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      01-19-2019, 02:27 AM   #1
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Hey everyone, my name is Sam and I am currently working on a 2009 335i track build. I figured I would post because I don't see to many E9X track cars out there and just wanted to add in, especially coming from a more amateur side of things. I always wondered how people got into racing, builds, and that whole life (still figuring it out), but just wanted to add my 1.5 cents that I've collected so far.
This first part is a little wordy and just about how I came about doing all this with my car, my road from knowing almost nothing to... well, almost something. But I guess its just the story of how this car came to be. At the bottom is the mod list from what i can remember and some pics of the build.
I bought this car a little over 18 months ago as a daily driver. I got it from a private dealership and I saw it was slightly modified with a catback, everyone's favorite forgestar F-14 setup and some aesthetics like alcantara steering wheel, rear lip and diffuser. It also had AFE DCI and AFE torch boost controller nonsense. I was very new to modding cars and completely new to the N54 platform. I found a local shop and soon found out the car also had catless downpipes and some ST coilovers.
I soon started adding my own touches to the car, and like any other naive tuner I started with horsepower. I stripped off the AFE torch nonsense and bought a Cobb V3 (in hindsight I wish I did the JB4 MHD routes). I also put on ECS chargepipe and off label HKS blowoff. Next came the MMP stock location inlets. I started just going to local street meets and all that but the first time the car touched the track I was hooked. I had quite a bit of karting experience and always wanted to transition to track. I signed up for COTA weekend event and started doing a little more prep on the car with the advice of the guys from my shop. I switched out the staggered wheel setup and trash tires for 18x9.5 enkeis with Hankook RS4 285 squared. I put on some Hawk DTC-70 pads. I had a weld in half cage welded up by a local formula D guy who did a great job (s/o to Russell Walker). I also tossed in some Sparco Evo2000s and 6 point belts. Fitting all of this in was a real pain however. With all these installs I was slowly but surely learning to do some extensive research before purchase. The seats for example. I bought them and the side mounts. I assumed that was enough for the mounting. It wasn't, sliders and a seat base were needed as well. Too bad they didn't come in in time. It was Friday and I was supposed to race COTA Saturday and Sunday and I still had the seats not mounted. The shop helped me fab up magic and temporarily fit the seat, singular. It took so long we just tossed an old Corbeau seat and bracket from one of their drift cars. Regardless car went on to drive the whole weekend relatively smoothly, the last heat my car ended up going into limp mode. Cylinder shutdown. Let the car cool off and refuel and everything was fine. I later found this to keep happening when I run with less than a quarter tank, fuel pumps need upgrading I assume.
As I kept doing more and more local track days at Harris Hill, Grandsport Speedway, MSR Houston, and more COTA I talked with more and more people, read more on here, talked to the guys at my shop more, and got a lot more hands on with my car. I learned a lot about it, even just going back to the basic mechanics of how it all works. I always the general idea but never the in depth details. I really enjoyed listening to podcasts like autoweek, or watching YouTube channels like donut media. I looked over the diagrams (found in the stickies of one of the sections here) and learned more and more about my car. Through this time I tossed on some smarter mods like a CSF aluminum radiator, stainless steel brake lines, oil catch can, some new adjustable coilovers by BC racing, dialed in my alignment. I learned about each one and its importance by talking with people at the track and in my shop. I found the right alignment by having people show me the wear pattern on my tires and using thermal guns right when i came off the track. Other mods came as an upgraded fix, like the control arms. I was out at COTA and heard a big snap sound... Crap. I just prayed for no oil leaking and no smoke coming from the engine. Luckily it was neither, however I did bend my control arms. So it was out with the old and in with some new m3 rear control arms. I also learned the importance of having you own tow hook that day.
I continued doing HPDE events with every organization that came around just to get as much seat time as possible, plus I was hooked. I cooked through tires, first trying out the Hankook RS-4s, then federal 595 RSR (note still need to pay more attention to detail, I meant to buy the RSRRs... damnit). Next up I am waiting for the delivery of Hoosier R7s. In recent months I have added an IRP V3 short shifter, and electronic exhaust cutouts. I went electronic and not straight vacuum activated because I want to be able to close them for tracks that have noise restrictions like Harris Hill. As for those who argue about back pressure being lost with cutouts, there was enough evidence in videos and article i read to make me think differently. Future plans to run on dyno too see how my area under the curve looks open v closed. The most recent change to the car was hood vents to keep bay temps down. I went with trackspec vents that I cut in. I have done lots of stuff to my car myself, but this was the first time i took a saw (well angle grinder) to my car, and i crapped my pants. I want to say it didn't take that long, but I measured, and taped and measured, and marked, and measured for a solid 3 hours making sure everything was jussssst right. I love how they came out however and highly suggest it. It ended up being a relatively easy upgrade.
My plans for this car and myself... Once i get those Hoosiers on ill need a trailer so I'm going to pick up either a 16' or 18' open air trailer this week. I'm a little worried i wont be able to get the 10% over the tongue of the trailer on the 16', but if i go to the 18' its $1000 more and its heavier. My tow car only has a 5700lb rating so i worry. The next things I want to get done for this car are basically all the dropped subframe jobs, however I have to save up quite a bit for all this. I plan on doing a clutch type LSD (please drop some recommendations on types and ratios, been doing my research but all the help is appreciated). With the subframe dropped I want to do solid bushings. I also want to do new trans and engine mounts front and rear sway bars (feel free to help me decide what size), rig up some brake ducts, toss up a full length rear view, strip out the rest of the interior, and that's about all ill be doing to the car until I win the lotto of come into some bundle of money. Which brings me to my next topic, money. I'm currently in medical school and don't have a big salary to help out so I do what I can. And to say this obvious, this s#$ts expensive. I have done what I can to make it cheaper, met the right people to help me work on my car for minimal labor, learned to do lots myself, met people selling used racing parts, joined every facebook group selling or telling anything to do with my car. I plan on even doing some flagging or corner work when possible (like at grandsport speedway) to offset costs. In time I would love to be able to take part of contingency programs but hopefully Ill get there soon.
As for myself. I have worked my way up through the HPDEs, gotten comfortable driving in numerous different conditions out on the track. I want to progress to time trial racing and plan to attempt it this year. I know people will come at me saying it takes years of experience or you need to be prepared to be completely surrounded by other cars, or basically anything of the sort, and I honestly welcome all of that. I want to know what I should expect and how to prepare. But I am still going to attempt to get that TT license. Check ride people roast me please, but with useful info and criticisms that I can build on. Regardless, I very much want to attempt to get my TT license this year. We'll see where it goes from there.
Any advice, words of wisdom or anything of the sort is greatly appreciated. Hope to see more E92 track builds out there.


Mod List:
Cobb V3
AFE DCI
3" catless dp
VRSF 7" Intercooler
MMP stock locations inlets
Charge and blowoff
CSF radiator
New Vacuum lines
Hawk DTC-70 pads
Stoptech SS lines
Stoptech slotted rotors
18 x 9.5 enkei rims with 285 squared Hoosier R7s
BMS OCC
BMS thermostat bypass (useless, just flip your current one around)
Electronic Exhaust cutout valve (right before the secondary cats)
Half cage weld in
Full seats and 6 point harnesses
IRP short shifter
Trackspec hood vents
BC racing Br coils
All new fluids
M3 control arms
And probably forgetting some stuff too


Near Future projects
- fog light delete brake duct
- all the subframe drop goodies: LSD, solid bushings, front and rear sway bars, new mounts
- new splitter and diffuser
- oil cooler

PS don't have tons of pictures but attached a few from along the way.



-Sam
Attached Images
           
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      01-19-2019, 08:44 AM   #2
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Nice, I would say get a front brake kit (even a cheaper one like an ST-60) for cost purposes. I was going through rotors like a madman until i switched and have been fine since.
Nice to see a 335 on track since i almost never see any when i go haha.

On a side note, how are the hood vents, i just installed mine a month ago but have yet to try it out on track to see the difference in temps( although i did go with a larger oil cooler as well)
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      01-19-2019, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synectic View Post
Nice, I would say get a front brake kit (even a cheaper one like an ST-60) for cost purposes. I was going through rotors like a madman until i switched and have been fine since.
Nice to see a 335 on track since i almost never see any when i go haha.

On a side note, how are the hood vents, i just installed mine a month ago but have yet to try it out on track to see the difference in temps( although i did go with a larger oil cooler as well)
Thank you! Big brake kit is definitely on the wish list. But right now my braking isn't an issue out on the track. Getting proper power to the ground is which is why I'm going LSD next up until I save up more. As for the vents. I want to say they are keeping temps down, but it's hard to actually tell because the weather has gone way down in temperature too. Once it's hotter outside I'll update.
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      03-05-2019, 11:33 PM   #4
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This is good to see.

Question is, what race series/class are you building towards?
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      03-07-2019, 09:46 AM   #5
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It looks like hes starting off at Time trials, which is a pretty good start(im starting TT myself this year with NASANE). Not much side by side action compared to an actual race but a good starting point. For OP i would try and see what race class you end up trying to go to and thats what will dictate most of your build. For example. in NASA you can go ST2 and be pretty free with body/Aero but limited with HP. But lets say with SCCA T1 you need to keep stock turbos and are usually limited to the amount of aero thats necessary(youll need to get a lot of clarification through SCCA since not many racers are using a 335 if at all anymore). I would also recommend going reliability first and fir most.
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      03-09-2019, 12:23 AM   #6
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I am currently building for NASA TT2 and hopefully once I get some experience ST2. But this may change along the way we'll see.
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      03-20-2019, 10:39 AM   #7
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If you find yourself in Austin, you’re welcome to stop by and poke around the JustPete 328i. I think that it’s a good reference point for what you’re trying to build. You can see what Pete did from nearly day one by searching here and save yourself some head scratching moments.

I should be running the car in STU at the SCCA Major at COTA in June.
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      10-27-2019, 06:14 PM   #8
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Old thread but I'd start with an LSD and huge oil cooler or dual coolers.

How's the car going?
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      10-30-2019, 11:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
Old thread but I'd start with an LSD and huge oil cooler or dual coolers.

How's the car going?
+1 on LSD
-1 on dual oil coolers
-1 on csf radiator
+1 on huge aux radiator

Lots of people do dual oil coolers, not realizing water temp overheats way earlier when it really gets hot and humid. The csf radiator is expensive, and doesn't make a noticeable difference imho.
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      10-30-2019, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
Old thread but I'd start with an LSD and huge oil cooler or dual coolers.

How's the car going?
+1 on LSD
-1 on dual oil coolers
-1 on csf radiator
+1 on huge aux radiator

Lots of people do dual oil coolers, not realizing water temp overheats way earlier when it really gets hot and humid. The csf radiator is expensive, and doesn't make a noticeable difference imho.
I've done 40+ track days in my N54 and I can tell you that you'll need dual oil cores to get through 30min with weather > 75* - essentially everyone I know who tracks their N54 is running dual oil cores or hitting limp mode

I also run the CSF radiator, tranny cooler, distilled water & some E85. Car can run a full 30min session but oil temps are still the highest of my fluids.

Good to hear it's running though! We need more N54 track cars!
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      11-04-2019, 03:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
I've done 40+ track days in my N54 and I can tell you that you'll need dual oil cores to get through 30min with weather > 75* - essentially everyone I know who tracks their N54 is running dual oil cores or hitting limp mode

I also run the CSF radiator, tranny cooler, distilled water & some E85. Car can run a full 30min session but oil temps are still the highest of my fluids.

Good to hear it's running though! We need more N54 track cars!
Well,it matters how you drive, what is the power output, the track and etc. I have done 50+ track days on OEM PPK (oil cooler + aux coolant radiator) e90 6MT and never overheated even on 90-100f ambiance
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      11-05-2019, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
I've done 40+ track days in my N54 and I can tell you that you'll need dual oil cores to get through 30min with weather > 75* - essentially everyone I know who tracks their N54 is running dual oil cores or hitting limp mode

I also run the CSF radiator, tranny cooler, distilled water & some E85. Car can run a full 30min session but oil temps are still the highest of my fluids.

Good to hear it's running though! We need more N54 track cars!
I would actually say I have done around 40 track days as well. I have also done 1h endurance racing with the N54 in around 32-34C heat. I insist you don't need dual oil coolers. You need more radiator. I have plenty of MHD and AiM data shared to datazap to back my claims, and have been documenting everything on the spo olstreet forum over the past year.

When I was only running dual oil coolers and no aux radiator I could literally hit around 115C water temp while oil was around 125C after one lap in very humid +100F heat with 450hp or so. After two laps I would hit power reduction due to coolant hitting 118C and oil would still be way below 140C.

I have now downgraded my oil coolers and added two aux radiators instead. Much better results.

Just for inspiration, the S55 has a total radiator area of 3200cm2 (one main + one aux) whereas the stock N54 has 2100cm2 (one main). The AT versions even less, as 10-15% of the radiator is used to heat and stabilize the transmission.

Now the S55 also has a much larger oil cooler, but nothing you can't match with a single oil cooler. Personally I still run two, but that is just because one of them is part of my semi-dry oil sump system. I have moved them both to one side, and selected a slim FMIC to allow for more space for radiators.

The reason people install oil coolers is because you can see the oil temperature rising in the cluster. What you cant see is that the water temps are much much worse. Also there aren't any decent aux cooler kits available, except the ppk.

Sometimes the masses can be wrong.


Last edited by Asbjorn; 11-05-2019 at 04:08 PM..
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      11-06-2019, 10:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
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....aren't any decent aux cooler kits available, except the ppk.
Sometimes the masses can be wrong.
Correct. If n54 needed two oil coolers BMW was going to do that. Instead they went with aux coolant radiator on the PPK equipped models. Did the same with S55. Coolant radiator will always be primarily souse of cooling down an engine because is more efficient and faster than cooling it with cooled oil.
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      11-07-2019, 11:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
....aren't any decent aux cooler kits available, except the ppk.
Sometimes the masses can be wrong.
Correct. If n54 needed two oil coolers BMW was going to do that. Instead they went with aux coolant radiator on the PPK equipped models. Did the same with S55. Coolant radiator will always be primarily souse of cooling down an engine because is more efficient and faster than cooling it with cooled oil.
PPK cars aren't track cars, the addition of a water sprayer helps I assume too from your photo.

Which oil weight and cooler core are you running?
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      11-08-2019, 08:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
PPK cars aren't track cars, the addition of a water sprayer helps I assume too from your photo.

Which oil weight and cooler core are you running?
True, but I think you are intentionally missing the point we are making here. Increased coolant radiator capacity eliminates the need of add on oil cooler and both coolant and oil temperatures would be in check, but not vise versa, if you only upgrade the oil cooling the coolant temp will be hitting boiling temperatures causing limp mode. I either run 0w-40 or 5w-40, oem oil cooler.
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      11-09-2019, 12:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
PPK cars aren't track cars, the addition of a water sprayer helps I assume too from your photo.

Which oil weight and cooler core are you running?
True, but I think you are intentionally missing the point we are making here. Increased coolant radiator capacity eliminates the need of add on oil cooler and both coolant and oil temperatures would be in check, but not vise versa, if you only upgrade the oil cooling the coolant temp will be hitting boiling temperatures causing limp mode. I either run 0w-40 or 5w-40, oem oil cooler.
I run a CSF radiator as well, less failure points than running aux cores. Have done 50ish track days w/ this car so I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of this platform's cooling situation. Unfortunately, my car requires 2 oil cores along with most everyone I know who tracks their N54 car hard.

That's awesome though, wish I only needed one oil cooler core - hate all of the hose routing required for dual cores.
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      11-09-2019, 11:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
I run a CSF radiator as well, less failure points than running aux cores. Have done 50ish track days w/ this car so I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of this platform's cooling situation. Unfortunately, my car requires 2 oil cores along with most everyone I know who tracks their N54 car hard.

That's awesome though, wish I only needed one oil cooler core - hate all of the hose routing required for dual cores.
Please post logs then

Here are some of mine:

More than one year ago: Running dual oil cooler + CSF
https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/ningbo...ata=6-21-23-30

The result here is that while coolant overheats by 1C (the limit is at 117C, and I hit 118C), the oil is still -8C from the limit which is 147C. So the coolant is 9C ahead of oil in overheating.

Here's an even more concerning log running the same setup for coolant and oil cooling.
https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/bq-v9-...ata=6-21-23-30

Here Im 1C from hitting coolant overheating, and 14C from oil hitting the limp mode limit. So the coolant was a whopping 13C ahead of oil in overheating.

Recently: Smaller oil coolers + CSF + two aux radiators
https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/everyt...ata=5-19-21-28

The result here was that peak coolant is now -12C from the limit, and oil is -17C from the limit (peak values). So now the coolant is only 5C ahead of oil in being overheated. A huge improvement.

This was comparing 2-3 laps against 2-3 laps. What about after a few more laps then? Good news, an equilibrium is reached, where peak oil is -13C from the limit and coolant is -9C from the limit, even better:

https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/gic-te...g=0&data=6-7-8

Both tracks and ambient conditions vary between the logs, so we can only look at the relative results, as I have tried to do.

What I conclude is that you want additional aux radiators rather than oil coolers to make sure that when the two overheat, they overheat in a balanced way. If you just run dual oil coolers and csf, especially the AT version, water temps will run away quickly.

With dual oil coolers and the undersized csf/oem rad, combined with no logging, you run the risk of having coolant hitting peaks just below the limit of 117C while the oil temp shown in the cluster show no signs of concern.
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      11-09-2019, 12:56 PM   #18
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Not only because the platform was new decade ago but realistically it is easier to build and sell an oil cooler kit so that is what all of the vendors did not because it is the ultimate solution for n54 overheating issues. Bmw engineers aren't stupid. The PkK is all about coolant cooling the engine: additional coolant radiator, stronger fan, different map for the coolant pump to increase coolant flow.
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      11-09-2019, 01:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by spxxx View Post
I run a CSF radiator as well, less failure points than running aux cores. Have done 50ish track days w/ this car so I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of this platform's cooling situation. Unfortunately, my car requires 2 oil cores along with most everyone I know who tracks their N54 car hard.

That's awesome though, wish I only needed one oil cooler core - hate all of the hose routing required for dual cores.
Please post logs then

Here are some of mine:

More than one year ago: Running dual oil cooler + CSF
https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/ningbo...ata=6-21-23-30

The result here is that while coolant overheats by 1C (the limit is at 117C, and I hit 118C), the oil is still -8C from the limit which is 147C. So the coolant is 9C ahead of oil in overheating.

Here's an even more concerning log running the same setup for coolant and oil cooling.
https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/bq-v9-...ata=6-21-23-30

Here Im 1C from hitting coolant overheating, and 14C from oil hitting the limp mode limit. So the coolant was a whopping 13C ahead of oil in overheating.

Recently: Smaller oil coolers + CSF + two aux radiators
https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/everyt...ata=5-19-21-28

The result here was that peak coolant is now -12C from the limit, and oil is -17C from the limit (peak values). So now the coolant is only 5C ahead of oil in being overheated. A huge improvement.

This was comparing 2-3 laps against 2-3 laps. What about after a few more laps then? Good news, an equilibrium is reached, where peak oil is -13C from the limit and coolant is -9C from the limit, even better:

https://datazap.me/u/asbjoern/gic-te...#38;data=6-7-8

Both tracks and ambient conditions vary between the logs, so we can only look at the relative results, as I have tried to do.

What I conclude is that you want additional aux radiators rather than oil coolers to make sure that when the two overheat, they overheat in a balanced way. If you just run dual oil coolers and csf, especially the AT version, water temps will run away quickly.

With dual oil coolers and the undersized csf/oem rad, combined with no logging, you run the risk of having coolant hitting peaks just below the limit of 117C while the oil temp shown in the cluster show no signs of concern.
I'll have to dig up some logs from before adding the 2nd core and check when I installed the CSF radiator.

Regardless of setup it's pretty awesome to see more N54s running full 30min track sessions without heat issues.
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      Yesterday, 10:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
Not only because the platform was new decade ago but realistically it is easier to build and sell an oil cooler kit so that is what all of the vendors did not because it is the ultimate solution for n54 overheating issues. Bmw engineers aren't stupid. The PkK is all about coolant cooling the engine: additional coolant radiator, stronger fan, different map for the coolant pump to increase coolant flow.
You're speaking a bit too definitively. Automatic cars struggle more with water temps than manual cars. Radiator capacity is reduced. PPK aux helps make up some of that difference. As a manual owner, I can say that on track my coolant temps have been fine while oil was rising steadily. You absolutely do need more oil cooling capacity. Coolant temps do play a big role in oil temps but it's not a direct relationship at all. especially so on a modern BMW that was designed to intentionally manipulate in-cylinder performance and efficiency by changing coolant/cylinder head temps independently from what oil is doing.
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