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Your reasons for choosing an E36 over the E46

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  • #31
    Came close to pulling the trigger on an E46 several years ago. Potential subframe and rod-bearing issues kept me from buying.

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    • #32
      Modern classic, and it does everything right. E46 is a brilliant car but bang for the buck the E36 is perfect and to say money is no object is simply nonsense. I've almost pulled the trigger a few times for a trade in. I drove the snot out of the last E46 back in Nov, although faster - it just didn't provide the same overall sensation as the e36. I told the sales rep "I'm not convinced" that this was an upgrade for me. I think that the E36 is now entering in the classic handsome look and not just by fellow drivers such as ourselves but by a wide range of other car people. The E46 is a good looking car no mistake but the modern day (side hood vents, quad tip exhaust etc) has been overly-killed by other manufacturers. Where the E46 stood out during it's debut is now just typical looking. I prefer a subjectively smaller car, it's simple, it's got handles and make no mistake about it is quick.

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      • #33
        Back in Spring 1999 the E36 M3 coupe production was about to end, E46 sedan and coupe were out at dealerships, I was in a decision making period "go with E36 M3 before end of production or wait few more months for E46 M3?"
        Visited the BMW dealer to check on E46 coupe so I have an idea what to expect on upcoming E46 M3, made my decision soon as sitting on the driver's seat of E46, did not get that convincing impression and decided to go with new E36 M3 the very next week. I was very happy (and continue to be) with my decision.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by TexaZ3 View Post

          Tire pressure monitors are nice to have, parking sensors come in handy, phone connectivity, etc, but above all else many American drivers chose E46 over E36 simply because E36 in US had a S52 with only 240hp, and S54 with 343hp and ITBs was just impossible to pass up. Simple as that.
          Yes I am aware of that and understand.

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          • #35
            Yes, in the US it seems like an easy choice if you're entirely objective. With an option of both Euros I never changed up to the e46 because it always felt too big and heavy for my liking. Once you put a 3.64 and Z3 rack into a S50B32 it's faster, lighter and more direct than the e46 M3. Without the diff and rack the e46 feels quicker and sharper, but still bigger and heavier.

            But then I drove my mates CSL and neither of the lesser M3's ever felt the same again, inadequate even. 😢 But I still love mine, and it's increasing in value. 😎

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            • #36
              CSL is a different beast altogether.

              E36 also has a proper clutchpack lsd. So yes the E46 M3 is nicely marketed as this 0-100% lockup diff, but it’s slow and there were problems with it having unequal length driveshafts.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by MParallel View Post
                CSL is a different beast altogether.

                E36 also has a proper clutchpack lsd. So yes the E46 M3 is nicely marketed as this 0-100% lockup diff, but it’s slow and there were problems with it having unequal length driveshafts.
                It's the carrier for the output shaft stubs that are the issue. The passenger side has almost no depth to it so it has very little stabilization causing the infamous "M clunk". There is some supposed wheel hop benefit from unequal half shaft lengths, so that part is ideal.

                MSportParts | Braymond141

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Braymond141 View Post

                  It's the carrier for the output shaft stubs that are the issue. The passenger side has almost no depth to it so it has very little stabilization causing the infamous "M clunk". There is some supposed wheel hop benefit from unequal half shaft lengths, so that part is ideal.
                  First Gen CTS-Vs have terrible axle hop - it's a thing. They solved it by making one side slightly thicker than the other on the 2nd gen car. Slightly different lengths is another way to solve it, so I wouldn't argue with that engineering decision.

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