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      01-07-2013, 05:03 AM   #1
Drawn05
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125i Modification Project

Hi All.

Over the past 3 months I have been mostly driving the 125i, especially during when my own car was getting the M3 subframe and accoutrement installed.

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Now before I go any further, lets agree.....it is a slug and will never be a very fast car, but it certainly is a great little car for daily driving. It has very little power but it doesnt really need it when all it has to do get up to speed limits and fit in parking spaces.

As I am taking a sojurn from any further modification to my 135i after a meth system is installed, (at least until the best turbo upgrade option is worked out) so I have been thinking about how to perk up the old N/A 3.0litre 6 for some fun (but also for cheap). Rather than just look at dyno results, what I want from my 125i is to run 13.X second ETs and retain its econo-box DD duties and comfort.

I am also in the process of relocating to Newcastle for 12 months (as work has sent me there) so to keep my sanity I have decided to put some money aside to have this as a pet project/hobby.

1st stage (and last stage)

Tune. This is the biggest bang for buck for these cars. I already have a tune on my 125i that makes about ~20rwkw more than other stock tuned 125s on Peter's Dyno Dynamics machine. This tune (Digi-tec) is still pretty conservative and I am sure there is more hp to be gained from tune only. Once the following mods are done, I will look into getting a customised tune using the Evolve-R system that has been recently released.

2nd stage

Removing the stock exhaust manifold and replacing it with modified LHD (to RHD) headers. From what I have read, the 125i uses ULEV 2 standard cats (US/California) whilst the 130i uses EURO 4 cats (according to RealOEM - look it up if you are dubious) within the exhaust stock manifolds; with the ULEV2 being the most restrictive. Then I would install some Euro 4 HJS 200 cell catalytic converters in the mid pipes. As my wife will be also driving this car, I dont want her to ever get in shit from police, epa, neighbours etc. for emissions or noise. If we can extend the O2 sensors, and if the cats work as well as the ULEV2 versions, I could just leave the cats without an O2 sim. If they dont work as well, I can also just get them coded out with the flash tune.

3rd stage - Ditched
---------------------------------------------------------------

This could all be a pipe dream/thinking-out-loud exercise but I am a geek who likes a hobby so we shall see how we go. I think increasing the peak output by 15-20rwkw (~165rwkw) and making the car get to that peak quicker would make it a much more rewarding drive.

The best I have been able to get this car on the 400m was 14.4 @ 97mph. That shitty time was mostly due to bald(ish) rear tyres that had no grip what-so-ever, full tank of fuel and a 2.1/2.2 60'. I think with the above mods, better tyres (already have them) and better technique (getting better all the time) I could make 13.X ETs, which I think is pretty good for a N/A 6 3 litre.

Last edited by Drawn05; 03-05-2013 at 09:27 PM.
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      01-07-2013, 05:38 AM   #2
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I must confess for not reading your thread coz I'm still drooling over how hot the Ti Silver looks
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      01-07-2013, 06:00 AM   #3
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Sounds pretty interesting; you've always been a wealth of knowledge. Will be following
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      01-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #4
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Interesting that's for sure
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      01-07-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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Very dedicated!

Will be interesting .. something for you to do while in Newcastle as well :P

All the best with the move.
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      01-07-2013, 08:27 PM   #6
MrBlonde
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I understand but it's a waste of time and money. Find a different hobby!
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      01-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlonde View Post
I understand but it's a waste of time and money. Find a different hobby!
The next car I buy will be a deisel, station wagon fit for the cardigan wearing crowd so I am going to have some fun now.

I know what you are saying, but one must do what makes one happy. I have only just used this thread as a 'thinking out loud' device and if it looks too cost prohibitive then I will not bother. The goal isnt to 'make lots of power' anyway, it would be to make the car drive the way I like. Even if all I end up doing is pricing it up, then thats at least something.
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      01-08-2013, 12:30 AM   #8
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Your first sentence sums it up well, I would hate to live in Newcastle and not have anything interesting to do.
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      01-08-2013, 03:18 AM   #9
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What body kit is that BMW Performance ? Would love to see some more photos
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      01-08-2013, 06:51 PM   #10
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much love for your car, ITS SO clean!!
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      01-09-2013, 01:56 AM   #11
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Beautiful looking car and your plan Sounds very interesting, the n52 motor is a classic. Let me know when you want more info on the evolveR tune.
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      01-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #12
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I have an '09 125i and am also interested in cost effective performance upgrades so I'm very interested to see how you go.

My car has some sort of better breathing option added but I can't see it in the build spec so am not sure what it involves.
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      01-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #13
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Fantastic looking car mate. Aero front kit, skirts, 313 wheels and premium brake upgrade?

I was looking at some of those parts for my own vehicle but I'm not sure where to source the aero kit Where did you get yours from?

Good luck with the modding
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      01-14-2013, 05:46 AM   #14
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Another fellow novocastrian bmw enthusiast would be good, as there aren't too many of us up here!!

Its a neat looking daily and it shall be interesting to see how this project pans out!
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      01-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Another fellow novocastrian bmw enthusiast would be good, as there aren't too many of us up here!!

Its a neat looking daily and it shall be interesting to see how this project pans out!
Yeah, not so keen on that myself. It seems to be the bogan boy racer capital of the world. Walking around the ghost town that is the CBD, every 2nd car is either a sub 2L hatchback with a bodykit and 'fully sick zorst' or a V6 V? commode with similar zorst of fully sickness.

Back in early December, walking along the footpath by Merewether beach, some sub-human p-plater driving past flicks a cigarette at and screams loudly at my 7 months pregnant wife...for no reason....really scared the hell out of her. Just plain evil if you ask me.

I hate to sound like a snob but it just seems to be Mt Druitt with a beach.

I dont think I will actually get around to doing any further mods to the 125. The thing is that it looks the goods, but really feels choked when you give it the beans. There is more power to be had but it would certainly cost a couple of grand at least to extract and would be better spent on the 135i. I have a little one now so will just leave the car as the family runabout - until my wife gets sick of the E82 limitations. I am surprised at how much stuff you can actually fit a 1er - but if we get to 2 kids, it might be goodbye coupe.
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      01-14-2013, 06:18 PM   #16
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Congrats on the little one, Steve! Long time no see, decided to check 1addicts and surprised you're still tinkering with the 125i

I have to agree with MrBlonde, your 135i is your mod car and if you have a diesel station wagon coming I'd think about whether you'll really keep the 125i.

That said you have some very reasonable mods lined up, I'm sure with your knowledge the $$ won't go to waste (just remember to set aside enough for diapers)
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      01-14-2013, 07:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drawn05 View Post
Yeah, not so keen on that myself. It seems to be the bogan boy racer capital of the world. Walking around the ghost town that is the CBD, every 2nd car is either a sub 2L hatchback with a bodykit and 'fully sick zorst' or a V6 V? commode with similar zorst of fully sickness.

Back in early December, walking along the footpath by Merewether beach, some sub-human p-plater driving past flicks a cigarette at and screams loudly at my 7 months pregnant wife...for no reason....really scared the hell out of her. Just plain evil if you ask me.

I hate to sound like a snob but it just seems to be Mt Druitt with a beach.

I dont think I will actually get around to doing any further mods to the 125. The thing is that it looks the goods, but really feels choked when you give it the beans. There is more power to be had but it would certainly cost a couple of grand at least to extract and would be better spent on the 135i. I have a little one now so will just leave the car as the family runabout - until my wife gets sick of the E82 limitations. I am surprised at how much stuff you can actually fit a 1er - but if we get to 2 kids, it might be goodbye coupe.
That's unpleasant but I think you're jumping to conclusions. Go and walk along a footpath in Mt Druitt and report back.
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      01-14-2013, 08:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
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That's unpleasant but I think you're jumping to conclusions. Go and walk along a footpath in Mt Druitt and report back.
he wont make it back
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      01-14-2013, 09:26 PM   #19
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That's unpleasant but I think you're jumping to conclusions. Go and walk along a footpath in Mt Druitt and report back.
Well, I will have 6-12 months in which to revise my initial appraisal but seriously, not off to a good start.
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      01-15-2013, 05:47 AM   #20
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Hmm. Certainly a few good ideas but worthwhile?? not so sure.
Car looks amazing BTW.

Wondering about the gains you would get by simply switching to a manual gearbox.. we know how inefficient the 125i auto is compared to the 135i box.

Still that wouldn't be a cheap exercise either plus the hassle of interior changes and recoding etc too.
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      01-15-2013, 03:53 PM   #21
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Hmm. Certainly a few good ideas but worthwhile?? not so sure.
Car looks amazing BTW.

Wondering about the gains you would get by simply switching to a manual gearbox.. we know how inefficient the 125i auto is compared to the 135i box.

Still that wouldn't be a cheap exercise either plus the hassle of interior changes and recoding etc too.
I dont think any of it would be worthwhile, whether it be to the 135 or the 125. I just enjoy the research and the sourcing of parts. Like any other hobby or interest I have had, once I have a more thorough understanding of what it is about or how it works...I completely lose all interest.

Changing the transmission over would be way too expensive. Nothing wrong with the GM transmission either. I would prefer to put a 6MT in my 135i but then again, I dont miss driving manual in Sydney...maybe when I move up north.
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      02-01-2013, 01:51 AM   #22
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just found this thread.

Love the car from the outside, +1 on keeping the chrome it works for some colours.

Hopefully evolve tune works out for us both.
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