Pedal shopping for my E46 M3

Steering wheel, shifter, and pedals. These three interior items are the main components of the driver cockpit. Of the three, the pedals receive the least amount of attention when it comes to upgrading for functionality and aesthetics. However, the E46 M3 feels a little incomplete without motorsport pedals, considering how rich it is in heritage. Most people upgrade their shift knob/levers first, then steering wheel, then pedals. I did the same. It took me a long time to convince myself whether it was worth the money to upgrade and let me tell you – I wish I did this first.

To be honest, my initial desire for the pedals was purely for aesthetics. I really love the contrast of frosted silver pedals that pop in a relatively dark area of the car and it just looks sick. As I scowered the net for a set, I found a bunch of different types that have different purposes which really made me think about pedal functionality. After nearly 2 years of want, I finally decided on getting the Turner Motorsport pedals after considering three things for a long time:

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1. Do I need larger, extended gas pedal for easier heel-toe?

It’s kind of cool to say I have extended pedals, but I never really had a problem with heel toe even on the stock pedal because I have pretty average sized feet (US W 7.5). Maybe if I had smaller feet, but frankly I like the shape of the more triangle-shaped pedal as opposed to as a giant rectangle like the dead pedal.

2. Do I want anti-slip on the gas pedal?

This was a really hard decision because I absolutely love the look of anti-slip + frosted silver, but in terms of practicality and daily use, I would probably get annoyed of it quickly as a Californian who has year-round flip flop tans. Anti-slip on the clutch is actually already a bit of a struggle because my sandals get stuck while my foot lifts up. I didn’t want any potential interference with accidental / random shoe problems so I went with the smooth design.

3. Do I really need a motorsport dead pedal?

The only reason I debated this was because I was being stingy – I really wanted it for the look of a complete set for consistency but didn’t want to spend extra for it. Personally, it would drive me nuts if the dead pedal was the only odd one out when everything else looks racey. I won myself over because I realized that the dead pedal is my default “OH SH*T” and *I’m STRESSED* pedal when things get crazy on-track which is extremely important. For that reason, I probably “need” it.

That said, this set fit the bill and look great. I didn’t expect how much anti-slip pedals would actually change the overall driving dynamic and it surprised me a lot. When wearing shoes with actual gum soles, you can definitely feel the extra grip preventing your feet from moving. Especially when heel-toeing and entering a turn, your body and feet actually move a lot more than you think which can cause you to slip off the brakes. I never noticed it before, but I realize how much better this feels now and it’s a little confidence instilling even when I’m going onto a freeway on-ramp. Aesthetics aside, upgraded pedals are so much more functional than I thought they would be. For all the E46’s out there that see the track, I highly recommend looking into a set of pedals for function and racecar vibes.

Installation procedures for most aftermarket pedals are pretty much the same, so these instructions can be used for any pedal you buy for E46’s that comes with screws. The provided instructions guide from Turner Motorsports wasn’t exactly the most helpful, so I hope this guide will provide more clarity.

BMW E46 M3 Pedal Set - Turner Motorsport

Installation Instructions

Tools Required

  • 9mm wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Flathead
  • 1/16 drill bit
  • 3/16 drill bit
  • Drill
  • Small Allen Key (comes with Turner pedals)
  • Masking Tape
  • Marker

Parts List

(Provided by Turner Motorsports)

  • (3) bolt + nut set for clutch
  • (3) bolt + nut set for brake pedal
  • (4) tap screws for gas pedal
  • (4) tap screws for dead pedal
BMW E46 M3 Pedal Install

1. Clutch & Brake Pedal

1.1 Remove rubber covers from the clutch + brake pedal. You can peel these right off with your hands and little effort. Once removed, it will expose the metal pedals.

1.2. Tape up each pedal with masking tape. You don’t actually need to cover the entire pedal like I did, one strip at the top and one strip at the bottom is enough since that’s where you will be drilling.

1.3. Match up the Turner pedals to the actual pedal and mark the holes to drill. Turner only provides three sets of bolts and nuts for these pedals, so I went with a triangle shape bolt configuration. If you have four sets, put one in each corner.

1.4. Start with the clutch (if you have one). Drill through the marks you drew on the tape. I used the 1/16 bit to drill small holes first before using the 3/16 bit to follow through because my hands tend to move as I’m drilling with a larger bit. Drilling through the clutch will be fairly easy as the metal is pretty thin.

(Ignore all the extra holes on the clutch, I initially drilled in a square pattern assuming there would be 8 total screws, but later found out there were only 6)

1.5. Do the same thing for the brake pedal. However, this pedal is much thicker than the clutch and will actually require a good amount of strength and force to push through the pedal even with the larger drill bit. This pedal is significantly harder to drill through than the clutch.

1.6. Once you’ve got all your holes drilled, you can bolt up the pedals. Hold the nut in the back with your 9mm wrench and hand tighten with the provided allen key from Turner.

2. Gas Pedal

2.1. There are no preparation steps for the gas pedal, you will simply be attaching the Turner pedal on top of the existing plastic OEM pedal. I spent a solid 15 minutes trying to figure out if I needed to remove the entire pedal assembly and the answer is no.

2.2. Tape up your gas pedal the same way you did for the previous pedals.

2.3. Line up the Turner pedal plate and mark your holes. Note that the pedal itself is not completely resting on the ground, you should lift it up a little.

2.4. Drill through your holes with your 1/16 bit to pilot the initial holes. You don’t want to use any larger because that will get rid of too much plastic for the self tapping screws. The tap screws need the plastic to stay secure.

2.5. Once you’ve drilled your holes, remove the tape.

2.6. Use a handheld screwdriver and manually screw in the tap screws to make sure it’s nice and secure. You also want to focus on screwing this in straight and not at an angle.

2.7. Once you’ve got all the screws in, remove them again. This was to create a pilot hole to make it easier to screw in once you put the Turner pedal in-between.

2.8. Secure the Turner pedal in. (I left tape on in this picture, ignore that)

3. Dead Pedal

3.1. Pop off the OEM dead pedal by inserting a flathead underneath the plastic. It should pop off after some force. Don’t worry, there’s no brackets or pins that will break. Just make sure most of the flathead is behind the pedal so it can remove the whole thing at once as opposed to just one corner.

3.2. Once removed, do the same thing you did for the gas pedal (steps #2-8). Tape, mark, drill, screw in tap screws. Unscrew, add Turner pedal, screw again.

3.3. Pro-tip: one existing hole can actually match up with a hole on the Turner pedal which helps with alignment.

In total, this should take less than an hour if you’re a measure twice, cut once kind of person. I’m a measure once, cut thrice type of person which is why this took me much longer than needed.

Here is the finished product on my car. I happen to have the Weathertech floor mats that cover a bit of the dead pedal, but I think it still looks great.

Unofficial Poll: Would you prefer bright or black pedals in your car? Let me know in the comments below.

BMW E46 M3 Pedal Set - Turner Motorsport