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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > Evolution Racewerks N54 Carbon Fiber Engine Cover **FULL REVIEW/DIY**



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      08-23-2010, 05:37 AM   #1
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Evolution Racewerks N54 Carbon Fiber Engine Cover **FULL REVIEW/DIY**

In the last year or so, I have enjoyed inserting the carbon fiber theme tastefully through the interior and exterior of my car. I have always wanted to add more carbon fiber highlights to my engine bay, but I also want to retain the BMW look. Thus far, I have EAS Carbon Fiber ECU Covers and an EAS Carbon Fiber Microfiber Filter cover, but I felt the CF theme could still be tastefully expanded. The obvious choice would be a carbon fiber engine cover, but I have felt uncomfortable about the fact that I had no way to keep the BMW roundel on the engine cover. I have thought a lot about the easiest way to get a BMW roundel on a carbon fiber engine and how I would tie it into the carbon fiber theme. After a lot of thought, I felt good enough that I could solve this problem so I moved forward and starting searching for a good carbon fiber engine cover.

My search began and ended with Evolution Racewerks. They have a great reputation among BMW enthusiasts and in the race community, so I felt this was an easy choice. I ordered the following:

An Evolution Racewerks N54 Carbon Fiber Engine Cover

And with that, the review begins.

Experience with Evolution Racewerks

When I decided to look at the ER Carbon Fiber Engine Cover, I emailed them to find out a little about the part. Simply put, my standards are very high and I will not sacrifice quality to ďadd to my mod listĒ. There is a big difference between good carbon fiber products and sub par carbon fiber products. Anyway, the response to my email came from Fred Su. Fred was very informative through the process and communicated well with me. It is clear the Evolution Racewerks has a very high standard that they hold themselves to and want their customers to get ERís best the first time. After speaking a little with Fred, I felt good about ordering the parts and the tracking info was emailed to me shortly after my order.

The product arrived to my house very well packaged.



Evolution Racewerks labels their box nicely and even places a quality control sticker over the tape when it leaves their shop. That made me feel good to know the part had been checked by a person before it was sent to me.





Upon opening the box, you see a very, very well protected item.



The box contained a quality control check list that was hand signed by ER before leaving their shop. Again, I have to say this really gives a lot of confidence to me.



The Evolution Racewerks Carbon Fiber Engine Cover also comes with detailed installation instructions.



The cover itself was wrapped well with multiple layers of bubble wrap.



Under the bubble wrap the cover is held in a protective plastic wrap.





It is clear that Evolution Racewerks goes a long way to make sure what they send to you gets there as it left their facility.

Looking at the parts for the first time is really gratifying. The part is absolutely beautiful! I tried to take the liberty to shoot a lot of pictures with and without flash so you can see what the part looks like in multiple lighting. The entire cover without flash:



The entire cover with flash:



Front of engine cover without flash:



Front of engine cover with flash:



Rear of engine cover without flash:



Rear of engine cover with flash:



I think these pictures illustrate the quality of the clear coat and carbon fiber weave very well. The clear coat is smooth. The carbon fiber weave is smooth and has great depth. With that, here are a number of other pictures that should help you get a good feel for the quality of the Evolution Racewerks Carbon Fiber Engine Cover.

Close-upsÖ notice the very smooth and straight weave:









A close-up of the front of the engine cover:



A close-up of the rear of the engine cover:



A close-up of the weave:





Overall, this is clearly a very high quality product. I am very pleased with the attention ER paid to the product and now it was time to install it and figure a way to get a BMW roundel on this engine cover!!!

Installation

I have to say as beautiful as the ER engine cover is, I felt it was a bit naked without the BMW rounded in the front raised area like the stock cover has. I really wanted a BMW roundel there, so I spent a lot of time trying to solve this problem. Since the engine cover roundel is not an individual part, but indeed part of the stock engine cover you cannot just order it. In addition, I didnít want a stock white/blue roundel because I felt it wouldnít match the carbon fiber look of the engine cover. If indeed you do want a traditional BMW roundel, there is an option. BMW makes a 70 mm roundel that will fit this location well and it is made of metal. The cost is about $7 and the part number is:

BMW 36-13-6-758-569

For me, I wanted a carbon fiber look so this posed a bit of a problem. After doing some searching, I realized the rear roundel on the BMW E9x is about the size of the stock engine cover roundel. The E92 rear roundel has a slight arch to the backing so it wasnít a good option, however the E90 rear roundel has a flat backing with a very similar contour to the engine cover roundel location and I thought it was worth a try. I ordered a rear E90 black and white carbon fiber roundel from one of the forum sponsors to start this part of the project.



I knew adhering to the engine cover would still be an issue, so I started to work on solving this problem. The E90 CF roundel comes with two prongs that attach it to the rear of the car. The first thing to do was shave off these prongs. A dremmel does this work easily and here is what it looked like after removing the prongs.



This allowed me to test fit the roundel on the engine cover and it was a very good fit. Now how to adhere it? I thought of using adhesive to hold it onto the engine cover but I was really concerned this would damage the clear coat on the engine cover and could spread across the cover. After a LOT of conversations with 3M, I felt comfortable that their automotive adhesive would hold. It is rated for a full hold from -40F to 190F, but remember 3M refers to this full hold as the ability to withstand a known force. We just need the tape to hold on the roundel, but since there is no force trying to pull the roundel off I felt this should hold well. So, I used the simple red Automotive 3M double sided tape.



To assure the double sided tape would adhere well to the engine cover and the back of the roundel, I used 3Mís Automotive Adhesive Promoter that can be found on ebay easily. Basically this stuff makes the tape adhere to clear coat or plastic very well!



Ok, so now I had a plan. I applied the 3Mís Automotive Adhesive Promoter to the back of the roundel then stuck the 3M Automotive double sided tape to the back of the roundel. I just simply cut it so I could tuck the tape behind the edges of the roundel.

Next, I used painterís tape to line up the roundel perfectly in the middle of the raised roundel mounting point on the Evolution Racewerks CF Engine Cover. I placed the roundel on the cover then marked guide lines on the tape to make sure I could get it centered and oriented properly when permanently mounting the roundel. You can see the tape and lines below:



After that, I applied the 3M Automotive Adhesive Promoter to the roundel mounting location on the ER CF engine cover. You can see the opaque appearance on the cover (inside the blue painterís tape) where I applied the 3M Automotive Adhesive Promoter.



Now, following the guide lines on the painter's tape, I peeled the backing off the double sided tape and stuck the roundel onto the ER CF Engine Cover. Just be careful when aligning the roundel because with the Adhesive Promoter the roundel will stick very easily! Once you place it, then I used a little heat from a hair drier to make sure all adhesive was warm. After applying a little pressure, the roundel is now locked in place. I simply pulled off the painter's tape to reveal the final look:





Now the whole engine cover. I feel the color scheme looks great with the CF roundel and I am really pleased with the outcome!



Now the actual installation. First your remove, microfiber filter, then ecu covers, then finally the cowl. This has been covered hundreds of times, so I will defer to those DIYs. After removing the above items, you will need to remove the engine cover. It is held on by (4) 5mm Allen head bolts.





Then the tough bolt on the rear passenger side. Save this one for last because you can pull it out with the cover once you have loosened it.



So grab yourself a 5mm Allen head socket and remove the bolts.





Remove the stock engine cover and it will look like this:



Now, reverse the process to install the Evolution Racewerks Carbon Fiber Cover. One hint, when you are inserting the passenger side rear bolt on the engine cover you should use tape to hold the bolt to the Allen head socket so you don't drop it. With that the installation is done.

Results

The result section always has to be my favorite. I am really pleased with how clean the Evolution Racewerks Carbon Fiber Engine cover looks in my engine bay. It added class/sport to my bay and compliments my EAS carbon fiber pieces well. The roundel looks OEM and matches the style of the engine cover very well. Finally a carbon fiber engine cover with a BMW roundel!!! Have a look:















Conclusions

I have never had the opportunity to purchase an item of Evolution Racewerks... until now. Fred Su was very professional through my entire purchase process. He was informative and helpful with all my questions. Evolution Racewerks does send tracking info so you can prepare for its arrival and installation. Their packaging is second to none using a properly sized box, considerable bubble wrap, peanuts to protect the box from impact, and a plastic sleeve to protect the covers appearance. My experience was excellent.

The quality of the engine cover was tremendous. The weave was smooth with depth, the clear coat free of bubbles, and the design is rugged. It is absolutely a beautiful item that reallys adds class and sport needed in the N54 engine bay.

The engine cover desperately needed a roundel, but I hope using this DIY you can mount either a stock like OEM roundel or a carbon fiber roundel. The process has been well documented and I hope it gives you confidence to mount one yourself. It really finishes the look of the Evolution Racewerks Carbon Fiber Engine Cover.

Overall, I am very happy with the purchase. If you really want to add sport to engine compartment without sacrificing your BMW looks, then I feel this is a great product to add to your car.
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      08-23-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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nice review
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      08-23-2010, 04:57 PM   #3
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Is that tape holding the Roundel going to hold up to the temps in the engine compartment?
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      08-23-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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Looks fantastic and I love the roundel you picked for it, especially the cf in it and the chrome lip - very classy! The cf matches your other cf as well. Great looking engine compartment! If you have a chance, can you snap another pic a bit farther away?
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      08-24-2010, 06:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just4kickz View Post
nice review
just4kickz, thanks!
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      08-24-2010, 06:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasVS View Post
Is that tape holding the Roundel going to hold up to the temps in the engine compartment?
After speaking at length with 3M about this, I do feel comfortable it will hold well.
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      08-24-2010, 06:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I335 View Post
Looks fantastic and I love the roundel you picked for it, especially the cf in it and the chrome lip - very classy! The cf matches your other cf as well. Great looking engine compartment! If you have a chance, can you snap another pic a bit farther away?
I335, thanks! I will see if I can get some more pictures for you. My car is in pieces right now again since I pulled my rear axles over the weekend.
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      08-24-2010, 09:43 PM   #8
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Very nice, thanks for all the info on the roundel application, as well. Do you mind PMing me where you got the roundel?
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      08-24-2010, 10:14 PM   #9
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Wow! That really looks great. Nice job
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      08-25-2010, 05:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazdoc View Post
Very nice, thanks for all the info on the roundel application, as well. Do you mind PMing me where you got the roundel?
Absolutely, but I don't mind posting it. I ordered it from Adamaster. It is the E90 rear roundel.
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      08-25-2010, 05:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrufy View Post
Wow! That really looks great. Nice job
scrufy, thank you very much.
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      08-25-2010, 09:11 AM   #12
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Looks really good. Would be even better without the "Evolution Racewerks" writing on the cover.
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      08-25-2010, 12:57 PM   #13
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good review and sick engine cover.
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      08-26-2010, 05:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Looks really good. Would be even better without the "Evolution Racewerks" writing on the cover.
That is an easy change if that suits your needs better. It is just a vinyl sticker.
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      08-26-2010, 05:32 AM   #15
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good review and sick engine cover.
the infamous..., thanks for the compliments.
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      02-01-2011, 09:46 AM   #16
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Really nice job ... great review.
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      02-01-2011, 10:10 AM   #17
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looks good, but god damn!!! all of this review and work for an engine cover that nobody will ever see? Jeez the time you people have.......
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      02-01-2011, 10:18 AM   #18
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Depends on whether he frequents car shows or not - if he does, then it is seen all the time.

Plus it's a point of conversation during those 'impromptu' get togethers

Some people like to open their hood and see neat & clean with stuff out of the ordinary, & some don't mind if it looks like a filthy pit of dirt & grease...
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      02-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #19
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Whatever floats his boat I guess....pointless IMO. Then a 2 page review for it? come on man really? Point of covo like "yeah tell us again why you spent so much on that cf cover?"
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      02-01-2011, 10:53 AM   #20
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Modding cars is a disease - once you have it, there is no cure

Some just like to make their car unique & different than all the rest & in turn like to show off their work to others with the disease

I know - I'm one of them I've been modding my cars since the very 1st one in 1976.

I enjoy looking at what others do. I have all CF underhood dress items on my BMW also. While I didn't post up a DIY, I still appreciate his work

If you have the free $$ to do such things & it makes ya happy - then go for it. Life is all too short...

I know I don't plan on saving up my $$ all my life, just to give it to my kids when I'm gone so they can have a free ride.
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      02-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #21
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Well said and I do see your point.......I guess im more of the "functionally tuned" kinda BMW fan and since there can not possibly be any kind of performance advantage for this mod, waste of time and money in my book. But if you're the show-type/hood popper person maybe this is cool.
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      02-01-2011, 08:17 PM   #22
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Exactly life is too short ... We all have the upgrade bug and anyway I have run out of tuning upgrades unless I go bigger turbos. The carbon engine cover is not that expensive.

Also where did you get the other carbon fiber covers?
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