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I put money where my mouth is: I'm an E46 M3 owner.

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    I put money where my mouth is: I'm an E46 M3 owner.

    As you've all mostly witnessed, my presence in this forum has been a polarizing topic, and I can understand why.

    I've put money where my mouth is - yet I did it for my personal pleasure first and foremost.

    Here's why.
    -----
    Truthfully, I have always wanted an E46 M3.

    Back when I was shopping for an M car in 2012, my sights were set on a 2005 ZCP Alpine White - but the SMG had turned me off entirely from the car. The alternative car I could get my hands on was a IB 2005 ZCP but it had had major accidents and repairs. I instead jumped into a 2009 E92 M3 with a warranty, and haven't looked back since, or so I thought.

    As many of you know, I have been pushing my E92 M3 build to the limits of my original goals, and it will be completed over the winter. My recently added E60 M5 is a much more limited build due to the nature of the car, focusing on FBO, a complete color change and a carbon roof panel.

    I grew up with the E60 M5 as my dream car, and the E92 M3 made me drool as a young 20 something whenever I'd hear one passing by, listening to its unique exhaust note reverberating against downtown high risers.

    The E46 always felt like my older cousins' dream car, a Generation X poster car. It had presence for sure, but its exhaust note also sounded wonky to me. I was also told it was a car you needed to drive to understand.

    And you were all right.

    ------
    My Phoenix M3

    I'm incredibly excited to present my new to me E46 M3 2003 bolted to a 6 speed manual, strapped with a VF Supercharged and finished in Phoenix Yellow Metallic with an M-Tech black leather & cloth interior.

    The bad:
    The car needs some TLC. The paint was refreshed, and it wasn't wet sanded and polished. It has orange peel like a new Ford Mustang. r
    The car has ugly (to me) 19" Breyer wheels fitted with low rent tires.
    The interior needs a few parts replacement to bring it up to mint spec.

    The good:
    The car is mechanically very well maintained.
    It recently had over 3,000$ in miscellaneous parts, bushings and other small things changed.
    It had the subframe fully reinforced.

    My Initial Driving Impression

    These cars are incredibly hyped in aftermarket communities, yet as an outsider to E46 M3 ownership - I was often left puzzled. Some cold truths: the car doesn't sound good, it revs less than an S65/85, it isn't that light - it never really looked anything special as a driving experience - and that's the irony.

    How can you tell unless you've driven one?

    The second I started her up, I was already laughing. It is fitted with a lightweight flywheel and a sport clutch. It's a workout, and I loved it. It's absolutely amazing in gear, the throttle response is zap zap. It really only makes weird noises at idle with the clutch out. I can live with this as a weekender, but I would never daily something like this.

    The second I hit the curved backroads leaving the previous owner's house - it all became clear.

    The Front End
    The front end of the E46 M3 is above and beyond the E9X M3 - all thing being equal in stock form. It is communicative, precise, and has no dead space on center. It felt like a go cart in comparison.

    The Speed
    This S54 has a VF Supercharger, by all accounts we're pretty sure it's a stage 1. It probably puts down 390whp and 330wtq - very much in line with my E92 M3 Stage 2. It felt incredibly similar in terms of straight line speed - and that was further validated as I tried, and failed chasing my friend driving my stock E60 M5. I simply couldn't keep up.

    This does leave me worried about what a stock S54 may feel like - though the SC'ed S54 has zero engine sound, and I didn't buy an E46 for speed, I bought it for backroad fun and an undiluted driving experience.

    My Future Plans
    I'll be starting off with the basics: light restoration. The car needs a complete wet sand and polish, and replacement of some interior trims. We'll be removing the SC and have already secured a set of stock 18s to hold off until Winter.

    My Winter goals will be to build a CSL light. I've been working to source 1:1 CSL Front bumpers, diffusers, trunks, center console - and of course, a CSL airbox. I'm also already in chats to do a reimagined CSL wheel in 1 piece monoblock forged wheel at proper pricing.

    The roof might be a bridge too far at this current time - but never say never.

    I'll be updating my Build Journal on this here, and at EuroConnex.co - I'm hopeful that owning an E46 M3 will also further help in sourcing more rare parts for our cars, and push brands to develop products that we want.

    Feel free to provide insights, feedbacks and some do and donts I should be aware of it!

    Cheers.

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    Attached Files
    Last edited by Epoustouflant; 10-12-2021, 02:15 PM.
    Follow my build: Stripper FO E92 M3 ZCP DCT
    WE ARE A GLOBAL SOCIAL BUYING COMMUNITY OF BMW M OWNERS. WE DEAL FACTORY DIRECT.

    #2
    Congrats. Any interior shots? Is it Impulse cloth or m-texture?
    Last edited by Thoglan; 10-12-2021, 02:16 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Thoglan View Post
      Congrats. Any interior shots? Is it Impulse cloth or m-texture?
      I believe it's M-Texture, the doors and rear seats are M-Tech cloth, but the front seats are fully black leather. That's within normal specs?

      I'll take more shots Saturday!
      Follow my build: Stripper FO E92 M3 ZCP DCT
      WE ARE A GLOBAL SOCIAL BUYING COMMUNITY OF BMW M OWNERS. WE DEAL FACTORY DIRECT.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Epoustouflant View Post

        I believe it's M-Texture, the doors and rear seats are M-Tech cloth, but the front seats are fully black leather. That's within normal specs?

        I'll take more shots Saturday!
        M-texture and impulse are often confused because people incorrectly call impulse m cloth or m tech. M-texture is a perforated alcantara layer overtop of a plaid m colour cloth, while impulse is a more traditional single layer cloth.

        Front seats should be m-texture as well. Perhaps they were replaced with black leather at some point, or it is meant to be black leather and a few m-texture pieces were swapped in? Easy to check the vin and see what it is meant to have.
        Either way PY on M-tex is an unusual and cool combo imo.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Thoglan View Post

          M-texture and impulse are often confused because people incorrectly call impulse m cloth or m tech. M-texture is a perforated alcantara layer overtop of a plaid m colour cloth, while impulse is a more traditional single layer cloth.

          Front seats should be m-texture as well. Perhaps they were replaced with black leather at some point, or it is meant to be black leather and a few m-texture pieces were swapped in? Easy to check the vin and see what it is meant to have.
          Either way PY on M-tex is an unusual and cool combo imo.
          Yep, we'll get the VIN and options looked at the dealership next week.
          Follow my build: Stripper FO E92 M3 ZCP DCT
          WE ARE A GLOBAL SOCIAL BUYING COMMUNITY OF BMW M OWNERS. WE DEAL FACTORY DIRECT.

          Comment


            #6
            Well I guess everyone knows where that EuroConnex money is going 🤑

            And now you know why the E46 is even more fun than the E9x. 👌
            Last edited by EthanolTurbo; 10-12-2021, 03:11 PM.
            Topaz Blue E46 M3 6MT
            Sapphire Black Metallic E60 M5 6MT
            Lemans Blue E90 335d
            Lemans Blue E92 335i 6MT

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by EthanolTurbo View Post
              Well I guess everyone knows where that EuroConnex money is going 🤑

              And now you know why the E46 is even more fun than the E9x. 👌
              I wish ahah, this came out of the piggy bank.

              It's a very different thing. The E9X is a surgical tool, the E46 is something else. I'll find the proper words soon enough.
              Follow my build: Stripper FO E92 M3 ZCP DCT
              WE ARE A GLOBAL SOCIAL BUYING COMMUNITY OF BMW M OWNERS. WE DEAL FACTORY DIRECT.

              Comment


                #8
                Very cool to see! Excited to watch the build progress and will look forward to the content you post on this!

                Should certainly flush away at least some of the expressed reservations towards your presence on the forum...time will tell!
                2004 M3 6MT Coupe - Carbon Black / Black

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Epoustouflant View Post
                  ...Generation X poster car.
                  Check.....I'm fifty so early gen Xer who was a teenager of the eighties and all my dream cars were certain models within VW, Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. When the e46 m3 came out I definitely felt it to be the culmination of everything I wanted in a car even if I still couldn't quite justify the expense.

                  3.91 | CMP Subframe & RTAB Bushings | SMG (Relocated & Rebuilt) | ESS Gen 3 Supercharger | Redish | Beisan | GC Coilovers & ARCAs | Imola Interior | RE Rasp | RE Diablo | Storm Motorwerks Paddles | Will ZCPM3 Shift Knob | Apex ARC-8 19x9, 19x9.5 | Sony XAV-AX1000 | BAVSOUND | CSL & 255 SMG Upgrades | Tiag | Vert w/Hardtop

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Congrats. Looks great from here. Also looking forward to the build.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by keljos View Post
                      Very cool to see! Excited to watch the build progress and will look forward to the content you post on this!

                      Should certainly flush away at least some of the expressed reservations towards your presence on the forum...time will tell!
                      If you think about it, makes perfect business sense since he won't be losing money on it and he gets moderator blessings to continue commercial posting.

                      Congrats on the purchase and look forward to seeing your thoughts on comparing/contrasting the difference between the two.
                      2003.5 MT JB/B - CSL SCHRICK SUPERSPRINT EISENMANN JRZ SWIFT MILLWAY BREMBO ENDLESS BBS/SSR DREXLER SACHS RECARO SLON MKRS GSP DMG KARBONIUS CP AUTOSOLUTIONS KOYO

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Congrats! That car in that color in those photos this time of year... looks poster car perfect to me!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If this is a factory PY on M-texture it is 1/6 in the US/Canada

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by oceansize View Post

                            Check.....I'm fifty so early gen Xer who was a teenager of the eighties and all my dream cars were certain models within VW, Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. When the e46 m3 came out I definitely felt it to be the culmination of everything I wanted in a car even if I still couldn't quite justify the expense.
                            Indeed… another early GenXer and when I turned to the E46M it was a 4th “fun, shitzNgigglz car”… and it delivers that in spades… I have faster cars and collector cars, but this one brings a devil may care experience that those do not. It’s just fun to Fck around in.

                            Congrats on the buy, great color!!

                            maw

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Congrats man, happy to have you here! Excited to see what awesome products you can help bring to the community.

                              Comment

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