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2002 BMW (E46) S54-Powered 325iT Sport Wagon

2002 BMW (E46) S54-Powered 325iT Sport Wagon

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Details

Price: $32,800

Mileage: 138K Chassis Miles / 60K Motor Miles

Engine: S54B32 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine from 2004 BMW M3

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Topaz Blue Metallic Exterior (364)

Interior: Standard Grey Leather Interior (N6TT)

Additional features:

Carbon Fiber Wrapped Interior Trim

Complete M3 Drivetrain Swap

M3 OEM Dual-Mass Flywheel

M3 OEM Clutch

M3 Shifter

Leather Illuminated 1-Piece Shift Knob / Boot

M3 Front and Rear Subframes

M3 Front and Rear Brakes

M3 Limited-Slip Differential

Stainless Steel Brake Lines

M3 Radiator

BMW Transmission Mounts

Ohlin (DFV) Road and Track Coilovers w/

Eibach (ERS) Linear Springs (Ohlin Progressive Springs also included)

Ground Control Camber Plates

Ground Control Rear Shock Mounts

M3 Sway Bars

M3 Front Strut Brace

Powerflex Front Control Arm Bushings

Powerflex Rear Subframe Bushings

Powerflex Rear Trailing Arm Bushings

Stromung E46 S54 Touring Swap Stainless Steel Muffler

M3 Instrument Cluster

M3 Steering Wheel

M3 Front Seats w/ Adjustable Side Bolsters and Lumbar Support

ZHP Front Bumper Cover

Extra Post-Facelift Front Bumper Cover

Post-Facelift Hood, Headlights, Front Fenders

Gloss Black Kidney Grills

Clear Tail Lights

Clear Side Markers

ZHP Shift Knob

BMW Business CD

Harmon Kardon HiFi Sound System

Heated Seats

Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror

Xenon Headlights

Headlight Cleaning System

Fog Lights

Parking Distance Control (PDC)

COCO Floor Mats

BMW All-Weather Floor Mats and Rear Cargo Mat

18” Apex FL-5 Wheels (square)

Vorshlag Competition Wheel Studs

Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 High Performance All-SeasonTires

BMW Rood Rails

Texas / North Carolina / Colorado Car

Clean Carfax

Background

2002 BMW (E46) S54-Powered 325iT Sport Wagon exterior photo

The E46 generation M3 was the last of a legacy of normally aspirated, inline 6-cylinder M cars that defined the marque for a generation. At the heart of the E46 M3 was the 333-horsepower S54B32 engine, an evolution of an architecture that reaches back to the original M535i and M1. The S54 won multiple engineering awards upon its release and, at the time, it produced the highest horsepower-per-liter for a normally aspirated production engine. A pull to its screaming 8000-RPM redline is a smile-evoking experience that is only made better by the communicative and composed E46 chassis. Unfortunately, that chassis only came in a coupe or a convertible—no sedan, and no touring (for us wagon lovers). Hardcore enthusiasts have been solving that problem for years by swapping the S54 into the E46 3 Series Sport Wagon. It’s not a small undertaking, but not unreasonable for the skilled enthusiast. A proper swap should have functional power steering, air conditioning, a clean engine bay, and all of the E46 M3 underpinnings—and the price varies with highly finished examples commanding significant premiums over the cobbled together projects at the bottom of the spectrum. The end result is the car that BMW should have built, an M-powered wagon that is both exclusive—because nobody else has one—and practical because it’s a wagon!

Summary

 exterior photo

This 2002 M3 S54-swaped 325i Sport Wagon is one of those top-tier examples. It has been Alex’s personal car for the last two years. It originally came to us on consignment for a Glen Shelly regular who also owns a specialty suspension shop and daily drives an S14-swapped square taillight BMW 2002. Originally optioned as a 5-speed 325iT in Topaz Blue over Grey Leather with the Luxury and Cold Weather Packages it also features Xenon headlights, fog lights, parking distance control (PDC), and Harmon Kardon premium sound. It was originally delivered in October of 2001 in New Jersey and spent a little over a year there before landing in Austin, Texas where it remained for the next decade. In 2012 it went to North Carolina with the previous owner, who I found it on E46 Fanatics from. A detailed pre-purchase inspection, along with service records and receipts begin with that owner at around 100K miles. That owner spent considerable time and money refreshing many mechanical and cosmetic items along with desirable upgrades like clear taillights. The previous owner purchased it on my strong recommendation (after seeing it listed on E46 Fanatics) in 2015 and has since completed the S54 swap.

The S54 swap was done when the wagon had 113K miles with a 108K-mile M3 (5K less than the wagon had). This is noted by a tamper dot in the M3 cluster and confirmed by the Carfax of that M3, which is included in the records binder. Ultimately, that M3’s S54 engine was determined not to be up to par so BMW specialists SCR Performance provided a 60K-mile S54 from their racing spares. Prior to installation the S54 received a fresh valve adjustment, cam position sensors, oxygen sensors, water pump, accessory belt tensioners and belts. Virtually every E46 M3 mechanical component from the first M3 was installed under the skin including the 6-speed transmission with a Clutch Masters FX300 clutch and aluminum flywheel, drive shaft, limited-slip rear differential, front and rear subframes, swaybars, and brakes. We replaced the Clutch Master clutch and lightweight flywheel with OEM components and a stock shifter for a more civilized driving experience in the spring of 2020.

After that, the upgrades began. Being a suspension specialist the owner opted for an Ohlin DFV Road and Track E46 M3 coilover kit, swapping out the Ohlins springs for linear Eibach Racing springs (the progressive Ohlins springs are also included). These are mounted through Ground Control camber plates and rear shock mounts, with Powerflex front control arm, rear subframe, and trailing arm bushings. The car was aligned and corner balanced by SCR Performance for the setup with the dampening indivudally tuned by the owner. We re-aligned it when we mounted the Apex FL-5 wheels last summer. The stock E46 M3 brakes wear stainless steel brake lines on each corner under square 18-inch Apex FL-5 wheels and Contintenal ExtremeContact DWS06 all-season tires mounted on Vorshlag Competition wheel studs. It sounds fantastic through a purpose built Stromung E46 M3 wagon conversion stainless steel muffler.

Inside matching Silver Grey M3 power heated seats were fitted in excellent condition; they feature adjustable side bolsters and lumbar support. The M3 instrument cluster and multi-function steering wheel were also fitted. A Carbon Fiber wrap covers the fine wood trim, along with a refinished headliner, BMW all-weather floor mats and rear cargo mat. Spares include M Tech side skirts, an extra driver’s side door card, the unused Ohlins springs, and lots of miscellaneous E46 touring parts. Factory rubber and COCO floor mats are included.

This S54-swapped Sport Wagon is a top of the market example. The wagon itself is an outlier due to its mileage, condition, and color combo—most E46 sport wagons were silver, white, black, or Orient Blue. Overall it is in excellent condition, but it isn’t perfect, which is a good thing because then you wouldn’t be able to use it without guilt. Post-swap the entire package looks factory correct and there are no loose ends that need to be tied up—the last 10% of any swap takes 90% of the time and effort. Everything works as it should and the suspension is significantly upgraded and tuned by a master, so it goes around corners much better than a stock E46 M3. It comes with a clean Colorado title, clean Carfax, a records binder dating back through two previous owners, and it passes Colorado emissions. We would like to find a new owner who appreciates what it took to make this car, and will continue its excellent ownership pedigree.

Exterior

2002 BMW (E46) S54-Powered 325iT Sport Wagon exterior photo

The Topaz Blue paint is in very good condition and is a defining element of the car. All of the paint is original with the exception of the hood, front fenders, and front bumper covers, which were painted to match when the post-facelift parts were fitted. Both front bumper covers have been repainted and are free of rock chips as a result. The body is clean of glaring defects, but close scrutiny does reveal lots of small dents and evidence of past paint-less dent repair. The rear bumper cover has also been repainted to negate several scratches. There is no rust and the VIN tag is in place. All trim work is in place and in very good condition with many pieces being replaced by the previous owner. The windshield glass is BMW glass that could be original; there are no cracks, but there is some pitting. The side and rear window glass are excellent. The Xenon self leveling headlights function correctly with good lenses that are protected by clear Laminx film. The front marker lights, turn signals, and taillight lenses are all crack-free. The factory roof rack rails are in excellent shape, The Apex FL-5 wheels are in excellent shape with one paint chip on the right front wheel being the only imperfection. The Continental tires were mounted last summer and have lots of life left in them.

Interior

 interior photo

The grey leather interior is also in excellent condition considering its age and mileage. The carpet is protected by BMW all-weather floor mats and a rear trunk mat. The previous owner replaced the headliner, the sunroof shade is on the tracks and the sunroof functions correctly; the center switch panel is black. There is a hardwire cable for a radar detector by the mirror. The dashboard is crack-free and in excellent condition; there is a hairline crack in the upper left corner of the center vent surround. The fine wood trim is wrapped in carbon fiber and it looks fantastic. The seats are in excellent shape with no notable bolster wear or creasing and they have adjustable lumbar and side bolsters. The fold-down rear seats are in excellent shape with headrests. The rear hatch area carpet in good condition and the cargo cover is present. The inside rear hatch carpet piece has several broken clips that cause it to come undone if the hatch is slammed. The M3 leather steering wheel leather is in excellent shape with no failed stitching. There are no failed pixels in the M3 instrument cluster, radio, or HVAC panel, and there are no warning or check engine lights. The tamper dot is present due to the 5K mileage differential between the M3 ECU, EWS, and the original lighting control module. The auto-dimming rear view mirror has no leaking fluid. The BMW Harmon Kardon HiFi sound system sounds great. The BMW Business CD has an aux cord is routed to the rear ashtray. The heat blows warm and the air conditioning blows cold. The final stage resistor functions correctly and blower motor is quiet. The center console ashtray cover is scratched, but this is common on E46s. The M3 shift knob is excellent with the one-piece black leather shift and e-brake boots. The armrest has been removed, along with the rear ashtray cover. The power windows, door locks, and the sunroof operate correctly. The door cards are tight and the window regulators are quiet. The owners manual is included, along with two keys and the valet key.

Mechanical

 engine photo

This is a turn-key S54 wagon, it has no unresolved items that are common in so many swaps. No common E46 / S54 items are present; the VANOS is quiet, the rod bearings are healthy according to Blackstone Oil analysis, and the subframe shows no signs of cracking. The engine fires on command, idles smoothly and pulls strongly to redline. It does not leak, drip, or spot. The shifter is tight; the clutch does not slip, being recently replaced. The suspension is tuned wonderfully; turn-in is neutral with no understeer and mid-corner balance is easily modulated with throttle. The ride is perfectly compliant for daily driving, but with very little body roll during cornering. The brakes are strong with lots of life left. The exhaust sounds wonderful! It passes emissions, which we pay for in the State of Colorado. It does have occasional parasitic battery draw and is best stored on a battery tender for long stints. It will occasionally stall when coasting in neutral, like pushing the clutch in after backing out of the driveway or to a stop sign. After a little time with the car, you can feel it coming and negate it with slight throttle. We have replaced the fuel pump with an M3 fuel pump in chasing this to no avail. Sometimes it will go months without happening, and is livable in normal operation. Like any swapped vehicle, it will require patience to own at times, but it is one of the nicest spec’d and best examples in the country.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode (original spec)

  • Vehicle Identification Number: WBAEN33482EZ15012
  • Type: EN33
  • Model: 325i USA
  • Development Code: E46 (3)
  • Chassis: Touring
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: M54
  • Displacement: 2.50

  • Power: 192 Horsepower

  • Drivetrain: AWD

  • Transmission: Manual

  • Color: Topaz Blue Metallic (Topasblau Metallic – 364)

  • Upholstery: Standard Grey Leather Interior (N6TT)
  • Production Date: 9-21-2001

Options

  • 210 Dynamic Stability Control
  • 240 Leather Steering Wheel
  • 249 Multifunction Steering Wheel
  • 279 BMW LA Wheels
  • 354 Green Stripe Windscreen
  • 386 Roof Railing
  • 403 Sunroof
  • 411 Power Windows
  • 431 Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • 438 Find Wood Trim
  • 441 Smokers Package
  • 459 Power Memory Seats
  • 473 Front Armrest
  • 494 Seat Heating Driver / Passenger
  • 520 Fog Lights
  • 522 Xenon Headlights
  • 534 Automatic Air Conditioning
  • 550 On-Board Computer
  • 640 Universal Telephone Prep
  • 645 Radio Control US
  • 650 RDS Radio
  • 662 BMW Business CD
  • 674 Harmon Kardon HiFi Loudspeaker System
  • 692 BMW CD Changer Prep
  • 818 Battery Master Switch
  • 823 Hot Climate Version
  • 845 Acoustic Belt Warning
  • 853 English Language Version
  • 876 Radio Frequency 315MHz
  • 925 Dummy SALAPA
  • 992 Number Plate Attachment