I bought my '09 Interlagos Blue E92 M3 on October 18, 2008 with every intention of keeping it stock. Here's how she looked the day I brought her home:
Everything changed in May 2009, when I jumped in on the RAC RG63 wheel group buy. I was bitten by the mod bug, for which we all know there is no cure. My goal was to improve the power, braking, and shifting for the track without negatively affecting daily driveability. I also wanted to give the car a unique look: aggressive, all business, and not flashy. I wanted a look that subtly states that function takes precedence over form with this car.
To add some power, I went with the following bolt-on mods:
Powerchip custom dyno tune
Dinan free flow exhaust
AA pulley kit
Macht Schnell air filter
By my estimate and based on a couple of dyno sessions, these mods added a total of approximately 35 whp and 30 lb-ft of torque. Obviously, the best bang for the buck was the Powerchip tune, which not only accounted for a significant power gain, but also significantly improved driveability. The Dinan exhaust and the MS filter also gave a nice improvement in sound - they added some muscle to the stock engine and exhaust notes without being obnoxious or creating any drone.
The additional power required additional control. For the brakes, I went with a StopTech BBK with 6 piston calipers and 15" rotors in front and 4 pot calipers and 14" rotors in back. I had the kit repainted without the StopTech stickers for a more subtle look. For the street, I'm running StopTech Street Performance pads, and I'll be using PFC 01/06 pads on the track.
I also wanted to improve the stock shifting, the throws were long and notchy and the engagement rubbery and vague. I installed UUC's SSK, which shortened the throws nicely without adding much effort. I later installed UUC's double sheer selector rod, which initially failed to eliminate slop in the stock setup like it was advertised to do. However, my shop has made some additional modifications and it is much improved. The icing on the cake was installing an illuminated E46 ZHP shift knob, which is about 3/4" shorter than the stock knob and nicely weighted, which shortened the throws further and really smoothed them out, all while keeping a very OEM appearance.
On the visual side, I had a very specific picture in my mind, and I turned to the masters to turn my ideas into reality. IND Distribution, and particularly the newest member of their team, Andrew, did not let me down. As a lawyer, the most challenging part of my job is to always put my clients' interests before my own. IND takes that same principle and applies it to the aftermarket automotive business like no other company I've ever dealt with. There were the inevitable hiccups along the way, but IND was fantastic with their proactive communication and extreme attention to detail.
In addition to various trim pieces like the gloss black kidney grills and the color-matched side gills with tinted LED lenses, IND supplied one of the two visual center-pieces for this car, the RDSport Stradale bumper. This was the perfect bumper for me because it has a very subtle OEM appearance, but makes the front look much more aggressive. It also flows really well with the lines of the car from every viewing angle. And, of course, it eliminates the ugly orange corner markers. The paint matched up perfectly with the rest of the car.
The other visual focal point of this car are the wheels, RAC RG63s. Much has already been written about these masterpieces, but to briefly summarize, these are 20-21 lb. 8000 ton forged one-piece wheels designed by RAC (Shep and Chuck) specifically for the E9X M3 in a limited run of 50 sets. I chose gunmetal sight unseen, and I'm completely happy with the way they came out. The strength, weight, and numerous unique design details set the RG63 apart from any other wheel available for the M3, and I feel privileged to have been part of the group buy process.
Gunmetal RAC RG63 (19x9/19x10 f/r with ET 22)
Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta 255/35/19 and 275/35/19
Eibach Pro Kit
Dinan free flow exhaust
Powerchip custom dyno tune
AA underdrive pulley kit
Macht Schnell air filter from EAS
UUC SSK and DSSR
Illuminated E46 ZHP shift knob from LeatherZ
E92 Lighting clutch stop
OEM aluminum pedals
RDSport Stradale front bumper from IND
Vorsteiner Type II rear diffuser
IND gloss black kidney grills
IND color-matched side markers with tinted LED lenses
AngeliBrights from EAS
Rear fog light mod
Hardwired Escort 9500ix
ClearShield clear bra
Formula1 Pinnacle ceramic tint (35% on sides; 20% on back)
Special thanks goes to IND for helping me make this car look as good as it drives, to Mike and Jeremy with Powerchip for making the group buy happen and turning this car into the beast it is, and to everyone on this forum who has offered advice, suggestions, and knowledge. Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to thank my neighbor, Luis, for taking the excellent photographs to follow.
More pics to follow shortly.