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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 > Fastest FBO Platform Under 30k



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      03-06-2018, 03:12 PM   #1
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Fastest FBO Platform Under 30k

My buddy recently purchased a 2003 E55 AMG, I ran against his car stock and pulled a few car lengths in Mexico. He then got a full exhaust system with headers and I only pulled one car length on him. Apparently headers add 50whp! After he does pulley/tune that should add an additional 50whp and he might pull on me.

He paid 12k for the car with 85k miles and then $4000 in mods will get him 500whp.

I always considered our platform one of the best mod-friendly bang/buck, but was wondering what other cars you all believe can beat us FBO vs. FBO with stock internals and stock turbo/supercharger.
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      03-06-2018, 03:14 PM   #2
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C6 Vette, CTSV, E60M5, C63?
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      03-06-2018, 04:00 PM   #3
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2003 E55 AMG is about 300lbs heavier. Costly to mod. Cheap to maintain as they rarely break down. My opinion is that over all is better car than e9x n54/54 regardless whether modded or not. To add on the list: maybe tuned Audi B5 s4 with k04 turbos?
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      03-06-2018, 05:54 PM   #4
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Yeah seriously, c6 z06 corvette /thread
Granted our cars are very cheap to get to 400 whp. A tune, downpipes, and some ethanol and you’re in business. But they’re a shit chassis for drag racing. And under $30k leaves a whooolee lot of room for a fast car. Coyote mustangs with a blower can be had for under $20k, and will straight shit on an e9x in every single performance aspect. Z06 with bolt ons will make 500 whp all day, and they’re much lighter than any n54 platform car (as in 500 lbs)

Hell even coyote mustangs will make 400+ whp with bolt ons and a tune for e85, just like the n54. And do it four times more reliably. And the 2011 coyote is nearly as fast around a track as an e92 M3. And ou have to upgrade 335i’s just to get M3 suspension bits. That should tell you where the 335i is at, relative to even 2011+ mustangs (which despite the rumors are actually pretty damn good at cornering with very minimal suspension mods) their manual trans is a bit suspect, but the auto is essentially a better beefier version of ours!

Also no N54 comes with a limited slip, (minus the 1M) and pretty much every other “performance car” in the used $30k range sure as hell is gonna lol.

Long story short, the N54 is easy to mod and make power with, but it sucks at putting down that power, has soft shitty chassis bushings and suspension stock, has an open diff, and a host of common issues, and poor supplemental fueling solutions for high hp IMO.

So pretty much if I wasn’t a couple grand from owning my car outright, there are a lot of other cad I’d own, that would easily out perform a 335i for $30, or even $20k. Once you’re looking at cheap used under $15k, they start to get an edge but $15k still has better options nowadays
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      03-06-2018, 09:02 PM   #5
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I Picked up my 2009 manual 135i about a month ago for $8,500. End goal will be a single kit and supporting mods for under 15K after all is said and done. I don't think there is anything out there that can touch the N54 in terms of mods vs dollars. I didn't pick the N54 to run stupid fast times at the 1/4 mile track, I bought it because it's an overall fast street car that can handle the power and is easy to mod.

I've owned blown coyotes, a FBO Z51 C6, e9x M3's, and 4 other previous N54/55 cars, blah blah blah. Yeah they're fun but they're not the cheapest to mod either since they're all NA in their stock form. BTW, the coyote is a great platform but the MT82 trans really takes the fun out of that car, it's a shame Ford didn't replace it after the first year of production. The C6's are mod happy as well but they obviously only have two seats and they ride like shit for a DD. e9x M3's, if you don't have a deep wallet just forget it.

The last N54 car I owned was 6 years ago and owned those other cars in between that time. The N54 platform wasn't where it was today and I left because tuning and fueling hadn't been fully developed/figured out at that time. Things have obviously changed since then and I would take a FBO N54 over any of those cars without any doubts.

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      03-06-2018, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46m3to335i View Post
I Picked up my 2009 manual 135i about a month ago for $8,500. End goal will be a single kit and supporting mods for under 15K after all is said and done. I don't think there is anything out there that can touch the N54 in terms of mods vs dollars. I didn't pick the N54 to run stupid fast times at the 1/4 mile track, I bought it because it's an overall fast street car that can handle the power and is easy to mod.

I've owned blown coyotes, a FBO Z51 C6, e9x M3's, and 4 other previous N54/55 cars, blah blah blah. Yeah they're fun but they're not the cheapest to mod either since they're all NA in their stock form. BTW, the coyote is a great platform but the MT82 trans really takes the fun out of that car, it's a shame Ford didn't replace it after the first year of production. The C6's are mod happy as well but they obviously only have two seats and they ride like shit for a DD. e9x M3's, if you don't have a deep wallet just forget it.

The last N54 car I owned was 6 years ago and owned those other cars in between that time. The N54 platform wasn't where it was today and I left because tuning and fueling hadn't been fully developed/figured out at that time. Things have obviously changed since then and I would take a FBO N54 over any of those cars without any doubts.

-Nick
Bingo. The under 30k Vettes are fast but fkn junk inside. Same with stangs and the CHINA made pos mt82. As well as the cyl 8 issues on the Coyote engine. My E92 08 335i is miles above even a friends "solid axle rear" 2014 Mustang GT in everyway but hp. Which is easy to get. If you want a LSD you pony up and put one in.
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      03-07-2018, 12:14 AM   #7
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+1 for C6Z. Full bolt-ons (heads, cam, intake, exhaust, intake manifold) with a quality tune can make over 600 WHP on all motor. Very reliable platform, and because it's domestic it'll also be very inexpensive to maintain.



Add in a little nitrous and you can hit mid 700 WHP
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      03-07-2018, 12:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dublin14 View Post
Bingo. The under 30k Vettes are fast but fkn junk inside. Same with stangs and the CHINA made pos mt82. As well as the cyl 8 issues on the Coyote engine. My E92 08 335i is miles above even a friends "solid axle rear" 2014 Mustang GT in everyway but hp. Which is easy to get. If you want a LSD you pony up and put one in.
$30k almost buys you a new GT, and I’ll agree, the interiors of both the corvette and mustang are trash, but I have to say in my experience even the solid axle mustang is a better auto-x, track, and strip platform that the 335i. And the Vette is better than the mustang lol. LS and t56 cannot be beat for reliability, plus I mean, more whp N/A with a Z06 than a 335i w/ FBO
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      03-07-2018, 02:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by YoungBlood View Post
$30k almost buys you a new GT, and I’ll agree, the interiors of both the corvette and mustang are trash, but I have to say in my experience even the solid axle mustang is a better auto-x, track, and strip platform that the 335i. And the Vette is better than the mustang lol. LS and t56 cannot be beat for reliability, plus I mean, more whp N/A with a Z06 than a 335i w/ FBO
At the strip the stang can be better. But in general the stang 2014 and under feels like a piece of wood imo when it comes to over all handling vs an E92 335i. Throw on an LSD and its better again. 30k in Canada wont get you near a GT Z06 2008 and on came with the Tremec 6060 which is a better trans than the early T56s but the LS7s had major issues with valves that GM tried to ignore. Same crap with the C7 Z's over heating non stop at the track. If I was going to boost any LS, it would be the LS3s. LS7s have thinner cyl walls.

Last edited by dublin14; 03-07-2018 at 09:21 AM.
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      03-07-2018, 03:48 AM   #10
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One of the platforms that I had no idea had the power potential for full bolt on power is the MQB 2.0 VAG motors. I recently picked up a 2015 Audi S3 for 26,500$ and with tune stage 1 only 12.00 112-115 1/4 mile. If you add in downpipe some meth and e85 looking at 11.3--11.5 118 traps. Also I am quoting Tony @ Vargas when he said "gti is best bang for buck platform out there" and now drives one as his daily. The bigger turbo MK7 Golf R/Audi S3 are running 10.5 128-135mph on stock motor/trans.

Last edited by firemanjust1; 03-07-2018 at 04:15 AM. Reason: edit
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      03-07-2018, 09:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemanjust1 View Post
One of the platforms that I had no idea had the power potential for full bolt on power is the MQB 2.0 VAG motors. I recently picked up a 2015 Audi S3 for 26,500$ and with tune stage 1 only 12.00 112-115 1/4 mile. If you add in downpipe some meth and e85 looking at 11.3--11.5 118 traps. Also I am quoting Tony @ Vargas when he said "gti is best bang for buck platform out there" and now drives one as his daily. The bigger turbo MK7 Golf R/Audi S3 are running 10.5 128-135mph on stock motor/trans.
If that 335i has legit 475whp then Im Santa. In all fairness the 2.0 os a little beast.

Last edited by dublin14; 03-07-2018 at 09:31 AM.
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      03-07-2018, 10:13 AM   #12
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If that 335i has legit 475whp then Im Santa. In all fairness the 2.0 os a little beast.
I have owned VW 2.0t for 12y and n54 for 6y and the VW is impressive for what it is and a lot more reliable. Not a single oil leak or misfire and engine has covered around 130k. These VW's with 210hp a lot faster than other cars with similar weight and HP. Probably because DSG transmission is quick with very good gearing. Engine wise I'm biased towards VW. Only picked BMW for the RWD and MT. Other wise I would not have.
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      03-07-2018, 10:21 AM   #13
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I looked into the AMG E55 platform prior to buying my 335i. I liked the hp-to-weight advantages, etc, but the more I read up on that car the less i wanted one. Cost to own and maintain sounded much too high for my liking.

Example is the supercharger clutch, a bit of techno trickery that makes the blower engage a bit later in the rev range, which helps bump MPG up by ~1. Problem is that clutch wears out and needs replaced, which was ~$900 just for the part, the last time I looked.

That said, I really like the bang-for-buck the N54 provides in a 4-door E90 platform. Convenience AND comparatively good MPG.
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      03-07-2018, 10:55 AM   #14
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I looked into the AMG E55 platform prior to buying my 335i. Cost to own and maintain sounded much too high for my liking.
From my experience as former tech at Euro indy and currently a service writer I will tell you that the E55 is much much more reliable than the 335i. I have seen many high mileage, like 300k+. Not many n54 will get there. $900 for clutch is lot less then n54 will require for turbos or injectors. No?
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      03-07-2018, 11:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Crack View Post
My buddy recently purchased a 2003 E55 AMG, I ran against his car stock and pulled a few car lengths in Mexico. He then got a full exhaust system with headers and I only pulled one car length on him. Apparently headers add 50whp! After he does pulley/tune that should add an additional 50whp and he might pull on me.

He paid 12k for the car with 85k miles and then $4000 in mods will get him 500whp.

I always considered our platform one of the best mod-friendly bang/buck, but was wondering what other cars you all believe can beat us FBO vs. FBO with stock internals and stock turbo/supercharger.

I own both a 2004 Mercedes E55 with FBO making right around 600 whp and 08 335xi n54 e92 with FBO. I haven't tried yet to race one car vs the other on a good straight away. I bet it would be a great race! Maybe this spring/fall time would be an ideal time..
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      03-07-2018, 11:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
I have owned VW 2.0t for 12y and n54 for 6y and the VW is impressive for what it is and a lot more reliable. Not a single oil leak or misfire and engine has covered around 130k. These VW's with 210hp a lot faster than other cars with similar weight and HP. Probably because DSG transmission is quick with very good gearing. Engine wise I'm biased towards VW. Only picked BMW for th5e RWD and MT. Other wise I would not have.
Are you kidding? More reliable how? The 2.0T has been a nightmare for many an owner. And Im an A4 owner so Im not biased either way. The 2.0t carbons up like the best of them, hpfp fail all the time, coils fail, cam shafts wear out, pcv issues ect. You must be one of the lucky ones. Moral of the story is the 2.0T is known for being a PITA too.
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      03-07-2018, 11:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addictedtoboost View Post
I own both a 2004 Mercedes E55 with FBO making right around 600 whp and 08 335xi n54 e92 with FBO. I haven't tried yet to race one car vs the other on a good straight away. I bet it would be a great race! Maybe this spring/fall time would be an ideal time..
E55s are a blast.
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      03-07-2018, 11:14 AM   #18
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Are you kidding? More reliable how? The 2.0T has been a nightmare for many an owner. And Im an A4 owner so Im not biased either way. The 2.0t carbons up like the best of them, hpfp fail all the time, coils fail, cam shafts wear out, pcv issues ect. You must be one of the lucky ones. Moral of the story is the 2.0T is known for being a PITA too.
I guess I have been lucky. It's the very first BPY code and only thing that has failed was EVAP purge valve and electronic diverter valve. I have replace the cam follower for the HPFP but no issues with HPFP, coils or PCV. Removing the manifold for the valve cleaning was more challenging than n54 but the build up itself was typical.
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      03-07-2018, 11:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticRob View Post
I looked into the AMG E55 platform prior to buying my 335i. Cost to own and maintain sounded much too high for my liking.
From my experience as former tech at Euro indy and currently a service writer I will tell you that the E55 is much much more reliable than the 335i. I have seen many high mileage, like 300k+. Not many n54 will get there. $900 for clutch is lot less then n54 will require for turbos or injectors. No?
Give it more time and we should see 300k mile n54's. Lots of people with higher mileages ones 170k+ and climbing. Seen someone post a 200k+ I believe.

All this talk about which is more reliable is funny. Some people just have better luck or more tolerance than others with cars. Everyone I talk to with a N54 has different opinions. Some guys say they love the car and haven't had much troubles. Others will complain all day about them.
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      03-07-2018, 12:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jeef View Post
Give it more time and we should see 300k mile n54's. Lots of people with higher mileages ones 170k+ and climbing. Seen someone post a 200k+ I believe.

All this talk about which is more reliable is funny. Some people just have better luck or more tolerance than others with cars. Everyone I talk to with a N54 has different opinions. Some guys say they love the car and haven't had much troubles. Others will complain all day about them.
Yes, luck is a factor too. Just like my experience with VW 2.0t which is contrary to most. 335i is 12y old platform now so high mileage examples should have represent the n54 more I think by now. It's good car never the less. I really like mine.
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      03-07-2018, 12:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeef View Post
Give it more time and we should see 300k mile n54's. Lots of people with higher mileages ones 170k+ and climbing. Seen someone post a 200k+ I believe.

All this talk about which is more reliable is funny. Some people just have better luck or more tolerance than others with cars. Everyone I talk to with a N54 has different opinions. Some guys say they love the car and haven't had much troubles. Others will complain all day about them.
Yes, luck is a factor too. Just like my experience with VW 2.0t which is contrary to most. 335i is 12y old platform now so high mileage examples should have represent the n54 more I think by now. It's good car never the less. I really like mine.
If you base it off build dates in 06 then yes we are coming up on 12 this year.

The average mileage is 10-15k. Let's just put 15k for this. 12 years only puts most people at 180k miles. Need more time in my opinion
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      03-07-2018, 12:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemanjust1 View Post
One of the platforms that I had no idea had the power potential for full bolt on power is the MQB 2.0 VAG motors. I recently picked up a 2015 Audi S3 for 26,500$ and with tune stage 1 only 12.00 112-115 1/4 mile. If you add in downpipe some meth and e85 looking at 11.3--11.5 118 traps. Also I am quoting Tony @ Vargas when he said "gti is best bang for buck platform out there" and now drives one as his daily. The bigger turbo MK7 Golf R/Audi S3 are running 10.5 128-135mph on stock motor/trans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dublin14 View Post
If that 335i has legit 475whp then Im Santa. In all fairness the 2.0 os a little beast.
I commented on this on BB. The car in that video has alot of controversy behind it. its fully gutted running 35psi on stock turbo supposedly modified the stock turbo according to some of the mk7 forums and is running nitrous. I ran a gutted gti with a IS38 turbo upgrade while my car was not in ideal conditions. he beat me but not like that video. The third gen motor is no doubt impressive, just putting things into perspective.
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