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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Jun-22-2018, 05:31:55 AM   #231
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

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Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
I have to say, my least favorite thing about my e36 m3 street car as the obnoxious RPM it was turning on long distance high speed highway trips. It likely instilled in me my strong opposition to doing any sort of shorter final drive ratio in any of my cars.
HATED the 5spd+3.23 on the highway (even with stock exhaust). With the 6spd now it really is a different car on roadtrips. Has plenty of torque with the turbo down low so no need for a shorter ratio. 80mph is about 2900rpm vs 3600 with the 5spd!

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
Sure, but there's a balance to be had between 3.15 and 4.1 - which is exactly what BMW found with the E46. Though I admit I wish I had a 7th gear sometimes.
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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Yep, they absolutely nailed it with the 46M. The combination of the max road speed in each gear combined with the gear spacing combined with the shape of the power band is pure perfection.

No dead spots. Not too slow, not too fast (each gear, on the road). Just the right amount of rpm drop during shifts. Very flexible design that balances usability with excitement. Third gear is my favorite because it will pull cleanly from about 35mph all the way to 100mph.
Would have to agree. Sometimes I think a 3.91 would be more fun and certainly quicker, but the car is so versatile with the 3.6x. Once you get the torque shove at 2200rpm, you've got another 5800 VERY useable rpm. I can attest the gearing and high redline certainly help the E46 hold it's own against far more powerful cars. That top end delivery is just so sweet
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Old Fri, Jun-22-2018, 08:21:27 AM   #232
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

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I actually think the S54 sounds better than the S65, if you're talking about engine noise. It's exhaust where the s65 unquestionably sounds better.

... But, stick a CSL airbox on the S54 and pair it with a quiet muffer, and it sounds better than any s65 setup (so far... looking forward to hearing the Karbonius CF S65 airbox).
I disagree, but sound is subjective.

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You didn't happen to be at Laguna on the 8th with Track Masters, did you?

What have you done to get to 404whp? I'm strongly considering swapping my M5 for an E9X M3...
Ah, I was thinking of that event too, but went to Speed SFís instead. First time attending theirs and I have to say I was highly impressed with the way they run a track event. Iíll definitely attend another one of theirs soon.

Which M5? I used to have an E39 M5 and loved that thing so much on the street. Probably the only M car I sold that I regret not keeping. I didnít quite like it on the one track event I went to though.

As for power, main things are tune, straight flowing exhaust and E85 or 100 octane. I run a flex fuel unit though so it makes life easier when traveling. But honestly, stock wise, theyíre very quick at Laguna if you know the track. Just need sticky tires and pads.

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Here's the thing: both statements are true but contradict each other. The E9XM is paradox. Boring but also extremely thrilling. Black but white. Slow but fast.
When the car was stock, it was only the sound that kept me entertained. The E9X isnít very fast stock but I am satisfied with how it is now. I doubt Iíll be selling this car for a long long time.
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Old Fri, Jun-22-2018, 09:07:27 AM   #233
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

This is all making me rethink my plan to go 4.10. My diff needs to be replaced and I was planning on going 4.10 or 3.91 since it's not my DD and i mostly just want it as a fun weekend car.
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Old Fri, Jun-22-2018, 12:14:47 PM   #234
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

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This is all making me rethink my plan to go 4.10. My diff needs to be replaced and I was planning on going 4.10 or 3.91 since it's not my DD and i mostly just want it as a fun weekend car.
I absolutely would not.
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Old Fri, Jun-22-2018, 12:56:20 PM   #235
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

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Originally Posted by Obi Wong Kenobi View Post
When the car was stock, it was only the sound that kept me entertained. The E9X isn’t very fast stock but I am satisfied with how it is now. I doubt I’ll be selling this car for a long long time.
That's the thing - I feel like maybe I'm throwing in the towel too soon without trying a few power mods. Everyone says the really "wake" the car up, but... do they really? Do they make the power band more usable like the S54's?

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This is all making me rethink my plan to go 4.10. My diff needs to be replaced and I was planning on going 4.10 or 3.91 since it's not my DD and i mostly just want it as a fun weekend car.
Eh, I ran 4.10s for 25k miles and wouldn't do it again. It was fun for about 3 months and then the novelty wore off. Once I went back to 3.62s I was shocked at how much more effective, and pleasant, the car became. Switching back you realize that the 4.10s really didn't make the car faster, they just made it "punchy".

4.10s have the opposite affect of the 6MT E9XM - the road speed becomes too slow in each gear. Consider that redlining 3rd gear tops out at ~87mph with the 4.10s.... that's extremely inconvenient in the real world. That's right where you want to stay in gear and keep pulling. My '17 Mustang GT PP had the same problem - 3rd topped out was 85mph and it was extremely annoying in such a powerful car.

The difference between 3rd topping out at 87mph with 4.10s and 100mph with 3.62s may not sound like much but in the real world it's an IMMENSE difference. However, the 6MT E9XM takes this to the other extreme, topping out at 110mph which is a bit too fast - that's getting scary. This wouldn't be such a problem IF the motor had a better midrange such that it didn't require winding out the motor in every gear to be "fun".
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Old Fri, Jun-22-2018, 02:37:50 PM   #236
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

Great thread.

I'm soooo on the fence about these two platforms.

I haven't seen anyone dig into the S65 rod and main bearing issue. Honestly, this is something that scares me away from the E9X (mains). The car will be used for auto-x and 2-6 hpde events a year so it is worrisome. It seems like every S65 that gets taken apart has appreciable bearing wear when there should not be any.

I can pull the engine and swap the bearings myself (over equipped hobbyist garage) but it'd be such a pain in the ass so it's off putting.

What are people's experiences with bearings?
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Old Fri, Jun-22-2018, 06:12:22 PM   #237
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

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Originally Posted by Obi Wong Kenobi View Post
I disagree, but sound is subjective.



Ah, I was thinking of that event too, but went to Speed SFís instead. First time attending theirs and I have to say I was highly impressed with the way they run a track event. Iíll definitely attend another one of theirs soon.

Which M5? I used to have an E39 M5 and loved that thing so much on the street. Probably the only M car I sold that I regret not keeping. I didnít quite like it on the one track event I went to though.

As for power, main things are tune, straight flowing exhaust and E85 or 100 octane. I run a flex fuel unit though so it makes life easier when traveling. But honestly, stock wise, theyíre very quick at Laguna if you know the track. Just need sticky tires and pads.



When the car was stock, it was only the sound that kept me entertained. The E9X isnít very fast stock but I am satisfied with how it is now. I doubt Iíll be selling this car for a long long time.
E60 M5. It's a great car, but I can't shake the feeling I want something a bit smaller / more tossable. Going to drive an E92 DCT tomorrow as a point of comparison as I've only driven 6spd cars previously! Great to know about out of the box capability, thanks!
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Old Sat, Jun-23-2018, 08:16:38 PM   #238
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

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Update - so it's been about 4 months aaaaaannnndd...... I'm spent.

I listed the E90M on M3Post and had sale pending within 2 hours - it's SUCH a nice example. Unbelievably clean.

Why am I selling, you might be asking? Well, I really like a lot about the E9XM but there are two fatal flaws with the 6MT variants:

1 - The motor. Yep, the motor. It's sooooooooooo good but only 10% of the time. The other 90% of the time it's actually quite boring (street use). I've said this a few time in this thread, but the main problem with the S65 is it's soft midrange, from 4k to 6k rpm. This is right where you need power for normal, fun, driving and it's asleep in this range. Every S65 dyno easily illustrates this as the torque curves drops off sharply at 4k and "lulls" until past 6k. So, the car freaking RIPS above ~6.5k but at all other rpms is very meh.

2. The 6MT. Yep, the 6MT is no good in this car... but not in the way you might expect. It shifts like butter. Perfection, really. Smooth, tight, short enough. But it's the gear spacing that's simply mismatched to the S65's peaky nature. This motor NEEDS a close ratio box with shorter 2/3/4 ratios and the DCT vastly improves both of these characteristics. The 6MT will do 110+ mph topped out in 3rd - and it only gets fun at about 90mph. Problem is, when you shift into 3rd from redlining 2nd gear at about 70mph, the rpms drop WAY WAY too much, all the way down to ~5900rpm - right in the sleepy zone and so you're waiting to get back into the "fun" zone after every shift. Extremely frustrating. It's like BMW threw the 6MT in as an afterthought. And 4th gear will do ~150mph!!! Wtf? Completely useless. For comparison, the DCT does about 95 in 3rd and 125 in 4th. The rpm drop from 2nd to 3rd, at redline, puts the motor at about ~6750rpm, right in the fun zone.

Now, I'm extremely picky but these are the things that make or break a car and in this case I cannot recommend a 6MT E9XM3 as a fun street car. A the very least you must at all costs go DCT just purely because it's vastly better matched to the motor's nature. But even then you're still going to be fighting with the sleepy midrange (which can be improved immensely with mods, though).

And so, I may try a DCT variant just to be "sure" and to scratch that itch because I do really like the car overall.
Interesting... Very interesting.

Just had the old roommate's E92 over this morning to do his oil change (after a two hour adventure trying to find a 36mm socket since my strap wrench didn't fit in that space and three different places were sold out). I haven't driven it in months but he did talk about possibly swapping it for an E90 6 speed, and so I mentioned the gearing differences.

I have only ever driven a 6sp S65 around a single block. My experience is entirely with the DCT, and while I've always thought that damn, that transmission is so good and so smooth that it's almost boring... it was always the lower and mid ranges that made me appreciate that motor. So reading this thread, from someone whose tastes almost always exactly mirror mine, has been weird.

But that post sums it up really well. And Eric, I do recommend you try the DCT. Maybe don't just go buy one, as I'm sure you can find someone who'll let you sample it... but yeah, I'm very very curious at this point to hear your opinion of the differences.

As for the noises - I think the E92 sounds amazing. Close to perfect, straight out of the box. But a tad quiet. If only there was a way to remove the mufflers like on the E39 M5 and amplify it without losing quality (or adding drone). Because I also agree that all the aftermarket mufflers overdo it. They need to make a way to make the E92 flow way better but still sound stock, but maybe 15% louder. That'd be perfect.

(Maybe this does exist. I know that Ryan from Apex's last E92 sounded pretty freaking amazing and he had done a few mods...)
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Old Sat, Jun-23-2018, 09:29:00 PM   #239
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

Just came across this thread and itís quite interesting. When I was shopping for an E90, a good friend insisted a go with a DCT solely for the reasons you listed. The dct, especially with a tune, is phenomenal. I have an AC Schnitzer exhaust and test pipes, the sound is near perfect in my opinion which is subjective of course. I have zero drone and itís not deafening at highway speeds, actually itís quite quiet.

Ironically enough, Iím also selling my E90 but to get into a 911. Have had a few M cars not Iím ready to get into my ultimate dream car.
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Old Sun, Jun-24-2018, 08:06:15 AM   #240
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Default Re: Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3

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That's the thing - I feel like maybe I'm throwing in the towel too soon without trying a few power mods. Everyone says the really "wake" the car up, but... do they really? Do they make the power band more usable like the S54's?
I think itís up to you. I had a friend give up his E92 too quickly and still misses it quite a bit to this day. The carís sound to me is pretty much perfection. I almost look at everything else with a grimace these days outside of the exotics.

Biggest power mods are the cats/x-pipe on this chassis. Everything else gives average gains BMW naturally aspirated engines get besides converting to E85. Doing the standard bolt onís with a tune wake the vehicle up a bit, but is still slower than newer performance cars. Thatís just normal since the beginning of the automobile.

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Great thread.

I'm soooo on the fence about these two platforms.

I haven't seen anyone dig into the S65 rod and main bearing issue. Honestly, this is something that scares me away from the E9X (mains). The car will be used for auto-x and 2-6 hpde events a year so it is worrisome. It seems like every S65 that gets taken apart has appreciable bearing wear when there should not be any.

I can pull the engine and swap the bearings myself (over equipped hobbyist garage) but it'd be such a pain in the ass so it's off putting.

What are people's experiences with bearings?
I havenít changed my rod bearings yet but plan to soon. Unfortunately, it can be an issue and I just plan to do them every 60k miles since I track my vehicle quite a bit.

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Originally Posted by T-Rex View Post
E60 M5. It's a great car, but I can't shake the feeling I want something a bit smaller / more tossable. Going to drive an E92 DCT tomorrow as a point of comparison as I've only driven 6spd cars previously! Great to know about out of the box capability, thanks!
I love the DCT, but Iím more of a purist and have always had a stick shift with every performance car for the past 20 years. As I get older, my reaction times are slower on the track so I may have a ďtrackĒ car in the future with a DCT or automatic. Probably will keep my street car a manual as long as I can though.
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Discussing Sold the Jet Black, picked up an E90 M3. Sold the E90 M3, picked up an F80 M3. in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)