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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    When your youngest car is 15 years old you always have maintenance and stuff to do and when you have four cars and a project car the list is long! / #BMW / #BMW-E46 / #DISA-valve-replacement-kit / #DISA

    PIERS’ E46s

    This month I have had to focus on the daily fleet. My #BMW-330i-E46 has been neglected of late and I have been meaning to do the DISA valve (the DISA valve alters the inlet runner length to aid low-down torque) for some time. My #BMW-330d-E46 has started to get smelly in the cabin and the fuel economy has got worse. The #BMW-330d has the label of parts car and has always been a bit of a beater but this doesn’t change the fact that it still needs to be maintained to retain some of its value and keep the engine going if I do break it!

    As with all cars there are well-known faults and maintenance issues that raise their head in the car’s lifetime. I have addressed a lot of them in the past with the 330i: the cooling system, Vanos seals, CCV, lower control arm bushes, rear trailing arm bushes, oil filter housing gasket, rocker cover gasket… the list of repairs is really quite long!

    The DISA valve in the #BMW-M54 engine is a component that wears over time and it can then fail and the results can be catastrophic as the engine ingests the plastic… yes again plastic. BMW, why do you love plastic so much for your components?!

    The M57 engine is an all-time great but there are some well-known problems, one of which is the exhaust manifold. The manifold is made from stainless steel and it is made up of several parts which are welded together. As a result the manifold, after many heat cycles, can crack along the weld lines causing it to blow. This means the engine bay has exhaust gases in it, leading to a smelly cabin. The turbo fails to spin up how it should as exhaust gases are lost before reaching the turbo and there is then a knock-on effect on fuel economy as induction is altered.

    As with Vanos kits there are various companies who offer off-the-shelf solutions for these common issues with various cars (not just BMWs). X8R has been the company of choice for me this time as they offered solutions for both DISA valve and manifold issues. They also offer Vanos seal replacements and in addition to that they don’t just cover BMWs, they offer parts for pretty much most makes!

    The DISA solution is to replace the plastic flap in the unit with an alloy one and a replacement stainless steel spindle. This means that there is no longer a risk of the flap and spindle failing. The replacement manifold, meanwhile, is a cast item which is substantially stronger and more robust than the stainless OEM item. All new gaskets and fittings are supplied to ensure the replacement manifold is secured and sealed properly. The DISA valve is a relatively simple job which requires removing the unit from the side of the inlet manifold but the same cannot be said for the manifold swap. You can either come at it from the bottom and up, or from the top and down and both ways are a complete faff and have their respective problems. Without a two-post lift I am going top down! More on this next month where I will cover both jobs!

    DISA-valve-replacement-kit . New manifold for the 330d.
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  •   Bob BMW reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    POWER UP Hardcore, supercharged E46 330Ci

    What was once a stock 330Ci has now evolved into a supercharged, track-focussed monster. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Viktor Benyi.

    ’CHARGED BMW E46 330Ci Track-focussed full-on build…

    Supercharging a “lesser” model of BMW is something that a lot of people don’t really understand. “Why didn’t you just buy an M3/ M5/M6 in the first place?” they will ask and, in absolute terms, you can see their point. Why spend arguably the same amount of money, or perhaps even more, buying and subsequently supercharging something that isn’t an M car and ending up with around the same sort of power level, when you could have just bought a fully-fledged, finely-honed M machine in the first place? It’s a valid, logical point, but logic has little place in the world of modifying. The thing is that very few people buy a car knowing exactly where they’re going with it, how it’s going to end up and with the specific plan of supercharging it. Sure, some people do, but take a look through this issue, the last issue, pretty much any issue of the mag and you’ll see feature car after feature car owner saying that they really had no intention of going as far as they did with their cars. The other thing is that, generally speaking, something like a supercharger is usually one of the last mods anyone does and that’s because it makes a lot more sense – and here logic can be applied to modding – to sort out the chassis, the brakes, make sure everything else is up to scratch before you start ramping up the power. It’s the right way to do it, really.

    Which brings us neatly to Richard Kiraly and his supercharged E46 330Ci. As you can probably tell from the pictures, this is one exceptionally well-sorted 3 Series and, as you won’t be at all surprised to learn, when Richard bought the car there was no plan for anything beyond the most basic of mods, let alone creating a car as full-on as this has ended up becoming. Richard has been a BMW owner for 12 years, though that time period has been divided up between just three cars: his first BMW, an E34 525tds, which was followed by an E39 525d, and now the E46. Thing is, while he may say there was no plan of attack here, both of his previous Bavarian steeds, and a couple of cars before that, have all received some level of mild modding, so we reckon he wouldn’t have been able to leave the E46 alone anyway.

    Hailing from Hungary, Richard’s hunt for the right example of what was the most affordable way of fulfilling his childhood dream of owning a frameless window coupé took him all the way to Leipzig in Germany, after six months of searching, and what was then a plain old 330Ci Sport. With car in hand, the mods began and stage one was styling. The E46 Coupé is a fi ne-looking thing, we’re big fans, but go big or go home, right? Go big it was, with Richard giving his 330Ci the M3 look courtesy of the M car’s wings and bumpers before cranking things up to 11 and taking the styling to another level. The front bumper has been seriously beefed-up with the addition of that carbon lip and those full-on corner splitters and even the intakes that funnel cooling air to the brakes are made from carbon. The bonnet? That’s carbon too, a vented GTR item that’s been painted body colour with just the slats of the vents left bare, teasing its carbon construction. M3 mirrors have been added while at the rear there’s a unique diffuser, a set of LED lights and a fibreglass CSL-style boot lid to finish things off nicely. It’s a greatlooking car, all the styling enhancements blending together perfectly and with the M3 body parts on board, the more aggressive aero elements don’t overwhelm the look of the whole car.


    The wheels are Japan Racing JR3s, which suit the look and direction of the car perfectly, and while their familiar sixspoke design doesn’t get your attention, the colour certainly does. It’s a bold, bright blue that doesn’t tie-in with anything, anywhere on the car but wow, does it look good. Somehow it just works so well against that sexy, solid grey paintwork and your eyes are immediately drawn to the wheels. They’re the first thing you notice on the car and you realise that, actually, opting for that punch of colour was definitely the right thing to do as it really makes them stand out. You can probably tell that this car hasn’t been built for show, it’s all about go, and peering between the spokes of the JR3s confirms that beyond any reasonable doubt as that’s when you notice the massive brakes. The calipers come from a 135i, says Richard, with six-pots up front clamping M3 CSL discs, and two-pots at the rear while the suspension has also been suitably uprated and these mods came about when he decided to start making track outings a regular occurrence. BC Racing coilovers have been fitted here, and they deliver a solid drop, along with uprated anti-roll bars, Powerflex bushes, Eibach adjustable rear control arms and front and rear strut braces, completing a comprehensive programme of upgrades. The interior changes, too, have come about from the car’s regular appearance at track days and amateur tournaments; up front, a pair of bucket seats have been fitted, along with a set of Schroth three-point harnesses, while the rear seats have been removed altogether, as has the air-con. White-faced dials have been added to give the gauges a sportier look and Richard has also fitted a digital display in place of one of the central air vents to keep an eye on various under-bonnet temperatures.

    So, to the engine. The M54B30 is a great motor, plenty of torque, a lovely top end, plus it sounds lush but by modern standards it’s not going to set anyone’s world alight and with him being so committed to track driving, you can see why Richard wanted a little more performance. NA mods are fi ne and could liberate a bit more horsepower but if you want serious gains then you have to bring out the big guns and go straight for forced induction. What Richard’s got strapped to the side of his engine is an ESS TS1 supercharger kit, which uses a twinscrew, positive displacement blower, and that means it delivers a huge hit of low-end torque the moment you hit the accelerator, perfect for punching out of turns on track. It’s an impressive piece of kit and puts out some meaty numbers, 320hp and a very healthy 302lb ft of torque. Here it’s been further bolstered by the addition an #AFE high-flow intake, a set of Schmiedmann high-flow cats and a ProEx exhaust system with racing silencer while an S54 oil cooler helps keep temperatures down on track. The transmission hasn’t been forgotten about, either, and Richard’s fitted a lightweight flywheel and Sachs race clutch plus an LSD to help him put all that power down.

    We really like Richard’s E46. It’s been built with purpose after being bought with no specific direction in mind. It’s a focussed and finely-honed machine, but one that’s not so extreme that it can’t be used on the road. It looks good and it’s got the power to match the extreme aero additions; it really is an exceptional performance package. Richard has spent eight years getting the car to where it is today, but he’s not done yet and the next round of mods is imminent. “I want to cover the interior in Alcantara,” he says, “and I’ve currently got a CSL front bumper with twin brake air inlets under construction and I’ve also got an ESS TS2+ supercharger kit ready to go,” he adds, which is really going to take this E46 to the next level.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW #Supercharged / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-330Ci / #Japan-Racing / #ESS-TS1 / #ESS-Tuning / #BMW-330Ci-E46 / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E46

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #M54B30 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 , #ESS-TS1-supercharger-kit , #AFE air filter, #Schmiedmann sport cats, #ProEx exhaust system with racing silencers and black heat-resistant quad tips, S54 oil cooling system. Five-speed manual gearbox, lightweight flywheel, #Sachs racing clutch, short-shift kit, #LSD

    CHASSIS 8.5x18” ET15 (front) and 9.5x18” ET15 (rear) #Japan-Racing-JR3 wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres, #BC-Racing coilovers, uprated anti-roll bars, #Powerflex bushes, #Eibach adjustable rear control arms, front and rear strut braces, #Brembo six-piston calipers with M3 CSL discs (front), #Brembo two-piston calipers (rear), braided brake lines, competition brake fluid

    EXTERIOR E46 M3 wings, front and rear bumpers, carbon front splitter, front bumper race air intake, GTR carbon bonnet, E46 M3 door mirrors, custom rear diffuser, E46 M3 CSL-style boot lid, LED rear lights

    INTERIOR White gauges, digital data display in central air vent, bucket seats, three-point Schroth harness, rear seats removed, air-con removed, spare wheel well removed, fire extinguisher

    “What Richard’s got strapped to the side of his engine is an #ESS-TS1 supercharger kit, which uses a twin-screw, positive displacement blower”

    BC Racing coilovers with adjustable top mounts.
    135i brakes have been fitted all-round.

    “The wheels are Japan Racing JR3s… and while their familiar six-spoke design doesn’t get your attention, the colour certainly does”

    Bucket seats, harnesses and rear seat delete let you know this E46 means business.
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  •   Tariq Vadgama reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    SUPERCHARGED #BMW-330i E46 BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

    The 330Ci is a fantastic machine, but with a supercharger strapped to its straight-six, it’s even better. For those not lucky enough to be able to afford a weekly runaround, compromise is something many BM owners have had to accept. Well compromising need no longer mean settling for less, as Harv Singh’s supercharged E46 330Ci demonstrates. Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Matt Barnes.

    When your good friend and cousin is Kav Bhamra, the owner of one of the finest E46 330Cis on the UK scene, what little money you do have is certainly hard to cling on to!

    Harv Singh, a 27-year-old IT systems analyst, has found out that chasing perfection needn’t be costly though, and can be a hugely rewarding business. Like a rolling snowball, his car has gathered a huge selection of custom Hamann parts over the past two years. But, like most modified cars this re-style was never really planned. “It has just kind of happened, I guess. I see things I like, whether online or through my friends, then I try to find them for reasonable money. I love a good deal so often I’ll buy things even if at the time I can’t afford to fit them,” explains Harv.

    Unlike many of the other modified BMs on the UK scene, this is no chequebook car. “I have had to work very hard to pay for every addition I have made, but, I think people who just pay to have their cars modified are missing the point. They don’t get half the satisfaction I do,” Harv says.

    He’s quite right too; in our experience all the best feature cars have taken years to create, and often arise through owner dedication over and above a bottomless bank account.

    This supercharged E46 330Ci is Harv’s second BMW. His first, an E36 328i Sport, was bought when he was an impoverished student. With the limited money he did have, he managed to upgrade the alloys to 19” Hartge Classics and improve the suspension with Eibach springs. Although modifications were not extensive, the car cemented Harv’s relationship with BMW, and provided him with enough passion and inspiration to take the next step into the tuning scene. Straight from university Harv found employment, and within six months had purchased, what is to date, one of the most perfectly proportioned Threes I’ve ever laid eyes on: an Estoril blue, 330Ci Clubsport.

    Harv purchased the car for a variety of reasons and is often asked why he didn’t choose an E46 M3. Surely by now, after all these mods he must have paid well over the asking price of the Motorsport coupé? Harv laughs: “You’re probably right, I have paid far more than the asking price of an M3, but what people forget time and time again is the running costs. As a daily driver the E46 M3 just isn’t practical. With the miles I do, the servicing and running costs are far higher than my 330Ci. It’s just more economical, even with the supercharger. I also don’t feel I could have made the M3 as beautiful as I have made my car, well not without selling the house!” Harv, you could just be right.

    As with most of our feature cars, Harv never intended to go this far, it just sort of spiralled out of control. Ironically, the whole process was kicked off because of a fault with the car when Harv found the original 18” factory split rims had corroded on the inside. The wheels, the previous owner assured, were covered under BMW’s anticorrosion policy. It turns out he was right, so the car was sent to BMW and a few days later a gleaming set of new rims adorned every arch. With the good fortune of having been gifted four shiny alloys Harv decided to sell them and put the money towards a set of 19s. So, with the help of Hamann, he settled for 19” HM2s, sourced by friend Scotty from Chapel Tyres. These wheels are by no means common, and what separates them is their width. At 10” a piece, Harv reckons these are the widest rears on any E46 330Ci in the UK. Standing behind the car I have to say I’m inclined to agree.


    With such wide rims Harv couldn’t simply pop them on so the arches were rolled by Style Dynamics to accommodate all that new rubber. With the wheels no longer rubbing, Harv and Kav set about fitting Boge lowering springs and four-pot racing calipers so the stance and stopping potential of the car would match the epic wheel proportions. Kav is in fact such a dab hand with all things BMW that he managed to do this on Harv’s front driveway! He then installed Generation 2 angel eyes, which he purchased through Teddy Hsu at SSDD Motorsport.

    To improve performance on went a Supersprint twin exhaust system, stainless steel back-box and GruppeM-style carbon fibre induction kit. At the rear of the car facelift LEDs were fitted, which was not as easy as it may sound. In truth, Harv had to take the car to Jason from B&W Chip Tune so the ECU could be recalibrated to accept the new lights, a time-consuming exercise but one that really freshens up the coupé.

    Subtle detailing such as the Projector indicators and upgraded silver bulbs also add a new dimension to this Three.

    As previously mentioned Harv was not in a position to fully customise his ride in one fell swoop. Therefore, like many modifiers, he acquired different body parts as and when they appeared online. Our man had no real strategy, just an insistence on buying genuine items for bargain prices, which is not an easy task at the best of times!

    Nonetheless, like a squirrel preparing for winter, Harv gathered, mostly from eBay, an original E46 CSL boot lid, E46 M3 front bumper and bonnet, and full black leather E46 M3 interior. Kav once again got right on the case, installing the new Nappa leather.

    To save money on paintwork and before Harv had the car resprayed he realised that now was the time to purchase any additional body parts. After much discussion and many an hour on www.e36coupe.com Harv decided to go with Hamann once again, this time ordering GTR sideskirts, carbon fibre front splitter, brake duct mouldings and genuine M3 electric fold-up mirrors.

    Des, a friend of Harv’s took on the job of fitting and fabricating the new parts. Most went on without issue, but as those of you familiar with original M3 body parts will know, they don’t simply bolt on to the 330Ci.

    In fact, Des had to remove at least 2” either side of the front bumper just to get it to fit comfortably, and to fit the M3 bonnet needed to adjust and realign the front arches. The finish is flawless and the car genuinely looks like it’s fresh from the factory. There are no ill-fitting lines or minor disharmonies so common when modifiers stray from OEM parts. It could be Harv’s stringent policy of sticking with genuine Hamann items for the exterior body styling that makes this project such a success. It is wonderful to see BMWs that look like BMWs, especially when they are sharper, in our opinion, than the original design.

    Our day’s photoshoot with the car took place on an airfield, a setting that attracts clientele who, how can I say it, are filthy rich! Even in these upper echelons of society amateur pilots continually wandered over to get a closer look. And they didn’t even know about the supercharger!

    Let’s get back to the car. Harv considered his project complete once Des handed over the keys but things like superchargers don’t just happen, do they? The facts are as follows. An Evotechnik member decided to de-mod his car in order to sell it. He mentioned on the forum that his ’charger was for sale on a first come, first serve basis. Music to Harv’s (and let’s be honest Kav’s) ears. A few phone calls later and Harv had secured it, but there was a catch, as he explains: “He told me I had to un-install the part myself so I gave Kav a call. He went down there and got on with removing it.

    Surprisingly it came out without hassle.” Due to work commitments Harv was required to go to the US just days after acquiring his new toy but he was so excited that he decided to have the supercharger installed while he was away, hoping he could collect it on his return. However, with the project running so smoothly it was only a matter of time before Harv would reach a stumbling block, and this was it. The garage informed him that his new supercharger had seized and that his car was not only taking up room but was undrivable. The following few days were a nightmare, with Harv on and off the phone to Infinitus, the manufacturer of the original supercharger.

    Fortunately the previous owner had driven over to Germany to see it installed in his car personally and as such the company were well aware of this particular ’charger’s existence. Pure luck was on the side of Harv because during the period of complaint, the firm was busy testing Alpina superchargers. Harv’s insistence paid off because a few days, and many phone calls later with the huge workload the Infinitus boys had on, manager Dirk Ochmann decided to send Harv a brand new supercharger, replacing the failed unit.

    That’s right, brand new! The part was shipped directly to the garage holding the car and within days it was fitted.

    Harv arrived home to a car whose looks were now backed up by its performance. In fact at 300bhp Harv has got himself a really potent 330Ci that doubles up as an everyday cruiser. The sound alone is worthy of a Grammy, a deep burble harmonising with a high-pitched wail when he floors the throttle, music to any petrolhead’s ears.

    Harv explains: “The new performance is perfect; it’s fast, immediate to respond and unique. The supercharger has been my best modification to date, it’s transformed the car.”

    To complete the project Kav convinced Harv to update the cabin and fit a full CSL weave carbon interior pack, the perfect accompaniment to the M3 leather. With the aid of Ben Sweetman of Chromeline Design the car’s styling was complete.

    Harv’s car has really impressed us. Instead of the E46 M3 wannabe we had pictured what he’s actually done is far more appealing. A subtle, classically styled Three that does not need to boast via exaggerated arches or quad exhaust tailpipes. In my opinion, if the M3 were a person it would be brash, slightly crude and annoyingly wealthy; think Michael Carrol Lotto lout.

    Harv’s Hamann styled 330Ci is a far cry from the ASBO generation. A svelte, potent, yet reserved character more akin to James Bond. This is the kind of car that 007 might drive when the Aston’s in the garage, and that, I’m sure you will agree, is never a bad thing.

    DRIVE-MY’s new waistcoats went down a treat with Harv and Joel. Only a slightly better option than being run over by a plane.

    DATA FILE SUPERCHARGED #BMW-330Ci-E46 / #BMW-330Ci / #BMW-E46 / #BMW / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-330Ci-Supercharged / #M54B30 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 / #M54-Supercharged / #Infinitas / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E46

    ENGINE: 3.0-litre six-cylinder, #Infinitas-SK+ Supercharger, Infinitus air filter, carbon fibre engine cover, Supersprint twin stainless steel exhaust system with 80mm tips

    CHASSIS: 8.5x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear), #Hamann-HM2 s shod in 235/35 (front) and 265/30 (rears) with Dunlop Sport 9000 tyres, 12mm Spacers up front, #FK-Highsport coilovers suspension kit, #ATE 4-pot calipers (front) with Hamann decals, AC Schnitzer-style front strut brace

    EXTERIOR: OEM E46 M3 front bumper, #Active-Autowerkes M3-style bumper mesh, OEM E46 M3 bonnet, Hamann carbon fibre front splitter, Chromeline Design carbon fibre kidney grille, #Hamann-GTR side skirts, OEM E46 M3 electric fold-up mirrors, Hamann brake duct covers, sport rear bumper with colour-coded diffuser, OEM CSL boot lid, SSDD black projector indicators with silver bulbs, OEM xenon headlight conversion, Generation 2 CCFL angel eyes, OEM LED rear light clusters

    INTERIOR: Full M3 black Nappa leather, Chromeline Design carbon fibre dash kit and upper steering wheel section (CSL weave), Hamann handbrake handle, Hamann gear knob, Hamann carbon fibre door trims

    ICE: Pioneer head unit with 12-disc changer, Harmon Kardon factory upgrade speaker system

    THANKS: Kav Bhamra for ongoing advice and help with fitting, Des for all the painting of the external modifications, Jason of B&W Chiptune, Ben of Chromeline Design, Teddy of SSDD Motorsport, E36coupe.com and Evotechnik forum members for ongoing guidance and support, Infinitas in Germany, my family for putting up with my addiction!

    19” Hamann HM2s look outstanding alongside the ATE 4-pot calipers and genuine Hamann decals Left: Full M3 interior adds a touch of class and provides additional support with the incresed power.

    Infinitas SK + supercharger dominates the engine bay while carbon fibre engine covers and AC Schnitzer-stlye front strut brace turn something already beautiful into a work of art.

    AT 300BHP HARV HAS GOT HIMSELF A REALLY POTENT 330CI THAT DOUBLES UP AS AN EVERYDAY CRUISER. THE SOUND ALONE IS WORTHY OF A GRAMMY .
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    SMOOTH OPERATOR

    12 years of ownership have resulted in one gorgeous E46. It’s traditional after 12 years of marriage to celebrate your silk anniversary, so it’s fitting that 12 years of ownership have resulted in one super-smooth E46. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Matt Petrie

    Ah, the E46. What a great car, both to own and drive. It’s arguably one of BMW’s best efforts on all fronts. It’s also a great way to get your first taste of modified car life, a nice way to ease yourself into the scene gently and take things slowly while you find your feet, right? Well not for 27-year-old New Jersey resident Jorge Hernandez. Not only is this awesome build is his first BMW, or even his first modified car; it’s both of those things, as it’s his first ever car. It’s not that he’s just learnt to drive, though, he’s actually owned this E46 330i for 12 years!

    “I was first made aware of how special BMWs were when my cousin came home with his brand-new car: a Techno violet E36 M3,” explains Jorge. It clearly made a big impression on the young man. “Since then I knew I had to have a BMW,” he says. However, as a four-door fan, with no E46 M3 Saloon available, Jorge ended up buying a blue E46 330i Saloon in 2004.

    While he was well aware of the modified car scene at that time, he had no clear vision for his E46. Flick through a 2004 issue of PBMW and you’ll see that the modified BMW scene was a very different, and rather scary, place back then. It was full of outrageous body kits and dubious styling mods that have, thankfully, long since been forgotten about. It was a world that needed some careful navigation to avoid creating a car that would end up looking like a mobile eyesore. Luckily, help was at hand in the shape of the E46Fanatics forum and after some quality time spent online, Jorge soon began to form a clearer picture of the direction he wanted to take his E46 in.

    One thing he’s not done much with over the past 12 years is the engine. “I always wanted to keep the motor semi-stock as I’m not a big speed freak,” he explains. “I just wanted to do all of the little bolt-ons to make a little quicker it and sound better.”

    That sounds pretty modest but Jorge’s chosen some really choice mods under the bonnet and he’s definitely not scrimped on quality with his selection of engine upgrades. To start, there’s an extremely sexy GruppeM carbon fibre intake and a set of Technik Gen 3 equal-length exhaust manifolds, which most definitely give the E46 a bit more power and ramp up the volume level of that glorious straight-six.


    And the whole lot is topped off with a Remus Powersound quad exhaust that really looks the part and sounds fantastic, too. The engine bay itself has been treated to a whole host of carbon fibre goodies, including a Radenergie strut brace and engine cover plus an EAS carbon ECU cover and oil filler cap.

    On the styling front this E46 delivers big time. Jorge has done an awesome job here and he’s definitely achieved his goal of creating a car that looks both clean and aggressive. “I feel like everything has to flow in a particular way, and that meant mixing and matching the pieces from a bunch of different companies,” he says. PBMW regular, Autocouture Motoring, was entrusted to work its magic and fit Jorge’s array of parts.

    We really have to talk about the bonnet, not just because it’s a Vorsteiner GT-R carbon fibre item, which makes it pretty special, but also because of the paint finish on it. Where some people might choose to leave their vents unpainted, exposing the carbon core of the bonnet, Jorge has had the whole lot painted but the slats of the vents themselves have been finished in a crazy rainbow flake blue that looks spectacular when it catches the light and which really makes the vents pop. The front bumper is an M Tech 1 item from the pre-face-lift Sport E46, and while it’s not as aggressive as the latter version it’s got a much smoother, fatter, fuller look that a lot of people prefer.

    It ties in perfectly with the face-lift styling, too. The bumper has been enhanced with the addition of a Rieger front lip that’s been blended into the bumper for a cleaner look. The mirrors are genuine AC Schnitzer items and are complemented by a Schnitzer roof spoiler while the sculpted side skirts are Hamann GT-R items. At the back, there’s a Euro-spec carbon fibre CSL bootlid, which looks great on the Saloon, and an SRS-Tec rear bumper with a dual-ribbed diffuser plus space for the quad tips of that Remus exhaust. Jorge’s also had the body mouldings colour-coded and fitted Euro turn signals all-round.

    The interior has been left alone. “I think BMW did it right,” says Jorge, but one area that has been improved is the audio as the stock system is pretty disappointing unless you or someone else ticked the Harman Kardon upgrade box on the options list. Up front, there’s a Kenwood double-DIN DDX371 headunit, while in the boot you’ll find a JL Audio 500/1 amp and 12w6v2 sub plus a Stinger capacitor, all mounted in a custom enclosure which has been painted body colour and features a suede-wrapped floor and side panels.

    So the styling is well and truly sorted, but it’s no good having a killer car if you don’t have the wheels to match. Fear not, Jorge’s choice for the E46 is awesome. “I’ve always been a fan of having wheels that you don’t see often,” he says. “I was offered a sponsorship by Rotiform and it had exactly what I wanted: a set of SJCs.” This bold, intricate wheel is the perfect choice to sit alongside that strong blue paint and Jorge opted for the forged multi-piece design in a brushed finish and mirror polished stepped lips. The wheels – 9x19” and 10x19” front and rear respectively – really suit the E46 well and the decision to keep them unpainted was definitely the right one as they really stand out. Plus the brushed finish looks so good. The Rotiforms have been teamed up with a stud conversion kit which has been topped-off with a set of neochrome wheel nuts. Beyond the spokes sit some bright yellow Porsche 996 911 calipers and a set of CSL discs.

    Jorge has also sorted the suspension and there’s actually a lot more going on here than meets the eye. The drop in ride height comes courtesy of a set of Broadway Static coilovers but then there are the H&R anti-roll bars, the Turner Motorsport adjustable endlinks, the Rogue Engineering rear shock mounts and, finally, the Bimmerworld camber arms. Jorge’s clearly put a lot more thought into his suspension setup than most do and this combination has not only given this E46 that all-important visual drama but also sharpened-up the handling no end, making it far more than just all about the looks.

    It’s rare to meet someone on the modified #BMW scene who has owned their car for this long but it’s refreshing to see. And aside from planning to swap the Steptronic gearbox for a six-speed manual, it looks like Jorge’s reached a point where he’s happy and the modifying will stop. For the time being, at least. And who wouldn’t be happy with this E46? It’s a fantastic-looking car with a lot of great details and it’s an incredibly satisfying point for Jorge to be at after over a decade of modifying.


    Above: 19” Rotiform SJCs with brushed centres and Porsche 911 brake kit. Right: JL amp and sub add a bit more bass to musical proceedings.

    DATA FILE #BMW-E46 / #BMW-330i / #BMW-330i-E46 / #Rotiform / Steptronic / #Technik / #BMW-3-Series-Sedan / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E46 /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six #M54B30 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 , #Technik-Gen-3 headers, #GruppeM carbon fibre ram-air intake, #Radenergie carbon fibre strut brace and carbon fibre engine cover, #EAS carbon fibre ECU cover, air filter cover and oil cap, #Remus-Powersound quad exhaust. Five-speed #Steptronic gearbox

    CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) Rotiform-SJC wheels with brushed centres, 215/35 (front) and 255/30 (rear) tyres, Broadway Static coilovers, H&R anti-roll bars, Turner Motorsport adjustable endlinks, Rogue Engineering rear shock mounts, Bimmerworld camber arms, Porsche 996 Carrera Brembo BBK, OEM E46 M3 CSL floating discs

    EXTERIOR #Vorsteiner-GT-R carbon fibre bonnet, M Tech 1 front bumper with moulded Rieger lip, #AC-Schnitzer mirrors, #Hamann GT-R side skirts, painted body mouldings, Euro turn signals, AC Schnitzer roof spoiler, Euro-spec carbon fibre CSL bootlid, SRS-Tec rear bumper with dual ribbed diffuser

    INTERIOR Brushed aluminium trim, Kenwood DDX371 head unit, JL Audio 12w6v2 sub, JL Audio 500/1 amp, Stinger capacitor, custom enclosure painted body colour with floor and side panels wrapped in suede
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    THE BIG PICTURE

    With a wide-body kit, #4WD and the small matter of 840 turbocharged horsepower, this #BMW E46 is a ferocious machine. It might look outlandish, but this E46 Saloon has more than enough go to back up its show… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Patrik Karlsson.

    Here’s an idea that you may have considered before: what’s the future of your car after you get rid of it? Assuming that you’re not planning to keep your jamjar until it crumbles away into dust, there’s a fair chance that you’ll sell it at some point – and then what? It’s actually a very big question, as cars are such personal and emotive things, there are memories, sensory touchpoints and stories tied up in them that your brain cleverly locks away, ready to spring back on you at surprising moments.

    When I see the dash vents on a Mk1 Cavalier, the faux-wood trim on the doors of a late-Eighties Rover Vitesse or the barrel speedo of a #Citroen-CX , I’m suddenly a child again. There’s a certain smell in the Magic Tree range that instantly transports me back into my first 205 GTI. And the tactile fragility of an early-Seventies BMW 2002 door handle puts me right there in my old road-rally Touring, all Redex and steamy windows.


    My point is this: picture a car that your parents had as a kid – that old load-lugger that drove you to school, took you to see grandma and down to the supermarket for the weekly shop, ferried you about on those joy-strewn family holidays. Imagine if, after all of those miles of family life, someone bought that car, your car, your memories, and turned it into a bonkers race machine. It’s quite a thought, isn’t it? Jarring and strange, but exciting too. Something you know intimately, transformed into something alien.

    With this in mind, there must be a family somewhere in Sweden who have no idea that their old BMW has turned into a supercar-slaying turbo nutter. Their intrepid old four-door E46, that saw them through over a quarter of a million faithful kilometres, has changed from a dependable old workhorse into a rejuvenated, frightening whippet with aggression in spades and a healthy disdain for the rules. Sure, it looks similar in profile, but there’s all sorts going on beneath the surface – that insane rear wing, a triumph of functionality, is merely the cherry on a flavoursome cake.

    For Erik Wedlund, these sorts of transformations are nothing out of the ordinary; the overtly extraordinary is merely his oxygen, his everyday. You show him an unremarkable family runabout, he’ll have it whipped up into a Porsche-troubling frenzy before you can say ‘beige corduroys’.

    “I started modifying cars about 12 years ago, with an Opel Ascona B,” he explains. To the uninitiated, this was a sensible-trousers commuter hack from an era when it was deemed noteworthy to offer a laminated screen as a no-cost option. “That went through a full rebuild to become an Ascona 400 replica, and after that I had an Ascona A from 1975 – first with a 2.4-litre CIH motor, which I then swapped out for a 420hp BMW M50B20 with a turbo, running E85.” Ah, so the story’s starting to loop into our world of Bavarian tuning now. It was bound to eventually – the long Scandinavian winters always lead to outlandish builds of awesome power and improbable stats; if it’s not Volvopowered, it’ll have a BMW engine. Thudding cylinders and big turbos are what help stave off the frostbite, and it’s clear that the lure of the BMW camp is what did it for Erik.


    “I later built a 2.8-litre M50 for that car, which made 572hp on pump fuel,” he says casually, just tossing the numbers into the conversation as if it’s no big deal. Scandinavians have a different perspective on horsepower, don’t they? It’s bizarre.


    We begin to spot a theme in Erik’s narrative here too – a tendency to find the best engine for the job, then replace it with something better, then take that engine and put it in a different car… it’s not so much a conveyer belt of performance, although there is an element of that, but more that he treats his projects like grown-up Meccano. The car is entity A, the engine is entity B, the chassis C, the way it deploys its power D, and so on.

    Every now and then he likes to shake up the letters and bolt the parts together in different ways, creating something new and more impressive with his big boy’s toys. And so the evolution continues…

    “I ended up selling the Ascona on as a rolling shell, keeping the 2.8-litre engine to fit into a 1986 635CSi that I’d bought,” he recalls. “I built up new exhausts and manifolds for it. It was making 750hp at the time – it was road-legal too.” Just sit and savour that figure for a moment – an old sharknose Sixer with more power than a Pagani Huyara. It’s staggering.

    But Erik wasn’t done yet. Far from it. Having put a good 11,000km under the CSi’s wheels, he was beginning to yearn for the madness and, ultimately, lightness of the old Ascona. The itch became too much not to scratch, and the 635 was sold complete with its manic motor so that Erik could roll his sleeves up and get stuck into an E36 Compact. And while this may seem anathema to some, just keep in mind what the fella’s capable of.


    “I began to build it up with the driveline of an E46 330xi, combined with that of an E39 M5,” he explains, again just throwing these mad ideas out there as if they’re totally vanilla. “It was finished within six months, but it got wrecked on the way home from a dyno session; I braked to avoid a deer and flipped the car into a ditch – it was all scrap aside from three wheels and the engine.” We’ve seen photos of this and it really isn’t pretty; it’s a good job that Erik’s a dab hand at fabricating roll-cages…


    But let’s not forget his indomitable spirit, his Stig-like obsession with speed above all else, and his Terminator-esque sense of focus. The engine was still good, so that was hoiked out of the mangled wreckage and dropped back into the oversized Meccano box, and within three days Erik had found himself another toy to play with.


    “I bought this E46 330xi a few days after the accident,” he says, with an even tone worthy of Räikkönen himself. “It was in a sorry state when I bought it, with rust and 250,000km on the clock, but that didn’t really matter much given what I had planned for it.”


    That fiery engine was duly deployed, and it’s worth taking a moment to consider the spec: we’re looking at fundamentally an original 330xi M54B30, although it’s been played with quite a bit. A healthy bore job along with bigger pistons and a raised compression ratio work with a Precision turbo and plenty of internal upgrades to deliver an astounding 840hp at the wheels, all overseen by MaxxECU management. A huge set of numbers. And what’s particularly impressive is that so much of the driveline remains stock, demonstrating just how overengineered these 4WD 3 Series are; the gearbox and driveshafts are all factorystandard, as are the front, rear and centre diffs (albeit with a bit of welding to the centre item to firm things up).


    The result of all of this insane, gibbering torque and horsepower? A four-door E46 that’ll accelerate from 0-285km/h (which is the point at which it redlines in fifth gear, equating to around 177mph) in 14.5 seconds. “With the running gear sorted, I fabricated a roll-cage for the car and took it on a few airfield events,” deadpans Erik. “After crushing a RUF 996 GT2 in a straight-line race, the oil pump shaft broke at 280km/h and took a few bearings with it, so I took the car apart and sent the engine off to my friend Åland at AllMek for a rebuild. While this was happening, I painted the body in British Racing green and decided to enter the Time Attack series, which was a pretty new thing in Sweden at the time. With the car back together and working well, I competed in the TANU series through 2015, replaced the three gearboxes that failed under the increased strain of competition, and just pushed the car to the very limits its heavy drivetrain and toonarrow tyres would allow.”

    It may not surprise you to learn that the E46 has now, like so many chapters of Erik’s motoring history, found its way to a new owner. “If I’d have kept it, I’d have probably experimented with different diffs and wider tyres, but there’s always a new project on the horizon,” he says, devoid of sentimentality and already dedicated to the next step. A little birdie tells us that he’s actually working on two projects at the moment, the first being an E36 M3 3.2 that’s becoming a streetlegal track car, while the second is an M1 Procar replica with a V10 motor.


    So spare a thought for that Swedish family, their cherished family runaround transmuted into an aggressively bewinged leviathan with a proven ability to show Porsche’s widowmaker GT2 a clean pair of heels. But then disregard them out of hand, as Erik does at the end of each personal chapter, because this isn’t about the past – it’s about living in the now, and keeping an eye on the future. Sentimentality will only get you so far, and then you’ll be blown into the weeds by a turbo as big as your face. An 840whp four-door E46 is an incredible thing to us laymen, but to a tuning superhero like Erik? It’s just part of the bigger picture…

    9x17” E34 M5 alloys fitted all-round with 255/40 rubber front and rear.

    DATA FILE #BMW Turbo E46 330xi / #BMW-330xi-E46 / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-330xi-Turbo / #BMW-330xi-Turbo-E46 /

    ENGINE 3.0-litre straight-six #M54B30 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 , bored to 84.5mm using stressplate, CP pistons, #PPF forged rods, 10:1 compression ratio, #Supertech 1mm oversize valves and valve springs, #Precision-6466-turbo / #Precision , GTR intercooler, balanced crank, #ATI Super Damper, #ARP bolts throughout, copper ring head gasket, stock cams, functional #VANOS , #Bosch 1300cc injectors, #MaxxECU management, #KS-Racing (Thailand) intake manifold, S54 oil thermostat housing, #VAC motorsport oil pump upgrade, #Canton Accusump, 3.5” stainless steel exhaust system, #Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, 2x Bosch 044 fuel pumps, catch tank fed by Deatchwerks 301 in-tank pump. 840whp/782lb.ft @ 2.1bar, 0-285km/h (177mph – fifth gear redline): 14.5s.

    TRANSMISSION Stock 330xi gearbox, stock centre, front and rear diffs (centre diff welded), stock driveshafts, M30B35 flywheel, Sachs 765 pressure plate, 6- puck sintered KEP clutch, Samsonas gear shifter.

    CHASSIS 9x17” (front and rear) E34 M5 alloys with 255/40 (front and rear) Kumho V70 Medium tyres, K-Sport Supersport two-way adjustable coilovers, bushings replaced with uniballs, -3 degrees camber all around, 7 degrees caster, custom chromoly antiroll bars, M3 CSL 345x28mm front discs, M3 calipers, PFC 01 pads, stock rear discs and calipers with PFC 08 pads, E46 M3 master cylinder.


    EXTERIOR Hard Motorsport M3 Saloon arches, E36 M3 British Racing Green paint, custom front splitter and rear wing.

    INTERIOR Custom roll-cage with integrated reinforced subframe mounts, Rado Power bucket seats, TRS four-point harnesses, Sparco leather steering wheel, stock dash and doorcards, Lenovo tablet for MaxxECU read-outs.

    Hardcore interior features Rado Power buckets and a Lenovo tablet acting as the MaxxECU display.

    It was in a sorry state but that didn’t matter given what I had planned for it…
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