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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 08-14-2014, 04:27 AM   #1
laz878
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Location: norfolk, VA
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Looking to join the M3 club

Hey everybody,

So I currently have an 04 330ci but am currently in the market looking to upgrade to the car I have wanted for years now which is the e46 M3. I have done a lot of research on my own(I hope anyway) on what to look for before I bothered you guys by posting a thread that's most likely been done countless times but i m hoping for some more specific issues each of you have dealt with that the majority don't.

So a lot of the M3's I am seeing available on autotrader and cars and craigslist all seem to fall in the 2002-03 time frame. And a TON of those are convertibles. Should I assume that this model year range. Of the m3 was plagued with the most problems since so many people are trying to sell them? I looked into the recal on the oil pump and rods and I know the subframe is an issue to look out for but what other problems should I worry about and look out and prepare for with me buying a high mileage 2002-03 M3 since those seem to be all the ones being offered up to be sold right now. I don't have much room to spend a ton of money on a newer lower mileage M3 but I am decently experienced with working on the e46 after working on my 330ci for the past 4 years.

Any advice you all could tell me look out for with theses cars specifically and ask the seller about before getting into something turns out to be the bad apple of M3's would be greatly appreciated. Thank you guys in advance
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:30 AM   #2
Karo10karo
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Check that the rod bearing recall was a done on the car and the vanos and if you are buying a smg make sure the smg pump was already replaced and check the sub frame for any cracks

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Old 08-14-2014, 09:32 AM   #3
DSilk56
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The only issue that affected the 2001 and 2002 model year M3 that wasn't an issue later on was the rod bearings. However all of the earlier cars were subject to a recall and free replacement, so assuming that this work was done (and it would have been INSANE not to have done it), there is no functional difference between any of the e46 M3's. In 2003, BMW added a front strut bar, but most earlier cars have had them added later anyway. Similarly, later model M3's had LED tail lamps rather than the incandescent bulbs of the earlier years, but this too can be swapped out if you are of a mind to do so.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:11 PM   #4
XKR
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2003.5 is the best year IMO


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Old 08-14-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
choxor
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Read the sticky at m3forum.net There's nothing "wrong" with those years. It's a used car. Don't read trends into what you see for sale.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:40 PM   #6
laz878
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Awesome advice, thanks guys. Anyone else have 2 cents to put in please do so.
As for the rod recall, was there a window on it like the subframe recall and now it's too late or even now if I find an m3 that didn't have it done yet, I can take it to the dealership and have it done free of charge?
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:40 PM   #7
laz878
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Awesome advice, thanks guys. Anyone else have 2 cents to put in please do so.
As for the rod recall, was there a window on it like the subframe recall and now it's too late or even now if I find an m3 that didn't have it done yet, I can take it to the dealership and have it done free of charge?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:11 PM   #8
juno615
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Make sure the oil in the diff has been changed and another common problem is the vanos coilpack failure its about a 150$ fix for a refurbished one but I'd wait and see if the car go into limp mode. So if it does don't freak out its probly happened to all of us at one point
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:01 AM   #9
Alex323Ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karo10karo View Post
Check that the rod bearing recall was a done on the car and the vanos and if you are buying a smg make sure the smg pump was already replaced and check the sub frame for any cracks
yep that's pretty much it in a nutshell
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:52 PM   #10
laz878
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Ok, so maybe I'm gonna get flamed for this since this is out of place in the forum, but I have found a 2007 335i with 111k miles on it. As much as I want an m3, the 335i is the only car I'd choose instead. I don't know much about the commen problems with them, I've only just started researching them but so far the most common problem is the waste gate goes bad. Does anyone else know what else I should look out for given the car has 111k miles on it. Turbos at that mileage makes kinda nervous to get into to be honest. Any advice though guys, thanks again for all of your help.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:14 AM   #11
juno615
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I think the earlier models like that one had some problems with carbon build up in the turbo. I'd do some more research....these people didn't seem too happy with the 335 http://www.edmunds.com/bmw/3-series/...r-reviews.html ......what's the asking price for the 335?
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:21 AM   #12
laz878
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12k. Not bad I think for a manual coupe with 111k miles. I am a bit worried about that mileage if it's a stock clutch as well :/

Last edited by laz878; 08-23-2014 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:06 AM   #13
juno615
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It's deffinitly a great price but those care are usually valued higher even with the miles....Just get an inspection done before you do anything, and get a car fax
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