E46 Fanatics Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I currently have an 04 330i ZHP that I've owned and loved for the past year but think I want something different, an M car to mod. I feel the ZHP sedan just doesn't need any mods -- for what it is the BMW engineers were just about spot on (excluding the lack of an LSD).

I'm considering selling my ZHP, paying off what I owe on it, and outright buying an E36 M3 and saving the rest of my peanuts so I can buy a house in a few years...or financing an E46 M3 and feel "bad" about every dollar I spend on mods.

Has anybody owned/extensively driven an E36 M3 and an E46 ZHP that can provide a comparison? I don't want to downgrade in regards to performance or reliability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
E36 m3 sucked in reliability when it was new much less 10+ yrs later. E46 M3 so much more vehicle. I vote e46 m3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
E36 m3 sucked in reliability when it was new much less 10+ yrs later. E46 M3 so much more vehicle. I vote e46 m3.
Maybe you had a bad experience with yours but S52's are less problematic than our S54's with vanos gears shearing / bolts backing out and spinning rod bearings. S52's need metal impeller water pumps and their oil pump nut welded, that's about it.

If money was no object I'd obviously say get the e46 M, but it is a deciding factor for him. I'd say get the e36 if you don't mind the dated styling and interior (subjectively speaking from a previous e36 owner). They're still great cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,615 Posts
E36 m3 sucked in reliability when it was new much less 10+ yrs later. E46 M3 so much more vehicle. I vote e46 m3.
What the hell are you talking about? The E36 M3 is far more reliable than the E46 M3.

The E46 M3 is a better car because it's a true M car compared to the US pseudo E36 M3. It is a better car all around, but more reliable than an E36 M3 is not not one of them. :lmao:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,140 Posts
So I currently have an 04 330i ZHP that I've owned and loved for the past year but think I want something different, an M car to mod. I feel the ZHP sedan just doesn't need any mods -- for what it is the BMW engineers were just about spot on (excluding the lack of an LSD).

I'm considering selling my ZHP, paying off what I owe on it, and outright buying an E36 M3 and saving the rest of my peanuts so I can buy a house in a few years...or financing an E46 M3 and feel "bad" about every dollar I spend on mods.

Has anybody owned/extensively driven an E36 M3 and an E46 ZHP that can provide a comparison? I don't want to downgrade in regards to performance or reliability.
Get an E46 M3..night and a day difference then you can join the mid-atlantic M group :thumbsup:
What the hell are you talking about? The E36 M3 is far more reliable than the E46 M3.

The E46 M3 is a better car because it's a true M car compared to the US pseudo E36 M3. It is a better car all around, but more reliable than an E36 M3 is not not one of them. :lmao:
:lmao: so true
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Sell the car . . . . . :thumbup:

Buy the house NOW! :woot:

Get the E46 M3 and park it in your new garage. :thumbsup:

Then let the home and M3 mods begin ! ! :excited:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
E46 M:dennis:



















































































:eeps:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Since your so happy with the 330, why not just put a LSD rear end in it? Then save yourself some cash and buy your house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I have them both! They are both great driving cars with the Zhp more refined. For you, I would keep the Zhp and save up for your house. Just my 02.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
hehe , you ask on E46 fanatics for a E36 vs E46...

E36 is far more reliable.. I had 2 E36 M3 and 1 E46 M3...

to each their own, I sold the E46 to get back in E36 becaused I liked it way more... it missed performance when stock, but I still prefer the E36.. and even turbo'ed, it did cost less in 3 years than my E46 in 1 year...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I came from an E36 to my E46 M3. If I had it to do again I'd probably stay with the E36. There's a few known issues on the E36, none of which were that expensive and once fixed or upgraded mine was reliable. I had a lot more fun with the E36, It was a fun car to drive. If something broke, so what, it's cheap and easy to fix. Almost everything about the E36 can be upgraded to something better. I enjoyed "building" my E36. I didn't find the E46 to be that much more of a car, with the exception of concerns about the subframe, vanos, cam gear bolts, SMG, etc... Similar to the E36 with the cooling system and vanos, once you get those issues out of the way it's just routine maintenance. To me it's about getting the known issues resolved so you don't have to worry about them. On the E36; aluminum radiator, Stewart WP, aluminum T-stat housing, and a Dr. Vanos stage II, done. Total cost maybe $1,100, no more lingering problems. On the E46; TMS reinforcement, Dr Vanos stage I, and replace cam gear bolts, maybe $2200. Then you have to worry about the random SMG issue ($1000-$4000) and valve adjustments (400+) that there's nothing you can do anything to prevent. That's the difference I noticed is the E36 could be fixed and it's issues resolved. The E46 has issues that can't be resolved, you just have to wait for things to go out and be prepared for when they do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
kind of cant compare the price of fixing an e36 vS a e46 since its normal the E46 parts and other stuff are more expensive since its a newer car. I came from a EURO E36 1997 to a 2002 M3 US spec and i must admit that my 1997 is more reliable and the performance difference isnt that big! but the E46 is a better looking car thats why i changed.

at your place i would just keep the ZHP and get some mods like lsd, short shifter...and save for a house
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
i bought my E46M in 2007, a cpl years later i rode in a friends E36M. After that ride i had to have one. My E46 is all around a better car, but my E36 feels a lil more raw and connected to the road as far as handling. IMO a boosted E36 would murder a E46M for the same price. I love both cars, so thats why i have both. I bought the E36 w/ about 135xxx miles and it has about 148xxx now, i use it as my DD and beat the hell out of at autoX , and hopefully get into HPDE next year. The only problem i had go wrong w my E36 so far was the idle control valve going bad. My E46M has less than 60k miles and i havnt had 1 problem with it yet. As long as propper maintaince are both on both ill think theyll last a long time. The E46 is by far a better looking car though. good luck in your decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
I would rather have your car over an E36 M3. So for me it's E46, or the house. Actually if it was me I'd definitely pick the house first. I bought my first house yrs before having a nice car, and it was financially the smartest decision I ever made.

Of course there are considerations to make. I would not buy a house unless you know for sure that you want to live in it for at least 5-7 yrs. If you're career could require moving in a couple years forget about it. Sometimes even I wish I had waited a couple years, and bought a better first house. But I hated renting, and I wanted a garage more than anything. No since having a nice car if you can't secure it.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top