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      06-28-2017, 06:50 PM   #1
asbrr
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BPC Tune Stage 1 Added

Installed it last night, my car is all stock on the powertrain front except for a 135i muffler swap and golf tee mod. Purchased the BPC tune a few weeks ago when it was on sale. I plan to add a 3 stage intake manifold and maybe an intake at some point. Not sure on headers, likely not.

Anyway, first impressions are the car is more responsive for sure, dead spot in some situations on low throttle is gone. Car generally feels more muscular all around, so I'd say this lines up with the mild prediction on power increase (10-15hp or so at the crank).

Now looking for a good deal on an 3stage IM....

One curious side effect, the car doesn't seem to have the burbles on overrun as much anymore...used to get a gentle pop around 2500rpm with the revs on the way down...maybe the leaner mixture in the tune cleared that out.

I plan to dyno once I have all the mods in place, was thinking about doing it at each step but that's money I'd rather put into the actual parts
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      06-29-2017, 06:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
Installed it last night, my car is all stock on the powertrain front except for a 135i muffler swap and golf tee mod. Purchased the BPC tune a few weeks ago when it was on sale. I plan to add a 3 stage intake manifold and maybe an intake at some point. Not sure on headers, likely not.

Anyway, first impressions are the car is more responsive for sure, dead spot in some situations on low throttle is gone. Car generally feels more muscular all around, so I'd say this lines up with the mild prediction on power increase (10-15hp or so at the crank).

Now looking for a good deal on an 3stage IM....

One curious side effect, the car doesn't seem to have the burbles on overrun as much anymore...used to get a gentle pop around 2500rpm with the revs on the way down...maybe the leaner mixture in the tune cleared that out.

I plan to dyno once I have all the mods in place, was thinking about doing it at each step but that's money I'd rather put into the actual parts

You should consider doing this, and you would know what works and what is placebo.

But I had the BPC stage 1 - was excellent. Putting on the 3 stage (plus the appropriate retune) made it better.
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      06-30-2017, 10:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TheAxiom View Post
You should consider doing this, and you would know what works and what is placebo.

But I had the BPC stage 1 - was excellent. Putting on the 3 stage (plus the appropriate retune) made it better.
Yea I totally hear you...it was in the cards, and then I got the tune file emailed to me and I couldn't stop myself from loading it lol. Otherwise I was going to do it at each step: stock, stage 1, then with 3stage IM+tune. I will probably do it now and after the 3 stage IM, so at least 2 data points.

The car is getting even stronger after a couple of days, I suppose after final adaptations in the ECU. I'm very happy with this tune, was not expecting to feel much if anything, pleasantly surprised!
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      07-02-2017, 05:39 PM   #4
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Encouraging result. I'm going a slightly different route, using an AA tune since I have a local AA dealer with a good reputation who will source the 3 Stage used, do the install and tune. Took him several months to find a low km. manifold but finally going in this week.
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      07-02-2017, 06:09 PM   #5
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You obviously weren't happy with the stock power, so you probably won't be happy with a manifold swap either. My advice, you're putting money into the wrong car. A 135i really doesn't cost any more to buy initially, and the maintenance difficulties / costs / reliability are extremely similar if you get a N55. They make more power and torque stock than a 128i ever will without spending gobs of money and turning the engine into a ticking time bomb, and are only a tune away from way MORE power. Both cars are on the same chassis and weight and balance is nearly the same.

I do NOT understand why people get a 128i if they're concerned in the slightest about power and performance, when the 135i exists. The ONLY valid reason, other than your parents having bought the car and you being stuck with it, would be class restrictions if you're trying to race it or something.
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      07-02-2017, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
You obviously weren't happy with the stock power, so you probably won't be happy with a manifold swap either. My advice, you're putting money into the wrong car. A 135i really doesn't cost any more to buy initially, and the maintenance difficulties / costs / reliability are extremely similar if you get a N55. They make more power and torque stock than a 128i ever will without spending gobs of money and turning the engine into a ticking time bomb, and are only a tune away from way MORE power. Both cars are on the same chassis and weight and balance is nearly the same.

I do NOT understand why people get a 128i if they're concerned in the slightest about power and performance, when the 135i exists. The ONLY valid reason, other than your parents having bought the car and you being stuck with it, would be class restrictions if you're trying to race it or something.
Because not everyone wants a turbo. Done.
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      07-02-2017, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
You obviously weren't happy with the stock power, so you probably won't be happy with a manifold swap either. My advice, you're putting money into the wrong car. A 135i really doesn't cost any more to buy initially, and the maintenance difficulties / costs / reliability are extremely similar if you get a N55. They make more power and torque stock than a 128i ever will without spending gobs of money and turning the engine into a ticking time bomb, and are only a tune away from way MORE power. Both cars are on the same chassis and weight and balance is nearly the same.

I do NOT understand why people get a 128i if they're concerned in the slightest about power and performance, when the 135i exists. The ONLY valid reason, other than your parents having bought the car and you being stuck with it, would be class restrictions if you're trying to race it or something.
What is this, am I in e90post??

N55 maintenance is extremely similar to n52? O rly?
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      07-02-2017, 08:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheAxiom View Post
Because not everyone wants a turbo. Done.
What does this even mean? The OP wants power. The N55 delivers significantly more of it than the N52 and in a really tractable and responsive way, with room for extremely easy modifications that give a lot more power. NA engines are great, don't get me wrong, but you need to pay out the ass one way or another to get a powerful NA BMW engine. I have a badass NA engine on my motocross bike. It makes about 300 HP per LITER. Would I like an engine like that on my car? Hell no, because the maintenance would be extreme and horrible. Electric motors are a different story, they're basically awesome in every way without lag but the batteries aren't quite where most people want them to be cost and energy density wise.
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Originally Posted by sprp85 View Post
What is this, am I in e90post??

N55 maintenance is extremely similar to n52? O rly?
Well, yes. The turbo and related accoutrements on the N55 are quite reliable compared to the N54. The DI fueling is also quite reliable, and it's a better technology than port fueling like the N52 has. The problem areas are mostly things like cooling, which the N52 shares. The N55 also has an oil filter housing gasket issue which I'm not sure if the N52 shares or not, but that is not a big deal. There was also a VANOS issue in SOME models, with a one-time fix, covered by the manufacturer. Aside from that you have fluid changes, accessory replacement like belts and pullies and maybe plug / coil replacement which are basically...the same?
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      07-03-2017, 10:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
What does this even mean? The OP wants power. The N55 delivers significantly more of it than the N52 and in a really tractable and responsive way, with room for extremely easy modifications that give a lot more power. NA engines are great, don't get me wrong, but you need to pay out the ass one way or another to get a powerful NA BMW engine. I have a badass NA engine on my motocross bike. It makes about 300 HP per LITER. Would I like an engine like that on my car? Hell no, because the maintenance would be extreme and horrible. Electric motors are a different story, they're basically awesome in every way without lag but the batteries aren't quite where most people want them to be cost and energy density wise.


Well, yes. The turbo and related accoutrements on the N55 are quite reliable compared to the N54. The DI fueling is also quite reliable, and it's a better technology than port fueling like the N52 has. The problem areas are mostly things like cooling, which the N52 shares. The N55 also has an oil filter housing gasket issue which I'm not sure if the N52 shares or not, but that is not a big deal. There was also a VANOS issue in SOME models, with a one-time fix, covered by the manufacturer. Aside from that you have fluid changes, accessory replacement like belts and pullies and maybe plug / coil replacement which are basically...the same?
Not everyone wants a turbo, that's the last time I will repeat myself.
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      07-03-2017, 01:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheAxiom View Post
Not everyone wants a turbo, that's the last time I will repeat myself.
I'm still not sure what this means. Does this mean those people hate high exhaust gas temperatures? Maybe they hate engineering developments and materials tech that made turbos feasible and extremely drivable for passenger cars. Perhaps they are pacifists, who can't stand the idea of a fighter jet taking off out their tailpipe every time they spool up. Or maybe they hate the Swiss and Alfred Büchi. I do agree that Switzerland has some draconian traffic regulations, but come on, guys, you don't have to drive the car IN Switzerland!

I guess you're saying some people prefer NA engines, well, that would be reasonable other things equal but other things are not equal. Most people who care about NA engines also want their NA engines to have some get-up-and-go. Maybe something like an S65 or S85 would satisfy that criterion, but a N52 does not, unless you're that british guy who broke his checkbook to make an admirably sick 128. You need to know what you're getting into and why you're doing it. Again, the OP here wants power and I fear he's not going to be happy with the extent of a FBO 128i when a stock N55 will be faster and at that point, less expensive. There are quite a few sick NA cars out there: Mercedes, BMW, Chevy, Ford, Ferrari, Porsche, Nissan et al have all made them. The 128i is not a sick NA car without a bunch of work and money. Like I said, modding a 128i for power really only makes sense in 2 situations: if you need that particular car for your class in racing, or if your family bought it and you're stuck with it, but can mod it.
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      07-03-2017, 01:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
I do NOT understand why people get a 128i if they're concerned in the slightest about power and performance, when the 135i exists. The ONLY valid reason, other than your parents having bought the car and you being stuck with it, would be class restrictions if you're trying to race it or something.
Driving a slow car fast is more fun, dropping a gear and hitting redline to pass someone puts a smile on my face every time. Prior to my 128i I had a ap1 s2000 and a NA miata, both slow cars by 135i standards. The miata made 120 hp to the wheels and was the most fun to drive on the streets out of all the cars I owned. If I were to ring out a 135i the same way I do with my 128i I would get an orange jump suit and a court date.
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      07-03-2017, 01:28 PM   #12
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I don't really get the whole "miata keeps me out of jail" thing either. It's a recycled apocrypha, that's all. Even those cars will easily go fast enough to get you thrown in jail if you have track experience or are crazy. It just takes a few more seconds to get to that point. I kind of get what you're saying, but "slow car fast" is all relative and in the end it's about the car's potential relative to your skill level, not some absolute basis on how fast the car goes (they all go fast enough for the slammer doors to lock behind you).

Your judgement and willingness to disobey the law are going to be the biggest factors in whether your car gets you in trouble, not how fast it is. To me a tuned N55 135i is a slow car. It just depends on your experience level. The OP just did his first track day a few days ago so he's a long way away from being able to cleanly drive even a stock 128i in anger. Presumably he wants more power for the straight line thrills and maybe some drag racing.
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      07-04-2017, 11:42 AM   #13
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Ok so since I'm the OP, let me add my 2 cents to this conversation.

Of course everyone has their preferences, I could certainly have afforded a 135i of various types (N54, N55 whatever), but I specifically purchased the 128i for the following reasons:

- I like the idea of the 128i being the last "classic formula" BMW. RWD, small/compact, normally aspirated inline 6, manual box, hydraulic steering. To me this is as close to a modern version of my old E36 M3 as I can get. About the same power to weight (bit better once I have my mods done likely), modern build quality, and just "enough" modern conveniences for me.

- It is a daily driver year round for me, and would like to keep the car for 4-5 years. Despite improvements with the N55, the cost of maintenance is going to be higher on the 135 than on this car (I'm not going to get into the list of higher maintenance points here, but my opinion is that it's more on a 135 regardless). As important as power is, it's not the end all be all for me so I'd rather take that money and put it into other mods for the car....and just have less to "worry" about.

- I just like the power delivery and immediacy of a normally aspirated motor. I've had both turbo and NA motors, this is what I prefer. Again, it's not about absolute power, the N52 has more than enough low end torque to get going, if I could change one thing is the top end which the 3 stage manifold will help with, and if I really wanted to a header would help even more with. Even so, not a fan of most modern day turbos with their plateau like torque delivery that falls off after 5krpm (in most cases). This is exacerbated by tunes/chips even further....just not for me.

I just did my first track day at a "larger/high speed" track and sure I could have used some more power on the long back straight, but I was much more concerned with nailing the right braking and turn in points....I'm way beyond caring about who's reeling me in on the straight....never was that way and never will be. EDIT/ADD: Forgot to add that this was not my first track day in the 128i, I did a couple of days at a different/smaller and more technical track, did not feel the lack of power there...so again, for me, the chassis as I have it set up can take a bit more power sure, but it's not taking away from my enjoyment of the car at the moment....

My motivation to tune the engine is not just in search of more power - sure that's nice, it's about getting closer to the power delivery that I like in an NA engine. My old E36 M3 was one of the rare (#25 of 45 imported to Canada) Euro-spec machines with ITBs, and the 280hp 3.0 S50B30EU motor - loved that engine. My immediate previous car to the 128i was an RX-8, revved to 9k rpm...ideally if I could add some of the mojo of those motors to the N52, I'd be perfectly happy with say 250-260 hp if it was delivered in a way closer to those engines (note I said closer, not exactly, that's not a reasonable expectation).

After a week of a simple stage 1 tune, I have to say the car is still surprising me, the power delivery has smoothed out, it's muscular all around, the dead spot in the low end of the throttle is gone....can't complain too much honestly. If the 3 stage IM adds another bunch of power and helps shape the top end a bit, I will be a happy camper. These are the LAST set of mods I've planned to the car, I've been focusing mostly on suspension/chassis style mods first:

- 135i front calipers & rotors, SS Lines all around, B12 kit with Dinan camber plates and RSMs, Whiteline 2 piece RSFBs, AKG DSSR, BMW Perf Shift knob, M-Factory Helical Diff, Rouge Engineering transmission mounts

So power adders have been last on the list, that gives you an idea of my priorities....I don't think I would've done anything different had I bought the 135i (save the brakes, as it would come with the 135 brakes obviously). In fact for a 135i I probably wouldn't modify the engine at all.....

Last edited by asbrr; 07-04-2017 at 11:50 AM. Reason: added stuff
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      07-04-2017, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olgeezer1 View Post
Encouraging result. I'm going a slightly different route, using an AA tune since I have a local AA dealer with a good reputation who will source the 3 Stage used, do the install and tune. Took him several months to find a low km. manifold but finally going in this week.
Indeed - I have one local to me also, decided to give BPC a try, just to be different

Downside is I have to source the manifold etc myself....still looking....
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      07-04-2017, 12:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
What does this even mean? The OP wants power. The N55 delivers significantly more of it than the N52 and in a really tractable and responsive way, with room for extremely easy modifications that give a lot more power. NA engines are great, don't get me wrong, but you need to pay out the ass one way or another to get a powerful NA BMW engine. I have a badass NA engine on my motocross bike. It makes about 300 HP per LITER. Would I like an engine like that on my car? Hell no, because the maintenance would be extreme and horrible. Electric motors are a different story, they're basically awesome in every way without lag but the batteries aren't quite where most people want them to be cost and energy density wise.


Well, yes. The turbo and related accoutrements on the N55 are quite reliable compared to the N54. The DI fueling is also quite reliable, and it's a better technology than port fueling like the N52 has. The problem areas are mostly things like cooling, which the N52 shares. The N55 also has an oil filter housing gasket issue which I'm not sure if the N52 shares or not, but that is not a big deal. There was also a VANOS issue in SOME models, with a one-time fix, covered by the manufacturer. Aside from that you have fluid changes, accessory replacement like belts and pullies and maybe plug / coil replacement which are basically...the same?
Also, the idea that the

We get it, you don't get it. That' fine, you're entitled to your opinion - but not understanding something doesn't make you right.

What I don't understand is how a 135i owner has nothing better to do than come over to the 128i side of the forum and criticize people. Shouldn't you be out driving your "sick" car?

Also, laughing at the idea that the "weight and balance are nearly the same" between the two cars because, you know, physics.
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      07-04-2017, 12:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
You obviously weren't happy with the stock power, so you probably won't be happy with a manifold swap either.
So many assumptions being made in this one sentence alone - just curious, have you ever driven a 128i before and after the manifold, header, and tune conversion? Or are you just talking out of your ass?
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      07-04-2017, 03:10 PM   #17
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I am willing to change my mind upon receipt of suitable information. All I want is a reasoned discussion, and for the most part people in this thread haven't been interested in reasoning, only emotional responses with no support or very poorly thought out support in the case of the guy with the Miata apocrypha. Thus far I have supported my position quite assiduously, but you will see now that it is as fluid as anything else.
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Ok so since I'm the OP, let me add my 2 cents to this conversation.
Right on, a polite and well reasoned reply--at least as reasoned as my posts if not more. It looks like you have thought out your ownership in a very logical way. I can appreciate the idea of wanting a modern E36 M3, and I freely admit my criticisms of the platform are not relevant to your situation.

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Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
(I'm not going to get into the list of higher maintenance points here, but my opinion is that it's more on a 135 regardless).
I would prefer that someone DOES get into the list of higher maintenance points, because that is still something I do not understand.
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Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
Shouldn't you be out driving your "sick" car?

Also, laughing at the idea that the "weight and balance are nearly the same" between the two cars because, you know, physics.
The car is fun, but in the scheme of things it's not that sick. Honestly, my electric racing bikes and motocross bike are way, way more "sick" lol. And yes, I do ride and enjoy them frequently, with the bonus that it's always on a track or trails where the only liability is my personal injury and destruction of equipment! This is a false dichotomy anyway, why can't I enjoy my toys AND discuss controversial topics with people on the internet?

As for the physics, stock 135i is 52 / 48...a 128i is 51/49. That is rather marginal, and you had better be one hell of an experienced driver to appreciate the difference. The 135i does weighs a bit more overall, and if anything, THAT is a bigger issue than a practically nonexistent balance difference.

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Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
So many assumptions being made in this one sentence alone - just curious, have you ever driven a 128i before and after the manifold, header, and tune conversion?
Don't get angry, I am only giving my opinion...it only happens to be more complicated and better thought-out than any rebuttals anyone has given me, with exception of the OP who was not only polite but well-reasoned. I've seen the dyno sheets and for the money and effort (and the fact you've reached a dead end that can only be pushed by spending 10x more money) I just don't get it. I have driven NA cars more powerful than my tuned 135i. I like NA as much as anyone (ask me about my MX bike), but for me, a car is more than just an engine and I have no such attachment to "pure" NA platforms as the OP does. Clearly, in this case the issue is not as black and white as I have presumed, and I can only support the OP's ownership of the 128i.


Ultimately, I got my 135i for the combination of DI + turbo + DCT. The first two because I was interested in learning and remapping the ECU myself (ended up not doing this) to carry on my prior experience mapping DI turbo, and the DCT because I had prior experience with them and knew I had to have one in my car. If it hadn't been for my intention to do ECU remapping, I may well have gotten a 370z, DCT be damned. It's a much better car for track work stock vs stock...ask me about all the mods one needs to do to a 135i for "serious" track work...yikes.

Last edited by The Wind Breezes; 07-04-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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      07-04-2017, 03:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
I don't really get the whole "miata keeps me out of jail" thing either. It's a recycled apocrypha, that's all. Even those cars will easily go fast enough to get you thrown in jail if you have track experience or are crazy. It just takes a few more seconds to get to that point. I kind of get what you're saying, but "slow car fast" is all relative and in the end it's about the car's potential relative to your skill level, not some absolute basis on how fast the car goes (they all go fast enough for the slammer doors to lock behind you).

Your judgement and willingness to disobey the law are going to be the biggest factors in whether your car gets you in trouble, not how fast it is. To me a tuned N55 135i is a slow car. It just depends on your experience level. The OP just did his first track day a few days ago so he's a long way away from being able to cleanly drive even a stock 128i in anger. Presumably he wants more power for the straight line thrills and maybe some drag racing.
You can word it however you want, at the end of the day I can bring my 128i to redline more often while staying within the legal limits. I have to down shit often and engage with my car to get to the power. Unlike a 135i, especially one with a automatic, you can reach highly illegal speeds in seconds all with an iphone in your right hand. Different strokes for different folks.
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      07-04-2017, 04:57 PM   #19
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I would prefer that someone DOES get into the list of higher maintenance points, because that is still something I do not understand.
Fair enough, the internet is filled with a lot of conjecture and folklore, and I will admit my opinion (like most) has been swayed by this at one point or another. Off the top of my head:

- The old tail about turbos vs non turbos, I suppose if you take it simply at face value, there are "more" components to a turbo engine than the same engine without turbos....doesn't guarantee more maintenance, but over time and sample size it shows up.

- N54 had expensive injectors, which do require replacement (I think it was 40K miles?) based on what most people see

- N54 had the HPFP issues, I'm no expert but not sure if they were all fixed finally or even with latest parts there are still issues

- N54 had the turbo wastegate rattle, again I don't have hard numbers on incidence and the internet has a funny way of amplifying things...but it's something to keep in mind

- N54 & N55 are both DI, N52 is not. Carbon cleaning is required after a certain amount of mileage to keep things running smoothly

The only thing above that's a "maintenance" item are the injectors and carbon cleaning, the rest is just luck of the draw. Outside of factors like preference, if power is something people are after then yea absolutely you'd be nuts to purchase a 128 vs a 135, bang for buck is always going to favour the 135.

Did the above factor into my decision making process? Yea I would say so, it's just more to think about that I would rather not, but that's just my conservative nature. For others the lure of power and other std items the 135 brings to the table would overrule any hesitation...
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      07-04-2017, 05:01 PM   #20
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As an engineer, I have an unnatural appreciation for the Deux Chevaux.
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      07-04-2017, 05:09 PM   #21
Bimmer-Bob
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Drives: 2010 128i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
As for the physics, stock 135i is 52 / 48...a 128i is 51/49. That is rather marginal, and you had better be one hell of an experienced driver to appreciate the difference. The 135i does weighs a bit more overall, and if anything, THAT is a bigger issue than a practically nonexistent balance difference.
I agree, I think the weight delta is the main issue - but it also happens that more of that weight is up front. Anyway, I was merely quoting you when I said "weight and balance."

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
Don't get angry, I am only giving my opinion...it only happens to be more complicated and better thought-out than any rebuttals anyone has given me, with exception of the OP who was not only polite but well-reasoned.
I'm not angry, I just think you're being sort of an internet bully, and quite arrogant to think that anyone is even interested in your opinion, much less feels obligated to provide you with a "worthy" enough debate. Your approval, or disapproval, or thoughts on the subject are completely irrelevant and uninteresting to me.

But keep talking about your cool bikes, we're really impressed.
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      07-04-2017, 06:24 PM   #22
andrey_gta
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Drives: 130i coupé ;)
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2008 BMW 128i  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by asbrr View Post

One curious side effect, the car doesn't seem to have the burbles on overrun as much anymore...used to get a gentle pop around 2500rpm with the revs on the way down...maybe the leaner mixture in the tune cleared that out.
I had this happen, when I added the eurobox. But I solved this with the smooth after market air intake elbow.

It is a worth a try.
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128i Sport 6MT converted to Euro 130i spec, 3.73 diff, tuned by evolve ~220 whp 207 wtq(ft-lb) SAE
In-progress: //M front arm, M3 rack, e36M lip Wishlist: Coils, n55 mnts, headers, LSD, e60 finn diff


"The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving." - R&T 2013 135is
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