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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 12:55:16 AM   #1
vongeiss
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Default Vongeiss' e46 journey

I never took the time to make a journal when I first got into my BMW’s, but now I wish I had! I figure now is the best time to make one, even if it’s a few years late!

I guess it started in 2007, I bought my first car, a 2001 BMW 325i, steel grey, 5spd, with sport/ premium/ cold weather packages. ~60k miles, bought it at an auction.



The car had paint and bodywork, which is good for a first car because you know you’re gonna screw it up somehow. It looked good, drove good, and it was everything I wanted. It was the perfect* first car. I drove this car and I drove it hard, broke plenty of things, and started learning about cars, fixing them, and reading the forums, learning everything I could about these cars. Lets say I fell in love.

Fast forward to July 2010, I was turning 21 and saved up all my money to make the jump to an ///M3! I found a car from a local kid, a 2002 Steel Grey with Imola red interior my favorite color combo!



85k miles with premium and cold weather packages. Perfect right? The kid needed to sell it quick so I got a fantastic deal on it, $14,700!!! I had the car PPI’d by my local trustworthy dealer and it came back pretty good with just a few small things that wouldn’t scare away a possible buyer. I knew it needed some work, and some TLC, but I figured that was perfect for me, I could fix it up over time, slowly return it to it’s former glory. It had some cheapo eBay parts on it, and some “custom” fixes here and there, as well as needing a fair amount of paintwork down the road.

Well it wasn’t quite as perfect as I thought… Problems started arising immediately and I started to realize why one shouldn’t buy an e46 m3 on the cheap . First off, one of the control arm bushings was SHOT so it was pulling real hard when driving, then only a week after I bought it, I started hearing a clicking noise from the back . My worst fears came true when I put the car up on a lift and saw the horrible cracks in the subframe. “how could they not have noticed this in the PPI when I specifically asked them to check the subframe? These clearly didn’t happen in a week” I thought to myself.



Luckily this was September 2010 when it was fully diagnosed by my dealer, and still under the class action suit. Thank god! So the BMW body shop put in a new rear floor in the car and a month and half later I had a perfect handling M3 back in my hands! (the dealer put in new FCABs and did an alignment). I had a blast for a few weeks, I had an amazing drive up to CT and back on a beautiful fall Sunday morning. Foliage in full affect, nice warm sun in the middle of the day. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I had a guy in a 997 c2S riding along with me having fun for a decent amount of time, it was a lot of fun. Great drive back with the girl, she looooved this car . I had a few photo shoots to show for it with my local crew of buddies who have / had ///M’s.



Well this brings me to a bad point in my life story. October 28th, 2010, only 4 months after buying my dream car, I crashed and totaled it that early rainy morning. All hope was lost I thought, no more m3 for me ☹.



Well, my insurance company, USAA, came back with $22k for the totaled car! I was in disbelief. So, back to the 325i for a bit! I hadn’t sold it yet, thankfully, so I still had my trusty 325i to cruise around in at least! I put some CSL wheels on it in the mean time to spruce it up a bit.



When the insurance company came back and told me my rates weren’t increasing and gave me the green light to get another m3 the search was on!

That brings me to my newest baby



2002 Carbon Black with black leather, 85k miles, 2 owner but two extremely good owners who always garaged and NEVER abused the car. No stories, just what I was looking for! No paint work, no motor problems, no suspension issues, no subframe issues! This car is great. My friend and fellow member here, Chris (m3freak86) was actually the one who pointed it out to me here on m3forum. Now I follow in his Carbon Black footsteps! Hahaha.

It came sitting on 19in VMR vb3’s, Tein S tech springs, and it has the Predator Orion V2 LED angel eyes and DEPO LED tail lights. I like the spring’s drop, it is fantastic. The car looks perfect with them. The ride as a lot of you know isn’t the best with them, but they will stay for now.

So while owning this car only a few small things have arisen over the year + of owner ship. Obviously flyyyying through back tires like all e46 m3’s hehe.



I had a rear shock mount blow on me so I replaced both rear shocks and mounts with Koni adjustables on all 4 corners. Now with these coupled with the springs, I can adjust them to make the ride pretty decent at least.



I’ve done brakes, new front hubs and bearings, every fluid flushed as well. A few little maintenance things here and there, nothing major. Every time something breaks, I just upgrade the part then.

I’ve taken it to many shows and meets, as well as every weekend my buddy’s and I would meet up in our local town Red Bank and all bring out our nice cars. My buddy Matt currently has a LSB vert m3 6spd, my buddy Jordan has a aw/ir vert SMG, and my buddy Connor has a 996 Turbo that replaced his e39 M5.

Eurofest was amazing:


Bimmer Stock might have been my favorite:


In September of this year I found a used Magnaflow cat – back exhaust on Bimmerforums from a guy out in Ohio. The price was right and didn’t hesitate and jumped on it. I put it on with my buddy’s help over at his house, he has a lift in his garage so it was awesome. It took us a while with all the old rusted bolts and what not, but we got it done and it sounded great! At first I was weary of the system because magnaflow is mostly known for American cars, but after install, and seeing that they have a pretty good review here on m3forum, I was pretty stoked to say the least. Sorry I never had a chance to take a video of the exhaust ☹.

I had a little problem with the LED tails also, the passenger side is intermittent, and I found a thread on how to fix them so I took them out and put some stockers back in I had laying around for the time being because I’m lazy haha.

Late October came around and so did Hurricane Sandy, that *****. I got slammed pretty hard over here on the Jersey shore but thankfully we didn’t lose our house even though we lost everything in our basement, (tons of car parts, tools, heater hot water heater, appliances, etc) but the house was OK. We were much better off than everyone else, and I saved our cars, my M3 and my brothers Mustang were in a neighbor’s garage on high ground. Even being on high ground the garage still ended up in about 2 inches on water, but really just enough to get the bottom wet. More or less a big puddle.



thank god it wasn’t in my garage!


Those first couple of days after the storm, my m3 turned into my workhorse. I loved the fact that we both made it through the storm, and now I was using it to go get gas for the generator, and run around getting stuff doing errands. I felt like after that, nothing could stop us!



HA!

So of course a week or two after the storm I notice a familiar knock noise coming from the front of the motor, the dreaded cam gear bolt noise. FML.


So I took it to Don over at Mr. M car in the Allaire airport in Wall NJ. This guy is like the M3 guru, and sure enough he confirmed my diagnosis and I was SOL. I called up my buddy Tyler who used to work for this guy Mr. M car, and the local BMW dealership as well (Circle). He is running a shop over on the other side of the airport now doing mainly motorcycles, but he told me he’d love to do the work on the car for me, and he’d do it for me pretty cheap, much cheaper than everyone else anyway, and he’d done this a bunch of times in the past so it was a no brainer.

So I bring it by one Sunday afternoon, we listened to it first, and we realized the Alternator was making some noise too. We were absolutely sure the bolts were making noise too so we went ahead and started to tear it down and change the bolts. Now this is where it gets interesting.

All the bolts were fine. Tight, and not shearing at all. I guess it must have been the alternator making the noise the whole time!

Well we were in there anyway so we replaced them and put it all back together. Started her up and bingo! She ran perfect! Pulled hard, never stumbled, even pulled a Evo 10 out of a dig on the way home! Only problem was, is now I was throwing an exhaust vanos code. Shit. So Tyler said just bring it back, leave it with me, I’ll figure it out and get the code off.



BTW I was happy to see that my exhaust hub tabs were intact, and that my head and motor appeared to be relatively clean on a 109k mile car.

So long story short, he called me back a few days later when he was working on it and in the mean time had received these new, bad ass 12.9 grade bolts from Dr. Vanos and hooked me up with them, re did the job and put it all back together again, this time with the proper BMW tools to ensure no SES lights.

Calls me back and tells me some bad news. The new, Dr Vanos, 12.9 grade bolts, snapped while the car was idling after the first start. Only on the exhaust cam, but it spun and bent pretty much every valve on the exhaust side of the head. We don’t know exactly why they failed, whether he over torqued them, or maybe a product malfunction, but either way it doesn’t matter because he totally owned up to it and promised to fix it for me free of charge.

Obviously I was upset, and worried about my car, but I couldn’t really ask anything more of him given the situation both of us were now in. He's handling it great, he's a friend of mine and I do trust him to fix my car and do it right. This failure was probably harder on him as it was on me, he too loves these cars as much as all of us. I seriously couldn't ask him to be more honest, or handle this situation any better. He's fixing it, for free. The only thing that sucks is the inconvenience of not having it.

This was late November when this happened, the week after thanksgiving I believe. It’s been a long time with out my car now, but through this whole ordeal I’m getting kind of hooked up. Tyler is doing the entire tear down, and reassembly, but he’s having the head work done by his mentor and s54 master tech. It’s getting new exhaust valves, and a bit of a “port and polish” job while it’s off. He ordered me these Supertech performance valves that are supposedly stronger, and with a slightly modified seat that is stronger as well. He got a whole gasket set so every piece of rubber head gasket up is going to be brand new, I’ll have no leaks



Also at the same time I got a set of euro headers from m3e46freak and a new alternator, fan clutch, and belts.



I know I’m forgetting something else too… hmmm I can’t remember. When I get the car back it’s immediately going in for rear control arms, RTABs, and an alignment. The car is going to be a whooooole new animal when I get her back. I can’t wait.
__________________

2002 ///M3 Carbon Black - current
2002 ///M3 Steel grey / Imola Red - RIP
2001 325i Steel Grey - sold and missed
Instagram: @VONGEISS

Last edited by vongeiss; Sun, Jan-06-2013 at 12:59:48 AM.
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 12:57:20 AM   #2
vongeiss
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

Today day I took the headers along with a case of fresh TWS down to my mechanic, all parts are in and delivered, and the rebuilding starts tomorrow! I'll be down there hanging out for a bit and will snap a few pics with the head off the car.

Home stretch of this part
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 03:53:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

Nice, didn't know you had an M before this one!
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 02:07:00 PM   #4
vongeiss
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonzny View Post
Nice, didn't know you had an M before this one!
It was brief

But when all is said and done, it was all worth it. I learned a few valuable lessons, and was able to buy myself a nicer e46 m3 at the end of the day.
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 03:56:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

Nice start to your journal. About time you started one haha.

Dr.Vanos is a good dude. I have been running his upgraded Vanos unit for quite some time now. Glad to see that your Vanos was intact as well
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 04:17:02 PM   #6
vongeiss
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzeep View Post
Nice start to your journal. About time you started one haha.

Dr.Vanos is a good dude. I have been running his upgraded Vanos unit for quite some time now. Glad to see that your Vanos was intact as well
Haha I know right. I like it cause now I can post stupid little stuff I've done to my car that no one wants to read a new thread about

If something were to go wrong with my Vanos unit, ( I believe they call the whole unit the actuator?) I would definitely get his rebuilt unit. I would probably get his cyro hub too if that were to go bad. I might need to get a Beisan systems solenoid as well, we'll see, mine was working when the car went in, even though it's acted up a couple times last year.
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 04:18:47 PM   #7
Dizzeep
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

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Originally Posted by vongeiss View Post
Haha I know right. I like it cause now I can post stupid little stuff I've done to my car that no one wants to read a new thread about

If something were to go wrong with my Vanos unit, ( I believe they call the whole unit the actuator?) I would definitely get his rebuilt unit. I would probably get his cyro hub too if that were to go bad. I might need to get a Beisan systems solenoid as well, we'll see, mine was working when the car went in, even though it's acted up a couple times last year.


your next mod should be a dope ass windshield banner
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 04:37:37 PM   #8
vongeiss
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzeep View Post


your next mod should be a dope ass windshield banner


does my BMWCCA decal in the corner of my windshield count?
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 04:51:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

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does my BMWCCA decal in the corner of my windshield count?
No

Has to be on the front windshield and has to say HATERZ GUNNA HATE YO! I hear that gains you like an extra 50hp at least
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2013, 04:57:49 PM   #10
vongeiss
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Default Re: Vongeiss' e46 journey

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No

Has to be on the front windshield and has to say HATERZ GUNNA HATE YO! I hear that gains you like an extra 50hp at least
Will i need a tune with that
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Discussing Vongeiss' e46 journey 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)