My Car – BMW M3 Restoration Project

There’s no better way to start blogging on my ‘Classic Wheels’ site than introducing my own special ‘wheels’ – My BMW M3 Convertible …


I have recently embarked on a restoration project to return the car to immaculate condition – and have therefore decided to blog about my progress …

The car is a 2004 E46 model and desperately in need of some TLC. It suffers from common faults, such as the deterioration of the wing mirror glass and mounting plate – and issues regarding the lacquer on the alloy wheels. I have also found areas of rust corrosion, which is extremely disappointing – and although the car is supposed to benefit from a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty – I have missed the expiry date by one month !!

I’m not sure that I would have fancied approaching BMW about the latter issue, as no doubt there would have been some reason or other why it wasn’t covered anyway. After my experience today, whilst asking for a simple ‘T-shaped’ bolt to secure the battery and discovering that I had to buy the whole terminal cable plus the bolt for £160-something +VAT – I’m sincerely hoping that I don’t have to deal with them at all! (Bolt purchased for £7.50 from eBay)

So far the car has had an initial wash of the bodywork and a concerted effort to clean up the soft top – which had turned a rather unattractive shade of greenish-black. More work to do there, without a shadow of a doubt, although it looks so much better already.

The most telling change is with the rear offside wheel – which has been fully refurbished by Wheelworx in Colchester – -and fitted with a brand new Continental Contisport Contact M3 tyre.


The wheel to the right is the front offside – and they show you a great example of ‘before & after’. The front wheel is off to be refurbed tomorrow – although luckily this time, I don’t need a new tyre …

I cleaned up the rear arch and brake area before replacing the rear wheel – so my next job is to do the same with the front arch. I have also ordered a new set of wheel badges, as the lacquer on the originals has broken away in places – which will detract from the beauty of my shiny new wheels.

Once the front wheel is back and fitted – I will replace the battery with my new bolt – and take the car for a spin around the block. It will be great to ascertain how it runs and whether the brakes are functioning ok after the car being stationary for some time.

I’m going to have to be really careful though to stay away from any kerbs ..!


Acknowledgements : Thanks to Charlie Bulmer for helping with the ‘jacking’ and wheel replacement process. Far from easy on a gravel drive with such a low-slung car …

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