So after owning this car for exactly three years to the day (yesterday), I have extensively and obsessively been searching and absorbing all of the information I can about the car, possible modifications, and everything BMW and aftermarket. I just want to share my thoughts on the mods that I have done and/or tried. This is as chronological as I can possibly remember, and I might very well be missing some (or many) things..
Year one of ownership.
Didn't go too crazy. Just did some small cosmetic mods and some power things. Car stayed stock for about 9 months, so all of these occurred at around the tail end of the first year of ownership.
- I bought these from **********s I believe. Great, OEM quality. Look good. Cheap. Not much else to say about them, except they really add a nice accent to the car. I believe some cars are coming off the lots with these now, whereas that wasn't the case before. Even a couple of my loaner cars have had these. Nice touch. 10/10
- A little bit of a PITA to install for someone who was so new to modding just three short years ago. But the kick in the pants was worth it. This has been completely supplanted by the JB+. Similar, if not better, gains, much easier install. Great adjustability. Then - 8/10 Now - 0/10 get a JB+.
Bimmian Red Roundel Overlays
- Good quality vinyl. Lasted as long as I needed it to without it peeling. However, I don't have similar good things to say about the Bimmian CF roundels, as you will see. 8/10
GP Thunder White H8 Bulbs
- First set I ever tried on a long quest to find the perfect angel eyes. Wasn't very happy with these. They were barely whiter than stock, and just a little bit dimmer. No added heat, but they just plain weren't white. 6/10
MTEC Cosmos Blue H8 Bulbs
- Claim to be "cosmos blue" , in pictures they look white like the GP's should be, but in practice, these weren't pure white either. Great for the price (like 25 bucks), but they aren't pure white. They do look better than stock though.. 6/10
MTEC Cosmos Blue H3 Bulbs
- Now these, I actually like. I've had them installed in my car and transferred to my new headlights. They actually show up pure white, and they're a nice accent. With an actual white H8 Angel eye, these are a perfect complement which will look nice whenever you turn on your signal. 9/10
Year Two of Ownership.
By this time, the mod bug had started biting me a little harder. I started with the exhaust right around the exact 1 year mark, and ended with the rims right about the same time. Still, by this point I hadn't been driving much as I was still in Baltimore at the time for the most part and my car was NOT allowed to stay there.
Berk Muffler Delete Axleback Exhaust
- This thing was great! This was bought from another forum member with very low miles, but it was one of the early prototypes which was prone to rust. By the time I took it off, it looked awful. However, it still sounded great. It was a little too loud at idle, but not obnoxiously, ear-shattering loud when you gunned it. Still pretty loud though. My friends and family heard me coming from blocks away. Got pulled over once for this exhaust in the whole year of ownership, and the cop let me get off because even he said it might be on the border of acceptable loudness, but he couldn't really say whether or not it was too loud for sure. This exhaust also started my love affair with the "burble" or the "fart" as my girlfriend calls it. Every time you ease up the throttle you get a beautiful burble coming out of the exhaust. It became habit to just try and get it to burble as much as possible by playing with the throttle. The only sound that beats this is the "burble plus" that I get from my new Berk exhaust. 8/10 because it still sounded a little rough, and it rusted..
****** Carbon Fiber Spoiler
- Anyone else remember this guy? It's so tempting to remove that "f" from "shift" because it really reflects the quality of the spoiler. The fit was okay. Not perfect, but okay. But the whole spoiler yellowed very fast. In about a few months. And it just gets more and more yellow on top, while the underside stays the same. It's still on my car. I keep it there as a reminder to never cheap out and buy from sketchy guys on forums again
- Around this time, a forum member named omar started making some awesome splitters out of ABS plastic for cheap. This was at a time when not many inexpensive options existed for splitters, and everybody was fiending to make their car stand out. These things were cheap, extremely resilient, and looked good, despite just being thinnish plastic cutouts. They installed using factory screws and holes for the scrape guard, and for what they were, were amazing. 9/10
Riss Racing Air Scoops
- Well, we all know Riss Racing is another "shift without the 'f'" company, but these aren't bad. They're powder coated red, and look really great and aggressive wedged up under my shadowline grilles. I'm pretty convinced that they don't do much of anything, but it's good to know that they can't be HURTING anything either. They must be channeling at least a little bit of extra cold air up through the plenum and towards the intake, so that's always a plus. And they look good. But for 120 bucks... ehh. If these were 60, even 80 bucks, they'd definitely be worth it. But at the price I paid, just a measly 7/10
- Never really dyno'd it. Bought it because it looked cool and I liked the woosh sound. I did experience heat soak during very hot days with this intake. It always took an extra second or two for the power to just kind of "kick in" but when it did, damn did it sound good. I know you lose some low-end power with this set-up, especially at the time when I was running just a JB2 (upgraded a couple days later to a JB+) but I still liked it. For the sound, I'd give it a perfect score, but as a whole it's a 7/10
- Wow, what a great decision I made when I got this. So easy to install, especially with a DCI in place and no stock airbox in the way. So easy to configure. Just open it up and use a tiny screwdriver to turn the little dial. Instant, adjustable power gain. It was always so easy to just pop this thing out before a dealership visit. With my JB4 now, I'm really missing the ease of this. Took about 30 minutes to first get it on, and by the time I took it off for good, it became a 30 seconds procedure. Couldn't ask for anything more from a literal plug and play chip. Only downside is having to use a USB cable or something similar to open the clip. 9/10
BMW Style 141 V Spoke Rims and Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tires
- Got this as a present. These work great in the snow and the ice, and they feel great too since they are run-flat. The turning feels very sharp and precise, especially for winter tires, because of the stiff run-flat sidewalls. Great traction and great treadwear. However, I was hoping for a set of black rims to go better with my more aggressive theme, and a set of non-run flats because I'm cheap. These are currently for sale in the apprpriate wheels/tires FS section. I kind of don't want to see them go, because they're great and they're OEM BMW. I just feel like my car would look a little silly all tricked out, lowered, and riding on these OEM alloy rims. However, they're still a 10/10 in my book. Not being able to sell them wouldn't be the worst thing in the world
Bimmian Interior LED Light Kit
- This isn't the top of the line ultra 140 dollar one, but it's not the "cheapo filament lights that are tinted blue" set either. This is the middle of the road, not too dark but not too bright, real LED set. It looks great. Everyone always asks if the car came like that, because they've never really seen a car with xenon colored interior lights before, even in nicer cars. For less than a hundred bucks, this was one of the best things I have done for my interior. Error free, flicker free, The lights themselves get 10/10. I love them. Bimmian, however, gets 0/10 because they forgot to include the visor lights.
JLevi SW Carbon Fiber Mirror Caps
- This was the first continuation of my carbon fiber craze. For about 200 bucks I got some of the nicest, OEM quality carbon fiber caps that money could buy. Sure, they are caps and not full replacements, but I don't care. The fit was perfect. To this day, the caps have not yellowed ONE bit. They were much cheaper than the BMW performance ones, and the carbon weave in these is flawless. 10/10
Breyton GTS-R Rims
- Great Rims. Amazing look, amazing quality. Definitely very light, and definitely a head-turner. One rim got bent a couple months into ownership, but the bend has not affected the steering or handling in any way. It's <1 inch on the very outside of the lip, and not in the wheel itself. Tires stay on perfectly, no effect on the car whatsoever. The pothole I went through to get it would have killed a lesser rim. These are well built, from my experience. And of course light as anything, and great looking too! 10/10
MTEC Hyper Yellow 3300K H8 Bulbs
- After a while I got tired of the whole white angel eye craze and decided to go the opposite direction. These looked pretty good. Distinctly yellow, and they add a certain aggressiveness in contrast to the dark black look of the front of my black car with the shadowline grilles. However, these aren't THAT dark yellow, so only 7/10
Xenesis JDM Yellow H8 Bulbs
- These are the real deal. Slightly more expensive than the MTECs but the yellow color was much more pronounced and definitely deeper in hue. They are also brighter than stock, due to the lower color temperature. These are amazing and I am kind of sad I sold them! 9/10
Bimmian Black "135i" Emblem
- This was good. Nothing to complain about. The adhesive already on the numbers/letters is strong and has not failed me yet, and it looks great. I was debadged before I put this on, but I prefer this blackout look better. Nothing to complain about at all except that it's a little annoying to clean the dirt that gets in between the numbers. 10/10
UUC Front Swaybar
- Don't really know. Never installed it. Bought it, and only afterwards did I see negative reviews about it. I decided if I'm going to get one, I might as well get the E93 M3 front sway and stay OEM and better quality. Sold it to a friend without really trying it out. NA/10
Berk Full Sport Exhaust System
- This is the midpipes + the sport muffler axleback. Wow. I thought things couldn't get better than Berk's muffler-delete exhaust. I was worried going from that system that the addition of a muffler would kill the sporty and aggressive sound of the exhaust. I was dead wrong. At idle, the sound is a bit softer, but still a little deeper with more rumble. At WOT, the sound is about the same in terms of loudness, but sounds deeper and more exotic. It is much easier to control your volume with this exhaust, and I've never had a problem due to it's loudness. But when you start the car up, and when you WANT it to be loud, it really is loud. Otherwise, you can baby the throttle and it won't be too bad at all. However the burble on this exhaust is amazing. It's the best sound ever. I mean it. Nobody will be disappointed with this setup. And it's completely stainless, so no rust! 10/10
Year Three of Ownership.
As you can tell, the mod bug has fully bit me at this point.
Alpine HID Angel Eye Kit.
Another "wow". These things are bright, completely visible in the sunlight, white as can be (or any color you could possibly want), and Alex@Alpine is one of the best people on this planet. There is no instrument made which can possibly come close to gauging just how awesome Alex is, and how well he backs up his warranty. I cannot say enough good things about this kit. The only downside is having to wire these to your battery, but your angel eyes will look so much better with this than with ANY other option out there, including LED kits. The only thing that will look better is a full replacement of the angel eyes with individual LEDs or some other completely new design. But for the stock headlight assembly, nothing beats this, and nothing beats the customer service that comes with it. 10/10
Bimmian Red and Black CF Roundels
- I liked the matte red overlays, but these just kind of suck. They are very shiny, and unlike real CF. What's more is that they QUICKLY fade in UV light. My red turns to orange in just a month or so. The black stays the same in terms of color, but both colors start to peel and unstick very easily. They are also two-layered with a color layer and a reflective layer underneath, and the layers separate very easy during powerwashing. Not good quality at all. 5/10
ToxSuey's Red and Black CF Roundels
- Now this is more like it. User ToxSuey somehow got a hold of these and was selling them a while back. I hope he still is!! The vinyl does not yellow at all, it adheres much better to any surface and has not begin to peel in the many months it has been on. It is also not very shiny and reflective, like the cheap Bimmian ones are. Only downside is that they must EVENTUALLY peel a bit.. eventually.. 9/10
JB Speed CF Licence Plate Frame
- Cheap, got here quick, great CF weave and a nice finish. Perfect fitment, and it hasn't yellowed at all since I got it. Everything I need in a CF licence plate frame. The only annoying part is that there are no lower screw holes, so I had to use double sided 3M tape to stick it to the plate on the bottom side. 8/10
JLevi SW White LED Sidemarker Bulbs
- Not much to say. They light up quicker and more cleanly than non-LED sidemarkers. They're bright and they look good. Nothing at all to complain about! 10/10
Seibon GTR Style CF Hood
- When I ordered this I was initially worried about the fit because I heard bad things about Seibon's quality. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The shop that installed it mentioned it was one of the easiest CF hoods they have installed (though keeping in mind that all CF hoods require a certain amount of tweaking and elbow grease to get to fit perfectly), and when I inspected the weave, it was great quality! Of course it isn't perfect, but no weave is perfect. I bought this around the same time that the iCarbon group buys were going on, and I'm glad I went this route instead haha. Great quality weave and great finish equals a great product... except when the clearcoat sucks. My clearcoat started developing bumps in it and started yellowing very prematurely. I contacted the vendor I bought this from, who contacted Seibon, and the response was that this is definitely NOT normal (and there is a 6 months clearcoat warranty) and they will replace my hood. I also contacted Berk Tech since I know they have this hood, and theirs is just as non-yellow as it was on day 1. So I am confident I just got a "lemon" so to speak, and now I am just waiting on the replacement. So, great fit, great weave, great warranty, great price, and hopefully the replacement will show me that there is a great clearcoat on this too, and I just got a "bad one".. But til then.. 8/10
BMW Performance Aero Front Bumper
- This looks great! It's a little more expensive than the regular M-Sport 135i bumper, but I like the appearance much better. Very smooth and streamlined, with some functional ducts on the side providing some much needed cooling. It's a great piece overall, and comes with the quality and design you expect straight from BMW. 10/10
AFE Dual Cone Intake
- This is the same concept as the BMS one, but this one has a different design and an included heat shield. I have run this back to back with the BMS one and this one shows consistently (but SLIGHTLY) lower intake air temperatures based on the IAT gauge from my JB4. Is it worth more than double the money? I don't know. But I did technically get it for no money, so I am more than happy. You'll still get a bit of heat soak with this, but not as much. The heat shield works surprisingly well! But still.. worth over twice as much as the BMS intake? Don't know... 8/10
AFE Throttle Body Spacer
- Waste of money. Waste of the time it took to put on the car and subsequently take it off. I put it on, it did nothing. I didn't feel like having to worry about what my dealership thought, so I took it off and gave it away to a friend. Not even sold it.. just gave it. That's how useless this was. 0/10
JP Carbon CF Eyelids
- I bought these from some weird website ( JP Carbon's ebay store seems to be down, and was down when I bought these). Despite being called "JP Carbon" these eyelids are from China. They are flimsy, but the carbon weave is surprisingly good. They are hard to affix to your headlights, and the tape they provide you with sucks so much that my first set of eyelids got lost on the road. Ordered another, and applied my OWN 3M tape, and these stuck on just fine. They haven't yellowed, and look great. The finish is good, but the fit is mediocre. Still, for something really cheap and straight out of China, it's a bargain. 7/10
- Wow. Get this now. So many features. So much power. Why are you still reading this? Everyone loves this chip.. go get it! Can't compare it to Procede since I haven't tried both back to back or anything.. but it's awesome! 10/10
Hankook Ventus V12 Tires
- A definite upgrade from the stock run flat tires. Are these PSS's? No. Will you still have trouble holding first gear with a tune? Yes. Second gear with a tune? Yes. But still much grippier than the stock tires in dry weather, and surprising and amazing grip in wet weather. And for the price.. they can't be beat. I won't get these again, just because I want something that can actually handle the power my car makes. But considering I was on a budget when I got these, I am pleasantly surprised in so many ways. 8/10
- My most recent mod. Haven't had these on for long, but they're amazing. When I first started driving my car I thought to myself "did they REALLY switch out the suspension or are they fucking with me?" because the ride was so close to stock. Meanwhile, almost all body roll is gone and the car feels just so much better. It was lowered a moderate amount (about half an inch away from MINIMUM lowering both front and back) and there is still at least an inch and a half, or two, that the car can still go. It looks so much better, feels so much better, drives so much better. I was debating between these and a set of springs + shocks because I don't plan to track the car until it's out of warranty, but I am so glad I went with these. Adjustable lowering makes it easy to make the car look exactly how I want it to, and the ride is so nice with matched springs and shocks. And it's KW quality! 9/10 only because they can rust.
In the near future I plan to add an oil catch can (probably should have done this long ago), and I ordered an M3 front sway bar but have yet to install it.
In the distant future, when warranty is up.. downpipes, meth, a better coilover setup, full M3 suspension, and an FMIC. What else could there be to do? Not much... But that's way down the road.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and hope this helps somebody out there!
Year Two (with Fxomar Splitters):
Winter of Year Two:
End of Year Two:
And finally, the car as it sits now:
And just for Basheezy, picture of MTECs: