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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, Sep-20-2019, 06:06:59 AM   #21
Bmwpower603
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

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Originally Posted by sapote View Post
166k miles with original rod bearings, for me it means car wasnít driven hard. I rather have this one and replace the bearings than one with replacement bearings and hard driven.
Thatís how I feel.

If the car has been pampered, and stock. Can s54 last 200k on the original rod bearings? I know there is no real way of determining this. Without removing them and inspecting them thoroughly.

I know on the s65 itís possible. But the s54 is different.

The fact that the car can fail at any movement is what worries me. I donít beat on my cars. I drive all my cars to favor the wear on moving part rotating assemblies.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 06:11:13 AM   #22
eacmen
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

PPI and hopefully they have service records for all oil changes etc.

Only so much a PPI will tell you about whats going on in the engine tho. But definitely make sure they look at the subframe. And any other cracking or deformations on the high stress chassis areas (shock towers etc).

Bring some ramps with you and get some oil for analysis if he'll let you. That will be the best indicator of rod bearing failure. The PPI shop should be able to get an oil sample as well.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 06:18:44 AM   #23
Bmwpower603
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

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PPI and hopefully they have service records for all oil changes etc.

Only so much a PPI will tell you about whats going on in the engine tho. But definitely make sure they look at the subframe. And any other cracking or deformations on the high stress chassis areas (shock towers etc).

Bring some ramps with you and get some oil for analysis if he'll let you. That will be the best indicator of rod bearing failure. The PPI shop should be able to get an oil sample as well.
I’m sure he will let me get a PPI. But he said he would accept $6300 as is. So I’m thinking about putting ista on it, and making a determination through that.

If I take it for PPI. And they say everything looks good, the price just went up. And RB failure chances remain.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 06:53:19 AM   #24
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

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Iím sure he will let me get a PPI. But he said he would accept $6300 as is. So Iím thinking about putting ista on it, and making a determination through that.

If I take it for PPI. And they say everything looks good, the price just went up. And RB failure chances remain.

YOU pay for the PPI and the results come ONLY to YOU.

You can Fedex the oil sample to Blackstone. Then nicely call them as soon as it arrives and ask if they can push it a bit. They did it within hours for me on my second buy.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 01:05:48 PM   #25
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

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Originally Posted by Bmwpower603 View Post
Thatís how I feel.

If the car has been pampered, and stock. Can s54 last 200k on the original rod bearings? I know there is no real way of determining this. Without removing them and inspecting them thoroughly.

I know on the s65 itís possible. But the s54 is different.

The fact that the car can fail at any movement is what worries me. I donít beat on my cars. I drive all my cars to favor the wear on moving part rotating assemblies.
The highest mileage e46 M3 I've seen was 320,000 miles, and it was on original rod bearings. It all depends on the life it lived-- rod bearings wear out by time spent near redline. Oil analysis will tell you if they're end of life or not.

The S54 has less bearing issues than the S65. Both engines wear out rod bearings by time spent near redline. The S65 also has lottery rod bearing failure and lottery main bearing failure.

The fact that you're talking about towing it to an indy makes me think you should not buy this car. A $7000 M3 can be a fun project... for people that do their own work. If you're paying people to do the work, it's going to be an expensive pain in your ass.

You absolutely should get a PPI-- to at least do a subframe dropped rear floor inspection and vanos tab inspection. Either of those could easily double your buy in price for the car on their own.

Unless you have receipts that it's been done, assume you'll need to do bearings, vanos, subframe, cooling system, and every bushing/bearings/ball joint/shock in the suspension. All that combined will be ~$3000 if you DIY... or much, MUCH more if you pay someone to do it.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 03:34:02 PM   #26
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

I'd avoid it because it is a high mileage Maine car and has been used in the winter ("Includes winter wheel/tire set").

I know how harsh the NE winters are on cars.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 04:30:00 PM   #27
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

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I'd avoid it because it is a high mileage Maine car and has been used in the winter ("Includes winter wheel/tire set").

I know how harsh the NE winters are on cars.


Watch any of the speed academy videos to see what the underside of an M3 looks like after 17 winters. I bought a PA car that was in Texas most of it's life before PA. Those 4 or 5 winters in PA left a fair amount of rust.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 04:45:02 PM   #28
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

You buy $7k m3’s just for the fun of it. Looking forward to building it etc. If you’re already this concerned about its condition, then you’re obviously looking for something more than a $7k m3.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 04:53:05 PM   #29
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

I just picked up a similar M3 at 154k miles. I'm not worried about it and it's a nice car. Side note I can do all my own work on it though.
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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 06:35:06 PM   #30
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Default Re: M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy

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You buy $7k m3ís just for the fun of it. Looking forward to building it etc. If youíre already this concerned about its condition, then youíre obviously looking for something more than a $7k m3.
THIS.
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Discussing M3 Craigslist to buy or not to buy 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)