I’ve had an extremely long week at work, one which really did take a toll on me but it was a great experience. As I start the week off, I am truly looking forward to a much needed rest, maybe even try to read Dan Brown’s new book (apparently Eu Wen says that if there isn’t a recommendation by Ron Howard, don’t buy it).
Anyhow, it is a 4-day week for me this week with Friday being a public holiday and all. Can’t wait to rest over this long weekend. At the same time, I will probably attempt to clean my car’s interior, especially the leather. It is in need of a proper cleaning and I can’t seem to find a place that steams the leather at a reasonable price so I shall attempt to figure out a way how to do that using just hot water.
While I was reading the comic strip above, it brought me to their merchandise homepage. I saw a couple of t-shirts in there which was quite funny and if anyone is heading off to the US, or is currently in the US at the moment, I might just want to “tumpang” from you a small bit of luggage space.
I was just showing this video below to my colleague and I told them that I have already pre-ordered one unit and I was really excited about the end product.
Yes, it is the MYO by Thalmic Labs. If I am not mistaken, I saw this video on someone’s wall over on Facebook and it really got me intrigued. A quick search through their website and watching the entire video on YouTube, I was completely sold.
I saw this product from a presentation point of view where I do a number of presentations at work and I think it will definitely help me control the slides and impress the client as well! Best part of the MYO, I can wear it under my long sleeve shirt.
As much as the demo on the video looks great, I really do hope that the API for Windows would be as smooth and as seamless as in the video.
The interesting bit was that, I think I managed to get two of my colleagues sold on this product as well. I can’t wait to do a live demo.
Since I managed to be in the 1st group of the pre-order, I shall be awaiting for the final end product at the end of Q4 2013.
I have been using my old trusty Macbook Pro since 2008 and over the years it had served me well. I use it mainly to edit photos and also used to bring it around to create photo slideshows on assignment. It really has seen better days and now I am thinking of replacing it. With the upcoming WWDC in June, I am sure Apple will somehow refresh the line-up either with a processor bump or who knows create a brand new product altogether. That got me thinking, if I were to replace my existing machine, should it be with another Macbook Pro or should I replace it with an iMac?
Based on some online benchmark results, the 15″ Macbook Pro Retina (most basic model with no upgrades) display outperforms the iMac 27-inch:2.9Ghz (the lowest spec iMac) using Geekbench 2. This is definitely due to the all solid state architecture of the Macbook Pro retina display. But I really do love that gorgeous 27″ monitor and if I really do opt for the iMac, I would gladly swap over to that machine and play my Starcraft 2 games on it. I guess the thing nowadays is that I am finding less and less time now for that kind of work as I am quite tied up with my day job and it has reached a point where my next laptop replacement at work, I am gonna ask the IT department to allow me to install a SSD on that laptop so that it runs faster and smoother.
So what do you think folks? A Macbook Pro? An iMac with that gorgeous 27″ screen size? The MBP is a little pricier as well so that definitely does add into the overall equation.
Here is part 2 of the 320d modification guide. You can refer to part 1 here. As much as I can, I am trying to incorporate both the E90 and F30 models of the 320d into this modification guide. Well frankly, it isn’t really much of a guide but more of an awareness of the kind of modifications you can attempt on your car.
Changing your exhaust can also improve your car’s performance. Modify at your own risk, unless you decide to use the original BMW M performance parts.
BMW Performance exhaust – I have seen a number of the E90 320d cars sporting this exhaust. Frankly you won’t get much of a difference in terms of exhaust note mainly because, its still a diesel. One of the more expensive option but it comes with warranty and a peace of mind. There was a case where someone compared dyno results between a 320d using this exhaust and one without. There were some differences in terms of power, close to about 10bhp. I haven’t seen one available yet for the F30 320d.
Aftermarket exhaust – So far the only one I have seen available here in Malaysia is made by Jetex. This is only the catback portion with a 3″ diameter. The exhaust note sounds a little lower, love the growl from this exhaust and it does sound nicer compared to the BMW performance exhaust.
Custom exhaust – This is one of the options you can take, to fully customize your exhaust system from the downpipe all the way to the catback. For the E90 320d, most stage 2 modifications include a downpipe change to around 3″ in diameter. A fully customized exhaust system sporting a 3″ diameter all the way can be pretty costly and the price will depend on the material used. With a larger diameter, you should be able to achieve higher horsepower at the higher RPM range but will sacrifice a bit of torque.
Handling V2.0 Apart from the usual tower bars, ARB and suspension, to further improve on the car’s handling in a more hardcore manner, there are options for the real hardcore.
Urethane bushings – Powerflex makes a wide variety of bushings to fit many BMW’s and they do have models for the 3 series. Using this to replace your stock bushings, it definitely makes you feel that everything is tightened but the downside to this is that you feel everything. By that I literally mean everything. Because the bushings are harder, you feel more vibration coming from the road but you can consider that a good and bad thing.
Foaming – Can you put in a special type of foam inside your car’s chassis filling up the gaps. Once the foam dries up, you get a stiffer chassis with less flex. There are several vendors who offer this service, AutoFoam KL comes to mind. One of the key benefits of this treatment is that you also make your car feel solid and quieter as well.
Roll cage – This is the ultimate way to stiffen up and protect your car especially during motorsports. So far the only BMW to come out straight with a roll cage from the factory would be the BMW E92 M3 GTS. I happen to know there is one available at Naza World going for around RM800,000.
There are plenty of people who like only exterior modifications. Whether it may come in the form of body kits or rims.
Bodykits – For the F30, the M-Sport bodykit and trims are available and the full kit ranges from RM15,000 to RM20,000. But I heard that the M-Sport versions of the F30 320d will be coming soon to Malaysian shores. Brands such as M-Tech, Wald, ACS and Hamann have their own set of bodykits. In Malaysia, we also have the replica M3 bodykits which will fit the E90 320d because the original M3 bodykits such as the bumper will not fit the E90 cars.
BMW Performance Parts – BMW also makes and sell the carbon fibre bits which add on to your existing car’s bodykit. Because they are made of carbon fibre (CF), they cost an arm and a leg. For the BMW 3-series E90, you have the front CF splitters which sticks to the bottom part of your front bumper, the rear CF boot lip, the rear CF diffuser and the CF wing mirror covers. They also have the matte black kidney grill available as well. Aside from getting the original BMW parts, known eBay OEM knock offs have surfaced for a tenth of the price.
I will stop here as part 2 of the modification guide. Will proceed with the next posts focusing on the interior bits. Will try to get more photos in here to allow readers to visualize the parts and modifications.
After owning a diesel car for almost a year and hanging out with a number of other diesel owners, I managed to learn a lot more about the car as well as the available mods that you can get. Note that these mods will span across both the E90 and F30 as I will generalize it but there are downsides to some of these mods which I will state in this post.
These mods basically increases the power output of your car, whether it may be providing you with more horsepower or torque but most of the time it is both.
BMW Performance Power Kit – Available for the 320d for both the E90 and F30. Currently the most expensive of the power mods available, now being sold at the BMW Authorized dealers for around RM7,000. Warranty is intact and you get more than just an ECU mod, you also get a larger intercooler as well as a radiator fan.
ECU Remap – A simple remap for your car’s ECU. So far I haven’t found any available here in Malaysia for the 320d (branded ones) but I think there are certain custom ones available. These usually do pull out the most power you can get out of the car especially the custom tuned ones done on a dyno machine. Warranty will definitely be voided.
Piggyback – Basically a bypass between the ECU and the engine, one of the cheaper options from RM1500 to RM3000 depending on the brand. There are a few in the market currently such as DTUK, Vector, RaceChip, etc. Gives good results and can easily be installed and removed. Falls within a grey area in terms of warranty.
BMW Performance Power Kit + Piggyback – Seen a number of users having this combination. Provides the most amount of power output (with dyno results). Also the most expensive option of the lot.
With great power comes greater emphasis on stopping the heavy machine.
BMW Performance Brake Kit for E90 - A 6-pot Big Brake Kit available at BMW Authorized dealers. Warranty is intact and it is only for the front. Price can vary from RM6500+ onwards. Big brake kits are made by Brembo.
BMW Performance Brake Kit for F30 – A 4-pot brake for the front and 2-pot brake for the rears. Warranty is intact as well.
After-market BBK – Plenty of after-market BBK’s available, brands such as Brembo, AP Racing and Stoptech are quite common.
When managing those bends, you just want to go through them faster. And here are some of the available mods.
Suspension – There are a few suspension set-up available, for the E90 you have your standard suspension and for the M-Sport version you have the M-Sport suspensions which are slightly lower and firmer. For the F30, currently there are only the standard suspension setup as the M-Sport variants haven’t arrived yet in Malaysia. There are some talks about talking to your BMW Authorized dealer to order in the electronically adjustable suspension which BMW offers in other countries. One of the best mods to help you reduce body roll. Some brands which have been recommended include KW V2 suspensions, Bilsteins as well as local brands such as Titan (not too sure if Titan has one for E90, need to be confirmed).
Anti-Roll Bars – You can opt to get after-market ARB’s which are thicker and firmer compared to the stock ARB. Those I have seen is the H&R ARB. This is only suited for the E90 as I haven’t seen any ARB available for the F30 yet. Do leave a comment if you have seen it and I will update this post.
Lowering springs – This lowers your ride but the downside is that you may feel a harsher ride and your suspension rebound rates may not suit the springs and cause the suspension to wear out faster.
This now concludes the list of mods that I have found, I will continue the mods (aesthetics and cosmetic) in another post and at the same time, maintain this post with more updates.