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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 11:20:59 AM   #1
TRIMSM3
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Default Performance Upgrades for E46 M3 - Where to Start?

Hi All

I am from Australia, and last month I purchased a low mileage 2002 BMW E46 M3... Love the car it's awesome, however, today was a different story!!!

My good friend just bought a 2001 Audi RS4 Wagon (B5 Chassis) with the twin turbo six, and we decided to have a couple of runs from the lights... Both times he beat me!!!! Not by a lot, but enough to really P!$$ me off.

Can anyone offer any help as to the best performance upgrades for my M3? Of course budget is a constraint to a certain extent so I don't want to go as far as Supercharging or Turbo charging... Any other suggestions?

Thanks Everyone....
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 11:34:43 AM   #2
djm3
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Small mods on a normally aspirated engine such as lighter exhaust, headers and cats, air intake (debatable) will only give nominal increases in HP. Short of forced induction, there's not much to add to the M3 engine tuned as it is stock.

And street racing is FTL.
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 12:09:27 PM   #3
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headers to free up some HP and TQ and get a 4.10 diff. Other than these, no other mod will give you an appreciable performance enhancement. Also losing some weight (on the car )will only further help to increase your car's overall performance. But start with the headers and diff.
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 12:31:12 PM   #4
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You have two options to beat your friend:

N/A - $6000 for 380hp
Exhaust: race cats welded and Supersprint mid-pipe ($1000)
Intake: Ecis CAI ($400)
Scrick cams ($1600)
Ecu: ($1000)
Final drive 3.91 ($2000)

Supercharger -
ESS VT450 kit ($4500/450hp)
ESS VT500 kit ($5500/500hp)

Note - RS4 mods:
Ecu = $1000/430hp
+
Race cats/cat-back system = $3000/450hp
+
bigger turbos = $6000/500hp.
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Last edited by Tiago; Sun, Aug-16-2009 at 12:35:27 PM.
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 01:19:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIMSM3 View Post
Hi All

I am from Australia, and last month I purchased a low mileage 2002 BMW E46 M3... Love the car it's awesome, however, today was a different story!!!

My good friend just bought a 2001 Audi RS4 Wagon (B5 Chassis) with the twin turbo six, and we decided to have a couple of runs from the lights... Both times he beat me!!!! Not by a lot, but enough to really P!$$ me off.

Can anyone offer any help as to the best performance upgrades for my M3? Of course budget is a constraint to a certain extent so I don't want to go as far as Supercharging or Turbo charging... Any other suggestions?

Thanks Everyone....

sorry but your M3 is lacking power!

I have raced a friend of mines RS4 B5 from 2001 and indeed they are quick but not faster then my stage II S4 was...
from 50-200km/h it could keep up to 140-150km/h but I dusted him above 150km/h
From a dead stop it's the same. I can pull a 4.6 to 100km out of my M3 and 13 flat on the 1/4 mile. no way a stock B5 does 13 flat on the 1/4

With a remap/chip and an exhaust it's normal they beat a E46 M3 but stock vs stock NO
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 01:56:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago View Post
You have two options to beat your friend:

N/A - $6000 for 380hp
Exhaust: race cats welded and Supersprint mid-pipe ($1000)
Intake: Ecis CAI ($400)
Scrick cams ($1600)
Ecu: ($1000)
Final drive 3.91 ($2000)

Supercharger -
ESS VT450 kit ($4500/450hp)
ESS VT500 kit ($5500/500hp)

Note - RS4 mods:
Ecu = $1000/430hp
+
Race cats/cat-back system = $3000/450hp
+
bigger turbos = $6000/500hp.
This last part is the kicker. The 2.7tt found in the RS4 is quite easy to extract power from, so your buddy may get wise to your modifications and do some of his own.

Tiago brings up some good points. The entry level supercharger kits are probably you best bet as you can bolt them onto an otherwise stock car, and have a very fast and capable vehicle. Of course, exhaust/headers/clutch etc. are all recommended, but not necessary with the entry level kit. You can spend the rest of your life trying to get power with exhaust systems, ecu tunes, intake kits, and you will be disappointed. I think Tiago here is being quite optimistic with that 380 hp number, you would be very lucky to see that NA. Good luck
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 02:45:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIMSM3 View Post
Any other suggestions?
Learn how to handle/drive/shift better, go to a track, don't street race....just a few off the top of my head.
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 03:42:59 PM   #8
TRIMSM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyShoreM3 View Post
Learn how to handle/drive/shift better, go to a track, don't street race....just a few off the top of my head.
Thanks for the advice guys i think i might start looking into supercharger kits for my M3

what's the quickest way to take off from a standing start? I've been told the M3 has some sort of bidden launch control but i don't want to
use it.. Any other suggestions?

I don't believe my car's lacking power as i've driven about a dozen e46 m3's in the last three months and the performance identical to mine.
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 04:59:33 PM   #9
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You'll blow by him like he's standing still when his engine grenades. (caveat. he will be standing still)
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Old Sun, Aug-16-2009, 06:21:13 PM   #10
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best mod to get off the line quicker is 4.10 gears if you do not want to go F/I right away. increases of about 8% torque to the wheels.
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Discussing Performance Upgrades for E46 M3 - Where to Start? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)