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|3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.|
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Your first post and this post are a contradiction then. You want to see what you can change to make your car "a little better". Pretty much everything that will be suggested to you is "bolt on". But what is YOUR definition of bolt on?
These are probably the best mods performance wise without going the FI route. Remember, superchargers/turbo's are VERY expensive. The Tune alone can run you $1,500
2. Underdrive Pulleys
3. Fan Delete
4. M50 Manifold Conversion
5. M3 or other exhaust
6. M50 or Big Bore Throttle Body conversion
7. S52 or Schrik (sp?) Cams
However, the best way to make your car perform better is through basic maintenance. Replacing the fluids, changing the spark plugs, cleaning your throttle body and ICV valve will all help to keep your car running better.
You're right. Definitely worded my post wrong. Bolt ons to me are just I/h/e. I just wondering if you could explain the differences of the parts you listed and numbered. I know what some of them do but an explanation will go a lot further. Thanks.
I will do my best. The reason they were numbered was becuase thats the recommended order that they should be done in (IMO).
First, a Cold Air Intake (or CAI) replaces the factory airbox with a larger diameter intake, and also relocates it down in behind the bumper for cold fresh air. Engines prefer cold air over hot. Some CAIs have a heat shield and isolate the intake from the hot air from the engine. A CAI gives an increase of around 5-10hp on average, which is usually felt higher up in the rev band. However they rob a bit of low end torque. One advantage is the nice sound the some of them give under accelleration. I have the Jim Conforti CF CAI and i love it. I noticed an increase in performance with it and it looks great.
Underdrive pulleys replace the factory accessory pullies. The accessories like AC are powered by the belt drive. The underdrive pulleys are usually slightly smaller and lighter then the factory ones reducing parasitic drag and freeing up torque. I find that that the underdrive pullies really complement the CAI and restore the slight torque that was lost. I have the UUC pullies on my car and i like them, and have had no issues with them.
The fan is powered by the belt drive as well, so the fan delete mod removes the fan and frees up hp by reducing parasitic drag. Their are kits for this and i highly reccomend it because it reduces the chance of the car overheating.
On the M50 engine the intake manifold was larger and less restrictive then the one on the M52 engine. The M50 made more power through the top end of the rev band then the M52 one did. This is why people with the M52 swap theirs out. This will increase hp, but not by a large amount. Their are conversion kits available to help make the swap a lot easier. You usually have to source the M50 manifold seperatley, but they pop up on the forums every so often.
With the additional air entering the engine, it will need to leave. Companies like Supersprint, Remus, Borla are reputed as the best, however they are usually pricey, and in the $600+ range. If this is out of your budget an M3 exhaust will work just as well too. Ive seen them sell for as little as $200.
With the increase in air and these mods, it is recomeneded that you get a tune/chip. I personally like the Conforti Shark Inejctor. Its a simple plug and install device and remaps part of the factory BMW software to compensate for the previous mods. This will also increase your performance, and will raise your rev limiter. Definitley worth it if you want to feel the full benifit of all the mods listed above.
The M50 throttle body like the manifold is larger and less restrictive then the M52 variant. Some people have done it, and had positive results, and a few have said the gain wasnt worth the dollar figure. Dinan also has a BBTB as well which is larger then the M50 one, but more expensive. I would really only do this if you were planning on going the Forced Induction route down the line.
The S52 is essentially a large displacement M52 with minor upgrades to increase performance. It uses a regular M52 head with the same stepped VANOS system (on the intake cam only) but uses more aggressive cams. These cams increase hp when used in the M52. I dont have these in my car yet, but from what i have read it is a noticable gain in performance. Again with these installed a chip/tune is needed to get the full benifit. The Shark Injector as mentioned before can be programmed for the cams. Installing camshafts is NOT a DIY job. This is something that needs to be done with a special tool otherwise you may very easily break the camshafts.
Pretty much after this is the Forced Induction route. Which is quite expensive.
Any further questions please let me know...
It seems like your car is lowered, is it on springs? And any recommendations on suspension. I just want to close my wheel gap. Something not too expensive but decent.
Actually, in that picture it's not lowered. That's factory ride height with 18"s. that was taken before I got the Koni sport kit. Unfortunately due to my laptop hard drive crashing I don't have a large selection of pictures anymore.
I have the Koni yellow adjustable shocks with the Koni sport springs as part of their sport kit. I actually really like it. The dampening is adjustable for ride comfort. I found the drop to not be too much, about an inch or so. The lifetime warranty is definitely a plus. From what I've read online from other owners the Konis are pretty much the way to go hands down for shocks but depending on how much of a drop you want either H&R or Eibach springs. The H&R OE springs have the least amount of drop. The Eibach springs have about the same as all the other ones and they are highly reccomended as well. Kids depends if you want to track your car or keep it as a DD. The H&R race springs are a huge drop, something close to 2" so I would avoid those. I got the Koni kit which came with both springs and shocks but if I had to do it per again I would stick with the Konis and get H&R OE springs.
One thing though is I have 18"s so with the drop I have fender rubbing issues when cornering. Only in the front do I have an issue, but you WILL need to get your fenders rolled of you want 18"s. otherwise you risk chipping the paint on your fender, which I still have a picture of on my passenger fender. With 17"s you will no issues.
Please excuse any spelling mistakes. I'm typing this in my iPhone.
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