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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 08-06-2014, 07:27 AM   #1
jwoolsey
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03 E46 M3 - Third Party Inspection Results - Walk or Buy

Hey all,

Looking into a 03 M3 - 119K, $14,500.

*After the Third party inspection I have negotiated the price to $12,300.

Take a look at the Craigslist below.

http://annarbor.craigslist.org/cto/4570033763.html

Shop said car looked and felt solid, looked real clean in the pictures. Below are the details of the TPI. Let me know what you guys think. Should I walk or buy. In no hurry, want the right M3, realize at this price and mileage preventative maintenance is a must. Would be willing to put some TLC into this one. Want some advice.

M3 inspection. $140

*Front brake service: We inspected and found the front brake pads have 4mm of material (discard at 3mm) and there is a heavy ridge on the disc
rotors. As a result, the brake sensor is severed.
*Install new premium front brake pads and disc rotors. Install new brake
sensors. Clean and lubricate caliper slides and hardware.
QTY:
2.00 FRONT DISC ROTOR 272.00
1.00 FRONT PAD SET 131.60
1.00 BRAKE SENSOR 22.40
*Rear suspension service: We inspected and found the rear upper shock mounts are separated. We recommend installing new shocks as preventative maintenance with shock mounts.
2.00 REAR SHOCK MOUNT 75.98
2.00 REAR BUMP STOP 72.00
4.00 REAR SHOCK PLATE 28.00
2.00 REAR SHOCK ABSORBER 293.76
*Cabin air filter service: install new cabin air filter element and reset
service indicator
*1.00 CABIN AIR FILTER 51.30

In total: $1,640.

Thanks for all the help and advice guys!

-John
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:36 AM   #2
ChrisRedmon
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My Ride: 2002 PY ///M3
Ok.

Its a coupe. Its 6MT. Black interior.

Good price, relatively high miles. ANY M3 you buy south of 17k will need some maintenance done. Either this shop doesn't know what to look for or this is a killer deal.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:39 AM   #3
jwoolsey
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Ok.

Its a coupe. Its 6MT. Black interior.

Good price, relatively high miles. ANY M3 you buy south of 17k will need some maintenance done. Either this shop doesn't know what to look for or this is a killer deal.
Shop "prides themselves" on BMW's. Should I have had them look into more specifics under the hood? Sounded like they were pretty thorough.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:25 AM   #4
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You need to take it to a shop that is familiar with M cars, not just BMW's in general. If that truly is all that's wrong with it then it's in great condition. Brakes and RSMs are normal wear items.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:42 AM   #5
Alan
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I have a hard time believing that the car needs nothing more than pads, rotors and RSM.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:59 AM   #6
jwoolsey
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I have a hard time believing that the car needs nothing more than pads, rotors and RSM.
That's what scares me, and why I am asking on the forums. Should I stay away, not looking to buy someone else's problem.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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That's what scares me, and why I am asking on the forums. Should I stay away, not looking to buy someone else's problem.
You should take it to another shop. We can't inspect the car. There's no way for us to tell.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:25 AM   #8
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Looking for another shop now. Anything specific to look for?
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:41 AM   #9
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Subframe and VANOS are going to be the two weak spots and what you should be most worried about.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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Subframe and VANOS are going to be the two weak spots and what you should be most worried about.
Seller mentioned he changed the whole Vanos unit. I'm not entirely sure what that entailed, by that vague statement. Thanks for the help. Still not sure if I should pull the trigger on this one yet.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jwoolsey View Post
Seller mentioned he changed the whole Vanos unit. I'm not entirely sure what that entailed, by that vague statement. Thanks for the help. Still not sure if I should pull the trigger on this one yet.
Ask for a receipt. Should be able to tell. Hopefully seller did full Beisan overhaul. If he did you are good to go. If he replaced with OEM parts, then you will want to do Beisan in the future.

Also, I agree that if all this needs is brakes and RSM, $12K is a steal.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:11 PM   #12
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I'd recommend taking it to a shop that specializes or knows these particular cars.. going to some random Indy shop (gas station mechanics) may not know anything about these..

ORRR you may be lucky and the car really is in great shape and just needs brakes and RSM.... Either way, killer deal for 12k. you could fix it and make money off it.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:32 PM   #13
jwoolsey
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Originally Posted by onefastsicilian View Post
I'd recommend taking it to a shop that specializes or knows these particular cars.. going to some random Indy shop (gas station mechanics) may not know anything about these..

ORRR you may be lucky and the car really is in great shape and just needs brakes and RSM.... Either way, killer deal for 12k. you could fix it and make money off it.
Place was reputable, mostly work on Beamers - Not entirely sure about M cars. Maybe paying for a second inspection might be worth it in the end.

Really appreciate everyone's advice. Think I'll view the car this weekend, ask the seller to take it to a 2nd shop - Then make my decision.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:47 PM   #14
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12k is still a pretty good deal, may be that the owner doesn't really know how much his car is worth. Did the PPI look at the subframe, and if you can get it checked again ask to look at the VANOS to see if the exhaust hub tabs didn't break.

It's not really a dealbreaker if it is broken, just buy a TTV3 hub with Beisan upgrades, and you'll still only be 14k all together. Which is a great deal. If I were you I'd buy it before someone else does. The fact that it looks to me like a 03.5 is even better!

Last edited by OEMaddict; 08-06-2014 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:59 PM   #15
jwoolsey
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Originally Posted by OEMaddict View Post
12k is still a pretty good deal, may be that the owner doesn't really know how much his car is worth. Did the PPI look at the subframe, and if you can get it checked again ask to look at the VANOS to see if the exhaust hub tabs didn't break.

It's not really a dealbreaker if it is broken, just buy a TTV3 hub with Beisan upgrades, and you'll still only be 14k all together. Which is a great deal. If I were you I'd buy it before someone else does. The fact that it looks to me like a 03.5 is even better!
I'm gonna ask the seller for the VANOS receipt, he only mentioned replacing the "whole unit." What price range, makes this legitimate?

Also, I am a bit of a n00b here regarding model years. Are there differences for the 03.5? How can you tell?
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jwoolsey View Post
I'm gonna ask the seller for the VANOS receipt, he only mentioned replacing the "whole unit." What price range, makes this legitimate?

Also, I am a bit of a n00b here regarding model years. Are there differences for the 03.5? How can you tell?
03.5+ model years have LED tail lights, and are overall more desirable because they are more modern. It pretty much designates the post-facelift period for the M3s, although they didn't get a headlight change like the rest of the E46 models.
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