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trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/7/20 5:05 p.m.

Starting a new thread for my 2002 M3 that I recently acquired. Some thoughts around the purchase and first pictures are in S52 Swapped E36

trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/7/20 5:18 p.m.

First the pictures

Also came with a set of square 18x9.5 APEX ARC-8 wheels shod with RE71Rs that have half a season of autox on them.

and a service manual, 3 liters of oil, fresh inspection and oil change and the last few years of service records.

Purchased it from a member of my local SCCA and BMWCCA chapters who used it for autox for a few seasons and a track night in America event at Pocono. He had recently decided to move on to 2019 Bullitt Mustang and run in CAM.

Not sure if I'll be taking it to any autox events but a track day or two isn't out of the question.

trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/7/20 5:20 p.m.

Car is thoughtfully modded with subframe reinforcements, new rear subframe bushings, adjustable Konis, Vorshlag camber plates up front and adjustable camber arms out back and a heavy front strut tower bar.

trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/7/20 5:28 p.m.

Day 2 of ownership and I took out for a 50 mile trip through some local winding roads. Pretty much the same trip I've taken quite a few times in my E36 so I really wanted to see how they compare.

First impressions are that the power delivery and braking are so much more linear and that the chassis itself is significantly stiffer. Sport mode throttle response takes getting used to and I'm not yet brave enough to disable DSC.

The car rotated nicely under power and the traction from the stock staggered setup with performance all seasons is eye opening. Definitely can feel the advantage of the wider rubber relative to my E36.

One downside to the trip is that on my way home I had some loss of power and surging from 3k RPM and up in third and fourth. I had let the gas tank get below a quarter tank and when I pulled over the fuel pump was whining loudly. The hilly route had apparently resulted in some fuel starvation. Once I got back on more level ground, I was able to baby it another mile to a gas station and get it filled up.

Once the tank was full no more issues with fueling thankfully. At 80k miles I suspect it still has the original fuel pump so first order of business will be a new fuel pump and fuel filter so I don't see any more repeats of the bad behavior.

trumant GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/7/20 8:09 p.m.

Did some research on fuel pumps and wondering if anyone here has gone with the Radium Engineering adaptor that allows you to use a Walbro 255 pump? Roughly $200 for that option vs $415 or so for the OEM from FCP Euro.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/7/20 9:26 p.m.

If you go Walbro make sure you buy it from a reputable seller as there are many counterfeit ones. 

Nice car!

Sonic UltraDork
6/7/20 11:47 p.m.

I still miss my Z4M coupe, which is mechanically very similar, what a great car.  Good work buying from an enthusiast, that is good on these.  Have regular valve adjustments been done?  Hope so.  

I have a set of replica 19" staggard CSL wheels in my basement I would sell for a mid 3 figure price with new pressure sensors if you want some spares, and I'm local (berks county). 

MTechnically (Forum Supporter)
MTechnically (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/8/20 10:08 p.m.

Really does seem like you got quite a nice example. I don't think you can really go wrong or lose money as long as you don't count general maintenance.

This along with the E39 M5 and Z3M/Z4M aren't going anywhere, but up for the long term. 

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/28/20 10:38 p.m.

No more fuel pump shenanigans after another 50 or so miles of driving. Did get a very momentary low oil light a few days or so ago though and when I checked the level it looked to be down about 2/3 a quart from full.

Added some oil earlier today and took it out for a bit to some of may favorite back roads for a drive. Still not brave enough to see what it's like with traction control disabled but I'm getting more comfortable with the super snappy throttle response in Sport mode.

AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/29/20 8:20 a.m.

Love these things and they are a ridiculous value right now. 

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/1/20 2:40 p.m.

After adding oil back in late June my low oil warning light is back. Car has seen maybe 10 days of driving since with most of it spirited, multi-hour backroad drives with high RPM engine load.

No visible oil leaks and no exhaust smoke noticeable. Any common failure points I should be looking for? One notable fact is that I don't know when the last valve adjustment was done so it could well be due.

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/1/20 3:10 p.m.

No oil in the coolant overflow and no signs of coolant in the oil. When I filled it back up it took about a quart. So figure it burned that much/that much disappeared in about 600 miles of driving.

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/21/22 9:11 p.m.

Dropped the car at BimmerWorks 2 weeks back after getting some new Azenis installed by the mobile tire rack guys.

My boys and I had tickets to Hyperfest and I figured why not take the M3. But it needed lots of love after spending the winter (and far too many monthes before) outdoors so in for oil change, new plugs, air filter, brake fluid flush, cooling flush, wipers the whole keep it reliable, keep it right routine.

We left the Philly area early morning and were at VIR by 2 to watch drifting and walk the paddock. We had an AirBnB nearby and the roads between it and VIR were pure backroad driving joy!

I had never pressed it into road trip car followed by near daily duties over the weekend but this 20 year old car just got it done without complaint and any real sacrifices made.

docwyte PowerDork
5/22/22 11:07 a.m.

I loved my E46 M3 and should've kept it.  Sounds like the rear subframe has been taken care of, what about the Vanos and rod bearings?  For track work a larger radiator/oil cooler helps a lot and I really liked the Stoptech BBK I put on mine.

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/22/22 11:41 a.m.

Vanos, valve cover gaskets, subframe, valve adjustment and bushings galore were done about 3 years ago at BimmerWorks. PO installed Bav Sound speakers somewhere along the line.

Steve over there has serviced the car for the last 7-8 years between the PO and I and it's had periodic oil analysis without any signs of bearing failure. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Appreciate the heads up on StopTech. Right now my plans for this car will keep it off the track in favor of my E36 and B9 S4.

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/22/22 11:45 a.m.

Current work list for the car is:

  • new front cowl from FCP Euro to replace the perished original
  • Titan gray interior trim is all bubbling and needs to either be removed and repainted or replaced
  • PDR for a few small dings 
  • Front spoiler has a lower corner with peeling paint. May DIY this depending on how hard the bumper is to remove
  • A and C pillars have peeling fabric issues
  • Rear parcel tray is faded and needs to be painted/dyed back to black
trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/22/22 1:47 p.m.

Front cowl is now on order along with new side markers as part of the overall exterior refresh.

Now to buy a cheapy wiper puller so I can install the cowl when it arrives. FCP had them but $80ish felt a little rich for a potentially single use tool.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/22/22 2:22 p.m.

My wipers came off with no fuss. Try to remove them before buying a tool.

jfryjfry SuperDork
5/23/22 8:57 a.m.

Great looking car and sounds like it's been a real pleasure so far.  

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/23/22 4:09 p.m.

I've been lucky with it. The values have really risen since I bought it and that has helped me value it more highly and in turn, invest more in the improvement of its aesthetic condition.

Mechanically, I'm now lucky to know much more of the service history and be comfortable enough with reliability and performance (for the time being) that I can sneak out to the garage after dinner and quick detail around the trunk hinges without feeling like a complete imbecile ;)

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/25/22 9:22 p.m.

Slippery was dead right, no windshield wiper arm puller needed just some wiggling and gentle levering action and both of them popped right off.

Oldest son, Oliver, was a big help and while he was in the garage got a good view of our growing collection of stripped interior parts to be posted for sale.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/25/22 10:08 p.m.

Are you selling interior parts from the e46 M3? 

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/25/22 10:23 p.m.

No, for this car I'm attempting to do a slow and casual restoration of sorts.

Just under 84k miles with minimal mods and very gently loved interior (i.e. seats and bolsters are solid, nothing missing) so my E36 is the one going under the knife, getting interior stripped, roll bar, fixed back seats, etc.

If any of you have interest in E36 interior stuff just let me know.

trumant (Forum Supporter)
trumant (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/26/22 5:57 p.m.

On the casual resto vibe my side marker lights came in.

And new ones installed

1 "little thing" done but progress is progress.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/26/22 6:36 p.m.

In reply to trumant (Forum Supporter) :

I don't want to be a Debbie downer, but I changed the side markers along with the M3 emblems on the side grills and I think they lasted all of a summer until they were back to dull and yellowed. Yes, they were factory BMW parts. Florida sun sucks. :(

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