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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 Sat, Dec-28-2019, 07:05:09 PM   #1
c-bolt
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Default potential project car

Ok, I'm obviously new here, but not to the BMW world. I've done some research/reading and am aware of the more regular issues with these cars.

Here in Alaska, we have a pretty poor selection of cars to chose from, and I love projects. The one I am eyeing is definitely a project. I haven't actually seen it in person before, but I'll likely go check it out next weekend.

2002 M3 Convertible, SMG, 90K, clean title

The bad:

Cosmetically its ok, besides the front bumper cover missing and the rear bumper cover wrong color/missing the PDC sensors. The top seems to be in great shape. The black leather interior looks to be in nice shape as well.

Major issues:

The car cranks but won't start. The owner changed the fuel pump and coils, and says they are all working. He then removed an aftermarket alarm system and now the factory alarm is going off, so he is giving up.

My thoughts on the no start/key situation is there are multiple problems and things to do:
make sure all evidence of aftermarket alarm have been removed. There should be a hidden ews/bypass key somewhere.
Disable factory alarm, remove module or disconnect hood switch.
EWS seems to be working, the car still cranks, likely a dead battery in the key. Probably need a new key if I want to get the power door locks working.
See if injectors are firing, if not, the DME could likely be the culprit. If they are, it could be a crank position sensor, fuel pump relay, or a maybe even the MAF.

It looks like probably worst case about 1k to get it running if I need a new key and the DME repaired.

So after I get it running, thats when it gets expensive. I can absolutely live with the gray paint, but I've always wanted LSB. I'd probably end up having the car resprayed gray, but a full repaint in LSB is what could see myself doing. I have a shop and plenty of room, so I'd likely just pull the motor/tranny and strip the engine bay for paint. Maybe not, but I could convert to the 6pd at the same time. While its out and getting painted, I would do the rod bearings, rebuild the vanos and a valve adjustment. That work gets done regardless.

It's a ton of work, but most of it should be easy. I have a warm and dry place to work on it with a lift, and it sounds pretty fun but mildly frustrating If I cant get it running. I really suspect the no start is something to do with the old alarm system, but maybe not. I also see the convertibles dont have the same problems with the sub-frame cracking, but if I need to do the reinforcements and foam I will. The car will likely not be a track car, and If I do all this work to it I'll keep it for a long time.

The guy is asking $4000 for the thing, but I'd like to get it for 2500/3000 max. Its definitely not $700 deal like dalecan got, but it still seems like it could be a fun project.

Do you guys think I am absolutely crazy? Good deal? Bad deal? Thoughts on the cars problems?

Thanks for the input either way.
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Last edited by c-bolt; Sat, Dec-28-2019 at 07:09:31 PM.
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Old Sat, Dec-28-2019, 10:37:42 PM   #2
Obioban
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Default Re: potential project car

Convertible in Alaska seems silly... though I’ve never been there, so what do I know.

They drive significantly worse, and are significantly less practical, so I’d avoid that if you won’t be using it top down.
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Old Mon, Dec-30-2019, 11:04:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: potential project car

We have some beautiful summers up here with almost 24 hrs of daylight for cruising. It definitely wont be a daily driver, more like summer only. I'm ok with that since we have a few other vehicles.

Honestly I've been wanting another convertible for a long time. I had one for a short stint back in 2004 until a moose took it away from me, and since that time have always wanted another. Now I might end up with a decently fun car to drive that I can work on.
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Discussing Directory of 3D parts to DIY 3D print/machine 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)