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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, Nov-01-2019, 03:26:03 AM   #31
terraphantm
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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Originally Posted by 11b4 View Post
I'm only on here when I can offer actual advice from my experience with the car. Or when I need help. Other then that I stay far away from this forum. My advice shouldn't be funny, everyone is always throwing rod bearings to swap out asap when buying a e46 m3 which most of the time is not necessary until later. Then again I'm going off my experience. Bought my car with 113k miles. Recall was done at 32k. Didn't replace mine till 170k(138k miles on bearings) because my oil analysis came back fine when I first bought the car and I don't beat on the car often. My bearings came out and still had life on them, I only did it for peace of mind. I said to change out bushings because rtabs normally don't last to long.

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When I was on CT surgery, my attending liked to tell his patients "If I knew the day you'd have a heart attack, I'd tell you to get the bypass done the day before". But we can't know the exact day. So we make our best judgment using the data we can get. Age, history, symptoms, imaging, stress tests, etc. Sometimes this will end up with people who didn't need surgery yet getting surgery. And occasionally it will mean that people will have their surgery scheduled too late. The former is a more desirable situation than the latter.

Same concept applies here. If we knew the exact day the rod bearings would give up, we'd all replace them right before then. But we don't. What we do know is that the rod bearing wear tends to occur somewhere around 100-150k miles, and that the presence of certain metals in an oil analysis can be an indicator as to how they're wearing. If I'm making a recommendation on the internet, I'm going to be pretty conservative because the risk is there, and I don't want to give false assurances. Some people will replace their bearings earlier than they need to. Sure as hell beats spinning a bearing before you get the chance to replace them.

And similarly, if someone posts a video on the internet with a sound that's not unlike rod knock, gives no other details, then the prudent thing to do is to rule out the worst case scenarios before writing it off as a non-issue.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 03:55:49 AM   #32
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

All I'm saying is whenever someone says they got a new car or are looking at a possible new car. One of the first things people jump to is rod bearings. The car could have a 1,000 miles on it and people would still say rod bearings. I understand it's a German performance car but come on it's still a mass production car which was meant to be driven. They aren't that big of maintenance problems as everyone makes them out to be. It just leaves a bad taste in someone's mouth when that someone is interested in a M3 but then get all the BIG problems thrown at them right off the bat.

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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 04:32:55 AM   #33
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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It just leaves a bad taste in someone's mouth when that someone is interested in a M3 but then get all the BIG problems thrown at them right off the bat.

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If a buyer starts sweating at the potential maintenance cost before purchase, then maybe it’s not the car for them. These cars are cheap enough to buy where preventative maintenance shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

I’d rather be fully prepared with worse case scenario than not.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 04:37:42 AM   #34
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

^This
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 05:22:20 AM   #35
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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Originally Posted by 11b4 View Post
All I'm saying is whenever someone says they got a new car or are looking at a possible new car. One of the first things people jump to is rod bearings. The car could have a 1,000 miles on it and people would still say rod bearings. I understand it's a German performance car but come on it's still a mass production car which was meant to be driven. They aren't that big of maintenance problems as everyone makes them out to be. It just leaves a bad taste in someone's mouth when that someone is interested in a M3 but then get all the BIG problems thrown at them right off the bat.

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Most of the cars being bought these days are higher mileage, given the age of the cars, by majority of people who can now finally afford to get them in $8-15k range. I can not count how many people I talk to who just got into, or, are looking to get into these cars and have not heard of the problem areas. Or some that kinda know about the problem areas but since their rod bearings were replaced by BMW at 20k miles, they are in the clear in a car that now has close to 150k miles (or more) that they just purchased. Folks who get the cars don't get them as grocery getters and then after 1, 2, a few too many times they enjoy 8k rpm they start hearing noises and get upset that they have to drop another few k to fix something that they had not budgeted for or did not expect. The forum has about 50 active/semi-active members, the following for this car at today's price points is a lot larger than that. There have been some commonly accepted data points and assumptions in the past, some where incorrect as new data came in, so the collective thinking evolved. One thing I don't like about forums is that older threads that have misinformation that can still be found via searches don't get blocked or taken down (so things like post facelift cars have no issues with rod bearings, racp, etc are out there).

Personally I would much rather take care of the "ticking bomb" areas sooner than later given how hard I drive. Most others who want to enjoy these cars probably should also. At the end of the day, it's somewhat of an insurance policy, you don't have to do it, but be prepared to deal with consequences.

And yes, everyone is a living room racer, however some have more experience than others. There will always be opinions, some backed by data, but at least folks need to be exposed to information to make up their own conclusions before they consider super chargers, bbk, csl [fill in the blank].

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All DIY: VANOS, WPC rod bearings, full SS (SS stepped V1 headers, catted S1, resonated S2, SS sport), AFD E85 Proflex kit, Ohlins R&T/Hyperco 375f Swift 672r/GC street tops and camber plates, ST40 355 pfc08, 330 ZHP steering rack, diffsonline 4.1 diff with rem polish, E60 short shifter lever, AKG black diff bushings/subframe bushings, Rogue rtab, Sachs clutch/flywheel, rear main, Beyer driveshaft, valve adjustment, cooling refresh.

Happy to help with VANOS or any other DIY job around NorCal. Have various specialty tools (VANOS, RTAB, engine bar, valve adjustment, tranny jack, ball joint separator, pilot bearing puller, tap&die kit, etc).

Last edited by mrgizmo04; Fri, Nov-01-2019 at 05:25:28 AM.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 06:51:48 AM   #36
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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Originally Posted by siwon66 View Post
So what have you learned from the bottom?
What level are you at now?
Here is what I learned from this forum recently, way too many armchair BMW experts/engineers going around commenting like as if they mastered E46 M3 generation..
It's pretty funny what people have to say, including yours.
haha. so you came here to sh** on everyone? This is a great forum, ticking noises can be rod bearings (see my thread) and this forum has mastered the platform more than any other forum on any other platform. This is fact from an expert.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 03:01:54 PM   #37
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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Originally Posted by siwon66 View Post

Engine ticking noise? yup, spun rod bearings. Great advice.

Even if it’s not, it’s a known problem for an 18yr old bmw that cost $8k-$12k.

High school kids working at Wendy’s buy these cars and happily maintain it without thinking twice. If rod bearings cost upsets potential buyer this much, life is rough. Priorities should be re-assessed.
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Last edited by Paulo M; Fri, Nov-01-2019 at 04:06:33 PM.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 03:58:22 PM   #38
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

Mod yourself first and improve your driving. Track the car.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 04:40:52 PM   #39
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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Originally Posted by Paulo M View Post
If a buyer starts sweating at the potential maintenance cost before purchase, then maybe it’s not the car for them. These cars are cheap enough to buy where preventative maintenance shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

I’d rather be fully prepared with worse case scenario than not.
Spot on... Couldn't agree more.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 04:43:20 PM   #40
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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Originally Posted by siwon66 View Post
So what have you learned from the bottom?
What level are you at now?
Here is what I learned from this forum recently, way too many armchair BMW experts/engineers going around commenting like as if they mastered E46 M3 generation..
It's pretty funny what people have to say, including yours.
I research a lot. There's often no need to comment because I can find an answer to my question through research. When there's someone like you, though, that comes in lording over everyone like he knows better than people that have been working on these cars for years, I'm compelled to comment. I, at least, know enough to know what I don't know. The same can't be said for you.
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Discussing (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first. 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)