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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 01-20-2013, 12:09 AM   #41
fatskidmark
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Thanks man! I hope you're Fuk'n around, I'm not mad. If you don't have any issues then that's great. I'm not hating, juss sounded like there was something wrong, that's all.

Peace, hoes and flattops!!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:09 AM   #42
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Wow thanks for all the responses guys! I will definitely try to drive a few more and get a better idea of what they should feel like. I took the car to a little above 7k rpms several times, so that's not the problem. No way that particular car had 333 hp lol. I don't think the fact that it's an '02 was why it was slow, but it was probably beat to death in the past. Like I said, my zhp has more miles than the m3 did and my car drives 100x better. So that's encouraging to know even high mileage m3's can hold up well as long as they're taken care of. i'll keep looking, thank you all!
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:14 AM   #43
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M3s are meant to be beaten, and beaten hard.. they just need lots of attention between the beatings... they actually like the floggings.. keep looking man... and next time, hit redline....
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:00 AM   #44
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Probably stuck in limp mode or something. When my throttle position sensor failed, it felt about as slow as my ZHP did.


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In my opinion, it does. The M3 has no low end torque. Do me a favor, when you get into 3rd gear floor it at about 3-3.5k RPMs.
Actually, it's got plenty of low-end torque. That's not opinion, that's fact. The car makes ~85% of it's peak torque from 2000-7000 RPM. Its peak torque is 262 lb-ft -- quite a bit for 3.2L. It makes more torque than the honda accord does with 3.5L, and the S54 holds onto said torque for much longer than the accord.

3rd gear in the M3 goes to right about 100mph. So even if the Accord's instantaneous acceleration is somewhat close in that gear, it will have to shift while the M3 will be able to keep going.

Last edited by TerraPhantm; 01-20-2013 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:48 PM   #45
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It's usually a good idea to do multiple test drives of a particular model before you buy it. That way you'll get a feel for what's normal or not. It's a used performance car, chances of you test driving a dud the first time isn't that unlikely.

I test drove the hell out of M3's before I settled on mine. The difference between a neglected and well treated one is pretty significant. The driving experience can be night and day between the two.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:55 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
Probably stuck in limp mode or something. When my throttle position sensor failed, it felt about as slow as my ZHP did.




Actually, it's got plenty of low-end torque. That's not opinion, that's fact. The car makes ~85% of it's peak torque from 2000-7000 RPM. Its peak torque is 262 lb-ft -- quite a bit for 3.2L. It makes more torque than the honda accord does with 3.5L, and the S54 holds onto said torque for much longer than the accord.

3rd gear in the M3 goes to right about 100mph. So even if the Accord's instantaneous acceleration is somewhat close in that gear, it will have to shift while the M3 will be able to keep going.
The M3 is not a torque monster by any stretch of the imagination. Saying that it has more torque than a Honda Accord is like saying that Justin Bieber weighs more than Natalie Portman. It may be true, but it doesn't make either of them heavyweights.

As a general rule, normally aspirated engines need large displacement to generate large torque numbers. It's relatively simple. Torque is a measure of the twisting force exerted on the crankshaft by the connecting rods, and this is limited by the amount of explosive force harnessed in each cylinder. The more fuel effectively exploded, the more force available.

Unless you use forced induction, it is tough to get a lot of torque from a relatively small engine. 263 lbs./ft. from 3.2 litres is good, but doesn't compare to the 290 lbs./ft. that the 2.0 litre turbocharged engine in the Subaru WRX-STi makes or the 390 lbs./ft. that the 5 litre V8 in the Mustang GT makes.

Horsepower is a more complicated matter, as it is a measure of work done over a set period of time, as opposed to a measure of force. To put it in more pedestrian terms, a weightlifter who can pick up a barbell with 500 lbs. of weight and move it 10 yards in 1 minute has performed the same amount of work as the sprinter who can make the same trip 10 times in the same minute laden with 50 lbs of weight each trip. The weightlifter performs the work by exerting substantially more force at a slower speed than the sprinter. In our example, the M3 is the sprinter. It relies upon its ability to rev to very high rotational speeds while still developing usable torque, while the larger displacement Mustang relies upon brute force, and doesn't need to rev to particularly high speeds to get the work done.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:10 PM   #47
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Its all subjective on what you are used too, my M3 with the Dinan stuff and 4.10 gear felt great and pull hard but did not impress me too much. Maybe your accustomed to other cars that are just as quick or quicker. our comparison to the SRT close but not totally, the M3 powerband is up top, the AMG motor has more down low.
Take the advice of others and test another M3, if you still feel the same then the M3 is not for you, the M3 is a strong car but not "WOW OH $HIT". Its a well rounded car but does not IMO Shine, I like it for a daily driver but nothing more, some will be hurt or offended by my comment but that is my oppinion.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #48
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The M3 is not a torque monster by any stretch of the imagination. Saying that it has more torque than a Honda Accord is like saying that Justin Bieber weighs more than Natalie Portman. It may be true, but it doesn't make either of them heavyweights.

As a general rule, normally aspirated engines need large displacement to generate large torque numbers. It's relatively simple. Torque is a measure of the twisting force exerted on the crankshaft by the connecting rods, and this is limited by the amount of explosive force harnessed in each cylinder. The more fuel effectively exploded, the more force available.

Unless you use forced induction, it is tough to get a lot of torque from a relatively small engine. 263 lbs./ft. from 3.2 litres is good, but doesn't compare to the 290 lbs./ft. that the 2.0 litre turbocharged engine in the Subaru WRX-STi makes or the 390 lbs./ft. that the 5 litre V8 in the Mustang GT makes.

Horsepower is a more complicated matter, as it is a measure of work done over a set period of time, as opposed to a measure of force. To put it in more pedestrian terms, a weightlifter who can pick up a barbell with 500 lbs. of weight and move it 10 yards in 1 minute has performed the same amount of work as the sprinter who can make the same trip 10 times in the same minute laden with 50 lbs of weight each trip. The weightlifter performs the work by exerting substantially more force at a slower speed than the sprinter. In our example, the M3 is the sprinter. It relies upon its ability to rev to very high rotational speeds while still developing usable torque, while the larger displacement Mustang relies upon brute force, and doesn't need to rev to particularly high speeds to get the work done.
Forced induction is essentially increasing displacement. More pressure = more oxygen = greater volumetric efficiency (which is what matters moreso than displacement for torque).

My point was that 262-269 (depending on which variant you're talking about) lb-ft torque out of a 3.2L is not low by any means. And the fact that this car has a very flat torque curve (unlike the STi and other boosted vehicles) is important to consider. The only reason I even mentioned the accord engine is because you brought it up.

Finally, it's the torque at the wheels and not the crank that matters. You're not taking gear multiplication into account. Consider... an E46 M3 and an E9x 335i. M3 makes 262 lb-ft and 335 makes 300 lb-ft. M3 has a 3.62 final drive ratio, while the 335 has a 3.08. The gear ratios of the transmissions are pretty similar, and iirc the tire diameters are about the same as well.

262 * 3.62 = 948.44; 300 * 3.08 = 924. Hey, what do you know, the gear multiplication actually gives the M3 more effective torque. And since the M3 can rev considerably higher, it can still reach higher speeds in the same gear.

The STi actually does have pretty aggressive gear ratios, but it still has a low redline. So it has to shift considerably earlier than an M3 would. The net result is that the STi might be faster for rather contrived scenarios, but it would be slower across multiple gears (until tuned anyway... but I'm just considering stock vs stock here)

All that said, I don't know what you're trying to get at. It's no big secret that the M3 has a 3.2L engine and makes ~260 lb-ft torque. If you're expecting it to make as much torque as a 5.0L V8 or 2.5L engine w/ 20 lbs boost... then you're expecting too much. Torque by itself is a useless metric anyway -- you need to know gear ratios, area under the curve, and rev limits to make any real judgments. Despite popular opinion, horsepower is a much better tool than torque for judging the capabilities of an engine.

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Old 01-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #49
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M3 is a rich mans car, and I made the worst mistake ever buying an M3. Me personally, I have paid an arm and leg everytime it broke down. BMW and perhaps any other GERMAN car is a pain in the ass. Its not worth driving and being nervous everytime you drive afraid that something might mess up and then thats it. Stupidest desicion ever in my life was buying an M3. Again this is jsut me personally, Its a fun car to drive, but it has killed me. I already have it paid off, but I feel like Im stuck with it and cant sell it.

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Old 01-27-2013, 03:25 PM   #50
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Sounds like you didn't have a PPI done.

I've hardly had to do any repairs on mines other than standard maintenance things. I do the work myself though. Know what you are buying into first
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:14 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
Forced induction is essentially increasing displacement. More pressure = more oxygen = greater volumetric efficiency (which is what matters moreso than displacement for torque).

My point was that 262-269 (depending on which variant you're talking about) lb-ft torque out of a 3.2L is not low by any means. And the fact that this car has a very flat torque curve (unlike the STi and other boosted vehicles) is important to consider. The only reason I even mentioned the accord engine is because you brought it up.

Finally, it's the torque at the wheels and not the crank that matters. You're not taking gear multiplication into account. Consider... an E46 M3 and an E9x 335i. M3 makes 262 lb-ft and 335 makes 300 lb-ft. M3 has a 3.62 final drive ratio, while the 335 has a 3.08. The gear ratios of the transmissions are pretty similar, and iirc the tire diameters are about the same as well.

262 * 3.62 = 948.44; 300 * 3.08 = 924. Hey, what do you know, the gear multiplication actually gives the M3 more effective torque. And since the M3 can rev considerably higher, it can still reach higher speeds in the same gear.

The STi actually does have pretty aggressive gear ratios, but it still has a low redline. So it has to shift considerably earlier than an M3 would. The net result is that the STi might be faster for rather contrived scenarios, but it would be slower across multiple gears (until tuned anyway... but I'm just considering stock vs stock here)

All that said, I don't know what you're trying to get at. It's no big secret that the M3 has a 3.2L engine and makes ~260 lb-ft torque. If you're expecting it to make as much torque as a 5.0L V8 or 2.5L engine w/ 20 lbs boost... then you're expecting too much. Torque by itself is a useless metric anyway -- you need to know gear ratios, area under the curve, and rev limits to make any real judgments. Despite popular opinion, horsepower is a much better tool than torque for judging the capabilities of an engine.
First of all, I wasn't the one who raised the example of the Honda Accord. Secondly, while a higher final drive ratio may help with respect to the utilization of torque, it doesn't really multiply the available torque (even if the end result is indistinguishable). While there is no doubt that the M3 is exceptionally efficient in terms of power delivery, it doesn't generate a lot of torque. Does it generate a healthy amount of torque for a N/A 3.2 litre? Yes, but that's not the same thing as generating a lot of torque on an absolute basis. It's like noting that Floyd Mayweather is very strong for a welterweight, and is one of the best "pound for pound" fighters on the planet. He still wouldn't last 5 seconds in a match against Wladimir Klitchko.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:11 PM   #52
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Haha, thanks bro, but I'm not preying on you! If your car feels like this maybe there's something wrong? DOES ANYBODY ELSE FEEL LIKE THEIR CAR HAS THE PERFORMANCE OF A HONDA ACCORD IN 3RD GEAR AT 3K RPM'S?? I'll start a thread and see what kind of response I get. We're all here to help each other out...

And as a side note, I got a ppi also when I bought my car and the stupid douche bag missed some important sh!t...Juss say'n...
I want to do a full on reply in this thread shortly but yes.. I drove 6/7 m3s and they ALL are gutless at 3k rpm. Torque of an accord is being generous. In depth reply coming.. So much bs in this thread but its a joy to read !!
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #53
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Let me tell you guys, I drive an accord, a mustang GT (4.6L, 5spd), and my m3. First off, the accord is such a complete dog compared to both the other cars, it has absolutely NO torque, and NO power. Second, the mustang has nice initial torque, but once on the gas for over 1-2 seconds, I can tell it's already had it's moment, where as the m3 just keeps building all the way to red line.

The m3 is easily the fastest out of all three cars, but I have to give props to the mustang for a very enjoyable ride.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:35 AM   #54
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i mean if your not impress your not impress get another car
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:56 PM   #55
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The 4.6 mustang. The worst v8 in the history of mankind. The 5.0l if anything an acknowledgement of ford not caring about their products in the past. I wonder why any 4.6s even sell these days. Sorry just felt like saying.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:38 PM   #56
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i mean if your not impress your not impress get another car
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:21 PM   #57
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Let me tell you guys, I drive an accord, a mustang GT (4.6L, 5spd), and my m3. First off, the accord is such a complete dog compared to both the other cars, it has absolutely NO torque, and NO power. Second, the mustang has nice initial torque, but once on the gas for over 1-2 seconds, I can tell it's already had it's moment, where as the m3 just keeps building all the way to red line.

The m3 is easily the fastest out of all three cars, but I have to give props to the mustang for a very enjoyable ride.
My cousin has a mustang 4.6 5 speed. I drove it last week and it's utter crap. Only thing I like about it was the sound. If I was buying a mustang it would be the boss 302.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:31 PM   #58
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I would test drive another M3 or 2 before making conclusions.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:20 PM   #59
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My cousin has a mustang 4.6 5 speed. I drove it last week and it's utter crap. Only thing I like about it was the sound. If I was buying a mustang it would be the boss 302.
Please don't get me wrong, it's scary through turns, it's not as fast in a straight line off a roll, or a dig, compared to my m3.

Obviously there are way better mustangs to get than this one, but it's an 07, one owner, with 36k miles on it to date. No paint work, never had a mechanical issue, and barely any options, just the rumble hood, perf. exhaust, and the cd changer.

But there's nothing like smoking a cigarette with the window down, blasting some lynard skynard in the mustang. The sound, and just peelin' out off the light, ripping through the gears. It's just different than the m3.

I love my m3 wayyyyyyy more than my brother's mustang, but I've been driving it a lot recently since my car's been in the shop. Let me tell you, you can get it in, and beat the piss out of it every single day, and it never skips a beat. That's something you'll never hear an e46 m3 owner say about their car.

The abuse this thing takes (when I drive it) and the fact that it's been perfectly reliable is really helping me like it more. I've really grown to love that car, but now that I got the m3 back, the mustang is going back into storage!
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:33 PM   #60
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M3 is a rich mans car, and I made the worst mistake ever buying an M3. Me personally, I have paid an arm and leg everytime it broke down. BMW and perhaps any other GERMAN car is a pain in the ass. Its not worth driving and being nervous everytime you drive afraid that something might mess up and then thats it. Stupidest desicion ever in my life was buying an M3. Again this is jsut me personally, Its a fun car to drive, but it has killed me. I already have it paid off, but I feel like Im stuck with it and cant sell it.
You sound like me talking about my wife's XK8. I think we've bought that ill-built piece of driveway sculpture about 2.3 times by now.
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