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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 Sat, Jan-09-2016, 09:16:58 PM   #1
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Default Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3



I've been a member of the forum for years under a couple of usernames but primarily focused on learning about the fabulous E46 M3 and I thought I'd share my story and some details about my car.

I'm the lucky original owner of an '01 M3 that I bought new in May of that year. My car is Jet Black with Imola red interior, sunroof :-(, HK system, cold weather package and xenon lights.

This is my daily driver and only driven in the winter for 2 years when my daughter needed my spare car, with 4 snows on 17" wheels and with a full tank of gas and the traction nannies off - it's an awesome winter car.

Around 6 years ago I completed my first track event - I was hooked and I began to really appreciate just how special these cars can be!

I've slowly modified my car over the years (UUC clutch stop was first purchase within 6 months of ownership) with a goal of keeping the looks what I'll call OEM+. Typically when things have worn out I've upgraded components to those that I thought would improve the drivers feel of the car without loosing too much civility - I've made a few mistakes along the way and I thought I'd share my story, my future vision for the car and document and share real time as my car continues to evolve.

Here's a couple of pics of my F10 M5 shifter - the insert on the top of the stock shifter popped off and decided to do the upgrade. Like the feel of the shorter shifter and the heavier knob. Still in love with the Imola interior - looks great after all these years especially with the Jet Black. :-)


Last edited by 01M3Fan; Mon, Jan-11-2016 at 01:37:40 AM.
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Old Sat, Jan-09-2016, 09:23:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

Car has been very reliable, overall with typical problems others have encountered

Intermittent misfiring at 90 K miles solved by replacing all coil packs, found my coils had TSB but I was well outside extended warranty window

Had some issues with brakes and spongy brake pedal. First problem was I could not get my ECU to go into ABS bleed mode to purge system - Dealer, TMS and Independent BMW master mechanic could establish external communications with ABS unit. Puzzling even with lack of communication, ABS and DSC worked and no codes.... Solved by buying used ABS pump & memory for ridiculously short money from Pam Auto recyclers in North Dakota (or somewhere close), unit has lifetime guarantee and when I swapped electronics GT1 could talk with ABS unit - hurray!

Unfortunately that was not all of the problem... So I then changed master cylinder and then still no real improvement. Then, and in retrospect I should have done this first, searched this forum and I was able to piece together brake pads had a very real affect on initial brake "bite" and pedal feel. So off came the metal masters and on went the Performance Friction Z rated pads and all was right with the world! I'm sure the OEM pads would have the best overall bite for the street, but by this point I was tracking my car and wanted more fade resistance.

Had some clunking in the rear end of the car that I eventually tracked down to be torn unibody at the rear subframe mount points. I had Turner Motorsports, who are 20 mins away and awesome, do the weld repair and install their strengthening plates - while they were in there install 4.10 diff with REM polished gears, new guibo and new subframe bushings.

Biggest issue which was traumatic for me, more emotionally than financially (fortunately) was rod bearings. I'm an Engineer at a jet engine manufacturer so I am pretty good at knowing how to break-in an engine and I drive my car hard - but never until it's fully warmed and I have short, 5K, oil change interval. That being said - I dragged my feet on having local dealer do bearing recall (who knows what his training has been). Long story short - 18 months after the recall, my engine blows up (spun a rod), piston and valves meet and sadness... Then my local Service advisor after seeing my stack of maintenance records, puts on his tights and cape and comes to the rescue and BMW buys and installs a new long block as a goodwill warranty so now here I am with an 15 year old car with 120K miles on the chassis and now 35K miles on my engine - happiness is! :-)
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 03:23:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

Here's my updated list of my current (3/16) mods for my M3:
AS Ultimate SSK - 30% reduction
UUC Clutch Stop
BMW F10 M5 lighted shift knob
UUC transmission mounts with Enforcer Cups
MCS 2WNR Coil Overs
550# front springs/650# rear springs
Vorshlag race front camber plates
Vorshlag uniball RSM's, studs removed and drilled out to use top nutplate from TC Kline RSM's
TMS Front upper stress bar
TMS adjustable rear lower control arms w/rubber isolators
TMS aluminum pedal set
TMS floating brake caliper bushing kit
TMS SS brake lines
TMS M3 sway bars 30mm F/25mm R
TMS adj rear sway bar links
TMS Power Pulleys
TMS subframe reinforcements
TMS aluminum rear subframe bushings
TMS 12.5 mm rear wheel spacers
TMS race wheel studs 75mm F/90mm R
TMS black oxide lug nuts
E92 M3 motor mounts
Powerflex aluminum/poly FCAB
Bimmerworld spherical bearing RTAB
Ground Control adjustable front sway bar links
CSL brake Upgrade
- CSL rotors, drilled, floating
- PF Z-Rated pads (street)
- PF 008 pads (track)
- F&R brake dust shields deleted
- Motul 600 RBF
Spenco air intake boot
Evolve Tune
- cold start delete
- SMG shift lights
- EGR delete
- 8,100 RPM redline
- speed limiter removed
- sport button memory enabled
- Tune for euro headers - turn down aft O2, turn off EGT
EGR Valve blank off plate
BMW Euro M3 headers with second set of O2 bungs welded in
Status Gruppe SCZA muffler
US Section 1 exhaust (i.e. No cats)
AR20 resonator welded in Section 1 in parallel with factory resonator
4:10 Diff w/stock LSD
Apex 18x9.5" ET35 wheels F&R
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Super Sports
Redline Fluids
- D4 ATF transmission fluid
- 75W/140 Differential fluid
- 10W/60 Engine Oil
- Water Wetter

Alignment Settings:
Front -2.5 degrees camber, 0.05 degrees toe in (street)
Rear -1.5 degrees camber, 0.1 degrees toe in (street)
Add in -1 degrees camber F/R for the track - no changes to toe (ends up being ~ zero toe in up front @ -3.5 degrees camber)

My PM Schedule:
Oil changes every 5K miles
Brake fluid flush every other track day (est 3 changes/yr)
Cooling system zero timed at 90K miles
Coolant changed every 30K miles
Transmission & Diff fluid changed annually
Caliper bushings cleaned & lubed after every event
Tires rotated after every event

Last edited by 01M3Fan; Thu, Mar-10-2016 at 09:59:41 PM.
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 03:28:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

What I would have done differently...

CSL Brake upgrade - I should have bit the bullet and just made the jump to Brembo's. The biggest bang for the buck w/stock system IMO is going with PF front rotors and good pads, but if your going to upgrade - go all the way.

Powerflex FCAB bushings - went through two sets, right hand bushing always failed due to heat load from header when tracked



I then talked with the guys at Bimmerworld and I upgraded everything to the newer powerflex FCAB's with aluminum housing.



So far, 2 years and so good. I plan to tear those down, inspect and re-lube this winter so will report findings.

3/16 UPDATE - everything looks good, some wear on Aluminum housing - some of the anodize has worn off. Re-lubed and now will do this annually and watch to see if wear pattern grows.

Another surprise I found when trying to sort out the squirmy front end.


Last edited by 01M3Fan; Thu, Mar-10-2016 at 10:02:43 PM.
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 03:41:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

I pulled the US headers out and installed a set of the Euro headers. Went with Evolve tune and I modified the Euro headers to weld in another set of O2 bungs so I could install the rear sensors.

First peak at the bundle of snakes.


Here's a picture of the porkers next to the Euro headers ready to go back in.



I stayed with the US section 1 and the car had a ton of rasp, great power - but wow, when combined with the shorter 4.10 gears the car really howls on the highway when you get on it...
So for my birthday/fathers day last year I removed the stock muffler (what a beast!) and installed a Status Gruppe Scorza muffler. Sounds glorious and I lost 25# or so on the car!!



Sound is unreal on the track - love it, but after daily driving it for a year - I'm planning to weld in a set of AR20 resonators and a pair of Magnaflow 200 cell metallic race cats to see if I can tame the rasp and quiet things down a bit.

Changed my plan - welding in one AR20 resonator in parallel with factory resonator. Longer team will look to go to Supersprint setup, so trying to minimize expenses on this setup.

Last edited by 01M3Fan; Thu, Mar-10-2016 at 10:04:31 PM.
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 03:47:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

A few of my favorite track pics:

Infield at Thompson Speedway:


Back straight at Lime Rock during a rainy track day:



Car loaded up in a slow right hander at Palmer Motorsports Park - wow, what a track!! So much fun!! Still kind of primative facilities, but if they can keep the finances in order and finish the details around the track - it'll definately be one of the "bucket list" tracks to go to in the US!



Palmer track map


Last edited by 01M3Fan; Mon, Jan-11-2016 at 01:44:18 AM.
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 04:02:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

So my Christmas Present to myself - a set of MCS 2WNR coil overs courtesy of Mr. Wolfe. :-) Can't wait to install!!




I plan to get the car up on jack stands this winter and pull rear subframe, inspect the chassis and condition of the TMS strengthening plates. Also install TMS Aluminum rear subframe bushings and while I have the exhaust on the ground - weld in the AR20's and a set of race cats to tone down the rasp and the stink. I'll post some pics as I work through that project.

Also plan to pull fuel injectors and get those rebuilt - I haven't checked in a while, but previously when I looked I couldn't find any DIY's, so that might also be a project for me to document as well.

Last edited by 01M3Fan; Mon, Jan-11-2016 at 01:45:27 AM.
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 04:46:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

Cleaned up after last track day - time to put away for the winter. :-(


Last edited by 01M3Fan; Mon, Jan-11-2016 at 01:45:58 AM.
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 05:55:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

Nice build Dan. How did you like Thompson Speedway? I didn't know they had a road course!! Crazy how many tracks are available now in the north east.
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Old Sun, Jan-10-2016, 05:57:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dan's Dual Duty E46 M3

Oh and for some reason your pics doing work for me, I just get a error pic.
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Discussing Dan's Dual Duty E46 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)