Archive for the ‘Bikes and Cars’ Category
It had to happen, we have been talking about it for what seems like years, you know what its like, you still have one to look after and then you think lets have another.
So you do the research, talk to the specialists, have a few tests ( could I handle it at my age??). Then the flip side, if we don’t will we always regret it later…. you only live once, then of course there is the cost not just at the outset but for years afterwards…… then you think bollocks to it all………….
300bhp ish, 3.4 litre engine handles like a total dream, loads of extras, PCM, Sport Chrono, Park assist, Bi-Xenons, Bose Sound system, sounds and goes brilliant- I love it to bits. Will post a few more pics when I have prepped them. Enjoy.
In case you ever need to do this- thought I would post up how I got on installing my radar detector and Laser detector head in the new car.
Installing the Snooper unit is really a bit of a no brainer. You can opt for the quick and dirty approach and use the provided Cigarette jack power lead, but this is really a rather inconvenient and untidy method especially in the BMW as its cigarette socket is inside the centre console. You would need to have it open when in use- irritating at best.
Its best to use the supplied lead to wire it in to the cars live supply. Now with my last car- the A4 this was easy, drop the lower dash out (4 screws) and there were two live studs under the steering column. Crimp on a terminal end and its just a matter of adding your lead tothe live “bolt” and screwing up.
I have to admit- I got away even easier with the Beemer and I got the guy who was fitting my car kit (supplied by work) to add on the live lead while he had the dash open!
He took a live feed from behind the Air con controls. This panel come out by gently unclipping the panel from underneath the front fascia.
I took the lead along above the driver footwell by removing the lower dash inspection cover- three Torx headed screws (pain if you don’t have the right size!)
Fitting the RLD (Radar Laser Detector- the add on extra for the Neo)was a no no for me in the Audi- I simply could not work out how to get a wire through the engine bay into the cabin- the bulkhead was inaccesible. Also there was not much room behind the grille to fit the head unit.
In the BMW the situation at face value does not seem much better- you can barely see the bulkhead and the engine sits quite far back taking up all the room.
The secret for getting the wire in though, is to remove the cover over the driver side header tank and ABS solenoid. Right in front of the driver position under the bonnet- it has a black rubber hose coming out the back. This cover simply unclips front and back, though you can’t completley remove it fully due to the hose clip- I could not be bothered footering with the hose to make more room as I probably would have fitted it back wrongly! Just turn it out the way while you work.
Now returning to the lower dash with the cover off- again there is a footwell light that keeps the panel from being completley removed- I guess you could unclip the light somehow but after a couple of minutes of trying I gave up in case I broke the connector. It was not obvious how to unclip the light- though I am sure its possible. Under the back of the footwell there is a large grommet (big rubber thing) with the main wiring loom disappearing through. It has some spare cable accesses but poking them through with something sharp- a long screwdriver or a knitting needle are ideal, I still could not see where they emerged in the engine bay. I suspect you may need to remove the wheel arch trim to see it from below in the engine bay- good luck cos mines looks to be held with plastic rivets- so gave up with this. However- Just above the wiring loom there is a black braided hose . Now if you return to the engine bay the same hose appears just below the header tank exposed earlier.
I carefully poked a screwdriver through just above the hose from the footwell side and it appeared right above the hose on the engine bay side! Much joy and happiness.- So now you have a route for your cable. Simply tie a bit string to the screwdriver blade and pull it through in to the footwell as a draw cord. ( I used waxed string as it does not come off the blade easily) Be warned though in a stunning show of crap design the RLD cable is terminated in a right angled jack cable- this is never going to go through a wee hole like this so I cut mine off. (leaving a tail about 4-5 inches long).
Once you have the RLD in the engine bay you can thread the wire though with the bit string. But first you need to pull install the head unit. According to the handbook you need to mount it as close tothe number plate as possible and as level as possible (for obvious reasons) You can mount it flat or upright if it suits.
There is tons of room behind the grille in the BMW its just getting int it thats tricky.
First remove the four torx headed bolts holding the front of the car on under where the bonnet rim comes down.
You can now pull back the front grille section a few inches- enough to get a hand in. The decorative chrome crille and slats are held in by 5 or 6 plastic clips that you can gently unclip from behind, Once you have them all loose, pop out the grille giving you loads of room to work from the front!
The bonnet latch locates into a plastic “box” in the front body behind the grille, but if you look you will see that there is a section of plastic either side lower down that is not actually the sides of this box- though withthe grille on it looks to be a single piece of plastic. I mounted the RLD bracket against this usning two self tapper screws (supplied) I fitted the bracket inverted- i.e the base plate above the screw plate. You nee dto as the RLD head has to be above the lower edge of the grille so it can see through withthe decorative trim refitted.
I drilled two small pilot holes and fixed the self tappers securely. Then fit the RLD head to the bracket with the supplied double sided tape.
Now simply thread the cable round the engine bay I secured mine with stick on tie wrap holders (from maplins) and loads of tie wraps following the existing cable runs up to the header tank then popped the wire through tot he footwell with the draw cord. A quick check to make sure the cable is not impeding the bonnet release or anything and you can put the grille back on and screw the front bcak down again.
All thats left to do now is thread the cable in the footwell, and up the side of the dash to reach the snooper unit. I have mine on the right of the instrument binnacle- I guess its personal preference.
You could either
1) fit a new connector to the lead (get one from RS or similar)
2) Solder the old right anlged connector and tail tothe cable and tape up- remember to remake the screen!
3) Do as I did and be a cheapskate- I used crimp on joints to remake the cable and screen and taped it up. The taped bit lies behind/ under the snoper so you can’t see it anyway.
Now finally test it all works- the snooper should detect the RLD and finally replace the footwell inspection cover. Make sure you don’t trap the live lead!
Jobs a good un.
Got my new car last week- a shiny red 06 plate BMW318i M Sport. Not as quick as the old Audi A4 2.0 FSi Sport I had, but then again it probably won’t spend as much time inthe garage getting fixed as the Audi did either. What a pile of crap that was!
Anyway good riddance to it and back to the Beemer, probably the comfiest car I have ever driven. The seats seem to have more adjustment opportunities than any car I have been in, and I can get very comfy in there. Add to the the cruise control, the first time I have had a car of my own with this facility, and it really becomes very relaxed to drive. I am seeing about 34mpg at present, though I don’t make a special effort to drive economically having a fuel card and all that. I will grab a snap in the next few days and post it up. And of course anything untoward or otherwise to report about it – see here first!