So guys finally round to doing this!
I have owned the car for about 9 months now and haven't modded it that much besides the CSL alloys. I do want to gradually improve it over time but am focused on keeping the mechanical side of things as tip top as possible. As some of you may know I'm not great with the spanners - but have a good mechanic or two to call on!
Here is the car when I went to pick it up after a thorough valet.
It's Carbon Black with Kiwi Nappa Leather, not to everyone's taste admittedly, but I loved it! I think the leather contrasts the exterior really nicely.
It's well enough spec'ed up, got the great electric M3 seats which differ from other e46s in that the bolsters can be inflated and deflated (no good for fat passengers..), rear roller blind, xenons, sound system upgrade not HK though , plus all the usual bits. It doesn't have the TV/Satnav which I wasn't concerned about as the TVs no longer work and the Satnavs are outdated. I may get one in future but it's certainly not top of my list!
I collected the car from Brighton and just knew it was right on the drive back, the previous owner had really spent some money on it and it showed. The SMG pump and clutch had been sorted less than 5k before I took ownership - the SMG system is fantastic, it gives great flexibility when driving as you can drive the car as a manual or as an auto with five/six settings in each mode respectively. I did take some time getting used to the box (and was before hand a die hard manual purist), but now I have I love it. The changes are like lightening in S6 mode and you can push the car harder and with more precision with both hands on the wheel. It suits the car.
Here's a picture of it at one of my work lakes after purchase:
I drove the car for a good few months without really touching it tbh, it is such a huge leap from my previous 330 Clubsport it took a while to get comfortable enough to push it properly (with the DSC off of course!). I have never driven a car more engaging than this (when properly set up), and I have driven a few porkas (cayman and boxster) plus plenty of BMW's Mercs Audis Etc. As a passionate driver you can really feel that this isn't a normal road car, obviosuly the M division is separate to BMW's normal production line and over 90% of the components that go into the M3 are not found in any other three - you feel it.
My first bit of work was to sort out the tires looking steering wheel, for this I used a magic eraser. These things are like abrasive foam pads, work a treat though...
Wheel before treatment:
The done wheel, not as good as a refurb but certainly good;
It really bought the stitching up nice:
The "Magic Eraser" a good amount of dirt removed:
Next as the old diamond cut alloys had started to peel, and had been kerbed came a set of CSL's. I also got four new Vred Ultra Sensattas (spelling), stuck with standard tyre size 225/40 r19 fronts and 255/35/ r19 rears. I had Continental Contact M3s on at first but they didn't last long, I then mistakenly bought Continental Contact 3s which were shite and lasted less than 5k on the rear! The Vreds are an outstanding tyre, I have noticed a significant increase in grip in the wet over the continentals. Worth every penny.
A few pics of the tyres/wheels car as it is today:
Vreds the coolest tread pattern:
I was in the process of getting a supersprint exhaust, but it all went tits up, so still on the hunt but that will be the next mod as I think the car is too quiet. I am also interested in a BBK but am still debating if it's actually worth it, the brakes will cook if you are on a track no question, but I would very rarely use the extra braking capability as this is my daily driver. I also want to get a paint correction done as the Carbon Black is a total mare for showing swirls and stone chips - the pictures are too forgiving, again though it's my daily car and I drive and enjoy it over 50 miles six/seven days a week so it will never be perfect. I'm not one for garage princesses though, might aswell use this kind of car if you ask me
Thanks for reading