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      08-30-2012, 07:01 AM   #1
Markcaughey
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E46 m3 ?

I know this is for the e90 model m3 but I currently own e90 320d and would love the e90 m3 but best I can afford just now is the e46 model. I cannot decide though whether to get a manual or smg however I am siding towards the manual as I have heard a few horror stories about the auto and as I would be buying a car with around 60,000 on it would feel more confident in a manual. Would appreciate any advice and also if anyone could advise me on wich is better to drive ?
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      08-30-2012, 07:32 AM   #2
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I owned a E46 M3 for almost seven years and absolutely loved the car . The rasp of the inline 6 is intoxicating .

I'd say go for it.

I would definitely recommend the 6MT over the SMG though. The SMG is not very refined and can be pretty harsh in DD use.
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      08-30-2012, 07:53 AM   #3
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      08-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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SMG FTW, i loved mine
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      08-30-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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I had three smg e46 M3s and I enjoyed them tremendously - when they were working - however I was going through clutches every 15 - 20K miles.
The MT is going to be the better choice in terms of reliability with 60k miles on it.
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      08-30-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
I had three smg e46 M3s and I enjoyed them tremendously - when they were working - however I was going through clutches every 15 - 20K miles.
The MT is going to be the better choice in terms of reliability with 60k miles on it.
^^ I had an SMG as well. I would replace the clutch about every 30k as well.

When the clutch wore down the SMG would jutter on engagement.. like it didn't know where the clutch engagement point was and just testing.

It was infuriating in normal driving (S3-4) for me. The auto mode was just about wothless as well. I always drove the car in manual.

The 6MT is a better decision, especially since warranties are becoming rare now on e46 M's due to their age. If the SMG craps out on you, your looking at hefty repair/replacement bill even at an independent.

BTW... check out m3forum.net. Pretty much nothing but e46 M guys over there.
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      09-01-2012, 04:26 AM   #7
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Is ther anything in particular to look out for when buying a manual. Also I always service a car when I first get it but I have only ever driven a diesel car so should I change plugs in the m3 or just oil and filters ?
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      09-01-2012, 06:14 AM   #8
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Get Manual. Then, you have one less thing to worry about, the hydraulic pump.

However, last month in 8.5 years, I replaced my first clutch at 82,000miles.

Mine is SMG though. Apparently, I drove with my worn out clutch for the past 32,000 miles. I thought it was just my car making noise after two rear end accidents. When it started slipping very badly last month, I changed it and the noise was gone. I'd say BMW clutch and flywheel are pretty solid. The mechanic was really surprised how long the clutch lasted.

Very last point, check if the E46 M3 you're buying has subframe reinforcement or not. Back in 2008, I was naive to believe the 1st bodyshop owner's words that he will reinforced my subframe while fixing my subframe from my car accident. Afterwards, my subframe cracked pretty badly to the point there was a 6 inch gap to both sides.

If you find a nice E46 M3 you like, reinforce the subframe, it will only cost you $1000 tops, but this is the CDN rate.

Due to my bad crack, I paid up $3000 to have it welded back again and reinforced. I should've had my car checked when it was finished repairing. NEVER believe a bodyshop's words. I was too young to believe people. REMEMBER to CHECK!
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      09-02-2012, 09:07 AM   #9
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I know I am going to get torched for this but everyone is entitled to their opinion! Stick with the E46 regardless, it's a far more satisfying 'drivers' car than the E9X. I know the E9X is considerably quicker than the E46 but it just doesn't offer the same driving experience. Whilst it's an outstanding car it has lost some of the feel and feedback that made the E46 such a legend, the steering feel of the E46 is second to none and in my humble opinion one of the very best drivers cars ever produced. I have been fortunate enough to own every generation of the M3 and to me the E46 is the greatest. I recently traded back from an MY11 to an MY4.5 because I missed the feeling it gave me everytime I drove it.

In relation to the question about MT or SMG we all have our own opinions again. I have had both versions in the 4 E46's I have owned and both have their good and bad points. The SMG can be costly to repair if abused but in my experiences I have had no real issues with them.

My current MY4.5 is an SMG and the reason I chose it was the color combination, if it'd been an MT I would've been just as happy.

There are also bigger E46 issues to concern yourself with than the transmission and if you'd like to know my experiences over the last 12yrs of owning them PM me.

Cheers!
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      11-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #10
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the sounds is mhmmm
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      11-03-2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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Nice vid, love the good old E46 M3....
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      12-29-2012, 09:19 PM   #12
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too much problems with the smg e46 m3, i had 3 e46 m3's all manual
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      12-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #13
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I had e46 for five years and loved it. Manual is the way to go and this is coming from the person who is hapily driving DCT now .
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      01-12-2013, 11:35 PM   #14
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Are you looking to track the car if so smg is the way to go in my opinion.
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      01-12-2013, 11:49 PM   #15
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i drove the smg and it was enough to make me not like the e46 m3. thought it sucked. might work well for track use but not around town.
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      01-14-2013, 11:12 AM   #16
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be a real man and get the manual

I love my e46, I'll never sell it! They're amazing cars, and a timeless design
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      01-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #17
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Just got into an E46M with SMG and I'm loving it! Such a welcome change to have things be easily DIY-able in comparison to my E93 M3. Handling is amazing in it too and it feels so connected to the road.

The SMG transmission might have been a severe problem in the past but with the age of the car (now 12 years old), parts and maintenance items are getting cheaper and cheaper with many alternatives/aftermarket solutions.

I've tracked my E93M with success but now that I have a E46M to play with, I have no doubt that I'll have even more fun out there not having to worry about extreme maintenance costs, and best of all, I can run 17x10" rims reducing my tire costs (as opposed to a minimum rim clearance of 18" on the E9X).

After owning both cars, I can gladly recommend to anyone in saying that the E46M is no less of an "M" car than the E9X... I'd even begin to say that it's an even BETTER car based on what you want and care for.

-Track use, E46M hands down. Relatively light + nimble car and lots of aftermarket/OEM support. Cheaper to maintain and more driver orientated.
-Daily with a bit of track use, the E9X platform is very well-perfected. Awesome technology inside, comfort for DD use and an amazing V8 engine coupled with great handling.

Hope this helps!
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      01-18-2013, 12:24 PM   #18
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I would go for a less than 50 k miles on it. Expect to replace your clutch at 80-90 k miles
The subframe reinforcement needs to be done. Also RTABs. Vanos issues was another problem on some cars
It's a fun car. Go for it. I have on mine 153k miles and still pulls strong. Expect a major overhaul after 130k
Still I cannot let this beast go.
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