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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-21-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
Gevojan
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e46 325i mods

Hey guys, just joined the site today. So, I have a 2003 325i automatic sedan. For a while now, I have been researching possible mods to increase my 0-60 time. I know that a lot of kids have posts asking the same thing for their 325s but I want to ask you guys for your advice, opinions and ideas cause I honestly haven't found any legitimate/beneficial answers from any other posts. So far, I have come up with installing headers(add 15+ crank hp), getting a sprint booster(improving throttle response), doing a weight reduction(losing 200+lbs, already lost about 50 lbs total from my muffler and bumper swap), and upgrading my differential to a 3.91. I'm on a low budget and I plan on doing all the mods myself.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
Avetiso
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Buy a 330. Sorry that sounds harsh, but seriously.

That's my opinion, at least.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:28 PM   #3
Gevojan
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Well, the car was passed down to me by my dad and we're the original owners and my dad wants me to keep it, plus I'm on a low budget so I'm looking at spending around 500-600 dollars on all these mods. And honestly doing all these mods is cheaper than buying a 330 and the end result should have my car going 0-60 under or around 6 seconds which is just as fast if not faster than manual 330s.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:32 PM   #4
Llink78
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Loose weight. Do headers and shark flash. Then when you have time and $$ find a 330i intake mani and follow the DIY for the swap. Other than that, not much to do on the cheapest side of mods.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
ross1998
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e46 325i mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gevojan View Post
Well, the car was passed down to me by my dad and we're the original owners and my dad wants me to keep it, plus I'm on a low budget so I'm looking at spending around 500-600 dollars on all these mods. And honestly doing all these mods is cheaper than buying a 330 and the end result should have my car going 0-60 under or around 6 seconds which is just as fast if not faster than manual 330s.
I know this isn't the answer your looking for but maybe you should invest that money into maintenance instead of mods that you will most likely not even feel a difference in power with. What good would a car with mods be if it doesn't drive?


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Old 09-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #6
Avetiso
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Well, if you can't buy a 330, I'd suggest getting headers (a pain in the ass in CA), an exhaust (mostly for sound, but it'll help a little) and tune. A 3.91 diff will help, but with an auto car, I'd be weary of what RPMs you'll be running at 80mph considering you don't have a 6th gear.

Also make sure your VANOS has been serviced; there is usually some loss in torque associated with its failure.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #7
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You are already faster than most stock sedans, and a 600 dollar budget will not work for a BMW. Stick with aesthetics, your car can really stand out with some right modifications
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:18 PM   #8
Gevojan
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Yea my dad took real good care of the car while he had it. Serviced it mostly with the dealer except for minor things hear and there. Also, just rebuilt the transmission 2k miles ago. I already have many aesthetic mods done on my car, so I want to move to the next level being performance. Don't know if you guys have read the thread about weight reduction, but essentially, if i put on headers ill get about 204hp crank, and when go into weight reduction, every 10 lbs i drop from my car will be equivalent to around .7hp. So, dropping 260 will put me at 220+ hp crank which puts me in 330 territory which is 6.5. Then a 3.91 diff swap will put me at least .5 faster0-60 so.. 0-60 would be at least 6 seconds. Plus 80 mph on with car with a diff swap will put me around 3100rpm. So with auto transmission i should be fine, if it were a manual thats a different story..
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:24 AM   #9
peytonracer4
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e46 325i mods

No. Not at all.
First of all, losing weight adds nothing to your crank hp. Even hypothetically.
It adds to your power to weight ratio which is what you'd be looking at when loosing weight.
Also, swapping a diff will make your 0-60 times slower. Sounds crazy right? Well if you'll notice your stock car reaches about 62 mph in 2nd gear. It takes about 1 second to shift. So you're technically loosing 1 second. Especially in an auto where you can't speed up shift times.
So if you're already at 6.5 you'll be between 7 and 7.5 if you swap a diff.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:33 AM   #10
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Going to be difficult to get significant performance gains out of a 325i, especially on a budget. A Shark Injector will give you some more pep, but that's $300 right there. Headers will be another $300, but aren't easy to install yourself and CA is much stricter on emissions than other states. Unless you gut the car, getting under 6 seconds to 60 is not realistic with a $600 budget. Sure, someone might argue a nitrous kit would do it, but I would strongly advise against that.

Sounds like you have yourself a clean daily driver. My two cents would be to keep it maintained, get the Shark Injector and maybe a Sprint Booster to improve/sharpen the feel of the throttle. If that is not enough, then it is cheaper in the long run to buy a different car than it is to make yours something it is not.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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Buy used B30 pistons and ZHP cams. Bam. There you go.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
No. Not at all.
First of all, losing weight adds nothing to your crank hp. Even hypothetically.
It adds to your power to weight ratio which is what you'd be looking at when loosing weight.
Also, swapping a diff will make your 0-60 times slower. Sounds crazy right? Well if you'll notice your stock car reaches about 62 mph in 2nd gear. It takes about 1 second to shift. So you're technically loosing 1 second. Especially in an auto where you can't speed up shift times.
So if you're already at 6.5 you'll be between 7 and 7.5 if you swap a diff.
Who takes a whole second to shift?
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:22 AM   #13
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I understand how you feel. My first car was a bone stock 1966 Mustang coupe with all the options and a 289 hi-po engine. For years, I toyed with the idea of performance upgrades, but I listened to my Dad and resisted the temptation. Given that info, my opinion is as follows.

Why mess with a nice car by trying to eek out a few more horses? If you want to improve your car's drivability, spend money on refreshing/upgrading the suspension. My stock 2001 325i with an auto is plenty fast for daily driving (my wife and I own another car that is blisteringly fast, and we both prefer our 325i overall.) Also, keep the appearance mods on the tasteful side and do not rice it out. A lot of mods are an absolute waste of money and they degrade the beautiful design of the E46.

Enjoy your car as it is and spend your money on dates - you should get a much better return on your investment.

Last edited by vandyboy; 09-22-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:51 AM   #14
Yewzer B Lewzer
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e46 325i mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by vandyboy View Post
I understand how you feel. My first car was a bone stock 1966 Mustang coupe with all the options and a 289 hi-po engine. For years, I toyed with the idea of performance upgrades, but I listened to my Dad and resisted the temptation. Given that info, my opinion is as follows.

Why mess with a nice car by trying to eek out a few more horses? If you want to improve your car's drivability, spend money on refreshing/upgrading the suspension. My stock 2001 325i with an auto is plenty fast for daily driving (my wife and I own another car that is blisteringly fast, and we both prefer our 325i overall.) Also, keep the appearance mods on the tasteful side and do not rice it out. A lot of mods are an absolute waste of money and they degrade the beautiful design of the E46.

Enjoy your car as it is and spend your money on dates - you should get a much better return on your investment.
This x 1,000


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Old 09-22-2013, 03:15 PM   #15
peytonracer4
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e46 325i mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApolloTheGod View Post
Who takes a whole second to shift?
An auto trans.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:25 PM   #16
theOCHO
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After all of this hypothetical mumbo-jumbo -- weight loss, shark injectors and headers -- your automatic 325i will still be slower to 60 than a 2013 Camry V6 and much less comfortable.

What's the point?

Upgrade the suspension, get some sticky summer tires and take some driving classes.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:12 PM   #17
Marshmallow
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e46 325i mods

There are ways to increase your power output. If you post a thread and convince a senior member that you are mature enough to handle it, they will give you a website name and password. When you visit this website and enter the password, the entire site will open up like the doors of Oz and you will have access to a store full of mods that each add over 300hp for under $50! And when they arrive by UPS, a magical unicorn jumps out of the box and installs them on your car for you. Then you go out and whip a Veyron! YOLO!
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:22 PM   #18
wildirish317
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This, from Bentley:

Quote:
The 2.5 liter crankshaft is cast iron. The
2.8 and 3.0 liter engines use a forged
steel crankshaft to accommodate the
higher torque. The crankshaft for the 3.0
liter engine is adapted from the S52 M3
engine.
The 2.5 is not really made to be modified for more power.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:29 PM   #19
NumbaOneNewb
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Re: e46 325i mods

You will see many who will tell you to save it for maintenance. These things have a high upkeep. No matter what, there's something in there that needs to be replaced. I would rather spend that money to replace those bushings on your car. It'll be a lot more worth it

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Old 09-22-2013, 07:40 PM   #20
carcus
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Sprint booster is about the only thing you will feel, but really no HP gain. No worries though.....the 325 is a good ride, also the 330 is not as impressive as some people here think and still stuck with the mod per dollar issue. Besides FI....nothing really works for not turbo German cars. Been there done that.....invest on the interior to make it your nice custom place, and spend money on a good water pump....replace the normal stuff. Tons of posts here using the search function.

Cliff notes.....NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO FEEL ANYTHING ON A E46 NON M3.....besides your wallet losing weight. Again, been there done that with Dinan.

Looked cool though...and no, I am not a jackass 911 owner...still a BMW Fanatic and with a non turbo 911..still in the same boat.





My winter car, Jag X-Type 3.0 AWD is in the same boat also but for some reason, I love the interior of the Jag much more than my 325.



I still miss the 325, was a great driver car. Fact is, there are some things you can't improve on without a SC or Turbo speed wise or just a ton of money to dump into it.
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