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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:03:47 AM   #1
Vox Populi
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Default Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

Ok, ok.

I've been putting this day off for some time, but I've decided to finally bring all of this over.

Be forewarned, I've been pretty meticulous with record keeping since I purchased the car in April, 2008 so the first few (dozen?) posts will be all old and somewhat out of date.

I've also been pretty intense with pictures, so I'm sorry if these next few pages take a while to load.

With that said... here we go.


After I graduated college, I purchased a 2002 Acura RSX-S. I did a few basic mods but ultimately tired of the car. Truth be told, my mods were probably the cause of that. See below as to why (the damn thing was loud. real loud).




I traded the Acura in for (what I thought) was a pretty nice example of the e46 m3. MY2001 with 56,000 miles. 6MT, Carbon Black over Black Nappa.

Here are the pics from the day I picked it up at at the dealer:



My car with my friend's M in the background who came with me to pick it up:



Walking out to it for the first time the following morning:



By the way, is there a better feeling than walking up to a car you love?


A few weeks later, I took the day off and detailed the car on a Monday afternoon.


The very next day, this happened (guy in a pickup truck backed into the car).







I decided that since it would need a new trunk, I would purchase something aftermarket.

Decided to go with the single-sided 2X2 Carbon Fiber Vorsteiner CSL Bootlid. I chose to leave the lip of the boot as well as the area behind the plate as 'exposed' cf. It looks ok in pictures but I've gotten nothing but great reactions from those who see it in person. Some pictures the day I picked it up:





While it was in the shop, I also put some pipes on the car.

Rogue Engineering El Diablo Muffler and Borla V2 Mid Pipes (section 1 & section 2)




What the finished product sounds like:

On board cruising:

It was also around this time that I found out that the subframe was absolutely destroyed. I (embarrassingly) did a poor job of researching the 'gotchas' of the car prior to purchasing so it was totally my fault. Luckily I found a BMW dealer in New Jersey that covered a full repair at absolutely no cost. Granted they had the car for 7 (!!!) weeks, but it didn't cost me a dime.
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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:07:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

It was getting near the end of the winter and and wanted to take the car on a nice early spring road trip. Me and one of my buddies who also has an M took a trip down Skyline drive in Virginia. Undoubtedly the most incredible drive of my life at that time. 95 miles of switchbacks and we saw (literally, zero exaggeration) 6 other cars the entire time.

Some pictures:






my old sig pic:


Just got home..



Nothing says 'welcome back' like a nice wash.

Back in it's spot less than 48 hours after it left...



Got her tinted in early spring... (still one of my favorite pictures I have of the car)



As time went by, I decided that I wanted to do some stuff for the exterior..so I picked up some Umnitza v2 Angel Eyes, matching 6000k xenon fogs, and a Carbon Fiber rear diffuser from Tekarbon which I left half exposed. It matches the trunk SO nicely.






Angel Eyes with Fogs



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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:16:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

Around this time the car had roughly 75,000 miles on it and the OEM suspension was starting to feel really tired. I had already replaced the RTABs with Powerflex but something still didn't feel right.

Since I had no intentions on doing anything but driving the car on the street at that time, I purchased a set of KWv2 coilovers from a forum sponsor. Here's everything during install day...

KW's just delivered:


Rears in


Fronts in:


just completed:


settled with OEM 19’s:




Car dropped with my brother’s Audi in frame




A little after these went in I decided to meet up with a local friend who has a pretty quick little STi swapped Subaru 2.5 rs. There is a video of us doing some roll races on my Youtube channel if you wish to see how that went.. but here is a shot of us before we went out cruising. Again, another simple picture that remains one of my favorite of the car.


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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:23:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

It was also around this time (mid to late 2009) that I was due for some new rear tires. And since I needed new tires I thought, hey, why not just get new wheels?

So that’s what I did.

Linea Corse Le Mans 19x8.5 fronts and 19x10 rears.

Everything in the living room (I cant tell you how much crap I took from my gf [now wife] as she walked in and smelled tires in the living room…haha)





Rears:


Yes, it all fit in the car at once:


Finally on the car:




after those went on the car, I decided to tackle the valve adjustment myself (and by myself, I mean under the supervision of Obioban at his maintenance and modification lair.. I mean, garage).

DIY valve adjustment and full fluid flush day:






And had time for a few nice pics with my buddy who has also recently picked up a set of wheels for his M:





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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:32:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

First!

Well, well.. It's about time thanks for sharing the progress up to this point. In for updates.
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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:33:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

The first winter I had the car I (somehow) managed to get by without ever putting proper tires on the car. I wasn't so luck in the 2009/2010 winter.

Decided to purchase some Dunlop Wintersport M3s and they were freaking fantastic.

A few of us went out and played after a heavy snowstorm and took some pics and vids...










Also put in some smoked corners in Feb. 2010.



And half of one of my angel eyes went out (was a sign that I should take them off, I suppose)



Also gave the brakes a refresher around this time and put on the Performance Friction Direct Drive rotors in the front, the PF Carbon Ceramic Z-Rated Pads, StopTech Braided SS lines and some Motul fluid.





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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:40:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

Some random shots from early spring after the winter wheels were taken off







and a silly edit I played with using Flickr's editor (since I have no clue how to use Photoshop lol)





Also decided to try out some relatively cheap CF front splitters from Ebay.





buttttt they got ruined in only a few weeks by a local car wash/detailer. They did end up paying for a full new front bumper and respray which was great and quite honestly, worth them ruining the splitters lol

destruction:

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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:45:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

I organized a group buy for the AutoSolutions Short Shift kit in Mid 2010. Ended up going with the 30% reduction kit. The install was... absolutely horrible, if I'm honest. Took way longer than it should have, but it got done, nonetheless.

Here's my feedback post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Populi View Post
Ok everyone - first and foremost, wall of text warning. I've got a lot of stuff to tell you about and my hope is that some of it (maybe more) will be useful to at least one person.


So...as many of you know I organized the GB for the AS SSK a few weeks ago. I got myself the 30% reduction kit and picked up some Rogue Engineering transmission mounts to go along with it. I won't really go into too much detail about what the kit is like for the simple reason that every review you'll read out there says exactly what I think - this kit is absolutely spectacular. Makes me wonder why the car couldn't come with something this good from the factory.

I organized the GB through Ronald at AS and he made himself available pretty much at all times. That being said, Ronald - I won't lie, I cursed both you and AS a few times during the install :-) So let's get on with it.



First of all, Mad Russian's install guide is stellar. I had printed directions to have under the car as well as a laptop available to open pictures that I wanted to refer to. Let me say this up front and immediately - without a lift I very seriously do not know how (let alone if) I would attempt this install. The disassembly is pretty straight forward - and to be honest, one doesn't necessarily need to be an 'experienced' wrench to complete this. Just have the time, tools, space, and patience. That being said, the space that you have to operate in is already small if the car is on a lift; I couldn't imagine how it would be if the car were just on jack stands.

Overall the install was spread across two days for a combined (are you sitting down?)...14 hours. 6.5 of those hours were spent entirely on the carrier alignment for the retainer pin. Here's what worked for me:

First, I laid completely under the car, and put both of my hands up and around the transmission. I pushed the carrier bushing into the saddle with quite a bit of force. This step took 3 minutes. The next 6 hours and 27 minutes were spent aligning the bushing for the pin. Granted, the first 4 or so were done blind so let me make this recommendation - get one of the dentist-like mirrors that you can use to see the alignment of the bushing.

Funny enough, myself and forum member kmfurdm spent literally most of our time during the install trying to align this damn thing. Forum member Obioban showed up and used a little bit of what we refer to as BFI (blunt force ingenuity) and had the pin through in less than 5 minutes . He said that the holes were 99% lined up, he just did the last 1%. Not going to lie, I was a little bitter about this since I was the one who had put in the wrench time to get it where it was then he completed it (regardless - thank you very much, Ian). I really don't know exactly what he did to get it through, so Ian, if you read this, can you weigh in on what you did to get the pin through (finally)?

Note for those doing the install: the clearance between the pin and the bushing is literally zero. You will NEED to have everything aligned absolutely perfectly. That said, once it IS aligned, the pin slides through with pretty minimal effort.

From there, the shifter assembly is incredibly straight forward and exactly the opposite of what you did to take things apart.



Interesting notes and pictures...

First, I have the Borla v2 Mid pipes and have had it on the car for less than 18,000 miles. When removing the midpipe I found that my exhaust gaskets were..well...see for yourself (new vs old)..

Gasket one (old vs. new)



Gasket 2 (old vs new)



Old left, new right:




so what does this tell me? Well, for starters, you may want to get some new gaskets just in case. Mine were 20 bucks from the dealer. Secondly, this made the removal of these pipes incredibly difficult as these gaskets had pretty much melded themselves to the pipes. Spent about 2 hours with the removal.


Also, the guibo is readily available for replacement while you're under here. Wish I would have known this as mine is clearly in need of replacement!!



A view you're going to get used to:




The absolute worst part of the entire install. note the lack of room - this is what makes it most difficult (and most painful on my hands):



Finally, everything done from the bottom:





Let me say this - the improvement felt by the new transmission mounts is NEARLY as impressive as the kit itself, so don't be stingy, do these as well!


overall, I'd say that this is a difficult to significantly difficult mod to DIY depending on your access to a lift and various tools.



Hope this was useful to some. Feel free to ask any questions. For what it's worth, I'll be helping forum member kmfurdm with his install in a few weeks. We'll see if doing a second install is quicker than a first....
Additional pic explaining the difficult part of the install:



Ended up putting the AA shift knob on the car for a while. I think it looked great but it would get lava hot in the summer and sub zero in the winter. just wasn't for me.



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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 12:50:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

That same summer while I was traveling for work I found a very random posting on another forum which mentioned they had a photographer friend in town for the summer and he was looking to build out his portfolio at no cost.

I hit the guy up and we set up a date in August when me and some fellow M buddies would get some group shots down in Cape May, New Jersey.

Here are few of the highlights.

Here are few of the highlights.












If you're interested in seeing the whole set, here you go:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1082097...7625040003374/

Also attended a huge charity meet for Make A Wish Foundation that summer. Randomly found this picture of my car which I love..



Also got spotted leaving the Red Bull Flugtag event...



Summer wore out; fall came in. Time for foliage pics.









Had just put JVT headers on the car (and gone catless) so set up my new video camera to see how the car sounded:



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Old Sat, Jun-28-2014, 03:06:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 M3 Journal

As the car is a 2001, the interior had started showing its age. I decided a refresh was in order.

I started with the most functional item in the cockpit - the pedals. I still don't know how BMW can sell the pedals that were on my car as 'sport' or 'anti-slip' as I could absolutely count on my foot sliding off the clutch if either was wet. No bueno.

I picked up a full set of racing pedals from Turner Motorsports. The clutch and brake are both cut with these heavy (and sharp!) serrations so there's NO way my foot is ever sliding off those things.

Here are the pedals:



Finally, I kept the interior upgrade going by replacing my entire center console including: console, cup holder, coin holder, shift boot, arm rest, shift knob. Nothing really expensive by itself but all in all I thought the refreshed look really made the car feel new(er)... with the exception of the steering wheel.. which I'll get to later.



Me and a few friends decided to take the annual 'spring is here so lets go drive somewhere cool' drive through Bear Mountain State Park in New York. Pics and vids can do the rest:









And here's a video I put together of the drive...

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Discussing Vox's Voyage - 2001 E46 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)