Buy­ing a brawny Bavar­ian: BMW M3 CSL

Motor (Australia) - - HERO WOR­SHIP -

THE CAR­BON front bumper is eas­ily dam­aged. UK-based Mu­nich Leg­ends (ML) says: “It’s about $5000 to re­place – painted and fit­ted – and the car­bon split­ters are $400. You can also have the car­bon split­ters re­fur­bished for $165 each”. Ev­ery S54 has to have its head gas­ket re­placed at 160,000km. “The gas­ket goes be­tween the cylin­ders,” ML says. “The owner is bliss­fully un­aware un­til the block cracks.” A new head gas­ket isn’t cheap and costs $3000 fully fit­ted. Early cars suf­fered from the car­bon roofs debond­ing from the body. “It’s less of a prob­lem these days be­cause most have been fixed,” ML says. “Bud­get around $1700 to re­pair one”. The E46 M3 is no­to­ri­ous for cracked boot floors, caused by metal fa­tigue around the sub­frame mounts. “Re­pair in­cludes re­mov­ing the com­plete driv­e­train, strip­ping the floor to bare metal, drilling the cracks, weld­ing them and then re­in­forc­ing with a plate re­pair kit,” says ML. “Af­ter you’ve seam-sealed and painted it, you have to in­ject resin to strengthen it”. BMW fixed cars un­der war­ranty, but only if the 2000km run­ning-in ser­vice had been done. BMW isn’t re­pair­ing cars now – Mu­nich Leg­ends, in the UK, charges $3300 for the whole job.

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