1 2 3 4 5
Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/13/23 9:12 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Regarding rwd. Unplug the two connectors on the transfer case and see how you like it. It will take longer to jack up the car on the driver's side than unplugging it. 

I honestly think its probably easier to get a rwd car, but its certainly not impossible to convert it. You just need a lot of parts and unless you go to a junkyard and diy it will be really expensive. 

You probably need at a minimum, oil pan and possibly the front sub-frame. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/13/23 2:43 p.m.

I did some reading and I'll just deal with the all wheel drive. It's not really a problem, not at all, I just have race cars on the brain and I know the AWD system adds 150 pounds or so, so I'm dreaming. 

I have xDelete on the car so right now I'm sending 70% of my power to the rear wheels and 30% to the front. I can just use that to make it full rear wheel drive, but I'll still have all the extra weight. I thought of doing that and then pulling the front axles and driveshaft for weight savings, but then it'll throw some error codes that leave me with no ABS so I figured the smart thing is to just enjoy all wheel drive. Also, even if I went the route of replacing the front subframe and oil pan, the chassis itself is different and the RWD transmission doesn't bolt up to an AWD car, half the mounts don't fit. It's fun to think about though, and an excuse to buy a rear wheel drive version in the future when I want to build a race car!

I've been trying to install some stuff for a few days but the weather keeps fighting me. I'm hoping I can today, and then finally have some pictures to post in here. This thread has gone too long without pics.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
6/13/23 2:51 p.m.

I just don't think "because race car" makes a whole lot of sense for this car.  If that's the way you wanna go, I'd grab something else that's a better base to start with...

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/17/23 9:45 p.m.

Seats in! It's a big improvement over leather. Now I just need someone to buy my leather sport seats! Selling them cheap. Name your price.

Here's how it looks with the new seats in. I also picked up a harness, one that is DOT approved, since the factory seatbelts don't really work with these seats. I still need to figure out one of the mounting points on the side—factory seat had it pretty low and far back, and so I need to mount it so it works with the racing seat mount. Pretty decent weight savings with all this. The factory heated power sport seats are 78 pounds each. Racing seats plus sliders and mounts are 32.8 pounds each, for a weight savings of 90.4 pounds. 

Got the polycarbonate window in on the broken side. Fits great, just took some figuring out. I had to remove a lot of the rubber around the window and several panels to get the old glass out. Also had to drill two small holes to fit the pins in that hold the window up. Now that it's installed, I find myself scratching my head about the door panel. No one sits in the back seat. I think I might pick up some of those lightweight door panels to save another few pounds. Polycarbonate windows and lightweight panels on both sides should save me 20 pounds. I'll have to throw all this stuff on a scale to check.

before, as I'm figuring out how to remove the window:

And after, with the polycarbonate window installed, the two pins to hold it in place, and the old broken window regulator removed:

I had to notch the weatherstripping piece on the inside edge of the window there, so it would fit around the pins. Overall I'm happy with this, although it didn't save as much weight as I was hoping for. I'll try to do the other side next weekend and weigh everything. The windows I bought also came with the small rear quarter windows, whatever they're called, but those are a huge pain to install so I don't see that happening any time soon.

Also I need to code out the airbag and seat occupancy lights. I have the seatbelt plug plugged into the giant plug thing beneath each seat, but it's still lighting up my dashboard. Time to learn how to code an e90!

Ah, scope creep.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
6/18/23 10:27 a.m.

Keep the factory sports seats.  When you eventually want to sell the car, you're going to need to put them back in.  Nobody will want to buy the car with race seats in it and it'll negatively impact your resale value if you've gotten rid of the stock seats.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/18/23 7:33 p.m.

You are 100% correct! However, I don't have room for them in my small apartment, and it's looking more like this car will eventually turn into more of a dedicated autocross and occasional track day build. I really like the car and don't anticipate selling it.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/20/23 2:21 p.m.

Just wanted to report that I'm really happy with the switch to racing seats. They aren't perfect—the driver's seat bumps into the center console, so I need to slide it forward another 1/2" or so but can't, also the Schroth DOT-approved harness works better with factory seats than with an actual racing seat—but I'm really happy having cloth seats now. The difference is night and day, no more sweaty back on hot days. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/22/23 1:55 p.m.

Update: My A/C died on the first day of summer. Fortunately, Cleveland has mild summers, but a black car with a black interior and no window tint, yeah that's rough. I should probably tint the windows soon, even just a light tint would help a lot. I'll try recharging my refridgerant this weekend.

 

I had a brief moment today where I asked myself "since I want to turn this into more of an autocross car, should I just sell it and buy a RWD version instead, as it's about 150 pounds lighter?" But ultimately I decided against it. Yes, my car weighs more, but I kinda like having AWD in this car. It's safe; I can floor it and almost never have to worry about spinning out. I do still drive it daily, and the AWD helps a lot with rain and snow. The weight difference.... Let's be honest, I'm not a good enough driver to notice the difference. Ultimately, I have a good car that's been well maintained and is in good shape (other than a few sensors and now my A/C), and I've already started the modding process. It makes more logical sense to continue with this one. Also, I checked and basically every E90 for sale within 50 miles is an AWD one.

The only real "problems" is that I can't swap M3 front suspension right over, and that it weighs a little more. The weight is whatever, I don't care that much. As for the front suspension, I already have Dinan springs and Bilstein shocks and Dinan camber plates and 255-wide tires. By the time I can drive good enough that I need more than that I'll have a garage and extra money and I'll just buy another car to turn into a full race car.

In short, I don't see any reason to give the all wheel drive a second thought. I already have it biased at 70%R/30%F, which helps. 

nuthunmuch
nuthunmuch New Reader
6/22/23 5:40 p.m.

Curious to watch the progression of your car. I have an E90 328i that I occasionally consider turning into a track-only car. Every time I work on it, however, I'm reminded that BMW engineers like to over engineer things and I change my mind.

Regarding the air conditioning: you could check the hard lines for the AC (I think on passenger side of engine bay) for a hole. When the AC quit on my car it was due to a small hole in the hard line where the line is held by a plastic clip. I think a combination of corrosion and abrasion from water and grit between the line and clip.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/22/23 9:35 p.m.

In reply to nuthunmuch :

Thanks for the tip, I'll check it!

With a RWD 328 you can swap much of the M3 front suspension pieces on and get more negative camber and sturdier control arms. A worthy swap, from those that have done it. You can also swap the M3 steering rack for a quicker ratio. I think a 328i is great for a track car. Are there faster cars? Sure. But the N52 engine lasts forever, and other than a few little things like valve cover leaks it's basically problem-free. Now, the rest of the car has some typical German electrical gremlins, but those are sorted out easily enough. It handles great and with some 255s on all four corners grips like mad. With a euro intake, intake scoops, silicone elbow, 3stage/330i intake manifold, headers, secondary cat delete and MILVs you can get around 300 reliable horsepower. On the e90post forums there's a user named biginboca that has turned his 328i into a pretty capable track machine/daily driver, even went as far as installing a carbon fiber roof.

This weekend I'm going to try to replace my wheel bearing sensors and maybe get my other rear window done. I also have some extra money to play with, so I'm trying to decide what to buy. New lightweight rear door panels? Saves about 10 pounds and will help keep the car looking nice even as I shed weight. Carbon fiber sunroof panel? That'll shed a lot of weight up high, but I'll have to buy a non-sunroof headliner ($$$). Euro intake box? Good for a few horsepower.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/25/23 11:53 a.m.

Had a bit of free time this morning so I swapped my other rear window with a polycarbonate one. It went a lot faster the second time around.

 

I also replaced my front wheel speed sensor that was bad. My trio of error lights went off! For about one minute. So probably one of the other wheel speed sensors are bad. So I know what I'm doing next weekend.

I bought the lightweight rear door panels and they should be here soon. Between the polycarbonate windows and lightweight door panels, that should save me 16 pounds accord to my scale.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/28/23 10:46 a.m.

Weight reduction is my primary focus on this car. From what I've read, my starting weight was probably in the 3500-3600 pound range, with this being all wheel drive with the sport seats. So far I've dropped a bit over 100 pounds while improving the suspension and adding wider tires, and the car is a blast to drive. 

Just got my author royalties, so I'm sitting here wondering what to buy next. I'm trying to be smart with my money so I'm mostly sticking to 1 mod per month. Unfortunately, the all wheel drive E90s have the worst weight balance, with the heaviest front end. Much of the weight reduction involves reducing weight in the center or rear of the car. So I'll make it lighter, but it's going to be a real struggle getting weight off the front end. Not the end of the world, but it's nice to be cognizant of it. Right now here are the weight reduction mods on my wish list

Carbon fiber hood—$1000, will drop about 15 pounds off the front and look super awesome. I'll need help installing.
M3 front crash bar/bumper support—$350, saves about 10 pounds from the front end, not too hard to install
M3 rear crash bar/bumper support—$90, saves 10 pounds from the rear, not too hard to install
Headers—Already have them, will save about 20 pounds, don't think I can install them until I get a house
Carbon fiber sunroof plug— $399, saves about 33 pounds from the top of the car (yay!) but I'll need to buy a non-sunroof headliner which is very hard to find and expensive (not yay)
Carbon fiber trunk lid—$650, saves 10 pounds and looks awesome, I can probably install myself
Lightweight battery—$250 or so, saves up to 40 pounds and will still start the car in above zero temps
Lighter wheels—still working on refinishing my BBS RC-090s!

Doing the rear bumper carrier and lightweight battery would cost less than $400, not be overly hard to install, and would save as much as 50 pounds so I'm leaning toward that. However, I need to get some stuff to code the car as well, and that software isn't free. So I might wait on the battery. I really want to do the sunroof plug, but so far the best price I've found on a slicktop headliner was over a grand, big ouch. So, I don't know. Maybe I'll just be super lame and save my money this month. I have a small front lip to install anyways, and still need to get my rear shocks/springs in there. 

bumpsteer
bumpsteer Reader
6/28/23 12:39 p.m.

What kind of options are there for an aluminum radiator on the front of the car? Two piece rotors could help as well.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/28/23 2:06 p.m.

In reply to bumpsteer :

I just checked and didn't see any options for an aluminum radiator for my car—for a 335i yes, but not a 328i. I'm not sure what the differences are. If I could find one, I think I would file that under installing when I own a house, not in the parking lot of an apartment building. That's something to look into though, thanks. That would be a great place to upgrade the car, especially since I want to track it in the future!

There are lightweight rotors (about 2 pounds lighter) for the 335i brakes, which are slightly larger than my 328i brakes. I have a set of 335 calipers and pads ready to install, but of course after I bought them I learned that my BBS wheels will not fit over the 335i brakes. Who knows, after cleaning up these rims I may just wind up selling them and buying some Apexs. We'll see.

I've actually considered removing my entire center console and building a simple replacement from a sheet of carbon fiber. I wouldn't need much, it would look cool if done right, and I could still retain the accessory outlet so I can power my phone charger and aux cable and stuff. No one ever rides in the back so I'm not overly concerned about removing the big ol' air vents blowing on the rear seat. I'd probably save a solid 15-20 pounds if I did that, but it would take a lot of work to make my replacement look good. I'll probably save that for a future project. Ultimately I'm trying to keep this a nice car that's comfortable on the street and doesn't look like a gutted race car. There are a lot of front suspension mods I could do if this were a RWD version like installing M3 parts, but they don't fit the AWD version. A front sway bar and some stiffer bushings are about all I have left to mod on the front suspension.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
6/28/23 4:39 p.m.

So, all this weight reduction.....  Why?  You're not gutting the car and running it in a hp/lb class on track.  The amount of performance difference you'll see on an auto-x course can easily be covered by just working on your driving.  Meanwhile a lot of the weight reduction really impacts how you use the car the other 98% of the time, which is as your daily driven street car.....

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/28/23 7:59 p.m.

You know, I typed in a long reply explaining all of this in detail, but I've noticed all your replies tend to be just telling me to not mod my car so I don't think you would care. So here's your answer:

Because I want to. Because I enjoy this car, because I like modifying it. Because I want it to look a certain way and handle a certain way. And while I will be working on my driving skills a ton (I'm even going to a driving school in a couple months) a 300 pound reduction in weight will totally change how a car feels and performs.

glueguy (Forum Supporter)
glueguy (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/28/23 8:53 p.m.

> Lightweight battery—$250 or so, saves up to 40 pounds and will still start the car in above zero temps

You could always keep the mount set up for two batteries - winter and summer.  When it's cold enough to need a strong CCA battery you likely aren't going to be autocrossing or driving hard on the street.  Put the heavy guy in for the 8-12 weeks you need it and then switch back to a lighter battery for the rest of the year.

 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/28/23 10:13 p.m.

In reply to glueguy (Forum Supporter) :

It's a solid option. To be fair, last winter when a cold front came through and the temp was -5 or so my big, 61-pound battery just barely started the car. I don't have idrive or some of the other options on my car so I don't have as much power drain as others, and they've all reported the small batteries doing great. I think I'll take the plunge soon, as it's an easy mod that drops a lot of weight. I just have to code the car to tell it a smaller battery has been installed. But then again I need to mess with the codes to turn off the seatbelt light since installing my seats.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/29/23 7:43 a.m.

Wound up buying the M3 rear bumper carrier, as that's the cheapest/easiest 10 pound drop. The Wife keeps telling me to just get the CF hood but I want to wait a paycheck or two, just to be responsible.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/30/23 10:24 a.m.

I did a thing yesterday. 

The lower edge of my front bumper is pretty beat up. I think the previous owner hit a lot of parking barriers and curbs when parking, as it's missing a ton of paint. Well, I bought these little uhhhh plastic thingies that clip onto the front bumper and make it look a bit snazzier. I don't remember how much they were, but they were pretty cheap on ebay. I sprayed a couple coats of BMW black, sanded smooth with 1000 grit, added a good bit of clear coat, sanded smooth, added another coat of clear. They came with some crappy double sided tape which never works well, so I used a gel super glue to keep them in place, although they clip on so they're on there pretty snugly. To be honest, the entire front bumper could use a respray, but I'll worry about that some other time. This covered up a lot of the damage and I like how it looks. Before:

aaaaaand after:

Subtle, but I like it. I really want to remove my grill, strip the chrome, and spray the whole thing black. The top section of the grill that attaches to the hood is corroded on, those screws don't come out, because Cleveland. So that'll have to wait until I get a CF hood.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/30/23 10:43 a.m.

Also maybe it's just the angle but it really looks like I can fit wider wheels in there.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/30/23 5:10 p.m.

I was working remotely today so I had a little free time. I used some of that to get some work done on these old BBS rims. I'm always amazed at just how much force it takes to split these things: soaking with PB blaster, baking in an oven for 20 minutes, then wailing on it with an 8lb sledge for a while. I tried splitting the third one today without putting it in the oven. Failed miserably. Later this weekend I'll try to do that. 
 

So far I have one barrel mostly done and one barrel that still needs to be polished up a bit then cleared. The faces still need some stripping done. Two rims still need to be split apart. 

there's a book on the one to absorb the impact from the sledge. 
 

I'm trying to decide what color to paint the centers. I think I'll paint them black. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
7/1/23 9:14 p.m.

Finally got all 4 wheels split! What a pain. They still need a lot of work but it's good to make some progress. It rained today which ruined some of my plans and it's supposed to rain for the next several days, but I'm hoping I can find a moment to get another layer of clear on one of these barrels. Two of them still need a LOT of stripping to get that five pounds of black spray paint off.

Excuse the mess.

I was also looking at how often some of the nearby racetracks do track days and I'd have to be an idiot to not take advantage of that. That being said, if I wind up doing track days even semi regularly I'm going to need to go ahead and upgrade my front brakes to the 335 ones, which means these BBS wheels won't fit. So once they're done, I'll have to sell them.

But, no rush. Perhaps I'll throw them on my car for a bit first and enjoy them, then upgrade to some bigger brakes and lighter rims later. Who knows, I change my mind every ten minutes.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
7/4/23 4:25 p.m.

Got my M3 rear bumper carrier/support in the mail, so I went to install it this morning. Seemed pretty straightforward, but I couldn't get the bumper cover on over it. I removed it and compared it to my stock one and it sticks out about an inch too far.

Others have done this mod and all said it was very simple and just swapped right on. I'm wondering if it's because I have a sedan and they have coupes(?). If the rear one doesn't fit I'm wondering if the front will. Swapping them both would remove 22 pounds without compromising drivability or safety. I asked on the E90 forum, so hopefully I can get some help on there.

bumpsteer
bumpsteer Reader
7/4/23 6:56 p.m.

Did you somehow end up with a coupe bumper support? I would imagine the coupe and sedan ones are different shapes, visually the bumper covers seem to stick out more on coupes. Also is there foam between the bumper and support that may be different and needs to be trimmed? Perhaps it works with an M sport bumper cover but not the standard cover?

1 2 3 4 5

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
40QTYUcTOCXZHzlYIGM9w3zkZQJnuVlGhzTr9fxitJMd51iYjgKX0iFTuG337xmk