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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > N55 Stage 2 + AR Cattless DP + VAC Motorsports



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      10-13-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
Bubba Ho-Tep
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N55 Stage 2 + AR Cattless DP + VAC Motorsports

Just had my N55 stage2 and AR DP installed today (along with my eibach pro kit springs...perfect drop btw) over at VAC Motorsports in Philadelphia. Very convenient as I only live 9.8 miles away from them in South Jersey.

Spoke with Mike (forum member here) via PM first on here and he was very quick to respond. I had just sent out a similar email requesting these installs to Helix (also in Philly) and never received a response. Being a business owner myself this makes an impression on prospect clients.

Better yet there were able to get all three installs including a 4-wheel alignment in less than a day. The staff very very kind and knowledgable and the installer (forget his name!) immediately went with me for a drive when I came to pick it up. That really was a nice touch- when I had work done on my previous car (2009 Corvette) at a world renown shop I didn't get the same kind of treatment. I got a receipt and my keys. Something like this would have been nice because I had to go back due to a header install they did that wasn't clearing the sub-frame.

Anyway needless to say I was very impressed and satisfied with my service from VAC Motor-sports. I've heard a lot of good things about them from other area-related forums (TST- tristate tuners). What I've heard was correct- a truly excellent shop.

Now...on to the mods:

1) Eibach Pro lowering springs. I went back and forth with various options but finally decided to go with the Eibach's on stock shocks. I know this will cause my shocks to wear sooner than usually however this car is a 3 year lease and according to my track record I don't keep cars much past the 2 year mark. That said, I also went with them because they offered a milder drop. I like the lowered look but not slammed like most forum members. After all one of the reasons I disliked previous cars of mine (Corvette included) was the absurdly low ride height. Looked AMAZING standing still but was dreadful to drive from day to day.

To me the drop is just about perfect (pics to follow soon). The front still has about a two finger thickness gap and the rear, one finger. I expect it to settle at least, say, another 1/8-1/4". The ride doesn't feel overly harsh at all. Over bumps and road modulations it does feel a hair more bumpy but not to the extent others described with H&R's on stock shocks. Overall extremely happy with the Eibachs!

2) JB4 N55 Stage 2 + AR Cattless Downpipe. I can't rate them both separately and subsequently have no idea how much more power the dp gives the tune as I had them both installed simultaneously. The install under the hood was very tidy (again kudos VAC!) and the steering wheel controls, while at first seemed a bit confusing, are actually quite easy to operate. There are still some settings I have no idea what it does exactly...I'll have to start another thread about it.

Well as soon as the tech took a drive with me I mashed it and was, for the first time, able to break all 4 wheels lose. Granted the roads were damp but before it wouldn't even break lose in those conditions (xDrive). The low end power is increased dramatically. It pulls much harder from a stop. Midrange power feels a good measure quicker as well. On the highway, however, it feels identical to stock to me, maybe "slightly faster.

When doing a pull the car feels like it's hesitating between shifts, even taking off from a stop feels like a longer lag before the turbos spool. However that could be due to how hard it does pull when it kicks in (ie my perception). There's nothing about this setup that would make the turbo spool "slower". The slow auto shifts I'm perplexed about. Maybe the ECU has to continue to adapt/learn.

Overall I have mixed feelings about the upgrade. I'm certainly not "dissapointed", maybe a bit underwhelmed. However, everything I've read about the N55 states that it's not quite up to snuff with the N54. I took a test drive in an N54 335xi with Cobb Stage 1 (only mod) and it felt every bit as fast as my car- maybe even a hair faster! Though, again, that could be my 'perception'.
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      10-14-2011, 02:51 AM   #2
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nice write up.

I think going just springs varies from person to person. Depending on what you want overall for handling and support, some love it and some hate it. Hope that works out for you, and please keep us posted on your thoughts with your suspension set up.

As far as your power adders... Looks like you got some nice new toys put in
The power the n55 puts with your mods will be close to the power of a n54 with tune only. I think once Terry gets the final release finished for us, it will bring us closer to the power output we are all craving.

It took my car around 100 miles until i felt that the tune really starting to smooth out. Now the power comes in smooth and is there at the touch of the pedal.

Enjoy it and snap us some pics!!
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      10-14-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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nice n thorough review

how long hav u had the tune+dp? cuz u should giv it bout another week or so 2 make final judgement.
n hey, atleast all 4 wheels broke loose
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      10-14-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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nice - thanks for the review!
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      10-14-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
Bubba Ho-Tep
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Here are some pics- got my wheels from **********s today! Thanks Elliott!





NO spacers needed!



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      10-15-2011, 07:32 AM   #6
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^^^ sweeeeeet, i think ur the 1st lci w/ 359's
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