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      05-22-2016, 09:33 AM   #1
hydra
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Hydra's voyage into ///M

Hey guys,
After 16 years of car ownership, I bought my very first Beemer back in February, a Euro-model BSM 2010 135i 6AT with 48,6xx km on the clock. Car was almost completely bone stock, with the notable exception of a Quaife LSD that the previous owner was nice enough to install, as well as a BMW/Garmin portable GPS retrofit done at the local dealer. Here is what the car looked like when I first bought it:
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      05-22-2016, 09:47 AM   #2
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My first mod to the car was the addition of a set of gloss black BMW Performance grilles. I never could understand why BMW chose to equip this car with chrome grilles as standard, especially considering that it was optioned with Shadowline trim with no brightwork anywhere. My next mod shortly thereafter was the addition of a pair of VRSF 3" downpipes. I can't say I felt much of a performance increase besides a 10-20% increase in noise, but then again my butt dyno was never all that sensitive. After week or so I decided it was time for more oomph, so out comes the BT cable, and in goes a custom tune:
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      05-22-2016, 10:11 AM   #3
hydra
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I now had a peak of 16psi tapering to 12psi, and probably gained in the region of 80-90whp in just a few minutes. Performance was hugely improved, but the added oomph really brought out the deficiencies in both the chassis and the 6AT (during high performance driving) , so a 6MT swap soon became my #1 priority. So I ended up doing the 6MT swap only a few short weeks after first buying the car, but not before doing giving the 6AT its last hurrah, in 2nd gear with 4 people in the car no less...

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      05-22-2016, 10:28 AM   #4
hydra
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Almost immediately after completing the 6MT swap, the time came to install the next round of bolt-ons:

- Wagner Evo 2 Competition FMIC
- Magnaflow Turboback exhaust (i.e. with catless midpipes)
- AFe Momentum GT N54 intake
- Custom Charge pipe with Evo X BOV
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      05-22-2016, 10:54 AM   #5
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The effect of all these powertrain mods (and resultant ~400whp), along with the 6MT conversion was only to highlight even further the deficiencies of the E8x/E9x chassis. Car is really ill-suited to this kind of power level as-is, and it became clear that much work had to be done to make this car "fun", and to help it put its power down more effectively. On to the next round of mods...

- M3 steering rack
- M3 guide rods
- M3 FLCAs
- Whiteline FCA430 Castor bushings
- Whiteline RSFB
- Godspeed Adj toe arms
- Godspeed Adj upper camber arms


I'm pleased to report that this latest round of upgrades totally transformed the way the car feels, tracks, and puts the power down. Steering effort is almost unacceptably stiff now, but the upside is improved feel, stronger self-centering, and the quicker steering makes slides so much easier/more intuitive to catch. Car now tracks straight and true @ WOT in 3rd and 4th gear, whereas before it would wander all over the place and fight for traction even with fresh Neova AD08Rs. What remains though, is the excessive body motion/roll on account of the stock springs/shocks, and a strong propensity to understeer at the limit, but I have several more mods coming in the pipeline to cure these ills...Took the car to a local track last Sunday in 100+ degree heat, was 8.5s faster than a friend's S2000 over a 150s lap... Here is a pic below from that weekend:


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      05-22-2016, 01:24 PM   #6
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Nice build!
Was the M3 steering rack a direct PnP?
I heard there was some coding involved due to the incompatibility of the Servotronic, or something?
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      05-22-2016, 01:37 PM   #7
hydra
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With all this talk of performance and handling, I seem to have neglected the subject of aesthetics. The standard 135i is a bit of an ugly duckling IMHO, so I decided to imbue it with some much-needed attitude...

- CSL-style CF trunk (painted body color)
- OE-style CF hood (painted body color)
- Scorpione CF rear diffuser panel
- Polyurethane front lip spoiler (yet to be installed)
- Shadowline LCI taillights
- 1M gearknob
- 1M (short) shifter
- 1M steering wheel trim
- Armrest delete
- Volk TE37SL 17x8.5 +40 (yet to be installed)

PS - Before anyone asks, I deliberately left the stock paddle-shifters on and rewired them as horn buttons, makes honking so much more convenient
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      05-22-2016, 02:00 PM   #8
hydra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lecaf View Post
Nice build!
Was the M3 steering rack a direct PnP?
I heard there was some coding involved due to the incompatibility of the Servotronic, or something?

M3 rack was indeed a direct swap. Keep in mind that you will need to retain your existing tie rods. Also keep in mind that my car had regular Power Steering and not Active Steering, which at only 1.7 turns lock to lock, is even faster than the 1M/M3's 2.2 turns lock to lock, didn't particularly care for Active Steering's lack of feel when I tried it on a friend's car though. I'm not sure coding (along with a wiring harness retrofit) is enough to enable Servotronic, but some fiddling with the Servotronic solenoid on the rack might be all that's needed to reduce steering effort. I have grown used to the added steering effort, so its not something I'm going to worry about any longer.
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      05-22-2016, 02:55 PM   #9
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Alright, so after that insanely long list, what has been your favorite mod?
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      05-22-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
hydra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyerstyle View Post
Alright, so after that insanely long list, what has been your favorite mod?

There's plenty more where that came from believe me! Have several boxes full of parts still awaiting installation...

From all the mods I've done so far, my favorites in terms of pleasure per $$ spent have been (in no particular order) the M3 steering rack, the RSFBs and adj toe/camber arms, and the LCI Shadowline taillights.
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