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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 09-26-2013, 12:35 AM   #1
GreatFrog
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Looking to buy a 2002 M3, any advice?

Hi all, I am looking to buy a 2002 M3 with 83k miles on the clock. Any advice for the pre-purchase inspection? I own a 2005 325i and am aware of some common problems for non-M E46 3 series, such as FCAB, rear subframe, pulleys, thermostat, VCG, vanos. Anything else I need to look for?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:03 AM   #2
Alan
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Read the many threads here and on M3forum.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
///M3murray
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If you don't mind me asking, what is the listed price?
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #4
GreatFrog
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Originally Posted by ///M3murray View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what is the listed price?
$13000, firm as the seller stated. What do you think? Is it a good price or not?

Last edited by GreatFrog; 09-26-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
///M3murray
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That's a great deal bro, I bought my 2002 with 81k miles for 17k it is mint condition , so hopefully that gives you some insight. So yes if the condition of the car is good, it's a great price

Last edited by ///M3murray; 09-26-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GreatFrog View Post
$13000, firm as the seller stated. What do you think? Is it a good price or not?
Considering we know absolutely nothing about the car there's no way to tell. Get a PPI done and read the 9 million other threads that already exist about this topic. M3forum has stickies in the e46 section. Read them.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
///mteknikk
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Things to consider, and this is coming from a BMW tech and happy M3 SMG owner lol...
m3s are notorious for rtabs going bad. the m3 doesn't seem to exhibit the same subframe problems that the non m's exhibit because the subframe is reinforced from factory.
I would ask about the connecting rod bearing service if its an early ///M. Also make sure the owner has been keeping up with the valve adjustments every 30K no excuses. Oil changes every 5K with 10w60 is a must. Most junk ///Ms now a days have alot to do with the 15K oil change philosophy. if its an SMG get ready for Hydraulic pump failure at some point. Its not a matter of if it does, more of when it does. other than that just the regular maintenence and usual valve cover/oil pan gasket leaks.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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M3 does have subframe issues.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #9
///mteknikk
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im not saying it doesn't its just not as common as with the non M's. hit enough potholes and stress the rear subframe long enough and yeah its gonna crack. just not as easily as the non Ms
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
swoobies
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Take it for a full inspection at a mechanic you trust and make sure they do a thorough job.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
GreatFrog
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Thanks for all the advice, guys. But the car was just sold, before I pull the trigger.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:12 AM   #12
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A few things I was worried about when I had my 02 SMG M3:
Some years seemed to be stricken with a higher rate of Vanos bolt failure which can do some serious damage to the engine. Mine never had an issue with that, I had it from ~70k to 100K.
Subframe cracking. Definitely something to look out for.
LSD. Immediately change the diff fluid. You have no idea who's worked on the car, and there's a good chance that diff fluid without the required additive has been put in. Or that the fluid has gone bad. I needed to change mine at about 85k. Sounded just like tires rubbing in the back when turning.
SMG. If you spend anytime on the M3 part of the forum you may just become paranoid.
Ignition coils. When they go bad, and they will, you will probably have a heart attack and think either the Vanos broke or the SMG did. I had #1 and #2 go bad at the same time and the car didn't have enough power to move up the sliiiightest upward grade.
Hood sensors on an SMG. If they go bad, or the hood isn't quite shut tight, they will sneak your car into N when you stop.

Other than that, they are monstrously fun to drive. I had a blast with mine, and would still have it if I hadn't come across a pristine RS6 a few hundred miles from my place.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:23 AM   #13
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Heck for 18K I would sell you my 03 m3.. and I have every lick of service paperwork, SMG pump, clutch/flywheel, and inspection 2 was done all within the past 4000 miles along with 6 new bosch coils just to be safe and waterpump thermostat radiator i changed too cause the forums say to do it around 90-100k to be on the safe side.. its dealer documented too.. I have zero issues of you taking it to a shop to have a look see, heck take it to two just to be safe. lol mine is in way above average shape.. only thing wrong with it is the windshield cowl is cracking but I have a new one ready to install, I just never did it yet.. (that is something else to look for on E46's the windshield cowl) they all dryrot/crack/whatever you wanna call it but its a cheap fix.. I think mine was 75 bux from turner.. anyways just a thought, and help..

Last edited by Sinful7; 09-28-2013 at 03:25 AM.
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