The E46 325ti Appreciation Thread

The E46 325ti Appreciation Thread

Author
Discussion

Krikkit

20,982 posts

145 months

Monday 7th December 2020
quotequote all
JakeT said:
Don't want to be a git here, but why are they so bad when the weather isn't good? My 325ti has been all over the shop, and with climate, a decent stereo and the other E46 amenities it never felt bad doing big miles. Of course the lack of auto could be an issue, but I never thought mine was sparsely equipped. Saying that, mine's a well optioned model and everything works.
They're absolutely not - as you say they've got enough equipment and, properly tyred, reasonably capable for what they are.

But in bad weather on a busy commute you won't really have much fun with it. I don't know about anyone else, but the Ti is my fun car, and usually gets revved out etc as it's a pleasure to have a sonorous 6-pot and manual. Using it in traffic is a boring experience for me.

chillbill

103 posts

104 months

Monday 14th December 2020
quotequote all


Style 135s with Federal 595 RS-Rs for next season. (Would like to get some 18x8 BBS CKs as well.) Too many sets silly


syfon

2 posts

4 months

Monday 14th December 2020
quotequote all
Hi everyone,

New to the site but have been lurking for quite some time.

I recently acquired an April 2002 build E46 325Ti. Black Sapphire Metallic, (imola?) red leather interior & dash, M-Sport, manual. Just ticked over 200,000km (124k miles).

Picked it up very cheap as it needed a clutch and a fair bit of TLC, however she's straight overall, and hasn't had too much of a hard life. Just hasn't been totally cared for.

So far I've replaced the clutch & pressure plate with an OE Sachs unit along with new gearbox fluid, changed the oil/filter/plugs/air filters (cabin & intake), removed the rear 325Ti badge (pics were taken beforehand, and I like the clean look!) and touched up some of the exterior trim. Just picked up brand new OE rear 3/4 window rubber trims too.

As for modifications, I've already fitted a set of genuine staggered E46 M3 18's (style 67's). Front tyres are the OE m3 width/profile (225/45) while rears are a 235 (35 or 40, I forget), soon to be changed for a set of 245/40. All four tyres are cheap chinese crap; hoping to replace soon with a kumho ps71 or similar. Something I can be confident when leaning on as these tyres literally do nothing but understeer when it's even the slightest bit wet haha...

Within the next week, the secondary cats will be removed and the rear muffler replaced with a Magnaflow single in / dual out muffler. Should add a nice tone and make it a little more torquey down low.

Looking at an ECU with performance tune which will add around the 10whp mark.

Also looking to lower the front and rear, maybe even slam it; I'm undecided on this front. Rear guards will get cut and rolled, fronts just rolled (I want to do this as I may even go for a 255 in the rear).

Diff ratio change is another thing I'm very interested in doing. Stock ratio is 3.23 (afaik, please correct me if I'm wrong), I feel like moving to a 3.5 or 3.6 (somewhere around that ratio) would be a perfect upgrade for this car/chassis.

I'm after a bit of advice if anyone is knowledgeable in the following:


- Headlights - My 325Ti has the standard halogen setup. I've purchased a Halogen->Xenon retrofit kit from RetroFitLab. Has anyone done this retro-fit themselves? I'm a pretty seasoned DIY kinda guy (building an S54 in my garage atm), however I just like to research and check for other diy's or guides before I attempt something.

Kit for reference - https://www.retrofitlab.com/en/bmw-3-e46-compact-2...


- Springs (Front & Rear) - What similarities exist between the E46 Compact / Coupe / Sedan regarding the underlying suspension and associated components? Is the Compact exactly the same as either the Coupe or Sedan? Or does it have bespoke suspension components not found on other E46 models?

Just trying to figure out what parts are interchangeable as there's plenty of e46 sedans and coupes around to pick parts off.


I've owned a lot of E46 coupes in the past, never a sedan though. I like to think I know all there is about these cars but there's always something I didn't know about. I've owned a 2004 factory manual E46 M3 for the last 6 years too.

Any help and/or advice is appreciated. I'm yet to read through all 150-odd pages but will do so in due course.

[url]

|https://thumbsnap.com/h716syjU[/url]


anonymous-user

18 months

Monday 14th December 2020
quotequote all
[quote]- Springs (Front & Rear) - What similarities exist between the E46 Compact / Coupe / Sedan regarding the underlying suspension and associated components? Is the Compact exactly the same as either the Coupe or Sedan? Or does it have bespoke suspension components not found on other E46 models?
[/quote]

the underlying chassis is pretty much the same and the suspension is the same however the springs are different given there is less weight over the rear than the coupe/saloon.
bear in mind there are many different spring variations for the compact alone given the spring rates change depending on what optional extras you have fitted.

syfon

2 posts

4 months

Tuesday 15th December 2020
quotequote all
eezeh said:
the underlying chassis is pretty much the same and the suspension is the same however the springs are different given there is less weight over the rear than the coupe/saloon.
bear in mind there are many different spring variations for the compact alone given the spring rates change depending on what optional extras you have fitted.
Thanks for the information. I'll read into this further.

I have one further question if someone is knowledgeable in the area;

The rear 3/4 pop-out windows. They have a plastic/rubber trim attached to them. The trim goes right the way round. My trim is perished and cracked etc. Does anyone know if it is possible to purchase this part separately? I am unable to find this specific part number. Have spent a fair while on realoem to no avail.

If I can't find this trim brand new or from a local wrecker, I may have to take both windows to a local windscreen shop and see if they can do anything about replacing these trim pieces!

Once again, any help or advice appreciated smile

Naldrett

129 posts

111 months

Sunday 3rd January
quotequote all
Nice example? Pre-facelift but can’t be many 1 owner cars out there...
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202010215...

s m

20,622 posts

167 months

Sunday 14th February
quotequote all

PaulGT3

344 posts

136 months

Sunday 14th February
quotequote all
s m said:
Was mentioned on 1st July last year on this very thread when it went through BCA auction (reg visible on documents in ebay pic) and looked like it had some bubbling rear arches but presumably been rectified now at that price!

s m

20,622 posts

167 months

Sunday 14th February
quotequote all
PaulGT3 said:
Was mentioned on 1st July last year on this very thread when it went through BCA auction (reg visible on documents in ebay pic) and looked like it had some bubbling rear arches but presumably been rectified now at that price!
All creeping up now - the cheapest on eBay seems to be the same price as I paid nearly a decade back

anonymous-user

18 months

Sunday 14th February
quotequote all
s m said:
All creeping up now - the cheapest on eBay seems to be the same price as I paid nearly a decade back
Indeed, what do we reckon my 160k mile facelift 6spd is worth? biggrin
I wasn't expecting to get any more than £1500 for it.

helix402

6,059 posts

146 months

Sunday 14th February
quotequote all
Values of decent E46s are on the rise. They reached their lowest level a while ago.

Kawasicki

8,993 posts

199 months

Monday 15th February
quotequote all
JakeT said:
eezeh said:
What made you switch back to petrol from the diesel?
I've been eyeing up this car however i think id really rather have a manual than the auto
https://https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324400290354

side note: its been a while since i've spotted you on my commute, must have been those luminescent green seats that caught my eye! hehe
Personally, I found the diesel engine one dimensional in the car. After my E46 328ci went (the subframe mounts failed frown ) I thought I should do the sensible thing and get a diesel since the mileage made sense. I bought a nice one, a 6 speed manual 330d sport, with xenon lights, bluetooth. Black with cream leather. Nice car, and presented really well, but the engine felt too heavy for the nose, I didn't like that it didn't rev, and in spite of the 'MEGA TORKZ' I didn't find it anywhere nearly as rewarding to drive as my 325ti. Good outside lane motorway car, though. I sold it after a month and 2,000 miles, and swapped into an E91 330i with a manual gearbox. I do much prefer it, helped by the fact it spins to 7,000 RPM. smile

I've not done my regular commute for a while, but might be doing it more next year! You need to keep your eye out for a boring looking silver 3 series estate. hehe I do still have my 325ti too, but I don't use that to commute very often at all.
How do you like the e91?

JakeT

4,015 posts

84 months

Monday 15th February
quotequote all
Kawasicki said:
How do you like the e91?
In a sentence, really like it.

It's much more what I wanted out of a car. Mine is an SE model, with Birds B3 suspension kit, and some other choice additions and upgrades done to it. The N52 is a wonderful engine, I prefer it to the M54 in my 325ti. It never feels lacking anywhere, low or high revs. Higher the speed the better, last time I was in Germany with it I was on winter tyres and felt annoyed that I was limited to 130. At 120 it's really getting into its stride. Gearing to me is well judged, as is the rest of the controls. I'm really happy with it, 30,000 miles in. I've now taken to spending loads of money on it to keep everything 'right' so that I can keep driving it as long as I can.

Max M4X WW

4,445 posts

146 months

Monday 15th February
quotequote all
eezeh said:
s m said:
All creeping up now - the cheapest on eBay seems to be the same price as I paid nearly a decade back
Indeed, what do we reckon my 160k mile facelift 6spd is worth? biggrin
I wasn't expecting to get any more than £1500 for it.
One on ebay now, ending soon, £2600 and counting..

anonymous-user

18 months

Tuesday 16th February
quotequote all
Max M4X WW said:
One on ebay now, ending soon, £2600 and counting..


Christ almighty, for a car with near 100k on it, cloth interior ? Reckon I should start writing an ad..

s m

20,622 posts

167 months

Tuesday 16th February
quotequote all
eezeh said:
Max M4X WW said:
One on ebay now, ending soon, £2600 and counting..


Christ almighty, for a car with near 100k on it, cloth interior ? Reckon I should start writing an ad..
Blimey, that went for a bit more than I’d have thought!

Max M4X WW

4,445 posts

146 months

Tuesday 16th February
quotequote all
s m said:
eezeh said:
Max M4X WW said:
One on ebay now, ending soon, £2600 and counting..


Christ almighty, for a car with near 100k on it, cloth interior ? Reckon I should start writing an ad..
Blimey, that went for a bit more than I’d have thought!
Quite a lot of paintwork needed too due to lacquer peel as I had asked for some more photos and attempted to view last week but didn't quite make it over. Was planning to offer £3k when it was at £1950ish!

Assuming he will get beat down a bit or wouldn't be surprised if it was re-listed, however, I suspect he wasn't expecting as much either and would possibly take a bit of bartering.

Peter Empson

191 posts

237 months

Tuesday 16th February
quotequote all
Can anyone suggest which rear springs I would need for my 2002 325ti Sport, I think I've got a broken coil and want to stay at the standard ride height. Real OEM seems to suggest genuine ones are no longer available (if I'm reading it right) and I'm confused by the numerous after market options on places like Autodoc (I'm trying to work on a fairly tight budget). Are there any brands I should avoid?

Zener

17,778 posts

185 months

Tuesday 16th February
quotequote all
Sachs does the correct M/Sport springs for these IIRC ordered via ECP , GSF etc

Peter Empson

191 posts

237 months

Tuesday 16th February
quotequote all
Thanks, that's a great help, I'll hunt down some Sachs ones.

I've had a look on ECP and they list three Sachs rear springs options but apart from different prices there's no notes as to how they differ - no external part numbers, no length (their website is useless, same on car parts4less of course other than the price). GSF don't seem to list them that I can see, but there is one listing on Autodoc. I'll do some more digging tomorrow.