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      12-14-2016, 10:14 AM   #1
BlackBMiLuc
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Luc's N55 Build

Not too new to the community as I've been lurking on here for a couple years ever since I ordered my 135i. I came from a few Subaru's beforehand and couldn't be more grateful on the wealth of knowledge, support, and friendships evolved from being on the forums and local meets. I'd like to get more involved on here by sharing this with anyone interested.

It's only recently that I've decided to keep my 135i and modify it further. Ever since the 1M was released, I've been back and forth countless times whether to sell the 135i (even going through posts and threads on here for opinions) and purchase the 1M or build my 135i the way I want it, use it the way I want to until something "I have to have" comes along. Of course it's always been a matter of whether the extra cost justified the purchase (especially since I custom ordered my 135i brand new from the factory). Had I purchased a used 135i, the decision would have been a lot easier and made a long time ago to the 1M. Then again, I'm also the type of person who would have always kept in the back of my mind that it's a collector car.

Anyway, I've been going through several very impressive and unique builds on here from 1M conversions to full-on swaps (engine, suspension, etc.) Big props to these guys if its any of you coming through here. It really inspired me to go with the keep and build approach. I'll make it to my liking and driving, get more track time, always seek driver improvement and make my way to local meets. Right now, that's the option that makes sense for me.

My 2012 BMW 135i:



Modifications: (1/21/2017)

Engine and Transmission
-BMS N55 Intake [BMS]
-JB4 Tuner [BMS]
-Berk Race Axleback [Ebay]
-Custom Driveshaft (M3 rear half mated with N55 front half)

Suspension and Brakes
-KW V2 Coilovers [Top Gear Solutions]
-M3 Rear Subframe and Suspension (Control Arms, Sway Bar, Axles)
-Subframe & Diff Bushings [Powerflex]
-TRW M3 Front Control Arm Kit [HP Autosport]
-M3 Rear brakes and rotors
-Stoptech SS Brake line kit
-Stoptech Front Rotors (drilled)
-Stoptech Street Performance Pads (front & rear)

Wheels and Tires
-VMR Wheels V710 GM [VMR]
Front: 18 x 8.5 ET 45
Rear: 18 x 9.5 ET 50
-BMW 10mm Wheel Spacers (rear)
-Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires [Tirerack]

Exterior
-Tints (Front and Rear at 20%) [Local RI shop]
-Black Kidney Grills [BMW OEM]
-CF Performance Trunk Spoiler [JBspeed]

Interior
-M3 Gauge Cluster

Parts Bin:
-M3 rear diff (awaiting replacement)
-P3 Vent Gauge

Next on the List:
-FMIC
-Oil Cooler
-Chargepipe
-Downpipe
-M3 Front Sway Bar (28mm)

Any suggestions, comments, etc, all are welcome! Thanks for looking.
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Last edited by BlackBMiLuc; 01-21-2017 at 01:59 PM.
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      12-14-2016, 02:21 PM   #2
Matticus91
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Very cool man, I totally understand the upgrade vs build argument. I'm still somewhere in the middle of that decision but will be keeping my car for the foreseeable future.

On the topic of your mods, if you don't mind sharing, what did the M3 diff run you from the wrecked car? I'm still trying to find an LS diff that won't break the bank. It's really the one thing about this car that I cannot stand, not being able to lock the wheels on-demand.
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      12-14-2016, 09:44 PM   #3
BlackBMiLuc
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Update! M3 parts just came in.

Dropping off the parts at a local shop, Tys****, for servicing the diff and putting in new polyurethane bushings. Tyler will be doing the install as well.
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      12-14-2016, 10:07 PM   #4
BlackBMiLuc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus91 View Post
Very cool man, I totally understand the upgrade vs build argument. I'm still somewhere in the middle of that decision but will be keeping my car for the foreseeable future.

On the topic of your mods, if you don't mind sharing, what did the M3 diff run you from the wrecked car? I'm still trying to find an LS diff that won't break the bank. It's really the one thing about this car that I cannot stand, not being able to lock the wheels on-demand.
Thank you!

The M3 diff along with all the other parts was $1850. Suspension and LSD were the two things since day 1 I always put as priority to modify. Coilovers were in fact my first mod to the car. The LSD was of course delayed until now, not only for the above mentioned reasons of not knowing I was going to keep the car but also because, like you, I wasn't sure how much it was going to break the bank when it would be all said and done. I was recommended to this approach of the M3 swap which is more cost effective and you get a better product on top of it based on what I've been reading when comparing the M3 diff to the aftermarket options.
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      12-15-2016, 08:43 AM   #5
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I am going to enjoy following your build!
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      12-15-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
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The M3 axles don't fit under the stock E82 body, do they?
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      12-15-2016, 05:40 PM   #7
BlackBMiLuc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenspeed View Post
I am going to enjoy following your build!
Thank you! I'll do my best with providing pictures and info

Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
The M3 axles don't fit under the stock E82 body, do they?
As far as I know it should!
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      12-15-2016, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBMiLuc View Post
Thank you!

The M3 diff along with all the other parts was $1850. Suspension and LSD were the two things since day 1 I always put as priority to modify. Coilovers were in fact my first mod to the car. The LSD was of course delayed until now, not only for the above mentioned reasons of not knowing I was going to keep the car but also because, like you, I wasn't sure how much it was going to break the bank when it would be all said and done. I was recommended to this approach of the M3 swap which is more cost effective and you get a better product on top of it based on what I've been reading when comparing the M3 diff to the aftermarket options.
That's not bad at all for all those parts
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      12-15-2016, 11:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBMiLuc View Post
Thank you!

The M3 diff along with all the other parts was $1850. Suspension and LSD were the two things since day 1 I always put as priority to modify. Coilovers were in fact my first mod to the car. The LSD was of course delayed until now, not only for the above mentioned reasons of not knowing I was going to keep the car but also because, like you, I wasn't sure how much it was going to break the bank when it would be all said and done. I was recommended to this approach of the M3 swap which is more cost effective and you get a better product on top of it based on what I've been reading when comparing the M3 diff to the aftermarket options.
What are you using for a drive shaft??
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      12-16-2016, 09:04 AM   #10
BlackBMiLuc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus91 View Post
That's not bad at all for all those parts
http://car-part.com/advSearch.htm

Once you find the parts or car, negotiate negotiate negotiate! To be honest in the beginning I wasn't really sure what to expect on pricing other than being in the $2k range. I saw some posts on a couple threads sharing pricing but from a few years ago. My shop guy is the one who helped for me to stay persistent as he obviously knows what the value in the parts are more than me and what we can find elsewhere.
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      12-16-2016, 09:21 AM   #11
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Subbed

Fitting the M3 rear, much customisation needed? I know the width is the same, but what about prop shaft?
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      12-16-2016, 09:21 AM   #12
BlackBMiLuc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo135i View Post
What are you using for a drive shaft??
I have the full driveshaft from the M3 however we are using the back half.
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      12-16-2016, 09:39 AM   #13
BlackBMiLuc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamM_UK View Post
Subbed

Fitting the M3 rear, much customisation needed? I know the width is the same, but what about prop shaft?
The M3 rear is a direct replacement and so the fitment should be good other than some modification to the driveshaft.

The hubs are actually 10mm shorter on either side of the M3 rear as compared to the 135 to allow for a greater offset. New wheels and tires will be in the works.

From what I understand we are only using the back half of the driveshaft with some modification. A write-up will be conducted on the swap. Stay tuned!
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      12-16-2016, 11:53 AM   #14
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awesome progress. what tire sizes did you go with??
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      12-16-2016, 04:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBMiLuc View Post
The M3 rear is a direct replacement and so the fitment should be good other than some modification to the driveshaft.

The hubs are actually 10mm shorter on either side of the M3 rear as compared to the 135 to allow for a greater offset. New wheels and tires will be in the works.

From what I understand we are only using the back half of the driveshaft with some modification. A write-up will be conducted on the swap. Stay tuned!
That would be good to know exactly what modifications need to be done on the driveshaft... seems like balance could be an issue. The driveshaft I think would be the only thing I think stopping a lot of people from doing this swap.
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      01-21-2017, 01:49 PM   #16
BlackBMiLuc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo135i View Post
That would be good to know exactly what modifications need to be done on the driveshaft... seems like balance could be an issue. The driveshaft I think would be the only thing I think stopping a lot of people from doing this swap.
You basically have two options for this upgrade which depends on how much you want to spend. Either a 1M driveshaft or for less than half the cost, mate the front half of N55 shaft with rear half of M3. A reputable and professional driveshaft shop will know precisely where the mate would need to take place and then of course balancing it.
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      01-21-2017, 02:47 PM   #17
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It's been a while since my last update. Busy time with the holidays. I dropped the M3 rear parts off first for servicing and prep. My car rolled into Tyler's local shop here in Central Jersey on Friday, the 13th, already with much luck on our side for a successful build. Things went smooth and everything aligned as it should with the rear subframe swap as well as the brake upgrade. When it came time to the driveshaft, we outsourced to a local reputable driveshaft shop to mate M3 rear half and N55 front half. The other option was to go with a 1M driveshaft but at a much higher cost. I also replaced my bald rear tires with fresh new Michelin PSS.

Tyler is really the best to deal with. From the parts to the labor itself, he was always attentive on budget for me by always breaking down my options and always recommending what would be most cost effective. I explained to him my goals for tracking the car and he understood as he has track experience himself not to mention doing this particular swap on a N54 he previously had. He is putting together a breakdown of the process as well as pictures for me to use and post.


Right before the swap:
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      02-07-2017, 10:39 PM   #18
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So we ran into a nasty noise issue during testing once everything was assembled. At first it was questionable whether it was coming from the driveshaft or rear diff. The driveshaft and differential were dissembled for inspection, and it came down to the Driveshaft CV cage. Since the cage is sealed and had to be opened in order to foresee this problem, it's pretty much a total loss at this point since I wont be able to have it replaced by the salvage yard as the driveshaft is already modified (mated with 135 driveshaft). However, rather than bothering to look for another used m3 driveshaft and go through the process of modifying and balancing etc, the 1M driveshaft is the better option at this point despite the cost. It's more reliable and being brand new coming directly from Germany, it should complete this rear build.

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