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fullyflaredd's Street & Track Carbon Black E46 M3 Build

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    fullyflaredd's Street & Track Carbon Black E46 M3 Build

    Hello everyone, I've decided to document the build of my latest purchase from a forum member on here.

    A bit of background. I am a BMW fanatic, not the greatest with a wrench, but always happy to tackle a new challenge and learn along the way. I've owned an E30 M3, 4 E36 M3s, an E90 M3, a Z3 M coupe, and an E46 M3 (prior to this current one). I've also had a S2000 CR and an Elise. However I can't get away for my love of BMWs and I'm back in another E46. I am a bit of an impulsive person, and bought this car the day after it was posted because I was filled with regret after selling my S2000 CR so I needed to get another toy ASAP 😂. Probably wasn't the smartest decision, but smart financial decisions never make for fun ones.

    I purchased this car from a forum member because it had a good chunk of what I wanted to do already out the way. The big 3 were addressed, it has a CSL airbox + 280/272 cams, and SSv1 headers + 63.5mm section 1 + 2, 3.91 diff, and a few other goodies. However there are still quite a lot of things on the car that I'd like to change as it's not exactly to my liking.

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    First things first, wanted to get rid of the stock 19s. Found a good deal on the forums on a set of 18x10 ARC8 with 265/35/18 RE71R. Plan is to go to some 275 once these are worn out.

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    Next up, some Recaro Pole Position ABE in artificial leather / suede.

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    and some PCI mounts to go along with it.

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    Installed one seat in the car, however it isn't quite centered. Looks like I'm going to have to slot the bottom mounting points where the slide/side mount attaches so I can center the seat further.

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    Next I purchased an Aim Solo 2 and made a custom mount above the steering column. I am going to purchase a separate trim piece so that I can drill into it (it is currently double sided taped on) and am going to use a magnetic phone mount for easy removal and attachment. Click image for larger version  Name:	20210126_165710.jpg Views:	0 Size:	35.5 KB ID:	83553

    And a nice little size comparison pic before my Elise is sold.

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    Going to Buttonwillow this Friday and will have some better pics with an actual DSLR instead of my crappy phone pics.

    Waiting to go on - AKG DTM shifter, OMP steering wheel. Will also be ordering some nice 2 way coilovers and a BBK after setting some baseline times. Will update soon.

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    Last edited by fullyflaredd; 05-04-2021, 01:32 PM.

    Track day was awesome, however it was cut quite short as the car has a couple of issues that need sorting. First and foremost, the brakes are garbage. I somewhat anticipated this as I didn't have the time to swap out to race pads prior to the track day, but did not expect them to be so bad. Had zero confidence going late into corners.

    Also the car has developed a pretty nasty ticking noise. It sounds valvetrain related and I'll be pulling the valve cover off this week hopefully to dive deeper into it and resolve it.

    As for the brakes, I am between either the 996 kit, or the AP racing cp8350 kit from Essex. I'm leaning towards the AP kit simply because of the lack of rotor options aside from the drilled OEM rotors for the 996 kit. Essex also has a rear caliper kit that mates to the stock rear rotors, so if I were to decide to also do the rears, I could go that route in the future. The AP Racing kit is also significantly lighter than the 996 kit, and 14lbs lighter than stock, which is another factor that makes me lean towards it as I'd like to get this car as close to 3k lbs as possible. I have not had it corner balanced yet, but with its current mods I'd guess it's pretty close to 3200lbs. The next major weight savings are going to come from either a carbon roof or sunroof delete, and deleting the rear seats. Current weight savings are from the recaros, lithium battery, supersprint headers / section 1 and 2, and the wheels.

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    Last edited by fullyflaredd; 02-14-2021, 09:29 PM.


      So I had the car dropped off at a shop expecting to just need a valve adjustment, but the shop says the exhaust cam is worn and it catches when they run their fingernail through. I'm curious if this could actually be the cause of the ticking/tapping noise or if the shop is mistaken and it could be something else. Do worn cams make a ticking/tapping noise?

      The car has 280/272 cams, and the followers were not changed when they were installed, but they have 50k miles on them with those rockers so I'm not sure why the issue would present itself now. The shop also recommends pulling the head to go through to, but once again I'm a bit skeptical of having to do all of that as it has a Lang Racing stage 1 head with new valve guides and seals and so I don't think there is an issue with it.

      I'm curious as to what you guys might think. Unfortunately I did not have the foresight to take a video of the sound which would have probably been very helpful.


        I believe I found the culprit. I'm debating whether to replace a single follower and see if it resolves the noise, or whether I just bite the bullet and replace all 24. The rest seem to be in good shape. I may also have the exhaust camshaft measured by a shop to see if they recommend replacing it. For what it's worth, almost all the clearances were too tight, with the exception of the lobe pictured below which was too loose. I assume it was too loose because the rocker became flattened. I am somewhat irked that the shop where I dropped it off to diagnose and do the valve adjustment (reputable place mind you) had almost all the clearances too tight. I'm curious if perhaps they did the adjustment based on stock cams, even though I clearly mention to them I had Schrick cams. Regardless, that's not the root cause of the issue and the noise started happening prior to that, but I'll definitely make sure to let the shop know. I've never done anything as intricate on a car, so replacing the rockers will definitely be a fun learning experience for me. I've seen most vids and DIY articles on it, but any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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        Also since the car is just sitting for the time being, figured I'm going to order some detail supplies and do some paint correction. Pics incoming soon.
        Last edited by fullyflaredd; 03-21-2021, 02:18 AM.


          So decided to pull the cams and replace the rockers. Noticed two were flattened and worn pretty badly and I'm 99.9% sure that is the cause of the noise.

          However after removing the camshaft on the exhaust side, I pulled a bonehead move and dropped a shim down the only oil galley that didn't have a screen on it. Any ideas on how to fish it out minus resorting to pulling the pan? Going to try with a telescoping and flexible magnet, but I don't have high hopes 😢

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          This is the passage I dropped the shim through:

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          Last edited by fullyflaredd; 05-04-2021, 01:21 PM.


            That sucks to hear. Long flexible magnet is the only way I can think of retrieving it without pulling the pan. This thread might give you some hope/ideas:
            2002 Topasblau M3 - Coupe - 6MT - Karbonius CSL Airbox - MSS54HP Conversion - Kassel MAP - PCS Tune - AFD E85 - Beisan - AutoSolutions - Vibra-Technics - CMP - VinceBar - Koni - Eibach - BlueBus - Journal - Instagram


              Thanks for that thread! Definitely gives me some hope as I believe I dropped it down the same passage. However that piece is relatively long compared to a shim so maybe he had more luck due to that. Will update this thread on Wednesday once the flexible magnet arrives.


                Initially thought I got the magnet stuck as I was unable to yank it out. But kept wiggling it around and got it out, and was quite stoked to see this on the end of the magnet:

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                  Nice! I can only imagine the amount of relief you felt when you pulled out the shim.
                  2002 Topasblau M3 - Coupe - 6MT - Karbonius CSL Airbox - MSS54HP Conversion - Kassel MAP - PCS Tune - AFD E85 - Beisan - AutoSolutions - Vibra-Technics - CMP - VinceBar - Koni - Eibach - BlueBus - Journal - Instagram


                    /// 2004 SilberGrau M3 · Coupe · 6spd · slicktop · zero options · Instagram
                    Evolve-R Alpha N · Evolve CF CSL Airbox · SS V1 stepped 2.5" · SS V1 decat · OE sect 2 & 3 + 82mm tips · Besian · CSL battery · TMS · Bilstein/Eibach · GroundControl · RE · Hotchkis · OE CSL trunk · Cobra Nogaros · OE CSL wheels + 235/265 PS4S · APEX · Brembo 996