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E36 BMW Check Coolant Level OBC Message
E30 BMW 3 Series Pre Purchase Checklist
E36/E46 Rear Trailing Arm Bushing (RTAB) Replacement 1
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BMW Control Arm Bushing Replacement Tips
E36 Exhaust Replacement and M3 Exhaust Swap Upgrade
E36 Warped Rotors, Ceramic Pads, and the Fix
E36 Warped Rotors and Brake Pad Deposits
E30 318i and 318is Suspension and Tie Rod Replacement
Replacing your BMW's fuel filter
BMW Cooling System Flush/Refill Part 2
BMW Cooling System Flush/Antifreeze/Refill I
E36 BMW Power Window Problems and Repair
BMW Headliner Repair and Replacement
M50 Intake Manifold Swap for 328i/328is and M3
E28 BMW 5 Series History and Information
More Power for BMW 2002 and 2002tii Part 2
More Power for BMW 2002 and 2002tii Part 1
Replacing E36 and E46 BMW Tie Rods
Hints and Tips for Washing and Waxing your BMW
Performance Modifications for E36 M52 328i and 328is
1991 E30 318is Performance Mods
E36 BMW 3 Series Oxygen Sensor Replacement Instructions Part 2
E36 BMW 3 Series Oxygen Sensor Replacement Instructions Part 1
E30 325i and 325is vs E30 M3: The Better Street Car
Suspension and Handling Upgrades for E34 BMW 5 Series Sedans
BMW Differential Repair, Replacement, and Upgrades Part 2
BMW Differential Repair, Replacement, and Upgrades Part 1
E46 3 Series Wear Items Checklist: What To Expect
E30 BMW 3 Series History and Performance
E34/E36/E39 M50/S50/M52/S52 BMW Engine Coil Replacement
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From E12 to E39: BMW M5 and M535i History and Development
My BMW Dream Garage
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How To Get More Horsepower From 2.7 ETA-engine BMWs
Performance Mods for M20 2.5 i engines
Replacing Sparkplugs and Valve Cover Gaskets
E24 BMW 6 Series History and Development: The Shark
Brief History of the M3: From E30 to E46
E36 M3 vs E36 325is and 328is: Performance Comparison
Replacing E30, E36, and E46 Ball Joints
E36 BMW Slip Ring Replacement and Why It Fails
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BMW 2002, 2002TI, and 2002tii - More Power Part I

The legendary BMW 2002 was last available from the showroom floor in 1976, but even today makes for a great daily driver, enthusiast car, budget sports car, or all out track car. Not all of us can get our hands on the early lightweight 1972 or 1973 2002tii or the even more rare BMW 2002 Turbo. There are still thousands of base model 2002's out there, from 1602 to diving board bumper 1974 to 1976 cars. A lot of owners are interested in extracting more horsepower from the venerable M10 engine. This article will cover some of the basic concepts getting more horsepower from a 2002. A lot of the ideas are easy to do in the midst of a rebuild or not. The 2 liter engine in the 2002's were conservatively tuned from the factory. With the right parts and intelligent modification, the M10 engine can yield much more power with no loss of reliability or driveability.

We will break 02 modifications into two classes: Stage 1 and Stage 2. Stage 1 setups are primarily "bolt-on" and reversible mods. Carburetors, exhaust header, a mechanical advance distributor and other tuning tricks like these comprise most Stage 1 changes. Stage 2 performance mods usually affect internal engine components, such as higher compression pistons, minor head porting, and valvetrain work. Want to go further than this? Call up a reputable BMW engine builder for a track or racing engine.

How much compression should I run? Choosing a compression ratio for the 2002 engine is critical for maximizing the potential of the camshaft/cylinder head combination you choose. The compression ratio in an engine is the ratio of swept (total) displaced volume divided by the compressed volume. As this ratio increases, the overall engine efficiency increases due to an increase in the engine's Mean Effective Pressure. Essentially, this results in an increase of net work done by the engine. (more torque, horsepower!) The two primary limiting factors for a compression ratio in an engine is the type and quality of gasoline being used, and the ignition timing. For a street motor, 9 to 9.5:1 compression can be used without requiring high octane gasoline. 10:1 or 10.5:1 represents the upper limit of streetable compression ratios using nationally available 93 octane gasoline. If your 2002 runs hot in the summer, you will suffer detonation and pre-ignition symptoms (knock and ping) under high ambient heat conditions. Modern cars can run 10.5:1 compression with no problem because they have sophisticated electronic management systems that carefully monitor the engine for detonation symptoms, and retard the timing as necessary. Another general rule found from testing and experience is that higher performance cams in a 2002 really benefit from an increase in compression. For example, a Schrick 304 cam should be run using at least 10:1 compression to really make the engine come alive. Of course, the 12.5:1 compression ratio yielded by the racing pistons listed above require high octane racing gasoline.

What carburetor should I use? This response depends on the level of modification of the engine, and the horsepower increase desired. The most popular replacement carb for an otherwise stock 2002 is the trusty Weber 32/36 DGV progressive dual throat carburetor. This nice little unit is easily installed, and yields high 20's highway (25-28mpg) mileage. It will bolt right on to the stock two barrel Solex intake manifold, however, the throttle ports need to be matched up with a die grinder for optimal performance. With a stock or mild re-grind cam and headers, this application provides a noticeable increase in performance over the stock engine. This is also the only aftermarket carb legal for use in SCCA's Improved Touring class on the 2002. Hence, there is a LOT of info on this carb out there from many IT racers. There are also many shops that specialize on maximizing this carb for performance (IT) applications. Check the Roundel for sources.

The next most popular setup with a stock motor is the venerable dual 40 DCOE Weber sidedraft conversion. The DCOE Weber carburetor is a simultaneous opening twin-butterfly sidedraft design. As the model implies, the main throttle bores are 40mm. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an unreasonable setup for the street. The minor sacrifices involved with this setup are a lower fuel mileage, and some initial setup time.

A popular myth is that the DCOE's sacrifice driveability. This is simply not true. A properly jetted and synchronized set of Webers will have as much flexibility as a stock carb. These carbs should be run on the street with 34mm venturis. For baseline tuning, follow recommended jetting specifications given in a the Haynes Weber carburetor manual. It is also recommended that some sort of header/free flowing exhaust system be used, to maximize economy and performance. The best intake manifolds to use are the 2002TI sidedraft manifolds. These are well made castings (BMW - they FIT!!!), and feature a rocker shaft style setup for the throttle linkage. This linkage setup (used for the 2002TI Dual Solex PHH Sidedraft application) is factory designed, and extremely robust. Aftermarket suppliers such as Korman Autoworks and TWM Induction also offer quality linkage kits. When used in conjunction with a stock cam, DCOE Webers are legal in SCCA Street Prepared autocross competition.

Other popular carburetor conversions for the 2002 include the Weber 38/38 DGAS (a dual throat downdraft with synchronously opening 38mm throttles), the Weber 40 DFAV (also a dual throat downdraft with 40mm throttles), and various facsimiles made by other companies. These conversions yield better performance than the 32/36 carburetor.

For HOT street, and road racing drivers schools, the 45 DCOE Webers (45mm throttle bores) are considered the best choice for carburetors. They provide the best flow of all the carburetors, and mated to the proper cam, can really supply the top end performance needed in these applications. They can be used on the street, but the bottom end does suffer. 36mm venturis with 125 mains, with 50-F8 idle jets seem to work well on the track.

It should also be mentioned at this time that another performance alternative exists for sidedrafts with Mikuni. Most people believe that the Mikuni PHH sidedrafts are "copies" of the old Solex PHH sidedrafts used by the factory. This is not so. Mikuni bought out the license from Solex in the early 1970's. Since then, the carb has undergone a thorough redesign process. The only parts in common between these two carbs is the diaphragm accelerator pump arrangement. The Mikuni now resembles a cross between a Weber DCOE and a Solex. Mikuni North America offers a complete 44 PHH sidedraft kit for the 2002. Mikuni's are renowned for staying in adjustment for years. They are the "set and forget" sidedrafts. Their flow rates aren't quite as high as the Webers, which is why they're not favored by racers, and jet availability is not as good. (Mikuni North America is the primary jet supplier) The Mikuni kit does have a very high quality linkage and manifolds, which makes their installation much easier. For a street or daily driven 2002, these carburetors are well worth looking into.

One other item that should be mentioned in this section is air/fuel mixture meters. Recently, several companies like TWM Induction and Camden Industries have offered electronic air/fuel meters that utilize an oxygen sensor to monitor exhaust gas conditions. These are excellent devices to use when setting up a set of carburetors or a mechanical injection system (see below). Basically, the meter is a small "black box" with an led diode scale. The median value of the scale is the "stoichiometric" (ideal) air fuel mixture for the engine, approximately 14.7 parts of air per part of gasoline. You'll know immediately under what conditions your car is running rich or lean, and then can change jets accordingly.

What about fuel injection? If you have a 2002tii, you might want to try getting everything properly setup and adjusted before trying any performance modifications. Most tii performance problems come from distributor advance curve problems, and incorrect setting of the injection system. Beyond that, the Kugelfischer injection system can take some performance modifications with minor readjustment. The fuel delivery curve itself cannot be easily changed, but it can be shifted around to suit most needs. Higher compression pistons and a hotter cam can be used with the injection system kept intact. Extreme mods will require a custom pump recalibration, or a change to (gasp!) carburetors or a different injection system.

Alpina used to sell a multiple butterfly injection system for the tii's. This involved a 4-butterfly throttle body combined with a modified injection pump, to provide better breathing and a matching fuel delivery curve. If you can find one of these systems, consider yourself very lucky! In recent years, several companies have emerged which offer quality aftermarket fuel injection systems. The most recent and advanced models offer ignition control as well. One of the first aftermarket companies to offer a system on a large scale was Haltech. This unit, originally of Australian design featured only programmable fuel maps, and no online programming.

Today, there are several companies that make integrated injection and ignition units. Electromotive, Motec, and Haltech offer "integrated engine management systems" which are quickly rendering carburetors obsolete. Witness the awesome capabilities of any of these systems:

Closed loop control. The system constantly monitors engine
parameters like air/fuel mixture, air intake flow, various
pressures and temps, detonation, etc. The system makes
adjustments to changing conditions on the fly.
Crank triggered ignition. THE most precise way to control
the ignition sequence. Rids the engine of the distributor and its
associated nuisances.
Rev limiters andd idle speed control features, making cold
starting problems a thing of the past.

Perhaps the neatest thing about these systems is their adaptability. Because they are programmable from a laptop PC, ignition advance curves, and fuel delivery maps can be easily altered for any engine combination. Also, since these systems have the option of using a MAP sensor (Manifold Air Pressure sensor--uses speed/density relations to monitor airflow), multiple butterfly injection setups are possible. They may also utilize the more common MAF/single throttle body configuration.

Parts availability for these aftermarket systems is excellent. Primarily because they use Bosch or GM/Rochester injectors, as well as OE type sensors (throttle position, oxygen, water, oil, etc.) Both manufacturers offer injectors with MANY different flow rates and duty cycles, depending on the application. There aren't many negatives to any of these systems, with the exception of price. Like any new technology, that will drop as demand increases. These systems represent the future for grassroots enthusiasts, and they should not be overlooked.

It is also possible to adapt the fuel injection systems used on later model 320i's and 318i's for use on the 2002. The 320i used a Bosch K-Jetronic system, which is basically a mechanical system that injects fuel continuously based on air flow. The 318i used a Bosch L-Jetronic system, which is an electronic system that bases fuel delivery on air flow as well. These systems can be retrofitted relatively easily, and can offer performance and efficiency gains over most carburetor setups. The problem here is the difficulty in getting the systems to work with wild performance setups (bigger displacement, lots of cam overlap, etc.)

BMW E36 and E46 3 Series Tie Rod Replacement Instructions

The procedure for replacing the tie rods is very similar for both E36 and E46 BMW 3 series cars. The first step is to remove the front wheels. You will have to pop the control arms out of position using a pickle fork, also known as a ball join separating tool. The tie rods are held onto the steering knuckle by a ball joint very similar to the control arms. The tie rods are removed the same way as the control arms. Spin the nut off and use the pickle fork to separate the tie rod from the steering knuckle. These are no where near as bad to get off though as the control arms were because they don’t see the kind of force the control arms do. After you get the outer tie rod ball joints off it will be time to move on to the inner tie rods which are hooked to the steering rack.

There are two rubber booties that protect the steering rack from road grime, held onto the steering rack and tie rod by crimped-on metal clamps. Use a small flathead screwdriver inserted in the crimped portion and twist to spread the crimp out a bit. This allows you to unhook the clamp and remove it from the rubber boots. Repeat this step three more times for the other ones. Then pull back the boot on the steering rack side and you will see a nut with the inner ball joint hooked to it and the other end is threaded onto the steering rack. This is the part that you need to remove. You will also note that there is a ring that has a tab bent down against one of the hex sides of the nut. This tab will need to be bent up and straighten before you can remove the nut from the steering rack. Just use a pair of pliers and bend the tab up so its straight and it will allow the nut to spin off. This ring is a safety that makes sure the nut will not un-thread just in case it comes loose. Be careful, as failure to properly secure this could lead to loss of control when driving your nice BMW.

You will now need a thin 32mm wrench, ideally a crowfoot wrench. Or you can buy a standard wrench and plain it down to the necessary narrow profile. Bicycle shops usually sell these crowfoot wrenches. You need a thin one to get in the small speace between the steering rack and nut. Remove this nut and remove the entire tie rod assembly from the vehicle. Repeat this process for both sides of your BMW.

Once you have the tie rods out from under the car, measure how long they are and try to get the measurements as accurate as possible. Next, take the new tie rods and thread each one out to be as close to the same length as the original ones, then tighten up the lock nuts on both. This is your best bet for eyeballing a crude alignment that will be sufficient to get you to the local tire shop for a real and necessary four wheel alignment.

To install the new tie rods on your E36 or E46 BMW, you first take the rubber boot and slide it over the ring on the new tie rod that holds the outer portion of the rubber boot. Then, take the safety ring on the steering rack that you had to bend the tab up on, and make sure it’s slid over the threaded part of the steering rack with the little notch that fits into the steering rack that locks it in place. Now thread the nut onto the threaded rod of the steering rack and tighten it up with your wrench. Make sure that lock ring though stays seated in the proper position and the little metal tab is locked in its notch. After these nuts are tight, tap the lock ring back down so a tab is pressed against one of the hex faces of the nut. This will prevent it from spinning off if it comes loose.

Slide the rubber boots over the steering rack and zip tie them securely in place instead of using the metal clamps. The outer tie rods should just be hanging and I did not bother to put them on until I was ready to put the outer control arms on. To finish up, simply put the stud of the ball joint through the steering knuckle and put the lock nut on the other side tighten up to the torque specs in the Haynes or Bentley manual and you’re all done.
make sure you get the front end aligned before you drive it very far or risk destroying your tires or at least having bizarre and harmful tread wear patterns.

Washing Your BMW

I am endlessly amused and saddened by approach supposed BMW (and car enthusiasts in general) take to washing their cars. Drive by any car wash and you'll see cars waiting in line to go through the carwash conveyor, which will scratch the crap out of your paint and damage heretofore pristine finishes quickly. Here are a few tips and best practices for washing your BMW the 'right way'. Of course, there are concours d'elegance anal retentive purists who only wash their pride and joy with plain wash water and a 130 year old cloth diaper owned by the Quandt family or something ridiculous, but that's a story for another day.

You must rinse off the dirt before washing a car. Any dirt that is rubbed into the surface can cause scratches. I recommend, if using a garden hose, to spray water on the car lightly, not full blast. Use the 'shower' or 'mist' setting. You don't want to grind the dirt in more. Under the wheelwells, I do just blast away. Never use dish washing detergents as they are designed to strip grease and grime, and they will actually strip the wax from your car. Unless you are beginning a multi-stage detailing or paint treatment process (like a Mother's or Meguair's 3 stage process), always use soap solutions designed for car washing. When I'm preparing to do a full detailing job on any car, I actually do like to use Palmolive or similar since it helps strip any existing wax right off.

Use a large bucket so the dirt particles sink to the bottom of the container and the fresh suds and water you apply are clean and free of contamination. Or you can use two buckets, one for rinsing and one for the suds.

Make sure your car surface is cool (preferably in the shade) by hosing the entire vehicle. Apply suds to the upper areas first using thick, terry cloth towels or a wash mitt and work your way down. Rinse the car clean by running a slow stream of water instead of a high pressure spray to reduce water spots and drying time. When washing your vehicle by hand, take the time to run your wash mitt along the inside bottom edge of the doors, lift gate, hood and trunk, etc. These areas trap dirt and moisture. Make sure you use a separate sponge or towel for the wheels or you risk rubbing wheel grime and brake dust into the paint of your BMW!

Clean the tires first, then the wheels. Cleaning the wheels, especially those with BMW's high-quality finish, is important since brake dust and road salt can cause irreversible corrosion. I like to wash the wheels/rims last. I do an initial rinse, then let them soak with diluted (50/50) Simple Green. Simple Green is safe and non toxics and will not damage expensive stock or aftermarket BMW wheels.

Once the entire vehicle is washed and rinsed, take a clean, dry towel or cloth and wipe the vehicle down, again starting at the top. You can also use a product like a synthetic chamois. Don't use a leather chamois since it can pull oils from the paint and remove the wax. I am fond of the synthetic chamois products like 'The Absorber' but be careful to ensure it is clean or you can make ugly new scratches in your paint by dragging it across the surface. I like to re-wet each section ahead of me before I get to dry it, making sure no water spots are there before I can get to it with a chamois or towel. When using towels, make sure they are 100% terry cotton, and rip off the little tag on the end as it can cause scratches as well. We will discuss paint cleaning, polishing, and waxing techniques in future articles.

Now, you'd think you already knew this stuff, but lets be honest: there's a sad number of folks out there scrubbing their paint with the brushes at the pressure washer, or pressure-wash initial rinsing their vehicle. Yikes!

E36 328i and 328is Best Performance Mods for M52 Engine

In previous articles, I have mentioned my strong belief that the 1996-1998 BMW 3 series cars with the M52 engines, the E36 328i, 328is, and 328ic, offer the best all around value of the E36 cars, US spec M3 models included. The 2.8 liter M52 engine is rated at 193 hp, only 4 more than the M50 than it replaced, but its 20 ft lbs torque advantage is felt at lower rpms due in part to the redesigned intake manifold and greater displacement. This, despite the 2.93 open differential these cars are saddled with in 5 speed manual transmission form, makes the 328i/328is feel much stronger at lower rpms than the M50 or M50TU powered 325i and 325is. While there are many, many modifications you can do to your 328i/is to get more out of its engine, below are a few basic guidelines for more horsepower.

Jim Conforti/Turner Motorsport/BavAuto (Bavarian Auto) Shark Injector Software. Instead of replacing the ecu with an aftermarket one, you are loading new software onto the existing one. This is really your only bet for these OBDII cars. The cars idle smoother and rev out stronger. As with all mods, best in conjunction with a cold air intake.

Some kind of cold air intake for your BMW 328. The stock airbox is not terrible, but a good cold air setup works really well and makes the car sound from 4000 7000 RPMs like an old big-block V8. I run an ECIS intake on my 325is. A friend of mine uses a universal K&N type cone filter from Pep Boys with some univeral elbow and tubing to connect it to the MAF and throttle body. He does not have a heat shield on there (his car is a 97 328i) and the car only runs perceptably better in cold weather. The heat from the engine bay and ambient temperature negates the benefits without the shield. You can either buy an air filter heat shield from any number of vendors, or make your own. Another idea is to buy some reflectex from Home Depot and make your own. I took some dryer hose and ran it down the front bumper air ducting up to the cone for a sort of DIY ram air. Not too impressive looking under the hood if you have a show car, but quite effective.

M3 OEM Exhaust or Aftermarket Exhaust. The stock M3 exhaust is a bit heavier than the 328i and 328is one, and it does away with the muffler flapper valve designed to improve low end torque. Slightly better throttle response, pulls slightly better up top, and looks great with the twin stainless tips. Great sound at wide open throttle. Some folks report dyno-proven gains with aftermarket systems, but there are better and more cost effective modifications you should probably do first instead of dropping a grand on a Supersprint or other cat back exhaust. Forget about headers for now, as well.

M50 intake manifold from a 1992-1995 BMW 325i, 325is, 325ic, or M3. I'm not saying the Schrick intake manifold is junk or not worth the money, but the M50 intake manifold is inexpensive and can be found in most junkyards or online. Where the old M50 engine continued making power at top end of the rev band, the new engines ran out of breath. One popular modification for OBDII owners is to swap in the M50/S50 manifolds. With the bigger displacements of the 328 and M3, this can really help to wake up the car and allow it breathe at higher rpms. Figure 15-20 horsepower in conjunction with the other modifications. A fantastic and inexpensive mod for cheap hp, but be warned that low end torque will feel diminished some as the power curve shifts slightly upwards. No big deal and works well with the next and final mod in our initial to-do list:

Replace that E36 2.93 open differential with a 3.23 limited slip diff from a 1996-1999 BMW M3. The tighter gearing makes even a stock 5 speed car much quicker off the line, nearly as fast as a stock E36 M3. In conjunction with the other mods, you are awfully close to stock US M3 performance. The limited slip replacing the open diff means better traction on dry and wet roads. Be advised that this mod does mean that your 328i or is will turn higher revs, with the associated increase in cabin noise from engine revs. At 80 mph, you will turn 3500 rpm in 5th gear with the 3.23 vs 3100 with the 2.93. Gas mileage is minimally affected.

These are your best bet initial engine performance mods. Next time, we will talk more about improving your Non-M3 E36 BMW's suspension. We will talk about different brands of shocks, struts, springs, sway bars, the X brace, coilovers and more.

1991 E30 BMW 318is Performance Mods for More Power

The E30 318is was a one year wonder in the United States, sold only for the 1991 model year. It was hailed by the motoring press as the modern reincarnation of the BMW 2002, that is, a fun to drive, reasonably price, lightweight driver's car that used momentum and handling to its advantage. Oh sure, the E30 325i and 325is models were up 34 horsepower on it, and had considerably more amenities, but the E30 318is was several hundred pounds lighter and had better F/R weight distribution. This car has also been referred to as the 'poor man's M3', or the 'junior M3', a reference to its similar, albeit scaled back, dimensions layout and performance when compared to the all-conquering E30 M3. I will offer a series of articles designed to help 318is owners intelligently tune and modify these cars. The first article is designed to help you uncork the M42 engine, which is not quite as fully tuned from the factory as many BMW shops and enthusiasts seem to think. The first series of mods are easily reversed, and are generally inexpensive bolt-ons.

Check this article out: (S. McHenry is the son of notable BMW builder/racer Pete McHenry):

Modifying the M42 318iS Author: Stuart McHenry

This is a compilation of things that are necessary to get real performance out of the M42 engine that you use in a street/auto-x/mild track use car. These are items that will improve the cars performance and not sacrifice any low-end torque, which you want for street driving. These are all pretty much "bolt-on" mods, using the engines factory internals. If you want your 318iS to really fly on the street, these are the things you need to do:

Computer chip - This is a very basic and inexpensive modification for your car. Chips usually run about $200-$300 and are very easy to install. A chip on a stock M42 will bump the horsepower to about 145 (from 135) at the peak. The low-end torque is increased as well to improve everyday drivability. Though the real improvement comes at the top end; the chip widely increases the power band on the M42, from 4600-6000 to 4500-6700. I recommend Jim Conforti chips, as they are unarguably the best on the market for this motor, at a good price as well. On a side note, you will find the M42 makes a very distinctive "howl" from 6700-7200 rpm that reminds you that you’re driving an honest-to-God BMW. As far as chips go, I hear the best one for the E30 318is is the Mark D one from Canada. Make sure you are running good gas with these.

Flywheel - A major problem with the M42 was that it had BMW’s 'dual-mass’ flywheel; yes, it weighs almost twice as much as a 325i flywheel (as the name would suggest), at 28.5 pounds. This is a big problem and absolutely kills 1st and 2nd gear acceleration. Ever wondered why your 318iS’s 0-60 was so slow? Well, the flywheel is one of the reasons. There are 3 options to fix this: 1) use a 325i flywheel/clutch or 2) buy an aluminum flywheel for your M42's clutch, and 3) an aluminum flywheel for using the 325i clutch. Buying an aluminum flywheel for the M42 runs about $500-700 but is very light, and requires no modification to be fitted. M42 aluminum flywheels are about 12 pounds, and 325i aluminum fly's are about 8 pounds. The 325i flywheel requires a few other modifications to be fitted in the 318iS. Here’s what you need: 325i flywheel, 325i clutch, 325i pressure plate, 325i drive-pinion for the starter motor, and a ‘78-’83 323 throw-out bearing. Replace all these with the 318iS parts and it bolts right together. After all is said and done, your 318iS will have a LOT better acceleration in the first few gears, and deceleration will take place much quicker, which helps on the street and in the auto-x. Turner motorsport and a few other tuners also sell replacement aluminum flywheels for the 318is, but they also more expensive.

Rear end gear - The 318iS is equipped with a 4.10 limited slip from the factory, but you can do better. The desired gears out there are the 4.27 and the 4.45. You will find the 4.27 in E30 318i convertible 5 speed’s and the 4.45 is in E36 318i automatics. The 4.45 is a wicked, wicked street gear but will stick your RPM way up there on the highway. The 4.27 is a good compromise of performance and everyday use. It should be known that to make a 4.45 work, you have to swap the gearset into your E30’s differential, or find an automatic 318ti, which has a 4.45 and also has trailing arm rear suspension! So the E36 318ti 4.45 bolts right onto an E30, though finding an automatic 318ti with LSD may be difficult.

Adjust the cam timing - You know how on the E30 M3 you have to buy a $300 kit with adjustable cam sprockets to tune your cam timing? Not on the 318iS! The M42 is equipped with tunable cam sprockets from the factory. So pull your Cosmoline covered valve cover off and with the proper tools you can tweak your intake and exhaust cams up to 6 degrees +/- to provide more top end horsepower or more low end torque. See, you don’t have to blow a grand on a set of Schrick cams to make your M42’s cams a little hotter. The best setup is to adjust the intake cam to 5 degrees (advanced) and leave the exhaust cam alone. I would recommend having a shop do this work.

Muffler - The 318iS is equipped with a very free flowing exhaust manifold and center section with 2.25" stainless piping. The bottleneck in the system is the muffler. Thee are a few options for this. The first is a cat-back system, which replaces the piping and boxes behind the catalytic converter. Supersprint makes an excellent cat-back system that runs about $400. You can also simply replace the muffler. There are a variety of mufflers on the market but there is one that is very inexpensive, sounds great (not too loud, but throaty), and fits an E30 very well - it is made by Walker-Dynamax and is called the "Super-Turbo" muffler. It is available from Summit Racing at the price of about $40. We have had great success with these mufflers, and even use them in 3" size on our E30/S50 cars.

Intake system - The 318iS stock airbox works well, but a cone filter setup works better, but only if you have a well-built heatshield! Get a large K&N setup with the AFM adapter and all. Go to Home Depot, buy some Reflectex and build a "cool-air" system by cutting and fitting a heatshield. It is worth it in the end. While you are working on the intake, get the secondary plate of your throttle-body bored out 3mm to 57mm. This will make a difference.

In conclusion, with a little time, a little cash, and a little elbow grease, you can tune your 318iS to really perform. I know of one 318is with a properly built cold air intake, Supersprint cat-back exhaust, and Jim Conforti chip puts 131hp to the wheels on a chassis dynomometer. 131hp at the wheels is between 150 and 160 crank hp. With a lightweight flywheel, more aggressive gearing, and a couple of hundred lbs less weight, your M42 318is will have engine performance equalling or best a stock M20 2.5 liter 325i or 325is, with a more modern engine design (no more solid lifter valves and valve adjustments or difficult to access oil filter) and better fuel economy. Next time, we will talk more about other, more intensive engine modifications to the M42 engine such as hot camshafts (cams), headwork such as porting and polishing, headers, aftermarket exhausts, stroker kits, aftermarket fuel injection setups like Megasquirt etc, as well as chassis and suspension tuning.

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