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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Best Bang for Buck Performance Upgrades.



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      10-11-2012, 07:42 AM   #1
gazorp
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Best Bang for Buck Performance Upgrades.

Hello!

I just bought my first BMW last week. It is a 2006 330i E90/N52. I has sport package, premium package, Automatic transmission with steptronic, sctive steering, and much more. Now I am looking to make it mine!

I was hoping to get some advise from the experts here on what the best bang for buck performance upgrades are. I hope that pulling from the hive mind here can help me save alot of dough since i just cleared my wallet getting the car!

I am considering exhasut mods, inake mods, and ECU mods, plus anything else you think is worth the time and money to DIY.

Thanks, and happy driving!
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      10-11-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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on an NA motor there is only so much power to uncork or find. Nitrous has always been the best dollar for dollar add on but of course it only when its on and not always safe for the motor. Intakes, Exhausts, ECU's that trick your timing for more power, those gains are negligable on the amount of money spent.
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      10-11-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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Euro Intake Box, Performance Exhaust, AA tune....Done, Under 2k.
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      10-11-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzo23 View Post
Euro Intake Box, Performance Exhaust, AA tune....Done, Under 2k.
Do you recommend any specific intake and exhaust or the OEM perf. upgrades?
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      10-11-2012, 08:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazorp View Post
Do you recommend any specific intake and exhaust or the OEM perf. upgrades?

Intake, IMO I dont think the bmw performance intake is worth 700, this is a really nice less restrictive alternative for 400
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-330...ake/ES2072577/


Exhaust,

Go with the OEM BMW Performance exhaust, its expensive but worth every cent. Any road with a wall next to you is absolutely intoxicating. I get the biggest shit eating grin with the windows down and i down shift and get on it. I dont regret the $$$$ at all. Its worth saving for.
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      10-11-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazorp View Post
Do you recommend any specific intake and exhaust or the OEM perf. upgrades?
The intake and exhaust Benzo refers to are both BMW Performance parts...
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      10-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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Aftermarket intakes and exhausts wont net you any noticable gains, just sweeter sounds. ECU tunes are your best bet for more power but don't expect huge numbers.
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      10-11-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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congrats on your new purchase, personally i would have the whole car inspected if you planning keeping it long, replace any worn parts, like shock absorber and break before you get to the performance mod.

330i already at 255hp, not gonna give you that much more compare to 328i

ECU tuning probably be best bang of the buck, so do that one first (dont get piggy back device, those are not real tune), intake and exhuast upgrade can be adopt and adjust by the ECU itself when you add those.
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      10-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #9
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Best bang for buck mod: replacing heavy runflats with lighter, better tires. Dropping 30 pounds of rotational mass will make more of a power difference than any intake or exhaust will. I lost that much on my 328 wagon and the car was noticeably quicker off the line, rode better and returned 1mpg better economy.
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      10-11-2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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Since you have the 330I. Here is a list of quick mods that are not expensive.

- AA Tune Tune - $399-$499 or BMS PowerBox - $250

- Magnaflow Exhaust $99, plus cut off the res and secondary cats - You will save weight and get rid of the heavy OEM Exhaust.

- K&N Drop in Filter $50 , Charcoal Filter Delete(Free) - Scoops $35-$40

Total Around $500 - $900 Depending on Tune and Install charges.

Personally, Performance Intake for $500 and Performance Exhaust for $800 is not worth the money. My Two Cents.

Then if you want to drop some money you can do the following -
Headers around $1000 - $3000- MMW Headers or SS headers
New Rims and Tire $?
Suspension $?
Nitrous Express Kit $400

And your done. The only other mods would be the interior and exterior.
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      10-11-2012, 12:19 PM   #11
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Keep in mind too that a set of fresh shocks and fresh tires make a world of difference in any car. Id look into condition of your shocks depending on how many miles the car has.
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      10-11-2012, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazorp View Post
Hello!

I just bought my first BMW last week. It is a 2006 330i E90/N52. I has sport package, premium package, Automatic transmission with steptronic, sctive steering, and much more. Now I am looking to make it mine!

I was hoping to get some advise from the experts here on what the best bang for buck performance upgrades are. I hope that pulling from the hive mind here can help me save alot of dough since i just cleared my wallet getting the car!

I am considering exhasut mods, inake mods, and ECU mods, plus anything else you think is worth the time and money to DIY.

Thanks, and happy driving!
The first thing you need to install is LSD. Take a look at Wavetrac (bolted, around $1150). This is a must for 330i. Then make sure you have light wheels and non-rft tires.

Don't forget that decrease in weight = better performance (handling, braking).

Then replace your front brakes with 335i calipers and z4 35is rotors or use yours until ready to replace pads. The braking will be significantly improved. PM for details if you need them.

Once you get here, upgrade exhaust, CAI and AA tune.

Once you start changing suspension bits it will cost you 2-5K to make it right... I am doing it now.

330i is a great machine but very complex. Don't buy cheap parts it will cost you double to fix issues. Buy one at a time that is high quality if budget is limited.

Welcome to the club!!
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      10-11-2012, 01:28 PM   #13
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screw all the mods, performance this, performance that. its just under hood bling and extra noise. having the 330 already puts you at the top of where most n52 owners try to get to. you want best bang for the buck, gearing or gearing + lsd. and maybe top it off with a AA tune. that'll give you the best kick in the pants feel.
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      10-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #14
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These are all really great tips and advice! Thanks so much for all the help gang!
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      10-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #15
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if i had 330i, hmm

i would wait for a supercharger to come to market, with that charger get the Plasma Direct ignition coils ( you may as well if you pay 5k+ for the charger)

For now... just lower it to your taste & other suspension if you care, wheels and get Blackline taillights & a 335i style dual exhaust with single 3-4 inch tips on each side and a front lip.

goodluck and enjoy the ride... dont feel pressure to buy the latest air box/intake
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      10-11-2012, 03:28 PM   #16
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AA stg 2 tune
k/n filter + charcol delete
2nd cat delete
headers + hi flow cat
non run flat tire



most HP from the least amount of $$
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      10-12-2012, 12:07 AM   #17
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Any of you guys heard of the OE Tuning flash? Thoughts? hehehe
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      10-12-2012, 02:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzo23 View Post
Intake, IMO I dont think the bmw performance intake is worth 700, this is a really nice less restrictive alternative for 400
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E90-330...ake/ES2072577/


Exhaust,

Go with the OEM BMW Performance exhaust, its expensive but worth every cent. Any road with a wall next to you is absolutely intoxicating. I get the biggest shit eating grin with the windows down and i down shift and get on it. I dont regret the $$$$ at all. Its worth saving for.
+100 on PE. Love mine.
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      10-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #19
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Gainesville!! Welcome! I have the AA Tune stage 2 and love it.
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