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General E46 Forum
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:46 PM   #1
dogsgottaeat
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E46 323i 5-speed manual. Help me decide on a direction!

G'day from Australia! So I recently picked up an E46 323i manual for next to nothing. I was owed a few favours from a mate, he was setting off for a round Australia trip and needed this E46 out of his driveway. I've done lots of motorbike mechanical work for him and he gave me this in exchange!






The good:
The M52TUB25 goes great beside a little dual Vanos leak, a tad fluffy between 1000 and 2000rpm
No DISA noise
Manual gearbox, still feels nice and tight
New tyres
Working sunroof
Leather interior
Aircon/heat works great
Everything is functional
Fold-down rear seats
No noises from suspension/brakes/drivetrain
No rust
Interior is perfect except for drivers seat

The bad:
Fuel leak, seems like the filler neck may be split. Gushed out fuel when I filled it up
Vanos leak as mentioned earlier
Drivers seat is cracked and peeling
Sunroof inner panel is crud
Fuel sender doesn't work
Airbag light is on
Currently unregistered - needs a roadworthy test
Paint isn't 100%, some bits will need a touch-up

Now, I have two options for where I'd like to go with this.

Option one: the choice based in logic and reason
Get the E46 registered and use it as a sometimes daily driver. My daily is a single-cab Hilux, and while it's practical for me for my motorcycle wheel and suspension after-hours business, I have two kids so I have to use the wife's new Commodore wagon if I want to take them anywhere. The E46 would be a perfect, cheap second vehicle for myself that I could use on weekends if the wife is at work, instead of her having to drive my stinky Hilux all over Victoria. Sometimes if the kids are being looked after by the in-laws when wife is at work, I have to drive to her work, swap cars and then head out of the way to pick the kids up, which is bloody frustrating. Having another 5-seater would be handy for this.

Option two: the choice based in absurdity and fun
I've always wanted to dabble in drifting. One of my best friends actually owns and runs the Australian drift events DCA, and I'd like to go play with him and my other mates that drift. I grew up riding freestyle BMX, and a lot of my ex-BMX friends now do drifting. I've got a lot of experience throwing a car around, had a rally-spec WRX for a few years and spent a lot of time sideward and backward. I've also spent a lot of my life riding and racing dirt bikes, and I'm very mechanically minded. If I don't spend the time and money getting this car roadworthy and road registered, and don't have the extra registration each year, I could justify doing some drift events and whatnot. I've always enjoyed the process of stripping down a car to it's bare minimum, I stripped 150kg or so out of my WRX and enjoyed the tinkering just as much as I enjoyed driving the thing.

The Dr Jekyll in me knows that the logical choice is to use the car on the road, but the Mr Hyde in me feels like this thing could be a lot of fun on the track. Here in Australia it seems to be a bit of a rarity to find a 6-cylinder manual, especially for the tiny amount this vehicle owes me.

The DCA drift events are more about driver aggression and skill rather than just having 1000hp and a heavy right foot, so I could gut a bunch of fat out of this thing, make a cage, weld a 3.7 diff, add a hydraulic handbrake and enjoy the heck out of it on a track. More power isn't really a necessity for the DCA drift events. I'm getting a bit too old and broken to keep riding dirt bikes the way I do, so I'd like a different outlet. If I don't destroy it I could still get a lot more for the car as a track toy than what I paid for it, so it wouldn't be a total loss. I am very mechanical, have access to a hoist and am owed a lot of favours by people that can supply tyres, so (in theory) it shouldn't be too expensive...until I plow a wall or explode something. It also appeals to me to in the future play with extracting more ponies from this thing, or to plop an LS2 or LS3 into it.

I'm hoping you guys can throw some ideas my way! Should I go with the logical Dr Jekyll choice, or cater to my desires and let Mr Hyde pull out all the vestigial road car stuff and throw it around on a racetrack? I know what I want to do, but I can't decide what I SHOULD do.

Cheers!
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:39 PM   #2
Spannerhead
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Welcome sir! Nice E46!

I vote Option 1, but only because turning an E46 into a drift car has a certain stigma, and it is, in essence, destroying the car, and I'm all about E46 preservation.

Fix it up! Absolutely nothing wrong with a 323 in good nick.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:50 AM   #3
dogsgottaeat
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Originally Posted by Spannerhead View Post
Welcome sir! Nice E46!

I vote Option 1, but only because turning an E46 into a drift car has a certain stigma, and it is, in essence, destroying the car, and I'm all about E46 preservation.

Fix it up! Absolutely nothing wrong with a 323 in good nick.
Haha cheers man. Yeah I figure being an E46centric site like this, most people will prefer the car to not get butchered!
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:47 AM   #4
KendrickC
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destroy it. turn it into a drift car.

nice to see another aussie up on here. when i get my focus RS, my 46 us going up on stands to be torn down in preparation for an S54 haha.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:15 AM   #5
sprintman
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Why not post in the Australian section?
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:18 AM   #6
dogsgottaeat
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Originally Posted by KendrickC View Post
destroy it. turn it into a drift car.

nice to see another aussie up on here. when i get my focus RS, my 46 us going up on stands to be torn down in preparation for an S54 haha.
I like your style.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:45 AM   #7
dogsgottaeat
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Why not post in the Australian section?
Me? Or KendrickC?
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:34 AM   #8
ryanr1299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spannerhead View Post
I vote Option 1, but only because turning an E46 into a drift car has a certain stigma, and it is, in essence, destroying the car, and I'm all about E46 preservation.
I second this. Check out Craigslist or any buy/sell type app like OfferUp and you'll see E46's are dropping like flies. We must save them!
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