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      02-01-2014, 06:15 PM   #1
e'sbimmer
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N52 mods - power vs handling?

Im a college student on a budget and am wondering which mods would be the best bang for the buck - custom catless headers + a tune or just go with some coilovers. I realize I'd only be getting around 20 hp (if Im lucky) with the headers and tune but Im curious if it would be worth it or not.

My goal is just to have a more fun daily driver and for taking it on some curvy roads every now and then.

This might be a stupid question to ask because they are two completely different types of modifications but I thought I'd ask anyway.

ps: I drive an 06 330i

Thanks.

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      02-01-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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How many miles on your car?
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      02-01-2014, 06:45 PM   #3
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How many miles on your car?
105,000
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      02-01-2014, 06:49 PM   #4
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What sort of maintenance was done to the car?
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      02-01-2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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What sort of maintenance was done to the car?
My dad bought it brand new and handed it down to me. He has taken very good care of it. Lately I've had to replace the valve cover gasket (because of oil leak) and spark plugs and its running great. Also still on the same water pump and thermostat from the factory.
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      02-01-2014, 07:02 PM   #6
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Replace the water pump and thermostat because they will go soon. After that get some coilovers and call it a day. Don't waste your money on tunning a 330
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      02-01-2014, 07:05 PM   #7
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Replace the water pump and thermostat because they will go soon. After that get some coilovers and call it a day. Don't waste your money on tunning a 330
Ok thanks for the input.
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      02-01-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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headers would be kind of cool though . I agree... Get some coilovers and save up for your next whip!
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      02-01-2014, 08:22 PM   #9
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headers would be kind of cool though . I agree... Get some coilovers and save up for your next whip!
Ya I was thinkin the same thing. The coilovers should tie me over until I can get an m3 in the far future.
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      02-01-2014, 08:45 PM   #10
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Performance wise (if you can even call it that for n52s ) I'll only do an exhaust and maybe an intake. Obviously they're both mainly for sound since gains are negligible.

I'd go for suspension, exterior, and interior modifications.
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      02-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #11
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OP read this http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ht=330+aa+tune regarding the tune
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      02-01-2014, 09:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e'sbimmer View Post
Im a college student on a budget and am wondering which mods would be the best bang for the buck - custom catless headers + a tune or just go with some coilovers. I realize I'd only be getting around 20 hp (if Im lucky) with the headers and tune but Im curious if it would be worth it or not.

My goal is just to have a more fun daily driver and for taking it on some curvy roads every now and then.

This might be a stupid question to ask because they are two completely different types of modifications but I thought I'd ask anyway.

ps: I drive an 06 330i

Thanks.
Consider also OEM perf suspension kit. I had it and it was excellent for daily and spirited driving. I think it's a great value.

Supersprint headers + tune + light weight wheels are the best value mods.

Keep it going ... 200k+ easy.
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      02-01-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Consider also OEM perf suspension kit. I had it and it was excellent for daily and spirited driving. I think it's a great value.

Supersprint headers + tune + light weight wheels are the best value mods.

Keep it going ... 200k+ easy.
Oh ya dude Im going to try to keep this car forever in the family. I love it. I guess my question was what mods should I do first. I was looking at st coils but Ill def look into the perf suspension kit.
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      02-01-2014, 09:34 PM   #14
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Thanks man! Ive looked at that tune for a while but never seen a review on one with such high miles. Cool!
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      02-01-2014, 10:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooth 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by e'sbimmer View Post
Im a college student on a budget and am wondering which mods would be the best bang for the buck - custom catless headers + a tune or just go with some coilovers. I realize I'd only be getting around 20 hp (if Im lucky) with the headers and tune but Im curious if it would be worth it or not.

My goal is just to have a more fun daily driver and for taking it on some curvy roads every now and then.

This might be a stupid question to ask because they are two completely different types of modifications but I thought I'd ask anyway.

ps: I drive an 06 330i

Thanks.
Consider also OEM perf suspension kit. I had it and it was excellent for daily and spirited driving. I think it's a great value.

Supersprint headers + tune + light weight wheels are the best value mods.

Keep it going ... 200k+ easy.
good ideas...
Apex wheels, and maybe just Koni sports would fit in OP's budget and make a big improvement.
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      02-01-2014, 11:14 PM   #16
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Where in Arkansas are you from? I'll take you for a ride in my e90 so you can get an idea of what you'd get out of the mods.

Also, join us on Facebook. Our group page is called Arkansas Bimmers.
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      02-02-2014, 01:45 PM   #17
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Here's my plan, as I drive a 328i and I know there isn't much to do power wise.

Suspension. Just make your car a go cart. It'll be the most reliable way to make your car more fun. Swap some M3 suspension bits in, get coilovers or springs if you want to, buy some lighter wheels, and because I love how the I6 sounds an intake and exhaust purely for the sound, the minimal power gains are just a bonus I guess hahah.
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      02-03-2014, 10:09 AM   #18
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My experience is light weight wheel give you a good return of money. I have a 2009 325i M sports with 17 inches M performance wheels (China spec). Recently upgraded to 18 inches with lighter wheel package and the steering response is so much better and feels quicker with less unspring weights.
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      02-03-2014, 10:41 AM   #19
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Personally I would do things to make the car more enjoyable to drive which idk how to classify. I would get coilovers or a shock/spring kit that are matched for each other. I also enjoy my rear sway bar, but that might be only because I have x-drive.. Next I like to hear my exhaust so some exhaust work might make it more entertaining.. After that, maybe a ZHP shift knob. Also some wheels and non-rft. Also being a college student, I got my wheels for $150 and got them refinished for 300 in the color I wanted so that was pretty cost effective.. Then get some decent summer tires and you're set
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      02-03-2014, 10:44 AM   #20
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You are in a good spot with your car, because you know it's history, not everyone that buys an 8 yr old car can say that, so that's a very good start.

And what a great car for a college kid!

I didn't notice in your post, is it a sport package car? Is it a stick?

Like the others said, I would focus on maintenance related things that an 8 yr old car with 105,000 miles will need. These cars are quite reliable and age really well, so other than the water pump/thermostat and maybe the starter, there aren't many 'surprises' we get nailed with.

Has the suspension been freshened up? If not, those shocks are definitely dead, as I would imagine the front sway bar end links and front control arms are as well.

Have the spark plugs been changed yet?

Diff/trans fluid?

This is a very good forum, with many members that contribute great info (and some others that may be a bit misguided). So use the forum for what it is.

Also I would suggest you join the bmw cca if you haven't. That get's you discounts, and opens a world of great events (hpde and autocross if you haven't participated in any of those before). Plus you get a great monthly magazine, with a very good tech section that helps to increase your awareness on how these machines are put together.

Again, congrats, these are truly wonderful cars. I've never owned a car for so long, by the end of winter the car will roll 140,000. Just yesterday on a dry section of expressway I had an opportunity to wind it up a little bit for the first time in a while (can't go too fast on snow tires and I don't like being irresponsible on the public roads anyways... just can't help it sometimes ) and the way the car comes alive is just awesome. The throttle is so responsive at all engine speeds, especially toward the top of the rev range. All the systems of the car- drivetrain, suspension, brakes work together so well... I could go on and on...

Enjoy!
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      02-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #21
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You are in a good spot with your car, because you know it's history, not everyone that buys an 8 yr old car can say that, so that's a very good start.

And what a great car for a college kid!

I didn't notice in your post, is it a sport package car? Is it a stick?

Like the others said, I would focus on maintenance related things that an 8 yr old car with 105,000 miles will need. These cars are quite reliable and age really well, so other than the water pump/thermostat and maybe the starter, there aren't many 'surprises' we get nailed with.

Has the suspension been freshened up? If not, those shocks are definitely dead, as I would imagine the front sway bar end links and front control arms are as well.

Have the spark plugs been changed yet?

Diff/trans fluid?

This is a very good forum, with many members that contribute great info (and some others that may be a bit misguided). So use the forum for what it is.

Also I would suggest you join the bmw cca if you haven't. That get's you discounts, and opens a world of great events (hpde and autocross if you haven't participated in any of those before). Plus you get a great monthly magazine, with a very good tech section that helps to increase your awareness on how these machines are put together.

Again, congrats, these are truly wonderful cars. I've never owned a car for so long, by the end of winter the car will roll 140,000. Just yesterday on a dry section of expressway I had an opportunity to wind it up a little bit for the first time in a while (can't go too fast on snow tires and I don't like being irresponsible on the public roads anyways... just can't help it sometimes ) and the way the car comes alive is just awesome. The throttle is so responsive at all engine speeds, especially toward the top of the rev range. All the systems of the car- drivetrain, suspension, brakes work together so well... I could go on and on...

Enjoy!
Thanks for the suggestions! My car is non sport and automatic. Spark plugs were recently changed. Should I change my diff and trans fluid? I thought those were lifetime.

I've been looking at the performance suspension mainly because it comes with all new bushings and a front sway bar.

I've been wanting to start autocrossing but the one iv'e been looking at hasn't updated their schedule for 2014. I wonder if most autocross wont start till summer?
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      02-03-2014, 11:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Thanks for the suggestions! My car is non sport and automatic. Spark plugs were recently changed. Should I change my diff and trans fluid? I thought those were lifetime.

I've been looking at the performance suspension mainly because it comes with all new bushings and a front sway bar.

I've been wanting to start autocrossing but the one iv'e been looking at hasn't updated their schedule for 2014. I wonder if most autocross wont start till summer?
There is no such thing as a lifetime fluid, all fluids eventually break down. Definitely change the differential fluid. The trans fluids should have been changed around 80k miles. A lot of people say that changing it once you hit over 100k miles could do more harm than good.
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