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Member Journals Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress.


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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 03:39:35 PM   #1
m3dragon
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Default M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

Please be aware this is a VERY picture intensive build thread.

I will apologize for the half ass build thread i posted before. For those of you are just reading this for the first time then you did not miss anything. For those who might be re-reading this I have made a proper timeline of the build over a decade of ownership. My apologize for some of your comments being out of order now.

Full build thread XLS Document:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...EE&usp=sharing

Assistance XLS Document - FULL CSL parts listing for M3 to CSL Conversions:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...0E&usp=sharing

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Where did it all start?

After 10 years for going around in circles, I have decided finally, how I wanted to build out my M3. This document is the journey I have taken with my beloved E46 M3 since I brought her home from the dealers in 2002. I hope you enjoy the thread as much as I have enjoyed owning the car.

*All of the car images are of my car and some of the parts images I had to pull from the internet as I did not take images of the parts or I lost them over the years.*

Purchase History and Day 1


I started looking in September 2002 at 330ci’s, as I wanted a sports car to have for weekend drives. I had never owned a BMW or even a sports car for that matter. My car ownership experience at the time I started looking at BMW’s had only been Ford Bronco’s, so I was definitely a fish out of water. After some research, I changed my mind and ordered a M3 as it had the SMG system. I asked the dealer to order a silver one and let me know when it arrived.

About two weeks later, the dealer called me and said they had a customer back out of an order and asked if I was interested. At first, I was hesitant because I wanted silver but they gave me a discount on the several of the ordered options. I agreed to to purchase this car as I was saving money and the color was not bad. I am glad they did, as now the Steel Gray Metallic is, is one of the rarer colors for the M3 now. October 15th 2002 I bought my M3 with 88 miles on the clock and the journey began.

Vehicle Specifications
2002 BMW E46 M3
Build Date: XX/2002
SMG II
Steal Gray Metallic.
Black Nappa Leather
Premium Package
Bi-Xenon Headlights
CD Player
19inch wheels
Harmon Kardon Sound
BMW Car Cover
BMW M3 Floor Mats










Last edited by m3dragon; Fri, Aug-08-2014 at 08:28:02 PM.
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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 03:42:50 PM   #2
m3dragon
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

The next morning I could not wait to walk out to the garage to see if the car was actually there or was it one hell of a realistic dream. Thankfully when I walked into the garage, there she was, sitting all clean and pretty.

Now take this as coincidence but here are some interesting things I realized after I bought the car. I bought the car on October 15 2002. My favorite month is October, 15 is my lucky number, I was 22 at the time, the car vin ends in 15, and the stock horse power matches the last digits of an item we all need to drive. They say when things are meant to be they will just happen.

Based on what I have seen when I bought this car, it was supposed to be mine. Fast forward to 2011 and the 1M I bought had 8 miles when I bought it along with other interesting items like above. That though is a different build journal.


















Last edited by m3dragon; Tue, Dec-03-2013 at 02:04:18 AM.
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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 03:44:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

The Start of the Journey 2003

As I was new to the sports car world, I wanted to get out and meet fellow car enthusiast and go out on drives. In 2003, I was only on the E46fanatics forum which is where I learned all about my M3 before I purchased it. This was also where for the next few years I hung out to learn about upgrades for the car.

The very first event I went to was at Sacramento State in February 2003. This was setup by some of the local BMW guys and was my first event ever for any organized car meet. After meeting at Sacramento State and taking a few pictures, we headed out for a drive on some back roads around Folsom Lake.








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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 03:46:37 PM   #4
m3dragon
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

The next event I went to was in March of 2003. I can’t recall if I tried to setup this meet but my memory says this was my first attempt at organizing a meet. Mother Nature decided to remind me that she dictates when car meets happen as it ended up being a very wet and windy day.

There was one car that showed up and the two of us did a short drive on the only road I knew at the time. While the drive was short we did pull off and take some pictures to show these cars do not melt in the rain. After pictures we took a ride in each other’s car as the E46 was still a new car at the time. I have a real respect for the continental tires that were stock on the car at the time as I drove like a idiot in the rain when I look back on that day.








Last edited by m3dragon; Tue, Dec-03-2013 at 02:13:36 AM.
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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 03:54:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

In June of 2003 I organized another meet and drive with some of the people I meet on the Sacramento State meet and my co workers. As you will see we stopped at the same turn out for photos and completed the same loop around Folsom Lake. It was the only drive I knew and it was starting to get old driving on the same road over and over again.

This drive was also when I test my first modifications. I bought a K&N panel filter which might not seem like much but it was the first step down a very long road. Granted at the time I did not know that the road would have been this long as well as take so many twist and turns if we are staying with the car theme.








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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 04:04:51 PM   #6
m3dragon
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

The next performance upgrade I purchased was the UUC Rasp X system in September of 2003. I bought this to get rid of the raspy metallic noise that the E46 M3 seemed to make at higher RPMs. This was the first generation of this system and it does remove the metallic rasp. The one drawback to the system is it does not add any power and but does add weight. So the removal of the rasp sound negates any real performance in retrospect but at the time it was the hottest thing on the block.




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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 04:08:32 PM   #7
m3dragon
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

Three days after I installed the UUC RaspX system I went on my first group drive up HWY 1 North of San Francisco. Only three cars went on this drive but that was more than enough to have a good time. The group coved over 330 miles from start to finish which made for a long day and a great shake down run to see how the RaspX system worked on the car.










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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 04:16:43 PM   #8
m3dragon
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

The last major activity I did in 2003 was organize a drive up to Lake Tahoe for the first time. This drive took place on October 15 2003 and is a far cry from the Tahoe Drives I organize now. Like anything, you have to start somewhere and this was where it all began for the Lake Tahoe runs. As this drive was the first time I had been to Lake Tahoe on my own I let one of the other drives lead the group. This was a great day and something I look forward to planning every year.








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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 04:23:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

2004 The Adventures Continue

The start of the New Year brought the start of the real performance purchase for the car. First item on the list was an Eisenmann Race muffler with 83mm tips. I went with this muffler because I like the tip design and it was one of only three choices at the time. Over the years mufflers have come in and out of favor but this is still the only muffler I can never get enough of its sound. I also ordered the color match front reflectors as a late Christmas gift to me.

*In owning this muffler for almost 10 years the only issue I have had with the muffler was one of the side brackets broke on a drive in 2011. It was a quick weld job to re-attach the bracket*












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Old Fri, Jun-29-2012, 04:25:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build

The second performance upgrade was a set of Eibach sway bars. I installed these myself using the PIT at my parents house. I also installed a set on my buddies 330I at the time. I still have these sway bars on the car to this day. *I did order a set of UUC sway bars and tried to install. After fussing with them for half a day I gave up and sent them back.*






Last edited by m3dragon; Tue, Dec-03-2013 at 02:32:36 AM.
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Discussing M3Dragon - NorCal CSL build in the Member Journals Forum - Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)