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Old 12-06-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
Senior Moderator/Event-Coordinator
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Mrs. Sauga
Posts: 10,210
My Modded E46 M3 build

Finally finished the car after purchasing it in April. Last week had the bodyshop paint/install some additions after all the mechanical was completed. Unfortunately, car is getting stored for the winter very soon. Below is a list of mods the car had done over the summer. If the snow holds up enough this week, i'll get it dyno tested to see what the engine upgrades gave me before it goes away to storage.

-2002 BMW M3 SMG
-Steel Grey/Blk Nappa Leather
-Daily Summer Driven
-Tracked 10+ /yr, Autocrossed 20+/yr

-Schrick 288/280 cams
-CSL Rockers/valve springs
-Polished/decked head
-Carbonio Carbon Fiber CAI
-EVOsport/Powerchips ECU remap
-JVT Stainless Headers
-AR20 Mid-pipes
-4:10 LSD Final Drive

-HotBits DT1 coilovers w/external resevoirs
-HAWK HPS pads & Braided lines
-19”x 8” / 19”x 10” SSR GT3
-235/35 & 275/30 Nitto NT-555
-18”x 8”/18”x 10” BBS RS2
-255/35 & 275/30 Toyo R-888

-BMW Motorsports CSL Trunk lid
-Carbon Fiber rear diffuser
-ACSchnitzer roof spoiler
-Hamann splitter (painted 2-tone)
-Flat blacked-out front/side grilles
-Smoke tails/sides/corners
-Lamin-X smoked headlight film
-6000K HID Fog lights
-Orion V2 halo rings & DRL delete
-Kenwood KIV-BT900 head unit

The car spent some time at Auto Evolution in Oakville getting many mechanical components fixed, replaced and upgraded. Some of the repairs included new SMG pump, rebuilt VANOS unit, new OEM Clutch Kit, and about a dozen other small repairs throughout the car. Rob and the guys at Auto Evolution always impress me with their extensive knowledge in ALL cars, attention to detail, shuttle service, ability to diagnose and repair problems without always going straight to the (more expensive) "replace-only" route. I don't have to worry about half-ass jobs, getting shocked with an invoice, waiting for appointments, or getting a dirty car back as they treat every customer and their vehicle like gold. Many maXmembers can back me up on this.

Since my rear main seal and differential were leaking when I bought the car, I decided to install a few upgrades while the work was done. Stainless steel cat-less headers were installed, along with AR20 "rasp-eliminator" resonators. I retained the stock muffler as HPF proved that it doesn't restrict air flow very much. I didn't want to deal with annoying highway drone or a heat-score loud exhaust. I welded on a set of Eurosport Design angle-cut tips to compliment the diffuser.

The most impressive mod was the addition of the 4:10 (210) gear set from DiffsOnline. This gave the torqueless S54 a new much needed shot of adrenalin when RPM's creep below 3500. Before the purchase, many people told me the 4:10 were too aggressive and I would rev annoyingly on highway trips, but as you can see from the pic below, my engine speed @100km/h was only affected by 300 RPM. Rob installed the gear set in the existing differential along with new seals, fluids and reinstalled it in the car. I went with BMW OEM gear oil vs. Redline.

With the car at the shop already, I figured I'd complement the sweet S54 lump with a set of Schrick cams.
Specs are (intake) 288 duration @12.9mm lift & (exhaust) 280 duration @12.58mm lift.

Since these are Schricks most aggressive setup (without VANOS removal), I needed to replace the rocker arms, springs and retainers with their recommended components.
To make the installation easier, Rob removed the head and had it "massaged" while it was off.

Now with the head decked, shimmed, with knife-edge ports & free flowing exhaust the intake system was next biggest restriction.
A call to local intake experts Carbonio was needed. They came through with one of the sweetest looking intake systems that would really help this N/A motor breathe.

To marry all these mods, the ECU was sent down to EVOsport for remapping. EVOsport doesn't actually do any mapping, rather they use Australian tuner Powerchips. This logistical fact was part of the reason I am not happy at all with the $700 product/service I received. The ECU was sent back to Rob with many check sum value off. After almost 2 weeks of constant back&forth file transfers and trials, the car finally started. Although it's hard for me to tell if the Powerchips remap netted any gains, I certainly know that other features are lacking in their tune. I no longer have launch control (an OEM feature), the engine idles erratically, redline upshifts no longer happen in "auto" mode and from what I can see in the software tune parameters, there was no adjustments made for the cams I installed (compared it with a stock Euro CSL map). Local tuner MarkD will be making me a custom map in the spring to take care of the issues PowerChips can't seem to figure out. STAY AWAY FROM POWERCHIPS!

Engine sound-wise, I was pretty disappointed. I was expecting a bit of a lump at idle with the cams, but the factory VANOS unit compensates for that lumpiness... Carbonios intake is so well designed, they were able to net 9-12hp (to be dyno proven) increase without any compromise in sound, and the headers made the exhaust very raspy, even with my AR20 "rasp eliminators". That's probably the only thing i'd like to change about the M3, but won't bother as I have yet to hear a good sounding N/A S54 out there. Just something I have to live with.

Since I was focusing on the GO, I couldn't just leave the STOP and TURN stock, especially since I track the car so much! Cryogenic treated OEM rotors, Cryo'd Hawk HPS pads, Braided lines & DOT 6 fluid take care of braking matters.
Suspension-wise (after a lot of research) I decided to go with HotBits Suspension DT1 coilovers. These (custom made) coilovers are designed for each individual's requirements and carry an amazing warranty/service. They are mono-tube with oversized 52mm bodies and offer 35-way rebound/compression adjustments. The nicest feature was the fact that there's an 80% variance between full "hard" & "soft" settings... all other brands i've tried were hardly noticeable when tweeking the valving. The company is International, but their Canadian distributer is located locally in Brampton and offers parts or rebuilds with 1 day turn-around! Since I was planning on have a very aggressive drop, I went with external reservoirs to maintain proper ride quality. I can't stress enough how amazing these coilovers are for the price ($2100 CDN) and are available through Rob's shop.

Next up were cosmetic enhancements. The seats were starting to look pretty worn (after 8 years, 6 of which were in the hot Florida sun).
A call to Fibernew had them come and freshen them up. Two hours (and $300) later they looked like new. Pics speak volumes.

Lastly was the addition to body mods. After sourcing grilles, reflectors, corners, markers, V2 Orion Halo rings etc. from Umnitza.
I found a CSL trunk lid, carbon diffuser, ACS roof spoiler & Hamann lip online. I contacted Rich (aka Evil_M3) at Luxury Auto Body (LAB) to paint & install everything.

Rich as been in the business for 17 years (with the same crew) and has developed an incredible reputation as one of the best custom paint/body shops around. Many remember the shop when it was "Joe's Autobody"... which was later bought out by the Atlantic Group. Rich recently was able to acquire the building from Atlantic, break free from the large firm and go on his own with a new name... Luxury Auto Body, remaining in the same location the entire time - 26 Chauncey Ave, Etobicoke.

Upgrading to (industry's required) water-bourne paints was expensive and necessary, but those are some of the many expenses Rich needed to stay competitive. Their attention to detail is 2nd to none and it blows me away how quick they are with such strong work ethic. I definitely recommend their work, as i've taken 3 other of my cars there and recommended dozens of people (who are all extremely pleased).

The final product is very pleasing. I am extremely happy how everything turned out (with the exception of ECU tune & exhaust note). I'm looking forward to dynoing the car before it goes away for the winter. My baseline test was a healthy SAE 278wHP back in May. I feel that it should put down some respectable numbers as i've already proved the new-found power by (repeatedly) pulling 1/2 car length on a friend's AA Supercharged SMG M3 cab. The suspension if compliant, brakes grab well, power is linear, gear makes 1st & 2nd gear very short and the look is the stealthy theme I was shooting for.

My YouTube video
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