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JamesDeezy

E46 318ci

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Morning all,

this week my new 3 series arrives and before it does I wanted to gain any recommendations on performance enhancement and overall quality betterment I can get for the car.

I know they’re a bit of a slug (150HP) but am hoping there is a way to get some extra power through exhaust system, air intake etc. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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NO

,maybe a supercharger kit

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Which engine does your car have? If the M43TU, there's not much that can be done. Even forced induction is limited in scope because of the engine design - it's intended to be economical. (To be honest, for a commuting car this is probably close to perfect.)

The N42 may respond a little better; I know very little about them.

However, neither has 150hp. Perhaps yours is a later model with the N46 engine? An ECU remap, cold air intake and cat-back performance exhaust could add 10Hp, but is a lot of work for not much gain. Supercharging is expensive, but could lift power output to 200-230hp.

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@gjm it is the N46 engine, and I’ve been reading up on forums and supercharge is, supposedly, easy. I’ve read the car can handle without any further upgrades of gearbox/transmission etc. but air intake, cat back delete and remap could be a good start. 

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N46B20A

The N46B20A produces 105 kW (141 hp) and 200 N⋅m (148 lb⋅ft).

Applications:

  • 2004-2006 E46 318i, 318Ci and 318ti

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save your money for servicing and repairs , these engines need lots of it.

 

or swap it all out for a m54b30 and manual or s54 etc .

 

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I’ve got money set aside for the rocker cover.. I know they need replacing generally around the kms the car I’ve bought is at. 

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N46, like most engines, have some issues.
High oil consumption is often due to use of lower quality motor oil - BMW recommended oil must be used or valve stem seals and piston rings suffer. 
Vibration can be reduced or solved through Vanos overhaul and clean.
Engine noise relating to timing chain tensioner or stretched timing chain - this can be disastrous. Requires attention at least every 100,000 km.
Leaking valve cover gasket can need changing as often as every 50,000 km. The vacuum pump can also need changing.

Check any service history you get with the car, and sort these things first.

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and please, don't cut off your cat.  think of your family, your neighbours, your friends.  Belching out carcinogens that are treated by a catalytic converter just isn't reasonable.  Find your power gains elsewhere.  It's not a track only car, right?

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Hello James reading your post you are starting behind the eight ball and want to improve its hp rating. The n42 and n46 would have to be among the worse engines BMW made. If you wish to keep it I hope you have deep pockets lets see as mentioned, oil leaks abound cam covers, sump gasket, oil filter housing, ccv system, vvt motor fail, valve stem seals, vacuum pump "O" ring fail over time filling the vacuum lines with oil so any component using vacuum is contaminated. Could go on but it only gets more depressing. .How do I know this because I purchased a 2002 e46 316ti/ Compact with a n42 motor.which developed some of these issues. This became a project car and had the n42 removed a M54b25 six cylinder fitted connected to a 5 speed manual.others have gone further and fitted the 3.0 lt  version. Do a search on here believe Brent BM World put a 3ltr into a ti also best of luck with any plans you have for the e46  coupe

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One thing that works in my favour, keen bmw enthusiast owned it before me and service history since 08 is complete! So I’m hoping I get lucky

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2 hours ago, JamesDeezy said:

One thing that works in my favour, keen bmw enthusiast owned it before me and service history since 08 is complete! So I’m hoping I get lucky

No offence intended James, but you are not lucky owning a BMW with an N46 motor and I would also suggest you forget doing mods for more HP and concentrate on trying to keep it on the road from a mechanical/maintenance perspective. And I really do know what I'm talking about and I'm not a copy and paste school kid that gets his information from the facepalm forums 

Edited by B.M.W Ltd
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Parents owned one for 5 years without an issue. I’ll remain positive

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Ps. Thanks for all the comments.. big difference between the MPS group I was in and in here.. extremely negative in here rather than constructive positivity..

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James I can understand your desire here but having looked at doing something similar with an E36 I think its a waste of your hard earned cash. Keep your gar in tip top shape then trade up to 330i, having owned one I can tell you its a sweet engine. If you have a HP want after that then 335i is the ticket.

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17 minutes ago, JamesDeezy said:

Ps. Thanks for all the comments.. big difference between the MPS group I was in and in here.. extremely negative in here rather than constructive positivity..

It may sound negative, but I assure you it's factual and I'm not trying to downplay your desires and aspirations. I'm just stating facts based on my experience repairing BMW's- 53 years experience actually which stops this Friday with my retirement

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That’s cool, my dads an auto electrician of 43 years and he said if there are issues, we can repair them... there are known issues, we have the list and pricing. My positive spin, I love bmw and repair and maintenance is part of it. 

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2 minutes ago, JamesDeezy said:

That’s cool, my dads an auto electrician of 43 years and he said if there are issues, we can repair them... there are known issues, we have the list and pricing. My positive spin, I love bmw and repair and maintenance is part of it. 

:thumbs-up:

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56 minutes ago, JamesDeezy said:

Ps. Thanks for all the comments.. big difference between the MPS group I was in and in here.. extremely negative in here rather than constructive positivity..

your optimism is breezy and encouraging.  I take issue with your characterisation of the contributions here as "negative".  Please, take a read of the tales of woe as regards e46 with N42 and N46 on this forum.  They're well known - deservedly - as the BMW engine to avoid.  From plastics failures, timing chains jumping teeth, and the costly repair/replacement and re-synching of the valtronic kit, it's generally a question of when rather than if on these particular motors.  It's fact, not negativity.  

Don't expect a "there there you can do anything" optimism where the N42 and N46 are concerned.  The kind of drugs required to maintain that view cut deep into the racing/repair/acquisition budgets! :D

If @zero's experiences - relayed in detail here don't convince you to tread carefully, crack on!  

You should - on the whole - find this a supportive and informative forum.  Welcome, by the way.

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PS:  Oil Leaks that make my Volvo 850 look oil-tight.

 

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Your first issue was Castrol 5w30 rather than BMW specific oil.. 😏

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1 minute ago, JamesDeezy said:

Your first issue was Castrol 5w30 rather than BMW specific oil.. 😏

??? 5w30 full synthetic is the correct oil regardless of make so long as it meets the manufactures specs and Castrol was the BMW supplier at the time of manufacture

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ok.. I’m done. 

I’ll enjoy and look after my vehicle, like all my others.. including my current E60 525i which hasn’t missed a beat.. and continue getting BMW themselves to maintain. 

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