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      11-26-2015, 09:02 AM   #1
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M135i - mechanical differences between pre and post LCI

Hi all, I'm not new to BMW or F20 for that matter. In the last 3 years I have owned or still own a 528i, two F80 M3, a F82 M4 and more importantly a pre-LCI M135i. I traded the M135i after a wonderful 18 months ownership for the first of my F80 M3s. After toying with two M3s as daily drivers, I must admit that the F20 is the better daily driver and I'm back in the fold to buy a LCI M135i.

Before I go ahead to explore prices etc with my dealer, I would like to know the difference between what I used to have and the new cars. We all know the headline increase in engine performance to match the M235i, but were there other differences beyond that mechanically? I was given a M235i for a week when I had the M135i, and the difference between the two cars were noticeable. The M235i was just 5-10% better everywhere from a sporty drive perspective. Now that the engine tunes are the same, we can take that equation out. However, is the suspension tune now also the same as the M235i? And the anti-roll bars? I can't find this answer anywhere so hopefully the knowledgable forum could give me the answer I need.

Thanks!
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      11-26-2015, 04:56 PM   #2
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I did have a look at the parts lists online. The swaybars are the same for the M235i as both pre and post LCI. For the non-M models, there seems to be a new front swaybar. It doesn't specify the thickness, but it is significantly lighter than the pre LCI bar. Also worth to notice that the swaybar is one mm thinner at the back if you go for adaptive suspension. (12 vs 13 mm, while the M135/M235 has 15).

The steering racks are the same for M135i and M235, and also all other models down to 114i.
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      11-27-2015, 02:28 AM   #3
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Thanks Ovekvam. Shocks and springs the same between pre and post-LCI M135i too?
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      11-27-2015, 02:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAY View Post
Thanks Ovekvam. Shocks and springs the same between pre and post-LCI M135i too?
Springs are not possible for me to see in the parts lists. The damper struts seem to be the same before and after LCI for the M135i, but not the same as the M235i.

For the non M F20/F21, the damper struts are actually shared with quite a lot of cars, including the two series, the 3 series touring, and four series convertible! They seem to be compatible before and after LCI, but the parts have been revised several times up through the years. Latest change was in February 2015 for normal suspension, and 2013 for M Sport.
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      11-27-2015, 07:04 AM   #5
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Interesting stuff Ovekvam. Wish the suspension set up is identical between M135i and M235i, because there is no doubt that the M235i is the sharper car. More taut, better body control and more fun overall. We are talking a very small difference of course. If the suspension set up on the M135i hasn't changed, then I may have to consider an after market solution.
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      11-27-2015, 09:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAY View Post
Interesting stuff Ovekvam. Wish the suspension set up is identical between M135i and M235i, because there is no doubt that the M235i is the sharper car. More taut, better body control and more fun overall. We are talking a very small difference of course. If the suspension set up on the M135i hasn't changed, then I may have to consider an after market solution.
Seems like the difference is in the spring/damper setup, which is the most common part to replace by aftermarket kits anyway.

Installing control arms from the M4 is also a popular swap, for some negative camber gain up front.
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      11-28-2015, 02:48 AM   #7
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Another upgrade for passive damped car is fitting MP suspension. The part numbers are the same for m135i and m235i. Not cheap though !

Alternatively, cheaper mom OE solution might be fit H&R minimal drop Springs for m235i (-15mm F&R) which fit m135i
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      11-28-2015, 06:15 AM   #8
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M135i comes standard with adaptive damper here. What are my options?
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      12-03-2015, 02:45 PM   #9
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Upgraded springs with max 25mm drop
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      12-29-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
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I drove the LCI for the first time today, and it sure feel different enough to notice compared to my old non LCI! Less squatting on take off and less roll on cornering. Maybe they did change the suspension/roll bars on the LCI???
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      12-30-2015, 04:16 AM   #11
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No...you've just lost weight since then!?
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      12-30-2015, 05:09 AM   #12
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Lol there is that. But no it's more than that. Don't forget my M135i was one of the first produced. Since I wrote that I've been reading up on reviews and came across this from Pistonheads review: "Though no official chassis updates have been announced, BMW's PR man was keen to stress the constant evolution of products; the engineers "were always looking to make improvements", indirectly implying a little tinker here or there underneath". So there, it isn't just my imagination. Anyway my LCI M135i will be in my hands mid Jan, and I'll compare it to Matty's pre LCI car to see if there is a difference.
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      12-30-2015, 05:46 AM   #13
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Just read this from EVO. Definitely not just me!

"The M135i still feels neatly balanced and agile in cornering. The front axle is very responsive and holds on extremely hard, which gives the car enormous turn-in speed. One of the previous version’s weaknesses was body control over vertical inputs – despite BMW not claiming any chassis revisions for this model, it did feel marginally more composed and better controlled over difficult roads."
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      12-30-2015, 07:32 AM   #14
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If anyone is still in doubt that the LCI has a different suspension set up as the original, watch this video of a guy who traded his 2013 M135i for an LCI recently. Fast forward to about 1:45.
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      12-30-2015, 03:51 PM   #15
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It stands to reason BMW makes through cycle changes to its cars as well the well-publicized LCI changes. Indeed, way, you'll really you (and Mattie) actually waited for the Nav upgrade that took place in early 2013, while I was too impatient! Thinks like spring, roll bar and damping rates are typical "through life" changes you'd expect them to make to answer owner feedback.

I still love my pre-LCI!
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      01-03-2016, 07:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
Seems like the difference is in the spring/damper setup, which is the most common part to replace by aftermarket kits anyway.

Installing control arms from the M4 is also a popular swap, for some negative camber gain up front.
M235i springs are about 15% stiffer all round compared to M135i.

A guy here was running eibachs on his adaptive F21 M135i, then added M4 lower suspension arms at the front to find his nose was too low for his liking. His solution was to fit stock M235i front coils and his stance is now more even as a result. I saw his car at a recent meet and it looked good. Front springs are stiff but not excessively so and his raised ride height means improved roll centre and associated handling benefit that come with it.
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      01-04-2016, 12:16 AM   #17
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A shame the LCI does not have the looks like the pre...



Hahaha - sorry OP, I just could not help myself. As much else looks is a matter of taste and difficult to discuss Congrats on your new M135i! Unless BMW makes a M135i Wagon I cannot think of a better everyday driver - till death do us part!
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      01-04-2016, 03:52 AM   #18
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Haha harkes, I've had the looks discussion with a good friend of mine who has also gone for a LCI M135i after owning the original. He thinks the perfect M135i would consists the front of the LCI and the rear of the original. For me, I like the new one better!
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      01-04-2016, 06:44 AM   #19
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I am 100% on par with your friend; however - after almost 2 years with my 2012 I am not so sure I would have the new front - even for free...
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      01-04-2016, 07:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harkes View Post
I am 100% on par with your friend; however - after almost 2 years with my 2012 I am not so sure I would have the new front - even for free...
To be quite frank towards the end of my ownership of the original M135i I was really starting to like it a lot! Until the LCI was shown that is haha. Bottom line is, both LCI and original are damn fine cars and opinion on looks isn't something that is shared by everyone.
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      01-04-2016, 07:32 AM   #21
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MT Turbo-lag

Quote:
Originally Posted by WAY View Post
If anyone is still in doubt that the LCI has a different suspension set up as the original, watch this video of a guy who traded his 2013 M135i for an LCI recently. Fast forward to about 1:45.
Interesting comments about the hesitation on lift-off for gear shifts. The same comments appeared on the M5 forum regarding more turbo-lag with the MT....I couldn't understand why turbo-lag would be more apparent with MT than with DCT but this video makes it clear.....its the lift-off. I always thought turbo-lag only happens at low revs but I'm guessing that here it has more to do with negative inlet pressure.
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      01-04-2016, 09:53 AM   #22
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Our 116i has never ending liftoff lag.
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