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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 03:32:17 AM   #1
jph28
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Default jph28 - SilverGrey '04 M3

I finally picked up my E46 M3 in late February of 2008. Although I'd been searching nearly country-wide, I lucked out and found one that fit my search criteria locally at Shaeffer BMW of Wilmington, NC (yes, for those HBO fans, the same dealership in Eastbound and Down ).

I don't remember the exact options, but from what I can tell it has:
- premium package
- heated seats
- OEM 19" wheels
- power seats (no lumbar )
- 2004 w/20,090 miles

The car was CPO'd and I purchased the extended maintenance program. Inspection 1 came up at about 23,000 miles.

Here is one pic, though pretty poor. I didn't really take many pics of the car initially.

Compared to now I'm very jealous of how rock-chip-free the front bumper was back then!
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Current - 2002 M5, awaiting re-fresh...
2004 SilverGrey 6MT Sold

Past - '12 VW JSW TDI / '91 Saab 900TC / '98 M3 / '06 WRX / '98 ITR / '88 Saab 9000T
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 03:36:44 AM   #2
jph28
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Here is a list of what I've had replaced under the CPO warranty. I'm not exactly sure how much the dealership would have charged for each item, but I plan on asking when I'm in next.

1) Left front wheel bearing
2) Both xenon headlight "control units" (the right xenon was flickering / going out occasionally)
3) Two oxygen sensors
4) Alternator

I think so far it's saved a decent amount, at least when using BMW dealership figures.

The extended maintenance program ended up covering:
1) Inspection 1 @ ~23k miles
2) Interval oil change (I also change at half intervals on the side)
3) Inspection 2 @ ~43k miles
4) New rear brake pads and rotors
5) New AC and serpentine belts

So, for the $1895 plan it will end up covering over ~$4000 worth of dealership maintenance costs... not terrible, but I'll certainly be using Indy's / DIY after it expires.
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Current - 2002 M5, awaiting re-fresh...
2004 SilverGrey 6MT Sold

Past - '12 VW JSW TDI / '91 Saab 900TC / '98 M3 / '06 WRX / '98 ITR / '88 Saab 9000T

Last edited by jph28; Mon, Jan-25-2010 at 02:55:55 PM.
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 03:44:10 AM   #3
jph28
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As we all know, the E46 M3 likes to use its rear tires, especially when they're overinflated

So, when my rears were pretty much expired and wouldn't pass NC state inspection, I decided to move to a square wheel/tire setup for two reasons:

1) Anticipation of tracking the car
2) The ability to rotate tires and extend the life of each set

Finally in mid-March (after the typical back order through Tirerack) the MT1s showed up.

Specs
Wheels: 18"x9.5" ET35
Tires: Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec, size 265/35-18

Pics in the garage


Great tread patten on the Star Specs




A few on the car after a quick wash; it rained about 45 minutes later while I was at the driving range









Very happy with the wheel and tires!
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Current - 2002 M5, awaiting re-fresh...
2004 SilverGrey 6MT Sold

Past - '12 VW JSW TDI / '91 Saab 900TC / '98 M3 / '06 WRX / '98 ITR / '88 Saab 9000T
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 03:46:54 AM   #4
jph28
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I will note one thing about running this size square setup on bone stock suspension. They will rub the front plastic inside fender liner in reverse only. Even at full lock moving forwards there is no contact, so I'm assuming the clearance is really close.

However, I am not concerned about a little fender liner rub, plus after a while it gets worn down and now, ~6 months later it almost never touches at all
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Current - 2002 M5, awaiting re-fresh...
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 03:55:58 AM   #5
jph28
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After not making to my first track event for another few months, I decided to sign up for the August 27/28 Trackdaze event at VIR.

First off, I had the absolute time of my life. I grew up alpine ski racing in Vermont for 10 or so years, and this was the first thing to rival that intensity. All those years between the gates seemed to pay off at VIR, since the lines through the turns are actually quite similar (in theory).

The paddock had some great cars, first is my sparse, sparse "area"...


This guy's exhaust note was just phenomenal


There were quite a few E46 M3s there


This guy had a track-only Mini that was trailered to the event and didn't see any street time Very nice guy though, as was everyone I met






This GTR actually ran in my group (novice)


~600rwhp twin-turbo 'vette, also running in novice


One of my favorites






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Current - 2002 M5, awaiting re-fresh...
2004 SilverGrey 6MT Sold

Past - '12 VW JSW TDI / '91 Saab 900TC / '98 M3 / '06 WRX / '98 ITR / '88 Saab 9000T
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 04:03:29 AM   #6
jph28
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On to the track photos. My instructor let me solo in the 4th session of the first day, and the 3rd and 4th of the second day. He also offered to let me run in the intermediate group the second day. I declined, which ended up being a good thing since an STI in that group blew a coolant line and cut them 20 min short...

The roller coaster section, with M3F member BlazenXLT in the background








This C6 Z06 had a loud exhaust that let you know when he was on it in the staightaways (well that, and him pulling bus lengths on me...)














Oak tree
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Current - 2002 M5, awaiting re-fresh...
2004 SilverGrey 6MT Sold

Past - '12 VW JSW TDI / '91 Saab 900TC / '98 M3 / '06 WRX / '98 ITR / '88 Saab 9000T
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 04:03:47 AM   #7
PKumarM3
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Wow

Congrats on the car! It looks SUPER good w/those wheels! I really want them!!!!!!

VIR is a great track as well. That last turn roller coaster is awesome!
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 04:09:41 AM   #8
jph28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKumarM3 View Post
Wow

Congrats on the car! It looks SUPER good w/those wheels! I really want them!!!!!!

VIR is a great track as well. That last turn roller coaster is awesome!
Thanks! I initially got the wheels because of the size / light weight / relatively low cost, but they have really impressed me with their looks

I agree about VIR as well - just signed up for the Nov 16/17 full course event with Trackdaze
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Current - 2002 M5, awaiting re-fresh...
2004 SilverGrey 6MT Sold

Past - '12 VW JSW TDI / '91 Saab 900TC / '98 M3 / '06 WRX / '98 ITR / '88 Saab 9000T
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 04:10:47 AM   #9
PKumarM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jph28 View Post
Thanks! I initially got the wheels because of the size / light weight / relatively low cost, but they have really impressed me with their looks

I agree about VIR as well - just signed up for the Nov 16/17 full course event with Trackdaze
Amazing

I might venture down there for that event. My last event of the season is supposed to be Nov 7-8 @ Summit Point w/Nasa M/A. Hope to see you there.
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Old Fri, Sep-11-2009, 12:56:33 PM   #10
BlazenXLT
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Awesome pics! I might have to order a few from the photographer now...

There are a few more pics of the event in my journal section if you haven't seen those yet.
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Discussing jph28 - SilverGrey '04 M3 in the Member Journals Forum - Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)