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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 05-28-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
sagar23
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Would this be a good way to come back to the e46

Hi All

Ive previously had a 01 330ci 5 speed (90k miles) for about 2 years and traded the car in for an 07 328xi CPO (21k miles)

I recently sold the 328xi since my usage is under 4000 miles per year and couldnt justify the cost.. I havent really found anything that i keep as a weekend car which would still be fun to drive

I was considering buying the car below.. Do you think this is a risky buy? Its a single owner and the dealer said they have records until Dec 2010 but nothing for thr subframe in there... But the guy im buying from is a private dealer that got the car in an auction

http://www.vintradingmotors.com/vehi...-bmw-323i.html


I did hear a very faint clunk from the rear when switching out of 3rd... Guessing this can be bushings or subframe? Anything else i should particularly look out for at 150k miles? Or stay away altogether?

Also would be great if you recognize this car from previous forum members (altough may be hard since its bone stock)

Thanks all for your feedback
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:18 PM   #2
ANREC330
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Id stay far away from anything with more than 100k
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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If you're looking for a fun weekend car get a 330 or 330zhp. I bought mine with 128k. 11 months down the road. It has never broke down on me and it's in tip top shape. Granted I've done quite a bit of work on my car to make it reliable. If you're looking into getting a e46 at any mileage and just expect to change oil and misc things then stay away from e46's unless you can pay someone else to maintain it properly.

I can wager that my car can beat most 330i's with 100k miles or less on the road in a drag race.

clunking can be motor mounts( e46 M3 mounts), transmission mounts (UUC Street mounts) and diff bushing (Meyle HD). all parts less then 180 dollars.

If the car has never had motor mounts, transmission mounts, RTABS, CA's Control arm bushings, CCV, VANOS seals, DISA valve, ICV valve cleaned, New plugs, The correct oil and filter, fuel filter, vacuum hoses, shocks, differential bushings, VCG, in the last 30k then expect to replace all of the items above in addition to a 4 wheel alignment.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
sagar23
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I would love a 330ci again but im having trouble justifying spending 10k for a car that goes to pathmark, and infrequently makes a trip into nyc for an evening

If this is something that could potentially fall apart the day after i buy it, i guess i should run the other way... The dealer did say they have "all records" but wouldnt disclose details without proof of ownership..so not much comfort there i guess

And then of course is the color... I would love a topaz again and red isnt high on my preferred list..

I guess i would need to spend a lot more for peace of mind.. But then i read the posts of 320k miles on '99 cars!

Thoroughly confused!
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sagar23 View Post
I would love a 330ci again but im having trouble justifying spending 10k for a car that goes to pathmark, and infrequently makes a trip into nyc for an evening

If this is something that could potentially fall apart the day after i buy it, i guess i should run the other way... The dealer did say they have "all records" but wouldnt disclose details without proof of ownership..so not much comfort there i guess

And then of course is the color... I would love a topaz again and red isnt high on my preferred list..

I guess i would need to spend a lot more for peace of mind.. But then i read the posts of 320k miles on '99 cars!

Thoroughly confused!
There's no need to pay 10k for a 330. I payed 7500 for mine with 128k miles granted it needed everything I mentioned above plus a few more things. Any car will last 320k miles with some common sense. But that doesn't mean all those 320k miles were driven with a car that still drives like new. if you want your e46 to perform like it just rolled of the factory or even better then expect to replace way more parts during your journey to 320k miles..
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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Also id be more than happy to pay someone else to maintain the car but long as it isnt to replace the transmission or anything major of the sort... Ive been reading everyone's experiences on major issues on the forum.. Did you have any major repairs that you didnt catch when inspecting the car beforer purchase?
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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There's no need to pay 10k for a 330. I payed 7500 for mine with 128k miles. Any car will last 320k miles with some common sense. But that doesn't mean all those 320k miles were driven with a car that still drives like new. if you want your e46 to perform like it just rolled of the factory or even better then expect to replace way more parts during your journey to 320k miles..
7500 including post purchase surprises? Or dropped a lot more in those soon after purchase? Guess this might be somewhat luck of the draw....
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:32 PM   #8
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looks at this one

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...405773502.html

Sure its a auto tragic but for 6k or maybe 5k its not a bad deal.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:35 PM   #9
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7500 including post purchase surprises? Or dropped a lot more in those soon after purchase? Guess this might be somewhat luck of the draw....

7500 not including the attention it needed. I only spent on vanos seals, CCV, VCG, intake manifold rebuild, Control arms' CA bushings, pulleys. not much. about 800-1000 it really needed. then unto the small things to make it like new.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:36 PM   #10
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looks at this one

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...405773502.html

Sure its a auto tragic but for 6k or maybe 5k its not a bad deal.
You said it.. The AUTO transmission surely is tragic.. Thats why i started looking at smaller engines but with a manual gearbox... Wow 180k miles on the AUTO!!
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:38 PM   #11
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You said it.. The AUTO transmission surely is tragic.. Thats why i started looking at smaller engines but with a manual gearbox... Wow 180k miles on the AUTO!!
Manual cars tend to be more expensive it should be the other way around. I haven't come across a better deal then my car was in the last 10 months.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:38 PM   #12
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7500 not including the attention it needed. I only spent on vanos seals, CCV, VCG, intake manifold rebuild, Control arms' CA bushings, pulleys. not much. about 800-1000 it really needed. then unto the small things to make it like new.
I could live with that.. 1000 is reasonable... What all did u look at when u bought the car? The subframe is my biggest fear but anything else i can check... The waterpump on my 330ci went bad at 80k.. Any way i can check this somehow?
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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I could live with that.. 1000 is reasonable... What all did u look at when u bought the car? The subframe is my biggest fear but anything else i can check... The waterpump on my 330ci went bad at 80k.. Any way i can check this somehow?
I looked at 2 other different ones, outside mine. One was a 2002 with just under 90k they wanted 9800k for it but it was a POS. It clunked like mother f'er. fixable yes. but wasn't going to buy it for 9800 with it clunking like a POS

Then another 330ci. with 112k. for 8999. The seats were aweful it looked like someone left the sunroof open and it flooded the car. When I looked in the trunk and saw the spare tire wore all the way down to metal mesh inside the tire I knew that car was not taken care of at all instead it was probably beaten on alot. pass.

Then I drove my current car.

I could tell it needed all of the items I listed above in addition to a electrical fan, strut mount reinforcement plates, alignment, new tires. It was a florida car so there was absolutely no rust underneath, the subframe checked out clean at BMW and to my surprise I had a brand new looking M68 rim and new continental summer tire as a spare. Equipped with leatherette and no sunroof It had to be a custom order which means it was well taken care of by its first owner the second one just never did any maintenance and it was eventually was taken from him since he defaulted on his finance company. I'm sure that if I didn't buy my car it would have been in a junk jard right now with a blown headgasket.


Mileage on cars doesn't mean jack **** to me-- How the car was taken care off regardless of mileage is much more important IMO. I've had people think my car has only 60k miles. by just looking at the interior and seeing how it performs. little do they know it has 141k now.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:53 PM   #14
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look at this one. 176k.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...407611438.html

I'm sure it will need at the very minimum 1 to 2k worth of maintenance to make it a fun car to drive. but if you can get it for 5200k then its a pretty good deal. Granted it doesnt have a blown subframe.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:05 PM   #15
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As for the waterpump. Take the serpentine belt off and rotate the pump by hand and see if it has any axial play. If its not smooth when it rotates and you hear a noises and or it has axial play then it needs replacing.

but at 70 dollars its worth changing it

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...Pump/ES259609/
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:12 PM   #16
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As for the waterpump. Take the serpentine belt off and rotate the pump by hand and see if it has any axial play. If its not smooth when it rotates and you hear a noises and or it has axial play then it needs replacing.

but at 70 dollars its worth changing it

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...Pump/ES259609/
Wow!! I think i was caught 12 hours before a trip and had to pay the stealership over 600 bucks for this work... Didnt realize part was that cheap! Def worth the DIY!!
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newe46fan View Post
Manual cars tend to be more expensive it should be the other way around. I haven't come across a better deal then my car was in the last 10 months.

were you being serious?
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:33 PM   #18
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were you being serious?
yes, among enthusiasts at least. I would pay 500 to even 1k more for a manual over the tragic auto in e46's. specially if the car is over 120k
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:34 PM   #19
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Wow!! I think i was caught 12 hours before a trip and had to pay the stealership over 600 bucks for this work... Didnt realize part was that cheap! Def worth the DIY!!
yep, just drain old coolant. take the fan or fan clutch out, serpentine belt, WP pulley, 4 nuts on the WP. put everything back together and bleed. 600? wow. Parts are cheap on these cars while not as cheap as Honda's but cheap compared to audi and mercedez. e46's are easier to work on then even some domestic cars.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:46 PM   #20
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I paid $6k for my 04 330Ci with 149k miles. I bought it knowing it needed some work. After $600, all motor maintenance is done. The interior is flawless. I haven't looked at the suspension but it drives flawless. I wouldn't worry about the mileage, in fact a higher mileage one with all of the maintenance done might be better. The things that were replaced before I bought it were cam sensors, oil filter housing gasket, expansion tank, oil separator hose, fuel pump/filter, coolant temp sensor, front bushings, leak in air conditioning, thermostat/housing, rotors, belts. This is just some of the stuff that WILL need to be replaced at some point. There's more, I just can't think of it off the top of my head. So if you buy a low mileage one you can plan on doing all that stuff yourself or you could find one with most of the bugs already worked out. These car are fun, easy and cheap to work on but if you are going to pay somebody else to do the work I would pass on the BMW.

Edit: Sorry I just noticed that you have already owned one of these, so know most of this info...I'll keep it up here for the next guy. What I am is saying is these car are getting cheap if you look around.
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