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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Installing all my mods at the same time ... FUN!!



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      07-03-2009, 12:21 AM   #1
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Installing all my mods at the same time ... FUN!!

Hi Folks,

I'd figure I'd post up my modification experience after having the car completed for the past 3 weeks. I've been reading up and stocking parts for close to 2 months and decided to get everything done at once ... which is not a typical move for me (and probably most folks).

History:
I've had a few modified cars in my past (subies and mitsu). I used to track my car (track meaning turning left and right) 8-10 times a year ... nowadays with the kids, I'm lucky if I go once a year. I was looking to make this car a little bit quicker & faster and that could be a little more responsive in the handling department, but I didn't want to sacrifice day-to-day driveability, nor be a cop-magnet (I live near a police station). I also take my kids (1.5 and 3.5 yrs) to school everyday, so I don't their necks snapping around in the baby seats (like they were in the evo).

Initial Impression of the 335:
Boy is this a quiet car ... its also a little squishy in the turns, but its a great starting platform. I picked up the car used, it is a 2007 E90 with 22K miles. I made sure it was old enough that it did not have a welded diff.

Engine Modifications:
. Vishnu PROcede V3 Stage 3 Map (5-29) - was running Stage 1 for a few months before install
. Vishnu Dual Cone Intakes
. Helix Front Mount Intercooler
. AR Design Catless Downpipes
. AE Performance Dual Tip Exhaust with Race Cats
. Riss Racing Oil Catch Can

Suspension Modifications:
. Koni FSDs
. M3 Front Lower Wishbones
. M3 Front Tension Rods
. M3 Front Swaybar
. M3 Rear Swaybar
. M3 Rear Guide Rods
. Alignment - pushed the front camber to the highest negative settings while still in the acceptable range, rear camber was at -2.0, front toe was a 1/16" and rear toe was at 3/16".

Results: (I've had the car in this state for 3 weeks)
. The Short Summary: I'm very happy with the car.
.
. The engine performance of the car is incredibly rewarding now. The car feels incredibly quick and fast (yes, there is a difference between the two). I actually thought the car was too fast and would get me in more trouble than it was worth. Luckily that was a very short phase (lasting 3-4 days). Now that I've gotten used to things, I'm ready to squeeze a little more out of the car. I think there is a lot more power than my diff and RFTs will allow me to use, but I'll fix that soon enough.
. The handling is much improved. The turn in response is so much better, the M3 parts took up the slack that was there and I feel like I can actually feel the car's front tires now. I'll be honest, I'm not sure if I feel the rear guide rods' improvement ... with the bigger rear bar and all that added power, I'm sliding a lot more often, which is more rewarding than before, but I'm not letting those pieces of the suspension do their thing.
. The ride height is stock or very close to it. I did the whole slammed car thing and I'm done with that. I can get up and over speed bumps and curbs without thinking twice. My knees are much happier getting in and out of the car or when I have pull the kids out of the back seat.
. The ride comfort is even better than stock in ALL CONDITIONS. I was expecting things to be a little rougher. The Koni dampers are better behaved than the BMW sport suspension in the turns (fast and slow) and when you hit those little bumps of rough roads. In the past, I was always bother by the floating/bobbling feeling when on the highway and hitting any of the road transitions (bridges or connecting different sections of the road). Now, when I hit those transitions, the car bumps and settles IMMEDIATELY and that allows you to do whatever you want to do quickly. When you hit potholes, its not biggie, its more compliant and it doesn't knock the fillings out of your teeth.
. The interior noise has picked up a little bit, but its manageable (magnitudes quieter than my other modified econ-boxes). With the DCI, you can hear the turbo sucking sounds a little more. There is definitely more growl when you drive with your windows down or when you let the car idle. From the inside, it doesn't seem that loud. But its not perfect ... see below.
. Comments from the installer ... he said that every part that was used for my car, went it incredibly easily and fit like a glove, there were absolutely zero issues. I won't name the names of the other vendors, but he openly complained about their fitment and his experience with their inconsistency and inaccuracy in the parts the send out.
. EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET AN OIL CATCH CAN ... we saw oil at the bottom of the intercooler sloshing about and poured close to 1/4 cup out. The inlet and outlet hoses were coated in oil. I don't care what can you get, just get one (I got the Riss Racing one, but the McKinnley looks very impressive).

Negatives:
. I'm getting this droning sound in the car when I try to accelerate and the motor is anywhere below 2200rpm. By the time its up to 2400rpm, the cabin of the car is silent again. The droning I'm hearing is a huge resonance in the cabin and its grossly obvious and almost unbearable. I almost considered getting rid of the exhaust. I think the cause of this may be the fact that I have race cats. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I didn't notice anyone else complaining about it with similar configs - AR + AE parts. The workaround today is to drive it in sport mode or just paddleshift and keep the revs above 2500rpm. Long term, I'm going to see if I can pickup the catless section of an AE exhaust and replace the midpipe section with the race cats. Hopefully that will make the droning go away.
. There was a slight fitment issue with the AE exhaust's race cats. Everything installed like a glove, but in the real world the cats were too close to the reinforcement plate (2mm). With the stresses of hard acceleration, I can sometimes hear the two rattle against each other (when the windows are open). The solution was to take a hammer and bang the reinforcement plate a little bit. If AE Performance had move the cats 3-4 inches closer to the motor, that would have fixed it too.
. Gas mileage has gone to sh1t. I was averaging about 24 mpg with my mix of driving (evo was at 19mpg and the subies were around 21mpg). Nowadays I'm seeing 17-18mpg, but I know why ... I'm just hammering it all the time. Its too fun and way too easy to do nowadays. Its also helping me to grind away the stock RFT. I have a stack of Toyo RA1s calling my name ... my choice of daily driving tires. When I showed some discipline, 80mph and staying off of boost ... I did hit 31mpg over a 150 mile road trip.

What's Next on the List (no particular order):
. LSD (leaning toward the wavetrac - since NOT too much is known about it)
. M3 Rear Upper Link replacements
. M3 Rear Subframe Bushings
. Pick up a catless midpipe section for my AE exhaust
. Lightweight battery replacement
. Lightweight wheels to run a 275 rear and 235 or 245 fronts

What may make my future list:
. Vishnu Meth Kit (I've seen it in person, just waiting for release)
. Upgraded turbos (will be hard to get past the wife, but I do have a pair of used 335 turbos sitting in the garage already)
. Replace the driver seat with a fixed bucket (drop some weight and lower seating - i'm 6' and I sit too high for my liking)

Special Thanks Goes Out To:
shiv@vishnu, harold@hpautowerks, nick@aeperformance, ralph@helix, AR Design and Darwin@SonicMS for the installation and alignment

Another Special Shout Goes Out to the following e90post members:
Orb, stressdoc and Mr. 5 (thanks for paving the way for a lot of us)

My selection of parts was based on a lot of e90post research and I think its working pretty well for my goals for the car.

Thanks for reading.

Junk
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11.535@124.423mph (1.641 60') - AutoTune 7-27, Race+Meth, Best ET w/ only 80% throttle 1st and 2nd
11.647@121.356mph (1.590 60') - AutoTune (beta pre-5-15), Race Gas, No METH

Perf Mods: Vishnu PROcede Rev3 v5, Vishnu PWM Meth Kit, AR Design DPs, AE Exhaust, Helix FMIC, Vishnu DCI, Forge DV, WaveTrac LSD (Best Trap - 124.665mph)
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      07-03-2009, 12:24 AM   #2
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Nice bro! Glad to hear our downpipes fit well!
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      07-03-2009, 02:07 AM   #3
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great write up....enjoy!
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      07-03-2009, 02:11 AM   #4
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Great post!

Nice to see someone buying the car specifically as a platform for modding, and the approach of upgrading the drivetrain to produce significantly more power than stock and the ability to use it effectively.

I'm very interested to see your review of the Wavetrac LSD assuming you go that direction.
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      07-03-2009, 02:18 AM   #5
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how do you like M3 suspension mods ? im thinking to upgrade those as well . . .

you got very nice mods !
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      07-03-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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Congrats! The M3 upgrades seem like a great idea, and I'll have to remember about the Koni FSDs - I hate that floating feeling too - it can be scary at times.
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      07-04-2009, 06:57 AM   #7
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Great post. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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      07-04-2009, 11:32 PM   #8
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Hi Hipertech,

I really enjoy the M3 bits and pieces. I think for those who've tracked their cars or really push it in the canyons, you'll notice the difference in the links. But for those who push mostly in a straight line or don't really push the car, you won't be able to feel the difference.

I gave my car to a friend to drive, he's got a 330 with the sport package ... he said it felt nice, but said he didn't really feel that much of a difference between our cars. I almost kicked him in the nuts ... to me, its a huge difference.

The Koni FSD are not a like a double adjustable, external reservoir'd coilover, but they are a fantastic street setup with the stock sport springs.

Junk
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11.535@124.423mph (1.641 60') - AutoTune 7-27, Race+Meth, Best ET w/ only 80% throttle 1st and 2nd
11.647@121.356mph (1.590 60') - AutoTune (beta pre-5-15), Race Gas, No METH

Perf Mods: Vishnu PROcede Rev3 v5, Vishnu PWM Meth Kit, AR Design DPs, AE Exhaust, Helix FMIC, Vishnu DCI, Forge DV, WaveTrac LSD (Best Trap - 124.665mph)
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      07-04-2009, 11:55 PM   #9
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330 = Tuned 335i
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      07-05-2009, 09:30 AM   #10
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holy crap. nice work
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      07-05-2009, 10:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vase330 View Post
330 = Tuned 335i
I think (hope) he was just talking about the suspension bits
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      07-05-2009, 11:35 AM   #12
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Great work!
All mods installed at the same time...wow!...
Enjoy the new beast
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      07-05-2009, 02:04 PM   #13
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sorry i did not read your whole post, but:

i assume that your will be doing one mod at a time correct ??
cause say if you do 2 - 3 engine mods at the same time, if bad symptoms develop how are you gonna know which mod caused the problem?

my 2 cents
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      07-05-2009, 02:37 PM   #14
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congrats and enjoy!
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      07-05-2009, 02:53 PM   #15
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yo vase stfu
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      07-06-2009, 12:45 AM   #16
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Hi Midlife,

You bring up a good point ... the reason why I felt safe doing it all at once, was the fact that these parts are on many cars already (if not, in the same exact config - with regards to engine mods). I guess I'm a beneficiary of a lot of other people's investigations and hard work.

If there were any suspension misbehaviors that would have been easy to diagnose.

Vase330 - With regards to my friend's 330, I was mostly talking on the suspension side.

Junk
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11.535@124.423mph (1.641 60') - AutoTune 7-27, Race+Meth, Best ET w/ only 80% throttle 1st and 2nd
11.647@121.356mph (1.590 60') - AutoTune (beta pre-5-15), Race Gas, No METH

Perf Mods: Vishnu PROcede Rev3 v5, Vishnu PWM Meth Kit, AR Design DPs, AE Exhaust, Helix FMIC, Vishnu DCI, Forge DV, WaveTrac LSD (Best Trap - 124.665mph)
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      07-06-2009, 12:48 AM   #17
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Hi Guys,

The other reason for doing it all at once, is that you save a lot of money on the installation.

On the rear, dropping the subframe multiple times would hit your pocketbook pretty quickly.

Junk
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11.535@124.423mph (1.641 60') - AutoTune 7-27, Race+Meth, Best ET w/ only 80% throttle 1st and 2nd
11.647@121.356mph (1.590 60') - AutoTune (beta pre-5-15), Race Gas, No METH

Perf Mods: Vishnu PROcede Rev3 v5, Vishnu PWM Meth Kit, AR Design DPs, AE Exhaust, Helix FMIC, Vishnu DCI, Forge DV, WaveTrac LSD (Best Trap - 124.665mph)
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