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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before you ask, the answer is "yes", I've driven
the 330Ci and "yes", I still think I'd like to
have more horsepower from a Supercharger...
The reason is I live and drive at high elevation
in Colorado and the thin air has a huge effect
on an engines horsepower/torque output... I just bought an '01 325XiT for my wife and although it's fine for her, and most everyday driving, it just
doesn't have alot of "oomph", if you know what I mean... ESS has a new Supercharger kit with
the new Vortech SQ 'charger and I've been told there are several guys on this forum running them... Anyone have any insight to offer with regards to the install, warranty issues that
BMW might have if I put one of these on a 330Ci?
 

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WHy not get an M3? Seems foolish to buy a 330, then put 10K into AND void the warranty on lots of stuff...
You'll need a brake upgrade and a better clutch if you get a stick. (And you run the risk of destroying your tranny if it's a slushbox.)
 

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Nick325xiT 5spd said:
WHy not get an M3? Seems foolish to buy a 330, then put 10K into AND void the warranty on lots of stuff...
You'll need a brake upgrade and a better clutch if you get a stick. (And you run the risk of destroying your tranny if it's a slushbox.)
That's why I'm getting an M. I totaled up all the goodies I wanted to put on my car and said "I can buy an M3 for that" and the M is a better car than the modded 325/330
 

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in_d_haus said:


That's why I'm getting an M. I totaled up all the goodies I wanted to put on my car and said "I can buy an M3 for that" and the M is a better car than the modded 325/330
Exactly. I simply can't understand why someone would want to mod out a 330Ci. The reasons why I would love to put a supercharger on my xiT are obvious. There is NO upgrade path. BMW won't even sell me the 3 litre engine. It just seems stupid to put so much money into upgrading a Coupe when there's a better OEM solution that'll cost about the same and come with a warranty.
 

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The problem with the 'M3 upgrade' is that its still normally aspirated which does nothing to help with the elevation issue. I'm told a supercharger won't work for some reason, and that it has to be a turbo

Then, of course, you could just skip the BMW altogether and get a S4 or a Viggen or something.
 

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Kaz said:
The problem with the 'M3 upgrade' is that its still normally aspirated which does nothing to help with the elevation issue. I'm told a supercharger won't work for some reason, and that it has to be a turbo

Then, of course, you could just skip the BMW altogether and get a S4 or a Viggen or something.
I should think that even if the engines lose a percentage of their power up high, net-net he's way ahead with the M3. Besides, is there a Turbo upgrade for the 330, anyhow?
 

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If I were you, I'd save the money and buy an M3. Its a lot of frustration trying to do forced induction on a car. Espeically on our cars, its difficult to tune. ESS is overseas, and if something goes wrong, its gonna take some time to fix. In hindsite, I woulda just bought an E46 M3, less power, but waay less worries

on the elevation isue, I think both SC's and turbos are less effective at higher elevations. Less oxygen to work with.
 

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Common Sense, isn't
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I believe that turbo charging was originally developed by the aviation industry to compensate for the effects of thin air at high altitude. The effect was to enable airplane engines to produce more power at altitude, thereby enabling an aircraft to maintain a good performance envelope at higher altitudes. In those days, the reason turbos were preferable to superchargers was because, unlike superchargers, turbos didn't cause mechanical drag on the engine -- which effectively robbed power to make power.

With the development of newer materials, better machining techniques and new compressor designes, I don't think the mechanical drag problem is as pronounced today as it was 50 years ago. Bottom line is that either turbo or supercharged engine will produce more power than same engine in naturally aspirated form. So while a naturally aspirated engine at 225 hp may loose, let's say, 25 hp at a certain high altitude, a turbocharged or supercharged engine at 340 may loose the same 25 hp but still come in at 315.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Replies to "why not just buy an M3 instead..." ...

For those who don't understand why I'd want to
mod out a 330Ci instead of just buy an M3...
First, M3's in Colorado are still selling for
MSRP plus $5 - $10K, and the wait at my local dealer is still over a year...The 330Ci can be had
for around $39k and the ESS Supercharger is
$6k... Also, M3 will have Lux tax, higher insurance ( on the top 10 list of most expensive
to insure )... Don't get me wrong, I'd love an M3, I just dont want to wait for it and then pay
someone's college tuition for the privelege of owning it...
 

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Just remember that you need to do a brake upgrade. Factor that into your budgeting.
 

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IMHO, I don't agree that you "need" a brake upgrade. BMW has historically made cars that were "over-braked" and "over-tired" - meaning that they stop and handle much better than cars with similar acceleration and handling capabilities. Let's face it, a relativley pedestrian 318ti handles and brakes a heckuvalot better than a bunch-o-cars with far better acceleration and higher top end. Take a look at the Road Test Digest in a recent copy of Car & Driver and compare the 70 to zero distance of a 330i compared with other cars. Also, compare the 70 to zero distance of an E-46 with high-performance cars of 5, 10 or 15 years ago. These E-46s can freakin' stop! I'm not saying don't upgrade the brakes, just that it's not mandatory - just an opinion.
 

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I dont think brake upgrades are necessary either. The weight of the car is still the same. Although you will be able to accelerate faster, the brakes handle the same at whatever speed the same whether its supercharged or not. If you find yourself slamming on the brakes all the time and fading them, then its probably better to drive more cautiously and look ahead while driving, instead of buying a brake upgrade and slamming on your brakes at the last minute.
 
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