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Awesome. Are you fitting the OEM plastic hatch with ski bag, or just having a hole?

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Here's the last 'catch up' updates. From now on I hope to update quickly what I'm doing.

I hope you've enjoyed the read, either that or you're a glutton for punishment if you've reached this far!

Feel free to comment, they would be welcome!

July 2012.

Ordered new front brake pistons form Brakes International (http://www.brakeparts.co.uk/).

Some information here too:




I'd had enough of the bootlid having rust on it, worst just by the M5 badge (of all places) and with some around the key hole as well.

Boot is taken to painting friends to be sorted.

Cleaned up the front calipers I'd bought, primed with etching primer and then painted black, finally a coat of lacquer to help them along!

Also, painted the new piston ends with the primer, this is where usually rusts so it might help.

Left all the paint to dry for about a week then rebuilt the calipers with the new pistons and new seals. Now ready to fit to the car.

Calipers primed:


Calipers painted with lacquer:


Fitted the rain and light sensor to the car after having to buy a new sensor base from rejel.com (and it wasn't cheap, considering it's only a bit of plastic). Also, fitted the auto lights switch in the clock surround trim.

Started fitting the boot panels, both sides, back and floor panels are back in. This also allowed me to fit the ski bag cassette into its hole. It was a nice snug fit, should not be rattling!

Taped up the remainder of the rear blind wiring run, managed to route it up to behind the clocks. To go further would need removing the dash upper, which means removing the dash lower too. This is done the following day and the rear blind wiring is routed along top of dash, to the fusebox area and back down into the centre console area, behind the switch unit.

Passenger seat is also removed for installation of speaker wiring.


At this time I also discovered the route that BMW use for their radio wiring, which is from boot, along left hand sill until the B pilar, then across to the centre console, forwards and up to just below the sitch units at the centre console, then upwards to the radio itself.

This means a bit of a change of plan, so the centre console needs to come out! Out it comes. The left hand speaker wires are all connected and most of the left hand trim is now refitted. During this time I connect up wires so that I'll have front footwell lights, but don't connect them up to lights yet.

You can see in the picture where the audio wiring appears at the centre console area, coming up the side of the transmission tunnel (wiring running along the transmission tunnel goes to the airbag control unit):


Following day I remove the driver's seat so that I can route the right hand speaker wiring to the front right A pilar connector, car looks a bit empty!:


All of the dash, upper, lower and centre console along with the clocks and surround are refitted that evening. It's starting to look better.

I remove the driver's seat back to have a peek at the stiff headrest. I stick the seat back in the car and connect it up, lubricate the headrest with spray grease and it works fine now. It's electric, so seat had to be powered to be able to move it.

The driver's seat is fitted temporarily, so that I can move the car, but it will be coming out again soon to tidy up the saggin seat sponge (even though it's pretty much brand new).

Here's a picture of everything back that evening:


Yesterday, I connect up the rear blind wiring to the centre console switch unit connector, so all units in the centre console are now back in properly.

I also fitted wiring from the left hand A pilar connector to the speaker pod connector, for the mid tweeter and the tweeter speakers.

Finally, my bootlid appears (friends were good enough to bring it to me as they were coming over my way anyway, very good of them).




Now completely up to date :)

Thanks for reading.

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Yesterday I did a few little jobs.

First off, a few days ago I removed the seat back panel to free up a stiff headrest, it moved slowly, then would lock and need assistance to move any more.

Here's a picture of the headrest mechanism showing that the motor works a worm gear, turning a worm wheel which in turn works a rack and pinion that slides the headrest up and down. It had become all stiff and didn't like moving, a little lubrication got it moving nicely again.


During the day I managed to grab enough time to mark and cut out the 'under dash panels' so that I could fit footwell lights to them.

Panels carefully marked, the size I had to use was 70 x 29mm :


Driver's side panel cut:


Light fitted to driver's side panel:


Light fitted to passenger side panel:


I hope to fit these today. I connected wiring to the doorcard wiring going to the A pilar connectors (a red/blue wire) and an earth as well, so all I'll need to do is join the wires :)

A few weeks ago I bought a Rogue SSK (from ///WeissM on m5board). When it arrived I shot a quick email to Rogue as I wasn't 100% sure the shifter rod pins were meant to be slightly angled. I received a reply from Mark Sinclair informing me all was well and he suggested I got the ends welded, to ensure they would never come off. The were allready bolted with hight tensile bolts, but I followed his advice and took the WSR (Weighted Shifter Rod) to a very good friend of mine to weld - it needed to be 'right first time' and I felt my TIG experience wasn't quite up to the mark! He made it look so easy, but he is highly skilled and they were spot on.

Here are the results, end view:


Inner view, both beautiful welds:


To finish the evening off I spliced in 11 of the 13 wires that pass from the chassis to the bootlid. I noticed a few days ago that one of the wires had snapped, so I decided it would be wise to splice in new ones for each wire. I got hold of a section of genuine bootlid loom (thanks SSkoda) and used wires from within the bootlid that have not been subjected to the flexing when the boot is opened. This meant that I had the correct colour wires and the correct wire, they have a large number of thin strands and a relatively thin covering, so that they can move and flex easily in the conduit. This was rather painstaking as you need to join the wires in a section before the flexible conduit (and after it too, but that's easy). I couldn't do any more as I'd ran out of connectors!

Here's a picture of the broken wire that started it all:


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I finished installing boot loom splices, discovered that the earlier cars had 14 wires, later has 13, so only had one wire remaining (extra brown/yellow wire in older cars that goes to the first black connector in the loom, i think is for the key lock, don't know what the does though!).

Sorted the loom rubber boot and taped up all wiring that needed it with cloth tape. Used rubber grease to aid in getting the rubber flex gaiters back in, made it easy.

Excuse the mess in the boot!:


Fitted boot lid onto car into original location, only one slight adjustment to centralise it. The loom entry into boot lid still had rust, so cleaned it up and KuRusted it. Later sprayed with etching primer then later still a quick spray of lmb paint (not the blue primer unfortunately, but it will do), intentionally sprayed a lot there to get a nice thick layer.

Could not install loom into lid because of this, I'll have to wait for it all to dry.


In the meantime fitted the boot key lock and slackly installed the latch (needs wiring connected so will have to come out again).

Also, cut hole in boot trim for emergency boot release handle (122mm from light cutout and 110mm from edge of trim). I'd made a template in work and used a drill saw gently, used scissors to trim the material covering, all this worked rather well. Trim panel is now ready to be fitted once wiring is sorted.

Drill saw and template:


Calmped to boot lining (I later added more bits under the clamps to hold it better):


Action shot! Carefully drilling the slot:


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Another update! I'm doing quite a bit of wrok these days to try to finish it off, not quite sure if I'll ever finish!

Quite a bit of work today, got up early and spent a good few hours at it, my wife kindly looked after the kids, thanks!

Ran the boot wiring loom into boot lid itself and connected everything up. Installed new number plate lights and number plate screw retainers.

Sprayed cavity wax into some areas of the bootlid.

Re-bonded the outer skin to the frame beneath using PU adhesive (seems to be what BMW originally used but had given up). I did this by pressing firmly against the outer skin and squashing some of the adhesive between the old stuff and the skin with an old screwdriver.

Trying the lid later showed this had a profound effect on the sound (or lack thereof) it makes when the boot is shut. Previously it was a bit tinny and clangy, now sound high quality and solid, it just shuts nicely with a satisfying thud. If you ever remove the boot lining, press against the outer skin to see if it's still stuck or not, worth doing I'd say.

Installed the boot lining with the new emergency boot release handle (will be handy if I ever shut my keys in the boot, which I almost did a few hours later on!).

I broke the bootlid light, which is rather annoying as it was a very fresh one, within the last year I'm sure. I'm starting to think that the hole in the trim is too small thus straining the 'spring' bit of the lamp.

Finished by fitting the plastic trim and testing all of the functions, all were fine!

Picture of the emergency release handle:


I then finished fitting the footwell lights by connecting the small length of wiring I had with the lamps to the wiring I'd installed a few days ago. Routed the wiring so as not to interfere with anything, especially on the driver's side, I don't want it tangling up with the steering column!

Lights work great but sorry, I forgot to take a picture as I meant to take it later on when the light would be easily visible, I'll do it some other time.

Removed the driver's seat, it was loose since the last time (last week) I took it out, so only took a few seconds to get out.

The right hand seat bolster had given up.

This was a new seat sponge base, well less than two years old anyhow, and the bolster felt as if it was the original, the metal frame could be felt through the leather. I got to the bolster area quite easily and bonded the two bolster sections together (those of you who've removed a seat sponge will know what I'm on about), then added a bit more sponge material where it had worn out (out of a bit of old seat that was lying about), bonded the small canvass section back in place. I then wrapped an adapted piece of pipe lagging around the bolster frame and glued in another piece of leather, with the canvass section, as more support.

The result is great, a nice full bolster without any sign of the frame beneath.

After this I attacked another two problems with the driver's seat, a broken plastic trim piece and a bit of stitching that was beginning to undo.

I had repaired the plastic trim before, embedding bits of welding wire to make sure it was strong. However, it finally snapped. This is the section with a screw just next to your buttock!

Anyway, I fashioned a bit of aluminium to be screwed into position so it would be a lot stronger that the original plastic (I'm hoping!).

Here's a picture of the bracket fitted.


I had also, a few years back , repaired the front mounting, here is a picture of that:


After doing this I attacked the stitching with an awl and managed to do a relatively decent job, it's much better than the gap that was growing!

Here's a picture of the seat being done:


After getting it all together I sprayed the seat with a leather dye type spray, presumably to remove scuffs off shoes. I'm pretty pleased with the result, again much better that it was. I went on to give a light dusting to the passenger seat as well, so both match a bit better.

Sorry for the rubbish picture, but it was raining :)



After this stuff dried off I installed the driver's seat properly.

Finally I removed the driver's door card again, as I need to get to the door edge to feed additional wiring through for the tweeters. No time left tonight so will have to attack this some other day.

Thanks for reading :)

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Not much of an update today.

Finally finished running wires for the speakers, that's all.

Ran the last wires for the front right tweeters from the A pilar connector to the speaker pod connector in the door.

I now just need to seal the door membranes with fresh butyl and I'll be able to finally fit the door cards and listen to the radio through the 'new' setup.

As I said in the above post, I've been messing around with this since February, I just hope there will be an improvement after all the time and work; can't be any worse than it was anyway!

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Couldn't do much until today so here's the new update.

I stuck some double sided tape behind the rear number plate carrier to stop rattles when boot is shut, sounds nice and quiet now when I shut the lid. Between this and sticking the outer skin down to the internal frame last week, the boot now sounds really great when being shut.

Then I stuck some Butyl tape on rear right door seal and greased the window runner in the door with some white grease.

Fitted a polystyrene insert in rear bumper. Whilst searching realoem I realised that this piece was missing from mine, probably removed and lost when the bumper was being repaired years ago I suppose. It was surprisingly cheap, about £10 and popped in nicely. Added little bonus is that the PDC wiring could be clipped in under bits of it.

I'm talking about #13 in this picture:


Then I stuck Butyl tape on front left door seal, followed by fitting the door card.

Did the same for driver's door as well.

I then connected the rear door tweeters just so that I could test them.

I hooked up power to the newly fitted amps and finally I could try the radio; I've been waiting for this since February!

I'm glad to report that the sound is much improved. A nicer, fuller sound. :-P

I then realised that I still had not connected the rear speakers on top of the parcel shelf, so I suppose the sound will be even better once they're in. I want to change the rear springs, which means I need access to just under the rear speaker pods, so there was little point in me connecting them.

I checked that there was an output from each of the other speakers, all seemed well and good. :) :)

Final job of the day was to sand and polish the newly painted bootlid as there were some tiny marks and flies in the top layer of laquer!

Sanded it with 1500 paper first, then 2000, wet.

Then I used Menzerna intensive polish on a soft pad followed with Menzerna Final polish to finish off.

Washed it to remove the splashes whilst they were still wet.

I think it looks good, very smooth and no marks or deal flies anymore!

Here's a little picture of the boot showing the lower area sanded and the upper area having been polished witht he intensive polish. Didn't take many pictures I'm afraid.


I hope I'll be able to do more this following week. I'll keep you updated!

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I wasn't able to do much today, only one job but it's a nice update.

I finally was able to fit the new M and 5 emblems to the newly painted (and polished) boot lid.

Before I removed the bootlid a good few weeks ago, I made a paper 'rubbing' of the positions of the emblems on the boot relative to the seam and the edge. I had included small marks for the end of the M emblem and beginning of the 5 emblem too. I kept this paper carefully, so carefully in fact that at one stage I thought I'd lost it! It was duly found today and so I was able to continue.

I cleaned up the boot properly, to ensure they would stick. Then I applied the long bit of masking tape along the boot's seam, I made it long to ensure it was straight and it happened to be the perfect width.

I then tacked the paper rubbing to the boot, ensuring it went to the same place as when I made it!:


To allow me to adjust the position (should I need to) I sprayed a fine water mist on the area, I think you can see water spots on the paper. I was told of this trick by some motorbike repairers and painters; it's impossible to fit the large motorbike stickers without doing this, you will spoil them other wise and you should see how much motorbike fairing stickers cost!

With a mist of water sprayed on it was on to fitting the M emblem. I aligned it with the marks I had made and also with the masking tape. I had to re-position it once, I'm glad I sprayed the water. Once I was happy with it's location I could press it a bit to secure it.:


Next up was the 5 emblem. To align the tops of both I used a small piece of wood as a straight edge. This sat above the M emblem and I was able to press the 5 up against it. I was very glad to see that the 5's bottom aligned perfectly with the masking tape and with the marks I had on the paper. I didn't have to re-position this one:


Once in position, I could double check with the wood guide removed, all looked fine:


I could then press both properly home. This squeezes out most of the tiny water droplets, ensuring that the emblems stay put. Any remaining moisture will evaporate in a few days, so I'm told. This picture shows the long masking tape piece I had under the paper rubbing.:


Finally, with all the paper and tape removed I could see the car for the fist time with a clean, rust free boot and a nice looking emblem :) :


It's nice to see these back on, it makes it feel complete. I don't like it's look without them. Things are getting better every day, less things to do until I'll be happy and have it back in use :)

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Due to the rear right hand side of the car being about 15mm lower than the rear right (I presume a weakened spring is the cause, the right hand one has a lot of rust), I decided ages ago that I would go back to standard springs all around, as the car sits quite low at the moment and does bottom out too often around here, with all the speed bumps etc. The price of replacement ACS springs also had a little to do with this decision!

So yesterday I got up early and went to change the rear suspension units.

As the rear parcel shelf and bits were already stripped out, access to the top mounts was quick and easy.

To get the shockabsorber off the car, I had to remove the upper suspension arm, pretty easy once I realised that a 6mm allen was too small to hold the threaded portion of the ball joint, a Tx45 fitted perfectly (I had fitted these ages ago, but couldn't remember the size) allowing me to undo the 21mm nut easily.

First side took a while, but I think I did the second in about half an hour, nice quick job for a change!

After removing the first side, inspecting and comparing with the standard units, I soon discovered that the AC Schnitzer units and springs are different in height to the standard units. My original intention was to just change the springs and keep the shockabsorbers, but this would have been impossible.

This is a photo of the two side by side, (ACS is on the left with the green spring):


So now both rear springs and shockers are now standard.

However, the car had a very high ride height after being let back down to the floor, it needs to settle! (Read, I'm praying it settles a LOT :) ). Both sides seem to be at the same height though, so hopefully a successful outcome.

It does look rather funny though: :eek:


To finish the morning I went and re-fitted the parcel shelf soundproofing mat, quite a fiddly job to get it all back in the correct position.

Here is the back of the car at that stage, this shows the ski bag well:


Spent the afternoon with the family.

Later on in the evening, after the kids had gone to bed, I went back and fitted a few things to the parcel shelf and tidied up loads of the bit and bobs and tools about the car. I'm glad to say that the rear suspension is also improving a lot, one side is almost at normal height, the other about 10mm higher, a bit of driving should get it back to standard height; I only turned the car around to put it back in the garage, so it hardly moved.

I re-fitted the centre rear brake light, rear PDC sounder, screwed the airbag canisters back down, the safety belt winders and the rear speakers. Not that much left to fit into the car now.

I thought I had taken a picture but it turns out I hadn't, sorry! I might get one today.

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Seeing lots of good stuff happening here ger post-40140-0-96363300-1344425816.gif i had to replace my rear springs recently and that also left the rear of the car indecently high, i did have it in mind to put BC racing coilovers at some point, but the amount of times i`v scraped the splitter on different height roads leaves me thinking more about it.

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I understand your feelings entirely kenny.

I presume that the rear right spring on mine had weakened, it had a lot of rust on it and I'm thinking it just sagged. If this isn't the cause for the height difference, I'm stuck!

Had the rear been ok then I might have kept it as it was, but as you say, it was low, especially the front. Looked great, but bordering on the impractical due to the front scraping, blinking speed bumps!

I'll have to get it on the road and use it to see the new ride heights fro them to settle properly, but I don't think they're going to be that much heigher anyway, ACS don't lower by much, (5mm at the back supposedly, don't know about the front, but it's more, 20 to 30mm I reckon).

I too thought of the BC's which are very good, but I'm sure I read somewhere that they could not be set to the standard ride height, they started out at about 30mm lower than standard. If not, I would probably have gone for them and set them about 5mm lower at the back and about 10mm lower at the front. Anyone, please correct me if I'm wrong on the BC's max height.

It will also be interesting to compare the ride, I think the ACS were quite a firm setup, so the standard might be a bit more comfy, hopefully not too much!

So it's now going to be on standard suspension...

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Not that much to report on yesterday's work, had quite a bit done but took no useful photos.

I basically changed the front suspension back to standard, as the front was rather low with AC Schnitzer shocks and springs:

Removed the front right strut and spring. I had a bit of difficulty removing the top until I realised that the strut brace was grabbing the threads, came off easily after that. Cleaned things up a bit and fitted the standard strut/spring in place.

On the passenger side I again removed the strut/spring but wanted also to change over the hub carrier and hub.

I suspected some damage to the old hub carrier as I had to repair one of the steel inserts (the one for the trackrod end) but I hadn't machined it quite correctly- it was still a bit too big, it was pressed back in and I had visions of it causing the aluminium to crack (with disastrous consequences!). In all likelihood this was very unlikely, but I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Incidentally, these inserts are used because the hub carrier is aluminium, which would wear quickly, so they used steel 'top hat' shaped inserts to take the various ball joint tapers, then clamp them securely in the aluminium, spreading the load much more.

I had got hold of another hub carrier and had to transfer the good inserts to it, then fit it to the car. Then the standard strut/spring were then fitted.

I had also intended to fit the reconditioned calipers and new flexible pipes, but I couldn't separate the union between the car's steel pipe and the flexible pipe!! This was very frustrating!!

It now means that I'll have to replace the steel pipes, not a bad thing at all but something I didn't really want to do as they were in ok condition, surprisingly.

It also looks like a fiddly job to route a fresh pipe through into the engine bay etc, but I'll just have to knuckle down and sort it. At least it will have fresh Cunifer pipes and no chance of them ever rusting :)

I'd like to strangle the marketing guys who convince the companies to go with steel brake lines! For the sake of a few pounds extra, they could have fitted better stuff that would be safe for the complete useable life of the car and be easier to work on.

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About the Ski hatch/bag - where did you get it from and how much? BMMiniparts do it for about 180 which is fine, but I saw an Ebay listing trying to flog it for about 225 and saying the bag isn't included, which makes me wonder whether the ski hatch kit from BMMiniparts includes the bag or not. From some retrofit threads I've read, I had thought the hatch kit includes the bag, but would be good to confirm

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I got the ski bag kit from BMMiniparts. It includes everything, the plastic cartridge, frame, bag with zip and the little bolt to hold it all at the bottom. It's just one unit with the bolt in separate plastic bag.

I don't have the part number to hand, but I think it's the same as in BMW's ebay advert. Double check with Toby at BMMiniparts if you're not certain.

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Cool thanks that's where I'll get mine from. I was pretty sure it should contain all the bits, but the ebay ad I saw for the same thing but for more money with no bag made me wonder.


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New update, with some pictures this time!

Decided to tackle the corroded steel brake pipes and unions today.

Bought some Cunifer brake pipe. I had already decided to replace the relevant sections rather than making my own 'mid line' unions. This in one way would have been easier, but I wanted to ensure that I'd get good flares in the replacement pipe (and therefore, a good hydraulic seal). It would also mean less joints to go wrong and less nook and crannies for air to get trapped! Also, the less steel pipe the better, it won't rust if it's not there!

I know my flaring tool will do great flares with Cunifer and I know that it's pretty happy with the steel piping as well, but from my experience it's not as easy to get a good clean flare in a steel pipe. They're usually plastic coated, so that has to be scraped off the end. Since they're coated, they can sometimes slip in the tool, which is awkward. I might have to do this with the rear brakes, I haven't looked at them properly yet, but I'll cross that bridge when I reach it.

I fixed a block of wood on the brake pedal to stop brake fluid dripping al over the place. This worked great.

Went to attack the original steel pipe on the driver's side and somehow gave it a tug. It snapped clean off! I expected it to just bend.

Obviously, the pipe was corroded worse than I had anticipated. I'm now very glad I've got to do this job! I'd urge all of you to check these unions and get them sorted, we all depend on our brakes!

Due the the flaring nut having rounded (I was using the proper spanners, the nuts have completely rusted in) I had to Dremmel out the remainder of the nut's hexagon to remove the little spring that stops things from rattling. Had I known beforehand I would have ordered new ones, but I'm eager to get the car on the road now and just wanted to get on with it, not waiting for more parts to arrive!

Anyway, I then opened the ABS unit end and managed to remove the original pipe without bending it much.

I used this as a pattern to help me shape the replacement, I now have a pattern part :0

Having de-burred the ends I blasted some compressed air though the pipe to ensure that there weren't any bits in there. I actually blasted it again after forming the ends with the flaring tool, nothing like being certain it's clean :)

Here's a picture of the straight pipe ready to be bent into shape. Both ends had been formed:


After a while, this is what it looked like:


I gave the inner wing bracket a quick once over and very roughly sprayed it with some etching primer then some LMB top coat. No more rust and a fresh start.

I struggled with the new pipe for some time but couldn't get it to fit as I wanted. Having bent and twisted it for a good while I decided to give up and make another new section. I felt that this one had been bent enough and might start to weaken, I didn't want to chance that.

This time I shaped it all of the way form start to finish and then fed it through the inner wing and up, this worked out much better. Previously I had fed it from the top down into the wheel arch. I also covered up the ends of the pipe with some tape to prevent any chance of any little bits of debris entering the pipe as it was fitted.

A bit of fine tuning and I was happy that the shape was ok but more importantly that it didn't touch or rub against anything else. It actually sat very well, touching the mounting point and aligning up with the flexible hose mounting bracket nicely, with no tension anywhere.

I was then able to fit my new flexible hose to my freshly reconditioned caliper and then hook everything up.


I gave it a quick bleed to remove as much air as I could today with my father helping out with the bleeding (thanks Dad), I'll be bleeding the whole car with the GT1 and pressure bleeder after changing over all the calipers.

This work took much longer than I anticipated, mainly due to having to route it nicely, as best as I could. I should have photographed the routing from the ABS unit downwards, but I'm happy with it, it's pretty close to the original and will work. I'm sure I've seen a picture of brake pipe routings in some BMW document at some time or other but I wasn't about to go digging this out today.

I had hoped to have done the front left pipe as well, but time got the better of me. I have discovered the union for this, it's just under the auxiliary water pump/solenoids. I'm glad they saw fit to use an union, otherwise ideally it would have meant running the pipe all of the way from the wheel arch back to the ABS pump, the other side of the engine bay!

I'm not sure if it's the same for left hand drive cars, but it does mean I'll only have to make up a short length of pipe for the left hand side, I'm hoping it will be a bit quicker!

That's the next job :)

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