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Old 5th March 2017, 09:14 AM   #1
BMWforever
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Default Facelift vs not-facelift E46

What are the key differences between facelift and non facelift E46 M3s? I'm particularly interested in a vert with SMG. Is it worth holding out for a newer one?
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Old 14th March 2017, 09:52 PM   #2
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Default facelift

i would just buy the best you can get-not enough differences to worry about
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Old 16th March 2017, 01:21 AM   #3
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Rear lights probably the most obvious difference maybe more mechanically wise but not sure
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Old 16th March 2017, 07:28 AM   #4
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As said before...get the best for the money you have!
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Old 16th March 2017, 09:19 AM   #5
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It was a butt lift not a face lift anyway
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Old 16th March 2017, 10:11 AM   #6
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If you think you would want M-Track coded then facelift model. If not buy on condition as always. Most of it can be retrofitted.
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Old 16th March 2017, 10:20 AM   #7
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Here's a list of changes that might help:

Mar-01
E46 Introduced to the UK
Brushed Titanium replaced by Titan Shadow
Business Radio with MD added (Europe)

Jun-01
SMG-II Option Added (Europe)
19 Wheels Made Available (Europe)

Jul-01
19 Wheels made available (UK)

September 2001 (Model Year 2002)
SMG-II Option Added (UK Only)
Seat Width Adjustment Made Standard (UK Spec)
SatNav Screen replaced with Wide Screen Model
Auto-On Lights Added as Standard (UK)
Individual Options permitted (UK)
Standard Xenon lights upgraded to Bi-Xenon
Black Gloss Interior trim discontinued (Replaced by Titanium shadow)
Minidisc Option Added (UK)

Oct-01
SMG Paddles Changed (Size & Colour of + and -)

Jan-02
Minidisc / CD option combined with Nav/TV made possible.

February 2002 Changes
M Racing Strut added to Coupe & Cab

March 2002 Changes
Brushed Aluminium Interior Trim Added.
M Rear Wing Spoiler option added (As on 330Ci Clubsport)

September 02 (Model year 2003)
Cab Central Brake light made clear
SatNav Control unit upgraded to DVD player.
Bluetooth Phone Kit added.
Interior buttons changed from printed to embossing.
AUX Connections added to TV Unit

April 2003 Changes
New LED Rear Lights Added
Silver Grey Paint Added
Mystic Blue Paint Added
Steel Grey Discontinued
Topaz Blue Discontinued
SMG Logo removed
Cabs now get "convenience opening"
Climate Control Buttons changed
Brushed Aluminium Interior trim added (UK)
Boot lid handle changed

September 2003 (Model year 2004)
SatNav CD replaced with DVD including TMC
Le Mans blue added to Individual range of colours (UK)

September 2004 (Model year 2005)
TV Module upgraded to digital
Business CD Head Unit upgraded to play MP3

September 2004 (Model year 2005)
M3 CS Model Added (Europe)
Interlagos Blue Paint Added

April 2005 Changes
Phoenix Yellow dropped
Laguna Seca Blue dropped
M3 CS model introduced (UK)
Interlagos Blue Paint Added (UK)
3rd Point seat belt and headrest added

September 2005 (Model year 2006)
CD Changer upgraded to play MP3
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Old 22nd March 2017, 12:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbmw77 View Post
Here's a list of changes that might help:

Mar-01
E46 Introduced to the UK
Brushed Titanium replaced by Titan Shadow
Business Radio with MD added (Europe)

Jun-01
SMG-II Option Added (Europe)
19 Wheels Made Available (Europe)

Jul-01
19 Wheels made available (UK)

September 2001 (Model Year 2002)
SMG-II Option Added (UK Only)
Seat Width Adjustment Made Standard (UK Spec)
SatNav Screen replaced with Wide Screen Model
Auto-On Lights Added as Standard (UK)
Individual Options permitted (UK)
Standard Xenon lights upgraded to Bi-Xenon
Black Gloss Interior trim discontinued (Replaced by Titanium shadow)
Minidisc Option Added (UK)

Oct-01
SMG Paddles Changed (Size & Colour of + and -)

Jan-02
Minidisc / CD option combined with Nav/TV made possible.

February 2002 Changes
M Racing Strut added to Coupe & Cab

March 2002 Changes
Brushed Aluminium Interior Trim Added.
M Rear Wing Spoiler option added (As on 330Ci Clubsport)

September 02 (Model year 2003)
Cab Central Brake light made clear
SatNav Control unit upgraded to DVD player.
Bluetooth Phone Kit added.
Interior buttons changed from printed to embossing.
AUX Connections added to TV Unit

April 2003 Changes
New LED Rear Lights Added
Silver Grey Paint Added
Mystic Blue Paint Added
Steel Grey Discontinued
Topaz Blue Discontinued
SMG Logo removed
Cabs now get "convenience opening"
Climate Control Buttons changed
Brushed Aluminium Interior trim added (UK)
Boot lid handle changed

September 2003 (Model year 2004)
SatNav CD replaced with DVD including TMC
Le Mans blue added to Individual range of colours (UK)

September 2004 (Model year 2005)
TV Module upgraded to digital
Business CD Head Unit upgraded to play MP3

September 2004 (Model year 2005)
M3 CS Model Added (Europe)
Interlagos Blue Paint Added

April 2005 Changes
Phoenix Yellow dropped
Laguna Seca Blue dropped
M3 CS model introduced (UK)
Interlagos Blue Paint Added (UK)
3rd Point seat belt and headrest added

September 2005 (Model year 2006)
CD Changer upgraded to play MP3
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Old 26th March 2017, 04:44 PM   #9
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Thanks gregbmw77!
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Old 26th March 2017, 08:29 PM   #10
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Mine is a pre facelift but with a genuine LED high level brake light, some LED rear lights, a rear spoiler and a stubby aerial it became a facelift...

The bonus with the pre facelift is you get the exclusive SMG badge above the shift change settings button below the gear lever....

As said though buy on condition, I viewed even as new as 06 plate ones that were not in as good condition as mine, which was one owner from new, low mileage and NO rust anywhere which sold it to me...









Last edited by estoril m3; 26th March 2017 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 30th March 2017, 10:18 PM   #11
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That's nice! Love estoril with cream...
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Old 30th March 2017, 11:31 PM   #12
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Some errors / omissions in that list

Not a dig, cos I realise it's a copy and paste...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbmw77 View Post
Here's a list of changes that might help:

Mar-01
• E46 Introduced to the UK
• Brushed Titanium trim replaced by Titan Shadow
• Business Radio with MD added (Europe)

Jun-01
• SMG-II Option Added (Europe)
• 19” Wheels Made Available (Europe)

Jul-01
• 19” Wheels made available (UK)

September 2001 (Model Year 2002)
• SMG-II Option Added (UK Only)
• Seat Width Adjustment Made Standard (UK Spec) ...on coupe's
• SatNav Screen replaced with Wide Screen Model
• Auto-On Lights Added as Standard (UK)
• Individual Options permitted (UK)
• Standard Xenon lights upgraded to Bi-Xenon
• Black Gloss Interior trim discontinued (Replaced by Titanium shadow)
• Minidisc Option Added (UK)

Oct-01
• SMG Paddles Changed (Size & Colour of + and -)

Jan-02
• Minidisc / CD option combined with Nav/TV made possible.

February 2002 Changes
• M Racing Strut added to Coupe & Cab [incorrect - verts didn't get a strutbrace until 03]

March 2002 Changes
• Brushed Aluminium Interior Trim Added.
• M Rear Wing Spoiler option added (As on 330Ci Clubsport)

September 02 (Model year 2003)
• Cab Central Brake light made clear
• SatNav Control unit upgraded to DVD player
• Bluetooth Phone Kit added.
• Interior buttons changed from printed to embossing (?)
• AUX Connections added to loom for TV Unit

April 2003 Changes
• New LED Rear Lights Added
• Silver Grey Paint Added
• Mystic Blue Paint Added
• Steel Grey Discontinued
• Topaz Blue Discontinued
• SMG Logo removed from SMG 'dome'
• Cabs now get "convenience opening"
• Climate Control Buttons changed
• Brushed Aluminium Interior trim added (UK)
• Boot lid handle changed on coupe

September 2003 (Model year 2004)
• SatNav CD replaced with DVD, including TMC firmware in BM54
• Le Mans blue added to Individual range of colours (UK)

September 2004 (Model year 2005)
• TV Module upgraded to digital
• Business CD Head Unit upgraded to play MP3

September 2004 (Model year 2005)
• M3 CS Model Added (Europe)
• Interlagos Blue Paint Added

April 2005 Changes
• Phoenix Yellow dropped
• Laguna Seca Blue dropped
• M3 CS model introduced (UK)
• Interlagos Blue Paint Added (UK)
• 3rd Point seat belt and headrest added

September 2005 (Model year 2006)
• CD Changer upgraded to play MP3

Last edited by Rick M3; 30th March 2017 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 18th April 2017, 06:57 PM   #13
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Anyone have any idea of what mechanical improvements were made to cars built a the lifecycle of the E46 progressed? I have heard reports of redesign of the subframe/bootfloor/axle carrier panel area at some point to reduce the likelihood of cracks, and also at least a change of spring/damper rates in later models (04 onwards or something?) to improve ride and handling characteristics. Any physical proof of these changes and any more mechanical improvements over the E46's production?
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Old 16th May 2017, 07:00 PM   #14
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Probably worth mentioning that rod bearing failure was far more of an issue on pre 2003 cars - although BMW did replace under warranty I believe. That would be enough to put me off a 2001-2 M3 tbh.

Later cars had foam filling around the rear subframe to try and combat the floor cracking issue - how well this worked I don't know. Post 2004 cars also got the CS revised springs and possibly rack?!!?
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Old 16th May 2017, 09:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123dan View Post
Anyone have any idea of what mechanical improvements were made to cars built a the lifecycle of the E46 progressed? I have heard reports of redesign of the subframe/bootfloor/axle carrier panel area at some point to reduce the likelihood of cracks, and also at least a change of spring/damper rates in later models (04 onwards or something?) to improve ride and handling characteristics. Any physical proof of these changes and any more mechanical improvements over the E46's production?
The ACP is exactly the same. Whatever you heard is made up they will at some point crack doesn't matter what year or if it's a vert.
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Old 16th May 2017, 09:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringRob View Post
Probably worth mentioning that rod bearing failure was far more of an issue on pre 2003 cars - although BMW did replace under warranty I believe. That would be enough to put me off a 2001-2 M3 tbh.
Why would it be a put off if brand new bearings have been installed on those cars affected??

Quote:
Later cars had foam filling around the rear subframe to try and combat the floor cracking issue
No they didn't.
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