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E36 Coupé upgrading - Surrey

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brentworth View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Jul 2012 at 10:19pm
I'm looking to (slowly) upgrade my coupés performance... does anyone know of a modifier/garage in Surrey, ideally close to Dorking/Reigate, or even an online resource which specialises in mods/upgrades?
Many thanks.
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AShah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AShah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 12:16pm
Not sure of any in your area, but it will depend on which copue you have. Might want to state the engine thats in it.
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Mike Fishwick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Mike Fishwick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 1:04pm
Apart from exhausts and air filters - most of which struggle to give more performance than stock, but are fitted for the addiitonal noise level - you will find it difficult to find any firm who offers the kind of engine upgrades which are common in the Golf GTi world, for example. 

About the only one I have seen is CA Automotive Technologies, but be prepared to spend!  For example, a pair of Shrick cams for an M52TU engine are about £1200 plus fitting.

The best value is to have the ECU remapped by a decent firm such as AMD or ChippedUK, after fitting a decent inlet manifold such as that from the M50 unit, which works wonders on the  M52 engine, or that from the M54 on the M52TU, for example.

No-one seems to do a decent cylinder head modification for BMW, and not because the original heads are so wonderful - quite the opposite!  VW heads are of a better finish than BMW, as I noticed during a trip to Alpina a few years ago, with big steps between the inlet ports and valve seats.

Tuning BMW engines is of course a normal activity in Germany, but in the UK most people are only interested in massive stereos, shiney things to show off , and noisy exhausts/silencers. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote FwordM3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 8:49pm
Dips is a member on here who can put you in the right direction re; the mods you want. he is based in Heathrow so not too far.
Send him a PM, great guy and can always help.Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FwordM3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 8:53pm
Originally posted by Mike Fishwick Mike Fishwick wrote:

Apart from exhausts and air filters - most of which struggle to give more performance than stock, but are fitted for the addiitonal noise level - you will find it difficult to find any firm who offers the kind of engine upgrades which are common in the Golf GTi world, for example. 

Tuning BMW engines is of course a normal activity in Germany, but in the UK most people are only interested in massive stereos, shiney things to show off , and noisy exhausts/silencers. 
 
Slightly biased there Mr Fishwick, were not all into that.
 
A quick and easy mod would be to de-baffle your air filter which will let the air flow increase. Add an upgraded panel filter with this otherwise don't touch the Air intake.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Mike Fishwick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2012 at 9:05am
Not biased, but maybe cynical! My point was that a better intake manifold and a remap are the only bought-out  mods which are effective and reasonably affordable.  Anything else is difficult to find in the UK, and very expensive.  Perhaps the intake cam from the M54 three litre engine would fit on an M52TU engine, but there is a derth of such knowledge.

We still do not know the engine type under discussion, but if a 1.9 140 bhp type, a pair of Kent 312R cams would make a good improvement for sesible money, particularly if the head was polished/balanced/ gas flowed and the valve throats slightly enlarged.

At Alpina one man can port, polish and balance a six-cylinder head in a day, so if such a head were reworked at say £1000 it would represent a good profit - but there is obviously no market for genuine go-faster goodies - but look at the market for shiny bits! 

If you have an E30 M3 there is Moseley Motorsport, but no similar outfit specialising on the M52/M54 family, such as are found in Germany.

Yes, the air box mod  looks like it should work a little by spreading the intake air over the entire filter element, and extending its useful life, but is very doubtful on its own in terms of performance.  To be honest, I could not tell any difference, but it seems a good thing to do.

I was not impressed by a K&N panel filter, and when considering the risks of oil contamination to the airflow sensor it is just not worthwhile - unless you want some additional noise! 

The original small paper filter will work on an E36 M3, so if in decent condition is equally good on a smaller engine, and when considered against the price of a K&N (with its attendant problems) is better value in the long term.

Another popular modification is a Simota lookalike ram air filter, but while these have a large and aggressive-looking intake, they have zero ram effect unless presented directly to the airflow - when under the bonnet it is just another fancy filter.  Even when fed from the front of the car by a pipe, unless it is of the same bore as the ram air intake there will be virtually no pressure/mass increase of the incoming air.

The best modification I have found is a large-bore cold air intake, feeding the air box from a high pressure zone at the front of the car.  I used B&Q 70 mm drain pipe, which beats the original 50 mm intake hole behind the headlamp of a Z3 or M Roadster.



At least this removes a definite restriction in the intake system, so increasing the maximum flow rate, and is noticable above  half throttle or so.  It cost about £5, and is probably worth about a dozen K&N filters!

In terms of affordable power, the only real area where this is readily possible is in the diesel world, where a decent remap of a good turbo diesel will yield an additional 30% power and (more important) torque, with at least as good economy.  The future is here - and it's diesel powered!


Edited by Mike Fishwick - 11 Jul 2012 at 11:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2012 at 8:36pm
All this speculation and have we confirmed the engine as yet

Plenty of options for the M52 whether inlet manifold from another model, different cam and exhaust options and induction kits etc.....but the first question should be what car, what model and what the owner wishes to achieve and the budget and catering to this

Plenty of specialist who can help some of which offer discounts and offers for club members so lets see what the owner comes back with
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brentworth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2012 at 9:16pm
Yes my engine is 1.9 140 bhp petrol M44B19.

Interesting feedback on the K&N filters, as this was on my 'shopping list'. I want my coupe to be a 'sleeper'... so no OTT shiny add-on's!

Thanks very much for all your input... greatly appreciated

Edited by brentworth - 12 Jul 2012 at 9:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2012 at 12:18am
FYI k@n offer a gtee regards power etc and can get. 57 or panel kit for you car can supply part no if interested
E30 Register joint coordinator - Competition Secretary - Contact name Neil for PM and Email - cabrio_e30@yahoo.co.uk - be aware addicted to E numbers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Fishwick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2012 at 5:43pm

As discussion seems to be swinging towards K&N filters, perhaps I should explain the reasons for my dislike of these admittedly popular add-ons.

There is a lot of information on the internet regarding comparative testing of K&N and BMW E36 M3-sized air filters, the general result being that the BMW filter has over 5 times the area of the K&N, and a better flow rate when both are equally soiled. 

When new and clean, the K&N has about slightly higher flow than the BMW filter, but due to the smaller area, this advantage falls away sharply as fouling builds up.  Remember that in terms of a clean filter, a higher flow rate means a lower level of filtration.

I would love to know the operating conditions where a K&N filter only needs cleaning after the 'Up to 50,000 miles’ which they claim - maybe in an operating theatre?

With regard to the fouling problem with hot-wire airflow sensors (which is hotly denied by K&N) Rob Levinson from UUC Motorwerks says that:

 

‘First, conclusive tests from independent labs show that K&N filters, no matter how well-oiled and cleaned, let through huge amounts of large particulate that damages engines. Oil analysis shows 5x as much silicate contamination. Additionally, the oil from these filters tends to muck up the MAF and cause an engine-damaging lean-run condition.’

 

Oiled gauze air filters such as K&N are widely used on large turbocharged marine and stationary engines (pumps and generators etc) which operate in good conditions and receive plenty of maintenance, but one never sees them fitted to construction machinery, or large trucks which work in a poor environment. 

In such cases, the use of a cyclone filter (as on a Dyson vacuum cleaner) followed by an oil bath filter has been universal for over seventy years . . . but perhaps manufacturers such as Caterpiller and Scania have not discovered the benefits of fitting K&N filters!

 



Edited by Mike Fishwick - 13 Jul 2012 at 5:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FwordM3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2012 at 10:04pm
One of the easiest upgrades would be to save weight, the standard exhausts weigh approx twice that of a good aftermarket one. Upgrade your brakes to lessen the distance giving you a longer rolling speed.
 
Ultimate for your engine would be this...works a peach! Cool
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Cabrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2012 at 9:20am
True - weight saving is a cheap way of gaining performance and there are several options regards to exhausts - again depends on budget though
 
Many changes will depend on cars use and amount want to spend - I dont wish to get into long debates over some mods as it will also depend on engine condition etc - many people do use filters to make the car breath better and a free flowing exhaust will also help - however with the engine you have you are not likely to see huge increases so maybe worth making it handle well and brake well to enjoy it more  
E30 Register joint coordinator - Competition Secretary - Contact name Neil for PM and Email - cabrio_e30@yahoo.co.uk - be aware addicted to E numbers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m3kos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 2012 at 11:57pm
the best thing that you can do to that engine is fit a lightened flywheel 

no extra power but if you go for one of the JB racing ones you'll loose about 7kg or mass from the engine and it will rev a lot quicker/harder. in effect its like having an extra 25bhp

the engines respond reasonably well to a re map, more mid range grunt will be the order of the day here. 

mike, you original post on modified cars disappoints me. there are 1000's of potential members who'd join the club but with attitudes and cynical opinions of what "most people" are into is ignoarant and this is why a lot of people dont join. they were alienated by the old brigade of flat cap wearing members who disproved of us with out baseball caps, our loud stereos and noisy exhaust lol

i'd hardly call AMD or chipped UK decent, AMD many moons ago were good but these days there are better. Simon at E maps, Jason at B&W chiptune know their BMW's inside out

cylinder heads, there are number of people who will do the work but that it self is not cheap. no one will have them on the shelf nor do i expect them too

if we were talking about m52 2.8's there is a simple way costing no more than £750 to extract 35-40 bhp out of the engine 

finally, you used a B&Q drain pipe with some nasty silicone on your ZM and you call that a modification ? bernie and lepu would be proud of you., if you've not heard of samco i'll intorduce you to it now



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