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exextatic

Project 332i - E46 M3 Sedan

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Have had some interest in my '332i' project, so will post up the details here on Bimmersport.

This car started life as a 2003 330i m-sport sedan in black sapphire metallic and is being built into an 'M3 sedan'.

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While the car existed as a standard 330i, I replaced the seats and door cards with black leather units, and retrofitted an NBT from an F30:

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HellBM then removed the M54B30 and replaced it with an S54B32 & 6-speed manual gearbox:

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The VANOS was then 'bulletproofed' using the full Beisan kit, uprated cam gear bolts & S62 diaphragm springs, and the valves adjusted:

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I then rebuilt the donor M3 brake calipers; the front caliper pistons weren't in great shape and were replaced:

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Caliper carriers media blasted & painted:

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Calipers prepped & painted (Duplicolor gloss black):

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Next up was preparing the remaining M3 suspension and driveline components.

New Bilstein PSS10 coilovers:

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Donor M3 subframe bushes removed:

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CMP Auto Engineering solid subframe bushes were chosen for this car, even though it's intended for street use.

The reasoning is two-fold; no movement of the subframe against the RACP should help prevent any future cracking, and the bushes are designed to move the subframe closer to the body to account for reinforcement plates & the vehicle being lowered.

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The M3 LSD was cleaned, drained and the rear cover replaced:

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And reinstalled back into the subframe:

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Trailing arms disassembled, wheel bearings, balljoints replaced & Syncro Design Works monoball RTAB installed:

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Handbrake shoes & new springs installed:

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For the front, new CSL kingpins and wheel bearings were used:

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The old rear suspension & fuel tank were removed from the sedan:

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And the boot floor removed:

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No turning back now :).

A brand-new E46 M3 floor pan was purchased and the centre panel extracted:

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CMP Auto Engineering reinforcement kit installed:

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The decision was made to go the 'full way':

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Donor rear arches extracted & prepared:

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Test-fitting with M3 rear bumper:

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Tacked on & then welded fully:

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View from behind:

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M3 rear muffler brackets installed (pre-arches):

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The rear suspension & fuel system were then mostly reinstalled:

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ECS Tuning Monoball RSMs & reinforcement plates installed:

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And some more parts removed:

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A genuine M3 bonnet was then fitted. The guards will be created by joining both sedan and M3 guards:

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And that's it for now - more to come soon :)

Edited by exextatic
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Awesome James.

The fun way of doing an M3

The electrical side of it is the most fun too! 

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3 hours ago, qube said:

awesome project. a nice 330i to be sacrificed but hey why not!

Sacrificed?? You mean chosen for special blessings! 

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On 1/17/2019 at 9:38 AM, qube said:

awesome project. a nice 330i to be sacrificed but hey why not!

 

On 1/17/2019 at 1:22 PM, Michael. said:

Sacrificed?? You mean chosen for special blessings! 

Thanks Michael & Kyu; definitely special blessings rather than a sacrifice.

Only a small update today; have had a review of the welding work with an LVVTA certifier, only minor adjustments required.

The arches are currently being filled and smoothed, and are coming along well:

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And with the front bumper lightly held in place (not properly attached):

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What particular welds were they questioning / needing changes made to? 

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4 hours ago, Michael. said:

What particular welds were they questioning / needing changes made to? 

Some additional welding was required on the inner skin of the rear guards, and the tube sections that are attached to the reinforcement bar / subframe bolts also had to be welded to the top-side skin of the boot floor (seemed fairly aesthetical to me...) - nothing major either way, fortunately.

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Great project, looking forward to more posts

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Suspension back in over the long weekend:

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Also sorted out the wheels for this project - thank you Tom (M3_Power)!

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The car seeing daylight for the first time in months:

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Very happy with how it's turning out; a few more jobs to go and then it'll be on to paint.

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On 2/4/2019 at 11:21 AM, qube said:

any plans on the rear taillight and boot handle?

Image result for e46 m3 sedan rear

Have been looking into a CSL-style bootlid (Seibon Carbon) and diffuser, but undecided as at yet (have heard mixed reviews re fitment with the CSL-style bootlids).

Anyhow, latest updates:

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I've since fixed the missing lip on the bootlid, left-rear door trim, centre caps and fitted Bimmerworld adjustable rear camber arms.

The earlier-style mirror modules (non-ribbon-cable) have also been retrofitted, and the GM coded accordingly, so the M3 mirrors are fully functional on a car that originally used ribbon-cable mirrors. ?

Edited by exextatic
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you need some LED rear tailights :)

wheels look perfect, fitment is 100% too.

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This looks so tough in 4 door format.

What (if any) plans do you have interior-wise?

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Holy crap, I missed this thread, it looks epic, I must come back and read it properly.

Nice one. ?

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12 hours ago, qube said:

you need some LED rear tailights :)

wheels look perfect, fitment is 100% too.

Thanks Kyu, have definitely been pondering LED tails for it - concerns around quality of the aftermarket offerings are the only thing holding me back on them.

 

10 hours ago, Cale said:

This looks so tough in 4 door format.

What (if any) plans do you have interior-wise?

Currently has the standard m-sport interior (black carpets & headliner, black alu-cube trim, black leather seats) with E92 M3 front seats (custom-built CANBUS module to get them functioning).

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2 hours ago, exextatic said:

Thanks Kyu, have definitely been pondering LED tails for it - concerns around quality of the aftermarket offerings are the only thing holding me back on them.

 

Currently has the standard m-sport interior (black carpets & headliner, black alu-cube trim, black leather seats) with E92 M3 front seats (custom-built CANBUS module to get them functioning).

have a set if you need , 

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Saw this in person when I was up there tuning John’s car for big cams! It is lovely and so well executed (makes me want to build one or a wagon ??) but mate you need a better condition steering wheel ???

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Hows the ride with the solid bushes?

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8 hours ago, zero said:

Hows the ride with the solid bushes?

It's definitely firmer than a standard M3, but not uncomfortably so; no excess driveline noise in the cabin or anything of that nature.

I've been meaning to update this thread for a while - recent (well, around a year ago now) additions include a CSL airbox (Karbonius).

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Some photos after a wash a while back:

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@exextatic What diff bushes do you have to go with the solid subframe bushes? Going to do mine in a few months, had heard NVH from solid / poly Subframe bushes is minimal and helps limit movement but solid / poly diff bushes will introduce significant NVH...

Need to see this beast again at another meet!

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Just spotted this thread having not been a member for a long while, very cool and unique car !!

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On 4/8/2021 at 9:43 AM, qube said:

still looks fantastic.

if you read the plate backwards its kind of like E46MDG :D

Thanks Kyu; maybe I'll come across a better-suited plate one day.

On 4/8/2021 at 3:09 PM, Sammo said:

@exextatic What diff bushes do you have to go with the solid subframe bushes? Going to do mine in a few months, had heard NVH from solid / poly Subframe bushes is minimal and helps limit movement but solid / poly diff bushes will introduce significant NVH...

Need to see this beast again at another meet!

The diff bushes are factory BMW (which means buying the whole rear cover). E46 non-M3 have a slightly different rear bush setup; I'd go with factory rubber personally.

10 hours ago, Cement said:

Just spotted this thread having not been a member for a long while, very cool and unique car !!

Thanks David.

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