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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 Sun, Oct-14-2018, 02:30:50 PM   #281
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
As much as I like the car, I would say the VANOS and 'subframe' issues automatically exclude it from being considered well made, even if they're fixable.
Agreed - having to do elaborate engine work and structural enhancements as soon as you get the car is something I've only had to do on the e46
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 02:33:24 PM   #282
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
Those are easily remedied and otherwise the car is pretty stout. Trans is borderline indestructible, the motor has a huge service life for one that revs to 8k, the interior materials are all nice to interact with, and so on.
As I wrote (j/k), I was joking and I agree with you for the most part, the e46 m3 is very stout.

The VANOS can be excused to a degree. It's really just that they had the wrong tolerance on the holes on the hub. Or they could have made the tabs bigger. Easily serviceable to some. For others its a $1k-$2k maintenance item right of the bat.

The sub-frame is inexcusable. That is poor engineering, and something the Germans pride themselves in. I don't see how the repair is easily remedied, or there wouldn't be thread after thread on this forum about it.......maybe if you addressed it early on with structural foam, that is fairly easy, but if you have to repair/replace the RACP at any point, that is devastatingly expensive for many owners.

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
As much as I like the car, I would say the VANOS and 'subframe' issues automatically exclude it from being considered well made, even if they're fixable.
As stated above. Outside of those two items the car is very stout, but at least the subframe was a major blunder by BMW.
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 03:27:29 PM   #283
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by nasieg View Post

The VANOS can be excused to a degree. It's really just that they had the wrong tolerance on the holes on the hub. Or they could have made the tabs bigger. Easily serviceable to some. For others its a $1k-$2k maintenance item right of the bat.
Not quite. The root cause is that they eliminated a one-way valve that prevented oil from flowing backwards and putting the exhaust hub under unacceptable load. The S50b32 and S62 (which otherwise have near identical VANOS systems to the S54) both retain the valve. Reducing the clearances helps. Reducing oil weight probably helps. But ultimately the root cause is that BMW wanted to save a little money by making the design a little simpler.

This is what BMW's own documentation states regarding the S50b30 (S50b32 is similar, except it's dual vanos instead of single)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Page 42
A non-return valve connected downstream of the high-pressure pump prevents oil flowing back from the high-pressure chamber into the piston chamber while the piston chamber is not completely full. The malfunctioning or failure of that non-return valve would lead to heavy pressure pulsations...
Then a few pages down they say this regarding the S54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Page 49
The hydraulic circuit diagram for the S54B32 engine is almost identical to the hydraulic circuit diagram for the S50B32 engine. The only difference is that the non-return valve downstream of the high-pressure pump is dispensed with.
https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/72...fsbslb8iuhdm8s

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Originally Posted by nasieg View Post
The sub-frame is inexcusable. That is poor engineering, and something the Germans pride themselves in. I don't see how the repair is easily remedied, or there wouldn't be thread after thread on this forum about it.......maybe if you addressed it early on with structural foam, that is fairly easy, but if you have to repair/replace the RACP at any point, that is devastatingly expensive for many owners.
Agreed 100%. The car should have never been released in the state it was.

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Originally Posted by nasieg View Post
As stated above. Outside of those two items the car is very stout./QUOTE]
Yeah, but essentially you'r saying "Outside of the tendency for the engine to blow itself up and the chassis to rip itself apart, the car is very stout". Pretty ridiculous statement when put that way IMO.
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 03:40:41 PM   #284
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
IDGAF about performance. Calibration typically is rolled into feedback for the most part, and excitement is a result of the list being met.
Come on dude, you don't give a fukk about performance?

In that case, the E36 M3 better fits your criteria...or BRZ. But the reason you put up with the 46's issues is because it offers much better performance, and thus excitement. (waiting for interior excuse)

Let's be realistic here. A big part of what makes the 46 so fun is because it hauls ass and grips well and has impressively high limits - it's getting up into the butt pucker zone. Its expert calibration allow as you to kiss its limits without killing yourself, and combined with the raw performance is what makes it exciting. If its limits were way lower it wouldn't be nearly as exciting. Fun, maybe, but not exciting.

The E36 is extremely fun. It is not very exciting. We don't drive those cars for a reason.
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 03:55:48 PM   #285
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
Not quite. The root cause is that they eliminated a one-way valve that prevented oil from flowing backwards and putting the exhaust hub under unacceptable load. The S50b32 and S62 (which otherwise have near identical VANOS systems to the S54) both retain the valve. Reducing the clearances helps. Reducing oil weight probably helps. But ultimately the root cause is that BMW wanted to save a little money by making the design a little simpler.

This is what BMW's own documentation states regarding the S50b30 (S50b32 is similar, except it's dual vanos instead of single)



Then a few pages down they say this regarding the S54


https://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/72...fsbslb8iuhdm8s



Agreed 100%. The car should have never been released in the state it was.



Yeah, but essentially you'r saying "Outside of the tendency for the engine to blow itself up and the chassis to rip itself apart, the car is very stout". Pretty ridiculous statement when put that way IMO.

You know a lot more about the subject than I do

Yes, that statement is ridiculous if you put it that way, but I have never had any issues with either, after doing preventative maintenance on it. AND the rest of the car is pretty bullet proof, especially considering the 100hp/l performance and only inline 6 with this kind of redline. We do have to keep some things in perspective.
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 03:59:27 PM   #286
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Come on dude, you don't give a fukk about performance?.
Didnít you know? Only brainwashed sheeps care about performance. Itís all about FRSís and Miatas today. The true enthusiasts!
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 04:13:43 PM   #287
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by Dr M3an M3 View Post
Totally agree. F80 ZCP to put miles on and a GT3 for the special weekend car. Personally, the only car that I feel would be a natural step-up from my car would be a GT3/4. They continue the recipe that I have come to love so much, but in a modern, much improved, package.
Would be a mighty setup... Just curious, have you driven any of the non-GT Porsches, or the GT3/4? The non-GT are more daily-able (which may not be what you're looking for in a weekend car) but definitely a more buttoned down package as a sports car vs the M3. Even a stock 997.1 C2 will beat out an e46 M3. I think people overestimate the real-world difference between a base Porsche vs GT car on the street. Hell the GT4 even has a base motor, but no one seems to care because it's also got a big wing and GT on the back lol. And believe me you can tell that the GT4s engine is somewhat less strung out even compared to the S54, but to say that it isn't a far better sports car than the e46 would be ridiculous. Just saying, even a 987/997 S isn't something to turn your nose up at, imo.

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Exactly, except what you're missing is that it's both a good everyday precision muscle car AND a Killer weekend car, for 64k. RWD, front engine, perfect balance, manual trans, huge brakes, wicked power, CF roof, amazing seats, super nice interior, killer good looks, every usability and just flat big pimpin'. Yes please.

Who's going to spend $100k on a weekend toy save for the very rich? For the rest of us either one badass all around car, or, a regular DD plus cheap weekend toy is reality. For me it's the former since I want to have fun every day.
I gotcha, that's why my only car is an e46 M3 (among other reasons, like my dad is the man). But why not a cheap DD and more expensive weekend toy? For less than what you pay for a new F80 you could have a new Fiesta ST, Corolla hatchback etc (manual) and a very nice used 911. That would be a tough call for me. I guess for me the main driver is I generally prefer my sports cars to be NA. Hence why I like the idea of an F80 daily if I can manage a proper sports car as a weekender.

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Originally Posted by Drewster View Post
Agreed - having to do elaborate engine work and structural enhancements as soon as you get the car is something I've only had to do on the e46
Quote:
Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
Yeah, but essentially you'r saying "Outside of the tendency for the engine to blow itself up and the chassis to rip itself apart, the car is very stout". Pretty ridiculous statement when put that way IMO.
It is downright ridiculous lol. But it goes to show how much us e46 owners will overlook (ie overpay) to keep our beloved cars ticking, which is a testament to the car's greatness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
Not quite. The root cause is that they eliminated a one-way valve that prevented oil from flowing backwards and putting the exhaust hub under unacceptable load. The S50b32 and S62 (which otherwise have near identical VANOS systems to the S54) both retain the valve. Reducing the clearances helps. Reducing oil weight probably helps. But ultimately the root cause is that BMW wanted to save a little money by making the design a little simpler.
I'm curious about this, what are the results of removing that check valve you speak of? Or, specifically, what are the effects of oil flowing backwards. I understand the exhaust hub issue, but never heard anything relating to oil flow, other than the S54 (and S85) VANOS use seriously high pressure to function.
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 05:14:37 PM   #288
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Come on dude, you don't give a fukk about performance?

In that case, the E36 M3 better fits your criteria...or BRZ. But the reason you put up with the 46's issues is because it offers much better performance, and thus excitement. (waiting for interior excuse)

Let's be realistic here. A big part of what makes the 46 so fun is because it hauls ass and grips well and has impressively high limits - it's getting up into the butt pucker zone. Its expert calibration allow as you to kiss its limits without killing yourself, and combined with the raw performance is what makes it exciting. If its limits were way lower it wouldn't be nearly as exciting. Fun, maybe, but not exciting.

The E36 is extremely fun. It is not very exciting. We don't drive those cars for a reason.
Iíve had both the BRZ and the E36 M3, neither were sold because of their performance level.

BRZís EPS was numb, the clutch had zero feedback, and the general fit and finish was that of a tin can. Combine that with flat spot on the engine and the issues I had with the engine, it found itís way out the door.

E36 M3 remains the yardstick to which all are compared for feel, but it was eventually sold for being such a poorly made hunk of trash. Occasionally I come close to getting another one, but then I just think back to all the comedies of ownership like opening my door and still having the door card in the frame.

Miata never happened because I physically donít fit.


If I have a choice in it, I take the old and slow 911 whenever possible. E46 M3 just happens to be the ideal daily driver when I need more practicality. So yes, IDGAF about performance.
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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 05:43:06 PM   #289
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by BTB View Post
Would be a mighty setup... Just curious, have you driven any of the non-GT Porsches, or the GT3/4? The non-GT are more daily-able (which may not be what you're looking for in a weekend car) but definitely a more buttoned down package as a sports car vs the M3. Even a stock 997.1 C2 will beat out an e46 M3. I think people overestimate the real-world difference between a base Porsche vs GT car on the street. Hell the GT4 even has a base motor, but no one seems to care because it's also got a big wing and GT on the back lol. And believe me you can tell that the GT4s engine is somewhat less strung out even compared to the S54, but to say that it isn't a far better sports car than the e46 would be ridiculous. Just saying, even a 987/997 S isn't something to turn your nose up at, imo.
If you can DD a manual e46 m3, you can DD a GT4 or a 991 GT3. They are supremely tractable on the street, as long as you don’t need the back seats, of course. And if you don’t spec the LWB’s, there’s really no difference in practicality vs a normal 911 or Cayman.

The 997 GT3, much less so. I dailied one for two years because I’m hardheaded and dat purist life yo, but ultimately I had to admit that it’s a pain in the ass

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Old Sun, Oct-14-2018, 05:47:13 PM   #290
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by BTB View Post
Would be a mighty setup... Just curious, have you driven any of the non-GT Porsches, or the GT3/4? The non-GT are more daily-able (which may not be what you're looking for in a weekend car) but definitely a more buttoned down package as a sports car vs the M3. Even a stock 997.1 C2 will beat out an e46 M3. I think people overestimate the real-world difference between a base Porsche vs GT car on the street. Hell the GT4 even has a base motor, but no one seems to care because it's also got a big wing and GT on the back lol.
Non GT Porsches are very capable, but the real difference between them and GT Porsches, is that the ladder are ready out of the box for the track. This is what I keep hearing from those who have owned both.

To get back on topic. Not offering a more track ready car is where BMW has gone wrong IMO. Track days are pretty popular now a days, a lot more than they were back when the e46 M3 was new, but now they really don't offer a good car for those who take HPDE's a bit more serious. Sure you can take a new M car there, but it won't hold up unless you address a number of things first. Neither did the e46 for that matter, but as stated, track days were not as common back then. Either way, the e30 M3 was a lot more of a racer and really what the M brand was for, so in essence BMW M is going backwards and has become too diluted and mainstream, while GT Porsche is picking up steam. Sure BMW made the M4 GTS, but in limited production and for a price that would send many to buy a used GT3 anyway.

I don't think this is an overnight fix for BMW. IMO they screwed up with their focus on efficient dynamics and all the other things they do. I don't mean they aren't doing well as a company, or aren't offering great cars. I know they are, but they are not an enthusiasts brand anymore like they were in the late 80's up to the early 2000's....... and might never get it back.
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But why not a cheap DD and more expensive weekend toy?
This! It is the best decision I made 6 years ago. It makes my second car (e46 M3) feel more special, it keeps it in pristine condition and from depreciating unnecessarily, and I don't have to compromise as much on tuning and mods. I will never go back to a dual purpose car.
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Discussing BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts 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)