E46 M3 vs. 135 - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 03:35 AM
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E46 M3 vs. 135

What are your thoughts?
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 12:12 PM
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You buying? Personally I would opt out for the 135, about the same size, just as quick, and is more on par with everything that's coming out these day.


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#3 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 02:50 PM
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There is something about ///M's that make it special.
135 are nice, but after hearing about recalls about the N54 engines I would think twice.
e46 M3>135
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 06:05 PM
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I currently have an E36 M3, and yes there is something about M's that is special. But, I've heard as far as reliability, the E46 is not the best route. I love the turbo feel from the 135's, and adding 100hp is fairly simple. I've also heard that 135's outside of warranty can be a night mare. E36 M3 just isn't cutting it anymore, need more guts.
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 11:29 PM
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Mod the e36 a bit. With bolt ons you should be close to 300rwhp. That's mated out on bolt ons though and upwards of around 4k. Or you could bolt on a sc for around the same price, do headers, m50 manifold 3.5 maf, should put you close to 400hp.


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#6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 04:17 PM
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:47 PM
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Simple clarification - ///M cars are in a completely different category than regular BMW's. They have their own factory and are designed with a very different plan in mind. While I understand some frustration with the age and some shortcomings of the beautiful E36 M3, as stated, there are plenty of fixes. Further, with the advent of the E46, with its power dome in an aluminum hood, steering, gearing, LSD and road feel, the ///M Division took a giant leap forward, one built upon to this day. It remains one of the most modded cars of all time, with products STILL being developed for its performance 5 years after the last one was produced. It also remains one of the greatest design successes in both BMW and sport sedan history. To compare the nimble, but cramped 135 to the mighty E46 ///M3 - even stock - is candidly just silly. Both have their plusses, but they are in different categories altogether. Enjoy what you choose, as both are great in their own right, but please, keep the comparisons fair...!


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#8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 09:30 PM
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Great insight, I appreciate the perspective. However, almost everyone I talk to says that the E46 is just not the tank as far as reliability as the E36 is. And people are tuning these 135's to run 0-60 in the low 3's. Some people say that if your going to invest in a performance car, it makes zero since to invest in one that will be 10 years old before you know it. The amount of technology that has changed in that time is quite significant. I wish they'd stop making these bimmers bigger, the fact that the E90 looks like a monster compared to my E36 is absurd. And They need to rid the new M3's of that V8 and drop a turbo'd 6, or potentially drop in that new m5 setup in it. Naturally aspirated power is cool, but something about feeling that turbo spool just makes all the difference
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 06:58 PM
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I would go for an Evo VII Extreme S,450 odd horses,3.5 to 60. would drive most things into a ditch at a fraction of the price.As an added bonus you wont find one on every street corner.Or then again maybe they wont let you guys buy them.
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 08:37 PM
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Ya, if i was edging away from bimmers, I'd prob consider the category of supra's, evo's, STi's. But come on, for a daily driver you gotta keep it some what classy. No girl wants to get into a car with a wing as tall as her, and a blow off valve that snaps between gears
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#11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 02:34 PM
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yea,ok,maybe you have a point.
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#12 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 05:04 PM
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They will never put the same powerplant in the M3 that is in the M5 - that would be a disservice to the M3 as a production model and candidly lower the exclusivity of the vaunted and much more expensive M5. That said, they are indeed already confirmed for dropping the V-8 NA engine from the M3 as the new generation comes out next year. It will surely be a 6 cylinder major turbo set up (they are actually discussing a TRI-turbo set up with each a twin scroller like the N55 to keep and increase power while raising fleet wide gas mileage averages as they are required to do.

Now - as to reliability etc - the E46 was the next generation in every way from the E36, the first of the now modern era of M3's. It was the first M3 that made more than 300hp (100hp+ per liter of the 3.2L engine). However sadly, it's biggest problem was that it carried over its rear subframe from the E36 with all its horrific problems (to the point of a class action settlement where BMW agreed to fix the huge number that cracked. Unchecked, this problem could lead to catastrophic failure and loss of the entire rear suspension of the car! Turner Motorsports designed a steel reinforcement kit to address this which is inexpensive, however the labor cost is very high - 2-3 days work - I had mine welded, repaired and the kit installed this Summer especially given the power I run and investment made in mine). The E36 also had an awful by all accounts plastic radiator portion that often cracked and led to overheating and all other obvious problems. The list goes on, but in short, I think calling the E36 a stalwart of reliability is a bit generous. To be fair, the E46 had its share of problems too, although I have had nothing but reliability shown by mine (only issues were related to mods or sitting in the heated garage all winter). As with all models, the later into the run you get, te tether off you are as they've had the chance to work out all the bugs/problems - my Z3 is last production year bought new and my E46 is 2005 of a 99-06 run). Don't get me wrong, I happen to LOVE the E36 - one of my favorite looking BMW's ever, and a huge success for them on the track as well. But be fair - on reliability, I'm not sure I see a big difference, if not an edge to the E46. Anyway - here's to enjoying both models for years to come, and as with anything - taking good care of them along the way really makes all the difference! Happy Motoring!


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Last edited by RoadsterMadness; 11-13-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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#13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 08:21 PM
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ya, good input. When I do go for M series cars I make a point to get the last year of the production for that simple reason. That is why I bought a 99M3, and that's why if I end up getting an E46, I will either get an 05 or 06.

Now heres the more important; as far as modding goes, you happy with your dinan products? I like having the piece of mind reliability, but it definitely comes with a price. How many horses could be expected from some simple bolt ons; intake/exhaust/software?
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#14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 10:12 PM
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Dinan is by far a superior product that is not a hodgepodge of products from others thrown together in a "kit" but actually engineered and tested (and UPGRADED as needed eg the inside of my Vortech blower was totally redone by DINAN internally). Anyway, worth every penny for the quality, customer service and warranty. I had others products on other cars and will not go back. DINAN was great to me even AFTER the warranty was up - replacing this and that without charge (eg frot strut tower brace snapped twice - and they sent me an extra backup in case there is a future problem!).

As far as added hp from bolt ons - I suggest you just call them - their sales guys and product guys are great! Don't go to the DINAN dealer to ask - CALL DINAN DIRECTLY and you won't be sorry. I know many others with tons of DINAN products and they are quite happy too. Hope this helps.


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