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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 05-23-2016, 11:08 AM   #1
m325i
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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hi..who has tracked an e36M and an e46 non M?

currently in market to replace a track day car I just sold.

I'm not doing any w2w or specific class racing...

just track day fun....advcd/instructor level.


wondering how does a non M e46 compare to an M e36...equally prepped course. Im considering both....either..lol

Many Ive spoken to have said e46 is a wonderful car. Every1 knows an e36M is widely loved but they have crept up in price and its hard to find a solid car that isn't a bit overpriced.

tia

JK

Last edited by m325i; 05-23-2016 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:38 AM   #2
teamdfl
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E36 M3 is lighter, has more power, and a carries a real limited slip diff. Both the E36 and E46 are unreliable piles of crap compared to the E30 but they are certainly faster.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:04 PM   #3
m325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl View Post
E36 M3 is lighter, has more power, and a carries a real limited slip diff. Both the E36 and E46 are unreliable piles of crap compared to the E30 but they are certainly faster.

lol....sold an s50/e30 after 10 yrs of driving her.....


y do u say what u say?...

most adore the e36M car.......
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:16 PM   #4
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Interesting - I came here with the same question. Googling "E36 M3 vs E46 330" gets lots of results, but it seems they're all comparing stock vs stock. Here's one that sort of sums up most of what I found. But, I haven't seen anything comparing track-prepped versions, which is what I'm curious about. I find myself needing to replace my E36 M3, and toying with the idea of starting with a 330 this time.

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Old 05-24-2016, 12:35 PM   #5
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The e36 is accepted as a better track car. It's more simple, has more power, and has a LSD. The last one being the most important factor.
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:32 PM   #6
teamdfl
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Originally Posted by m325i View Post
lol....sold an s50/e30 after 10 yrs of driving her.....


y do u say what u say?...

most adore the e36M car.......
I put 100+ track days and 1000s of autocross runs on an E28 and heard all the usual crap: 5er is too heavy, E30 has better geometry, E36 has even better geometry, E28 has no aftermarket support, blah blah blah. I say drive what you like. There is no HPDE Championship trophy to win. If the E36 M3 does it for you, then go for it. You win if you have fun.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:46 PM   #7
m325i
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Originally Posted by CPPe46 View Post
Interesting - I came here with the same question. Googling "E36 M3 vs E46 330" gets lots of results, but it seems they're all comparing stock vs stock. Here's one that sort of sums up most of what I found. But, I haven't seen anything comparing track-prepped versions, which is what I'm curious about. I find myself needing to replace my E36 M3, and toying with the idea of starting with a 330 this time.

Cliff
good link......thnx



Id say the e36 is nore for me......it pulls my heart strings more.

Had a student last week w/ a 4 dr 330i.......seats, harnesses, wheel/tires, pss9 set up..it was a nice track car.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:47 PM   #8
m325i
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I put 100+ track days and 1000s of autocross runs on an E28 and heard all the usual crap: 5er is too heavy, E30 has better geometry, E36 has even better geometry, E28 has no aftermarket support, blah blah blah. I say drive what you like. There is no HPDE Championship trophy to win. If the E36 M3 does it for you, then go for it. You win if you have fun.

I agree....drive what u like.....

I was just asking y u said the e36/46 were crap compared to e30 cars?
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I agree....drive what u like.....



I was just asking y u said the e36/46 were crap compared to e30 cars?

He said reliability wise. The e30 is somewhat bulletproof. Sure it might have a broken rocker arm or a wiring problem but it's not going to grenade itself.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:49 PM   #10
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I very much enjoyed my E36 M, and wouldn't hesitate to get another for a purely track day car. However, I may eventually want to move from my SpecE30 to a SpecE46. I'm hoping that with an LSD and some weight reduction, the 330 would be similar to the E36, and would at least be money well spent toward a future race car.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:30 AM   #11
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I track an e46 325. It's a fun car and well balanced but a tad underpowered. With a few mods and an lsd it would be quite exciting.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:11 AM   #12
teamdfl
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I have tracked the following: E30 325i, E28 535is, E36 328is, E46 325it. Out of these, the E36 has the best real world potential thanks to massive aftermarket support as well as plenty of factory goodies such as LS diffs and gearing choices. The E46 is a slightly better chassis and may be slightly faster at any given power-to-weight ratio. The E46 will cost more thanks to things like lower aftermarket support and the lack of a factory non-M limited slip in the junkyards. The E46 is also the least structurally sound (re: suspension), requiring the most invasive rear subframe reinforcement. The E30 will be the most reliable on and off the track. The E28 is for people with... well, let's not go into their problems.
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:05 AM   #13
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If your looking for track day fun, either car will do. If your building a car for competition, I would go with the E36 M3 just because of the all the aftermarket options.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:42 PM   #14
jracer72
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Here's one for sale.

http://www.racingjunk.com/NASA-GTS-C...-with-S54.html
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:09 AM   #15
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I have tracked my E46 330i (5spd sedan) multiple times and I love her to death. I have replaced almost every suspension part on her as well as rebuilt the VANOS and all the necessary PM. I paired H&R race springs with Koni yellows for a formidable setup. Stock wheels, a great set of tires, and some track pads/rotors. Catless headers, EU2 reflash, cold air intake are the only "power" mods. She's quick enough but even more so nimble as hell. There are few cars in HPDE that have kept up with me through the turns @ VIR.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:18 PM   #16
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I have tracked both. See videos below of same track, but both cars.

I loved my E36 M3 and had it for 8 years. www.97M3.com My most recent car is a 2001 330ci. It is similar to the E36, but the chassis feels better w/ the PSS10 suspension. Engines are different but I am running a 3.46 diff now and it's awesome. Both cars are pretty reliable.

** Given the E36 M3's are inflated in price, you'd probably be better off getting a $5K 330 and then putting $10K into it vs getting a $10K M3 and putting $5K into it.

BMW E46:


BMW E36 M3:
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Old 11-09-2016, 11:48 AM   #17
rsrdan
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Too bad bmw didn't offer a LSD for the non M e46er,or at least the M3 diffs fit with out the needing whole damn rear suspension

"Time for all us Americans to come together"
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Old 11-13-2016, 11:32 PM   #18
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I've got a 04 325i sedan. All stock except for a h&r cup kit with touring springs. Could use a set of sway bars, I dive decently hard in the tight corners. It is underpowered a bit, and needs a LSD. However it's fun to drive. I participate in my local scca(wkscca) and auto cross. I'm in st class, their is a lot of cars faster in my class, but I do it for the fun.
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