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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I'm new to the community (my first post!), and I was hoping I could get some input on some mods for my newly acquired 2009 X3 xDrive30i. I've been looking all over the internet for specific items/mods but haven't had much luck, so your suggestions and links to purchase these items would be most welcome! Also, I live in Canada, so links to parts that actually ship to me would be appreciated. Cheers!

1. Intake:

I haven't had any luck finding a cone performance intake system for the 30i (3.0si) N52 engine in my 2009 X3. There seem to be a few options for the 3.0i engine but not so for 3.0si. I really like the partitioned/cold air look of the AFE intake for the 3.0i, so if anyone has a link to something similar I would be very grateful for that!

2. LED angel eye bulbs:

Although there are many options online for these, I'm having trouble determining which one is of truly good quality, won't throw any codes and won't break the bank cost wise. I have OEM xenons and angel eyes.

3. Sound generator mod:

I would really like to find out whether it is possible to do the sound generator mod on my car. I have seen it done by many people on their Z4 si cars with the same N52 engine as my X3, but I have not been able to determine whether there is a sound generator on the X3 N52 in the first place. I would love to know if anyone has a definitive answer on this!

Thanks in advance for your input!


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Congrats on your purchase.


1. No idea. I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to point you ar something.
2. so you have angel eyes and you want to replace them with LED angel eyes? I'm not sure what the benefits would be, but an interested to learn.
3. I don't recall seeing such a pipe. I would presume you need to replace the airbox as well, but obviously the bigger issue would be the hole in the fire wall.
 

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Maintenance before mods, and yours is going to take $3k over the next year or sooner just to bring it up to "baseline."

The car already has a cold air intake. It won't be improved upon. Any exposed cone airfilter will diminish power and suck in more particulate to your engine, lessening life (and power).

If you want sound, get a new exhaust (and more than likely lose power).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Congrats on your purchase.


1. No idea. I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to point you ar something.
2. so you have angel eyes and you want to replace them with LED angel eyes? I'm not sure what the benefits would be, but an interested to learn.
3. I don't recall seeing such a pipe. I would presume you need to replace the airbox as well, but obviously the bigger issue would be the hole in the fire wall.
Thanks for the info! In response to your comment on the angel eyes, I'm looking to simply upgrade the look of the existing ones with LED bulbs like the newer models. There are various suppliers of these bulbs on Amazon, EBay, etc., but they all seem to have very mixed reviews. I was looking for suggestions from forum members on the best quality ones that you all would recommend.

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Discussion Starter #5
Maintenance before mods, and yours is going to take $3k over the next year or sooner just to bring it up to "baseline."

The car already has a cold air intake. It won't be improved upon. Any exposed cone airfilter will diminish power and suck in more particulate to your engine, lessening life (and power).

If you want sound, get a new exhaust (and more than likely lose power).
Thanks for your comments!

Luckily I bought comprehensive mechanical breakdown insurance for two years (basically like an extended warranty that can be used at any shop/dealer) when I purchased the car. Has already come in handy when I discovered that my transfer case was toast! My insurance 100% covered the cost of replacement, and it was done at a BMW dealer.

Didn't realize that a cone filter would negatively affect power. From my research, I had actually seen some hp and torque gains with the AFE systems. Likely has to do with their design over a simple custom one? You've definitely given me some more food for thought!

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My kid's Toyota Matrix came with one of those stupid AFE filters and CAI tubes. I have no faith in its ability to protect the engine from ingesting contaminated air. I have on my list for next time I head to the U-Pull lot to look for the OE air box system.

BMW engineers know a thing or two about designing cars. Any time you're deviating from what they have designed, it's time to pause and really consider if you're sure you know better than they.

AM.
 

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My kid's Toyota Matrix came with one of those stupid AFE filters and CAI tubes. I have no faith in its ability to protect the engine from ingesting contaminated air. I have on my list for next time I head to the U-Pull lot to look for the OE air box system.

BMW engineers know a thing or two about designing cars. Any time you're deviating from what they have designed, it's time to pause and really consider if you're sure you know better than they.

AM.
Couldn't have said it better myself. If the filter is allowing more air, it is also allowing more particulates. Not to mention, they are not "cold air" as they are open under the hood and sucking in warm engine air (decreasing power), whereas the factory set up is sucking ambient, high pressure air from in front of the radiator.

Everytime I read about someone wanting to use one of those hi-flow filters, I get reminded of this guy:

https://www.gminsidenews.com/forums...polish-intake-sucking-sand-into-engine-58268/
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Couldn't have said it better myself. If the filter is allowing more air, it is also allowing more particulates. Not to mention, they are not "cold air" as they are open under the hood and sucking in warm engine air (decreasing power), whereas the factory set up is sucking ambient, high pressure air from in front of the radiator.

Everytime I read about someone wanting to use one of those hi-flow filters, I get reminded of this guy:

https://www.gminsidenews.com/forums...polish-intake-sucking-sand-into-engine-58268/
I don't think I would ever consider putting sand purposely in my engine lol!

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Is this your first foray into modifying a car ? Are you somewhat mechanically inclined ? Have you modified a bmw before (If not get ready to dig deep into your wallet)?


I had no idea there was a "sound generator" mod. It seems to me there is really one camp on this forum as far as mods go and that camp is the leave everything stock camp. I don't really fall into that camp not by a long shot, BUT there is definitely validity to what they are saying. As far as a "cone" intake, all you will really do is raise the sound when you hit the throttle, the biggest bottle neck in any intake modification will always be the throttle body and its dimensions. An exhaust will lower back pressure and drop low end torque, but it will also help the engine breath better in the mid and upper rpm range. * Edit - As far as cone filters ruining your engine, Ive had a Cone filter on my e36 m3 since 2000 (the car is a 1998) with approximately 20k miles when it was installed, currently the car has 140k roughly, engine still runs strong pulls strong and works fine.. Yes it also has a bigger throttle body ;)

I will be picking up my first x3 within a week hopefully (there will be pictures) and I can not wait to start figuring out what modifications to make it what I want it to be. I already have 1 dedicated "fun" car and the X3 is going to be a daily for me, but I want it to be a fun daily. The X3 will be my first SUV so I really have no experience with a vehicle of this type so I'm going to wait until driving it to decide what to do. I'm already thinking that I will need an SSK since the factory bmw manuals usually have pretty long gear throws, I more than likely will be lowering the vehicle and doing some handling mods, and probably some other aesthetic mods.

Cheers!
 

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I recently acquired an older e53 that I have been modifying now for 3 weeks. All this would equally apply to an e83:

Modified so far:

Front differential fluid
Rear differential fluid
Transfer case fluid
Wheel location (tire rotation)
Front brake discs - upgraded to non-warped
LF axle - upgraded to one with untorn boot
Thermostat
Water pump
Coolant
Various cooling system o-rings
Transmission filter
Transmission fluid
Headlight Lens modification to restore clarity
Power steering fluid
Headlight bulbs
FSR modification to one that works
Heater control valve modification to one that doesn't leak
Instrument cluster bulb modification to lights that all light up

That's all I've done so far that I can recall, but she's a WAY better machine now than when I got 'er!

AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Is this your first foray into modifying a car ? Are you somewhat mechanically inclined ? Have you modified a bmw before (If not get ready to dig deep into your wallet)?


I had no idea there was a "sound generator" mod. It seems to me there is really one camp on this forum as far as mods go and that camp is the leave everything stock camp. I don't really fall into that camp not by a long shot, BUT there is definitely validity to what they are saying. As far as a "cone" intake, all you will really do is raise the sound when you hit the throttle, the biggest bottle neck in any intake modification will always be the throttle body and its dimensions. An exhaust will lower back pressure and drop low end torque, but it will also help the engine breath better in the mid and upper rpm range. * Edit - As far as cone filters ruining your engine, Ive had a Cone filter on my e36 m3 since 2000 (the car is a 1998) with approximately 20k miles when it was installed, currently the car has 140k roughly, engine still runs strong pulls strong and works fine.. Yes it also has a bigger throttle body ;)

I will be picking up my first x3 within a week hopefully (there will be pictures) and I can not wait to start figuring out what modifications to make it what I want it to be. I already have 1 dedicated "fun" car and the X3 is going to be a daily for me, but I want it to be a fun daily. The X3 will be my first SUV so I really have no experience with a vehicle of this type so I'm going to wait until driving it to decide what to do. I'm already thinking that I will need an SSK since the factory bmw manuals usually have pretty long gear throws, I more than likely will be lowering the vehicle and doing some handling mods, and probably some other aesthetic mods.

Cheers!
This is my fourth BMW so far. I've had two E36 cars and an E46 wagon previously. I've always done a few subtle tweaks/mods on my cars to enhance looks and improve performance/sound/handling.

Congrats on your upcoming purchase! You might want to look into getting some mechanical breakdown insurance (as I mentioned earlier) so at least your covered on potentially major and expensive repairs! It's already saved me thousands.

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Discussion Starter #12
I recently acquired an older e53 that I have been modifying now for 3 weeks. All this would equally apply to an e83:

Modified so far:

Front differential fluid
Rear differential fluid
Transfer case fluid
Wheel location (tire rotation)
Front brake discs - upgraded to non-warped
LF axle - upgraded to one with untorn boot
Thermostat
Water pump
Coolant
Various cooling system o-rings
Transmission filter
Transmission fluid
Headlight Lens modification to restore clarity
Power steering fluid
Headlight bulbs
FSR modification to one that works
Heater control valve modification to one that doesn't leak
Instrument cluster bulb modification to lights that all light up

That's all I've done so far that I can recall, but she's a WAY better machine now than when I got 'er!

AM.
Wow that's some impressive maintenance! Sounds like she's in top shape now! Did you notice immediate improvements after changing the front and rear diff fluids and transmission fluid? My car has 112,000 km and wondering if it's worth looking into doing this at this time (although it seems to be running really well right now).

The only kinda annoying thing on mine right now is a little clunking noise felt/heard from the front end over washboard. I had the dealer's mechanics look into it a couple of weeks ago and they said everything looked super tight so still haven't been able to diagnose it. Funny enough, my parents also have an E83 X3 and they have told me that they hear the same thing on their car. Maybe it's just a characteristic of this model? Do you have anything similar in your X5?

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Wow that's some impressive maintenance! Sounds like she's in top shape now! Did you notice immediate improvements after changing the front and rear diff fluids and transmission fluid? My car has 112,000 km and wondering if it's worth looking into doing this at this time (although it seems to be running really well right now).

The only kinda annoying thing on mine right now is a little clunking noise felt/heard from the front end over washboard. I had the dealer's mechanics look into it a couple of weeks ago and they said everything looked super tight so still haven't been able to diagnose it. Funny enough, my parents also have an E83 X3 and they have told me that they hear the same thing on their car. Maybe it's just a characteristic of this model? Do you have anything similar in your X5?

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Yes... you should Most of that list is standard maintenance for an Xdrive BMW.

For the clunking... check the torque for the front subframe-body bolts. There are for E18s that torque to ~80 ft lbs, and 2 E14s that I torque to ~ 35-40 ft lbs (I haven't for a spec on those... I just went as far as the threads felt comfortable).
 

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Did you notice immediate improvements after changing the front and rear diff fluids and transmission fluid? My car has 112,000 km and wondering if it's worth looking into doing this at this time (although it seems to be running really well right now).

The only kinda annoying thing on mine right now is a little clunking noise felt/heard from the front end over washboard.

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No, I didn't notice any difference after changing fluids. If I had, then it might have been too late! Changing fluids will pay dividends down the road if I'm still driving the vehicle beyond 200K miles (knowing me, I will be). At your mileage (kilometerage doesn't sound right), I would be changing all the fluids. While the fluids in mine were not so bad as to be causing rapid damage, it would be even better to get them out at an earlier mileage such as yours. Frankly, if I bought a brand new car (which I never do), I would probably change those fluids relatively soon. A lot of wear happens in the early miles as parts settle into place with one another. By getting that contamination out quickly, you minimize the compounding effect of lubricating with contaminated fluids.

In addition to the subframe bolts Duke mentioned, another possibility is play in sway bar links. That's also a relatively easy and inexpensive fix. My e83 has no such clunking, but I do have a slight noise in the e53 that I believe is sway bar link related.

AM.
 

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Frankly, if I bought a brand new car (which I never do), I would probably change those fluids relatively soon. A lot of wear happens in the early miles as parts settle into place with one another. By getting that contamination out quickly, you minimize the compounding effect of lubricating with contaminated fluids.

AM.
:thumbup: The most important transmission fluid/filter change you can do is by 10-15k miles, as that's when the metal wears.

2 years ago I'd purchased a '17 Silverado (that I've since sold), and did it's first oil change at 1000 miles, and transmission/transfer case at 10k miles. I sold it before I needed the other fluids.
 

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No, I didn't notice any difference after changing fluids. If I had, then it might have been too late! Changing fluids will pay dividends down the road if I'm still driving the vehicle beyond 200K miles (knowing me, I will be). At your mileage (kilometerage doesn't sound right), I would be changing all the fluids. While the fluids in mine were not so bad as to be causing rapid damage, it would be even better to get them out at an earlier mileage such as yours. Frankly, if I bought a brand new car (which I never do), I would probably change those fluids relatively soon. A lot of wear happens in the early miles as parts settle into place with one another. By getting that contamination out quickly, you minimize the compounding effect of lubricating with contaminated fluids.

In addition to the subframe bolts Duke mentioned, another possibility is play in sway bar links. That's also a relatively easy and inexpensive fix. My e83 has no such clunking, but I do have a slight noise in the e53 that I believe is sway bar link related.

AM.
Well I'll be sure to change those fluids then as preventative maintenance. Thanks for the suggestions and explanations!

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Yes... you should Most of that list is standard maintenance for an Xdrive BMW.

For the clunking... check the torque for the front subframe-body bolts. There are for E18s that torque to ~80 ft lbs, and 2 E14s that I torque to ~ 35-40 ft lbs (I haven't for a spec on those... I just went as far as the threads felt comfortable).
Thanks for the recommendation! I had seen others mention loose subframe bolts as a potential culprit, so it's something that I've been meaning to take a closer look at. I'll call the dealer to ask what they should be torqued to and get my local indy shop to take a look.

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Congrats on your upcoming purchase! You might want to look into getting some mechanical breakdown insurance (as I mentioned earlier) so at least your covered on potentially major and expensive repairs! It's already saved me thousands.

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I may get the mech warranty, I know it will be cheaper for me to do so since I work at a dealership and I'll get cost pricing. The car I am getting has approximately 66k miles or 106216km. Its been pretty well maintained, I have most of the docs as far as maint goes, the original owner whom i am getting the car from took it to 2 places for work, the dealer and my friends shop. My friends shop specializes in bmws and race cars (they've built and still are building the el diablo e39 m5) they are the ones that did the PPI on the car for me. Im having them change the valve cover and gasket not just the VC gasket as well as any fluids they see fit based on records as well as the thrust arms in the front, the bushings had some play.. The oil filter gasket was changed by bmw etc etc.. I'm not terribly worried about the maint on the car, Im also going to have my guys put it up in the air so i can find anything my friend missed.

Obviously maint will get done first, but then I will be looking to start tweaking.
 

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I recently acquired an older e53 that I have been modifying now for 3 weeks. All this would equally apply to an e83:

Modified so far:

........

AM.
:rofl::thumbup:
 
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