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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Traded Audi in for 8k, bought 5.5k bmw (GBP not USD).
Needs some work, belts/pulleys are squealing going back for that. Then complete cooling overhaul then look at suspension...then enjoy.

If I keep it will convert to 6spd manual... that is the plan anyway - get lease on F10 535d - keep this as toy/project/fun car.

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I had an 330Ci i throw a s52 engine in it man this car is insane i regret that i sold it, but i had to move to another country, you better keep it,congrats.
 

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Hell yeah! 330ci ZHP! that's what I'm talkin about!. Best damn car I've ever owned was an E46.

oembimmerparts.com ask for Max:) and join bimmerfest.com and post in E46 section. It's extremely active and most helpful for everything.
 
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a buddy has a 330i zhp! till this day it still looks and drives as crisp as it was brand new!
Love the small and compact feel of the e46! So much more intuitive; and those ergonomics are always a pleasure!
Congratulations! keep us updated!

ps. paint the kidney grill...bmw's should just come with those stock. lol
 

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Nice. I love my 330ci especially in manual. I'm debating whether to keep it or upgrade to an M3
 

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Nice. I love my 330ci especially in manual. I'm debating whether to keep it or upgrade to an M3
Expensive parts with the M3. But just as reliable if not more. Cheaper to own the 330ci. Just buy my supercharger kit and it'll be faster than an M3 :D
 

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Expensive parts with the M3. But just as reliable if not more. Cheaper to own the 330ci. Just buy my supercharger kit and it'll be faster than an M3 :D
You already know that I'm buying it for both the speed and because it's an M. :D
 

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But it's seriously such a good looking classic BMW look to it and probably uber nimble.
As much as I love my car it is on the heavy side.
I know how you feel brotha. My E46 felt far more nimble and just... more of a car than my E60 does. But that doesn't change the fact my E60 makes the sound of angels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Honestly not sure I like this. Probably because it is an auto, it is nice to cruise around cities in but out in the countryside it is pretty...dull.

Also it feels pretty slow, no power until about 3500rpm (and then it storms to 80mph quickly) but it feels like it takes 5 seconds to get to that rpm. I am wondering if my vanos/disa has issues as it has done 92k and from what I can tell, everything is from-factory-oem still.

Kind of wishing I had bought the M3 version especially as I am getting 22mpg.

I did the golf-tee-mod which makes the exhaust louder but being an auto it just drones so I am going to plug that back in and make a switch for it in-dash using the solenoid and ignition live power. That way I can have it louder as and when I want to.
 

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Honestly not sure I like this. Probably because it is an auto, it is nice to cruise around cities in but out in the countryside it is pretty...dull.

Also it feels pretty slow, no power until about 3500rpm (and then it storms to 80mph quickly) but it feels like it takes 5 seconds to get to that rpm. I am wondering if my vanos/disa has issues as it has done 92k and from what I can tell, everything is from-factory-oem still.

Kind of wishing I had bought the M3 version especially as I am getting 22mpg.

I did the golf-tee-mod which makes the exhaust louder but being an auto it just drones so I am going to plug that back in and make a switch for it in-dash using the solenoid and ignition live power. That way I can have it louder as and when I want to.
Well regardless when you get into any E46 non M your not buying it for it's power... your buying it for it's handling. You should of known that going into it.
A lot of power loss can be a result of bad vanos seals. You can get a vanos rebuilt kit from Beisan Systems I've used them to rebuild vanos before and it's worked great.
At 92k miles I'd say the vanos seals are definitely done for. If you have no check engine light then it's most likely the issue.

As for modding an E46 to make it faster. There really isn't much you can do. Catless headers, different differential and then either a turbo or supercharger. That's it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know what you mean, but to put it into perspective I have gone from a audi automatic (dsg though) 1.8t 158hp fwd car to a bmw automatic 3.0 n/a 231hp rwd car and the audi felt a lot faster even before remapping it! People tell me that is the turbo making it faster lower down but physics states the n/a should be faster lower down as there is no lag and lots of torque.
I have to import Beisans kit and then get someone to swap it over so I think I will do that, anything else recommended? I can get a kit for $100 that is easy to fit so i can rebuild my DISA valve so I will do that myself.

BMW DISA Valve Intake Adjuster Unit Rebuild Upgrade Rattle Aluminium Fix M54 3.0 | eBay

Think this is a good alternative to Beisan?

BMW DOUBLE TWIN DUAL VANOS SEALS UPGRADE REPAIR SET KIT M52TU M54 M56 VITON PTFE | eBay
 

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Get ready to drop some coin. BMWs are high when new (but well worth the cost). As such, they're high as used cars, too. It doesn't help that everyone wants one, too. Make sure your check book is healthy before shopping.
 

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Also it feels pretty slow, no power until about 3500rpm (and then it storms to 80mph quickly) but it feels like it takes 5 seconds to get to that rpm. I am wondering if my vanos/disa has issues as it has done 92k and from what I can tell, everything is from-factory-oem still.
Propably disa or vanos. Faulty disa means low range power loss and vanos's kick in at 2000 or/and 4000, dont really remember.

Suggestions:
Read all the fault codes. Change ALL the fluids in your car. Not kidding, all of them. Even the power steering oil, you'll know why when you do it.
See if the rear axle isn't cracked and the bushing is fine. Your car shouldnt have the cracking issue because its 03-04(?) but still, really, i mean it, check it.
Keep some money in your back pocket.

Congratulations on buying your first car! Never go back to those other means of transportation you previously used.

edit: Missed this one
I have to import Beisans kit and then get someone to swap it over so I think I will do that, anything else recommended? I can get a kit for $100
Beisan for vanos. No alternatives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am doing the DISA rebuild next week. I have been doing some reading and it appears my exhaust and inlet cam position sensors might be faulty as I have all the symptoms - droney boomy exhaust with golf-tee mod, lack of power low down, some surging. And the obligatory cooling overhaul. I can't do timing or vanos myself going to have to book it in for that, as for suspension I have no idea what needs doing so will need to get it checked and replaced as-when needed.

Only negative really is the only decent BMW specialist is 150 miles away :/
 

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Congrats on the e46.. I had two back in the day.

My advice is the fix the engine issues and enjoy it that way.

If you must have a 6mt car, then I'd just sell and re-buy one.

The m3 is a different animal all together and paired with a 6mt I had countless years of fun.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
All engine issues seem fixed, car is mental above 4000rpm but a bit flat below that.

Suspension on the other hand, I keep having intermittent issues where my dashboard starts creaking then my steering wheel moves to the left and starts juddering. I had new alignment and tracking and it hasn't helped. It feels like I have a puncture than a few miles later it just randomly clears itself up. Any ideas?

Also got out last night and could smell something funny oily type of smell from the back suspension area.
 
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