I'm in love with this car all over again.My apologies for those awaiting an update on Project M3 the past several months, but we had to overcome some serious hurdles throughout 2004 and 2005. I am pleased to report that all is now well.
More than six years ago I was fortunate enough to be one of the first journalists to drive the new generation E46 M3. The previous E36 M3 was perhaps the most balanced and inspiring car in the world; I thought BMW could never better it. I thought wrong.
To recap from Parts 21 and 22, the M3 went in for a fresh cylinder head, and instead it ended up with a whole bunch of problems that left the car in the shop for months. To make a long story short, the head stud threads were pulling out of the block when butto
It was a darn shame to have pulled the cylinder head off only to discover that the problems were coming mostly from a pinched oil feed line to the turbo. However, some new findings revealed that I should be happy I'd replaced it with my original motor's 3.0L h
Over the last couple of months swapping back the old cylinder head from the blown 3.0L motor has been of primary concern (see european car 06/02). After evosport pulled the 3.0's cylinder head, we discovered it was simply a broken copper head gasket--the cylin
The first time I took Project 325 to the drag strip for testing, launching was impossible. With a stock engine, 90-degree weather and 235/40-17 ContiSportContact 2 tires, I could leave the line at 3500 rpm and bog to 2400, or I could leave at 3800 and watch th
With the amount of track and performance testing Project M3 has undergone, it's safe to say I've tested its limits to a greater degree than most other owners of AA Turbo-equipped M3s. I'm now on the second engine block, fourth cylinder head, second turbo, thir
When at the dragstrip for testing, trying to determine whether Project 325 had cooled down for another quarter-mile run, I decided I needed some gauges. Real gauges, with real numbers on them. An idiot light and a blue zone followed by a red zone indicating a
Having a car fit me properly is very important: I always feel like I'm trying to run in wrong-size shoes if it doesn't. Project 325 was never quite right. The factory power seats didn't offer much lateral support for the track driving I plan to do. Furthermore
Suspension is the most important part of a car. Engines and brakes are comparatively less critical, because suspension does its work, defining the driving experience, whenever the car is in motion, whether driving to the grocery store, commuting on the freeway
Dan Barnes –
Sep 3, 2003
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