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Old 8th October 2013, 22:24   #1
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Default Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Well this is my first official thread on Team-BHP so please go easy on me

Car: BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight 6, 173bhp. M54B22 Engine.
Km's on the odo: 20,000
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Place of Manufacture: Bayern, Germany(Home of BMW)
Service History: Full.
PDC in 2002. Oil Service in '05 @ 6932kms. Inspection 1 in '12 @ 1755kms
Realistic km/l: 6km/l (City Driving)

Alternatives Considered: None!

Lets start from the beginning.

The love for this car started over a decade ago when i was in school. People would draw batman and superman in their books doodling away and i would be drawing the M3. Ah the M3 still a dream that needs to be fulfilled. The e46's body is one of the most beautiful, subtle & clean shapes i've ever seen. It's just so perfect. It's honestly a matter of love at first sight.

And I'm not the only one! Here's Richard Hammond explaining why this car is so perfect. (Note: he's got the pre-facelift) Also, i've heard our very own GTO praise this lovely machine before as well!



Anyway, coming down to the search. Clearly the e46 is a rare car in the country. Well i had to find out the hard way. Its almost impossible to find a good one anywhere. It took me way over 6 months to find the right one. I did everything from asking people on this forum to even emailing GTO if he had some knowledge on where to look.

Coincidentally, on my way home from work i found an e46 330i followed it home. Gave the driver my card to give to the owner but no call back. I even wrote them a hand written letter to atleast consider a sale! but nothing.

Found another 325i on the road that was owned by sachin tendulkar but again no call back. I even stopped tbhpian Rekhiv to sell me his 325i vert, but no!

Somehow over the months i noticed a trend being formed that a majority of the few e46's here are found in Delhi. So i spread the word. Called every dealer at the back of the autocar and emailed people and did everything i could.

Then finally it came knocking at my door, i was sent an email from a dealer saying he heard i was looking for a car and he had a mint 320i M54 Engine. Thats the 2.2L I6 173bhp. It was love at first sight. After some paperwork formalities from the dealers end, the car was ready for a sale. So i took the first flight out to delhi and drove it. The legendary I6 bmw engine is a perfect balance with that insane body shape. It all just comes together in this perfect harmony.

So i jumped the gun, bought her. Had major troubles with bringing the car down from delhi to bombay. After calling multiple agarwal carriers numbers, i finally found the right one (Agarwal Packers & Movers) and brought it on a truck to Mumbai. They were the only reliable movers who let me drive the car into the trailer, pack it with foam and bubble wrap and a car cover over it. I was assured no one would enter the car which no one could due to all the packing which would be torn off if anyone attempted. I was allowed to go to their warehouse where the trailers are parked and got it down the trailer myself. Phew!

Pre Purchase Pics







Just the right amount of wearing in:











These are now Post Purchase! At the hotel, couldn't bare leaving it alone, i wanted to sleep in it!







ASC, same as DTC



The Screen is pretty beaten up, i've ordered for the replacement and should reach me in 10 days. (Hopefully)



Getting it PUC'd before its 1400km journey to Mumbai



The Silky I6



I went hunting for sofa foam (dont know what the real name is) and alot of bubblewrap to make sure she's well tucked in





The smaller things that instills confidence in the Agarwal Movers & Packers brand



Thats it! She's loaded and tucked away under the cover! Now for the longest 4 days of my life!





Heres the video of the unloading:



Fresh out of the trailer!





Finally home! A quick wash with the Karcher Foam Lance and a wash and rinse using the Two Bucket Method



A quick oil change and tyre change (These were the original tyres since 2002!



Interior Detailed; Cant wait for the screen now!



The numberplates finally arrived from Germany







My elder brother's F10 with my E46



The Good, Bad & the Ugly

The Good:

1) Amazing looks, just absolutely breathtaking! One of the best 3 Series ever made.
2) Ridiculously great engine. Built like a tank. Purrs and the touch of the throttle and flies when you need it to!
3) Great ergonomics, amazingly well bolstered seats.
4) Has most of the bells & whistles any modern day would have
5) Speaking of which, it outlooks any modern day car as well!
6) AirCon freezes the living daylight out of you, even though the car doesn't have any tinted windows.

The Bad:
1) No BMW Corona Rings/projectors
2) No Automatic Seats
3) No Sunroof!
4) 5 Speed Tranny (It screams for another gear!!!)
5) Someone's tried to open the oil filter without the right tools and there are too many scratches on it, kind of making me mad.


The Ugly:
1) No Cupholders! Its been traded for the phone cradle which i will soon change.
2) The soft paint on the cigarette lighter compartment is heavily scratched, will have to sand it down and plastidip it.
3) The Screen needs Replacing
4) Petrol Petrol Petrol Petrol

The Engine

This in itself deserves a topic. Wow, just wow. I've driven v6's and the new turbo 4 cyl's but nothing, i mean nothing compares to the mind you, not-so-deep sound of this engine. Its nothing like those fart cans we hear on carter road, just pure engine noise.

Its a 2.2L Straight6 which puts it unfortunately, in the lowest category of cars in the 6cyl range of the e46. With a respectable 173bhp, its about 11bhp off the 325i and 40bhp off the 330i. But still, she flies! Ahem, not that i've ever broken any speed limits Ahem.

Conclusion on the engine, its completely second to none in its class. Guaranteed.

The Interior

Beautifully layed out gearknob

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0017.jpg

The Glovebox is laced with velour.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0013.jpg

Drivers side has the light too:

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0024.jpg

No cupholders.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0026.jpg

The lovely footwell light

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0029.jpg

I'm in love with the rear side lights!
Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0031.jpg

Decent amount of legroom at the back with the seat in a more luxurious position.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0034.jpg

Well bolstered fat seats

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0035.jpg

The roof is absolutely mint.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0040.jpg

Those fogs is what i was talking about.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0042.jpg

A little place to put your fuel cap.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0043.jpg

Love the angle at which the bmw logo is put

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0045.jpg

Gas Struts need replacing, theyve gone hard.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0048.jpg

Mirrors come blue tinted, no auto dimming feature.

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0051.jpg

look at that shape! the little things i tell you
Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0052.jpg

The chrome doubles up as a water channel:
Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0054.jpg

Love that side bulging arch
Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0060.jpg

Now the future work progress;

The oil has already been drained and changed with Mobil 1 0w40 (it has BMW's LL-01 grade). K&N Stock Replacement Air filter has been ordered & Oil filter has been changed as well with the oil change.

New Numberplates from Germany.

Although the gearbox has lifelong oil (you never have to change it) the dealer had topped it off with another grade oil which can be a disaster. So 9 Litres of Gearbox Oil & Gearbox Oil Filter has been ordered as well.

Going to keep the car as stock as possible since its been driven only for 20k Kilometers with no mods whatsoever.

You can see the LCD Screen is worn out, i've already ordered for a replacement and found a DIY on fanatics for that. will update that with pictures once i get it.

Next would have to be getting the bushes replaced along with any other brittle or worn out part. Post that, i'm guessing LED Taillamps & Headlamps with Projectors & Yellow Fogs.

Summary:

There is no summary! this car is perfect in everyway. There's absolutely nothing i can fault with it. Nothing. Everything is so well thought off. This is one of the first cars i've owned where i have to literally hunt for faults and still cant seem to find them!

I've had this car for less than a week driven for about 200kms and i cannot refrain from taking it over 4000rpm. The sound of that engine is just something else! But my god does she drink, i'm talking around the mid 5's in the city and if i have a super light foot, 5.9kmpl at the max! All in all i couldn't have asked for anything more, my dream has come true! and theres no way i would ever get this without my brother.
Attached Thumbnails
Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0062.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0059.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0044.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0050.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0053.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0058.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0023.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0022.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0019.jpg  

Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6-img_0016.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 15th October 2013 at 16:10. Reason: Fixing broken quote tag
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Old 8th October 2013, 23:09   #2
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Fantastic ride there buddy! She surely is a looker. This is certainly one of the best looking Bimmer ever made. How about a new set of alloys? CSL design?

& can you share the exact source from where you ordered the number plate? Thanks!
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Old 9th October 2013, 00:09   #3
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdiSinghV12 View Post
Fantastic ride there buddy! She surely is a looker. This is certainly one of the best looking Bimmer ever made. How about a new set of alloys? CSL design?

& can you share the exact source from where you ordered the number plate? Thanks!
The car came bone stock and that's how i plan to keep her with a few minor upgrades, nothing too much. Probably would just go in for the Depo headlights with the original halogen corona rings with projectors and d2s xenons. Plus, upsizing would mean lower profile tyres and therefore a worse ride!

I think with a car like this, originality makes all the difference.

Got the plates from GermanPlates.com
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Old 9th October 2013, 01:35   #4
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sameer_C View Post
I've had this car for less than a week and i cannot refrain from not taking it over 4000rpm. The sound of that engine is just something else! But my god does she drink, i'm talking around the mid 5's in the city and if i have a super light foot, 5.9kmpl at the max! All in all i couldn't have asked for anything more, my dream has come true! and theres no way i would ever get this without my brother.
Resist the temptation and keep it stock. I am happy for you and wish you safe drives but cannot help but be a little green with jealousy!!

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Old 9th October 2013, 07:09   #5
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Congratulations on your purchase.
The car looks brilliant and in lovely condition.

A close friend of mine and a fellow bhpian recently bought a 2004 BMW 325i Manual E46 just run 8000kms here in Calcutta.
I got a spin in it and the sound of the straight 6 is to die for.

The E30 and the E46 are my favourite 3's ever made.
Your really lucky to find such a clean car.

How much do transport companies charge for intercity transportation for the vehicle?

Thanks
Rohin
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Old 9th October 2013, 08:16   #6
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

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Originally Posted by cityvic View Post
Congratulations on your purchase.
The car looks brilliant and in lovely condition.

A close friend of mine and a fellow bhpian recently bought a 2004 BMW 325i Manual E46 just run 8000kms here in Calcutta.
I got a spin in it and the sound of the straight 6 is to die for.

The E30 and the E46 are my favourite 3's ever made.
Your really lucky to find such a clean car.

How much do transport companies charge for intercity transportation for the vehicle?

Thanks
Rohin
I'm not sure of Intercity since I used them for interstate, im guessing that would be fairly cheaper but i payed Rs.30,000. Now theres a long story to this.

There were many companies out there with "door to door" service for about 15-18k as well. They dont let you take the car to their warehouse or anything, a driver comes picks it up and drops it off. The thought of that is just frightening.

Then I found another company agarwal express, mind you these weren't the original Agarwal Packers and Movers, but nonetheless they had a good website so went with them, plus they allowed me to load and unload the car myself. That was for Rs.24k

When I went to their loading location in Gurgaon, it was a mess with a horrible road where only bullock carts could ideally go. He wanted me to take the car there when i simply refused. Then they insisted I leave the car there and they'd take care of the rest which again i straight away denied. Then the sleazy guy tells me that the car will be getting loaded in a Maruti Trailer and that the trailer has to be empty before it goes into Maruti so they will have to remove it at around 10pm since no one at Maruti is supposed to know and reload it after the truck comes out of Maruti. This seemed so fishy. Clearly they outsourced it to the driver of the truck. Mind you all this was happening when they were unloading another trailer and were just carelessly throwing huge boxes on the floor from the top level of those huge trailers.

After hearing all this, I bolted immediately and went straight to agarwal packers and movers. Although i missed my flight that evening, it was well worth it since these guys took the car at that time itself and allowed me to pack it. I was in constant talks with the driver and i knew the car was safe and they had their own trailers which would not open or unload for anything.

If anyone has to move a car from anywhere please look no further than Agarwal Packers & Movers.
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Old 9th October 2013, 09:06   #7
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Awesome! My favourite BMW is the E46 M3 CSL. That one is just the perfect car. The E46 still doesn't look old at all and the overall size also perfect. I love the styling, its neat, sporty and elegant all at the same time.

You are very lucky or should I say well done with the research? The car looks to be in top notch and the overall mileage is unbelievable for a car that's seen many new years.

Please get a nice detailing session for the exterior as well. Have fun with the Bimmer!
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Old 9th October 2013, 09:18   #8
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Originally Posted by Sameer_C View Post
Got the plates from GermanPlates.com
Hi , fantastic car. Great that you found what your looking for. Car seems in quite good shape too.
These plates you ordered them online. How much did they work out to to get them delivered here and how long did it take to reach you.
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Old 9th October 2013, 11:00   #9
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Originally Posted by abishek2222 View Post
Hi , fantastic car. Great that you found what your looking for. Car seems in quite good shape too.
These plates you ordered them online. How much did they work out to to get them delivered here and how long did it take to reach you.
It's quite simple on their website, just added two plates and 2 sets of the registration stickers and payed if i remember clearly 25$ shipping and 40$ per plate and 4$ per sticker. It was delivered in 7-10 days and i had to pay Rs.807 as duty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Awesome! My favourite BMW is the E46 M3 CSL. That one is just the perfect car. The E46 still doesn't look old at all and the overall size also perfect. I love the styling, its neat, sporty and elegant all at the same time.

You are very lucky or should I say well done with the research? The car looks to be in top notch and the overall mileage is unbelievable for a car that's seen many new years.

Please get a nice detailing session for the exterior as well. Have fun with the Bimmer!
It was alottt of hard work searching for her and i guess luck had a lot to do with it too !

I cannot agree with you more on the styling, completely timeless. I had read somewhere that you know you've bought the right car when, after you park, you turn your head around to see it, me on the other hand, i've started walking backwards when i'm walking away from it! Haha

And i did do a detail on the outside a day before the pics, but you see my work is at marine drive and i live in bandra, so these pictures were taken post two consecutive sealink runs.

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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 9th October 2013 at 11:24.
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Old 9th October 2013, 11:39   #10
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Congratulations on such a wonderful car! and I am more than happy to hear that you plan to keep it stock. It's a classic, keep it that way

Like most German cars from that era, this is indestructible. It is truly a great machine, I can almost feel your agony and anxiety whenever you part with it!

Wish you many many happy miles with her.
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Old 9th October 2013, 11:55   #11
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Originally Posted by Sameer_C View Post
It's quite simple on their website, just added two plates and 2 sets of the registration stickers and payed if i remember clearly 25$ shipping and 40$ per plate and 4$ per sticker. It was delivered in 7-10 days and i had to pay Rs.807 as duty. .
It only works for 9 letters whereas I guess I need ten letters. Your number is 0100 out of which you have dropped the first zero. I got fined recently for omitting the zero on the number plate. Anyways thank you for the information.
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Old 9th October 2013, 12:25   #12
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Dream come true for you, and great car indeed, i guess all the wait seem to have paid of well. I am also a big fan of the car and would love to own one sometime You should have just driven down in this car! How could you even think of trucking such a beautiful machine!

Do keep us posted with updates and wishing you the very best with the beemer.
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Old 9th October 2013, 12:54   #13
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Default re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

COngratulations on acquiring a Classic Sameer. For a 320i the car is very well loaded. Apart from the Xenons, it pretty much has everything that a 325i would have.

A 320i with a straight six is very very rare! Enjoy your ride!!
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Old 9th October 2013, 16:24   #14
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Default Re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samar117 View Post
Congratulations on such a wonderful car! and I am more than happy to hear that you plan to keep it stock. It's a classic, keep it that way

Like most German cars from that era, this is indestructible. It is truly a great machine, I can almost feel your agony and anxiety whenever you part with it!

Wish you many many happy miles with her.
Thanks Samar, although she's built like a tank, due to it being unused a few small problems have creeped in which is are super easy fixes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abishek2222 View Post
It only works for 9 letters whereas I guess I need ten letters. Your number is 0100 out of which you have dropped the first zero. I got fined recently for omitting the zero on the number plate. Anyways thank you for the information.
True, it only works for 9 letters, however if you see the last picture, my brother has also ordered his plates from the same website, he's got the smaller font to fit all the numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Dream come true for you, and great car indeed, i guess all the wait seem to have paid of well. I am also a big fan of the car and would love to own one sometime You should have just driven down in this car! How could you even think of trucking such a beautiful machine!

Do keep us posted with updates and wishing you the very best with the beemer.
I trailered it because of its low mileage. Just didn't feel the need to add another 1400kms on barely 20000kms. Also, risk of damaging a car during travelling is about 1000% more when driven rather than safely trucked with the right people. Here what i mean by risk is, people all around nicking and scratching the car as we travel down!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post
COngratulations on acquiring a Classic Sameer. For a 320i the car is very well loaded. Apart from the Xenons, it pretty much has everything that a 325i would have.

A 320i with a straight six is very very rare! Enjoy your ride!!
Yes! looking for a good set of D2S Xenons & Projectors with the Yellow Corona rings now no trashy white LEDs for me. Shipping and Customs really do bite you when you consider importing such things.
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Old 9th October 2013, 17:48   #15
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Default Re: Bringing home a future Classic! BMW E46 320i 2.2L Straight-6

Congratulations on your new(ish) BMW. It looks absolutely mint and going by your obsession, it will remain so for many years to come.

If you need any help, please don't hesitate to ask.
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