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Old Mon, Jul-08-2013, 08:40:49 AM   #1
noxious
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Default Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Greetings!

Current modifications as of 12/19/2013:

Software:

Evolve Tune (Alpha-N remap, Cold Star Delete, Rev Match, Secondary Air Pump Delete, 91 Octane)
CSL SMG Software

Performance:
4.10 BMW Motorsport Ring and Pinion Gear Set
VAC CSL-style air box with Evolve IAT sensor
Epic Motorsport headers with ceramic coating by Swaintech
Supersprint Section 1 connecting pipes with 2x 2.5” Vibrant resonators
Resonated Supersprint Section 2 pipes
Supersprint Race Section 3 exhaust

Lighting:
Umnitza Orion V4 6k Angel Eyes
Bimmian Interior LED lighting kit
Osram Xenarc 66240 CBI D2S bulbs
3.0” FX-R Projectors utilizing OEM bi-xenon ballasts
Morimoto Mini H1 Stage III kit (to replace inner halogen)

Audio/I.C.E:
Bavarian Soundwerks Stage 1 Speakers/Subwoofer
Dynavin D99 Headunit

Interior:
Recaro Sportster CS seats
Storm Motorwerks Brushed Titanium plated SMG knob and billet SMG ring

Wheels/Tires:
Kumho Ecsta SPT 275/30/19” rear
Kumho Ecsta SPT 245/35/19” front
19" BBS RGR in Diamond Black - 8.5” +32 offset for front, 10” +20 offset for rear
APEX Stud Conversion
Zerg Industries Black Lug Nuts

Suspension/Braking:
ST Coilovers
SPC Rear Control Arms
Brembo GT 4 piston Big Brake Kit for fronts and rears

Exterior:
OEM CSL Diffuser
OEM CSL Bumper
OEM CSL Trunk
Evolve Carbon Fiber Roof (no more shark fin!)
Khoalty Glossy Piano Black Kidney Grills + Fender Gills
Depo Smoked Corners
Depo Clear Sidemarkers
B&W BMW Emblems

Preventative Maintenance Items:
TMS Subframe Reinforcement kit
Rolled fenders

Wishlist for the 2014+future:

Dr. VANOS refresh
Lightweight battery (Mini battery perhaps?)
Sway bar (looking for suggestions!)
Camber plates (also looking for suggestions!)
MSS54HP DME for an OEM CSL Alpha-N remap
Forged internals (connecting rods, pistons, etc)
New rod bearings!
VAC Stage 2 head + new head gasket
VAC 3.4L stroked crankshaft
288/280 Schrick Cams
A huge lottery jackpot or pot of gold


Preface/Biography:

I don't expect this to be attract a ton of attention, as this is mostly to document the life of my car Sadly I haven't been able to document each phase my car has gone through with photos (boo) but I will try to do a better job moving forward. I also apologize for the crappy photos, as most were taken with either a phone camera, or terrible photograph taking skills (me) with decent hardware

Purchased my 2004 Silver Grey M3 at around 101k miles in mid-2011, and according to CARFAX, I would become its third owner. Bought it from one of these shady looking dealerships, but I bought it out of impulse as I had money burning in my pocket.

This is the first photo of "Emma" at the dealership:



I was excited after my first test drive, and coming from an RSX, it was a world of a difference. I took the VIN and found that the car had been through an accident, where a bush was involved and some body damage on the passenger side. I figured I'd bring this up to the dealer and try to figure out the story, but they offered no hint as to what had happened (red flags everywhere) After some terrible negotiating on my part, I traded in my base RSX for about ~8k, and 13k paid in cash.

I had the car immediately brought to a maintenance shop in SF (Phaedrus BMW) who did an excellent job of evaluating the current condition of the car and repairing any oddities that were found. Valve adjustment performed, VANOS hub looking healthy, bushings replaced with OEM. Car was running even better after getting her tuned up.

The car pretty much remained the way it looked for the rest of the year. Around early 2012, I decided to purchase some angel eyes. Found a set from someone trying to get rid of theirs on craigslist, a generic set of CCFL halos. I found them to be extremely dim sadly, having extreme buyers remorse This is basically around the time I started to lurk on m3forum hardcore, and found Umnitza and their new Orion V4 offering. Ordered a set for myself, and found myself happier with the end result

Early 2012:

Umnitza Orion V4


Around mid-2012, I decided to buy CSL-replica wheels and tires. Velocity quoted me a set of VMR VB3 paired with Kumho Ecsta, running 275 on the rear and 245 on the front, a lot more aggressive versus my old OEM setup (and without the eyesore of the OEM wheels and their massive curb-rash from previous owners).

Mid 2012:

Staggered VMR VB3
Staggered Kumho Ecsta setup
Dynavin D99



Somewhere around that same summer, I had ordered a Dynavin D99 headunit to replace the factory navigation headunit. I was somewhat satisfied, but found myself mostly using the bluetooth feature to pair my phone and stream music via Grooveshark, rather than the other features that appealed to me (Android capable, custom screens, etc). I also had a tint done by the same shop that had installed my headunit (and can't remember what the tint is, sadly).

Early 2013:

ST Coilovers
Painted reflectors
4.10 BMW Motorsports R&P
CSL DME Flash
Euro-spec canned tune
Misc. lighting coding
Forum member-sold Meisterschaft Titanium Exhaust
Tekarbon painted CSL-style diffuser
LED interior retrofit
Clear sidemarkers and corners from Depo, with stealth bulbs.
"HID Fogs"
Foglight covers (installed then removed)
Replacement "6k" H3 bulbs (installed then removed)
Replacement 6k D2S bulbs
Evolve tune

Fast forward a bit, and now we are in 2013. After much lurking, I start to become active on the forums little by little. I decide to bite the bullet and go with my performance modification, ST coilovers. I had my parts purchased and installed by Sonic Motorsports, formerly located in Mountain View, CA (now in Milpitas).

I was quite happy with the end result! Not only was the ride quality improved compared to the OEM suspension, but I was also able to aesthetically improve of the look of my vehicle by a small drop in ride height!

This officially starts the mod bug. I purchased, next, a set of painted reflectors, and again, was extremely happy with the end result (no more orange!)



After a week or so of having the new coilovers, I decided to go for a 4.10 R&P. I was really a bit iffy on this modification, as everywhere in the forums most people have claimed this has been the best modification to start with, at the cost of some MPG. After the break-in of the 4.10 diff install, I found new life with my car. It seemed that my car gained a bit of low to mid end torque, and although there is an increase in the amount of shifting, I find that I am always at the sweet spot (powerband) after each shift, but of course, also with the cost of top speed.

I also met another forum member around this time to provide the CSL SMG reflash for my vehicle, along with a euro tune file and miscellaneous lighting options (DRLs, etc). The SMG reflash is probably on the top of my list of "MUST" modifications, as I've noticed incredibly faster shifts in S5/S6.

Around March 2013, I purchased a used Meisterschaft Titanium exhaust from a fellow forum member. To give you an idea of what I was looking for, I wanted an exhaust that would have a nice low/deep tone, but not overbearingly/obnoxiously loud at WOT. After some tinkering, I had the hangers fixed (one of the hangers broke off) and the exhaust finally installed, and I was extremely pleased with the tone! A deep tone, and not annoying and blaring at higher RPMs, yet sophisticated sound.

In April 2013, I decided to get a baseline Dyno of my current setup to get an idea where I was and the change once my significant performance modifications were completed. I was extremely shocked to find out that I was actually underperforming compared to a stock vehicle, leaving me to wonder if most of what I had been experiencing previously post-modification (4.10, CSL reflash) were placebo.



Although this was a bit of a newsflash for me, I decided to pull the trigger on an Evolve tune. Sal @ Evolve was able to spec a tune for my car (4.10 gears) and before you know it, it was time for me to flash my car.

HOLY CRAP! The car was ALIVE again, as if it went from a middle-aged man and aged back to its teens. The car was roaring, throttle extremely responsive, and screaming at the top end. Again, once of the best mods I could ever suggest (never has my tires chirped after shifting from 1st to 2nd on WOT). What an experience!

I was still hungry. I was determined to keep my car NA, and mimic the awesomeness of the CSL. I went ahead and went for the full enchilada:

To be installed in July 2013, and ordered:

VAC CSL-style airbox
Agency Power V2 headers (replacing AP headers with Epic headers)
CPI Section 1 with 200-cell cats (replacing CPI with Supersprint straight pipe)
Rogue Engineering X-pipe with EVC kit
Recaro Sportster CS
BSW Stage 1 speakers/subwoofer
Forum member-sold Brembo 4-piston BBK with red calipers (calipers repainted)
Forum member-sold BBS RGR
Evolve tune with Alpha-N (and other mods considered)

Most of the parts have already arrived at Sonic MS (waiting on section 2), then all parts will be installed all at once. Between that time, I was able to order and install the Tekarbon diffuser (7/10 fitment), which I feel greatly enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the car, but overall am a bit bothered by its non-perfect fitment.

I also went ahead and performed an LED retrofit for the interior of the car with Bimmian's kit offering. I'd say 9/10, as I was missing one or two LEDs (which will be sent sometime in the future). Overall, I feel that the interior LED retrofit gave the car a much more modern look. I also ordered their stealth bulbs for the corner lights, as well as replacement sidemarker and corner lights (Depo clear sidemarkers and corners) as the original OEM were sundamaged.

I had also installed Bimmian's HID fog-light retrofit kit, which I was extremely displeased with. The install/fitment seems very poor, and the light output was not what I had expected. I had also ordered fog light covers, which was also something I had not been happy with. I plan to go with a Vorsteiner CSL-style front bumper soon to compliment the VAC CSL-style airbox, and at the same time, rid myself of the chipped paint and foglight issues that I have with my current OEM bumper

In the last few weeks, I've also installed most of the BSW speakers on my own, but I'll provide a bit of a review and comment later after the break-in period, and once the subwoofer is finally installed (holy crap, the trunk wiring is a mess!) Sometime in the last few weeks, I lost my headlight washer cover on the drivers side (washers are disabled at the moment), so the car is looking a bit sad/incomplete with a gaping hole underheath the driver's side headlight The new cover was ordered long ago, but will be installed along with the rest of the parts.

Also, sometime in May, I had an impulse to buy new wheels. Bought a really nice set of BBS RGRs in hyperblack. I also went ahead and bought a set of Epic headers and a Supersprint Section 1 s-pipe to complement the headers.

The Recaro Sportster CS were installed sometime in June, and these seats are AMAZING! Although I will be sacrificing some of the creature comforts of my OEM setup (heated seats, motor-driven adjustment), these seats hug the crap out of you while you drive, and I don't feel that I am slipping left and right when making tighter turns!

Yes, I basically bought replacement headers for my not yet installed AP headers (which I will be selling soon, along with the CPI, I'm crazy/dumb)

Here's a few photos from the past weekend getaway. My apologies on the quality of the photos, the dirtyness of the car, and the sadness from my missing headlight washer cover







I expect the new few updates after this entry to be a little bit more revealing, once the complete list is installed and finally, a Dyno! (Hopefully we see an amazing change/delta)

Last edited by noxious; Thu, Dec-19-2013 at 09:50:11 AM. Reason: Better presentation.
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Old Mon, Jul-08-2013, 01:00:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Wow that build escalated quickly. Great job. Realllllly love the Sportster CS seats. Those headers paired with a tune update will liven the car even more than what you're used to. Keep it up and keep us updated
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Old Mon, Jul-08-2013, 04:54:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Yikes how much is sonic charging you to install everything??

Are you by San Mateo? I believe I've seen the car before with the vmr setup.
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Old Mon, Jul-08-2013, 06:22:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Car looks great. Hopefully I'll see it around the Bay Area some time
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Old Mon, Jul-08-2013, 06:45:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Quote:
Originally Posted by gojcaj View Post
Wow that build escalated quickly. Great job. Realllllly love the Sportster CS seats. Those headers paired with a tune update will liven the car even more than what you're used to. Keep it up and keep us updated
Will do, excited to see where the mods will take her Agreed as well, I was hit hard with the mod bug

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebL View Post
Yikes how much is sonic charging you to install everything??

Are you by San Mateo? I believe I've seen the car before with the vmr setup.
Yup! I'm in Foster City, right along Beach Park Boulevard. I've heard some interesting bits about SonicMS, and have found labor
to be on the expensive side. I am going to schedule a time with forum member, M3AN ONE, to help me with the headers (and possible
Section1/2) for a fraction of the cost. If you have any other suggested shops (also trying to look at Performance Technic), let me know

Quote:
Originally Posted by eson View Post
Car looks great. Hopefully I'll see it around the Bay Area some time
I'll hopefully get around to some meets once the car is completely finished. I feel a bit awkward having my washer cover completely
missing. Looking forward to seeing your car as well, and getting some more in-depth knowledge about our cars
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Old Tue, Jul-09-2013, 12:52:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Watson or Stone? I have a SG M3 and she is also named Emma hehe. Jealous of your recaros! I really want to get some and do a rear seat delete. I have to say I like CSL wheels better than the RGR's!

Please let us know more info when your install the Epic headers! I want them but it seems like now one has dyno'd their sets.
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Old Tue, Jul-09-2013, 01:29:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian N View Post
Watson or Stone? I have a SG M3 and she is also named Emma hehe. Jealous of your recaros! I really want to get some and do a rear seat delete. I have to say I like CSL wheels better than the RGR's!

Please let us know more info when your install the Epic headers! I want them but it seems like now one has dyno'd their sets.
Stone for sure, but don't tell the gf that If I had a choice, I wish I could have had the RGR in silver as opposed to hyperblack (now I'm a bit torn on getting matte grills + side grills + smoked everything), but at the used price a fellow member was selling, I couldn't resist! I'm going to settle down with the car for a bit once the major modification work is completed to really gauge how I feel, instead of feeding my impulses with each mod as I have been for the past few months.

Will definitely post some *after* Dynos here and on the epic header thread. Time to get some photos taken for some parts to sell
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Old Tue, Jul-09-2013, 03:14:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Quote:
Originally Posted by noxious View Post
Stone for sure, but don't tell the gf that If I had a choice, I wish I could have had the RGR in silver as opposed to hyperblack (now I'm a bit torn on getting matte grills + side grills + smoked everything), but at the used price a fellow member was selling, I couldn't resist! I'm going to settle down with the car for a bit once the major modification work is completed to really gauge how I feel, instead of feeding my impulses with each mod as I have been for the past few months.

Will definitely post some *after* Dynos here and on the epic header thread. Time to get some photos taken for some parts to sell
Good man! She is on my lock screen. Yeah I am a big fan of sliver wheels and I'm sorta an OEM+ nut so I like keeping things pretty conservative.

That would be awesome! I am dying to see some numbers on that. People said they would have dyno's in the spring when it warmed up and it's almost half way through summer! Did you order your set from Bimmerworld?
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Old Tue, Jul-09-2013, 05:11:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

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Originally Posted by Brian N View Post
Good man! She is on my lock screen. Yeah I am a big fan of sliver wheels and I'm sorta an OEM+ nut so I like keeping things pretty conservative.

That would be awesome! I am dying to see some numbers on that. People said they would have dyno's in the spring when it warmed up and it's almost half way through summer! Did you order your set from Bimmerworld?
Ordered mine from another member here on m3f, who also sold me the SS S-pipe that should mate perfectly with the headers. I'm also surprised we haven't seen numbers yet, but more than happy to be the point of reference once I get this thing installed
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Old Thu, Jul-18-2013, 11:18:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma"

Very very nice!
That diffuser is on my list too. Looks great. We need some interior shots of those seats!
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Discussing Silver Grey E46 M3 - "Emma" in the Member Journals Forum - Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)