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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 03-15-2011, 03:14 AM   #1
shm21284
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323Ci Header/Full Exhaust/CAI/Chipped/3.46:1 Final Drive Build

Hey all. I am a pseudo-newb to this forum. I haven't posted in probably 2 years, but I hope to make that up with some valuable information to the non-M owners.

I drive a 2000 323Ci, it currently has 175,xxx miles on it - and still pulls as strong as I remember.

The reason I'm upgrading the cars is 3-fold. One, I'm tired of how sluggish it feels. I guess you could say I am tired of 153 at the wheels. Secondly, I want to hear the car a little. This thing is too damn quiet! 2 cats and 3 mufflers? Sheesh! And lastly, I track the car somewhat in the summers, and I felt the power was seriously outdone by the handling (even though I felt it handled like a pig). This power upgrade is mainly helping me feel a little bit closer (albeit not much) to my current race car project - dare I say it on a BMW forum - an E-Production Rx-7 (if you're really interested you can see some of the buildup here):

http://www.rx7club.com/showthread.php?t=875783

That Mazda should be in the >200 rwhp and 2300 lb race weight range. Yes, it's probably ridiculous to suggest or even think that my sub 200 rwhp 3400 lb BMW could train me on the track, but hell, I want more power (and probably next I'll want springs/shocks/swaybars)!

So here goes. I am doing the following over the next month or so:

1) Headers. I got those cheap-o ebay headers (~$100 shipped) because I don't have $1800 to spend on my BMW. It should be spent on the race car. I'm getting headers because I wanted to dump the cats due to a) too quiet, b) too much restriction, and c) I'm concerned with 175,xxx mile cats and their dependability and safety on the track. I didn't have too many problems last year, but lets be preventative here. The ebay headers are actually impressive for the price, but still far from professional. I would have LOVED to make my own, but lets be realistic, this is my daily driver, and the time it would take to make a 6 cylinder header to my liking, I could make an adjustable primary length 2-rotor header and possibly the full exhaust.

2) Full Exhaust. This is the part I actually plan on building. I can't find something worth my investment that I like, and I do fabricate, so here's my chance to give the BMW my little bit of love. The idea here is certainly not squeezing every ounce of power out of it (or else I would have built my own headers, or ****, got an M3), but it is a balance of sound, power, and cost. I do plan on making this exhaust in high quality. More on this as the project develops.

3) Cold air intake. **** it. I'm getting a K&N CAI kit. It's nice enough. They had a dyno chart. The plastic will blend in to my engine bay. Whatever.

4) Chip. I'm thinking shark injector, but I'm not very knowledgeable in this area. In the past, any car I have tuned, I put a standalone on. I don't know the capability of the stock ECU, but I was told by several people that it should be able to handle the above engine mods. Please enlighten me as to a better choice than shark injector or if the ECU can even handle it.

5) 3.46:1 Final Drive. I really wanted a limited slip, but after I found out these cars weren't available with LSDs in non-M form, and the fact that I didn't want to dump another 1500-2k in a brand new aftermarket unit, I just settled for the automatic rear ratio. I might pick up a 6 speed to offset the high revs at freeway speeds, but that's further down the list. Given the fact that this car should still be a good deal below 200 rwhp, I wanted to wake her up with this final drive. The stock ratio on my car is 3.06:1, so this change in rear end ratio will result in 13% more rear wheel torque in each gear. Essentially, it will probably make more of a difference to my butt-dyno than any other single component listed above.

PICS!

Here's the ebay headers. Honestly, I was really surprised for the quality given that I only spent $100. I didn't expect much, but after some quick research on the web, namely this thread:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=539004

I decided, what the hell? I'll take the risk.



Supersprint headers:



It's obvious these aren't as high quality as the supersprint headers they are trying to replicate. Here are some of the problems:

The primary tubes are actually 400 series stainless steel (slight magnetism), which means they will eventually rust and don't have the same heat generated fatigue resistance, not to mention higher thermal conductivity.

The flanges are actually mild steel. The magnet *loved* the flanges. I think they coat the flanges, because upon visual inspection, they don't appear to be mild steel. Mild steel is fine for flanges because it doesn't have the same thermal expansion coefficient as stainless steels. However, it corrodes, so aesthetically, it is an adverse choice (proper design eliminates the problems arising from the high thermal expansion of stainless steel).

The collectors are pretty crappy. They are the formed type, which is fine for 3-1 collectors, but the way the welded them to make a total seal is not that great. Well, the way they didn't clean them up isn't that great. But I only spent $100, so you get what you pay for. I just want people to know these subtle, yet important differences.

The primary tubes aren't equal length. Not even close. The front three cylinders are, by visual inspection, probably 1.5x the length of the secondaries. I suppose scavenging isn't the main goal of these headers. The supersprints appear to have a better matching of primary tubes in this regard.

The flanges are warped. I hear this is typical of china made headers. Whatever, for $100, I can afford the $80 to get the flanges milled and ground flat tomorrow, which is on the itinerary.

Lastly, the engine flanges are welded on the outside of the tubes. On high quality exhaust headers or turbo manifolds, I tend to see them welded on the inside (supersprint appears to do this as well). I am not sure why, but that is something that I have noticed.

Here, I am prepping the headers for the "obvious leak" check. Simply duct tape the flanges and all other openings (O2 sensor bungs) shut and submerge the header in water. It actually passed this part, so I suppose I don't have to bust out my TIG for these parts. Awesome.



Submerged, passing the "obvious leak" check (sorry it's a bit foggy, I got some condensation on the lens):



Collectors:



And some pictures of the welds. Not bad for ~$100. Any good fabricator can do better (the weld on the cat-back flange is pretty impressive looking, but not back-purged).



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Old 03-15-2011, 03:16 AM   #2
shm21284
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The plan is to dyno on friday. Once after the header install, and once after the CAI is installed (I hope it gets here before the weekend).

I have a base-line done earlier. I'll post comparisons later.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:16 AM   #3
serdar255
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Sounds like a good build clean mods and good luck
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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I predict a 19rwhp gain from all mods, not more.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
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19 pretty specific, lol. Im gonna say 19.1 not bad for ebay headers and a cai. im excited to see the results.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:02 PM   #6
shm21284
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Originally Posted by Blocked Out View Post
I predict a 19rwhp gain from all mods, not more.
On what dyno?
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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Shark Injector or Active Auto are good choices for software with reasonable gains. I made 4 peak whp with my cold air intake, but a good amount of power in the midrange. See the dyno in my signature for more information, and good luck.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by florida2002m3 View Post
19 pretty specific, lol. Im gonna say 19.1 not bad for ebay headers and a cai. im excited to see the results.
You forgot a tune that he also wants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shm21284 View Post
On what dyno?
It doesnt matter which dyno you use, as long as you baseline on the same type dyno so that you dont skew the results. If you baselined on a mustang, use a mustang , if you baselined on a dynojet use dynojet for your final dyno. You get my point.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:40 AM   #9
shm21284
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Originally Posted by Blocked Out View Post
You forgot a tune that he also wants.



It doesnt matter which dyno you use, as long as you baseline on the same type dyno so that you dont skew the results. If you baselined on a mustang, use a mustang , if you baselined on a dynojet use dynojet for your final dyno. You get my point.
I guess your number was so specific that I was wondering if it would be 19, 21, 17.77675

I am dynoing it on a set of dynapacks... dynos from the same manufacturer don't always read exactly the same, but this should be better than base lining on dynapacks and then going to a dynojet.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:44 AM   #10
shm21284
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Turner motrsport talked a pretty good sales pitch on their tune and their pulleys. Personal experience?
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:04 AM   #11
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Turner motorsport doesnt make a tune for E46, they sell Conforti (most commonly called Shark ) tune, made by Jim Conforti, which is a very good tune for the money and the fact that you can install it yourself in your home in a few minutes is great without having your DME shipped anywhere. Shark is also fully reversible, also in a matter of minutes. I dont have it, and the reason why I dont have it is because its a very basic tune which can only do so much.

Pulleys are pulleys, heard ALOT of positive feedback about Evosport pulleys(mainly for the fact that they're the cheapest and do the same thing, while looking a little better then the competition ) http://www.evosport.com/product/default.aspx , the website is VERY difficult to navigate and has options about your alternator (if its a Valeo or Bosch) and asks you if you want a power pulley for it or not. I dont have them because I dont believe in them. I have removed my AC and have a high flow Water pump so I would not benefit from power pulleys even if they worked.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:12 AM   #12
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subscribed!! im a 323 owner in search of more power too!!
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:30 AM   #13
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NIce! Can't wait for results!
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:34 PM   #14
shm21284
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Stock dyno:

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Old 03-16-2011, 06:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by shm21284 View Post
Stock dyno:

I'm sure that's not your dyno.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:12 PM   #16
shm21284
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Update. Went to install the headers last night, turned into a disaster. Turns out, they lied, and these are actually 325/330 headers, so the downpipe flanges are clocked wrong, the flanges are not the right size (slightly too large), and the headers are spaced to the right too far. I should have read this thread:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=571990

Oops.

So, I called activeautowerke, and they discontinued their 323/328 headers. My only option now is to a) fab up my own, or b) modify these headers directly after the collector to make them mate.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:13 PM   #17
shm21284
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Originally Posted by Iceman00 View Post
I'm sure that's not your dyno.
That is my dyno chart, i posted that over a year ago in this forum.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by shm21284 View Post
That is my dyno chart, i posted that over a year ago in this forum.
I stand corrected, I was looking at the wrong name.
Now that I have you here, what IS the peak numbers? The plot line isn't at peak.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:52 PM   #19
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Shark Injector or Active Auto are good choices for software with reasonable gains. I made 4 peak whp with my cold air intake, but a good amount of power in the midrange. See the dyno in my signature for more information, and good luck.
Ok lets clear the air here for any one who has done the ebay headers catback exhaust and a cold air Intake a shark Injector wont do very much Its not suggested.

Sending the ecu to Active Auto Is much more suggested , Reason being , They"ll tune youre ecu to the specs of youre bolt on mods.

Your"e ecu needs to be remapped with what ever has been done to youre car.

Call Viral at Active Auto.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:26 PM   #20
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Ok lets clear the air here for any one who has done the ebay headers catback exhaust and a cold air Intake a shark Injector wont do very much Its not suggested.

Sending the ecu to Active Auto Is much more suggested , Reason being , They"ll tune youre ecu to the specs of youre bolt on mods.

Your"e ecu needs to be remapped with what ever has been done to youre car.

Call Viral at Active Auto.

Completely untrue/
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