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TwoMileMan 11-05-2012 08:56 PM

E46 M3? Any info
Hey peeps, Im looking at a 2001 BMW E46 M3 to buy. It has 139,000 km, no accidents, 6 speed manual, carbon hood, etc. I don't know much about M3s and looking for any helpful info. Whats the diff between E46 and a regular M3? The price is 14,500 CDN approx the same as USD, how is that? Any major maintenance should have been done with this mileage? Just looking for any useful info from enthusiasts, thanks in advance!

Steveo 11-06-2012 11:21 AM

The E46 designation pertains to the chassis, which may or may not be an M3. The M3 is basically the model designation, and all M3 cars built between 2001 and 2006 will be on the E46 chassis. On line you can locate the required maintenance, known as Inspection 1 or 2, and they're based on mileage. Make sure your seller can document what maintenance and repairs have been done. These are very high performance engines, but they have numerous issues, all of which are documented on this forum and others. If your prospect car still has its original engine, it probably has had all the factory issues repaired. If the engine is not original, you can't know. The E46 chassis is known to have defects in the rear underbody where some suspension parts attach. These parts can actually rip the metal mounting points out of the body. I've owned my E46 for several years; the common issues were all resolved before I bought the car, and I have no complaints. Understand that anything having to do with BMWs is usually complicated, and expensive. The E46 M3 is the same, but to some exponent. I suggest getting the VIN from the seller, then try to find a dealer who will run it through the BMW system to identify issues and repairs. If you're buying yourself a hot car to flog on the street or track, the M3 is the one to have. Unless you want a V8, then you just gotta get a 540i! Good luck.

Pinecone 11-10-2012 04:47 AM

MANY differences between the non-M and M versions.

Every body panel is different except the roof panel, doors, and trunk lid.

The engine is different, 9000 RPM redline, 333 HP 3.2L. Different tranny gearing (IIRC), different differential (limited slip, with a variable lockup). Different front and rear suspension parts. Stiffer springs, stiffer shock, thicker anti-roll bars, different brake rotors and calipers. Different wheels (diameter, width and offset) and tires.

Interiors are fairly similar, except for the steering wheel.

PapaB 11-11-2012 06:08 PM

IF you have to ask, dont buy it.

m3e46freak 12-10-2012 06:14 PM

I have to agree^

...but to help a newb out...

1. Race engine
2. Suspension upgraded
3. Better gear box

Pinecone 12-11-2012 06:43 AM

Not a race engine, a different, higher output engine.

But with all the differences come some higher maintenance costs and higher insurance costs.

m3e46freak 12-11-2012 08:44 AM

Oh yes, higher maintenance and insurance. So the s54 was not a built race engine idea from BMW?

Pinecone 12-12-2012 01:54 AM

No. The M engines are not race engines, they are just high performance engines.

m3e46freak 12-12-2012 04:14 AM

Good deal :)

epenbecks 12-13-2012 11:46 AM

Right time in right thread :) i was gonna make another thread about M3 E46.
i drive E46 for last couple years and never had any major problem. Now im looking to get another car, and thinking to get the M3 E46.
i know exactly i can't afford the new M3 (E92). just wanna know first, how is the maintenance cost for M3 E46? i'll use for DD.

thank for the info!

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