Yes you’re going to cut your hood, but don’t be intimidated – it’s not too hard. A properly designed hood vent kit like the Trackspec E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit allows for two major things: heat dissipation for engine cooling and pressure release for improved aerodynamics. A third possibly? It looks bad ass!

There are three different “kits” for the Trackspec hood vents. One is the entire kit and the other two are just sectional pieces. We are now a re-seller for Trackspec so you can purchase the E46 M3 kits here. They sell the 3-piece kit as well as the center only and side only kits.

Required Tools

  • Angle grinder
  • Dremel Rotary + Reinforced Cut Off Wheel [amazon_link asins='B0006O8RZA' template='PriceLink' store='builjour-20' marketplace='US' link_id='e6ecf1b1-f512-4b4d-a4cd-94ea52c65ea3']
  • 100-grit sandpaper or similar or file
  • Anti-rust coating paint
  • Rivet tool [amazon_link asins='B000NPT74C' template='PriceLink' store='builjour-20' marketplace='US' link_id='58b422a1-e313-4c9e-b119-41b7de13bb8c']
  • Work stand [amazon_link asins='B000LQN5GO' template='PriceLink' store='builjour-20' marketplace='US' link_id='67fabdb1-f932-46e9-9816-48a1c9401393']
  • String or yarn to measure
  • Torx bits
  • Ratchet
  • Painter's tape
  • Safety goggles
Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

Install Directions

1. Remove hood

Pop open your hood and remove the washer grommet to pull the washer lines and all necessary lines. There will be 2 torx screws on both hinges. You can completely remove the bottom two on each side, but just loosen the top ones since you can slide out the hood. Before you loosen the torx bolts, make sure you mark the bolts so you can re-align it later. Have a second set of hands to catch and remove the hood once loosened.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

2. Lay gridlines on the hood

Place the hood on a table, workbench or whatever to properly hold the hood. Remember you will be cutting later so you want something sturdy. We’re now going to get some string to place gridlines on the hood so we can align the vent templates properly.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

I placed a line going straight down the middle of the hood from the top/middle of the hood and straight down through the BMW emblem.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

There’s actually a middle dot in the OEM hood vent that you can use to set your vertical line.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

I also placed a second line going horizontally from one corner of the hood to the other. Now that the guidelines are in place, you can either place the louvers exactly how Trackspec has it in their instructions or just place it using your preference. I chose the latter.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

3. Tape louver templates

I placed my lovers a little differently, but we’re only talking about an inch or two in difference. As long as you place the louvers in parallel with the natural lines on the hood you’ll be fine. Once you have the templates set, tape it up!

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

4. Cut hood

There are cut markers on the templates so cutting is easy. Make nice straight cuts first then you can use a dremel to transition the cuts to the corners.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

Use a smaller rotary tool like a Dremel to make the cuts on the corners. Make sure to use reinforced cutting wheels for this project since you’re cutting aluminum. And make sure to wear safety goggles!

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

Both driver and passenger sides of the hood have reinforced structure underneath the hood which you will need to cut through. You’re going to have to cut through a good amount of aluminum framing, but I can confirm it doesn’t sacrifice the structural integrity of the hood even with all that cutting.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

5. Test fit and trim

So now once you made the cuts from the template guide, place the appropriate louver inside the cut to test fit. I found that the template is very generous with the cuts so I had to trim for a more clean look.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

6. Drill holes for rivets

With the louver lined up for install, drill through one corner first and place a temporary rivet to hold in place while you drill the others.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

7. Sand/deburr edges

Get some low grit sandpaper or file to deburr the underside edges of the hood.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

8. Install rivets

Now all you need to do is install the rivets.

Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit
Trackspec BMW E46 M3 Hood Vent Kit

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