Beware of ZNM Performance in Pompton Lakes NJ

The Banshee

Nov 18, 2017
Lehigh Valley PA
2008 335xi coupe 6466 MT
It seems lately there is never ending stories about fake tuners, scammer manufacturers, and part suppliers. Unfortunately, I have had my own experience and would like to inform others. The problem I have is with Matt Malave, owner of ZNM performance in Pompton Lakes NJ. I inquired Matt about doing a single turbo upgrade on my 355XI in February. I informed Matt I wanted a complete build from fuel system, clutch, turbo, with no shortcuts. I informed Matt that timing of the build was important to me. I wanted to have the car ready for beginning of summer to attend Pocono M-Pact and the spring Slipstream events. Doing the installation myself was not an option as I work in Europe most of spring and I would never have the car ready in time. I am new to the N54 but not to wrenching. I have done at least 15 big block and small block V8 builds over the years.

I dropped the car off at ZNM in March to begin the installation. A few weeks later Matt contacted me while I was working overseas. According to Matt, he and his tech, could not hold compression on cylinder 6. They had spent hours trying to figure out what was wrong. Matt told me they finally were able to figured out cylinder 6 injector hole was ovaled out. I had changed the injectors to index 12 about a year and half go and reused the couplers. I knew this was mistake but they seated very well and all seemed okay. I thought the issue of ovaling the cylinder hole might have been a result of that so accepted Matt’s diagnosis. Matt informed me he would now have to replace the head to prevent leaking and blow by at high boost. He sourced a used head with a warranty for $1,500. A week later I was still in Germany and received the photo below of the new head which I promptly paid him for. Is that Walnut media in the second pic I am thinking to myself??




I then requested pics of the head install and received some photos Matt sent me on a shop monkey app. The photos only show the top of a cylinder hole and It might or might not be my car. These photos never showed my car or any evidence the head was removed from my car. Unfortunately, I was working in Europe and could not get to ZNM to inspect the progress. I had to rely on Matt’s word which would eventually cost me. Matt told me all the ancillary parts I paid for months ago were at this shop ready for install. After I got back home I decided to stop in for a visit at ZNM to inspect progress. During this visit Matt could not produce any of the ancillary parts he claimed to have at the shop. I paid him for those parts months ago. He couldn’t produce my turbo or my Doc Race manifold at the time. He claimed the turbo, manifold, and ancillary parts must be locked away in this tech’s tool box and he didn’t have the key. This is just one ridiculous example of Matt’s lies at the time.

I knew it was bad so I started to research deeper to see if anyone else had issues with ZNM performance. I ended up contacting one of Matt’s previous customers via Yelp reviews. This customer gave me the real story on Matt. His experience was exactly like mine with all Matt’s lies and bullshit. He pretty much told me I was screwed and I should plan on losing my money as its long gone.

Ancillaries I am missing that have been paid for:
  • Stage 2 Fuel with ethanol sensor
  • PR coils
  • VRSF 7.5 intercooler – ZNM half-ass installed what looks like regular 7-inch cooler as you can see below. Unbelievable.


I was missing a strut bar and under tray when he returned the car. I have had to buy over $120 in missing fasteners as well. I even have a nice departing gift left from that shit shop on my hood as you can see below.


Matt ran my battery dead by leaving the car sit for months in the knee high grass lot behind his shop. He then replaces my now dead BMW AGM battery with a cheap lead acid battery and never bothers to code it . Well you can see what happened.


The worst part is when I got the car home and finally had time to tear it down to inspect. I find the side of the supposedly new head clearly looks like it was never removed.


I then inspect the intake chambers and this is what I find.



Does this look like a new head with 80 miles on it? Is it the same head you see in Matt's pics above? You would think Matt would at least be smart enough to walnut blast the head like I told him to do. I confronted Matt immediate via text then phone and he swears up and down that he himself had changed this head. He even sent me home with another N54 head that was supposed to be mine. It even has the cylinder 6 injector hole ovaled out. I am left wondering who’s head I now have in my garage because it certainly didn't come off my car. Matt swears he is not a thief and he absolutely changed this head himself. Matt is unable to produce any receipts for this head, DR turbo kit, or any other parts for that matter. Bottom line is he tried to scam me on the head and got caught.

I also suspect he might have rigged a non-xi kit on my car. I questioned Matt about this and swears he purchased a brand-new Doc Race kit with a 6466 turbo directly from Doc Race. Of course I have to follow up on this. I then contact Doc Race to verify Matt’s word that he purchased a complete XI kit with 6466 turbo that I paid him for in March. Well it turns out DR sold nothing to ZNM in 2018 at the time and they didn’t know where he sourced the XI kit from. Matt cannot produce an invoice for this kit so who knows. You can see in the photos below how close the dumps run to the motor mounts and how one of the dumps empty out almost on top subframe reinforcement tray. Might be normal but I have been through so much BS with Matt Malave I to question everything.


Below is a pic of the new fuel pump that Matt installed. When I called him out on this one all he could he say is I have your old one here and I absolutely changed it.


Here is a comparison pic of Matt’s supposedly new fuel pump on the right and the new one from ECS that I just installed on the left.


Below are pics of the control arms that Matt told me he replaced with new ones I paid for in March and thank god he did because the passenger side was leaking!! This is what I find when get home and inspect the car.


Matt has already admitted many times that this project was a disaster. He never admitted to any lying and swears he is not a thief. The attempt to scam me on the head shows he is complete fraud and liar. Did he really think I wouldn’t notice these things? At this point I am not sure If I am going to sue him Passaic County small claims court or throw a full-blown lawsuit at him. Unfortunately, a full lawsuit would put me deeper in the hole due to lawyer fees. Either way I am sure Matt is broke and I doubt a court ruling in the end will get any of my money back.

Matt continues to make empty promise and lies that go in circles. He blames it all on his last business partner who supposedly screwed him. Last text I received was that he’s sending an email promising compensation. At one point he told me he was sending a 3k refund for the turbo kit. I only received 1k back from him to date, so there is at least some attempt at restitution but I am still out thousands in parts and money he scammed me for on the head. I know I am screwed and I hope this post saves someone from losing money to some joker like Matt Malave and his shit shop ZNM performance.

To the owner of the black M4 with a blown engine sitting in the ZNM Performance lot…… God be with you.
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Nov 28, 2016
2007 335i 2008 535i
how much money was spent? small claims have a limit, of 5-10k.

you can repo his shop equipment if he doesn't pay up

The Banshee

Nov 18, 2017
Lehigh Valley PA
2008 335xi coupe 6466 MT
Unfortunately small claims in New Jersey only allows 3k unless it involves collection of past due rent. New Jersey has one of the lowest limits in small claims. Net loss is 3-5k depending and takes into consideration the 1k he already paid back.


May 10, 2017


Oct 28, 2017
Monroe CT
09 335i msport le mans 18 x5
I'm usually all for benefit of doubt but this is just to blatant. I started reading thinking here we go wonder what the other side will say but you have some dam good proof. I bet alot of us have been screwed with walnut blasting and such. Does anyone know if their is a serial or anything on head or any way of checking if was removed and installed again as far as if it's the same head?


Sep 19, 2017
E91 335i
...Does anyone know if their is a serial or anything on head or any way of checking if was removed and installed again as far as if it's the same head?

All N5x heads have a sticker on the front (see attachment, just below Vanos solenoid holes) , with an 8 digit serial number and N5x designation. It is linked to your VIN at the factory. So unless you know the number off the original head, and compare it to the replacement, it's tough to trace. Of course, in this case it's very clear from the pictures the head was never removed or replaced. Horrible.
n54 head.jpg


Dec 12, 2017
Las Vegas
'15 F10 550i
This seems to be an all too common trend for N54 vendors in general. I wonder if the issue is as prevalent on other platforms.


Nov 26, 2017
OP - sorry to hear about your issues. While I have no advice for getting your money back or any legal guidance, I can share a very trustworthy builder info who is doing my build. He is in Michigan and has done some extensive and exotic builds.


New Member
Aug 6, 2018
335 xi
Ive been silent about this for awhile but this exact same thing happened to me. ZNM screwed me out of alot of money and had my car for almost a year. Finally got it back half ass'd, and barely anything done that I payed for. He also told me I needed a new cylinder head which I declined. Next couple days, he magically fixed it. I have every message and text between me and this scumbag. He needs banned from this community


Oct 26, 2018
Yooo omg dude i feel your pain !!! Same shit happened to me ! I got all the text as proof as he owes me $2,635. I got the same start too, hmu to "sponsor me" then when i had car issues with a knock noise that ended up being the ac compressor clutch, he told me i had rod knock, so i went to him which turned into needing a new motor due to low compression in cylinders 2 & 6 and fuel mixed with oil was his diagnosis. He recommended i get index 12 injectors a new motor, so i got a used 65k mile motor from him that he said "for me he will do all gaskets and seals for free" from what i see they are all new gaskets. This was mid june got the motor on july 26th. After that i ordered all parts from him such as inlets, outlets, stock turbos, injectors and other miscellaneous parts. This was on july 26th. Paid all in full. On August 15st i was told he had ALL MY PARTS READY. When i went i got the excuse of the locked cabinet also in between the waiting process i requested the stock turbos ne refunded for frankenturbos... BIG MISTAKE. Matt told me he had a good connection with Doug from frankenturbos and he could get me a "deal never to be repeated" so i took the deal. 2 months later still received no parts and always got excuses on how turbos were back ordered etc... You guys get the point... So i went there finally after being feed up with excuses. Mind you process started mid june and i waited patiently till late Septemberish before finally going to his shop. When i got there he had told me if the stuff wasnt it that week he would refund me everything. CLEARLY MEANING HE HAD NOTHING !!! so i waiting to be paypal refunded as he said he wud refund the turbos on paypal and the rest cash. So now we are up to date. October 26th 2018. I just got $1060 in cash yesterday at his shop. And only $260 "cleared paypal" according to Matt so he owes me 1315 still from PayPal which he told me yesterday if it didnt clear PayPal i could pick up cash today... & How ironic but he wasnt there today. So i will be going tomorrow aa he stated that i can pick it up tomorrow. Wish me luck boys. This guy is a fuckin joke & scam artist. To top it off he wanted me to film for him as i have a Youtube channel with my buddy building our cars my 335i & his 2jz swapped 240sx. So i will be sure to post on there and every forum i can about his shitty scam business. Fyi i work for police and he knows and he still did this lol so yea... I seen 5 people already say this same story on this post alone in under 24 hours so i can only imagine if we get this out to the public even more how many people will come forward with the same story ! Good luck my 335i brothers !


Nov 20, 2017
2009 335i

I purchased Index 12 injectors from him....makes me wonder what I actually got if this guy is a serial con-man.

Edit: compared what I have to photos on FCP Euro, they appear to be legitimate new injectors.

It certainly appears that you have been ripped off, best of luck in getting some sort of resolution.
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