT silicone bead is thin enough that to anyone that isn't looking, it's not really noticeable: 



^^^Although it did look ever-so-slightly prettier before. Oh well. 

Since it's not the door seal and it's not the trim, I started looking closer, comparing each side to each other. Man, I'm a knucklehead for missing this: 



^^^It would appear the window is slightly off track. As a result, the upper corner (where the noise is coming from) has a slight gap between the window and the rubber door seal. I'm 99% sure this is my issue. 

According to the internet, there's a way to adjust the window position on the track with some screws inside the door. I might play with it later... or I might just drive down to my local indie shop to see if they can adjust it for me to save me the hassle. 

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/9/24 5:47 p.m.

Does that window auto-drop slightly when you open the door? It should. And it should then go back up after the door is shut. We've had issues where our window randomly does not. As a result, the window sits outside the groove like yours. 

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/9/24 6:00 p.m.

I lived with wind noise in my left ear for way too many years in my E28, when I finally got around to it it was like a half hour job popping the door card off and adjusting the glass in the regulator so it closed properly. That solved it and I couldn't believe I left it for so long  before fixing it.

I'm sure things have gotten a bit more complicated since 84 though and my manual crank windows lol.

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
3/9/24 7:10 p.m.
Slippery said:

In reply to OHSCrifle :

The best/easiest way to know what options the car has is to get the VIN and plug into this website:

https://www.mdecoder.com/

It works for every BMW. 

Thanks for posting that! Great tool. 😊 I was hoping it would tell me what transmission I have in my 07 E91 328xi but no luck. How can I tell what transmission I have m

GREAT thread, btw! Makes me want a 1-series, too. 😆

cheese
cheese New Reader
3/9/24 7:21 p.m.

yep, if the e82 windows work like the e46 coupes, they drop and raise automatically just enough to clear the window channel. something on yours is out of alignment or calibration.

also— if you ever have a fully dead battery or no power to the car, that window will stick and opening the door can cause damage. Always a good idea to open the window if you plan to remove the battery.

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/9/24 7:51 p.m.

In reply to dyintorace :

Yes, but that's not the problem. It drops slightly and goes back up just as it should. I did the factory re-learn just in case, to no avail. It just needs to be adjusted. 

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/9/24 7:53 p.m.
adam525i said:

I lived with wind noise in my left ear for way too many years in my E28, when I finally got around to it it was like a half hour job popping the door card off and adjusting the glass in the regulator so it closed properly. That solved it and I couldn't believe I left it for so long  before fixing it.

I'm sure things have gotten a bit more complicated since 84 though and my manual crank windows lol.

I wouldn't be shocked if it's the exact same procedure. Some folks have said it's an easy job, but much easier with 2 people. I'm sure I'll get it sorted out sooner rather than later. 

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/10/24 8:16 p.m.

Update on the clutch stop: I removed 3 of the washers. I found that the shorter throw of the clutch resulted in me missing gears occasionally (extremely rare before). I think I was letting the clutch out before the gear was completely engaged, so, rather than re-learn my clutch timing after decades of driving a manual, I just removed 3 of the washers, which is a nice compromise. 
 

After elongating the clutch pedal travel just a bit, I noticed I'm actually driving the car just a bit smoother from a stop- that bit of extra travel gives my brain a split-second more to smooth out the revs while letting the clutch out... maybe BMW was onto something I hadn't considered. 

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/11/24 11:22 p.m.

I swapped out almost all the shifter bushings on the 128i today- with the only exception being the rear shifter carrier bushing that I couldn't figure out how to remove without damaging the mount for it. 



It took me a few hours. My forearms are beat up pretty bad. Honestly, this is a job that if I had to do it again, I would absolutely pay to rent a lift. With a lift I could have done this job in under half the time, whereas on jack stands, I felt like I was working blind pretty much the whole time on my back. This was not a pleasant experience, but it likely would have been pretty easy if I could have stood up and looked at what I was doing- even if it would be much easier for someone with thinner forearms. 

The interior bushing was very easy and I wouldn't hesitate to swap it out again.

The real pain was the brass fitting/bushing on the transmission: 




^^^I think I made a mistake: I cheaped out and instead of ordering a far more expensive OEM BMW brass fitting/bushing, I ordered a brass fitting/bushing made by Uro. Avoid this part like the plague- the pin that goes thru it (shown above) DOESN'T fit! You would have to drill it out- yes, that's both the OEM pin and the PIN I ordered from FCP Euro. Maybe Uro makes their own pin that I didn't see somewhere, but it does not fit the OEM pin needed to secure it to the transmission. 

So, I ended up re-using my OEM brass fitting, but removed the rubber-ish bushing from the Uro part to put in my OEM brass fitting... the fitting with the URO kit is WAY too long/tall. There was no way it was ever going to fit.... I spent quite a few rounds with a piece of sand paper trying to shorten the bushing to get it to fit without making it too short. In the end, I still wasn't able to push that damn pin thru by myself. I ended up pushing on it from the hole inside the car while I had my wife push the pin into place from below the car. Unless the OEM bushing is much shorter, this would be tough to do by yourself without a 3rd arm and it's a very tight space. 

Overall, the shifter now feels a good bit tighter, but I'm not sure if it's much more accurate- maybe a tad. Considering all the effort, I'm not sure if I would do it again. 

The rear shifter carrier bushing looked like it was in pretty good shape. Maybe if I replaced it there would be an improvement in accuracy? I'm not convinced it would make a big difference, so I probably won't crawl under there and rip everything apart again. 

For the record: I loathe pick tools and BMW's obsession with them. 

I think I figured out why BMW's shifters feel so rubbery: so, technically it has a mechanical linkage, but the shifter itself is mounted to a carrier that is mounted with rubber bushings on both sides of it (vs being solid mounted to the chassis). If I was a betting man, I would say this is done to reduce shifter vibration from coming into the cabin. Unfortunately, it also leads to the shifter feel paling in comparison to Honda's old mechanical linkage boxes. 


Not sure if anyone was following my other thread(s), but I recently bought a new-to-me daily driver: a 2021 Mazda 3 Turbo with only 8000 miles on the clock- 1 owner, clean Carfax/no accidents, dealer serviced, etc. I was pretty close to paying for it cash but ended up taking out a very small loan on it. 



I should be able to pay off the Mazda in the next 3-5 months (I hate being in debt). After that, since I now have a nice, newer daily driver, the mods will be a comin' for the 128i! I plan on putting the E82 on track, if not this season, then next season- there will be a lot to do to try and make it competitive locally. 

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/12/24 10:02 a.m.

Go check out this guy's articles. He's written a lot about upgrading his 128i for track work.

Peter Nelson

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/14/24 10:31 p.m.

I may have been a bit presumptuous about replacing the shifter bushings. After driving the car around for a few days, there is a noticeable improvement in the shift feel, accuracy and overall engagement. I'm not going to make up some over the top nonsense like "it feels like an entirely different car!" There's an improvement, I feel like I'll miss gears less often and the car is slightly more engaging to drive. Worth the labor? Probably. If you have a lift? Definitely. Paying someone $150+ an hour for labor? That's a tougher sell. 
 

On an unrelated note: it's been about 3.5 months since the schrader AC valves were repaired: the AC is still blowing cold and strong! 
 

Long term updates on the car:
 

I've had an Inactive TPMS warning come on a few times and turn itself off- which I don't care about. When I eventually get the Bimmerlabs software, I'll likely code out the TPMS. I also had a driver's seat belt warning come on once a few months back- I cleared the code and it never came back. I ordered a new driver's seat belt, but since it seems to have resolved itself, I haven't bothered to install it. Those are the only "problems" I've had since I fixed everything last summer, which are almost certainly related to the previous accident. Other than that, even with the new Mazda, this is still the car I drive the most, I pitch it around regularly and it's been about as mechanically reliable as an anvil. It's never burned or leaked a drop of oil and the power train is as smooth as butter. 
 

I still love this car. I'm excited to really dig into modding it and putting it on track! As soon as I fully pay off the Mazda, this thread will get much busier. 

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
5/15/24 9:36 a.m.

If you can find a good shop only charging $150/hour in labor you've done well.  It seems like most Indy's here are $180-200/hour now...

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/15/24 10:01 a.m.
chknhwk said:
Slippery said:

In reply to OHSCrifle :

The best/easiest way to know what options the car has is to get the VIN and plug into this website:

https://www.mdecoder.com/

It works for every BMW. 

Thanks for posting that! Great tool. 😊 I was hoping it would tell me what transmission I have in my 07 E91 328xi but no luck. How can I tell what transmission I have m

GREAT thread, btw! Makes me want a 1-series, too. 😆

If manual, then its a ZF:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZF_S6-37_transmission

If auto, then:

GM GA6L45R

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_6L_transmission

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/15/24 10:06 a.m.
roninsoldier83 said:

In reply to dyintorace :

Yes, but that's not the problem. It drops slightly and goes back up just as it should. I did the factory re-learn just in case, to no avail. It just needs to be adjusted. 

In the e46s, at least, its common for the window to rattle when closing/moving the door with the window down. This is due to the track getting loose. I wonder if your window track is loose and causing this?

Do a quick search for e46 m3 window rattle fix and maybe that helps.

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/15/24 10:46 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

That's a true story. In my post I wrote $150(emphasis on the +) on purpose laugh drastic inflation is real! 

roninsoldier83
roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/15/24 10:47 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

I'll look into it! Thank you! 

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