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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 01-05-2013, 03:03 PM   #1
Poncho@home
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What I did this morning. Pics inside

My car is in hibernation for the winter, and I only got a chance to drive it about 2 months after purchasing it, so I have been jonesing for my BMW fix. Decided to go ahead and install the few items I bought over the holidays.

1.ECS Carbon fiber strut bar









Install took about 15 minutes.

2. M5 Illuminated ZHP Shift knob.

I came accross this on this forum:http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=424647







I was originally looking at getting the BMW Performance short shifter kit, but i when I saw this I jumped on it and in my opinion, the perfect shift knob height.

Install took about 1 hour. No wires cut. simply used quick splice connectors and a some plugs to make it easy to remove shift knob if necessary.

3. Was an M3 steering wheel I purchased a couple of months ago on this forum.





Install took about 30 minutes. Was very easy.

Here is the original interior. Upgrades really make a difference!





Now all that's left is to buy new tires and mount my M3 replica wheels!!!
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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Strut bars. Do they make any tangible difference to the handling?
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Why replica wheels? I have a OE set of M3 wheels I'm gonna be selling soon.

Is the knob from an E39 M5?
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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Nice. I'm liking it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:16 PM   #5
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Oh this is the F10 M5 knob. Ok cool. Very nice.
So did you cut off the boot, or did you use it.
I'd rather keep my shifter boot/sock.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:17 PM   #6
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Nice stuff, enjoy
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:18 PM   #7
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Anything that tightens up chassis and helps suspension work better. There was a noticeable improvement on my 1989 Trans Am.

OEM M3 wheels would require rear fender rolling, something I have no interest in doing. These replicas are e9x style M3 wheels.

Shift knob is from F10 M5
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
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Oh this is the F10 M5 knob. Ok cool. Very nice.
So did you cut off the boot, or did you use it.
I'd rather keep my shifter boot/sock.
It's not worth the trouble unless you have an alcantara interior. I stripped it down to the knob only because of this. It was a bit of a hassle.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:30 PM   #9
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I used the boot that came with the shift knob. I removed the old boot from the plastic frame, and re-glued it to the new boot. Stitching doesn't line up 100%, but its not something that is noticeable to anyone that is not an active member of e46fanatics
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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Strut bars. Do they make any tangible difference to the handling?
Some say. But I think you'd have to be very sensitive to handling changes to be able to discern a difference. Perhaps if you had stiff springs and shocks and were racing you'd be able to tell.
I put one on because it was cheap and I was curious.
Beyond my ability to see any difference.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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the more stiff/rigid your chassis is the better the suspension components work. I took a T-top Trans Am with serious chassis flex and installed STB, Frame connectors, boxed LCAs and the car felt amazing. Once the chassis flex was gone, the suspension simply worked so much better. Car handled better, but more importantly was able to handle roads better, absorbing imperfections and bumps instead of transmitting them through the chassis. Same for all cars, some start life better then others, but I am sure that the E46 benefits from the STB.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #12
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Yeah I have suede boots with M colored stitching. So if I go this route I'm cutting it off.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:58 PM   #13
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Same for all cars, some start life better then others, but I am sure that the E46 benefits from the STB.
Yeah, that makes sense; put all kinds of chassis strenghtening pieces on a very flexible GM car with a chassis weakened by a T top, and felt some improvement. Therefore the e46 front stabilizer bar has to work.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho@home View Post
the more stiff/rigid your chassis is the better the suspension components work. I took a T-top Trans Am with serious chassis flex and installed STB, Frame connectors, boxed LCAs and the car felt amazing. Once the chassis flex was gone, the suspension simply worked so much better. Car handled better, but more importantly was able to handle roads better, absorbing imperfections and bumps instead of transmitting them through the chassis. Same for all cars, some start life better then others, but I am sure that the E46 benefits from the STB.
Might just go that route. Potholes round these parts are like kerbs.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #15
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Might just go that route. Potholes round these parts are like kerbs.
Any extra strength can't hurt.

And have you already installed the BMW reinforcement plates at the top of your struts?

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-32...ates-pair.aspx

Last edited by Stinger9; 01-05-2013 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #16
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Stinger, first you ridicule my logic in chassis stiffening & then you fo on to say that any extra strength can't hurt.

Confusing?
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:16 PM   #17
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How'd you get your old shifter off? I'm trying swap mine and can't get the original...
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:24 PM   #18
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Never mind. I just had to put a little nut into it!
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Yeah I have suede boots with M colored stitching. So if I go this route I'm cutting it off.
Basically, there is a large weird dull yellow tapered plastic piece that the shift boot is glued and pressed into. Take a razor and slowly cut around the seam, being very careful not to scratch the metal or cut the wires.

There's also a strange kind of clip/protrusion on the bottom of the knob. It looks like it has something to do with holding the plastic piece in. When I bent it backwards towards the knob, it seemed to help facilitate the removal of the plastic piece.

It should come right off. You will need to cut the clear insulation on the wires in order to allow the wiring to slide through the yellow plastic piece.

When you press the new knob onto the shift boot, make sure the metal protrusion clip thing goes inside of the boot hole, otherwise it will be sticking out.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:53 PM   #20
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Looking fabulous !!
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