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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #51  
Old 02-16-2016, 04:09 PM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 M3, 83 320is, 75 2002
I have an e46 M3 as a daily and a S54 powered e36 as a track beast. I had the rod bearings redone on both engines as soon as I got them. If this is an in between car skip pit and lease something cheap. Valve adjustment is easy. Downside is you need the little puck kit or time to have the car down. I have done all three of my engines and all three had @ 4 valves that needed a different shim. If you want to have a nice car find one that has maintenance records. There is a huge difference between maintenance and repairing something the has worn out. People bash the SMG but the upside is you can't over rev the engine. These cars are pretty cheap to buy and are fun to drive as anything out there. They were meant to go fast as a result need a little TLC. Items to think about***********:
Hoses
Shocks
Brake shoes
Rotors
Tranny and Dif fluids
Coolant
Rods bearings
Valves
tie rods.
wheel bearings
Not that any of these are bad but they should have had some replacement since new. If there are no records assume it has not been done. Along with the chassis getting a good once over in the areas that have already been mentioned. Low miles does not mean well maintained. There is a oil leak that can develop up front that can dive you nuts. Bottom line is a Mustang Corbra, or a 10 year old Corvette is going to have similar issues. It's a beast of a car. Love mine and love the S54 track car. Good hunting
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  #52  
Old 02-16-2016, 05:53 PM
Bimmerdood2 Bimmerdood2 is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 M3
manual tranny over SMG

yep. everyone's been saying that. Get a manual tranny. If I'd wanted a manual transmission I would have bought it initially. Having the choice of manual and auto tranny is half the fun of driving it! Guess my point from the onset is that I'm just pissed that it crapped out so soon. Especially since BMW's have such an over rated reputation for reliability. Not in this case. What really fries my ass is that I knew better too as I'd seen the blogs about what a piece of crap the SMG tranny is so I have to blame myself. I just HAD to have it! It's an engineers dream and an owners nightmare... Just having a bad day after finding out that it's not recommended that I do it myself, being a gear head, that's hard to take, crappy aftermarket warranty doesn't cover it, don't have the testing tools to do so and it's going to cost over a 1/4 of what the cars worth to fix it and I'm not protected by the lemon law either... I'll be fine once it's fixed and the my head snaps back in the seat as it's hauling ass down the road! Nothing else like it on the road!
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  #53  
Old 02-16-2016, 06:08 PM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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That sucks but keep your head up. Aftermarket warranty;s are a huge rip as there is not free lunch and they just don't have the ability to charge what they need to to cover the big ticket items. So they exclude them making the warranty basicly useless. Even the costly fix is way cheaper than a new car that can match or outperform the e46 M3. Even with the quirks, it's a kick ass ride not to mention it has great lines.
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  #54  
Old 06-14-2016, 03:33 PM
Nomanali4u Nomanali4u is offline
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Alright guys I'm new at this club I am 27 years old and always wanted to own e46 m3 when I had no money and back then I was in high school now when I made my living I own 2014 750li but still desire to owne46 m3 because we all know it was the best bmw ever!!!!! But I need y'all help oh btw yes I'm from Texas So help I need is with this 2003 m3 with 16500 miles one owner I won the bet for 25k and I'm iffy about paying that much for such a older model but I'm not sure if it will be best purchase or not? Need y'all opinion but very very low miles I checked car fax on it it's real deal! And no dent scratch whatso ever color combo is topez blue with silver interior has navi back sensor led factory tail lights smg II .....help me ?? Thanks will post pictures soon it's flawless
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  #55  
Old 06-14-2016, 03:36 PM
Nomanali4u Nomanali4u is offline
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  #56  
Old 06-14-2016, 04:48 PM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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The price is fine for the mileage. However it's an SMG. If it were a manual I would say do it! Maybe even scream it. But with the SMG it's just not as good :/ it's your choice, but personally I would wait for a M/T. Too bad too, the color is pretty cool and it looks clean. Most people on here would agree with me I think.
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  #57  
Old 06-14-2016, 05:04 PM
Nomanali4u Nomanali4u is offline
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Thanks for your opinion. Can I get more help? I actually prefer smg because I know myself while driving I'm not worried about the maintenance for smg but is it worth it? Am I getting a deal? Or not really?
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  #58  
Old 06-14-2016, 05:27 PM
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e46 m3 was my fav convertible when it came out. Finally got a chance to buy one , enjoying it ever since. I also have an 12 750LI. My e46m was an SMG until the pump went out and I did the full 6mt swap.

Either way SMG was good. If thats what you want then get it. Worst comes to worst you will have to replace the SMG pump... Not to bad if you have money. Owning any BMW going to cost you something to maintain.
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  #59  
Old 06-14-2016, 06:06 PM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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^^ there ya go. I would scour this forum and others before asking more questions... They have all been asked. You definitely don't wanna buy an e46 M3 and be stretched for payments. Ya never know when it'll cost you $2K for a fix. This is why I went for a ZHP until I can justly afford an e46 M3. 06 M/T M3 in IR or estoril Blue. She will be mine, oh yes she will be mine. Until then I'll learn on the ZHP and earn the badge. Best of luck in your purchase. Make sure you have a Pre purchase inspection done (PPI).
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  #60  
Old 06-14-2016, 06:11 PM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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Also check around on Craigslist. 25K might be a bit high. 22,500 seems more like a good price.
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  #61  
Old 06-19-2016, 05:51 PM
Nomanali4u Nomanali4u is offline
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/262488536261

I am also looking at this and this guy would do 20k shipped Houston tx , I like the color it's unique and has no scratches dent ding
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  #62  
Old 06-19-2016, 07:16 PM
jiveturky1 jiveturky1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomanali4u View Post
So help I need is with this 2003 m3 with 16500 miles one owner I won the bet for 25k and I'm iffy about paying that much for such a older model but I'm not sure if it will be best purchase or not? Need y'all opinion but very very low miles I checked car fax on it it's real deal! And no dent scratch whatso ever color combo is topez blue with silver interior has navi back sensor led factory tail lights smg II .....help me ?? Thanks will post pictures soon it's flawless
Brother if you like smg and the car checks out you'd better close this deal. 16.5k miles is in collector territory and at 25k frankly it is underpriced.

Go get it and have fun.
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  #63  
Old 06-19-2016, 07:19 PM
jiveturky1 jiveturky1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomanali4u View Post
https://www.ebay.com/itm/262488536261

I am also looking at this and this guy would do 20k shipped Houston tx , I like the color it's unique and has no scratches dent ding
Not for a car with over 100k miles. Although at the pace prices are going up I would not be surprised if that's a fair deal in a few years.
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  #64  
Old 06-19-2016, 08:50 PM
Nomanali4u Nomanali4u is offline
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I'm not really into collecting or anything but just want good version of m3 which I can drive. The low miles are nice 5k more isn't a bad idea but it has boring inside color then no features like compition edition has.
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  #65  
Old 10-26-2016, 02:22 PM
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Zedfor Zedfor is offline
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If you haven't found one yet, this one on BAT my be of interest to you. A bit cosmetically challenged, but it could pan out to be a good deal. http://bringatrailer.com/listing/2005-bmw-m3-3/
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  #66  
Old 11-10-2016, 03:10 PM
JoeFeld JoeFeld is offline
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What you need to know about E46 M3's

Hi, I've actually got for sale a 2006 M3 Convertible with SMG, black. The most important thing to know about is the VANOS situation. Not every model year has had a VANOS recall, but every model year should have had one! Basically, it's the variable valve timing system, and it's notorious. If it goes, it could be a whole new engine ($20,000). My car had the VANOS break, and I got the factory involved to help pay for the repair. Fortunately, it didn't ruin the entire engine but the unit itself and valves were replaced ($9,000). So the good news is - if you want a beautiful M3 convertible SMG that won't need a new VANOS system, have I got the car for you! It's got 116,000 total miles on it but only about 16,000 after the engine rebuild.

SMG transmissions are a bit unreliable but mine has a new pump - again, very expensive.
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  #67  
Old 02-09-2017, 07:37 AM
on3lv3 on3lv3 is offline
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Miss my 05 e46 m3. seriously looking now
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  #68  
Old 03-03-2017, 12:47 PM
JoeFeld JoeFeld is offline
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2006 E46 M3 convertible w/SMG for sale in LA

Hi,
I've got a black M3 convertible for sale.

The most important thing anyone needs to know about these cars is about the VANOS system. Some model years have had recalls, some haven't. If the VANOS fails, it's either a replacement of the engine top or the entire engine, repairs ranging from $9K to $$20K for a new engine!

My car had a VANOS failure 3 years ago. I got the factory and the dealership to chip in to pay for it. I was lucky, it just needed a new cylinder head I believe. It was a $9K repair!

So the good news is, my car isn't likely to have another VANOS failure. It happened at around 90,000 miles, and the car now has 116,500.

Here's my online ad:

2006 BMW Black M3 Convertible with SMG transmission
$14,999
WBSBR93496PK11465
116,500 miles

Clean. Fast. Beautiful. One owner.

Great news for the next owner: This car has already had most of the major repairs one can expect from an E46 M3.

VANOS re-build
Water pump
Air pump
SMG pump
Oil leak
Serpentine and AC belts
Front & rear brake pads and rotors
New tires
Smogged

If you are unfamiliar with BMW's VANOS system and its recall, it's something you must consider for any M3 built over the last 15 years. Not every model year was covered with the factory recall, but every model year should have been! This vehicle has had the VANOS and valves replaced, a $9,000 repair covered in part by the factory. If a vehicle suffers a VANOS failure, it could require a whole new engine that costs $20,000. So having an M3 with a new VANOS system is a MAJOR PLUS.

As it stands today, this vehicle with 116,000 miles has only 16,000 miles on its rebuilt motor. This car has never been raced and has been kept in a covered garage in Los Angeles its entire life. Most of its miles are freeway and highway miles.

Cosmetically, the main issue is that the leather driver's seat upholstery is a bit torn. Replacing the leather panel is probably several hundred dollars (Jack's Upholstery in Reseda is recommended). There's a worn spot on the steering wheel and the SMG cover plate is sun-worn. That's about a $180 replacement. A couple of small door dings.

The oil level indicator sensor is a bit faulty but the car doesn't leak oil, so as long as you check it fairly regularly, there's no problem. Repairing the sensor is around two hundred dollars.
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  #69  
Old 03-04-2017, 05:54 AM
jealeman jealeman is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 M3 ZCP
I learned after doing a lot of research that there are two, if not three main issues that plague the E46 M3. In no particular order:

1) SMG
2) Vanos
3) Rear sub frame

If you land a 6 speed manual, you're good to do and can skip #1.

#2 is tricky. Some people do replace their VANOS units with "factory rebuild BMW" units. The problem with this is that they use the same stupid seals on them, which is what fails in the first place most often. Unless you do a Beisan or Dr. Vanos upgrade, you're screwed in about 20-30K miles.

#3 can be remedied by having the chassis inspected. If the car shows cracks, a chassis reinforcement kit can be purchased and installed. Simple fix, much easier than #1 and #2.

I have a ZCP with 70,300 and just had the VANOS replaced by Avus Auto in Glendale, CA. Trust me, I feel MUCH better knowing it's been "bullet proofed". They back up their work, so I'm not worried about it. Better safe than sorry.

Cheers!
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  #70  
Old 05-04-2017, 08:56 AM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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Hey folks. Is the smg really that bad if you're not racing or auto crossing regularly ?
I have am opportunity to buy an m3 and I'm torn.

2003 coupe 222k miles. Yes 222k. Smg. Clean carfax. Clean title. Regular maintenance

I know a lot of miles but for only $6500 is it worth it? It's in impeccable shape but what m3 isn't?
I figure with that kind of mileage everything that can go wrong already has and been fixed? Thoughts?

Last edited by golferken55; 05-04-2017 at 09:13 AM.
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  #71  
Old 05-24-2017, 08:23 AM
IanS@TMS IanS@TMS is offline
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Originally Posted by CJ645Bern View Post
hey all. i currently have a 2005 645ci that i plan on trading in. i am interested in the e46 m3. doesnt matter what year. so what should i know? what are the usual maintence costs and what problems should i expect with these cars and at what mileage. any info would be useful. i appreciate it.
Avoid SMG unless you are willing to buy a $3400+ SMG pump shortly after.

Differential Clunk/Failure is common at 80K+ miles. We offer better rebuilt LSD options in both the M variable style, clutch pack style lsd, and Helical options along with your choice of gear ratio.

Have the subframe inspected. A reinforcement kit is highly recommended. It is a great time to refresh all your differential/sub frame bushings, or even install a better LSD. Here is an awesome write-up: https://www.turnermotorsport.com/t-gallery-e46-subframe

Here is a link to the items: Turner Motorsport E46 M3



Happy to help answer any questions.
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  #72  
Old 05-24-2017, 09:27 AM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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Think the previous post is a bit off. You are now looking into a car that is over 10 years old. Some people think their car is worth a ton but is not if they have not maintained it. If you come across an SMG look for maintenance on said items. Safe simple answer is there is no free lunch. If someone can't tell you what, when, and who did the work then just assume it did not get done. It is a kick ass car so you have to ask why is it being sold? I have three S54 motors and the first thing I did with all of them was shim the valves and replace the rod bearings, kind of a reset so now I know what I have and what I am dealing with. For my money if you have a car that is in great shape and the miles are decent and the maintenance has been some what kept up with, paying for a new pump is not a bad thing. Things wear out, some more than others. My car had worn dampers and I did have the rear end clunk so the dif did get replaced also.
If I was shopping I would want to get the perspective car on a lift and look for everything I could possibly think of. Enjoy the hunt, take your time. Then enjoy the car!
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