In general terms, the BMW warranty on a component is void due to a modification, where the modification, alteration or installation of an aftermarket part was directly responsible for the failure.
Q. Why do I sometimes have problems shifting under hard acceleration and what is a mis-shift?
A. One of the primary causes of problematic shifting may be the stock manual transmission mounts. Under high loads, the mounts tend to excessively flex and sometimes to the point where gear engagement can be difficult. This symptom is often exacerbated by accelerating around a corner, further compressing and uncompressing the mounts. On occasion, an unlucky few have mis-shifted (selected the incorrect gear, e.g., 2nd instead of 4th) causing severe engine damage. A mis-shift may be due to weakened mounts that have deflected too much, although many other factors may be contributing as well. In any case, a stiffer transmission mount will reduce potential complications down the road with few, if any, drawbacks. UUC Motorwerks has designed an effective replacement mount.
Q. What horsepower gain will certain modifications provide?
A. The figures listed below are approximate and most are referenced from Dinan. Also note that one can't simply add each item's effective HP, i.e., the overall system increase in HP is not equal to the sum of the individual modification gains.
|MODIFICATION||GAIN (HP, approx.)|
|high flow air meter||7|
Q. What is the easiest and cheapest way to gain a few extra horsepower?
A. With a quick and easy modification to your factory airbox, your M3 should gain approximately 4 HP and 4 lbft of torque as proven by Active Autowerke Tuning's dyno results at http://www.activeautowerke.com/dyno/96M3%20Stock%20NoBaffles%20vs%2096M3%20Stock.cfm. Simply remove the lower baffle on the inlet side, inside your airbox. Access to the baffle is best achieved by temporarily removing the entire airbox assembly from the vehicle. Looking on the underside of the airbox, a wedge shaped tab will be protruding through a slot on the airbox. This is what holds the baffle in and you may need a screwdriver to coax it out. After removal of the baffle, reinstall your airbox and keep the baffle handy in case you ever want to return the airbox back to stock form.
Q. Do I need a heat shield for my aftermarket air intake?
A. Yes, heat and horsepower do not mix. A general rule of thumb is that for every 7° F increase in temperature (above 60° F) your engine will experience roughly a 1% loss of horsepower (an additional rule of thumb is that for every additional 1,000 feet in altitude, your engine's horsepower will drop by about 3%). For example, at 95° F ambient air temperature, your 240 bHP M3 is now producing about 228 bHP. Additionally, compounding the ambient air temperature with your engine and radiator heat can severely reduce your performance.
Q. What is an x-brace?
A. The x-brace or cross reinforcement is a BMW OEM part designed for the M3 Lightweight (discussed in the Other section) and M3 convertibles. It effectively stiffens the chassis for improved steering response at a fraction of the cost of your average strut brace and with better results. The install is relatively straightforward, but make sure you do not mount the stock brace in addition to the x-brace or you will alter the safety characteristics of the engine in the event of a frontal impact. Also, you may want to install a buffer stop which reduces engine twist and thus helps attain proper drive line attitude. Detailed installation instructions of the x-brace can be found at Ron Stygar's page at http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/suspension/e36_rons_xbrace_install.html.
BMW Cross Reinforcement
BMW Buffer Stop (not shown)
Q. What does it mean to get sharked?
A. When a vehicle is sharked it simply means that Jim Conforti's http://www.bonnevillemotorwerks.com/ performance chip has been installed.
Q. Can I install both a lightened flywheel and an underdrive pulley?
A. No, the combination of a lightened flywheel and underdrive (also lighter) pulley will not be able to effectively dampen crankshaft vibrations. The increased vibration (and reduced ability to prevent a resonant frequency) will likely result in crankshaft fatigue and failure.
Q. Will the BMW aluminum pedal set (for E46 BMWs) fit on my E36 M3?
A. Yes, but it is a good idea not to use the accelerator pedal that comes with the kit as the geometry and shape is slightly different. Also, be careful when drilling the holes (especially in the plastic clutch pedal) as they end up very close to the edge of the pedals.
BMW E46 Aluminum Pedal Set
P/N 35.00.0.006.949 (manual transmission)
P/N 35.00.0.007.018 (automatic transmission)