I have a question about the E46 competition package... it appears to me,
that when you have a car with the competition package, you loose the
multi-function steering wheel and get the steering wheel with only a single
button for the DSC mode. So it seems that you loose the steering wheel radio
controls as well as the cruise control.
QUESTION 1) So an E46 M3 with competition package has NO ability to do
QUESTION 2) Does the wiring harness to the steering column have the pins for
the radio controls and cruise control on a competition package car?? ie...
can I buy a standard E46 M multi-function steering wheel and just swap it?
QUESTION 3) If I can swap in the standard E46 M multi-function steering
wheel, is the DSC mode button on that steering wheel too? Or would I loose
that functionality completely? I know there is a DSC button under the
navigation monitor on the button strip, but I was told that is something
different then the one on the steering wheel? Whats the diff?
Basically, I'm asking this for this reason: I'm loooking to buy a used E46
M3 (since I can't order it anymore), and the one I found has the competition
package on it. I currently drive a 325i which has the radio controls on the
steering wheel and I use them ALL the time.
I was wondering if I could put the multi-function steering wheel onto a
competition package car with minimal effort and what functionality I would
loose / gain, etc.
Yes, it was introduced in either 2004 or 2005. It gives you a quicker
steering ratio, bigger compound brakes that are cross drilled and 19" CSL
style wheels. It also has "competition style" aluminum trim which is
aluminum that has the same "diamond pattern" as carbon fiber. The steering
wheel and hand brake are wrapped in alcantara.
For some stupid reason, they remove the cruise control and radio controls
and give you the M track mode button on the steering wheel as seen here:
AFAIK the M3CS "M Track" button doesn't actually switch of DSC completely.
Its a softer DSC as found in the CSL so you can play abit more before it
reins you in. I very much doubt that the wiring harness would accommodate a
multi-function wheel so you're probably stuck.
TBH I don;t think the CS really offers much over the standard M3. Its a sort
of half attempt at a CSL. Personally, I'd just stick with a straight M3 and
retain the creature comforts or go the whole way and get a CSL.
Yeah, too be honest, if I *COULD* order one how I wanted, I *MIGHT* have
tried to get just the compound brakes and possibly the quicker steering
ratio out of the competition package, but I probably would have skipped it
completely. Just gone with Xenons, Premium, 19" wheels, Navigation, aluminum
Since the E46 M3 is out of production, I dont have that option
unfortunately, so I've been searching for a while for demo cars or cars that
snobby rich people drove and turned in after only a few thousand miles in my
area. I've found one thats perfectly configured, but with the added
But now that I've had a night to toss and turn over and think about it... I
never use the cruise control now, but I do use the radio controls all the
time (the volume). I guess I could just use the knob on the radio for that,
to get some M3 goodness, but these cars are hard to find with low mileage...
And for some reason, there is apperently a HUGE supply of morons who think
they should put an SMG transmission in an M3. Sorry, but this is a bad ass
sports car, it deserves a manual :).
I've seen more "perfectly configured" ones that had SMG though. So I passed
Don't dismiss SMG completely. I had one for two years and although it took
about 3 months to really get to grips with it I'd have another.
But, then there's the reality of resale etc. If you can't sell an SMG in
your local market its not going to be a sensible buy. And quite frankly, SMG
or manual an M3 is a hell of a car!
I just traded mine against an X5... I'm now looking for either an E60 M5 or
possibly an E46 M3 CSL to bridge the gap to an E92 M3.
I thought about just waiting for the E92 M3, but from the spyshots I've
seen, BMW has completely ruined this new generation lineup. INSIDE AND
OUT... The outside of the new M3 (and the coupe) is a bit harsh (that harsh
line running down the side), but livable with... the inside in hideous on so
1) they went from a 4 guage cluster to a 2 guage cluster which makes the car
look cheap.. not something you want to feel on a $60k car
2) they moved the nav monitor from where it was to a second hump on the
3) they added a rear center console... gee thanks, now I can't fit 3 people
back there anymore.
Personally, I think the E46 lineup (3 series coupe, 3 series sedan, M3) were
awesome looking inside and out. The E46 M3 is WITHOUT A DOUBT the most
beautiful car on the road I think in the < $100k category.
Hehe... sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone. Like I said, if you are
looking for an SMG model and/or convertible, they are ALL over the place. I
could have bought my perfect car 10 times over if I wanted SMG and/or a
Are the compound brakes the same as was fitted to all euro cars? If so
then you just swap yours out for euro rotors. I guess the steering
rack would be do-able too but would cost $$$$.
Look, almost anything is possible so I'm sure if you really wanted you
could wire up a wheel for the radio controls and even retrofit cruise
control if you really wanted.
I'm not sure if they are the euro brakes, but they are enlarged from 12.8"
to 13.6" and cross drilled. Supposedly this is the same brake system that
was used on the CSL.
The steering ratio goes from 15.4:1 to 14.5:1.
For my type of driving neither will really be that big of a deal, I just
think cross drilled rotors and compound brakes give the already agressive
look an even more agressive look ;). But not worth $4000 for the package
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