M300LAJ – Project Refresh.

July 18 2020 – It started.

After a few nervous weeks, my best mates old car is now on my drive, after I was allowed to become the second custodian after being passed along from his widow Emma. As I type not sure how he would feel knowing I am responsible for its creative direction, but hopefully time will tell.

Initial inspection: (Emma offered to clean it out, but I was in a rush to collect it once her new car arrived, so don’t pay too much attention to the interior)

At home on its new drive.

Wheels generally used, as the car has been a daily driver and toured the country over the last few months.

Simple fix, missing tow eye cover.


Hover at the ready.

See… A quick fix as the cover was in the glovebox.

Then followed by a quick wash to see what we were dealing with.

Looks can be deceiving, as the wet look hides a lot of issues… Note the lack of breading from a car that was previously professionally ceramic coated.

The second job was a quick tidy, and hover.



The first main job was to relocate the Parrot LCD, as stuck to the dashboard wasn’t going to work for me.


Fortunately, it came off, and the super glue remains were carefully removed from the dash cushion.


Move down here for now…



Wheels to be reviewed at a later date

I uploaded a new background to the Parrot LCD…

 
A bit cheesy, but hey.

Had a quick look at what a bit of Wax would do to the roof, to see if I could polish some life back into it.

Guess the bit I did?

First major action: The paintwork, Plan was a full deep wash, followed by a clay bar, Polish, wax and ceramic coat.

As you can see, she needed that.


Machine polish then all over the top surfaces, followed by the sides.


Some of the deeper scratches were made livable by some P2000 grit sandpaper and patience.

Generally pleased with the results of the polish.

Beading already greatly improved.

The headrests were a bit floppy, and I noticed they were missing some clips.

They were replaced, but still, the issue remains, but that’s one for another day.

Some missing clips were replaced at the same time.

Then next job I wanted to tackle was the trim, I never liked the black, as it shows up stains, and when clean reflects on your eyes when you drive, so quick search on eBay, and I managed to find a cheap set of matt silver to replace the piano black, and this was similar to the original Aluminum the car would have had from new.


The trim came with all the door handles making it a lot easier, and whilst the seat was out I gave it a leather clean.

As is always the way, there were missing and broken trim clips, but I have spares…

New old stock.
 
Door panels off, stripped and new door handle attached.

Back on the car.

The rear door handles were done too.

Rears back in the car, and seat base cleaned and the leather was treated at the same time.

Dash trim next, broken and missing trim clip mounts hiding behind the dash inserts, but I had bought some in advance, and the second-hand set also had some spares, so job done.


Gear surround needed attention too as I need to get the Parrot control removed from its current position, and was slightly worried the superglue method may have been deployed here too.


Cleaning as you go…


New Silver and the Parrot remote was relocated.

And complete…

Back to the detailing.

Ceramic Hybrid Wax.

Spray on, and dry off.


I was and I am very happy with the results.

On to the next job, wheels off and arch cleaning. The arches themselves were just dirty, and after IO got the dirt off, they were left in good order, but lacklustre as the old sealed faded paint didn’t look up to much, so I decided to tread the arches to some nice new underseal.


Trim cleaned up.

Then the passenger side.


I think it looks a lot better and of course, offers some more protection from stone chips and the elements.

Back to the interior and I always wanted to move this odd thing, and as the car is now mine, I tried to remove it and tuck it out of the way.


As it happened that was not needed.

as the cable had been cut off and left hanging behind the dash, so into the bin it went.

A-Pillar ruffles to look at, and rather than just buying new ones, I decided to try and glue them down first, not an easy task with the glue I had but thought I would give it ago.

Again I was happy with the results.

Then a quick fix, replacing a missing bumper trim bolt.
 
Then B pillar trim was glued back down too.

Part cost-saving, part maintaining the originality of the car.


I had noticed the windscreen trim had become perished over time, so thought that would benefit from a refresh,
the rear badge was looking a bit tired too.


So quick call to Harry Fairbairn’s, and OEM parts later…

Good as new.

On to the windscreen trim.

Plenty of cleaning to be done whilst I had access


Much better…

And again on the trim…


Back to new.


Trim back in place


Much better and will help stop water ingress.

Onto the wheels. The option was to pay for a refurb of the OEM’s but I never really liked the wheels on the M3 in standard trim, so against my OEM drive, I went for some CSL Style replacements, that were the same cost as a good refurb, but did not necessitate me sending the car or wheels away.

I just love the difference it made.

Broken clips on the bonnet grill/windscreen jets need to be resolved, as it was flapping about in the bonnet hole like a wet fish.


New item again from Harrys.

All built up and fitted.


Found this, and wondered what it goes too. But sure it will work it out at some point.

One thing I wanted to address was the steering wheel.

As above you can see it was showing its 19 years. But I didn’t want to buy a new wheel if I could help it and didn’t want to send it away for 2 weeks, leaving the car stranded. So I decided to have a go at one of the leather repair kits.


Steps consisted of, leather cleaner, die remover, then building up the black paint layers, and finished with a self-levelling lacquer, matt or glass to your taste. I chose gloss to blend with the rest of the worn steering wheel.


Stippling With the supplied applicator sponge helps to leave a textured finish.


finished, lightly sanded and treated with a leather cream.

That will do me
😉 Cheap at 30 quid.


Whilst I had the die out, though I may as well touch in the worn passenger seat bolster too.

Next job was to address the break ware indicator light that had come on. So a set of new front pads, not ATE OEM at silly dollars, but some good OE spec alternatives.

As it happened the old pads were not that bad, but the reason for the warning light was soon apparent.

These should not be disconnected from the sensor…

New brake wear sensor fitted, and some new shoes.

Oh and hang on, after some hunting in the engine bay, I found the male to the missing female connector that was kicking around earlier…


Turns out it's for the Aux fans and should have been connected, but wasn’t, and then closely followed by me finding the AC compressor had also been left disconnected, and 2 seconds later my AC was working again.


Here above, relay panel out as I was checking AC relays……

As was the glove box, as this is where the hidden relays live.
That brings us up to 19th August 2020. More to follow.

Exhaust tips are not in grear shape, but to save costs, I just wire wolled them, and giave them a polish.

They will do for now.