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adc
05-26-2005, 07:55 AM
All I can say is... sweet Jeebus!!! :yikes:

It was an 01 in LSB/gray, with an AA exhaust, short shift, and AFE intake. Simply amazing, from the mean bark of the exhaust, excellent throttle response, low engine inertia, tight suspension... Of course this was not an exhaustive test, there was traffic, police cars as well as a light drizzle. But what a treat!

What blew me away of course coming from a 330 is the power. I could get used to it very very quickly. However I also noticed a few things that I didn't like: the clutch pedal was very stiff, the steering very light and gear engagement was sometimes awkward.

Now I know the last could be attributed to the (bad?) short shift kit.
But is the steering that light on all M3s, or just on the 2001s? It made the car feel very alive, but I would have wished for better feel and a little more weight (I actually like my ZHP steering better :eek: ).
And is the clutch that stiff from wear, or simply a characteristic of the stronger transmission?

Brakes felt similar to those on my ZHP with Axxis Ultimates.

Overall (and despite the minor irritations I mentioned) I loved it, especially the great balance of all components that make "there-now" maneuvers so easy. If BMW had made a 4 door version, I'd get one this instant. :cry: As it stands, I'm pretty sure the E90 version will quickly leave my price comfort zone when new, so I doubt I'll end up with one for at least another 5 years... :cry: :cry:

adc
03 330 ZHP

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-26-2005, 07:57 AM
E46 M3 steering sucksass.

Edit: In '02, the rest of the 3'ers got the compact rack, while the E46 kept the same one it had had all along. Very irritating.

BahnBaum
05-26-2005, 07:57 AM
All I can say is... sweet Jeebus!!! :yikes:

It was an 01 in LSB/gray, with an AA exhaust, short shift, and AFE intake. Simply amazing, from the mean bark of the exhaust, excellent throttle response, low engine inertia, tight suspension... Of course this was not an exhaustive test, there was traffic, police cars as well as a light drizzle. But what a treat!

What blew me away of course coming from a 330 is the power. I could get used to it very very quickly. However I also noticed a few things that I didn't like: the clutch pedal was very stiff, the steering very light and gear engagement was sometimes awkward.

Now I know the last could be attributed to the (bad?) short shift kit.
But is the steering that light on all M3s, or just on the 2001s? It made the car feel very alive, but I would have wished for better feel and a little more weight (I actually like my ZHP steering better :eek: ).
And is the clutch that stiff from wear, or simply a characteristic of the stronger transmission?

Brakes felt similar to those on my ZHP with Axxis Ultimates.

Overall (and despite the minor irritations I mentioned) I loved it, especially the great balance of all components that make "there-now" maneuvers so easy. If BMW had made a 4 door version, I'd get one this instant. :cry: As it stands, I'm pretty sure the E90 version will quickly leave my price comfort zone when new, so I doubt I'll end up with one for at least another 5 years... :cry: :cry:

adc
03 330 ZHP


There are some very popular SSK's that don't appear to work well on the e46 M3, like the UUC Evo 3. As far as the lightness of steering, that could have been a tire pressure problem.

Alex

RChoudry
05-26-2005, 10:15 AM
Yes, the steering is not good. And the ZCP doesn't make it any better.

I long for the ZHP rack, which was perfect. The rest of the car is great!

Moderato
05-26-2005, 02:58 PM
How could BMW swing and miss on something so important as the steering feel on the E46 M3? I just don't understand how a stock 330i could have a better steering rack then the M3, what exactly is different/better about it? Obviously, I've never driven an M3 but I've been thinking about getting one eventually to replace my beloved 330i. I will be really pissed if I discover that I liked the steering better in the 330i. :confused:

SONET
05-26-2005, 09:35 PM
I've been switching between my 330 and M3 daily and the steering in the 330 is considerably better. I'm really going to miss that. :(

I wish there was a way to fit a 330 rack into my new car. Otherwise everything else is awesome. I prefer the clutch in the M, the 330 is too light with too long of a throw and is a bit numb IMHO. :dunno:

--SONET

Moderato
05-27-2005, 06:20 AM
I've been switching between my 330 and M3 daily and the steering in the 330 is considerably better. I'm really going to miss that. :(

--SONET

WHY>????!!!! Will some just tell me WHY??? What's different about them? :cry:

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-27-2005, 06:21 AM
WHY>????!!!! Will some just tell me WHY??? What's different about them? :cry:
Did you ignore what I wrote above? The steering rack is a piece of ****.

BahnBaum
05-27-2005, 06:25 AM
Did you ignore what I wrote above?


This would require paying attention to what you say.





:fingers: :bareass:

Alex

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-27-2005, 06:30 AM
This would require paying attention to what you say.





:fingers: :bareass:

Alex
:asshole:

Moderato
05-27-2005, 11:02 AM
Did you ignore what I wrote above? The steering rack is a piece of ****. I just don't understand how a stock 330i could have a better steering rack then the M3, what exactly is different/better about it?

I didn't ignore what you wrote, I'm asking you to be more specific then "it's a piece of ****" , about what makes it inferior.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-27-2005, 11:13 AM
I didn't ignore what you wrote, I'm asking you to be more specific then "it's a piece of ****" , about what makes it inferior.
Longer ratio (makes it ponderous), 3.5 turns lock to lock instead of 2.7.

Moderato
05-27-2005, 11:32 AM
Longer ratio (makes it ponderous), 3.5 turns lock to lock instead of 2.7.

Maybe they put a longer ratio on the M3 for high speed stability, so it's not as twitchy? There must be some reasoning behind it regardless if it was a good idea or not. :dunno: How many turns lock to lock for the ZCP?

RChoudry
05-27-2005, 12:14 PM
Why don't you go test drive one and compare it to your 330i?

These thoughts and feelings are very subjective and it is the only way to understand what M3 owners are describing, myself included.

Moderato
05-27-2005, 12:49 PM
Why don't you go test drive one and compare it to your 330i?



Because if I do that I will trade in a 1 year old 330i at the worst possible time for depreciation in the history of the E46. Then I will buy a brand new E46 M3 for 55K+, and be completely happy with it untill the 335i Twin Turbo or E90 M3 comes out. :)

I'm going to be patient on this one and wait a couple years and see what happens, get the most out of my E46 and then I'll decide between a 335Ci, used 05 E46 M3 or E90 M3.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-27-2005, 12:55 PM
Maybe they put a longer ratio on the M3 for high speed stability, so it's not as twitchy? There must be some reasoning behind it regardless if it was a good idea or not. :dunno: How many turns lock to lock for the ZCP?
The M3 got that rack back when the regular E46 was ALSO 3.5 turns lock to lock. The CSL rack is only very slightly more direct, and most people who have it report that they can't tell the difference.

The reason they left it in the E46 M3 is simple:
The M3 never got the "Ultimate Parking Machine" rack, so there was no real need to change it. Again, I also suspect that the Compact rack doesn't fit.

moneydumper
05-29-2005, 12:11 PM
aren't all M3's CSL?

Pinecone
05-29-2005, 06:09 PM
Nope. M3, M3 GTR and M3 CSL are the three models of M3. Other things like ZCP (Competition Package) are options on one of the models.

M3 is th eone we know here in the US.

M3 GTR was the homologation special with the 4L V8 from ALMS race cars. VERY expensive and never in the US.

M3 CSL (Coupe Sport Light) is also non-US model, with lots of carbon fiber (front bumper, roof panel), different intake and cams (360 HP up from 343 for the non-US M3), retuned suspension, less stanard equipment (A/C and raio are options), optional (no cost) Michelin Pilot Sport Cup (R-comp) tires, special 19 inch rims.

moneydumper
05-29-2005, 09:52 PM
Thanks for the info...there goes my M3MUCSL license plate idea.... :(

FenPhen
05-30-2005, 12:53 AM
M3 GTR was the homologation special with the 4L V8 from ALMS race cars. VERY expensive and never in the US.Why does the U.S. get screwed on these cars... :mad: (Not that I could own one any time soon.)

How many were produced?

I didn't realize the M3 GTR had street productions, but here's one found via GIS, in case anyone was wondering:

http://digilander.libero.it/Logiko2031/BMW%20M3%20GTR%20Strassenversion.jpg

Pinecone
05-30-2005, 05:40 AM
WRT the GTR, the cost to emissions certify it would be very high for a very limited production.

WRT the CSL, both emissions (new cams) and crash testing, again for a lmited production.

Too bad US law won't allow a certain limited number of cars, based on a production car that has passed the testing, to be imported without necessarily meeting the standards.

Alex Baumann
05-30-2005, 11:36 AM
Does anyone know how many street legal GTRs did they build? Funny, I have never seen/heard this car being on sale in Germany.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-30-2005, 11:41 AM
Does anyone know how many street legal GTRs did they build? Funny, I have never seen/heard this car being on sale in Germany.
I think they sent them all to the Middle East. Seems to be the only place anyone's ever seen them. :p

Alex Baumann
05-30-2005, 11:42 AM
I think they sent them all to the Middle East. Seems to be the only place anyone's ever seen them. :p

Yeah, I remember the Dubai photos.

Pinecone
05-30-2005, 01:57 PM
At over $200K each, probably the only place people would spend that kind of money for the car.

bimmerguy
05-30-2005, 04:07 PM
The M3 got that rack back when the regular E46 was ALSO 3.5 turns lock to lock. The CSL rack is only very slightly more direct, and most people who have it report that they can't tell the difference.

The reason they left it in the E46 M3 is simple:
The M3 never got the "Ultimate Parking Machine" rack, so there was no real need to change it. Again, I also suspect that the Compact rack doesn't fit.

Nick, have you tried the ZCP yet?
I test drove it and the steering felt better than an 04 with 19" rims. It was more direct and had better feedback all around. I did not care for the steering wheel itself though.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-30-2005, 04:32 PM
Nick, have you tried the ZCP yet?
I test drove it and the steering felt better than an 04 with 19" rims. It was more direct and had better feedback all around. I did not care for the steering wheel itself though.
Nope. The problem is that there are so many different variables, that the comparison is pretty meaningless. It's amazing how quickly BMW suspension bushings get sloppy, and this will have a pretty dramatic effect on perceived feel.

bimmerguy
05-30-2005, 05:43 PM
Nope. The problem is that there are so many different variables, that the comparison is pretty meaningless. It's amazing how quickly BMW suspension bushings get sloppy, and this will have a pretty dramatic effect on perceived feel.

The 04 was new with under 100 miles on it.

LinkF1
05-31-2005, 08:10 PM
It's amazing how quickly BMW suspension bushings get sloppy, and this will have a pretty dramatic effect on perceived feel.

What are you talking about? And what are you comparing this sloppyness to? Every BMW I have driven has felt the same with 10000 miles on the suspension as the day the suspension was installed.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-31-2005, 08:19 PM
What are you talking about? And what are you comparing this sloppyness to? Every BMW I have driven has felt the same with 10000 miles on the suspension as the day the suspension was installed.
Then you can't feel the car, or you're deceiving yourself. Plain and simple.

Shock dyno testing shows that OEM M3 shocks lose 50% of their damping in 10,000 miles. And that's street driving.

I have yet to find a set of OEM control arm bushings that don't start getting sloppy within 5K. My rear trailing arm bushings TORE at 15,000 miles.

dawgbone
06-01-2005, 07:30 AM
My rear trailing arm bushings TORE at 15,000 miles.
Would that be under track use???

The suspension has gotten pretty mooshy at about 13k..And a set of coil overs are being heavily considered in the very near future...But I do think that the car has gained better traction with suspension wear, but with entirely too much body roll in slow hard corners, for my taste...

LinkF1
06-01-2005, 11:14 AM
Then you can't feel the car, or you're deceiving yourself. Plain and simple.

Shock dyno testing shows that OEM M3 shocks lose 50% of their damping in 10,000 miles. And that's street driving.

I have yet to find a set of OEM control arm bushings that don't start getting sloppy within 5K. My rear trailing arm bushings TORE at 15,000 miles.

Show me a Shock Dyno of it then. You cant just spout statistics without proof.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-01-2005, 11:17 AM
Show me a Shock Dyno of it then. You cant just spout statistics without proof.
I'll see if I can get a copy, but frankly, I don't particularly care what you think. The fact that you think the suspension doesn't wear in a BMW is proof enough that you aren't sensitive enough to the way the car drives for it to matter to you.

bren
06-01-2005, 11:24 AM
Show me a Shock Dyno of it then. You cant just spout statistics without proof.


He's not lying. I believe GC has the dyno chart somewhere on their website.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-01-2005, 11:36 AM
Would that be under track use???

The suspension has gotten pretty mooshy at about 13k..And a set of coil overs are being heavily considered in the very near future...But I do think that the car has gained better traction with suspension wear, but with entirely too much body roll in slow hard corners, for my taste...
Yes, the RTABs tore so quickly because of track use. They will wear out relatively quickly with a moderately aggressive driver, however. More to the point, the stock ones flex a lot when new.

bimmerguy
06-01-2005, 03:56 PM
Then you can't feel the car, or you're deceiving yourself. Plain and simple.

Shock dyno testing shows that OEM M3 shocks lose 50% of their damping in 10,000 miles. And that's street driving.

I have yet to find a set of OEM control arm bushings that don't start getting sloppy within 5K. My rear trailing arm bushings TORE at 15,000 miles.

Wow.... thats not good, what kind of shocks do they use?

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-01-2005, 04:00 PM
Wow.... thats not good, what kind of shocks do they use?
Sachs-Boge. One rumor that I've heard is that it isn't their fault, though. This rumor states that BMW insisted on using an extremely low-grade shock outside of its specified capacity.

bmw325
06-01-2005, 04:12 PM
Sachs-Boge. One rumor that I've heard is that it isn't their fault, though. This rumor states that BMW insisted on using an extremely low-grade shock outside of its specified capacity.

INteresting. For a regular sport-suspension 3 series, what brand of shock absorber would you recommend to get a factory-like ride but w/ better durability?

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-01-2005, 04:18 PM
INteresting. For a regular sport-suspension 3 series, what brand of shock absorber would you recommend to get a factory-like ride but w/ better durability?
Konis. Preferably top adjustable rears.

It's best, actually, if you get double adjustable Konis. The S/As have less compression damping than stock, and it's nice to be able to adjust that to where you like it.

SteveT
06-01-2005, 05:36 PM
Sachs-Boge. One rumor that I've heard is that it isn't their fault, though. This rumor states that BMW insisted on using an extremely low-grade shock outside of its specified capacity.

So, you make the statement that BMW has selected a shock absorber for the M3 that is under-specified for the application? You've made a lot of statements about quantitative measurements. I'm not disputing that the shocks wear nor that the stock bushings are more flexible than one would like for race applications. This is a tradeoff of comfort versus performance. To say that BMW deliberately choses to run a component out of the manufacturers range of usage is a serious charge.

Pinecone
06-01-2005, 07:06 PM
I have heard this from more than one source.

Actually the E46 M3 has higher dampening rates than most other BMWs. Sachs made a shock and BMW didn't want to go with that model of shock, so they speced a lower line model, which while it will provide the dampening rate, it will not maintain that dampening rate over a long period. Why did they do that? Not sure, but one immediately suspects cost was a factor.

It the shock running outside its spec range of dampening? Nope. But will it maintain that dampening rate? Nope. Is this a crime? Nope, more like standard practice in the auto world. Very few stock shocks are good for more than 20 - 25K miles. The old BMW standard of 80K miles was more than just about anybody else. Our Jeep Grand Cherokee stock Up Country shocks were shot in about 10 - 15K miles. A set of Bilsteins did WONDERS.

And since BMW won't warranty shocks without leakage, they are pretty safe. I guess you could pull the shocks new and put them on a shock dyno, then pull them every so often and once the dampening rate gets below x% lower than new, you could force them to give you new crappy shocks. :)

A set of Konis will do the trick. The top adjusting rears are nice, but for most people the basic standard single adjustable Konis will provide a similar to stock ride, with longer life.

I don't know if Bilstein makes a Touring shock for the E46 M3, but that is their stock replacement shock when it comes to dampening rate. The HD and Sport models are a good bit higher dampening rates.

SteveT
06-01-2005, 07:15 PM
Terry, what you are saying is fine, but it's not what Nick has said. You in fact say that the shock is within spec(provides damping rate), it just doesn't stay there. It wears out. Forgetting the superlatives, Nick is saying that it's "outside it's specified capacity."

We can be disappointed that the shocks don't last as long as we'd like, but it's another thing entirely to say that they are not up to the requirement in the first place.

Nick325xiT 5spd
06-02-2005, 07:48 AM
Terry, what you are saying is fine, but it's not what Nick has said. You in fact say that the shock is within spec(provides damping rate), it just doesn't stay there. It wears out. Forgetting the superlatives, Nick is saying that it's "outside it's specified capacity."

We can be disappointed that the shocks don't last as long as we'd like, but it's another thing entirely to say that they are not up to the requirement in the first place.
Actually, we're saying the exact same thing. BMW picked a shock that can't handle the damping rates they wanted, apparently against Sachs' advice.

I'm not sure how one can ever say that a shock that loses a significant percentage of its damping capacity within the break in period can be called "in spec."

LinkF1
06-02-2005, 11:05 AM
I'll see if I can get a copy, but frankly, I don't particularly care what you think. The fact that you think the suspension doesn't wear in a BMW is proof enough that you aren't sensitive enough to the way the car drives for it to matter to you.
I never said that the suspension doesn't wear... I said that after 10000 miles which is less than one year of driving the shocks feel virtually new on every BMW I have driven and every time I have replaced them you cant feel much of a difference until about 20000 miles in my experience... but it is in no way 'sloppy' as you suggest.

But that is for every other BMW... it seems that the M3 is different in this respect for some reason. Sloppyness at or before 10000 miles is very odd and seemed very much like a outlying statistic, sorry for being skeptical of a very bold statement concerning the endurance of the shocks.

bmwphd
06-02-2005, 02:37 PM
Is it possible to have an M3 made to order as it is customarily done with the other E46s?
Thanks.

Pinecone
06-02-2005, 05:07 PM
Is it possible to have an M3 made to order as it is customarily done with the other E46s?
Thanks.

Do you mean order it with the options you want(within reason)? If so yes, most of us did that.

Pinecone
06-02-2005, 05:08 PM
I never said that the suspension doesn't wear... I said that after 10000 miles which is less than one year of driving the shocks feel virtually new on every BMW I have driven and every time I have replaced them you cant feel much of a difference until about 20000 miles in my experience... but it is in no way 'sloppy' as you suggest.

But that is for every other BMW... it seems that the M3 is different in this respect for some reason. Sloppyness at or before 10000 miles is very odd and seemed very much like a outlying statistic, sorry for being skeptical of a very bold statement concerning the endurance of the shocks.


Yeap, the newer BMWs seem to be like this. Nick had a similar experience on his 325XiT previous to his M3. But you CAN feel the difference in new shocks in the 10 - 12K miles range on E46 M3s.

Pinecone
06-02-2005, 05:10 PM
Terry, what you are saying is fine, but it's not what Nick has said. You in fact say that the shock is within spec(provides damping rate), it just doesn't stay there. It wears out. Forgetting the superlatives, Nick is saying that it's "outside it's specified capacity."

We can be disappointed that the shocks don't last as long as we'd like, but it's another thing entirely to say that they are not up to the requirement in the first place.

Well it is a matter of perspective. Yes, they rovide the dampening rate, but not for very long. And not like older BMWs which the stock shocks were good for 80K miles or so.

If the BMW spec is X dampening rate for 10K miles, then they are fine.

bmwphd
06-03-2005, 05:55 AM
Do you mean order it with the options you want(within reason)? If so yes, most of us did that.

The M3 seems to be pretty awesome with the standard equipment, especially with the 6 speed manual; not that I tested it but I imagine it must be something else. Because an E46 M3 would be such a treat to myself, I do not want a lot of people to drive it (such as test drive it from a dealer's lot) before I get it...

Ara7
06-08-2005, 05:41 PM
Hi,

The steering is improved on the ZCP. It's 2.7 lock to lock as opposed to 3.5 on standard M3. I have an '05 M3 ZCP and I love the steering feel. It's has a heavy feel as did my '02 530i.


Ara :) .