BMW E93 Tuning Mods

"Welcome to the world of BMW E93 tuning."

We were asked for more information on tuning and building a modified E93 and particularly which turbo upgrades work best, so we've created this guide that covers our go to parts for this engine and what we feel are the ultimate value parts you can do.

This 3-series convertible falls in the category of compact executive cars of the fifth-generation BMW 3-series see our E93 buyers guide for more information.

After the 2010 facelift, the highest power model 335i got an engine update. It converts from an N54B30 single turbo engine to a twin-turbo N55 engine. The facelift announcement also included an official addition of a dual-clutch semi-automatic 7-speed gearbox in place of a 6-speed gearbox in this model. Also, some renovation was done on the front and tail lights.

BMW 4-series convertible was marketed as F33 from 2014-2016, then after the facelift, it was sold till 2020 with the top output figure of 326 hp. And now the marketing of all-new BMW 4-series G23 convertible is continued from 2020 till now.

E93 make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine upgrades and handling upgrades you can!

It is a two-door four-seat cabriolet offered in the years 2007-2010, then after the facelift, the post-LCI models - E93N - were on the ground between 2010-2013.

Since 2013, the convertible has been marketed as the BMW 4-series.

The E93 is a great tuning project to take up your weekends. With the right mods your E93 can be transformed into a fun car. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

 

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

E93 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handing improvements are usually high up on new E93 owners priority lists. Just dropping the car and utilising some decent coilovers that allow ride height tweaks will make a world of difference.

Bear in mind that the rubber bushings will fail and degrade over time, so sometimes all you need to perk up the E93 handling sharpness is a new set of bushings, with some option for polyurethane bushings, but harder is not always better.

Popular brands in our area for the E93 include Bilstein, Vogtland, Eibach and Koni and we’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below or in our forums.

The structural rigidity is slightly disappointing but fitting a strut brace and front and rear anti roll bars can help with this a little.

As the suspension wears the bushings will give out, so need to be replaced, and many owners go with poly bushes, but we would recommend sticking with the softer compounds.

We found that most E93 factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe (set some toe out to improve cornering or use toe in for better stability) and you only need around 0.9 to 1.5 degrees, and a tiny bit of negative camber will radically improve your cornering and handling.

Drop the car by as much as 30mm - 38 mm. and fit slightly stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

E93 brake upgrades

For radically enhanced braking put better brake pads and match this with bigger discs.

We should point out that some performance pads can grind, damaging your discs, and will have to be hot before they start to work.

On your regular commute to work the brakes are occasionally used so won't stop you as well so choose brake pads which work well in daily use.E93 Tuning mods.

This list of the stages and sports parts are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you start.

We have a few engine specific tuning guides for the E93, and we really appreciate the comments and tips you pass on to us in our comments, it helps us keep this updated and useful to people.

  • 335i 2010-2013

N55B30 Twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder
RWD engine power 306 hp and 295 lb-ft

  • 330i 2010-2013

N55B30 Naturally aspirated inline-six-cylinder
RWD engine power 272 hp and 236 lb-ft

  • 330d 2010-2013

N57D30OL Turbo inline-six-cylinder
RWD engine power 245 hp and 383 lb-ft

Getting the correct grade of uprated mods for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport mods just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Remap, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 30mm - 38 mm.).

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

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

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a drivable and fun car you need a long torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The aim of our articles is to give a little insight into the world of modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best motorsport mods and all aspects of modding cars.

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest torque gains for your money as far as a solitary performance modification goes on a NASP engine.

If you can't source a performance cam, then you could get a regrind done on the stock cam to get your chosen valve durations and lift.

The exhaust & intake valve durations play a huge role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car awkward to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap to fully realize your gains.

Best power upgrades for your BMW E93

Let's answer some of the most common questions we get asked about tuning and modifying an E93.
  • Tuning can improve your horsepower. Get your car remapped or tuned, there are plenty of specialists around depending on where you live, but with any of these tunes, you can expect around 100 horsepower more which makes mapping one of the best mods you can do on your E93.
  • To further increase the horsepower, the very first mod you can do is to add a front mount intercooler, this will resist heat soak and manufacturers claim you'll get around 30 more horsepower but your experience will very much depend on the other mods you've carried out.
  • The plastic charge pipes are not particularly strong so should be replaced, and this will have the added benefit of sharpening up the throttle response. TorqueCars would suggest you fit an aluminum charge pipe. We specifically recommend using a COBB charge pipe but there are other options around depending on where you live.
  • E93 comes with a restrictive downpipe so another way is to add a decat/cat-less or high flow cat downpipe and you can expect around more than 40 hp.(NB removal or replacements of Catalysts is not legal in many states and regions, so be aware of your local regulations.)
  • Intake improvements, by fitting a better flowing intake manifold and air filter it is possible to see power gains at the top end of your RPM range of around 15 horsepower. Generally speaking you are removing a restriction, so rather than adding power you are gaining lost power here, which is amplified if you've done other mods especiallly a remap.
  • Make sure your E93 is running at peak efficiency, so if it's the mileage is creeping up it makes sense to fit a brand-new set of coil packs and quality spark plugs, it is surprising how a remap can show up bad electrical components in the ignition systems.

E93 Fuel upgrades.

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

Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after motorsport modifications are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing issues.

To get sufficient fuel you may need to improve the injectors on your engine.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

E93 Intake and Exhaust headers and cat back mods.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.

Induction kits will only help to boost performance if your cars air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most stock engines will see LITTLE LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL.

Focus instead on the intake manifold design and a high flowing panel filter made from a cotton gauze material, these give the best filtration to air flow characteristics.

If you have heavily modified your engine and its need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction. Please don't forget to isolate the induction kit from the engine bay, otherwise, you are just sucking in warm engine bay air. There are some nice carbon fiber style intake boxes around, but why spend so much money on something people will only see when the engine bay is open.

For most E93 engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of needing cold air.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow out of the engine but do not go too wide or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Head porting and polishing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools In nearly all cases of E93 tuning your clutch will start to suffer and this needs an upgrade - read our article on clutches for more information. The best mods we would do for your E93 are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

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

We've also come across some owners playing with twincharging conversions and making some impressively high power gains.

The most significant power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos provide boost in exponential proportion to th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers however will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. Alternatively you could install water injection to minimise knock.

E93 Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloys are less heavy they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks. Get a good soft compound tire to improve your handling and help improve traction on your E93. Large E93 alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

The factory wheels options for the E93 were somewhat limited and many would attest were uninspiring, so many E93 owners replace the alloy wheels with somethng more suited to the appearance of the car.

Ditching runflat tires is always a good option, these are heavy and hamper the performance, and are also expensive to replace. You will gain in not having to carry a spare but you could always carry a tire repair kit and can still avoid having to put up with a heavy spare taking up space and adding weight.

Wheel choices are very subjective and a matter of preference, but personally I like the multi spoked wheels, which also aid the brake cooling effect, but I wouldn’t recommend large heavy alloys unless you are prepared to sacrifice performance for looks.

With plenty to choose from, taking an E90 as an example, wheels will set the type of build you want to go for. Making your car have that wow factor right from the offset is a good base point to mod your car around. Going down a path such as track day, VIP, hellaflush, sleeper or stylish daily driver. There are plenty to choose from.

For dished wheels, a set of Forgestar F14 Wheels are bespoke to you. Built for your specific needs including unique colour, offset and a choice of depth on your dish preference. Fitting extra deep concaved wheels is considered a very aggressive choice. With mods to the suspension, arches, and wings - all to make sure the wheels fit well in the scenes you want to go for, either on the road or track.

Avant Garde Wheels look the part too. The clean design look well on the E90 or F30, their clean design offer that minimalist mod approach but also look the part on the streets at night or at the track.

Whereas a budget friendly option to go for is something from the VMR range. Multi spoke and colour options make your car really stand out without breaking the bank.

With all these new wheel options, make sure to pair suitable tyres for the type of car you want to go for. After all, they are the most important interaction between the car and the road and can be all the difference when chasing that lap time record.

E92 Styling Mods

You can add an arrow lip in the front, wrap the upper/lower grille in gloss black which looks really nice.

Just going for a simple wrap on the roof in black matte, and installing a rear performance style spoiler will look awesome.

M3 Style Front Wings – a simple visual upgrade to make your BMW look as close to the real M3 without breaking the bank. Either by colour matching or unpainted.

Carbon Fibre front kidney grilles – a mix of abs plastic and carbon fibre make your BMW look the part, with minimal tools or expertise required to make the change.

Carbon Fibre rear spoiler – the carbon theme continues with the lip rear spoiler that is s subtle upgrade, but when ramping up the gears on track can actually make that aero difference needed, but only at speeds of over 90mph!

Angel eye and lighting upgrades –A conversion to the ubiquitous angel eyes & LED fog lights are popular styling mods. A 3 series may come with Halogens as standard. A simple upgrade is HID with an off the shelf kit.

The halo’s or “Angel Eyes” are yellow and warm when they come out of the factory. The LUX range is a good option and can fit many models.

Weak points to watch out for when tuning your E93

  • The 18-inch run-flat tires had little patience for potholes.
  • Weight about 400lb more than the coupe
  • When the top is down, the rough roads make the vehicle’s A-pillar shudder slightly
  • Seals are not designed to bear high pressure during a car wash.
  • The roof is sometimes locked when down. Using dust off around the mechanism in the trunk will resolve the issue.
  • The pin of the fuel cover may stick sometimes and not lock properly. Clean your car regularly.
  • Electric water pump when fail also harm the thermostat near it.
  • High-mileage cars may develop carbon-buildup and then walnut blast is needed to clean the intake valves.
  • Injectors and High-Pressure Fuel Pump may tend to fail and need replacements
  • Automatic trans fluid may leak out into mechatronic sleeves.
  • Filter and Fluid change may need the replacement of the whole assembly of the oil pan gasket with filters.
  • Valve cover gasket may leak sometimes and need replacement.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss E93 options in more detail with our E93 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.

 

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