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Thread: Advice for e90 modifications?

                  
   
  1. #1

    Advice for e90 modifications?

    I'm relatively new to the club, as well as BMW ownership (so forgive my ignorance!)

    Anyone have any thoughts/recommendations for upgrades for a 2007 E90, 335i sedan?

    I lease the car, but I'm debating making some modifications (meaning I will need to buy the car at the lease end, something I am inclined to do anyway).

    I have recently started to Auto-x, so I think suspension/wheel upgrades are a good idea (I don't have the sport package, everything is stock).

    I am also concerned about the oil temp issue, I don't have the oil cooler.

    Is it worth it to upgrade this car, or should I look for another 335 when the lease ends in 2 years? The thought of the ECU upgrade does have me excited, but do I really need the extra HP, I'm already enjoying the stock HP.

    If I do decide to upgrade, any thoughts on which package/manufacturer to go with? I've heard a lot about Dinan, and the warranty seems to be a big (very big) plus.

    Thanks for any thoughts/advice/experiences are much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member pseto's Avatar
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    welcome Ethan, force induction is great isnt it?

    i spend a lot of time over on e90post.com, so you'll find plenty of mod info over there. also, you should come on out to a social and you can see all the mods on my car and plenty of other e90 guys.

    you can drive my car if you want to see how the Dinan feels; i like it alot. i also upgraded to coilovers, so it'll feel way different if you have the non-sport setup.

    has your car overheated yet? not having an oil cooler does suck and it would come in handy when autox-ing. are you still on your original fuel pump?
    Paul Seto - NCC Board Member & Social Chairman

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  3. #3
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    For autox: front sway and shocks/struts. And r-tires for F-stock. No other useful mods are allowed in that class.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the response.

    I do not have the oil cooler, and have not yet experienced the "limp home". That said, the needle has hit 290 briefly, and spends a lot of time in the 280 area. I find if I use the manual shift, or the sport mode, it jumps up 10-20 degrees right away. It also seems to be burning a little oil after the first change, it dropped a quart or so in about 3,000 miles.

    I have the original fuel pump, but I suspect it needs to be replaced since the car does have the long crank to start (particularly when cold), which I understand is the symptom of a bad HPFP. My production date is outside of the dates in the BMW service notice, but I understand that BMW will (hopefully) replace the pump even though it's not in the specific production dates, since they are well aware of the issues.

    I hope to make it out to a social, and welcome the chance to check out a car that has the Dinan equipment.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd View Post
    For autox: front sway and shocks/struts. And r-tires for F-stock. No other useful mods are allowed in that class.
    If I have the ECU flash, does that prevent me from using that car for AutoX? If so, I probably wouldn't get it.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down Hold your modifications!

    Hello Ethan, welcome to BMWs and motorsports!

    You may not recognize this as such, but the best advice I can give you is Do Not make any modifications for two years. This applies to AutoCrossing, drivers' schools, and in fact appearance.

    You are new to the Chapter, new to BMWs, and new to AutoCrossing. Learn to dance with the lady you brought!

    Any BMW is a far superior car to most other marques when it comes to motorsports. Continue to participate in autocrosses with your car in stock form. Always walk the course as many times as you can. Always watch other competitors run as many runs as possible, from different perspectives around the course. Always memorize the course map before your first run. Always have someone watch you on each run, and give you feedback as soon as your adrenaline has leveled. Always write down your times.

    Start moderately on the first run to ensure staying on course, and then attempt to increase your speed and smoothness. This year you should find that between the 1st and 4th run you will decrease your run time by between 5 and 10 seconds. However, always remember that a 50 second clean run will forever beat a 36 second off-course run!

    At the end of the first year you should be getting to know the skill combination of you and your stock car.

    Run the second year of autocrosses with a stock car. During this year you will gradually - but continually - see your skills improving. The times between your first and last runs will decrease to probably 5 seconds or less by the end of the 2009 autocross season. You will KNOW that all your improvements are a result of YOUR improvements, because your car has not changed.

    Please do not make any "improvements" or modifications until at the very earliest 2010. By that time, you may actually realize that the best times are set by the skilled drivers, not by modifications. After several years of competition some people actually decide to keep their cars stock, and yet they are always in contention for FTD, which should actually be known as LTD (lowest time of the day).

    Any modifications you make before you really get to know your car will act as camouflage - you'll think you're becoming a better driver, but it may be only the modified part.

    Cheers - and enjoy!
    Alan
    aka the Curmudgeon

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Blank View Post
    If I have the ECU flash, does that prevent me from using that car for AutoX? If so, I probably wouldn't get it.
    It prevents you from using the car in a class where it will be competitive. A 335 is hopelessly outclassed in SM. (1,000lbs. overweight for the power output, and you'd need to spend $5K on the suspension and another $5K on a diff just to even think about not looking foolish in it.)
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd View Post
    For autox: front sway and shocks/struts. And r-tires for F-stock. No other useful mods are allowed in that class.
    Ethan,
    Nick's advice would only apply if your goal is to be competitive in SCCA stock class autocrosses. The local BMW club uses different car preparation rules. My advice for now would be to spend your money on seat time at some autocross schools. The DC Region SCCA puts on several throughout the year. After that you'll be ready for a good set of "extreme summer tires".
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodym3 View Post
    Ethan,
    Nick's advice would only apply if your goal is to be competitive in SCCA stock class autocrosses. The local BMW club uses different car preparation rules. My advice for now would be to spend your money on seat time at some autocross schools. The DC Region SCCA puts on several throughout the year. After that you'll be ready for a good set of "extreme summer tires".
    Given that the WDCR SCCA is the only venue with access to a fun lot these days...
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd View Post
    Given that the WDCR SCCA is the only venue with access to a fun lot these days...
    No doubt that either of the two lots used by SCCA and AI at FedEx Field are head and shoulders above anything else in the area, but the NCC events have been lots of fun considering. The NRR events at Cumberland and NASA at VMP can be quite fun too. FedEx may be the best AX venue in the country. Expand your horizon Nick.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

  11. #11
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    I've had time for all of two WDCR events this season. Much less anything else.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodym3 View Post
    Ethan,
    Nick's advice would only apply if your goal is to be competitive in SCCA stock class autocrosses. The local BMW club uses different car preparation rules. My advice for now would be to spend your money on seat time at some autocross schools. The DC Region SCCA puts on several throughout the year. After that you'll be ready for a good set of "extreme summer tires".
    Ethan,

    I strongly agree with Alan's advice - leave the car stock for now.

    Woody is correct that you can run with the NCC with little "penalty" for an ECU flash. You won't qualify to run in the Showroom class. Rather you will have to run in the Prepared class (Super Sport). I run in the Prepared Sport because I have a chip and an intake (and, that's all I have - I'm on street tires (stock 16") and a stock suspension).

    I looked at your run times in the Chapterfest event. You have a long ways to go and should concentrate on improving the driver rather than on upgrading the car. If you immediately begin with upgrades, you willl be covering-up bad skills with a superior car. The very real risk is that you are going too fast and get yourself into trouble.

    As has been suggested, if you want to autox - sign up for an autox school. You can also try some track events. If you have never been on a track, you should look at the NCC's Highway Safety School that is usually in the Spring. It is a fantastic introduction to high speed driving and will teach you some valuable skills.
    Rafael Garces
    NCC Street Survival Coordinator
    NCC Past President (2003-2005)
    '16 BMW 340i - Estoril Blue, M-Sport, Track Handling Package
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  13. #13
    I have been looking around for the upgrades, and didn't intend to do anything right away. Dinan's 20% off is what is motivating me to do something now. Otherwise, I would wait. But, if I know that I am going to get Dinan eventually, the savings is significant enough that I should do it now. If I was confident that Dinan will offer the 20% again, I would agree that I should hold off.

    The fact that I have no oil cooler is what started this in the first place, watching that gauge go up to 270 on a regular basis, and spend some time at 280-290, gets me nervous.

    If I could get BMW to put in the oil cooler (I need the HPFP replaced too), I would do that now, and then wait on the Dinan upgrades for a while.

    I am concerned that running without the oil cooler for too long will be detrimental to the engine on a long term basis (which is fine if I am going to return the car at lease end, but if I plan to buy the car, which is my intention, I don't want to drive it for too long without the oil cooler).

    I will still work on the autox times, attend the classes, etc, whether or not I get the Dinan upgrades now or later.

    All great advice, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafgar View Post
    Ethan,

    I strongly agree with Alan's advice - leave the car stock for now.

    Woody is correct that you can run with the NCC with little "penalty" for an ECU flash. You won't qualify to run in the Showroom class. Rather you will have to run in the Prepared class (Super Sport). I run in the Prepared Sport because I have a chip and an intake (and, that's all I have - I'm on street tires (stock 16") and a stock suspension).

    I looked at your run times in the Chapterfest event. You have a long ways to go and should concentrate on improving the driver rather than on upgrading the car. If you immediately begin with upgrades, you willl be covering-up bad skills with a superior car. The very real risk is that you are going too fast and get yourself into trouble.

    As has been suggested, if you want to autox - sign up for an autox school. You can also try some track events. If you have never been on a track, you should look at the NCC's Highway Safety School that is usually in the Spring. It is a fantastic introduction to high speed driving and will teach you some valuable skills.

  14. #14
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    Wow, PSS gets unlimited boost? That needs to change.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  15. #15
    Senior Member mcoupemindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd View Post
    Given that the WDCR SCCA is the only venue with access to a fun lot these days...
    You cough up the money and the connections to get better lots then ... I'm all ears ...
    Jonathan Thayer - jonathan.michael.thayer@gmail.com
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