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      05-16-2021, 06:43 PM   #15
First Lieutenant

Drives: 2011 328i xDrive
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Colorado Springs

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
Originally Posted by edycol View Post
I installed 335 oil cooler on my N52. I was running 50 minutes on track at 5,000ft altitude and that sucker won't go over 245f. The brakes are the one that started eventually to fade as I just spent too much time on track. And mind you, I didn't remove cowling and engine cover purposely. I wanted to see how effective OE cooler from 335 is on my N52. Altitude is much harder on engine than high ambient temperature alone.
Also, people should take into consideration that they can bump power on N52 fairly chep.
3-stage intake, euro intake box, ECU flash alone can give 270hp on crank. Headers etc. could bring 260-270whp.
RWD 328 can easily be upgraded with M3 control arms from TRW front and back. Bilstein B6 or B8 depending on springs, powerflex bushings, and one has a serious contender.
I am currently doing upgrades on my suspension, xDrive:
Rear M3 control arms
Rear subframe powerflex bushings
B6 dampers (do not want to lower car).
Doesn't take much to make the N52's not have overheating issues on track, which is definitely nice.

I'm also quite familiar with the N52 platform as I also have a 128i that I've tracked and will be tracking more and more in the future. 240-250whp is realistic, unfortunately 260+ and certainly 270 isn't achievable with the typical upgrades. 3 stage intake manifold, headers, MILV's and a proper tune will give ~240-250 depending on the car. The highest I believe I've seen was 255 with these mods. To get to 270 you'll need to upgrade cams, N54 manifold and rev higher. The loss in torque from a different cam and moving the powerband upwards isn't nessicarily an advantage though.

Suspension wise you can do basically all the same upgrades to a non-M car as you can an M3 - which is nice.

I supposed it depends what you consider to be a serious contender. It's definitely a capable platform and it has the aftermarket support for upgrades ranging from mild to full-out track/race builds. The reason I mention it will be relatively slow is due to the power you can get out of an N52. Yes, you can have a fairly light car with 250whp, but by modern standards that's unfortunately not fast.. It makes up for it in the corners and under braking (in a well setup car), but I don't want anyone to be lead on that an N52 BMW is going to be one of the fastest cars at a track day, that's all. For perspective, my E92 M3 is fully race prepped and weights 3200lbs with 380whp. It's still not fast in a straight line compared to a lot of other cars at a track day, it just makes up for it in other places. And compared to a ~3000-3200 N52 325/328/128 etc., with ~250whp, which is a big difference in power/weight to even an M3, the difference is even larger.

I don't mean to be discouraging, but I want to put it in perspective for people. I have experience with both on track so I'm able to share a fairly informed opinion. I still think an N52 3-series or 1-series is an excellent track car choice. With that being said, most people that are choosing the platform likely aren't searching for the fastest car either, they more so want a good sized, fairly light and good handling car - not mega power.

One suggestion regarding upgrades I will give though, is whether you are doing a mild build/upgrades for track use, or a more serious track build. When it comes time you want to upgrade subframe bushings, go straight to solid. There's simply no reason not to if you're going to be replacing them. There is almost ZERO increase in NVH from them, they're basically the same price, they are easy to install and the performance improvements are incredible.
Well, OK, "serious " contender I mean in respect what you can get from a vehicle like that. I mean more power can be extracted from 1.8 TSI in VW, so yes, one will be slower.
I mean, I drop kids to daycare and go to track with child seats in the back . I don't pretend nor expect to be fastest, but it is a lot of fun.
For people who want to go as much as possible from 128 or 328, yes solid bushings, lower springs, B8 shocks, thicker sway bars etc. I personally use my car as daily driver and track car. So, I don't want to go crazy on suspension.
Yes, 260-270whp with N54 manifold, I can see not being able to go with 3-stage that much. You are right, push power upward and mid range suffer.
Still for people who just want fun on track, 128/328 is one of best options. It is strong chassis, small upgrades, and have fun.
Appreciate 1