How-To: Detail BMW with Paint Correction

This car has been in need of a good detail and I finally got around to doing it. First I washed it with Meguiar’s Gold Class Shampoo, then went over the whole car with their Clay Bar Kit. I was surprised at the amount of crap the claybar took off. Then I used a high-speed corded drill with a velcro attachment for cutting, polishing, and waxing.

I started with Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound on a 6″ foam cutting pad from Harbor Freight. After going over a body panel, I would let it dry and then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. Next, I used Meguiar’s Polishing Compound on a 6″ polishing foam pad, again wiping it off with a microfiber towel once finished. The last step was applying Meguiar’s Black Wax with a 6″ foam finishing pad. Obviously wiping the excess off with a microfiber cloth.

I took a picture before I started the cut/polish/wax process. Once I was finished, I took another picture to show the results. Keep in mind, the “before” picture is when the car was already washed and clean. The imperfections you see are all swirls or scratches, not dirt.

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BMW 135i - paint correction

In the two photos, you can see a lot of things in my garage reflecting off the paint. The two lines near the middle of the photos are power cords, not scratches. The lighter reflections above those are the power boxes on the light stands. All other bright imperfections are either lights on the ceiling, lights on the stands, or bright objects laying on the ground or on top of shelves. Obviously you can see the reflections of the yellow and red light stands themselves.

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BMW 135i – BMS Dual Cone Intake Install (N54)

Last week, I scored a used BMS Dual Cone Intake kit on 1Addicts for only $25 shipped! It was just too good of a price to pass up. When I opened the box, I found a pair of very dirty white filters. I regret not taking pictures of them because they almost looked black.

After soaking them with degreaser and rising them off, they looked brand new again! A couple minutes in the sun and they were dry. Then I grabbed a can of K&N filter oil and sprayed a nice coat on top. To my surprise, the oil was red! My precious white filters were no longer white! Oh well… they still look great.

BMW 135 - BMS dual cone intake

BMS claims that these puppies add at least 15HP to the wheels. I’m not sure how accurate that is but the sound is intoxicating! I had no problems with the K&N panel filter in the OEM airbox, but I read that it can be restrictive at higher boost levels. For only $25, I couldn’t go wrong with these. A quick test run proved that the car pulls great and sounds much better. Plus, I like the look of these under the hood.

BMS Dual Cone Intake dyno chart

BMW 135i – Replacing Spark Plugs (N54)

Now that the car is running higher boost, I decided I should probably replace the OEM spark plugs. I went with NGK 5992 plugs because they run a step colder than stock and are gappable.

NGK 5992 spark plugs

I visited Bob again because I wanted to test for boost leaks. Part of me was hoping we’d find a small leak somewhere so I could upgrade to a metal charge pipe with a blow-off-valve and a larger intercooler. We didn’t find any leaks, but I’ll still buy those parts sometime soon.

Bob also has the tools for flashing the DME. My first flash was the free BMS E85 flash. It was okay, but I didn’t notice much. I went back and had him load an E85 flash from Wedge. It was great. I ran it for a week or so, took some logs, sent them to Wedge, and he sent back another version of the flash. This time when I visited Bob, I had him load the new flash that Wedge created. On the way home, I pulled up to an E39 M5 on the highway. He toyed with me and once things cleared up, we were able to do a pull. I put bus lengths on him! I’m not sure if I should have expected more out of his 4.9L V8 or if my car is just fast. I plan on hitting up the drag strip next week.

BMW 135i – BMS Oil Catch Can Install (N54)

When I bought the car, it came with a Riss Racing oil catch can. Good news, right? Well, not so much. After realizing how small the lines were, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Why wouldn’t they utilize the large lines that the stock PCV system had? Plus, it’s mounted on the hot side, right on top of the turbos! Definitely a re-branded eBay part.

Riss Racing oil catch can

Anyways, I bought a BMS OCC because it’s built from the ground up specifically for this car. It’s hoses exceed the OEM PCV piping in diameter and that flow rate is maintained throughout the entire catch can ensuring no excessive crankcase pressure buildup. Unlike the Riss Racing can, the BMS version is mounted on the cold side underneath the cowl for a stealthy look. Holding the two, the BMS oil catch can is the winner, hands down. Gotta love Terry’s products.

BMS oil catch can hoses BMS oil catch can

Much better. The hoses are nice and thick and you can’t even see it once the cowl is back on. Very happy with the upgrade.