The E46 325ti Appreciation Thread

The E46 325ti Appreciation Thread

Author
Discussion

timpo

20 posts

52 months

Saturday 3rd April
quotequote all
eezeh said:
Front tyres? check the age, make sure they are a decent brand, also what tyre size have you got?
Failing that have the alignment checked.
I've never had any issues with understeer
Great advice. Turns out the fronts are Conti Sports (good) with plenty of tread (good) but manufactured in 2012 (bad!). Thanks for all the suggestions.

Kawasicki

9,183 posts

200 months

Saturday 3rd April
quotequote all
timpo said:
Evening all. Relatively new 325ti owner here. During a couple of days of spirited driving in Wales recently, I was able to properly explore the car’s limits for the first time. A couple of conclusions:

1. Brakes are only OK. Has anyone here done the 330 (or M3) upgrade? 330 upgrade is easier and cheaper, so I’m hoping people have had good results with this.

2. Fantastic chassis and good handling overall. It seems to naturally prefer to understeer vs oversteer (incl with TC off). Is this everyone’s experience? I prefer the balance to be in favour of oversteer. Thinking about adding a stiffer rear ARB. Any other suggestions?

Thanks
Mine was completely standard and also fairly understeery in balance. I sold mine, as I didn’t really gel with the car. I would say additional front camber wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

PaulGT3

344 posts

137 months

Saturday 3rd April
quotequote all
Changing from the standard staggered tyre sizes to a square setup sorted out the understeer when pushing on for me.

Biological

4 posts

1 month

Monday 12th April
quotequote all
Hi,

I just bought myself a nice 325TI and it has been awesome to drive!
I noticed that the car likes to steer to the right sometimes by itself so do you know if it's a normal thing or how to fix it?
When driving 70-80mph I really need to hold the steering wheel hard to keep it on the line.

I'm going to check the air pressure of the tires, so do you know what are the correct pressure levels for the front and back tires of this car?
I'm also sorry if I'm asking stupid questions. This is my first car and thought I'd come say hello and ask for some advice smile.


d_a_n1979

2,831 posts

37 months

Monday 12th April
quotequote all
Biological said:
Hi,

I just bought myself a nice 325TI and it has been awesome to drive!
I noticed that the car likes to steer to the right sometimes by itself so do you know if it's a normal thing or how to fix it?
When driving 70-80mph I really need to hold the steering wheel hard to keep it on the line.

I'm going to check the air pressure of the tires, so do you know what are the correct pressure levels for the front and back tires of this car?
I'm also sorry if I'm asking stupid questions. This is my first car and thought I'd come say hello and ask for some advice smile.
Sounds like to me it needs to get up on the ramps; all the suspension checked over to see if there are any failing/failed bushes etc. Replace what may need to be replaced and then in for a full tracking & alignment...


My recommendation would be to find your local Hunter system place and get the car aligned there smile

Krikkit

21,205 posts

146 months

Tuesday 13th April
quotequote all
Biological said:
Hi,

I just bought myself a nice 325TI and it has been awesome to drive!
I noticed that the car likes to steer to the right sometimes by itself so do you know if it's a normal thing or how to fix it?
When driving 70-80mph I really need to hold the steering wheel hard to keep it on the line.

I'm going to check the air pressure of the tires, so do you know what are the correct pressure levels for the front and back tires of this car?
I'm also sorry if I'm asking stupid questions. This is my first car and thought I'd come say hello and ask for some advice smile.
Sounds like the wishbone rear bushes are tired, or the steering column bush. They tend to follow the road, but on mine both of these improved it no end (although both were required).

Now running a solid steering link which was about £20 on eBay and fresh Febi lower arms and it drives really well, at the front at least!

Biological

4 posts

1 month

Tuesday 13th April
quotequote all
d_a_n1979 said:
Sounds like to me it needs to get up on the ramps; all the suspension checked over to see if there are any failing/failed bushes etc. Replace what may need to be replaced and then in for a full tracking & alignment...


My recommendation would be to find your local Hunter system place and get the car aligned there smile
Krikkit said:
Sounds like the wishbone rear bushes are tired, or the steering column bush. They tend to follow the road, but on mine both of these improved it no end (although both were required).

Now running a solid steering link which was about £20 on eBay and fresh Febi lower arms and it drives really well, at the front at least!
Thanks for the reply guys!
I'll check on those if the tire pressure fix won't fix the problem!
It's still kinda weird, because the problem is not always present and I can still drive somewhat peacefully.

It is so cool to own this car, you don't see these very often and people don't always even know what car it is looking from the side biggrin!
Also the engine note is awesome and it handles very well!
Black late 2003 facelift with 18' wheels and in good condition smile


Mr Tidy

13,847 posts

92 months

Tuesday 13th April
quotequote all
Biological said:
Hi,
I just bought myself a nice 325TI and it has been awesome to drive!
This is my first car and thought I'd come say hello and ask for some advice smile.
A facelift 325ti is pretty special for a first car!

If you have 18" wheels they won't be standard though - my Sport only had 17s.

So it might also be worth seeing what wheels they are. If they are genuine BMW wheels from another model they should be OK but if they are after-market depending on the quality they may not be helping.

I hope you solve the problem though as they are great cars. thumbup

330ti

115 posts

40 months

Wednesday 14th April
quotequote all
Yeah 18 inch wheels mess up the handling on these cars . Get yourself some 16 or 17 wheels with decent matching tyres then it really will handle nice. Tracking and bushes need to be right too.

Krikkit

21,205 posts

146 months

Wednesday 14th April
quotequote all
330ti said:
Yeah 18 inch wheels mess up the handling on these cars . Get yourself some 16 or 17 wheels with decent matching tyres then it really will handle nice. Tracking and bushes need to be right too.
Yeah agree with this - mine was on MV1s when I bought it, now it's back on the correct style 97s and the ride is hugely improved at 17" with more sidewall. The MV1s looked bloody good mind.

I had Style 32s in 16" inbetween, and although the ride was slightly better they just looked like furniture casters on the E46.

Biological

4 posts

1 month

Wednesday 14th April
quotequote all
Thanks for all the help!
Might have to change to 17 inch wheels if the handling doesn't get better.
It's not that big of a deal when driving in town, but kinda annoying when traveling further at higher speeds.

Krikkit

21,205 posts

146 months

Wednesday 14th April
quotequote all
Here's the steering damper I went with - solid alu and came with new bolts etc, nice quality. Not an easy job for access but otherwise good.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162180561520

For the front wishbones I fitted complete Febi items, I tried fitting rear bushes but they weren't great quality and a bh to fit, and when it was apart it was obvious the middle ball joints were in pretty poor shape.

jonindorset

997 posts

209 months

Friday 16th April
quotequote all
Biological said:
Thanks for all the help!
Might have to change to 17 inch wheels if the handling doesn't get better.
It's not that big of a deal when driving in town, but kinda annoying when traveling further at higher speeds.
If you're sticking with the 2.5 engine and on standard brakes, I can highly recommend 16" wheels especially in one of the lightweight designs. I have style 42 on mine, a factory fit option, fitted with Michelin PS4 tyres, they are so light and the car grips, handles and flows down the road beautifully. Much nicer to drive than the heavy 17s that were on the car previously.

PaulGT3

344 posts

137 months

Friday 16th April
quotequote all
jonindorset said:
If you're sticking with the 2.5 engine and on standard brakes, I can highly recommend 16" wheels especially in one of the lightweight designs. I have style 42 on mine, a factory fit option, fitted with Michelin PS4 tyres, they are so light and the car grips, handles and flows down the road beautifully. Much nicer to drive than the heavy 17s that were on the car previously.
Agreed they drive great with 205/55 R16 PS4 all round.

Biological

4 posts

1 month

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
jonindorset said:
If you're sticking with the 2.5 engine and on standard brakes, I can highly recommend 16" wheels especially in one of the lightweight designs. I have style 42 on mine, a factory fit option, fitted with Michelin PS4 tyres, they are so light and the car grips, handles and flows down the road beautifully. Much nicer to drive than the heavy 17s that were on the car previously.
Will consider it.
My tires are 225/45R17 with M-Sport replicas in front and back biggrin





Edited by Biological on Sunday 18th April 10:30

zek

38 posts

123 months

Tuesday 20th April
quotequote all
Biological said:
My tires are 225/45R17 with M-Sport replicas in front and back biggrin
Running the same size tyres front and back is known to cause tramlining in these cars, I would stick to a staggered fitment for the road.

s m

20,735 posts

168 months

Tuesday 20th April
quotequote all
zek said:
Biological said:
My tires are 225/45R17 with M-Sport replicas in front and back biggrin
Running the same size tyres front and back is known to cause tramlining in these cars, I would stick to a staggered fitment for the road.
What?

zek

38 posts

123 months

Tuesday 20th April
quotequote all
s m said:
What?
It's well known that running a square setup increases tramlining, which it appears the OP is having an issue with:

Biological said:
Hi,
I noticed that the car likes to steer to the right sometimes by itself so do you know if it's a normal thing or how to fix it?
When driving 70-80mph I really need to hold the steering wheel hard to keep it on the line.
I ran a 235/40/18 'square' setup on my road car for several years which was a mistake. It's far better with the 235 + 265 I'm running now.

Sources:

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/square-setu...

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/square-set-...

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/track-day-w...

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/running-a-s...

https://www.m5board.com/threads/discussion-cons-of...



s m

20,735 posts

168 months

Tuesday 20th April
quotequote all
zek said:
s m said:
What?
It's well known that running a square setup increases tramlining, which it appears the OP is having an issue with:

Biological said:
Hi,
I noticed that the car likes to steer to the right sometimes by itself so do you know if it's a normal thing or how to fix it?
When driving 70-80mph I really need to hold the steering wheel hard to keep it on the line.
I ran a 235/40/18 'square' setup on my road car for several years which was a mistake. It's far better with the 235 + 265 I'm running now.

Sources:

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/square-setu...

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/square-set-...

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/track-day-w...

https://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/threads/running-a-s...

https://www.m5board.com/threads/discussion-cons-of...
Never heard that before to be honest

A lot of own 325ti set ups were ‘square’
I don’t think 235/40 x 18 was ever a factory set up was it for the 325ti?
Tramlining is more likely down to tread pattern, suspension wear and road condition

RSTurboPaul

5,547 posts

223 months

Tuesday 20th April
quotequote all
Is there a TL;DR summary of 'the science'? lol

I'm not quite sure I understand how different size tyres front and back will create tramlining.