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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 10-18-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
BANDIT1
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Question Port Polished Head?

Has anyone on here had any experience with port polishing the head on a 01' 330i? I have a friend and his dad builds dirt car motors and he can port polish the heads on my my car for free. And he does it on a machine not with a grinder. The only thing I'd have to pay for is the valve job, but is it worth doing? I also drive the car everyday and I don't want to get it to the point it is reliable... So any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BANDIT1 View Post
Has anyone on here had any experience with port polishing the head on a 01' 330i? I have a friend and his dad builds dirt car motors and he can port polish the heads on my my car for free. And he does it on a machine not with a grinder. The only thing I'd have to pay for is the valve job, but is it worth doing? I also drive the car everyday and I don't want to get it to the point it is reliable... So any advice would be greatly appreciated!
If you head is already off of the bottom end, and you get a great deal on a polish, then maybe you could consider it, but there is a lot more that I would spend the money on. Also, to get any type of gains, you need to have your car dyno tuned with the ports polished which would also cost $$$. Not worth it at all to me.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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If you head is already off of the bottom end, and you get a great deal on a polish, then maybe you could consider it, but there is a lot more that I would spend the money on. Also, to get any type of gains, you need to have your car dyno tuned with the ports polished which would also cost $$$. Not worth it at all to me.

WHAT. just get it polished, if you ever need a tune then go to active and theyll take care of you for about 500 bucks tunned to everything you have on your car.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:17 PM   #4
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WHAT. just get it polished, if you ever need a tune then go to active and theyll take care of you for about 500 bucks tunned to everything you have on your car.
Just polishing a head does not give you and significant power increase. It just helps with exhaust velocity which when tuned for give you a little power increase, but nothing crazy. Most of the power comes from porting the head and if i read it right he isn't porting it, just polishing it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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If you head is already off of the bottom end, and you get a great deal on a polish, then maybe you could consider it, but there is a lot more that I would spend the money on. Also, to get any type of gains, you need to have your car dyno tuned with the ports polished which would also cost $$$. Not worth it at all to me.
Yeah I'm thinking it's to much of an hassle. I was only going to pull the head to do the port polish.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:19 PM   #6
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WHAT. just get it polished, if you ever need a tune then go to active and theyll take care of you for about 500 bucks tunned to everything you have on your car.
Uh... I thought polishing only made it smoother after porting, so shouldn't it be smooth enough from the factory?
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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Just polishing a head does not give you and significant power increase. It just helps with exhaust velocity which when tuned for give you a little power increase, but nothing crazy. Most of the power comes from porting the head and if i read it right he isn't porting it, just polishing it.
I was going to do both port and polish the head. But I'm not going to take the head off just to polish it.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Porting and polishing is a waste of time unless you have a flow bench to confirm you are going in the right direction. There are heads that you can make a few small changes and they will pick up a pretty good amount air flow. Then I've seen heads that people have gone to town on them and they either flow worse or result in no gain but they look pretty.

I remember when I was in high school I decided to port and polish the head off of my VW Rabbit pickup. Then I took it down to the guy who did our race motors and he stuck it on a flow bench. Then I had a stock VW head and we tried it. Guess what, I threw the ported and polished head away. He took and matched the ports and cleaned up around the seats (he spent about an hour on it). He didn't even polish the head. I remember it picked up a pretty good amount. Thing is, the throttle body was the restriction in the whole system and no amount of porting was going to increase the overall airflow until I did something to that throttle body. I don't remember the numbers as that was 25 years ago.

Moral to the story, do it right the first time and you need to have both of your manifolds plus all of your intake piping all the way to the filter. Once you do that, you'll be going, "Huh, I never knew that was the restriction in the intake?"
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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Porting and polishing is a waste of time unless you have a flow bench to confirm you are going in the right direction. There are heads that you can make a few small changes and they will pick up a pretty good amount air flow. Then I've seen heads that people have gone to town on them and they either flow worse or result in no gain but they look pretty.

I remember when I was in high school I decided to port and polish the head off of my VW Rabbit pickup. Then I took it down to the guy who did our race motors and he stuck it on a flow bench. Then I had a stock VW head and we tried it. Guess what, I threw the ported and polished head away. He took and matched the ports and cleaned up around the seats (he spent about an hour on it). He didn't even polish the head. I remember it picked up a pretty good amount. Thing is, the throttle body was the restriction in the whole system and no amount of porting was going to increase the overall airflow until I did something to that throttle body. I don't remember the numbers as that was 25 years ago.

Moral to the story, do it right the first time and you need to have both of your manifolds plus all of your intake piping all the way to the filter. Once you do that, you'll be going, "Huh, I never knew that was the restriction in the intake?"
Thanks for the useful info man. I guess I need to talk to my friends dad and see exactly what he thinks about it. I definitely don't want a half a$$ job with a grinder done on my head. And I understand we need to find the restriction by putting it on a flow bench and I'm not sure if he had planned on doing that.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:40 AM   #10
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Thanks for the useful info man. I guess I need to talk to my friends dad and see exactly what he thinks about it. I definitely don't want a half a$$ job with a grinder done on my head. And I understand we need to find the restriction by putting it on a flow bench and I'm not sure if he had planned on doing that.
Removing the head is a bit of work....installing it requires special tools.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:42 AM   #11
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Removing the head is a bit of work....installing it requires special tools.
What kinda special tools to re-install it?
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:31 PM   #12
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What kinda special tools to re-install it?
search "vanos" or "cam tools". You'll find endless posts about this.
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