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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 01:37:47 PM   #1
M3SHOguy
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Question What can the Stock M3 handle?

Ok if theres a post i over looked about this please point me int the right direction but i could really find anything.

This is the question i am wondering. Say i wanted to boost the motor on an E46 M3. Be it Supercharged or turboed. How much power could i push out of it before i would have to start worring about breaking something anytime i touched the gas pedal? Or say i just wanted to push around 200hp over stock. Would the stock drivetrain handle that? If not what would i have to look into replacing to keep it DD dependable?

Any info on this would help me out.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 01:48:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

It also depends on what you want to do with the end result - drag racing for example puts very different stresses on the motor and drivetrain than say road racing (HPDEs etc.).

Also, superchargers are less shocking to the driveline and motor than turbos since they are spun by the motor rather than exhaust gases. A low psi SC (4-6 psi say for example) should work relatively well with an otherwise stock motor - but if you want to HPDE then you will want to look into better cooling - intercoolers, oil coolers etc.

Also, just adding power is not enough - when you add power, you go faster in the same distance and will be asking more of the brakes to slow you down. Better brakes and tires will come next as will probably a better suspension.

You need to look a the whole equation and not just a part.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 02:02:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

It would be more of Road Racer then anything for what im thinking about doing. Pretty much im thinking about trying to get this Kit after awhile.

http://store.activeautowerke.com/act...vel-1-p43.aspx

Or a turbo set-up that would put out around the same numbers. My goal is to in the end have around 450-500whp. So im trying to figure out after i put all the extra power in what would i need to make sure to replace with stronger items.

I already had plans to upgrade the braking power. Seeing as it would need it with the bump in power to keep thing under control better.
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Last edited by M3SHOguy; Sun, Jan-15-2012 at 02:22:38 PM.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 02:04:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

Depends mostly on the tires and how it's driven. I would only expect issues with sticky tires and high rpm launches.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 02:20:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

These motors are already pretty strung out by the factory & have high compression, while a turbo is definitely more desirable i would agree the supercharger would probably be easier on the motor. I wonder if anyone has ever did a rebuild w/ lower compression & a big turbo, would probably be a total rocket.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 02:32:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

With the amount of power you are looking for you also might want to consider upgrading the clutch.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 03:29:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

Most reputable company's (ESS, AA) stage two kits sit at the cap of what can be reasonably reliably done. They're also within the power limits of the stock clutch, if you can drive competently.

Stick with ESS (I'd go with them for sc) or AA and you should be fine.

The upcoming maxpsi turbo kit should also be a solid option.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 03:37:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

Turbo would be easier on the motor. Also I would advise putting in a thicker headgasket to lower compression. I have a gsxr 1000 (turbo) piston on my desk that is burnt from to high compression. I put a piston and a thicker headgasket on it and never had a problem after that even with higher boost.

The transmission is very similar to the supra 6 speed and they will handle 1700+hp so it should be fine. The driveshaft u-joint looks to be on the small side. I don't know what the clutch can hold but alot of the times that I have installed turbos on vehicles the first thing to give problems is the clutch
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 03:38:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

Ok so if what im getting from this is right. Then i can get the power i want without worry of upgrading too much else if i dont want to. Im just asking all this so i have a good idea what all i need to get so i can have a pretty reliable M that can handle 450-500whp no problem.
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Old Sun, Jan-15-2012, 03:55:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: What can the Stock M3 handle?

From what I hear the subframe weak-points will probably need reinforcing also
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Discussing Cheapest place to buy KW V2's? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)