stveclrk's (slow135) MMP Turbo build thread

Mar 14, 2017
418
346
0
Minot, ND
Ride
2010 135i
Now is as good of a time as ever to write my build thread. So here it goes.

I bought my 2010 135i in July 2014. I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in the UK and was looking to leave the Nissan platform. On a trip I took to Germany I kept seeing 135s everywhere and fell in love with the size and body lines. When I found out it came with a twin turbo inline 6 like the RB and 2J engines I was sold. I immediately started shopping for one when I returned home. I'm an active duty airman and needed to find a US production model in order to import it back to the states. I also knew I wanted it to be an N54 and 6 speed manual. There were only 2 US spec 135's for sale in Europe at the time. I decided on this one. The previous owner was an airman stationed outside of Brussels. After about a week of discussing out terms the seller drove the car to my house to deliver the car and took a train back home. I took posession of the car on July 26th 2014 with 52k miles and bone stock besides BMW Performance brakes, a Cobb stage 1 flash, and the three signature stripes on the passenger side fender.
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I immediately started ordering parts for the car. My first mods were the same as so many others. BMS DCI, Evolution Racewerks Chargepipe with Tial Q blow off valve, lower chargepipe, and Evolution Racewerks front mount intercooler.
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The same week I installed the intercooler I decided to do a valve and runner cleaning using nylon brushes and picks and a whole ton of throttle body cleaner. At this time I also installed a set of Bosch OEM replacement spark plugs (for the last time ever).
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The car was now running a Cobb Stage 1+ tune and felt very quick (at the time). So the next thing I began to work on is the car's aesthetics. After a couple of months in the community I realized that I didn't want to be another sheep in the heard and install an M Replica bumper so I decided to go with a BMW Performance bumper and air ducts. I also painted my mirror caps, roof, stock 261 wheels, and rear diffuser gloss black to match the shadowline trim. The car also got a set of blackline LCI tail lights. The car still has all of the same paint today.
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I was now completely in love with the way the car looked and drove. And at the same time I was getting ready to change assignments. So I cleaned the car up and took it to the shippers to move it to my next home. Minot, North Dakota.

I arrived to Minot in December of 2014 and the car followed me shortly after arriving to the St Louis MO port in January 2015. I flew down and drove it all the way back on bald runflats in the middle of a snowstorm (not fun). At the time the car was my daily commuter so I left it the way it was. I also began to encounter all of the dreaded maintenance problems we all have learned to know and love. It left me stranded in April 2015 with a bad water pump. At this point I should bring up that besides the bodywork and changing a few tires that all of the maintenance done on the car was performed by myself. So when the waterpump failed I ordered a new one from ECS and had my buddy tow me to the garage on base to install it. And I was back on the road again, for a while. In June of 2015 I began to get intermittent stumbling under low RPMs and when the engine had a load. And finally I started to experience the misfire codes that everyone had told me about. I did spark plugs for the second time, this time with NGK 5992s gapped at .022, and replaced the coilpacks with Delphi coils with no avail. And then finally one day I started the car, threw a cylinder 1 misfire and fuel injector code and the car began to reak of fuel. My cylinder 1 injector had failed.

So for those who aren't aware of where Minot, ND is located, I live an hour away from Rugby, ND which is the geographical center of North America. I am 2 hours away from Bismarck, the next closest city, and 8 hours away from Minneapolis, which is the closest BMW dealership. Or in other words, I live in the absolute middle of nowhere. So when my fuel injector failed I had no garage that would help me and nobody local to show me anything. So I began reading and researching. I ordered the bank 1 index 12 injectors, a new valve cover, and an OBD II flash cable. I also downloaded a zip file that contained NCS Expert and INPA. That was the easy part. Then I realized how much of a PITA it is to run INPA. It requires windows XP 32 bit which is impossible to find. The program is also primarily in german which is not my first language by any means. So what I ended up doing after almost a month of fighting with the program is I ran a windows virtual machine on my windows 7 laptop to emulate XP. I then had to install the drivers for the USB cable and assign the com ports for the USB. Finally I was connected to the car and could install my new injectors and code them. The car was back up and running like new again.
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So I drove it the rest of the summer and by the time winter had rolled around again I had purchased a truck to daily and the car could finally sit in the garage just like it should. On Black Friday 2015 I finally decided it was time to start modifying the car again. I ordered a set of downpipes from N54Tuning and bought a used Berk street exhaust including midpipes. It sounds amazing and I still run this same exhaust today.
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Along with the exhaust it was finally time to flash my Cobb stage 2+ map that I had been working towards for almost a year and a half. The car finally felt fast to me again. But not fast enough. I took it to a dyno day in April 2016 and made 330 whp and 370 wtq on a very unforgiving mustang Dyno. I was wasn't happy with these numbers and decided I wanted more. My new goal was to make 500 whp.
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Unfortunately, my fuel injectors disagreed with my goals. And in June 2016, my cylinder 4 injector decided it didn't want to work. So bank 2 went in. And much quicker this time. The month after I did my bank 2 injectors, one of the members on a facebook group shared a link to the BMW Reimbursement program. I ckeched me VIN and sure enough my injectors fell under the program. I called BMW and submitted a request with my invoice from ECS and BMW sent me a check for the full cost of the brand new index 12 injectors. Best news ever!!

Shorty after I decided it was time for a wheel upgrade to help put down the extra power I was planning for. So in July I bought a used set of Apex EC-7s in 18x8.5 and 18x9.5 and a differential lockdown bracket.
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The car for sure felt more secure with the wider wheels and the bracket. And at this time I realized how limited my growth was with my old accessport. So after many discussions with my buddies on the platform I decided to ditch the Cobb and go with a JB4/MHD stack. So I ordered a cheap android tablet off of Amazon and found a JB4 G5 used. I also bought a P3 gauge with the Jb4 for a great deal. I flashed a pump backend and started blending an E25 mixture still using the stock LPFP. The car felt like a monster. But the winter time came and it was back into the garage. I decided that my goals for the car would be to run stock turbos for one more year and really push them to the limits before I upgraded to a single turbo. So I ordered a set of MMP outlets new and bought a set of MMP aluminum relocation inlets and Precision Raceworks coolant and power steering brackets with the coolant level extension harness from another member that hadn't been installed. And my winter build began.
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On Black Friday I waited up till 12:01 and ordered the first Precision Raceworks Stage 2+ modular fuel pump as soon as it hit the market as well as a set of Fuel It! feed lines and ethanol sensor with analyzer.
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I also decided it was time for another valve cleaning. But this time I was going to do it the right way. So I ordered a plastic intake runner vacuum attachment and bought a portable sandblasted and gun attachment. And voila, a walnut blaster was made.
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So after a little while I got it all back together and the car was running.

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While doing the valve cleaning I had noticed some oil leaking from the oil filter housing and decided to go ahead and do the filter and coolter housing gaskets. I also saw a cool idea on N5XEntheusiasts about using a stainless braided 4AN line as a blow off valve vacuum line. So I ordered the parts, got new gaskets including intake manifold and throtte body gaskets, and did some maintenance and installed the new hose.

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And after I put it all back together I went out to test drive it. It was acting a bit funny and I couldn't find out why. I put the car in 3rd gear and went to do a log. I had no boost down low and then it picked up for a couple thousand RPMs and then BOOM!!!! Something exploded and smoke was blowing out the back of the exhaust. The turbo blew up. I didn't find out how for a while longer but when I pulled the turbo I found that the rear compressor nut had snapped off and completelyate the turbine.
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After a lot of reading and thinking I have a theory of what happened, and it makes me feel stupid. When I installed the P3 boost gauge, I used my BOV vacuum line as a boost reference source. I had only done it for a short period of time before the season had ended but I believe the weak vacuum pull on the BOV caused compressor sure on a couple high boost pulls which backed the nut out slightly till it broke off. But it's just a theory. I'll tell you that I'll never make that mistake again. However, my stock turbo winter build was about to get a lot more expensive and very interesting. This is where the real story begins.
 

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Last edited:
Mar 14, 2017
418
346
0
Minot, ND
Ride
2010 135i
So this is where my real build begins. My turbos are done for. And now I have to make the decision I had spent years anticipating. My goal had ways been to go single turbo. But this unexpected dilemma had left me financially unprepared. Fortunately, when my turbo blew up the MMP Stage 3 Turbo group buy was still going on. So I hopped on the massive bandwagon and got a spot on the group buy. I have met a ton of great guys from the group buy that I talk to constantly. I'm very appreciative that I was a part of it. So now I had a plan of action and it was time to start pulling the old turbos and plan everything that's associated with making power. So the car went back into the garage and I ripped it back apart again.
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So since I was getting serious about making power, I decided I should get a twin disc clutch to put it down. So after looking at my finances and seeing that I'm broke AF, I went with the MFactory sprung hub.

Edit:
Flywheel torque spec is 92 ft/lbs with red loctite
MFactory pressure plate torque is 31 ft/lbs with red loctite
Clutch break in period is 500 miles of stop and go traffic. Not highway driving.
The easiest way I found to pull the rear main seal is to take 2 wood screws and thread into the gasket on opposite sides and pull on the screws using some vice grips. I then used RTV on the outside of the new rear main and big ass socket and rubber mallet to make the rear main sit flush against the block.

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And with new turbos and a new clutch, I decided it was about time to get a new differential to really help put the power down. And yet again, I'm a poor peasant so I hopped on another group buy and get an MFactory Helical LSD. Since I'm manual, I opted to have Syncrotech Transmission just build and paint a pumpkin for me with new bearings and I'll just send my core in.

Synchrotech recommends using Torco SGO fluid. The fluid will need changed after the first 500 miles. The cheapest place I found the fluid is carid.com
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Also while the transmission was out I decided to do the best mod ever on a manual car and delete (one of) the stupidest engineering ideas that BMW has ever had, the clutch delay valve.
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Since the turbo compressor had blown up, I was nervous about metal flakes working their way into my oil supply. So since I had the subframe out I decided there wasn't a better time to kill two birds with one stone and replace the oil pan gasket and check for metal in the pan at the same time.

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And since I was going to be runnning more power and have a harsher grab due to the new clutch I went with 034 Motorsport engine and transmission mounts to combat the extra grab.

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And I also did the accessory belt and pulleys because it was just another drop in the bucket anyways.

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And finally after what felt like a lifetime of waiting I finally received my new turbos!!

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It took me about 2 days to have everything back together and running. (I was excited). I began working with Aj Hoti (N54 Jesus) at EMP Tuning to write my backend flash and got to take it out for a test drive where I took this picture. It was very much like finding my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after a very long and dramatic build.

The way to prime the turbos after install is to unplug the fuel injector electrical harnesses, remove the spark plugs, and crank the engine over for 10 seconds. Then wait about a minute and crank another 10 seconds. And wait another minute and crank another 10 seconds. This should allow the oil to pressurize and flow through the journals and oil feed lines of the turbos.

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And all was well with the world... for a bit. So here is how I set up my tablet.

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And my BOV line.

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And a random picture with my buddy's M3.

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So with running more boost (about 24 psi on E50) I was having some traction problems. So I ordered a set of 275/35/18 Nitto NT01s to help put down the power.

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And then it was off to the dyno.

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And like always, I had a problem. My brand new clutch with 700 miles began to slip at 4000 RPM on the dyno. I made 550/583 still with the clutch slipping.

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So I got back and sent MFactory an email expressing how unhappy I was. Turns out that they had an engineering flaw with their sprung hub that only engaged one disc. So they sent me a temporary unsprung hub till the hub was completed reengineering. So I pulled the trans again and put in the unsprung hub which is working amazing.
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And after the job was done I clutched in to start the car and my slave cylinder exploded (not surprised. Everything on this car breaks)

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So got a new slave and put it in. And all was well with the world again. Except now I wanted to run even more power. So I made up my mind to get some more fuel. I ordered the stage 3 PR LPFP upgrade and the MMP Port Injection rail. I also upgraded all of my vacuum lines to a higher temp thick wall hose just for reassurance. While the manifold was off I also tapped a new boost reference for my gauge because I had been using my meth bung and the hobbs switch was going in that spot now.

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I also upgraded my stock 3.5mm chargepipe gasket to a 4mm o ring that feels much more secure
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And then I went to go do some logging with my buddy

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And just the other day I rerouted my brake booster line under the manifold to clean everything up
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And this is how the car is sitting right now. I'm waiting on a return line and fuel pressure regulator to show up from PR because I have way too much fuel in high boost and the car is running rich due to the unmanageable pressure. And I am also about to install the PR coils so I can run a larger gap than .018. The car is now on full E85 and targeting 28 psi which is spiking to 30. Its pulling like a bat out of hell and I love it.
 

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Last edited:
Mar 14, 2017
418
346
0
Minot, ND
Ride
2010 135i
Nice to see you on a forum instead of just on Facebook! I look forward to updates here.
Thanks! I've been putting it off for a while. It took me a couple hours to write everything and get pictures. More updates should be coming this weekend with the FPR and return going in as well as the PR Coils. I have before and after logs as well that I'll be posting on datazap
 
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Mar 14, 2017
418
346
0
Minot, ND
Ride
2010 135i
Just made edits to second post with clutch/flywheel/rear main seal info. I had to message mfactory to get the torque specs because they aren't readily available. As for the rear main seal, I just couldn't find a better way to do it. I also added turbo priming instructions and diff/clutch break in instructions.
 
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Clean WHP

Corporal
Apr 24, 2017
173
136
0
Ride
2010 135i Msport 6MT
Awesome build thread. Can you tell me how the driveability is with your Mfactory twin disc clutch with the unsprung hub? how is the pedal pressure and engagement point? also how would the sprung hub change things? Can you daily drive it?
 
Mar 14, 2017
418
346
0
Minot, ND
Ride
2010 135i
Awesome build thread. Can you tell me how the driveability is with your Mfactory twin disc clutch with the unsprung hub? how is the pedal pressure and engagement point? also how would the sprung hub change things? Can you daily drive it?
Thanks man. The grab and engagement point is very on/off. You have to rev it up to not stall the car when starting to roll. Compared to the sprung hub, there isn't a lot of drivability difference. The clutch discs are exactly the same besides the engagement method. I prefer the unsprung hub now just because I have a 0% worry of it slipping under load. And it is rated for more torque so with the boost level I'm running now it is a more appropriate choice. After the car is rolling there is no drivability difference. And as for idle, the clutch chatter is almost non existent compared to twin disc clutches I've heard on other platforms like the supra, evo, and skyline. I do not daily drive mine and probably wouldn't just because of how much wear it puts on the parts. This is pretty much a track/race car.
 

Clean WHP

Corporal
Apr 24, 2017
173
136
0
Ride
2010 135i Msport 6MT
@stveclrk Thanks for the info. My plan is to go 335is clutch/SMFW then to a Spec stage 3+ if a few seasons when/if my turbos go out and I go for more power. Good to know about the mfactory twin disc, as my car will probably be a daily driver
 
Mar 14, 2017
418
346
0
Minot, ND
Ride
2010 135i
@stveclrk Thanks for the info. My plan is to go 335is clutch/SMFW then to a Spec stage 3+ if a few seasons when/if my turbos go out and I go for more power. Good to know about the mfactory twin disc, as my car will probably be a daily driver
I'm not sure about the drivability but if I could go back and do it again I would use a Motiv/Spec twin disc. Much easier to maintain, a lot more product testing has been done, it can handle more torque, and rebuild kits are easier to source.
 
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Mar 14, 2017
418
346
0
Minot, ND
Ride
2010 135i
Got my PR fuel return line and fuel pressure regulator in last night. Had a leak on startup from the regulator so I'm pulling it really quick tonight to make sure its sealed and hopefully going to do a before log so I have a good data comparison of the PR Coils with no other changes. The clip in the picture that holds the wire loom for the starter needs to be rotated 180 degrees. Also the bolt to mount the FPR is located on the middle of the HPFP. I also took a few pictures of my brake booster relocation hose in case anyone wanted to see how I routed it.
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