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      05-30-2018, 12:45 PM   #1
SnowGlobe
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LCI 323i thoughts?

I've always liked the idea of a basic simple BMW - and looking at the market now there seems to be a lot of reasonably priced RWD 6mt 323i cars out there with decent mileage. However - most threads that I've read seem to hate on this car for not being a "real bmw."

Does anyone have any thoughts on a 323i 6MT as a fun daily? A 200hp inline 6 doesn't sound to bad to me. For reference I've currently got an NB miata - so even a 323i will be a power upgrade.

Most 328's I can find are all Xdrive models and slightly pricier.
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      05-30-2018, 06:25 PM   #2
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I have a 323i. Yes it is a bit underpowered but with a 6mt it's still a blast to drive and great value. I'd recommend a PPI by a BMW guy though.

The good news is that with a 3-stage intake manifold and a ECU remap you can easily make it better than a stock 325i (around 230hp). MILVS would add another 15hp. Also put on some light wheels and ditch the runflats.
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Last edited by scanspeak; 05-30-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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      05-31-2018, 03:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

My area most speed limits are 50 km/hr anyways. I'm looking for a fun car! Although I do think i'd avoid any engine mods - chasing reliable fun!
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      05-31-2018, 07:12 PM   #4
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what is the point of modding a 323 to get more power out of it when there is numerous models that make more power 325 328 330 335
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      05-31-2018, 11:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanker604 View Post
what is the point of modding a 323 to get more power out of it when there is numerous models that make more power 325 328 330 335
That's why I wouldn't. A 328i has more displacement already and the 335i is a turbo. I'd consider maybe taking the little 323i to the track to learn the basics ( I'd rather put a el cheapo 323i into a wall then a 335i). Start with a low power car now and learn how to maximize the chassis, and then maybe upgrade to a 235i or m240i in a few years (or maybe an M2 )

Disclaimer: I'm about to be a college grad, can work on my car, and want a fun car that won't put me into debt (that's what university was for!). The only reason I haven't tracked the mx-5 is i need to invest in safety equipment (roll bar)- $ I won't see back when I sell.

Most 6MT 328i's in my area are Xdrive - something I'd rather not worry about.

EDIT: I do however understand that the allure. To each their own I guess
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      06-01-2018, 10:11 AM   #6
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I would at least get a 328 , they are pretty affordable , they already come with more power, there is a pretty decent amount of mods available for cheap that can make the car around 300 hp at the crank ( 230-250whp). NA reliability .

I can understand the fear of getting an older turbocharge 335 , as they can get pretty expensive on maintenance , etc ,etc ,etc but a 6MT RWD 328 should be pretty fun to drive .

I would even consider a 330 MT

The main problem with the 323 is that aside from being a bit under power , there isn't much aftermarket support, all the available MODs are directed to the 335 and 328 . I know the 323 and 328 share some parts , but I have seen guys coming with 323 models asking questions about tuning , parts compability , etc ,etc and they do not get much help just because the vast majority either drives a 328 or 335

Just keep that in mind , but if you are happy with the 323 then go for it
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      06-01-2018, 11:54 AM   #7
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Hold out for a 328i LCI if you can find a 6MT RWD one... Sadly, most are XDrive. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later!

And I concur with everything rick100 said.
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      06-01-2018, 12:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I am looking for a 6 MT LCI car. Preferably 328i - I'll wait a few months to see if a unicorn comes up.
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      06-01-2018, 02:59 PM   #9
rick100
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its funny that I have seen many LCI 328 RWD for sale ... Maybe they come from time to time
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      06-01-2018, 04:16 PM   #10
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I didnt see it mentionned but you also want sport. even more of a unicorn but worth it.

Especially coming from a miata where handling is king. Worth it absolutely (Also another miata owner and a rwd E90 6spd with sport owner)
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      06-01-2018, 05:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvan View Post
I didnt see it mentionned but you also want sport. even more of a unicorn but worth it.

Especially coming from a miata where handling is king. Worth it absolutely (Also another miata owner and a rwd E90 6spd with sport owner)
I figured by now any sport pack gains would be negated by age - whenever I refresh the suspension I'd go with something better than sport ( B12 kit maybe) - although I do admit the extra side bolstering of the sport seats would be nice.

I have no doubts I'd love non-sport e90 - especially coming from an NB1 miata. What year is your MX5?

Thanks for the reply and the tip - I'll keep an eye out!
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      06-02-2018, 01:05 AM   #12
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The sport seats and steering wheel alone are worth it by a long shot. You could always swap the front seats and the steering wheel easily enough, though.

Don't give up on the hunt, they're even rare in the US... Up here I've seen only a handful LCI RWD 328s, even more rare in 6MT, and even moreso with sport package. Almost all the 6MT ones are XDrive, sadly.
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      06-02-2018, 04:10 PM   #13
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Xdrive wouldn't be the end of the world. Another questions since my Canadian family is so responsive - do 328 suspensions generally work on the 323 as well? It seems the only difference on 6mt cars is the lack of 0.5L displacement

edit: and Australian!

edit2: The part number for the B12 kit is the same at this site ! http://www.bilsteincanada.com/

Last edited by SnowGlobe; 06-02-2018 at 04:27 PM.
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      06-02-2018, 10:43 PM   #14
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This is only regarding 328s... RWD would be easier to swap a BMW sport suspension as some of them came like that from factory , however AWD never came with sport suspension and you can not just swap a RWD sport suspension on it

Personally I love the AWD , specially in the winter or rain , even cornering , you feel like that car is in full control . Take offs are a blast as there is not wheel spin. You always have traction , driving in the snow with winter tires is a lot of fun. With the right mods they can feel pretty quick , currently doing 230 whp .

Back to the suspension question , there are other options for the AWD suspension upgrade, which is what Im going through right now. You can swap for eibach springs and koni shocks combo , or do coil overs .

I ll say it one more time , if you are planning on getting a 323 , which is perfectly fine , just be aware that doing mods on it would be a lot harder , there is not a lot of information on them , not many people know them , not many aftermarket companies make parts for them , not many shops are use to doing modifications on them as most of them are kept stock. Im sure some parts are compatible , etc ,etc ,etc but you are going to be mostly on your own , or relying on mostly guesses from members here. Maybe you are lucky and there is another member that have done mods on them and he can help , but the help is not going to be anywhere near the type of help you would get if you bought a 335 , 330 or 328 .... This also applies if you are planning on DIY ( specially if you get into coding and stuff) , there are tons of DIYs , videos , etc ,etc ,etc but again they are mostly for 335, 330 and 328.

I'm not trying to put the 323 or anything , I m just trying to warn you in case you are expecting to find /get a lot of information about them on this forum ....

Last edited by rick100; 06-02-2018 at 10:52 PM.
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      06-02-2018, 11:07 PM   #15
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I appreciate the feedback. If I end up the 323i the ONLY mod i will do will be suspension related and/or radio replacement. I'm not going to touch the engine because at that point I might as well have gotten a 328i. I believe there is practically no difference in the suspension of the 323/328 rwd.

EDIT: Oh sh!t. The DIY for valve cover, water pump, etc maintance on a 323i is the same as 328i I hope? Otherwise I'll 100% avoid the 323i considering i can't find a non-328i service manual

Edit: RWD bias aside, the 328 xdrive doesn't seem to bad. The extra power over the 323 will offset the weight anyways.

Last edited by SnowGlobe; 06-03-2018 at 01:31 PM.
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      06-03-2018, 08:44 PM   #16
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When I bought my 328 ix, i didn't know it would lose more power from being an xi.

Then i added big wheels which added weight... The car with sick 16" wheels of similar weight had a lot more preppy, so I now just push the gas harder and it's still a blast to drive.

These are heavy cars btw, and 1 pound of turning weight =15 of sprung weight. Did i say that correctly?
Most people end up buying apex wheels for some serious weight savings, like 30% over stock. That's like equal to 150 sprung weight per wheel...4 passengers

At stock, I took my co-workers for a drive and floored the car. They were both very shocked at the power it had so I think expectations are relative. It convinced on to buy a bmw 335i
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      06-04-2018, 12:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowGlobe View Post
I figured by now any sport pack gains would be negated by age - whenever I refresh the suspension I'd go with something better than sport ( B12 kit maybe) - although I do admit the extra side bolstering of the sport seats would be nice.

I have no doubts I'd love non-sport e90 - especially coming from an NB1 miata. What year is your MX5?

Thanks for the reply and the tip - I'll keep an eye out!
90, 90 and 93 Miatas. All with 1.8 engines/drivetrains and turbo/superchargers.

The seats are worth the cost alone. Steering wheel is a bonus. Plus sway bar and springs. Yes you can upgrade those too but you can sell sell used to recover the cost.
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      06-04-2018, 06:53 PM   #18
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I'm happy with my 323 6MT. Air intake from a 325/328 was a direct fit. Eurocharged had no issues doing a custom tune.

Most N52 mods will be fine, but you said you don't want to mod it much anyway.

Someone said you can do the 3 stage intake manifold to get more power. This is not true. 323 already comes with the 3IM, smaller diameter than the one from the 330, but already there.

As mentioned, if you're going to do power mods don't bother, get a 328 if you want NA , or a 335 for real power.

All that being said, I truly enjoy my 323. Has been super reliable, still fun (defo with a 6MT), handles just as well (I've put on KWv2), and other visual upgrades.
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      06-05-2018, 12:51 AM   #19
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Went on Kijiji, i couldnt even find a single 328i or 328xi with MT that has 60000km or lower. It's just me, i prefer low km bmw
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      06-05-2018, 01:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueeyesredpanda View Post
Went on Kijiji, i couldnt even find a single 328i or 328xi with MT that has 60000km or lower. It's just me, i prefer low km bmw
I had the same problem when I bought mine 5+ years ago... they were all auto, with ONE exception that was MT, but Silver (sorry, just not my thing) and not well maintained.

But the 6MT was worth it! No regrets going with a 323i (I don't even have a sunroof, though many 323s do), would choose that over an AT 328 any day.

Unless you truly want that power bump, the 323 should be just fine. With a tune and some exhaust work, you can probably get a mild power bump to about 220 (compare that to 215HP for a 325 using the 3L N52), but the tune improves the power across the whole power band and is definitely worth it.. not just about peak power.

I'd also highly recommend a CDV delete, clutch stop, and weighted shifter
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      06-05-2018, 01:07 PM   #21
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Thanks for the posts. It''s true - the supply of clean 323i's is plentiful. Also whenever i see a sport pack RWD e90 - I know exactly why that was configured like so
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      06-05-2018, 01:13 PM   #22
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Here in Australia the 323i (N52B25) did not come with the 3IM. The 325i did but they typically cost $3k-5k more and had navigation as standard which I really did not want.

We also didn’t get the 328i so our options are very limited if you want to avoid a turbo.

A future project I’m considering is an engine swap with a 130i which here came with the N52B30.
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Last edited by scanspeak; 06-06-2018 at 01:06 AM.
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