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      10-04-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
Jon@Bimmersport Automotive

Drives: E90 M3 Active Supercharged
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Mississauga, On Canada

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2003.5 BMW M3  [5.00]
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?


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

Another amazing common E46 issue. Door seals can be more than expected. Door seal in Canada is almost 400-500 depending on options

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

Normal to an extent, possible worn selector rod joint + bushings. If gears are hard to engage we have seen broken detent springs in the transmission

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?

Check oil level, type and intervals. Possible valve adjustment may be neeeded based on use of car and previous valve adjustment. Word of advice, when you get it do it anyways and verify the vanos bolts are not backing off on the exhaust hub. Also check the hub itself for a broken tab (very common). Signs of worn vanos are a loud rattle at ~3000rpm. The engine naturally gets louder at this point so it is best to take a BMW tech or contact an indy shop in your area and get a PPI.

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.

As mentioned check the flex disc and driveshaft hanger bearing. All driveline bushings = Engine, Trans, Subframe bushings/Diff bushings should be checked preferably with someone applying the load on and off while lifted up. While you are there inspect for any cracks on the chassis above the mounts. Note: The E46 M3 sounds clunky as well on/off engagement of load.

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!!
Hope you get a good one! They are a blast to own and drive.