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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 09-13-2012, 08:30 AM   #1
sw20-3sgte
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Talking thinking about purchasing a E46 M3

Hey people newbie here !!!

i have always loved the E46 M3 coupe and always wanted one

But being young and living in London means that it would be difficult to insure and run but i think the time has come. Now i am soon to turn 25 means insurance price drops a fair bit

So i have a couple of questions to ask before i dive in and get one .. I have already read buying guide's but i would like a mixture of answers


Oil Pump and Rear Subframe issue.. i know that if i get a m3 around the 2004 model i shouldnt have the oil pump issue but i get a m3 from a private sell how would i know if the subframe has been checked or even replaced/fixed ???

Oil Service and Inspection 1 dont seem too expensive but inspection 2 is pricey over here .. Does anyone here do the oil service, inspection 1 & 2 themselfs ??? (i own a jdm mr2 turbo and service that myself including brakes ect.. just leave the really difficult jobs to a garage)

MPG i dont mind really what figures you get around town as my mr2 drinks around town anyways so wont be shocked to see 17-19 mpg.. just wondering what motorway (highway) figures people get as my mother/father inlaw live 90 miles away and want to seem every weekend or other weekend .. the mr2 in 5th gear at 70mph is 3000 revs so its not the best highway cruiser

Sorry to all manual owners i do love my manual cars but iv always said if i get a bmw it will have to be a auto (i dont expect it to be a smooth auto like any other bmw or merc i know it will be a bit jerkey) so i will be looking to get a SMG.. performance wise how does it compare to a manual i know with a manual you will have more control so track days will be bettter in the manual but what about straight line performance 1/4 mile.. also i hear horror stories of how the SMG eats clutches

Launch Control.. i know someone that had a SMG E46 M3 and he said he used the launch control about 2 times and when he went to BMW to get a service they told him he shouldnt really use the launch control more than 5 or 6 times.. is this true ?? does it really wear the gearbox that much ??

and how many running in services are there 1 or 2 ?? need to make sure that any m3 i get has it !!!!

EVOLVE - do there remaps really make a difference with intake headers and exhuast ?? would really like to have a 350 bhp M3

if i remember any other questions i will ask them

bring on the straight 6
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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Oil Pump and Rear Subframe issue.. i know that if i get a m3 around the 2004 model i shouldnt have the oil pump issue but i get a m3 from a private sell how would i know if the subframe has been checked or even replaced/fixed ???

Absolutely have the subframe looked at before you buy the car. They could of had the subframe inspected previously but it could have cracked between then and now.

Oil Service and Inspection 1 dont seem too expensive but inspection 2 is pricey over here .. Does anyone here do the oil service, inspection 1 & 2 themselfs ??? (i own a jdm mr2 turbo and service that myself including brakes ect.. just leave the really difficult jobs to a garage)

Do all the things you can do yourself for inspections 1 and 2 and pay a shop to do whatever you can't.

MPG i dont mind really what figures you get around town as my mr2 drinks around town anyways so wont be shocked to see 17-19 mpg.

I average 21 mpgs around the city, can get more on highway obviously

Sorry to all manual owners i do love my manual cars but iv always said if i get a bmw it will have to be a auto (i dont expect it to be a smooth auto like any other bmw or merc i know it will be a bit jerkey) so i will be looking to get a SMG.. performance wise how does it compare to a manual i know with a manual you will have more control so track days will be bettter in the manual but what about straight line performance 1/4 mile.. also i hear horror stories of how the SMG eats clutches

Smg is a manual transmission with an smg pump, so same performance. Have $1000-$2000 set aside at all times if you decide to get smg because the pumps WILL fail eventually.

Launch Control.. i know someone that had a SMG E46 M3 and he said he used the launch control about 2 times and when he went to BMW to get a service they told him he shouldnt really use the launch control more than 5 or 6 times.. is this true ?? does it really wear the gearbox that much ??

Heavy launching will wear on the clutch and drivetrain more than driving normally... That's a given. Depending on how much money you have you can launch as many times as your car/wallet can handle.

and how many running in services are there 1 or 2 ?? need to make sure that any m3 i get has it !!

?

EVOLVE - do there remaps really make a difference with intake headers and exhuast ?? would really like to have a 350 bhp M3

Minimal gains (20hp maybe)
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:14 AM   #3
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thats for the reply dude...

ouch didnt know the pumps will fail might be worth getting a manual then..

if i purchase a smg with a new pump is there any rough time/milage these things last or is it all down to how hard the car is driven ??
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
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thats for the reply dude...

ouch didnt know the pumps will fail might be worth getting a manual then..

if i purchase a smg with a new pump is there any rough time/milage these things last or is it all down to how hard the car is driven ??
I have read plenty of threads where SMG is frowned upon because of the fear of the pump failing and the price that comes with the repair. I own a '05 M3 6-MT and the car is a joy to drive. Part of that joy is knowing that there is no SMG pump in my car that will fail.

Skip the SMG and go for a 6-MT.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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I have read plenty of threads where SMG is frowned upon because of the fear of the pump failing and the price that comes with the repair. I own a '05 M3 6-MT and the car is a joy to drive. Part of that joy is knowing that there is no SMG pump in my car that will fail.

Skip the SMG and go for a 6-MT.
might have to buddy

when your on the motorway crusing at 70 mph in 6th gear where are your revs ??
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Around 2800
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Around 2800
bit high for a 6 speed thought it would be lower !!

cant stop looking at e46 m3's on youtube the noise!!!!!!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sw20-3sgte View Post
bit high for a 6 speed thought it would be lower !!

cant stop looking at e46 m3's on youtube the noise!!!!!!!
The red line is 7900 rpm 2800 is not that high
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by agent050 View Post
I have read plenty of threads where SMG is frowned upon because of the fear of the pump failing and the price that comes with the repair. I own a '05 M3 6-MT and the car is a joy to drive. Part of that joy is knowing that there is no SMG pump in my car that will fail.

Skip the SMG and go for a 6-MT.
i see what your saying but i have read that the SMG shifts quicker than any human and does the least wear aswel

but again the pump fail is on your head hmmmmmm
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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Yes it shifts quicker, so if you are worried about the quarter seconds you will waste in a manual driving to work everyday then go for smg. Honestly unless your strictly tracking your car that shouldn't be a factor into deciding smg or manual.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #11
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Yes it shifts quicker, so if you are worried about the quarter seconds you will waste in a manual driving to work everyday then go for smg. Honestly unless your strictly tracking your car that shouldn't be a factor into deciding smg or manual.
dont think i will track the car its just having the auto option

Last edited by sw20-3sgte; 09-13-2012 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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That's a good reason to want smg. Just because it shifts faster than manual is not a good reason.

Just wanted to make that clear
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jhaurimn View Post
That's a good reason to want smg. Just because it shifts faster than manual is not a good reason.

Just wanted to make that clear




being that it will be my first bmw i did want it to be a AUTO just the scary pump story.

might be worth waiting for 1 that has had a recent clutch and pump change.. if not might just have to go for a manual..



any other comman faults with e46 m3's ??
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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being that it will be my first bmw i did want it to be a AUTO just the scary pump story.

might be worth waiting for 1 that has had a recent clutch and pump change.. if not might just have to go for a manual..



any other comman faults with e46 m3's ??

It will bring tears of joy to your face and you will wonder where all your cash has gone.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #15
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Never ask this forum if you should get smg or 6mt. The answer will always be 6mt. I have had my smg for almost 2 years now and love it. Ive never had any problems, and I would never trade for a 6mt. If you want the SMG do it! you wont regret it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:21 PM   #16
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I've always wanted to try an SMG..but I'd never get one over manual. both of my cars are manual, it'd be neat to check it out.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:15 PM   #17
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Never ask this forum if you should get smg or 6mt. The answer will always be 6mt. I have had my smg for almost 2 years now and love it. Ive never had any problems, and I would never trade for a 6mt. If you want the SMG do it! you wont regret it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:29 PM   #18
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Never ask this forum if you should get smg or 6mt. The answer will always be 6mt. I have had my smg for almost 2 years now and love it. Ive never had any problems, and I would never trade for a 6mt. If you want the SMG do it! you wont regret it.
+2 6mt is cool, but SMG is better.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:55 PM   #19
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I had my smg since o4 i have 110k right now never had a problem with it and still loving it!
go with the smg. You will love the paddle shifter
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:23 AM   #20
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Test drive an SMG before you count it out. I was dead set against SMG until I drove one. Now I own one.
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