Chadillac2000's 2008 135i Road Warrior Daily Driver Build Thread

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chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
I wanted to add another update to this build thread as the 1er recently passed 140,000 miles and is still going strong, but recently got some time off + some new parts.

I was presented with the opportunity to purchase a E90 335i with a manual transmission that needed a few repairs and the owner wasn’t in a position to invest the money to get it road ready again. I wasn’t able to start the car up to confirm all this, but according to the previous owner the car had a bad water pump and/or thermostat, a leaky valve cover, leaky oil filter housing gaskets, needed tires, as well as a deep cleaning. I was a little hesitant about purchasing a car without hearing and driving it first, but all the maintenance records were included and I felt confident the drivetrain was in good shape. Because of the ailments the car was suffering from, I wasn’t able to drive the car from where it was (about an hour away) to my location, so I had to enlist the help of a flatbed to get it back to my garage before digging in.

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Before too long, I had my first E90 up on jack stands, splash shields off, wheels dismounted and started my deep dive to put together a list of parts I’d need to buy,

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I headed straight to FCP Euro to utilize their lifetime warranty and made a rather large order for: new thermostat, new water pump, new bolts, two gallons of coolant, a new cylinder head to thermostat hose (these are known to break down by this mileage, new oil cooler and oil filter housing gaskets (including o-rings), new coils, new spark plugs, a new power steering reservoir o-ring, and a few other miscellaneous items. Once those arrived, I was really ready to start the dirty work (literally).

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I replaced the water pump on my 135i a little over two years ago back when the car only had 74,000 miles, so now at over 140,000 miles, it was approaching the same amount of miles my first water pump endured before I replaced it as preventive maintenance before it left me stranded. So even though it was still working perfectly, I decided to remove both assemblies from the 335i and the 135i, which takes patience on top of the inevitable coolant bath you’ll be taking. Eventually though, I had all the coolant removed and the water pumps out of both cars. Here’s the new, used, and inoperable water pumps and thermostats laid out prior to re-installation:

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I took the new water pump and thermostat from FCP Euro with the lifetime warranty and installed it on my 135i. This would give me a brand new assembly on the 1er, as well as the peace of mind of knowing I had a free replacement waiting if this one ever went bad. The used, but perfectly functioning water pump and thermostat, were installed on the 335i to replace the inoperable parts that were leaking coolant everywhere. At this point I had gotten pretty speedy with the procedure just because I’d done it a couple times.

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Once all the water pumps were swapped, it was time to move on to plugs. I wasn’t sure the last time the coils and plugs had been replaced on the 335i, but I knew my 135i was due for NGK spark plugs since I’d been running them for about 15,000 miles, so paying some attention to the ignition system was up next for both cars. The plugs on the 335i weren’t in the best shape, but weren't terrible either.

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They were replaced with a brand new set of OEM plugs, and I swapped the lightly used ignition coils from my 135i to the 335i. I then pulled the NGK plugs on the 135i. For 15,000 miles, they looked pristine.

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I then used the BMS gap tool to set the .022 I’d been using on the NGK plugs, and installed brand new Bosch coils from FCP Euro on the 135i, which also meant I had a lifetime warranty now on coils for the 1er.

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The 335i needed a valve cover gasket next, so I started the teardown for that process. Before long I had the old valve cover off and was ready to inspect for cracks.

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Luckily there were no cracks, so I proceeded to fit in the new gasket to the valve cover.

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After reassembly and torquing everything back to stock, it was time to replace the oil cooler and filter housing gaskets. Following removal, it was easy to see why there were leaking all down the front of the engine.

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Once that was completed, I replaced all the wastegate lines with high temp silicone ones, I drained the original manual transmission fluid and replaced with fresh Redline ATF, I replaced the battery, registered it with MHD, changed the oil and filter, filled up the coolant and followed the electronic bleed procedure. Because the car had been sitting for a while, I made sure to disconnect the injector wires, and prime the system for 10 seconds on 3 different occasions before firing it up and letting everything get up to temperature. To my satisfaction, everything seemed and sounded perfect.

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I then spent quite a while refinishing the headlights and giving the exterior paint some attention. Before too long the inside and outside were looking excellent.

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chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
After weighing out the affordable tire options for the 19 inch Breyton GTS Race wheels already installed, I decided to go with a set of Achilles Sport 2 245/275 combo tires and glad I did. They filled everything out perfectly and didn’t rub at all on the stock m-sport suspension. Lastly, I added some front splitters and yellow vinyl over the fogs to complete the look I was going for. Here’s a few shots of the car prior to putting it up for sale. At this point, I had considered keeping it, but really have my heart set on a E90 M3 in a year or so.

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Not only had I fixed all the problems with the 335i and gotten it running reliably, but I’d also managed to get lifetime warrantied water pump and coils on my current 135i that I’d be keeping long term. Before completely buttoning up the 1er, I had one last new part to put on--a VRSF 335d coolant tank charge pipe that is better fitting for single turbo and inlet cars. Even though I didn’t have the 335d coolant tank, and had just relocated my 135i tank to the driver’s side when I went ST, the ER charge pipe fit had always fit poorly for my setup, so I took the opportunity to swap it out for a better fitting unit that also shows off the Tial blow off valve instead of hiding it out of sight.

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The tires on my 135i are reaching the end of their usable lifespan, and I plan on replacing them with the same Achilles Sport 2 tires that I put on the 335i. They’re about half the price of the current Firestone Indy 500 and Hankook V12 Evo2 options I’ve previously had installed on this car and I’ve decided to to try them out. As soon as those are mounted up, I’m determined to carve out some dyno time.
 
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langsbr

Lieutenant
Apr 5, 2017
915
Do you still have it for sale or did it sell already? I would think blacking out the chrome trim would make it look more aggressive and perhaps sell quicker.
 

chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
Do you still have it for sale or did it sell already? I would think blacking out the chrome trim would make it look more aggressive and perhaps sell quicker.
Sold just a few days ago. Didn't last long!

But I completely agree--makes me thankful I have Shadowline trim on my 1er.
 
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chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
Over the past month or so, I’d spent a lot of time with the E90 I’d been prepping for sale. After selling the car this past Friday and sending it down the road with its new owner, I decided to dedicate some time on Sunday towards the E82 since the weather was so choice. While the car gets washed regularly, it needed a good clay barring--as well as a fresh coat of wax. The pitted headlight lenses also had been begging for some attention, so they would get refinished as well.

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To avoid scratching the paint, I took the time to tape everything off prior to getting to work with the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration kit I’d picked up.

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After multiple passes with the coarser pads, I started achieving the “slurry” build up on the lens covers that the instructions called for.

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Many hours later, the paint surface was perfectly smooth and the headlights looked far better than before. Not perfect, but a major improvement.

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suspenceful

700HP Club (N54)
Aug 1, 2017
498
I enjoyed reading these latest updates, I'm sure you know why :)

Congrats! Hopefully you made out well on the E90, I'd be curious what your profit was if you don't mind PMing me.
 

chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
I enjoyed reading these latest updates, I'm sure you know why :)

Congrats! Hopefully you made out well on the E90, I'd be curious what your profit was if you don't mind PMing me.
When it was all said and done, I made about $3,000. Definitely some extra car mod money. You've certainly opened my mind to doing this more often and taking advantage of my basic N54 knowledge.

Great thread @chadillac2000 ! Just wanted to let you know I referenced this thread a ton when I was building my single turbo setup on my e90. Thanks for documenting it so well!
Glad it could be of use. I still can't believe that it's been almost a year and a half, and 40K miles since then I tore my baby apart like that to switch to a single. Best decision I've made though.
 
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chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
It took over 40,000 miles of use, but my switch to a single turbo finally caused some issues. As the temperatures started to warm up a few months ago, I noticed my air conditioning was not working properly. The blower fan was working, and the compressor was activating, but only ambient temperature was flowing. The car was now 11 years old and had almost 150K on the clock, so I was hoping it just needed a recharge--although I knew it shouldn't have leaked out in the first place. I removed all the cowling to take a closer look, and quickly discovered my issue.

There is a high pressure A/C line that runs from the passenger side front of the car, underneath the single turbo, along the passenger side strut tower, all the way across the firewall, and ends near the driver's side strut tower where the high pressure Schrader valve is located. In two separate areas, rubbing had caused pinholes in the aluminum line, allowing all my freon to escape.

Neither of these problematic areas were caused by the ACF single turbo kit itself, but rather the DOCRace heat shield I added, and my placement of the fuel feed to the port injection manifold. It turns out I'd underestimated how much the engine moves on the mounts, and over time, the lines got punctured from rubbing. Both could have, and should have been avoided, especially after looking over my past pictures. The heat shield was the most obvious place rubbing was going to be an issue. The hard edge of the shield dented in, and eventually pushed through the line causing a hole.

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I didn't notice it at the time of installation, but the port injection rail comes with two different inputs--one to run the y-line and one that's to be capped off. I used the wrong one, on the end of the rail, which made clearance between the fitting and the A/C line almost non existent. I've since switched the feed to the area in between the runners, which allows the A/C line to sit without any threat of being contacted by anything.

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Once I had figured out where the problem was, next came the task of tracking down the part. I had thought of trying to have the line repaired, or using JB Weld to hope for a miracle, but there was little to no chance of my repair holding up to the high pressure. That meant I'd probably need to track down a new OEM line. Eventually I tracked down the part I needed from Tischer (getBMWparts.com), but it came from Germany so it took almost 3 weeks to get here.

Getting the old line off and new line in without removing any major components was going to be the real challenge of this repair. I ended up cutting the old, damaged line at a convenient location to get it out easier. Old line on the left, new OEM line on the right.

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I took extra precaution and used some DEI sleeve for added protection.

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It took probably an hour for me to carefully snake the new line underneath the compressor housing, past the wastegate, and into the area where it bolts into the condenser. This time around, I made sure to secure this line away from any possible things it could come in contact with.

While the A/C line was being shipped, I tried to educate myself on exactly how an automotive A/C system works and how to properly recharge it. That meant I'd need a vacuum pump, a set of manifold gauges, and some R-134a refrigerant. I picked up the vacuum pump and manifold gauges on Amazon, and the refrigerant at a local auto parts store. After setting all the new equipment up, I attached the high and pressure gauges to the lines, which are located near the driver's side strut tower. It's impossible to mix them up because they are different sizes and only attach to the correct line.

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Because the lines had been open for so long, and really any time you want to properly recharge an A/C system, you'll want to pull a vacuum for an extended period of time. In this case, I pulled a vacuum for 45 minutes just to make sure all the moisture and refrigerant had been expelled from the system.

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After 45 minutes, I closed off the lines, disconnected the vacuum pump, and waited another 30 minutes to make sure that the gauges remained at 30 inHg vacuum and there were no leaks. Following that waiting period, and after verifying the system was still under vacuum, it was time to put in the new refrigerant. The 135i takes 1.3 pounds of refrigerant, give or take .02 pounds. After converting this to around 20 ounces, I used my digital scale to find out the actual weight of the freon inside so I could be as precise as possible. I definitely didn't want to overfill the system.

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The only thing left to do was start the car, crank up the A/C, attach the R-134a can, pierce the top, and let the car suck in the proper amount of refrigerant. 15 minutes later my car once again had ice cold A/C, which was a blessing given the mid 90 degree temperatures I'd been seeing in the Carolinas. Once that was charged, I installed a new shorty single turbo filter from BMS for some fresh air--the original had gotten filthy over the last forty thousand miles.

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My tires are on their last leg, so I will be getting some new rubber mounted soon. Once those are installed, I really want to follow up on my promise of getting back to a DynoJet with the single setup. I also picked up this fancy boost leak tester for my top mount that I'll be putting to use beforehand. I don't think I have any leaks, but I still want to make sure prior to putting down new power numbers.

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doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
7,471
AZ
Dang, sorry to hear you had an issue. I think I had read that someone made a modified AC line which relocated it in case you ever did it again.
 

chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
Dang, sorry to hear you had an issue. I think I had read that someone made a modified AC line which relocated it in case you ever did it again.
Yeah, it would probably be a better idea to relocate, but how I have everything secured now, I shouldn't have any other issues...hopefully.

All he has to do is cut a little notch out of the Doc race heatshield and he'll be fine.
I ended up bending it downwards a bit, as well as securing the line up and away from the heat shield with tie wraps. If it had been easier to remove, I probably would have removed it and trimmed/shaped it a little better.

Only positive that became of the situation was know I have a pretty decent understanding of how an A/C system works.
 
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chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
Since my last update where I resolved my AC line issues, everything has held up well so far and continues to blow ice cold air--an absolute necessity for the temperatures and humidity we’ve been having in the Carolinas. I’ve continued to daily drive the car long distances, putting it through its paces as it crossed 147,000 miles a few days back. Almost every afternoon recently, we’ve had thunderstorms, so the exterior of the 1er has been dirty for weeks. And after taking my wife and dog on a hike this past weekend, the interior was filthy and in need of some attention as well. No real news to update, but I did give the car a thorough detail, performed an oil change, installed the Achilles ATR Sport 2 tires, and installed a new set of BMS cowl filters. Everything seems to be holding together great as I approach 150K here soon--she certainly doesn’t look to have that much mileage underneath her.

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Torgus

Captain
Nov 6, 2016
1,195
Boston
I also picked up this fancy boost leak tester for my top mount that I'll be putting to use beforehand. I don't think I have any leaks, but I still want to make sure prior to putting down new power numbers.

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Hey, Where did you pick up that boost leak tester with the 90 degree silicone? The straight ones I doubt will fit on a top mount. At least not fit well.

Or did you buy one of those and also buy a 90 silicone adapter like this: https://turboboostleaktesters.com/bmw-top-mount-single-turbo-4-inch-boost-leak-tester-kit-billet-aluminum/ & https://www.amazon.com/Degree-Intercooler-Coupler-Reducer-Silicone-x/dp/B00GXJJEAE <- I assume it the metal part is 3'' ?

Thanks in advance.
 

chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
Hey, Where did you pick up that boost leak tester with the 90 degree silicone? The straight ones I doubt will fit on a top mount. At least not fit well.

Or did you buy one of those and also buy a 90 silicone adapter like this: https://turboboostleaktesters.com/bmw-top-mount-single-turbo-4-inch-boost-leak-tester-kit-billet-aluminum/ & https://www.amazon.com/Degree-Intercooler-Coupler-Reducer-Silicone-x/dp/B00GXJJEAE <- I assume it the metal part is 3'' ?

Thanks in advance.
Correct--Jake laid it out nicely so I just copied what he had purchased. I haven't even gotten around to using it yet, but I need to get around to it soon.


Here are the three items I bought:

https://turboboostleaktesters.com/bmw-top-mount-single-turbo-4-inch-boost-leak-tester-kit-billet-aluminum/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0778XF6SN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076M3CLGR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

chadillac2000

Corporal
Oct 26, 2017
222
NC
I've really been enjoying the sounds of everything with the BMS cowl covers installed and the large OEM assembly removed, as well as the extra cooling. The metal intake manifold used to be too hot to touch during normal operation, but now I can comfortably rest my hand right on the top.

I have been a bit worried about summer thunderstorms and the lack of protection from water getting through the filters and into the blower motor and interior of the car. So I tried to test out a set of Hydra Performance cowl covers on top. These should allow me to run the BMS filters and eliminate the threat of water entering the cabin.

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