All posts by Jake

Intake valves cleaned

Since I bought the car with about 81,000 miles and the intake valves had never been cleaned, I knew it was due for a walnut blasting. After a brief search through the forums, I found many Midwest N54’ers were happy with A-Spec Tuning in Schaumburg, Illinois. I found their Facebook page and sent them a message. Sean quickly responded and we set up an appointment to get it done for only $300! Considering the local dealership wanted $900, I had no problem making the drive.

My girlfriend and I set out at about 7:30 AM on Thursday morning, filled up with gas, and arrived right on time for my 10:30 AM appointment.  Not a bad 3 hour drive. Sean greeted me as I pulled up and we chatted for a bit. I asked him if he could drop us off at the local Starbucks while they worked on the car because they didn’t have a waiting area. After taking advantage of Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi and overpriced lattes, Sean picked us up about 3 hours later.

We got back to their shop and an E92 335i was on the dyno getting baseline numbers before getting its valves media blasted. Sean said I could get some before/after numbers on the dyno for an additional $100, but I decided not to. It would have been nice to see the power gains from the walnut blast, but I plan on putting that $100 towards JB4 and a pair of downpipes. Sean and I chatted for a while again and he knocked off $25 because it took a little longer than expected.

Brad (who used to work at VS Motorsports) did the walnut blast and took some before/after pictures of the valves. He sent them to me a couple days later and I couldn’t believe what I saw!

before-after-1 before-after-2

Wow! What a difference. Best $275 I’ve ever spent on maintenance. The car feels smoother and seems to have a little more torque.

Sean and Brad are great, honest guys. Sean was always making sure that I was a happy customer throughout the whole process. I would definitely recommend them if your direct-injection motor is in need of valve cleaning. I would have done this myself, but don’t have the special equipment and couldn’t pass up the price. I know I’ll be heading back for anything else that I can’t tackle myself (hint: LSD).

On the ground!

My APEX TPMS sensors came in so I was able to get the new wheels mounted. I dropped the car off and couldn’t wait to pick it back up…

IMG_8708 IMG_8716

No rubbing issues! The fenders are untouched, no rolling/pulling.

Again, the specs:

  • Front: 18×8 ET 35 – 215/40/18 Hankook Ventus V12
  • Rear: 18×9 ET 40 – 245/35/18 Hankook Ventus V12
  • Lowered on Eibach Pro-Kit (~1″ drop all-around)

IMG_8755

Continue reading On the ground!

Finally… no more snow.

You know what that means, right?

…summer wheels! After the first week of April, it’s about time.

My first round of parts for the car are a staggered set of ESM BBS LM replicas with Hankook Ventus V12 tires and APEX TPMS sensors.

  • Front: 18×8 ET 35 – 215/40/18
  • Rear: 18×9 ET 40 – 245/35/18

I had to unbox/test fit them. I’m pretty impressed with the outcome.

IMG_8652

IMG_8656IMG_8671IMG_8672 Continue reading Finally… no more snow.

Making Moves

After lusting over the BMW 1-series for 3 years, I was finally able to get one of my own. On March 13th, 2014 I brought home a 2008 135i from Holland, MI. I am the 3rd owner and bought it with 81,523 miles.

BMW 135i

Knowing that I would be keeping this one for a while, I needed to make sure it had everything I wanted.

  • 6-speed, black interior, aluminium glacier-silver trim
  • M-Sport Package
    • Sporty lowered suspension
    • Electric memory sport seats
    • Multifunction ///M leather steering wheel
    • Shadow line exterior trim
    • Raised top-speed limiter
  • Cold Weather Package
    • Heated seats
    • Headlight washers
    • Rear seat armrest
    • Ski bag
  • Comfort Access
    • Keyless entry
    • Push-to-start
  • iDrive
    • Navigation
    • Entertainment
    • Climate Control
  • HiFi Professional Sound System (Logic7)
  • Adaptive Xenon headlights
  • Rear parking sensors
  • 6-piston Brembo Big Brake kit
  • Electric glass sunroof/moonroof
  • 6-disc CD changer & DVD player
  • Rain sensing windshield wipers
  • Windshield with grey wedge
  • Never equipped with 135i badge from factory
  • Additional cup holder
  • Warning triangle & first aid kit

Modifications it came with:

  • BMW Performance short shift kit and knob
  • Riss Racing stainless-steel 3″ catback exhaust
  • Riss Racing oil catch can
  • K&N drop in air filter
  • Black Style 264 wheels with 225/40/18 Blizzaks
  • Eibach Pro-Kit springs (~1″ drop front & rear)
  • BMW Performance black front grilles
  • Black/white BMW emblem overlays
  • Carbon fiber wrapped interior trim
  • Tinted windows (30% front, 15% rear)
  • Tinted side markers
  • LED license plate lights