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Hello gents,

I came from the E46Fanatics world as I had been on that site since 2005, and just lost my 2001 330i to a total loss accident. An 85 year old woman claimed her foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas as she shot out of a parking lot unbeknownst to me and crushed the right rear quarter of my car. Being an 01 with 236K miles (all maintained by me) insurance felt the car was pretty worthless. Took a few weeks and proof via many many receipts of parts (all my labor unfortunately) to raise the value to an acceptable figure. I was also able to rape the car for any other aftermarket parts I could unload so I did ok in the end.

Picked up my new (used) 2003 TiAg M5 with 79K miles about 2 hours away from home, but still in Mass. Wiggled on the price a little bit and in the end considering what I was able to get for my E46, I picked this up for just under 20K.

Small things I have done thus far to bring my thread up to speed:
1) Had to get new front tires (Michelin Pilot Sport A/S to match the backs that were new). The Fronts were older Michelin Pilot Sport A/S from back in 2010 and had chunks of rubber missing from the tread area, even though the tread was still deep, tons of dry rot and it made me nervous on a car of this caliber so I had new ones put on.

2) Installed the short clutch stop from the ebay user recommended on here, made that lower clutch pedal dead spot so much better and car still starts no problem!

3) Hardwired my V1 so I am protected or at least on the defensive end all the time.

4) Inspected all 4 brakes, everything looks good, washed and waxed with Klasse All in One before the winter comes.

5) Figured out a decent solution to the water pooling in the gas cap area, for which I will post up some pics soon so you all can see. Granted it's not an optimal solution, but with the door closed you can't see anything and that was the only area on the entire car where there were some small rust bubbles.

6) Got under the car to check everything out, repaired the lower right fender belly panel the best I could until I get a new one, and found some exhaust brackets totally rusted through. I have the replacements from FCP in my garage right now waiting to go in.

7) Found out there is green coolant in this car (YIKES!!!) and not OE BMW Blue. Have records from PO of thermostat being replaced around 2013, so that is new-ish, as well as the clutch.

8) Issues I am currently perplexed with: Strange hesitation sometimes in 1st and 2nd gear, I've read on here about this, seems better with Sport mode engaged, but does not feel like it drives perfectly in 1 and 2. The rest of the gears are good. I am exaggerating this issue, but there is definitely something up. Also the clutch makes a spring-like sound when depressed and released which I also read can be normal, but my bigger concern (hoping it's the loose exhaust bracket rattling) is that once 1st gear is engaged, during the process of engagement, there is a strange creak.

I need to get my airbag recall done soon, so I am hoping to have the dealer at least assess the car overall and take a peek at the 1 and 2 gear issue along with the clutch noise. We'll see what they say.

Otherwise this thing is amazing, it's literally my favorite car of all time, so much so that when my girlfriend and I were dating, she rented me one from a high horsepower rental place for like $600 for one day! It stuck in my mind ever since. That was back in about 2001.

Just rolled the ODO over 80K the other day. Oil looks perfect, no leaks anywhere from what I can see. Will try to post up some pics that are on my phone soon.
 

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Here are a few pics I had stored on my pc..

One is of my buddy's 2000 528i (with swapped 540i trunk) that has just about 400K miles!

Another is of the 18" style 5 reps I had for my E46 that had an E39 center bore and came with hub-centric rings to fit the E46. Just confirming if they fit so I could use them as a spare if necessary, and they did, although offset pushed in a bit.
 

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Few more pics here...

put my old 5 speed ZHP shift knob in there right away, is so much better now that it's a bit lower, and my 6th gear is incognito! Ha, I may get a 6 speed one eventually but right now it works great.

Also found the OE M Mobility kit with godknowshowold tire sealant!
 

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^^ also can see chunks of rubber missing from front tires. This was not the worst part either. With no spare at the time, I didn't want to take the chance getting stranded somewhere and have to get this car towed within weeks of getting it due to a flat!

Pic there also of the KTEMP value as I was checking proper operation of my thermostat. This was after a bit of around town driving, it stays steady at 78-79 most of the time otherwise and seems to be perfectly operational.
 

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Lastly, I bought a stainless steel tow hook plate bracket since they are insane here in Mass with front plates. I drove my E46 for a few years with no front plate but eventually got tagged and warned, so I just don't want to be at risk giving them any reason to pull me over, and this was my best (unfortunately hideous) option so the plate would be secure and wouldn't flop like crazy. I have checked out all other options on here and may eventually go to the center mounted one that has the quick release. It set off my front PDC sensors like crazy, so I have disconnected the 2 on that side and now it's quiet inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hesitation issues may be VANOS. Any idea if/when maintenance was done?

Keep up the good work!
This was my immediate thought, however I get zero rattles on a cold start, so wasn't that the basic sign that your vanos was going out? I did multiple vanos seals repairs on E46s, but the E62 vanos repair is far more complicated. Nothing I am afraid of, just car needs to be down for awhile.

If there is hesitation when the car is cold and it gets better once warm, is that also a sign of bad vanos seals? And how come it's really only an issue in gears 1 and 2?
 

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Here are more pics as promised.. gas gap area fix with Flex seal from a can carefully poured in to create a slight incline so water can just roll out of there..






Rusted exhaust bracket that is loose, have replacements ready to go in..



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First off, try to find out what the PO has done regarding the VANOS. Then read the vanos diy threads in the diy sticky. The main issue is not startup rattle but crud plugging the solenoids causing them to not advance/retard the cams properly. Many people experience a jerky throttle in lower gears.
If it hasn't been done, you need to pull the solenoid boards, remove the gauze filters, blast the noids with brake cleaner/compressed air, and replace the solenoid O rings. Inspect/test the solder points.
 

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First off, try to find out what the PO has done regarding the VANOS. Then read the vanos diy threads in the diy sticky. The main issue is not startup rattle but crud plugging the solenoids causing them to not advance/retard the cams properly. Many people experience a jerky throttle in lower gears.
If it hasn't been done, you need to pull the solenoid boards, remove the gauze filters, blast the noids with brake cleaner/compressed air, and replace the solenoid O rings. Inspect/test the solder points.
Thanks for the detail, I will need to inspect this and see if this may be what is causing the hesitation, as I want this car to drive normally and it's frustrating the way it drives around town right now!

That Flex Seal seems like it would trap water underneath, making the problem worse?
No way, it was completely bone dry before I put the flex seal on there, and now that it's dried out, it's totally glued tight to the paint work and there is no way any water can ever get underneath now.
 

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No way, it was completely bone dry before I put the flex seal on there, and now that it's dried out, it's totally glued tight to the paint work and there is no way any water can ever get underneath now.
From my basic understanding of rust, you have only hidden it from your view. It will continue to creep underneath the flex seal until one day you'll see it peeking out. Wait too long and it will appear on the outside of your filler area. It's your car, do as you please, but I wouldn't be so adamant that flex seal has stopped rust bubbles.

...My gas cap area water collector/storage area (terrible design) had developed its inevitable rust. I waited too long to go after it-- it has spread to under the gas door, which is visible with the gas door closed. Really kicking myself for that.

Anyway, ground it down to bare metal (didn't take any pics because I was too busy hating myself), degreased it, metal prepped it, POR15ed it, and painted it. It's visible if you're looking for it, but not the worst thing ever. Kicking myself for not going after this before it spread to a visible area of the car (I actually asked the body shop to address this when it was recently in, but they forgot).

At least the spread should stop, now that it's POR15ed...
 

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I agree that what i did has certainly not stopped the rust creep, but seeing that water pool in there, any time it rains or there is enough dew to run down the car is 10000 x worse in my opinion. My E46 turned into a rust bucket up here in the northeast and I will do everything I can to prevent this car from becoming that, although I know it is ultimately inevitable!

New exhaust brackets installed and new O2 sensor wire hangers also installed. Man the old ones were rough. Pics coming in a bit.
 

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Here’s the exhaust bracket carnage and new installed..



New o2 wire hangers


Does this rear metal brace bar look bent to you? Or should it be like that?No idea wtf the PO was driving over to get this kinda scratches in the bottom of the gas tank! Speed bumps maybe??



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Polished up my tips!

Dirty


Clean





Also, testing a black rear valence with some plasti dip.. will see if I like it or not..



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Valence done and remounted. Came out pretty nice, but light was dark as it was dusk so I will take a good look tomorrow..





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Does this rear metal brace bar look bent to you? Or should it be like that?No idea wtf the PO was driving over to get this kinda scratches in the bottom of the gas tank! Speed bumps maybe??
IMG_5892.JPG


Or a curb. Yeah that's bent well. Check out this pic from Redshift. Should lay nice and flat.

IMG_5890.PNG

Looks like your right side, which would be PN 51717892186. Probabably just want to contact Clemster over in the Parts for Sale section. I'm sure he can fix you up with a decent one for much less money.
 

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I had the same hesitation (from a stop, roll into the throttle and the car would respond, then hesitate in 1st and 2nd).

I changed the fuel filter (dated 8/02) and the hesitation went away.

This weekend- driveshaft and guibo!
 

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View attachment 828666


Or a curb. Yeah that's bent well. Check out this pic from Redshift. Should lay nice and flat.

View attachment 828674

Looks like your right side, which would be PN 51717892186. Probabably just want to contact Clemster over in the Parts for Sale section. I'm sure he can fix you up with a decent one for much less money.
Thanks for the pic and I was already checking out Clem's thread, what a gold mine! I will reach out and see what he has..

I had the same hesitation (from a stop, roll into the throttle and the car would respond, then hesitate in 1st and 2nd).

I changed the fuel filter (dated 8/02) and the hesitation went away.

This weekend- driveshaft and guibo!
But you have an E60 M5 correct?

I will say that I put the car immediately into sport mode this morning, and I don't know if it was a placebo effect or what from giving the car a bit of love, but it fired up and sounded more beastly than normal. Then my clutch felt great and no creaks when engaging first. Could it be that those loose and obviously rattling exhaust brackets contributed to most of the noise I was hearing in the clutch area before? Car also drive much better in 1 and 2 in Sport. I will keep an eye on things and report back.

I changed the fuel filter on several high mileage E46's and they looked totally fine when I cut them open. I am somewhat skeptical about fuel filter changes as with the plastic gas tanks in the BMW, there is no chance of residue from the car's tank, it would only be from the gas stations, and it all seems to be very clean up here in the northeast. I think they require frequent replacement of the underground tanks in most places as well, based on what I have seen in other fuel filters.
 
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