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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 09-11-2012, 11:06 PM   #41
Pete_repete
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Originally Posted by PerkM3 View Post
Agreed, there are better tuning solutions out today that weren't around when the M3 first became available. The power numbers in my sig were done from bolt ons and proper tuning. Dyno graphs can be found on M3forum. There are a number of guys racing in the NASA GTS series that consistently see more than 340 whp and 260 ft-lbs of torque.
What bolt ons do you have?
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:28 AM   #42
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Seat time. Best mod. Period.

Example: If you cant drive your car at its limit on stock suspension, what makes you think throwing $1,500 worth of suspension at it will suddenly make you a pro?
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:07 AM   #43
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MadRussian's post may have been written in 2004, but what he says remains essentially correct. There is still no cheap or easy way to get more power out of our M3's, and software upgrades, intake manifolds, and exhaust mods won't get you much, if any, additional grunt. At its essence, an engine is simply an air pump. It produces power by bringing in a 17.1 to 1 mixture of air and petrol and combusting it. Power is limited by 3 things. First, how much mixture you can get into the combustion chamber and combust in the shortest period of time, second, how quickly you can evacuate spent gasses from the system so that you can start the process all over again, and third, how efficiently you can turn the petrol and gas mixture into usable power. The M3 engine is ultimately limited by its overall capacity of 3.2 litres. Absent forced induction there is a limit to how much fuel and air mixture can be taken into each combustion chamber (which is why the old racer's adage has always been, "there is no replacement for displacement."). While the current redline might conceivable be raised, it would be quite costly to make certain that the engine wouldn't self-destruct, and maximum power comes at 7,900 rpm anyway. There are no major restrictions in either intake or exhaust that impact power production. What does this leave you? Either forced induction (which WILL give you a substantial boost, albeit at a substantial price) or finding some other way to increase circulation. This would mean a completely new fuel injection system (it would need to be direct injection), different intake, and completely different computer programming. By the time all of this is done, you will have spent at least as much as a good forced induction system would cost, but without as much gain. While technologies change, the laws of physics don't.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:38 PM   #44
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^^^ smart
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:16 AM   #45
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I am going to name some very popular mods. But the ORDER of importance is VERY subjective.

For ME it was extremely cut and dried. i did ALL items 1-8 in the first 6 weeks after I bought the car. I had a lot of time on my hands. It could take 3 months. The car was RARELY overnight in the shop. Once, I think, for the headers.

1) Get rid of stock exhaust and stock mid pipe. Get NICE sounding exhaust, Like
Agency Power, El Diablo.NICE, melodious exhaust..NOT harsh.

NOT racey harsh. DONT get Gruppe M, Any of the Super Sprint(too tinny).
Eissman doesnt flow well.

2)Get GREAT anti rasp mid pipe like the Borla V2. The above #1 and #2 are THE most important to ME for driving pleasure. Its GOTTA sound great!

3) You can DO the de catted headrrs but I really do NOT recommend it with out a custom DYNO tune to lean the car out a bit. other wise you will run rich and STINK..bad sometimes! Sorry. I had Ebay headders for over 3 years with ZERO problems...picked about 25 HP, JUST from that mod(de catting plus super tune) End HP was 301 RWHP.

4) Performace panel filter(air filter) NO NEED for Cold air intake. WE HAVE cold air intakes OEM!!!

5) 90 dollar radiused intake elbow.

6) Forget springs and Koni yellows. The car will LOOK 1000 times better and HANDLE 100 times better with a set of KW V2 coil overs. Buy them used if you have to. but buy them!!!

7) Clay exterior paint and FIND a detailer who REALLY can get rid of ALL your swirls and scratches in your paint. Sometimes a VERY careful wet and dry sand paper sanding is necessary first. SEE the guy's work IN PERSON(no photos). DONT look at paint surface shine. Look at something REFLECTED in the paint. There should be NO WAVES, orange peel etc. The differnece between an ordinary buff job and a TOTAL scratch and swirl removal is extraordinary. Often you will pay the SAME amount for either. make sure you get the good one.300 to 600 bux every 9 months to a year. The first one is the worst. If you ONLY had wash the follow ups can be only a coupe hunderd bux every 6 to 9 months. You CAN go a whole year if the car is garaged.

8) Never ever use WAX unless its on TOP of a polymer protection. Wax is useless and the BEST jobs last ONE MONTH. Polymers last SIX to NINE months. Wolfgang products from Germany. Just put WAX out of your vocabulary. The SHINE comes from your POLISH stage. The polymer or wax only adds protection and yes, a certain amount of DEPTH. Its ALL about the POLISH as far as shine goes. It is an ART not to BURN thru the clear coat!!!

Thats it. To get started. i had ALL these things completed six weeks after I bought the car. SLOWLY I did other mods like wheels, 245/275mm tires, carbon fiber pieces, chrome trim elimination, sound system, built in radar detector and laser jammers, LED Angel EYES from EAS, 6K fog lights. BBK or just new Hawk Hi perf pads and slotted rotors, Castrol SRF brake fluid if you EVER track the car. Bigger oil cooler.

If you can afford items one thru eight, you will be ROCKING your M SO HARD that it will seem like a different car. it WILL be a different car....SO much better than stock....there is hardly any comparison.

Warning. Approach a differential change VERY carefully. You may HATE the increased cruising RPMs. and much worse fuel mileage. New diff is NOT for everyone!
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Last edited by Bdave; 09-14-2012 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:50 PM   #46
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What is everyones opinion about a Under Drive Pulley kit? The sellers say it can free up horsepower up to 10hp? Is this true?
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:53 PM   #47
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Well suspension is always best mod you can do but I would have to say that forced induction is not to bad either..... You won't have to ask yourself if it was worth it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:39 AM   #48
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What is everyones opinion about a Under Drive Pulley kit? The sellers say it can free up horsepower up to 10hp? Is this true?
The 10 bhp claim is likely optimistic, however you can see some gain from going to an underdrive pulley. Just don't forget the tradeoff. With an underdrive pulley your ancillaries will be turning more slowly. This means your alternator, your water pump, your A/C compressor, and your power steering and brake booster. Slower rotational speeds mean less assist.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:25 PM   #49
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Ohhhhh your right! I never thought of it like that. But hey i might do it anyways.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #50
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I seem to only find cold air intakes and exhaust sytems for e46 m3. Where does a guy find fuel injectors and Good intake manifolds? How about full exhaust systems for under$5000? Also how small of a rim is possible and where to find slicks to fit?

Last edited by Beamer Creamer; 10-01-2012 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:12 PM   #51
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Status Gruppe/AP/Fabspeed headers, and Evolve tune. Michelin Pilot SuperSports.

Forget an intake (unless CSL/Evolve airbox), forget the elbow, forget the drop in filter. You'll have a better time taking your woman out with that money. There are some gains to be had with intake scoops, and underdrive pulleys.

This is ALL assuming the maintenance is up to date.
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Mods: Evolve Airbox & Tune, SGT swaintech coated headers, OEM Euro Cats, Larini exhaust, 3.91 gears, Turner Pulleys, TCKline S/A coilovers, H&R front sway Bar, Rear Sway Bar, RE Strut bar, PowerFlex RTAB's, Apex ARC-8's, subframe reinforcement, Laser Int:thumbsup2:
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:33 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by dafoe View Post
Status Gruppe/AP/Fabspeed headers, and Evolve tune. Michelin Pilot SuperSports.

Forget an intake (unless CSL/Evolve airbox), forget the elbow, forget the drop in filter. You'll have a better time taking your woman out with that money. There are some gains to be had with intake scoops, and underdrive pulleys.

This is ALL assuming the maintenance is up to date.

++++1

But replace the filter if its old. I just bought the aFe super stock intake kit, elbow, filter and air scoops.

You can find some threads about dyno gains from the pulleys, but I really don't think its worth it unless you're really trying to squeeze every bit of HP out.

Last edited by mvs2; 10-02-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:04 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by nawewawe View Post
What is everyones opinion about a Under Drive Pulley kit? The sellers say it can free up horsepower up to 10hp? Is this true?
In short, yes it will free up some power, BUT given all the **** that runs on electricity in your car, are you willing to under-drive your alternator? Also there's a few studies out there about how lightweight / underdrive crank pulleys can cause premature engine wear because they primarily get rid of the harmonic dampener.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:22 AM   #54
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You can fake getting more power by getting lighter rims/tires/brakes. Swap out suspension, a good setup not only helps you corner, but can reduce brake dive and help put power to the ground. Also shed some weight on the car itself - the old drag racing calculation is it's .1 seconds faster in the 1/4 for every 100 LBS you drop. Be careful though that you do not destroy your car to make it faster. There are plenty of vehicles out there that will go faster for less money than an M3.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:44 AM   #55
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Under drive pulley kits can replace all but crank but they are all kinda useless. And i found nothing i wanted that was as fast and handling and nice interior and build quality for same price. Only thing is ford mustang and def not my bag. Buddy bought 2012 gt/cs and he ran 13.2 quarter, i ran 13.56. And his car is saggy feeling and trans leaking, misfire warranty dealer cant figure out etc. and that car will cost him $48000 i like my $25000 bmw
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:15 AM   #56
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Under drive pulley kits can replace all but crank but they are all kinda useless. And i found nothing i wanted that was as fast and handling and nice interior and build quality for same price. Only thing is ford mustang and def not my bag. Buddy bought 2012 gt/cs and he ran 13.2 quarter, i ran 13.56. And his car is saggy feeling and trans leaking, misfire warranty dealer cant figure out etc. and that car will cost him $48000 i like my $25000 bmw
Lol, for $25k you can pick up last years WRX (not even STi) which runs a 13.2 if you're into drag racing. Plus for what it costs for a cat back on an M3 you can get the WRX up over 350HP easy enough and be running mid 12's. If German build quality is what you're looking for, there are several Audi's and VW's that are less money that use forced induction and can easily be tuned for much higher HP.

I like my M3 because of the unique style and the feel it has, you will not catch me trying to drag race it against any of the tuner cars.

Not into drag racing? The following cars are faster than the e46 M3 on the Top Gear Test track and in the same ballpark for price.

Audi TT
996
Focus RS500
WRX/STi 2007
Lancer Evo III (The 300HP one not the FQ400)
WRX/STi 2008
370Z (the 350Z had the same exact time, as well as the RX-8)
Focus RS
Boxter S
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #57
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Ok alot is the looks but also the drifting and looks it gets. Also in canada most those cars would be much more coin and i dont trust the stig anymore than youtube street races for accuracy even though its my fav show and i trust alot they say alot of runs are in diff weather conditions and all have diff types of tires. Either way im happy with my m3. I drive it hard on roadcoarse and dragstrip plus the daily and it doesnt have the oil cloud out the rear that alot of the boosted cars get. I'll prob get the rms supercharger or Ess 455 anyway. I mean come on do you really think i want a vw beetle with a body kit( tt)

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Old 10-03-2012, 11:01 AM   #58
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Many of the cars listed are not available in the US at all. Moreover, while lap times around the Top Gear test track are interesting, they are only instructive regarding which cars are best set up to exploit that particular track, which is not a "high speed" track. Hell's bells, the VW GTI went around faster than the Aston Martin Vanquish! Must be a better car, no? I wonder which one would be faster around the Nurburgring, which has every type of on and off-camber turn, rises and drops, and high-speed sections.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:06 AM   #59
roadtrip1098
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Ok alot is the looks but also the drifting and looks it gets. Also in canada most those cars would be much more coin and i dont trust the stig anymore than youtube street races for accuracy even though its my fav show and i trust alot they say alot of runs are in diff weather conditions and all have diff types of tires. Either way im happy with my m3. I drive it hard on roadcoarse and dragstrip plus the daily and it doesnt have the oil cloud out the rear that alot of the boosted cars get. I'll prob get the rms supercharger or Ess 455 anyway. I mean come on do you really think i want a vw beetle with a body kit( tt)
I absolutely agree with you. As far as not trusting the Stig, I understand that, but typically Top Gear UK favors BMW over anything and there's really no better comparison because it is the same track, same driver, unmodded cars.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:19 AM   #60
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Many of the cars listed are not available in the US at all. Moreover, while lap times around the Top Gear test track are interesting, they are only instructive regarding which cars are best set up to exploit that particular track, which is not a "high speed" track. Hell's bells, the VW GTI went around faster than the Aston Martin Vanquish! Must be a better car, no? I wonder which one would be faster around the Nurburgring, which has every type of on and off-camber turn, rises and drops, and high-speed sections.
Most of the ones I listed are obtainable in the US. The reason I use the Top Gear track is because it is the same driver, stock vehicle, same track where Nurburgring tests are skewed because they have different drivers between cars, different start points, and often times safety bits like roll carges are added which increase stiffness. At the same time parts are also stripped out to reduce weight. A good example was when Subaru broke the record for a "stock 4 door" when they reduced weight, turned up the turbo, swapped out suspension, ect.

As far as the Nurburgring is concerned though, the STi did end up beating the Austin Martin DBS and the Vantage (V8). The Boxter S and 2010 Camaro SS both beat out the e46 M3. The wiki page didn't have a time for the Vanquish. The 350z was 4 seconds behind the M3, no time listed for the 370z.
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