coilovers

Features

Rafał Sadowski's E30

Engine/Drivetrain

  • M52b28TU
  • carbon Simota Air Intake
  • Custom manifolds
  • Custom 2.5” exhaust
  • 5 speed manual
  • 25% Limited Slip Differential 3.20 ratio

Exterior

  • iS front lip
  • Mtech I trunk spoiler
  • Touring side skirts
  • US front and rear sidemarkers 
  • Side indicators deleted
  • Pop out windows
  • US backplate panel

Interior

  • Recaro speed seats
  • Rear seats reshaped
  • Whole interior retrimmed in leather
  • Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel
  • Matching Nardi gear knob
  • Original radio
  • Second radio hidden in glovebox to keep original look inside

Suspension/Braking/Wheels

  • AC Schnitzer Type I (Front: 17x9" | Rear: 17x10")
  • Hankook tires
  • ISC coilovers with custom springs
  • Rear camber kit 
  • E46 3.0 petrol brakes (Front: 325mm | Rear: 276mm)
  • Copper lines

Thanks to: First of all massive thanks to my amazing wife Monika (love you lots) and Sebastian for getting that car for me. Miker for help with suspension and brakes. Karol, Jakub and Dariusz at Swap Garage for building my car. Marcin Ukleja for helping to pick right color. Exotic, Adams, Przemyslaw, Elvis & Przemek and TeamAF for continued support.

    Features

    Scott Paterson's E36 Touring

    Photography by Scott Paterson @scottpatersonphoto

    I will be the first to admit, before buying my Touring, I was never a “BMW Guy” I was too busy restoring two Classic Mini’s with my father at the time. It wasn’t until I found, my now good friend, Alex McArthur’s 328i Sport Touring on StanceWorks in 2009/10.  It all changed after that. Back then, Alex’s Touring was super low on staggered Style 5’s and it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I made the tough decision to part with the Mini’s, using the money to pay for the Touring and my first year of insurance. 

    I knew I wanted a 6 cylinder, manual, relatively low miles and the colour didn’t matter too much, as long as it wasn’t Boston Green. After a few months of looking, the car you see before you showed up not too far away. A completely standard, 323i SE in Titan Silver. Being this would be my first car and at 19, I didn’t want to attract too much un-wanted attention, so the plan was to keep it subtle and not too flashy with an OEM+ approach. 

    I was working part time at a body shop along the road from my house and shortly after, the car was in for paint. I had a full M Sport kit from a 3.2 M3 Evo to go on, I also had the arches rolled at the same time. Once the body work was sorted, I fitted some coilovers and a set of Staggered 17” Style 32’s and was super happy with the look. I gradually dialled the ride height as well as other things on the car. 

    A year or two later, I took a job just north of London, 450 miles from my current place. The Touring was stored for a year as I got another Touring to daily instead. Before finally moving the Touring to London, I went back to the bodyshop with it and with my father, replaced both the sills, shaved the side indicators as well as shaving and relocating the washer jets and tidying up a few rough edges that showed up after driving it through the winter.

    After I was finally happy with the bodywork again, I set about fitting my dream wheels - E31 M System 2 or Throwing Stars as they’re most commonly called. I spent a lot of time getting them to look as good as I possibly could, I had the covers finished in Titan Silver with micro rainbow flake. I ordered some BC Coilovers with some custom spring rates, but I have modified them a little bit, to get it sitting just how I want. I am trying to track down some M System Turbine covers, to hopefully complete the look.

    Over the last year I’ve accidentally spent most of my time on the Interior. I managed to source and fit a lot of Extended Leather parts, so the centre console/arm rest, glove-box, drivers side kick panel and door cards are all leather – It is quite a stark contrast to the grey cloth it had as standard. I re-trimmed the M Sport headlining in new black material, as the one I got started to sag – That combined with all the extra leather, really makes it a nice place to sit. There’s still a few bits yet to find, however I am having thoughts about changing up the colour, as the black tends to get a little lost. 

    I’ve also replaced most of the exterior trim from BMW. I think I just have the window rubbers left to do and a few little bits on the rear.

    As far as future plans go, I just want to enjoy the car. I don’t plan on selling it, so the “To-do” list is about as long as my arm, I’m always doing little bits here and there, so I am happy for that just to continue. I’d just like to extend a quick wee thanks to Alex McArthur and Bastien Bochmann, without their advice and knowledge on Touring’s, I probably wouldn’t have mine. So thanks lads. And a thanks to my father as well, who’s been helping me ever since I got in to cars, his patience and willingness (sometimes un-willingness) to help has been amazing. 

    Features

    Adam Tokarski's E38

    Photography by M.G. Foto

    The story of Adam Tokarski's E38 begins after he sold his E36 328i touring. He started to look for a nice example in Poland and Germany but couldn't find anything that interested him. So he took his search to Great Britain, where he found the car on an insurance auction. It had some minor damage to the rear fender, but he immediately noticed the Mora Metallic paint job from BMW Individual. It is super rare to find an E38 in this color. Judging by online research there's only 3 facelifted and 1 pre-facelift models found in Europe. The car is a 2001 E38 728i M sport model.

    The interior is also BMW Individual featuring Light Beige (Pearl Beige) with purple piping on the seats, black roof lining, 16:9 sat nav, lights in the door handles, and a sport steering wheel. Unfortunately the car was right hand drive, so the first thing Adam did was take it to a shop that specialized in changing that. They converted it to left hand drive, however it lost a few Individual features by doing so.

    A new engine was fitted because the original had a blown head gasket. Besides the left hand drive conversion, all of the work done to the car was done by Adam.

    The suspension was upgraded to a set of FK Automotive Koning-Sport coilovers. The wheels are forged 20" OZ Superleggera III in 9" front and 10.5" rear. Because it's Adam's daily driver he also replaced all of the suspension and brake components with new. 

    When Adam started on modifications to the exterior he first replaced the Shadowline window trim with a High Gloss version. The taillights were then changed to fully red and the headlights were converted to bi-xenon with 3" lenses from a Mercedes E-Class. An Alpina lip was added to the front bumper to give it a more aggressive look.

    An interesting side note: Adam decided to customize his license plate by adding a Z to MORA (paint job name). In Polish "Zmora" means "Nightmare" and since his car was a pain in the ass from the beginning it was perfect.

    This E38 has seen a lot of work to preserve its rare individualism. I love how Adam chose to not go down the VIP route. There's an ideal amount of sportiness left to this one. Those Superleggera's make me feel super nostalgic too... the car reminds me of something I would've dreamt about making on a Tire Rack Wheel Simulator back in high school. I'm glad to see the more traditional BMW enthusiast styling still being done today.

    Features

    Dan Wagener's E53 X5 3.0i

    Photography by Dan Wagener

    It was in 2002 or 2003 when I first saw the BMW E53 X5. It was a video uploaded to DTMPower.net of some friends drifting in the snow. Then I saw it in the "Powder Keg" episode of the BMW film series The Hire... and once the 4.6is model came out I was in love with the E53 aesthetics. It was one of the most inspirational pioneers for making the high-end SUV market what it is today. BMW disregarded what the average consumer wanted from a traditional mid-size SUV; reliability, fair on gas, and great snow / off-roading capabilities (speaking with the 20" wheels in mind). What they did instead was create a "soccer mom car" deserving of an M badge. At the time known as "the fastest SUV in the world" with over 300hp, 20x9.5" 275/40 front tires & 20x10.5" 315/35 rear tires, and agility that defies logic — it was almost like driving a giant M5. Good thing that BMW knows their people aren't the average consumer and can appreciate a vehicle of this caliber.

    I've wanted an X5 since I was in high school and when I was looking to get my first SUV about four years later, they were still out of my price range. I ended up with a Lexus RX300, which was very reliable but had zero soul. During the ownership of the Lexus I always felt like something was missing in my life so after a couple years I decided that I needed a BMW again. This was when I got my E46 330i and all was right again. The problem with the E46 however, was that I caught the modbug bad. So fast forward through a couple years of crazy spending, I felt the need to take it down a notch and step away from the modding temptation all together. But learning from my mistake with the Lexus, I was assuredly sticking with BMW.

    I was dead set on an E53 X5—though I'd be lying if I said I wasn't extremely worried while doing my pre-purchase research. From what I could gather through the Xoutpost forum and others' experiences with the E53, it sounded like a nightmare. It seemed like the V8 models were more problematic though, so I decided to go with a 3.0i model. BMW's straight sixes are solid engines and figured I'd play it safe. The only problem was most 3.0i models came with ugly 17" wheels and being that my goal was to get away from modding, I wanted to find one that wouldn't trigger my addiction.

    I finally found a 2003 3.0i Sport in Sapphire Black on Black with the 18" Style 69 wheels. It had everything I wanted albeit xenons and a manual transmission, so I traded in the E46. I immediately had to address a ton of maintenance issues within the first six months. It was starting to look like the 3.0i models weren't safe from the notorious E53 gremlins and issues like I had hoped. To be fair, it was probably not well maintained before I took ownership and was just due for everything all at once. Eventually it stopped breaking (for a little) and that urge to mess with things came back again. I upgraded to the 19" Style 132 facelift 4.4i model wheels. I was able to snag the last available OEM skid plate in the U.S (thanks Jay). The odd looking turn-down, dinky exhaust tips were replaced with a 4.4 muffler. Halogen headlights were swapped for a DEPO pair with projectors that allowed me to convert to HID's. The interior received an E46 M3 wheel upgrade, AC Schnitzer style pedals, red sharpie mod needles, DDM silver gauge rings, and a titanium E90 shift knob.

    One day Chris Roth of CRbimmers sent me a text with a set of 20" Style 87 4.6is wheels he had for sale. I couldn't resist as they're one of the best OEM BMW wheel designs ever. Still not 100% happy with it I added the 4.6is fender flares, which subdued the mod beast within. I had the looks of the 4.6is with the "reliability" of the 3.0 model.

    Even though it looked great it still lacked my touch.  In my opinion adjusting the stance of the vehicle is one of the biggest things you can do to accomplish that. You could have multiple cars with the same exact mods, but the stance can make the difference of looking good, or amazing. It's something that I think reflects the owner's taste; something that can't be bought. Although nowadays specs are expected to just be handed out and things can always be replicated, but you can usually tell when something's done with originality. I decided to go with a set of BC Racing coilovers to ensure it sat exactly how I wanted. The coilovers were able to go extremely low and were fairly comfortable with all things considered. It was definitely stiffer/harsher than the stock sport suspension, but it greatly improved the handling and body roll in the corners.

    All throughout the modding process there were little problems that would pop up with the vehicle. Problems that shouldn't have happened as often as they did (in my opinion). It was almost like I would fix one thing and two new things would break. While I loved my X5, this little game got really old. It seemed like it was never going to stop and I just wasn't up for it anymore. It was time to move on. Not to mention the whole time I had it, I really missed driving a RWD manual car. So I sold a few of the upgraded parts off of it and got rid of it for my 2004 E46 M3. It was bittersweet letting my X go; I loved her but the upside is that I'm no longer in an abusive relationship.

    Features

    James Camarador's E46 M3

    Photography by Gabriel Milori

    I was first acquainted with James (also known as FLOSS around the internet), when his previous car was making its way around the forums. It was an Alpine White E90 335i sitting on a rather unique wheel setup—a set of CCW Classics with gold centers on one side & silver centers on the other. Some hated it and some loved it, one thing for sure was that it was different. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

    James had left his first E46 M3 to get the 335i sedan for his family. He also thought that he was done with the manual transmission. That’s a fairly common decision that most regret and that’s exactly what happened. The E90 was so different from the E46, James said… “It just wasn’t an ///M.” And since he only had the first E46 for four months, he felt like he had unfinished business to take care of.

    He picked up this 2005 Interlago Blue E46 M3 equipped with Competition Package and of course, a 6-speed manual gearbox. It was first revealed online sporting a set of CCW Classics again. It was breathtaking with nothing more than an aggressive fitment. It retained the stock appearance yet showed some serious character. The stance was dialed in thanks to BC Racing Coilovers with custom spring sizes and rates which are now known as their Extreme drop kit.

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    The amber lights were added to go a different route than the typical clear or smoked option usually found on this platform. The chrome and ambers really compliment the IB in a classy way. The E46 has aged perfectly and with the HRE Vintage Series that recently came out, it was just what James needed. He went with the 501 Series because he liked that design best. Admiring HRE wheels since he was a kid, he told himself that he had to own at least one set in his lifetime. The specs are 18×10″ with 245/35 Hankook V12 (Front) & 18×12″ 285/30 Hankook V12 (Rear), filling up every last inch of those large wheel wells.

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    He decided to throw a different set of wheels on the other side just for our shoot (like the E90′s two face look). These are OEM BMW Style 5s custom rebarreled to 18×10/12″ with polished lips, chrome hardware and painted centers built by James himself. He has always been into wheels, but it wasn’t until his sponsorship with CCW that he started getting into refinishing wheels. Over time getting closer and chatting with the guys at CCW, he picked up a couple of things along the way from basic wheel sizing and measurements all the way to safety. He said that he’s always wanted something on the side besides a regular day job, and this let’s him get creative while doing something that he loves.

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    Like many ///M-owners, James bought his car because of its great performance. While the stock power may be plenty for some, he eventually got an urge for more. That’s when the decision to install a VF Engineering VF480 supercharger was made. He hasn’t dynoed the car yet, but it should be good for around 420hp to the wheels. So with unique looks and power to back it up, James's M3 has earned a spot here on our site.

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