We were pleased with our S54 3.2-liter in stock form, and the goal was to bring it up to V8 M3 performance. Was a 12% power improvement and 90-lb fat reduction enough? Find out inside! We test them to speed and in the quarter-mile. We also compare them from 30-100 MPH in third gear to compare low- and mid-range torque for you track guys! And why not--we even throw in a Mustang GT 5.0 in there...
Life would be a lot easier if we'd stayed with the stock headers, but when we tested our VAC headers in Part 3, the increase in power was too much to let go. Since then, we've tried different header-back systems but they either were too loud, droned at low RPM, or didn't fit all too well. Today, however, we think we've found something that works great and doesn't break the bank. Dynos graphs and video clips inside!
Until now, Project M3's benefitted from increased power, braking, and handling performance, as well as nice improvements to the interior and exterior aesthetics. But keeping things cool under the hood is something we haven't touched on yet, and we do so today with an all aluminum radiator from Koyorad!
We test a new exhaust system and drop some weight in the process. We've got dyno graphs and videos in this one. Plus, we check out dad's new 8-Series BMW and drastically change its looks with a simple wheel upgrade. Check it out.
We not only install one of the best short shift kits money can buy, but also test a lightweight clutch and flywheel--on the dyno! How often do we see publications spending the time doing that? Does it make a difference? We answer that here, plus we check out a supercharged E46 M3 racer that rolled into Modified by KC's shop that day!
Our E46 M3 is really coming along. In the power department, in order to get significant gains we're pretty much at a point where we either need to get into the motor, or go forced induction. However, a clutch and flywheel is one way we can get more out of the already existing power. In the next two parts we install and dyno test a Clutch Masters FX400 clutch and lightweight flywheel, and show you several other products we used to drop more weight for additional overall performance.
It’s hard to believe that nearly an entire year has gone by since we’ve last updated Project E46 M3. The car's been running great, and the 320-plus WHP normally-aspirated S54 six-cylinder never ceases to amaze. This time we enlisted Whiteline for its drop-in, lower inner rear bushings for the front control arms, and performed a quick fix to the steering column. We also got an alignment at a very unassuming shop with interesting machines inside! Take a look.
We install and test the Castro Motorsport CSL-style airbox on the dyno with video clips of the new sounds. We also get to check out a couple more of Modified by KC's projects, including one of the baddest BMW 335s in the country!
Take a look as we enhance our E46 M3's appearance with a new carbon fiber splitter, carbon fiber rear diffuser, and a plethora of underside neon lights! (think about what day it is before you flame us).
A big part of the driving experience is in your surroundings inside the cabin. With about an afternoon's worth of work, we show you how we tastefully transformed the look inside Project E46 M3's cabin.
If you've ever had the yellow EML light come on, it usually has to do with the drive-by-wire system. In Project E46 M3's case, every time it came on, it would stall the car and render it useless unless you knew what to do to reset it. Check out what we did to get the car running tip-top again.
by Pablo Mazlumian
We install a Magnaflow system in hopes to quiet the car down a little further, given car's cat-delete setup. Find out how the test goes--with video included!
At the heart of any engine is the engine management system. We install AEM's latest and greatest and are blown away not only by the performance, but by all of the features that transform this car into so much more!
In Part 4 we witnessed an aesthetic transformation and a dramatic improvement in all performance categories, especially braking. Going from 60-0mph in 10 less feet, or experiencing a 0.14G improvement in deceleration, after all, is hardly going to go unnoticed. What will go unnoticed--until pad failure or fluid boil--is the increase in heat throughout the brake system, which we tackle next!
by Pablo Mazlumian
We test a wheel and tire package with eye opening results! The M3 is now quicker, handles better, stops on a dime, and also turns more heads. Check out our numbers!
by Pablo Mazlumian
Aspiring to achieve 100whp/liter from this 3.2-liter, we put more performance upgrades to the test on the dyno and in real world performance situations. If you like dyno graphs, acceleration times and videos clips, this is a must read!
By Pablo Mazlumian
In our quest for an all-motor 100whp/liter, we install and dyno test a cat-back exhaust and under drive pulleys from industry leaders. How much power do you think these upgrades provided our M3?
Project E46 M3: Part 1 - Dyno and Acceleration Testing
By Pablo Mazlumian
It's raining BMWs at MotoIQ all of a sudden. Introducing our next project, a 2002 E46 BMW M3 with a six-speed manual gearbox, and an engine rated at 333 bhp and 262 lb-ft of torque from the factory 3.2-liter inline-six. It's dirty but it's also silver so who cares. In Part 1 of our project we take our bone stock M3 and already start running it through a series of acceleration and dyno tests in hopes of extracting a normally-aspirated 300 whp from the 8000 rpm 3.2-liter.