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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 > 2011 N55 ready to mod, but have some questions please.



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      01-10-2018, 04:25 PM   #1
Johnny_Bravo
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2011 N55 ready to mod, but have some questions please.

So a bit of my background, I started building and drag racing hot rods with my father as a kid. Cut my teeth on older V8 stuff, and then went to college and sold the muscle car and bought a VW with the intention of just driving it, next thing I know I'm deep into the import drag racing scene.

Missed the feel of a V8, so bought a 05 GTO and which got out of control as modded the hell out of it, now I bought this 2011 335i which is bone stock.

I guess my question is what route to go and what to purchase first? I was online looking at the Vargas Stage II turbo upgrade, and a couple others. It infuriates me these businesses don't have a phone number you can call to ask questions to a live person, so I'd love some advice.

Like my GTO, before I could go for the big mods I had to do certain things like headers..etc. Is it the same with this car?

I see the Cold Air Intakes, and exhaust systems. If my end goal is the Stage II turbo, are they necessary? How about charge pipes? Is that a safety thing, like do it now while everything is out? How about a blowoff valve v.s dv?

Looks like the downpipe needs to be replaced as well. Is there a big difference between the 3.5 and 4 inch?

Looks like an aftermarket FMIC as well?

One of the things my dad taught me when we worked on these things was to do the job right the first time, so I'd love to know before I buy the wrong parts and waste a bunch of money.

Any advice would be so wonderful as I've done a lot of searching here but there's so much. ha ha ha
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      01-10-2018, 05:33 PM   #2
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You're not going to want to jump into a bigger turbo without the supporting mods. Here's a few that you should do first:

-Chargepipe (a must, OEM plastic cracks even on stock boost)
-intercooler
-downpipe
-MHD tune
-spark plugs
-LPFP

All depends on the power level you're aiming for.
If you're set on upgrading the turbo, check out Pure stage 2. I'd recommend them as I'm sure just about everyone here would too.
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      01-10-2018, 07:01 PM   #3
Johnny_Bravo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreAlex View Post
You're not going to want to jump into a bigger turbo without the supporting mods. Here's a few that you should do first:
Thank you so much!!!

-Chargepipe- Any certain one you would recommend?
-intercooler- Again, any certain one you would recommend?
-downpipe- 3.5 or 4 inch?
-MHD tune
-spark plugs- Any work better than others?
-LPFP- Forgive my ignorance, is this a fuel system? Sorry not up on my BMW acronyms yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreAlex View Post
All depends on the power level you're aiming for. If you're set on upgrading the turbo, check out Pure stage 2. I'd recommend them as I'm sure just about everyone here would too.
Yes, I first saw the ESS kit, but called them and they are no where ready to sell them, and were like check back in a few weeks. Then I saw the Vargas set up and a couple others. They all say 500hp which I'd love to get as close to on 91 octane and not having to run a meth kit.

I'm super new to these cars, so I honestly have no clue what power the engine with Stage II, dp, fuel system, charge pipes, intercooler realistically make?
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      01-10-2018, 08:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Bravo View Post
Thank you so much!!!

-Chargepipe- Any certain one you would recommend?
-intercooler- Again, any certain one you would recommend?
-downpipe- 3.5 or 4 inch?
-MHD tune
-spark plugs- Any work better than others?
-LPFP- Forgive my ignorance, is this a fuel system? Sorry not up on my BMW acronyms yet.




Yes, I first saw the ESS kit, but called them and they are no where ready to sell them, and were like check back in a few weeks. Then I saw the Vargas set up and a couple others. They all say 500hp which I'd love to get as close to on 91 octane and not having to run a meth kit.

I'm super new to these cars, so I honestly have no clue what power the engine with Stage II, dp, fuel system, charge pipes, intercooler realistically make?
As for the chargepipe I would get methanol bungs even if you think you're not going to run methanol right now. I would choose your chargepipe based on what intercooler you go with. I am using the ER chargepipe with the VRSF intercooler and the fitment between the two are not the best.

As for the intercooler a lot of people go with VRSF because of their price and fitment. Performance benefit for the nicer intercoolers, if any, isn't worth the mark up in price. That is just my opinion.

Your car will not fit a 4 inch downpipe.

I agree with the MHD tune. Others prefer the JB4 piggyback tune but you should plan to run both if you go this route as the piggyback is limited on what it can control.

I would recommend the BMW N20 spark plugs. Gap them around 0.022.

LPFP - Low Pressure Fuel Pump. This isn't necessary unless you plan to add a port injection or throttle body injection kit. The HPFP hits its limit at about the same point as the LPFP.

If you're looking for stage 2 kits most people run Pure turbos. You will not get around 500 whp without methanol and or E85. If you're looking to hit 500hp and not whp then you should be fine with E30 and the Pure stage 2. There are aftermarket kits out with larger turbos. They are still new for this platform so go at your own risk.

GFB sells a diverter upgrade but I wouldn't add it until you replace the turbo.
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      01-10-2018, 08:47 PM   #5
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If you're going to skip hybrid turbos like Vargas or Pure and go for a big turbo like the speedtech kit, then don't buy a downpipe. The kit comes with it.
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      01-11-2018, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreAlex View Post
You're not going to want to jump into a bigger turbo without the supporting mods. Here's a few that you should do first:

-Chargepipe (a must, OEM plastic cracks even on stock boost)
-intercooler
-downpipe
-MHD tune
-spark plugs
-LPFP

All depends on the power level you're aiming for.
If you're set on upgrading the turbo, check out Pure stage 2. I'd recommend them as I'm sure just about everyone here would too.
Agree with above, but LPFP only needed if you want to run E30 or higher.

I would add to the list suspension, grippy tires, ideally an LSD too. You will want to be able to keep those tires (and the car) on the road after you increase the power.
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      01-11-2018, 03:50 PM   #7
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I run E30 on the stock fuel system with the Pure Stage 2. Cory S bought a stage 2 LPFP and was not able to run any more boost on the same ethanol blend.
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      01-11-2018, 04:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbod View Post
I run E30 on the stock fuel system with the Pure Stage 2. Cory S bought a stage 2 LPFP and was not able to run any more boost on the same ethanol blend.
Yup, PS2 will tap out your LPFP a lot faster than stock turbo. I can only run E25 with PS2 and stock fueling. With PS2 you need PI and LPFP upgrade to run more than E30. Sorry if my last post was misleading.
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      01-11-2018, 04:12 PM   #9
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Thank you all SO much, I did not even know about the Speedtech kit. Can you guys tell me what people are finding as far as the limits of these stock motors and transmissions are power wise?

I saw the sticky about the factory LSD's, but $3k for a diff? I've been drag racing my whole life and that price shocked me as I've put over 1,000 hp through my Eaton Tru-Trac in my GTO, and punished it at the track, and it drove perfect for the four years I had it. Any other non factory options people are having success with?

Could you tell me what sort of mods I would need to have to get a reliable 500whp?

My car is a daily driver, so looking for a real fun car I can drive to work every day, so I'm not trying to push the boundaries of the stock shortblock too its limits. ha ha ha

Last edited by Johnny_Bravo; 01-11-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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      01-11-2018, 04:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Bravo View Post
Thank you all SO much, I did not even know about the Speedtech kit. Can you guys tell me what people are finding as far as the limits of these stock motors and transmissions are power wise?

Could you tell me what sort of mods I would need to have to get a reliable 500whp?

My car is a daily driver, so looking for a real fun car I can drive to work every day, so I'm not trying to push the boundaries of the stock shortblock too its limits. ha ha ha
The speedtech kit is currently only for the F30 as far as I know.
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      01-11-2018, 04:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRigs View Post
The speedtech kit is currently only for the F30 as far as I know.
2011 N55 335i is an E90, not F30.
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      01-11-2018, 04:39 PM   #12
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It's available for both E and F series N55. Last I checked they didn't have it on their website but they have it. I know at least one guy with a 135 that's in the middle of install now.
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      01-11-2018, 05:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Bravo View Post
I saw the sticky about the factory LSD's, but $3k for a diff?
Welcome to the wonderful world of BMW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Bravo View Post
what people are finding as far as the limits of these stock motors and transmissions are power wise?....Could you tell me what sort of mods I would need to have to get a reliable 500whp?

My car is a daily driver, so looking for a real fun car I can drive to work every day, so I'm not trying to push the boundaries of the stock shortblock too its limits. ha ha ha
IIRC the highest numbers for the N55 platform right now are in the ~560-570 whp ballpark (someone correct me if I'm wrong here). There are plenty of people in the ~500 whp area though, so I think the bottom end has proven itself to be capable of that. At those levels though you run into fueling issues, thus the suggestions from some people to upgrade to PI and a stronger fuel pump(s).

To get there:
Charge Pipe (do this before anything else....increasing boost on the stock CP is like trying to french fry when you're supposed to pizza: you're gonna have a bad time.)
MHD Tune (Just the tune/CP combo alone really wakes up the car. If you're on a budget, or planning this build over the long term, do these two first and you'll notice a big difference already.)
FMIC
Catless Downpipe
PS2 Turbo (or big turbo kit, but those are still really new, not a lot of info out there yet.)
E30
Methanol
Fueling upgrades.

This is just to get the power though...The e90 suspension really benefits from some stiffening, and an LSD speaks for itself.
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      01-11-2018, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
2011 N55 335i is an E90, not F30.
Yes, I know. I was not aware Speectech had the kit out for an E90. It does not state it on their website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin39 View Post
It's available for both E and F series N55. Last I checked they didn't have it on their website but they have it. I know at least one guy with a 135 that's in the middle of install now.
Thanks for the info. Is this person doing an install thread to keep everyone posted?
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      01-12-2018, 08:16 AM   #15
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There's N55s well into the 600s whp.

Yes there's a whole thread on the speed tech kit in the N55 section of the N54tech site. Jump to the last page to see the latest on the 135 install.
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      01-12-2018, 09:15 AM   #16
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There are more and more kits becoming available for the N55.

I found that a PS2 would meet my needs. I wanted something with a bit of punch. I am at peace with the idea that there's always going to be someone faster, so I didn't want to go silly with my build. I wanted a mixture of power and comfort.

So, I've just had a PS2 installed. I'm on pump only here in the UK. The difference is day and night. Its a completely different car already.

Once the weather gets better I'll probably look at PI and Meth and hope to look for a reliable 500hp. I'm not looking to be on the edge of the max possible HP.

Before getting the turbo fitted, I spent some time ensuring that the rest of the engine was healthy with the usual plugs, filters, oil, walnut blast and so on.

LSD is a must for the power. I have a Quaiffe installed and it is fantastic for those moments where you push the car. I was fortunate as the previous owner had it fitted.

Good luck and keep us posted on the route you decide on.
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      01-12-2018, 10:11 AM   #17
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There's also a kit from Big boost and a top mount kit from Doc Race if you like the bling factor. The PS2 is proven, cheap, and a direct swap so it's definitely the easiest to get up and running.
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      01-12-2018, 01:09 PM   #18
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If 500whp is your goal, then definitely just do the PS2, especially if you have E85 available in your area. If not, meth and 93 should be able to get you there.
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      01-12-2018, 06:52 PM   #19
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LSD, do consider MFactory. 3 years ago I got a 3.42 pumpkin installed for about 1500.
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      01-13-2018, 02:00 AM   #20
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Thank you guys so much for letting me ask such Newb questions, it has been SO helpful. Just picked up a VSFR FMIC with inlet, and just ordered the charge/DP/intake and PS2 tomorrow.

Really appreciate everyone's help so much, I'm in love with this car now, I can't wait until all these parts are installed.

What's the consensus on an aftermarket exhaust? More for sound, or important for power?
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      01-13-2018, 03:12 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Bravo View Post
Thank you guys so much for letting me ask such Newb questions, it has been SO helpful. Just picked up a VSFR FMIC with inlet, and just ordered the charge/DP/intake and PS2 tomorrow.

Really appreciate everyone's help so much, I'm in love with this car now, I can't wait until all these parts are installed.

What's the consensus on an aftermarket exhaust? More for sound, or important for power?
If there are gains it isn't worth the price. If you're going to shop for a catback make sure you find sound clips with an aftermarket downpipe. They are primarily for a sound change.
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      01-13-2018, 12:24 PM   #22
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JB, your car is going to fly. Get the inlet pipe and the diverter valve that Pure offers when ordering the PS2. There now is an outlet pipe for between the turbo and the FMIC. For these three parts the install cost is free as everything will be apart during the turbo and FMIC installs. Do them now and save time or labor charges later. Also, you'll soon come to a roadblock. As you turn up the boost you'll come to the realization that you need more fuel flow. A stage 2 LPFP will resolve that.
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