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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 > ARM Motorsports Full FBO Package



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      03-13-2018, 09:54 PM   #1
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ARM Motorsports Full FBO Package

Well I finally pulled the trigger and going to start modding my E93. I started out wanting to build a super car (500hp) for under 10K and though the N54 platform was a perfect place to start. Since I'm on a budget and knowing maintenance cost are high especially on a higher mileage BMW I knew I was going to have to budget for typical maintenance. Being budget minded. I like to think I'm cheap when it comes to cost but not in sacraficing in quality. In other words If this works and I get close to 360-400whp then I would consider it the best bang for the buck! My first goal is to see how close I am to 500hp(crank) with full FBO before I jump to inlets and Stage 2 LPFP (E50).

The most important factor to me in choosing an FBO package is fitment first followed by performance. I though about going with ebay stuff but but read too many nightmare stories. The two main vendors in the budget space are VSRF and ARM Motorsports.

When I added up the numbers I couldn't justify spending the extra money but didnt want to skimp on quality either. Of all the vendors out there ARM IMO makes the most sense from a cost / benefit perspective especially if get the full FBO package. A strong consideration on my part was first I wanted a 7" FMIC and secondly I wanted to try and stick to one vendor. One throat to choke if you will. When I called ARM they told me they dont have a 7" FMIC on the market yet but they had a couple of prototypes. I was lucky enough to get one.

If you get the entire FBO Kit it's well under 800 with fee shipping. You get a 7"FMIC, DP's,CP, and DCI. You just need to supply your own BOV with Tial flange .

I paid 7K for my 2008 E93 with 124K miles. And it required a fair bit of maintenance. I'm down to only TPMS error and it turns out the battery is dead in the left rear wheel TPMS sensor. I really hate those annoying CEL codes :-).

Phase one: Maintenance
First was first to get the car running well. So I got new coils, plugs, fuel injectors, flushed the oil, brake fluid,power steering fluid, radiator flush, replaced vacuum lines, new front pads and rotors, replaced a couple of hoses, and did a walnut blast. That was $1200 dollars ago. I still need to do a tranny flush and a few other items but good enough to start FBO'ing.

Free Mod: Flashed B3 Alpina software last week. A must do free mod for your tranny. It's awesome! This is by far the best mod for your BMW N54 auto tranny?

Phase Two:FBO
The hardware. I took a bunch of pictures so you can gauge for your self if the quality is there. This is my first FBO BMW so I dont know what I dont know. The quality looks on par with other DP's costing much more.

Quote:
I was going to install my self in the garage with a buddy but I found a speed shop with a dyno that would install everything for $500 and do 3 dyno pulls for $50. I think this is a no brainier.
After reviewing a few more video's I decided to tackle this job on my self. Easy peazy not much to it. If you have some jack stands and some basic tools (make sure you get a can of PB Blaster) it's really not that bad.

So over the next week or so I'll be posting FBO dyno runs. Just waiting to get my BOV in. I'm very curious to see how this kit as a package deal is going to preform.

In all honesty I'm a bit skeptical at this point. Although the quality looks good it's all about fitment and performance. Dyno's dont lie and I cant wait to put this car on one. Prices on FBO's are all over the map from an intercooler can cost anywhere from $150 - $1500. DP's from 200-800. If the ARM kit works at this price point it should be a no brainier for anyone that want's to hang with the v8's in style at a fraction of the cost of most of it's competitors.

Phase Three: Goal is 425 RWHP or 500 crank. So what ever else I have to do to wear that badge. I think at this point I'm going to be a little over 10K so like everything else I'll be a little over budget.

Depending on where I"m at in terms of power, I will either get inlets and stage two fuel pump and run an E-mix. This should put me way over my goal.

Super Helpful document to help understand data logging in MHD: https://www.docdroid.net/IyQ24N5/int...d-datalogs.pdf


I have to factor in that i'd also like to give my car a face lift with
M3 side skirts and M3 Style front bumper to complete my vision.
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      03-13-2018, 10:17 PM   #2
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7" FMIC retail $347
I wanted to talk a little about the 7" FMIC there coming out with. First it uses the same piping to work like the stock IC if it aligns properly not only will it make it easier to install but personally I think it looks better. Besides the Germans over engineer everything so why go away from something that works. I've read both good and bad about whether this solution leaks but personally I think it's marketing propaganda. Most of the boost leaks come from bad vacuum lines, or popped CP even a worn o-ring. It certainly looks nice. The big question is will hold BOOST and will it lower IAT temps. Will use the data logs to find out. It weighs in at 16.8 lbs. Not sure if that's heavy or not.

When I pull my old FMIC out I will sit these side by side to get you a comparison picture. The question will be during install. How much will I have to trim to make it fit and will it align properly? Inquiring minds want to know

They said the promotional pricing would be $347 and they plan on releasing it in the next couple of weeks.
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Last edited by GEOS07335i; 03-19-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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      03-13-2018, 10:24 PM   #3
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Down Pipes: $227 As part of the package deal I dont have a lot of experience with DP's but the welds look nice. You guys tell me how do these look. I tried taking some high definition pictures.
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      03-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #4
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Charge Pipe:$97 as part of the FBO package.
It's aluminum. As long as it fits it should do the job. Comes with two meth bungs. Not sure I like the placement as they do seem pretty close. They also come with all the hardware and include a new o-ring.
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      03-13-2018, 10:38 PM   #5
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DCI- with FBO package is $67
This looks pretty good. Comes with two ringworm connectors. The aluminum housing have a nice tight fit once seated into the cone filter. They did not come with any oil.
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      03-14-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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It all looks good. Interested in what the 7 inch IC is going to cost? And fitment on the DPs.

Last edited by dublin14; 03-14-2018 at 08:50 PM.
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      03-14-2018, 09:22 AM   #7
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Did you install this stuff yet? I just installed the ARM 5" stepped IC and it went in super easy. I have their DPs sitting in my garage, I'm not looking forward to wrestling those..
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      03-14-2018, 01:45 PM   #8
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Looks good! What tune will you be going with? MHD?
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      03-14-2018, 07:29 PM   #9
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I haven't installed it yet. I'm waiting for my BOV to come in so it might be a week or so. I want to get before and after Dyno numbers.

I want to attempt and install my self but when I swapped out my O2 sensors I took a look at the bolts and they looked like they were rusted on so I'm not going to mess with it. I did find a speed shop said he would install everything and 3 Dyno runs for 550 so I'm going that route.

I'm going to run stage MHD stage 2+ .

I'm going to install MHD and do some data logging this weekend so I can log my IAT and have a baseline for the 7" FMIC. I'm hoping the BOV comes in soon. Having all this stuff sitting in my living room is driving me nuts. I just don't want to make multiple trips to the shop.
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      03-15-2018, 05:47 AM   #10
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Yeah stock Intercooler connections are great no matter what "they" say. It's Plug and play without leaking.
It's great for using them with stock turbo's and MHD maps.
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      03-15-2018, 10:14 AM   #11
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So any price info on the 7 inch arm ic?
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      03-15-2018, 10:38 AM   #12
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so it's been a week with my ARM IC and absolutely love it. It's below 30 degrees here so I didn't expect too high of IATs but it barely moves up after several WOT runs in a row. I have DCIs, JB4 and a CP.. DPs this weekend if my VCG doesn't give me too much trouble.
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      03-15-2018, 05:21 PM   #13
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I also just installed my prototype 7" fmic from ARM, had some minor fitment issues. The connections were stubborn and took quite a bit of persuasion to fully seat the intercooler piping. Curious if you end up having the same problem. Haven't taken any logs yet for IATs but the car pulls noticeably harder than with the stock ic on a fbo setup.

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      03-15-2018, 06:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va335 View Post
I also just installed my prototype 7" fmic from ARM, had some minor fitment issues. The connections were stubborn and took quite a bit of persuasion to fully seat the intercooler piping. Curious if you end up having the same problem. Haven't taken any logs yet for IATs but the car pulls noticeably harder than with the stock ic on a fbo setup.
You should do inlets while the DP's are out of the car.
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      03-15-2018, 08:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va335 View Post
I also just installed my prototype 7" fmic from ARM, had some minor fitment issues. The connections were stubborn and took quite a bit of persuasion to fully seat the intercooler piping. Curious if you end up having the same problem. Haven't taken any logs yet for IATs but the car pulls noticeably harder than with the stock ic on a fbo setup.
had same problem with OEM couplers, Grease helped.
IAT's - ARM 7" worked out better than the VRSF 7" Non HD. same car, same map, same ambient temp.
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      03-15-2018, 08:53 PM   #16
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How did you guys score the 7" one? I'm kinda bummed I just bought the 5" one..
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      03-17-2018, 12:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va335 View Post
I also just installed my prototype 7" fmic from ARM, had some minor fitment issues. The connections were stubborn and took quite a bit of persuasion to fully seat the intercooler piping. Curious if you end up having the same problem. Haven't taken any logs yet for IATs but the car pulls noticeably harder than with the stock ic on a fbo setup.
How much did you have to trim? Did you tape up your IC and test fit a million times or did it just slide in? I have yet to see one 7" FMIC that didnt require any trimming. Any tips or tricks you can share?

I decided not to go to the Speed Shop and do the install and do it my self. So right now I'm in the process of installing the DP's but have a couple of questions for those that have installed DP's. There is a bracket that's connected to the bell-housing that holds the DP's on with 2 12mm bolts. Do I take that bracket off? Getting the back 12mm bolt was a pain and the DP's dont have a supporting bracket. Not sure if it's just going to get in the way.

Second question the post cast O2 sensors connector. How the heck do I get it off?

I did install the DCI very easy process took me about 30 minutes. I have to say they look really nice. I'll update the post once I get the DP's. If I can finish the DP's tomorrow I'm going to start on the intercooler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haynpunch View Post
had same problem with OEM couplers, Grease helped.
IAT's - ARM 7" worked out better than the VRSF 7" Non HD. same car, same map, same ambient temp.
That's great news. If you ask me and I'm speculating there shouldn't be much difference in performance at this price point. 7" is 7" fin density is probably the same.

If the ARM perform's as good or better than the VSRF then that's even better as the ARM is considerably cheaper. Both these companies outsource oversees anyway and I'm sure they both do a good job with Quality Control. The big difference between the two is the factory connectors. If I can get them to fit and they dont leak then I'd take that any day over silicone couplers. Plus there cheaper :-) With all the bias this forum has towards VSRF it's good to see another vendor offer quality products at an affordable price. I just hope I dont eat my words on that last comment. I havent installed my FMIC or DP's. Hopefully I'll have an update by the of the weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blau iii View Post
How did you guys score the 7" one? I'm kinda bummed I just bought the 5" one..
I was going to go ARM DP's and DCI and VSRF FMIC because ARM didnt have one. When I called them up I told them I wanted to purchase one complete package from a single vendor and that's when they told me they had a prototype. So I ordered that one instead.

Last edited by GEOS07335i; 03-19-2018 at 01:14 PM.
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      03-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #18
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I got a lot done this weekend. I figured I would just attempt and do everything my self and see how far I get and save the money I would have spent on the speed shop for other things like new front bumper cover.

First if your on the fence about doing this dont be. It's really not that bad if you plan and take your time. I will add some feedback on some of the gotcha's. One thing to note and I'm not sure if the other vendors provide this but the ARM package did not come with any installation manual / pdf etc... IMO they should at least link some video's on there website for all of the products they sell. The notes below are in no particular order. This obviously is NOT an install guide but just notes on my install of what you should look out for.

DCI Install:
The DCI went in very easy no issues. Very straight forward.
1) Undo the ringworm hose clamps from the rear and front of stock air box.
2) Disconnect that hard vacuum line by pressing on each side and lifting up. This is the line that runs near and above the OFH.
3) Pry up slowly on the airbox wiggling it back and fourth. There are 3 grommets that hold the airbox on you just need to work it back and fourth until it pops up. Make sure the hard vacuum line is not in the way.

NOTE: You will hear a lot more swooshing noise from the exposed DCI. This is normal sounds like a jet spooling up. Very cool sound.

Down Pipes Install Tips
The DP's also went in with out a hitch fitment was excellent. These are some key notes that helped me.

1) Spray the crap out of the 4 bolts that hold the exhaust to the DP's let it soak over night if possible. This made getting the bolts out very easy. I belive they were 12 or 13mm.

2) There is a bracket attached to the bell housing that attaches to both cats. 12mm. I first took those two off. Once you loosen the clamps of both turbo's you will be able to wiggle them out. [b][b]Remove the bracket from the bell housing and re-secure those two monster bolts. This makes it much easier to wiggle the DP's around.

3) The Post cat O2 connectors are a real biatch to take off what I did is remove the post CAT o2 sensors once I loosened up the butterfly clamps on the turbos. This made it much easier to remove the o2 sensors. Make sure to use pb blaster on the O2's aswell.

4) The top turbo clamp is a real biatch to loosen. Very little room I used a racketing wrench and barely had enough room see the pic of my rig. See pic of my ratcheting rig.

5) When you put the top turbo clamp back on make sure you raise it high enough so the waste gate rod wont interfere.

6) Remove the two bolts that hold the exhaust up. It's about a foot or two behind the exhaust this will make it easy to slide the exhaust back a few inches to give you more working room.

7) This is my favorite ingenuity trick. Power Steering Bolts TIP:When you take off the two power steering rack bolts. There is a nut on the top side. Real biatch to get. When you put them back on use a closed wrench put a strong MAGNET on top of the nut that's attached to the wrench. This will hold the nut in place when you go to tighten it back up. No real easy way to get that nut in place while you tighten it down but if you use the magnet trick it will save you hours.

Zoom in on the pic with the wrench you can see the nut and the magnet holding it in place.

8) VERY IMPORTANT make sure you dont tighten down the butter fly clamps turbo side until you align the DP's and make sure there not rubbing on anything. I aligned everything with the exhaust first then snugged the butter fly clamps on once the bolts were loosely connected on the exhaust.

9) The exhaust bolts fasteners that come with the ARM kit are not the best. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN the exhaust bolts you will strip them.

The sound is just perfect for me it definitely sounds a little bit louder but not to the point where it's obnoxious. The exhaust tone definitely sounds better with out the cats.

Another IMPORTANT NOTE: I was very hesitant about down pipes and that rich gas smell that typically applies when removing dp's. I haven't noticed that smell at all. I had car's with out cats on before and the smell is not pleasant but so far I couldn't tell a difference. So that's a real positive in my book.

FMIC Install Tips:
1) FMIC install. You have to cut out the rear support. See pictures.I traced the line of where you need to cut. No big deal really Makes it much easier to install. I used a dremel with cutting nozzle not the disc. It looks like a very tiny cutting bit. Your going to need two people one to pull down the bumper cover while the other slides the IC in. See pics of where I traced the cut line. You dont need to cut the bottom it looks like you do but you dont. Your basically cutting what looks like an elongated "n". Once I cut the top two fins I pushed them down and out of the way. They should snap and break off.

2) IMPORTANT Make sure you push the ambient temp sensor looks like a nipple upper left up and through or you might break it as its going to get in the way of the FMIC.

3) At first I struggled to clamp down on the stock couplers to the FMIC with the stock gaskets. ARM sent replacement o-rings that were slightly smaller and fit just perfect. Very tight. You really have to make sure the clips click in all the way. Just use a large flat head screwdriver and confirm there clipped in properly.

Car sounds like jet turbines are spooling up when I give it some gas. (exposed DCI). It's definitely not as quite under the hood anymore.

12) The support bolts for the FMIC dont screw them in all the way until they bottom out. Looks like there just a little too long. I had about 1/4" between the nut and large thread. I didnt fee comfortable bottoming out that screw. I would recommend using another washer on the top side.

FLASHING: MHD Stage 2+
I used my BimmerGeeks cable and USB adapter cable on an Android Nexus 5.
1) IMPORTANT: Make sure to turn off your daytime running lights if you have them turned on.
2) Make sure you have a good internet connection via WI-FI
3) Install the MHD app and buy the Flasher License $99 and STAGE 2+ Tune $49 through the app.
4) Put your phone on airplane mode.
5) Make sure you backup your ECU!
6) Flash your tune. Took me less than 30 minutes to install.

VERY IMPORTANT: READ THIS TO HELP UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHAT TO DATALOG in MHD. https://www.docdroid.net/IyQ24N5/int...d-datalogs.pdf
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Last edited by GEOS07335i; 04-26-2018 at 03:19 PM.
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      03-19-2018, 02:18 PM   #19
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Anyone recommend what to look at as far as datalogging with MHD? How hard should I get on it and how fast should I be going to get a good datalog? I want to ensure the car is running right.
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      03-19-2018, 04:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dublin14 View Post
It all looks good. Interested in what the 7 inch IC is going to cost? And fitment on the DPs.
$347 will be the promotional pricing scheduled to launch in the next couple of weeks. Fitment of the DP's was perfect. Absolutely no issues at all.

Last edited by GEOS07335i; 03-19-2018 at 04:29 PM.
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      03-20-2018, 10:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GEOS07335i View Post
$347 will be the promotional pricing scheduled to launch in the next couple of weeks. Fitment of the DP's was perfect. Absolutely no issues at all.
Good price. I just spent 4k on my car in the last few weeks for tires/ wheels/ coilovers ect and still have OPG, clutch, M3 cntrl arms, downpipes, tune and IC to buy next. It would be nice to see real data comparisons vs the other venders IC's.
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      03-20-2018, 10:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEOS07335i View Post
$347 will be the promotional pricing scheduled to launch in the next couple of weeks. Fitment of the DP's was perfect. Absolutely no issues at all.
Anyone on here work for ARM? I just bought the 5 one and installed last week. Any chance I could trade up to the 7?

For OP, did you replace the bell housing bolt with another? If so what did you use where did you get it?
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