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    Thread: 2002 BMW M3 project and refresh

    1. Member
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      01-06-2015 06:05 PM #1
      Picked up a M3 on 1/3/15. Got a good deal on the car so I flew out to Texas and drove it home. The car needs some love to come up to my standards. Also, as usually, it will not stay stock for long. The goal is to build a car that is fun but comfortable.

      This will be a slower project while I am working on my 2002 Subaru Impreza STI conversion. 2002 Subaru Impreza Project

      The car is a 2002 BMW M3 with a no sunroof option and manual heated seats. Alpine White and 55k miles. It does have an SMG transmission which should be changed out soon. From a enthusiast point of view, this is the lightest M3 you can get in USA(when SMG is changed out).

      Decided to stop by Barber Motorsport Park Museum on the way back. Well worth the time and money spent. The track is now on my bucket list to drive this year. Couldn't believe that the mileage driven was 999.9 miles from Texas to my house. I was scared it would change to 000.0.







      Last edited by pawa_k2001; 01-15-2018 at 08:23 PM.

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    3. Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 06:09 PM #2
      Nice. So you're going to swap the trans to a 6MT?

    4. Member
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      01-06-2015 06:13 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by vwpiloto View Post
      Nice. So you're going to swap the trans to a 6MT?
      Yep. It isn't to hard. I have a computer to do the programming. Sourcing a manual transmission with a whine and synchro problem this weekend for $200. All I need from it is the bell housing. The manual transmission has 2 holes in the bell housing that are filled in the SMG bell housing. Machining the SMG bell housing is out of question because I got a quote for $850. The SMG and manual transmissions are basically identical.

    5. Member Shmi's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 06:27 PM #4
      Awesome purchase. I prefer the 18" wheels over the 19s personally. Did you get it with the cinnamon interior? Because that's the best combo.

      What plans do you have for it? One of the first things I did was swap the ancient Continental SportContact 2's over to newer Michelin PSS with a wider front tire (not quite square, but damn close) and it made a pretty noticeable difference. Would recommend.

      This thread makes me miss my M3. Those last 1,000 RPM are amazing to feel/listen to. One day... I'll buy another. Gah!
      Last edited by Shmi; 01-06-2015 at 06:29 PM.
      ಠ_ಠ

    6. Member
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      01-06-2015 06:50 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Shmi View Post
      Awesome purchase. I prefer the 18" wheels over the 19s personally. Did you get it with the cinnamon interior? Because that's the best combo.

      What plans do you have for it? One of the first things I did was swap the ancient Continental SportContact 2's over to newer Michelin PSS with a wider front tire (not quite square, but damn close) and it made a pretty noticeable difference. Would recommend.

      This thread makes me miss my M3. Those last 1,000 RPM are amazing to feel/listen to. One day... I'll buy another. Gah!
      Thanks!

      I actually prefer the Imola Red interior for white cars. Laguna Seca Blue needs cinnamon though.

      The plan is to make my ultimate GT cruiser(comfortable and fun). The most important project right now is bring the car up to my standard. Some trim is old, console has scratches, couple pillars sagging, nicks on the front bumper, etc.

      Future plan:

      - Manual transmission
      - Imola Red interior
      - CS Sportster seats
      - 245/275 or 255/275 tires.
      - ARC-8s 18x9.5 et35 front 18x9.5 et22 rear for track (Dunlop Star Specs)
      - TE37SLs et35 front 18x9.5 et22 rear for back roads and driving (Michelin PSS)
      - Mild engine build

      I wanted to jump into something different(this is my 3rd) but I just love the E46 M3 package to much. Especially at the price they are at.

    7. Member Ross1013's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 06:53 PM #6
      So what happened with the other M3? The one w/the cage etc. that you were wondering what to do with?
      Past: '06 Accord V6, '95 Taurus SHO, '01 ITR, '98 Civic HX CVT

      Quote Originally Posted by jamerican1
      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

    8. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 06:55 PM #7
      Great purchase. In for more.
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen. Assetto Corsa Discord Link. Join us for some sim racing fun.
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    9. Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 06:56 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by pawa_k2001 View Post
      Yep. It isn't to hard. I have a computer to do the programming. Sourcing a manual transmission with a whine and synchro problem this weekend for $200. All I need from it is the bell housing. The manual transmission has 2 holes in the bell housing that are filled in the SMG bell housing. Machining the SMG bell housing is out of question because I got a quote for $850. The SMG and manual transmissions are basically identical.

      Very cool. Would love to see a build thread and the results. Should be quite nice when all said and done.

    10. Millennial Pizza Cat's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 07:21 PM #9
      That generation still looks so damn perfect even today.
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    11. Member
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      01-06-2015 09:58 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
      Great purchase. In for more.
      Thanks!

      Quote Originally Posted by vwpiloto View Post
      Very cool. Would love to see a build thread and the results. Should be quite nice when all said and done.
      Thanks. It will be a slower journal since I have another project I am working on. Hopefully I will have the transmission swap done but middle spring.

      Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit5GTI View Post
      That generation still looks so damn perfect even today.
      Yea, I love the looks of the E46 M3 and E39 M5.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ross1013 View Post
      So what happened with the other M3? The one w/the cage etc. that you were wondering what to do with?
      It's in the garage. I wanted to sell it but it's hard. The plan right now is the track it this year and think about selling it late summer. I love how it looks as it sits right now.

      Last edited by pawa_k2001; 01-15-2018 at 08:29 PM.

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      01-06-2015 10:38 PM #11
      I can't believe you found a slicktop (idk what they call the ones without a sunroof) with under 60k and smg.

      Having never owned an e46 and hearing horror stories, I still think I'd want the smg .

      I'm in to see where this thing goes .

    13. Member someguy123's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 10:47 PM #12
      What's the problem(s) with the SMG?

      I have a similar "SMG" and besides the jerkiness, as long as it doesn't break........I'm okay with it.

    14. Member
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      01-06-2015 10:52 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by jpwalker90 View Post
      I can't believe you found a slicktop (idk what they call the ones without a sunroof) with under 60k and smg.

      Having never owned an e46 and hearing horror stories, I still think I'd want the smg .

      I'm in to see where this thing goes .
      I gave SMG a chance but I just can not get used to it. I really like the manual. I was surprised when this M3 fell in my lap over the holidays.

      Quote Originally Posted by someguy123 View Post
      What's the problem(s) with the SMG?

      I have a similar "SMG" and besides the jerkiness, as long as it doesn't break........I'm okay with it.
      It's jerky(I need to learn how to drive it), shifting is somewhat slow even in setting 6 and a failed pump will run you $600 used to $1800 new. Once I swap to a manual transmission, the SMG pump will pay for my swap.

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      01-06-2015 11:15 PM #14
      Congrats, looks like a nice car. After having had many cars over the years, the E46 M3 is one of my favorites (on my 4th one) . Such a well-balanced car. I've owned a few E46 M3s. One was SMG. It takes a little while to get used to but it's good once you get used to driving it. If you can do the swap yourself, I'd probably just drive it and enjoy it for a while and if you still want a manual after putting on some miles, do it then.

      I found that if I lifted slightly while shifting, it would shift more smoothly. I would usually keep it in 4 or 5.
      Gone but not forgotten: 85 BMW M535, 04 VW R32, 04 Audi S4, 03 Porsche 911 C4s, 06 Corvette Z51, 08 BMW M3, 99 Ferrari 360, 13 Subaru WRX, 13 Nissan GT-R, 04 Challenge Stradale, 01 911 Turbo, 16 GT4

    16. Senior Member danny_16v's Avatar
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      01-06-2015 11:36 PM #15
      Awesome! Although I'd leave the SMG only because I don't know how to do the swap. I'd do CSL programming if that can be done.

      More re info on the blue one?
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      01-07-2015 08:57 AM #16
      Great find.

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      01-07-2015 10:24 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Smoltz View Post
      Congrats, looks like a nice car. After having had many cars over the years, the E46 M3 is one of my favorites (on my 4th one) . Such a well-balanced car. I've owned a few E46 M3s. One was SMG. It takes a little while to get used to but it's good once you get used to driving it. If you can do the swap yourself, I'd probably just drive it and enjoy it for a while and if you still want a manual after putting on some miles, do it then.

      I found that if I lifted slightly while shifting, it would shift more smoothly. I would usually keep it in 4 or 5.
      Thanks! 4th M3? More dedicated than me I see.

      I am getting used to it but I still prefer the manual. I will be collecting parts for the swap slowly. Late spring or summer I will probably swap out the SMG.

      Quote Originally Posted by danny_16v View Post
      Awesome! Although I'd leave the SMG only because I don't know how to do the swap. I'd do CSL programming if that can be done.

      More re info on the blue one?
      I thought about flashing with Evolve R software but decided I didn't want to put more money in.

      The blue M3 is a 2006 Competition Package. I went a bit far with it. It is more of a track car. Roll bar, race seats, 6 point harness, 275 square setup tires, PFC brakes, etc. Thought about selling it but will try swing owning 2 M3s. They will have different jobs. The only problem with that plan is the fact that I will want another project car once the Subaru I am building is done.

      Quote Originally Posted by PoorHouse View Post
      Great find.
      Thanks.

    19. Member tampaSi's Avatar
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      01-07-2015 03:20 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by pawa_k2001 View Post

      The blue M3 is a 2006 Competition Package. I went a bit far with it. It is more of a track car. Roll bar, race seats, 6 point harness, 275 square setup tires, PFC brakes, etc. Thought about selling it but will try swing owning 2 M3s. They will have different jobs. The only problem with that plan is the fact that I will want another project car once the Subaru I am building is done.
      Shoot me a note when you change your mind. For real.
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    20. Member VAB5's Avatar
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      01-07-2015 05:56 PM #19
      There's a guy over on E46 Fanatics who wants to swap for his Imola interior. He says DC/MD/VA, but Asheville isn't that much of a stretch...

      http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1062966

      Great car--can't wait to see the project progress. I just picked up an '05 ZHP and I love it.

    21. Member landstuhltaylor's Avatar
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      In for more OMG RACECAR

    22. Member sideways89's Avatar
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      01-07-2015 07:47 PM #21
      Damn, they let on the bottom floor? I went there a couple months ago and they said it was off limits. Barber is an amazing place and there is a reallyyyyyy good BBQ place maybe a mile away from it that I assume you know about

    23. Member
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      03-09-2015 07:41 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by sideways89 View Post
      Damn, they let on the bottom floor? I went there a couple months ago and they said it was off limits. Barber is an amazing place and there is a reallyyyyyy good BBQ place maybe a mile away from it that I assume you know about
      It's $10 extra for the bottom floor tour. Well worth it.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~


      First step to getting the white M3 to my standard. A lot more to come.

      Last edited by pawa_k2001; 01-15-2018 at 08:42 PM.

    24. Senior Member danny_16v's Avatar
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      03-09-2015 08:17 AM #23
      Was your interior in bad condition? I had to re-cover my headliner as the material drooped, but I did all my pillars/headliner in a microsuede I bought on ebay... it's held up so far and looks nice.

      Still want your blue M3.... Mmmmm competition pckg.
      GLi : M3 : CX5
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      03-09-2015 08:17 AM #24
      Subscribed!

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      03-09-2015 08:35 AM #25
      Cool pictures and looking forward to seeing it take shape

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