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Time to makes some upgrades to a 2008 E88 135i Convertible any suggestions

Discussion in 'E81/E82/E87/E88 (2004-present)' started by joshrosa1977, Dec 26, 2016.

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    joshrosa1977

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    Hi All,

    I'm a returning member, it's been some years since I was an active BMW CCA member, I use to have a 528i and then a 2001 750il with the V12 a decade ago, but then crossed to the darkside and went for a MB E550 sport and then several other cars, but last summer (2015) I decided to come home and back to BMW since I just missed the overall drive of a BMW.

    I picked up a 2008 low mile used 135i with the M sport package, N54 engine on the E88 chassis. It's in pretty good condition, some light cosmetic issues and a scuff and scratch here and there, but great overall car and really fun to drive especially when you through the top down on a nice day.

    I was back and forth between trading it in on a newer M4 or doing some upgrades and keeping it around. After test driving a 2015 M4 convertible (which was not taken care of as it probably should have been), I enjoyed it quite a bit, but not sold on the $60k price tag for 25k miles and some road rash on the front and rear bumpers which would need to be cared for. That said, I've decided to keep around the 135i and enjoy it, but in the process I want to start doing some tinkering without going all out total modification.

    So this is what I have in mind so far...

    1. Dinan Stage 1 tuning (early Spring 2017) for a boost in engine performance
    2. Front Strut Bar (over the winter)
    3. K&N air filter for a few extra HP
    3. Steering wheel insert (over time this one has had a lot of the rubberized film warn off, it's a real eye sore)
    4. Some body love, front and rear bumper repair of scuffs and scratches

    Wish List:

    1. Dinan performance exhaust with black tips
    2. Cold air intake (Dinan or similar)
    3. Some new Black wheels and tires (similar style to what is on the newer M performance package)
    4. Carbon fiber diffuser
    5. A cup holder

    Has anyone else undertaken something similar? Any good tips? Any other upgrades big or small worth while?

    Josh
    • Member
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    charlson89

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    Nice list so far and welcome back from the dark side! I guess it really comes down to what you wanna get out of the vehicle such as, better performance (more power), better handling, better looks. And of those three which is more important than the other because we all can't spend tons of money on mods though lord knows I would love to. I would avoid the K/N filter since if you going to a cold air intake system then that would be a waste of money.
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    MGarrison

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    Welcome to the forum & back to the club! Ditto what Charlson said!
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    joshrosa1977

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    Thanks, I actually just got the K&N in today and popped it in. The cold air intake is down the list a bit so not sure if I'll get to it by this summer or not, but in the mean time for $60 a couple (probably at most) extra HP for the winter bad spring. Anyone have any experience with the Megan Racing products? I ordered the front strut bar because it was only $85 after a bit of negotiating versus the Official BMM for $350 or the Dinan Carbon Fiber for $617. They all serve a similar purpose and I doubt there would be that much actual difference in function and I'm not taking a convertible on the track so two or three pounds lighter isn't really a deal breaker for me. I should have that in a few days so another quick winter project. I also finally broke down and grabbed a trickle charger too since I'm getting tired of resetting the clock every time I get in the car. I added the Soundwave Blue tooth USB module so I don't have cords all over anymore and it seems decent for the money. My e88 has the M sport package and heated seats, but no navigation or Bluetooth from the factory.
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    joshrosa1977

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    Anyone have any suggestions on a decent cold air intake. I like the Dinan, but not the $1200+ price tag. My 135i isn't a show car so I'm not worried about ascetics. I was looking at the aFe Stage 2 intake, it's just under $500, has a two filter system and is suppose to add 34hp and over 40lbs of torque based off the dunk tests, but I haven't ever used any of the aFe products.

    Anyone have any first hand knowledge or feedback on them?
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    joshrosa1977

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    Thanks. We still have two Toyota's hanging around, a 2015 Sienna limited (the kid hauler) my wife drives and my other car is a 2016 Tundra Platinum with the TRD Cat Back exhaust and the TRD cold Air intake, a bit over 400 hp, really nice and throaty in strait lines but awful cornering is probably the understatement of the year. Which makes taking out the e88 on nice days all that much more pleasurable. Once the kids get older I'll put my with in a certified 5 series or 7 series so she doesn't have to feel like a soccer mom all the time.
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    charlson89

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    AFE makes good products since they actually seal heat from getting into the intake and have a good sounds to them as well. As for the hp ratings I'm doubting that upgrade will give you anywhere close to that. I agree the dinan is quite pricy for what it is. Let us know how the strut bar turns out, pictures if you can. If your clock keeps resetting you might wanna check the age of your battery and if its older I would have it replaced. I like the Toyota's you have the truck sounds really nice.
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    joshrosa1977

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    Thanks, I'll post some photo's of the strut bar when I start putting it in, it looks like it's only 6 bolts, but I'm not counting on it being easy because every time I do it turns out to take three times as long.
    The hp and torque sounded a bit high to me as well. With my Tundra the cold air intake and cat back exhaust together only get me about another 20 hp. I'm hoping between the cold air intake and Dinan level 1 performance software upgrade I can get up over 350 hp, but I guess it'll have to be a wait and see.
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    joshrosa1977

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    As far as the clock, the car always starts just fine, not sure if it's in the software for a low peer mode if it isn't driven much? During the winter I don't take it out very often, since November I've only taken it out maybe two or three times.
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    charlson89

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    The clock resetting means the 30F relay is getting switched off shutting off the power to the vehicle during sleep mode because the battery has dropped below the start ability limit. Most likely its from not being driven a lot and cold weather. As the battery ages this can become worse since the batteries ability to hold a charge drops.
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    joshrosa1977

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    Thanks, I put the trickle charger on it over the weekend, it was yellow for two days, but green today. I don't drive it much in the cold, and had the same thing happen last winter as well. Only happens when it's not out a few times a week.
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    joshrosa1977

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    Schedule my next appointment for service.... After discussing the tune options with Jared from Enthusiast Auto Group, I'm going with the Dinan Stage 2 performance tune. Since I already have an OEM oil cooler there are no additional mods needed and it's only a bit over a hundred bucks more than the Stage 1 and you get a lot more power. I'm also getting a little knocking and after reading some forums and listening to some videos on YouTube I thinks it's most likely a loose spark plug (40k mileage) so along with the regular service I'm going to have the plugs changed out too. I added the Megan Racing strut bar ($85) and it looks pretty nice, I'll get a pic up soon the original pics I took were too large to upload on the forum. Next up will either be the cold air intake or free flow exhaust. I think I may start trying to hunt down the Dinan Badge since I'll be a third of the way there with the software.
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    joshrosa1977

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    joshrosa1977

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    I also picked up the OEM performance gloss black grill inserts, when I have some time over the next few weeks I'm going to change those out as well.

    Question... Has anyone put on 19" wheels and if so what are your opinions. I noticed VMR makes a 19" wheel which mirrors the newer performance package wheel, but the photos they advertise are a 135 with a lowering spring mod, so it's hard to tell what the stance would be on the stock suspension?
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    joshrosa1977

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    Update... Today I dropped off and picked up my 135i from EAG here in Cincinnati. I had the Dinan Stage 2 Performance Software added and the Dinan Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake installed (so +6 points toward my Dinan Badge). I do have to say on the short ride home, I can definitely notice the power increase, the car was already fun to drive, but now it's even better. I almost had a hard time keeping the wheels under it on a few turns at lights.... This summer should be a blast. I'll try to get some photos up soon
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    joshrosa1977

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    Oh, and a quick lesson learned.... If you are going to install the Dinan Intake, make sure you get the Dinan Strut Bar, the Megan Racing bar I put in earlier (great bang for the buck, photo above) won't clear the intake, so I'm going to have to kick out a few more bucks for the Dinan now since it looks like that may be the only one that fits with the intake... On the brighter side, I can always use the point to add to the Badge quest
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    charlson89

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    Sounds like some great updates! Keep us posted on how it all goes.
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    joshrosa1977

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    So I've had a busy winter/spring and for now I'm done on performance upgrades and ready to enjoy the summer. I've added:

    Dinan Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake
    Dinan Carbon Fiber Strut Bar
    Dinan Stage II software
    Dinan Free Flow Exhaust (black tips)
    Dinan Badge (11 points for the above)
    Michelin Pilot SuperSports

    On the wheels side of the house, I was going back and forth on new wheels and tires for about the last six months. When I bough the car there was some curb rash on the driver side which has always bothered me and the Continental Run Flats are decent all season tires, but I always felt they didn't give me all the grip I was looking for and are a bit rough on the ride. I found a local shop, Wheel Doctor in Cincinnati, OH, which does wheel repair and powder coating for a great price, I drop shipped new tires from TireRack and they mounted and balanced them for free with the wheel work. They fixed all my curb rash, powder coated all four wheels with a nice metallic gunmetal grey, and put on my new Michelin Pilot SuperSports on the OEM 18" wheels for under $450 which is a great price. They do a lot of high end work (BMW, MB, Lambo, Porsche) so they really pay close attention to detail.

    Now I have a small amount of body work to finish out, some PDR and touch up and a few spots. Eventually a new back bumper cover with a carbon fiber diffuser (probably next year) since the previous owner was a bit inept at backing up into things it seems and left some creases in the plastic of the back bumper.

    I'm just looking forward to getting out this summer and breaking in the new tires..... I'll post some pictures soon
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    charlson89

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    Wow really got into since the last we heard from you! Nice mod list sounds like things are going well. How do you like the Dinan stuff on the car? Those wheels sound great do you have any pictures?
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    joshrosa1977

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