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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 Tue, Oct-20-2015, 05:11:15 PM   #1111
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Ha, are you saying it should be in there as evidence for or against cooling system replacement?
I just want the raw data there for everyone to interpret.

The thing I got from it was the radiator isn't as bad as this thread made it out to be, which is important for such an expensive part.
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Old Tue, Dec-01-2015, 11:27:57 PM   #1112
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

Hello Ian! Thanks for all your valuable input....I have been catching up on various old threads.

What is your opinion at this point on the Vanos? Still going with the rebuild using Beisan Systems' parts? Or possibly just replacing the entire Vanos using Turner Motorsports' rebuilt unit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
DIY guides for pretty much everything on the car

Note: the e46 M3 has TWO weak points, both of which can be locked down for less than <$1000 combined if you DIY. Those are the subframe (foam and epoxied on plates) and VANOS system (beisan). See end of this post for links. IMO, these should almost be considered maintenance items as the cost of failure on them is HIGH.


Part 1: What you should do to keep the car running as cheaply as possible in the long term. AKA maintenance requirements.

First, an explanation of the service interval counter on the e46 M3: Every time you turn on the car the cluster will say either "Inspection" or "Oil Service", followed by a number (a negative number if you've gone over). As you drive, and based on how hard you drive, the number will count down to zero. When it reaches zero you need to do the service requested (oil service or inspection) and reset the service interval. The car will alternate: oil service, inspection, oil service, inspection, every time you reset it. The car is not capable of displaying if you are do for inspection 1 or 2, so that is up to you to determine.

If you follow this thread, you should basically do the following:
new car with 0 miles

oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
oil service at 15,500 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!), reset counter
oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
inspection 1 at 15,500 miles
oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
oil service at 15,500 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!), reset counter
oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
inspection 2 at 15,500 miles

and then start the entire loop again

On my car I do oil analysis on the OBC dictated oil changes/inspections, and run a fuel system cleaner through before the non OBC dictated oil changes. You don't want to run fuel system cleaner before an oil analysis as it gets into the oil and can skew the results (which is also why I do it right before the oil change-- so it's not in there for the duration of the oil cycle). This means I get one fuel system cleaner cycle every 15,500 miles and one oil analysis every 15,000 miles, which is a good balance for me.

Resetting the service interval procedure (the free way):
-Ignition key must be off
-Press and hold the trip odometer reset button in the instrument cluster (left button), and turn the ignition key to the first position.
-Keep the button pressed for approx. 5 seconds until one of the following words appear in the display: "Oil Service" or "Inspection", with "Reset".
-The service due is shown with "reset" if the coded minimum consumption limit has been reached and resetting is possible. If "reset" is not shown, the minimum limit has not been reached and resetting is not possible.
-Press and hold the reset button again until the word "Reset" begins to flash.
-While the display is flashing, press the left button briefly to reset the service interval. After the display has shown the new interval the following will appear: "End SIA".
-The system can only be reset again after 2.5 gal (10 liters) of fuel have been consumed.


Oil Service:

-twice as often as the OBC (on board computer, the count down that appears on the odometer when you turn the car on) calls for. AKA, replace the oil when the service interval says 7750 or 0. Do not skip changing the filter. In fact, it is much more important that you change the filter than the oil (not that I'm promoting that either, but if you feel the need to skimp... just change the filter.) I Use Castrol 10W-60 ONLY-- it's certainly the safe bet, but if you feel the need to save a couple dollars, nobody can stop you. Pictures as to why you want to do them more often than BMW recommends here. Reasons to stick to Castrol TWS 10W-60 here. Note that by doing it twice as often as the service interval counter asks for, you'd actually doing it around every 6000 miles (varied by how hard you drive the car).

-Oil change DIY here


Inspection 1

-oil change (see above)
-Oil change DIY here

-diff fluid:
OEM fluid Castrol SAF-XJ + FM booster
BMW part# PN 83-22-2-282-583
diff fluid swap diy here

-tranny fluid:
OEM Fluid (6mt & SMG) Castrol MTF-LT-2 (NOT LT-3) fluid
BMW part# 83 22 0 309 031

-Engine air filter

-cabin air filter

-valve adjustment
valve adjustment DIY here

-chevron techron fuel system cleaner (bottle that treats up to 20 gallons). Try to do this and have it out of the system before your oil change.

-If using turkey baster method, do power steering fluid every inspection. If doing full power steering fluid flushes, you can wait till inspection 2. Use ATF. Brand doesn't matter that much, I use Mobil 1 multi ATF.


Inspection 2

-oil change (see above)
-Oil change DIY here

-diff fluid:
OEM fluid Castrol SAF-XJ + FM booster
BMW part# PN 83-22-2-282-583
diff fluid sway diy here

-tranny fluid:
OEM Fluid (6mt & SMG) Castrol MTF-LT-2 (NOT LT-3) fluid
BMW part# 83 22 0 309 031

-Engine air filter

-cabin air filter

-valve adjustment
valve adjustment DIY here

-chevron techron fuel system cleaner (bottle that treats up to 20 gallons). Try to do this and have it out of the system before your oil change.

-coolant flush (50/50 distilled water and BMW coolant)
DIY here
BMW Antifreeze/Coolant - 1 gallon jug
OEM Part #: 82 14 1 467 704

-Power steering fluid flush. If you do turkey bastering every inspection (1 and 2), you can just baster here. If you are only doing inspection 2 power steering fluid service, do a full flush. Brand doesn't particularly matter here, any ATF will work. I use Mobil 1 multi ATF. Flush DIY here.

-fuel filter DIY

-spark plugs
spark plug DIY here

-RSMs and RTABs (if you have the stockers)
video diy here

-guibo

-tranny mounts
tranny mount DIY here


Yearly (every spring works well for me):

-brake fluid flush
DIY here

-general inspection-- eg cracks in suspension mounts, subframe, check belts for cracks, bent control arms, brake pads and rotor thickness (obviously continue to monitor more regularly if low), etc

-wiper blades


75,000 miles

-Begin to think about replacing your radiator. The plastic parts of BMW radiators do NOT age will and when they fail (which they will) you must stop the car immediately or you will destroy the engine. Side note here, if the temp gauge is ever in the red, STOP THE CAR IMMEDIATELY. You may be able to time the radiator swap to go along with a coolant flush, which will save you a little money. I know my car should be due for inspection 2 around that point. There are several all metal radiators out there that mean you'll only have to do this swap once. I'll be putting a Zionville radiator in my car, which you can get from several places on the web (or from me ).


100,000 Miles

-fuel injectors cleaned (you can get all 6 cleaned to new spec here for less than the price of buying one new injector)

-I would do a belt swap at this point, even if they aren't visibly cracking

-Belt-idlers

-FCABs

-engine mounts

-upper timing chain tensioner guide and tensioner

-cooling system: At this point you might want to consider replacing the entire cooling system. If you want to car to be bulletproof, this is the route to take. That said, they are fairly pricey components so some could wait for them to fail and get a few extra value miles out of them. IF YOU MISS THE SYMPTOMS OF THEM FAILING, OVERHEATING CAN QUICKLY TAKE OUT YOUR ENGINE (as well as leaving you stranded). At 100,000 miles, I replaced:
Radiator
Thermostat
water pump
fan clutch
coolant piping

-Other items to consider every 100,000 miles if you true want the car to be 100% reliable (no chance of breaking down):
alternator (least critical as you get a warning period of the battery light blinking before it completely bites the dust)
fuel pump
coil packs
CPV (constant pressure valve)-- you can replace just the o-ring with the one linked below and never have to deal with this again
tensioners, pulleys, idlers
Upper chain guide/tensioner


Clutch

The clutch is entirely driver (and mod) dependent. ArtM3 replaced his at 100,000k plus and it was only 1/3 used up, so don't assume it's going and replace preventatively-- wait till you feel it start to slip.
Update: replaced my highly abused clutch at ~100,000 miles (see below) and it still had at least 50% life left!

Suggested replacement items when doing the clutch (because they're easy when you're in there and a PITA when you're not): clutch, pressure plate, pilot bearing, throw out bearing, rear main seal, guibo, tranny mounts, center support bearing, and check the drive shaft joint for play. I would highly recommend doing every item listed there, as they will fail before your next clutch replacement and labor will be EXPENSIVE on them with the trans out of the car. Right now the labor is all buy free and the parts are cheap.

Note: Assuming you don't let the clutch slip before you replace it (scoring the flywheel), there is NO reason to replace or resurface the flywheel when replacing the clutch. The stock flywheel is good for at least 2-3 clutches. This is an expensive part that you don't need to replace IF and only if you replace the clutch as soon as it begins to let go. Clutches are cheap! flywheels are expensive! Don't let your clutch slip!

Battery

replace every 5 years or after a complete drain (unless it's an optima, which you can recharge after a complete drain)



Part 2: Things to keep the car driving like new or better:
(some repeat from above because they do both)


Shocks

Shocks can last anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 miles, depending on how the roads are where you live. Pothole and the like determine shock life, track use is not particularly hard on them. Lowering springs will also drastically lower their life (the lower the springs the faster they age).

video DIY here

-RSMs (rear shock mounts)-- with shocks

Every 50,000 miles: RTABs, guibo, tranny mounts

Every 100,000 miles:
pre cat 02s
tie rods
front sway bar end links
front sway bar bushings
front control arms (ball joints not replaceable alone)
FCABs
steering guibo
driveshaft guibo
engine mounts
trans mounts
diff mounts (x3)
exhaust hangers (3 on muffler, two on mids)
upper inner rear control arm bushings
lower inner rear control arm bushings
upper rear ball joints
lower rear ball joints
rear sway bar bushings
rear sway bar end links
subframe bushings
RTABs

Maybe:
front wheel bearings
rear wheel bearings




Part 3: Permanent fixes for e46 common failure items

Difficulty scale: 1 is a cabin air filter, 10 is a complete engine rebuild.

CPV
Problem: O-ring degrades with time
Solution: high temp dupont o-ring: http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=369406
Price: $5 for parts
Labor: 1-2 hours
DIY difficultly: 2

RTABs
Problem: wears out every ~40,000 miles causing handling, tire wear, and alignment issues
Solution: Polyurethane RTABs. Stock OEM rubber stiffness from AKG or stiffer (improve handling) from PowerFlex
Price: ~$100 for parts
Labor: 2-4 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Subframe
Problem: subframe tears out of car after repeated sudden acceleration
Solution: Turner subframe kit. Can be welded in or epoxied in. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-91...ement-kit.aspx
Alternate/additional: Structural foam (note: no more welding can be done once the structural foam is installed-- repairs or TMS plates!):
DIY for epoxying the plates in and injecting the foam
Price: $126 for parts
Labor: 8-10 hours
DIY difficulty: 7

Subframe Bushings
Problem: stock bushings tend to be tired by ~100,000 miles. That said, if your subframe is getting reenforced, I'd do these while you're in there!
Solution: AKG polyurethane subframe bushings. Can be had in stock stiffness or stiffer. For a car that still gets driven on the street, I'd go with stock stiffness. I'd avoid PowerFlex for this-- they have some fitment issues.
Price: $300 for parts
Labor: 8-10 hours if you do them alone, 1 hour if you do it while you're in there for subframe work
DIY difficulty: 6

Radiator
Problem: The radiator is made of plastic and aluminum, which expand and contract at different rates. Over time, this results in cracking
Solution: all aluminum radiator. Turner sells a good midrange unit made by fluidyne that's plug and play, or Zionville sells a top of the line unit.
Price: $400-1000 for parts
Labor: 3-4 hours
DIY difficulty: 4

Coolant Piping
Problem: Over time and heat cycles the coolant pipes get brittle and crack
Solution: silicone pipes. Don't get brittle over time. http://www.rogueengineering.com/mm5/...Category_Code=
Price: $ for parts
Labor: 4-5 hours
DIY difficulty: 4

Differential Mount Bolts
Problem: the stock bolts sometimes snap over time
Solution: BMW updated the part at some point in the M3 production cycle. The new bolts are stronger, and I haven't yet seen anybody snap any. Thread here: http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=345096
Price: ~$10 for parts
Labor: 2-3 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Rear Axles
Problem: the stock rear axle sometimes fail, especially on cars that are drag raced and/or launched hard, often
Solution: beefed up axels
http://www.driveshaftshop.com/import...ar-c-v-upgrade
Price: $1000 plus stock axles
labor: 1-2 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Rear Shock Mounts
BMW's rear shock mounts tend to fail some time after 50,000 miles, and when they do they can do a LOT of damage on their way out.
Solution: Aftermarket RSM with reinforcement plate. Rouge makes a nice set.
Price: $100 for parts
Labor: 1-2 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Shocks
Problem: Stock shocks wear out some time between 40,000 and 80,000 miles (depending on the quality of your roads)
Solution: Koni Yellows. These aren't truly a permanent fix like the others above, but they last 2-3 times as long AND they're rebuildable when they need it, so you don't have to replace them. They also have a lifetime (for the first owner) warranty against failure, unlike the stock units. So they're pseudo lifetime parts
Price: $600-1000 for parts (depending on compress to adjust or top adjustable)
Labor: 4-5 hours
DIY difficulty: 4

VANOS lockdown (see below)
Problem: Solenoid solder breaks down, cam bolts sheer, hub tabs crack, slop develops, seals wear out
Solution: Beisan systems VANOS solutions http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
Price: $450 (after core return)
Labor: 8-12 hours
DIY difficulty: 7

VANOS high pressure oil line
Problem: Over time and heat cycles the high pressure oil line (#2 on this diagram, part number 11367837614) that goes into the top of the vanos unit cracks and leaks oil (sometimes profusely).
Solution: BMW has updated the part. The updated part adds an additional mounting point that solves the weakness of the original design.
Price: $60
Labor: 30 min
DIY difficulty: 3

If you haven't already done it, and are at or near 100,000 miles, I'd suggest replacing the upper timing chain tensioner guide and tensioner while you're doing the VANOS lockdown. It's easy now, and probably due.

VANOS lockdown details:




If you run aftermarket camber plates:
Front shock tower reinforcement plate
Problem: Some camber plates do not distribute the load of the shock evenly across the shock tower, which over time can lead to the shock tower cracking.
Solution: OEM BMW shock tower reinforcement plates. These come from BMW Africa, where they put them on cars that have to frequently drive on unpaved roads. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-32...ates-pair.aspx
Price: $23
Labor: 1 hour
DIY difficulty: 2

If you run aftermarket rear ride height adjustors:
Rear control arm reinforcement plate
Problem: the ride height adjustor focuses the weight of the car on a smaller area than the stock spring does
Solution: Rear spring perch reinforcement plate http://www.rogueengineering.com/mm5/...Category_Code=
Price: $55
Labor: 1 hour
DIY difficulty: 2
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Old Tue, Dec-01-2015, 11:42:29 PM   #1113
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

Beisan parts are better and cheaper... seems like a no brainer.

Turner resets the clock on the issues. Beisan fixes them so you never have to worry about them again.
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Old Fri, Dec-11-2015, 10:42:34 PM   #1114
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Beisan parts are better and cheaper... seems like a no brainer.

Turner resets the clock on the issues. Beisan fixes them so you never have to worry about them again.
That's what I assumed at first. but one of pictures shows re-drilled holes in the pump disk. with red arrows pointing at them. Mabey they just use Dr.Vanos Parts Even tough they don't mention it.

Still beisan all the way tho
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Old Sat, Dec-12-2015, 10:55:49 AM   #1115
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigo1087 View Post
That's what I assumed at first. but one of pictures shows re-drilled holes in the pump disk. with red arrows pointing at them. Mabey they just use Dr.Vanos Parts Even tough they don't mention it.

Still beisan all the way tho
That must be new, I hadn't seen that!
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Old Sat, Dec-19-2015, 02:25:56 AM   #1116
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

What's everyone stance on replacing hardware? Like bolts, nuts, washers. Do you just replace them if needed?

Also regarding the VANOS high pressure oil hose, should I just get the updated OE BMW part or go aftermarket with RE or BW? I can't get an exact answer, but I heard you have to replace the BW/RE high pressure line more frequent than OE. Is that true?
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Last edited by M3_POWER; Sat, Dec-19-2015 at 03:02:27 AM.
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Old Thu, Dec-31-2015, 01:27:09 AM   #1117
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

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Originally Posted by M3_POWER View Post
What's everyone stance on replacing hardware? Like bolts, nuts, washers. Do you just replace them if needed?
If the bolt or nut holds something critical on I generally buy new hardware when I'm replacing that component, especially if it has a specific torque spec. When I did my water pump I replaced every nut, bolt, washer and pulley I could just to not have to touch it again.
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Old Thu, Dec-31-2015, 02:05:57 AM   #1118
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

I don't replace hardware unless it needs it.

The updated BMW hose is the best one out there.
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Old Mon, Jan-04-2016, 04:38:43 AM   #1119
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Default Suggestions?

Hey guys,

I was wondering what you guys think I should do for service/maintenance.

This is the history of my car (2006 ZCP):

06/2012 (45k mi) - Inspection II
01/2014 (53k mi) - Oil Service
02/2014 (53k mi) - Main Drive & A/C Drive Belts Replaced
Lower Radiator Hose and Coolant Temp Sensor Replaced
[New Coolant Fluid]
New MPSS Mounted and Alignment
09/2014 (58k mi) - SMG Pump Replaced (Relays, Fuses and Fluids)
02/2015 (60k mi) - Oil Service

Currently the car is at 66k miles. Should I do another Inspection (I?) based on the time or just an oil service?

Thanks.
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Old Tue, Feb-23-2016, 07:29:12 AM   #1120
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Default Re: e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

Is the OE transmission fluid only avail in 5L jugs? Don't we need 3?

https://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-M3-S54_3.2L/ES197386/


Getting ready to throw in some OE oil, trans, and diff fluid, Motul RB600.
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Discussing e46 M3 Maintenance Thread 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)