Value Proposition: BMW OEM Performance Intake:

 

With E46’s majorly coming down in price, we’re starting to see performance products made for the car do the same.  From overstocked items that need moving to used items coming off old e46s, now is the prime time to make a bid on certain parts that used to cost much more when the e46 was in its prime popularity.

For example, take this awesome oem performance intake made for the M54 engine.  10 years ago it would have cost $1,000 and that’s for some extra noise and 3 more horsepower.  Hardly worth the $1000, but I was able to score one for only $300 off of a used 3 series that was being converted back to stock in preparation to be sold.  For this low amount, the extra grunt the engine made and the smoothness and extra refinement in throttle response was well worth the price.

For anyone who is interested in this modification.  GET IT.  You will not regret it.  The car now has a very mean and deep growl to it especially from 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear.  There is a very slight woosh! noise that sounds really cool and very different from the high pitched whining noise that come from cheaper after market cold air intakes.  Usually it’s pretty vague what kind of power aftermarket intakes produce, but the oem BMW one makes a verifiable 3 horsepower which, of course, can’t be felt at all but it’s nice to know that it’s an actual quantifiable result. 187hp > 184hp am I right?  Add some headers, an exhaust, a larger Dinan throttle body and this car could produce just about 200hp which would basically make it keep up with modern day entry level sport sedans.  The difference is that this engine actually sounds good, and not like a turbo 4 cylinder 😉

Newish Ride. 325i 5-spd MT. No options.

A pure driving machine. I’ve always wanted one of these and found a bare bones no option 2003 model with only 85,000 miles on the clock.  One requirement though, it had to be a stick shift.

The E46 chassis of the 3-series is by far and will always be my favorite iteration of the famed sports sedan.  One doesn’t need a ton of power to how fun in a 3er.  The engine, despite only being a 2.5 liter putting out 185 horsepower and 176 lb ft of torque, sings as it screams towards red line in each gear.  Making trips to the gas station more frequent unfortunately.

Compared to the 4 cylinder turbocharged models of today, which sounds like listening to Taylor Swift on a pair of shitty Jawbone bluetooth speakers, the snarl of the M54 inline 6 sounds like a tube amp producing the warm, thick but raucous guitar notes of a Rolling Stones anthem.  Sure the 4 cylinders produce power, but it’s not all about power.  Sure you might get to the next stop light or on ramp 1 second faster than me, but it’s not about the destination.  It’s about the journey.

It’s 1am in the morning as I write this, but I think I’ll go take it for a spin one more time before having to think about all the preventative maintenance I’ll have to do on it to keep in tip top shape.

The Wonders of Tritium Gas Tube Lume

Ballfiremanorchestra

I wish more watches would incorporate this type of lume in their dials and bezels.  I love the soft warm glow of the gas tube that can do this without the need for charging.  I was shooting an opera performance in a very dark venue and while moving up and down behind the stage and along the pitch black peripheral hallways on the side of the theatre, it really helped to be able to tell time and the remaining time of the piece by using the watch.  This allowed me to time different angles during different parts of the performance.  Tritium gas tubes make a truly functional time piece.  Although they don’t glow as brightly as a fully charged Super-Luminova dial marker, they glow much longer a lower intensity which allows the eyes to adjust much quicker to them at night versus being blinded by Super-Luminova (which only lasts a couple hours anyways when charged).

At this stage, gas tube lume technology is still not advanced enough for them to create non-linear tubes so from a design perspective, using this as lume is very limiting as there cannot be curved or rounded markers which is requisite for many different styles of dial markers.

I would love to see this technology used in the Speedmaster’s though as it has a linear dial markers anyways.  Maybe in the future Omega?

More Adventures in the South

24_70_f4_review_3_small

It seems like everywhere you are in the South, there’s a picturesque place to find and explore.  Fields that stretch for miles that are just minutes away from big cities, nature everywhere waiting to be photographed and most importantly, experienced.

24_70_f4_review_1_small

Horses and mules hang out behind the backyard in North Carolina.

24_70_f4_review_4_small

Kayaking is always fun, especially as the leaves are changing colors as Fall comes to a close.

24_70_f4_review_7_small

The waters are chillier in October, even in the South, so be sure to put on a sweater!

24_70_f4_review_5_large

Kayaking into the sunset, we just wish we could stay beyond closing time and admire the stars the way that they should be admired, in pure darkness.