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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 11-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
stewboy55
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E46 M3 vs E36 M3

What is the difference Between the E46 M3, and the E36 M3? obviously the body style, but I have been looking into buying an M3 and it seems like there is close to 10k difference in price. And what all mods can be done to a E46 328I? not trying to turn it into a M3 but want to make it faster
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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One has 6 throttle bodies and the other has only 1 in US form.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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And if you get an e36 m3/4/5 you will keep up with the e46 on a 3rd gear higway pull with just an intake/exhaust

E36 is more reliable/less maintenance.

Only down side to the e36 is if you have a Napoleon complex and have to have this big self image the e46 m3 is more attractive than the e36 to the general public. But you shouldnt be purchasing a car for an image in the first place lol. The e36 can look sick dumped on coilovers.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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will M3 internals handle a decent amount of boost? or should they be replaced?
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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will M3 internals handle a decent amount of boost? or should they be replaced?
e36 m3 (S52B32) "internals" are for all intents and purposes 330 internals.

E36 M3 is nice, but really is a hopped up 328. it's not in the same league powertrain wise as the E46. the e46 m3 is leagues, worlds, universes away in terms of engine/transmission robustness. (if you're planning on racing or anything)
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:28 PM   #6
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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E46-E36+10 That's it 10 points , no difference both Ms
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #8
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Different cars completely

US E36 M3 is not a real M3. 240hp vs 321hp (for the Euro E36 M3) for a start. Completely different engine and transmission.

Even then I found going from a Euro E36 M3 (Australian) to an E46 M3 they were quite different feeling cars. The E46 is more refined, quieter etc. The E36 I felt a bit "closer to the road". E36 probably even felt a bit faster because of that (and it wasn't).

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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E46-E36+10 That's it 10 points , no difference both Ms
sounds reasonable to me


OP there is so much of a difference that it would take a page or so to list. so here you go, this is going to answer most your questions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M3
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
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The E36 M3 is half an M car. I love the torque, but it isn't as raw as M cars should be. Because of that, some people own it who do not or would not own the E46 M3.

But if you want is a true M car, the E46 M3 is the winner, no questions asked.

I think the E30 and E46 M3 are the two 3 series M cars closest to the core of the original M group.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #11
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I can't believe all the hate for the e36 M3 on here... Benchmarks for the US and Euro spec M3s are nearly identical. Yes, it makes a lot less power than the European model, it's also more reliable and to answer the OP, they can be boosted pretty reliably.

The E36 M3 4 door is my favorite M3 (flame suit on).

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
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its pretty obvious why one would see such a strange difference in price, im assuming in favor of the E46; everyone wants one! its newer, faster, probably better made, and in my opinion, the best generation 3 series to come out since the E30. im not bashing the E36, im just saying that the e46 (even non-m3) is a hell of a car.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #13
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How many models of the e46 M3 are there? I have been looking on ebay for an e46 M3 and there will be ones for 12k and some for 20k and they will both basically be the same as far as I can tell
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:02 PM   #14
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How many models of the e46 M3 are there? I have been looking on ebay for an e46 M3 and there will be ones for 12k and some for 20k and they will both basically be the same as far as I can tell
There is only 1 body style E46 M3 and that is the coupe. There were various improvements to the model over it's production period, but those don't make the difference in value. What makes the difference is model year and mileage, just like any other car. If you're actually looking to buy an E46 M3 you should know that maintenance is easily twice the cost of a non-M E46.

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:28 PM   #15
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Different packages also fetch different values.

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:30 PM   #16
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I prefer the E36 m3, although the S54 is a stellar engine.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:40 PM   #17
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Different packages also fetch different values.

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That too. Things like xenons vs halogens, wheel style/size, paint colors, interior colors, manual vs SMG, etc.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:38 PM   #18
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I would LOVE a well maintained, well priced, Euro-spec, Santorini Blue E36 M3.
Do you think I'm going to find it? That's why the E46 is the realistic option.

E36's can too easily get a dated look, and its damn near impossible to find what you're looking for without the owner asking an arm & leg.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:33 PM   #19
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There is only 1 body style E46 M3 and that is the coupe. There were various improvements to the model over it's production period, but those don't make the difference in value. What makes the difference is model year and mileage, just like any other car. If you're actually looking to buy an E46 M3 you should know that maintenance is easily twice the cost of a non-M E46.
Convertible too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #20
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Convertible too.
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