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Old 04-18-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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Default On the hunt for an E46 Touring

So, my ultimate plan has always been to turn my M into a dedicated autocross/track/fun car and get myself a different DD.

I have narrowed my search down to an E46 Touring.

Here is where I am looking for help:

1) The touring is offered in an xIT (AWD) and just the i - should I stay away from the xIT, or are they ok? (from a maintenance perspective) I will be doing most of the maintenance and work on the car, but don't mind doing preventative maintenance.

2) Which year is the best to get for this model?

3) Does anyone know a good website/forum/etc. where I could find one? (aside from craigslist/autotrader/cars.com)

4) I am looking for one that is lower miles (under 80-90k) unless it has been VERY well maintained with higher miles

5) Looking to make my purchase by fall/winter timeframe, so I have some time to shop (basically I don't want to put snow tires back on the M - they will go on the Touring

6) Has to be autotragic, so the wifey can drive too

7) It will stay mostly stock (tint/wheels/drop perhaps)

TIA for any help/feedback/advice/etc
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
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Ugh oh...Kale is going mad...he's considering an E46?!



With the Xi drivetrain, CV boots are always an issue. Through my dad.owning the e46 then me...we went through 2 half shafts and 3 CV boots. It's just a wear and tear item. It usually went about every 36 months.

Expansion tank is something else that should be replaced at higher mileage.

Check E46fanatics frequently for cars...alot is usually posted there.

Best of luck!

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Old 04-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Half shafts and CV boots are the big kickers on the E46 Xi. Other than that the basic E46 "things to watch" with the cooling system being at the top of the list.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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E46 Xi drives like a truck....

But, that's just my opinion.... RWD E46 wagons are hard to find...
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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2002+ is the better looking facelift ones IMO and AWDs are very slow. I almost purchased a high mileage 160k one last fall and it felt rock solid. Auto Trans and motor felt great. The guy was a highway salesmen and maintained it mechanically but had a lot of stone chips, headlight hazing etc. It seemed to be in need of the usual window track fixes on at least one window. These cars are hard to find and comparing/driving examples close by is gonna be tough. You are giving yourself plenty of time and not wanting a 5spd will make it easier also.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfdx View Post
E46 Xi drives like a truck....

But, that's just my opinion.... RWD E46 wagons are hard to find...
Sure the suspension is a little higher for clearance issues...but never thought it was a truck. I always had fun in mine.

Slow, sure..it had 180 at the crank...but it was a great daily car.

PS - Kale...PM me on exact details of your 'ideal' car. Spending range, colors...etc. I'll keep my eyes open
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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besides the forums and the websites you called out, not too sure where else to look. Maybe call Enthusiast Auto and have them search for you.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwohio View Post
So, my ultimate plan has always been to turn my M into a dedicated autocross/track/fun car and get myself a different DD.

I have narrowed my search down to an E46 Touring.

Here is where I am looking for help:

1) The touring is offered in an xIT (AWD) and just the i - should I stay away from the xIT, or are they ok? (from a maintenance perspective) I will be doing most of the maintenance and work on the car, but don't mind doing preventative maintenance.

2) Which year is the best to get for this model?

3) Does anyone know a good website/forum/etc. where I could find one? (aside from craigslist/autotrader/cars.com)

4) I am looking for one that is lower miles (under 80-90k) unless it has been VERY well maintained with higher miles

5) Looking to make my purchase by fall/winter timeframe, so I have some time to shop (basically I don't want to put snow tires back on the M - they will go on the Touring

6) Has to be autotragic, so the wifey can drive too

7) It will stay mostly stock (tint/wheels/drop perhaps)

TIA for any help/feedback/advice/etc
AWD variants blow through axles (boots) like crazy.....stay away from awd for both gas mileage and simplicity sake


you will be able to find way more example for auto wagons than manuals at least....... just be sure to replace the trans fluid

---------- Post added at 01:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:47 PM ----------

are you opposed to E39 wagons? you can get a 528iT 525iT 530iT (straight 6) or a 540iT (V8)
they'll come with heated steering wheels at times but you'd need a different set of wheelss for winter tires

e46 will take E36 wheels (same size and offset)


the V8 is silk smooth and VERY reliable with at least 282bhp and over 300lb.ft of torque from only 2500rpm
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #9
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You could probably get a newer E90 for a little bit more money...well maintained, sport package, cold weather AND premium, not to mention the fact that it's an auto. Doesn't have the same trunk space as a touring but it's comfy and has plenty of room. It even has a neat little feature that runs warm air through the cabin when you turn the car off so you can run into the store and come back out to a toasty car!


Just sayin.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcumac View Post
You could probably get a newer E90 for a little bit more money...well maintained, sport package, cold weather AND premium, not to mention the fact that it's an auto. Doesn't have the same trunk space as a touring but it's comfy and has plenty of room. It even has a neat little feature that runs warm air through the cabin when you turn the car off so you can run into the store and come back out to a toasty car!


Just sayin.
Now where can I find an E90 for sale :Hmm:



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Old 04-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #11
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:48 PM   #12
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:11 PM   #13
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #14
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:49 PM   #15
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Haven't had much luck locally......if anyone see's one, please let me know! Thanks
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:01 PM   #16
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I'll keep an eye out for you, I'm always checking out what's available.

I had to drive out to Detroit for my wagon. Good luck!

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Old 04-21-2012, 06:21 PM   #17
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I'll keep an eye out for you, I'm always checking out what's available.

I had to drive out to Detroit for my wagon. Good luck!

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You always looking for your 73rd car?

Lol...I'm always looking as well Kale

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Old 04-22-2012, 12:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwohio View Post
I have narrowed my search down to an E46 Touring.

Here is where I am looking for help:

1) The touring is offered in an xIT (AWD) and just the i - should I stay away from the xIT, or are they ok? (from a maintenance perspective) I will be doing most of the maintenance and work on the car, but don't mind doing preventative maintenance.

TIA for any help/feedback/advice/etc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Borgen View Post
AWD variants blow through axles (boots) like crazy.....stay away from awd for both gas mileage and simplicity sake

are you opposed to E39 wagons? you can get a 528iT 525iT 530iT (straight 6) or a 540iT (V8)
they'll come with heated steering wheels at times but you'd need a different set of wheelss for winter tires
My independent has an E46 Touring as a loaner. It is decent, but does not have the load capacity of the E39.

I can't speak to the xiT issues, but I just put 4 wheels w/ snow tires on my E39 for 5-6 months, and have never had any issues with winter driving here in NE Ohio. I have no need for 4WD or AWD.

In the event you might consider the E39, I would look for a post facelift 2001-2003 model. That limits you to the 525 or 540. 528's were only made in 1999 and 2000, so finding one with less that 100K might be difficult. The 530iT was never imported to the states. If you want the heated steering wheel option, you have to forgo the sport package, You can get the cold weather package in addition to the sport package. It will have the heated seats and headlight cleaning system. Heated steering wheels only come in the 4 spoke version.

The E39 is very flexible for me. I can put two dogs in the back. I can haul 15-20 grocery bags with the rear seats upright. I have moved my daughter back and forth to college dorms. It's versitility is endless. And when I want to enjoy the drive, it handles quite well. I've upgraded the OEM struts/shocks to Billys.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:43 AM   #19
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I agree with Indiansfan. My e39 sedan works very with my two children. And, it will hold three car seats across the back (so I can stay away from mini-van). The trunk holds enough (wish it was a tad bigger, a wagon would be better in regards to height).

Quote:
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... It even has a neat little feature that runs warm air through the cabin when you turn the car off so you can run into the store and come back out to a toasty car!...
e39 has the REST feature too. It is fantastic in the winter time/cooler weather.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiansFan View Post
My independent has an E46 Touring as a loaner. It is decent, but does not have the load capacity of the E39.

I can't speak to the xiT issues, but I just put 4 wheels w/ snow tires on my E39 for 5-6 months, and have never had any issues with winter driving here in NE Ohio. I have no need for 4WD or AWD.

In the event you might consider the E39, I would look for a post facelift 2001-2003 model. That limits you to the 525 or 540. 528's were only made in 1999 and 2000, so finding one with less that 100K might be difficult. The 530iT was never imported to the states. If you want the heated steering wheel option, you have to forgo the sport package, You can get the cold weather package in addition to the sport package. It will have the heated seats and headlight cleaning system. Heated steering wheels only come in the 4 spoke version.

The E39 is very flexible for me. I can put two dogs in the back. I can haul 15-20 grocery bags with the rear seats upright. I have moved my daughter back and forth to college dorms. It's versitility is endless. And when I want to enjoy the drive, it handles quite well. I've upgraded the OEM struts/shocks to Billys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by manticore33 View Post
I agree with Indiansfan. My e39 sedan works very with my two children. And, it will hold three car seats across the back (so I can stay away from mini-van). The trunk holds enough (wish it was a tad bigger, a wagon would be better in regards to height).



e39 has the REST feature too. It is fantastic in the winter time/cooler weather.
Thanks guys, I have checked out the E39's as well. I am not against them. I would probably lean towards a 525iT as opposed to 540 for gas mileage reasons. I get my power and thrills from my M.

Thanks for the input guys, and let me know if you come across any good looking rides in an E46, or now, an E39 wagon. Yes, I prefer facelifted in either chassis.
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