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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > Australia > E46 M3 - any advice?



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      06-16-2019, 09:31 PM   #1
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E46 M3 - any advice?

Currently considering taking on new toy. Specifically an E46 SMG convertible, around 100,000 km.
Has anyone had experience with these cars?
Should I avoid the SMG?
Can the SMG be cost effectively converted to a manual transmission when it goes?
Is it really going to become a money pit?
All constructive comments welcome.
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      06-17-2019, 04:09 PM   #2
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Check out the E46Fanatics Australia site. This topic has been covered many times there with lots of info.

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=48
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      06-19-2019, 07:49 AM   #3
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Recommendations are generally to avoid the SMG and pick up a 3 pedal manual if you want reliability.
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      06-19-2019, 04:29 PM   #4
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Manual conversions can be done. There was even a post by jalopnik with links to diy or the buys at brintech have a solution.


https://jalopnik.com/how-to-own-a-bm...t-t-1747802451
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      07-05-2019, 07:39 AM   #5
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Hey mate. Have had a few and still currently own some.
As mentioned, you really should steer towards manual.
Can advise if you want to pm me.
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      07-07-2019, 01:53 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. Think I've gone off the idea, although it's tempting to see the low prices of the SMG models.
I read up on the manual conversion, but where I live is too far away from knowledgeable mechanics to risk taking one on.
Actually I rather fancy the SMG models in preference to a manual.
What do you think is the life expectancy of an SMG box?
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      07-08-2019, 03:58 AM   #7
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I ran an SMG for a couple of years and found that it was due for a clutch/flywheel at about 90,000kms, but up until that point it never gave me any issues. I didn't have a problem living with the SMG system either. They are worth a look, just don't expect DCT quality shifts.
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      07-08-2019, 03:43 PM   #8
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If you do get one, one of the easiest and most common problem is the Salmon Relay. Just make sure you get a spare relay and always keep it in the glove box.
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      07-08-2019, 06:18 PM   #9
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Rear sub-frame cracks, make sure you get it checked out properly. They can be repaired but is costly.
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      07-10-2019, 07:45 AM   #10
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The SMG and manual are the same box. Just so you know. It's not a matter of life expectancy on the SMG box itself. It's the clutches and flywheel along with SMG pump. The pump is the most frequent thing to go. Be prepared for that. It doesn't last long at all. In some cases 20k less even. Depends on a range of factors.
SMG models are also more prone to POTENTIAL rear Subframe cracks..
Subframe inspection is advised. But it is a preventative maintenance issue unless it's been thrashed. I have seen manuals with 180k plus with zero sign of Subframe issues. Alot of its down to driving style, tracked etc.
Not to turn you of SMG you just need to be ahead of the maintenance protocols of the system. There are benefits Of the SMG and it's personal preference really. Just look for a service history or strong maintenance records.
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      07-11-2019, 02:55 AM   #11
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I was of the impression that the later model Z4s use a similar or same rear subframe. Is that true ?
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      07-11-2019, 07:20 AM   #12
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I believe that's the case with e46 in general. M3 I believe have a different rear Subframe mounting points to e46.
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      07-16-2019, 07:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM335M View Post
Rear sub-frame cracks, make sure you get it checked out properly. They can be repaired but is costly.
+1 this needs to be checked
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