The BMW E92 coupe is one of the sharpest cars to come out of BMW in recent years – a fantastic design with great lines and curves to go with that hofmeister kink, but USA regulations and certain trim levels cluttered up the details of the car and can get in the way of the designer’s original vision of the E92 BMW 328i and 335i coupe as a thing of beauty.
These mods are a starting point for the beginner to make your BMW 3-series coupe faster, handle better, stop quicker, and more importantly, look better than the guy next to you in the parking lot at work or on the 405. Everything to help you enjoy your car to the fullest.
1. A Slick Set of Wheels for BMW E92
One of the fastest, easiest and most effective ways of sexing up any car is a badass set of wheels – and that’s especially true for the BMW E92 328i and 335i; depending on your options your OEM wheel options ranged from “Okay” to “meh” – the type of wheels you choose sets the tone for the rest of your build.
Are you going for camber and that “stretched” tire look and fitment? Certain style wheels work best for that.
Are you a trackday monster? You’ll want a lightweight wheel that can tolerate track use paired with a tire sticky as the Brea Tar Pits.
Hell, are you planning to convert your BMW 335xi Coupe into the ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Survival machine or Mad Max survival rig? Some off-road wheels and tires to match are perfect for that.
Are you the type of person into vintage clothes? Some retro mesh style wheels with a polished lip is just the thing for you. There are literally hundreds of great wheel options specifically for the E92/3 and certain combinations look especially good – and having sold tens of thousands of sets of wheels to E9x cars all over the world, our Mod Experts have the expertise and the experience to recommend a wheel width and offset paired with the right tire combination to give you a trouble free set of wheels for your E92. Check out just a few examples of the options you have available to you.
(A Laguna Seca Blue E92 335i goes JDM with a set of Volk TE37’s)
If you’re into concave wheels, a set of Forgestar F14 Wheels might speak to you – they’re custom made to your exact car in your specs for color, offset and your choice of Semi Concave, Deep Concave or Super Deep Concave, which look stellar in a Deep/Superdeep configuration on an E92/3, as seen above. It’s even technically possible to run super deep front and rear, but that takes a good bit of compromise to make that happen.
(19×8.5 Semi Concave / 19×10 Deep Concave Falken 453 235/35/19 – 265/30/19)
Since Forgestar Wheels are made to order, they usually take about 8 weeks start to finish, which feels like a long time to wait, but hey, quality work takes time. After all, you don’t complain when you order a steak and it isn’t there instantly, right? That said, if you are the instant gratification type, we have you covered, as we do stock some pre-made Forgestar F14 wheel sets here at our warehouse in the most popular E92 fitments and combinations. Call the Mod Experts at 714-582-3330 or chat live at ModBargains.com to check on what fitments for E92 we currently have in stock.
(Be warned, doing Super Deep Concave fronts on a non-M E92/3 takes a LOT OF WORK – click here to find out what it takes to run Super Deep on all 4 corners of your BMW 335i)
VMR Wheels recently introduced a new line of flow form wheels, the 800-series, and the V803 is one of the newest styles on offer.
If you’re on a bit of a budget, VMR V710 Wheels for BMW E92 have been one of our most popular wheels for the E92 for as long as the E9X has been around.
2. A Killer E92 Exhaust System
The exhaust system of your E92 does two very important things – it alters the sound of your BMW and completely changes the car’s rear end appearance. Whether it’s 335i exhaust or 328i exhaust, you have a good number of options to make your 3-series Coupe look and sound the way you want it to. A Remus Exhaust for BMW E92 335i with quad Carbon Fiber trimmed tips is a great looking – and sounding option, offering a throatier tone but without causing unpleasant drone or being overly loud. You 335i guys have it easy as we’ve already written an article outline the Best Exhausts for E92 BMW 335i in detail with HP gains and sound clips – click the link to check out the best 335i exhausts specifically, but for the sake of brevity we’re going to talk in general about exhaust.
Many folks love the sound of the OEM BMW Performance Exhaust for E92, for both 328i and 335i – and with the right setup, even the E92 328i’s single exit exhaust can look great, like when paired with a Carbon Fiber Diffuser.
Your exhaust truly defines the style of the entire rear end of the car, so consider the aesthetic as well as the sound when looking at an exhaust for your E92.
Of course, you can always have your own fabbed for you if you’re after something really specific or unique.
While yes, you can determine objectively the BEST exhausts for BMW E92 is in terms of power, but just the same as I can’t tell you whether or not you think a painting looks good, I can’t tell you what sound level you will like best, so it is important you listen to as many systems as possible – since it’s you who has to to live with your exhaust system every day, so consider whether or not you’ll like how loud something is in the long term.
3. Get Low with Upgraded Suspension
After getting the wheels and the sound of your exhaust dialed in, the next thing up is the car’s suspension – a lowered car just straight up looks better than it does with stock wheelgap – always. Now, beyond the obvious cosmetic benefit, lowering your suspension offers a number of performance benefits like sharper handling, better ride quality and lower center of gravity, among other perks.
There are three ways you can go when it comes to your E92 suspension – Lowering Springs & a Set of Shocks, Coilovers or Air Ride. It’s that or go OEM; there really aren’t that many possible ways to go overall.
This E92 BMW 328i is riding on a set of H&R Springs for BMW E92 paired with a set of Bilstein Shock Absorbers, but Eibach Springs for BMW E92 are also extremely popular. We offer sets of Springs and Shock Absorbers from Bilstein, Vogtland, Eibach & KONI and all of the finest names in suspension upgrades for the E92. As we’ve said before you’re going to have to replace the OEM shocks either way, and a set of lowering springs will wear out OEM shocks even faster. And it takes the same amount of effort to install coilovers.
Since it takes the same amount of work to install coilovers as it is shocks and springs, that’s why many folks choose to opt for a Coilover Suspension setup for their E92 – most of the Mod Experts here have lowered their personal cars using Coilovers, and often Coilovers can be smoother than stock if you set them up the right way.
Coilovers offer the flexibility to change the dynamics of how the car handles and rides as you see fit if you’re hitting a trackday or feel like you need more clearance or want to compensate for something. KW Coilovers for E92 are a popular option for the 3-Series, but ST Suspensions Coilovers for E92 with fewer options are also a solid choice.
For those of you on a budget and don’t need all the extra frills, a set of Solo-Werks Coilovers for BMW E92 will set you back only a paltry $599. You can see how they look installed in the photo above and below.
So if you’re looking for coilovers, we have you covered with options from CKS Suspension, Vogtland, BC Racing, Ohlins, H&R Coilovers, RS-R Coilovers, Bilstein and Eibach.
And of course, if you want to get REALLY LOW on demand (and have the few thousand dollars it takes to purchase) – there’s always Airrex Air Suspension systems.
4. Exterior – Make your E92 Your Own
You have dozens of styling options available for the E92 BMW 3-series coupe for several different bumper configurations, making it possible to put together a totally unique combination that noone else has.
This is an M3 style front bumper for an E92. You can’t just run a E92 M3 bumper on a non M, the M3 is wider and so the bumper won’t fit right – but this aftermarket M3 Style bumper for E92 modeled after the M bumper is a great way to achieve the look.
Then there’s the ever-popular M-Sport Style front bumper for E92, for those of us who didn’t end up with a factory M-sport car.
Love the styling of the 1M but don’t want to drop 50 large for a USED 1-series? This 1M Style Front Bumper for BMW E92 gives you the same great look as the 1M but on the larger E92.
Looking for something really different? This EA Style Front Bumper for E92 evokes the styling of european tuners to really set your E92 apart from the crowd.
After the bumper, there are a few other things to do to the front end. The M-Sport front end probably has the largest selection of aftermarket front lips, splitters and spoilers available.
The CPS Carbon Fiber Front Lip for E92 is one of the most popular options around and looks great on any M-sport car.
If you want something a bit more aggressive, this H Style Carbon Fiber Front Lip for E92 is a solid choice for you.
The Arkym Aerosport Carbon Fiber front lip for E92 M-Sport is a high quality bespoke way to give your 3-series front end a sharper look.
The Kerscher Style Carbon Fiber Front Splitter for E92 looks great on several bumper configurations- M3, M-Sport and BMW M Aero Front Lip.
For those after something simpler, a set of Carbon Fiber DTM Style Splitters for E92 is an ideal choice.
As far as side skirts go, your options are pretty limited as the M3 Style Side Skirts for E92 seem to be the predominant option for 3-series coupe.
At the rear of the car, the M-Sport Style Rear Bumper is the best bet for any E92 3-series Coupe. The way the exhaust tips are spaced on a non-M is much wider than it is on an M3 – so if you fit an M3 rear bumper, none of the exhaust setups available will match up with it, hence why the M-sport rear bumper is the most popular choice. That’s okay though, because thanks to that black plastic center diffuser panel, the M-Sport Rear Bumper for E92 coupe is very customizable.
as well as a Carbon Fiber Performance Style Diffuser for E92 BMW 335i.
If you’re looking into a quad exhaust, the Arkym Carbon Fiber Diffuser for BMW E92 M-Sport is molded specifically to accommodate a quad exhaust setup.
5. Performance – Oil Coolers
It’s pretty common knowledge that the BMW N54 and N55 Turbocharged I-6 engines run very hot. Heck, even the non turbo motors run hot – the E46 M3’s most effective mod for trackday use is a upgraded cooling fan setup – so keeping cool is something BMW sixes seem to struggle with.
Considering that turbochargers are exhaust driven, the turbo motors running hotter makes sense- they’re naturally going to be hot and accumulate a lot of heat. This heat generation, coupled with the fact that BMW E92 335i models have a small radiator, means that under spirited driving conditions (like your favorite canyon or autocross course), your coolant temperature can quickly exceed 250 degrees – more than 20 degrees above what’s considered “hot” for other cars (230* F). This overheated condition can send your car into “Limp Mode”, making your drive home scary, and a whole lot less fun.
Many early turbo BMW E82, E90, E92 and E93 models did not include an oil cooler from the factory or have one that’s simply too small for the job. What it works out to is that basically, any kind of spirited driving will QUICKLY have your engine operating much hotter than it should be, causing your oil to stop lubricating your engine’s moving parts properly and even overheat. Considering that BMWs are intended to be driven hard, this can make it hard to enjoy the ultimate driving machine.
So, what can you do to remedy the situation? BMW attempted to fix the problem by adding a small oil cooler to later N54/N55 models – but this still isn’t enough. This is why if you do any of spirited driving at all or just want to extend the life of your motor, you should install an oil cooler large enough to sufficiently cool the oil, keeping your engine running cool and happy.
If you want to build your N54 for power, click here to read our guide for Full Bolt On Power for N54 335i
If you want to build your N55 for power, click here to read our guide for Full Bolt On Power for N55 335i
Lighting is something that should be on your list of things to consider whether or not you drive mostly at night – your lighting systems allow you to see and be seen, and offers another way to set your car apart from the crowd.
If your 3-series had halogen headlights stock, replacing the bulbs with a set of HIDs is a great idea – check out our post on HIDs to learn more about how they work and what the best practices are for an HID system – an HID kit for BMW E92 is a great place to start, but the rest of your lighting will leave you feeling bleh.
Upgrade your “halos” or “Angel Eyes” from the yellowy OEM incandescent illumination to a crisp, bright look with a set of LED Angel Eyes from LUX for BMW E92. Available in fixed white or adjustable, a set of upgraded angel eyes will really help your E92 stand out from the crowd in traffic.
The OEM sidemarkers aren’t exactly the prettiest thing either, but you can replace them with a clean looking smoked or clear LED Sidemarkers for BMW E92 that’s also brighter than stock as well.
Now that we’ve talked about the front, let’s not forget the rear. Update your appearance with LCI LED Tail Lights for E92 and unlike some of the cheap low quality aftermarket LED tails on the market for the E92, these OEM BMW LED tails will install hassle-free without causing a ton of error codes.
Beyond the LCI tails, there are a few other LED upgrades that you can make that’ll further enhance your night time appearance, like a set of 18-LED Courtesy Lamps for BMW E92, which pair brilliantly with LED Luggage Compartment Lamps for BMW E92.
And a pair of LED License Plate lamps is a great finishing touch for extra clean lighting.
You use them heavily every time you drive the car, and yet you’ve probably only thought about them actively a handful of times. There are a few easy ways to improve on your E92’s braking power without having to step it up as far as a big brake kit. A set of large wheels will expose your brakes quite a bit, and in addition to enhancing your stopping power, a set of nicer brakes can add a nice backdrop for your wheels.
Brakes are the ultimate “While I’m at it” mod.
Since you’re going to have to replace your brakes as you put miles on the car no matter what you do, why not put something better in, since you have to replace the parts anyway? See why we call it a “While I’m at it” mod?
A StopTech Stage 2 brake package makes it straightforward and surprisingly affordable to step up your stopping power for a fraction of the cost of a Big Brake Kit. No matter how you look at it, superior stopping power is going to be an improvement your car – stopping faster means a greater margin of safety, and better brakes means you can brake later in the corners to make that winning overtaking pass.
So that’s it for our recap of the best mods for the BMW E92 328i and 335i – we hope this information was helpful, and thank you for reading.
Interested in spicing up the look and performance of your BMW E92 328i or 335i? Ask the Mod Experts what exterior upgrades are available for your car to change the style of your ride. Call us at 714-582-3330 for expert car mod advice and schedule your installation at the Mod Auto shop today.
Story & Photos Nick Gregson