Stories, how-to, and reviews from my personal tuner shop... my garage.

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Specs, history, pros/cons, and stories about my own 330i.

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my 2004 330i ZHP 6-Speed


SPECIFICATIONS (Numbers in yellow are after my modifications)
TYPE:Front engine, rear wheel drive CHASSIS:Unibody, fully independant suspension
ENGINE:24 valve DOHC Inline 6
Supercharged to 8.5psi
Weight Dist (f/r)50.1/49.9 50.0/50.0
Displacement182 ci, 2979cc Curb Weight3285 lbs 3430 lbs Actual
Bore/Stroke3.31/3.53 in Wheelbase107.3 in
Power235 hp @ 5900rpm
360 hp @ 6500rpm
Length176.0 in
Torque222 lb-ft @ 3500rpm
320 lb-ft @ 3200rpm
Width68.5 in
Compression10.2:1 Height53.4 in 51.7 in
1st Gear4.35 0-60 mph5.9 sec 4.9 sec
2nd Gear2.50 Drag.31 Cd
3rd Gear1.66 Top Speed155 mph 176 mph (gear)
4th Gear1.23
5th Gear1.00
6th Gear0.85
Final Drive3.07 3.38 LSD

The story behind getting my hands on this new Project Car is a good one. I originally ordered a 2004 330i ZHP with Silver Gray exterior, black leather interior, aluminum cube trim, and a lip spoiler delete. I followed the order through production and was very excited. You can actually check how the entire BMW order process goes on the ORDER TRACKING page. As time went on, I realized that this car was not going to arrive in time for Bimmerfest 2004. I already had over $13,000 in parts waiting in the garage to get installed and it wasn't going to make it! I began frantically searching for a similiar car in stock at dealerships around the country. No luck. Then I saw pictures of the natural brown interior...

Everything became clear. I switched to Black Sapphire paint and a natural brown interior. The way the browns and blacks work together is very classy and really shows a unique touch. It turns out my dealer, CHAPMAN BMW, had one coming in with two weeks to spare before Bimmerfest. I put my name on it and arranged the financing. When it showed up, it was perfect except for the black cube trim and the lip spoiler. No problem, as I knew I could change those both out to aluminum and the full spoiler respectively.

I drove the car home, and with only 50 miles on it, started taking it apart. The wheels, tires, brakes, suspension, spoiler, trim, short shift kit, knob, e-brake, clears, bulbs, sways, tint, XM radio, CD Changer, Aux input, strut brace, and harnesses all went in over the next few days in order to have it "mostly" ready for the Santa Barbara show.

The only problem was the 18" BBS RS-GT wheels I planned on using did not fit over the Brembo BBK and I had to exchange them for a set of BBS CHs. Big thanks go out to Chapman BMW for helping me with that. I would have liked to keep the shadow chrome RS-GTs, but the CHs are growing on me. We broke it in over the next week and took it to Bimmerfest and had quite a show. We even got to park right next to the original Project Car and it's new owner.

Now the big show has passed, it is time for the remainder of the modifications such as the LSD, upgraded clutch, exhaust, and gauges to name a few. The engine mods are a suprise and will blow everyone away. We are talking way over 400hp... keep an eye out here!

PROS: I am really impressed with the way the ZHP drives even in stock form. It is tighter, more nimble, and quicker than my original 330i Sport. I love the alacantra steering wheel and two-tone interior. The new 3.07 rear axle ratio definitely makes more difference than the extra 10hp/8lb-ft torque. The factory 135M wheels were clean, the shifter was shorter and crisp, and the front spoiler is really aggressive. Overall, I think everyone is going to go with the ZHP option if they can. It is everything the 330i should be.

CONS: WHERE IS THE FACTORY LSD?! Come on BMW... This is the ZHP Performance Package, where is the limited slip differential? For the extra $4,000 for the ZHP package, we should get an LSD. You can get them on direct competitors such as the IS300 and even a Sentra, why not the ZHP? As you can see, this oversight really bugs me. We all know they could put one in without some engineering miracle (look at the non-M Z3). They missed the mark on this point. Other than that, I have no complaints. The engine purrs, the transmission is fantastic, and all the yummy BMW handling is there. As of yet, I have no mechanical, electrical, or operation problems. If anything changes, you will see it here.

  © MarvelPhx