21 July 2017

Featured Website: RealOEM.com

For the second in the Featured Website series of posts, I've picked a real heavy hitter, RealOEM.com.

If you haven't heard of RealOEM, you in for a treat. As an owner of a BMW group product, this has to occupy your number one slot in your browser's favourites tab. It is the most useful resource for BMWs by a long shot, I can only dream of a site like it for my Audi S5.

RealOEM describes itself as a site that "...can be used to look up BMW part numbers and approximate part prices."

RealOEM.com homepage

After clicking here to enter, you're greeted with a few options on how you'd like to search.

You can use the last 7 digits of your VIN, a specific part number or all parts associated with your model from a specific build date.

For no other reason than I'm too lazy to remember my VIN, I tend to use the latter option, which is what I've used in the example below.

RealOEM.com model select page

Once you've picked your model, you're greeted with a bunch of subcategories.

RealOEM.com subcategories

Clicking on any of them will bring up all the schematics associated with that subcategory. Below, I've chosen the intake manifold page, which shows the location of, and how the EGR is assembled to the intake manifold. I looked over this and a few other pages before I did my EGR valve clean and then subsequently an EGR valve bypass.

RealOEM.com 330d Intake Manifold Schematic

Along with a labelled schematic, you get a table of parts, with added information such as; part number, fitted quantity, rough indication of cost in $ and if applicable, when the parts were in service. If you click on the numbers on the schematic, it highlights the row in the table that corresponds, in the screen grab above I've selected part 1, which turns the table row red.

Most of my time on RealOEM has been looking for the parts and part numbers relating to a certain fix I was carrying out at the time, such as when I replaced the valve cover gasket, but I also used it to find optional extras that I didn't have, i.e. features I could retrofit, the perfect example of this is when I fitted the cup holders.

The icing on the cake for RealOEM is that some parts have a photo too, which is incredibly useful in helping to confirm you're ordering the correct part and identifying the part in the depths of your engine bay.

I've (unfortunately) spent hours on RealOEM over the years, but it could have been a whole lot more time researching if it didn't exist and for that I'm very grateful.

Let me know in the comments below if RealOEM has ever saved your bacon, are there any other websites you think can top it?

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17 July 2017

Retro Show 2017 Video Highlights

I've always been into photography, just as a hobbyist mind, I haven't got a DSLR with fancy lenses. However, more recently I've been watching the likes of Shmee150, Seen Through Glass, Supercars of London and Mr JWW on youtube and fancied a go at making some videos of my own.

I get to quite a few car shows throughout the year, so, where better to start. My first effort was at this year's Retro Show at Santa Pod Raceway, UK.

As well as trying my hand at videoing an event for the first time, I was also trying out a new Aukey 37mm circular polarising filter I'd picked up to clip on my Samsung S7 Edge (that I used to film on).

The sun was blazing all day, which allowed me to make full use of the polarising filter to grab some great shots. It was a brilliant show, with a real variety of cars. The amount of work (and money) that had gone into some of the cars was incredible, the most surprising car was an engine swapped and relocated Renault 5 GT Turbo now sporting an Audi 4.2 V8 in the back.

I'd definitely recommend going next year if you get the chance, whether you're into older cars or not.

Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments, don't forget to subscribe to my channel for plenty more content to come.