Modifying a BMW Z3

Greetings all
Does anyone have any idea as to modifying Bimmers?
FWIW, I have '97 Z3 1.9 4cyl. It's prob worth about $15K (Australian), and I'm not in the position to upgrade to a newer car anytime soon, as
I'll likely be going overseas in the next 2 years.
Also, sad as it sounds, I've had it since new & have a lot of memories with the old girl, so whilst the most sensible thing would be to throw another $10K at it & trade up to the 2.8 6cyl... i've started thinking about keeping her, and may be modifying it.
Performance-wise, it's a 136hp engine stock, so ideally I'd like to get about 30% more power. Would this be achievable with simple mods like a cold air intake, extractor/exhaust work, & ECU remapping?
I'm open to suggestions - I've read/heard a lot of differing opinions on how much/little that can be done for this engine?
I'm not too keen on forced induction - I've believe there is a supercharger kit for this engine - as it would create some insurance hassles; but nonetheless may consider it
Handling wise I was interested in looking uprgrading the springs & perhaps shock absorbers. I'd also like an opinion on the usefulness of fitting sway bars/urethane bushes.
I'm not looking at taking the car to the track, just want it to handle a bit better
Opinions/suggestions?
TIA
R
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Surely whatever you do to the engine that's enough for 30% more power you'll run into insurance problems? Supercharger would be most effective, otherwise see if you can get a cheap 2.5 or 2.8 engine and gearbox for it.
I don't know what diff you have on yours but you might be able to find a higher ratio one.
Handling-wise I've always been happy with eibach pro-kits and uprated shocks. The ride and cornering went up on my 325.
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Try:
http://www.dinancars.com/Series.asp?Series &Chassis"&Model&Class=Engine%20Tuning#993
You can probably send for their products and have a local mech install them.

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    Your best bet would be to ask in the Z3 forum at www.bimmerforums.com - it's the most active Z3 forum I know.     My own advice would be to have the cylinder head polished and ported, add some cams, and if possible switch the differential. These are typically good "bang for the buck" mods if you don't want to go with forced induction.     epbrown
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grinder wrote:

http://www.dinancars.com/Series.asp?Series &Chassis"&Model&Class=Engine%20Tuning#993
As he old saying goes: You can buy better, but you can't spend less...
--
-Fred W

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Rick Hunter wrote:

Rick,
Performance wise, there is nothing that you could do for that car that would give you as big a bang for the buck as a supercharger. The really beauty part of forced induction is that you can still get the gas mileage of your 1.9 liter engine if you keep your right foot out of it, but get the performance of the 2.5 liter when you mash it.
The suspension of the stock Z3 is pretty darn good IMO, maybe just refresh the dampers (shocks) and any bushings or ball joints if needed due to mileage (you don't mention what you have on her). I don't think putting heavier springs or lowering springs on a Z3 does much beyond aesthetics.
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-Fred W

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wrote:

Thanks for everyones suggestions. Spending a day or two, I was surprised, as I managed to find almost 10 shops in Sydney to get the mods done. And there are a couple of great US Bimmer forums.
With my dealings on email & phone, the two that stood out were Peak Performance & Bavariacars - the others ranged from not too helpful (but not rude) to brutally honest (in terms of what to expect) - the latter I respect, but I think too negative.
What have I decided? Well, the more I think about it - the more I realize, I'm gonna do what I usually do... find an expensive solution to a cheap problem ;-)
Air intake/extractors/chip/exhaust for now... and supercharger in the next 6 months :-))
Should hopefully be good for good for around 200-220hp...
The suspension - prolly bilstein shocks & eibach springs when I save more... I'm not sure if I should keep the 16inch wheels or go to 17s?
R
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You said it!
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