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Spec E46 Catalog - Deep Dive

Spec E46 Catalog - Deep Dive

Spec E46 is a popular and competitive road racing class in which all non-M/rear-wheel drive E46 coupes and sedans can compete. Since its beginning, we at Condor Speed Shop have proudly manufactured and sold parts that work very well and in some cases were designed specifically for the highly competitive racing class. In this article, we will go through all of the parts and upgrades that we offer for the Spec E46 racing platform, all of which can also be applied to improve the performance and driveability of any E46 race car, drift car, or street car.

Infographic breaks down our Spec E46 mods into easily-digestible subsections.

E46 Mods: Chassis Reinforcements

One of the key factors for any race car build is the strength and integrity of the chassis. While the E46 adapts very well out of the box to performance driving, there are a few known weak points that will be exposed in a highly competitive racing environment such as Spec E46. These include areas on the front subframe and rear chassis for which we manufacture steel reinforcement pieces which will both repair damaged areas and protect against any potential future wear and tear.


Rear Chassis Reinforcement Kit

Our Rear Chassis Reinforcement Kit is one of our most popular selling reinforcements within our E46 catalog and for good reason. Over time, it’s gotten to a point where this reinforcement kit can be considered a necessary upgrade for any E46 that is going to see extensive track action. These plates are made from 14 gauge steel and are designed to strengthen the metal throughout this area of the chassis which will ultimately help distribute the load and improve handling. Our kit includes two front and two rear subframe mounting point reinforcement plates, two rear cross-member spacers, two square trunk block-off plates, and two 12mm x 1.5mm bolts which help with the installation process.

Rear Trailing Arms Reinforcements

Another area within the rear end of the E46 that is worth reinforcing are the rear trailing arms in which the coilover springs are seated. Over time, the surface where the spring mounts can become uneven and sometimes even crack, causing issues with chassis balance, alignment and uneven ride height. These ⅛ inch steel reinforcements can be installed in place of the rubber spring pad to provide a much stronger surface for the spring to seat itself on which will protect against bends, cracks, and failures in this crucial area of the rear suspension.

Other Spec E46 Reinforcements

Other newer reinforcement products within our E46 catalog that are ideal for a Spec E46 build include our front subframe/engine mount reinforcements and our front ball joint/control arm reinforcements. These are all weld-in reinforcements within the car’s front subframe, an area that handles a lot of stress under hard racing conditions. The engine mounting points will see a lot of load under hard acceleration while the front control arm mounting points will have to handle intense lateral loads and bumpy/uneven surfaces. Reinforcing these areas is pivotal to having a strong and predictable chassis suitable for hard, road racing conditions.


All of these reinforcements are now available within our new Complete Chassis Reinforcement Combo, as well as combos for both the front and rear subframes.



E46 Mods: Chassis, Driveline, Suspension and Steering

In addition to reinforcing a Spec E46 chassis, it is also important to consider the integrity of the car’s bushings, all of which have an impact on performance and handling. These chassis and driveline bushings all have important links to crucial chassis pieces including the rear subframe, differential and rear trailing arms. Here, like the rest of the car, the OEM bushings are all made of rubber which wears over time and eventually fails causing handling and driveability issues. All of our bushings are made from UHMW, which is a self-lubricating plastic that is both stiff and durable enough to withstand a lifetime of abuse on track and is also comfortable enough to be run on a street car.



The Big Sur Combo

Our Big Sur combo is our most popular E46 combo and for good reason. This kit replaces all of the weak rubber bushings within the E46’s rear subframe. It includes a full set of UHMW rear subframe bushings, rear trailing arm bushings, and differential mounts, all of which will perform far better than OEM components and last the lifetime of the car.

Engine & Transition Mounts

With the rear subframe fully addressed, the front suspension and engine/transmission mounting points will be the next area where performance can be found. We offer an engine and transmission mount combo designed specifically for the Spec E46 racing series. These engine mounts will lower the engine by 10mm, which is the maximum allowable amount per the Spec E46 rulebook. Compared to OEM/rubber mounts these will drastically improve the responsiveness of the car. When paired with our solid transmission mounts, these can be one of the most significant and easy-to-install upgrades for any E46.

Control Arm Bushings

The most important link between the front suspension and the steering components for these cars are the control arm bushings. This is another area where factory rubber just isn’t going to get the job done for competitive racing conditions. For Spec E46 purposes, our most popular solution are our Solid Control Arm Mounts which are a compact, heavy-duty control arm bracket and bushing designed to replace the factory bracket and rubber bushing. These will drastically improve the handling and precision of the steering over worn rubber bushings and they come with the option of a 21mm or 23mm insert designed to fit directly onto the hexagonal end of the control arm. Additionally, if you choose to keep the factory bushing carriers we also offer our UHMW Control Arm Bushings for E46 in both centered and offset geometry, both of which are available in either 21mm or 23mm hex insert sizes.

Note: You will need to measure the size of the hexagonal end on your control arm before ordering these bushings or any combo that includes them.

E46 Steering Coupler

While on the topic of steering, another great way to improve the precision and feel is by upgrading to our E46 Steering Coupler. This low profile, Chrome Moly universal joint saves both weight and clearance while also replacing the OEM rubber coupler which tends to wear out over time. The installation is a simple bolt-in procedure that can pay huge dividends lap time-wise.



E46 Mods: Braking and Hydraulic Systems

Spec E46 utilizes the stock/OEM brake sizes for their series which means it is very important to maximize the performance of all of the braking components. In that case, it is important to have a reliable, durable, and high-performing hydraulic brake and clutch system. Our stainless steel lines are manufactured and tested in the USA under the highest standards to offer the best performance and reliability possible. Compared to factory rubber lines which over time could become deformed, cracked, and bloated, our stainless steel lines stay consistent under the highest of pressures and surrounding temperatures. These lines are sold with a lifetime warranty and are a proven solution on everything from street cars and garage queens to frequently raced BMWs.


Another relatively simple braking upgrade to consider is our Brake Caliper Guide Bushing Kit. The brake caliper mounts are another area of the car where factory rubber can be improved upon. In place of the rubber, our CNC machined brass bushings eliminate caliper twisting under hard braking conditions caused by the factory rubber guide pin bushings. This will extend the life of the brake pads and result in a much more consistent pedal feel.



E46 Mods: Gear Shifting Components

The feel and timing and gear shifts is very important, especially when trying to maximize performance on track. The feel and smoothness of a car’s shifting components can be a huge factor in terms of consistency especially for a highly competitive series such as Spec E46 where every detail matters.


Here we offer a selection of gear knobs and chassis-mounted shifters, all of which are designed for high performance, durability, and precision. Our chassis-mounted shifter can be paired with any of our 3 gear knobs which suit the driver's preferred look and feel the best. When coupled with our shift rebuild components, these upgrades are a true difference maker between these Spec cars which have a very limited set of open areas for modification.

E46 Mods: Polycarbonate Windows and Delete Panels

The benefits of utilizing our polycarbonate windows and delete panels are simple; convenience and weight savings. When building a race car, one of the main goals is to save as much weight as possible within the rules of the series you are competing in. For Spec E46, a lot of this can be accomplished by substituting the OEM door and rear windshield glass with our polycarbonate windows which we make for both coupes and sedans. These windows are manufactured from high quality - UV protected polycarbonate plastic and will save weight by about 50% over factory glass. The door windows are held in place with pins and are easily removable for storage and transport purposes while the fixed windshield and quarter window pieces can be secured with factory seals or rivets. Altogether these polycarbonate windows are a great weight saving solution for any race car as well as a convenient way to keep the car safe from the elements when transporting or storing the car outside.

Interior Delete Panels

Finally, within our catalog we have a couple of interior delete panels that come in very handy for a Spec E46 build. Obviously when building an all out race car all interior creature comfort components such as the HVAC system, radio, and dashboard components will be removed. In order to accommodate this, we offer easy to install delete panels for both the HVAC section and firewall/blower section of the car. These panels are sold in raw unfinished aluminum and can be painted any color or finish to help clean up your race car interior and give it a clean, streamlined look.

Spec E46 Mods: A Wrap-Up

Spec E46 is just one of many series where we at Condor take pride in providing racing components for BMWs. We proudly manufacture and offer parts for all BMW Spec Racing Series including Spec E30, Spec 3, Spec E46 and Spec E9X, all of which are applicable across all other motorsport and street car platforms including (but not limited to) drifting, drag racing, time attack, stance builds and more.. Please check out our catalog to see what race inspired upgrades we offer for your BMW.


What is your favorite BMW Spec racing platform? Let us know in the comments or drop us a line at Support@condorspeedshop.com.

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