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Old 01-06-2020, 04:02 PM   #21
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The M3 has just over 100K miles, no rust or accidents of any sort. Each body panel is original with no paint work. As mentioned, once I installed the rear brace, everything changed. You may think I'm exaggerating and that's fine. Maybe some day you'll get a brace or drive a car with one and you'll understand what I mean.
Regardless, I stand by the fact that sedan with non-folding rear seats is in fact much more rigid and this is very noticeable if you drive it right after or before a car with folding rear seats. Does that make a car faster? Probably not. But it can be felt.
Cheers
why do you keep saying its a fact. IT IS NOT A FACT if you go by BMWs own numbers.
E46 M3 Coupe is listed by BMW as being a tad under 19,000 nm/degree.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:14 PM   #22
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A more flexible chassis compromises handling in the sense that every time it deflects, the suspension components become misaligned because their mounting points are moving relative to one another. The degree to which you would actually notice this depends on a whole host of factors...

Some compliance in a car chassis is inevitable. But a more rigid chassis does help chassis engineers to dial in better handling b/c they can depend on the suspension geometry and components they select like dampers and springs to behave as intended without the X factor of chassis flex.
This is pretty much spot-on. Suspension deflection is very bad for handling, and damping is FAR more important than most non-racers think. Racing teams, especially pro racing teams, spend a lot of money on dampers to improve suspension control. A good friend of mine writes the data acquisition code for a very popular brand of shock dynos, and some of the stories he tells me about the lengths some teams go through to improve damper control are almost hard to believe.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:14 PM   #23
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Having read more about the rigidity of our models, I was comforted to hear the e90 I might consider is more rigid. I thought my e46 was mushy compared to my e36, but it's also wider.

I know the overall feeling of the car will vary based on many things, so I'm not going to have a torsional rigidity 'litmus test.'

Also, I'm very discouraged to hear I won't be happy in another car! I really want an aux port and/or bluetooth and don't want to deal with all that's coming up for my old car. It runs perfectly, it really does...but I can reliably predict that it will get less predictable.

Final question...knowing I love the driving part of the car...could I be content with an Xi AWD in a manual? Here again I think I'd hate the understeer and have seen so many here seemingly mess up their front axles. I'm sure the drive is mostly still in the rear, but there are a lot of potholes around me. Anyone going from an i to an Xi care to comment? It'd be nice to have a little more comfort in the snow, but those are very few days where it'd make a difference.
I had a 325xi for my first e46 and I liked the confidence it had in the rain or snow. Was my favorite e46 besides the m. They also sit a little higher, so better for potholes in city driving
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:15 PM   #24
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Doug, something to think about....

If your car is still in fairly good condition (no rust or other structural issues), you may be better off putting money into YOUR car. If you buy another used car, especially of similar vintage, unless it was meticulously maintained, it's likely to exact a similar outlay of cash to make it right.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:21 PM   #25
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Go and drive one. You might find it challenging to find one with a manual trans, though, they are around. If you do look for an xi, I's opt for the 330 over the 325. The extra torque and hp really helps to move that AWD system. Best of luck with the search.
regards
I'm seeing a lot of manual Xi's, but I think all the e90s I've seen are either NA 328, or turbo'd 335s which I want to avoid.

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why do you keep saying "it's a fact". IT IS NOT A FACT if you go by BMW's own numbers.
E46 M3 Coupe is listed by BMW as being a tad under 19,000 nm/degree.
You keep saying 'it's a fact' to turn something into a fact. It is the new way. Haven't you been following the news? Say, do, think whatever you want...it's the new spirit of America. Ugh. (Also, thank you for the laugh, which I'm sure you didn't intend. )

I'm afraid finding the car I want will take some time because those with that car probably love it!
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:23 PM   #26
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Go and drive one. You might find it challenging to find one with a manual trans, though, they are around. If you do look for an xi, I's opt for the 330 over the 325. The extra torque and hp really helps to move that AWD system. Best of luck with the search.
regards
Well the nice thing about the E9x is that they all got the 3L engine anyway. Turning a 325 or 328 into a 330 is a matter of installing the 330 intake manifold and flashing the 330 DME tune. With parts from a wrecker you can do it for <$200.

330s would still come with the bigger brakes, better transmission etc. But the power you can get back.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:28 PM   #27
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Doug, something to think about....

If your car is still in fairly good condition (no rust or other structural issues), you may be better off putting money into YOUR car. If you buy another used car, especially of similar vintage, unless it was meticulously maintained, it's likely to exact a similar outlay of cash to make it right.
My fear is that I'll put thousands into giving this its next 400,000 miles...and then get it totaled by one of the many morons on the roads around here. That happened to my e36, a month after I rebuilt the cylinder head because I'd overheated and kept driving. Who knew you needed a belt to cool the motor?

I'd 'really' need every bushing...do the timing chain stuff...and all the other stuff all over again. I'm probably thinking I need a vacation from the auto work. It is a shame, though, because I've just done plugs, vcg, cleaned TB and icv...it runs lovely...garage kept and I keep its bottom rinsed too. It's worth every penny of the $500-1,000 it's 'really' worth!
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:44 PM   #28
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This is pretty much spot-on. Suspension deflection is very bad for handling, and damping is FAR more important than most non-racers think. Racing teams, especially pro racing teams, spend a lot of money on dampers to improve suspension control. A good friend of mine writes the data acquisition code for a very popular brand of shock dynos, and some of the stories he tells me about the lengths some teams go through to improve damper control are almost hard to believe.
Yes sir, spot on. 4 Ohlins and 2 3rd links add up quickly.

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Old 01-07-2020, 09:46 AM   #29
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Ugh...it seems no newer motor is as trouble free as mine is...the good ole M52tuB28

Among later naturally-aspirated engines, what would you choose for me? I do not want a turbo...so based on what I'm seeing I think it's either a latter model M54 in the latter years of the E46 330i or first years of the E90 330i, but it looks like the '08 E90s got the N52 and became 328s.

Am I understanding Terra correctly in 'maybe' choosing a e90 328 between '09 and '12? There was some lifter ticking issue with the N52 prior to 12/08 (I read). Then put on the new intake...maybe...and turn it into a 330.
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Last edited by dmax; 01-07-2020 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:55 AM   #30
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yeah your m52tu is hard to beat. the later e46 330i is an oil burner with those m54 low friction rings. its so hard to find the old cars still in good shape .. but the older designs were better.

so get one as old as tolerable and consider regressive upgrades to the previous design if possible. right now im thinking about how to install the old rings in my m54.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:05 PM   #31
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Ugh...it seems no newer motor is as trouble free as mine is...the good ole M52tuB28

Among later naturally-aspirated engines, what would you choose for me? I do not want a turbo...so based on what I'm seeing I think it's either a latter model M54 in the latter years of the E46 330i or first years of the E90 330i, but it looks like the '08 E90s got the N52 and became 328s.

Am I understanding Terra correctly in 'maybe' choosing a e90 328 between '09 and '12? There was some lifter ticking issue with the N52 prior to 12/08 (I read). Then put on the new intake...maybe...and turn it into a 330.
Yes, the M52TUB28 is hard to beat reliability-wise.
All things considered, perhaps the N52K is the most logical choice - good engine without major issues, more expensive to maintain compared to the M52TU/M54, but unlike those you can find one with relatively low miles.

That's what I'd probably do if I am forced to buy another BMW again...
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:47 PM   #32
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Ugh...it seems no newer motor is as trouble free as mine is...the good ole M52tuB28

Among later naturally-aspirated engines, what would you choose for me? I do not want a turbo...so based on what I'm seeing I think it's either a latter model M54 in the latter years of the E46 330i or first years of the E90 330i, but it looks like the '08 E90s got the N52 and became 328s.

Am I understanding Terra correctly in 'maybe' choosing a e90 328 between '09 and '12? There was some lifter ticking issue with the N52 prior to 12/08 (I read). Then put on the new intake...maybe...and turn it into a 330.
E90s never came with the M54 - all of the n/a 6-cylinder models were N52 ~08 models got some minor updates (and downgrades in some areas like a plastic valve cover), but the blocks and heads are the same. Lifter ticking issue was a thing, though from what I understand it didn't represent a more serious issue lurking or anything like that.

Yeah if it were me, I'd probably go for a 2011-2012 328i (or even 2013 if coupe), and then install the 3-stage manifold. Avoid the SULEV / N51 engine (it's not nearly as bad as the E46 SULEV, but those can't be easily adjusted for more power like the non-SULEV 328s).
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:50 PM   #33
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I had this same Fn problem (pardon my bad letters) looking to replace my '92 e36. That's why I drive a Fern Green car! I needed a 3 and a manual. Now I need naturally-aspirated and would do almost anything to anyone to find an '11 NA 328i (non-sulev) with navigation and blue tooth so I can play spotify. Almost anything, with almost anyone, anywhere.

What happened to people? When did everyone get so lazy? A manual is going to be a thing of the past.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:52 PM   #34
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Voila monsieur:

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/c...039712045.html

Doubt it's still available, but....They're out there.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:15 PM   #35
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Voila monsieur:

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/c...039712045.html

Doubt it's still available, but....They're out there.
It's sold. F! But thank you for looking! I have great friends in Atlanta...I could've made that work!

Just as well, all black is a very hot color to have in NJ in the summer...but I can't be fussy about color...except for red. I don't want a red car.

I loved my e36--silver with gray...stylish and cool in the summer.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:11 PM   #36
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Doug, something to think about....

If your car is still in fairly good condition (no rust or other structural issues), you may be better off putting money into YOUR car. If you buy another used car, especially of similar vintage, unless it was meticulously maintained, it's likely to exact a similar outlay of cash to make it right.
Like Geo31 mentioned, getting another, newer e46 wont be much for savings unless the service history is impeccable. Im living through that now. Bought an 02 M3 Vert with 165k miles and service records galore. It was 1-owner machine he spared no expense maintaining it for the 16 years he owned it. Granted, I only put 2k-3k miles/year on it, but Ive spent very little maintaining the last 2 years. Biggest expense so far is the project currently underway, replacement of the guibo, CSB, diff pinion seal, and rebuilding the shifter linkage.

The 05 330xi I bought 1.5 yrs ago with 154k miles has been a different story. Countless $ spent because I had zero history on it and daily drive it to the tune of 20k+/year. Currently, it is in bas.ard mode giving me misfire under heavy load. Guess what, more care packages from FCP are on the way.

As far as rigidity and stability goes, I feel way more planted in the M3 Vert than the 330xi(folding seats). Not that it is unstable, but there is a definite difference between the two. That being said, anytime I go from the 330 to the Sequoia I am forced to make a significant adjustment to my driving style so I do not fly off the road in a corner.

Have no experience with a hard-top vert, but the ragtop vert is not quiet.

Good luck with hunt!
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:22 PM   #37
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You keep saying 'it's a fact' to turn something into a fact. It is the new way. Haven't you been following the news? Say, do, think whatever you want...it's the new spirit of America. Ugh. (Also, thank you for the laugh, which I'm sure you didn't intend. )
true true Doug.
I was going to post the Princess Bride movie quote instead.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:21 AM   #38
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I had this same Fn problem (pardon my bad letters) looking to replace my '92 e36. That's why I drive a Fern Green car! I needed a 3 and a manual. Now I need naturally-aspirated and would do almost anything to anyone to find an '11 NA 328i (non-sulev) with navigation and blue tooth so I can play spotify. Almost anything, with almost anyone, anywhere.

What happened to people? When did everyone get so lazy? A manual is going to be a thing of the past.
I currently have an '06 325 CI auto and an '08 528 auto. They both have 105k miles. The e60 really hasn't been any more trouble or expensive than the e46. It has been different trouble and a bunch of new technology to learn. I much prefer driving the e60. There is no comparison in ride comfort and even with plush ride tires it gives up very little in handling. If you really want handling the e60 with the sport suspension rides softer in a straight line and corners flatter. Drivers that have driven both the e90 and e60 sport suspension models generally pick the e60. It will add maintenance time. If you watch you can pick up a low mileage late e60 for considerably less than an e90.

The downside - the N52K is a magnesium alloy block that won't come near the longevity of an m5x engine.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:32 AM   #39
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I currently have an '06 325 CI auto and an '08 528 auto. They both have 105k miles. The e60 really hasn't been any more trouble or expensive than the e46. It has been different trouble and a bunch of new technology to learn. I much prefer driving the e60. There is no comparison in ride comfort and even with plush ride tires it gives up very little in handling. If you really want handling the e60 with the sport suspension rides softer in a straight line and corners flatter. Drivers that have driven both the e90 and e60 sport suspension models generally pick the e60. It will add maintenance time. If you watch you can pick up a low mileage late e60 for considerably less than an e90.

The downside - the N52K is a magnesium alloy block that won't come near the longevity of an m5x engine.
Thank you for all that!

What is it about the magnesium alloy block that would cause it to have a shorter life? (Just so I have something to worry about! )
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:22 PM   #40
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why do you keep saying its a fact. IT IS NOT A FACT if you go by BMWs own numbers.
E46 M3 Coupe is listed by BMW as being a tad under 19,000 nm/degree.
You're right, it's not a fact and I stand corrected - I 'feel' that an E46 M3 coupe has more chassis flex than an E46 sedan with non-folding seats, after having driven both extensively.

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