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      08-03-2015, 04:05 PM   #23
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What about the tubing from the Cats into the Y pipe?
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      08-03-2015, 04:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAxiom View Post
What about the tubing from the Cats into the Y pipe?
Looks like one 2" and one 2.25" pipe form the inlet to the Y. Seemed weird to me, but is consistent with the diagram on the installation instructions:

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      08-03-2015, 05:22 PM   #25
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2008 BMW 128i  [5.00]
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Love the red, your previous BMW-BBS wheels were niice

if AA-Magnafow combo works great, I will aim to replicate it )
Nice car, I always liked the 216s, but the weight is too much for me. The red/black wheels goes well
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      08-03-2015, 05:55 PM   #26
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      08-04-2015, 03:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
Ever since getting back to the States, I was eager to get some time working on the "driver mod." The first several months I was way too busy with school, but by early 2012 I was attending an autocross novice school put on by the San Antonio Sports Car Association, and a couple of BMW CCA HPDE's: one at Harris Hill Road, and the other at Texas Motorsport Ranch.

I started the year off with the shift lever from the BMW Performance Short Shift Kit, as well as a CDV delete. By summer, my front struts were failing. Although Bilstein repaired them under warranty, I obviously needed a suspension in the meantime, and I decided to upgrade to the Ohlins Road & Track coilovers. They really are sublime - it was amazing how much harsher-riding the Bilsteins seemed in comparison (or even the stock suspension).

The only other mod I did that year was the black line tail lamps.

By the end of the year we were relocating to San Diego, CA for the second half of my school.
Curious about your experience with PSS9s - it's somewhat contrary to other posts (not many about PSS9s I'll admit) on ride quality vs stock m-sport. Did you ever adjust the damping rates to see how that would work out?

Also, surprised they failed so quickly....so much for quality I guess....
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      08-04-2015, 03:34 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
Curious about your experience with PSS9s - it's somewhat contrary to other posts (not many about PSS9s I'll admit) on ride quality vs stock m-sport. Did you ever adjust the damping rates to see how that would work out?

Also, surprised they failed so quickly....so much for quality I guess....
I liked the PSS9's better than stock, to be sure.

It's just that the Ohlins are so good on the street that the Bilsteins seem, in retrospect, a little uncivilized by comparison. The damping is just very, very good on the Ohlins. Things like expansion joints and rail crossings are absorbed effortlessly and undramatically, where they were always a little more "bumpy" on the Bilsteins.

Don't get me wrong, the Bilsteins provided an undeniably sporting ride, and I didn't complain about it when I owned them. The stock suspension had a tendency to "crash" over bumps while simultaneously managing to feel uncontrolled and without poise, a worst of both worlds scenario.
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      08-04-2015, 04:04 PM   #29
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Pretty stoked...

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      08-05-2015, 12:29 AM   #30
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Nice build Bob. I like where you're going with this!
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      08-05-2015, 11:58 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
But since I guess it looks like I'm gonna be here for a while, and I've got more mods on the horizon, I guess it's about time I started this.
Fun read, hoping I've got something worth sharing someday as well.
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      08-06-2015, 03:03 AM   #32
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Thanks for sharing Bob; really good info there.

I'm pretty keen to hear how your magnaflow cat-back sounds too. I've got aftermarket headers abd it's a bit quiet but I'm worried going for a PE will be too loud.
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      08-12-2015, 06:03 PM   #33
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Finally doing the bodywork I see.
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      08-12-2015, 06:26 PM   #34
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Finally doing the bodywork I see.
Yeah, it was too hard to justify as long as there were so many non-cosmetic mods to do, but I finally feel like I'm pretty close to done with the performance mods, so it seemed like a good time.

Plus, it seemed like a nice way to refresh a 5-year-old car that I have no intention of getting rid of (sort of justifies the expense a little, too, since I'm telling myself I'm saving a bundle versus buying a new Alfa 4C or something, lol).
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      08-13-2015, 09:21 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
Yeah, it was too hard to justify as long as there were so many non-cosmetic mods to do, but I finally feel like I'm pretty close to done with the performance mods, so it seemed like a good time.

Plus, it seemed like a nice way to refresh a 5-year-old car that I have no intention of getting rid of (sort of justifies the expense a little, too, since I'm telling myself I'm saving a bundle versus buying a new Alfa 4C or something, lol).
I still want to do the Alpine upgrade, but I'm not sure I can justify it when I only listen to the news/morning shows.
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      08-14-2015, 03:08 PM   #36
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New Wheels

For the last several years, I've been lucky enough to live in warm climates that allowed for the use of summer tires year-round. I've generally run whatever autocross tire I was using at the time on the street as well, both in season and out of season, which means that I've run my 17" APEX ARC-8 square set up as my only wheel, full-time, since I bought them a couple years ago.

I'm anticipating a move next summer to the Pacific Northwest, which means that I will no longer have the luxury of running one wheel/tire combo year-round if I intend to autocross in the summertime and daily drive safely in the (admittedly mild) winters. Rather than switch out tires twice a year, I decided to pick up a set of "street" wheels, on which I will likely run all-season tires, and reserve my ARC-8's for autocross and track days.

Impressed with the quality, cost, and performance of my current APEX wheels, it wasn't long before I looked to them for a suitable street wheel. I came across the AERO-7 wheels, and was immediately impressed: stylistically, they remind me a little bit of my old Style 216's - although they are much lighter - and I like that they're a little bit different than the mesh CSL-style wheels that everyone (myself included) seems to have. The fact that they were designed from the ground-up in 1er-specific fitments was a big plus, since, as many of you know, aftermarket wheel fitment can be a challenge with this chassis.

Originally, I was going to try and go for a square set up again, but I would've had to run 225 series tires all the way around, and I decided against that. Ultimately I decided to run the wheels as they were designed, which is a staggered set up of 18x8.5" in front with 225-series tires, and 18x9" in back with 255 -series tires. In this application, as a daily driven street wheel, I decided I could sacrifice some of the performance benefit of my square set up (17x8.5" wheels with 245-series tires). In other words, for normal street driving well below the limit, a little more show than go is okay.

Then I discovered the AERO-7 had been discontinued by APEX, mainly due to poor sales, I think. This was disconcerting, because I wasn't planning on buying my street wheels until late 2016. I checked APEX's stock, and sure enough, they were low in every finish. In fact, you couldn't get a complete set in any single finish. But the wheels were discounted by about 20%.

So rather than wait until next year and look around for another set of lightweight wheels in ideal fitments at an affordable price, I decided to pick up a set of mismatched AERO-7's on sale. I would have to have them refinished to match, of course, but the benefit to that was that I could do so in any color I wished.

Lately I've become enamored of ceratin matte and satin bronze finishes I've seen around, often on HRE and VMR wheels. After selecting a powder coater, I sent off to Prismatic Powders for a handful of different color swatches.

It's hard to decide on a color based on pictures on the internet. The color your seeing may not be at all accurate, and is so dependent on camera settings, lighting conditions, viewing monitor, etc. Not only that, but the style of the wheel itself I think can affect the way a color is perceived - for example, the same color may look slightly different on thin spokes versus on the barrel of the wheel. So I took the color swatches into different lighting conditions, and tried to decide what looked the most "right." A couple days ago, my powder coater sent me a pic of the end result; here's an APEX AERO-7 in Triple Bronze:

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To be honest, sometimes I look at it and it's perfect, and other times I think it's not quite what I had in mind. Like I wish it was a little darker, or a little flatter, or something. I'm reserving final judgement for when I can unbox the wheels and see them in person (this pic was under fluorescent lighting, by the way).

Here's a Photoshopped version with what looks to be a more accurate white balance, and the color looks truer to the swatch I previewed. If the wheel comes out this way, I think I'll be very happy:

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      08-14-2015, 07:01 PM   #37
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Nice wheels! It's hard getting good representative pictures of metallic type materials. So much of how it looks depends on the angle of the camera and the lights.

I've lived in Seattle for the past 4 years and honestly, it's possible to use summer tires all year round. It rarely snows (usually only 1 or 2 days a year if that). I have winter tires so I can go up to the mountains for skiing but if I didn't do that, I wouldn't need them.

Granted, I have not tried using real autox tires (e.g. 200 TW tires like RS3s) so maybe those won't be practical with all the rain outside of summer. I've just been autocrossing with my stock run flats for now. Trying to get them completely worn out before switching.
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      08-14-2015, 08:08 PM   #38
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Aren't summer tires better in the rain than all seasons? Awesome wheels though!
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      08-15-2015, 01:17 AM   #39
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To the points above: it's not that I need a true "winter tire" for snow conditions or anything like that, but the city I will be moving to in the PNW sees lows in the 30's and 40's ten months out of the year, so I just don't think a dedicated summer tire is the best choice for year-round use.

Also, wet traction is not my concern, but it's just a fact that the RE-71R's are not going to be a good tire in freezing temps, despite the fact that winters will be mild in comparison to many other locales. Many of the high performance all-season tires are rated for light winter use, so I think it may be smart to have a "jack-of-all trades" tire on hand.

It's also a way to preserve tread life in a fast-wearing 200 TW tire, and save the RE-71R's for what they were meant for (real performance driving), while using a practical daily drive tire on the street.

And, let's be honest, it's also a way to rock a second set of wheels on a more cosmetic basis (although I do think the Satin Black 17" ARC-8's with RE-71R's look pretty darn good, too).
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      08-15-2015, 10:50 PM   #40
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Quote:
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...but it's just a fact that the RE-71R's are not going to be a good tire in freezing temps...
I find that my summer tires *must* come off and be swapped out when MN gets into that 30-40 degree range you mentioned. We get much colder of course but that's about the point where I find the summer tires suddenly become useless. The Blizzaks, when compared to the summer tires, are really awful in warm temps but are so much better when it's cold. Not sure how an all-season compares though, I've always had summer / winter tires separately. At least as far back as I can realistically remember anyhow.

FWIW I think you made / are making a good decision. And the wheels color seems like it should go well w/ the car, hope it works out like you want.
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      08-16-2015, 05:11 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracer bullet View Post
I find that my summer tires *must* come off and be swapped out when MN gets into that 30-40 degree range you mentioned. We get much colder of course but that's about the point where I find the summer tires suddenly become useless. The Blizzaks, when compared to the summer tires, are really awful in warm temps but are so much better when it's cold. Not sure how an all-season compares though, I've always had summer / winter tires separately. At least as far back as I can realistically remember anyhow.

FWIW I think you made / are making a good decision. And the wheels color seems like it should go well w/ the car, hope it works out like you want.
Tacer Bullet is a Calvin and Hobbes character. Nice.
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      08-17-2015, 06:27 PM   #42
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2008 BMW 128i  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
For the last several years, I've been lucky enough to live in warm climates that allowed for the use of summer tires year-round. I've generally run whatever autocross tire I was using at the time on the street as well, both in season and out of season, which means that I've run my 17" APEX ARC-8 square set up as my only wheel, full-time, since I bought them a couple years ago.

I'm anticipating a move next summer to the Pacific Northwest, which means that I will no longer have the luxury of running one wheel/tire combo year-round if I intend to autocross in the summertime and daily drive safely in the (admittedly mild) winters. Rather than switch out tires twice a year, I decided to pick up a set of "street" wheels, on which I will likely run all-season tires, and reserve my ARC-8's for autocross and track days.

Impressed with the quality, cost, and performance of my current APEX wheels, it wasn't long before I looked to them for a suitable street wheel. I came across the AERO-7 wheels, and was immediately impressed: stylistically, they remind me a little bit of my old Style 216's - although they are much lighter - and I like that they're a little bit different than the mesh CSL-style wheels that everyone (myself included) seems to have. The fact that they were designed from the ground-up in 1er-specific fitments was a big plus, since, as many of you know, aftermarket wheel fitment can be a challenge with this chassis.

Originally, I was going to try and go for a square set up again, but I would've had to run 225 series tires all the way around, and I decided against that. Ultimately I decided to run the wheels as they were designed, which is a staggered set up of 18x8.5" in front with 225-series tires, and 18x9" in back with 255 -series tires. In this application, as a daily driven street wheel, I decided I could sacrifice some of the performance benefit of my square set up (17x8.5" wheels with 245-series tires). In other words, for normal street driving well below the limit, a little more show than go is okay.

Then I discovered the AERO-7 had been discontinued by APEX, mainly due to poor sales, I think. This was disconcerting, because I wasn't planning on buying my street wheels until late 2016. I checked APEX's stock, and sure enough, they were low in every finish. In fact, you couldn't get a complete set in any single finish. But the wheels were discounted by about 20%.

So rather than wait until next year and look around for another set of lightweight wheels in ideal fitments at an affordable price, I decided to pick up a set of mismatched AERO-7's on sale. I would have to have them refinished to match, of course, but the benefit to that was that I could do so in any color I wished.

Lately I've become enamored of ceratin matte and satin bronze finishes I've seen around, often on HRE and VMR wheels. After selecting a powder coater, I sent off to Prismatic Powders for a handful of different color swatches.

It's hard to decide on a color based on pictures on the internet. The color your seeing may not be at all accurate, and is so dependent on camera settings, lighting conditions, viewing monitor, etc. Not only that, but the style of the wheel itself I think can affect the way a color is perceived - for example, the same color may look slightly different on thin spokes versus on the barrel of the wheel. So I took the color swatches into different lighting conditions, and tried to decide what looked the most "right." A couple days ago, my powder coater sent me a pic of the end result; here's an APEX AERO-7 in Triple Bronze:


To be honest, sometimes I look at it and it's perfect, and other times I think it's not quite what I had in mind. Like I wish it was a little darker, or a little flatter, or something. I'm reserving final judgement for when I can unbox the wheels and see them in person (this pic was under fluorescent lighting, by the way).

Here's a Photoshopped version with what looks to be a more accurate white balance, and the color looks truer to the swatch I previewed. If the wheel comes out this way, I think I'll be very happy:

I love the Aero 7, it looks great on the 1 series. Reminds me of the 996 GT3 wheel
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      08-18-2015, 04:45 PM   #43
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Final touch!

Any guesses?

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      08-18-2015, 05:15 PM   #44
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Headers or midpipes?
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