PART 1: More Power
After exhausting the bolt on options on the 2.5L, I came to a fork in the road. At that point, the motor had already been fitted with 3.0L M3 cams, a custom Jim Conforti chip, K&N Intake and MomoCorse Exhaust. At that point, the decision had to be made whether to tear apart the motor and stroke it to 2.9L, whether to go forced induction, or whether to do a engine swap. After many hours of contemplating the choices, weighing the pros and cons, and projecting a realistic view of how far the modding would go in the near future, I came to a decision.
Though the 2.9L motor has put out great horsepower and torque numbers as shown by Active Autowerke, further tuning of that particular motor would be difficult do to its high compression ratio. So I ruled that out.
The next idea of going forced induction, in this case an AA Turbo, made me toss and turn in bed every night for weeks. The new found horsepower and torque, as well as the awesome sound of the blow off valve, would definitely put a smile on my face. I studied this dyno chart religously, as well as called AA almost every day with numerous questions.
I am sure Tong got tired of hearing "Will I be happy with a Stage 2?". Ever since I drove Shingo's turbo 325, I could not get the feeling out of my mind. Though I was so tempted to get the Stage 2 system, I held out because I knew it would not be enough.
So that meant there was only one thing left to do, go with an engine swap. I came across a 97 3.2 motor, tranny, driveshaft, and differential with 40k miles and could not resist. After squaring away the deal, I set out to pick up a few more items. Since I had everything out, it would be a good time to replace all the normal maintenance things. New belts, water pump, thermostat, themostat housing, timing chain tensioner, etc. Once that was done, the process of converting the motor from OBD2 to OBD1 took forth. The OBD1 parts from my 325 were harvested and put onto the 3.2. The process was very straight forward. So with all that done, there was only a few more things I wanted to do. The question of who I would order bolt ons from was a "No Brainer." I callled AA up and ordered there Level 4 HFM package, consisting of a 3.2 OBD1 chip, bigger injectors, euro hfm, and intake. I could of stopped there, but I figured why not go a little farther. I also added a LTW flywheel, Sachs sport clutch, and JTD Tranny rings. As the car was being put back together, I ran into a few problems. The M3 tranny didn't come with the shift carrier, so I tried to use the one from the 325 along with my 95 M3 UUC competition short shifter. But that placed the neutral position back too far, making it difficult to get into 2nd and 4th gear. I called Rogue Engineering and spoke with Ben Liaw to see if I could remedy the problem, but after talking with him I decided to just order their short shifter that includes the carrier arm, and the weighted selector rod.
Once everything was finally installed, I stepped in to turn the key. I couldn't wait to hear the sound of the new engine, and feel the new found power. I had been carless for a week and a half and was so ancy to finally get to this point, the moment I had been waiting for. So I turned the key and guess what. It cranked but would not start. At this point, I am sure you can imagine my feelings. So I wil leave out all the descriptive obscenities that left my mouth then. After checking everything, the problem was the engine was not getting any fuel, though the fuel pump was fine. I made a call to Karl at AA to see if he could help me diagnos the problem. After several trouble shoots, the problem was fixed and the car started up easily.
I took it for a spin around the block and was very impressed. As I drove the car home I had a grin from ear to ear on my face. I am sure people thought I was handicapped. I could not stop smiling. It has been a week now and all I can say is WOW! The car puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. The sound of the euro hfm is addicting, and the smoothness of the Rogue SS and Weighted Selector rod is incredible. The shifts are so smooth and precise. There is no notchiness what so ever. Running through the gears is such a pleasure.
The car wsa dynoed and I wsa happy with the numbers. Two things to consider is the fact that I had the factory M3 exhaust on and the motor hadn't been run for 3 months. The car went on the dyno after runnig for 30 minutes. The numbers were 240 hp at the rear wheels ad 229 ft. lbs. of torque. Not bad. I can't wait to see the next time I dyno considering things are broken in now and the fully custom exhaust from the header back and evosport pullies will be on. Hopefully, I'll be looking at 250hp at the rear wheels. But that's only the beginning, after all, I went with the 3.2 because of how well it can handle numerous mods and it being the best base for my future plans.
Other things to note is I am using Amsoil oil, and Red Line tranny and differential lubricants.
I would like to thank Tong and Karl at Active Autowerke for all the technical help throughout the process and for the products. I am very impressed with your customer service! Thanks also to Ben and Mark at Rogue Engineering for the product and excellent customer service as well. Thanks to everyone who helped me with deciding what to do and last but definitely not least, thanks to Carb Connection for the install. You guys did a great job and will be recommended by me to others in the Seattle area.
Stay tuned for PART 2, as the car gets torn apart this week to undergo more changes.