AP Coilovers Announcement

4/02/2016 2:39 pm by Ben Zachariah

 AP Coilovers

We’re thrilled to announce that we will soon be offering German-made AP Coilover kits and lowering springs for a number of popular BMW models.

For some time now we’ve felt there’s been a hole in our catalogue for our customers who were wanting to upgrade their suspension to coilovers for a reasonable cost. As driving enthusiasts ourselves, we’ve spent a long time searching a company that produces high quality, well priced coilovers with an emphasis on ride and handling, all while allowing the owner to lower the car to their own personal preference. 

A few months ago we air freighted a set of AP Coilovers into Australia and had them fitted to our very own E46 330Ci, which we’ve been rigorously testing ever since. Everyone here at Clickable has been thoroughly impressed with the ride and handling capabilities of the suspension, leading to our decision to introduce the line of AP Coilovers to the Clickable webstore. We’ll be bringing our own first-hand account in a future Project 46 blog post.

Along with their coilovers, we’ll also be offering a full range of German-made AP lowering springs for BMWs. Just like their coilovers, these AP lowering springs are designed to improve driving dynamics without impacting passenger comfort. We’ll be bringing you more on the range of lowering springs soon.

We’re really excited to be bringing our customers AP Coilovers and lowering springs and introducing the Australian BMW market to this high quality German brand. Our first shipment will only have a limited number of sets, so if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your suspension, we encourage you to register your interest here. We’ll be releasing information including launch dates and special promotions for the AP range in the coming weeks, so be sure to either register your interest or keep an eye on our Facebook page.

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Christmas Giveaway Winner Announced

22/12/2015 1:51 pm by Ben Zachariah

Congratulations to Mel L from Darwin who has won our Christmas Giveaway for 2015!

Mel’s order was randomly drawn from dozens of customers that purchased Motul products for their BMWs over the past month. He’ll be receiving a set of brand-new Motul mechanic's overalls in the coming days.

We wanted to say thank you to everyone that entered the competition, as well as a big thanks to our friends at Motul Australia for their excellent products and continued support.

We wish the entire Clickable community a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. See you in 2016! 

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Christmas Giveaway

8/12/2015 2:04 pm by Ben Zachariah

Don't objectify me

As a thank-you to our amazingly loyal customers for another great year, our Clickable Christmas Giveaway is in full swing once again. For one lucky customer, we've got a set of super rare Motul mechanic's overalls valued at $150. The denim overalls have been designed to look just like the racing suits used in the top tiers of motorsports, but will ensure you keep your clothes nice and clean when working on your BMW.

To enter, simply purchase any Motul product from the Clickable Automotive website before midnight on December 20th! Every purchase of our oil change kits will receive a free Motul lanyard, and every purchase of our service kits will also get a free Motul baseball cap!

We owe a big thanks to our friends over at Motul Australia for their ongoing support and for providing the goodies for this competition. Be sure to like their Facebook page here to get all the latest product announcements and motorsport news.

We also owe you, our customers, our sincere gratitude. It's been a really big year for us, and we couldn't do it without your support. It's going to be an ever bigger 2016 as we continue to grow Clickable. We're committed listening to what it is you want and need to keep your BMWs maintained. Stay tuned to our Facebook page as we make announcements, and have a safe and happy Christmas. Best of luck!

 
Terms & Conditions:
Entries close at 11:59pm on 20/12/15. The winner will be randomly selected on 21/12/15 and notified via email, with public announcements on the Clickable website and Facebook page. The competition is open to Clickable Automotive customers located within Australia who have purchased a Motul product via www.clickableautomotive.com.au from 12am on 1/12/15 to 12am on 21/12/14. One entry per total order. Motul overalls are not intended for use in motorsports. Motul lanyards and baseball caps are subject to stock availability.
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Holiday Season Opening Hours

3/12/2015 9:00 am by Ben Zachariah

Clickable will be unable to ship orders received after 12pm on Thursday the 24th of December until we recommence shipping on Monday the 4th of January, 2016.

As most services we rely on are working at reduced capacity during the three days over that period (that aren’t public holidays or weekends), we’ll be going on a little break and closing Clickable during that time.

Please be aware that as we approach the Christmas period, postal packages will generally take longer to arrive. If at all possible, we ask our customers to plan ahead and order earlier than usual to ensure everything arrives in time. Although we do our best to get all orders out the door, the first day back from the Christmas break is by far our busiest day of the year, so we cannot guarantee all orders received will be dispatched that day. If you do require a part urgently or before a certain date, we encourage you to email us so we can advise of the best way to make that happen.

As always, we will be monitoring emails over the break, and the online store will continue to take orders. Please note that our phones will not be answered during this time. We hope you enjoy your holidays. Drive safe, and we’ll see you in 2016!

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Project 46: Facelift Part II

11/11/2015 4:17 pm by Ben Zachariah

e46dish

Project 46 is an on-going series that demonstrates common fixes and preventative maintenance tips, as performed on our own E46 330Ci. You can find the previous instalments here: IntroductionIdle IssuesControlHousing CrisisTyred & TestedTunedFacelift Part 1.

It’s been some time since our last update, which was the first part of our Project 46 facelift. As we said then, the 330Ci M Sport is a beautifully designed car and tends to invite compliments wherever it goes, particularly so after the wheels were refurbished. But the body was not perfect, and we tended to notice the imperfections and attempted touch-ups by previous owners whenever it was clean and parked in the sun.

We decided to get in touch with some body repair shops about fixing the exterior issues. One workshop we spoke to specialised in very high-end marques, and although we’re sure the work would have been exceptional, the quote was significantly more than what we had budgeted for for some fairly minor work. Another smash repairer we spoke to had a good reputation and quoted a reasonable price, so the decision was made to book in the 330Ci with them. The work itself took a little over a week to complete, and we became really excited to see how the car would turn out.

Approaching the car in the bright sun, our black 2003 BMW E46 330Ci looked stunning. A massive improvement, with the stone-chipped and rashed front spoiler, dinged bonnet, and scratched rear bumper all repaired and repainted in the original metallic Sapphire Black. The front bumper grille and badge were also replaced with brand-new parts as the car had originally come to us with a cheap aftermarket roundel, and the plastic grille had faded to grey and suffered some broken spokes over the years.

Unfortunately when we were up close, the quality of work started to become more obvious. Besides some wet sanding marks and grit in the paint, someone had left remnants of dried polish on parts of the body. After we pointed it out, a dirty rag was used to quickly polish the areas clean, scratching the new and soft paint in the process. For most people picking up their family car after a bingle, the work would have been perfectly fine, but as a restoration job it lacked a little attention-to-detail. Better than it was, not as good as it could have been. Maybe we under-emphasised our expectations, or maybe we over-emphasised our budget. Maybe the reality is you just need to spend twice as much to get that little bit more.

We weren’t unhappy with the results, but we weren’t exactly jumping on the phone to book the car into the next concourse event. More concerning for us however was after we jumped back in the 330Ci, we were astonished and disappointed to discover the handbrake cable had been stretched significantly. Having being young once upon a time, we know the likely scenario of how that came to happen.

Shortly after the body repairs were completed, the car was given its first official roadtrip to Byron Bay. We were lucky enough to drive the 330 through some absolutely spectacular roads in the backcountry of New South Wales which made us fall in love with the car all over again (with our thanks to a bad GPS route). Each step of Project 46 has been small, but it’s all added up to a vehicle that is far greater than the sum of its parts. It’s an incredibly capable tourer, with enough power, agility, comfort, and safety to allow the driver to sit back and enjoy the roads and the scenery, yet it’s equally capable as a town runabout. The E46 is not without its flaws, but when it is working well it’s a beautiful machine. Truly, one of BMW’s best.

In the months since, we didn’t really touch the car except for running local errands around Melbourne. Recently though we noticed the E46 began to increase its coolant consumption, with drips forming on the ground after the car had being driven at temperature. The leak appeared to be coming from the thermostat housing, so we put aside a Saturday and swapped the part over with our one of our Wahler units. We then noticed another coolant weep as we were under the car, so we swapped out the faulty lower radiator hose with a new one from Vaico. As we were bleeding the air from the system, we accidentally snapped the plastic bleed screw in the top radiator hose. It’s a pretty common thing to happen with those older plastic bleed screws, so we changed out the top radiator hose with another Vaico item which includes a brand-new screw. Although there was likely nothing wrong with the old expansion tank cap, they play an important role in regulating pressure and reducing the chances of a hose blowing out if the motor is low on coolant. For peace-of-mind we swapped it for a new Behr-Hella cap, and with that same thinking we also replaced the fan switch which has a tendency to fail without notice.

But then as we were bleeding the air from the cooling system (again), we noticed the main drive belt was not spinning true, and a quick inspection revealed that the plastic power steering pulley had cracked. An unbalanced pulley can quickly destroy the internal bearings within a pump, so we grabbed one of our replacement aluminium power steering pulleys from URO. When we were bolting it on we discovered that the centre hole in the pulley was slightly too small, so we spent a few minutes with a file to allow a better fit. The aluminium pulleys don’t suffer from the same sort of ageing problems of the original plastic versions, so this one should really last the life of the car.

Earlier this year Motul released a new motor oil product that is designed to be a road-oriented version of their flagship 300V range, which in itself has a huge motorsports following across the globe. The 100% synthetic Motul Sport 5w40 is designed for high performance turbo vehicles, and we believe it would be a good fit for owners of 135i & 335i models, particularly for those who have modified their engines for more power. We’ve been running Motul’s 8100 X-cess 5w40 in the 330Ci religiously, but we thought it would be a good opportunity to test out the new Sport 5w40 and see how it performs on a naturally aspirated straight six. Along with the new oil, of course a MANN oil filter was replaced, and we put in a new MANN air filter too.

Like any project car, there’s still a ways to go before our 330Ci is finished, but we’re getting there with each step. Including the non-essential repairs we’ve spent $6,000 since Project 46 was purchased a year ago, but it’s beginning to feel a lot more like the $100,000 car that was driven away from the dealership in 2003. When we’re finished, we’re confident we’ll have one of the nicest examples of an E46 in country.

 

New Mechanical Repairs:
Thermostat - $75
Upper Radiator Hose - $35
Lower Radiator Hose - $40
Aluminium Power Steering Pulley - $29
Expansion Tank Cap - $15
Fan Switch - $20
Oil Filter - $10
Air Filter - $15
Total Cost of Repairs: $2744

New Non-Essentials:
Body Repairs - $900
Total Cost of Additions: $3297

Total Cost To Date: $6041

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E34 Steering & Suspension Upgrade

27/08/2015 3:58 pm by Ben Zachariah

 E34 5 Series

It’s been some time since we played with Project 46, our black E46 330Ci M Sport project car, so we thought we would fill the void and bring you something a little different this time. It’s no secret that we’re pretty big BMW enthusiasts, and that definitely includes some of the older and lesser-known models. One such BMW is the E34 535i, which is a bit of an underrated driver’s car in our opinion. By today’s standards it’s not at all that fast, but in late 1988 it was certainly well beyond its time, being one of the quickest and most luxurious sedans available anywhere in the world.

At the time reviewers commented on the excellent build quality, comfortable ride, and beautiful handling of the 535i. Its only real downfall was the recirculating ball steering, providing lacklustre feel and weight to the driver. These days, that poor steering response is only exacerbated by old and loose suspension components. Considering most E34s still on the road now have quite high mileage, it’s very common to find the bushings and ball joints in the front of these cars have completely worn out. This can lead to a significant amount of steering play, along with shudders, shimmies, and all manner of odd reactions when the car travels on our typically poor Australian roads.

In late 2014 we travelled to Frankfurt, Germany to visit a number of our current suppliers, as well as seeking out some new relationships. One range of suspension components we were particularly impressed with was Bendix by Honeywell. Most people in Australia know Bendix for their range of brakes, but it's worth mentioning that the Bendix branding has nothing to do with the brake company, other than a licensing agreement. The parts are actually made by another very well known suspension manufacturer and simply packaged as a Bendix part by Honeywell.

Over the past six months, we’ve been trialling Bendix suspension to see whether it’s something we want to add permanently to the Clickable store. We continue to be impressed with the quality and value of the parts, but we’re not yet certain if there is a place for Bendix suspension parts in the local BMW community. We’re looking forward to receiving feedback from our customers who have fitted these parts before we make a decision on its future.

One of our mantras here at Clickable Automotive is that we will only ever offer parts that we would be happy to fit to our own BMWs. With the steering and suspension of my personal E34 535i gradually worsening, it seemed like a good time for a major front-end freshen up, as well as taking the opportunity to upgrade a few components to compliment the Bilstein B6 shocks previously fitted to the car.

E34 Upper Control Arms

With the steering and front suspension components dropped out of the 535i, we discovered the car had already been fitted with polyurethane bushes in the upper control arms. Poly bushes are an attractive modification as they are generally cheap and offer good longevity, as well as improving handling and feedback. Although suspension is entirely subjective, when poly bushes are fitted to the upper control arms (especially those that take much of the brunt from potholes as they do in the E34), they can change the character of the car dramatically. As well as detracting from ride comfort, these hard bushes would have transferred greater stresses onto other suspension components, amplifying the rate of wear and generally making the problems worse. This was particularly evident on the tie rod ball joints, which were well overdue to be replaced.

A brand-new Bendix centre steering rod (drag link), Bendix tie rods, and a Meyle idler arm were all bolted together and lifted into the car and reattached to the pitman arm, along with Bendix sway bar links. Rather than going for standard control arms, we decided to borrow some upgrades from BMW’s own engineering department. The new Febi-Bilstein upper control arms had E32 750iL bushes pressed in, which use a harder rubber compound than the originals, improving the 535’s handling while still maintaining its trademark BMW ride (or in this case, restoring it).

E34 Lower Control Arms

For the lower control arms, it was an easy choice to go with the E31 8 Series versions which are an improvement in every way. Firstly, these are fully aluminium, providing half a kilo of (unsprung) weight saving over the original steel arms, which contributes to improved ride, handling, and braking. The E31 arms also have spherical bearings in place of the rubber bush, allowing almost zero movement -- even less than polyurethane bushings. However, unlike the poly bushings removed earlier, these bearings are mounted ahead of the front wheels and don’t take the full impact force over bumps, simply improving feedback and steering without disrupting the ride comfort. Finally, the ball joints in the arms are designed to be used with the heavier V12 motor of the 850CSi, so they’re a lot stiffer than the original ball joints that came on the E34. A big plus with these upgrades is that they bolt straight in without any modifications, utilising the original suspension geometry. But the best thing is that these parts were originally designed and tested by BMW and released on their flagship models.

When bolting in the control arms, the suspension was placed under load before the nuts were tightened to ensure the stress transferred from the road is directed through the rubber bush correctly (though it wasn’t necessary for the spherical bearing of the lower control arms). One way to achieve this is by driving the car up onto ramps so you can still get access to the underside.

E34 Sway Bar Links

We took our time doing this job, removing the old components over the course of a lazy Saturday and fitting the fresh parts on an equally lazy Sunday. Anyone with the right tools and basic mechanical knowledge could finish the job on their own in a day, though it’s worth mentioning that the car will need a professional laser wheel alignment after it’s been finished.

With the entire front-end back together, we hit the road in the 535i and discovered the car had been completely and utterly transformed. Steering went from a significant amount of slop between 10 and 2, to fairly minor play between 11:45 and 12:15 (the usual amount for an old recirculating ball). The heavy-duty ball joints in the E31 control arms combined with the brand new steering components have significantly improved the weight and feedback through the steering wheel. This now allows the car to be placed far more accurately on the road, particularly when pitching it into a corner and following an apex. Despite pads and rotors that are about due to be replaced, braking performance was still improved noticeably as the suspension was no longer taking the slack at initial bite. The car also thankfully became less harsh with the new bushes installed, with no discernible difference in handling. Coupled with the Bilstein B6s, the front end now steers and handles better than it ever did from the factory, but still retains its quintessentially BMW ride. Despite the steering remaining the weakest part in the car, replacing all of the components has improved it dramatically. The front-end refresh has breathed new life into the beloved E34, making the car both a lot safer and a lot more enjoyable to drive.

 

New Mechanical Repairs: 
Front Upper Control Arm - Left - $75 
Front Upper Control Arm - Right - $75 
Sway Bar Link - Front - $25 x2 
Front Centre Rod Assembly - $89 
Aluminum Front Lower Control Arm - Left - $199 
Aluminum Front Lower Control Arm - Right - $199 
Tie Rod Assembly - Front - $39 x2 
Idler Arm - $29 
Total Cost of Repairs: $794

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Store Announcements

18/06/2015 11:00 am by Ben Zachariah

It’s been a little bit quiet on the Clickable blog recently, but that’s because we’ve been completely focused on developing our latest major website upgrade. You might not notice any visual differences at a quick glance, but there are two significant changes that will make finding the right parts for your vehicle much, much easier.

Our redeveloped ‘Quick Finder’ system now allows you to enter in the exact model of your BMW, filtering out irrelevant parts that don’t fit, as well as displaying customised messages that are tailored to your specific car (so if you’re buying for more than one car, just be sure to re-enter the details of the second model into the ‘Quick Finder’ box to confirm suitability!). These messages contain targeted fitment information such as compatible date ranges, transmissions, and body styles, all in a succinct and easy-to-understand format.

This update is something that we’ve wanted to do for some time, and we were in a good position a few months ago to begin the project and dedicate proper resources to it. It’s taken hundreds of man hours to get this point, with over 700 parts on the website being individually researched and cross-referenced to ensure the most accurate information is being provided to our customers. Some people don’t realise, but BMW almost always change and redesign parts throughout the life of a model, and often on completely random dates. Parts can also change according to country -- particularly with Australia, as we’re a ‘hot climate’ country with right-hand-drive vehicles -- so figuring out the correct fitting information meant independently verifying the data for every single part that we stock. As many parts are unique to Australia, you may notice that we recommend different parts to those that are offered by other online stores based overseas.

We’re really proud of the new update, and we believe we have now developed the most accurate parts fitment guide in Australia, second only to BMW themselves. But despite our best efforts, there will of course be things we’ve missed and mistakes we’ve made, so we really appreciate the help and understanding from our customers in this early stage of implementation. As we always say though, if you own a personally imported BMW or you’re ever unsure about the build date of your model, feel free to email us your VIN and we’ll be more than happy to confirm everything on your behalf.

As well as the upgrade to the ‘Quick Finder’ system, we’ve also introduced a mobile-friendly, responsive update to the website. This now makes navigating the Clickable store on a smartphone or tablet much better than it’s ever been. These are just two steps that we’ve delivered as we actively try to improve the experience that our customers have with Clickable Automotive at every level.

One of the more noticeable things with the new ‘Quick Finder’ system in place is how it highlights some of the limits within our catalogue. There are three main reasons for this: firstly, our focus is on mechanical maintenance parts, so we don’t offer things like interior or exterior trims, or performance parts. The second is that the store no longer displays irrelevant parts that simply don’t fit the model that’s been selected. Finally, and most importantly, we almost never offer more than one option for a part. We see it as our job to seek out the highest quality aftermarket parts for the best prices we can offer, so we don’t really understand the point of offering poor quality products or overly expensive products as alternatives that nobody wants. Our entire range is curated so that every part is as good as or better than what was fitted by BMW at the factory, and the guess work is taken out of it for our customers when it comes time to buy.

In the past we’ve written in-depth about our stock shortages, explaining the reality behind these gaps and how we’ve been working hard to resolve them. We feel we’re doing a better job at reducing these shortfalls in terms of both number of products that are out of stock, as well as the length of time that they’re unavailable. But there’s still a lot of room for improvement, and we acknowledge that. We don’t want to appear to be making excuses, however we do like to give our customers some behind-the-scenes insight into Clickable. And one of the reasons we haven’t been able to resolve the stock shortage issue completely is because sales continue to exceed our own expectations, even with projected growth accounted for. As far as problems go, this is one of the better ones to have, and we’re humbled and excited that more and more people are trusting us to look after their BMWs.

Accurately forecasting sales is made more difficult due to the fact that a significant proportion of our stock arrives to us via sea, so any purchasing decisions must be made around six months in advance. Air freighting in smaller shipments to cover the shortfall is an option that is available to us, but it’s an expensive option, and the truth is that the margins just aren’t enough for us to be able to consider it in most cases. We really want to avoid raising our prices whenever possible, so that means working to find the right rhythm to meet the demand from our customers.

It’s worth noting that since we first launched in 2011, we’ve avoided making across-the-board price increases on our product range, even with the Australian dollar working against us. The reality is that these stock shortages will unfortunately continue in the short-term, but the long-term advantage is that we’ll have a larger and better product range and it will allow us to uphold our current pricing structure for the foreseeable future.

However, even as we attempt to increase our stock levels, another significant factor continues to be that our suppliers simply cannot keep up with demand. None of these are issues that can be fixed overnight, but things are constantly improving, and we’re grateful for the patience and understanding from our community as we sort through them. Our goal has always been to create the type of online parts store that we would want to buy from, stocked only with parts that we would be comfortable fitting to our own BMWs, and that continues to be our motivation.

If you have any comments about the new ‘Quick Finder’ system or the changes to the mobile-friendly functionality, please drop us an email to hello@clickableautomotive.com.au.

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Project 46: Facelift Part I

12/03/2015 3:02 pm by Ben Zachariah

 Wheel Repairs

Project 46 is an on-going series that demonstrates common fixes and preventative maintenance tips, as performed on our own E46 330Ci. Click here to read our introduction to the series, here for part two, here for part three, here for part four, here for part five, and here for the last instalment.

We’ve gone on about this in previous articles on Project 46, but we think our 330Ci M Sport is a pretty good looking thing straight out of the box. The black-on-black colour combo, coupled with the shadowline trim around the windows, the subtle M Sport bodykit, and the beautiful Style 135 wheels all work together perfectly with the lines of the E46.

But one thing that’s annoyed us since we got the car has been the wear and tear on the exterior. Owning and using a car means that scratches and dings will happen from time-to-time, no matter how careful you are. And although the previous owners did an okay job of looking after the car, there are areas that show its age and really take away from the overall aesthetic of the vehicle. Predictably, the rear front and rear bumpers suffered from scratches, gashes, paint chips, the bonnet has minor dings, and the wheels had the usual gutter-rash.

The ethos of Project 46 has always been to update it with the best available parts. Sometimes that means fitting parts that are of equal quality to those fitted from the factory, and sometimes that means upgrading parts that make the car better. Subtle upgrades that all work together to make one of the best all-rounders on the road.

We got in touch with Alex from Advanced Alloy Wheels Repairs in Moorabbin to see what they could do with the scuffed alloys on the 330Ci. Every wheel on the car had gutter-rash that stuck out like a sore thumb whenever they were cleaned. Alex arranged for the loose wheels to be picked-up from our warehouse, and we asked him if it would be possible to paint them in a darker metallic grey, matching the colour of the wheels that come standard on the BMW F20 M135i. Advanced can repaint wheels in almost any colour for no extra, and we thought the darker grey colour would change the tone of the vehicle slightly, without ruining that original, factory look that we love so much.

Three days later the wheels were dropped back to us, and we couldn’t believe the difference. The team at Advanced absolutely nailed the job, fixing the wheels to be as good as new, and finding the perfect paint to match our request. We couldn’t be happier with the results.

E46 Wheels

Although the E46 is a great all-rounder, it does tend to lack a bit of storage practicality. So a couple of months ago we began our search to find a towbar package that doesn’t require a lot of modifications and will be virtually invisible when not being used (which is most of the time). As we discovered though, the vast majority of aftermarket tow kits out there require a big ugly hole to be cut into the middle of the M-Sport bumper. There’s no point in making the car look good if you’re just going go and cut up the panels. Although, if you don’t have the M-Sport kit on your E46, the search for a tow kit is a bit easier.

Eventually we came across the Bosal vertical detachable towbar for the E46, which uses a U-shaped tongue and ball that lifts into the mount from below. Unfortunately the tow kit is not available to buy in Australia just at the moment. Although a more expensive option, it was a small price to pay to import the kit from the UK, rather than buying a kit locally that we think would have a negative impact on the car’s looks. In other words, all of the other tow kits we found locally just looked a bit crap.

With the rear bumper removed, the Bosal kit bolted to the chassis and replaced the normal bumper shocks. There was a small amount of cutting to be done with a Dremel tool, but that was on the underside of the bumper, meaning the modification cannot be easily seen unless you’re underneath the car. By far the most difficult part of the installation was the wiring. The kit itself is designed to plug directly into the electronics on the 330Ci, but the wiring must be routed to the front of the cabin, past the headlight switch, and into the fuse box behind the glovebox. One long Saturday, a lot of patience, and one broken interior trim piece later, and the kit was fully installed.

Towkit

Probably our biggest complaint is that the safety chain coupling is a little fiddly to get to, but it’s a small compromise for what is actually a brilliantly engineered tow kit. The extra cost that was spent bringing it over from the UK will be easily recovered when the car is eventually sold, as it’s made the vehicle significantly more practical, but still retains its factory look. We’ve already used it to clear a trailer-load of pallets from the warehouse and it performed just as well as we’d hoped. The indicators do have an erratic flash when a trailer with LED lights is used, but we suspect the trailer itself needs some resistors soldered into the wiring loom. If you’re considering bringing in a tow kit from overseas, please check to see if it complies with local regulations and design rules.

Recently we also put in a call to our friends down at Brighton BMW. A little while ago BMW issued a voluntary recall notice for the passenger-side airbags in E46 3 Series models. Though they apparently haven’t had any incidents of airbags malfunctioning in E46s, BMW announced a global recall purely as a precaution. We booked the car in and took it down to Brighton BMW, where they replaced the potentially hazardous air bag for us at no charge. If you own an E46, we recommend checking with your local dealership about the recall notice.

Now the car is safer, more practical, and looks better than it ever has. If you’re in Melbourne and want to get your alloys refurbished, call Advanced Alloy Wheel Repairs on 03 9555 6893 and mention that you’re a Clickable customer for a very generous 20% off* the retail rate. Or head over to their Facebook page to see some of the wheels they’re working on: https://www.facebook.com/advancedalloys

*Advanced Alloy Wheel Repairs reserve their right to change or cancel the offer at any time.

 

New Mechanical Repairs:
Airbag Recall - $0
Total Cost of Repairs: $2505

New Non-Essentials:
Refurbished Alloy Wheels - $840
Bosal Detachable Towbar - $950
Total Cost of Additions: $2397

Total Cost To Date: $4928


IMG_0790 IMG_0791 IMG_0794 IMG_7811 IMG_0817

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Zimmermann Brakes Restocked

25/02/2015 1:25 pm by Ben Zachariah

Zimmermann Restock

For those that have been waiting patiently, we’re very pleased to announce that we’ve just restocked our range of Zimmermann brakes across all models, and have added a few more too. Click here to find the brakes for your BMW.

We’ve regrettably been out of stock of many of our most popular brake parts for some time now, and we’ve been working through a number of supplier issues through the later part of 2014 to correct this. This latest shipment should mark the end of the majority of stock issues for brakes, and we should now have the supply to meet the demand.

We wanted to apologise to customers who have been inconvenienced as a result of these issues, but we also wanted to thank the Clickable community for their patience and on-going support. Over the coming months we’re also expecting a number of new shipments to arrive which will restock some different product ranges, as well as helping us to expand to cover more models of BMWs.

We also wanted to give a bit of insight into what we’ve been up-to at Clickable HQ. Recently we’ve had a number of discussions with manufacturers about how unsustainable the current distribution model is in Australia for automotive parts. Unfortunately most companies view the Australian market as very small, but we’re doing our best to explain that the vast majority of BMW enthusiasts (of which there are many) buy from overseas due to the uncompetitive nature of the local industry. This artificially skews the numbers and makes our market seem insignificant. It’s an uphill battle at every level, but we’ll be continuing our efforts to bring the best quality parts to our local market. It’s only because of the support of our community that allows us to advocate on your behalf.

We’re often asked about whether we’ll be stocking a certain brand or another (especially when it comes to performance parts). It’s an unfortunate truth, but most of the popular brands that owners want to fit to their BMWs are controlled by distributors in the region. Most people don’t realise, but these distributors usually on-sell to other parts suppliers, who then on-sell to retailers and mechanics. At each step there’s generally a pretty significant margin added, which goes some way to explain why most parts that are sold in Australia are so much more expensive than those found overseas. It also means that in order for us to offer parts at reasonable prices, we’re forced to buy a significant proportion of our parts in from other countries and side-step the middlemen. This of course means that if we happen to sell-out of an item (which can happen as our prices are so much cheaper), it can take months before we’re able to restock. It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation for us, but we’re doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to try and predict local demand so that we can eliminate or minimise the stock gaps the future.

We’ll be keeping you updated as these shipments arrive. If you haven’t already, please head over to our Facebook page and give us a ‘like’ so you can see the latest news as it arrives. As always, any questions about anything at all, please send us an email to hello@clickableautomotive.com.au.

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Australia Post Services Update

22/01/2015 3:25 pm by Ben Zachariah

Auspost

Having a good quality product at a good price is one thing, but making sure it gets to our customers safely and quickly is another. One of the main reasons we choose Australia Post is because the service they offer is flexible and convenient for the vast majority of our customers across the country, and fewer parcels go missing. Their systems are, for the most part, reliable and quick, which is an important consideration when trying to streamline the warehouse side of Clickable. The more efficient we are, the more orders we can get out the door every day.

Recently AusPost introduced a few more services that we think could be of some interest to the Clickable community. One of the biggest announcements has been MyPost, which allows recipients to change the delivery address of a parcel online, even after it’s already been picked up from the sender (that would be us!). For a small fee, you can also nominate the exact time and place for delivery, which we know will be a welcome feature for many of our customers who need to plan their busy days. Having a MyPost card also allows for quick pick-ups at post offices if you happen to miss the initial delivery.

But if you don’t like post offices, there’s another option for you now, too. If you haven’t noticed them popping up around the place, Australia Post have begun introducing their 24/7 Parcel Lockers. These self-service lockers allow you to pick up your package at any time that suits you, day or night. The best part is that they’re completely free (and should have shorter lines than at your local post office!). We’ve mainly seen them being introduced at 7-Eleven petrol stations, so keep an eye out in your area over the coming months.

Australia Post are also trialling options for Saturday deliveries for intrastate Express Post parcels, which we’ll be keeping an eye on. As we mentioned a little while back, we’re in the middle of conducting a review of our shipping policies, but it may be an option in the future for our customers in Victoria to receive packages on Saturdays.

Of course, there are always going to be some hiccups from time-to-time, but we’ll always do our best to try to ensure the inconvenience to our customers is kept to a minimum (especially if the part is keeping the car off the road). With such an expansive organisation as Australia Post, customers' experiences will also vary greatly based on the area they’re in. But our general feeling is that Australia Post are able to deliver the best courier service for our customers across the country at this point in time.  

If you want any more information on the above, head to the Australia Post website. And if you have any questions or feedback about our shipping, please feel free to email us at hello@clickableautomotive.com.au.

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