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About jules

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    Blazingstoke, Hants.

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  1. Evening all. My old E34 had a winter setting on the auto box. I think it automatically selected 2nd gear to pull away in (more torque to the wheels). My current E46 does not have this, just ASC+T which the hand book recommends turning off 'for short periods of driving in the snow'. Anyone got any other tips for driving in the weather with an auto box? I've been using a manual all week, but back in the auto tomorrow and not looking forward to it............ Happy Crimbo to all. Jules
  2. jules

    Polisher? What one and polish?

    Disagree on that one matey, in fact I think many people place far too much faith in the things. Anything less than a 2 grand paint depth gauge will only give you the total thickness of all the paint layers (primer, base & clear). Which means you are still estimating what clearcoat is available to play with - I accept there is a general rule of thumb of 1:1:2 ratio of primer/base/clear and that you can also do a test section on door shuts where there is no clear to get a bench mark, but fundamentally you are still guessing. IMHO, the tool is only of use to seasoned pros who use it purely as a guide to support them making correction decisions in addition to the wealth of exeperience they have. For a novice or occasional polisher, they have the potential to do more harm than good. I also think they have become a bit of a marketing tool that looks good to potential customers - i.e. if you have one 'you must know what you are doing'.... not true. I certainly wouldnt recommend a novice getting one, better to spend some money on some scrap panels for practice and see how the different pad/polish combos work and even see how hamfisted you need to be to burn through... I understand what you are saying, and yes, in the hand of the ignorant or woefully inadept, a PDR could give a false sense of security. However there are plenty of occations where I have found the the depth guage invaluble. The example of the Jag (above) is just one. Not all paint is applied uniformally, and there exists, even on the best marques, areas where paint thickness falls off, usually around door edges and shut-lines, but I have also found areas that do this in the middle of panels. If you are polishing a door with 120um thick paint which suddenly drops to sub-80um, then you need to know where on that panel to be more careful. A PDR will also tell you how much paint you are removing during the polishing process and helps identify whether a paint is 'soft' or 'hard', which in turn assists with your choice of polish and pad combo. Also, a PDR will help you identify any areas that have been repainted, so you know to go easy around the paint repair and expect the paint to react differently to the same polish. (As well as being an invaluble tool when purchasing a car.) Your argument is valid in so far that a cheap depth guage will only show the total amount of paint and you are therefore guessing how much to attribute to primer/colour and clearcoat. However, its an educated guess which will enable you to make informed choices and this is far better than just ploughing in regardless and 'striking through' which will ultimately cost more than £100 in a respray bill. In that respect I think that £100 spent on a PDR is well worth the money, especially if you decide to branch out and do other peoples cars.
  3. jules

    De-smelling the interior

    The Comma aircon bombs do work, but they do leave a sticky residue everywhere, so you have a major clean-up job on the interior afterwards. For cleaning cloth seats and carpets I find that a strong solution of woolite (with warm water), sprayed onto the seats and then scrubbed it, will clean almost all stains/smells away. Then use a wet and dry cleaner with a solution of warm water and fabric conditioner (Sainsburys own lavender seems to work the best) to extract the soapy mess. For bad staining, Megs APC cut 10:1 will shift it. If you are dealing with, shall we say, human body waste, Megs APC is an excellent cleaner, but it is not antibacterial, so you need something like dettol. Dont forget the headlining either, lots of smells can hide here. Be very gentle with it and don't overload it with water otherwise it will strecth and sag under the weight.
  4. jules

    EU Certificate of Conformity

    I take it that you have an import vehicle? I doubt that anyone at BMW will be able to help you, you will have to trace the original owner/importer as they should have done this as a matter of course when importing the vehicle. Whilst you are there, get written confirmation that the VAT has been paid on it as well. If it hasn't, you are liable for it.
  5. jules

    the plot thickens.

    Just a thought. Did you do a HPI check when you bought the car? If you did and the result came trhough as 'clear' then if memory serves HPI should indemnify you for any loss incurred?
  6. jules

    Polisher? What one and polish?

    Just to add my 5p worth and completely confuse everyone, for a novice I personally would go for a Cyclo polisher. Check here It works on the same principle as a DA, but with 2 heads instead of just one. Upsides - It's more stable and it works faster than a single head DA. It's available in 240V and is CE approved for use in the UK so no 110 to 240V transformers to worry about or import costs if buying from abroad. It is also a time-proven design, so very reliable (unlike some of the 240V single head DA's that are available at the moment. Downsides are that it is heavier so can be tiring on vertical panels, and can be awkward in tight spaces as well. I've used Menz polishes and find them to be okay, as long as the weather conditions are favourable. If it's cold they have a tendency to make the polisher skip and jump. I personally find that Megs polsihes, and especially the new ones, are excellent. I've had a go on a rotary buffer and TBH, the level of correction that can be acheived is excellent, however the speed at which you acheive that level of correction is scary and you can easily burn through or reduce the level of the clearcoat to a point where it will fail, very quickly. I personally prefer to take my time, its more theraputic that way. Whichever way you go, you MUST invest in a paint depth guage. They can be picked up for about £100 and are invaluable IMHO. Mine has saved me more than £100, when someone brought me a Jag last year to machine polish. It must have been polished several times already and the level of clearcoat remaining was only just holding the colour on!
  7. jules

    Detailing costs. Trial thread.

    £20 an hour is about right, but as has already been mentioned, your work is dependant on the weather and certain detailing steps cannot be carried out in extremes of cold or heat and direct sunlight. I'm happy to wash and clay a car in the rain, but you cannot do anything else without shelter. So factor approximately 1/3 of the year where you cannot do any work unless you have shelter. If you are mobile, then you need to factor in transportation costs, travelling time. If you are static then you need to factor in costs of your premesis. As an aside, I was considering this lark seriously last year, but I did not want to go mobile and be at the mercy of the weather, which means you need premesis to work out of. You are not allowed to do this sort of thing professionally from home due to the chemicals involved and you have to have a water recycling system as well, not to mention the fact you'll get on your neighbours tits with a polisher/pressure washer/vacumm cleaner running 10/12 hours a day 6 days a week. You'll never get planning permission and the environmental health WILL come down on you like a ton of bricks if someone complains. After doing some sums I worked out that even with the cheapest premisis I could find I could not make a viable business on £20 per hour, It works out closer to £35/£40 per hour, and who is going to pay that in the current ecomonic climate, especially when most people are happy with £5 on the local swirl-o-matic or £10 to the bulgarians in sainsburys car park?
  8. jules

    Slogan needed for work.......

    "We're crap but we have a laugh". Sorry, I'll get my coat................
  9. jules

    F*^kin' dogs.

    If a dog is dangerously out of control (and I would say that a dog that has a reputation for chasing cars and not being restrained would fit this category) then the owners are obliged to recompense anyone that sustains damage or injury from said dog (If injury then the dog should be put down, but I see you have taken care of that particular issue). IMHO you are legally obliged to recover damages from the owner and whilst I'm sure everyone feels for the dog, ultimately it was the authour of its own demise, illustrated by its owners. I'm sure no-one blames you or finds your actions callous in trying to recover damages from the owner. Go for it, I say.
  10. jules

    PCP, Lease etc

    As has already been said, you risk exposing yourself to negative equity if the balloon is too high. On a Lease the balloon is your responsibility so you take the fall. On a PCP the manufacturer will guarantee the balloon but they set the balloon and for your car to be worth the balloon you have to adhere to the contracted mileage (yes the mileage is a part of the contract) otherwise you will be stung for excess mileage charges and compromise your balloon, so again you could be forking out at the end of the agreement. Both Lease and PCP are also an expensive way of funding a car purchase because you are being charged interest on the amount that you have borrowed and the balloon payment (The balloon is after all, just a large deferred payment which you pay at the end of the agreement). Good old HP is the cheapest and simplest way of funding a car. Whatever you do, don't go down the contract hire route. If a dealer trys to sell contract hire to you, ask them how much it will cost to get out of the agreement early.......... Oh, and an accountants recommendation that PCP is the way to go is based on a specific individuals current taxation status, it's not a general recommenation that PCP is good for everyone. Jules
  11. jules

    Bully at work - what to do...

    I really feel for you mate. I work at a place with over 200 employees and our HR dept is renouned at being useless and they will not tackle any kind of acromonious situation, bullying is commonplace in our company as a result. If you can, try and put a cost to all the instances of negligence, i.e. cost of wasted time, replacing broken tools, equipment, customers property, wages expended to solve to problem,etc, etc.... If you can do this over the course of a month, and then extrapolate that cost over 12 months, take it to your boss and tell him that he can afford to pay him off with x months worth of salary and still make a profit, he might just jump for it. This worked in a place I used to work at, the admin girl was absolutely useless (nice, but useless), unfortunately she was employed a year before anyone noticed that she didn't know the alphabet.................
  12. jules

    I think i've have OCD!!!

    Megs stuff needs working over a reasonable length of time, Scratch-X especially needs to be worked for 10-15 mins to be effective. make sure you aren't doing it on a hot car or in direct sunlight. You want to work it until it has pretty much dissappeared.
  13. jules

    Radio Module - Location?

    Its a 2001 and the radio module has failed (confirmed by BMW) I'm looking to replace it with a second hand unit. I've been told it's a plug and play job, but having problems locating the unit. I thought they were behind the NS wheel arch with the CD changer?
  14. jules

    Getting more MPG out of Auto 530d

    I get the p1ss extracted on here for admitting similar driving strategy recently, but it does work. I've found I can enjoy spirited acceleration up to a sensible ie SLOW cruising speed and then achieve 30+ mpg overall on a run on motorways at around 60mph. I tend to override the cruise control on hills, and allow speed to bleed away slightly, then regain momentum on the downhill parts. I tell myself that by saving petrol on everyday trips I can treat myself to another trackday, one day Its sensible advice. I can get 58 MPG out of my wifes 320d Touring Manual with the aircon off and maintaining a 'sensible' speed. I get 36 mpg out of my 325 Ci adopting a similar driving style. By comparison 'booting' both cars will get mid-30's on the diesel and low twenty's, high teens on the 325.
  15. jules

    Radio Module - Location?

    Can anyone tell me where to find the radio module in an E39 525i SE Touring? I've found the Navigation CD player and the 6 disc CD player behind the NS rear wheel arch, but the radio module is nowhere to be found? A pic of the location would be ace! Cheers Jules