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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 01-12-2014, 02:45 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 1
My Ride: 94 Civic
Cool Going from a 330ci that went up in flames to a neglected problematic M3

So last summer I bought a beautiful 01 330ci and planned on keeping it to fix it up and use it as a daily driver. After not only owning it for about a week or two the front end caught on fire after a 1 1/2 hour drive. Never found out what happened.



Well of course it was a total loss and I had liability so I ended up parting it out.

I've had a few vehicles inbetween but have been looking to get back into a BMW. I've had my heart set on a bmw m3 but the market here in colorado demands a pretty penny for one. I was open minded for any m3 but it had to be a 6 speed manual. My shop I own here in town has been doing pretty well lately so I said screw it and set aside some cash.

After searching for a month or two trying to find one cheap I did.

2002 BMW M3
6 Speed Manual
140K Miles

It has some other options I really wanted like the Imola interior and heated seats!

I only paid 8k for it but that is for a reason. This M3 has been neglected and will require serious attention. On a good note it runs and drives. I traveled 3 hours away the other night to get it. Drove it home and I'm in love. I've never ridden in anything this fast or a bmw m3 for that matter.

Problems I've discovered so far:
1. I have a very noticeable clunk from the rear end when shifting hard. If I'm easy on it you won't hear it. I put it on one of my lifts and have not found any subframe issues (will look further again). What I did notice is the front seal on the diff is leaking pretty bad.
2. The bmw has been in an accident or two in its life. While on the outside you wouldn't be able to tell unless you were looking hard. The giveaway is the fitment of the front bumper is messed up.
3. CEL is lit. Codes point to two fault 02 sensors... I have spares from my 330 so that's not a problems lol
4. Exhaust has a slight rattle at lower revs. Haven't diagnosed it yet.
5. While it tracks straight driving down the road. The alignment and center of the wheel is off and at certain speeds I have a shimmy in the wheel.
6. Cooling system/belt route problems. It's runs cold and never gets to operating temp so obviously a thermostat is in order. At idle it sounds like a pulley is on its way out.

Those are the major issues. There is minor stuff like brakes and cosmetics that will need to be fixed. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. Some may say I overpaid but considering I own a shop fixes are relatively cheap. I have it parked currently and don't plan on driving it till I at least change the oil and do some preventative maintenance.

Thought I'd post this up and will try to keep it updated as I go through and correct the issues I find! _a_
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:47 PM   #2
hey ant
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Simi Valley
Posts: 58
My Ride: 2002 Steel Grey M3
I love the color combo, I recently just picked up a 2002 Steel Grey w/ 6speed manual (SOOOO Hard to find) as well and I love everything about it. Only problems I encountered were the:
-Rear Trailing Arm Bushings (fixed)
-Valve Adjustment (fixed)
-Vanos (Will Fix Soon)
-Old Fuel Filter (Fixed)
-Oil Leak (in progress)

Everything else is fine, and can't complain. Subframe and rod bearings has been recalled.

Enjoy the car and I hope you get everything squared away.

Last edited by hey ant; 01-16-2014 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Pilot Mtn, NC
Posts: 37
My Ride: 01 M3 Vert
Nice car! Needs some maint, but doesn't look like its been modded, which is good

I'm doing the same; going through an '01 M3 convert. 150K miles

My take so far: These are pretty solid little cars. Like 911's, they're eminently fixable

Clunk: Suggest you check your driveshaft center support bearing and Guibo. Also, check the diff carrier bolt torque (they loosen or break)

If your rear control arm bushings are as bad as some I have seen, they could also be contributing. Finally, check upper rear shock mounts.

You will v prob need front control arm bushings, and check lower control arm balljoints as well

Good news is all the above parts are pretty cheap

I'm doing most of above, plus valve adj and VANOS inspection/rebuild

On your ex rattle, look for clearance at center pipe cross member. Bet you'll find the exhaust laying on the cross member. In my case, culprit is sacked motor and transmission mounts - fairly cheap to replace. Consider renewing your shifter bushings while you're in there

You definitely bought that car right, and now have a few K in hand to refurb it (which is the right way to do it)
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