Hello and welcome to the first 2014 Installment of the ModBargains blog – and the first Car of The Month of 2014! Georgia may be known for its peaches, but this Blueberry hued BMW has us questioning that. This month’s Car Of The Month is Josh Z’s 2009 BMW 328i [E92], which has undergone quite a few changes to get it where it is today.
When Josh took delivery of the car, he weighed the options carefully. “I knew going into the purchase that while most preferred the power of the 335, I felt more confident in the longevity and dependability of the 328i.” Opting to go the non-turbo route, Josh set his sights on building the best handling and performing N/A E9X in the area. “I wanted to style the car to look more aggressive for daily driving, but with a suspension that’s flexible enough for all kinds of street driving – including downtown Atlanta.”
As the years have passed, the car has made the transition from stock to stunner. On the outside, the car doesn’t look much like a 328 anymore – sporting an OEM M Aero Front Lip and Blacked Out Kidney Grilles and Painted Side Reflectors topped off by an OEM-style Carbon Fiber hood with RPI intake scoops, when you see this car behind you, you know it means business.
The exterior transformation doesn’t stop up front either. Spicing up the tail end is an M-Tech rear bumper – selecting your bumper and rear diffuser can be as tricky as pairing the right wine and cheese, and this M-tech rear bumper has been fitted with an M-Tech Carbon Fiber Diffuser which is FRP with carbon fiber inlay. Further complimenting the rear aero look is a Megan Carbon Fiber Roof Lip Spoiler and an M-Style Rear Lip Spoiler.
Flexibility in your suspension can be a tall order without the right guidance. Modification Expert (and BMW specialist) Alan Wei collaborated with Josh to customize the suspension to suit his goals. “I’ve worked with Alan for the latter part of the 2013,” Josh said, adding, “Being a newcomer to BMWs and their parts, Alan has saved me when I had questions on compatibility and performance aspects of any parts. He’s made the BMW Performance Upgrade process much easier!”. The car currently sits on a set of H&R Suspension Sport Springs, Eibach Front & Rear Sway Bars to dial in the ride and handling and a Dinan Front Upper Strut Bar braces the tops of the strut towers to beef chassis rigidity up under hard cornering. Wheels and tires also make a huge difference in the handling characteristics of your car, and this E92 sits on a set of legit BBS CH-R Black Edition [19×8.5 / 19×9.5] wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport [235 front, 265 rear] tires which are brought out for the right fitment with a set of H&R Suspension Wheel Spacers.
That’s not all Josh has in mind for the suspension – once winter rolls by and the days are nice again, Josh tells us “I’m planning on converting to coilovers soon, so I have M3 front and rear control arms at my office waiting for a nice day to install them.” The interior received a little love, too, with a set of M Pedals and an M-style shifter.
While reliability is a major goal, that’s not to say that Josh has left the motor alone. Nope, the motor is kept breathing by a suite of Dinan goodies including a Dinan Intake which help give the car a better intake and exhaust note as well as complimenting performance. Josh tells us his future plans might include a Turner Intake Manifold upgrade and a performance ECU reflash, but event entry fees may co-opt the funds slated to make the manifold and reflash happen.
Of course, go-fast performance is nothing without stoppers to match – unless of course, your preferred method of braking is using another car (Gran Turismo 3 anyone? – Ed.). A set of StopTech Cross-Drilled/Slotted rotors helps the brakes stay cool under hard use with extra venting and slots to help the set of Hawk HPS Brake pads grab the rotors to bring this blueberry beauty to a stop.
Handling is a major goal of Josh’s BMW E92 build, and he plans to make use of it and take advantage of his BMWCCA Membership this year by competing in Road Course and Autocross events, noting, “I plan on tracking the car a little with BMWCCA, but in reality, I just want a fun daily driver that will always start and won’t get me in too much trouble (good luck! -Ed.)… but I’m still debating starting an E36 project.”
We can’t wait to see the car in action, and of course, we’ll keep you updated.
Words by Nicholas Gregson in Collaboration with Alan Wei
Photos courtesy John Zehtabchi