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Looking to purchase my first m3, I’ve owned several E46 non m before and like most always wanted an m3, an opportunity arisen recently to purchase one in a very lucrative alpine white with cinnamon interior color combo, 6 speed manual transmission, 170k miles and a clean title. He wants $9750 the listing follows

2002 BMW M3/ 6 speed manual Alpine White with very desirable Cinnamon Interior // 170k miles // CLEAN TITLE

Pros:
  • magnaflow exhaust
  • TTFS tune w/ shift light indicator in RPM gauge
  • head cleaned and polished (Lang Racing Dev) (i asked him why if it had over heating issues before and he said no it was done because he was already getting vanos serviced so might as well while they were in there.)
  • vehicle has never been tracked and smoked in
  • Clutch and flywheel replaced at 165k mi
  • RTAB and FCAB replaced with AGK poly bushing
  • VANOS system replaced at 163k mi (but he says theres a slight oil leak coming from vanos seals) claims he forgot to change the seals
  • Eonon touch screen (still have OEM radio)
  • xenon headlight and HID kit (modbargain)
  • angel eye kit on hand but have not installed yet (angel eye guy)
-timing chain guide replaced
  • Varratoen ES5 (front 19x9.5 and rear 19x10.5)
  • water pump, overflow tank and radiator (CSF)
Cons
  • subframe reinforcement hasn’t been done (allegedly no cracks)
  • rod bearings haven’t been done (doesn’t know if it’s ever been serviced prior to his ownership, says there’s no rod knock but hears a small tick & oil has never been sent out to get tested) could the tick be unrelated?
  • front bumper (has a crack from debree on highway)
$9750
No low ball offers

I thought it was an alright offer so I reached out to him, after speaking some more he fessed up to say that the instrument cluster is not working and has tried changing fuses that it would need a new cluster and be reprogrammed, he also said that it did over heat a little from time to time at still heavy traffic in the Las Vegas desert heat where the car is located . Mind you I live here too and never had any of my prior e46 over heat during summer here in Vegas, so is this an m3 common Issue ? Looking for opinions thank you , good buy or not ?
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Without any subframe confirmation... as in real inspection, rod bearings possibly not being done, and the fact that the vanos is leaking, I would walk away. Car looks rough to me, and it won't take many more issues to drive up the overall cost of the car. Even if you can do all the work, you are still talking a LOT of time investment.
Any claims of work should be backed up by receipts. My 0.02...
 

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I think it is a fair offer he is asking but you might be able to find better though finding a manual might be an issue. As far as subframe - you can inspect yourself and decide. Vanos - is hit or miss. If all of that work was done he would be asking more. My opinion is to have an inspection done. Sounds like the guy is being up front with you. Everyone freaks out on these things but honestly vanos is not required and subframe I would only do if you see evidence. A couple of things I find concerning is the overheating issue though that might be an easy fix and the instrument cluster is a Problem.


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Overheating is probably a bad fan clutch. Easy fix. Sounds reasonable, but be prepared to spend $2k-$3k to get all of its issues fixed.
 
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