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Old 07-29-2011, 05:42 PM   #1
Vrbovsky
pod stromom
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Sticks... London durring the day
Posts: 615
E46 touring advice.

Hello maxbimmer!

I'm planing on starting my search for an E46 touring this weekend. As such I would like to know what to check for. Where do they rust? What are failure prone part? Any questions specific to the touring I should ask? Finally what model is preferred/better?


Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
gnome
on the roam
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 308
Smile

E46 Touring is essentially the same as the E46 sedan, follow the same maintenance recommendations and parts replacement schedule as you would with any 325i Sedan, i.e.
- control arm bushings will go about about 80,000Km
- get the mtce record; make sure oil service, inspection I and II (with fuel filter!) schedule was followed
- look for simple things like the BMW hidden flashlight in the glove compartment, is it there? What kind of tires are on the car? No flashlight or cheap no-name tires indicates the owner may not have cared for the car
- change belts and coolant expansion tank proactively, and thermostat, these are known E46 issues
- VANOS seals replacement after about 120,000km. No low end performance without this.
- test the hell out of the automatic transmission, backup then shift to drive. Stop, quickly reverse, stop, then shift to drive again. Observe delays - I needed transmission custom programmed with codes entered per service bulletin.
- test steptronic, all gears up and down

When choosing the Touring, look for the following important facts, I took months to find the right one (CPO at BMW dealer):
Make sure the rear storage pull cover and cargo screen unit comes with the Touring, it is expensive to buy one later.
Look for full size spare and OEM wheel and tool kit under cargo cover!
Make sure there are two keys and test them, including rear hatch release and panic button test.
Drive a couple - there are a few options such as:
5 speed manual with sport packages versus auto/steptronic
Premium Package - I went with this, HK sound, full power/heated seats, cold weather package, etc

As for mods the list goes on to infinity as to what you can do to customize your ride to match your preferences, the usual starting points:
OEM alarm and custom key programming
larger wheels
upgrade suspension and drop
tinting all around
CAI
Upgraded exhaust
Custom Tune (e.g. MarkD tune)
Angel Eyes
Mtech II bumper
M3 strut bar
M3 steering wheel
CF grills, handbrake, shift surround, instrument cluster, etc.
LED lighting, inside and out
clear or smoked corners and sides
Brake rotor or BBK upgrades
etc etc - the sedan parts fit, except suspension, exhaust and LED tail lights, those need Touring part variants.

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:37 PM   #3
Vrbovsky
pod stromom
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Sticks... London durring the day
Posts: 615
^^^ copy, save, print, keep in pocket when looking.

Thanks a million!
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:23 AM   #4
njansenv
3rd Gear Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hamilton
Posts: 524
They are great cars: we have a '04 that we purchased with 130k. It appears that prices have dropped a fair bit, as I've seen a few on kijiji for well under 10k. There aren't many manual transmission cars out there, so it's hard to be too picky. Ours is a premium package car- we would've preferred a sport package, but the nearest sport+manual trans car that was for sale at the time was in Florida. The first thing that got "fixed" was the shifter - we used the BMW kit that uses a 330d shift lever.
It seems that the rear quarter near the bumper is a spot where rust starts on these, and sometimes the bottom of the doors.
__________________
1998 328i "M-tech"
2001 TDI Golf. 1300km/tank commuter. Boring, slow, cheap.
1991 P-car: 964c4 Let the porcupine jokes commence.


Gone: '99 M3 vert, '98 M3 sedan, '91 E30, '89 E30, '87 E30, '91 Euro M5, '93 6-speed Corvette, STI v8 swapped '98 Impreza, '73 2002, 2004 325iT
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
damameke
6th Gear Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnome View Post
E46 Touring is essentially the same as the E46 sedan, follow the same maintenance recommendations and parts replacement schedule as you would with any 325i Sedan, i.e.
- control arm bushings will go about about 80,000Km
- get the mtce record; make sure oil service, inspection I and II (with fuel filter!) schedule was followed
- look for simple things like the BMW hidden flashlight in the glove compartment, is it there? What kind of tires are on the car? No flashlight or cheap no-name tires indicates the owner may not have cared for the car
- change belts and coolant expansion tank proactively, and thermostat, these are known E46 issues
- VANOS seals replacement after about 120,000km. No low end performance without this.
- test the hell out of the automatic transmission, backup then shift to drive. Stop, quickly reverse, stop, then shift to drive again. Observe delays - I needed transmission custom programmed with codes entered per service bulletin.
- test steptronic, all gears up and down

When choosing the Touring, look for the following important facts, I took months to find the right one (CPO at BMW dealer):
Make sure the rear storage pull cover and cargo screen unit comes with the Touring, it is expensive to buy one later.
Look for full size spare and OEM wheel and tool kit under cargo cover!
Make sure there are two keys and test them, including rear hatch release and panic button test.
Drive a couple - there are a few options such as:
5 speed manual with sport packages versus auto/steptronic
Premium Package - I went with this, HK sound, full power/heated seats, cold weather package, etc

As for mods the list goes on to infinity as to what you can do to customize your ride to match your preferences, the usual starting points:
OEM alarm and custom key programming
larger wheels
upgrade suspension and drop
tinting all around
CAI
Upgraded exhaust
Custom Tune (e.g. MarkD tune)
Angel Eyes
Mtech II bumper
M3 strut bar
M3 steering wheel
CF grills, handbrake, shift surround, instrument cluster, etc.
LED lighting, inside and out
clear or smoked corners and sides
Brake rotor or BBK upgrades
etc etc - the sedan parts fit, except suspension, exhaust and LED tail lights, those need Touring part variants.

Good luck!
gnome...

best looking tourer I have ever seen.. th0se are VMR??
compiment the tourer very well...
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:14 PM   #6
gnome
on the roam
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 308
Thanks. Yes, VMR V710's, 18 x 8.5" in the front 18 x 9.5" in the rear.
Got them from Simplytire in Toronto, great service there!
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