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'04 325i, '02 325iT
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I was the high bidder of the Touring on BaT. Yes, I'm also surprised (and pleased!) at the sale price. Of course I still haven't seen the car in person yet... so we'll see.

I've been a member over here for awhile but seems as though I've never posted. This will be my first E46, and I look forward to taking delivery!
Congrats, and welcome! I think you got a lot of car for the money, and hope you enjoy it.
 

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2001, 325xi touring, auto
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I was the high bidder of the Touring on BaT. Yes, I'm also surprised (and pleased!) at the sale price. Of course I still haven't seen the car in person yet... so we'll see.

I've been a member over here for awhile but seems as though I've never posted. This will be my first E46, and I look forward to taking delivery!
Sweet ride, congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I was the high bidder of the Touring on BaT. Yes, I'm also surprised (and pleased!) at the sale price. Of course I still haven't seen the car in person yet... so we'll see.

I've been a member over here for awhile but seems as though I've never posted. This will be my first E46, and I look forward to taking delivery!
Congrats! Can't wait to hear what you think. Have any plans for it or keep it as is?
 

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Thanks guys!

Congrats! Can't wait to hear what you think. Have any plans for it or keep it as is?
I'll be sure to provide an update once its here. The car is setup very close to my ideal spec, but I'm sure there will be some minor tweaks. Will probably add window tint, try to find a set of leather rear seats (believe it has leatherette), have the rear door indicators added to the cluster, maybe some tasteful sound system upgrades.
 

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330ci Coupe 6MT
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1,953 Posts
I was the high bidder of the Touring on BaT. Yes, I'm also surprised (and pleased!) at the sale price. Of course I still haven't seen the car in person yet... so we'll see.

I've been a member over here for awhile but seems as though I've never posted. This will be my first E46, and I look forward to taking delivery!
Great to hear it went to one of us!
 

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'00 323 >>> 332iT, Orientblau
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161 Posts
I'll be sure to provide an update once its here. The car is setup very close to my ideal spec, but I'm sure there will be some minor tweaks. Will probably add window tint, try to find a set of leather rear seats (believe it has leatherette), have the rear door indicators added to the cluster, maybe some tasteful sound system upgrades.
First, congrats on acquiring this beauty! Looking forward to your impressions once you have taken possession!
 

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Happy to report the car arrived safely about three weeks ago. Things started off a bit rocky, as the alternator was unexpectedly dead upon arrival (battery light on). I had previously considered flying out to California and driving the car home, but after this discovery I think shipping was the right call! Fortunately the OE Valeo alternator isn’t too expensive or difficult to replace at home.

Once that was sorted, I got the car off the ground for an oil change and inspection. Everything looks great underneath, and there aren’t any leaks or mechanical issues I could find. No big surprises cosmetically, although there are a few minor things to address here and there.

I’ve now added about 400 miles, and first driving impressions are very good! Just as I had hoped, it really does drive like an M3, and I’m liking the Bilstein PSS10 suspension. Now that I have some seat time, I’ve got a good idea of things that need some tweaking. I’d appreciate feedback on the following:

The exhaust makes an awful drone under load between about 2500 and 3500 RPM. It’s not offensively loud in general, but the drone won’t be tolerable for me on longer highway trips. From what I can tell the headers and section 1 are stock, and it appears modified from that point back, ending in a Supersprint E36 M3 muffler. I’ve been reading the drone is a common complaint with multiple different exhaust setups on S54 swapped tourings. To be clear, I’m not necessarily wanting stock levels of noise, but the drone has to go. Unless I’m missing something, it doesn't appear there are any bolt-on solutions?

The outside edge of the right front tire just slightly rubs on the inner fender over certain sharper bumps. My first inclination is to simply roll the fender lip, but I’m nervous about damaging the paint. Since the car was resprayed, I’m thinking it might be more susceptible to cracking during the process? As an alternative I could raise the front end slightly, but I think the ride height is perfect as-is. Open to ideas.

The speedometer reads faster than actual speed. I’ve owned enough BMWs to know this is common to some extent, but we’re talking almost 10% faster at 80 mph. Is this likely some kind of coding issue related to the swap? Speaking of coding and diagnostics, this is my newest BMW and I don’t have any software or interface for anything beyond the E36. I need to research all my options there.

During alternator replacement I found the left side xenon headlight ballast just hanging below the light. I’m assuming this is because it doesn’t fit in the normal location, due to the stock S54 intake. I do plan to eventually install an aftermarket intake setup, but the ballast might get in the way regardless. Can this be easily adapted to the M3 setup that mounts up higher next to the air box? If so, what parts do I need?





 

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'00 323 >>> 332iT, Orientblau
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161 Posts
The exhaust makes an awful drone under load between about 2500 and 3500 RPM. It’s not offensively loud in general, but the drone won’t be tolerable for me on longer highway trips. From what I can tell the headers and section 1 are stock, and it appears modified from that point back, ending in a Supersprint E36 M3 muffler. I’ve been reading the drone is a common complaint with multiple different exhaust setups on S54 swapped tourings. To be clear, I’m not necessarily wanting stock levels of noise, but the drone has to go. Unless I’m missing something, it doesn't appear there are any bolt-on solutions?
I am in exactly the same pickle with my S54 Touring: Merciless 2k-3k Drone and too loud. I am willing to lose a few Hp for no drone and a fair bit quieter overall. Mine has Stock S54 Manifolds, Rogue anti-rasp section 1, OEM BMW M3 mid-pipe and Stromung S54 Swap touring rear can. I am going to find a solution and I will share what I find out. Let's keep in touch!
 

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The exhaust makes an awful drone under load between about 2500 and 3500 RPM. It’s not offensively loud in general, but the drone won’t be tolerable for me on longer highway trips. From what I can tell the headers and section 1 are stock, and it appears modified from that point back, ending in a Supersprint E36 M3 muffler. I’ve been reading the drone is a common complaint with multiple different exhaust setups on S54 swapped tourings. To be clear, I’m not necessarily wanting stock levels of noise, but the drone has to go. Unless I’m missing something, it doesn't appear there are any bolt-on solutions?
There are (2) bolt on systems that I am aware of:
1. Stromung, it is used in conjunction with an original M3 design Section 2. From my testing it is one of the most powerful systems AND sounds well, but does have some drone that some people are ok with and others that find it excessive.
2. Super Sprint, it is used in conjunction with an original M3 design Section 1 and replaces the muffler and Sec 2 with their system. Sounds great and sound level on the highway is not as intense as the Stromung but on our back to back tests it was worth -10whp vs the Stromung.

While not a bolt on, my favorite would be an E46 Dinan muffler grafted to a M3 section 2, this made similar power to a Stromung muffler. Another option would be a ZHP muffler grafted to a M3 section 2, but this one was like the Super Sprint and down about 10whp compared to the Stromung.


The outside edge of the right front tire just slightly rubs on the inner fender over certain sharper bumps. My first inclination is to simply roll the fender lip, but I’m nervous about damaging the paint. Since the car was resprayed, I’m thinking it might be more susceptible to cracking during the process? As an alternative I could raise the front end slightly, but I think the ride height is perfect as-is. Open to ideas.
What offset are the front wheels? The M3 front suspension has a wider track width and as such a wheel that fits nicely on a Non-M will be pushed out on a M conversion. I looked at the ad and you have a 235 tire which is not the issue so I would say you have 3 choices:
1. Change the wheel to a narrower or something with more offset, I'm guessing you have the 18x8.5 et38 wheels, going to the et45 would likely get the clearance you need.
2. Add more camber, this will move the top of the tire inboard.
3. Raise the ride height.


The speedometer reads faster than actual speed. I’ve owned enough BMWs to know this is common to some extent, but we’re talking almost 10% faster at 80 mph. Is this likely some kind of coding issue related to the swap? Speaking of coding and diagnostics, this is my newest BMW and I don’t have any software or interface for anything beyond the E36. I need to research all my options there.
When the cluster is converted from a M3 to the swap car it has to be disassembled and that requires removing the needles. Likely they just weren't put back in place perfectly. You can mess with the conversion coding and change the needle placement or what I do is drive the car with the lens off and just manually adjust the needle orientation to get it closer throughout the speed range.


During alternator replacement I found the left side xenon headlight ballast just hanging below the light. I’m assuming this is because it doesn’t fit in the normal location, due to the stock S54 intake. I do plan to eventually install an aftermarket intake setup, but the ballast might get in the way regardless. Can this be easily adapted to the M3 setup that mounts up higher next to the air box? If so, what parts do I need?
I was wondering how the fitted the headlight and air filter housing, I assumed they cut the air filter box as that seems to be most popular but I guess that's not the case here. SO, what should of happened is using the headlight(s) from the M3, which relocates the Xenon control module to the fender apron and provides the clearance to filter housing. You can either swap in the M3 headlights OR if you went to a CAI like you mentioned you could reinstall the control module in the correct location under the light. I'm a big fan of the Dinan CAI and so that's my go to and retains the ability to us the Non-M headlight. The cool thing about the E46 headlights (except FACELIFT coupe) is that the housings are all interchangeable. You can take the M3 housing and put a sedan lens on it and install it in your car with no other issues.

 

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323iT - 323Cic
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I'm not aware it was on social media when built. I am pulling together some images to tell the story during my ownership. Once I get to the point When I know the interior swap is about dome, I'll share a bunch then. I've posted on this forum a few times with this car.

There was this article posted back in ~2017

- Jim Herrold's S54 E46 Touring — ULTIMATE KLASSE
 

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920 Posts
The speedometer reads faster than actual speed. I’ve owned enough BMWs to know this is common to some extent, but we’re talking almost 10% faster at 80 mph. Is this likely some kind of coding issue related to the swap? Speaking of coding and diagnostics, this is my newest BMW and I don’t have any software or interface for anything beyond the E36. I need to research all my options there.

Check this thread out! Link

After studying M and non-M EEPROM files, here's what I found -- there is a function deliberately designed to increase the speed by a certain ratio. In the non-M, the displayed speed is the real speed + 5.7%. In the M3, the error is a massive 8.9% -- completely unacceptable IMO.

--

Oops meant to edit my original post, apologies for double post!
 

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George, thanks so much for your input! This information is immensely helpful to me.

There are (2) bolt on systems that I am aware of:
1. Stromung, it is used in conjunction with an original M3 design Section 2. From my testing it is one of the most powerful systems AND sounds well, but does have some drone that some people are ok with and others that find it excessive.
2. Super Sprint, it is used in conjunction with an original M3 design Section 1 and replaces the muffler and Sec 2 with their system. Sounds great and sound level on the highway is not as intense as the Stromung but on our back to back tests it was worth -10whp vs the Stromung.

While not a bolt on, my favorite would be an E46 Dinan muffler grafted to a M3 section 2, this made similar power to a Stromung muffler. Another option would be a ZHP muffler grafted to a M3 section 2, but this one was like the Super Sprint and down about 10whp compared to the Stromung.
I had heard of the Stromung rear section that several people (including @cjhinpa) report has the drone, but I didn’t know about a bolt-on Supersprint option. After spending some time on their website, I may have found it. Are the items in red what I’d need?



The Dinan or ZHP muffler grafted to an otherwise stock M3 setup would likely be significantly cheaper than the above Supersprint, even after paying an exhaust shop for their work. I’m guessing both of these are a bit quieter than the Supersprint, and even more so compared to the Stromung?

I realize exhaust sound is somewhat subjective, but can you comment on rasp with any of the three options mentioned above? I’m personally not a fan of the S54 rasp, and the good thing about my current setup is that isn’t an issue. Lots of conflicting information on what portion of the exhaust actually causes the rasp.

What offset are the front wheels? The M3 front suspension has a wider track width and as such a wheel that fits nicely on a Non-M will be pushed out on a M conversion. I looked at the ad and you have a 235 tire which is not the issue so I would say you have 3 choices:
1. Change the wheel to a narrower or something with more offset, I'm guessing you have the 18x8.5 et38 wheels, going to the et45 would likely get the clearance you need.
2. Add more camber, this will move the top of the tire inboard.
3. Raise the ride height.
The wheels are 18x8.5 et38 (front) and 18x9 et42 (rear). I hadn't even considered changing the wheels, but aside from cost I like that option best. It does appear Apex makes them in et45 at 8.5” wide. That would also improve how the front track visually looks wider than the rear, which I don’t particularly like. In your experience, would I have any clearance issues with the suspension, moving the wheel inward 7mm?

When the cluster is converted from a M3 to the swap car it has to be disassembled and that requires removing the needles. Likely they just weren't put back in place perfectly. You can mess with the conversion coding and change the needle placement or what I do is drive the car with the lens off and just manually adjust the needle orientation to get it closer throughout the speed range.
Thanks, I’ll send you a separate note on the cluster at some point. I’d like to see if you could add the rear door indicator LEDs, and maybe the needle adjustment could be done at the same time.

I was wondering how the fitted the headlight and air filter housing, I assumed they cut the air filter box as that seems to be most popular but I guess that's not the case here. SO, what should of happened is using the headlight(s) from the M3, which relocates the Xenon control module to the fender apron and provides the clearance to filter housing. You can either swap in the M3 headlights OR if you went to a CAI like you mentioned you could reinstall the control module in the correct location under the light. I'm a big fan of the Dinan CAI and so that's my go to and retains the ability to us the Non-M headlight. The cool thing about the E46 headlights (except FACELIFT coupe) is that the housings are all interchangeable. You can take the M3 housing and put a sedan lens on it and install it in your car with no other issues.
Good to know. Any idea if the Dinan CAI is still available new? I thought it was NLA, so I had been looking at other options.

On another note, I see a windshield washer fluid tank has been added on that build in the picture. I actually just ordered this bracket linked below and plan to do the same. I hadn’t really evaluated the wiring to the pump yet, but I assume I’ll need to extend the harness?

R-9232 Washer Tank Relocation Bracket


Check this thread out! Link
Interesting... so per that link, my observations are consistent with what some have found with stock M3s.

I am in exactly the same pickle with my S54 Touring: Merciless 2k-3k Drone and too loud. I am willing to lose a few Hp for no drone and a fair bit quieter overall. Mine has Stock S54 Manifolds, Rogue anti-rasp section 1, OEM BMW M3 mid-pipe and Stromung S54 Swap touring rear can. I am going to find a solution and I will share what I find out. Let's keep in touch!
Yes, we’ll get this exhaust thing figured out!
 

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323iT - 323Cic
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920 Posts
Speaking of experience,

I did retrofit a M3 Cluster in my 323iT, and I can confirm its about 8.9% ish off. (I confirmed this with my Uniden R7 w/ GPS Speed) and I corrected with @TerraPhantm link above. Its pretty much spot on now.
 

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There was this article posted back in ~2017

- Jim Herrold's S54 E46 Touring — ULTIMATE KLASSE
Thomas, that is @cjhinpa 's car. *Edit, lol, I should have gone back and read the quote... I thought you were telling Chris, about the article not knowing it was in reference to his car. 😂 😂


I had heard of the Stromung rear section that several people (including @cjhinpa) report has the drone, but I didn’t know about a bolt-on Supersprint option. After spending some time on their website, I may have found it. Are the items in red what I’d need?

Off the top of my head I think you can use either center pipe version (resonated or not) and either muffler version.


The Dinan or ZHP muffler grafted to an otherwise stock M3 setup would likely be significantly cheaper than the above Supersprint, even after paying an exhaust shop for their work. I’m guessing both of these are a bit quieter than the Supersprint, and even more so compared to the Stromung?
The Super Sprint setup I had used is not very loud to be honest, probably comparable to the Dinan and the ZHP was pretty tame.


I realize exhaust sound is somewhat subjective, but can you comment on rasp with any of the three options mentioned above? I’m personally not a fan of the S54 rasp, and the good thing about my current setup is that isn’t an issue. Lots of conflicting information on what portion of the exhaust actually causes the rasp.
I personally don't hate the rasp so I'm not a good person to ask on that. My go-to setup is Euro headers and cats and it seems to be that the rasp is "made" in the sec1 and that adding a 2nd resonator to the US sec1 does a decent amount to lower rasp. But, I've never chased trying to eliminate it so I can't comment with certainty.


The wheels are 18x8.5 et38 (front) and 18x9 et42 (rear). I hadn't even considered changing the wheels, but aside from cost I like that option best. It does appear Apex makes them in et45 at 8.5” wide. That would also improve how the front track visually looks wider than the rear, which I don’t particularly like. In your experience, would I have any clearance issues with the suspension, moving the wheel inward 7mm?
The 18x8.5 et45 is a new size, I honestly just saw it as I was double checking my guess on your wheel size. I think it will 100% get you what you need, all things being equal it will move the tire inboard 7mm. I've done a bunch of wheel swapping on these conversions and I 100% agree that your setup has to much poke. I've been wanting to try the 9" et52 on the front but I wouldn't run it on most cars. If I run aftermarket wheels on my next swap, they'll likely be the 8.5 et45/9" et42.

This is a really great website when you are playing with wheel and tire combos so you can mix and match sizes to see what will happen:


Thanks, I’ll send you a separate note on the cluster at some point. I’d like to see if you could add the rear door indicator LEDs, and maybe the needle adjustment could be done at the same time.
You can certainly do as Thomas suggested with the coding, but on a modified cluster I always start by assuming the needle is in the wrong place. I'd be happy to add in the door LEDs as well, not to much trouble to do, but I guess we would also need to verify your cluster is coded to the car, is the mileage in it correct to the chassis?


Good to know. Any idea if the Dinan CAI is still available new? I thought it was NLA, so I had been looking at other options.
Yes, IIRC they are NLA but they pop up on the used market often (I have (2) for that reason). My old S54 touring made 322whp with the Dinan CAI, Euro Headers/Cat, Stromung muffler and a stock Euro tune.

On another note, I see a windshield washer fluid tank has been added on that build in the picture. I actually just ordered this bracket linked below and plan to do the same. I hadn’t really evaluated the wiring to the pump yet, but I assume I’ll need to extend the harness?

R-9232 Washer Tank Relocation Bracket
That is what we are running in @Chaplain 's car, BUT your car has a MTech2 bumper IF it was me, I would install the M3 washer system as that bumper will allow that option. Since he didn't have the bumper that wasn't an option, but he might in the future since that will be installed at a later date.
 
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