single turbo th400 e82 drag build (RHD)

nasty54

Private
Sep 25, 2021
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
hey guys so earlier this year i purchased an 2009 e82 n54 powered bmw with the intentions of building a more or less dedicated drag car. i will start by saying i still have plenty to learn about cars, im not a professional mechanic just another average car setting out to build a car that rowdy, a little sketchy and most importantly fast.

i want to start this thread to document the build which began a couple months back and to open some lines of communication with some more knowledgeable people for when i inevitably run into n54 problems!

car is currently apart and getting put back together at the moment.

current list of mods that are being installed on the car:

-fully built th400 reverse pattern, manual valve body with a trans brake and dump. (Rated for 2000hp) built by all fast torque converter
- b and m ratchet shifter
- custom torque converter 5000-5500rpm stall 9.5 inch converter
- built Ford 8.8 inch rear end
- trutrack dif centre with 3.73 rear gears and 31 spline full billet out law axles from g force
- chromoly drive shaft (waiting to fit trans for exact specs required but this is only thing left to purchase)
- stage 4 kit from fuel it it with both pumps upgraded to walbro 525 and port injection injectors upgraded to 950cc, fuel reg, return kit, upgraded lines etc. port injection run off split second controller.
- billet forward facing intake manifold
- full custom single turbo kit utilising a pulsar 7375 (g-42 -1200 rep)
- turbosmart gen v 60mm powergate
- 4 inch straight pipe exhaust for street but removable and able to be dumped out the fender for race
- line lock kit
- weld pro star 15x10
- Mickey Thompson et street R 275/50/15 (will attempt to fit a pro radial and go to a shorter rear gear once ive gone through these tyres)
- oil catch can
- stand alone 57l fuel cell
- 27mm stiffer rear sway bar
- Viking drag shocks all round
- upgraded oil cooler
- upgraded radiator
- upgraded mishimoto trans cooler and fan
- PR coil packs upgrade
- 3.5 bar tmap sensor
- small brake kit on the rear assembled using oem bmw parts
- heads been freshly carbon cleaned
- ARP head studs from MMP with 50% more thread engagement
- bare metal stripped interior except dash
- kirkey pro street driver seats
- kirkey alloy passenger seat
- single cross bar to mount seats
- VRSF 7.5 inch race intercooler
- solid aluminium dif bushings
- solid aluminium subframe bushings
- upgraded pcv
- ugraded front rotors for stock brakes
- braided brake lines
- aeroflow turbo blanket

probably a few things ive missed. plenty more planned for the car but i need to save some more funds before we move any further than the above mentioned.

will be buying a block once the car is buttoned back up and running to get converted to a closed deck and and begin slowly putting together a built bottom end.

i am based in perth, western australia. the single turbo kit is being custom fabbed by spool autoworks with the exception of a simply tuning manifold. simply tuning also supplied the transmission adapter.


primary goals with the car:

- run 9s (cue n54 haters saying 9s is unrealistic)
- do fat transbrake skids
- be somewhat reliable as far as a race car goes


love to hear from some other n54 guys about their builds and experiences and tips. as i mentioned earlier whilst not dumb im certainly no mechanical wizard and still learning my way around the platform so always keen to chat to those more experienced and learn.


trans adapter landed last week and will be dropping it to the shop this week so we can dummy fir the th400 and order the correct driveshaftfor th400 to ford 8.8

have attached a few photos of my car and a few various parts.

any questions about the build are welcomed and encouraged.

- nasty54
 

nasty54

Private
Sep 25, 2021
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
A few random photos of a couple of the parts
 

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rac

Sergeant
Nov 14, 2016
283
152
0
Australia
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135i ST
Be careful with wideband sensor placement on a custom manifold for stock ecu. They need to read the two banks separately. Space is tight if you go a long runner design and difficult to put two wideband in there with both not at risk of condensation collection. That was my headaches on custom manifold.
 

nasty54

Private
Sep 25, 2021
32
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Be careful with wideband sensor placement on a custom manifold for stock ecu. They need to read the two banks separately. Space is tight if you go a long runner design and difficult to put two wideband in there with both not at risk of condensation collection. That was my headaches on custom manifold.
Who did your mani? Mine is from simply tuning who’ve made plenty of ST manifolds. This mani is getting converted to a v band flange.
 

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rac

Sergeant
Nov 14, 2016
283
152
0
Australia
Ride
135i ST
@Brule has used one of those. He might have an opinion. The rear bank wideband facing down like that isnt ideal, particularly for e85, but actual user experience would better than my opinion. I know duck ran his manifold successfully for quite some time.

Crazy lukes speed shop built mine, his in kelmscott. Its a long runner top mount, but I run syvecs and single wideband post turbo so no wideband issue at all. Originally I tried working with the stock ecu but I destroyed a few widebands due to water pooling in the wideband and the manifold design didnt really cater for much flexibility for placement. I would need to rethink my manifold if I were go back to the dual wideband pre turbo set up. The M18 n54 manifold looks interesting, although you'd be stuck with IWG.
 

nasty54

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Sep 25, 2021
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Duck
@Brule has used one of those. He might have an opinion. The rear bank wideband facing down like that isnt ideal, particularly for e85, but actual user experience would better than my opinion. I know duck ran his manifold successfully for quite some time.

Crazy lukes speed shop built mine, his in kelmscott. Its a long runner top mount, but I run syvecs and single wideband post turbo so no wideband issue at all. Originally I tried working with the stock ecu but I destroyed a few widebands due to water pooling in the wideband and the manifold design didnt really cater for much flexibility for placement. I would need to rethink my manifold if I were go back to the dual wideband pre turbo set up. The M18 n54 manifold looks interesting, although you'd be stuck with IWG.

duck owns simply tuning I believe bro. Do you mean the old owner of the currrent fastest n54 in aus? If so then he is the owner of simply tuning.

he also made the GM trans adapter for me.

hows the syvecs? I’m leaning towards either a haltech or maxx ecu at the moment.
 

nasty54

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Sep 25, 2021
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Wow, that is some build. I didn't see any mention of any head work?

head work is 100% planned once the built motor is ready. I’m just a regular guy, I pay for labour on most the work as don’t have facilities or skills to do much of it. So $$ are a limiting factor but the head will get done eventually.

deleting DI and stand alone Ecu Are a higher priority at this point.
 
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RuskiRacer

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Jul 17, 2019
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2009 e93 335i
20210923_140514.jpg
Sounds like you'll be needing a set of these where your going. Don't wanna be that guy to close the deck and crack his oem sleeves
 

nasty54

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Sep 25, 2021
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Sl
View attachment 59843Sounds like you'll be needing a set of these where your going. Don't wanna be that guy to close the deck and crack his oem sleeves
Sleeves are something I’ve considered. Ultimately I’ll go by the machine shop/engine builders recommendation.

I have tried to do as much of this build right the first time and not skimp out on cheaper parts that I’ll have to replace later, with a few exceptions such as the pulsar turbo.

Ideally this will be the same approach with the built motor but $ will always be a limiting factor so I guess it will come down to how I am financially at the time.

Car is a race car not a street car so hoping the stock motor will last a while with a good tuning and correct accessories as it won’t be getting tonnes of kms put of it (as long as I can fight the urge to drive it all the time). Worst case if I have to put another stock motor in it while we get the built one done properly I will. Would rather experiment on a stock motor once I’m on an after market ecu with PI only good power managements strategies than try run an expensive built motor on a stock ecu and risk hurting it whilst trying to learn the car so for time being I will be more concerned getting an ECU in there as good power management should also help the longevity of the motor
 

RuskiRacer

Lieutenant
Jul 17, 2019
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2009 e93 335i
I think plenty of people have tried to do the stock motor deal at like 750-800whp it just doesn't last very long and thats a fact. It might be a bit better for you in your case because you'll be using a torque converter so it'll be easier on the motor and drivetrain but I flung a rod bolt out at 8k rpm , the 0-60 boys flung a wrist pin through the side of the block at 8k rpm. So essentially if you plan on increasing rev limiter at all your in really murky waters. Also regarding the sleeves if the engine or machine shop says that upgraded darton sleeves will not hold power or be smart for an all out drag application I wouldn't have them fools build me anything lol. Doesn't take a scientist to figure out a aftermarket ductile iron alloy is gonna have 3-4 times the tensile strength of the stock cast iron sleeve which means there's so many performance benefits, if i had the money I'd sleeve the block, close the deck and then put a good standalone on.
 
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rac

Sergeant
Nov 14, 2016
283
152
0
Australia
Ride
135i ST
Duck


duck owns simply tuning I believe bro. Do you mean the old owner of the currrent fastest n54 in aus? If so then he is the owner of simply tuning.

he also made the GM trans adapter for me.

hows the syvecs? I’m leaning towards either a haltech or maxx ecu at the moment.
Regards duck, yeah I knew that. I know my post wasn't clear. Only so many words I can b fd typing in my phone....

Regarding syvecs, it has great traction / power management strategies i reckon you could really dial it into drag racing. You could probably pick one up cheaper without the DI module. But then if your not self tuning there is no one in Perth to support it so your better off with something more locally popular.
 

nasty54

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Sep 25, 2021
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Regards duck, yeah I knew that. I know my post wasn't clear. Only so many words I can b fd typing in my phone....

Regarding syvecs, it has great traction / power management strategies i reckon you could really dial it into drag racing. You could probably pick one up cheaper without the DI module. But then if your not self tuning there is no one in Perth to support it so your better off with something more locally popular.
Yeah you make a good point about tuning the syvecs, this is what’s making me lean towards a haltech due to the support you get from them and wide range of tuners. Aaron at spool will be tuning the car.
 

nasty54

Private
Sep 25, 2021
32
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
I think plenty of people have tried to do the stock motor deal at like 750-800whp it just doesn't last very long and thats a fact. It might be a bit better for you in your case because you'll be using a torque converter so it'll be easier on the motor and drivetrain but I flung a rod bolt out at 8k rpm , the 0-60 boys flung a wrist pin through the side of the block at 8k rpm. So essentially if you plan on increasing rev limiter at all your in really murky waters. Also regarding the sleeves if the engine or machine shop says that upgraded darton sleeves will not hold power or be smart for an all out drag application I wouldn't have them fools build me anything lol. Doesn't take a scientist to figure out a aftermarket ductile iron alloy is gonna have 3-4 times the tensile strength of the stock cast iron sleeve which means there's so many performance benefits, if i had the money I'd sleeve the block, close the deck and then put a good standalone on.
Not arguing that sleeves won’t help with the block holding more power at all.

as far as the ecu. With drag racing this will be a massive factor with being able to tune boost curves a lot better and pulling power out low when launching on the transbrake. I feel 650-700hp + good ecu and power management in a heavily weight reduced car will be equally as quick if not quicker than a 750-800hp car with out the ability to bring power in a lot more precisely on the drag trip + should see a lot more longevity out of the car.

I won’t be turning it all the way up from the get go. I’ll start testing the limits of the stock motor when I can afford to put a new one in if it goes. The big turbo should make power with not a tonne of psi and help keep intake temps down along with full e85 (potentially methanol as fuel) which should help with stress the motor a bit less
 

rac

Sergeant
Nov 14, 2016
283
152
0
Australia
Ride
135i ST
Why the fuel it stage 4 kit if your running a dedicated fuel cell? Those kits are for integration with the oem tank, which you won't need.
 

nasty54

Private
Sep 25, 2021
32
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Why the fuel it stage 4 kit if your running a dedicated fuel cell? Those kits are for integration with the oem tank, which you won't need.
I was given the fuel cell by a friend who went to a larger fuel cell after I’d already purchased the kit.

been a few direction changes and parts that I’ve ordered that I didn’t end up needing.

initial plan was actually maxed out stock twins with the th400 and rear end to get the driveline done first and because I didn’t want to spend as much in 1 hit as I am now but the twin downpipes wouldn’t clear the bell housing off the th400 and hard to modify that area of the tunnel being it’s right where the pedals are on a RHD vehicle so had my hand forced on going ST route in the lot of mods.

car is was past being street legal in Australia though so may not even bother with a rear exit exhaust.

another small regret was the cost of having the 8.8 kit and axles importer to Australia with taxes and shipping I kind of regret not just spending a little more on a custom fab 4 link and doing tubs at the same time. On the flip I do think keeping the IRS is cool and a nice touch to the car but no denying a 4 link would be quicker on the strip.

never built a car this serious before though so I’m sure I’ll make plenty more mistakes and waste your plenty more money in the process 😅
 

Brule

Sergeant
Feb 20, 2017
259
234
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335i 2007 6spd manual
Im thinking the same thing with getting an after market ecu and using it on a stock engine to learn.
I like the maxx ecu with the amount of inputs and outluts on the race ecu but Ive decided to go with an emtron due to more flexibility and more logging flexibility with more inputs and outputs.

Any ecu would be better then bmw shit.

Cool build.
msg me anytime if you want to know hiw mines built.

Heat sinks work and having O2 sensors facing up is required for O2 to last.
 

nasty54

Private
Sep 25, 2021
32
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Im thinking the same thing with getting an after market ecu and using it on a stock engine to learn.
I like the maxx ecu with the amount of inputs and outluts on the race ecu but Ive decided to go with an emtron due to more flexibility and more logging flexibility with more inputs and outputs.

Any ecu would be better then bmw shit.

Cool build.
msg me anytime if you want to know hiw mines built.

Heat sinks work and having O2 sensors facing up is required for O2 to last.
Hey mate. I’ve chatted to you on some of the fb pages before. Congrats again on the 10 second pass and the impressive dyno numbers on our Aussie dynos.

maxx ecu is very appealing on the price point and really for me the toss up is either go maxx or haltech, the main reason I’m considering haltech is just the support they give and how many people out there tune haltech. The price point of the maxx ecu for what they offer is very appealing though.

emtron I’ve heard lots of good about. I’d be interested to know the end cost of the emtron once installed in your car.
 

Brule

Sergeant
Feb 20, 2017
259
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335i 2007 6spd manual
Around 7k with a dash, ecu, loom, keypad, pc connector.
Emtron is 1k more expensive then maxx ecu race when comparing ecu only.
Any ecu will be good.
Just ripping direct injection out is the key.
 

nasty54

Private
Sep 25, 2021
32
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Perth, Western Australia
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Bone stock 2009 135i e82
Around 7k with a dash, ecu, loom, keypad, pc connector.
Emtron is 1k more expensive then maxx ecu race when comparing ecu only.
Any ecu will be good.
Just ripping direct injection out is the key.

that’s quite reasonable price wise.
Ripping DI out is definitely going to make making power a lot more straight forward and remove some of the weak points from the platform such as the injectors.

should also be massive for us with a transbrake too being able to control how much boost is made on the transbrake and help get out 60s down, another issue with getting good 1/4 times out of these cars