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Jeremiah Grover
07-07-1999, 10:30 PM
I am sorry if I seem to be selfishly requesting seemingly foolish things, but for those of us who have not done everything to an E21 of one type or another or at one time or another, this can better establish the community, especially for us newer characters and get our roots started so that our E21s may live long and prosper *s*.<p>If you are reading this, would you please reply with your location and the latest mods you may be getting good or bad results with, from performance to comfort or retrofitting, etc.<p>Thanks, Jeremiah Grover.

Jeremiah Grover
07-07-1999, 10:45 PM
I have not really done much yet, but my cup is about to run over, in the next two months I should have lots of goodies.<p>I have however done up my timing pretty nicely, I think it is a great system. I had a slight pinging when I got the car. I did a few things, changed oil/filter, hotter plugs, cap and rotor. I am not sure that the plugs would help, some say na, some say ya. I used the hotter plug(NGK 5E(?I think?)), because it would burn cleaner and I think after over 200K the rings are a little worn.<br>With the cleaner burn I thought, some restored compression and less unburned fuel left to detonate and "ping". <p>The other side of the coin is that if any fuel is left, the hotter plug(stays and burns hotter) would be more likely to cause a "ping".<p>Anyway, about the timing, just fool with it and drive, you may notice very little, but when you get that light pinging on acceleration, keep your eye on a spot or mark the neck with a permanent marker, and retard it just a slight amount(1/16th of an inch), and drive again, keep retarding it till the pinging is gone, just so slightly though.<br>Results are a quiet, smoother ride/accel, cooler running engine, and the confidence to drive across the country *s*.<p>PS: Make sure you at least go through the ignition components before as you will get better results and will not have to retime after you change the plugs,etc.<p>I also took off the snorkel and replace an old filter, not bad, a little more pick up when it is cool out.<p>Jeremiah Grover.

Robert
07-08-1999, 08:22 AM
I live in the Atlanta, GA area.<p>I own a 1981 323i. It is a fairly plain example and has no options that I can tell. It came with a 4 speed, no air or stereo, and an open rear end.<br>It is however very rust free for a Euro car.<p>Presently it is being painted and all rubber trim and exterior trim is being replaced also all the lamps and converted back to german specs.<p>The car has a Korman adjustable rear crossmember, H&R springs, Bilstien sports, Korman hard bushings,and Alpina solid subframe mounts. It had susp tech sway bars but I removed them in favor of stock. In my opinion with such hard shocks and springs, the thicker bar were not the hot set up. seems to reduce the suspensions ability to act independantly. So I guess in my opinion pick your battle, hard shocks, stiff bars, not both.<p>I have already swaped the rear for a 3:91 ls and the 4 speed for a 5speed. <p>When the outside is done, I'm going to do the interior with 320is sport recaros. It has cloth interior in Mocca (sp?) I'm still deciding how to do the A/C.<p>The Last project will be a conversion to motronic 325i engine. hopefully around 200-230 hp.<p>Take Care

Justin Hughes
07-08-1999, 11:58 AM
<i>: If you are reading this, would you please reply with your location and the latest mods you may be getting good or bad results with, from performance to comfort or retrofitting, etc.<br></i><p>Where do I start? :) Hi, my name's Justin from Marlboro, MA, and I'm a 320i-aholic. Details are on my web site, which I've linked to, but here are the basics:<p><ul><br><li>205/60/13 Sumitomo HTR4 tires - wider and lower profile than stock, with the all season compromise necessary in New England with only one set of tires/wheels. Lots of grip, more than stock dry and wet. Not so good in snow, but that's what my econobox is for. :)<br><li>Rear sway bar and factory Recaros from a 320iS. The bar counters some of the extra body roll the car gets with the wider tires. The Recaros keep you in place.<br><li>Combination fog/driving lights. The purists will hate this one...! My original fogs were very sandblasted, and one was cracked. For less than two new lenses, I bought a completely new set of lights that incorporate both a fog and driving light into one housing (two separate reflectors, lenses, etc.) They're rather large compared to modern units, but look right on the monsterous U.S. spec bumper - just a tad different (half the reflector is amber). Fogs are wired to the stock wiring, drivers are wired in with my high beams. When I hit my brights I really light up the road - only in the absence of oncoming traffic, of course!<br><li>Coming attraction: K&N cone filter. It's literally in the mail to me now, so I can't say how much of a help it is yet.<br></ul><p>For more info on my upgrades and repairs (LOTS of repairs!) check out my site.

MikeM
07-08-1999, 01:28 PM
Jeremiah,<p> E21 that I have/had<br> '78 320i, '79 320/6, '82 320is<p> Mods ('78 320i),<br> High perf. head for 2.0L polished, ported, 284 cam., header, K&N, Stainless steel brake lines, 5 spd conversion<br> Also adapted 2.0L injection to work with 1.8L engines.<p>For my project car ('320is)<br> big brake conversion with volvo calipers, rear disc brakes with 325 calipers, 3.5L big six conversion, aerodynamics, etc.<br>... plus more<p>There is no substitute for displacement, hence the big six conversion<p>best regards<p>Mike Matison<br>Middleville MI<br>

ljp
07-08-1999, 01:57 PM
<i>: I am sorry if I seem to be selfishly requesting seemingly foolish things, but for those of us who have not done everything to an E21 of one type or another or at one time or another, this can better establish the community, especially for us newer characters and get our roots started so that our E21s may live long and prosper *s*.<p>: If you are reading this, would you please reply with your location and the latest mods you may be getting good or bad results with, from performance to comfort or retrofitting, etc.<p>: Thanks, Jeremiah Grover.<p><p>82 320iS, 110k<p>I live in Los Angeles, and am relatively inexperienced mechanically (I guess we're all products of our environment). I've been driving 320s for over 10 years.<p>I like these cars a lot. They are underpowered, but they handle well. My friend's stock 74 tii is faster, but I swear I like the steering/cornering on my car better. My main interest is in having a relatively stock, reliable, smooth running car. I am very close to having that (now I can think about improving on stock).<p>I bought my current 320, my first "S", a little over a year ago from an old couple in Burbank for cheap. Only a couple of minor dings, no rust, original paint and it's all there, but it had been sitting for a while. It suffered from neglect, but not abuse.<p>Since buying it, I and/or my mechanic have:<p>Waxed it and cleaned the hell out of it, including engine compartment (big improvement)<br>Changed oil/filter (every 2K)<br>Replaced all vacuum hoses (big improvement)<br>Replaced control arms/track rods and threw on Yoko A509 205-60-13 (big improvement)<br>Replaced rear wheel cylinders (because I had to)<br>Replaced cheap ignition wires/plugs/etc. (minor improvement, but they look/I feel better)<br>Replaced both fuel pumps, injectors, fuel filter, blew fuel lines clean (because I had to)<br>Replaced trans seals and put in Redline MTL (HUGE improvement)<br>Replaced shift linkages (improvement, but still some slop I need to track down)<br>Replaced clutch slave cylinder (because I had to; did clutch & t/o bearing at same time)<p>Still on the list:<br>Track down some resonant vibrations from heat shields<br>Track down a "jingle" coming from the left side suspension<p>I do have some pinging under load--I'll try to retard the timing a smidge this weekend. Thanks for that, Jeremiah. I've tried taking the snorkle off, but now I leave it on. For stop & go driving--which is often for me--I think the engine compartment air is just too hot. Maybe I'll give it another try on a long drive . . . .<p>At some point, I may stop by Top End--which is only 20 minutes from where I live--and start with the go-faster stuff. What's the deal on street pistons: cast or forged? I know TEP likes to use JE forged, but I've heard oil consumption is an issue. What about Mahle? Are they just too expensive/hard to find?<p>ljp<br></i>

Justin Hughes
07-08-1999, 03:03 PM
<i>: Mods ('78 320i),<br>: High perf. head for 2.0L polished, ported, 284 cam., header, K&N, Stainless steel brake lines, 5 spd conversion<br></i><p>How much of an improvement would you say the K&N got you? I'm curious what I can expect with my otherwise stock engine configuration.<p><i>: There is no substitute for displacement, hence the big six conversion<br></i><p>True, but it's a little out of my price range. :)<p> - Justin

Jeremiah
07-08-1999, 07:09 PM
Actually a set of Mahles are cheaper last I looked. I have not looked for or found the 320i euro pistons, but if you put in a 2.0 crank you can use Tii pistons which can be had for $400 with rings and wrist pins. Forged is a more durable piston than a cast, especially alloys. <br>Also the Total Seal rings are supposed to be twice as good as conventionals(they come with the JEs).<p>Yes, I plan on routing a duct from a constant cool air supply to the air box myself.<p>Talk to you later, Jeremaih Grover.

MikeM
07-09-1999, 09:37 AM
Justin,<br> The K&N filter doesn't really offer noticeable improvement. The car gets a little faster and louder with the filter. Mostly it is a placebo effect. Oppinions will vary. From info that I have the stock air filter in the 320i is used in other larger displacement engines which tends to indicate that the stock will flow very well. I would be concerned about small particles getting in the engine with the K&N that can cause premature engine failure. I still run the K&N, but I have had three different engines (used) in that 320i since I got it and I usually get them for free so I don't mind the risk.<br>If you want performance in your 320, I'd go with suspension parts and tires. If you want more change to a LS diff and get a 5spd if you don't have it. If that doesn't do it for you, start saving for the big conversion. The most you'll ever get out of a normally aspirated 4 cyl from a 320 is about 160hp. This is with major tuning and major expense. My 320i has had many of the major mods and it still was not fast compared to many other makes on the road. It is kind of embarassing to have this car that you dump all kinds of money into and get beat by a Z24. So my advice, save your cash and drive the stock setup. If you really like the E21 body, but want it to be fast, go the route of a higher output engine from stock. It'll be cheaper and easier in the long run, parts are easier to get this way. Just keep an eye out for something that will work at a cheap price. Old 5 and 7 series cars are available if you look hard enough. Best part is that you could probably drive the donor until you do the swap! Almost anything will fit, the big six, the baby six, M3.<p>Mike Matison<br>'88 735i, '82 320is, '78 320i

Justin Hughes
07-12-1999, 11:14 AM
<i><br>: The K&N filter doesn't really offer noticeable improvement. The car gets a little faster and louder with the filter. Mostly it is a placebo effect. Oppinions will vary. From info that I have the stock air filter in the 320i is used in other larger displacement engines which tends to indicate that the stock will flow very well. <br></i><p>Since that post, I have received, installed, and autocrossed with a K&N cone. Though some of your other enhancements have probably had more of an effect, I did notice an improvement in low and midrange torque - exactly what I need for autox. I still have the stock exhaust, so I'm probably not making the most of the improvement at this point.<p><i>I would be concerned about small particles getting in the engine with the K&N that can cause premature engine failure. I still run the K&N, but I have had three different engines (used) in that 320i since I got it and I usually get them for free so I don't mind the risk.<br></i><p>I've been warned about this as well. I have another car as a daily driver, and the 320i is my tinkertoy, so I don't really mind the risk either. I probably would not put a K&N on my daily driver, whatever it happens to be.<p><i>: If you want performance in your 320, I'd go with suspension parts and tires. If you want more change to a LS diff and get a 5spd if you don't have it. If that doesn't do it for you, start saving for the big conversion. The most you'll ever get out of a normally aspirated 4 cyl from a 320 is about 160hp. This is with major tuning and major expense. My 320i has had many of the major mods and it still was not fast compared to many other makes on the road. It is kind of embarassing to have this car that you dump all kinds of money into and get beat by a Z24. So my advice, save your cash and drive the stock setup. If you really like the E21 body, but want it to be fast, go the route of a higher output engine from stock. It'll be cheaper and easier in the long run, parts are easier to get this way. Just keep an eye out for something that will work at a cheap price. Old 5 and 7 series cars are available if you look hard enough. Best part is that you could probably drive the donor until you do the swap! Almost anything will fit, the big six, the baby six, M3.<br></i><p>I've pretty much already decided that if I'm going to pursue a well tuned performance car, it's not going to be based on my 320i. I've driven and ridden in 2002s and E30 325i's, and both offer a level of performance I doubt I can get from mine without a lot of extra expense and work. My 320i is a lot of fun, and I like it a lot for cruising back roads and a bit of fun at the autocross. I do like the body - it certainly stands out among today's dime-a-dozen econobubbles! But as you say, it just doesn't have as much performance potential as some other cars.

MikeM
07-15-1999, 09:04 AM
I still use the factory airbox and the K&N replacement filter. This will probably make a large difference. Glad to hear that you like it.<p>Mike Matison


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