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      01-19-2019, 10:17 PM   #1
TURBO8
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If you could do it over again.

Hello,

It is time for more power out of my N55 powered 135i 6spd.

I would like to do it right the first time.

I'm not looking to upgrade the turbo.

I want it to look stock. (no ricer boy looking intake)

Needs to be reliable.

Not tracking or drag racing.

Will a catless downpipe pass emissions in Nevada?

Is 375-400bhp reasonable to achieve? If so what parts and tune should I get?

Thanks in advanced
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      01-20-2019, 05:38 PM   #2
Soterios
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My build is :

VSRF Catless Downpipe
VSRF Charge Pipe(s)
VSRF Stepped Intercooler
BMS Oil Catch Can
K&N High Flow Air Filter

COBB AP running Stage 2 + Aggressive

I haven't put it on the dyno, but COBB claims about 375bhp with this setup.

As far as emissions, a few places sell a little 'fix' that you plug in for emission testing an remove afterwards.

I think my car sounds great and looks stock.
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      01-20-2019, 07:30 PM   #3
e82drifterential
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Started w/ JB4, switched to MHD Stage II
Started w/ BMS intake, switched to M-Design CAI
Started w/ Wagner Catted DP, switching to VSRF Catless

Currently have:

BMS oil catch can
BMS charge pipe
VSRF 7" FMIC, wouldn't mind the 7" HD
Berk Street exhaust car back

Adding an inlet in the spring with a GFB DV when I do the water pump

Everything I started with plus the currently have section yielded me 368WHP on the dyno during a hot Maine summer with 95% humidity. The MHD feels more aggressive and I feel like the power delivery is faster, though not necessarily more powerful.
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      01-22-2019, 05:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e82drifterential View Post
Adding an inlet in the spring with a GFB DV when I do the water pump
I'm doing my water pump and thermostat in about a week... What would a new DV do for me and should I consider it?
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      01-22-2019, 05:55 PM   #5
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Just had the opportunity last weekend to do some runs on a DynoJet after going FBO. My best run was 358whp/440wtq (SAE Corrected) VRSF DP, CP, and 7HD FMIC. My only mistake along the way was going jb4 at first instead of MHD
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Last edited by Divbetic; 01-22-2019 at 11:21 PM.
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      01-22-2019, 07:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your inputs. Looks like I will be looking at VSFR and MHD
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      01-22-2019, 09:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soterios View Post
My build is :

VSRF Catless Downpipe
VSRF Charge Pipe(s)
VSRF Stepped Intercooler
BMS Oil Catch Can
K&N High Flow Air Filter

COBB AP running Stage 2 + Aggressive

I haven't put it on the dyno, but COBB claims about 375bhp with this setup.

As far as emissions, a few places sell a little 'fix' that you plug in for emission testing an remove afterwards.

I think my car sounds great and looks stock.
In 2019 you'd still recommend Cobb? .... I wouldn't.

Here's what I'd do:

VRSF Downpipes
VRSF Intercooler
VRSF Charge Pipe
Stock Diverter Valves
Stock Airbox
MHD Stage 2 Flash on 98ron fuel
RSFB
Helical LSD
M3 Control Arms
Bilstein B12 kit.
-= Stop =-


Or:
Single Turbo Conversion w/ Custom MHD based tune
RSFB
Clutch-based LSD
M3 Control Arms
... then the sky's the limit.
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      01-22-2019, 10:04 PM   #8
Soterios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
In 2019 you'd still recommend Cobb? .... I wouldn't.

Here's what I'd do:

VRSF Downpipes
VRSF Intercooler
VRSF Charge Pipe
Stock Diverter Valves
Stock Airbox
MHD Stage 2 Flash on 98ron fuel
RSFB
Helical LSD
M3 Control Arms
Bilstein B12 kit.
-= Stop =-


Or:
Single Turbo Conversion w/ Custom MHD based tune
RSFB
Clutch-based LSD
M3 Control Arms
... then the sky's the limit.
I see a lot of talk and love for MHD, but I've never seen anything besides 'butt dynos' to back it up. (with regard to going MHD over COBB) The N55 platform seems to be just.... I dunno .... rare enough I guess that no one ever takes the time to actually before/after with AFRs and dyno numbers.

I'm sure MHD is fine, but I think it's safe to say people have flocked to it because it's so much cheaper, not because it's making way more power than a COBB tune.
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      01-24-2019, 08:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soterios View Post
I see a lot of talk and love for MHD, but I've never seen anything besides 'butt dynos' to back it up. (with regard to going MHD over COBB) The N55 platform seems to be just.... I dunno .... rare enough I guess that no one ever takes the time to actually before/after with AFRs and dyno numbers.

I'm sure MHD is fine, but I think it's safe to say people have flocked to it because it's so much cheaper, not because it's making way more power than a COBB tune.
Look up Motiv Motorsports. They just smashed the WannaGoFast speed record by a fairly large amount. Their 335i is MHD tuned with their flex fuel/boost box to 4 digit numbers (yes fully built engine) but tuning wise MHD has a much broader capability than COBB.

Once you factor in $250 licensing fee and then $300 custom tune, the price points are not much different.

I originally had a JB4 and then went straight to MHD custom tuned; while I haven't had a COBB I can say that the power levels and the area under the curve are serious considerations in MHD favor.
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      01-24-2019, 08:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_ozanich View Post
Look up Motiv Motorsports. They just smashed the WannaGoFast speed record by a fairly large amount. Their 335i is MHD tuned with their flex fuel/boost box to 4 digit numbers (yes fully built engine) but tuning wise MHD has a much broader capability than COBB.

Once you factor in $250 licensing fee and then $300 custom tune, the price points are not much different.

I originally had a JB4 and then went straight to MHD custom tuned; while I haven't had a COBB I can say that the power levels and the area under the curve are serious considerations in MHD favor.
OP said he's looking for 375-400 bhp. That's any off the shelf tune.

To your comment about your tune, that kind of goes back to my point. I've never seen anything other than "It's better" online. I'm not saying it's impossible. I just think that the OTS COBB tunes and OTS MHD tunes are probably a lot closer than people think. I'd love to see someone do some real world contrasting.
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      01-24-2019, 09:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soterios View Post
OP said he's looking for 375-400 bhp. That's any off the shelf tune.

To your comment about your tune, that kind of goes back to my point. I've never seen anything other than "It's better" online. I'm not saying it's impossible. I just think that the OTS COBB tunes and OTS MHD tunes are probably a lot closer than people think. I'd love to see someone do some real world contrasting.
OP asked if that was reasonable. Yes it's very reasonable with the right bolt on mod list

OTS tunes are good, much better than OEM software allows but if he wants to maximize the bolt on modifications then a custom is the way to go. And MHD has been producing world record HP numbers on multiple shop cars (Ghassan, Motiv, EMP Tuning, ADE, and DocRace to name a few) - they all run it for the more effective ECU control

"It's better" can be defined by a lot of different parameters; in this case, lower price point for having comparable OTS tunes (by your wording) kind of makes the point of being better then, doesn't it?
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      01-24-2019, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soterios View Post
I'm sure MHD is fine, but I think it's safe to say people have flocked to it because it's so much cheaper, not because it's making way more power than a COBB tune.
It has nothing to do with being cheaper. The masses don't have a clue... But, ask the right people and they will explain to you about how COBB only defined very limited tables in the DME. MHD expanded on the table definitions which allows for better tuning.

Power? You're right, COBB vs MHD is going to have the same damn potential in terms of stock turbo tuning. There is only so much the turbo can do... But, MHD has released things like modified coolant tables, oil pressure tables, VANOS tables, MAF delete, 2-step, load-by-gear, the list goes on... Some small power gains with the tables table definitions can be seen, but, the real gains are in that MHD is actively expanding knowledge and defining DME tables whereas COBB gave us the bare minimum needed to tune a car and dipped out on us...
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      01-24-2019, 04:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_ozanich View Post

"It's better" can be defined by a lot of different parameters; in this case, lower price point for having comparable OTS tunes (by your wording) kind of makes the point of being better then, doesn't it?
Cost is relative. MHD sweet is $320 without a device. I don't own a single android device. Going out and buying one seems silly when I can pay $650 and have a dedicated device.

As I said. I don't think MHD is bad, or worse than COBB. I just think people treat it as some massively better product, when in reality it's marginally better for 99% of users. (OTS users)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbnks2 View Post

Power? You're right, COBB vs MHD is going to have the same damn potential in terms of stock turbo tuning. There is only so much the turbo can do... But, MHD has released things like modified coolant tables, oil pressure tables, VANOS tables, MAF delete, 2-step, load-by-gear, the list goes on... Some small power gains with the tables table definitions can be seen, but, the real gains are in that MHD is actively expanding knowledge and defining DME tables whereas COBB gave us the bare minimum needed to tune a car and dipped out on us...
As you said. Most consumers don't have a clue and stock turbo differences are small. For most users, they'll be incredibly similar in performance. Cobb is easier to use. That's worth a lot to some people.
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      01-24-2019, 08:39 PM   #14
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cobb ended support cobb doesnt have options..


and i ran cobb for 3 years then mhd for 3

MHD Is much better
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      01-25-2019, 06:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soterios View Post
Cost is relative. MHD sweet is $320 without a device. I don't own a single android device. Going out and buying one seems silly when I can pay $650 and have a dedicated device.

As I said. I don't think MHD is bad, or worse than COBB. I just think people treat it as some massively better product, when in reality it's marginally better for 99% of users. (OTS users)
Android Device and cable can be purchased for $100 or less. $200 difference is a good amount, and you still get a dedicated device to leave in your glove box.

Overpaying for an out dated tuning technology seems silly.
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      01-25-2019, 06:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Going out and buying one seems silly when I can pay $650 and have a dedicated device.

Wow, $650.

If you weren't going MHD, it's worth noting that the current going rate for a second hand JB4 G5 ISO (current model) is about $150USD.
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      01-26-2019, 03:56 AM   #17
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You also need to consider ongoing support. I went with the cobb platform years ago and had a custom map created for my car. After an ecu upgrade (due to driveability issues), the map was not accesible and neither cobb or the tuner (ptf, who screwed their customers in a massive way) would help transfer it over. Both vendor and service provider have dropped the ball for n55s.

I am now working through a custom map (which i will review once complete) through the MHD platform.

I have been told that with MHD there is more tuneability, as the tables/parameters are more extensive, but i dont believe this has ever been quantified with dyno run comparisons or the like.

Either way, dont bother with Cobb - yes it will do the job, but why not buy into a platform that has greater prospects for retaining support and development.
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