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Member Journals Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress.


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Old Mon, Jan-04-2016, 04:45:38 AM   #1
KS Golfer
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Default 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

Better late than never I guess.

Car is a 2003.5 Jet Black over Black, sunroof, heated seat, HK, 6MT

TL/DR; did some stuff over the last couple years, life happened, now getting serious.

I bought this car in 2011 as a consolation to myself after giving up racing with SCCA for 7 years. My affinity for BMW started when I was 14 or 15 and my friend's older brother used to drive us around in his black over red E28 535is 5sp. The E46 M3 became my "attainable exotic" when they came out when I was in high school.

Car came out of Texas originally, with the second owner in Kansas City being Marcus Moore now of WFAA 8 in Dallas. I wasn't looking to buy an M3 originally, but a 4 door ZHP because i knew of the impending family expansion my wife had been negotiating. ZHP guys want so much money I got a bit fed up with it. I finally found a higher mileage one out in CT for cheap I had a tentative deal on. But while on vacation in Phoenix found this car for sale on E46F that was local to me, made an agreement in principle that night, and did the exchange when I got back.

Marcus had some decent service history, and Inspection II was just completed so it was in pretty good shape. Purchased it for i think $18k with 80k miles and two sets of wheels. One of them was a set of i-Forged, which i didn't care for, and sold those for $1k. Car also came with H&R springs and koni sports.

Anyway....

I did some fairly basic stuff right when I got it.

I thought the car was difficult to get into 3rd on hard acceleration and cornering, so i replaced the trans mounts with new ones from rogue.

also put in a 330d shifter, fuel filter, powerflex RTAB, bimmerworld "lifetime" rear shock mounts, OE FCAB, rebuilt injectors, primary o2 sensors, new headlight covers, and Bosch coils over the next year.

as the michelin sport AS tires were wearing down to nothing that fall, i bought some Apex EC-7s from another member here, some Pilot Super Sports, and an apex 75mm stud kit.

as of right now there's a bunch of stuff sitting on the shelf to refresh all the shifter bushings, guibo, slave cyl, and CSB in pursuit of improving the shifting feel. they've been sitting there for a while, as we've moved to a new town, bought a new house, had our first kid, and changed jobs. i only drove the car 3000 miles this year, and it currently has 105k. i wouldn't say this car has been neglected at all, but it's been so much more reliable than the hastily purchased E39 525 i also have, that all of my time has been getting the E39 up to snuff instead of improving the M3.

i should be putting that stuff on, but instead i took the bumper and support off today because the ducting behind the kevlar support was broken the first week i had the car after hitting a chunk of semi tire on the road during a trip to a wedding.

While that's off i'll be doing a cooling system upgrade, but haven't quite figured out what parts i'll be using just yet. planning on a thicker radiator, eliminating the aux fan, and replacing the mech fan with a spal.

then of course there's the VANOS issues. i'll be going full Beisan with that one.

after that is getting to the brakes. i have good pad life left, but the rotors are warped, and are of unknown drilled variety. not sure which direction i'll go...currently leaning the porsche brembo route, but need to look into that some more.

it's a lot of work to get done over the next couple months....while doing an addition to our house. we'll see.

long term plans in my head include leveraging my contacts and friends from my racing days to do things like seam welding, and get my cage builder to REALLY fix the rear subframe problems. i will not be chasing power, at least in the short term. chassis improvements and efficient operation are first on the docket.

i am HORRIBLE at taking pictures....so this will force me to get better. attached are car as i bought it, car as it sits in the garage, and the stack of M3 tires vs the stack of X5 tires (what's wrong with this picture?).

Finally found a pic of the car from about 2yrs ago at our old house, which is probably the last time i had to work on it at all. Different wheels, pulled the fog light thingees out.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Marcus.jpg (212.6 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg 20160103_132401.jpg (328.3 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg 20160103_132411.jpg (238.8 KB, 74 views)
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Last edited by KS Golfer; Fri, Jan-15-2016 at 05:17:33 PM.
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Old Mon, Jan-04-2016, 02:45:05 PM   #2
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

man....a couple cocktails and posting while watching the vikings beat up on the pack results in a stream of consciousness blithering doesn't it? my pic uploads didn't even work.

reserved to clean this up later and post some more interesting stuff.
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Old Mon, Jan-04-2016, 03:39:21 PM   #3
BMWjunkie11
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

You seemed to have done a lot of maintenance and that's great, I've got some to do myself this spring, I too have that 330d shifter, but haven't installed it. I may install it while I do my headers since I'll be up on a lift. Did you notice a substantial difference with that over oem?
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Old Mon, Jan-04-2016, 03:46:38 PM   #4
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

honestly, i never even notice it, which i think is good.

it doesn't feel artificially short, just seems like what it should have been from the factory. it still doesn't feel as good as i think it should though. so after i get the cooling/vanos stuff sorted out, i'll be laying under the car for a while trying to replace all those fiddly bits in the linkage. i have some of the delrin bushings from ECS, so we'll see if that helps.

probably at least weld in an AR20 while sect 1 is down too.
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Old Mon, Jan-11-2016, 03:30:27 AM   #5
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

some more progress made today in the short time i had while the kid was napping.

aux fan, radiator out, and coolant drained. getting that bolt off of the block was not the most fun i've ever had. i tried to take the radiator out the top to start with...that was a waste of 20min. for sure take it out through the bottom.

100k miles really causes a mess in there. surprising how much stuff makes it all the way through the condenser and into the radiator.

still not quite sure what to do with the radiator/fan situation. i might just leave that be for the time being and address the VANOS issues, valve job, replace the VCG first.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20160110_134944.jpg (375.2 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg 20160110_154401.jpg (333.1 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg 20160110_154431.jpg (283.4 KB, 45 views)
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Last edited by KS Golfer; Mon, Jan-11-2016 at 03:38:21 AM.
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Old Tue, Jan-19-2016, 02:15:51 AM   #6
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

halfway to the valve adjustment finish line, which is on the way to the vanos rebuild.

some boxes came this week. $1000 worth of parts doesn't look very impressive, but they're pretty important. i like to lay stuff out on top of towels or something, but since this is going on the intrawebs, i figured i'd get some extra street cred by using t-shirts with properly yellow pit stains.



whatever cred i gained, i totally lose from letting my belts get this bad. i checked them when i bought the car 5+yrs and 25k miles ago, but neglected to ever look again it seems.



bay isn't in bad shape, but hopefully it'll look fresher when i'm done with all of this.



good timing for this project, as one of the grommets was starting to weep, and spark plug on cyl 1 was slightly damp. good news is that plugs all looked pretty nice and evenly brown.



well crud. appears t least the initial owner was on the 15k mile OCI. i've been on 7500 since i got it or annual the past couple years. pic of under the valve cover....cause that's what you're supposed to do on this board right?



and you're not truly a member of m3f, or a true m3 owner until you've nervously eyeballed your vanos tabs.

looks like i'm good to put on the beisan disc.



initial measurements of the intake valves are only 3 that are too tight, so at least somebody has been paying for adjustments over the years. hopefully finish this up tomorrow, and start on VANOS this weekend.
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Old Sun, Jan-24-2016, 02:58:41 AM   #7
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

used BMWs are great value...i swear!!!



ack. stupid radiator on the e39 needed to be replaced so i haven't finished up the valve adjustment.

did order the timing tools from bimmertoolrental, but then they sent me an email saying "uhhh...it's snowing a lot...we won't get these sent out until sometime next week."

i chuckled.
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Old Mon, Jan-25-2016, 05:03:44 PM   #8
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

geezus...valve adjustment on cylinders 5 and 6 are a PITA. i'm 6'2'' and can't even really get back there even with the bumper off and standing on a chair.

it's not helping that the car is stone cold and hasn't been run in a couple months, so the rockers aren't exactly well lubricated and sliding easily.

just one exhaust valve left on #5. i got fed up with it yesterday and went to hit golf balls instead.

EDIT; Done. Makes a BIG difference if the rocker guides are at least well lubricated. poured a little bit of oil on #10 exhaust valve and things started moving much easier.
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Old Wed, Mar-09-2016, 02:30:45 AM   #9
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

lots of "life" stuff happening. progress has been a little slow....but we're getting there.



almost all cleaned up.



lang cam bolts are in, new chain guide went in today after work.



baby steps every day or this tool rental is going to turn into a purchase.
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Old Wed, Mar-16-2016, 01:27:22 AM   #10
KS Golfer
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Default Re: 2003.5 Jet Black 6MT - let's get to work

just the intake side rattle kit is left and the VANOS is all done.

cleaned up all the gunk/varnish under the valve cover while it was off. not sure what the plastic part on top of the valve cover is really for, but it's full of crap too, so it's the next thing to clean out.



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Discussing W///'s combo build thread in the Member Journals Forum - Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)