Register a free account today to become a member!
Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more here.

Jon's Saphire Black E46 330Ci

As some of you may or may not know I've been on the hunt for another 330Ci for a couple of weeks after my last one was written off. When I bought my last one two things were a must, Black and Xenons but I didn't get either of those and looking back it was pretty daft. So this time, I knew I wanted Imola or Saphire Black. After a few Imola's came up, and sold fast I was giving up but then this one came up for sale Friday, one phone call on Saturday morning at 9am to leave a deposit and I was on my way from Manchester to Kent to collect.

The spec is something else, and I'm over the moon with it, not to mention it was cheap too.

'March 02 330Ci Auto
Saphire Black
Natural Tan leather
Heated Seats
Full electric with memory
Electric lumbar support
Powerfold mirrors
Harman Kardon sound system
Mk3 Nav
Analog TV
Bluetooth with wireless GSM handset
Bi-Xenon headlights
Electric glass sunroof
Tyre pressure monitor system
MV1's with Conti Sports/Pilot Sports
Full BMW main dealer (Coopers) service history
5 Keys

Some quick photos




Plans are to get this one really tidy, probably going to hand it over to someone like Magic Detail and get the car fully detailed, wheels refurbished and a few little dints pulled out.

I've got a decent list of parts to order as well that will just finish the car off.
  Renault Clio MK3
Love E46s, this looks proper tidy... how much did this set you back if you don't mind me asking?
  Leon Cupra 300
That's tidy mate.. My only criteria was xenons, Harmon kardon and auto.. Got the lot, the xenons really make the look of the car, looks soooo much better. I'd not consider one without.
100k miles, feels a lot tighter and more compliant on the road than the Topaz that had just done 106k.

Paid £3k for it. :eek:
  Leon Cupra 300
Looks like you missed off the climate comfort screen..

I've got it but I'm not sure what it does other than look purple!
  Leon Cupra 300
100k miles, feels a lot tighter and more compliant on the road than the Topaz that had just done 106k.

Paid £3k for it. :eek:

Good price!

I gave 3.5 for my 04 saloon on 108k.. I put a few quid into it so looks about rite.

They're so much car for the money.
  Leon Cupra 300
I think all 330's had climate anyway? Probably left a few things out as they're just standard spec, like parking sensors etc

Sorry, meant the windscreen. It's called 'climate comfort screen' or something, that's why it looks a bit purple.
  Leon Cupra 300
Ahhh, I wasn't sure about that as my Topaz had a replacement screen, but yes its got a band at the top of it.

It's not just the band, it's a purple coating over the whole screen.. Apparently to keep the car cool in the sun.

That's pretty good for it to not be seized up tbf.

Mine was seized open, win!

Very nice, why an auto though?

Some people want autos! I never used to, but I grew old and got bored of racing about. Autos are far more chilled (even though it's sommat else to go wrong!)
It's not just the band, it's a purple coating over the whole screen.. Apparently to keep the car cool in the sun.

Yep, I had read that after you mentioned it. Sounds pretty good.

Oh, this is absolutely lovely!!! Great purchase Jon.


Is it a ballache to facelift the front end? Just wondering - not suggesting!

Hm, not really sure. I think the biggest problem is the loom. The wiring for the headlights would potentially be different (facelift has projectors) which also means the light control zone on the dash would need to be replaced/reprogrammed. Then because the LCZ would be updated, it would probably be expecting LED rear lights.
I noticed after I bought the car there was an issue with the tire pressure sensors. Turns out the valve stems are missing on two wheels (just has regular ones). Now then, I need to order replacement valves which are £11 each, however there is 4 different sizes and I've no idea which I need. Additionally I will need 2 new modules that the valves screw into but there is two different frequencies. From what I gather there is no way to know without getting the tyres off and checking the current modules for part numbers.

Ideally want to get new valves and modules ordered ASAP so I can get them fitted when the wheels are refurbished. Anybody have any clues on the correct valve stems and/or module frequency?

Guide part numbers are here (Parts 3 & 4):
Had a pretty busy/productive weekend pulling parts from the Topaz

Decent list of things to swap, although after much effort I removed the centre storage compartment for the climate and ash try only to realise I couldn't swap it do to the extra functionality the Saphire 330 has. (heated seats, harmon kardon, RFM).


Got the Interior bits changed over and gave everything a clean. I'm pretty sure a woman had owned this last/at some point because there was a load of make-up on the stalk and the gear stick. G-101 sorted this out a treat.


Gave the 'new' steering wheel and gear stick a going over with gliptone, much better than the old one, as it was very smooth in places and worn.


Badges and Repeaters swapped:



Wing mirror surround and glass:




Inner boot lights:



Interior shot


I also fitted another thermostat, upper rad hose, newer clutch fan and a upgraded DISA valve, as the original was still on the Saphire.

I've now booked the car in with Matt at Magic Detail for a full correction and wheel refurbish from The Wheel Specialist. Thats the first week in June, so it's a while off, but should be mint when its back.



ClioSport Club Member
Looking really good now. Can't imagine how good it will be when it's had the wheels and paintwork seen to.

Did all E46's come with black armrests though? Surely it should be tan?