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Hello everybody! Long time reader but new user here!
I am about to buy a m3 e46 because I've been in love with that car for almost 20 years now!

I can find many of them but I wanted one of the first models, max 2002, with manual transmission and all original parts.
I am surprised because they are not as expensive as I thought but most of them have >100k miles. Some with engine replaced, some not.

So I initially planned to buy a broken one and fix it on my own as I'm pretty much inclined to mechanics and diy.
Then I thought I'd spend more doing it than actually buy a running one.
I want it to make it my daily car and give up on my brand new volvo v60 t5 which is running like a dream.

Now, I am pretty confident on the whole car but the engine because I never repaired an engine before so I don't any experience for a pre purchase inspection and I thought I would bring a pro one to have a look at the car.

I also thought I could ask you because of the amazing content and info you have on this forum.

What should I check when buying this type of car?
Any particular thing to double check?
All tips and reccomendations are very welcome!

Sent from my SM-N950F using Bimmerfest mobile app
 

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I***8217;m sure you can find tons of info online. These cars have been around for a while, and you are certainly not the first one asking these questions on the forums. I***8217;d look for ones in the $15-20k range. You can find one for $10k, but you will likely spend another $10k fixing it, and still won***8217;t be as good/nice as a $20k car.
Common expensive issues, vanos, rod bearings, rear subframe cracking. These cars need valve adjustments every 30k Miles, make sure those have been documented. I wouldn***8217;t buy one without having it inspected by a BMW specialized shop first.
 

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Those cars were pretty much the same throughout their production run (mid-2001 through 2006). The M3's didn't get the LCI trim changes that the non-M E46's got. It took them until mid-2003 to get the engines right. My 2002, built on the first day of MY 2002 production, had the oil pump changed once and the connecting rod bearings changed twice under recalls.

I sold mine in early-2014, with 115k miles on it. The first person who called bought it. I then had 200 to 300 more inquiries. Talking to that many people, I got a good idea what attracted them: "one owner," "original paint," and "bone stock." Yes, I now regret selling it.

Avoid SMG II cars. I never understood the logic of a convertible M3... or a convertible 911 for that matter. Cars that fast have an increased chance of ending upside down sooner or later.

Join the local BMW club, go to the meetings (more parties than meetings), and be patient. It's going to be hard to find a good one. But, the people who have them belong to BMW clubs and don't want to try to sell the car to strangers, mostly Nigerian princes, on the internet.

19 of the 50 states in the U.S. don't require front license plates.
 

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