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2004 BMW (E46) S54-Powered 325iT Sport Wagon

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Details

Price: SOLD

Mileage: 148,300 Miles

Engine: S54B32 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Japan Red (Electric Red) Exterior (438)

Interior: Light Beige Leatherette Interior (PK4HC)

Additional features:

Complete M3 Drivetrain Swap

Kassel Performance Coding

Kassel Performance Tune

M3 OEM Dual-Mass Flywheel

M3 OEM Clutch

M3 Front and Rear Subframes

Rear Subframe Reinforced

M3 Front and Rear Brakes

Floating Cross Drilled Front Rotors

Cross Drilled Rear Rotors

M3 Limited-Slip Differential

M3 Radiator

Eibach Pro Street Coilover Suspension

M3 Sway Bars

M3 Front Strut Brace

Stromung E46 S54 Touring Swap Stainless Steel Muffler

M3 Instrument Cluster

M3 Steering Wheel

Sport Seats

UUC Short Shifter

ZHP Weighted Shift Knob

BMW Business CD

Heated Seats

Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror

Xenon Headlights

Headlight Cleaning System

Fog Lights

18” Apex Anthracite EC-7 Wheels (square)

Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 High Performance All-Season Tires

BMW Rood Rails

Professional S54 Swap

Tennessee Car

Background

2004 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

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This 2004 M3 S54-swaped 325i Sport Wagon is one of those professionally swapped examples. Originally optioned in Japanrot (also known as Electric Red) over a Light Beige leatherette interior with the Sport Package, Cold Weather Package, and xenon headlights it was a perfect example to build into an S54 swap.

BMW specialists German Motorworks in Nashville, Tennessee performed the swap as an in-house project in 2017. The donor M3 had a few thousand miles more than the 325i Sport Wagon, with roughly 138,000 miles when the swap was performed. The engine was treated to a VANOS replacement, coated rod bearings, an S54 valve adjustment, water pump, spark plugs, accessory belts and lots of other maintenance. The exhaust has Euro headers, Euro Cats and a stainless steel Stromung muffler. Kassel Performance did all of the coding and tuning along with a Kassel Performance tune. The clutch was replaced, the driveline fluids were flushed, and the driveshaft was rebuilt. The M3 front and rear subframes were used with an Eibach Pro Street coilover suspension, the rear subframe mounts were reinforced while it was out. The M3 brakes were used featuring floating cross-drilled front rotors and cross-drilled rear rotors. Square eighteen-inch Apex EC-7 Anthracite wheels were mounted, wearing Continental ExtremeContact DWS wheels. On the inside an Alcantara-wrapped M3 steering wheel, the M3 instrument cluster, and a UUC short shifter with a ZHP weighted shift knob completed the swap. The end result is as an S54 M3 wagon as if BMW built it itself.

The wagon itself was built on October 10, 2003 and delivered to its original owner January 23, 2004 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It remained with that owner until German Motorworks purchased it several years ago and it remained in Tennessee until we brought it to Colorado earlier this year. The Carfax reports regular and frequent maintenance prior to the swap, along with an accident early in its life in 2005. In preparation for sale, we replaced the transmission mounts, passenger side window regulator, and a few cosmetic bits. As it sits, this is a fantastic example of an S54 swapped E46 Sport Wagon, and one of the best single-mission cars possible.

Exterior

2004 BMW (E46) S54-Powered 325iT Sport Wagon exterior photo

The Japanrot paint is in very good condition and presents well. Close scrutiny reveals typical small imperfections, rock chips, and several small spots of clear coat lifting on the roof and hood. The paint is original with the exception of the hood and front fenders, which paint gauge at 7-9 mils. We suspect these was repainted early in the car’s life due to the accident reported on the Carfax. There is no rust and the VIN tag is in place. All trim work is in place and in good condition only with some slight UV fading. 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. The front marker lights, turn signals, and taillight lenses are all crack-free. The factory roof rack rails are in excellent shape. The Apex EC-7 wheels are in excellent shape and are wrapped with Continental tires with fair tread remaining; the rear tires are nearing their wear bars.

Interior

 interior photo

The Light Beige leatherette interior is also in excellent condition considering its age and mileage. The carpet is protected by floor mats and a rubber rear trunk mat (not pictured). The headliner doesn’t sag. The dashboard is crack-free and in excellent condition. The fine wood trim is better than most E46s, with only a few hairline cracks in places. We have a set of silver trim we will include if desired. The seats are in excellent shape with no significant wear or creasing, but there are a few small tears in the driver’s seat bolster. The fold-down rear seats are in excellent shape with headrests, however the rear cup holder cover is missing. The rear hatch area carpet in good condition, but the cargo cover is missing. The M3 steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara and is in excellent shape with no failed stitching; there are a few paint chips on the plastic center trim piece. There are no failed pixels in the M3 instrument cluster or HVAC panel, but the radio screen does have several missing pixels. There are no warning or check engine lights, however there is an empty washer fluid light thanks to this being deleted for the S54 coolant expansion tank. The auto-dimming rear view mirror has no leaking fluid. The BMW sound system sounds great. 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 ZHP shift knob is excellent, as are the shift and e-brake boots. The armrest has a small tear; we replaced the cup holder underneath and it is in excellent condition. The power windows, door locks, and the sunroof operate correctly. The door cards are tight and the window regulators are quiet; there is some wear on the driver’s door handle. The owners manual is included, along with one key.

Mechanical

 engine photo

This S54 wagon has no unresolved significant items that are common in so many swaps. There is slightly high parasitic battery draw, which a good battery tender can remedy. No common E46 / S54 items are present; the VANOS is quiet, the rod bearings are healthy thanks to both being addressed already, and the rear subframe mounts have been reinforced. The engine fires on command, idles smoothly and pulls strongly to redline. It does not leak, drip, or spot. The shifter is tight and perhaps a bit notchy thanks to the UUC setup; the clutch does not slip. The suspension is excellent with no understeer and mid-corner balance is easily modulated with throttle. The ride is low, but still very compliant for daily driving, and signals to the world that this is not your grandmother’s station wagon. The M3 brakes are very strong. The exhaust sounds wonderful! It passes emissions, which we pay for in the State of Colorado. As mentioned above, it does have occasional parasitic battery draw and is best stored on a battery tender for long stints. Like any swapped vehicle, it will require patience to own at times, but it is one of the best examples on the market.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode (original spec)

  • Vehicle Identification Number: WBAEN33404PC12918
  • Type: EN43
  • Model: 325i USA
  • Development Code: E46 (3)
  • Chassis: Touring
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: M54
  • Displacement: 2.50
  • Power: 192 Horsepower
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Color: Electric Red (Japanrot – 438)
  • Upholstery: Leatherette Light Beige/Light Beige (PK4HC)
  • Production Date: 10-10-2003

(Original) Options

  • 205 Steptronic Transmission
  • 210 Dynamic Stability Control
  • 226 Sport Suspension Settings
  • 249 Multifunction Steering Wheel
  • 255 Sport Leather Steering Wheel
  • 2CA Light Alloy Star Spoke Style 119 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
  • 464 Ski Bag
  • 473 Front Armrest
  • 481 Sport Seats (Driver / Passenger
  • 494 Seat Heating Driver / Passenger
  • 502 Headlight Washer System
  • 520 Fog Lights
  • 521 Rain Sensor
  • 522 Xenon Headlights
  • 534 Automatic Air Conditioning
  • 550 On-Board Computer
  • 639 Full Preparation Mobile Phone Telematics
  • 645 Radio Control US
  • 650 RDS Radio
  • 661 Radio BMW Business
  • 676 HiFi Loudspeaker System
  • 692 BMW CD Changer Prep
  • 818 Battery Master Switch
  • 823 Hot Climate Version
  • 832 Battery In Luggage Compartment
  • 845 Acoustic Belt Warning
  • 853 English Language Version
  • 876 Radio Frequency 315MHz
  • 925 Dummy SALAPA
  • 992 Number Plate Attachment