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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 06-15-2005, 04:02 PM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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software

At 1500 mi I am starting to push my car harder and harder. At the performance center I drove an M3 on the track. I remember at the time it felt quite a bit faster than my car does. Is there some magic software, is the engine still to tight. Apart from the sport button is there some switch or sequence to make this thing really move. The M3 seems quick but not really that fast, or are they all like this. My car has great tyorque, but pushing up through the revs seems to yeild not that much extra.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2005, 05:16 PM
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Redline it and get back to us.
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2005, 07:14 AM
dawgbone dawgbone is offline
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As with any of BMW's inline 6...it will not come to life until 5k...Thank god for VANOS!!!
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2005, 09:18 AM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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Have been to redline, its definatly a bit quicker above 5k, a quick car but doesnt feel really fast. Maybee its just too heavy and takes a while to change momentum. A freind had an m5 felt the same way. I just thought that maybee there was some switch or sequence of activating sport that made the car sharper.

Ill try running the car harder for a feww hundred or so more miles, maybee it will loosen the engine a bit more.
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2005, 09:44 AM
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I have observed the same thing when I picked up the car last month in Europe. The car seemed to "slow down" after about 1000 miles. Maybe it has something to do with being a brand new engine and the break in period?
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2005, 10:05 AM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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Is there supposed to be some software change/upgrade at the 1200 mi service?
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2005, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerman
Is there supposed to be some software change/upgrade at the 1200 mi service?
no
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2005, 11:11 AM
dawgbone dawgbone is offline
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I think what you're describing does have to do with break-in...As well as you getting use to the car..You figure that compression is high on a new motor(hense break-in rev limiter), after 1200 miles, the rings find their seat, and probably start to allow slight bypass, therefore less compression and less HP.....I'm pretty sure that there is no software upgrade after 1200..They just free up some tacho lights/limiter...Regardless, before or after break-in..the car is heavy and pretty slow ..IMO..
Also, I finally had the chance to ride in a SMG, but couldn't convince the guy to let me drive it...But it did feel way more sluggish than my 6spd manual..In any mode that he put it in...but then again..I didn't drive it
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2005, 04:53 AM
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Actually the reason for break in is to propery SEAT the rings to reduce blow by.

More likely you are just getting used to the performance. At the PC you were experiencing it for the first time, now you are geting jaded.

And BTW the Sport button only remaps the throttle curve, it does NOT change the engine power.
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2005, 07:26 AM
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You're getting used to the car. Don't worry, it's still just as fast as it was on day one.
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2005, 01:49 PM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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I would think as trhe engine loosens it would get a little faster and smoother. The fact is though that this is one heavy car, once its starts rolling its quick, but changes in momentum take time, and you really feel the weight on a hill.

A great car that is a little slow in its reactions.
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  #12  
Old 06-21-2005, 04:07 AM
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Or he isn't pushing the throttle down. I have never found the car to be slow or sluggish in response in first gear. IN fact I have wrenched my wife's neck a couple of times.
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2005, 08:00 AM
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It's all relative. The E46 M3 is fast, at least by the standards of today's current cars. I would venture a guess that it's up around the 95th percentile compared with what's out there. Costwise, generally speaking, you have to spend more to go much faster. Exceptions that come to mind are the WRX STI, the EVO, Mustang Cobra, and of course Corvette. Then again, like you mention, it's not svelte lightweight that can be tossed around without feeling its bulk. Somedays when I punch the loud pedal, the car feels really fast, at other times I wish for more. Overall, going on two years of ownership, I'm still happy with the car. 95% total performance "package" that can still carry four passengers and their stuff, I'd say the Audi S4 is the closest competitor in spirit.
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2005, 10:55 AM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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First gear is not the issue, its really short anyway. Its more like when passing on country roads in 3rd or 4th. Or Say youre just cruising at about 3500 rpm in 3rd or 4th, revs start to build on tourque nicely to about 5000 - 5500 then i expect a big leap in power and it just isnt there. Yes from 5500 or so thre car is faster but the difference is not as huge as the extended rev range seems to suggest.

While the sport button in theory livens up response the reality is the power doesnt change so the heavy car still takes a while to come on boil. I noticed the same thing on a freinds m5, the specs indicate real speed but the initial reaction from crusing to acceleration is slow, even with a downshift. I think its the weight, at low revs the vanos makes good touque as revs build hp increases and i suspect touque drops, the bulk works against the car. Not a slow car, a quick car even very quick, but only just really fast.

Maybee the smoothness of the power delivery is masking the sensation. Just wondering.

I think the m3 is a great street car that can be driven hardish or on the track, and there are not too many if any sedans that can do that. But i would think that with 500 less lbs the car would really fly, ride better and be sharper. In the end what we have is a reaaly quick trackable sedan, not a commited sportscar. But then porches are the same untill you get to the gt3 or an older 911.

For me it works great as a, driver, that can be thrown at the twisties when conditions allow and is comfortrable and drivable in traffic. I guess I expected a bit more sport and less coddling. But probably i am not used to the car enough yet to extract its true potential.
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2005, 02:03 PM
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Look at the torque curve. It is pretty flat, so no build up in acceleration, just a pretty even push. 200 or so at 2500 RPM, peak of 275 and dropping off to 220 at about 7800 RPM. So no gathering rush, but the speedo just winds up.

And if you re running around at 5500+ in 4th you are HAULING.
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2005, 02:28 PM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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Of couse i am hauling, you guys said i need to redline it a bit more. Seriously the car is for going fast, probably a lot of fun on the autobahn where one can keep it wound out in 4th and 5th.

The flat touque curve explains the even acceleration. Question, why have such a high redline then, coupled with flat touque and 6 gears. With flat torque and a wide rev range wouldnt a 5 speed make more sense, less time wasted on shifting, faster or equal overall acceleration. I guess those 6 gears make sense on the track though.

On the street the brakes seem very strong although overboosted. A lot of the forums seem to say that the stock brakes are crap on the track, is this true. Can a pad and brake fluid change allow the brakes to live on a track.
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2005, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerman

The flat touque curve explains the even acceleration. Question, why have such a high redline then, coupled with flat touque and 6 gears. With flat torque and a wide rev range wouldnt a 5 speed make more sense, less time wasted on shifting, faster or equal overall acceleration. I guess those 6 gears make sense on the track though.
Gas mileage.

Quote:
On the street the brakes seem very strong although overboosted. A lot of the forums seem to say that the stock brakes are crap on the track, is this true. Can a pad and brake fluid change allow the brakes to live on a track.
...pads, fluid and extra cooling.
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  #18  
Old 06-21-2005, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerman
First gear is not the issue, its really short anyway. Its more like when passing on country roads in 3rd or 4th. Or Say youre just cruising at about 3500 rpm in 3rd or 4th, revs start to build on tourque nicely to about 5000 - 5500 then i expect a big leap in power and it just isnt there. Yes from 5500 or so thre car is faster but the difference is not as huge as the extended rev range seems to suggest.

While the sport button in theory livens up response the reality is the power doesnt change so the heavy car still takes a while to come on boil. I noticed the same thing on a freinds m5, the specs indicate real speed but the initial reaction from crusing to acceleration is slow, even with a downshift. I think its the weight, at low revs the vanos makes good touque as revs build hp increases and i suspect touque drops, the bulk works against the car. Not a slow car, a quick car even very quick, but only just really fast.

Maybee the smoothness of the power delivery is masking the sensation. Just wondering.

I think the m3 is a great street car that can be driven hardish or on the track, and there are not too many if any sedans that can do that. But i would think that with 500 less lbs the car would really fly, ride better and be sharper. In the end what we have is a reaaly quick trackable sedan, not a commited sportscar. But then porches are the same untill you get to the gt3 or an older 911.

For me it works great as a, driver, that can be thrown at the twisties when conditions allow and is comfortrable and drivable in traffic. I guess I expected a bit more sport and less coddling. But probably i am not used to the car enough yet to extract its true potential.

Boxerman, what options do you have on the car? and would a base M3 (lighter with less options) feel any different?
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2005, 05:48 AM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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Ordered the car without sunroof, nav etc. I guess the one option with weight is the elctric seats. Car has 18 in wheels for better comfort and apparently the rubber is easier to acquire for track fun. I also seriously doubt thjat 19 in wheels make much if any improvement on track.

Did not go for zcp as couldnt stand alcantra, thought the trim was hideous, was ambivalent on 19 in wheels, and consensus on this forum was that brakes were a marginal improvement.

If i could have ordered zcp with standard trim and leather wheel probably would have gone for it due to better rack. That being said drove zcp car at Spartanburg and cant say steering is so different. Traction controll doesnt seem to be an issue on the street, in spartanburg on the course in the zcp trac lit up often. I would guess if you want to drive properly on the track thern either way you need to learn the car and should turn trac off.

Never considdered the paddleshift, but given all the rowing in the 6 speed would probably get one in the future when they are a bit better. Car is essentialy techno heavy, and like may modern cars very capable, but driving experience is a bit too anesthetised at speeds below warp. Very different in feel to a hard core sports car, a sedan that is trackable and can be thrown at any bit of road that comes your way, comfortable the rest of the time. If you were going to have one car this would have to be it.

I use it for weekend blasts and occasional long distance travel/commute. I hope to travel to a number of tracks for fun and for this the car seems ideal. You can comfortably drive a long distance to a track, run, and drive home. A much more hard core car can be so uncomfortable driving 300 mi that it needs to be towed there.

All that being said, something with the same weight and significantly more power, or the same power and much less weight would suit my needs better. One last point the base 996 porche which i have driven a fair bit is more or less the same as the m3 except it costs more.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2005, 04:17 PM
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Because the 6 speed allows a 3.62 rear which gives even more acceleration.

The experience is somewhat anesthetised at lower speeds because the car is so good. A 60s sports car is fun to drive because you can be at the limit at below the speed limit. This car takes a LOT more.

Pads and fluid for the track first, then cooling if you need it. The stock pads are fine street pads (except for the dust) but they are not designed for heavy track use. Plus the car is VERY fast and VERY heavy, leading to needed VERY GOOD pads.

As for SMG it works fine in the current version, and is really awesome at the track.
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  #21  
Old 06-22-2005, 05:57 PM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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Thanks for the info on the pads. I still think it is possible to build modern cars that are reactive and alive at less than full tilt. A porche 993 and most ferraris acheive this, as does lotus. A vette by contrast has huge ability but really isnt much fun untill full warp, which is unlikly anywhere but the track. I think its a matter of engineers putting some passion in with the performance stats and requirements. A good car should be able to talk to you at most speeds.
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2005, 05:37 PM
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The problem is an E46 M3 IS talking to you at low speeds, it is telling, " I'M BORED, Let's DO something."

And back MANY years ago, I test drove a 911 series. Same tihng, felt OK, until I figured out how fast we were going on a very nice sporty type road.
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  #23  
Old 06-25-2005, 06:21 AM
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I have a 330i with a 2.93 rear diff and 6.5K redline, if you want to see slow I'll let you drive it.

Seriously though, after a year with my car it seems much faster then it did when I first got it. I think that's basically because the car has fully broken in now (16K) miles, and I've also learned how to drive it better (6MT) to get the most performance out of any given situation.
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  #24  
Old 06-27-2005, 09:27 AM
boxerman boxerman is offline
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Spent a few hours banging around some favorite mountain roads. Learining how to push the car properly. I think the low rev tourque was faking me out because it always pulled so well from 3000rpm that it then felt flat. I can now see how running engine at 5500rpm in the right gear and then hammering it from there makes car a lot quicker in general, alive, and more fun. Its really a two mode deal.

Its like playing an instrument, the m3 seems to like the tune where it is being run in the 6-7500rpm range, I needed to reaclibrate my senses as my other car is really strong anywhere from 400-6700.


By the way how to you double declutch downshift this thing, the brakes are soo boossted and sensitive that its hard to balance brake and gas, or should i not bother.

Car also seems much more balanceable with power in regular as opposed to sport mode.
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  #25  
Old 06-28-2005, 01:59 PM
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Practice.
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