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Supernaut's Cars - 323i / Spaceship


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In Civic-related news; I did 150 miles or so in it yesterday. First time I spent a whole day tooling about in it. It is a very nice car, although I was quite enamoured with how the other one drove, so that's no surprise. I also removed the (very overdue) pollen filter and chucked it in the bin. It smells far nicer inside now. Turns out the pollen filter on a mk8 Civic is super easy. It just unclips from the passenger footwell, no tools or disassembly of bits of car required.

It is also averaging about 50-51 mpg with my longer journeys, as opposed to its previous use for a circa 1-mile commute.

It's essentially as good (if not better) on fuel than the 205 while doing motorway speeds on the cruise control in silence and conditioning the air. Flippin' moderns, eh?

I even treated it to a quick once over with the pressure washers at the local wash place. The wheels on it are indeed silver under all the muck.

 

Photos of where I went yesterday:

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That would be the National Museum of Flight, then Myreton Motor Museum, then Jupitar Art Land. Thanks to @JimH and @cort16 for the recommendations in that there other thread about things to do in the central belt.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Supernaut said:

In Civic-related news; I did 150 miles or so in it yesterday. First time I spent a whole day tooling about in it. It is a very nice car, although I was quite enamoured with how the other one drove, so that's no surprise. I also removed the (very overdue) pollen filter and chucked it in the bin. It smells far nicer inside now. Turns out the pollen filter on a mk8 Civic is super easy. It just unclips from the passenger footwell, no tools or disassembly of bits of car required.

It is also averaging about 50-51 mpg with my longer journeys, as opposed to its previous use for a circa 1-mile commute.

It's essentially as good (if not better) on fuel than the 205 while doing motorway speeds on the cruise control in silence and conditioning the air. Flippin' moderns, eh?

I even treated it to a quick once over with the pressure washers at the local wash place. The wheels on it are indeed silver under all the muck.

 

Photos of where I went yesterday:

IMG_8717.thumb.jpg.3c704a583174116adccfa1cd76a1726c.jpg

IMG_8711.thumb.jpg.1e4829683f27087be49858d96784d7e6.jpg

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That would be the National Museum of Flight, then Myreton Motor Museum, then Jupitar Art Land. Thanks to @JimH and @cort16 for the recommendations in that there other thread about things to do in the central belt.

 

 

You've ticked off 3 of the best things to do in Scotland in 1 weekend what are you going to do for the rest of the year?

My favourite bit of Art Land in the amethyst cave. No idea what it's meant to represent but it's cool.

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0w30 is supposed to help economy a lot in the 2.2 ctdi. I only ever ran mine in it and it frequently got 50-55mpg on a run. Sometimes even 60mpg if careful. In the 5 years and ~60k I had it, the only thing that went was the clutch soon after purchase and the radio. The radio I got a second hand one and plugged it straight in - no coding or pairing required.

Purplebargeken had mine and I believe @mercedade now owns it. I was sorely tempted to buy it back, but I already have a newer Civic Mk9 and didn't see the point of having two Civics.

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The first time I've taken a photo of them both.

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Aye, that's an alright fleet. Both of them are above two-litre beaters too!

 

While I did certainly enjoy my tenure with the 205, the Civic is the kind of thing I should have bought in the first place. I even set out to buy 'a sensible car' in October... and ended up with a 205.

I will say that in the unlikely event the chance to own another 205 presented itself and I was in a position to take it on (so I'd need a house with a driveway), I would.

 

 

I've noticed myself driving the Civic without thinking about it, it's second nature. This is odd for me in such a (relatively) new car.

I'm used to most mid-2000s onwards cars having horribly over-assisted brakes that send you headbutting the windscreen if you so much as breathe on the pedal. I've noticed PSA products in particular are bad for this. Not so in this car. It's actually pleasingly old-school to drive, despite being wrapped in a shiny futuristic looking package. A big lump of a turbo diesel in the front, a slightly clunky (admittedly 6-speed) manual box, with a manual handbrake, no stop-start gubbins, and pleasingly-weighted brakes. The steering definitely feels hydraulic rather than electric. It has a good amount of steering feel and can be really thrown down B-roads if you're so inclined. I find myself 99% of the time just cruising about as it sips less fuel than the 205 did.

 

The Civic is the 'head' car, while the BMW is the 'heart' car. Especially when I get to circa 4,000 rpm and the VANOS does its thing. Oof. That noise gets me every time.

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It certainly felt very solid in the 8 months we owned it. A great car.

I drove it quite a bit on weekends and the engine was a cracker. I liked the low down torque, which gave effortless ability to make things in the mirrors get very small and far away very quickly.

I agree it is very much a 'head' car and in the end was just a touch pedestrian for me and I wanted to get Yvonne something she enjoyed as much as the Bini (I did not enjoy it). When the black Saab 93 came up and Yvonne really liked it, that was that.

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3 minutes ago, Split_Pin said:

It certainly felt very solid in the 8 months we owned it. A great car.

I drove it quite a bit on weekends and the engine was a cracker. I liked the low down torque, which gave effortless ability to make things in the mirrors get very small and far away very quickly.

I agree it is very much a 'head' car and in the end was just a touch pedestrian for me and I wanted to get Yvonne something she enjoyed as much as the Bini (I did not enjoy it). When the black Saab 93 came up and Yvonne really liked it, that was that.

Definitely.

It's not the sort of thing I'll go out for a drive in just for the hell of it. However, it's mostly a case of "I should stop burning so much petrol in the BMW, and use the Civic to go and do the activity that doesn't revolve around cars anyway" then I go "oh yeah, this is actually a nice car"

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I got a 4-wheel alignment done on the BMW this morning.

This is true centre on the steering:

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Keen readers may recall - ha - this car was subject to a recall regarding the steering column.

Douglas Park BMW Stirling were a complete bunch of BIG FUCKING STINKING CUNTS about the whole thing. It seems their handiwork consisted of throwing a section of steering column vaguely in the car's direction.

With the alignment done, it drives spot-on otherwise. I currently have the battery disconnected, then I shall drink a cup of tea, then I shall remove and refit the steering wheel.

 

The boys at National Tyres were a bit concerned about this too:

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They reckon the new section of steering column isn't all the way on the splines. However, I had a look and it seems the new part is potentially redesigned, or whatever, and has roughly 5mm shorter joins. The splines are all the way through, and the domed bit is actually ever so slightly protruding at the other side. I'd say that's fully engaged on the splines, myself.

It could be a bit further on there but it also doesn't look to be at risk of coming detached imminently. However, I don't want to go anywhere within 200 yards of Douglas Park BMW Stirling (bunch of cunts they are, hello Google search results). I'm also not sure how to sort it. Loosen the bolt and twat it with an extension bar and a hammer, but access isn't the best. it's crammed down the side of a rather large inline-6.

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Just now, fatharris said:

What was the recall for?

The section of steering column in the engine bay could potentially get rusty and fail, so they recalled a shitload of E36s a few years ago.

My one was missed in the initial recall then called in late last year / early this year.

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With the steering wheel removed and re-attached in the right place, it drives very nicely indeed now.

I can remove an E36 steering wheel in my sleep at this point.

 

Now to head off and get the Civic done too. Just the front wheels this time, and I have a half price voucher for a front wheel alignment.

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Civic done too. The steering wheel is bob-on and it even feels like it has less rolling resistance.

Is it bad that I find myself driving the Civic even quicker than the BMW on some roads? That huge windscreen gives great visibility, and it corners flatter than it has any right to. It's also very easy to keep it on boost.

 

All in all: get your tracking done!

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3 hours ago, Supernaut said:

With the steering wheel removed and re-attached in the right place, it drives very nicely indeed now.

Ah scrolled doon slowly when reading through it and the photo of that steering wheel had me feckin buckled. 🤣

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In another fit of enthusiasm today, @Split_Pin showed me how to polish a car properly. He also did most of the work:

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Having the alignment sorted definitely makes a huge difference. I was cruising along the motorway at 'motorway speeds' with just one hand on the wheel, and it sat there beautifully. No pulling or tugging even on the rough bits.

Now to not touch either car for several days!

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  • 3 weeks later...

About a week ago now, I checked the viscous coupling on the 323i's cooling fan, after it got a little bit toasty during its 4-wheel alignment the other week (the temperature dropped again as soon as I got it moving).

I discovered the coupling was fine, but the fan only had 10 of its 11 blades. Cue, a new fan:

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The more astute of you may notice it has 3 mounting lugs.

That's normal. That's what RealOEM lists for this car, and it is the correct fan for an M52B25 engine from 1998.

 

Nope. Somehow, the one in the car had 4 mounting lugs, and the viscous coupling had 4 bolts.

So I ordered a new viscous coupling, and got it delivered to my parents' farm as I was up there for the past few days (I just drove back to Stirling this morning).

So this happened:

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Now it's in the car and all is well.

I had to do without the shroud as the new fan has significantly more aggressively pitched blades, so is deeper. It sits right behind the radiator anyway. Not like the old 316i I had, where the shroud was almost a foot deep!

 

On the first fire-up it was whooshing away in a somewhat concerning fashion, but it soon calmed down when taken out for a run to get the oil in the coupling circulating. I reckon the old coupling was perhaps more worn than I thought, as the fan would never whoosh when started from cold before...

5 grand in second gear didn't yield any plastic shrapnel, so I'll call it a success.

 

I also then adjusted the Civic's handbrake (tightened up the cable adjuster under the lever) as the hills up in Turriff proved just how crap it was.

After driving the Civic and my parents' Kia Sorento the past few days, the BMW feels like a big burly beast with heavy controls. Still GR9 fun though!

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  • Supernaut changed the title to Supernaut's Cars: Fan-tastic Fettling

Erm...

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Hmm.

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That didn't go well.

It seems fine without it, as it still has an electric fan in front of the radiator. 3 runs at Crail and sitting in the queue for the drag strip did nothing to the temperature gauge.

It even drives better, like having a lighter flywheel. No more hanging the revs between gears.

On the advice of an Australian acquaintance running an M3 in their climate I shall do the same as him. No viscous fan, but the electric fan switch from a 4 pot. The 4 pot fan switch operates about 5 Celsius lower than the 6 pot one. It also looks easy to do, as it's at the very top of the radiator and even has a huge space under it for a container to catch any coolant.

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Thanks to jaypee for providing a spare 4 bolt 11 blade fan of the appropriate size for an E36.

The newer design of fan, while the same diameter, was deeper and thus collided with... something. I found no visible damage anyway.

It's now all back together, look:

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Now I shall shut the fuck up about cooling fans.

I tried driving the Civic somewhat gently yesterday for a change:

IMG_20220518_212521487.thumb.jpg.58fc0f250bc2b06c457c90a70e6304e8.jpg

 

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  • Supernaut changed the title to Supernaut's Cars - 323i / Spaceship

If I were you I'd still go down the route of using the 5c cooler fan switch and relying on the electric fan. I used to run the 740 fanless and it made a noticable improvement on fuel economy. Viscous / permanently coupled fans are a terrible idea on cars if electric is an option.

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I still plan to fit that fan switch, as it's sitting right here on my desk.

I just never look forward to the embuggerance of faffing about with unleashing coolant and refilling it etc.

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