BMW 320d Modifications – Part 1

Last updated: 9-Jul 2016

Disclaimer: Any modifications done to your car is at your own discretion and at your own risk. Do note that manufacturers will void your car’s warranty in the event of any modifications done to your car.

Don’t forget to check out Part 2 and Part 3 of my BMW 320d modifications.

Part 1

After owning a diesel car for almost a year and hanging out with a number of other diesel owners, I managed to learn a lot more about the car as well as the available mods that you can get. Note that these mods will span across both the E90 and F30 as I will generalize it but there are downsides to some of these mods which I will state in this post.

Also before continuing, I would recommend you watch this video first.

POWER MODS:

These mods basically increases the power output of your car, whether it may be providing you with more horsepower or torque but most of the time it is both. When we did a dyno run of a stock BMW E90 320d LCI model 2011 (rated at 184hp), the results we gotten on wheel was 170whp and 372Nm of torque.

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BMW Performance Power Kit

Available for the 320d for both the E90 and F30. Currently the most expensive of the power mods available, now being sold at the BMW Authorized dealers for around RM7,000. Your car’s warranty is intact so this modification is a plus point for most people .

PPK

As shown in the image above, the performance kit includes an ECU replacement, a larger radiator fan and a larger intercooler. These hardware changes are what makes the BMW Performance Kit different compared to the rest. In terms of performance gains, on dyno, the BMW E90 320d LCI managed to get 187ps and 391Nm of torque on wheel, which is an increase of 17ps and 19Nm.

bmw_power_kit_intercooler

The BMW Powerkit available for the BMW F30 320d does not include the larger radiator fan. This makes it a little different compared to the E9x series.

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The advantages of this modification is the larger intercooler which allows the engine to hold the boost at higher RPM.

ECU Remap

To understand what is an ECU remap, read this article first. In a nutshell, it is basically re-programming your car’s ECU (electronic control unit) to tell your engine to produce more power. In otherwords, it is like telling your brain to push your body a little harder. In Malaysia, over the years there are many ECU remaps available for the E90 320d as well as for the F30 320d, or basically the range of BMW using the N47 engines. One of them is via a custom tune at Everco Exhaust located at Sunway. Kingston, the boss, did mention to me that he does custom tunes and also package a downpipe and catback exhaust together with the remap.

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Another option is ProArt, which is also a custom tune from Germany. I had my car remapped by ProArt. Michael Knaus, who is the CEO of ProArt here in Malaysia was extremely helpful and I was quite pleased with the results. Stock, my car produced 170ps and 370Nm of torque on the wheel. After the remap, the car now pushes 205ps and 423Nm of torque. Unfortunately, recently I have just received news that ProArt has shut down in Malaysia (update 23-Jan 2016).

(Update 9-Jul 2016) – ProArt has now been rebranded as Project A and can be found here at their Facebook Page.

ProArt Remap 320d Dyno Chart
ProArt Remap 320d Dyno Chart

Also recently, I found out that DKTuning also provides mapping/tuning services for the BMW 320d. Haven’t heard any feedback from real customers yet as well as I haven’t seen any dyno charts from local 320d cars so I can’t provide other information on that.

A new player recently came onboard using the DNA Tuning software. They are now a vendor at the local BMW Club Malaysia and can be contacted via their thread in the forum or directly at their Facebook Page.

(update 9-Jul 2016): Here is another tuning option available for the BMW 320d for both E90 and F30 models. It is called Dr Mechanic based out of Shah Alam. According to some friends, they take a snapshot of your current ECU and send it to the UK where the good folks at QuantumTuning would then craft out a map for your car.

Dr Mechanic

Address: 23, Jalan Pendamar 27/90, Taman Bunga Negara, Shah Alam

Contact: +6012-609 8383

Cars Done: BMW models both petrol and diesel models. They also remap other car models as well

Project A

Address: 11-19-1, Jalan Jalil Perkasa 15, Aked Esplanad, Bukit Jalil, 57100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Contact: +6017-400 4468

Cars Done: VW, BMW models both petrol and diesel models. They also remap other car models as well

Piggyback

Basically a bypass between the ECU and the engine, one of the cheaper options from RM1500 to RM3000 depending on the brand. There are a few in the market currently such as DTUK, Vector, RaceChip, etc.  Gives good results and can easily be installed and removed. Falls within a gray area in terms of warranty provided by the manufacturer. In this case, BMW Malaysia.

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An image of a piggyback which connects to your engine

There are a lot of discussions between which is better, having a piggyback or a full ECU remap. Based on previous experiences with other marques, the ECU remap tend to give more overall power and it can be tuned to suit the weather as well as the characteristics of the car and the additional modifications done on the car.

A local guy by the name of Farul sells the DTUK piggyback and so far this has been the preferred choice amongst many diesel owners here in Malaysia. Also there are a few who opted for the RaceChip brand instead. If you want to get in touch with Farul, drop your details in the comments section and I will share it with you.

BMW Performance Power Kit + Piggyback

Seen a number of users having this combination. Provides the most amount of power output (with dyno results). Also the most expensive option of the lot. With the performance kit + piggyback (DTUK), on dyno, the BMW E90 320d LCI managed to get 206whp and 444Nm of torque (increase of 36whp and 72Nm).

BRAKING:
With great power comes greater emphasis on stopping the heavy machine.

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BMW E90 Performance Brake Kit (front)
  • BMW Performance Brake Kit for E90 – A 6-pot Big Brake Kit available at BMW Authorized dealers. Warranty is intact and it is only for the front. Price can vary from RM6500+ onwards. Big brake kits are made by Brembo.
  • BMW Performance Brake Kit for F30 – A 4-pot brake for the front and 2-pot brake for the rears. Warranty is intact as well.
  • After-market BBK – Plenty of after-market BBK’s available, brands such as Brembo, AP Racing and Stoptech are quite common.
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BMW F30 performance brakes

HANDLING:

When managing those bends, you just want to go through them faster. And here are some of the available mods.

Suspension

There are a few suspension set-up available, for the E90 you have your standard suspension and for the M-Sport version you have the M-Sport suspensions which are slightly lower and firmer. For the F30, currently there are only the standard suspension setup as the M-Sport variants haven’t arrived yet in Malaysia. There are some talks about talking to your BMW Authorized dealer to order in the electronically adjustable suspension which BMW offers in other countries. One of the best mods to help you reduce body roll. Some brands which have been recommended include KW V2 suspensions, Bilsteins as well as local brands such as Titan. 

The one I have my eye on are those made by Ohlins, the Road & Track series. The part number for the E90 320d is BMS mi00. Price I was quoted here in Malaysia was RM8500 without installation. I think the Ohlins would be the better choice compared to the KW V3 suspension which can cost close to RM10,000 and Titan costs around RM5300. The only issue that I have is that both the Ohlins and KW can’t be serviced here in Malaysia.

Anti-Roll Bars

You can opt to get after-market ARB’s which are thicker and firmer compared to the stock ARB. Those I have seen is the H&R ARB. This is only suited for the E90 as I haven’t seen any ARB available for the F30 yet. Do leave a comment if you have seen it and I will update this post.

The rear anti roll bar for the E90 (part number #33556764425) has a diameter of 13mm. An upgrade would mean a thicker bar, H&R has an offering which is 20mm in diameter, Ultra Racing has a rear ARB which is 16mm in diameter, and Whiteline has a 20mm rear ARB made of solid spring steel. Do note that all of these aftermarket ARB are NOT adjustable.

Lowering springs

This lowers your ride but the downside is that you may feel a harsher ride and your suspension rebound rates may not suit the springs and cause the suspension to wear out faster.

This now concludes the list of mods that I have found, I will continue the mods (aesthetics and cosmetic) in another post and at the same time, maintain this post with more updates.

Dyno Results of a stock BMW E90 320d LCI (170whp and 372Nm)

BMW E90 320d LCI Stock Dyno results

Dyno Results of a BMW E90 320d LCI with the BMW Performance KIT and a DTUK Piggyback

With Powerkit – 187whp and 391Nm

With Powerkit + DTUK tuning chip – 206whp and 444Nm

Dyno Results

Dyno Results of a stock BMW F30 320d vs Stage 1 Remapped F30 320d

F30 320d Dyno ProArt

Continuation

Don’t forget to check out Part 2 and Part 3 of my BMW 320d modifications.

  • GAD Tuning Bespoke Remapping Great post thanks for the info. We have tweeted this and posted to facebook.

  • Cts

    There is also an intercooler from Forge for 320d http://www.forgemotorsport.com/media/FMINT320.pdf
    It gives an additional 8-10 bhp

  • Cts

    There is also an intercooler from Forge for 320d http://www.forgemotorsport.com/media/FMINT320.pdf
    It gives an additional 8-10 bhp

  • Cts

    There is also an intercooler from Forge for 320d http://www.forgemotorsport.com/media/FMINT320.pdf
    It gives an additional 8-10 bhp

    • markleo82

      Great thanks, totally forgot about that! Will post it up and also credit your tip 🙂

  • Dan

    Hi, is there a reliable hi performance kit upgrade for the 2002-3 E46 320d CDI model.

  • Chen

    Hi Mark,
    my name is Chen. I am looking forward to install DTUK for my 2010 E90 320D. Would be appreciated if you could provide me Farul’s contact number. my hp number is 012-281 1650. thanks in advance.

  • Jonathan Long

    Mark, appreciate if you could share pics of your baby 320d