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      10-02-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
m3an's Avatar

Drives: M3
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Florida

iTrader: (2)

Originally Posted by 1SerieStud View Post

I've had the pleasure and privilege of owning a few bmw's in the past, but I've never gotten my hands on an e46 M3, which Ive always wanted to own. Today I checked out the one that I will most likely buying, and I have a few questions regarding some things that the car will need.

1) Is it common for the rubber trimming around the rear windows to be coming off? If so, how much would it set me back to have these replaced, between parts and labor?

yes, weather takes its toll, this is sold as one piece I believe at the dealer and is very expensive, but you can find from a parts car. Check

2) the weather strip that seals with the door on the driver side is also slightly torn...same question as above please?

cheap fix, easy to do

3) the transmission is a little notchy, which I keep reading is normal, but to what extent?

IMO normal and felt worse/notchier than my e90

4) the car sounds and runs amazing, but the valve train tick is a little noticeable. Again, I've heard e92's and e46's m3's do this, but to what extent is it normal?

sound like sewing machine= very normal; be advised these motors use solid lifters and will get really noisy when out of adjustment; that being said, the e46 m3 is more maintenace than the new ones

5) while in gear, when I accelerated abruptly and let to of the gas pedal I could hear some slight drivetrain play. I believe this is differential slack which is normal (the 1M) does it too, but it's a little more noticeable on the m3. Should I worry? There's absolutely no awkward different noises while turning or doing figure eights.

Normal drivetrain lash. Very noticeable in my newer e90 M and whines on and off throttle.

By the way, it's an early e46 M3 that has been meticulously cared for and maintained, has 93k miles, and has had the rod bearing recall taken care of. Again, runs and sounds like a champ!

All input appreciated. Thank you!!

good luck and enjoy. They are very solid, reliable cars. Mine never really gave me any issues.