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BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
12-09-2010, 09:14 PM
Post: #1
BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
Hi guys,

I took delivery of a 2005 E90 320i last Friday and so far I'm loving it. Went from a Corolla 140i 2003 ! The difference is simply outstanding and I can't imagine going back to a Corolla, or equivalent.

Just wanted to find out about performance enhancements. Is there anything I can do to increase the speed of this car ? Would it make a decent improvement or subtle ? The thing is, at the moment, the speed for me is great, much MUCH faster than the 140i it replaced, obviously, but if I could improve speed further it would be added bonus.

Since I'm new to BMW, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks again.

BMW E90 320i (05)
Ex Toyota Corolla 140i (03)
Ex Toyota Conquest 130i (85)
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suhla (09-09-2012)
20-09-2010, 01:08 PM
Post: #2
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
Best advice I can give is exhaust and intake system, although the gains you'll get will be minimal. Perhaps chipping it could unleash some horses.

Otherwise, the other option would've been to look for a 323i or 325i.

I must say that all BMW engines are pretty good stock, especially their N/A ones.

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22-09-2010, 01:01 PM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2010 01:02 PM by Olorin.)
Post: #3
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
I think my original claim of the 320i being MUCH faster than my 140i was a little exaggerated. While it is faster, it doesn't feel much quicker. I suppose credit should be given to the Corolla's 1.4 74 kw engine. But after driving for a while, I just notice that the car isn't as quick as the specs suggest,(ie 110 kw and 200 nm of torque).

I'm not sure why that is. Maybe the car seems that way because internally it's also damped a lot more than the Corolla which makes it quieter inside. But I will say this, when I went for the test drive in the 320d, the car was quick. Acceleration was very good, much quicker than my car.

I think I would have to go for a chip and for an exhaust system if I want the best results (?) Maybe I should test my car and see what kind of power it's actually delivering to the wheels.

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23-09-2010, 07:59 AM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2010 08:00 AM by Sankekur.)
Post: #4
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
Remember that the 320i is most probably much heavier than the Corolla, which would make the bmw feel slower as it has bulk that it has to shift, but in the end it will be faster, just not that fast to get there.

The 320d will also feel much faster due to its massive amounts of torque when compared to the petrol engined one, as its the torque that presses you back in your seat.

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14-11-2010, 04:29 PM (This post was last modified: 14-11-2010 04:30 PM by Olorin.)
Post: #5
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
Just something that I've found over the +- 2 months that I've had the car. If I full the car to 1/4 tank, I seem to lose like 30-40% of my power. If I leave 30-40km left according to the computer, the car feels far more nimble, acceleration is clearly faster. But if I just add R100 worth of petrol, that thrust goes away. It's like the momentum fades very quickly once I've put my foot down.

Is this supposed to be normal ? Would adding R100 worth of petrol really make that much of a difference because it feels like a BIG difference. Is something wrong ? Should I have the car diagnosed by BMW technicians ? I don't recall my 140i Corolla losing so much power after fulling up the thank. My tank is only 1/4 full and it feels like the throttle response has been reduced a lot. Those more knowledgeable, please chime in . Thanks.

BMW E90 320i (05)
Ex Toyota Corolla 140i (03)
Ex Toyota Conquest 130i (85)
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15-11-2010, 12:21 PM
Post: #6
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
(14-11-2010 04:29 PM)Olorin Wrote:  Just something that I've found over the +- 2 months that I've had the car. If I full the car to 1/4 tank, I seem to lose like 30-40% of my power. If I leave 30-40km left according to the computer, the car feels far more nimble, acceleration is clearly faster. But if I just add R100 worth of petrol, that thrust goes away. It's like the momentum fades very quickly once I've put my foot down.

Is this supposed to be normal ? Would adding R100 worth of petrol really make that much of a difference because it feels like a BIG difference. Is something wrong ? Should I have the car diagnosed by BMW technicians ? I don't recall my 140i Corolla losing so much power after fulling up the thank. My tank is only 1/4 full and it feels like the throttle response has been reduced a lot. Those more knowledgeable, please chime in . Thanks.

lol......how many litres to fill up your car ? 50 or so ? thats an extra 50kg's roughly you are adding to the weigh of the car. On my E46 M3 we did some tests, 50 kilos in one car vs 50 kilos in another equals about half a car gap between them. Now you tell me what that weight addition is going to do to a 320i's performance (considering its already quite heavy for the engine)

Not sure about your R100 comment though, thinking thats more in your head than anything else.
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15-11-2010, 01:00 PM
Post: #7
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
50L of petrol weighs about 37.5kg depending on the temp...

lets say you only put in 10L of petrol you only saving 30kg...
if you notice a big difference with an extra person in the car then maybe its the weight of the petrol but i dont think it should make such a dramatic difference that you will feel it...

sure if you racing or recording 400m time you will see the difference but to feel it i think it would have to be something else also

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15-11-2010, 03:06 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2010 03:08 PM by Olorin.)
Post: #8
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
I'm only talking about filling my car up to 1/4. Usually R100 bucks is all it takes to get that. But what I'm trying to say is that at 1/4 tank full, the car seems sluggish vs when there is very little fuel.

I promise you guys, this is not in my head. I can clearly feel the difference. My brother weights 90 kgs so yes, I could clearly feel the difference with him in the car. But I'm talking about just adding in some fuel, just me in the car. Throttle response seems far worse once I add some petrol in. When I put my foot flat down, the momentum gets lost after 2 seconds then I don't get any increases. When the car has barely any fuel it is MUCH different. The momentum built up in 1st gear carries on.

I went to BMW this morning and the one guy told me to make an appointment to have the car tested for irregularities. He said that it may need a software upgrade.

BMW E90 320i (05)
Ex Toyota Corolla 140i (03)
Ex Toyota Conquest 130i (85)
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15-11-2010, 03:38 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2010 03:39 PM by M3_FTW.)
Post: #9
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
I take it you are running the best fuel possible ie 95 ?
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15-11-2010, 03:51 PM
Post: #10
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
Yes. Unleaded 95. Now whether there is a particular brand I'm supposed to be using, I have no clue. I just ask for Unleaded 95.


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15-11-2010, 04:07 PM
Post: #11
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
so if it is the weight then you should feel a 3rd of the performance loss when your brother is in the car Bluebiggrin

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16-11-2010, 11:58 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2010 12:00 AM by Olorin.)
Post: #12
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
So I haven't had the car test just yet but I have a few theories. As mentioned before, it's possible that a software upgrade might solve the issue. Right now, the car is very nimble and I've got 100 km on the tank. I also have my AC off at the moment. So either it's a software issue, or the reason I feel the car is performing much better is because the AC is off. Now I use the AC most of the time. So perhaps I can attribute the performance gains from turning it off, but then it might not be the culprit. If I have felt the performance gains at low millage then I think the reason may be software related but the thought of AC was on my mind. I'll turn it on tomorrow morning and see if the car feels any different. I use AC 90% of the time, so it seems unlikely I've left it off long enough for me for me to take notice.

Seriously, how much extra power is lost when the AC is switched on ?

BMW E90 320i (05)
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Ex Toyota Conquest 130i (85)
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17-11-2010, 12:54 AM
Post: #13
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
The AC changes the throttle response a lot and it feels much slower...
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17-11-2010, 07:52 AM
Post: #14
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
It would be hard to say how much power is consumed by the AC since the AC drive pulley is connected to the compressor via a magnetic clutch (unless the AC is different on the e9x's), so the amount of power used by the AC would depend on the load on the AC. Of course there would be a maximum, what that is I am not sure, could be around 15kW if I were to guess.

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17-11-2010, 07:58 AM
Post: #15
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
i leave my ac off unless its just way to hot to drive without it because it is too annoying...

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17-11-2010, 08:03 AM
Post: #16
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
(17-11-2010 07:58 AM)moranor Wrote:  i leave my ac off unless its just way to hot to drive without it because it is too annoying...

I also prefer to keep my AC off most of the time, my sunroof works pretty well to keep the car cool inside Bluebiggrin

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17-11-2010, 08:34 AM
Post: #17
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
i think ive turned mine on 3 or 4 times this year Bluebiggrin

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17-11-2010, 10:20 AM
Post: #18
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
Well look, it's possible the AC was the culprit. Because the car seems much faster right now, but that could also be because I don't have much fuel in the tank and also because the AC is off. Not sure. But I never knew the AC could take almost 15kw's off the power. That's a lot ! I was thinking perhaps 2-3 kw's.

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17-11-2010, 12:03 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2010 12:04 PM by @ri.)
Post: #19
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
Dude AC RAPES the car haha. Esp the 4 cyl x16i,x18i,x20i etc.

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17-11-2010, 01:38 PM
Post: #20
RE: BMW E90 320i performance upgrades
But 15 kw's ? I thought the newer cars would just have the AC drain the battery, not affect the main performance. But 15 kw's is like more than a 10% difference in performance. That's crazy.


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