It’s been a while since we did a featured car. You might remember the Renault R26 of Nȕrburgring and SPA fame, then there was the Audi A4 3.0 V6 TDI S-Line. And don’t forget the Jaguar S Type Diesel – all done and dusted now.
So here it is, our BMW 335i M Sport Cabriolet, 2007 with 83k miles. The car came with full service history – the usual mix of main agent and specialists. The thing with this car is that it had not been serviced for 3 years – OUCH! The car had done 15k miles in 3 years and was very much in need of a good service!
First things, first – get the car on the ramp and take a good look.
This is what we found:
N/S/R bearing noisy
O/S/R ball joint minor movement
Different tyres all around and wrong size on rear (should be 255/19/30) plus run flat
Track rod ends and steering arms seized – this is a common issue
The Power Run
We then got the car on our Dyno and gave it a power run to see what power (BHP) and torque the car was showing prior to any work being done, plus how much of the original manufacturer’s numbers were still available.
The car tested at 272bhp @ 5,382rpm and 302.3lbs/ft @ 3,459rpm
The Test Drive
We drove the car for a while – to be honest it was horrible! We are not fans of run flat tyres and the fact that the rears were the wrong size and that all the tyres were different with a mix of budget and premium, we could not think of a better way to ruin a great car.
It did not handle well, it felt sluggish and lacklustre to say the least. Add to this the rumbling from the NSR wheel bearing, all made for a very underwhelming driving experience.
The good news is that the front brake pads and discs where new and also had new rear pads.
Even with all these things going against the car, when the roof was down with some nice tunes playing, it was still a head turner. We even liked the little rear lip spoiler – not sure if it does anything – but all the same it looked nice!
The car was averaging 19mpg.
The next step
We were itching to get our hands on the car, here is the list of what we did:
Forte – Advance Engine Motor Flush
Forte – Specialist Injector Cleaner
Engine Oil & Filter – Mobil Super 3000 5w/40
Gearbox Oil & Filter – Mobil ATF LT – 71141
Differential Oil – Mobil 1 SHC 75w/90
Plugs – NGK Laser Iridium (more on this later)
Air Filter – BMC Panel Filter
4 Wheel Alignment
4x Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tyres – Front 225/19/ 35 – Rear 255/19/30
Wheel Bearing N/S/R replaced
Ball Joint O/S/R replaced
Track Rod Ends and Steering Arms replaced
The Second Power Run (After the Magic)
We know that numbers are not the be all and end all, but they do say a lot. As the saying goes,
‘BHP sells cars but Torque wins races.’
292bhp – 319lbs-ft torque
WOW! – This is a different car!
It’s as if we brought a dead car back to life, the difference is immense; to say the car is responsive is a major understatement. It drives more smoothly, the steering feels…well, it feels like you can actually feel the road. The feedback on a well sorted 3 series is legendary, the Michelins are a massive upgrade from what we had, plus they are the daddy of all tyres! Run flats are like having heavy wheels at the corner of the car, a bit like driving a tractor. With the Michelin Pilot Super Sports the car now has the finesse of a ballerina – light, responsive and confident, basically a delight to drive.
The car is now planted and predictable, no more road weave and now the bearing noise has gone….to say it’s bliss in an understatement. No need to turn the stereo up to block out the noise!
Gear changes are smoother and they seem quicker, the car feels much, much more rapid, more responsive… in short – more car, more capable and much more fun!
All this benefit and we have not done anything to the car to enhance performance. No upgrades, no performance enhancements, no expensive tuning kits – just getting the basics right with quality oils and components.
28th July 2015 – ECU remap
The car has been used for a few weeks now and we felt this was the perfect time to remap the car. Why? Well, why not?
The promise of remapping is simple. More BHP, more torque, more MPG, but most importantly….more fun!
After mapping we got the car back on the Dyno, and it did not disappoint,
345bhp – 345lbs/ft torque.
So, from start to completion we took the car from 272bhp to 345bhp. That’s an extra 73bhp with a little TLC and some basic performance mapping and the car is now a hot car – 345bhp and 345lbs-ft of torque under your right foot – more than enough for anyone for day to day driving.
“Our plan is always to help enthusiastic car owners enjoy their cars and their driving – starting with the basics and building up from there is a great way to go.
If you are a first timer that wants to upgrade your car’s performance, then great basic maintenance with quality components and oils will affect your car in the most positive way possible. Then getting the ECU remapped will unleash your car’s true potential.”
I have friends who ask me,
‘Is it worth it?’ Well ‘IF’ driving is your passion, then most definitely YES!