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Member Journals 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.


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Old Mon, Feb-11-2013, 04:08:42 PM   #1
johnnydeeeee
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Default johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal



So, I decided to write a journal to document the progress on my 2001 Laguna Seca Blue M3. A little back story on my love and affection for the BMW brand. As a young 16 year old kid, I drove a Mitsubishi Eclipse. The car was an absolute piece of trash. Yeah, DSMs had the potential to make lots of horsepower but they were unreliable. A couple of friends drove e36 325i that were tastefully modified with wheels, suspension, and exhaust. I fell in love with the car. They handled well, they sounded great, were relatively quick, and most of all were reliable.

I got out of the car game for a while during my college years and picked up an e36 M3 when I was around 21. The car was Arctic Silver, 5 speed, SSR wheels, H&R and Bilstein suspension, UUC exhaust, and a few other goodies. The car was super nice and I drove it for 4 years before I got the urge for the e46 M3, as they were dropping in price and was one of my favorite cars when they came out.



Around summer 2011 I searched the forums for a reasonably priced, well-maintained e46 M3. I live in the Nashville, TN area but would've traveled for a clean car. I wasn't bothered by mileage as a well-maintained 100k is much better than a beat to hell 40k. I lucked upon a forum member selling his very clean LSB/Gray (not my favorite) 5 minutes from me. I had never seen the car around town, so it was certainly driven sparingly. I paid $16k for it and felt that was a great deal for a 6-speed LSB with a few tasteful modifications as I was seeing them go for $18-20k all day long. The car had 98,xxx miles when I bought it.



I bought the car in September of 2011 and have daily-driven it since. My current goals are to make it 300whp, reliable, emissions-passable, fun to drive and aesthetically pleasing.

It has a few modifications including:
Magnaflow Complete Exhaust
K&N Intake with ECIS Filter
Evosport Pulleys
Eibach Springs
BMW 330d short shifter
BMW ZCP Weighted Shift Knob
Turner Derlin Stablizer Bushing
Powerflex RTAB's
OEM LED Tails
Smoked Corners
Black M3 Badge on trunk
Blacked Out Grill and Gills
Body Colored Reflectors
OEM Strut Bar
Hawk HP+ Pads
LED Angel Eyes
Custom Stereo that includes-Alpine CD player, MB Quart Components, PPI amp, and JL Stealthboxes (Subs just replaced with Kicker Comp CVT's)

Things I've added/done:
Valve adjustment
Oil change
Spark plugs
Plasti-dipped wheels black
Status Gruppe Tuning coilovers with camber plates
Status Gruppe Tuning carbon fiber lip

Next up (within month):
Oil change
Blower motor resistor change (no air from vents)
Michelin Pilot Super Sports

Wish list (within year):
Euro headers
Euro cats
Evolve Tune (or see how p0lar the wonderful folks are moving along with the tuning in the e46 section)
CSL diffuser (tekarbon or SGT)
CSL bootlid

So, in February of 2012 I knew I needed to tackle maintenance so I found a member here, volkswackin (Bret), who is a master tech at BMW of Nashville. He helped perform the maintenance for me, the oil change, valve adjustment, VANOS hub and bolt inspection (all good), and spark plug change. I'm normally a DIYer but I was not confident in doing the valve adjustment so I had Bret take care of everything. He was very complimentary of the car and condition. I did not take any pictures of this process, so sorry to disappoint.

I had the mod bug for a while but wanted to set aside some money for maintenance in case anything went wrong. So I drove the car for a year with the only thing I did during that time was plasti-dipping the wheels to give the car a different look.



So just recently I had spent some dough with Mike Migs at Status Gruppe Tuning. I must say, the customer service was incredible and the products speak for themselves. Since I bought the lip and coilovers at the same time, Mike really took care of me.



First impressions, the quality of the coilover kit is awesome. It came with sway bar end links, camber plates, and RSMs. I went with the 6kg/8kg spring rates per Mike's suggestion since I will DD the car. My friends that have me a hand were impressed with the build quality of the kit.







Install was fairly simple, the most difficult part was getting the ride height correct. The pictures here are with about 2.5" between bottom of strut and locking nut in front and all the way to bottom in rear.





The height above is about 12.25 inches center cap to fender well. I raised the height to 13 front 12.75 rear. I will continue to mess with it but it seems to drive well and handle great. The height between the bottom and lock nut is 3.5" front and 1" rear.

I haven't put the lip on yet. I want to let the car settle and make sure I can still pull in the garage, as it is on a slope and that's important to me. So far so good though.

I will continue to update this as modifications occur. The tires and lip should be going on soon, along with an alignment so I can let you guys know the specs there.
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Old Tue, Feb-19-2013, 04:42:37 PM   #2
johnnydeeeee
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

So guys, I tackled some maintenance on the M3 this past weekend. Nothing special, but the blower motor resistor went out and thus no air came out of the vents. Even though the car is garage-kept, it made the cold winter mornings tough. This is a common issue with e46 BMWs.

Here's the new resistor and a comparison of the old one.




Not a difficult job, as all I needed was a screwdriver and torx bits. The hardest part was getting my big ass hands under the dash to remove the old unit. I just had to remove the glovebox to get to it.




After an hour or so of work (and cussing the tight work space) I now have working heat and air.
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Old Tue, Feb-19-2013, 04:44:18 PM   #3
Busabos77
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Nice!!!
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Old Mon, Mar-11-2013, 06:49:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Some nice weather this weekend so I did a little work on the M.

First, I did an oil change. Super easy. I also sprayed my MAF with CNC MAF cleaner and the car certainly idles smoother.



I also installed my Status Gruppe Tuning carbon fiber lip. I really like how the car looks with it. Another simple install with it being mounted with 5 self-tapping screws. This is my brother and I installing it.



Lastly, here's a quick photo. I peeled the black plasti dip off and am back with the original gunmetal color. I'm not sure if I'm going to leave it or redo it in a gloss black. I also got 245/35/19 and 275/30/19 Michelin Pilot Super Sports installed.



Sorry for the crap picture, I was wanting to take the car out for a photo shoot but the weather turned shitty.
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Old Mon, Mar-11-2013, 07:19:53 PM   #5
Tvan
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Looks good so far! I just sold my e36 M for an E46 too, seems like that has worked out for you.
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Old Mon, Mar-11-2013, 07:35:49 PM   #6
johnnydeeeee
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvan View Post
Looks good so far! I just sold my e36 M for an E46 too, seems like that has worked out for you.
Thanks! I appreciate it!

Yeah, I loved my e36 M but the price of the e46 M3 made it an upgrade I couldn't pass up.
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Old Mon, Mar-11-2013, 11:38:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Looks great! I love the color combo with the LSB and gunmetal wheels. I would leave it as is!
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Old Tue, Mar-12-2013, 01:14:29 AM   #8
johnnydeeeee
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkballer123 View Post
Looks great! I love the color combo with the LSB and gunmetal wheels. I would leave it as is!
Thanks! I made this comparison photo as I was having a hard time deciding which color to go with. The first two cars are mine, the third one is not. I found it online.



I wish I could afford 3 sets of $3k wheels and tires, but I can't. So the easiest way to change the look of the car is to change the color of the wheels. I'm with you, gunmetal works the best.
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Last edited by johnnydeeeee; Tue, Mar-12-2013 at 04:05:03 PM.
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Old Tue, Mar-12-2013, 02:57:44 PM   #9
M3gustaa
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Nice journal! cars looks great man
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Old Tue, Mar-12-2013, 03:04:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: johnnydeeeee's E46 LSB Journal

Car looks great man!
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Discussing Checkmate's AW/FR E90 M3 Journal 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)