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

BMW 135i 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

Continue reading BMW 135i Interior LED Conversion

Custom ABS Front Splitter for my BMW 135i

It was just another day browsing 1Addicts when I stumbled upon a thread about custom front splitters by fmxomar. There was a ton of interest, but no one had installed one yet. For the price, I figured I’d pull the trigger on the front splitter and a set of side splitters.

I thought these two items would flow perfectly with the Rieger rear diffuser that I’ve had my eyes on. The parts arrived within a week and came with installation hardware, but no mounting holes. I guess that’s what a drill is for! First step: remove the front bumper.

BMW 135i - front bumper removedI started off by clamping the splitter to the bottom of the bumper and then lined everything up. 9 holes later and it was attached. I still wanted to mount the OEM wheel wind deflectors, so I trimmed 1/2″ notches in the back of the splitter to make room.

BMW 135i - installing splitter

Because both parts are plastic and the splitter wasn’t structurally mounted, I didn’t want to take the chance of it folding under at high speeds. So, I installed two APR support rods. It took a little courage to drill into a perfectly good front bumper, but it was a risk I was willing to take. I followed the center-flow design and made sure to use large washers on the back of the bumper. Everything was secure so I quickly re-mounted the front bumper. It is a very sturdy setup.

BMW 135i - custom front splitter installedOverall, I am very satisfied with this splitter. I would not recommend mounting it without supporting rods, but feel free to do so at your own risk. Stay tuned for the side-skirt installation in about a month!

BMW 135i - custom front splitter installed

BMW 135i - custom front splitter installed

 

BMW 135i Blackline Taillights Install

I’ve always preferred the look of smoked tail lights, but oftentimes the results are unflattering. I didn’t want VHT Nightshade anywhere near my BMW. Then I found out that BMW sells OEM tinted LCI taillights overseas. The only reason they aren’t offered in America is because they aren’t DOT-approved. Half of my car is no longer DOT-approved, so I decided to order them anyways.

I got mine from individual-car-consulting (Germany) on eBay, but now they can be purchased in the U.S. from ECSTuning. After about 4 weeks, they finally arrived! I couldn’t wait to install them.

Pre-LCI vs Blacklines - off Taillights OFF – LCI Blacklines (left) vs. OEM pre-LCI (right)

Pre-LCI vs Blacklines - on Taillights ON – LCI Blacklines (left) vs. OEM pre-LCI (right)

The install was very straight forward and only took about 30 minutes from start-to-finish. The LCI Blacklines were actually brighter than my OEM taillights. I’m very happy with the purchase and believe they’ve transformed the rear-end of the car.

BMW 135i - Blackline Taillights

Click the link below to see more comparison pictures.

Continue reading BMW 135i Blackline Taillights Install

Winter Wheels for my BMW 1-Series

I was initially planning on storing my 1-series over the winter months, but the unexpected always seems to happen. My winter beater decided to throw a rod about a week into driving it. Wisconsin was getting pounded with snow and I had no other choice than to buy a set of winter wheels and tires for this car.

I bought the following from TireRack for under $1,300 shipped:

I took advantage of the free mounting and balancing they offer when you buy a set of both wheels and tires. They arrived like this:

TireRack wheels

I quickly removed the summer wheels and installed this new winter set. My first impression of them was great. Quiet, smooth, and soft.

Once the snow starting falling, I put them to the test and they performed perfectly. Unless the snow is halfway up the front bumper, I have faith that this car could bring me anywhere!

BMW 135i snow tires Continue reading Winter Wheels for my BMW 1-Series