Buying a b3 e46

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Buying guides, Specific questions about a car, or about a particular model, ALPINA characteristics.

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Alan Jackman
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Buying a b3 e46

Post by Alan Jackman » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:24 am

Hello I'm new to the forum and alpina's so please be gentle. I've been looking for a 330ci msport and I stumbled into the alpina b3 3.3 a name I remember from somewhere in the past. These sound perfect for me I found 3 after searching the country unfortunately they keep selling just as I find out about them. I've done some research and I'm aware they're quiet rare. What I'm asking is how often do they come up for sale anyone any ideas?

hap
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Post by hap » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:46 pm

Hi and welcome

At moment there are lots for sale
What's your budget ?? Coupe I take it

Alan Jackman
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Post by Alan Jackman » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:03 am

Yes it's a coupe I'm looking for, as for budget the ones I've seen seem to be advertised at around £4000 and I know one has just sold for £3000. I'd be happy to pay a bit more for the right car so I guess £3500 to £5000. Is this a realistic budget for a decent one? I'm only going off the ones I've seen and they seemed ok. The best I seen advertised was for £4500 so I'm hoping to get a good one for my money. Any help is well received. Thanks.

hap
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Post by hap » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:55 pm

Yeah prices start 3500 upto 7k you should get a decent one for five
Best thing is have a shortlist and go view all and make a decision

Post links to ones your interested and we will give some pointers and advice

Elan
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Post by Elan » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:30 pm

If you are going for the coupe/convertible model, its best to check that the subframe has not cracked. Seems to be a known problems especially with the more powerful engines.

Good luck with the search.
Current Collection:
F30 B3 BiTurbo #133
E30 - C2 2.7 #515, Hartge H27 Cab
E46 - B3 3.3 Touring #113, M3 manual
997.1 Turbo Manual
LP560-4 Manual

Alan Jackman
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Location: St Helens

Post by Alan Jackman » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:37 pm

The one I really liked has just sold, the guy said he'd had it for sale for 3 months! For some reason it wasn't coming up in my searches until it was too late. At the moment I can find
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2001-BMW-Alpi ... 4897.l4275.
But I don't really fancy that after reading about it here.

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/ ... ?logcode=p
Not for me I agree with the thread I've read, bit expensive for the condition.

There's a silver one in Glasgow but I don't like the colour combo.

Ones just come up for sale on here, but a bit more work needed than I'd like but it looks quiet good. And I'm imagining they're all going to have some faults. It's on my reserve list if you know what I mean.

If anyone spots any others please let me know.

Alan Jackman
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Location: St Helens

Post by Alan Jackman » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:43 pm

http://www.villagemotorswakefield.co.uk ... 3201910236

That's the one I saw first but like I said its sold.

Alan Jackman
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Post by Alan Jackman » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:58 pm

Yes Im a bit worried about the subframe thing. As far as I can see this could be an issue on early e46s with bigger engines. I'm guessing best way to check is with the ears on a test drive and strange handling. I've seen a vid on utube with the boot carpet up and you could see the whole thing moving when gears where engaged. Anything else that would give that fault away? Obviously you can only do so much when your looking at a car. I know a good mechanic and I'd ask him to look but im not seeing any local.

Martin870
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Post by Martin870 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:00 am


Alan Jackman
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Post by Alan Jackman » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:25 am

Cheers Martin, I'm looking for a coupe, that looks a nice one though

Elan
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Post by Elan » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:40 am

I am no expert with subframe. When I bought my car I checked under the boot carpet and listen for any noises when turning. This was more common on the M3. To check properly I think it needs to go on the ramp?

As a precaution I am getting the M3 floor reinforced and will set me back around £1k.
Current Collection:
F30 B3 BiTurbo #133
E30 - C2 2.7 #515, Hartge H27 Cab
E46 - B3 3.3 Touring #113, M3 manual
997.1 Turbo Manual
LP560-4 Manual

hap
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Location: Scunthorpe, North Lincs

Post by hap » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:11 pm

Hang fire wait until right one comes up

Alan Jackman
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Location: St Helens

Post by Alan Jackman » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:11 pm

Yes Elan I think that's all you can really do and hope it's not been raining so you can have a good look underneath.

Yea Hap that seems to be the plan now. Now I've seen these I want one so guess it's a waiting game checking the net daily. Hope it's not too long though. Ta.

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drewjak
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Post by drewjak » Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:18 am

Elan wrote:If you are going for the coupe/convertible model, its best to check that the subframe has not cracked. Seems to be a known problems especially with the more powerful engines.

Good luck with the search.
The subframe problem is more of an m3 issue I think, its not something that crops up in Alpina circles , I think it has more to do with the way the M3 delivers its power and how they are driven in respect to an Alpina also.

One thing to check on the earlier cars is suspension , most cars are needing full replacements now of shocks and springs and this is an expensive job , Front bottom arm bushes and rear subframe bushes also .
Vanos systems are another thing to look for on these cars to.
like most old cars if you want a good one you'll have to pay for it , only service history and good documentation will prove it , if you buy a cheap one be prepared to spend on it I would think .
As mentioned above plenty will help you out on here, best thing i would do is buy one off here if possible as then you can at least look through the owners posts and get an idea of the car its self.

Another thing to remember is most of these cars like regular feeds of oil, so finding a car that has an 5l oil top up in the boot is a good sign.

I may be selling mine soon so watch this space
ESTORIL BLUE B3 3.3 COUPE #60 of 90
& the last 1 registered in 2000


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The lack of L.S.D keeps me on the straight and narrow

ALPINA......Because Gentlemen don't drift

Alan Jackman
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:22 am
Location: St Helens

Post by Alan Jackman » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:08 pm

Hello and thanks for the reply. I first read about the sub frames on normal e46s. Think I remember reading that bmw had sorted it after a few years of production (not sure about that). I was under the impression that the vanos system on these was simpler and more reliable than most of the e46s. What would give away problems with it? Noisy engine? I guess with cars round 15 years old you just have to check them out as carefully as possible, then cross your fingers.
Getting one off here would be my preferred option for the same reasons you gave. It can be a bit worrying though reading all the posts about different problems but people don’t need help when everything works fine, so for every expensive repair I’ve read about I’m hoping there’s plenty others without the problems. I can at least see on here that they’re taking better care than most average car owners. Just had a quick look at the pictures of yours it looks very nice; please keep me informed if you do decide to sell. Thanks for the help.

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