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    My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    As you can see from the title of this thread, this is a direct rip-off of Mike S's Mini thread.  Smiley  I did say that I would do something similar for my little BMW so here goes.

    Unlike Mike, I am planning to modify this car over a period of time.  Otherwise I would get bored and just get rid of the car oon after it is complete.  This would ensure that it is always fresh as there is always something new in it as soon as I get a bit bored.  I am hoping this is the case anyway.  The plan of this thread is to chronical what I have done to the car one bit at a time, until we catch up to real time and after that I will just post whenever I have new parts on the car.  It's like my own little 135i blog I guess.

    I bought this car with the intention of transforming it into a track car eventually.  As track car goes, the 135i has a long way to go before it can be called a track weapon, missing some very vital bits as will be explained later.  Many have asked why I didn't just buy a M3 or a Exige or a track special like an Ariel Atom in the first place.  Well, I like my track car small and I feel the M3 is too big (in fact i was looking at E30 M3's when BMW announced this and I promptly ordered one).  I have a relatively serious back issue and the Exige and most other track specials can almost be impossible for me to get in and out off.  Also I really want something that is road registable as I don't want to tow the car and also want to drive this car on the mountains.  Sort of like building my own little CSL then.

    Anyway I picked the car up in early June which is one of the first batch of deliveries in Australia.  The car was without any option with the exception of active headlights (turning xenons).  In my market the car already comes equipped with many options like xenon, M sports pack, 18 inch wheels, electric seats etc.  Here is a pic of the car when I picked her up (along with a little BMW push car for my baby).


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    The first modification:

    This was a cosmetic one and was done even before the car was delivered.  In fact you can see it in the picture above.  Those of you who noticed the carbon fibre mirror housing wins a (virtual) chocolate.  Here's a closeup of it.

    In the picture above, you can also see the little carbon fibre lip spoiler (close up below).  This was installed the week after I picked up the car, along with a black grill at the front.  All three of these parts are part of the BMW Performance (JCW equavalent) range.


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    OMG, great car and good choice for a track car. I know this thing comes very close to a e30 bmw which i know quite a bit. I think this car has a better engine and with some smart modding you will have a really really lethal track weapon!!! I love the CSL concept i think that is great.

    So far, lovely mods... stylish, purposeful and bmw so proper parts!!
    I'll definitely keep checking in on your progress.. be sure to add some videos as this thing is a beast stock!!

    enjoy the work and fun!!

    --

    2005 Ford Focus S, 5spd
    1986 Porsche 944, 5spd


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    I'm glad I was able to inspire you WAY Smiley I personally love this documented build threads! When is your next mod going to go in?

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    WAY, I would definately put the bmw performance pack alcantara gear knob, may be the alcantara performance steering wheel with the led lights for gear change, and of course the bmw performance exhaust system.....and if you want to to go mad, install the performance bucket seats, they look amazing.

     these pics may illustrate you:


    --


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Mike S:
    I'm glad I was able to inspire you WAY Smiley I personally love this documented build threads! When is your next mod going to go in?
    Thanks Mike.  I should clarify that a lot of the mods has already been done, but I am just documenting it now.  So for your (and others reading this), the next mod goes in when I have time to post it here lol.

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Atzporsche:
    OMG, great car and good choice for a track car. I know this thing comes very close to a e30 bmw which i know quite a bit. I think this car has a better engine and with some smart modding you will have a really really lethal track weapon!!! I love the CSL concept i think that is great.

    So far, lovely mods... stylish, purposeful and bmw so proper parts!!
    I'll definitely keep checking in on your progress.. be sure to add some videos as this thing is a beast stock!!

    enjoy the work and fun!!

    --

    2005 Ford Focus S, 5spd
    1986 Porsche 944, 5spd

    I've got a couple of interesting videos of the car on the track etc, but it has me talking in them so I am not sure if I want to show it here lol.  I do have a few in car videos which I will try to post later.

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Alex18_996CC:

    WAY, I would definately put the bmw performance pack alcantara gear knob, may be the alcantara performance steering wheel with the led lights for gear change, and of course the bmw performance exhaust system.....and if you want to to go mad, install the performance bucket seats, they look amazing.

     these pics may illustrate you:

     


    --
    My friend did the steering on his and I don't like it for the track.  It looks great and would be great on a street car, but for something that will eventually be a track car, I prefer simplicity.  So maybe I will get the factory steering wheel done in alcantara instead.  Not sure yet.  As for the seats, I contemplated it, but at the end of the day I decided that I will go down the path of a one piece racing seat.  Not yet though.  That is all still going to happen as I get more serious with the car.

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    WAY:

    I've got a couple of interesting videos of the car on the track etc, but it has me talking in them so I am not sure if I want to show it here lol.

    Depends on the subject...

    SportAuto recently did a test of ACSchnitzer´s and BMW Performance´s modified 135 Coupes. If you have any questions or need the translation, send a message.


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Ferdie, I'm not concerned about what I am talking about, more worried about showing my ugly face here lol.  The SportAuto test would be interesting.  I will check it out using google translation service.  If I require further help, I will let you know.

    So onto the first performance mod.  This was a few weeks later.  Before I did that, the car was dynoed and tracked at my local circuit so that I have a baseline.  The car dynoed at 180kw at the wheel which was pretty much as expected given that the factory claim is 225kw engine power.  My goal is not only to increase the power, but it needs to be reliable.  On the track (Sandown in Victoria), the best lap I could manage was 1:29.9.  This was actually very quick, much quicker than I had expected.  For reference, this is the type of times that a stock Mitsubishi EVO would do (with an average driver like me lol).  My goal here is to reduce that time down by 4-5 seconds, which is a big ask as this track is more a power track than one that test the handling.  Big ask but we will see!

    I purchased a set of Riss Racing ceramic coated catless down pipes.  The factory one is very restrictive.  The car has 4 cats (2 sets) and I am removing 2 of them here.  Not the best for the environment but bear in mind this is a track car that will do very little kilometres.  I also took the opportunity to replace the factory clutch delay valve which slows down your shifts (factory does this to protect the clutch).  Let's see some photos.  First up the Riss Racing down pipes taken out of the box...

    The picture below shows the difference between the factory down pipes and the Riss Racing one.

    The next picture shows the turbo view with the downpipes removed:

    Here the Riss Racing product has been installed on the car:


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Nice WAY! I wonder what the car must sound like now! Personally I would not go with Alex's suggestion. I have only come to realize now after really modifying my 1st car - that BMW original parts don't give that great gains and they are not value for money. If you are not concerned about warranty/motoplan being voided I would go after market without a doubt, just do some research on the parts before purchasing and everything should be great.

    Are you going to be doing the rest of the exhaust and perhaps even new brakes? Brembo/Stoptech etc?


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Mike, I am with you.  I did use a couple of BMW parts, but none of them relate to power.  The problem I have with this car is that because it is only a few months old, there are very little mods available.  In fact most of the time I am the pioneer in this respect and others are watching me.

    At this point after the Riss Racing downpipes, the car sounds much racier.  It has a bit of the metallic rasp like the E46 M3.  However it is not loud and it doesn't drone.  It is also a much nicer place to be at the top end.  Previously the car feels suffocated at the top end but no more.  I dynoed it and I had gained about 9kw.

    I want to put in a less restrictive mid pipe and then muffler as well, but I have not come across anything that is completely to my satisfaction yet.  As for brakes, factory one is already a 6 piston Brembo (first time in a BMW).  But is that enough?  Well, let's just say some brake mods is going to come later in the thread. Smiley


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

     WAY and Mike S- I'm really enjoying these threads. Thanks and keep them coming!

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Great thread, I love the 135i!

    Just one cosmetic upgrade I'd suggest, the BMW Performance bumper, it makes the car a lot more agressive looking.

     Here's a pic of the car I drove, fell in love with it immediately.



    --

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    wow nice bumper....wasnt aware they (bmw) had another type to choose from.... Id take this one anyday.

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    WAY - great thread - keep it coming.

    One aspect that is always worthwhile, in particular in a track car is to remove weight. I am sure you could remove approx. 100kg from the car which will make a big diff. Also will you install a cage? I personally find that to be a must.

    Good luck with the project and dont be shy to ask for help or advice from us... Smiley


    --
    Off enjoying my car...

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    very nice WAY!

    starting to see quite a few 135 on the road now.

    keep them coming.

    any plans for mods for your C63?


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Great thread and diary of your car.  Smiley almost certainly going to get a 135i in around 18 months, probably an auto (or DCT if it's out by then) because I want to go down to two cars, SWMBO would use the 135i for work and prefers two pedals. Ypur car looks great in white too Smiley Won't go as far as you on mods, but will probably fit a nice sports exhaust system. 

    Did think about a used M3 - they are almost being given away here - get a very nice one with 5,000 miles for the same money as an optiond-up 135i - but feels bulky compared with the One Series, and the performance avantage wouldn't get much used here.  Smiley


    --
    Boxster S 3.4 06 Cobalt / Ocean Blue BMW 123d M Sport 08 Le Mans Blue / Lemon

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Sorry I have been a bit lazy to update this thread.  I have a bit of time right now so let me update it a little.

    Anyway, the next mod after the Riss Racing downpipes was a piggy back chip by Active Autowerke. 

    Now I did a lot of research on this topic before jumping into a chip.  I chose Active Processor because it is a conservative tune (in my case the max boost was 11.9psi as opposed to many 14-15psi of other vendors) and I didn't want to compromise the longetivity of the turbo given that this car will be driven hard on the track.  Maybe I will go with a higher boost option in the future, but I want to see some proven record for the N54 engine before jumping into anything like that.  My power has jumped from 190kw to 237.7kw at the wheel.  Actually that was the most conservative run.  The best result we saw was 243kw.


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    A few weeks later, these turned up from Fedex.

    For those not into modifying cars, this is the KW Clubsport coilover.  It has a adjustable racing top mount (basically a camber plate) that allows you to vary the camber on your car.  What I was finding is that this car suffers too much from understeer.  So I needed to add as much negative camber as I could muster.  Here is a pic of the racing top mount I am refering to:

    The KW clubsport allows you to adjust the camber, the rebound, the compression and the ride height.  It is very useful for track use, however I found that the design of the 135i makes adjustments to most of these parameters extremely difficult without having the car up on a hoist.  So adjustments are made only between track days, and not during track days which makes setting up the suspension a difficult affair.  Anyway here is a photo of the front installed on the car:

    Here is the minimum ride height is you like the slammed look:

    We settled on a 15mm reduction in ride height.  At this setting, I was able to get a maximum camber of negative 2.8 degrees at the front.  While it may sound like a lot, it actually didn't eliminate the understeer completely.  It did help to reduce the understeer quite a bit though, but at the limit on the track the car would still understeer.  Given that I was still running the factory run flat tyre, I decided to worry about this after I changed to proper tyres as the characteristics may change with the change in tyres too.  This is now the new look in terms of ride height (and increase in front camber)


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    WAY! You have been a very busy busy man! More pics of the car from 3/4 view and side profile with new KW's please!

    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    Mike, I have time to do these mods because unlike some, I am only modding a car, not modding a car, buy other new cars, build 40 car garages...Smiley

    I don't have anymore pics of the side profile, at least none that I have access to from here.


    Re: My 135i's biography, new chapters to be added

    After those few mods, my car felt a lot more like how I wanted it to be.  Still, there were some major issues which I still needed to address.  Now being a twin turbo car, upgrading an intercooler is very important to prevent heat soak on track days especially in those hot summer months.  Biggest issue for me is trying to find the right parts.  Because the car was still relatively new, there weren't many aftermarket parts available.  I faced with the same issue when I had my Cooper S.  But look at the Cooper S market now, it is full of aftermarket parts.  Anyway, I had two choices in terms of intercooler.  One is a Spearco one, and the other one is from Active Autowerke.  Given the reputation of Active, I decided to go with their product.  Here it is when I received it.  Check out the size difference between this and the factory intercooler (first pic is Active Autowerke, second pic is OEM)

    Here is a picture during the installation with the front bumper off.  You can see that the intercooler is so large that part of it sits behind the safety bar that supports the plastic bumper.  Unfortunately that part of the intercooler will not get much direct air from the front of the car, however it's core will still be doing the job it is intended.  The OE intercooler only sits below the safety bar.

     

    The Active also comes with some cool blue pipping to brighten things up a little in the boring engine bay.  Unfortunately once all the covers are back on, you can't see that nice little blue pipping and everything just look completely stock.


     
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