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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 06-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #21
zabalzae
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Considering buying an M3!

Nothing compares to an M and working on European cars is not the same as working on Japanese. Way more detail an on the M you have valve adjustments and stuff that are really delicate


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Old 06-26-2013, 09:51 PM   #22
MathewM3
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My advice would be spending more money and get a car with less miles. This car can be very expensive to repair even if you do it yourself.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:01 PM   #23
Mercadeus
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Originally Posted by MathewM3 View Post
My advice would be spending more money and get a car with less miles. This car can be very expensive to repair even if you do it yourself.
what do you believe is a good mile range? 50-80?
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:15 PM   #24
MathewM3
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I bought mine with 60K on and it has been a fair ride so far. However, I found my vanos hub tabs broken when I did a valve adjustment and it cost me approx 1K to fix with parts only (did all the work myself). I think that was bad luck but I have seen other cars with less miles having the same problem.

PPI has to be done! Try to get the valve cover off and check the tabs on the vanos hub. You can also tell based on sludge if they have used 10W-60 and done oil changes within the recomended intervalls. Check left and right flanges and look for leaks on the differential since this is a common problem especially on the left side.

Check subframe for cracks.

I can make a pretty long list for you but this is some of the big and expensive repairs that I have mentioned above.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:30 PM   #25
qualicas
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Hmm, well I don't really need to "learn" for either car because like I said, I have experience working on vehicles.
My prior daily was a nissan 350z.
My car will most likely be in ohio and be driven during the snow too!
Hmm.
Decisions are so hard.
Oh yes you do have to "learn" BMW. I've worked on cars for 40+ years as a hobby. You have to learn every car if you want/need to do heavy mechanical work. ie more than brakes and changing tires. Just look at the forums many people have gotten themselves in trouble.
Anyway, if you will be driving in winter get the 330i. I can't imagine driving an M3 in winter. It can be done and I'm sure lots of people do but it won't be an enjoyable experience.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:12 PM   #26
taylor192
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Originally Posted by MathewM3 View Post
My advice would be spending more money and get a car with less miles. This car can be very expensive to repair even if you do it yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercadeus View Post
what do you believe is a good mile range? 50-80?
There is no "good range", that is poor advice.

You want a well maintained car. Find one that has just had Inspection II done and you'll have a few years before needing much maintenance.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #27
taylor192
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Originally Posted by Mercadeus View Post
Hmm, well I don't really need to "learn" for either car because like I said, I have experience working on vehicles.
My prior daily was a nissan 350z.
My car will most likely be in ohio and be driven during the snow too!
Hmm.
Decisions are so hard.
The comments in this thread are hilarious. There is nothing to "learn" to work on a BMW other than the valve adjustment that most car engines do not require. (if you've worked on a motorcycle engine, you're probably familiar with valve adjustments).

Silly people said the same about my C-class and my current M3, that it must require special tools/knowledge to work on a BMW or Mercedes. The truth is both vehicles are easier to work on than my brother's new Civic Si. A friggin wheel must be removed to change a headlight, or working on an engine stuffed half way under the windshield.

I drive my M3 in the snowy mountains of BC. With good snow tires it is fine, as anyone that drive sin the snow knows, its all about the tires.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:01 PM   #28
qualicas
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The comments in this thread are hilarious. There is nothing to "learn" to work on a BMW other than the valve adjustment that most car engines do not require. (if you've worked on a motorcycle engine, you're probably familiar with valve adjustments).

Silly people said the same about my C-class and my current M3, that it must require special tools/knowledge to work on a BMW or Mercedes. The truth is both vehicles are easier to work on than my brother's new Civic Si. A friggin wheel must be removed to change a headlight, or working on an engine stuffed half way under the windshield.

I drive my M3 in the snowy mountains of BC. With good snow tires it is fine, as anyone that drive sin the snow knows, its all about the tires.
If there is nothing to learn when doing work on any mechanical device there would be no shop manuals. Sure anyone can remove a nut from a bolt. Adjusting valves comes with a procedure to do it. Don't follow the correct procedure and you live with the consequences. Also every car has good and weak points. You want to know the weak points and address them before they become major problems. The M3 engine is tuned to an inch of its life from the factory. As such it has more maintenance issues than a normal 330i engine.
Driving an M3 in cold weather with 10-60 oil isn't something I would do. I'm building an E36 LSX swap. I won't be driving that in winter either.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:29 PM   #29
taylor192
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If there is nothing to learn when doing work on any mechanical device there would be no shop manuals. Sure anyone can remove a nut from a bolt. Adjusting valves comes with a procedure to do it. Don't follow the correct procedure and you live with the consequences. Also every car has good and weak points. You want to know the weak points and address them before they become major problems. The M3 engine is tuned to an inch of its life from the factory. As such it has more maintenance issues than a normal 330i engine.
Driving an M3 in cold weather with 10-60 oil isn't something I would do. I'm building an E36 LSX swap. I won't be driving that in winter either.
I believe I said, and I quote:
Quote:
There is nothing to "learn" to work on a BMW other than the valve adjustment that most car engines do not require.
Why you post to argue only to agree with me is silly. Yes valve adjustments will be a learning process for most home mechanics. The rest is not rocket science. The e46 is very easy to work on, arguably easier than most cars.

BMW tested the M3 in colder weather than Ohio. Running 10W60 in cold weather is fine, stop being silly.

Drama Queen much? "tuned within an inch of its life" is the silliest thing you've said. Tuners can get more out of these engines with simple bolt ons, and lots more with FI. This engine has lots of wiggle room as most find out when they do a valve adjustment and realize only a couple need adjusting after 60K miles.

Please stop, you're giving bad advice. Your engine swap details do not help the OP, stay on topic.

Last edited by taylor192; 06-27-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:35 PM   #30
qualicas
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Remember this thread was about a fellow looking for a first time BMW. I just said the M3 is not the best choice.
When you say get more out of the engine with simple bolts ons. What would those be and how much horsepower can you expect? Headers free flow exhaust and an intake. Maybe 20 -30 hp. Sure FI is good for more power. A friend of mine has a 2001 M3 that produces 459? RWHP with a supercharger and tune. Look at an LS engine, change heads cam etc and you can get 150 hp for cheap. One can always get more power but at what cost and how much. I do not wish to argue with you and will not belittle your posts. My purpose for posting has always been to help someone. If I want to argue, I can argue with my adult kids.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:02 PM   #31
taylor192
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Remember this thread was about a fellow looking for a first time BMW. I just said the M3 is not the best choice.
When you say get more out of the engine with simple bolts ons. What would those be and how much horsepower can you expect? Headers free flow exhaust and an intake. Maybe 20 -30 hp. Sure FI is good for more power. A friend of mine has a 2001 M3 that produces 459? RWHP with a supercharger and tune. Look at an LS engine, change heads cam etc and you can get 150 hp for cheap. One can always get more power but at what cost and how much. I do not wish to argue with you and will not belittle your posts. My purpose for posting has always been to help someone. If I want to argue, I can argue with my adult kids.
You reply to argue, then try to ride some sort of high horse out saying you're not arguing. Silly.

If the engine was "tuned within an inch of its life" (your silly words, not mine) then getting substantially more out of FI would not be possible. I will belittle people that make silly statements, then contradict themselves.

Your posts are no help, so please don't bother. The e46 platform is very easy to work on, telling a home mechanic otherwise is silly and not helpful. The only difficult aspect is the valve adjustment, which we both agree.

OP don't listen to silly members like qualicas. I'm a home mechanic and tackled the valve adjustment with another home mechanic, neither of us having done a valve adjustment before. Working on this car is easy, just pricey.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:49 PM   #32
qualicas
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Obviously you do not have a clue. Of course you can get more power out of any engine using FI. How much more will you get out of it just by tuning etc. Not much.The M3 engine is producing something more than 100 hp per litre. Not many normally aspirated engines produce that much hp/litre. THAT is what I mean by highly tuned from the factory. If you want to talk FI, some diesels are running 130 psi boost making crazy power for a very short time. My 135i with twin turbos can make over 400hp easily just by reprogramming the boost then you are well over 100hp per litre. Cadillac ATS 2 litre is making 270 hp from the factory 135hp per litre. And on it goes but still not many more than 100 hp/litre NA.
I haven't done valve adjustment which will be easy but you just have to be careful. Then when you are there should do vanos bolts and inspect vanos hub. All those things do not have to be done on lesser models. Please do not call anyone silly if they disagree with you especially if you do not know their background.
I am done with this as I'm sure the OP is as well. Probably already bought his car!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #33
Leezy321
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Considering buying an M3!

Moral of the story: it's expensive to own a sports car any sports car. They're made for performance. BMWs are a little more expensive, and a lot more expensive if you can't fix them yourself.

There's information on here that you should read and use. As for people's opinions, they're just that. 85% of people on here will lead you to believe BMWs are made out of glass and will break if you sneeze on them.


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Old 06-28-2013, 11:05 AM   #34
DSilk56
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The M3 is not made of glass, but it isn't the sort of car that you can just fill with fuel, drive, and ignore. It has a highly-tuned engine with a high red line and correspondingly tight clearances. This is why BMW specify a very specific oil for use in it. While I drive my M3 throughout the winter, I happen to live in South Florida, where the average high temperature in December and January is in the 70's. I would not drive the M3 in the winter in Minneapolis, not because of the ice and snow, but because temperatures that can regularly drop below 0 (Fahrenheit) mean that your engine is effectively running with no oil during start-up, since even at a 10 weight viscosity your oil is very thick at those temperatures. Most of an engine's wear occurs in the minute or two right after start-up, when the oil is just beginning to recirculate and lubricate moving parts. Why do you think that cars that come from sun belt states bring more on the used car market than cars from up north? If you say "rust", you are missing the mark (although there is some truth there). Most northern states use sand rather than salt on the roads, and states like California and Florida have salty sea air to deal with anyway. The real issue is that our cars do not have to deal with extreme cold, we don't have snow and sleet packed into our wheel wells every winter, and we are not likely to be involved in the kinds of accidents that are common on snow and ice covered roads and bridges.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:17 AM   #35
Properstyle
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Man you people act like owning an M3 is like owning a fragle car thats made of glass lol.... My first BMW was an M3 E46. My first turner I had to work on was a Z32, Valve adjustment is simple, those that think it is rocket science are those that take their car to the dealership for it to be done. I really wish people would wise up.

Buy your self and M3 a car that has been cared for correctly can have 100k plus and be in better condition then on thats been beat on with 50k. even if you look at SMG failures there are more at lower mile M3 funny how that is lol....
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:20 AM   #36
taylor192
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Originally Posted by qualicas View Post
Obviously you do not have a clue.
I thought the engine was "tuned within an inch of its life"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by qualicas View Post
I haven't done valve adjustment which will be easy but you just have to be careful.
Now you change your tune, stating even the valve adjustment is easy. Now you're a silly hypocrite.
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Then when you are there should do vanos bolts and inspect vanos hub. All those things do not have to be done on lesser models.
Agreed. I posted this already.
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Originally Posted by qualicas View Post
Please do not call anyone silly if they disagree with you especially if you do not know their background.
Disagreements happen, yet posting bad advice like a drama queen is not disagreeing, it is just silly.
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I am done with this
You said that previously, maybe you mean it this time. I doubt it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:36 AM   #37
taylor192
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I would not drive the M3 in the winter in Minneapolis, not because of the ice and snow, but because temperatures that can regularly drop below 0 (Fahrenheit) mean that your engine is effectively running with no oil during start-up, since even at a 10 weight viscosity your oil is very thick at those temperatures.
10W oil is tested to -15F and most synthetic 10Ws are usually good to lower temps

The Castrol TWS 10W60 recommended for the e46 M3 has a pour point of -39C (~-40F), so it will do just fine in the winter even in most of Canada.
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