Ballin’ on a Budget: Zach’s 1993 BMW E32 740i Jalopy

If you grew up on Hardy Boys novels like myself, you may remember Chet and his ‘old jalopy’ that would occasionally cough, smoke, wheeze, and rattle its way into the crime-solving duo’s stories. This was my introduction as a child to the idea that you could so comfortably rely on something so obviously dilapidated and old that it becomes a part of your identity. The jalopy spurned a lifelong love affair with broken and aging cars that I don’t foresee ending in the immediate future. I am clearly not the only one who prefers something with more ‘character’ to drive around, as my subject of scrutiny today is Zach’s 1993 BMW E32 740i.

The E32 was introduced in 1987 as the second 7-series and the successor to the E23. Technically, for you BMW nerds, the E32 is the third 7-series if you count the old Bavaria. The E3 Bavaria eventually split to become both the 5 and 7-series after it ceased production in 1977. This example is one of the later model E32s, and at a spritely 25 years old, it is barely beginning to show its age.

The E32s were offered with a 3.0 liter straight six, BMW’s first ever production V8 in 3.0 and 4.0-liter versions, and the top-of-the-line 5.0 liter V12 for which the model is most widely known. Anyone familiar with BMW M7x 12-cylinder engines knows why they are both fantastic marvels of engineering and also most undesirable as the power source for your beater BMW. Since Zach has plans to use this fine example of German luxury as his winter daily, the smart move was the 740i with the M60 4.0 liter V8.

Speaking of the engine, this one is 211,000 miles young and still provides eye-widening acceleration when you put your foot to the floor. The beauty of this car is that it produces (or did when it was new) close to 290 hp, yet it does so with a quiet dignity. It seems to say ‘oh alright if you insist’ and then takes off in a manner most surprising of a quarter-century old road boat. While it does burn oil (quite dramatically) and suffers from a ‘DIY transmission service’ that makes shifting gears a coin flip, it does not feel like it is in the throes of death. It does feel like it might consider the idea of death, though.

The fun surrounding cars like this is the duality of the whole purchase. You are sitting in something that is still a luxury car, by definition. One that demanded eye-watering retail prices when it was new thanks to its mile-long equipment list and over-engineered solutions to problems that didn’t exist. These cars were opportunities for the designers and engineers to build something without limits; something they knew did not have to be accessible to the vast majority of the population. The E32 is still a one-percenter’s car, but it now costs less than your average Mercedes-Benz oil change. This is champagne priced like beer. It may be a little flat and the bottle might be dusty, but hey, who can argue with that?

I spent an afternoon with Zach’s car and tried my best to get a feel for what it would be like to drive this car daily. Here at ECS, we love old BMWs and jump at any chance we have to drive them. This one was yet another excuse to get behind the wheel of my favorite marquee, so I happily agreed. Old BMWs, no matter the condition, all fall into about the same category: fun but exhausting. You find yourself instantly having fun in the driver’s seat, benefit from a few moments of excitement, and then the car is broken in some catastrophic way that demands a full rebuild. This one, an unrestored example that has been a daily driver for its whole life, is no different. Nothing could spoil the fun of driving, though, even a catastrophic failure. Who cares if there are squeaks, rattles, and the smell of trans fluid? The fact is, owning and driving something like this E32 makes life, and your commutes, entertaining.

For those commutes, the E32 offered the pinnacle of comfort in its day. When it was new, the interior was a comfortable sitting room of leather with individual climate and stereo controls for passengers. Now it is still that, but the standards of luxury have definitely shifted. It takes a special kind of person (one as stupid as myself) to get into a car and not think ‘what, no seat massagers, autopilot, and apple car play?’ If you have read this far, you probably share my sentiments that cars are meant for driving and enjoying. All the technology, gadgetry, auto-functions, and ‘convenience’ features found in even the most basic commuter cars these days kill the experience. This car is an example of the most luxury you can imbue upon what is essentially still a driving enthusiast’s car.

Back to the fun of an old car, this one displays qualities every beater should have: it runs despite myriad mechanical problems, always requires work, puts a smile on your face when you drive it, and gives you a carefree feeling that comes from not worrying about the car staying perfect. The last fact is the most important since that is the point of a beater. You want something that you don’t have to worry where you park it or wouldn’t shed tears over should a rival mobster decide to redecorate it with explosive devices. The E32, at the price equivalent of a second-hand iPhone, gives you all of that and more.

Stylish dignity, refined power, excessive amounts of blow-by, and a finicky transmission make this E32 7-series nearly the perfect daily driver and old jalopy beater. Though it is extremely obvious that the car is 25 years old, it still feels like something you want to drive. There are plenty of sacrifices driving old broken cars forces you to make, but at the end of the day, getting where you are going in an old luxury car with tons of character is much more exciting than driving something new that always makes it to the destination. We love old cars to the point that many would consider us masochists for what we are forced to endure in owning them, but their disapproval will never outweigh the fun to be had with something that has a soul and a carefree attitude. Stay tuned to see more about this car and some other beaters in an upcoming series we have yet to announce! You can see it all right here at ECS Tuning.

ECS Tuning and StopTech MK7.5 GTI Sweepstakes presented by Racing Line: Our Lucky Winner!

After an exciting few months, we have the winner for our MK7.5 GTI sweepstakes car we built in partnership with Racingline, Stoptech, Liqui-Moly, and several other amazing sponsors. If you have followed along, you saw the GTI transform from a totally factory MK7.5 to the most heavily modified example we are aware of in existence. Several of our sponsors developed many of their parts for the platform on this car, and it features many first-ever upgrades that will soon be available for other facelift owners to purchase. The GTI underwent quite the list of performance additions and now sits in its completed form, ready to take its new owner for an exciting drive every time he jumps behind the wheel.

So who is our lucky recipient? It is a he, and his name is Kevin from California. Once again, the sunny Pacific state takes home the grand prize, and even more coincidental is his affinity for Audi! I actually had the opportunity to speak at length with Kevin and he gave me quite a bit of background as to what lead him to make the fateful purchase. He shared his car history, some of his personal background, and even his most recent B8 A4 project that secured his winning order.

Kevin has been around cars nearly his whole life and began his downward spiral into automotive enthusiasm back in high school. He purchased a Datsun for $100 at sixteen that needed an engine, which eventually lead to his interest in fixing his own cars. After the Datsun, a VW Beetle became his daily driver and ongoing project. That Beetle fostered a love for VW that persists today and has meant more than just enjoyable transportation to our lucky winner. In what seems to be a theme of fortunate happenstance, Kevin actually met his wife through his ownership years ago of that Beetle. The mechanic to whom he turned for advice ended up being her father so one could say the love bug might have a little bit of truth to it after all.

More recently than his high school days, Kevin experienced what could have been called some misfortune at the time, but ended up as a heartwarming bit of car-karma. His daily driver until a few months ago was a MK4 Jetta, which he quite liked in its intact state. Another motorist who was less concerned with Kevin’s Jetta and its un-crashed appearance decided to t-bone his car. Inevitably, the car was totaled. The insurance company, as always, gave up the bare minimum. This forced him to search for a new daily that he could pay cash for and still enjoy. A local dealership had a reasonably priced B8 A4 that seemed sorted, so Kevin made the purchase and enjoyed some worry-free transportation in a newer Audi.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with bad luck, Kevin caught another wave of inconvenience. The B8 ran well for a little over a week, then the engine decided it had enough of its timing chain and freed it from its state of confinement. The engine completely jumped time, the cams spun, valves extended, and Kevin assumed the worst. Since he is a competent mechanic, he decided to yank out the 4-cylinder and have a go at diagnosing the damage. In a silver lining stroke of luck, the valves were undamaged as were most of the other major internals. The engine was apart, so Kevin decided to just rebuild the whole thing to avoid worrying about any mechanical surprises for a long time.

Kevin’s rebuild included the very order that secured his victory in the sweepstakes, which we think could not be more fitting. When you look at the big picture, Kevin’s Jetta being totaled and all his bad car luck was just the little bit of bitterness before the sweet. With the chain-reaction of totaled Jetta to broken A4, we couldn’t pick a winner more deserving of a new car replacement full of goodies (that he won’t have to rebuild).

So what happens next? After Waterfest, Kevin has arranged for the GTI to go home with him to California where several of his old friends (and some new ones he didn’t know he had) will undoubtedly pester him into taking them on some joy rides. He does intend to get involved with the SoCal VW scene, so you California locals will certainly see the colorful ECS and Stoptech livery present at events, shows, and cruises around the lower half of the state. Be sure to follow along as we check in with him through the first year of his ownership of the car and if you see him cruising around, give him a smile and wave to say congratulations Kevin on your new MK7.5 GTI built and tuned by your trusted European performance tuning experts.

Controversy in Style: XKGLOW Lighting Solutions for your Audi, BMW, MINI, or Volkswagen

The automotive world is vast and full of countless styles, influences, and motivations from nearly every aspect of life in general. It is a beautiful hobby to have, in that automotive enthusiasm allows drivers and owners to express themselves and draw upon inspiration from other facets of their personal lives to create something that wholly reflects their vision. This automotive expressionism, especially in its purest form, often leads to brutal debate over whether or not the car is ‘cool’ or ‘well done’ without much thought as to what brought the build together in the mind of the owner. Several styles and trends have been ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ in the past few decades, but one of the most controversial modifications has consistently been underglow and full spectrum lighting. One company who stands on the side of self-expression and creativity is XKGlow, who produce some of the finest automotive lighting solutions for nearly every make and model with high-quality, usability, and functionality in mind.

Underglow is just one of those things that either make you drop your jaw at the unified theme of the car on which it is equipped, or something that makes a little bit of bile rise up your esophagus. For this writer, underglow was something that was amusing, became uncouth, and has now returned full circle to a smile-inducing aspect of any car. XKGlow offers the ability to give your smile muscles a work out with their full-spectrum lights for interiors, exteriors, and even headlights that you can control from either a fob or your smartphone for instant satisfaction.

The systems are incredibly easy to install and use. From your smartphone, you can control brightness, strobe, color, and create customized presets that give your car a unique light show to flex with at the next local car meet. While there are no performance benefits to additional lighting options, there is no replacement for the amount of joy you can give yourself by changing the color theme of your car at night at the touch of a button.

Make the risky choice and throw underglow on your build to see just how much fun everyone had in the 90’s rolling around with neons under their civic. You can balk all you want, but I know that when I flip the switch under my BMW and enjoy some mood lighting, nothing else bothers me. Seeing the smiles and smirks alike make part of expressing your individuality enjoyable, but at the end of the day, finding something that means something special to you alone is the only thing that matters. Express yourself with XKGlow on your next project to see what we mean when we say ‘smile-inducing’. 

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ECS Tuning & StopTech VW MK7.5 GTI Sweepstakes Presented by Racingline: Big Turbo and More!

The news has already spread about our second sweepstakes car, the ECS Tuning and StopTech VW MK7.5 GTI Presented by Racingline. The GTI has already received a massive amount of work and attention courtesy of Zach and all our wonderful vendor partners and it is nearing completion. This most recent update finds us post-reveal, with the car having been present at Euro District and The European Experience to show off its progress. This week, we are pleased to present the most current work on the car. Racingline stopped by to assist in the very first Racingline Turbo installation, perform the tuning, and hang out while we fitted some of the last upgrades to the GTI that will find its way into the hands of a lucky recipient next month.

The GTI is finally coming together. This new Turbo from Racingline is one of the final touches that has allowed us to reach our final horsepower output goal, which will be revealed at a later date. Racingline sent some of their team to oversee the very first MK7.5 GTI turbo installs here in the states and have been a blast to have around the shop. The energy is palpable now that so many hands are on the car to have it prepared for its completion and to meet the deadline to present the car to its new owner, who has yet to be picked.

 

Zach has been hard at work installing more than just a fancy new turbo, however. The folks at Neuspeed delivered their downpipe, mid pipe, catback, and intercooler while Forge provided our dress up hoses. Lastly, ZSPEC contributed dress-up hardware to complete the visual theme underneath the hood. The car is finally coming together and we can’t wait to see how the performance has improved now that the engine matches the suspension and braking capabilities thanks to the additions from H&R with their coilovers and the 335mm StopTech Trophy BBK that absolutely bulges from each wheel hub.

The GTI is sure to see major improvements to power delivery as well as overall drivability with the litany of high-dollar performance parts adorning nearly every part of the car. Our excitement is building to see the finished product hit the dyno to find out if our maths have been accurate in determining what we believe to be the ultimate bolt-on built GTI to hit the streets. The new 3SDM custom 3-piece wheels have tied the exterior of the car together with the final livery and completely match the power that lies underneath. Everything about this car is visually striking and speaks volumes about the car’s capabilities.

Thanks to the guys at Racingline and Neuspeed who have helped us bring this dream build to life for the lucky winner and for providing such amazing support through the whole process. Without their contributions, and the roles played by all our other amazing vendor partners, this car would surely lack the bite to match its striking bite. Continue to follow along in our final weeks as the car is completed and becomes ready for the new owner to take delivery. Remember, every $50 spent on the site is one entry, so keep piling on the entries for a better chance to win this one-of-a-kind GTI as your personal show car, track car, and grocery getter.

Interested in entering?

ECS Tuning & StopTech VW MK7.5 GTI Sweepstakes: Presented by Racingline

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Turner Motorsport Pit Stop at ECS Tuning

Here at ECS Tuning, we are an enthusiast-driven company motivated by a common love of motorsports. One of our favorite aspects of being a part of the aftermarket community is the ability to support other enthusiasts with our products and information. In the case of Turner Motorsport, a foremost BMW Touring Car team and aftermarket tuning company, we have the opportunity to work closely with people who share our enthusiasm. Thanks to that support, we have been able to offer some of the best performance parts for BMWs and to interact with a racing team first-hand. The relationships we have with companies like Turner Motorsport further speaks to our enthusiast nature, especially when our entire company is given a day to spend with the accomplished team and their M6 GT3 race car. That is just what happened this past week as Turner Motorsport prepared for the Mid Ohio IMSA GTD race and we were given a day to chat with Will Turner, see their racing technology, and eat some delicious tacos.

The Turner Motorsport Pit Stop at ECS began early. Those of us who usually stagger into the office later in the morning was bright and chipper as we convened in the parking lot to set up an employee BMW car meet beside the Turner race team. Turner Motorsport had parked their trailer, extended their awning, and rolled out their M6, which was covered by a veil, much to the chagrin of the early arrivals. We positioned our BMWs in an arrangement around the TMS truck, mixing our own ECS BMW builds with employee cars for a hefty variety of incredible cars showcasing some of the enthusiasts here at ECS for the Turner team to inspect.

Before the rest of the ECS team were turned loose in the parking lot, we took Will Turner and his team around our facility to show them the inner-workings of ECS. The tour concluded back in the parking lot just in time for all the cars to be in their final spots and for the taco truck, Wholly Frijoles, to pull up and start cooking lunch for the first half of the ECS Team. We all lined up for some excellent lunch and met up with Will Turner outside to hear more about the race and their strategy.

Will unveiled the M6 amidst a crowd of ECS associates and applause before giving a full demonstration of the BMW’s technology and mechanics that transform the big grand touring car into a GTD class touring car. After fielding several questions, revving the engine, and dropping the car off the air jacks, Will decided we deserved a real show. One of his team members hopped behind the wheel and, to the amusement of everyone, proceeded to try and break the tires loose for some donuts. While the car was set up to grip, we did have the opportunity to see a championship touring car stall out in the middle of j-turns, which was a show in itself.

After two lunches and two demonstrations for everyone here at ECS, Jay Baier found the keys to our E90 M3 and decided he would give his own show. Jay spun the M3 around the lot for some real car-show action that made us appreciate our private lot and that no one was chewed out (too terribly) by anyone with an executive title at either company. The lightheartedness and excitement of the day were felt by everyone, especially after a little tire smoke.

The day concluded as everyone returned to their cars and the M6 was hoisted to the upper deck of the trailer. After a successful day spent around BMWs, Will’s team, and a taco truck, the ECS crew headed back to their homes. The Turner Motorsport race team headed to Mid Ohio, where they began testing and qualifying for the weekend. Fortunately, they invited everyone down with them to enjoy a weekend at the race track, so the fun didn’t end with the all-day affair in the middle of the week.

Thanks to Will and everyone at Turner Motorsport for making a stop here at our facility. We had an absolute blast being up close to some of our heroes and chatting about the fantastic M6 we have been happy to root for as one of our favorite teams. As the season progresses, you can catch up with the Turner Motorsport guys through the IMSA live-streams and cheer along with us for a successful summer! Stay tuned for more Turner Motorsport news and events from ECS Tuning.

The ECS Tuning MK4 GTI 20th Anniversary

One of the benefits of being a producer and vendor of performance parts is the collection of performance vehicles sitting around the shop that are necessary for testing and development. Our own MK4 GTI 20th Anniversary is one of the cars that always seems to evoke powerful emotions from the ECS family. Not only is this the special Jazz Blue one of 4,000 20th Anniversary GTI’s brought to the states, but it is one of the few modified as extensively as ours is. Some purists may be salty that our MK4 GTI has a notched frame, Air Lift Performance suspension, and a host of other modifications, but we think the results were absolutely fantastic and the parts we developed, as a result, have been some of our best performing mods available to make your own unique MK4 GTI.

Our MK4 GTI features a host of performance and aesthetic improvements straight from our research and development department. Many of these parts check both boxes as both a visual upgrade and performance upgrade, which makes them exceptionally desirable for enthusiasts looking to modify their own cars.

Engine Performance:

The MK4 GTI features our Luft-Technik Intake System in Wrinkle Red as well as the Turbo Inlet Hose. These in-house designed pieces provide cool air to the turbo. Our design eliminates turbulence in the airflow dramatically while increasing the actual volume of air being sucked up by the turbo. This increases the performance noticeably and is especially effective when paired with supporting modifications and software tuning. The horsepower and torque gains measured from this modification alone are evidence as to why these intakes are such popular choices among tuners as early additions to their cars.

Our ECS Silicone Boost Hose Kit further helps airflow by replacing the charge pipes with durable silicone alternative. Silicone has a longer lifespan than the rubber piping it replaces while it withstands higher temperatures and boost pressure for added performance. This kit is a direct fit replacement designed to improve the looks and potential of your engine.

On the same lines, our Silicone Vacuum Hose Kit is also featured in the MK4 GTI. The red hoses not only look fantastic under the hood but provide a measurable increase in durability over their OEM counterparts. These hoses are also designed to fit directly as replacements for an easy fit and factory-like function with the benefit of added performance capability.

We improved the ignition potential as well with our own 2.0t Coil Pack Conversion Kit to eliminate the possibility of misfires under high RPM and boost conditions. We have found these newer coil packs retrofitted onto the 1.8T engine found in the MK4 GTI provide a better spark for more consistent ignition, especially in hard driving conditions.

Finally, our Lightweight Underdrive Pulley Set frees up horsepower by offering a lightweight alternator pulley, power steering pulley, and crank pulley for the MK4 GTI. These underdrive pulleys combine for a ratio that reduces parasitic loads, which leaves more power for acceleration. These pulleys are specifically designed to have a lower moment of inertia, as well, thanks to their light design compared to the factory pulleys they replace. These are a definite must for anyone in the early stages of modifying their own MK4 GTI.

Drivetrain Performance:

Our Performance Drivetrain Mount Kit, which includes the Pendulum Mount, Engine Mount, and Trans mount, stiffens up the driveline for reduced deflection. All these stiffer mounts help the engine stay put under acceleration and deceleration, which means more power is put to the ground rather than lost to soft factory mounts intended for comfort. The years of testing and development behind these mounts have allowed us to find the perfect balance between driveline control and a comfortable ride. Our mounts in this car are barely noticeable as harsher than their factory counterparts but offer the significant benefits of improved power delivery.

The mildly improved power and stiffer driveline are complimented by our Exact-Fit Stainless Steel Clutch Hose, which increases the pedal response of the clutch and improves the feel overall for a better driving experience. While not an absolutely mind-shattering modification, the simple addition of a better clutch hose does add enjoyment behind the wheel for improved feeling during gear changes thanks to better pedal response.

Suspension Performance:

The car is lowered (slammed) on Air Lift Performance V2 air management all around, with Koni Adjustable Shocks in the rear paired with the Air Lift airbags. The management system is now slightly outdated, but the principle remains the same: these bags allow the car to park for shows, drive comfortably on the street, or offer performance benefits for spirited driving by giving you full control over the ride height from the touch of a button. Air Lift is one of the leaders in air suspension, and their product definitely reflects that dedication to performance.

To counter body roll, we chose a 28mm Rear Sway Bar from Neuspeed. The increased diameter of this sway bar provides a stiffer feel from the rear of the car and reduces the amount of roll through the corners, compensating for the rear end’s relative height compared to the rest of the car. The adjustability means we have just as much rigidity increase as we need for our uses, and the polyurethane bushings included help keep the sway bar in place more effectively than the rubber versions seen on factory sway mounts.

Brake Performance:

The rotors on all four corners are our Geomet Coated Slotted Rotors, which resist corrosion and provide an improved stopping force compared to the OEM recommended rotors. This ensures our MK4 GTI will stop when it should with our added power and changes to suspension dynamics.

To further improve the brake feel, our Exact-Fit Stainless Steel Brake Lines feed brake fluid to each caliper and add stiffness to the brake pedal. The added responsiveness makes braking more predictable and the increased durability makes these lines more reliable than the original rubber versions.

Miscellaneous:

The banes of lowered cars are road hazards that can puncture your oil pan. Our ECS Hybrid 1.8T Oil Pan Conversion Kit features a lightweight aluminum crankcase body and a sturdy stamped steel bottom that both strengthens the whole assembly and absorbs impacts better than a single-piece casting version would. This is the perfect option to repair a damaged pan while also ensuring the same hit won’t make your engine puke its oil all over the ground again.

The Hatch Pop Kit we have raved about is naturally equipped to the MK4 GTI. The convenience of a hatch that opens automatically speaks for itself. Who has time to set their groceries or car parts down to open the trunk?

Lastly, our ECS Billet Engine Oil Dipstick replaces the brittle plastic one found in the car from the factory. It does little more than provide a durable and attractive alternative to the original dipstick, but it does match well with existing engine dress and performance modifications to speak to the level of detail attention required to make a unique and attractive car.

Wheels:

This car has seen several sets of wheels through the years. Currently, a set of 18” Style 081 Alzor wheels in matte black sit on each corner. With the car aired out, the 18×8.5 Et35 wheels sit aggressively flush and add to the chunky look.

With all these modifications and a few other beauty touches, our MK4 GTI 20th Anniversary is definitely something that makes you stop and appreciate the potential these cars have. The heritage and affordability make them fantastic platforms for enthusiasts and tuners alike, which is what makes us swoon every time we get the chance to take the car out and put it through its paces.

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Spotlight: The ECS Tuning BMW E92 335i Project Car Exposed

In an effort ensure proper fitment and function of parts, ECS owns several vehicles that see constant attention as parts are designed, tested, replaced, and tweaked. We use these cars for more than just testing function and fitment, however. They are maintained as running and driving examples of our products. Among the host of ECS Tuning cars sits our BMW collection, which includes one of the more popular cars among enthusiasts. Showcasing some of the best BMW and ECS have to offer is our 2007 E92 335i.

This E92 is equipped with the love-it-or-hate-it BMW N54 Twin Turbo straight six. These famous engines put down some serious power from the factory. They are incredibly popular with tuners for their potential to easily make impressive horsepower and torque figures with simple software tuning and bolt-on modifications. While the N54 is known for a host of issues which plague the car, ECS produces or provides everything an owner would need to keep the finicky performance engine completely flawless.

While maintenance on these cars should be a concern, the raw power, evocative appearance, and endless list of aftermarket parts available completely overshadow any hesitations in the mind of anyone who sits behind the wheel. Our E92 has been modified extensively, and it shows. The BMW benefits from several performance upgrades hidden away in the tightly packed engine bay and peeking out from behind the massive Apex wheels tucked under the fenders.

Under the hood, the ECS Kohlefaser Luft-Technik intake System allows the engine to breathe more freely and pairs well with the always popular COBB Tuning Accessport. The intakes by themselves add a powerful induction noise and give a more refined look to the top side of your engine, but alone provide minimal power improvements. With the AP, Turner Motorsport N54 Downpipes and Milltek Performance Exhaust, the power increase is much more dramatic.

The Turner Motorsport N54 Downpipes and High Flow Catalytic Converters open up the rate of flow from the hot side of the turbos and provide the distinctive resonant rumble and spool noise that always puts a smile on the face of whoever may be sitting in the cockpit. With the impressive power numbers from the downpipes, exhaust, and intakes, it becomes quite clear why the N54 is such a popular choice for tuners.

What is power without an ability to control it, though? Dropping the car closer to the ground are BILSTEIN B16 PSS10 Coilovers which provide a stiff and planted ride without being overly harsh. These coilovers are the ultimate in race-inspired technology from the folks at BILSTEIN. Extensively ride-tested to perfect the ability to provide competitive settings as well as comfortable daily driving rebound and compression, these coilovers provide the best ride height and 10-way adjustable settings for dialing in the right feel for your driving needs.

Keeping the suspension geometry just right with the lower center of gravity is just a matter of compensating with Turner Motorsport Front Adjustable Race Camber/Caster Plates. With these plates the E92 benefits from a wider range of adjustment settings, which allows for a more precise alignment and accounts for the BILSTEIN coilovers. Beyond the adjustability, these plates are also significantly sturdier than the factory strut mounts they replace, as they feature spherical bearings that eliminate deflection found in their OEM counterparts.

Finally, rounding out the performance modifications, admirers will notice the striking orange massive 6-Piston Big Brakes found on the F30 sticking out from behind the Apex wheels adorning each corner. Our specific kit shaves the rear brake calipers and allows the E92 to take advantage of the superior stopping power seen on its newest younger brother.

 

While the power output and handling capabilities are incredibly important to address, what would our E92 be without some improvements to the overall look of the car? The E92 335i is a fairly muted car: aside from its twin exhaust tips, very little identifies it as housing arguably one of the most serious performance power plants ever fitted in a production car. ECS changed that understated exterior with subtle compliments. Found up front, the ECS Carbon Fiber Front Lip nearly kisses the ground and adds a hint of aggressive styling to the E92’s face. Around back, our CSL-Style Carbon Fiber Trunk Lid accentuates the lines of the trunk with an iconic ducktail.

With these bolt-on modifications, our E92 is a fairly reserved example of what can be made from this incredible platform. Our BMW lineup would not be complete without the iconic E92 335i taking its rightful place in our company builds. With a host of in-house products and partnered companies who produce excellent products, we have everything you might need to create an engaging car to drive or even turn your N54 into a dedicated race car!

Stage 3 Big Brake Kit Installation Instructions (MKV, VI, Jetta, EOS, Golf/GTI, and Audi A3)

The ECS Big Brake Kit provides big improvements in braking power with a specially packaged kit containing quality brake components from the best names in the business.

Start with large diameter ECS two-piece, drilled and slotted floating rotors that dampen lateral vibration for smooth, strong stops.

Add ECS premium calipers, stainless reinforced brake lines, and upgraded Hawk pads, and your modified ride will brake with sure-footed authority.

This post will take you through the installation process and help you install more aggressive brakes on your VW MK5 or MK6.

Red Calipers can be found here,

Blue Calipers are here,

And Black Calipers can be purchased at this link.

Here is what you will find in the package once you unbox your new Big Brake Kit:

  • Two-piece semi- floating rotors – assembled, trued, and balanced (2)
  • ECS Tuning Exact-Fit stainless steel reinforced brake lines (2)
  • 1 liter ATE Super Blue brake uid
  • ECS Tuning 993T Big Brake Calipers (2)
  • Caliper-to-carrier bolts (4)
  • Hawk Performance brake pads
  • ECS Tuning caliper carriers (2)
  • Brake pad dampers (8)

High temp brake lube

Tools

  • 3/8-inch ratchet • T30 Torx© driver • T55 Torx driver
    M6 hex driver
  • 11mm brake line wrench
  • 14mm combination wrench/socket
  • 17mm combination wrench
  • 19mm socket
  • 21mm socket
  • 10-150 ft lb torque wrench (ES2221244)
  • inch-pound torque wrench (for banjo bolt)
  • impact driver with Phillips driver (ES11416) or Phillips screwdriver • common screwdriver

Step 1

Safely raise and support the car.

Remove the wheel bolt trim caps.

Loosen the wheel bolts and remove the wheel and tire.

Step 2

Using a common screwdriver, pry the u-shaped retainer clip from the brake hose bracket at the strut knuckle.

Step 3

Follow the brake hose to the chassis. Using the same common screwdriver or similar tool, pry the u-shaped retainer clip from the chassis support bracket.

Step 4

Using an 11mm brake line wrench and a 17mm backing wrench, loosen and disconnect the rigid brake line from the brake hose.

Tip: Transfer the rubber cap from the caliper brake bleeder screw to the end of the disconnected rigid brake line. This will keep brake fluid from draining onto the floor.

Step 5

Using an 21mm socket and ratchet, loosen and remove the caliper retaining bolts from the knuckle. Keep the bolts handy; we’ll need them to attach the new caliper carrier.

Step 6

Slide the caliper forward, o the rotor.

Remove the caliper and flexible hose together.

Step 7

Remove the Phillips-head rotor set screw (arrow).

Step 8

For rusted set screws, an impact driver (ES11416) with a Phillips-head bit is far more e ective than a common Phillips screwdriver. (As you strike the head of the driver, it forces the bit against the screw head and rotates it in a single motion to prevent rounding.)

Note: If you round out the screw head, you will have to drill out the old screw.

Step 9

• Remove the old rotor.

• Clean away any heavy rust or scale from the face of the rotor hub. A drill or die grinder with a mild abrasive disk works well.

Step 10

Remove the three T30 Torx head screws from the brake rotor shield.

Remove the shield.

Note: If you live in an area where the car is exposed to road salt or ocean spay, you may wish to reinstall and tighten the rotor shield bolts in their holes with a dab of anti-seize compound. Doing so will keep the threaded holes in the knuckle clean, should you need them in the future.

Step 11

Using the two caliper bolts removed in Step 5, bolt the caliper carrier to the knuckle, as shown here.

The carriers are identical; no left or right to worry about.

Step 12

Using a 21 mm socket, torque the caliper carrier-to-knuckle bolts to 142 ft-lb (190 Nm).

Step 13

Install the new rotor on the hub. Use brake cleaner (or a similar) to remove the thin lm of oil applied to the rotor braking faces.

Install the set screw and hand tighten with a screwdriver.

Note: ECS Tuning has replacement set screws made of stainless steel to resist corrosion better than the original plain steel screws. (ES257461)

Step 14

Your kit contains brake damper discs in two di erent diameters to match the large and small brake pistons.

Install two large and two small disks in the matching pistons in each caliper.

Step 15

Install the calipers onto the caliper carrier studs.

Extremely Important: The brake calipers must be installed with the brake bleeder screws at the top; install them upside down and you won’t be able to properly bleed the brakes.

Make sure both attachment nuts are screwed in hand-tight before torquing either to specification. This will ensure that the caliper seats flush against the carrier.

Step 16

Using a 12-point 14mm socket, tighten the caliper attachment nuts to 88 ft-lb (120 Nm).

Step 17

Your Hawk Performance brake pads are packaged with a 7 gram packet of brake paste. This paste is used to reduce pad noise, when applied properly.

Apply 1-2 grams of brake paste to each brake pad metal backing plate. Spread a thin lm of paste over the metal surface of each pad, concentrating on the general areas where the pad will contact the caliper pistons.

CAUTION: Do not apply too much paste, and NEVER allow any paste to get onto the friction surface.

Step 18

Slide the brake pads into the caliper with the slotted friction lining facing toward the rotor.

If you wish, you may wipe a thin lm of brake paste onto the upper and lower edges of the metal backers (arrows) to help them slide freely and reduce brake noise.

Apply the paste sparingly, and DO NOT allow any paste to get onto the friction surface.

Step 19

Install the brake shim over the brake pads, as shown. The “v” in the stamped metal shield should engage the notches in the pads.

Insert the caliper bolt tubes against the brake shim. Press inward on the tubes as you slide the long pad retainer bolts through them.

Screw the long bolts into the caliper body threaded holes, and hand tighten them.

Step 20

Attach the new ECS Tuning Exact Fit brake lines to the calipers.

Your new brake lines come complete with a banjo bolt and two new copper sealing washers. Make sure you have one copper washer on either side of the hose fitting, as shown.

Step 21

Insert the banjo bolt through the washers and hose tting.

Thread the bolt into the fluid hole in the rear of the caliper body.

Snug the the banjo bolt using a 14mm wrench, then final torque to 12 ft-lb (144 inch-pounds). Use a small torque wrench, calibrated in inch-pounds instead of a larger, general purpose torque wrench adjusted to its lowest setting.

Step 22

Route the new brake hose over the knuckle and attach it to the support bracket with the u-shaped clip removed in Step 2.

Make sure the clip straddles the groove in the hose collar.

Push the clip all the way down until it snaps in place in the support bracket.

Step 23

Make your nal brake hose connection by screwing the rigid brake line at the chassis into the Exact-Fit brake hose.

Reinstall the u-shaped retainer clip, then hand-tighten the fitting.

Step 24

Have an assistant turn the steering wheel back and forth as you watch the hose and speed sensor cables. Make sure the brake hoses do not rub or bind as the steering is turned back and forth.

Repeat all steps shown so far to install the opposite side brake kit.

Step 25

Bleed the brake hydraulic system.
Your kit includes a 1 liter container of brake uid.

Add uid to the brake reservoir, then pedal or power bleed the system to remove all air. Be sure to bleed at both bleeder screws on each caliper.

(ECS Tuning has a video demonstrating general brake bleeding procedures, available free online.)

Step 26

Here’s a final quality control list to ensure trouble free braking.

After bleeding the system, correct the fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir. Pump the brake pedal several times. The pedal should be hard, and stay hard as you maintain pedal pressure. Check for fluid leaks. Even if the pedal feels good, visually inspect all hose connections for leaks.

Turn the steering from side to side one more time. Make sure the brake lines do not rub or contact any components.

Reinstall the wheels. Tighten the wheel bolts on a star pattern to 89 ft-lb (120 Nm). Make sure your wheels spin freely and that they do not contact the brake caliper.

Your brake installation is not complete until you bed the brakes. Bedding makes your brakes work as they should. Use the instructions on the brake box, or follow the steps below.

1) Test your brakes before going out on the highway. The pedal should feel rm and responsive. If it is soft or spongy, check that all air has been removed by the bleeding process, and that there are no uid leaks.

2) Take the car out on the road. At vehicle speeds of 50-60mph, gently apply the brakes several times to slow, but not stop, the vehicle. This warms the brakes.

3) Make 6-10 stops from 35 mph to 5 mph, applying moderate pedal pressure.

3) Cruise for several minutes without applying the brakes, allowing them to cool.

4) Make 2-3 moderately hard stops from 45 to 5 mph. Brake aggressively, but not hard enough to trigger the ABS.

5) Do not ride the pedal. Either apply the brakes to slow the vehicle or fully release them.

Let the brakes cool for 10-15 minutes. Then drive normally.

Thanks!

Thank you for purchasing an ECS Tuning Big Brake Kit. We appreciate your business, and hope this installation

guide has been helpful.

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Power Stop Performance Brakes: The Right Choice

Similarities between performance cars and everyday commuter cars are incredibly limited. One crossover area that tends to hold uniform importance across all forms of motoring is the ability to brake properly. Put in simple terms, cars of all types need to match their braking force with how much power they produce. In this regard, choosing the right brakes is equally important; whether you are maintaining the grocery getter or improving your track fighter. PowerStop Brakes give you confidence in all situations.

Since 1995, PowerStop Brakes has provided excellent performance brake upgrades for an extensive range of vehicles. With focuses on providing OEM quality, copper-free, improved brake products, their customers can feel confident every time they mash the middle pedal.

When you know you are using quality parts, you experience a difference in confidence behind the wheel. When it comes to brakes, that feeling is expounded by the peace of mind you sense by using components you can be certain will keep your car out of sticky situations. PowerStop Performance Brakes not only allow you to experience that confidence but give you significant ethical advantages over similar replacement compounds. PowerStop Brakes produce their pads consciously of the environment!

PowerStop Brakes give you more than performance advantages in their makeup. All their pads are 100% Copper-Free. Copper and other heavy metals are known to cause major problems for fish and other aquatic wildlife when it is introduced to their environment in the form of brake dust. With the copper-free PowerStop pads, you know every time you hit the brakes you are making a difference by supporting companies who express an ethical drive to mitigate climate and ecosystem disaster.

Make the right choice when you go to service your brakes this season. Make the PowerStop Brakes choice and experience the advantages of quality, reliable, ethical, performance.

Interested in purchasing?

Power Stop Brake Products

Better stopping power, improved lifespan, and no copper!
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HPA and ECS Tuning Photo Contest

If you have a 2.0T K03-powered Audi or VW and are looking to upgrade it this Winter, HPA Motorsports and ECS want to help make that happen! We are hosting a week-long photo contest open to the applicable models. For a full list of those vehicles included in the contest, see the end of this post. Only one photo may be submitted, so pick your prize to shoot for, upload your picture with the appropriate tags, and cross your fingers!

The contest is simple:

Submit a photograph of your car in a unique location to either Facebook or Instagram

Include the caption: “Please, upgrade my car this Winter @HPAmotorsports and @ECStuning”

Tag Three of your friends in the picture

Like ECS on Facebook and Instagram

Use #ecsandhpaturbo to enter the K04 Turbo contest

Use #ecsandhpahaldex to enter the AWD Controller contest

Use #ecsandhpaplenum to enter the Aluminum Intake Manifold contest

In partnership with HPA Motorsports, we are giving away a K04 Turbo Upgrade, a Touchmotion Haldex Controller, and an Aluminum Intake Manifold to present to our first, second, and third prize winners.

The contest will run from Friday, December 1st, 2017 through Friday, December 8th, 2017 and will terminate at 12:00pm that day with a live vote on Facebook where you will pick from our three finalists in the Turbo contest, the Intake Plenum contest, and the Halex controller contest. All three upgrades from HPA Motorsports are useful, desirable, and incredibly fun to have. The K04 Turbo boasts massive horsepower and torque gains and is a popular upgrade for any K03 Turbo equipped car. The intake manifold improves the airflow, reduces turbulence, and gives a noticeable increase in power and performance. Lastly, the Touchmotion Haldex Controller allows a Haldex AWD system to be controlled with more precision, giving the driver a range of driving dynamics to switch between.

Of course, if you were impatient, all of these parts are available through us, which you can find linked below.

So go grab your camera and your car keys, find that awesome secret photo spot, and submit your pictures for a chance to win excellent prizes from HPA Motorsports and ECS Tuning!

K04 Turbo Fitment Chart:

Make

Model

Engine

Audi

A3 8P

2.0T

Audi

TT MKII

2.0T

Volkswagen

Beetle

2.0T

Volkswagen

CC

2.0T

Volkswagen

EOS

2.0T

Volkswagen

Golf V, VI

2.0T

Volkswagen

Jetta V, VI

2.0T

Volkswagen

Passat B6

2.0T

Volkswagen

Tiguan 1, 2

2.0T

Touchmotion Haldex Controller Fitment:

Make

Model

Submodel

Engine

Volkswagen

R32 MKIV

All

3.2

Audi

TTMK1

255HP

2.0T

Intake Manifold Fitment:

Make

Model

Engine

Audi

A3 8P

2.0T

Audi

B7 A4

2.0T

Volkswagen

EOS

2.0T

Volkswagen

Golf R

2.0T

Volkswagen

Golf V

2.0T

Volkswagen

Jetta V

2.0T

Volkswagen

Passat B6

2.0T

Interested In Purchasing?

K04 Turbo Upgrade:

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Touchmotion AWD Controller:

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Aluminum Intake Manifold:

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