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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 07-11-2012, 05:47 AM
SlimKlim's Avatar
SlimKlim SlimKlim is offline
Speed is Zen
Location: Fairfax, VA
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,754
Mein Auto: Bavarian Bombshell
Originally Posted by ffej View Post
For me it would be less about the top end (I'm putting headers on)
I'm not sure how similar your experience will be to mine due to the 10 year gap in the production of our motors but I was amazed at how much the headers changed the characteristics of my motor. I have used an intake/exhaust/"stage 1" chip (which means a little more on OBD-I) and I had blown out VANOS seals. The car felt like it would give you pretty much 100% of its grunt from 2k rpms, with a reluctant VTEC-like tick over at 4k rpms where it would scream a little louder.

I rebuilt the VANOS and installed the headers in two weekends back to back, and now the only think the throttle pedal does in the low end of the RPM range is change how much noise it makes. It almost feels torqueless, it just starts moaning and slowly creeping towards 3k rpms, at 3k it wakes up a little, and at 4500 sh1t gets real and it throws everything it has to give at you. I scared myself a lil' bit the first week realizing just how much faster it gets to 100 in 4th.

Obviously a very healthy part of my power increase was due to fixing the VANOS and having the motor work as it was designed, but still, headers are a good mod.

I want to take the next step with mine and do the injector/3.5in MAF/custom tune thing, but you pretty much have to do all those things together, and I have no plans to spend that much money anytime soon.
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