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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 06-04-2018, 05:47 PM   #1
Matthew_Lockyer
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SMG feedback

Hi guys,

I am looking at purchasing an e46 M3 as a weekend driver. To be honest I am getting it more for investment purposes as I think they will be more valuable in years to come. I've been reading that SMG and the usual sub frame can be issues with the car. Are these problems common? I'd prefer a straight manual, but they seem to be more valuable! In terms of mileage, what is considered high? I currently have m52 328ci and those engines can be good for 200k miles or more. Any other things I need to look out for?
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:56 PM   #2
mrgizmo04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew_Lockyer View Post
Hi guys,

I am looking at purchasing an e46 M3 as a weekend driver. To be honest I am getting it more for investment purposes as I think they will be more valuable in years to come. I've been reading that SMG and the usual sub frame can be issues with the car. Are these problems common? I'd prefer a straight manual, but they seem to be more valuable! In terms of mileage, what is considered high? I currently have m52 328ci and those engines can be good for 200k miles or more. Any other things I need to look out for?
Cheers
Matt

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Read some of the threads marked as "Sticky" here on smg FAQ, what to look out for when buying an m3, maintenance questions, etc http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/forumdisplay.php?f=9

I'm sure there are similar threads on this subforum, use the search.

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Old 06-04-2018, 08:23 PM   #3
Alan
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Once you pay for your years of continuing maintenance costs (including subframe reinforcement, VANOS bulletproofing, normal aging, failures, etc etc etc) - it will be a money loser - not a money maker.


You have to continually maintain this car.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:09 AM   #4
Topazzar
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I've had my 2002 SMG M3 for just over 2 years and it's cost me $10k in maintenance and preventative maintenance.

This guide is great and the whole site in general
https://thebuildjournal.com/tech-gui...tenance-guide/
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:40 AM   #5
ebloom
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I'm the original owner of my 2004 M3 SMG. Only about 70K miles on it. I did have SMG issues years ago and spent $$$ getting them resolved. Recently just routine fluid changes. Oil changes are cheap enough at my dealer, but need an independent shop to do other fluids (BMW now claims they never need changing.)

So there are good cars out there - but getting harder to find unmodified, uncrashed, well cared-for cars. If you believe everything on the internet these are a fantastic value - reality is more like prices are probably around the low point and will be heading up. As Topazzar mentioned above, even if the car is appreciating in value, you still need to maintain it. And the more miles (km?) you drive it lowers the value.

Buy it to drive it. If it holds its value or goes up, that's great. But don't count on it.
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:59 AM   #6
Matthew_Lockyer
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Thanks for the feedback, I knew parts had "M tax" but they seem a little more costly to properly maintain than I thought. I've had 2 328's and been lucky with maintenance so was thinking M's may be low maintenance also. Food for thought
Cheers

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Old 06-10-2018, 12:31 PM   #7
Leardriver1
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I must be one of the lucky ones. I bought my M3, an 06, back in 2009 with the deal of the century. It had 6k miles, bought it well under wholesale. I've put 80k miles on it with zero issues. Regular fluid changes and a swap of the hydraulic fluid twice. I relocated the SMG pump which keeps it cool and away from engine heat, only cost $150 in parts and purge to do it. I run it regularly in rallies, far from papering it. One of the absolutely best I've owned and yes, in ten years it will gain value. My opinion.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:44 PM   #8
Satcho
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SMG Relocation

Leardriver1:

Would you explain in detail the relocation of the SMG pump? e.g. specific location, method of remounting, any corresponding changes required, where additional parts are purchased and type of parts, and whether one needs to just crawl under or use ramps/jack stand to perform relocation.

I am considering purchasing an M3. Various searches have yielded the SMG problem but your solution is the first that I have found.
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:41 AM   #9
mrgizmo04
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Originally Posted by Satcho View Post
Leardriver1:



Would you explain in detail the relocation of the SMG pump? e.g. specific location, method of remounting, any corresponding changes required, where additional parts are purchased and type of parts, and whether one needs to just crawl under or use ramps/jack stand to perform relocation.



I am considering purchasing an M3. Various searches have yielded the SMG problem but your solution is the first that I have found.
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...2&share_type=t

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Old 04-28-2019, 12:01 PM   #10
Satcho
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mrgizmo04:

Thank you very much.

I now have more confidence in purchasing an "SMG" M3.
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:23 AM   #11
Topazzar
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I's recommend against relocating the SMG pump as it won't be easier to work on. You could cause a failure in doing this. The pump operates at 80bar (1,100 PSI)

The only difference is you don't have to remove the intake plenum, which is simple enough as it is. If the pump is borked, it's borked and you still have to displace the pressure and remove the unit.

There'd also be a small rise in the centre of gravity (although, my M3 does have the DSC unit).
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:15 PM   #12
Satcho
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Topazzar:

Based on the links that mrgizmo04 (see below),I would disagree with any conclusion that access is not improved. Additionally the links cite individuals that relocated the unit had not experienced any failures. My opinion on the change of center of gravity is that it is inconsequential, further borne out by the experience of those that relocated the unit cited in the link. Even though the number of individuals is small, the fundamentals of fluid dynamics are not impaired with respect to the SMG unit and its components.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=590914
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...=599036&page=3

Having read these links thoroughly, I more fully understand that the relocation will mitigate heat's adverse effects on the SMG unit. However, if an SMG unit in its original location, for in some cases failure occurred in 10-20,000 miles in other cases 100-120,000, is relocated it would be difficult to determine how much longer its life is extended comparatively. No question that a new SMG unit installed in the "drug bin" compartment should have a very long service life. So relocation would not be a panacea for existing, factory located SMG units, although it may extend its life for an undetermined period of time.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:45 AM   #13
pawelgawel
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OP
I was in same boat as you last year. Always had 330s and wanted an M at some point but was afraid of the cost associated with it.
I do all my wrenching and honestly I'm still little overwhelmed my the M.

I kept fighting over e90 vs e46 but after contemplating what I wanted out of a car, e46 was my choice.
As for SMG.. I tried to avoid it at all costs for months.. and found a beauty but smg. This is comp package, only a hand full of them were imported into Canada and color combo was ideal for me (silver gray on cinnamon).
The previous owner had the front repainted and 3m protected after a small parking incident.
55k at the time of purchase. Original CSL wheels, and rear trunk with some cf goodies.
For the price I paid for it, I know I made a decent choice.
The value will increase with time for those who appreciate this car. SMG or manual, both will. If my SMG fails I will convert it to manual since it's not that difficult just requires planning and collecting bits and pieces.

Also have the option to relocate the pump and prolong the longevity. If you choose to go that route.

In general, M costs more to maintain. It's an actual sports car. Naturally it will require more attention vs 328 or 330. Engines will last many miles as long as you change the oil normally and do regular upkeep. These cars were meant for major abuse on the track and city driving or seasonal driving is 1/4 of the stress.

I made the jump and paid what a new civic would cost, but happy with my decision. We live once and $ comes and goes.

Just be smart with your choice and hold off for a reasonably well maintained copy.



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