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Thread: E46 m3, opinions please

              
   
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    E46 m3, opinions please

    So I've recently got the itch to jump into a e46 m3. I've always loved the looks of the car and actually found a real clean, low mileage 2004 smg e46 m3. Can someone let me know what common years, if any, have issues? Also, what's the deal with the smg trans, does it have a lot of issues?

    I know my 335 is faster, but I love the looks of the e46 m3 and IMO is one of the best m3's BMW ever built.

    If I go through with this I'll probably try and sell my 335 as is rather than part out.

    I've done some research but if there is a site on e46 m3's and common maintenance, please let me know!
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    You should be good with an 04 - I had one of the same year. The SMG is pretty solid - not too many issues that are uber costly... The earlier S54 in the M3s of this generation had some bearing issues that were catastrophic. I am nearly certain you would be okay with an 04 - but it's something to check out. The other thing that is VERY common (I had this issue) is the subframe cracking. Mine cracked - and it was a nightmare to get BMW to own up to - even though the car was certified/under warranty/etc. I believe the issue is well known, as was even well known back then - and is probably a TSB at this point, but not 100% sure about this. It's a great car - it really is. I loved it - and still think about getting one and turning it into a track star. I need to find a new place in Chicago first, I only have room for one car right now. Bottom line, the car is basically bulletproof besides those few issues, not too many cars built better than this in my opinion...

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    E46 M3 is so legit & sounds gorgeous with the right mods (Evolve CF airbox + stepped headers)...

    I just don't see you happy in a car that doesn't have a 3rd pedal
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
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    E46 M3 is so legit & sounds gorgeous with the right mods (Evolve CF airbox + stepped headers)...

    I just don't see you happy in a car that doesn't have a 3rd pedal

    Your right, I'd rather have a 6mt.... But this m is real nice.... We'll see
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
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    Your right, I'd rather have a 6mt.... But this m is real nice.... We'll see
    Have you taken it for a spin? Curious what your thoughts are on the transmission.

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    I haven't taken it for a spin, I'm going to meet up with the guy this week possibly.

    After sleeping on it, my only reserves is I would be selling my 335, for a 9 year old car. Even though its real clean, i dont know if i want to Get into the headache of servicing a 9-10 yer old m3. I'm thinking I may be better off just enjoying the 335 and getting a lightly used e9x m3 in a couple years or get a new m2 or new m3.

    I'm going to check out the e46 m3 in person and see what happens.
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    Unless the driving experience REALLY pleases you, I think going from a modified E92 335i to an E46 M3 is a huge downgrade. I don't know what suspension mods are on your car, but the E92 chassis can be tweaked alot to satisfy your needs Click here to enlarge

    And it's an old car. Maybe in the US it's different, but the E46 is very common in Europe and you see them on the street everyday. The interior is rather timeless, but I still prefer the E92 interior by far. I would only consider it as an all-out track car.
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    you will be more connected to the E46 from a driver standpoint. it relativley cheaper to mod, all possibilities explored already.

    with a another new gen m3 coming, it will be even more dated very soon, imo

    I know your not about payments, but see if someone has a stock e92 m3 around, 6mt or dct, i would say with a decent exhaust; few cars will provide more excitemenet and joy than an s65 m3

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    The E46 M3 is awesome, I wish I still had mine.

    Weak subframe makes it a $#@! to drag race as does the SMG. I absolutely love the SMG though, solid it's just the 6-speed gearbox with hydraulic actuation.

    I'd say go for it.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
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    you will be more connected to the E46 from a driver standpoint. it relativley cheaper to mod, all possibilities explored already.

    with a another new gen m3 coming, it will be even more dated very soon, imo

    I know your not about payments, but see if someone has a stock e92 m3 around, 6mt or dct, i would
    say with a decent exhaust; few cars will provide more excitemenet and joy than an s65 m3

    I think you may be right, I'm buying a house this year, otherwise I'd be driving a m3 now. I'd rather pick up a clean e92 m3 in 2 years with dct or 6mt. The smg trans doesn't seem that great from what I've read in the last 24 hrs.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
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    I think you may be right, I'm buying a house this year, otherwise I'd be driving a m3 now. I'd rather pick up a clean e92 m3 in 2 years with dct or 6mt. The smg trans doesn't seem that great from what I've read in the last 24 hrs.
    The SMG trans is awesome. People just complain about the auto modes being jerky. People are just spoiled.

    I prefer the shift response of the SMG to the DCT. The DCT is definitely better in auto mode but I don't really give a crap about auto mode that much.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
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    I think you may be right, I'm buying a house this year, otherwise I'd be driving a m3 now. I'd rather pick up a clean e92 m3 in 2 years with dct or 6mt. The smg trans doesn't seem that great from what I've read in the last 24 hrs.
    I agree with @Sticky on this. Let me put this to you another way. As I said numerous times, prior to my first M3 - I loved Nissan. I had a G35 - which was basically 3 months old. I saw this car e46 M3 while just browsing with a coworker at BMW after work one day; I took it for a drive to see what all the fuss was about with "those M3s" (I mean, it only had "about 30 more HP than my car, how much better could it be?")... Long story short, I impulsively sold my car and drove it home that day. This started the sickness... Click here to enlarge

    Regarding SMG - people are idiots dude. You need to drive it for yourself. Automatic mode is a joke, and should not even be used in my opinion. In manual mode, I would say it's even more dynamic (by far actually) than DSG. You can modify pretty much the entire feel of the shift by feathering the throttle.

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    How much are you going to ask for your car?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No

    I'm going to try and meet up with the guy regardless to see what all the fuss is about with the e46 m3 :-)

    I don't know what I'm going to ask for my car if I decide to sell.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
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    I'm going to try and meet up with the guy regardless to see what all the fuss is about with the e46 m3 :-)

    I don't know what I'm going to ask for my car if I decide to sell.
    Looking forward to hearing what you think. Have fun. Click here to enlarge

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    You'll miss that extra power. But, a well modified E46 M3 isn't too far from where your car is now. The torque will be missed. However, wheover said that the SMG isn't costly, is misinformed. I like the SMG transmission alot. Too bad Enthusiast Auto doesn't sell them or rarely has them or I would be driving that, but the SMG's pump is $4k job. That and something else (can't really think straight right now) are 2 of the most costly items for the SMG. I've witnessed first hand that the SMG can be a pain to drive hard at times. For instance my friend and I were driving his M3 in 90* temps and we were driving pretty hard on the street. He just installed a Euro header and SS exhaust combo so we had to see how it sounded. It took about 20-30 minutes before the car entered limp mode and the SMG went right into neutral. Granted we just waited 5 minutes and she started right up and drove fine for another 20-30 minutes and it started again. But, this did happen. I drove my M3 home just as hard without a hiccup.Take this story with a grain of salt as there are 28,000+ M3's on the road in the US so there's many other good examples out there. Not to mention I'm not exactly sure how well maintained the car was.

    They are both great drivers cars though. My favorite obviously being the older M3. I test drove both of them before I pulled the trigger. The 335i has the power, the comfort features, and the warmth, but it lacks the sound of the E46 M3, and that special I guess "feeling" you get when you drive it hard. They are both excellent driving cars and do well in their segments. But, the M3 gets my money hands down everytime.

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