335is/550i Clutch Upgrade

2016 Update: Clutch setup is holding up great after 12k hard miles!

After adding my aggressive E85 flash last summer, the factory clutch started to slip. I decided it was time to upgrade so I could enjoy the car to it’s full potential this summer. From Spec to ACT, there are plenty of aftermarket options available. Then I found the 335is/550i clutch upgrade on ECSTuning, so I started to do some research.

This clutch comes factory in the F10 550i, which puts down 443 tq and weighs a whopping 4552 lbs. DINAN doesn’t offer a clutch upgrade for their different stages of 550i’s, so apparently they feel that it is adequate. Their Stage 3 550i puts down 580 tq and they kept the factory clutch. Also, someone on the forums is using this clutch and claims that it is holding at over 620wtq on aftermarket turbos. To me, it sounds like the clutch is severely underrated.

My 135i won’t see more than 500 tq anytime soon. I’d guess that it is currently around 420whp/465wtq, but only weighs 3300 lbs!

I decided to give it a try. Here is my parts list from ECSTuning:
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N54 Serpentine Belt Issues

A few weeks ago the car started making a squeaking noise. So, I popped the hood and started taking a video. Here is what I found:

As soon as I noticed the shredding serpentine belt, I drove home and parked the car. Ordered a new belt and tensioner, along with oil filter housing gaskets (#1 & #2) because mine were leaking. Once the parts arrived, Bob helped me install everything. Here is a picture of the OFH gaskets going in, what a mess…
Oil filter housing gaskets

Obligatory picture of the shredded belt:
Shredded serpentine beltWe put everything back together and assumed all was good. Wrong. About 50 miles later, the belt started shredding again. This time it started wrapping around the alternator pulley and burnt up the backside of the brand new tensioner pulleys.

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How-To Install APEX Stud Conversion Kit

I recently purchased a 75mm Wheel Stud Conversion Kit from APEX Race Parts to go with my APEX ARC-8 wheels. I chose the kit with hex head studs and silver lug nuts.

This kit  makes wheel changing much easier and allows you to use spacers without having to buy extended lug bolts.

As the weather has been getting warmer, I decided it was the perfect time to install them with my summer wheels. So, I documented the process to share!

Step #1 – Loosen all 5 lug bolts while the car is on the ground.
Loosening lug boltsStep #2 – Jack up the car, take off lug bolts, remove the wheel.
Removed wheelStep #3 – Apply a drop or two of thread-locker onto the threads at the short end of the stud.
Thread locker on studs Continue reading How-To Install APEX Stud Conversion Kit

Interior LED conversion

Why do cars still come with halogen headlights and crappy interior bulbs? It’s 2015, Xenons and LEDs should be standard issue, since the 1 series is pretty old – I decided to take it upon myself to upgrade the interior lights.

I finally ordered some LEDs from ECSTuning. They sell a full LED kit for the 135i, but it’s marked up an additional $15 for no reason. So, I bought everything individually to save some cash. (1) overhead kit, (1) glovebox bulb, and (1) trunk bulb for a total of $41.33 instead of $54.95… you’re welcome. Here are my results:

BMW 135i - front dome light conversion BMW 135i - rear dome light conversion BMW 135i - glove box light conversion BMW 135i - trunk light conversion

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Modifications, DIY Guides, Build Log, and pictures of my 2008 BMW 135i (E82 1-Series)