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      06-18-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
dxb335d
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Talking E46 M3 review (nearly) 6 months in..

Hi Guys & Girls,

I thought I'd give some feedback as to what I think of the M3 so far.

I decided to do this, a month or so early due to having just had a lovely (local) country drive this afternoon.

The M3 ever since the E46 version came out was always a benchmark car for me.. A car that all others were measured against, not least my previous re-mapped 335d.

I can see why I (& many others) consider it as a benchmark car. Its just a everyday, very useable FAST Sports/High Performance vehicle without a doubt.

The looks:

Even after all these years that lovely looking highly enhanced E46 body looks fantastic in any lighting conditons. The bolstered chunky arches only hinting at the ultimate pace setting performance underneath that bonnet bulge. The 4 subtle exhausts poking menacingly from the rear giving even non car enthusiasts an idea of what the car is all about

I still think the 19" diamond cut rims suit the car soooo much. I really do love them. I get admiring glances from young and old alike. It is a very special looking car. Wears its age well.

The Performance:

The performance, coming from the tuned 335d at first does feel lacking, its lacking that explosive shove from the bottom end which the 335d is so well endowed with.

Right away it feels more conected to the road than the 335d coupe. The steering far more direct, the body roll far less pronounced. It feels ''Ready'' for a complete and utter tarmac terrorising session..... all the time

You soon realise, this car is not that quick untill you really are hard on it. There is just one gradual linear pulling sensation from 2k all the way to the heady 8k redline. But its a steady build up, which really does start to come on-song at 5k.. In reality anything below this is no good for fast road driving.

When I got it, I was telling anyone who asked, that it was definitely not as fast as the mapped 335d, it didn't pull as hard and didn't ''feel'' as quick. I mean of course it isn't... I raced so many at Santa Pod and BEAT THEM ALL in the denzil NEVER GOT troubled on the road...

I raced many E46 M3 when I had my denzil, they always seem to do 13.7-14.0 1/4mile times with 102-104mph

So I thought it was my turn to go up Santa Pod and have some fun, I went early may. My father in tow in his M5 touring and my cousin in his chipped 1.9diesel punto.

There were many cars there, and funnily enough a tuned 335d. A perfect car for me to race Just like the old days but this time Im in the M3....


I had not dragged raced since 2009 in the 335d, so I was well out the game and having only done a handful of practise starts with the M3 on a side road was thinking I was ready................................. TO BE DISAPPOINTED no doubt...

The M3 didn't let me down, I had what felt a good launch, stormed up the strip leaving the re-mapped 335d (drag racer virgin) standing.

Came back into be told by my father than I had done a 13.3@106.5mph...

13.3@106.5mph and I hit the limiter in 3rd just for a split second. Time to analyse the slip..

I had managed a 2.1 60ft, not bad for a first run in nearly 3 years in my book, in a manual M3, but definitely room for improvement. the 13.3@106.5 with a clip of the limiter makes me think I could have hit 108mph if I had not just hit the fuel cut off.

The run indicating a good 0-60mph in 4.8 and 0-100 in just under 11.5 sec.

Time to get that 60ft down to 1.9 and smash a 13.0 or quicker in a Completely STOCK M3... Man these things are not meant to be this fast are they?!?!


Rain halts proceedings, and I left with just one run under my belt. CHUFFED to bits really and now know the E46 M3 IS A FAST car when driven properly.

Its a car that is required to be ''ragged'' as it were to maximise its performance.

I am now aiming for a 13.0 in a standard M3 before I start to modify her as it were


Since Ive had it, I have changed pads all round (Thanks to MattOZ) and oil and filter change. Rear trailing arm bushes needed doing also.

It is a special place to sit, the seats fantastically supported and with the toys like Sat-Nav/TV and HK stereo a nice place to be even on long journeys.

I'd reccomend one to anybody who is considering a performance car. It feels far more planted then my previous 335d (which handled well) when pressing on and has a air of ''Presence on the road''..

Hope you liked my little review.

Lotsa love

Fandango!

Here is some pics!!










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Last edited by dxb335d; 06-18-2012 at 11:13 AM.
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      06-18-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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Stop it Carl, you'll make me regret going from an M3 to a 335d!

You've summed it up pretty well, and it sounds like you've got a good 'un. They can vary in power output. Did you do a lot of searching to find the right one?

It's the handling & road holding I miss the most - gives you so much confidence.

I've watched a supercharged E46 M3 at the Pod at BMW day a couple of years back. Not as quick as you might expect, about 13s / 110 if i remember correctly.

How do you find the LSD, or did you have it on your 335d? I know you got good 60' times in it. Is it a keeper or will you get that itch that needs scratching again soon - bit hard to know what to replace it with tho, for sensible money!
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      06-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mustard3 View Post
Stop it Carl, you'll make me regret going from an M3 to a 335d!

You've summed it up pretty well, and it sounds like you've got a good 'un. They can vary in power output. Did you do a lot of searching to find the right one?

It's the handling & road holding I miss the most - gives you so much confidence.

I've watched a supercharged E46 M3 at the Pod at BMW day a couple of years back. Not as quick as you might expect, about 13s / 110 if i remember correctly.

How do you find the LSD, or did you have it on your 335d? I know you got good 60' times in it. Is it a keeper or will you get that itch that needs scratching again soon - bit hard to know what to replace it with tho, for sensible money!

Mustard mate, thats one thing I forgot to mention but really did want to..

The LSD is superb. I did not have one in the 335d, but did enjoy my sideways action.

Its just so much easier in the M3, so predictable... So easily to control. It feels so more stable when going sideways, and does not bite like the 335d used to. The 335d would sometimes spin one wheel or both together, then unless you were really careful it would bite.

The M3 goes sideways as if its natural. minimal body movement, and can be balanced so well on the throttle.

I did a lot of research mate yes, but that does not garauntee you a strong engine.

I fall in love with my cars mate, I don't change often. I had the 335d for nearly 3 years. The 318is coupe before that for 3 years.

I think Ill keep this a while, if not try keep it forever and use it just a track toy in a few years.


That SC M3 you saw must have had a pony driver.
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      06-19-2012, 12:59 AM   #4
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Great little review there Carlost. I have always liked the E46 M3, it just doesn't look dated to me. There are some bargains out there too. I came close to getting one a couple of years back, a silver cab. It would definately appear on my wanted list if I had the space and money to run half a dozen cars. A sapphire black cab with red or kiwi leather.
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      06-19-2012, 01:25 AM   #5
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Nice review CANT!
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      06-19-2012, 01:55 AM   #6
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Shut up Carl. The last thing i need is more people chasing them...
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      06-19-2012, 03:25 AM   #7
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Nice write up Carl! You sure you didn't get palmnuts to do it for you??

Lovely car and glad its making you happy!
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      06-19-2012, 04:21 AM   #8
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Interesting review mate, and nicely articulated.
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      06-19-2012, 04:56 AM   #9
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Good read.

I have a love hate relationship with the e46 M3. I viewed it as a benchmark much like yourself. Around the start of the recession they dropped massively in price and a few fell into the wrong hands so I started seeing the odd chavved up examples of rougher ones that had been sold cheap(ish). It seems those folk have moved on now and it's a proper enthusiasts car now. There's nothing better than seeing a well looked after, original example like yours.

I came very close to buying one recently when i bought the Z, the pics of yours make me wish I had. In the end I wanted a soft top and I read too many negative owner reviews of the E46 M3 cab to go that route.

I still have an itch I'm going to have to scratch one day.
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      06-19-2012, 06:44 AM   #10
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Nice review. Apart from the low down grunt, is there anything else you miss from the d?

I've thought about an E46 M3 but not sure if I'd be happy with the slightly older looking dash and interior. I have a friend who has a E46 325i and preferred my interior. I wasn't keen on the cup holders for example. I know this sounds fussy but it's what you see the most of the car.

Total BMW had a review about buying one, saying they're £6k bargains (although they say to spend about £10k) but what they did say is to avoid red lining them?

I think finding an un-abused example could well turn in to a full time job in its self these days.
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      06-19-2012, 06:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbin
Nice write up Carl! You sure you didn't get palmnuts to do it for you??

Lovely car and glad its making you happy!
It would've contained a paragraph about negotiations if palmnuts had written it
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      06-19-2012, 06:46 AM   #12
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...holy double post Batman. Thanks app.

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      06-19-2012, 06:54 AM   #13
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Thanks for the write-up Carlos, good to hear the love story is continuing.

Like Pete, I've nearly bought an M3 Cab on a few occassions, but never taken the plunge but it certainly is still a highly desireable car even after all these years.
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      06-19-2012, 08:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Bear_Yid View Post
It would've contained a paragraph about negotiations if palmnuts had written it
And would have been edited a day later to say he'd chopped it in for something else.
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      06-19-2012, 08:23 AM   #15
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And would have been edited a day later to say he'd chopped it in for something else.
True, true.....but it was a bit too factual for Mr Fandango.....
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      06-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #16
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They are a very nice car. Good write up.

This is the one I was looking after while my mate was on his honeymoon

http://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/showthread.php?t=55805
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      06-19-2012, 10:26 AM   #17
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Nice write up, and lovely car too.
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      06-19-2012, 10:29 AM   #18
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Good skills Carlos - great write-up.
Your car looks great and it sounds like you've got a good one - what are your mod plans?
I look at CSL's almost daily; if for any reason I got out of the C63 then I'd be seriously tempted to take the plunge.
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      06-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #19
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Great write-up DXB. Very nice car indeed - I love the E46 M3.
However, I cant help thinking that you are "short changed" with this engine with not having so much low down grunt. I dont doubt its a fantastic engine and a quick car, but driving it normally gives me the impression its just like driving a 2.0 engine until you floor it and all hell lets lose as opposed to "value for money" high torque engines where you get the power all through the rev range..(Im only talking metaphorically speaking here - not real cash )
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      06-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterg1965 View Post
Great little review there Carlost. I have always liked the E46 M3, it just doesn't look dated to me. There are some bargains out there too. I came close to getting one a couple of years back, a silver cab. It would definately appear on my wanted list if I had the space and money to run half a dozen cars. A sapphire black cab with red or kiwi leather.
Cheers Petay!!! I personally couldn't do the ''drop top'' version, 1.5 seconds slower to 100mph puts it in standard 335d territory LOL..

I agree, it does not look dated. It must look pretty special by the amount of looks it gets.


Quote:
Originally Posted by willhollin View Post
Nice review CANT!
Cheers Homo


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyrado View Post
Shut up Carl. The last thing i need is more people chasing them...
HAHA LOL, don't worry mate you will find the ''Right'' one!! You will love it


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbin View Post
Nice write up Carl! You sure you didn't get palmnuts to do it for you??

Lovely car and glad its making you happy!

Cheers, Yeah thanks palmnuts!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyprio View Post
Interesting review mate, and nicely articulated.

Cheers Dudey!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Bear_Yid View Post
Nice review. Apart from the low down grunt, is there anything else you miss from the d?

I've thought about an E46 M3 but not sure if I'd be happy with the slightly older looking dash and interior. I have a friend who has a E46 325i and preferred my interior. I wasn't keen on the cup holders for example. I know this sounds fussy but it's what you see the most of the car.

Total BMW had a review about buying one, saying they're £6k bargains (although they say to spend about £10k) but what they did say is to avoid red lining them?

I think finding an un-abused example could well turn in to a full time job in its self these days.
I am a boost junkie, so I do miss the ''Shove'' from the Epic D, but thats all I really miss. It was a great car when new. But now it would be 5 years old itself.

Funny you should mention the dash and interior. In my opinion its far stylish than the newer interiors. I love the Dash curve myself, it does feel like your in a sports car what with the vents, Sat-Nav/TV & all controls facing the pilot. Mine does not have cup holders.


6K M3's currently are not worth a wank. They are piss poor with little history, lots of owners and many things in need of repair.

10k can get you a nice car for sure. Never heard anything about not red-lining them?! They make maximum power at 8k, shift any less and you will lose some ponies. I take mine to the MAX baby!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerxp View Post
Thanks for the write-up Carlos, good to hear the love story is continuing.

Like Pete, I've nearly bought an M3 Cab on a few occassions, but never taken the plunge but it certainly is still a highly desireable car even after all these years.
Yeah mate, As-long as you don't mind driving em hard, they are very rewarding!!
The RASP must sound ace in a cab!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbin View Post
True, true.....but it was a bit too factual for Mr Fandango.....
Too factual? Everything I say is factual. Did you mean something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich1068 View Post
They are a very nice car. Good write up.

This is the one I was looking after while my mate was on his honeymoon

http://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/showthread.php?t=55805

Cheers Rich!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Awfully_Polite View Post
Nice write up, and lovely car too.
Cheers AP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheps View Post
Good skills Carlos - great write-up.
Your car looks great and it sounds like you've got a good one - what are your mod plans?
I look at CSL's almost daily; if for any reason I got out of the C63 then I'd be seriously tempted to take the plunge.
Thanks Si, in regards to mod plans, I REALLY AIN'T sure. I think the car looks great as it is. Needs a slight drop, but I will not do just springs and coilovers is a waste of a 1k in my opinion.

Re-map maybe, also exhaust?

CSL's are the nuts, 30k for a good one!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dopper99 View Post
Great write-up DXB. Very nice car indeed - I love the E46 M3.
However, I cant help thinking that you are "short changed" with this engine with not having so much low down grunt. I don’t doubt it’s a fantastic engine and a quick car, but driving it normally gives me the impression its just like driving a 2.0 engine until you floor it and all hell lets lose as opposed to "value for money" high torque engines where you get the power all through the rev range…..(I’m only talking metaphorically speaking here - not real cash )

Your right mate, it is very placid at low speed. But it also ''feels'' so much like a sports car. It feels like it has so much in waiting..

It does not drive quite like a V-tec, it is all top end heavy yes... but its so linear and progressive in its build up. You can really lean on that long rev-range if you wanted to. If being lazy from tight turns leave it third and it will pull from 2k-8k constantly building like a Crescendo which is fun... For flat out denzil beating performance it does need to be ''Worked'' hard, drop into its 5-8k band and its power delivery is electrifying!!!!

I mean at 60mph cruising on a D/C you really need to drop to at least 3rd.. Or even 2nd if your just under 60mph for instant acceleration.

0-100mph in low 11's ain't to be sniffed at


Going back to the every day town driving. You do feel like your driving a proper performance car. It is RAW, far rawer than my E92 335D. It feels like a restrained animal in BMW disguise.. Not as refined as a NON M Bmw at all.

I just hope you can unerstand what I mean.

Its not just the 340HP and acceleration, its the ///M LSD diff, the way it puts the power down, the effortless controllable slides. (Doesn't eat tyres either). Turn up the wick and its a very quick A-B car for sure.
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      06-19-2012, 03:50 PM   #21
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Well I'm sold lol.

Just getting back to that red line comment. I re-read the article and it wasn't as bad as I remembered but it just said avoid red lining it and with regular oil services (every 5k) and it'll see 150-200k miles.
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      06-20-2012, 03:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Well I'm sold lol.

Just getting back to that red line comment. I re-read the article and it wasn't as bad as I remembered but it just said avoid red lining it and with regular oil services (every 5k) and it'll see 150-200k miles.
Went out this morning and the redline is after 8k the fuel cut comes in approx 8100-8200.

I am doing oil changes between BMW services myself just as it seems logical to me. I don't like 12-14k between services.

On an American forum there are M3's with 180+k still doing track work Lol.
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