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      07-31-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
Ali-323i
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Ali's E90 Build Thread

Hey all,
I thought I would start a build thread for my car, seems like a great way to share the work I’ve done, and plan to do, in one location.

I’d like to start by saying thanks to the community for all the support they’ve already provided, and for any feedback/comments I get on this thread too.

I purchased my 2007 323i E90 Sedan in November 2012. It’s a Canadian model, with the N52 2.5L I-6 engine, rated at 200HP (according to BMW manual). It’s Jet Black, with black leatherette interior, and 6MT. I got a great deal on this car, in exceptional condition with low mileage, so I ended up sacrificing on a few options (base audio, halogen lights with no angel eyes, no sunroof, no cruise control, no heated seats, and a 2.5L instead of a 3.0L engine).

Luckily, the original owner had opted for upgraded 17” wheels, the standard 16” wheels for the 323i are just plain UGLY!!

Here is what the car looked like when I purchased it:


I’ve always been one to mod or customize my cars, and this was no different. I didn’t want to make it too aggressive though, just keep it classy and add a bit of personalization. Also, I’m not huge on performance upgrades (though a little bit of extra power is always nice), so my main focus for this car is cosmetic, sound, and audio.

Below is my mod wish-list, along with those that I’ve already completed. I’ll add new posts for each mod as I complete them, and update the list below.

Feel free to add more mod suggestions for the future, or just share your thoughts/experiences on the ones already listed.

Thanks for reading!!

Audio
• Pioneer Double DIN HU (complete)
• Rockford Fostgate Punch Amplifiers (complete)
• Custom trunk subwoofer enclosure (complete)
• Front door speakers / tweeters & underseat woofer replacements (complete - Audio System 3-way)

• Steering wheel control for aftermarket HU

Exterior
• 19” Replica 220M wheels (complete)
• Exhaust tips (complete)
• Custom headlight eyebrows (complete)
• Debadge (complete)
• Front Splitters (complete)

• Some sort of taillight mod (maybe just all-red tails)
• OEM or other headlights with Angel Eyes
• OEM performance suspension (low-priority)

Interior
• M shift knob (complete)
• Interior vinyl wrap (brushed graphite?)
• Interior LED kit (pending installation)
• OEM sport seats (maybe)

Performance
• BMS Powerbox (complete)
• Clutch stop (complete)
• Injen Air Intake (complete)
• CDV delete (complete)

• Secondary cat delete (maybe)
• Short shift kit (maybe)

Last edited by Ali-323i; 06-23-2014 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Updates
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      07-31-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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Nice list! Post some interior pics when you get a chance!
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      07-31-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
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Wheels

First thing I did was upgrade my wheels. The car was sold with winter tires, so I bought a set of 19" wheels with Falken rubbers. I wanted to keep a fairly OEM look while still a bit aggressive, so I opted for BMW M style 220 replicas.

19"x8.5" front, 235/35/19
19"x9.5" rear, 265/30/19





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      07-31-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
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Audio Install

Next thing I did was the audio system. I was pretty disappointed with the stock base audio system.
I had a bunch of equipment from my previous car, so I decided to use as much of that as possible.
Although many suggest keeping the OEM HU, I decided to install my Pioneer double DIN HU in order to get a bunch of new functionality: iPod, Navigation, Bluetooth (phone & audio), video playback, etc. Trying to add some of this functionality with the OEM HU was quite expensive, plus I'd still have to recode the unit to HiFi or add an EQ flattening device.

A detailed post on my audio build can be found here:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=844394

I installed my Pioneer HU, and a couple of Punch amps I had lying around. Even with the OEM base audio speakers, it sounds better, and I'll work on upgrading those speakers down the line. I've installed a 15" ported box in the trunk for now, but am waiting to get a custom sub enclosure built in the floor of my trunk.

Here are some pics of the audio work:

Before




After


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      07-31-2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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Performance

Next up was a few easy performance mods.
After reading a bunch of reviews on the BMS Powerbox, I decided to give it a shot. I was mainly interested in increasing throttle response, and hoped that the power gains would be slightly noticeable too (knowing it wasn't going to be drastic).

I also purchased a clutch stop, which I've been very pleased with. I used 3 of the 4 spacers, and now the clutch release point is much better (using all the spacers had the clutch disengaging just a bit too quickly for me).

Finally I found a used Injen air intake (with heat shield) for the N52 engine. I know there's a lot of discussion about whether or not this is helpful at all from a performance standpoint, but I did it purely for the sound. The engine was just too quiet, and I loved how the air intakes sounded on my previous cars so I went for it.
I couldn't be happier with it, love the way the engine sounds now, especially when flooring it at high RPMs.

I eventually want to do some minor exhaust work too, but don't want anything too loud, and don't want to drown out the noise of the engine. Just something that has a bit of a deeper tone and just a bit more volume. I've heard the PE is good for this, but damn that's a lot of money! May just do a res delete for now until I save up for something bigger.
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      07-31-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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Shift Knob

I heard that a weighted shifter would make shifting a bit smoother, and I liked the all black look of the M shifter, so I bought one. Shifting is noticeably smoother, especially on spirited drives!

Contemplating a short shift kit in the future, but I've heard the one for 325/328 is actually a bit taller than stock, and the one for 330 doesn't quite fit right. Ideally I want shorter throws, but also for the knob to sit a bit lower.

Before


After
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      07-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Muffler Tips

The 323i doesn't have any sort of nice looking exhaust tips installed. Just plain old pipes. I knew it might be a while before I changed my muffler, so I found some cheap tips at O'Reilly auto parts (US online retailer). Big Improvement!

Before:


After:

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      07-31-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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Custom Eyebrows

As with all Pre-LCI sedans, the amber reflectors in the headlights are super ugly! I started looking into headlight replacements (OEM LCI, Depo, other), but it seemed like a big expense. In the future, I would like to replace the headlights, at least to get angel eyes (maybe get some headlights with black housing), but decided to find a cheap way to do an amber delete in the meantime.

I looked online and wasn't happy with the options, or pricing, for eyebrows or amber overlays. So I got custom eyebrows done by Ran_i_am who does vinyl wrapping.

Lights look sleeker now, cover most of the amber, and are 100% legal since some of the amber still remains.

Before


After
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      07-31-2013, 02:58 PM   #9
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Front Splitters

I bought splitters from eBay, vendor eMotors2000. A number of users on the forum and elsewhere had positive reviews of this vendor, so I went with it.

Paint match was spot on, as was fitment.

Before


Test Fit


After Installation



Last edited by Ali-323i; 07-31-2013 at 07:52 PM.
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      07-31-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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cool, I used to have a 323i upgrade the headlights to DEPO LED angel eye ones you'll like it.
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      07-31-2013, 04:09 PM   #11
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very nice
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      07-31-2013, 07:28 PM   #12
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Just installed my front splitters. Will update the above post shortly with some new pics.
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      07-31-2013, 07:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanondemand View Post
cool, I used to have a 323i upgrade the headlights to DEPO LED angel eye ones you'll like it.
Do you have a link to the headlights you purchased? Pics?

Was it these?
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/e90-depo-headlights
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      08-01-2013, 04:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali-323i View Post
Do you have a link to the headlights you purchased? Pics?

Was it these?
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/e90-depo-headlights
yeah i bought those ones.
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      08-22-2013, 06:23 AM   #15
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Amber parking lights

Since I've decided I may not change my headlights in the near future, I opted to change my parking lights to amber. Very minor tweak rather than a mod. Looks decent with the amber corners lights when DRLs are off.
Attached Images
  
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      08-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #16
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next step is to change to halogen low beams
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2007 E90 328i - Titanium Metallic l 19" VMR V710 l H&R Trak+ Spacers l M-Sport Rear Bumper l Mtech Rear Lip Spoiler l Hamann Front Lip l Eibach Sportline l AA N52 Signature Exhaust l OEM Blacklines l MTEC V3 AE l 6000K HID l Nokya 7000K Fogs l MTEC License Plate LED l Interior LED l 15% Tint l BlackVue DR380G-HD + PMP
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      08-22-2013, 03:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali-323i View Post
The 323i doesn't have any sort of nice looking exhaust tips installed. Just plain old pipes. I knew it might be a while before I changed my muffler, so I found some cheap tips at O'Reilly auto parts (US online retailer). Big Improvement!

Before:


After:

what size tips did you get? Price?

I need to get tips as well! But I may paint mine black....
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      08-22-2013, 10:23 PM   #18
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Good job so far. Not quite sold on the eyebrows but to each their own. One mod I would highly recommend is swapping for a mtech steering wheel cause I noticed you got the standard non-sport one. Very worthwhile mod in my opinion. Been loving mine ever since I did the swap and I came from a sport steering wheel.
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      08-22-2013, 10:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuiter23
next step is to change to halogen low beams
Not sure I understand. Do you mean upgrade to ultra white or other "special" halogen bulbs?
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      08-22-2013, 10:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllBlackBimmer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali-323i View Post
The 323i doesn't have any sort of nice looking exhaust tips installed. Just plain old pipes. I knew it might be a while before I changed my muffler, so I found some cheap tips at O'Reilly auto parts (US online retailer). Big Improvement!

Before:


After:

what size tips did you get? Price?

I need to get tips as well! But I may paint mine black....
I don't remember the size, but they slide right over the stock pipes. Pretty snug.

Don't remember the part number, but it's from oreilly auto parts (online), less than $20 for the pair, free delivery within USA.
I think I got the part numbers on this forum somewhere, so try searching for it.

Good luck! For that price, it can't be beat
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      08-22-2013, 10:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revision2
Good job so far. Not quite sold on the eyebrows but to each their own. One mod I would highly recommend is swapping for a mtech steering wheel cause I noticed you got the standard non-sport one. Very worthwhile mod in my opinion. Been loving mine ever since I did the swap and I came from a sport steering wheel.
I'd love to get an M-sport steering (and seats too), but the price is putting me off. I can find used wheels and trim/MF at decent prices, but that damn airbag costs so much!

Might be something I get to eventually, but probably not on my short list of immediate upgrades.

I do have a couple more updates coming soon though. Hopefully I'll update again in the next day or two.
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      08-22-2013, 10:42 PM   #22
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For those of you in Toronto, you can always check out my ride at the weekly downtown Toronto meets.
Fridays at 8:30pm, BK @ Leslie & Lakeshore!
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