All posts by Jake

BMW 135i – Walnut Blast Intake Valves (N54)

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).

BMW 135i – BBS LM Replica Wheels Installed

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…

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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)


Continue reading BMW 135i – BBS LM Replica Wheels Installed

BMW 135i – Unboxing ESR Wheels

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_8656IMG_8671IMG_8672 Continue reading BMW 135i – Unboxing ESR Wheels

BMW 135i – The Beginning

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