BMW E92 Tuning

"Tuning guide to the best BMW E92 modifications."

The BMW E9x series was launched in December 2004 and remained in production until October 2016. The Coupe version of the BMW 3 Series was known as the E92 among enthusiasts.

The coupe design was not unique to the BMW E92; BMW had offered 3 Series Coupe variants since 1975.

The E9x series was particularly significant because it pioneered run-flat tire technology for the BMW 3 Series. Previously, this technology was only available in higher-priced BMW models.

As many of our forum members have asked questions about the E92 and recommendations on how to modify one, so we've created a guide to take you through what we feel are the main modifications that make for improvement and tuning success on this engine.The E92 is a brilliant project car to fill your spare time. Think carefully and research E92 tuning to avoid making the usual disastrous errors we hear about.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

E92 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many E92 owners uprate the handling of their cars with sports suspension upgrades as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

The BMW E92 had a great factory fitted suspension, but with most vehicles being more than a decade old, their suspensions have begun to show their age as well.

Furthermore, if you want to switch to a racing suspension kit, you must get one from a reputable brand. Here are a few suspension related mods that you can perform on your BMW E92.

Suspension Kits

Different companies offer suspension items for the E92. Some examples include:

  • AC Schnitzer racing suspension kit
  • KW 3 Way Clubsport Coilover kit
  • H&R Mono-Tube Coilover Kit

Putting a tiny bit of negative camber at the front and a degree or two of toe (in for better stability or out to improve cornering), will greatly improve your E92 in handling and cornering.

We suggest that you fit sports suspension and lower the car by 23mm - 38 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with motorsport suspension.

Improvements to the bushings

Bushing upgrades are needed so what's involved?

It is possible to connect the E92's suspension components to the chassis of the E92 using poly bushes, which are drop in replacements for the original rubber mounts. The rubber ones typically wear out with time and need replacing anyway so why not upgrade.

Installing new OEM rubber bushes may dramatically improve the performance of your car.

It's probable that the ride may be a touch rougher because of the stronger polyurethane bushings but they'll last longer and maintain tighter handling.

Worn bushes may also hasten the degradation of other suspension components due to the increased vibration and play.

A new set of poly bushings should assist in lessen the excessive play associated with rubber bushings.

Some polyeyurothane bushings are hard to locate, but most will find the primary mounts readily available in their regions You may be able to have custom polyeyurothane bushings created to suit your needs.

E92 Brake upgrades

For sharper improved braking you should get better performance pads and mate this with better brake discs.

We should point out that some performance pads can be noisier and will have to be hot before they are effective.

On a road car the brakes are occasionally used so will not be effective so specify pads which have a low working temperature.

A nice wide torque band and sweet spot of peak power at one third of your RPM range is optimum.

With performance tips you can change your E92 into a fun car, potentially beating larger cars on the track.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Best E92 Tuning mods.

Typically these motorsport parts are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the best tuning modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Different Variants Of BMW E92

  • 1.6–2.0 L N43/N45/N46 I4
  • 2.5–3.0 L N52/N53/N51 I6
  • 3.0 L turbocharged N54/N55 I6
  • 4.0 L S65 V8

Diesel:

  • 2.0 L turbocharged M47/N47 I4
  • 3.0 L turbocharged M57/N57 I6

2010 to 2013 E92

Between the model years 2010 and 2013, the vehicle was offered in both gasoline and diesel variants. In total, 22 different variants were presented to potential buyers.

The gasoline cars ranged in power from 143 hp to 320 hp. This means that the top variant had more than twice the power of the base model.

The diesel variant E92 vehicles had power ranging from 184 hp to 286 hp.

The 335is 6MT or 7AT was the gasoline version performance vehicle having 332 lb-ft torque along with 320 hp.

The 0 to 60 mph time on these vehicles was 5.3 seconds which was considered extremely good for a car of this size.

The diesel version 335d 6AT had 286 hp and 427 lb-ft torque. The diesel version was slower to accelerate, taking 5.9 seconds to get from zero to sixty miles per hour.

So, for exceptional performance, these are the vehicles to look for.

2006 to 2010 E92

The 2006 to 2010 models of the vehicle had 9 gasoline and 19 diesel variants.

The gasoline variants had power ranging between 177 hp and 286 hp whereas the diesel variants ranged in power from 170 hp to 306 hp.

Performance Models

The 335xi 6MT had 306 hp and 295 lb-ft torque. It was pretty quick and completed the 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

Whereas the diesel version 335d 6AT had 286 hp and 428 lb-ft torque. This provided the vehicle with a 0 to 60 mph time of 6.1 seconds.

E92 Engine Tuning.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your E92. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best mods for your E92

  1. Mapping - E92 remapping provides the most power compared to your outlay, aftermarket ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but they must be fitted by someone who knows what they are doing and tracking one down can be a challenge but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock cam for you.
  3. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - A New Turbo is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, which permits you to burn more fuel and make higher power. Typically one of the most technically difficult upgrades you'll see massive gains.
  4. Flywheel lightening - a lower mass flwheel will improve the engines rev changes. But not always stuitable for all E92 engines.
  5. Braking Mods - Stopping your E92 should be listed in your priority list.
  6. Intake and Sports Exhausts - Please note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help lift power after other mods by lessening the restriction.
  7. Internal engine mods - crank, pistons, conrods & compression ratio including balancing and blueprinting
  8. E92 Suspension Upgrades - Replacing worn bushings and shocks radically improves your E92 handling Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this

E92 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 23mm - 38 mm.), Remap, Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Competition cam, Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

The best mods we recommend for your E92 are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam AND air intake and exhaust.

Turbo engines are just begging to be Remapped. You will see significant power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and significant modifications for your money.

Remaps are the way to go and on the E92, you have 2 primary options, a DIY or plug in tuning box and the custom remaps via the OBDII port by a specialist.

If you want to perform car modification as a DIY project, Imoss from Mosselmann tuning offers a great option to download your car's ECU files on your computer and then replace them with custom written remapping files for an increase in bhp and torque.

At £199, this tool is a great way to take your vehicle’s performance to the next level.

E92 ECU Remapping Services

If you believe you are not capable of performing the remapping as a DIY project, there is no need to worry because there are several companies that offer ECU remapping services. One such example is Mstlye, which provides these services at unbeatable prices starting at £245

E92 Sprint Booster V3

The Sprint Booster V3 is available for both gasoline and diesel engine variants of the car. However, you must select the correct variant for the part to do its magic.

This plug and play device ensures that you get instant results from your car without having to cut even a single wire, hence its popularity.

At an extremely reasonable price of £199, this is probably the best investment you can make to your car that shows rapid results.

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a stand alone uprated upgrades goes on a NASP engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up the power if done right.
Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sport cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

Don't forget to look at the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Most power losses, and erratic idling after tuning upgrades are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing issues. Improved injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned E92's uprated injectors.

E92 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. 

Air induction systems are the best way to increase the power of your vehicle by at least 8 to 10 horsepower.

The Gruppe M air induction system is a great example of such a part.

In addition to the air induction systems, you can use air filters from Pipercross and Air boxes from Manhart for added performance.

Please note that WE DO NOT SEE IMPROVEMENTS WITH INDUCTION KITS on the lower performance E92 models, unless you have tuned your car a lot and are finding that the standard air intake has become a limitation. Also the performance varients don't gain too much from induction kits, unless remapped.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for E92 engines you should go with a sports panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

E92 Macht Schnell Stage 2 Intake Kit

BMW's intake systems are referred to as mufflers. The Macht Schnell Stage 2 Intake Kit is an excellent choice that produces significant power gains on the performance engines and sets the non performance ones up for decent power hikes when combined with other mods.

This set includes an intake elbow, a filter, and air ducts. Because of the large surface area of the filter, the air volume is likely to increase by 18%. Furthermore, the smoother finish of the intake tube also plays a vital role in increasing the air volume.

Sports exhausts can help balance the flow of air through the engine. But if your exhaust pipe is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of your flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Several companies offer exhausts for BMW E92 models. Examples include:

  • Cobra Performance Rear Silencer;
  • Eisenmann Rear Section 4x 83 mm Tailpipes;
  • KKS Performance Rear Silencers;
  • MStyle Performance Titanium Exhaust;
  • Remus Sport Rear Silencers;
  • Akrapovic Evolution Line Titanium Exhaust System.

All of the above-mentioned brands offer high-quality exhausts, and it is up to you to decide which one is best for your vehicle.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional head porting and polishing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. A good fast road performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never cut corners or assume a standard OEM clutch to cope.

If you want to improve the performance of your car, a supercharger is the best way to accomplish this, it is an expensive mod but will likely give the largest power gains.

Some of the examples of superchargers that you can use for your E92 include:

  • ESS VT-2 650 which increases the power to 650 bhp;
  • G Power SK2 which increases the power to 580 bhp;
  • VF Engineering VF540 which increases the power to 50 bhp.

It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could fit water injection to reduce the risk of knock.

We've also come across some owners toying with twincharging conversions and making some very high power hikes.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is usually simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to bolt on a turbo. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it harder to map.

E92 Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brake cooling and are usually lighter than the steel ones. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of directional tread pattern tire. Large E92 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

With this in mind we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 18 inches, although we know some of our members have installed larger rims with no problems.

The BMW E92 can support up to 20-inch wheels which instantly improve the vehicle's overall aesthetics by giving it a bolder appearance.

Some of the companies that offer their alloy wheels for the BMW E92 series include but are not limited to:

  • Forgestar
  • MStyle
  • BC Forged

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss E92 options in more detail with our E92 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...


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