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Some noobie E46 questions..

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Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby r3iXmann » June 12th, 2012, 10:08 pm

Folks, I'm interested in buying a bmw E46 as a daily driver..however i know nothing about euro cars :oops: :oops: :oops:

i searched the forum but i didnt really see much of interest

some basic questions..

* Is maintenance standard and something i can do myself with a shop manual? or would i require special tools etc (i like to do my own things unless it's extremely complex)

* Can parts be easily found on ebay etc? Shipping is not a problem for me, but from my experience with Hondas, I've had some minor compatibility issues with the USDM and the JDM models

* If i got an auto, is a manual conversion a complex/near impossible task?

* Is there anything special I should look out for when purchasing? How can I get a hint that the car might be a 'lime'?

* Are there any reputable mechanics who specialise in these? (besides the firm)

thanks 8-)

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nes123 » June 12th, 2012, 10:18 pm

* Is maintenance standard and something i can do myself with a shop manual? or would i require special tools etc (i like to do my own things unless it's extremely complex)...Yes its easy for DIY,Accessory V belt,engine oil,diff oil.Fluid can be had locally

* Can parts be easily found on ebay etc? Shipping is not a problem for me, but from my experience with Hondas, I've had some minor compatibility issues with the USDM and the JDM models...Ebay or amazon,same model.US folks usually ask for VIN # so it won't be an issue

* If i got an auto, is a manual conversion a complex/near impossible task?..should not be although the car will need to be lifted over the tranny on the ground for install

* Is there anything special I should look out for when purchasing? How can I get a hint that the car might be a 'lime'?...regulator motors usually give out as a result of resistance from tinted windows,leaking tapet pan cover gasket...DIY fix...for long drives your lower back maybe aching when you come out the car if your're over 5'11

* Are there any reputable mechanics who specialise in these? (besides the firm)you can try Eurotune performance on eastern main road opp WASA st. joseph

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nes123 » June 12th, 2012, 10:20 pm

Forgot to also mention, the cradle bushing usually take a beating due to the design of the cradle...when replacing consider Poly bushes as replacement

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby r3iXmann » June 12th, 2012, 10:48 pm

that was quick..thanks man..

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nes123 » June 13th, 2012, 12:42 am

word...personally I woulda gone with an E39 as its more comfy and more powerful....

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby r3iXmann » June 13th, 2012, 7:39 am

personally i find the e39 a bit ugly

and power/speed is not a factor at all..i still have my integra for the weekend :lol:

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nes123 » June 13th, 2012, 9:35 pm

:lol: ....smh...after ya scroll thru this thread...lemme know if ya find e39 still ugly... :lol: ...but ah hear ya point,just that if ya going euro,ya may probably get fedup of the anemic power from a kick down :) on that 320i assuming its that size engine

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby r3iXmann » June 14th, 2012, 4:56 pm

which thread?

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nemesis » June 14th, 2012, 7:49 pm

E46 handles really nice. Yes most lack power. Even drove the 328 and it felt a little too slow.
Many of the things you will need to do are pretty easy, as well as the parts being pretty easy to acquire.
US dealers are willing to get the parts you need even though they didn't carry models like the 318.
Main issue I've seen with them (had one and my dad still has one), is that the bulbs blow like no other. Every 3mths you'll be changing one of the park or brake lights. Not sure why. Going to do wiring change and see if it helps. Maybe it's just age.


If it's an early E46 you get I have a set of rear rotors to sell also. My dad bought for his E46 but they changed those also when it got the facelift..so early set they would work. Later set they would not.

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nes123 » June 17th, 2012, 8:16 am


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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby r3iXmann » June 21st, 2012, 8:05 pm

damn..nice..

the e39 is growing on me though :lol:

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby Dada » June 21st, 2012, 10:07 pm

The e46 is one of the best model to have...but as nes123 said, that front lower (rear) on fire wall control arm bushing do go, as they are oil filled....but great choice..

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nemesis » June 22nd, 2012, 2:39 pm

E46 has the best handling 'feel' of any bmw I've driven yet. But that ain't too many. :)

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby Gool » June 22nd, 2012, 4:09 pm

Good choice! just have a good relationship with an experienced BMW mechanic. i am going to bring in front cuts for scrapping. so parts would be available at good prices.

They are very safe and reliable.

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby ztune » June 30th, 2012, 8:32 pm

r3iXmann wrote:personally i find the e39 a bit ugly



steeeeeups.

once you practice preventative maintenance, you should be ok. the E39 has some age so look out for a few failures. other than that, the car rides great and gives great service.

as mentioned before do it yourself tips and tricks are available on bimmerforums, m5board, bimmerfest etc etc.

aftermarket/oem parts are available on ebay, amazon, bimmerzone, autohaus and a few other reputable sites and are way cheaper than the company and local used parts dealers so have your sky box ready.

as for mechanics, Trinivdub here, on the forum specialized in fixing euro cars.

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby rich.com » July 5th, 2012, 8:12 am

Once yuh driving one of the ultimate driving machine there is no turning back, and for comparison I had a E46 previously and upgraded to E90, E90 does pull sweet compare to the E46 but suspension wise I'd go with the E46, car was lowered on 20"...rode way better than the E90 and cornering was best but I guess i need to upgrade my suspension...
On another note my E46 door lock barrel was broken, alot of Top class Techs will make you change the entire thing, I can repair the Barrel if ever required.

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby ztune » July 6th, 2012, 8:59 pm

^^^ my door handle broke, fortunately i use the roll down window form the outside feature or "opening front door through back door feature"....

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby 5onDfloor » September 13th, 2012, 8:14 pm

The E46 was the best car i ever had..suspension is great and maintenance is not much different from mid to high end JDMS... i used to buy all my serviceable parts online. You wont have any worries with this car.

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nismodriver » September 24th, 2012, 6:44 pm

So I'm hearing mechanics for BMs are:
Trinivdub and Eurotune.
Any others?Any feedback from dOwners as well?

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nemesis » September 24th, 2012, 10:39 pm

Are they actually mechanics or just tuners for euros?

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby nes123 » September 25th, 2012, 4:53 am

nismodriver wrote:So I'm hearing mechanics for BMs are:
Trinivdub and Eurotune.
Any others?Any feedback from dOwners as well?



Trinivdub owns Eurotune performance in St. Joseph

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby ztune » September 25th, 2012, 6:23 am

They are mechs for and tune everything. Go see the two monster 3rd gen's they have.

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby Nicko28 » January 27th, 2013, 3:55 pm

Hey guys I did almost everything on my e46 for overheating issues, I changed radiator, all water connectors, water pump, thermostats, expansion bottle and changed cylinder head gasket recently same problem... Anybody could recommend a mechanic that versed in cooling system for this vehicle?

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby ztune » January 29th, 2013, 8:26 pm

^^seems you did everything to solve your problem.

What brands you bought and were they used or new? Some possibilities are you may not have enough coolant or leaks are present (check coolant sensor). Also, a failed water pump, thermostat, fan clutch, clogged hoses would have a part to play in your overheating. Providing you have enough coolant and the parts you installed are functioning, my 2 cents are on your fans, especially if you over heating in traffic, also check to see if your coolant is bubbling.

Some people go as far as to change tensioners, pulleys, belts as well.

I would trust Eurotune Performance and there are a other recommended mechanics listed in this section.

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby Nicko28 » January 29th, 2013, 10:23 pm

Thanks a lot, would look into that

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby Nicko28 » February 10th, 2013, 7:56 am

It's the fan, it's not increasing speed on its own.... But it will go to top speed wen the mechanic does something to make it run direct and it stays own.... Is that the entire fan need to change or the unit that controls the speed if sold separately?

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby ztune » February 10th, 2013, 12:39 pm

Then fan clutch alone needs changing. While you at it, check the blade itself to make sure it does not have any cracks.
I suggest you get a new fan clutch as soon as possible locally @ Richmond Motors/BMW, ERM Automotive supplies or online and undo that bypass which your mechanic did.

A good brand fan clutch would be BEHR or SACHS, do not buy the Borg Warner. The part will look like this: http://www.bimmeronly.com/assets/images/fanclutch1.jpg

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Re: Some noobie E46 questions..

Postby Gool » March 22nd, 2013, 10:20 am

Foreign used 320 front half just recieved. i also have all doors, suspension, interior, rear bumper with lights etc.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=470854

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