Meet the E46

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by RyanV, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    It was time for my wife to upgrade from the old Corolla. She wanted something nicer and given that we will be buying a house in the next while I figured it was best to buy a replacement sooner than later since we probably won’t want to spend the money once we have mortgage payments. She didn’t have a lot of must have’s, but he had to like the look of it, manual transmission and nice place to be on the interior. For myself I also wanted it to be reliable and generally easy to work on since I try to do as much of the maintenance as I can. I also wanted to get a car with 50-80k kms.

    I tried to push the wagons on her, but she didn’t come around to liking them. I wanted to get her something AWD for the added security in poor road conditions. I also tried to push her away from a manual for a number of reasons, but I won’t get into that. RHD cars were out of the question, so the first car I was looking at for her was the Saab 9-2X Aero. I thought this would be an awesome car for a DD with tons of space, but as mentioned I couldn’t get her to come around to the wagons. Stuck on sedans I looked more towards the E46 330xi. I looked both in Japan and locally. Local cars always seemed to be really high mileage and they only come up in Japan on occasion. Japan models for the 330xi also seemed to be pretty low spec with odd interior colours that didn’t really seem to match.

    Long story short, I ended up picking up a 2000 330i MSport locally. It’s a 5 spd with only 78,000 kms. It’s still an import from Japan, but we got it within our budget and actually cheaper than I could import one for. It’s only the second car I’ve purchased locally. I was supplied with the auction sheet from Japan (4B) and I also had the benefit of viewing and test driving the car before we made the purchase. I suspect the seller made some money on it since he bought the car last May when the exchange rate was better, but I’m ok with that since it still seemed like a win for us.

    I think the MSport package on the car is a big plus. It’s not quite the same as the ZHP package that was sold in Canada (starting 2003 I think?), but it has a number of nice things that the ZHP has:

    · MSport suspension
    · Smaller sport steering wheel
    · MSport body kit
    · Sport seats in the front
    · MSport wheels
    · Anthracite headliner and satin chrome shadow line (not really sure what this is)

    Down sides are that it doesn’t have cruise control, heated seats or the 6 spd transmission that the ZHP cars have. The 6 spd would have been nice because it revs a bit higher than I would expect at highway speeds. Not a lot of driving impressions yet. We’ve only driven it a bit so far and won’t have it on the road to be the wife’s full time driver until after the winter, but so far we are pretty happy with the purchase :)

    Just the one pic for now. Better pics will come in the spring :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Greg

    Greg Local Grumpy Moderator

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    It's so plain! I hope you have some plans to make it stand out a bit?
     
  3. Stokes

    Stokes Brad

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    Love it!
     
  4. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    It actually doesn't look too plain in person. The Msport kit on it with the larger air damn up front looks pretty good. The standard E46 do look pretty plain, but not as "bad" as the E92's look IMO. I'll get some better pics in the spring :)

    No plans to change anything. I have a staggered set of LTW's (wheels) for summer tires. I don't think it will change the overall look of the car too much though.

    *Edit: I forgot to add that it came with two sets of tires as well. Winters presently mounted on the MSport wheels and a set of all seasons. Nice to have a set of winters come with the car too!
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  5. lenglish

    lenglish Exiled Cult Member

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    Nice car! My Dad has an E46 coupe that I enjoy driving.

    The shadow line is refering to the exterior window trim. On cars without the shadow-line option, this is shiny and chrome-like.

    Looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Shadowline is what you want.
     
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  6. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Good info, thanks Lenglish!
     
  7. IanB

    IanB New Member

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    Sharp car, lucky missus!
     
  8. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    I haven't put anything in this thread for a while, but that's partially because it's not my car :p

    No major issues so far and my wife loves the car which is great! The only thing that came up is that the front right caliper was sticking every now and then. I just took it off and got some high temp brake grease on the piston. There was a bit of rust in there (which I cleaned out) and the calipers are surprisingly rusty. Next time it starts sticking I'll replace with a re-man unit.

    [​IMG]

    As I stated initially I was concerned with her having a car with a manual transmission for a DD, but she's been good with it :) I changed out the cabin filter which was WAY easier than on my E46. The new filter has the charcoal in it and that's why it's a darker colour.

    [​IMG]

    Other PM items addressed were diff and transmission oil change. Coolant was checked and it's in good shape :) I'm hoping to get a claybar and wax done in September while the weather is still decent.
     
  9. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Wash, claybar and wax yesterday. It was pretty much the perfect weather for it with some high overcast and cooler temperature :)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Replaced the cowl at the bottom of the windshield on the weekend. The rubber was disintegrating.

    Old vs new :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Only issue we've had with the car is the rear ABS sensor(s). I replaced the one that's required for the speedo, but now the other one is acting up. At least this time the speedo still works. Expensive little part though. About $120 USD for a stupid little sensor. I tried an aftermarket one, but it didn't work even though it shows up as an equivalent part. The leg on the sensor is too short, so I'm stuck buying the expensive ATE one(s).

    Front brakes will need to be done soon too. Seems like one or both of the rotors are just slightly warped.
     
  11. IanB

    IanB New Member

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    I had to replace the cowls on the E55 as well, rubber was just breaking down.
     
  12. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    It was one of the first things I did on the E36 when it came over too.