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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:37 PM
E36blownpast E36blownpast is offline
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Intakes and such

Ok so I have a 94 325i and want to put a cai on it and honestly I'm probably going to make my own fancy set up with the heat shield and whatnot but wanted to ask about upgrading my maf sensor because its....small lol I'v heard about the 540 maf on the m3s from my year but am not sure how that would work because of tuning and wiring......so pleas inform me on the do's and do nots of my intake system.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:48 PM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36blownpast View Post
Ok so I have a 94 325i and want to put a cai on it and honestly I'm probably going to make my own fancy set up with the heat shield and whatnot but wanted to ask about upgrading my maf sensor because its....small lol I'v heard about the 540 maf on the m3s from my year but am not sure how that would work because of tuning and wiring......so pleas inform me on the do's and do nots of my intake system.
Honestly the stock intake is a cold air intake, and if you de baffle it you will gain the unmeasurable small amount of horsepower you would gain from a generic cold air intake. That said, I built my own with some aluminum sheeting, cut open fuel hose, paint, and a ebay "CAI" (Hot air intake if you don't make your own shroud) piping and filter. I had to cut the piping to the length I wanted, and I had to make all my own brackets to hold everything which was the hardest part.

Was it worth it: Yes. Very cheap easy way to give the car a deeper more aggressive exhaust note, and nothing wrong with a little under hood bling.

If I were to do it again the only difference I would make is use a better brand filter, like K&N or similar.

EDIT: I'm also assuming you're are up to date with all your maintenance.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:50 PM
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540 maf would require a tune or else the car will run like poop, if it does run without it
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2013, 01:59 PM
E36blownpast E36blownpast is offline
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Yup everything is up to date....redid all the mounts and entire suspension...but now I'm just lookn for a lil bit more bang for my buck
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2013, 03:19 PM
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Kdoherty Kdoherty is offline
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everything that is considered a "bolt on" on an E36 works hand in hand with a tune, each item alone are worth minuscule gains. For example the aFe cold air intake on my car is rated to only increase the horsepower rating by 15hp past 4k RPM with a tune and less restrictive exhaust. The same can be said for the exhaust, without a tune or an intake, headers and larger pipes will only net a few horsepower and torque way up high in the Rev band. If you combine the two, along with a tune collectively they're worth around 25-30hp in the upper rev band. Luckily for you your 325 has the M50 in it which comes with a far less restrictive intake manifold for increased performance above 3.5k rpm. On the flip side the exhaust is a lot more restrictive than on an OBDII car such as a 328i or an M3. Your best bang for your buck would be a miller WAR chip or a similar tune, to unlock some of the power reserved in the fuel and spark timing. you can buy used 328i manifolds which are just shortie headers, and a 328i mid pipe, with a cat back exhaust and make decent power.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2013, 06:38 PM
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miles_trail miles_trail is online now
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Look up mini keg intake, do that in conjunction with everything Ken said.

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Old 01-17-2013, 06:45 PM
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Look up mini keg intake, do that in conjunction with everything Ken said.

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yes do this, the only prerequisite is that you must first drink the contents of said mini keg.
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Drop the clutch, proceed and ain't care.
  • '06 325xi 6MT
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2013, 07:42 PM
E36blownpast E36blownpast is offline
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Would I be able to take the stock exhaust from an obd2 325i or even an m3 and slap it on to fix that restrictiveness...also replace cats with straight pipes...or just save up to get the cat back....and also would the dinan chip be ok? I was also thinking about using thier transmission chip....after headers and exhaust
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2013, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36blownpast View Post
Would I be able to take the stock exhaust from an obd2 325i or even an m3 and slap it on to fix that restrictiveness...also replace cats with straight pipes...or just save up to get the cat back....and also would the dinan chip be ok? I was also thinking about using thier transmission chip....after headers and exhaust
obd2 325 (e46) I dont think so?

M3 (96-99) yes

328 (96-99) is the same as the M3(OBD2) pipes
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by E36blownpast View Post
Would I be able to take the stock exhaust from an obd2 325i or even an m3 and slap it on to fix that restrictiveness...also replace cats with straight pipes...or just save up to get the cat back....and also would the dinan chip be ok? I was also thinking about using thier transmission chip....after headers and exhaust
the 325 was discontinued in 1996 when OBDII came out and they bumped the engine up to 2.8L to offset the power loss of OBDII emissions. anything on the E36 as far as exhaust will fit. I don't recommend replacing the cats with straight pipes. A the car will sound like poop and drone, and B your o2 sensors will give bad readings to the DME and butt rape your performance.
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  • '06 325xi 6MT
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:40 PM
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miles_trail miles_trail is online now
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Don't waste money on a tranny chip, save for a proper transmission to put in it.

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How do you outcrazy a dude that lifts his engines without a hoist?

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  #12  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:18 AM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
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Don't waste money on a tranny chip, save for a proper transmission to put in it.

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This x100000
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:56 AM
E36blownpast E36blownpast is offline
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What transmission? Unfortunately it's an auto and I really really really don't wana do another A to M swap....I just got done helping a buddy put the rb25 in a 240sx and we did that conversion and it was a pain in the ass....and check on keeping the cats/upgrading to high flow cats....and check on the m3/328 pipes.....anything else or is that pretty much it.....oh also what's with those carbonfiber intake manifolds......yay or nay....thanks for the help so far guys
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36blownpast View Post
What transmission? Unfortunately it's an auto and I really really really don't wana do another A to M swap....I just got done helping a buddy put the rb25 in a 240sx and we did that conversion and it was a pain in the ass....and check on keeping the cats/upgrading to high flow cats....and check on the m3/328 pipes.....anything else or is that pretty much it.....oh also what's with those carbonfiber intake manifolds......yay or nay....thanks for the help so far guys
don't waste your money on a carbon manifold, your car comes with one adequate for much much more power.
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  • '06 325xi 6MT
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36blownpast View Post
Would I be able to take the stock exhaust from an obd2 325i or even an m3 and slap it on to fix that restrictiveness...also replace cats with straight pipes...or just save up to get the cat back....and also would the dinan chip be ok? I was also thinking about using thier transmission chip....after headers and exhaust
You don't really need a performance chip for your autotranny. The tranny computer has two performance profiles, the normal profile which it uses when you put the shift lever at the "D" position and the sport profile when you put the shift lever in position "3". In "D" the transmission purposely short shifts for economy and even under hard acceleration typically shifts at a max RPM of 5200. In sport the tranny never shifts to torque converter lock (4th gear) and will wind to redline under hard accelleration (you may even have to raise the accel pedal to actuate the shift). Under normal acceleration in sport the shift points are 700 rpm higher than in normal ("D"). It's a completely different car in sport mode.
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  #16  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
You don't really need a performance chip for your autotranny. The tranny computer has two performance profiles, the normal profile which it uses when you put the shift lever at the "D" position and the sport profile when you put the shift lever in position "3". In "D" the transmission purposely short shifts for economy and even under hard acceleration typically shifts at a max RPM of 5200. In sport the tranny never shifts to torque converter lock (4th gear) and will wind to redline under hard accelleration (you may even have to raise the accel pedal to actuate the shift). Under normal acceleration in sport the shift points are 700 rpm higher than in normal ("D"). It's a completely different car in sport mode.
WHAT? All this time I hadn't known that! Now I's excited to go drive it again and try this out. Assuming that's the same for my car?
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:36 AM
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Yup, all the US auto tranny E36s are like that. Use it sparingly.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:40 AM
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WHAT? All this time I hadn't known that! Now I's excited to go drive it again and try this out. Assuming that's the same for my car?
No reason I know of that it shouldn't be same for you. Try it, it will feel like someone snuck boost in while you were away from your car.

The other thing I didn't mention is that in "D" the normal startoff gear is 2nd gear unless you floor it from a standing start....in "sport" you'll always start in 1st.
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Last edited by dc_wright; 01-18-2013 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:55 AM
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Yup, all the US auto tranny E36s are like that. Use it sparingly.
I will, mine has the "A" and "M" modes, and in "M" you can manually shift the gears with the shifter from 1 on up. I've done that maybe two times and it was a lot of fun, but made me feel like I was beating on my car too much to do it very often.

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Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
No reason I know of that it shouldn't be same for you. Try it, it will feel like someone snuck boost in while you were away from your car.

The other thing I didn't mention is that in "D" the normal startoff gear is 2nd gear unless you floor it from a standing start....in "sport" you'll always start in 1st.
This is the best thing I've learned so far. Thanks! Wish I had driven it today now. I drove my Trailblazer today. I can't wait. May have to go run some kind of errand tonight just to try it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:12 PM
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miles_trail miles_trail is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E36blownpast View Post
What transmission? Unfortunately it's an auto and I really really really don't wana do another A to M swap....I just got done helping a buddy put the rb25 in a 240sx and we did that conversion and it was a pain in the ass....and check on keeping the cats/upgrading to high flow cats....and check on the m3/328 pipes.....anything else or is that pretty much it.....oh also what's with those carbonfiber intake manifolds......yay or nay....thanks for the help so far guys
I disagree, you really really really do want to do a manual swap.
I once test drove an automatic 325is, felt slower than the 318is with a slipping clutch I was driving back then.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:14 PM
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I disagree, you really really really do want to do a manual swap.
I once test drove an automatic 325is, felt slower than the 318is with a slipping clutch I was driving back then.
for real, i had a 93 325i with a sludgebox and that car was S L O W
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:43 PM
E36blownpast E36blownpast is offline
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Ok....well I have the A and M button and if I put it into 3 should I have it on M? Lol and I don't want to shift through gears like that either....blew the trannie on my 92 DaVille that way....or if I keep it on A wen putting it in 3 because my car drives better in A any ways....also I have already disabled traction controll and when I'm in D I'm real slow until about 25mph and 35k rpm and then it shoots up to 70k real fast....I believe it's because of the switch I have under my gas peddle or is that part of traction control? Lol sory bout all the noob questions I'v always worked on 240sx's and this is my first euro (witch I wish I would have bought from the start) and I just wana do it right....
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:48 PM
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Leave the select switch in "A". The only time you might use the "M" position is if you purposely wanted to stay in one gear.

That switch under the pedal is the kick down switch. When you mash the accelerator down to the point where you activate that switch it will kick the tranny down one gear.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:17 PM
E36blownpast E36blownpast is offline
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Well then wouldn't a trannie chip help adjust the shift points or a possible m3 auto trannie? Or do they not make those? Is thier another 3 series that has a better auto trannie? Also I'm looking into the throttle body that dinan makes does this require a special chip? I would do this after new exaust....intake I built today, box I used stainless steal, piping 3.5 in leading into the MAF and 3 in leading into the throttle body, and everything coated in that ceramic heat resistant stuff.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:34 PM
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Again, I ask why try to make an inherently awful part of the drive train marginally less awful, especially if it takes 80% of the work involved in outing in a proper gear box?.

I'm really not tolling you, just saying a manual transmission will last infinitely longer, be infinitely funner to drive, and get you infinitely more respect for the effort and money you put into your car.

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