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Old 10-16-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
CarCraze
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Default Improve performance - low budget

Hello. Driving a BMW 318. Looking for advice on improving power at minimum cost. Any suggestions? Maybe CAI or exhaust upgrade in return for power increase and sound?
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:59 PM   #2
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welcome, unfortunately, the BMW 4-cyl. engines are very hard to get power out of on a budget, an intake and exhaust will make the car sound better and maybe feel faster on the "butt-dyno," but the hp gains from those are minimal, forced induction or an engine swap are the only ways to really build power from these cars
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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Improve performance at low cost is easy; X-Brace.

Improving power is a different matter. You could Fogg the airbox but there's really not much else below a grand that will do anything significant.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:07 PM   #4
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I got the best performance mod ever and it only cost me 1000 pesos. I went down to TJ and picked up a pack of bottle rockets. Then I drilled a hole on my hatch where the emblem goes and taped the rockets in the hole. I ran a long fuse under the carpet to my center console where the cigarette lighter is. I'm saving it until I really need the boost, like when a civic pulls up next to me and revs his engine. All I have to do is press in the cigarette lighter and wait 20 seconds. Last time it didn't work though and burnt some of my carpet.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:13 PM   #5
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very creative jess

how many more way can you think of saying to do an engine swap
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooljess76 View Post
I got the best performance mod ever and it only cost me 1000 pesos. I went down to TJ and picked up a pack of bottle rockets. Then I drilled a hole on my hatch where the emblem goes and taped the rockets in the hole. I ran a long fuse under the carpet to my center console where the cigarette lighter is. I'm saving it until I really need the boost, like when a civic pulls up next to me and revs his engine. All I have to do is press in the cigarette lighter and wait 20 seconds. Last time it didn't work though and burnt some of my carpet.
That would actually be hilarious to do when someone pulled up next to you and wanted to race. Rocket boost FTW.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:40 PM   #7
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Best mod you can do for your car as a whole, SUSPENSION! That wakes up any car, no matter the motor. Dinan has some software, go to your local BMW dealer to see if they supply
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:46 PM   #8
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I would do software last if you plan to do simple bolt-ons. Intake, exhaust, maybe throttle body, then software. The minimal gains that you see will be increased (slightly) if you do software last.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:28 AM   #9
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Interesting comments. Intake & exhaust sections of forum have few interesting mods.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:41 AM   #10
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Get a SLR chip. I hear it gives a guaranteed 50+hp for only $65+.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:35 PM   #11
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only if you use the recommended velcro strips and zip-ties


^sarcasm, just letting you know since it doesn't always translate so well over the internet
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:50 PM   #12
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1. Fan Delete Mod
2. Fogg your Airbox
3. Tune Up

All of these are cheap.
If you have a M42 engine, think about the Intake Cam Advance trick... that one is free
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:45 AM   #13
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I am assuming you are using the M42 motor (not the M40 or M43).

1. If so, there are couple of mods that could improve your HP. there are usual ones like doing a CAI (it has to be CAI not just a mushroom filter that sucks hot air from the engine bay).

2. Straight thru exhaust/mufflers to improve flow.

3. Using better spark plugs or CDI devices. Simple mod is to solder a capacitor to the + and - of the wire to the ignition coil. But have to experiment with getting the right values. bosch IR fusion are good stuffs. Also use magnecor wires will improve things a little.

4. Chipping will give you the biggest possible boost but its not exactly cheap. Using a piggy back is another solution.

5. Adjusting your cams. Yes, this is not very well documented but M42s come with adjustable cam sprockets. You can advance your intake cam a little to boost power (eg. 5 degrees)

6. 4-1 exhaust extractor from ebay. Cheap and boost high end but at the expense of low end.

7. minor things like 5 point grounding etc may also help a little.

8. Fan delete mod. Remove the clutch fan and use an electric fan instead.

9. Remove your AC compressor (if you don't mind the heat). Using an electric pump for power steering or remove PS pump completely.

10. Replace ancillary pullies with those lightweight underdrive ones. Eg. Ruff engineering pullies.

11. remove water pump and use electric water pump instead. Require customising though.

12. Lightweight clutch or M20 clutch. The stock dual mass clutch kills performance.

All these will gain you quite a fair bit of performance. Of course its not going to be tremendous but do expect at least 20-30HP gain easily.
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:42 PM   #14
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Very good informantion. Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:59 PM   #15
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excellent info Hippo !!!
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