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      01-06-2018, 06:09 PM   #1
drwillb
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Maintenenance time: VCG, OFHG, plugs, coils, serpentine belt, PS1, DV+

2012 135, N55, 73k miles

I've had a smell of burning oil coming through the AC vents for a couple of months now and there was a period where I see the oil level dropping each week. Right now, the oil level has been steady for about 4 weeks but there's still a faint smell of oil in the cabin. There is no hint of smoke out the back so I don't think I'm looking at the turbo that's going.

So, here's what I'm thinking of doing once we get some warm weather going in the Northeast. Please let me know what else I can address, like VANOS.

Valve cover gasket
plugs
coils
camshaft position sensor O-rings
oil filter head gasket
oil cooler gasket
replace all vacuum hoses
remove DME for MHD unlock (I can drive it up to Justin since he's about 45 minutes away)
replace intake manifold gaskets/O-rings (I don't re-use any kind of seal/gasket)
serpentine belt
belt tensioner
idler pulleys
aluminum water hose fitting from eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-335i-11...53.m2749.l2649
Boost solenoid
GFB DV+ (stage 1 turbo to go with that?)
Catless DP
Delete JB4
Add MHD
PS1 turbo



Iíve already got JB4, charge pipe, AA intercooler, BMS filter, BMS catch can, and Performance exhaust.



I'm also contemplating a turbo upgrade........cause I'm in there.

Anybody have input on VTT vs. Pure vs. others stage 1? I'm not looking for max HP but would like to make power through the rev range. What I've read about the VTT stage 1 is that they use the stock turbine but a new compressor so I'm thinking that spool should be about the same as stock but I'm worried that the turbo will run out of breath at the top end, like the stock unit. Pure uses new turbine and compressor wheels so top end stagger is fixed but I don't know what happens on the bottom end.
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Last edited by drwillb; 08-13-2018 at 08:27 AM.
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      01-06-2018, 07:24 PM   #2
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serpentine belts!
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      01-06-2018, 08:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james1986_135i View Post
serpentine belts!
Yes. I actually ordered that today but forgot to put on my list above. Iíll add that now and keep updating as I go.

Thanks
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      01-23-2018, 12:21 PM   #4
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I got ready to do an oil change this weekend but found oil all around the motor: under the intake manifold, in the front by the cam sensors, on driver side at oil pan gasket, at rear/tranny junction. So, I didn't do the oil fearing that the oil pan or rear main had gone.

I'll start with the valve cover and other bits as listed above, clean everything I can get to and then see if oil pan or rear main are culprits.

I'm a "while you're in there" kind of person so oil pan or rear main = time for upgraded clutch, rebuild shifter, TO bearing, pivot pin, etc.

As it stands, valve cover gasket = remove manifold, take DME to Justin at Twisted Tuning for unlock/MHD flash.

Does it ever end?
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      02-11-2018, 12:54 PM   #5
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Just added more items to the list


What about VANOS stuff?
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      02-26-2018, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwillb View Post
Just added more items to the list


What about VANOS stuff?
The vanos solenoids are easily replaced so I wouldn't touch them unless you are seeing issues. You can log requested vs actual solenoid activation and see if theres anything strange
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      02-27-2018, 07:27 AM   #7
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No of course it never ends. Don't fool yourself
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      02-27-2018, 06:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breakfastreatre View Post
The vanos solenoids are easily replaced so I wouldn't touch them unless you are seeing issues. You can log requested vs actual solenoid activation and see if theres anything strange
Good tip, thanks.
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      04-06-2018, 09:01 AM   #9
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I was hoping for good weather this weekend but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Too and damp to be in the garage for extended periods.

One more item on the list:

PS1 turbo


That's what happens when I have too much down time. Yes, I know most will say why bother with stage 1? Well, I'm not interested in big HP and I want to run straight pump 93 without getting into meth. When I go to the track I do road courses, not straight line stuff, so I'll be able to make good use of that last 1000 rpm with full boost instead of having the turbo run out of breath. Between that and MHD I should be OK.
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      08-08-2018, 05:52 PM   #10
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Finally got around to the valve cover gasket job. This took WAY longer than expected (92 degrees this weekend and my garage faces the sun from mid-day on). One of the snags was that there are 100 DIY and videos for n54 motors but I couldn't find any for the n55. Although very similar, there are a couple of differences that are crucial to getting the job done.

After a little frustration, I did find an awesome n55 DIY on e90post:

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1197637

This is very thorough and THE guide for n55. I did add a suggestion on the second page of the thread.

In the end, all I got done was plugs, coils, boost solenoid, and gasket. Not very productive but that's a few items off the list. I'll attempt to knock out all the remaining stuff together since that will require draining of oil and coolant. I did, however, learn something: my VC gasket had not failed, it's my OFH gasket that's crapped out.

Here's a weird and frightening thing I found: 2 of the bolts holding down the oil squirters for the cam followers had completely backed out and were laying on top of the squirter blocks, one other one was backed out and ready to fall out. I put them back and went through all, checking for proper torque. No other ones were loose. WTF???
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      08-12-2018, 08:09 PM   #11
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Got the oil filter head gasket done. Crazy amount of crud all over the front of the motor and everywhere around the water pump and turbo. 3 quarts of oil over the last 8 months.

Felt inspired so I pushed on. Removed oil coolers, fan, water pump, all intake plumbing, front bumper, intercooler, and anything that looked at me wrong.

Got the turbo out and went to swap over some of the plumbing. Thatís when the wheels of progress came to a screeching halt. Canít remove one of the coolant lines from the turbo body. Aluminum pipe. Lost cause. Will have to order a new one.

Car rented for the week.

I would never volunteer for this job again. Probably easier to pull the motor and have direct access to all the parts. I do have some added difficulties from the ER oil coolers. The lines going to the oil filter head take up precious room between the motor and the fan so the only way to remove the fan is to drop it out the bottom after removing the intercooler. This was necessary, regardless, because I wanted to drain all coolant and the only way to get to the plug at the bottom of the radiator is to remove the intercooler (aftermarket, AA). The oil line connecting the left and right coolers runs through the space needed to get your hand in when removing the water pump. I learned that last year when the water pump died. Anyway, another reason for pulling the oil coolers.
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      08-12-2018, 08:12 PM   #12
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Here's another sign that heavy hands have worked on my car. This is one of the intake manifold bolts. Looks like it got cross threaded and driven all the way down to the bottom of the hole.

New item on the to-do list:

Completely remove manifold and put helicoil in the buggered manifold hole.
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      08-15-2018, 01:34 AM   #13
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that coolant adapter, does the claims for better coolant flow actually helps or it's just marketing talk?

Also is there anything to look out for to differentiate a better product from the next?

Thanks.
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      08-19-2018, 06:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dojk View Post
that coolant adapter, does the claims for better coolant flow actually helps or it's just marketing talk?

Also is there anything to look out for to differentiate a better product from the next?

Thanks.
If better coolant flow means replacing the OEM plastic mount with a more robust aluminium part to avoid the thing blowing out on you then yes
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      08-20-2018, 12:35 PM   #15
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Good work!

How did you ever get your radiator fan off? I couldn't take my off when I did my OFH gasket. It would added precious space to make it easier.
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      08-21-2018, 05:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katkarot View Post
Good work!

How did you ever get your radiator fan off? I couldn't take my off when I did my OFH gasket. It would added precious space to make it easier.
Thereís one screw (top left corner looking at fan) and one clip (halfway down the right side). Undo the electrical connection and jiggle/wrestle it up.

In my case, the ER oil cooler lines made it necessary to drop it out the bottom after removing intercooler.

There are DIYs and videos for this. Google.
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      08-21-2018, 11:58 AM   #17
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AD Engineering intercooler (650hp model) went in very smoothly. It's a beautifully welded piece.

One gripe: the silicone coupler to the charge pipe is too short. It could definitely use an inch more material on both sides. I'll try to get a hold of the shop and see if they've seen this before. FYI, I've got a COBB charge pipe. The turbo side connection was OK but just enough. Probably one extra inch would be better.
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      08-21-2018, 12:03 PM   #18
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Heartbreak moment after about 20hrs worth of work.

Got everything buttoned up but failed to hold coolant. Looks like the turbo to engine block hose did not fully seat into the block. I should have listened to the little voice in my head telling me that it didn't look quite right even though the screw was tight.

Time to pull the water pump and everything else needed for access, again.
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      08-21-2018, 04:47 PM   #19
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Always listen to the little red flags...
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      08-26-2018, 07:07 PM   #20
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found the coolant leak: coolant pipe going into block had NO O-Ring. Must have gotten torn and fell off during original seating. Car is now on it's feet, no leaks, running strong!!!!

PS1 turbo is as many have said: this is what the car should have come with originally. Zero drop in boost at 5200 rpm and just keeps pulling to almost redline.

The ADEngineering intercooler is great. Repeated WOT test runs to redline at map 1 and 2 on JB4, 17 psi peaks, and IAT was never more than 10 degrees over ambient temp of 87 degrees.

Gave the engine bay a much-needed cleaning with some stuff I found on YouTube. Amazing stuff: spray, agitate, rinse thoroughly, done.
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      08-27-2018, 05:06 AM   #21
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Hi OP, great thread thanks for your contribution.

Sounds like the PS1 turbo is worth the price?

Whats your plan tune wise? Will you have it custom tuned for 93? will you keep the jb4?
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      08-27-2018, 09:35 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisw27 View Post
Hi OP, great thread thanks for your contribution.

Sounds like the PS1 turbo is worth the price?

Whats your plan tune wise? Will you have it custom tuned for 93? will you keep the jb4?
Worth the price? Depends on intended use. I do road courses, not drag, so I wasn't looking for bottom end power. My goal was to have usable power beyond 5k rpm. The other factor in price is cost of installation. Having done this myself (basically twice due to the O-ring) I really would think hard about this.

If you search for PS1 you'll see that most people will say "save your money, get a PS2." You can run a PS2 without meth at decent boost levels and get better HP than than a PS1. From what I've read, you can top 400hp on pump gas without straining the turbo vs. that kind of power (if attainable) will require a maxed out PS1. How much extra work would it be to put the PS2 in? Remove the turbofold and DP. I guess not that much once you're in that deep. It wasn't a difficult job but there were just so many levels of stuff to get out of the way that it takes a LONG time to get done.

I will definitely need a custom map in order to maximize the top end since the OTC maps and JB4 aren't built for the high end boost the PS1 delivers. I'm currently playing with some of the JB4 settings because I think I'm seeing more lag than usual. Could be my mind or could be the WG rod length that might be off a tad. Anyway, MHD either with or without JB4 is probably the next step but I'm a little wary due to all the posts about idle and other problems even with the updates that were just released a couple of days ago.
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