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  #1  
Old 08-01-2003, 12:38 PM
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How to build an E46 to Equal an E36

So it seems to be well known that the E36 is a driver’s car and the E46 is more of a touring sport luxury car. Can we break that down into specific areas where the E46 could use improvement?

Just "pretend" that I wanted to build my E46 330i into something that is going to feel like an E36 M3 but have the look of the E46.

The reason I ask is that everyone has commented that the E36 has much more "feel" than the E46, but they share the same basic suspension up front and the E46 has a better rear suspension.

I was solid systematic points where the E36 is better than the E46 and means for improvement of the E46! I am sure there are other E46 drivers out there that are thinking the same.

Tim
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2003, 12:44 PM
TD
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You'd need thicker sways and beefier springs. You'd need to buy the one LSD made for the E46 (it's like $3500 + core). You'd have to rip out some sound insulation. Change out the intake and exhaust. Plus Dinan engine software to help the horrid throttle response (although inthis area, it will still fall far short).
  #3  
Old 08-01-2003, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
You'd need thicker sways and beefier springs. You'd need to buy the one LSD made for the E46 (it's like $3500 + core). You'd have to rip out some sound insulation. Change out the intake and exhaust. Plus Dinan engine software to help the horrid throttle response (although inthis area, it will still fall far short).
I believe Renn-Sport sells LSD's for e46's for ~$1500. You can get various gearing from them too. I'd love to get a 3.46 LSD for my car, trust me. I know Rob Levinson posted a link somewhere for the $3500. I don't know of anyone who's installed the Renn-Sport LSD in their e46.

And yeah, what TD said: sways, TCKline or GC suspension set up, exhaust, and Shark software if it ever comes out. CAI and insulation remove will improve sound. But in the end, it won't be an ///M.
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2003, 01:37 PM
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I'm not understanding something here. First, are we talking about an e46 3-er and e36 3-er by comparsion on how to make one feel like the other, or are we jumping onto a specific discussion on how to make a 330 'feel' like a e36 m3? Secondly, why would you want to make a 330 feel like a e36 m3? If it truly did, it wouldn't feel, or drive like an e46 anymore (the sole reason why I bought mine). And why not then just get a e36 M3 and be happy, or just go straight up the ultimate ladder and save for a e46 M3. just my .02
  #5  
Old 08-01-2003, 01:43 PM
TD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk330i
I'm not understanding something here. First, are we talking about an e46 3-er and e36 3-er by comparsion on how to make one feel like the other, or are we jumping onto a specific discussion on how to make a 330 'feel' like a e36 m3? Secondly, why would you want to make a 330 feel like a e36 m3? If it truly did, it wouldn't feel, or drive like an e46 anymore (the sole reason why I bought mine). And why not then just get a e36 M3 and be happy, or just go straight up the ultimate ladder and save for a e46 M3. just my .02
  #6  
Old 08-01-2003, 01:46 PM
jk330i jk330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
im sorry was that NOT very 'eliteful' and meticulous of me. I will try to post more BMW elite-quette comments just for you.
  #7  
Old 08-01-2003, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i
Just "pretend" that I wanted to build my E46 330i into something that is going to feel like an E36 M3 but have the look of the E46.
Buy a ZHP. The E36 M3's that I ran with this past weekend at the Kansas City BMW CCA Drivers Ed certainly thought the ZHP was on par or better than the E36 M3.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2003, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KU Ned
Buy a ZHP. The E36 M3's that I ran with this past weekend at the Kansas City BMW CCA Drivers Ed certainly thought the ZHP was on par or better than the E36 M3.
this is probably the best response we'll get on this matter. I second that.
  #9  
Old 08-01-2003, 02:07 PM
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Don't forget to do a hatchet job on the dashboard and put big pieces of wood on the back of your front seats so you have less rear seat legroom.

TD has the basics, make the suspension stiffer and make it louder. It'll still feel more like an E46 than a E36 though.

IMO, if you want your car to feel like an E36, go trade your car for one and get some money in your pocket to boot.
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2003, 02:13 PM
TD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilH
Don't forget to do a hatchet job on the dashboard and put big pieces of wood on the back of your front seats so you have less rear seat legroom.

TD has the basics, make the suspension stiffer and make it louder. It'll still feel more like an E46 than a E36 though.

IMO, if you want your car to feel like an E36, go trade your car for one and get some money in your pocket to boot.
Aside from the fact that I prefer the E36 dashboard (I know most prefer the E46 dash), are you aware of exactly how much additional rear leg room the E46 sedan has over the E36 sedan?

6/10ths of an inch. 34.0 inches in the E36 M3 and 34.6 inches in a 330i. That's a rather thin piece of wood.
  #11  
Old 08-01-2003, 02:16 PM
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It would probably be easiest to buy a ZHP. If you didn't want to do that, TD's remarks are pretty much what I'd do. I *LOVE* the stiffness of the E46 chassis, but in most other respects I prefer the driving experience of the E36 M3.
  #12  
Old 08-01-2003, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
Aside from the fact that I prefer the E36 dashboard (I know most prefer the E46 dash), are you aware of exactly how much additional rear leg room the E46 sedan has over the E36 sedan?

6/10ths of an inch. 34.0 inches in the E36 M3 and 34.6 inches in a 330i. That's a rather thin piece of wood.
Rear seat legroom stats don't tell the whole story. I've sat in both and the I think E46 has more than 6/10ths of an inch additional space. Rear seat legroom stats I think are somehow linked to the travel allowed by the front seats, so you may have to add front and rear legroom numbers to get a better idea (although I don't even know if the E46 has more front seat legroom than the E36 right now).

A Subaru Legacy is supposed to have the same rear seat legroom as an E46. I shopped one recently and it's a lot bigger. Go figure.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2003, 02:18 PM
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Well, having had the same childseat installed in both an E46 330i and, later, an E36 M3/4, I can say that the useable rear seat room (length-wise) is virtually identical. The E36 is narrower, however.
  #14  
Old 08-01-2003, 02:31 PM
marsfire marsfire is offline
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Why don't you just sell your car and buy an E36 M3 then?! a 95 OBD1 M3 which can be modded like crazy can easily be bought for under 20k. You'll also have a ton left over for mods.
  #15  
Old 08-01-2003, 09:13 PM
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Don't forget the CLUTCH!! The non-M e46 clutch could use some improvement in feel and performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
You'd need thicker sways and beefier springs. You'd need to buy the one LSD made for the E46 (it's like $3500 + core). You'd have to rip out some sound insulation. Change out the intake and exhaust. Plus Dinan engine software to help the horrid throttle response (although inthis area, it will still fall far short).
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2003, 09:58 PM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
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Lose weight! E46 is a pig. We need to drop E46 below 2900lbs and add an LSD - that's it. It will be a killer car (well, with retro/new steering, new clutch and remapped DBW or cable throttle).
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2003, 04:06 AM
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Don't forget to you'll need to remove some metal here and there to reduce the E46's structural rigidity significantly. Also, pop out a couple of those airbags and of course you'll need to somehow minimize the superior safety cage of the E46. Consult with an engineer for this!
  #18  
Old 08-02-2003, 04:08 AM
JPinTO JPinTO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akakubi
Lose weight! E46 is a pig.
See above post.
  #19  
Old 08-02-2003, 06:19 AM
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You still running Race springs on stock shocks, Tim? A set of Konis will certainly improve the driving experience.
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  #20  
Old 08-02-2003, 09:23 AM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
You still running Race springs on stock shocks, Tim? A set of Konis will certainly improve the driving experience.

Hey guys, we are not building an ultimate track car, but an OEM out of the factory, not even an M, E46 that drives like an E36. So, no SA's, no race springs, no stripped out airbags.
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  #21  
Old 08-02-2003, 10:09 AM
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No one mentioned the obvious
Sell the E46 and get an E36 M3.
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  #22  
Old 08-02-2003, 02:43 PM
marsfire marsfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umnitza
No one mentioned the obvious
Sell the E46 and get an E36 M3.
see my post above.

e46 and e36 are just different cars. it's much easier to sell and go to the e36. cheaper too. and you can mod the heck out of a 95 OBD1 car. then again, its gona be a 8 year old car, if you can deal with that.
  #23  
Old 08-02-2003, 02:51 PM
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Non-M E46 to E36 M3?

or just to plain E36? I never thought the non-M E36 was that different from the E46 Less insulated, sure, but the drive is not much different.

If you put Sport springs and shocks on an E46, it will handle DAMN well. But, to make it more like an M, you need an agressive LSD. The 330 alreadly has good power and brakes, and is not THAT much heavier. The stiffness and space help forgive the extra 100lbs (for a 330)
  #24  
Old 08-03-2003, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marsfire
see my post above.

e46 and e36 are just different cars. it's much easier to sell and go to the e36. cheaper too. and you can mod the heck out of a 95 OBD1 car. then again, its gona be a 8 year old car, if you can deal with that.
right
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  #25  
Old 08-04-2003, 03:18 PM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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Thanks for all the info everyone. One option is to sell the 330 and go for a E36. I don't want to sell the 330 and get a ZHP, while the ZHP is great I could simply convert my 330 to ZHP specs for less money (trade in loss, taxes, etc). I need to drive a ZHP and E36 M3 to see what I think. I have a service appointment on Thursday and hope they have some cars around.

I still have my race springs. The Konis are installed in the rear and I just picked up a spring compressor to install the fronts. Might try to get around to that tonight.

The main reason I don't want a E36 M3 is the age and the fact that is an older car. Again I still might but wanted to see what options were available.

Tim
 

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