After owning my 1-series for over a year, I finally got sick of the halogen angel eye bulbs. I previously coded their voltage intensity up higher to make them brighter, but I still didn’t like the warm color.
So, I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present! LUX was running a sale, so I grabbed a pair of their latest and greatest angel eyes. Their H8 angel eyes advertised a pure white 7000k temperature with extreme brightness. Perfect!
I received them a few days after ordering and wanted to install them right away. All I had to do was pop the rear headlight covers off. They can be finicky, but you’ll figure it out. After the cover was off, I twisted the old bulbs out. Next, I inserted the new bulb and tucked the power supply box out of the way. Drum roll please…
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…
Obligatory picture of the shredded belt: We 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.
I ordered Steve’s Walbro 255 inline fuel pump kit so I could run up to 100% E85 for more power. The factory LPFP could handle a smaller mix of E85, but it was maxed out at that. I met up with Bob for help with the install. He has installed the pump before and also has the flashing tools and software. We installed the pump this weekend and flashed the ECU with a free E85-specific flash that BMS offers.
First step: remove the fuel pump bucket from under the rear seats…
As you can see in the picture above, we unplugged the connections first. I didn’t take any pictures of the actual removal process. It’s fairly straightforward if you follow Steve’s instructions. Here it is, removed:
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!
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).
Modifications, DIY Guides, Build Log, and pictures of my 2008 BMW 135i (E82 1-Series)