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      11-17-2014, 04:35 PM   #1
oldmancoyote
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Talking M135i tuning - what would you do?

First of all - hello, everybody! New to the forum, long-time BMW driver: 18 of the last 22 years, and again from 28 November: on that date, I'll be taking delivery of an ex-demo M135i xDrive (it snows around here, and it's my only car; RWD is fun but I need to get to the airport at 6 am before the snowploughs start running).

So, of course, two weeks before I even get my mitts on the car I'm already thinking of how to mod it...

Here is the "problem" - if you want to call it such: the car I'm exchanging for the Bimmer is a lightly tuned Subaru WRX STI... with about 350 BHP. Which means that while the M135i is a whole different world in terms of refinement, smoothness and - as long as the Scoob's pizza-sized turbine is not fully spooled - in-gear pick-up, in absolute, all-out terms it's a pretty even match. Which just won't do. Not to mention those pesky Merc drivers in their A45s (yes, I know, I'm having a kind-of-mid-life-crisis; I'm over 45, married and with children - and I'm showing the road maturity of an 18 year old. Sorry. ).

Anyway, kidding aside, I have started looking at how to improve the engine; I may be wrong, but the rest of the car would be perfectly adequate to handle another 50-100 BHP on the road (race course may well be another question). The main objective of tuning for me would be to increase top end power/torque without losing driveability and smoothness; cost is relatively unimportant, as long as the improvements are considerable - 80/BHP is good enough for reliable mods. Containing noise levels to "acceptable" is also important - I have had enough pins stuck in my voodoo doll when going around with a racing motocross bike.

To this end, I have come up with a number of options, and would like to get feedback/experience/additional ideas. Options listed in order of likely implementation:

1. Re-map/piggy-back tune (BMS? tuningwerk? AC Schnitzer? anyone else?)
2. Replace downpipe with less restrictive cat (ER? AR? Wagner? another one?)
3. Replace intake and charge pipes (BMS? tuningwerk? ER? more?)
4. Replace intercooler (Wagner? ER? tuningwerk?)

Does this make sense? Would you do anything else/different/in a different order?

Thanks in advance for any input!
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      11-17-2014, 04:45 PM   #2
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What tyres do you have?
I think I would focus on the differentials first.
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      11-18-2014, 12:27 AM   #3
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Oldmancycle

Welcome to the forum.

I have m135i with BMS JB4 stg2 piggyback ECU, AFE drop in air filter and ram air scoop, BCS sports cat downpipe and m performance rear exhaust.

Set up on a rolling road, map 6 gave me 380 Bhp and 450lbft torque.

Maybe more to come if I add extra EWG and FF harnesses to my JB4.

On the chassis, I have up rated springs and anti roll bars. Also have Quaife LSD installed in rear axle.

Stock intercooler is retained but may consider either upgrade to Forge or Wagner competition.

Car handles like its on rails yet ride is still very good. Car gets down the road very quickly and sounds superb too.

PD
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      11-18-2014, 01:09 AM   #4
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Solid recommendation !! JB4 didn't work for me tho but i'm in the minority !!

I have pretty much the same setup plus wagner IC and manhart tune
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Originally Posted by Pave Dew View Post
Oldmancycle

Welcome to the forum.

I have m135i with BMS JB4 stg2 piggyback ECU, AFE drop in air filter and ram air scoop, BCS sports cat downpipe and m performance rear exhaust.

Set up on a rolling road, map 6 gave me 380 Bhp and 450lbft torque.

Maybe more to come if I add extra EWG and FF harnesses to my JB4.

On the chassis, I have up rated springs and anti roll bars. Also have Quaife LSD installed in rear axle.

Stock intercooler is retained but may consider either upgrade to Forge or Wagner competition.

Car handles like its on rails yet ride is still very good. Car gets down the road very quickly and sounds superb too.

PD
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      11-18-2014, 03:06 AM   #5
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Chaddy - cheers, great minds think alike, eh ? How are you finding the Manhart tune ?

OP - forgot to mention have fitted f30 oem alloys style 397 alloys to improve the looks [easier to clean and more concave wheel face] & widen the track slightly. Not a fan of spacers and standard wheels tuck in too much into wheel arches due to more camber when lowered so new wheels are much more flush. Turn-in feels sharper as a result. Also "improved" the interior by fitting M3/M4 steering wheel and shift paddles.
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      11-18-2014, 04:36 AM   #6
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Pushing 450bhp with my F20 M135i. For the mods see my signature.
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      11-18-2014, 04:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
What tyres do you have?
I think I would focus on the differentials first.
Interesting - why? All (few) reports I have read of fitting an LSD to xDrive have been underwhelming; here is one: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=753309

Tyres are standard Michelin PSS (or Conti WinterContact 830 right now - or at least that's what the dealership has told me they'd fit on the winter wheels).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave Dew View Post
Oldmancycle

Welcome to the forum.

I have m135i with BMS JB4 stg2 piggyback ECU, AFE drop in air filter and ram air scoop, BCS sports cat downpipe and m performance rear exhaust.

Set up on a rolling road, map 6 gave me 380 Bhp and 450lbft torque.

Maybe more to come if I add extra EWG and FF harnesses to my JB4.

On the chassis, I have up rated springs and anti roll bars. Also have Quaife LSD installed in rear axle.

Stock intercooler is retained but may consider either upgrade to Forge or Wagner competition.

Car handles like its on rails yet ride is still very good. Car gets down the road very quickly and sounds superb too.

PD
Thanks, Pave Dew! It sounds like uprated springs/ARB may well be worth it, and if I do go with a JB4 I'll get the additional sensors/harnesses plugged in right from the start.

BTW - it's oldmanCOYOTE, not cycle, but please feel free to go with OMC, which works with both

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaddy74 View Post
Solid recommendation !! JB4 didn't work for me tho but i'm in the minority !!

I have pretty much the same setup plus wagner IC and manhart tune
Thanks chaddy74; your misadventures with the JB4 (reported on n54tech forum) are one of the reasons why I'm thinking of going with a more traditional ECU-based tune, even though it's more than twice the price for an N55. Did you ever come to a conclusion as to why the JB4 wasn't working for you?
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      11-18-2014, 04:48 AM   #8
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Darkhold: Thanks for the reply. Any issues with flexibility/smoothness? One impressive thing of the stock M135 is how turbine-like it is... and 130 BHP+ sounds almost scary.

Pave Dew: Thanks for the extra tips!
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      11-18-2014, 06:22 AM   #9
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OMC - (sorry for wrong badge !)

agree - diffs on an x-drive would yield ltd or no value. Works v well on RWD with more grunt especially. Not even sure if BMW retrofit is offered for x drive. I may be wrong but x-drive is configured to move power towards the front axle if sensing slip at the rear. Impacting of how x-drive behaves when any initial slippage is checked by rear LSD would need to be understood more fully.

Likewise agree on the tyres std fit Mich PSS's are superb + I have used Conti WS 830 as winters for a few winters on BMW's past and present. Also good.

Springs I chose were H&R sport springs and Birds ARB's. Both work well with adaptive damping on my car. Makes more of the amazing grip levels of MPSS's.

You may to hold off on JB4 as BMS are likely to offer a dedicted EWG JB4 unit and simplier, EWG specific harness in the v near future.
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      11-18-2014, 08:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmancoyote View Post
Interesting - why? All (few) reports I have read of fitting an LSD to xDrive have been underwhelming; here is one: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=753309

Tyres are standard Michelin PSS (or Conti WinterContact 830 right now - or at least that's what the dealership has told me they'd fit on the winter wheels).
PSS is a good choice. And if LSD has been tested to be no good on xDrive, then that is settled as well! :-)
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      11-18-2014, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmancoyote View Post
Darkhold: Thanks for the reply. Any issues with flexibility/smoothness? One impressive thing of the stock M135 is how turbine-like it is... and 130 BHP+ sounds almost scary.

Pave Dew: Thanks for the extra tips!
Well its still very flexible and responsive. I use the car as my daily driver. I just like the fact that it pulls extremely hard when I want it to

Here you can see it in action:
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      11-18-2014, 11:24 AM   #12
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DH - I never tire of watching yr video. Cracking stuff.

OMC - DH has serious bolt ons and his video speaks for itself.

Link below is to a babybmw.net thread that shows whats achievable with less add-ons but JB4 st2 + hi flo cat DP and EWG/FF extra harness. Remember this is someone else's daily driver [DD]

http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=66942

Mine is definitely no slouch despite not having EWG/FF wires. Keeps up [just] with most exotics on the road, yet serves as my DD too, which includes ferrying my kids to their assorted sporting and numerous social agendas most mornings/evenings/weekends. Giant slayer and multi tasker in one yet on a recent business trip to Yorkshire and back 3 up av. 32 MPG !!!!

BP
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Last edited by Bee Pee; 11-18-2014 at 11:39 AM..
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      11-18-2014, 11:41 AM   #13
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Darkhold: pretty impressive. What's that needle below the tacho, moving quickly right to left? };-) (Heck, you only live once!)

Pave Dew: your description (Giant slayer...) is what I'm after, particularly given the relatively inoffensive looks of the M135. Think Q-car.

Last edited by oldmancoyote; 11-18-2014 at 11:48 AM..
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      11-18-2014, 11:59 AM   #14
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I also like the fact that the f20 is a pretty undercover car devil in disguise.

Next year i will put stage2 turbo on the car and hope to see 500+ bhp. I will also work on some weight reduction.

I will do some more movies when the stage2 turbo is on the car. I am armed with a go pro and racelogic performance box in the meantime
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      11-18-2014, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmancoyote
Darkhold: pretty impressive. What's that needle below the tacho, moving quickly right to left? };-) (Heck, you only live once!)

Pave Dew: your description (Giant slayer...) is what I'm after, particularly given the relatively inoffensive looks of the M135. Think Q-car.
Well if you want good mileage you need to get a diesel. Like you stated you only live once!
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      11-18-2014, 12:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave Dew
DH - I never tire of watching yr video. Cracking stuff.

OMC - DH has serious bolt ons and his video speaks for itself.

Link below is to a babybmw.net thread that shows whats achievable with less add-ons but JB4 st2 + hi flo cat DP and EWG/FF extra harness. Remember this is someone else's daily driver [DD]

http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=66942

Mine is definitely no slouch despite not having EWG/FF wires. Keeps up [just] with most exotics on the road, yet serves as my DD too, which includes ferrying my kids to their assorted sporting and numerous social agendas most mornings/evenings/weekends. Giant slayer and multi tasker in one yet on a recent business trip to Yorkshire and back 3 up av. 32 MPG !!!!

BP
Even though its blistering fast you always get used to it. The fun part of the jb4 is that you can run a low boost map for a while or just turn it off for some time. Then if you up the boost you get that good feeling again.
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      11-18-2014, 02:24 PM   #17
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DH - copy that, esp now that JB4 map switching can be done via SW buttons !
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      11-18-2014, 03:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkhold View Post
I also like the fact that the f20 is a pretty undercover car devil in disguise.

Next year i will put stage2 turbo on the car and hope to see 500+ bhp. I will also work on some weight reduction.

I will do some more movies when the stage2 turbo is on the car. I am armed with a go pro and racelogic performance box in the meantime
Wow. Mind the crankshaft... (there must be a reason why the S55 engine uses a forged shaft?)
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      11-18-2014, 03:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmancoyote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkhold View Post
I also like the fact that the f20 is a pretty undercover car devil in disguise.

Next year i will put stage2 turbo on the car and hope to see 500+ bhp. I will also work on some weight reduction.

I will do some more movies when the stage2 turbo is on the car. I am armed with a go pro and racelogic performance box in the meantime
Wow. Mind the crankshaft... (there must be a reason why the S55 engine uses a forged shaft?)
The M135i and M235i have a forged crankshaft as well.

All other n55's havent.
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      11-18-2014, 03:08 PM   #20
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BTW - found these browsing around. Semi-technical docs on N55 and S55 engines; I found them quite interesting. Happy reading!

(Apologies to myself for managing to threadjack my own thread).

Anyone knows/has experience of tuningwerk (http://www.tuningwerk.de)?
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File Type: pdf ST916 - N55 Engine.pdf (3.03 MB, 242 views)
File Type: pdf S55 Engine Technical Docs.pdf (3.50 MB, 143 views)
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      11-20-2014, 01:22 PM   #21
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Improving handling....

I guess there is always this....
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      11-20-2014, 03:52 PM   #22
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What's the bodykit on that one?
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