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      10-27-2017, 05:11 PM   #1
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135i Build - track toy with a license plate

Hi, name's Alex. Think this 135i marks my 14th car, so here we go.

I've built and sold a lot of cars, and this time I'm building one to keep. I most recently had an E90 335i, which was an awesome street car, but its weight, extra doors, ease of stability and lack of rawness / aggression, left me wanting something else and missing my old cars. At 3680lbs with me in it, I dreaded the thought of gutting it for track use, so I sold it to an awesome new owner who will enjoy keeping it a street car.





I thought of buying a multitude of cars, from a high mileage s52 M Coupe, e36 M3s, another e46 (had a turbo one, miss it dearly), an e92 M, a Cayman S -- you name it. Then I found this pristine 2009 135i, M Sport with black headliner, white and optioned just as I'd wished, 6 speed and no nav, with only 60k on it, one owner and in need of NOTHING. Sold!



Goal for this build is a 3000lb, 500+whp, CSL/GTS-inspired track toy that can still be driven on the street.

The day I got it:



So, onto the build.

Engine:
For now, I'm sticking with the stock turbos, since I just had them replaced at the end of their warranty with brand new, OEM units. To aid in their longevity and help in giving a little bit more top-end power, I decided to give some stock-location inlets a try. Once these turbos quit, I'll likely go with a MOTIV single kit and a small-ish turbo, since my horsepower goals are modest and I'd like to a) keep the motor healthy and b) not deal with port injection or other fueling woes. I'll be at the mercy of the factory HPFP and an upgraded LPFP until a better solution becomes available. If anyone thinks I should just go with upgraded twins because of my horsepower goals, I'd honestly be more interested in sitting in a pool of acid. Between the drama, unreliability, added heat, annoyance of install / maintenance and lack of a proper, proven manufacturer like Garrett, Precision, etc... No thanks!
  • MHD custom tuned by MOTIV
  • VRSF 7.5" Race Intercooler
  • VRSF Stock-Location silicone inlets
  • VRSF Charge Pipe with TiAL BOV, 10psi spring
  • VRSF catless downpipes
  • Berk midpipes and race axle back

Suspension
My favorite part. Just want to thank Harold from HP for always answering my questions and generally being such a pleasant dude to deal with.
  • KW Clubsport dampers
  • Vorshlag Camber Plates
  • Swift springs, 7" 6k front/ 8" 12k rear w/ helper
  • HPA machined front lower perches
  • HPA rear perches/height adjusters with BMW thrust bearings and Swift thrust washers
  • HPA modified center support for M3 strut tower brace
  • BimmerWorld adjustable rear camber and toe arms
  • BimmerWorld Precision front control arm bearings
  • BimmerWorld rear camber (spring) arm bearings
  • M3 Front sway bar
  • M3 steering rack (12.5:1 vs 16:1)
  • PowerFlex "track" front/rear subframe bushings
  • PowerFlex "track" front/rear diff bushings
  • PowerFlex "track" rear upper strut bushings
  • PowerFlex "track" sway bar bushings
  • AKG rear lower shock mounts

A few days after I got it...




Drivetrain
Stock clutch and flywheel for now, and to be honest, I much prefer the behavior of the car with the factory DMFW over a single mass, like the MFactory unit I had in my E90. While NVH is a guaranteed increase on a track-spec vehicle, I'm trying to be mindful (at first) not to create it gratuitously. Some of my choices in parts here are reflected in this approach, such as the motor and trans mounts not being bowling-ball spec 75d poly.
  • Wavetrac LSD with shorter 3.46 gearing, built by Dan @ Diffsonline
  • AKG 95A motor mounts
  • AKG E20 trans mounts with aluminum cups
  • AKG shifter and selector rod

Cooling
Fun stuff with the N54! I'll be running a CSF Radiator, again, because it is bulletproof and keeps temps in check, regardless of oil temps or IATs. Seriously amazed by this piece and have never run a better radiator. Oil cooling needs a bit trickier on this car, as you all know, so...

Custom built dual oil cooler setup, to run in sequence. Basically two SETRAB cores, a MOTIV thermo delete plate with -10an fittings, an EARL'S 185* remote thermostat and the associated braided lines and fittings. I'll mount one in front of each front tire and figure out the mounts when I get there. I couldn't justify the cost of the ER kit, especially with it not including a remote thermostat. This should keep temps in control and I'm in it for less than $850.

Brakes
  • StopTech Trophy Sport, ST60 6-piston front on 355mm slotted rotors
  • StopTech Trophy Sport, ST40 4-piston rear on 345mm slotted rotors
  • StopTech sport pads for the street and StopTech SR33 track pads for the track


Interior Plans:

  • Recaro Pole Positions in black leather
  • Macht Schnell floor mounts
  • VAC extinguisher mount
  • BMW M Performance alcantera wheel
  • Custom harness / roll bar, powdercoated white
  • Rear seat delete, blockoff plate, carpeted bench
  • Braille 6.2lb G30 Lithium Ion Battery

Wheels & Tires
Shame there aren't more wheel and tire options for this awkwardly proportioned little car. I really didn't want to run a staggered setup because a) more understeer and b) no tire rotations c) with aggressive camber, the "proven" setups generally look wimpy, and I'd be lying if I said I only cared about lap times. It should look the part too.
  • APEX ARC-8 18x9 +42 square
  • Nexen N Fera SUR4G tires, 255/35/18 (just about the same width as a 265/35 RE71R, they run WIDE)
  • 5mm spacer up front, but I could get away with a 3mm. This is due to my current right height and spring length, as my front lower perch is still just above the top of the tire.
  • Macht Schnell 75mm stud conversion

Current camber specs are -3.25 front and -2.5 rear. I'm going to pull some more camber out of the front, probably closer to -3.4, and go for -2.75 out back for some added clearance and stability. Rear fenders are cut internally, but it's still too close for comfort. Front fenders will be rolled, massaged and pulled, along with the bumper where possible. So far, the rubbing isn't THAT bad, and seems easily fixable without going nuts.









Exterior: Goal is to eventually do a 1M conversion, because none of the other options look good in my opinion. I might consider 1M front with N5 Tuner rear, but every time I see a front 3/4 angle with those rear fenders, I lose interest.
Will likely do a carbon hood, carbon roof and some AERO bits from APR with a proper front splitter and rear spoiler. This is way down the road.

Well, shit, I guess that about covers it for now. Much of this has yet to be delivered or installed, so I'll update when I can. Till then, I'm prepping and aiming to make it to GTA Super Lap Battle on Nov 9th at Button Willow. We'll see how we do.
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      10-28-2017, 12:11 AM   #2
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Nifty build, looks like this will be a fun build to watch!
Hope she takes good care of you!
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      10-28-2017, 12:54 AM   #3
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OK, you've set my expectations high and made me a little envious. Good start to the thread.
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      10-29-2017, 07:27 AM   #4
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Nice start to your build. Could you please elaborate on what you did to cut the rear fenders? Any pictures? How much did you cut off? I have heard if you cut too much there are two pieces of metal that can separate.
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      10-30-2017, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houtan View Post
Nice start to your build. Could you please elaborate on what you did to cut the rear fenders? Any pictures? How much did you cut off? I have heard if you cut too much there are two pieces of metal that can separate.
Nothing too crazy to see. Honestly, if you look under the rear fender, you'll see the flat lip that you'd otherwise roll. I just cut the whole thing off. No issues with two pieces of separate metal. Next time I'm under the car I'll try to snap some photos, but I already hit it with undercoat spray so it's hard to see.
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      10-31-2017, 12:57 AM   #6
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Plans for aero? Very high quality build, are you installing all of this immediately?

Do you have experience with the SUR4 tires?
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      10-31-2017, 01:07 AM   #7
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Also, is your rubbing in the rear? Seems tough to get that kind of width without crazy camber. Have you seen added benefits of going past 2* negative camber? I run the RE arms but haven't gone past 2* just due to feedback on the forums.

BTW - Are you on the west coast?
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      10-31-2017, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berns View Post
Nothing too crazy to see. Honestly, if you look under the rear fender, you'll see the flat lip that you'd otherwise roll. I just cut the whole thing off. No issues with two pieces of separate metal. Next time I'm under the car I'll try to snap some photos, but I already hit it with undercoat spray so it's hard to see.
Thanks for the reply. You use a cut of wheel to cut the lip? I am seriously thinking about trimming the rear fender lip. I am running 275/35 on arc 8s et62 with a 3mm spacer and just realized the tire is rubbing on the front upper part of the inner fender liner. 5mm spacer would do the trick but I get minor rubbing on the fender lip. Was going to use an angle grinder but now Iím thinking that is more work than cutting wheel.
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      10-31-2017, 02:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houtan View Post
Thanks for the reply. You use a cut of wheel to cut the lip? I am seriously thinking about trimming the rear fender lip. I am running 275/35 on arc 8s et62 with a 3mm spacer and just realized the tire is rubbing on the front upper part of the inner fender liner. 5mm spacer would do the trick but I get minor rubbing on the fender lip. Was going to use an angle grinder but now Iím thinking that is more work than cutting wheel.
More spacer would only make your problem worse.
That wheel should fit without an issue, didn't know you needed spacers for it, as they're pretty conservative. What kind of camber are you running out back?
I used a cut off wheel and then smoothed it out. Plenty of DIYs floating around, and doesn't need to be vehicle specific.
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      10-31-2017, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
Plans for aero? Very high quality build, are you installing all of this immediately?

Do you have experience with the SUR4 tires?
Also, is your rubbing in the rear? Seems tough to get that kind of width without crazy camber. Have you seen added benefits of going past 2* negative camber? I run the RE arms but haven't gone past 2* just due to feedback on the forums.

BTW - Are you on the west coast?
Bit of rubbing in the rear, it's honestly at its worst when coming into and out of driveways for the outside wheel. Benefits of going past -2*?! Hell yes. One thing I'll tell you is, if you listen to the forums, you'll end up running a super conservative setup, limited by the lack of people willing to test and fail, whatever car, whatever forum.

Again, this really depends on your goals and the vehicles use. I don't commute for work, and I have a daily. Big neg camber up front will increase response and contact patch when turning. You'll lose a bit of front-end stability under braking, but at -3.xx it's nothing to worry about as long as the rest of the car is up to the task. -2.5 - -2.75 out back will be good for a tail happy car like the 1.

Additionally, the benefits of running a wide wheel and wide tire up front, and square, certainly outweigh any negatives of the camber needed to fit it.

As for the build, 90% of this will be done pretty soon. Engine bits, I'm just waiting on the FMIC, everything else is in. Might upgrade to a Stage 2 LPFP from Fuel-It, otherwise engine will stay as is till these turbos die, and they're brand new, so...

Suspension is done. Bushings and mounts will go in early next week, along with the new 3.46 LSD. All fluids will be flushed and changed to Red Line at that time.

Seats will go in this weekend, along with a BMS catch can. I'll heat up and pull the front fenders and bumper where necessary to make sure there's no contact. Going to order a 3mm spacer also, since I think that'll be enough to clear up front and I'll gain 2mm back for tire to fender clearance. Every millimeter counts!

As for the Nexen's, this is my first time running them. A little birdie told me the guy who designed the Hankook RS3 & RS4 left Hankook to lead design of these for Nexen. They're supposed to be better, and reviews so far have been good. They do run very wide though, so just to keep in mind. Also not offered in 245. The 255 I have measures almost as wide as a 265 RE71R, which I ran all around on my E90.

And yes, West Coast, in LA. I'll let you know when I make it back up to Laguna or Sonoma.
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      10-31-2017, 03:06 PM   #11
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Interesting, my E82 is 90% track dedicated so I've messed with quite a few setups this year. I generally agree with getting as close to -4* up front as possible but I've never gone beyond -2* in the rear. I'll play around with the rear camber more next weekend.

I try to go to buttonwillow more as it's got a little bit of everything, if it was a bit more smooth it would be my favorite track in CA. Laguna is great as it's only an hour drive and our cars are great on that track.

I'm planning a private track day soon at Thunderhill and will keep you posted if you're willing to make the pilgrimage up.
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      10-31-2017, 03:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
Interesting, my E82 is 90% track dedicated so I've messed with quite a few setups this year. I generally agree with getting as close to -4* up front as possible but I've never gone beyond -2* in the rear. I'll play around with the rear camber more next weekend.

I try to go to buttonwillow more as it's got a little bit of everything, if it was a bit more smooth it would be my favorite track in CA. Laguna is great as it's only an hour drive and our cars are great on that track.

I'm planning a private track day soon at Thunderhill and will keep you posted if you're willing to make the pilgrimage up.
Haven't driven Thunderhill or Buttonwillow actually. Looking forward to competing in the Street class with GTA at Button next week. Should be a good shakedown, ha.

Super down to trek up to Thunderhill with my buddy, he has a sick E46 M.

As for neg rear camber, see how you feel. -2 even doesn't seem like enough for my preferences, especially with how eager this thing is to rotate.

Speaking of smooth, Streets of Willow just got repaved. Can't wait to see it.
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      10-31-2017, 03:46 PM   #13
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Some updates. Bought this M-Performance wheel form an M3 owner. It was filthy and less than half the price of new. 30 minutes of cleaning and it's good as new.

Before:



After:



Also, the front and rear brakes just showed up. I've wanted a StopTech Trophy BBK since I first saw them at SEMA a few years back. I'm in love.



Car has settled nicely and looks proper. Needs a wing and front splitter!

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      10-31-2017, 04:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berns View Post
More spacer would only make your problem worse.
That wheel should fit without an issue, didn't know you needed spacers for it, as they're pretty conservative. What kind of camber are you running out back?
I used a cut off wheel and then smoothed it out. Plenty of DIYs floating around, and doesn't need to be vehicle specific.
I think you misunderstood what I was saying. Currently, the inside part of the tire rubs the fender liner. So pushing it out would give me more inner clearance, but then I will start rubbing the fender lip. So I am thinking of cutting the fender lip like you have.

I have to dig up my last alignment sheet, but I am pretty sure it was within stock specs at 1.8 degrees. The et62 arc 8 has always been tight on the inner side with 275s, that is why apex doesn't even recommend it. I never had any rubbing on the inner fender liner with my bilstein/swift spec R combo. But with my TC kline M3 shocks and Dinan rear shock bushings, it rubs rarely on very big bumps at high speed, so very rarely. But it's often enough that the liner has rubbed through. Not sure if the TC/Dinan bushings have more travel or it's something else.
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      10-31-2017, 04:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houtan View Post
I think you misunderstood what I was saying. Currently, the inside part of the tire rubs the fender liner. So pushing it out would give me more inner clearance, but then I will start rubbing the fender lip. So I am thinking of cutting the fender lip like you have.

I have to dig up my last alignment sheet, but I am pretty sure it was within stock specs at 1.8 degrees. The et62 arc 8 has always been tight on the inner side with 275s, that is why apex doesn't even recommend it. I never had any rubbing on the inner fender liner with my bilstein/swift spec R combo. But with my TC kline M3 shocks and Dinan rear shock bushings, it rubs rarely on very big bumps at high speed, so very rarely. But it's often enough that the liner has rubbed through. Not sure if the TC/Dinan bushings have more travel or it's something else.
Definitely misunderstood you, you're right.
Anyway, sure, cut that lip off the inside of the fender and call it a day. You'll never have to worry about it again.
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      10-31-2017, 04:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berns View Post
Bit of rubbing in the rear, it's honestly at its worst when coming into and out of driveways for the outside wheel.
Being that we run the same wheel (albeit mine are 17"s) and about same ride height, I know how destructive that bumper tab rub is in the back. I've learned that it's better to take inclines head on to avoid that rub since the m sport bumper has such short overhang and clears literally everything

Really glad people are starting to challenge our fitment issues. Perhaps down the line I'll explore the narrower e9x hub option and 1M front end so I can run 10" wheels at decent concavity
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      11-01-2017, 04:25 PM   #17
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I agree with you on the rear camber. I run -2.2 and I will be increasing it to -2.5 when I next have the car aligned to continue to seek the most even wear under aggressive motorsport conditions. Looks like a great (and $$$) build!

-Mark
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      11-12-2017, 11:05 PM   #18
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Well, I spent about 5 days tackling the subframe, mounts, shifter, diff, seats and so on, and made it out to GTA Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow.

First time driving that track, it's a tough one! Quickly fell in love with it, and the car.

I'll do a more detailed write up of all the installs soon, but for now, figured I'd share a quick in-car video. Despite my best efforts, I wasn't able to run a sub 2-minute lap. I came close, within thousands, multiple times. I'll be back! Regardless, I'm blown away by this little car. Think I'll continue to build it and aim to be competitive in Street RWD time attack for 2018.

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      11-13-2017, 01:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berns View Post
Well, I spent about 5 days tackling the subframe, mounts, shifter, diff, seats and so on, and made it out to GTA Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow.

First time driving that track, it's a tough one! Quickly fell in love with it, and the car.

I'll do a more detailed write up of all the installs soon, but for now, figured I'd share a quick in-car video. Despite my best efforts, I wasn't able to run a sub 2-minute lap. I came close, within thousands, multiple times. I'll be back! Regardless, I'm blown away by this little car. Think I'll continue to build it and aim to be competitive in Street RWD time attack for 2018.

Some Competition Stoked to see the car, it looks well sorted for sure... It's the race to sub-2min laps for us.

Did you ever run the car with stock brakes or just front BBK?
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      11-13-2017, 02:15 AM   #20
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Do you have sponsor help? I know you're close with the Hoonigan crew but this is real close to 20k in parts alone lol

I think I'm crazy with the amount of shit I buy for my car but you went all out from day #1... Pretty jealous, this is pretty much as good as it gets for an E82 chassis
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      11-13-2017, 11:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Do you have sponsor help? I know you're close with the Hoonigan crew but this is real close to 20k in parts alone lol

I think I'm crazy with the amount of shit I buy for my car but you went all out from day #1... Pretty jealous, this is pretty much as good as it gets for an E82 chassis
Never ran the car on stock brakes or ran the car period. This was the very first shakedown, as I've only had the car for 3 months and the subframe was out just 2 days before the race. I've never driven Buttonwillow before either, so I'd say sub-2 is around the corner and I'll do it without aero.

My plan was to always go all out from day 1, as I don't usually have the time to dedicate to the car and it's too big a distraction for me.

I had some parts left over from my E90 build, and some great relationships with multiple brands and partners for the build. So, no, I didn't drop $20k into this thing. Wouldn't get caught up on the parts though, our builds are nearly identical from a parts perspective, so I'm sure your car has a 2-minute lap in it. Go get it!
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      11-13-2017, 03:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
Do you have sponsor help? I know you're close with the Hoonigan crew but this is real close to 20k in parts alone lol

I think I'm crazy with the amount of shit I buy for my car but you went all out from day #1... Pretty jealous, this is pretty much as good as it gets for an E82 chassis
Never ran the car on stock brakes or ran the car period. This was the very first shakedown, as I've only had the car for 3 months and the subframe was out just 2 days before the race. I've never driven Buttonwillow before either, so I'd say sub-2 is around the corner and I'll do it without aero.

My plan was to always go all out from day 1, as I don't usually have the time to dedicate to the car and it's too big a distraction for me.

I had some parts left over from my E90 build, and some great relationships with multiple brands and partners for the build. So, no, I didn't drop $20k into this thing. Wouldn't get caught up on the parts though, our builds are nearly identical from a parts perspective, so I'm sure your car has a 2-minute lap in it. Go get it!
Yeah they're very similar builds besides dampers and aero. I saw that one Hoonigan video of your 335 at Laguna, how much better is the 135 on track?

I have an E90 and somewhat considered swapping my parts over to it because the M3 aero body parts swap over so easy but I would gain some weight. Im sure the longer wheel base is helpful.
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