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      01-29-2018, 11:00 PM   #1
chris_flies
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2009 BMW 128i  [5.00]
chris_flies' 128i Build

Backstory:
This car was purchased on March 18, 2017 at Euro Auto Specialist in Chantilly, Virginia. It was purchased with just over 159k miles on the clock, and was bone stock, and in very good mechanical shape, with no rust on the body or major structures of the car. It is a 2009 model year, built in October of 2008, meaning it has the "Year One of the 1" engraving on the starter button surround. It's an N52-powered 128i with the 6-Speed manual transmission. It is Monaco Blue with an all-black (except headliner) Sensatec Vinyl Interior. The only options I can tell are on this car are heated seats (thank you, PO!), and the upgraded sound system from the factory (not an audiophile, but it's got some bass to it). The exterior shows the cars mileage, the hood has many rock chips, the front bumper is thrashed, and the rear bumper shows signs of a much-traveled PO, and there are some spots that need touching-up and correction.
This is my first car, and as of the posting of this, I am 17 years old.

Mods:
The important bits!
Engine Mods:
• 3-Stage DISA Intake Manifold (Much power!)
• Mishimoto Silicone Intake Boot (Makes some nice noises)
• Turner Motorsport Tune (Same as AA Stage-2)
• ECS Magnetic Oil Drain Plug (Detective mod)
• Orange Highlights On Plastic Covers (Very stylish)

Transmission/Shifter/Differential Mods:
• BMW Performance SSK (Super short throws, and it just clicks into gears)
• ECS Teflon Bushings (No play)
• Turner Poly Shifter Arm Bushing (Super stiff)
• E46 M3 Mounts (Gears stay in the same place)
• 3.73 Ratio Swap (It's a torquey little beast...)
• MFactory 1.5-Way LSD (He who is last shall be sideways and smiling)

Clutch Mods:
• BMS Clutch Stop (No dead zone)
• CDV Delete (Linear feel)
• Clutch Spring Delete (No kickback)

Front Suspension Mods:
• Dinan Camber Plates (Turns in like a gnat)
• M3 Arms (Stiffer bushings, more camber)
• Koni Sport Adjustable Shocks (Stock be damned)
• Eibach OEM Sport Springs (Weird name, very low)
• Eibach 28mm Sway Bar (Still feeling how it is...)

Rear Suspension Mods:
• M3 Arms (Stiffer bushings, less deflection under load)
• Koni Sport Adjustable Shocks (Stock be damned)
• Eibach OEM Sport Springs (Weird name, very low)
• ECS 15mm Rear Sway Bar (More oversteer)
• Meyle HD SB End Links (Dunno)
• Whiteline Subframe Bushing Inserts (1k% better)

Brake Mods:
• F30 335i Grey Brembo Front Calipers (Stoppin' on dimes)
• Porterfield R4 Race Pads (Mind. Blown)
• Porterfield R4-S Street Pads (Compound-compatible with the R4's)
• Motul 600 Racing Fluid (Consistency is key)
• Front StopTech Slotted and Vented Rotors (Quiet and bite-y)
• Rear Zimmerman Coated and Vented Rotors (Inexpensive)
• DIY Front Fog Light Brake Ducts (Very effective)
• Splash Shield Delete (Brakes get better air flow)

Exterior Mods:
• Sport Edition SE-16 17x7.5" ET45 (Square, Summer Only)
• BMW Style 256 Wheels 17x7" (Square, All Season)
• Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 245/45ZR17 (Summer Only)
• General Tire G-Max AS-05 225/45ZR17 (All Season)
• Fog Light Delete (Brake duct inlets)
• 130i Badge (It raises questions)

Interior Mods:
• Xuji Smooth Leather Steering Wheel Wrap (M color stitching, all black, perforated 9' and 3' grips)
• 3M 1080-Series Wrapped Trim Pieces (Bright orange, my favorite color!)
• 135i Instrument Cluster (Oil temp gauge!)

Maintenance Items:
• Regular 5k Mile Oil Changes
–Mann Filters
–Synthetic Oil (0w/5w-40)
• Tranmission Oil Change
–Redline MTL
• Differential Oil Change
–Redline 75w-140NS
• Replaced Severely Punctured Goodyear Eagle LS3 RFT's (Stupid roads)
• Passenger Side Rear Wheel Bearing
–F A G Bearing
–Genuine BMW Axle Nut
• Driver Side Front Wheel Bearing (Praying that it wasn't a rear, but it was)
–Genuine BMW Unit
• PCV Breather Hose (Brittle plastic snapped during DISA manifold swap)
• Shocks and Springs Replacement (Blown shocks after first track day)
• Shifter Support Arm (Snapped trying to press-in rear bushing)
• DIY Alignments (First time I had it done, it was wrong; took matters into my own hands!)
• Starter Motor and Battery-Alternator-Starter Cable (Died before school one day)

How the Car Currently Stands:
Handling:
Confident. Balanced. Sharp turn-in, good mid-corner composure and balance, can put power down on exit. The LSD totally changed the behavior of the car (mostly noticeable on the street); it's far more predictable and composed in longer, sweeping corners, and rotates well under power. On the skid pad, it's quite the little drift machine (I'm not a good enough driver to enjoy its abilities, yet) and is wonderfully balanced (throttle steering is easy-peasy). The R4 brake pads really boosted my confidence in getting the car hauled down from speed before corners, and they are like your best old friend, they're always there and haven't changed a hair.

Acceleration:
Not a modded 135i, but it's quicker than a lot of more common cars (especially off the line). Wonderful straight-six song all the way to redline, and pulling linearly and strongly all the way there. The engine feels like it would be perfectly happy having the pants beat off of it for a good amount of time. The 3.73 ratio in the LSD seriously woke the car up. 1st gear is very violent, 2nd gear is brutal, 3rd is the in-betweener, 4th is punchy, 5th is good, and 6th is improved a lot. It might stand a chance against a stock 135i, but certainly not an FBO or even a "lightly fiddled-with" example.

Miscellaneous:
I love the interior trim wrap, it's stylish and suits the car's character. The steering wheel wrap has held up extremely well, and feels wonderful compared to the original cover. It drives WAY better than it looks. I need to do some cosmetic repair and enhancement sometime...

Tips, DIY's, etc:
135i Gauge Cluster Retrofit:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...0#post23374510

Alignment DIY:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1503027
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Last edited by chris_flies; 08-20-2018 at 11:21 PM.
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      01-29-2018, 11:56 PM   #2
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Curious. F30 calipers clear OEM 17s?
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      01-30-2018, 12:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprp85 View Post
Curious. F30 calipers clear OEM 17s?
My style 256’s needed 10mm spacer to clear the spokes, but diameter wise, the grey calipers clear with minimal room to spare. My SE16’s clear the calipers without changes.
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      01-30-2018, 03:20 AM   #4
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Great overview on the car!

How do you like you clutch spring delete? I didn't know this was a thing.
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      01-30-2018, 01:30 PM   #5
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Wait what, all this and no pics?!?!?
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      01-30-2018, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus91 View Post
Wait what, all this and no pics?!?!?
That's what I was thinking...

Maybe they're coming later?
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      01-30-2018, 02:24 PM   #7
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ah, to be 17 again! This all makes so much more sense now. I know you won't listen, but, you are throwing what seems like a pretty significant amount of money at a car that's past its prime. Then again, I did the same way back. If I could do it over, I'd just drive and enjoy the car, and only fix what's broken and enjoy life and my friends.
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      01-30-2018, 02:48 PM   #8
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desertman123
I wanted to do it, but the PO had already done it, or the spring just feel off at some point. It doesn't have the kick that most people described it having when I looked into removing it, before I knew it was already removed.

captain slowly
I'd rather be working on my car than getting caught up in school's drama! It also keeps me off of my computer and me learn valuable skills for when I'm on my own in just over a year...
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      01-30-2018, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
That's what I was thinking...

Maybe they're coming later?
They're coming later...

I need to run around the car and take pictures of things to share...
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      01-30-2018, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain slowly View Post
ah, to be 17 again! This all makes so much more sense now. I know you won't listen, but, you are throwing what seems like a pretty significant amount of money at a car that's past its prime. Then again, I did the same way back. If I could do it over, I'd just drive and enjoy the car, and only fix what's broken and enjoy life and my friends.
Nothing's broken, which might be the opportunity-maker. I make in car parts what I save my dad in labor costs for house work. It's a pretty sweet deal, for me...
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      01-30-2018, 05:09 PM   #11
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Also you claimed the title for youngest 128i enthusiast from me... When I got mine I was 18!
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      01-30-2018, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertman123 View Post
Also you claimed the title for youngest 128i enthusiast from me... When I got mine I was 18!
Haha... that you know of. There could be a 16 year old out there with a 1er.
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      01-30-2018, 07:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertman123 View Post
Also you claimed the title for youngest 128i enthusiast from me... When I got mine I was 18!
We're the young 128i enthusiast duo! Hehehe

I love this frickin' car sooo much! I originally had a little regret for not getting an E36 M3, but now that it's as well-sorted as it is, I don't know what it'd be like without having that awkward little face parked in front of the house.
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      01-30-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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Some say if your feet can reach the pedals, you're old enough to drive.
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      01-30-2018, 08:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
Some say if your feet can reach the pedals, you're old enough to drive.


I'm 6'3" and 200lbs, I can reach the pedals.

I'm starting to look into a good bucket seat that I can fit into the car for track days only that'll sit lower for my head to clear the headliner with a helmet on (I have to slouch a bit).
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      01-30-2018, 08:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post


I'm 6'3" and 200lbs, I can reach the pedals.
I was 12 when I first drove a car. Could barely reach the pedals and could barely see over the dash.
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      01-30-2018, 09:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
I was 12 when I first drove a car. Could barely reach the pedals and could barely see over the dash.
Might have driven a 2004 F-150 in my dad's lap at about 5. Drove my dad's 1998 540i 6-Speed Sport at 8 (I think). I also was in a go-karting league before the place closed a few years back. I was started early...
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      01-30-2018, 09:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
Might have driven a 2004 F-150 in my dad's lap at about 5. Drove my dad's 1998 540i 6-Speed Sport at 8 (I think). I also was in a go-karting league before the place closed a few years back. I was started early...
Your dad sounds nice...

My dad wouldn't let me drive so I stole his car when I was 12 years old and took it out on my own. Was there ever hell to pay for that bit of mischief. First of many car thefts when I was a youngster. That's how I learned how to drive.

Loved driving and cars from the start. Didn't own a car till I was 18. A "slightly used" '68 VW Bug with 53hp. First thing I did was put an aftermarket exhaust on it. Man, that car was fun! What a rocket ship! Haha

I was a real little devil when I was a kid. lol My life totally changed when I met my wife and got married at age 20.
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      01-30-2018, 10:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertman123 View Post

How do you like you clutch spring delete? I didn't know this was a thing.

If this is referring to the clutch pedal return spring I did that mod to my previous E39 540/6. It made the pedal much smoother and easier to modulate the clutch engagement.
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      01-30-2018, 10:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
Might have driven a 2004 F-150 in my dad's lap at about 5. Drove my dad's 1998 540i 6-Speed Sport at 8 (I think). I also was in a go-karting league before the place closed a few years back. I was started early...
I have to admit I usually dislike seeing teenagers drive a high end car. Maybe a little ageist or maybe I remember what I was like when I was that age. You however seem to be one of the rare teens that has a good respect and appreciation for what you have. Good luck with your new 1er! Looks like you have a good plan for it.
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      01-31-2018, 09:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
Your dad sounds nice...

My dad wouldn't let me drive so I stole his car when I was 12 years old and took it out on my own. Was there ever hell to pay for that bit of mischief. First of many car thefts when I was a youngster. That's how I learned how to drive.

Loved driving and cars from the start. Didn't own a car till I was 18. A "slightly used" '68 VW Bug with 53hp. First thing I did was put an aftermarket exhaust on it. Man, that car was fun! What a rocket ship! Haha

I was a real little devil when I was a kid. lol My life totally changed when I met my wife and got married at age 20.
That sounds exciting! I wouldn't make it to 18 if I stole anything...
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      01-31-2018, 10:01 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXE82 View Post
I have to admit I usually dislike seeing teenagers drive a high end car. Maybe a little ageist or maybe I remember what I was like when I was that age. You however seem to be one of the rare teens that has a good respect and appreciation for what you have. Good luck with your new 1er! Looks like you have a good plan for it.
Yes it's the clutch pedal return spring.

There's a guy at my school driving an E93 M3, and numerous other kids with brand-new Civics and Camrys that are worth more than my car was when it was new...

I really wanted a Triumph GT6, but I needed something that I could fit in, and something very reliable and safe, and somehow I ended up with this little rocket!
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