ECS Tuning Presents: NEO Cars & Coffee with Summit Racing

The North East Ohio Cars and Coffee is an event much like other C&C events across the country where enthusiasts gather for morning snacks, caffeine, and a few hours of hang time with vehicles of all types. The NEO C&C, unlike some of the similar meets around the States, is a traveling venue. Last week we were granted the opportunity to host the sizable crowd of drivers and regular attendees here at our own facility for a rare look at some of our headquarters.

Anyone who regularly makes an appearance at a C&C event knows how incredibly difficult it can be to drag yourself out of bed early on a Saturday morning to prep your car and drive before any food has hit your stomach. The drive into the show always provides the excitement buildup necessary to generate some energy, but the real kick is arriving at an event totally unprepared for the variety of builds, unique cars, and the total attendance numbers when they completely blow away any expectations.

 

We promoted the event alongside the NEO C&C crew, so a high attendance number was no surprise. However, seeing hundreds of people and cars of various makes and models pour into and out of the facility, all morning with seemingly no end thoroughly exceeded our collective imagination.

The crowds of enthusiasts milling about the overflowing parking lot were offered no shortage of excellent vehicles to see up close. Even for this writer, several first in-person sightings of favorite cars dominated the morning. One of the most appealing aspects of C&C events is the relaxed atmosphere that offers the opportunity to speak with owners of some interesting cars. From exotics to classics, and a host of modified contemporary cars, any type of gear-head could have seen something that makes them bust an enormous grin.

Some of the more noteworthy cars from the morning were an eclectic bunch of makes and models from very different roads of automotive history. An all-original BMW E9 3.0 Coupe pulled in amidst a crowd of vintage BMWs and immediately caught the attention of the folks who were in-the-know about that car’s notoriety. Alongside that E9, a period-correct Lamborghini Diablo drew the attention of nearly everyone in attendance at some point, as did an imported Makinen Edition Lan-Evo 6 that has to be one of very few Stateside.

 

Peppering the parking lot was more than strictly European cars, which made the event more successful. The presence of some well-done STis, an insane S14, and even an LS-swapped Miata were all featured around the lot and inside the ECS garage.

The Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari, CTS-V wagon, and M-Coupe also drew easy numbers of onlookers when they arrived and maintained a steady stream of admirers until their departure.

 

 

The morning concluded with the majority of attendees leaving one-by-one almost as if someone had made the announcement that it was time to leave. The early morning meet was finished before noon, which makes it one of the shorter, if not more enjoyable, gatherings that let you enjoy a car-filled day from sunrise to well past sundown here in Northeast Ohio. Due to the resounding success that the NEO Cars and Coffee event has been here at ECS, you can rest assured it will continue in the future. Stay tuned for more information about how you can engage with us at events and when we will open our doors once again to share some breakfast and cars together.

A very special shout out to Justin Raynak @shades43, the photographer who so graciously shot the event while our photographer was out and about with Jamie Orr on the “Slammed to the Arctic” road trip!

A Dream Realized: Andrew’s LS-Powered BMW E46 M3 Drift Car

Generic clichés are generic because they are so frequently used. One we enthusiasts are familiar with is the timeless classic “hard work and dedication is all it takes to be successful”. It is often the case in the car community that projects start and are never completed or that something somehow impedes us from finishing our goals. A benefit of working in the automotive aftermarket community is that you have many opportunities to meet people who share your passion and have followed through with their ambition. Andrew is one such passionate individual who is a shining example of dedicated discipline and enthusiasm that has resulted in an incredible car with an inspiring driver.

Andrew first contacted me four years ago while I worked for an equipment company where he inquired about some wheel and tire equipment. Upon further conversation, it came about why he was interested in purchasing commercial equipment for personal use. Andrew spends his time much the same way many of us do: underneath his BMW E46 M3 or slaying tires around a drift course. Being a BMW enthusiast and collector myself, Andrew and I were able to find a common connection and enjoyed a fantastic conversation about his plans for the E46 in his garage. When he told me what his build was going to be, I became incredibly excited and the phone call quickly excluded any talk of equipment purchases and transitioned exclusively to speaking about his idea.

Since that conversation, Andrew has entered his second year of competition with the M3 we spoke about those few years back. Recently, I was able to catch up with him after his last event to speak with him more in-depth this time about the whole build. His BMW E46, which you may recognize from “The Smoking Tire” or from various features in print and online, is quite the melting pot of fandoms. It actually started life as an E46 330i but an LS-swap, a complete facelift with genuine M3 body components, and several other pieces of the car transformed it into what you see today. In our latest conversation, Andrew took me through the entire history of this unbelievable build.

Before the monstrous M3 was sliding around with an aggressive livery and covered in sponsor’s decals, it was sitting at a friend of Andrew’s with a blown up M54. Andrew was driving a z33 350z he had built as a show car, and barely driving it at that. After an unfortunate collision on the freeway that sent his car into an uncontrollable spin, he made up his mind that he wanted to learn to drive a car more seriously and in his words “I wanted to be able to control a car that is out of control”. It was after this crash that he would dive headfirst into the world of drifting and the adrenaline addiction it becomes.

“I didn’t get to enjoy the (z33) car. I was too scared to drive it. Too scared to scratch it, even. I only put like 5,000 miles on it. With my 240, I didn’t care.”

Andrew purchased a 240sx for little money (before the drift tax) and decided to begin building something he could be more relaxed with behind the wheel. He had known drifting would be his sport of choice since a young age. In the early 2000’s, Andrew worked at a motorsport event and experienced drifting for the first time. He was instantly hooked, but it would not be until he purchased the 240 that he would begin to hone his skills on the track. Unfortunately, or fortunately, in this case, the 240 had other plans for being the car Andrew would be known for and made the choice to set itself on fire. After the 240 burned, an LS engine and manual transmission he had intended to drop into the 240 would need a new home. They found their home in the blown up E46 that was still for sale sitting a few miles away at his friend’s house. A quick drive with a trailer found Andrew returning home with his ‘new’ BMW and his pocket a little lighter.

With the engine and transmission already in his possession, his idea came together quickly. The implementation, however, would take much longer. He knew the LS would power the E46, but did not have any immediate plans to go full-on competitive with the car. The intent was to budget around $5k for the build, drop the engine in, weld the diff, and get sideways. A local fabrication shop designed headers and motor mounts for the swap, but when the motor mounts didn’t fit and the engine had to wait for its new home, things began to ramp up quickly for the E46. An SLR angle kit, OS Giken LSD and clutch, and several other highly competitive parts found themselves in the car, which inevitably leads to countless other racing-specific modifications. As is a common occurrence when building a car, a number of unplanned additions made their way into the build alongside the original ideas Andrew expressed to me about the car.

“When it came to the body, I didn’t intend to swap to the M kit. I actually found a friend who widebodied his E46 M3, so I was able to source all the front M body pieces for just a few bucks.”

With the front end completely converted and the beefier fender arches allowing for the extra width from the angle kit, the rear needed the same treatment. Andrew actually purchased a totaled E46 M3 and had a shop make molds of the rear quarter panels to make overfenders that would match the aggressiveness of the front end. Finally, the real M3 trunk (still sporting the badge, for which he receives quite a lot of disdainful looks from purists) and an M3 rear bumper on a quick release to his custom bash bar were installed on the E46 to complete the transformation.

Before the build, the amount of fabrication needed was minimal and was to be performed by local shops. As the build progressed, Andrew began learning fabrication for himself. He designed his own cage and several other components on the car out of necessity as the project became much more seriously involved, while DR Concepts took care of a few of the more difficult parts like the bash bar mounts.

After the car had been stripped and almost completely rebuilt with new coilovers and other suspension components alongside the extensive modifications, the motor mounts absolutely needed to be finished. A few months of back-and-forth and a handful of shops later, the E46 finally received the attention it needed and engine arms were designed that fit and allowed the engine to be dropped into its final resting place for the build to be completed.

The modification list for the E46 is more than just extensive: Andrew built this car by tearing it down to a shell to the finished product you see here. Most impressively is that he did the vast majority of the work himself out of necessity. Many of you can relate to his decision based on the sheer cost, but it is still a testament to the concept that this sport is not out of reach to those who are committed and dedicated enough to dive into the opportunity head first.

“This was supposed to be a $5k project, and it just got out of hand. I ended up deciding to do it right. Fortunately, since the E46 was complete and in good condition, parting it out allowed me to make most of my money back.”

Finally, after well over a year and a half building the car and nearly three years since he had competed in any drift events, Andrew was able to drive his fresh LS-powered E46 M3 drift car. The livery and finishing touches were completed for the Bimmerfest 2016 debut with quite literal minutes to spare. The morning of that show saw the final completion and a rushed drive to the event. Since that debut, the car has exploded in the BMW community, drifting community, and even the LS muscle car world, having been present and competitive at Holley’s LS-Fest West.

“For three years I didn’t drift. I had to start again. When I got back in the car, my fear factor had grown from before and I had a lot to overcome. Now, it’s just a blast.”

Since the completion, the car has received minor modifications, including solid aluminum Turner Motorsport Differential Mounts and Subframe Mounts, ventilation fans, and tweaks here and there for drivability. Most notably, however, is, of course, the new livery and wide-er-body now bulging from each corner.

Andrew proves perfectly that someone with the dedication to spend the time necessary learning new skills and who has the passion to want that end-goal can build something. While it took quite a lot of his own money up front, since the Bimmerfest debut and “The Smoking Tire” episode, he has picked up quite the notoriety from several companies who have offered their support to allow Andrew to continue doing what he loves every day.

When it comes to wanting to do this yourself, Andrew offers some excellent wisdom as a professional. During his early stages in the sport, the few experts out there who could offer help with his build and become integrated into the world of BMW tuning were tight-lipped. Now, resources like Andrew exist so that people who share this passion can have a support network from where they can draw inspiration and learn from without the exclusivity that had previously existed as a hurdle. The key, according to Andrew, is a complete dedication and an unwillingness lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that it will be finished, that it has to be finished, and that you are only out there to have fun is all you need to get started so long as you have passion and commitment.

“We’re doing this because we love it and it’s fun. That’s the whole point and I think sometimes people lose sight of that.”

The biggest advice he shared with me is to keep that original idea in mind. That the minute drifting becomes anything other than just pure fun, it loses its point in the eyes of the drivers and that is where people become discouraged. Maintaining that relaxed feel and camaraderie among drivers and enthusiasts is why we do this sport that is so destructive to our cars and incredibly expensive to maintain.

The ESM Wheels look right at home on this car with the functional drift stance.

Andrew is an inspiration among enthusiasts and drivers with his incredible E46 M3. As a single person interested in joining the competitive world of drifting, Andrew has experienced severe challenges in keeping up with the high budget teams and opponents. The sport has become this insane horsepower competition and grown to be almost medically precise thanks to the gobs of money and support from companies eager for exposure in the demographic of drift racers and fans. Enthusiasts like Andrew who jump in head-first with no funding and a shoestring budget prove that anyone can still compete and have fun, even amidst the seemingly over-imposing opposition. We look forward to following his next phases of the build and will continue to check in with him as he becomes increasingly competitive over the next season, so be sure to follow along for more of his story and others.

What’s in the car:

S2r tuning composites
CSF Radiators
Feal Suspension
SLR speed
Fuzion Technique
Canton Race Products
Bride Japan
Dtm Fiberwerkz

HPS silicone hoses
Isky Racing Cams
ESM Wheels
MJD Direct
New Era Performance
DR Concept
SWR Motorsports
Syncro design works

Remus Sport Exhaust
Motorsport Hardware
Motorsport Fluids
OS Giken
Gearheadz International
Wisdm Productions
Milestar Tires
Advanced fuel Dynamics

Media sponsors:
AM Drift
The smoking tire
Wisdm Productions

SPECS of car:
Exterior:
M3 CSL Front bumper with carbon fiber
Splitters
M3 Fenders

M3 Hood
S2r tuning Carbon fiber sunroof delete
S2r tuning Carbon fiber headlight delete

Interior:
Bride Seats

Racepak dash
Gs werks Custom roll cage

S1 Motorsports switch Panel /fuse panel
Sparco Steering wheel
NRG Quick release

NRG Hub
HPI Harnesses

Mason engineering Clutch Pedal
S2r tuning carbon fiber cluster delete
S1 Motorsports Hydraulic Handbrake
S1 Motorsports Floor panels
Custom wiring by SWR Motorsports
Custom Rear Firewall

Suspension:
Feal 441 coilovers
9k swift springs front and 4K swift springs in the
rear with true coilover conversion in rear
SLR super angle kit
M3 Differential
Syncro design works mechanical differential
(LSD Internals)

Solid subframe and diff bushings
Wilwood calipers rear (Dual caliper kit)
M3 Rear calipers
Brembo Big brake kit (front)
Massive brakes Dual caliper bracket
Brake quip brake lines
SLP Control arms
Garagistic front subframe

Engine
2001 Chevrolet ls1
Ls6 intake manifold
DR Concept Motor mounts
CX racing headers
CX racing y pipe
Custom 3” stainless dual exhaust
Holley retrofit oil pan
Canton Racing Accusump
CSF Radiator

CSF Oil Cooler
Mishimoto overflow bottle
Tennessee Clutch
APS Racing Driveshaft
Moroso Oil Catch Can
Wiring specialties wiring Harness
Turn one power steering pulley and pump
Aeromotive A1000 with 6 gallon fuel cell
Greddy oil filter block with thermostat
AN lines and fittings for everything

Disclaimer: None of the images used in this article are the property of ECS Tuning. The images used are credited to Andrew A. or any other respective photographers and are not used in association with marketing or monetized purposes.

Give @andrew4reel a follow on Instagram!

Bremmen Parts Euro VW MK5 R32 Body Kit

With the import crowd, it seems to be a constant theme to want the most ‘original’ look and style to your vehicle. In the United States, our strict crash-test rating and emissions requirements often force manufacturers to either alter their cars or leave them out of our market completely. This creates an insatiable desire to have the unattainable versions simply to be the most ‘unique’ in our scene. What is even more interesting is the aftermarket community has responded to the collective outcry demanding European-exclusive options be made available to those of us stuck stateside. Bremmen Parts is one such manufacturer who has heard the enthusiasts’ demands and responded with the European MK5 R32 Body Kit for anyone who has a USDM-Spec R32 and wants the arguably more attractive European version.

The American version of the MK5 R32 hints at the style available outside of our market, but for one reason or another, the desire to have the European-exclusive version has encouraged Bremmen Parts to bring us the new kit to transform your MK5 R32 into the Euro-Spec body style for all the scene points. The other difficulty in converting to the Euro-market body is finding all the different pieces that allow the bumper conversion to happen smoothly and correctly. Anyone who has converted between the two markets will tell you there are more than just a few cosmetic differences. That’s where Bremmen comes in. This kit includes everything you need to take your USDM MK5 R32 and completely convert it without hunting down OEM bolts or searching forums for someone looking to trade mounting pieces for a similar conversion overseas.

The complete front and rear kits include every piece necessary to make the swap happen without you needing to do any extra legwork. They also include the European license plate mounting holes, chrome accents, and everything else you would see on a European MK5 R32 for the authentic touch. There are no corners cut or shortcuts taken to bring this kit to your R32 for the full Euro effect. The Bremmen kit is just what you need to transform your MK5 R32 completely so you can stunt on all the plebs who still have the USDM bumpers like a bunch of nerds.

Carbon Fiber Visual Upgrades for Audi B7 S4

The Audi B7 S4 succeeded the B6 S4 in 2005 with minor mechanical changes and a redesigned exterior. The more contemporary styling, paired with the 4.2-liter V8 engine, made the all-wheel-drive sedan a popular choice amongst business executives and performance enthusiasts alike. While it has become dated as the B8 and B9 have respectively succeeded it, the aftermarket community continues to provide excellent products for those who still rock the B7. Brand new from ECS Tuning, we have two additions that are sure to tickle the fancy of any B7 owner: our Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser and Carbon Fiber Lip Spoiler add a more aggressive element to the B7 S4 styling that subtly hints the decade-old autobahn cruiser still packs a punch.

The diffuser is a perfectly fitted aesthetic improvement designed to accent the existing body lines while adding a hint of sporty flair. The carbon fiber weave gives the rear of your car a transformative feeling and the stubby fins make for a more dynamic look not present on the factory rear bumper. This diffuser is an excellent choice for anyone with a B7 S4 who wants to have one more reason to look back every time they park their car.

To compliment the diffuser, our rear lip spoiler similarly accentuates and amplifies the factory contours of the trunk. Once again, a touch of carbon fiber is all it takes to provide a new theme that makes for a more race-inspired vibe than the original contours offer.

These visual upgrades are some of many still being produced for the B7 S4 that are ensured to give you a new appreciation for your Audi. Grab some carbon fiber and give your car the flair it wants with the race-inspired upgrades from ECS Tuning.

Vendor Spotlight: 60 Years of Sonax

What sets apart a car enthusiast from the rest of the inhabitants in his neighborhood? Do we look at the countless nights spent tinkering in the garage, or the constant arrivals of parts to their front door? While it may be a combination of several intricacies of an enthusiast’s life, one unifying activity found amongst all enthusiasts is the hand washing of one’s car. That is definitely something the fellows at Sonax take seriously, as they provide some of the most well-known car care products to enthusiasts all over the world who enjoy the cathartic release of cleaning their vehicle with the best stuff around.

What began 60 years ago as a silver polish has blossomed into one of the go-to names in automotive polish and cleaning products. Almost assuredly any car show or get together you may attend features shiny show cars using their products to achieve the highest level of attractiveness.

If you are preparing for your next show, don’t leave out Sonax car care products during your detailing work. Their engine cleaner is perfect for tackling the nasty grime and grease that builds up and makes you embarrassed to show off your car’s power plant. Be confident and take pride in what’s under the hood this time with the Sonax engine cleaner.

If your wheels are looking a little darker than they should and a normal wash just won’t cut it, Sonax wheel cleaner PLUS wheel cleaner is just what you need to bring the shine back. This cleaner is safe for all wheel types and works stronger and faster than other cleaners to ensure a pristine like-new finish without spending back-breaking hours polishing those lips by hand. This wheel cleaner is ideal if you have neglected wheels you are trying to restore or need a super quick detail after driving to a show, just make sure you have some water handy!

Sonax also offers interior cleaner, bug remover, and other sanitation products to cover every base in taking care of your car’s appearance and smell. Of course, you do need a way to dry everything off. Once you have finished washing your vehicle and are ready to prevent any water spots, the Sonax microfiber drying cloth is the perfect finishing touch.

Save time with your next detail and see the best results with the 60 years of excellent experience behind Sonax and their car care products. Take care of your favorite cars the right way and keep them as clean as the day you brought them home without jumping through hoops of trying to figure out the best products to use. Sonax is the name we all trust thanks to their extensive experience in polishes and cleaning products for a good reason. Check out their full inventory of accessories here at ECS Tuning.

New Product: Volkswagen MK7 Golf R400 Style Body Kits

When it debuted at the Bejiing Auto Show, the Golf R400 concept immediately became the most aggressively styled VW hot hatchback since the reintroduction of the Scirocco. The MK7 R400 concept was designed to be a 395-horsepower Golf R alternative with an appearance so overly in-your-face Dominic Toretto himself would take a step back. The unfortunate reality of Dieselgate sealed the fate of the R400 edition Golf, but did not entirely kill off the styling. Enthusiasts around the world and here at ECS spoke up and demanded the unique and eye-catching body kit be available to those who were interested in transforming their MK7, so here it is: the MK7 R400 Concept Conversion Kit is now for sale to make your Golf, GTI, or R resemble the concept kit that so very nearly made it to production.

This aggressive design is perfect for an OEM-plus build in its full kit, or, with individually available parts, an excellent way to throw a new spin on other kits by piecing elements together. Each piece of the kit can be purchased separately or as a full conversion, so each order can be tailored to your idea of what your MK7 will become. The kits come primed and ready for paint and provide all necessary mounting hardware and brackets for the factory fitment you would have expected on a real R400.

This is your chance to have your MK7 look the way you want and the way the R400 should have been made. With other tasteful performance upgrades, your GTI or R can easily surpass the respectable 400-horsepower output predicted for the now dead R400 while matching the intimidating looks offered by the concept car.

This kit is exactly what your MK7 needs if you are interested in having the most unique version around while retaining an OEM-like appearance. Take your MK7 to the next level with the full conversion or mix and match these pieces with other available body kits to create a personal visual upgrade package unique to your car. Stay tuned for more excellent products to make your MK7 the best it can be!

Interested in purchasing?

MK6 R400 Concept Kit

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ECS Transmission Street Shield for your Audi B8 A4 Quattro or B8 S4

Fresh out of our Research and Development department is a new protective measure for your Audi B8 A4 Quattro or S4: The ECS Transmission Street Shield Aluminum Skid Plate! Protecting your transmission is critical, especially in lowered vehicles. Potholes and various road hazards are frequent moments of terror that plague lowered and slammed cars. 

This Street Shield gives you peace of mind in taking the hit for you should an unavoidable obstacle find itself in your path.

Constructed from4mm thick 5052 Aluminum, the ECS Street Shield can take an astounding amount of punishment that would otherwise put your critical undercarriage parts at risk. 

The Street Shield is constructed in such a way that it provides excellent protection without adding significant weight.We all know protection and functionality are both paramount in a skid plate, but who said they have to be without style? The ECS Street Shield logo is embossed in the milled finish of your skid plate, giving the exposed side a subtle hint of style.

Installation with provided hardware is a simple process, meaning you can enjoy your B9 with fewer worries in an afternoon. The skid plate is easily installed and fitment is a direct bolt on for a quick and confident installation.

Interested in purchasing?

Transmission Street Shield.

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Best Mods for the BMW E36 3 – Series 1991-1999

If you have a BMW E36, you most likely have already begun to modify it in some way. The E36, which was produced from 1991 through 1999, was the successor to the highly-praised E30 chassis. The E36 featured a range of engines; the most desirable in America being the M5x line or the S5x line. The six-cylinder inline engines have been popularized by their steady power bands, high potential for modification, and incredibly balanced performance. We have devised a list of the best modifications you can make to get the most out of your E36.

Software

If you haven’t already, taking full advantage of your engine’s potential is as easy as a plug-and-play software chip for your ECU. The Shark Injector Performance Software is designed to raise the rev limit, improve throttle response, remove the top speed governor, and improve the overall power output. If you have a stock vehicle or if you have hotter cams and an M50 OBD1 manifold you can select an appropriate software tune to maximize the output of your engine.

Brakes

We highly suggest addressing the brakes on your E36, especially if you just purchased the vehicle. Our Performance Front and Rear Brake Service Kits adapts your E36 brakes to the floating 2-piece rotors and calipers found on the CSL E46 M3. These lighter weight rotors significantly reduce unsprung weight on each corner, which adds to the handling ability of your E36, while greatly improving your ability to stop effectively. Remember, more power means you need more stopping power, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to give your E36 beefier brakes.

Intake

The best way to make the most out of your Shark Injector Software is to equip your E36 with a high-flow performance cold air intake and switch your OBD2 Intake Manifold for the OBD1 version, which improves torque and horsepower dramatically. Both the addition of the OBD1 Manifold and the Cold Air Intake are taken into account with a specific tune and allow you to achieve the most reliable and consistent power from your modifications. The overall horsepower gains can be upwards of 30HP to the crank, so these are definitely highly suggested and inexpensive ways to improve your power drastically. We carry a range of intakes on the site as well as offering OEM manifolds and gaskets to ensure you are receiving the highest quality parts. DINAN has been the preferred choice by many to improve the induction capabilities of their BMW and bring years of excellence to the BMW tuning community.

Wheels

The biggest visual difference that can completely change the profile and stance of your E36. Our own Alzor Wheels brand offers several BMW fitments for improving the visual appearance of your BMW and lowering unsprung weight. With myriad styles, sizes, and offsets, Alzor Wheels offer a great upgrade to your car’s aesthetics while being relatively inexpensive. Alternatively, Apex Wheels are known for their dedication to providing lightweight and trackable wheels specifically designed for BMWs. The incredibly popular Apex ARC8 wheels are featured on many track and street BMWs and have been dubbed as one of the best wheel choices around to improve your BMW.

Exhaust

Without going into a full exhaust setup that can get incredibly pricey, the best way to gain some power and increase the volume of your engine is to equip a cat-back exhaust. UUC, a premier BMW performance company, offers a stainless, true-dual, lightweight dual exhaust that is 2.38 inches in diameter as opposed to the smaller diameter factory exhaust. This eliminates back pressure and allows the exhaust gas to be expelled more quickly, which increases your performance slightly. Paired with software tuning and supporting modifications, you can expect noticeable power gains and a throaty growl to put a smile on your face at any RPM. The System U Exhaust runs from the midsection all the way to the exhaust tips and includes a muffler that mounts identically to your factory exhaust to provide the easiest and most secure fitment.

Take-Aways

With the above modifications to your E36 complete, you can expect dramatic increases in both power and driving pleasure while enjoying a unique look with the aftermarket wheels and a more enjoyable exhaust note thanks to that UUC cat-back. The lighter weight components help increase what the performance gains will actually do for your acceleration, and the lower unsprung weight from the improved brakes will improve your cornering ability noticeably. Make sure to grab all this and more right here at ECS to build the perfect E36 for the street or track!

Interested in our other products for your BMW E36 3-Series? Shop by car here!

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DIY: BMW E46 ECS Blackout Fender Grille Installation

Replace the old and worn grilles, or just add style and individuality to your BMW E46 in only a few minutes of your time by installing our ECS Tuning Blackout Grilles.

Our line of fender grilles offer the following features:

• Constructed of durable, impact resistant, 100% ABS plastic
• Simple Installation, requiring only one small flat blade screwdriver or pick • Perfect Fit
• Available in two different finishes
• Grilles include a template and bezels for installation on non-M fenders

Each fender grille is held in place by four plastic retainers that are part of the fender grille itself.

m3_side_marker_blackout_grille

Look closely on the bottom of the fender grilles and you will see the lower retainers. We have highlighted one in this picture. Each of the lower retainers has a cutout in the end to allow you to insert a tool for removal.

m3_side_marker_blackout_grille

As an additional reference, the picture on the right of the removed grille shows the two lower retainers.

m3_side_marker_blackout_grille

Now, to remove the original grille, insert a small screwdriver or pick through the cutout in each bottom retainer, then gently push downward on the handle of the tool. This will lift the retainer up to release it from the fender.

As you release the lower retainers, pull up on the bottom center of the grille. Work patiently, alternating back and forth between the lower retainers and keeping upward pressure on the bottom center of the grille.

As soon as both lower retainers are released from the fender, the grille will pivot upwards and you can then unhook the upper retainers and remove the grille.

The new grilles will come installed inside a bezel. Remove the grilles from each bezel. The bezels are only used when installing these on non-M fenders. There is a template included as well to allow you to mark non-M fenders for cutting.

Install the new fender grille into place and push it in until your hear the audible “click” of each tab engaging into the fender.

If you do not hear the “click” of the tabs engaging or if you are not sure if the grille is fully seated, look closely at the fingers on the ends of the grille and make sure they are tight against the fenders. If they are not, then the grille is not fully seated in the fender.

Dress up your new Blackout Fender Grilles by ordering an M3 or CSL badge from ECS Tuning.

M3 Fender Grille Badge: ES#78299 CSL Fender Grille Badge: ES#2931684

Interested in purchasing?

E46 M3 Blackout Grille Badges and Emblems

Improve the look of your M3 and show off with a unique matte or gloss finish!
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Spotlight: Harley’s Supercharged Corrado Build

Sometimes, the cars we own sort of ‘end up’ (for better or worse) in our garages and we look to ourselves and think: “When did I start becoming interested in this?” For Harley, this is very much not the case. Originally from the UK, Harley has always held a great appreciation for European hatchbacks. Specifically, Volkswagens. The appeal began for him when he modified a 1998 VW Polo 16v with his brother.

During that time, Harley’s father rekindled his interest in VW’s and purchased a 1995 Corrado VR6. A supercharger found its way under the hood along with several hard to find OE components offered on unique production models. That sound, exclusive to the VR6 motor layout paired with a supercharger whine, stuck Cupid’s Corrado-shaped arrow deeply into Harley forever.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

Four years ago, Harley found himself living in the United States. Over here, the eclectic car communities range dramatically from JDM imports to mud-boggers, but are heavily dominated by muscle cars and modified trucks.  Harley didn’t stray from the European vehicles he grew up with and purchased a MK5 GTI with the DSG transmission. While he enjoyed it and modified it lightly, the mechanical and connected appeal found in older German performance vehicles was just not present. He found himself searching for the car which had cemented his love for VW ownership: a VR6 Corrado.

Eight months of searching culminated in a nail-biting eBay ‘buy it now’ gamble and the need to drive 10 hours one-way from his home in Michigan to Pennsylvania, where his new VR6 was waiting.

With help from a friend he knew was down to embark on a lengthy road trip for a sight-unseen car purchase, Harley drove the twenty-hour round trip with little drama and soon had his prize sitting exactly where he dreamed: right at home.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

While he had originally planned to leave the incredibly clean and unmolested example of European performance completely factory, the appeal of his father’s modified VR6 was too strong and soon a Milltek Sport exhaust found its way under the car, which was quickly followed by coilovers.

After enjoyable driving, the Corrado was parked inside for its first winter in Harley’s possession. Unfortunately, when he parked the car, he noticed the heart-sinking sound of timing chain rattle, signifying the guides were not long for this world.

The exposed Timing Chain ready for service

Harley had never delved into an in-depth internal engine service before, and thought of it as an opportunity to not only gain valuable experience in working with his motor, but also to take the performance aspect of his Corrado and dramatically improve it.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

vr6_corrado_supercharged

Only the finest shop towels for blocking intake runners

With a V3 supercharger kit, bigger injectors, cams, a performance clutch, and host of other modifications, Harley found himself with the product of extensive, yet rewarding, hard work which presented him with an excellent Corrado reminiscent of his dad’s from previous years.

Harley’s Corrado is remarkable; both incredibly clean for an aging European late model car, and  unbelievably quick, this car is one that certainly captures the attention of anyone remotely interested in European Hot Hatchbacks and the tuning culture which so gracefully surrounds them.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

vr6_corrado_supercharged

Beauty covers, accessories, and of course the supercharger, all at home in the bay

Harley does have plans to continue improving the tune, finding more capable injectors, and E85 conversion to begin with. We all look forward to seeing where this build continues here at ECS.

ECS Exact-Fit Stainless Braided Brake Cables found their way into Harley’s build

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Interested in overhauling your engine or need performance parts like some of the ones seen here?

ECS Tuning offers a wide range of performance-oriented and OEM replacement parts for nearly every major European car. Take on your next project with ECS Tuning!

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