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2004 BMW (E46) M3 Coupe

2004 BMW (E46) M3 Coupe

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Details

Price: $18,800

Mileage: 75,600 Miles

Transmission: 6-Speed SMG II Drivelogic

Exterior color: Titanium Silver Metallic Exterior (354)

Interior: Grey Leather Interior (N5TT)

Additional features:

Titanium Interior Trim

Glass Sunroof

Power Memory Sport Seats

Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror

Automatic Headlights

Halogen Headlights

BMW Business CD Stereo

HiFi Sound System

Automatic Climate Control

On Board Computer

Fold Down Rear Seats

M Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel

Anthracite Headliner

White Direction Indicator Lights

Fog Lights

Style 67 18-Inch Staggered M3 Wheels

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 High Performance All Season Tire

BMW Carpet Floor Mats

100% Stock and Unmolested

3-Owner Car

All Maintenance Up to Date

Background

2004 BMW (E46) M3 Coupe 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. The M3 also got exclusive suspension, brakes, and wheels that gave it formidable performance. Even today, a well-driven E46 M3 can hold its own against much more powerful and modern performance cars. The 2001, 2002, and early 2003 model years had a rod bearing recall that was remedied by mid-2003. The SI B covering this replaced the faulty rod bearings with updated units. Clean, low mileage, 6-speed manual examples in rare colors and options carry the highest premiums, but public opinion has begun to turn in favor of SMG M3s. A mid-lifecycle update starting with March of 2003 (2003.5) model years included several new standard features, the most notable being LED taillights.

Let’s talk about SMG for a paragraph. As a die-hard manual enthusiast, I had a poor opinion of SMG for years. I would write off any SMG M3, clinging to my “from my cold dead hands,” 3-pedals forever mentality. Generally speaking, I still have that mentality, but I have come to prefer an SMG E46 M3 instead of a 3-pedal manual example. BMW Sequential Manual Gearbox technology first appeared in the European market E36 M3 (technically speaking its not a true sequential gearbox, but I digress). By the E46 M3, BMW had evolved it to SMG II Drivelogic, a vast improvement over SMG I. When it was released, SMG II was still criticized for being clunky and abrupt, but those complaints were due to human factors (culture lag), not the technology itself. SMG is, in essence, a manual gearbox with computer controlled shifting, not an automatic. If it is treated like an automatic, it will be clunky and abrupt and therein lays the human factors element. If driven correctly, SMG II is just as engaging and rewarding as a 3-pedal manual, but it has significant advantages. On the track an SMG M3 is absolutely faster, and not just because it shifts faster, but because it relieves the driver from the physical effort and mental energy of doing so, allowing more attention to be devoted to driving closer to the limit. The ability to left foot brake is an added plus. On the street it can be as smooth as a well-driven manual and just as engaging. BMW’s evolution to the double clutch M DCT in the E46’s successor M3 proved that automated manuals are the way of the future, but there is something nostalgic about the single clutch SMG II. It requires a level of engagement from the driver that DCT does not, and like an early Nintendo, it has carved its own niche in the technological arc of automobile evolution. SMG pumps are prone to failure, but more often than not it is a sensor instead of the actual pump. SMG cars are the easiest M3s to manual swap, too, and we can help with that if need be.

Summary

 exterior photo

We are selling this 2004 Titanium Silver Metallic M3 on consignment for a fellow BMW enthusiast. Titanium Silver Metallic (often referred to by its periodic table element name TiAg) was one of the most popular M3 colors, but there is a reason—it always looks great. Grey leather with Titan trim complements it perfectly and makes the interior feel more spacious than darker colors. It is 100% stock and unmolested. It was originally delivered in Scottsdale, Arizona in December of 2003 and remained in Arizona until coming to Colorado last year with the current owner. The Carfax shows it has been used regularly, but sparingly. In preparation for sale we gave it a thorough inspection and did a round of routine maintenance including an S54 valve adjustment, brake fluid flush, transmission and differential fluids, air conditioning belt, VANOS solenoid gasket, intake clamps, auto-dimming rear view mirror (with solid state internals), and hood shocks. We also replaced the rear trailing arm bushings, replaced an incorrect light control module, the sunroof shade clips, and had a four-wheel alignment completed. Prior to that the current owner replaced the cabin air filter, constant pressure relief valve, SMG gear position sensor, fuel sender O-ring, and had the airbag recall complied with. He also had a cracked front bumper cover replaced through his insurance, which shows as damage on the Carfax. That is documented, along with all of the maintenance invoices in a three-ring binder that is included with the sale. The cosmetic condition is very presentable, but it does have some minor imperfections (detailed below), making it a perfect driver-quality example. It is clean enough that you will proud of it and receive compliments at Cars and Coffee, but also be able to use and enjoy it without guilt—the best type of M3! It will certainly need continued care and maintenance, but it deserves it. We would like to find a new owner who will enjoy it for many years and miles to come.

Exterior

2004 BMW (E46) M3 Coupe exterior photo

Titanium Silver Metallic always looks good, and the paint on this example is in good condition. There are no glaring imperfections anywhere, but close inspection does reveal small defects in the form of superficial scratches, a few small door dings, and a burn through mark behind the driver’s door where somebody was a bit too aggressive with a polisher. The front bumper cover looks fantastic thanks to being recently replaced; it has none of the typical Colorado rock chips. The rear bumper cover has some light scratching. All panels appear to be original besides the front bumper cover and the factory VIN tag and placards are in place. There is no rust. All trim work is in place. The windshield is free of cracks and pitting. The side and rear windows are darkly tinted, which has preserved the interior when it lived in Arizona, but the tint is slightly discolored from the inside. The headlight lenses are crystal clear and the fog light lenses are crack-free—one of them has been replaced with the bumper cover. The post-facelift LED rear tail light lenses are crack-free and look great! The Style 67 18-inch wheels are straight and true, although they all have some minor curb rash. They are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 all-season tires that are worn evenly with lots of tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

The Grey leather is in excellent condition. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no stains or tears and has been protected by factory BMW M3 floor mats. Overall the leather is in excellent condition and is still soft to the touch. The seats have no failed stitching or tears, but there is some creasing visible on the driver’s side bolster. The rear seats are in great shape, and are the desirable fold-down type. The M steering wheel has no excessive wear or failed M-colored stitching. There are no failed pixels in the instrument cluster, radio, or HVAC panel, and no warning or check engine lights. The auto-dimming rear view mirror functions; we replaced it with a solid-state one so you won’t have to worry about it leaking in the future. The headliner does not sag and the sunroof works thanks to replacement shade clips, but it is a BMW sunroof—use it at your own risk. The BMW Business sound system sounds great; the volume knob and steering controls work correctly finicky. The heat blows warm and the air conditioning blows cold. The blower motor does not chirp, and the final stage resistor functions correctly (common issues). The SMG knob and paddle shifters function correctly, and the shift lever surround is not loose, but there is some delamination in the shift pattern bezel. All power windows and door locks operate correctly. The door cards are tight and the window regulators are quiet. The trunk tool kit is complete (lug wrenches were not included with M3s because of the mobility kit).

Mechanical

 engine photo

All preventative maintenance is up to date and all common E46 issues have either been addressed or are not present thanks to the work listed in the summary paragraph. Make no mistake, it will need continued care and maintenance, along with the inevitable SMG repairs when the time comes. As it sits, this is a turn-key M3. The engine fires on command, idles smoothly and pulls strongly to redline. It does not leak, drip, or spot. The VANOS is quiet. The clutch and SMG shifting are crisp, and there are no current codes. There are past codes related to the SMG gear position sensor, a printout of those and past codes are included in the records binder. In my experience, SMG cars usually need a clutch around 100k miles, and we can help with that when the time comes. We can also aid in manual swapping it if desired, but I personally prefer the SMG II to a manual M3. The brakes are firm, the suspension is compliant, and there is no driveline or wheel bearing vibration or whine. It has never been tracked, but performance driving instruction and coaching are available through us if desired—there is no more potent weapon for the money than an SMG E46 M3!

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode


- Vehicle Identification Number: WBSBL93494JR24612 - Type: BL93 - Model: M3 – USA - Development Code: E46 (2) - Chassis: Coupe - Steering: LL - Doors: 2 - Engine: S54 - Displacement: 3.20
 - Power: 333 Horsepower
 - Drivetrain: Rear
 - Transmission: Manual (SMG)
 - Color: Titanium Silver Metallic (Titainsilber Metallic – 354)
 - Upholstery: Grey Leather (Teilleder W.n./Grau – N5TT) - Production Plant: REGENSBURG - Production Date: 9-1-2003

Options

  • 1CA Selection of COP Relevant Vehicles
  • 210 Dynamic Stability Control
  • 249 Multi Function Steering Wheel
  • 354 Green Stripe Windscreen
  • 403 Glass Roof, Electric
  • 431 Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror
  • 441 Smokers Package
  • 459 Power Memory Seats
  • 473 Front Armrest
  • 508 Park Distance Control (PDC)
  • 520 Foglights
  • 521 Rain Sensor
  • 534 Automatic Air Conditioning
  • 550 On-Board Computer
  • 639 Car Telephone Preparation
  • 645 Radio Control US
  • 650 CD Player
  • 661 Radio BMW Business
  • 676 HiFi Speaker System
  • 692 CD Changer I-bus Preparation
  • 710 M Leather Steering Wheel
  • 775 Individual Anthracite Headliner
  • 785 White Direction Indicator Lights
  • 793 SMG Drivelogic
  • 845 Acoustic Belt Warning
  • 853 Language Version English
  • 876 Radio Frequency 315 Mhz
  • 925 Shipping Protection Package
  • 946 Consideration of Price Dependency
  • 992 Number Plate Attachment