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      08-24-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
WallyF
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Older M3 Convertible Issues and Problems

Hi,

Thinking about adding a M3 convertible to my garage along with my 2006 E90 325xi sedan. Been out on autotrader.com and have found several 1999 to 2003 M3 convertibles with 80k to 120K miles. Prefer a manual but will consider an auto.

What issues and problems should I be looking for???????? Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

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      08-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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an awful sounding exhaust...

just kidding, kind of!
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      08-24-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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If you're not aware of the rear-axle support sub-frame issues with the E46 then that's something to look out for. I don't have any idea how extensive the problem is or if the vert is more/less affected...but before plunking down some money it's worth a bit of research I'd think.

See this thread for details. I'd just make sure I that area in particular checked prior to purchase.
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      08-24-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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Start by posting on the appropriate forum. This is an E9x forum. Good luck.
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      08-24-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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First off, the E46 M3 convertible was built (model years) from 2001-2006 and, as a former owner of an 02 M3 vert, a great value for the performance and style. Things to be careful of are the rod bearing recall that affected the S54 engine from 2001 - early 2003 (although most issues were in engines build during the last quarter of 2001 and early 02 IIRC). Check service history to make sure the work was done if you are looking in this date range. Most 03s were out of the woods for the problems but were still covered with the extra 100k mile engine warranty (most of which will have expired by now anyway.) Rear subframe was an issue with coupes; window regulators are weak in all E46s; wouldn't buy a high mile SMG car; check the Ti shadow trim on the interior for cracking; ...

All E46 M3s were updated with small modifications like LED tail lamps and a new AC system starting with build dates around 01/03 - 02/03. Another change for all 03 models was the addition of a strut tower brace, very important to reduce the flex in the vert chassis (although you can add one yourself for about $200.)

No big 'vert-specific issues that I am aware of, just make sure that the top has been well maintained, works properly and doesn't leak - no specific issues that I know of but some people had top alignment issues over time.

As others said, go look around the E46 M forum or on one of the other competing sites. Good luck, they are great open top cars for the money.
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      08-25-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyF View Post
Hi,

Thinking about adding a M3 convertible to my garage along with my 2006 E90 325xi sedan. Been out on autotrader.com and have found several 1999 to 2003 M3 convertibles with 80k to 120K miles. Prefer a manual but will consider an auto.

What issues and problems should I be looking for???????? Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
I used to own one - they are great cars. I sold mine with 125k miles on it and it was still in good shape with no issues. Check out the E46 M3 forums for a lot more info - this forum is primarily for the E9x. There is an E46 forum on this site but traffic is very low there.

Also, there is no "auto" per se. Its SMG II, and you should read up on that before buying so you know what you are getting into.

Good luck.
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      08-25-2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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Other forums?

Thanks for the replies.

I am looking at both E36 M3s and E46 M3s so need to fine both forums.

Can anyone please give me the links to these other forums?

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      08-25-2009, 08:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyF View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I am looking at both E36 M3s and E46 M3s so need to fine both forums.

Can anyone please give me the links to these other forums?

Wallyf:
There's a dedicated section for the E46: http://www.m3post.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=75 I'm moving this thread there.

There's no specific section for E36 M3s though.


Best regards,
south
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      09-04-2009, 08:42 AM   #9
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No issues with mine. I have an '02 and I've owned it since '05 and bought it with 14K. First thing I did was take it in for the rod bearing recall. Great car and it now has 63k. Typical upgrades with the LEDs. I had all kinds of modifications on the car in the past including a full V-CSL kit, BBK, racing exhaust, every kind of carbon fiber made for the car. Removed that in late '07 as I planned on selling it. Later decided to keep the car in stock form. Earlier this year I went F/I with the car. She's a keeper.
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