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Bran.stum's first 'M' - 2002 M3

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  • Bran.stum's first 'M' - 2002 M3

    Alright, so I guess I'll just start from the beginning, including some history under the previous owner.

    This is my 2002 M3 Dinan S2 that I officially bought on May 22, 2017. I bought this off a fellow M3F forum member and friend of mine, Bray. Interestingly enough I actually found this on craigslist for him. He had purchased it in I want to say either 2014 or 2015 from a dealer in Fresno. Was a 2 owner all CA car, clean title, 142k miles, SMG, and had the full Dinan S2 package as well, even down to the Dinan floormats.

    Unfortunately, his very in-depth ownership journal (along with mine) went down with M3F so I don't have a ton of photos under his ownership. I'll upload what I have since I uploaded the more important bits onto VinWiki.

    As he picked it up, before his usual huge process of cleaning, refurbishing, and replacing parts.
    Titan silver over black, SMG, some terribly done subwoofer install, Dinan goodies, etc. Under a layer of crud and dirt was a pretty good condition car, aside from corded tires and common trim wear.

    Next few are slightly lower resolution as they're taken from VinWiki.

    Dash components cleaned up.

    Headlights got a complete teardown with new lenses and gaskets.

    New OE chrome kidneys and roundel as well.

    New sidemarkers.

    New windshield cowl installed.

    A-pillars were bunching so they were replaced.

    Rear view mirror was replaced as well.

    New soft touch

    Engine bay detailed and front end reassembled. All cooling hoses were replaced, oil cooler flushed and cleaned up, Dinan strut bar refreshed, all new OEM pulleys, tensioners, and belts, OE BMW oil change, and an OEM fuel filter somewhere in there.

    Interior detailed. Seats were fully removed and degreased, then the carpet was heat extracted.

    New armrest delete center console with euro sliding tray

    Dinan airbox was cleaned up along with a new Dinan air filter.

    All underside plastics and panels were removed and detailed. Soaked in gasoline and scrubbed then cleaned with Simple Green.

    New OE M3 floormats.

    Front and rear wheel wells fully detailed along with refreshed calipers.

    The rear Dinan bar was refreshed and Subwoofer removed along with all the wiring reintegrated. Whatever idiot installed it cut half the freaking harness apart.

    Car finally back on the ground after a solid month. Bray is incredibly meticulous with everything, so the e46 looked almost new inside and out.
    Dinan wheels were sold off and replaced with new hyper silver Apex Arc 8s plus new Michelin PSS.

    New CSF radiator was installed at some point. Ended up being defective.

    Dinan 3.91 diff was replaced with a stock 3.62. Stock unit was torn down and refreshed, including new bolts and finned diff cover.

    Window seals being replaced.

    Vanos rebuild. My car got a Beisan seal kit, Beisan redrilled disk, Bray's rattle fix, new OE upper chain guide, OE vanos gasket, new OE exhaust hub w/ cryo treatment, and refurbished cam gears. I believe a valve adjustment was also performed.

    Rear parcel shelf was redyded.

    The defective CSF unit was replaced with a new OE unit.

    Decent sized parts pile accumulated.

    Brand new OE LED taillights were purchased and retrofitted.

    PO also had a set of Imola Z4M seats in for a bit.

    Dinan throttle bodies before a cleaning.

    SMG to 6MT conversion being done.

    All SMG related wiring was removed from engine bay.

    Wiring loom rewrapped and zip tied into original position.

    Clutch pedal in.

    New CSB and giubo.

    Cutout made for the manual shifter, resprayed with a factory matching coating.

    Lolipops were bead blasted with new FCABs also installed.

    New LUK clutch kit.

    New throwout bearing among other things.

    Steering giubo needed to be replaced and one of the motor mounts had actually collapsed. New parts were installed.

    New RTABs being installed.

    Manual cluster insert being installed. Bray usually sells these on his website.

    F10 M5 knob wired in.

    Cluster back in place.

    And everything back together! Worklist included new motor mounts, Rogue transmission mounts, e60 shift lever, F10 M5 knob, OE selector rod, OE aluminum joint, Rogue clutch pedal bushings, Rogue shifter carrier oval bushings, new steering giubo, new driveline giubo, new CSB, new FCABs, manual airbox, manual cluster insert, and ECU flash from SMG to manual.

    Rod bearing replacement at 162k-ish miles.

    These are actually the second set of bearings. The original ones were replaced under the service bulletin at around 32k miles.

    New oil level sensor installed as well.

    And here are the last few pics under his ownership.

    Had a minty M Texture interior along with brand new Titan Shadow trim, that I, unfortunately, could not afford

    Last edited by bran.stum; 03-19-2020, 08:03 PM.

  • #2
    Then here's when my own journal started on M3F.

    Purchased at 164k miles. As I said above, I could not afford the interior that was previously in the car. So it came with your standard black interior and brushed aluminum trim. Still a decent enough combo for a starting M3 owner.

    This was also my first ever manual car. I literally bought this car not knowing how to drive it.

    The Apexs were replaced with another brand new hyper silver set and new Michelin PSS.

    Also did not buy it with the Dinan strut bars or throttle bodies. So here it is with a stock strut bar. The Middle section was sandblasted and sanded to look like the Dinan finish lol.

    Dinan exhaust of course sounds amazing.

    First thing I did was remove all the warning labels in the interior.

    Next was a Recaro Pole Position, Macht Schnell floor mounts, along with Recaro side mounts and sliders. This was the exact seat that was originally in the car before I bough it.

    Then eventually got around to some alcantara goodies. Traded my best friend for his e39 M5 wheel, then had it shipped out to Coby Wheel to be rewrapped. Opted for a stock look, 9002 alcantara and tri color stitching. Also bought an OE CSL handbrake, alcantara handbrake boot, and OE alcantara shift boot as well.

    Small photoshoot with my best friends e36 M3.

    New plush trunkmat.

    And M Texture door cards.

    Fixed up the rear bumper corner sag.

    Car also came with a new master key and valet key.

    Bray also included a replica CSL valance that he had lying around.


    • #3
      First post is a GOOD one. Were in our new home.


      • #4
        This car looks great! Love the M Texture.


        • #5
          Strong post to kick us off. Content bar is high already.


          • #6
            Thanks guys! Lol still have a lot to catch up on that I’ll post tomorrow. Looking forward to being apart of the new forums


            • #7
              I ordered a replica CSL trunklid from an up and coming business based in Europe, ended up being a huge mistake. You'll see later on.

              My B and C pillars were falling apart. Replaced both, spent like $300-400 in the process.😅

              Scored a ZCP steering wheel trim set for stupid cheap. I usually see just the top piece go for over $100, I got the full set for $30 shipped lol.

              Painted the upper portion flat black, kept my lower Titan Shadow piece.

              New M badge too.

              Also stumbled upon a rear Dinan strut bar on eBay, quickly bought it.

              Refurbishing it.

              Some new hardware for the ends too.

              There was also a pretty good sale on ECS for the front strut bar, was close to like $100 off.

              Then finally received my CSL trunklid after a few months of delays and waiting.

              If you never saw my thread on M3F about the issues I had, let me just sum it up real quick. It fit terribly (like it was warped), was terrible quality and craftsmanship, even the paint was garbage. Owner of the company was super argumentative and couldn't accept that his company had sent out a defective piece and just screwed me over. Sold it for a loss.

              I'll admit, it looked pretty good from a few yards away,

              But uhhhh..

              I'm not one to keep low-quality parts on this car, so off it came.

              So here's an aftermarket part that fits as intended lol.

              Also replaced the cabin airfilter cover.

              Then found a set of used Bilstein PSS10 coilovers for sale. I had a picture of them cleaned up but can't find it for the life of me.

              Bray did the install for me.

              And had a blackstone analysis done somewhere in there.

              Few small things: Rear ashtray delete, one piece front lip, and color matched bumper reflectors.


              • #8
                Last year I got it in my head that I needed to sell the e46. So I started prepping it for sale. Removed the CSL valance, one piece lip, and sold off the M Texture door cards.

                A friend of mine was originally wanting to buy it, so he jumped the gun a little bit and bought a very good condition interior from an '06 ZCP lol. He ended up having to back out of buying, just came down to not being good timing. I just ended up buying the interior off him.

                Before degreasing.

                And after. I mentioned very good condition right?

                Rear seats looked like they'd never been used. Even the top portion was basically untouched and had no sunbaked damage.

                Recaro removed and carpets vacuumed.

                Stock seat in.

                Also swapped in Titan Shadow trim. Bought a used set of armrests sometime after too.

                Here it is beside it's replacement: a cheap af, high mileage, auto, e36 M3 sedan w/ lux pack. My intentions with the e36 were to give it a very thorough cleaning (similar to Bray's original process on this car), address whatever maintenance it needed, and manual swap it. I also really wanted to supercharge it because why not.

                Terrible paint aside, it actually looked pretty okay after putting some work into it.

                But I of course decided that I loved my e46 way too much to sell it. How could you say no to something that looks as good as this?

                Sold the e36 and never looked back.
                Last edited by bran.stum; 03-21-2020, 01:46 PM.


                • #9
                  After my decision to keep it, I started plugging away at some small things.

                  Pulled the ZCP trim apart to color match it to the Titan Shadow trim.

                  Trying out my new foam gun.

                  Threw the Recaro back in.

                  And finally received my yard of reproduction M Texture fabric. Wanting to have the Recaro insert reupholstered in this at some point. Will need to either buy more material, or source an M Texture interior when funds allow. Kind of regretting selling the door cards I had.

                  Testing out the new iPhone 11 Pro Max camera.

                  And had an extra Titan Shadow armrest that I stripped and painted. Used the same Duplicolor paint as I did on the ZCP wheel trim.

                  Replacing the corrugated wiring loom cover.

                  Slightly too big of diameter, but better than those ugly exposed wires.

                  Tailgate trim was looking terrible. Clearcoat was failing and badly. Looked 10x worse in person and even worse in direct sunlight.

                  Painted it with a Duplicolor paint that was pretty close. Finish is way too matte, I need to go back and wetsand/polish it. Not super worried about it as I full intend on just buying an OE CSL trunklid at some point.

                  Also scored a full Piano Black trim set from the junkyard.

                  I really liked it, but after a lot of back and forth I decided to stick with the Titan Shadow for now. End goal is a set of ZHP silver cube. When the right set pops up I’ll definitely pull the trigger on it.

                  Then I discovered this while doing an oil change. Was rather peeved, tires had a lot of tread left on them too.

                  Removed the weights and detailed the inner barrel to prep for new tires.

                  New Michelin PS4S. Rears are still perfectly fine, they'll be replaced later on.
                  Last edited by bran.stum; 02-02-2022, 07:24 PM.


                  • #10
                    Got custom plates too!

                    Passenger side exhaust hanger was obviously minty. Replaced with new OE.

                    I also knew my exhaust was cracked but didn't know it was to this extent. I need to have this welded soon.

                    Convoy through the snow with an e90 335d, my e46 M3, and an f87 M2. Some arguably out of place cars lol.

                    Finally a break in the weather, so detailed the exterior and engine bay. This foam guns great.

                    Shes getting up there.

                    Took her on a trip to LA to visit some family. Stopped at the bottom of the grapevine for a few quick pics and food.

                    Dinan air filter was filthy so I cleaned it. No longer blue, I may pick up a recharge kit for it.

                    With my daily commute being 1hr almost every day, and it being the beginning of Spring, I'm definitely finding myself washing my car a lot more.

                    Really racking up the mileage, unsure how I feel about this.

                    Also sent my armrest pads out to be rewrapped. Coby Wheel did them in 9002 alcantara.

                    Began hoarding parts for my valve adjustment.

                    And also ordered a few other things.

                    And a few more things. I think I have a problem.

                    And one last find lol. Found a slicktop headliner for pretty cheap. Just needs to be recovered in bm134 fabric.


                    • #11
                      I was actually in class when my KWs arrived. Immediately got to work installing them when I got home.

                      My first time doing anything like this by myself, was quite interesting.

                      Unfortunately my front wheels did not clear the perch on the coilovers. Was backing out of my garage and felt resistance.

                      Had to raise the front ride height to clear the perches while I sorted out spacers.
                      Looking very stock up front.

                      Bought a pair of 12mm spacers from Achilles Motorsports in Fresno.

                      Fitment is very aggressive looking now. I'm not one for 'stance' but this is nice. Overall a very nice set of coilovers. I initially wanted to have my Bilsteins rebuilt, but did not want to deal with the hassle of having them rebuilt. One: I was getting rebuild quotes of $800+, and Two: this is my only car so I would have needed some sort of suspension to roll around on for however long it took for them to be rebuilt. It just made more sense to buy a new set.

                      Excuse the filthy ass wheels.

                      New floormats. My old ones were only 3 years old and the foam backing was falling apart. Looks like BMW did a redesign on these as there's no foam backing, it looks like the velcro pads are sewn on instead. Hopefully they last longer.

                      My Dinan badge had already began to corrode and flake, but the fact that one day I found a whole ass letter missing definitely made my decision to remove it a little easier.
                      Super rare Dian M3.

                      Paint is etched. Rocking a ghost badge I guess. 🤷‍♂️

                      Grabbed a bluetooth module to retrofit into the e46. Still need a few things before I can completely finish it. I do want to replace the stock head unit with an Avin Avant 4 or their 9in model, so this may or may not be a total waste of time.

                      Also time to do the valve adjustment. Pulling everything apart.

                      VCG was leaking pretty bad in a few spots. OE BMW and only about 3 years old too. Sheesh🙄

                      The shims were actually all within spec and required no adjustment. There was a valve adjustment done during the vanos rebuild, also helps that I don't drive this car super hard. Either way, the VCG was leaking and needed replacement, so not a total waste of time and gaskets.

                      M badge on the beauty cover was bubbling and falling apart.

                      Literally came off in pieces.

                      Putting everything back together. I also discovered that my timing chain cover is leaking, so that's cool.

                      I snapped the freaking banjo bolt on the side of the head when putting everything back together. I lucked out so hard as I was able to unthread the rest of the bolt by hand. No damage to the threads or anything. I was so relieved. Could have been much much worse.

                      Went down to the dealer the next day and bought a new one. Everything buttoned up finally.

                      I had also replaced my idler pulley thinking it was the culprit responsible for the squeaking in my engine bay, but found my tensioner pulley was the one going bad. Replaced that along with the cracking AC belt.

                      I'm still getting a squeaking noise on cold start along with some noise coming from the alternator region. Wondering if there's a bearing inside it that needs to be replaced.

                      The e46 seems to be very happy right now. Running great, driving great, and sounding great as usual. Also helps to be looking better with a lower ride height and more aggressive fitment.

                      Still sorting out a few things rn. Have yet to find a sunroof delete or order fabric for the headliner, have also been very tempted to buy an e85 flex fuel kit for this. Just trying not to throw too much money into this car with the whole Corona Virus lockdown rn. Also need to do the subframe reinforcement as well. I have the plates for it, just need to purchase all the bushings and ball joints as well as a VinceBar. I'm also having a minor issue with my fuel gauge that needs to be addressed.
                      Last edited by bran.stum; 03-20-2020, 09:59 PM.


                      • #12
                        Obligatory mid carwash pic.

                        At 194k miles my foglights have seen some better days. Could not justify spending the $200+ for oem fog lights, went with Depos instead. Installed some laminx to keep them nice.

                        New OE fog light trim and Osram Nightbreaker bulbs.

                        Went on a plastic replacing spree. Hood vent was faded, cheap enough to replace. Ceramic coated the washer nozzles too.

                        Then the lower bumper grille.

                        The kidneys and side grilles were starting to get water spotted. Tore everything apart to polish the chrome.

                        Top is after and bottom is before.

                        Side repeaters were faded. Replaced with oem Magnetti Marelli.

                        Got around to dealing with this.

                        Used NOS 3m stripping. Not perfect but also not falling apart.

                        Spent the day detailing cars with some buddies of mine.

                        I completely forgot that I still had a one piece lip. I was curious to see if I would like it more this time around, except matte black.

                        Also found a used Avin Avant 4 w/ carplay up for sale.

                        Recaro removed to route the required nav extension harness. Followed factory cables all the way through.

                        Installed. Obviously not really a difference looks wise but the experience is much more modern. Carplay was great, made this almost 20yr old car feel much newer. The headunit along with the Bavsound speakers sounds great! I really need to find a Bavsound ghost sub to complete it. Hopefully one will pop up for sale soon.


                        • #13

                          Small updates.

                          Replaced the driverside plastic door sill trim. One of the mounting points broke off on the old one while installing the Avin unit.

                          The rear tires were due for a replacement. 3 years old with 30k+ miles.

                          Removed the old wheel weights and any remaining residue.

                          Their replacements waiting to go on. Fresh Michelin PS4s.

                          I took them to BMW to be mounted as I had previously with my front set. I expected good results again, but the tech that did it must've been new or just blatantly stupid. 😑
                          Effed up both my wheels.

                          Probably the techs reaction after finishing them.

                          When funds allow I really just want to replace these with Apexs new forged Arc 8s, or just have these repaired and refinished next time around when I need tires.

                          Snagged a set of new JTD rear shock mounts.

                          New OE bumper reflectors to replace the ill-fitting Depos that I had.

                          Color-matched using spray paint from O'Reilly's. An actual decent match. Even the flake is somewhat similar.

                          The little rubber boot around the filler neck was just starting to deteriorate. $14 from FCP and took maybe 10 min to install.


                          • #14
                            Been a few months.

                            I'll start my usual minor update with my cars current mileage:

                            Finally rolled over to 200k on my way to work one morning. Now I officially own a 200k mile e46 m3.

                            One of my headlight washers and its cover turned up missing one day. It more than likely fell out when driving but considering how simple I've found it to remove them, some random crackhead could have easily decided they wanted it as a trophy 🤷‍♂️ I still have yet to find a replacement for this.

                            Found a Macht Schnell intake boot for pretty cheap. I honestly struggled to get this thing correctly installed, unsure if whether the boot was cut or if maybe the Dinan airbox had anything to do with it.

                            Got the car aligned. I figured the guys at the dealer screwed my wheels up enough and I didn't want to risk further damage, so my buddy was kind enough to lend me his stock 335d wheels.

                            And back to regularly scheduled programming.

                            Went to Oregon for my cousin's wedding. E46 was tucked away in my friend's garage while we were gone. Freshly washed and sitting snug under a car condom for a week lol.

                            We roadtripped his fully deleted and tuned 335d 11 hours to Oregon. I really want a diesel next, maybe an e70 x5d?

                            I had decided to experiment with some ambers for whatever reason. So got a great deal on a full set and they were waiting at home for me after I got back from Oregon.

                            I know ambers aren't a complementary color to silver, but I really dug the look. Was fully intending on buying matching indicators and side repeaters but decided I'd rather sell them.

                            I'm sure some of you have heard of the Creek Fire we have going on here in California. My house happened to have been right outside one of the evacuation zones, so up until about a week ago my commute home usually looked like this

                            The smoke and ash has started to clear recently so I was able to get a good wash in

                            My front left wheel bearing has started to emit a humming noise so just waiting on an OEM FAG front kit from FCP to be delivered.

                            Hope everyone's staying safe and healthy out there.


                            • #15
                              Excellent journey. Thank you for documenting it and sharing it with us.