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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 Thu, Apr-20-2017, 07:48:04 PM   #1
madsedan
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Default Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

Going to look at one in interlagos blue, mileage in the 80k range, 2 owner with records, stock, garage kept.

Anything in particular I should look for on the car? Are many of the Vanos/smg pump/rod bearing issues of the early years not really a concern on the 05?

Thanks!
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 08:30:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

I DO have an SMG.

It's a labor of love, this damn SMG. I would go through the SMG FAQ thread stickied at the top of the E46 forum before buying one.

Rod bearings and Vanos will fail.
Subframe will fail.
Doesn't matter how 'low miles' or well maintained the car is, a design flaw is a design flaw.

Besian Systems Vanos fixes will run you $1100 in up front parts (with $450 in deposits returned to you later) and a weekend of your life if you are a DIY guy. Or a few thousand ($2000? $2500?) to have a shop do it.

The Rod bearings should be kept track of via Blackstone Labs oil analysis. That costs $28. Refer to the Official Oil Analysis Thread in the E46 section of the forums. Once you start to see elevated copper levels, the car needs parked and rod bearings need changed. Doesn't matter if the car is at 70k miles or 170k miles, that is the reading we look at to determine the health of the bearings.

As for the subframe....
Vince here on the forums has his Vince Bar design pretty well perfected, and the install of the bar REALLY well covered. All the floors will crack, and eventually break. It's a huge glaring design flaw.

Luckily... Once the vanos has been fixed, and the subframe reinforced, the ///M is solid as a rock. You just monitor the oil until it's time to do rod bearings.

Unless you have an SMG that is. That is a whole new basket of worms that requires its own Ph.D to understand.
Springs break internally and need replaced, SMG pumps fail and need replaced. Every SMG owner should have a Salmon relay in the glove box. You'll spend hours of your life opening and closing the hood trying to get the SMG to go into gear. You'll spend money on clutches, since the SMG eats them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The best part about the SMG is that it is really easy to swap to a 6MT.

That's not to say I don't enjoy the SMG. I actually REALLY like it. But when my SMG pump breaks, I can either replace the pump, or 6MT swap the trans. It will cost me the same amount of $$ either way.
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 08:50:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

It's had the crankshaft and bottom end replaced, recent valve job, new clutch and flywheel, loads of other service records and can be bought under $18k. 2nd owner with 79k miles.
That's sound like a fair price for interlagos over black with nav?
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 09:01:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

Work was done by a local shop, receipts for work, and all their work carries a warranty.

You sound like you got screwed over bad in the past lol
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 09:08:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

Crankshaft replaced..... Only reason for that is scarring from failed rod bearings, lol.

So yeah. I paid 15k for my '04 SMG

My car had 98k on the chassis and an entire new crate motor from BMW, installed by BMW, in it. My engine had only 4k miles on it when I bought it. Engine replaced due to... you guessed it... Rod Bearings.
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 09:18:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

I just got off the phone with the shop, they verified the rod bearings got noisy, went in....
They ordered new rod bearings and crankshaft, head gasket, valve adjustment, rear main seal, clutch and flywheel, tore down the motor and adjusted the valves. $8k last august and waited 2 weeks for parts from Germany.

So I need to potentially deal with Vanos if not already done, and potentially SMG pump if not done for a while.
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 09:44:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

I think the SMG system is hit or miss. I've never had a single issue with my SMG and neither did the previous owner (might have helped that the fluids have been regularly replaced and the car has never been abused).

Oil changes (occasionally Blackstone the oil), lock down the vanos, and keep up with regular maintenance and you'll have a wonderful m3. Good luck!
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Old Fri, Apr-21-2017, 12:06:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

I do not believe the system is hit or miss but more dependent on the owner/previous owner, their driving style and how meticulous they are with maintenance and preventative maintenance.

In the Audi world the individuals with S-Tronic have the same hit or miss scenario... Some owners have gone over 90k without issue others had premature/early failure.
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Old Fri, Apr-21-2017, 12:38:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iconoclast View Post
I do not believe the system is hit or miss but more dependent on the owner/previous owner, their driving style and how meticulous they are with maintenance and preventative maintenance.

In the Audi world the individuals with S-Tronic have the same hit or miss scenario... Some owners have gone over 90k without issue others had premature/early failure.
I'm gonna have to disagree with you but hey, it's my opinion. Most mechanical failure statistics would also disagree with you. Seals fail, motors fail, springs fail etc. I think there are plenty of examples of owners on this forum that have had SMG issues at all ages, miles and driving styles.

The SMG gets a bad rep because all the SMG talk (~95%) is due to an issue an owner is experiencing. Most people don't ever have an issue until well into the 100k mark.

S-Tronic is a totally different transmission; not extremely relevant in this case but I appreciate the reference.
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Old Fri, Apr-21-2017, 01:39:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying?

I was not implying or stating s-tronic is similar to smg but more so giving an example of how another group has some failures while individuals in the same group did not experience any. Same with the smg crowd on here. Secondly in regards to your opinion we're all here to share our opinions and thoughts. I believe that is what these groups/forums are about. Modus Vivendi.
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Discussing Things to look for on a 2005 zcp smg when buying? 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)