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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, 04:47:12 PM   #41
siwon66
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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 oneswellfoop View Post
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.
You are commenting on a story you don't know?
Not going to repeat myself.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 04:59:23 PM   #42
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

My oil analysis at 70k miles was abysmal, so even the 100-115k estimate can provide a false of security.

Not a tracked car to my knowledge. My guess is that cold-cranks with 10w-60 in the midwest winter took their toll. Changing the bearings confirmed that several had significant wear. Ran 0W-40 during the winter as a compromise.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 05:26:11 PM   #43
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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You are commenting on a story you don't know?
Do you even English?
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 05:31:11 PM   #44
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

Enough, everyone.
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Old Fri, Nov-01-2019, 07:14:35 PM   #45
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

The only advice I have is: be very careful which indy you choose to have your services done. Even if you see good reviews it doesnt mean that they are experts in the particular job youre trying to get done.

I had my vanos done at a well known shop and they messed it up. I had to do it again myself and it ended up fixing all the problems.

If you can do the due diligence and diy it yourself I'd recommend it over any shop out there. Also ask around in the forums for local diyer if they can assist for compensation.
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Old Sun, Nov-03-2019, 02:05:35 AM   #46
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

Whoa! Didn’t expect to get this much of a response. I work at BMW so I’ll just have the techs handle the smaller stuff (bushings, cooling, etc.). Plan now is to rebuild the vanos, reinforce the subframe & do a valve adjustment right away, and then go from there. From what I’ve heard from my service advisors and most importantly you guys rod bearings are a wear item that will need to be replaced eventually; so long as the car has had frequent oil changes and pretty much just hasn’t been driven like a Civic I should be good for a while. I’ll definitely do an oil analysis test just incase.

OR. I can make the worst financial mistake of my life and buy the M3 Comp with 180,000 miles we just got in for what it would cost me reinforce my subframe and replace my rod bearings

Anyways. Thank you all for you input & advice.
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Old Sun, Nov-03-2019, 07:54:02 AM   #47
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

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Whoa! Didnít expect to get this much of a response. I work at BMW so Iíll just have the techs handle the smaller stuff (bushings, cooling, etc.). Plan now is to rebuild the vanos, reinforce the subframe & do a valve adjustment right away, and then go from there. From what Iíve heard from my service advisors and most importantly you guys rod bearings are a wear item that will need to be replaced eventually; so long as the car has had frequent oil changes and pretty much just hasnít been driven like a Civic I should be good for a while. Iíll definitely do an oil analysis test just incase.

OR. I can make the worst financial mistake of my life and buy the M3 Comp with 180,000 miles we just got in for what it would cost me reinforce my subframe and replace my rod bearings

Anyways. Thank you all for you input & advice.
Sounds like you could flip that car for Atleast double the price. Often times Bmw dealers donít understand the value of the E46 m3 and are willing to sell them for cheap and also accept trade ins for a low price. If you can get the car for under 5k, you should absolutely buy it and flip it. If not, then buy it and drive it.

It seems like sometimes the owners who have high mileage tend to enjoy the car a lot more. Theyíre not worried about rock chips, door dings, putting lots of miles on it, etc. If you decide to buy that 180k mile car, atleast make sure itís in decent mechanical shape, with a good motor.
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Old Mon, Nov-04-2019, 03:29:47 PM   #48
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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 911r View Post
Whoa! Didnít expect to get this much of a response. I work at BMW so Iíll just have the techs handle the smaller stuff (bushings, cooling, etc.). Plan now is to rebuild the vanos, reinforce the subframe & do a valve adjustment right away, and then go from there. From what Iíve heard from my service advisors and most importantly you guys rod bearings are a wear item that will need to be replaced eventually; so long as the car has had frequent oil changes and pretty much just hasnít been driven like a Civic I should be good for a while. Iíll definitely do an oil analysis test just incase.

OR. I can make the worst financial mistake of my life and buy the M3 Comp with 180,000 miles we just got in for what it would cost me reinforce my subframe and replace my rod bearings

Anyways. Thank you all for you input & advice.
Yes, that is correct. I would start with oil analysis and see how it wears first.
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Old Tue, Jan-21-2020, 05:44:07 PM   #49
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Default Re: (Hopefully) buying E46 w/ ~90k miles. What maintenance / mods should I do first.

90k miles...replace the upper chain guide NOW if it hasn't been done.

Just did mine at 90k miles on my 2006, oil changes at 7500 miles or less it's entire life, always Castrol TWS, this is what my original one looked like compared to the near one. It was getting razor thin on the bottom side (little/no signs of wear on top/chain side). I'd say OEM is "safe" to about 60k miles, and you're playing with fire by 90k miles. A YouTube video I used for a quick reference (along with DIY here and other documentation) had a cracked one also at 90k original miles.

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Old Tue, Jan-21-2020, 07:59:24 PM   #50
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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 Obioban View Post
Do oil analysis.

If clean, do vanos/subframe/cooling system (all in budget if you DIY).

If bad, do rod bearings and then vanos, subframe, and cooling system in that order.

Once funds free up, bushings/bearings/ball joints and shocks to get her back to driving like new.

If not done yet, rod bearings when oil analysis tells you it's time. Model year has nothing to do with it.
I'll add if OP is doing VANOS, he should also do a valve adjustment + oil change if there's no record of a recent one. Also use a new OE genuine BMW (not OEM, Elring) valve cover gasket. The one from Elring leaks at the back of the motor (nearest to the cabin).

If OP plans on buying new tires, at least do the RTAB bushing. I didn't and I trashed my new rear tires.
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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)