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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 12-16-2012, 02:25 AM   #1
jruss86
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BMW Noob

Hi all! I am glad I have found this forum!

My name is James and I have recently bought a 2004 BMW 330i with M-kit. A japanese import. Ive had to do some regular maintenance but its in absolutely great condition with original parts. I am new to car ownership but I have been obsessed with this model for years. So I finally got one! Hooray!

The reason I post is that I'm looking to tune it up and get some basic HP improvements to get started. Can anyone give some expert advice on what would be good to start with? E.g. parts, tuning, whatever.

Much appreciated guys,
James.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:30 AM   #2
Stinger9
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See how I have a car the same vintage as you? So forget the hp dreams. This is not the car for that. Already tuned very efficiently unless you want forced induction?

Read the wiki to become so much more knowledgeable: http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php/BMW_E46

This is the best board. Come back with more questions.

Welcome on your first post!

Study up here too: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...nerable&page=3

Last edited by Stinger9; 12-16-2012 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:40 AM   #3
metlic53
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75 shot of NOS or VF-Engingeering supercharger, or ESS. I find my e46 to be awesome at handling, my dad has a 02 SS camaro with tons of mods and i asked him to try and keep up with me around some corners, he was with me till his back end started coming around from the sharp turns but i never slid in a straight way all i'd see is dust from him though. Go take some hard corners, i take u-turns where i live going 50 without sliding plus its fun, all the cars ive owned dont handle turns like these bimmers
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:12 AM   #4
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Ah ok. A friend suggested an aftermarket air filter might add some improvement. I had a read through the Wiki, I believe I have the ZHP Performance package - I guess that confirms your statement on its tuning Stinger9! Added a photo of it in my 'Garage'.

Handles like a dream. Everyone who has driven it has said its cornering is superb.

Are there any DIY tweaks? I've still got a lot to learn about my new car.

I also hear the stereo system is quite a challenge to upgrade.

The 2nd link to the thread is well helpful! THanks! now I know what to look out for..

Last edited by jruss86; 12-16-2012 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:46 AM   #5
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I put a signature motoring cold air intake kit on my 01 325i it wasn't expensive and it made my BMW have a growl and sounds awesome. http://signaturemotoring.com/
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jruss86 View Post
Ah ok. A friend suggested an aftermarket air filter might add some improvement. I had a read through the Wiki, I believe I have the ZHP Performance package - I guess that confirms your statement on its tuning Stinger9! Added a photo of it in my 'Garage'.
Make it reliable before you make it fast!

Air intake is way expensive compared to any hp diff. Great for those burning to spend on hod rod mods. Don't need to make your car special with your personal touches. It is special already.

I believe the M option overseas from the US is indeed the ZHP in the US. So you have the same car, but BMW does not call it that where you are.

Nice looking car there!

Last edited by Stinger9; 12-16-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:07 AM   #7
jruss86
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Thanks for the advice Stinger9, sensible to get it running smoothly and reliably first. Getting a full inspection this week.

Noted metlic53!

Thanks guys
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:46 AM   #8
cak323i
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James,

Like Stinger9 posted above....do all the maintenance first and when you can "upgrade" while doing maintenance such as refreshing your suspension (add coilovers), or refreshing your cooling system (add a Stewart water pump)....along those lines.

To clarify what Stinger9 posted about your car and the ZHP... the ///M Clubsport option for your 330 isn't quite the same as what I have in my ZHP. The main difference is that the M Clubsport was not given the BMW performance camshafts that my ZHP has. Instead, your ///M Clubsport had 20 kilograms (44 lb) of sound deadening removed from the car.

The M Clubsport also shares the same suspension set up as the performance package (ZHP), as well as the "cubed" interior trim and 18-inch style 135 wheels. It is still a very nice car Just wanted to clarify...

If you're willing to put more money into your car for performance then you want to upgrade your brakes first, then get a limited slip diff, and then install a supercharger. Once you do that your 330 will be at ///M3 performance levels and it will be a very fast and nimble car!
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Last edited by cak323i; 12-17-2012 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:34 AM   #9
jruss86
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Thanks cak323i,

Really cleared things up for me here. So now I know exactly what car I own.

Thanks again for the advice, I'll start by cleaning it up and getting the basics sorted. Then I'll move on (once the xmas period is over!)

Can't wait to do dirty things to her. Pun intended.

J.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #10
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Jruss,

When you start to mod....it's a very slippery slope but it's a fun ride
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:55 AM   #11
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If you haven't yet, take the time to read the links in my sig. Your car will be better off.

Oil changes and filters are a great start, but they don't even begin to scratch the surface

Welcome!
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:54 PM   #12
jruss86
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Thanks again guys, really helpful.

I've noticed this morning driving to work, that the steering is making a slight whining noise. The tighter I turn, the louder it gets, but it seems to subside as I drive for longer. Power steering issue? Also, yellow oil dripper light is illuminated now as well. Can someone advise me here?

THanks,
J.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:16 AM   #13
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The yellow oil indicator light comes on when the oil level is low. So, check the oil level by checking the dipstick 5 minutes after you shut down the fully warmed up engine. As for the steering noise, when I first got my car my P/S pump was shot but it made more of a groaning noise that got worse as the P/S (ATF) fluid got warmed up. Maybe you could use a P/S flush. Check the condition of the fluid. Old or dirty P/S fluid can cause issues with the P/S system that can cause things to whine under load. The fluid level should also be checked while you're there.

Last edited by SilverThreeTwoFive; 12-20-2012 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:23 AM   #14
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Here is a video just for guidance. It's pretty simple but you are a self proclaimed noob. His P/S reservoir is icky. It looks like the seal on the top of his cap is crushed, but don't let that detract from the substance... Lol


Last edited by SilverThreeTwoFive; 12-20-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:09 AM   #15
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Excellent, thanks. I know what I'm doing this weekend!
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:20 PM   #16
KOpower
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If you fix the car up proper and get it spotless inside out -
(get some nice tyres too)
You will be so happy with smooth ride you won't care about horse power mods
The car has plenty plenty power for everyday use

If you are doing races and tracking the car - then its another matter!

Have fun with your new ride and good luck!
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by KOpower View Post
If you fix the car up proper and get it spotless inside out -
(get some nice tyres too)
You will be so happy with smooth ride you won't care about horse power mods
The car has plenty plenty power for everyday use
I used to have too much testosterone. Thank god those days are over.
(don't ask me to swap my 330 manual tho!)
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:13 AM   #18
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I have an '02 330 CiC with manual. A little less power and a little more weight. What I have found is that it's no barn-burner off the line, so if you're looking to drag, it's unimpressive. But since most here are post-high school and equipped with average or larger genitalia, that's not a problem. Where it really shines, for me at least, is freeway speeds. I spend a lot of time on my local parkway, at speeds between 60 and 80, up and down hills. It pulls extremely well, even in 5th gear. In fact, I'll floor it sometimes just to feel it accelerate uphill. Okay, maybe not as mature as I thought
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:51 PM   #19
jruss86
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You are right sgoetz, the pull is probably the best thing about it right now. Overtaking makes me feel like...well, a PROPER LAD. And there are hundreds of straight hi-speed roads out here in Dubai for it. Driving to work is hella fun! Anyways, I have done some maintenance and its running like a dream.. but doesn't sound too healthy at stand still. Just a bit gargly at the front end. Another thing I have noticed is that there is an 'inspection' light that appears when I start the engine - I have read up and apparently there is a proper check-up due at this point? Looks like I'll take it in.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:37 AM   #20
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