Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

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jonwilli
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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:53 pm

THETYRANT wrote: Pictures of yours looks good and very interesting setup, I would of thought that airfilter was maybe a little restrictive but space is tight I can see!
Yeah, my plan is to make an aluminium air box for the air filter once I get it back. When I went on my failed attempt to collect the car a few weeks back I refit the air ducts from the kidney grilles to what would have been the old air box (not shown in the earlier photos). The rectangular outlet of this comes to the space between the charger and the charger oil filter. I am hoping to connect this intake duct to a aluminium air box to stop the intake air heat soaking and to allow the charger to draw air from outside the engine bay. I also plan on fitting the BMWP front bumper in future so was thinking of trying to run a second duct to the air box from one of the blanked off side ducts that are used for the oil cooler on the 135i.

Are there any books you'd recommend re ECU tuning?

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:46 pm

OK its been a few months since I updated this. I got the car back last Thursday, its not finished but its running a lot lot better than it was when I went to collect it in October! After being told by Regal that they were going to use an Alpha N map rather than a MAF tune to sort out the idle and low rev drivability, it was a bit of a shock when I asked for an update at the end of November and was told that they'd moved the MAF and that they weren't going for an Alpha N tune. They have extended the intake and moved the MAF about 1 metre from the supercharger. Not the prettiest of solutions but it seems to work. If this is the permanent solution I will definitely need to add some heat shielding and a cold air feed from the bumper.

Image

With the current tune the idle, throttle response and drivability of the car is massively improved. I was told that they had focused on this area of the tune most of all and as a result the top end is not finished. Above 5k rpm the car is running an AFR of 13:1 which is a little lean. As a result they have retarded the timing which means it is making less top end power. The car is currently only putting out about 335bhp and 305lbft torque (on Regals dyno) compared to 390bhp last time I went to pick it up.

I should get this power back once the top end is tuned properly. I think one of the reasons that the software side is taking so long is that Regal are data logging and then sending the ECU files off to some sort of online tuning consortium who remote tune. I am not overly pleased to have got the car back in an unfinished state but have my MOT coming up in early January and a problem with the ABS pump that needs rectifying on warranty before the MOT. Regal seem keen to continue to work on the car in the New Year to perfect the tune, I am undecided on whether I will take it back to them or whether I will take it elsewhere. The hardware side is there and the customisation of the hardware Regal have done looks really good quality, it is just the software side to be finished and I feel that that really needs to be done by a garage with the skills in house. Apparently the reason it wasn't Alpha N tuned was because they couldn't find anyone who had the skills.

Anyway how does it drive. I am really pleased with how the car feels with the supercharger. It isn't like a new car, It feels and sounds just like my 'old' 130i but all turned up by a factor of ten which is just what I wanted. The power is linear and the boost comes on gradually. It feels like a much bigger capacity NA straight six. Even at 'only' 335bhp, above 4k rpm the car really starts to take off down the road! At low revs it feels like a normal 130i but with a little more torque. With the ABS pump issue and therefore no traction control, first and second gear and anything over 4k rpm in third on the current wet roads can get a bit of a handful even with the LSD! I think without the LSD it would be sliding all over the place and pretty dangerous.
Last edited by jonwilli on Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by iamneallyons » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:46 pm

really nice, i didnt realise that the 130msport comes with single piston calipers as standard though??? thats a let down isnt it, how much did you pay for those 6 piston calipers?

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by THETYRANT » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:56 pm

Ah didnt realise i had missed the latest update, glad youve got it back but shame its not finished yet :( will be good to get it properly mapped and running some much safer AFR as in the 13's under boost is a bit scary lean!....maybe worth looking into an aftermaket ecu if the stock setup isnt flexible enough to cope with the SC, will mean another big chunk of cash i guess but a proper ecu and good mapping will finish car off nicely.

Sounds like its getting there though so hopefully it all comes together :D

Ian
--
Now on my 3rd 130i, this time a nice E81 in Graphite, Previously 2 x 130i and 2 x 135i

Camber plate project - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=96465

Suspension Quest thread - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=80208

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by ben m » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:56 pm

I can't be much help except to say that I do love this thread and your car! Cracking job you have done with it!
2007 BMW 130i LE

jonwilli
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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:41 pm

THETYRANT wrote:Ah didnt realise i had missed the latest update, glad youve got it back but shame its not finished yet :( will be good to get it properly mapped and running some much safer AFR as in the 13's under boost is a bit scary lean!....maybe worth looking into an aftermaket ecu if the stock setup isnt flexible enough to cope with the SC, will mean another big chunk of cash i guess but a proper ecu and good mapping will finish car off nicely.

Sounds like its getting there though so hopefully it all comes together :D

Ian
Its frustratingly close to being finished but definitely not there yet. It actually failed its MOT emissions this morning as it is running too rich on the fast idle (despite print outs from Regal showing it passed on their machine)! I think that I will reach out to Ray West to have a look at the tune as he has been recommended by several people.

One interesting piece of information I picked up when I got the car was that the mechanic with the N52 3 series has been running 10 to 12psi on his Vortech blower on a stock engine for 20+k miles with no issues. I understand the Z4 (at 7psi) has done about 30k miles with no issues. Not massive mileage but a bit of comfort that the stock internals and block can take the boost. I have heard that the owner of the Z4 is fairly aggressive in his driving style!

I ordered some new Apex EC-7s this morning to give a bit of space for the carbon brake ducts and the callipers. Should be a nice change to freshen up the look of the car.

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by THETYRANT » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:45 pm

How much boost is yours pushing in current tune out of interest ?

Ian
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Now on my 3rd 130i, this time a nice E81 in Graphite, Previously 2 x 130i and 2 x 135i

Camber plate project - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=96465

Suspension Quest thread - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=80208

jonwilli
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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:45 am

THETYRANT wrote:How much boost is yours pushing in current tune out of interest ?

Ian
7.5psi with a FMIC and 380cc injectors. Personally wouldn't want to push it any higher even if the mechanics N52 has been running 10psi (without FMIC!). If in final tune I can get 380bhp I will be more than happy which I should in theory manage with 7.5psi (if an average unmodified 130i on a Dyno Dynamics makes 260bhp). Based on the cars weight it would be the equivalent of a 135i running 405bhp or a 1M running 415bhp (but with less torque) which I think is more than enough for the chassis and mainly fast road driving. Even with the current tune I'm short shifting at 5k to 5.5k rpm on overtakes and when accelerating hard!

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:57 am

ben m wrote:I can't be much help except to say that I do love this thread and your car! Cracking job you have done with it!
Thanks for the compliment

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by THETYRANT » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:23 am

jonwilli wrote:
THETYRANT wrote:How much boost is yours pushing in current tune out of interest ?

Ian
7.5psi with a FMIC and 380cc injectors. Personally wouldn't want to push it any higher even if the mechanics N52 has been running 10psi (without FMIC!). If in final tune I can get 380bhp I will be more than happy which I should in theory manage with 7.5psi (if an average unmodified 130i on a Dyno Dynamics makes 260bhp). Based on the cars weight it would be the equivalent of a 135i running 405bhp or a 1M running 415bhp (but with less torque) which I think is more than enough for the chassis and mainly fast road driving. Even with the current tune I'm short shifting at 5k to 5.5k rpm on overtakes and when accelerating hard!
Nice one should be well safe at that then, when I supercharged my old mx5 it started off at 7psi with no IC and was mental going from 140hp to 200hp!... intake got mental hot though so fitted a FMIC which sorted that but dropped the boost down to 3psi, that was soon sorted with a smaller nose pulley and really loved that car should of kept it as it was but I got greedy and fitted a bigger mp62 charger which put power upto 240hp but spoiled the balance of the car really, here is a video of one of best days I had with it on the ultra slippy polished tarmac at oulton parks rally track during a sprint event, listen it whine :D - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzHAxvL3tng" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think the figures you mention should be doable with a good tune and will make a mental car, If im back down your area I will be looking you up for a demo run which will most likely make me go down the same route :D

Regards finishing the tune I think Regal have had there go and proven its beyond there capabilities, otherwise they wouldn't of given it back half tuned...twice!... I would be going elsewhere unless Regal can convince you they have the skills and will do it for free to make up for half a job done so far, ive heard nothing but good about Ray west and certainly worth a chat to see what he thinks about finishing the job.

Look forward to finished article...although my bank account may not lol

Ian
--
Now on my 3rd 130i, this time a nice E81 in Graphite, Previously 2 x 130i and 2 x 135i

Camber plate project - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=96465

Suspension Quest thread - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=80208

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by johnboyblue » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:47 am

That is one cool car. Enjoy.
220d Active Tourer Luxury Xdrive and loads of goodies.
M135i Estoril Blue, 5 Door, Auto,(wish it had xdrive)
BMW 328i F30 Luxury Mineral Grey, Manual.

jonwilli
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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:53 am

THETYRANT wrote: Regards finishing the tune I think Regal have had there go and proven its beyond there capabilities, otherwise they wouldn't of given it back half tuned...twice!... I would be going elsewhere unless Regal can convince you they have the skills and will do it for free to make up for half a job done so far, ive heard nothing but good about Ray west and certainly worth a chat to see what he thinks about finishing the job.
Agreed, decided to give Ray West a call and send some detailed pics and decription for a quote. He's been recommended by several people who themselves have good reputations in the tuning scene. I don't believe that the MOT emissions print out I got when I collected my car was actually done on my car. Hydorcarbons at fast idle had dropped from 25ppm to 18ppm with the SC, however, the garage MOT testing at the moment can not get it below the limit of 200ppm! High HCs would also be part and parcel of the fluctuating idle. I think Regal had lost patience with the ECU tune and wanted shot of the car unfortunately. There have been a few things they've told me that I doubt the legitimacy and honesty of.

The MX5 looks at lot of fun!! They're really popular track cars now aren't they. Never driven one myself but always hear good things. Another similar car I am really drawn to is the GT86, buy second hand and pop a supercharger on it.

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by THETYRANT » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:04 pm

jonwilli wrote: Agreed, decided to give Ray West a call and send some detailed pics and decription for a quote. He's been recommended by several people who themselves have good reputations in the tuning scene. I don't believe that the MOT emissions print out I got when I collected my car was actually done on my car. Hydorcarbons at fast idle had dropped from 25ppm to 18ppm with the SC, however, the garage MOT testing at the moment can not get it below the limit of 200ppm! High HCs would also be part and parcel of the fluctuating idle. I think Regal had lost patience with the ECU tune and wanted shot of the car unfortunately. There have been a few things they've told me that I doubt the legitimacy and honesty of.

The MX5 looks at lot of fun!! They're really popular track cars now aren't they. Never driven one myself but always hear good things. Another similar car I am really drawn to is the GT86, buy second hand and pop a supercharger on it.
Hmm all sounds a bit suspect and those HC are crazy!, there is always 2 sides to every story but from what you have said i think its beyond there knowledge to finish the job which is most disappointing, more so if they wont actually admit it! Im sure if Ray west will take it on he will get it sorted, if your struggling to find anyone let me know i might have some contacts who can help.

The MX5 was a riot and cheap fun indeed, bought a mint 98 mk2 1.8 for 2k, build up and fitted a charger kit using a bmw mini m45 charger and emanage ecu to tune it and all in it owed me about 3.5k, had loads of fun and then put it back to standard after a couple of years and got all my money back on car and charger kit :D.....i bought a GT86 last year and in stock form they are great fun toys especially on track, they do have issues though and not ideal as my only car at time so despite being tempted to fit a HKS charger kit i decieded it was too nice to spoil so got rid before i lost any money, will have one again as a 2nd car if values drop though :D
--
Now on my 3rd 130i, this time a nice E81 in Graphite, Previously 2 x 130i and 2 x 135i

Camber plate project - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=96465

Suspension Quest thread - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=80208

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:40 pm

Cheers TheTyrant, I may take you up on that offer. See how it goes!

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Re: Jonwilli's BMW E81 130i story and mods review

Post by jonwilli » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:00 am

I received some goodies from Ben at Hack Engineering yesterday. A set of Apex Racing EC-7s in Race silver, my free set of WP brake pads and some polyurethane Revshift gearbox bushes. The wheels feel really nice and light. Never thought I'd go down the CSL style wheel route, always thought it was a bit cliched nowadays on a BMW!! However, with the WP BBK I need a wheel that had a bit more space around the front callipers and can fit the carbon brake ducts. The Apex EC-7s are a combination that are tried and tested to work, being several kilos lighter than the OEM wheels is a nice bonus to! The Apex offsets are specific to the 1 series so have really high offsets, coupled with a higher width so that you can run up to a 245 front and 275 rear tyre set up should you wish.

I also picked up some gearbox mounts. Thought it would be the last link to get the gearshift really accurate and tight. I opted for the 80a hardness which for an E46 M3 is described as OEM+ and shouldn't increase vibration in the cabin. I thought the green 95a bushes which are more suited to track cars would be to stiff for a daily driver causing noise and vibration. The bushes come with a lifetime guarantee and are not bolted all the way through the bush,they look top quality.

Hopefully I should get the tyres swapped over and my wheels fitted on Monday which will time nicely with when my reconditioned ABS pump should be back after a warranty repair.

Have to also give a shout out to Ben at Hack Engineering. Really keen BMW enthusiast, some great products and so easy to deal with. Not the slack customer service and arrogance I have often encountered with retailers selling performance additions.

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Last edited by jonwilli on Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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