I've just registered with the forum, so please be gentle with me, not least because, despite being a real petrolhead when it comes to motorcycles, I don't actually know that much about cars...
Anyway, to the chase. I have a 2002 (52 plate) E46 330Ci, which is mildly modified. I love the car to bits, and have put 30k miles on it in 18 months, recently tipping over the 100k mark.
The history of the car is a little interesting - the first owner (in North Wales) threw a bunch of money at it shortly after buying it, fitting an AC Schnitzer supercharger, followed by a lowered suspension kit. The second owner had problems with the supercharger, and had it converted back to normally aspirated, and then I came along and bought it in late 2007 (from a non-franchise dealer). Currently it has:
- AC Schnitzer exhaust (not full system, but includes pretty carbon manifold cover )
- AC Schnitzer short shift gear change (took me ages to get used to)
- AC Schnitzner springs (part no 98.31.3.046.710)
- Hartge dampers (part no 33 46 0 915 / 88 1700 114 370 [red])
I've been advised by my independent servicing agent (the truly excellent Dave Richards of Gloucester BMW Specialists - highly recommended) that the rear dampers are leaking. Should I stick with Hartge, and if so, where can I source these shocks in the UK? Or what else should I use?
Second question - my wheels (MV1s) are pretty knackered. I had a set of tyres fitted last month (by ProTyre in Gloucester, again highly recommended), and they could hardly get the balance weights to stick as the lacquer was so poor. And they've been clouted a few times, too. After some googling, I'm tempted to get them refurbished, and perhaps finished in charcoal, by these guys: http://www.thewheelspecialist.co.uk/ - any recommendations/horror stories?
Last question: tyre fitters never seem to be able to set the tracking to the computer selected settings on my car. Is this because of the lowered suspension? If so, what setup values should be used?
Many thanks in advance