N54 500hp for $1,500

How-To Build a 500HP 135i, 335i, 535i N54 BMW for Less Than $1,500

Jake Mayock

Meet Jake

Jake currently owns two N54 powered BMW’s – an E60 535i and E82 135i. Jake has 10 years of experience maintaining, repairing, and upgrading his BMW’s. The 135i features a single turbo Precision 6266 conversion capable of 700+whp; Jake completed the entire project on his own. With over 200 automotive articles published, Jake brings a balance of writing skill, hands-on BMW experience, and technical knowledge to the table.

The BMW N54 engine featured in the 135i, 335i, and 535i is one of the most tune-able engines ever. Some people call it the ‘2JZ’ of German engines, but we think the N54 is on a whole new level. The N54 engine has forged internals, meaning it can handle an immense amount of power without requiring any expensive engine modifications.

We have seen N54’s break 800+whp on the stock internals – good luck achieving that with a 2JZ. BMW rates the engine at 300hp and 300tq to the crankshaft directly out of the factory. It is widely known that BMW undershoots their power estimates, and this is especially true with the stock N54 putting down roughly 280hp and 290tq to the wheels!

The great thing about the N54 engine and its forged internals, is that it’s very easy to generate crazy amounts of power very for very little amounts of $$$. This guide will take you step-by-step on the mods necessary to build a 500hp N54 135i, 335i, or 535i. And we are going to do it for less than $1,500!

How to Build a 500whp BMW N54

First, Let’s Talk N54 Spark Plugs…

Horsepower is created from combustion. So to make more horsepower you need more combustion. This means that the car needs to pump more gas into the combustion chambers to create more horsepower (your mpg will go down, yes). If you have bad spark plugs, the plugs won’t be able to ignite all of the gas in the engine. As a result, gas is left in the engine and then can pre-detonate, or cause misfires due to the high temperatures in the engine. New spark plugs won’t give you more horsepower, but they will prevent misfires and unleash lost horsepower caused by bad or foiled plugs!

Before shooting for significant horsepower gains, you should change your spark plugs! But which spark plugs should you be using?

Which N54 Spark Plugs Should You Use?

The OEM spark plugs are great, but only if you are running stock boost levels. More boost causes the need for more fuel, which creates more combustion, which creates higher engine temperatures. These higher engine temperatures are what cause pre-detonation and misfires. We combat this by using “colder” spark plugs.

Spark plugs have heat ranges that control the temperature at which they ignite. Using a colder spark plug will reduce engine temperatures and prevent misfires and pre-detonation caused by burning more gasoline.

Here are our spark plug recommendations, follow this and you shouldn’t be running into any misfires or performance issues:

  • OEM N54 Spark Plugs: use these for all stock N54s or modified N54s that are running stock boost! These should be replaced every 40,000 miles for stock N54s.
  • 1-Step Colder N54 Spark Plugs: all tuned cars (up to 420whp) should be using these. If you have a Jb4, Cobb, etc. you should be using these plugs that are 1 heat range colder. These should be replaced every 15,000-20,000 miles.
  • 2-Step Colder N54 Spark Plugs: for all N54s running upgraded turbos or meth/forced injection. These should be replaced every 15,000-20,000 miles.

Also, don’t forget ignition coils! Ignition coils should be replaced every time you replace your spark plugs. Ignition coils power the spark plugs – bad coils can cause the same problems as bad spark plugs so it is important to replace these as well.

  • OEM N54 Ignition Coils: replace these every time you replace your plugs. We recommend Bosch since they are $110 cheaper and the Eldor coils don’t provide any significant benefits over Bosch.

Looking for more than 500hp? Check out our upgraded turbo guides

For those of you not satisfied with a 500hp N54, we’ve written two blog posts on upgraded turbos, both for upgraded twin turbo setups and single turbo setups. Check out these guides if you are already FBO and looking for the next step!

BMW N54 Upgraded Twin Turbo Guide

BMW N54 Single Turbo Guide for 135i 335i

Best 500 hp N54 Bolt-On Upgrades

The best bolt-on power mods for the BMW N54 135i 335i and 535i include:

These upgrades (with proper tuning) will take the N54 to its limit on stock turbos, which is right around the 475-500whp ballpark. Turbo longevity may become a concern at 20+psi, however, some hold up for a while. We’ve blown a few stock turbos on the N54 engine around 20psi, so understand the risks in pushing the limits. We recommend keeping things a bit more modest unless you intend to upgrade the turbos anyways. We’ll discuss the above N54 bolt-ons in greater depth throughout the rest of the post. We will also dive into a few supporting bolt-on mods to help make the power.

If you would rather consume this content via a video, check out our How to Build a 450+ WHP N54 video below:

Mod List for a BMW 500HP N54

1. Dual Cone Intakes – VRSF or BMS

N54 BMS Dual Cone Intake

Dual cone intakes are an essential bolt-on upgrade for your 500hp N54 if you are looking to further tune and modify your car. DCIs will allow your twin-turbos to take in more air, creating more pressure and combustion, resulting in more horsepower. This was the first mod Zach and I put on our cars, and it is, in my opinion, one of the most necessary supporting mods for building a 500hp N54. I say it is a “supporting mod” because the extra airflow is crucial in maximizing additional horsepower gains from other mods, such as the JB4 tuner.

Aside from additional horsepower, you also get an awesome and aggressive engine sound that is intoxicating. People also claim DCIs will improve fuel efficiency, but you can throw that out the window at 500hp. If you care about fuel efficiency, you probably don’t want a 500hp N54.

If you are unsure of which dual cone intake is the best for you, you can read our tuning guide on intakes which lists all of the available options, their prices, and horsepower gains. For the purpose of this guide, we are trying to achieve 500hp with spending the least amount of $$ possible, so I recommend either VRSF or BMS dual cone intakes. For UK and International customers, Masata offers a great dual cone intake upgrade too.

Price: ~$100

Horsepower Gains: 20hp to the wheels!

BMS Intake Upgrade

VRSF DCI Upgrade

Masata N54 Dual Cone Intakes

2. Catless Downpipes – VRSF

VRSF N54 Catless Downpipes

Second on the list of 500hp N54 mods is a set of catless downpipes. The catalytic converters on the OEM downpipes are very restrictive, and limit the amount of airflow leaving the engine. This becomes an issue when we put a tuner on our car and increase our boost pressure (psi). With catless downpipes, you will be able to run more air through the turbo system which results in higher boost pressures, and better spool times.

These are second on the list after the dual cone intakes because once you are bringing more air into the engine and turbos, you will need to allow more air to flow out. Downpipes and an intake are the best mods to do before you add a tuner to your car. These mods will allow the tuner to maximize horsepower gains through increased boost. As we said above, we are looking for a cost-effective set of downpipes, so we recommend the VRSF downpipes. From a quality standpoint, they are highly praised throughout the N54 community, and they come at a price of only $270 brand new. Definitely one of the best bolt-on mods for a 500hp N54 engine.

As a disclaimer, removing the catalytic converters on your N54 will result in the car failing emissions tests. Technically it is “illegal”, but the majority of N54 owners will run catless. You simply need to find a shop to do your inspection that is more so on the lax side of things. If you are concerned with this, and don’t want to run an illegal setup, you can get “high-flow” downpipes that still have the catalytic converters, but are less restrictive than OEM. The high-flow downpipes don’t create as much power as catless, but they are still a huge improvement over OEM.

Price: $360

Horsepower Gains: 25hp to the wheels!

Buy VRSF Downpipes here: https://www.vr-speed.com/vrsf-3-stainless-steel-catless-downpipes-n54-07-10-bmw-335i-08-10-bmw-135i.html/ref/31/

3. JB4 Piggyback Tuner

BMW N54 JB4 Flash Tuner

Alright, when it comes to tuners for the N54, no product holds more world records than the JB4. The JB4 has the record for the highest horsepower N54, and also has more cars running in the 11 seconds on the quarter miles than any other tuner. The JB4 is a piggyback tune so it’s a bit different from traditional flash tuning. Some people love it and others hate the idea of piggyback tunes. Nonetheless, the JB4 makes tuning simple and it’s packed with loads of awesome features.

I’m not going to get into the details of this tuner, because it is exhaustive, but click the link below to read our guide on tuners that compares all of the options on the market. If you are someone that likes to buy things new, a JB4 is going to run you nearly $500. If you don’t mind a used item (in the case of tuners, I personally don’t think it matters) then you can grab one for around $350 from someone on the forums.

Read our guide on N54 tuners to decide which is best for you!

Price: $500 new, ~$350 used

Horsepower: 60-100hp, depending on supporting mods and maps

Buy Here: BMS JB4 $479

4. Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC) – VRSF 7.5″ Competition Intercooler

VRSF N54 7.5 Intercooler Upgrade

Bolt-on mod #4 on our road to a 500hp N54, is a front-mount intercooler. An intercooler cools the air that comes from the turbos, before entering the engine. The OEM system is designed to support low boost levels and lower levels of airflow. With a DCI and downpipes, you are going to need an intercooler that can support the amount of air you are bringing into the car. The JB4 tune, or any of the others, will have you running higher boost pressure.

Running high psi of boost on the OEM intercooler is dangerous because it overwhelms the system, creating heatsoak from high air temperatures which results in a loss of power. VRSF is once again, the best cost-efficient manufacturer. I recommend the 7.5″ Competition Intercooler, which will support you up past 600hp, for a price of just $400. If you are shooting for 650hp+ I recommend using their 7.5″ Race Intercooler (pictured above).

For our European and international readers we recommend the Masata 7.5″ Intercooler for those looking for a larger option, and the Masata Performance HD option for a slightly smaller upgrade.

Price: $400

Horsepower: 15-20hp to the wheels

Link: VRSF 7.5″ Stepped FMIC

5. MHD Flash for E85 Ethanol – 40% E85

BMW N54 MHD Flash Tune

The MHD Flasher in an Android application that allows you to use a phone or tablet to tune and monitor the ECU in your N54. This app allows you to directly flash your ECU and run various different tune setups, etc. It plugs directly in to your car and is a great tool for monitoring and data logging various engine figures.

The MHD flasher couples well with the JB4, and provides additional

Price: ~$150

Horsepower: Depends on the flash you run, check the posts below for additional info

Link to all MHD info: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1096242

MHD Guide by BMS: http://www.n54tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29236

JB4 Backend Install: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mhd.flasher.n54&hl=en

These 5 mods will get you to 500hp at the crank, but what about at the wheels? 500hp at the crank is likely to be around 430-440whp. For those who want a serious 500WHP, keep reading!

Optional/Recommended 500hp N54 Bolt-On Mods

1. Upgraded Chargepipe

VRSF N54 Chargepipe Upgrade

When you reach the point of 500hp or upwards, you are really going to need a performance chargepipe. This isn’t a power mod, meaning you shouldn’t expect any performance benefits from it. The chargepipe supports boost pressure, and once you start increasing your boost pressure with a tuner and other mods, the OEM chargepipe is likely to fail.

The OEM chargepipe is made from plastic, so it is very unstable, and can’t handle high amounts of boost. While this isn’t a necessary upgrade, it eventually will become one once you burst your OEM chargepipe from high boost pressure. The OEM system will commonly leak boost pressure, resulting in less boost and therefore less power.

Replacing it ensures you will be holding the maximum boost power possible, and it will prevent the chargepipe from cracking or bursting while you are driving. Some people like to upgrade it before they start increasing boost pressures, others just replace it when they blow their stock pipe. The choice is up to you, but expect to have to eventually upgrade your chargepipe. Prices range from $200 and upwards depending on the blow-off valve.

VRSF is our recommendation for US folks. We recommend the Masata N54 Chargepipe for European and international readers.

2. Low-Pressure Fuel Pump (LPFP) – Stage 2 (500hp) or Stage 3 (550+hp)

N54 LPFP Upgrade

Above, we suggested running around 40% E85 with the MHD backend flash tuner. At 40% ethanol fuel, you are adding serious horsepower, but likely running your low-pressure fuel pump at a full 100%. If you want to run higher than 40% ethanol, which we suggest if you are looking to push past 450whp, you will need to upgrade your low-pressure fuel pump.

With a stage 2 or 3 LPFP bolt-on upgrade, you can safely run 100% E85. The stock LPFP can generally handle around 430whp on E85 and nearly 460whp on E50. At higher percentages of ethanol fuel, your stock pump will hit capacity and not be able to pump fuel fast enough. We recommend a Stage 2 pump ($450) for people who are shooting for the 500hp N54 range.

If you are looking to break 550whp, you’re going to need a Stage 3 LPFP ($850). We recommend Fuel-It’s LPFP upgrades. The dudes there are great and their pumps are the most praised in the community.

3. Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires

BMW Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires

A 500hp N54 is loads of fun, but it isn’t so fun when you don’t get to use it! After I installed my JB4 I couldn’t put my foot to the floor until I was in 3rd gear…buzzkill. My Pilot Super Sports were down to about 15% left in the rear and I had no traction, even running mild levels of boost.

I had a fantastic experience ordering new Michelin Pilot Super Sports from Tire Rack. The performance benefit of new (high-performance) tires is enough in itself for you to grab a new set for the summer. But let’s also keep in mind the safety benefit of new tires as well. The last thing we want is your N54 in a tree and you in the hospital.

500WHP N54 with this One Additional Mod

1. Upgraded Turbo Inlets & Outlets – 50+whp & 60+ft-lbs tq

N54 VRSF Inlets and Outlets

Intake inlets are the piping that goes from the intake filters to the turbochargers themselves. From the picture above you can see the dual cone intakes, the inlets are the aluminum piping that follows the filters down to the turbos. The stock inlets on the N54 engine get as small as 1″ and also flatten out at various points.

The small size of the inlets decreases the amount of air fed to the turbos, which results in less turbo boost. A set of upgraded inlets, such as the VRSF inlets, features larger piping all the way through, increasing airflow and boost pressure. Inlets are a great upgrade for the stock turbos, as they generate more than 50whp and 60wtq, and also increase the natural boost pressure by more than 3psi. Inlets are a necessary upgrade for people who are upgrading their turbos, as the stock inlets are too small for upgraded turbos.

The catch, is that turbo inlets are a pain in the a** to install. The inlets only cost around $250, but the installation can be tedious. We recommend this mod if you are a very handy DIY expert and can handle something of this magnitude yourself. If not, we recommend this if you have $1,000 to spend freely. Otherwise, wait to upgrade these when you upgrade to larger turbos if you ever plan to do so as it won’t add much of an additional install cost.

Buy Here: N54 VRSF Stock Location Silicone Inlets

N54 VRSF Aluminum Outlets

500hp N54 Frequently Asked Questions

How much hp can an N54 handle?

On stock internals, the safe limit for a BMW N54 is around 600whp and 600wtq. With that being said, there have been examples of stock internal N54s running over 800whp. That said, longevity and engine safety suffer at those power levels.

What mods are needed to build a 500hp N54?

In order to build a 500hp N54, you’ll need dual cone intakes, high-flow or catless downpipes, a piggyback or flash tune, an upgraded front mount intercooler, an upgraded chargepipe, and a stage 2 low-pressure fuel pump. Additionally, we recommend upgrading your turbo inlets and outlets.

What are the power limits of the stock N54 turbos?

We believe stock turbos will max somewhere in the range of 410-425whp with FBO on 93 pump gas. With that being said, boost pressure is a better metric. Stock N54 turbos with stock inlets and outlets should max out around the 20-22 psi mark and around 23-25 psi with upgraded inlets and outlets.

What bolt-on mods do you have on your N54? Which are you considering?

Drop a comment and let us know!

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  1. Jake… I seriously think that you should go back and re-examine your comments on the 2Jz.. I own both a Supra and a 535i. My Supra puts down 835 WHP on my stock engine. No way I would trust my N54 to do that. The stock block record on the 2JZ is over 1000 RWHP. I am just telling you this as a fellow enthusiast to keep people from discrediting your page.
    N54s are great, but they are not that great…

  2. Hey Brandon.

    Sorry for the late reply. I appreciate the feedback! I think I could have put a little more clarification behind what I really meant. My post might be a little overshot but I’ll do my best to correct it!

    Yes, 2JZ’s definitely put way more power down than N54’s. I think the N54 world record (which we are doing a post on soon) puts down approx. 920whp. I don’t know what the 2JZ world record is, but I have seen 1300whp+ 2JZ’s before which is nuts! But I do think, when it comes to the stock block, the N54 is built better. And part of this might be that the 2JZ is a 90’s engine and the N54 is later 2000’s. I guess i should start by mentioning that power is relative to the platform it is on, so it is tough to compare just numbers when we talk about the 2JZ and N54.

    If we look at this in a unique way…the N54 stock block will handle 800whp, on a platform that maxes out at 920whp. A 2JZ stock block that can handle 800hp, or even 900hp, on a platform that can handle 1300whp is less impressive on a relative basis.

    My other thought behind the N54 being more “tuneable” comes to the costs of tuning. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it is a good bit cheaper to hit the 500hp mark on an N54 compared to on a 2JZ. And in reality, the majority of the people tuning their cars aren’t shooting for records. For our readers here, most people’s goal is 500hp (hence this post), and I think this is achieved easier than on a 2JZ platform.

    Regardless, both are fantastic engines, and definitely (in my opinion) the two best engines ever produced from a tuner aspect. I think you owning both is awesome, and would love to get your take on both of them!

    If you’d be interested, I’d love to have you write a post on here about both your cars. I think it would be interesting and unique and the readers here would love it!


  3. Jale idont know you nor do I think I’ll ever meet you but great response to haters…… lol very professionally said. As obvious as it is there’s just some people with two cents to say they got tothrow in but when their turn comes up to hit the stage it becomes apparent that hate is within those who claim to have two cents in their pocket but sadly just truly don’t. Wich in this case classic example of I guess you call it “stage freight” lol or just plain not even an owner of either beautiful machines. Just thought I’d throw my two in since I’m a Supra 2jz fanatic and a n54 335xi e92 owner with probably 5ish on the hp’s just saying….,,,

  4. Hey Freddy,

    Thanks for the comment. I shot him an email and offered for him to write about both of his cars here, I would love to feature that. My goal is for this website to be more of a community rather than just a site of me, and disagreements are part of what makes a community a community. I welcome everyone to share their feedback on what I write, and also open my site up for anyone else to write about what they want to on it.

    If you (or anyone reading this) wants to write about their cars on here, just shoot me an email at zj@www.bmwn54tuners.com!


  5. Are you gonna make a post about upgraded twins vs big single? Just found this and helps me a lot with me planning on buying a 335i

    1. Yes, we will eventually be doing an upgraded turbos post and will discuss twins verses single. Not sure when exactly it will get written, but I can bump it to the top of my to-do list for you! Just subscribe to our email box and you will get a notification when it gets posted.

  6. Awesome, I’m coming from a 415awhp 2004 sti. I’m stuck between a gti, 335, or an s4, but I’m leaning towards the 335 because it’s like the middle point for me (aka I can’t afford the s4 as a 17 year old) Any tips on 335 purchasing?

    1. What are you looking at from a price/mileage standpoint? Just keep in mind that these cars have some common issues (you can read my post about them here: N54 Common Engine Problems. Many of these issues are warrantied for 10 years/82,000 miles such as the HPFP and the Turbo’s. If you buy a car that is outside of that warranty time period, you can be in for some expensive repairs if you run into issues. Hence, I would be careful buying a 2007 335i with 85,000 on it unless it has already had the HPFP and Turbos replaced. Or unless you are already planning on running upgraded turbos…then I guess blowing them without warranty won’t matter. So just do some due diligence on the car and see what maintenance/repairs have already been done to it.

      Some dual cone intakes, downpipes, and a JB4 will have you putting down more than your old STI to the wheels. Not sure if you are looking for a DCT or 6-speed, but the 6-speeds can handle a lot more power 🙂

      1. I’m located in south Florida and prices here are actually pretty cheap but it’s not easy to find a manual, only like 3 on Craigslist. I’m currently leaning towards an 07 with 104k but I feel it’s well maintained, of course I won’t know until I go look at it, and the sti isn’t even sold yet. Looking to get about 15k for my car

        1. Nice article overall! I think the only flaws in this write up is that the title is a bit misleading. For one, most owners won’t be doing the work themselves and the labour involved costs just as much as the parts quite often…or more. More importantly, even if you are installing everything yourself, the biggest cost is left out – upgraded turbos. They are only mentioned briefly when you discuss upgraded inlets & outlets and suggest that upgraded turbos are something that is up to you whether you ever want to upgrade them. Trust me, it’s not a choice.. At 500whp, even at 400-450whp, the stock turbos will eventually begin suffering from such nasty wastegate rattle that you’ll be kicking yourself for the 10+ hour install you now have to basically re-do from your inlet/outlet install because you need upgraded turbos with stronger wastegate actuators now too. And the cost of good quality Stage 2+ or 3 twin turbos from a reputable brand is 3-5k. So really, $1,500 will get you to 500hp for a short period of time (mine lasted 1 year) and then as a result of getting to 500hp, you’ll need to spend another 5 grand upgrading turbos, inlets & outlets, charge pipe/bov. Realistically, the title should be: “How to Spend $6,500 for a 500hp N54 and Have it Last.” Obviously not as eye-grabbing, but it’s more realistic in terms of prolonged reliability after undertaking the mods. The stock block is overbuilt, yes, but those tiny stock snails aren’t unfortunately, and good replacements are 3x the cost of all of the other mods combined – especially if you ever want to try and exceed 500whp down the road..

  7. I think it is a good write up. In order to complete your list, you will need a MAP sensor. If I am correct, the 335i comes with 3.0 bar and you will need 3.5 bar in order to raise the boost on the turbos. You can go to ecstuning.com and order the part. Its easy to install. I have a 335 convertible, and I am at 400 HP now. I am adding the stage 2 LPFP and I have the MAP Sensor. After, I will re-tune my car. Good write up Jake.

    1. James,

      The 3.5 bar is only necessary if you plan on boosting above 20psi. Which you likely aren’t doing until you upgrade your turbos. The JB4 on Map 5 will run you 12-17psi of boost, and the race map will jump it to 18.5psi, so there is no need for an upgraded MAP sensor to just run a JB4 or other base tune. The 3.5 sensor is good for 20-36psi…its only $40 or so, but no need to upgrade until you upgrade your turbos or start pushing serious boost (at which point you will upgrade your turbos because your stock ones will get blown). Stage 2 LPFP is a great upgrade, start running E85 and you’ll get some great power gains compared to running on pump gas.

      Anyways, thanks for the read and the comment!


  8. Very solid straight forward post man. I’ve had pretty much the gambit of cars (99 vr4 w/750 whp, EVO 8MR, 2011 M3 ZCP, 07 corvette z06, 08 e92 335i, 2007 bmw m5, another 2009 m3 That I totaled and most recently I picked up a 335IS e93, oh and an ecplise gsx as my first vechicle that really fought me how to mod and the importance of the supporting components. I’ve never had a Supra not really disered one at the time the vr4 was much more appealing and made the Supra feel dated. I will agree with the first comment and concede if we are purely considering stock bottom ends the 2jz can hold gobs of power however as a package (suspension, fuel delivery, drivability, luxury etc the 335 takes the cake.) not to mention the whole experience of driving any bmw over a Toyota isn’t even a comparison. I loved my “M” cars they are purpose built track cars with a linage and heritage you won’t find in any Japanese car modibility though is about a 2/10 I had a Dinan exhaust and intake along with a tune on my m5 ran me about 7k for maybe 40hp over stock. My first 335i was fbo no meth though I sold it to get another m3 because I felt it lacked something. Unfortunately I totaled when an oncoming driver veered in my lane I was going to get another when my dealer turned me on the IS. It has the m goodies my e92 m had dct, suspension etc only lacking the limited slip. It’s the best of both worlds with the overboost function and dct I have zero issues keeping pace with the m3 on the highway. Sorry for the novel but the author is dead on 1500 bucks or so will net you a 500 hp reliable luxurious ride that handles as well as it drags.

  9. If your 17 Id keep the STI. Save your money and buy a house with a garage and start investing in 20k or so worth of tools to start. 104k miles even on a well maintained bmw is going to empty your pockets. Almost every make/model of vehicle is going to need oem components replaced. Think suspension, brakes, wheel bearings, clutch if it’s a manual, the list just goes on from there. The sti is a solid platform it’s not as fragile imo ya can drive it hard and put it away wet and if it does brake everything is rather simple to fix in comparison. For example google diy 335 oil filter housing gasket. 425 hp is no joke and the sti has grip for days. As far as Audi’s go I say stay away if you want a fast Audi buy it CPO and keep it stock. IE RS5 etc. Not trying to offend just offer advice and save you some bucks

    1. Thanks for the input Nate, my dads a mechanic so we’d do all the work ourselves. Also, I planned to put the money I’d have left over from selling the sti into an investment of some sort instead of just letting it burn a hole in my pocket. I appreciate the advice but I think I’m sold on selling it. Either gonna get a gti or a 335, if I go 335 I’m torn between auto and manual. I’ve always driven manual, but the sti isn’t really a fun car to drive especially with the traffic in south Florida. Also it only gets 10mpg. Part of me says get the automatic and get the flash and you can still have fun whilst being able to endure sitting in traffic, but the other side of me says that I should stick with a manual because it’ll be much more fun, and without it I’d miss it and I’d lose the coolness factor of driving a manual.

  10. “We have seen N54’s break 800+whp on the stock internals – good luck achieving that with a 2Jz” ….really?
    everyone knows that a 2jz’s can easily hit 800whp on stock internals. People have more faith in a high hp 2jz being reliable compared to a N54 as well. You should do more research on 2jz before making such bold claims imo. Either way great articles and information source you have on this website for potential N54 owners

  11. Hey quick question, so I have the jb4 and I got the dcis with it but I took them off for awhile due to it being in the shop and not wanting to void my warranty. When I added the dcis again, they were making a hissing sound when I would accelerate. Beforehand they wouldn’t, I’ve checked them for holes and they have none and are securely attached. Any input on that?

  12. Jake, I am looking forward to finally buy my BMW but I cat deside to get a newer version with an n55 engine or get the n54, what would happen if I use all the mod list you gently type down for us on this forum on a N55 engine?? I know the N54 is a much tune friendly engine but a newer car sounds to me like a better option. If the N55 can put this amount of power with this same mods or is better just to get the latest N54 version.
    Thanks a lot, hope to hear from you soon.

  13. Hey, not sure if anyone already asked this but would these mods also work the same for a n55 335i?


  14. Hi Jake,
    Great site and information! Much appreciated.
    I have a question about installing a JB4 in a car that already runs a MHD stage 2 map (I presume these maps are ‘standalone’). Do I need to flash back to stock before installing the JB4? I understand I can use my MHD app to flash a backend flash (via n54tech) later.

    I’m just a bit confused, because wouldn’t I lose the benefits of the current MHD map if I was to fit a JB4, or will this be compensated for when flashing the backend map (once the JB4 is installed)?

  15. This is a great guide for horsepower gains, however the numbers are a little bit off. A FBO N54 with inlets will not even come close to 500whp (more like 400-420whp). I’m very optimistic and excited about the N54 platform, but saying the N54 is on a new level in comparison to the 2jz is laughable! Do you know how many stock engine 800whp+ 2jz’s are out there? Do you know how many built 2jz’s are running high 5’s in the 1/4 mile!? I’m not bashing your post, because the majority of information is accurate, but some of it is off and that makes some people question the legitimacy to your claims. N54 for life! ????????????????

  16. When you write about transmissions you state the manual is stronger than the auto. For a primarily drive to the track only and drag race, what trans and trans modifications would you recommend for the 500hp combo.

    1. You should be fine on the auto/DCT transmission at 500whp, however, you should expect some deterioration to your transmission over time pushing high outputs. For example, Zach’s 335i has over 100k miles on it right now and he has been pushing ~425whp for 30-40k miles and has noticed some of his gears are starting to slip. On a track/drag only car you should be fine so long as you aren’t planning on loading tons of miles onto it as a daily driver. There are tons of 500whp daily drivers out there on DCT, just expect the transmission to get a little shotty once you start nearing the 100k mile mark. The DCT transmission are great quality, we just recommend Manual transmissions when you are shooting above 600whp since they are better built for high horsepower applications.

  17. Are you out of your mind on the intakes? These machines have pressure zones and it is far more efficient to keep the airbox it creates the pressure, removing it will make you LOOSE HP dude??

    1. Angel – dyno charts don’t lie, there are numerous dyno’s that prove the horsepower benefits of dual cone intakes….which is also why so many brands manufacture them. The stock airbox is restrictive at higher boost levels, which is why everyone recommends dual cones on any tuned/modified car. Most of the complaints around the dual cones are related to air intake temperatures and some people claim that the dual cones result in higher intake temps…however, BMS has disproved this myth (https://www.n54tech.com/forums/showthread.php?p=302070). The turbos are what create pressure so I’m not sure what you are referring to about pressure zones. Would love to see what proof you have.

  18. Jake hello and thank you for your blog, I absolutely love it! I have formerly owned numerous AMG’s in the past that I never tuned (didn’t really need to, frankly; Matter of opinion, lol!), but I just recently purchased a 2010 335i (N54) with 108k miles on it as a tinker-with-garage and track-toy. After having been provided with such incredible information from your website and blogs regarding upgrading the N54 engine and as a result I am considering (very strongly) getting the piggyback JB4 to run the Map5 as suggested but prior thereto I wanted to run a quick question by you, (and the other participants in the thread)…

    Background: It already has dual-cone cold-air intakes and an upgraded exhaust (that goes all the way to the engine, as opposed to merely an exhaust tip), but that’s it, everything else in the engine is stock… The spark plugs, coils and valve cover gaskets were just replaced less than 1k miles ago with new OEM plugs and coils and seeing how such was just completed, I am wondering/inquiring of your advice as to whether you (or anyone else in the thread) think I can get away with running a JB4 Map5 with the newly installed OEM plugs and ignition coils or is it imperative that I upgrade the fire in the engine prior to installing the JB4 and running Map5?

    Also, can I put off upgrading the Chargepipes and get away with the OEM until they eventually go south? Or are the upgraded Chargingpipes and fire essential components I need prior to JB4 tuning in order to not damage the engine? I’m not too concerned with braking the parts that will eventually need upgrading for maximum performance of the JB4 Map5, (i.e., turbos, chargepipes, etc.), HOWEVER WITH EXCEPTION, obviously, I don’t want to do any major damage to the internal, bottom end, engine components, (i.e., engine block, pistons, cylinders, bottom-end components, drive shaft, automatic transmission, etc.)?

    Any advice and/or recommendations from any and all is greatly appreciated as I cannot wait to start blowing my AMG driving colleagues out of their $100K Merc’s 0-60 times! 🙂

  19. Hey Jake how much would you qoute the labor cost at if you’re not doing the labor yourself? I’m only wondering about the 5 mods to get 500hp at the crack

    1. Tyler – It likely depends on where you take it obviously. I prefer to take my stuff to BMW tuning shops if I’m not going to do it myself…they have installed all of these mods before so can do it a lot quicker and better than just any general auto shop. Here is what I would estimate for all of the mods:
      -JB4: you can do this by yourself…a shop would maybe charge you like $50 since they can do it in 10 minutes probably (assuming its a BMW tuning shop)
      -Downpipes: $250
      -Intake: you can do this yourself…maybe $50 here too if you ask the shop to do it with other stuff.
      -Intercooler: $200-300
      -Chargepipe: $100 (you can also do this yourself pretty easily)

      Even if you don’t have much install experience, you should be able to do the JB4, intake, and chargepipe. I would really only take the downpipes and intercooler to a shop since they are more of a hassle. Trying to install downpipes without a lift is a pita.

  20. Thanks for your comment, love to hear you are enjoying your N54 so far. You will be fine on the stock plugs and coils for awhile. Zach got away with running them for 10,000 miles with Jb4, intake, downpipes, and 40% e85. He is also Colorado based which does help given the lower weather temps. Just expect them to not last too long once you start pushing some serious horsepower. You should be alright on the chargepipe too, but at 108k miles I wouldn’t be surprised if you burst it sometime soon. The main reason that we recommend replacing it immediately is cause they do blow rather easily and it will leave you stuck on the highway if this happens. It won’t damage the internals of the engine or the turbos if you don’t have an upgraded chargepipe or 1-step colder plugs, so no worries there. The automatic transmissions on these cars aren’t great with high horsepower, especially on high mileage cars, but if the car hasn’t been tuned in the past, you should have a little life left in it. Zach is around 105k miles (maybe 110k now) and his transmission is slowly starting to wear away, but he has also been running his setup for the past 40k miles.

  21. Can I make it to 500hp crank without downpipes? Hard to instal and hard to find someone to do it for an xi. MHD said I can run stage 2+ as long as I don’t drive it aggressive for too long.

    Anyway to avoid downpipes on road to 500hp?

  22. Jake I’ve got a question about exhaust ..you don’t seem to talk about it here. I’ve got a 08 535i .It’s my first BMW I’m going to take your build list and put it to use .After some research you seem to have the answers I want lol. I’m just curious about your recommendation for my exhaust system. I know if I’m putting more air in , I need to evacuate it as efficiently. So what’s your thoughts

    1. Andrew,

      Downpipes are really the only worthwhile exhaust mod from a horsepower or efficiency perspective. Downpipes will get you somewhere around 20whp and adding a full exhaust on to that might gain a few more, but at $1,500+ for a full exhaust system and install, you are looking at a few hundred bucks per horsepower, which isn’t worth it on these cars. I’d only do a full exhaust if you really care about the sound of the car and being able to hear it when you are driving – but once you hear the dual cone intakes, you won’t want to have your exhaust drowning the sound out 🙂


  23. Thanks I truly appreciate your advice .I want to keep as a daily driver and just want a bit more performance. Its really a sweet ride .I mainly use to haul my granddaughter around in. lol .

  24. Jake,

    First and foremost, I respect everything you have written here!

    My given user name was JTM745i, I have upgraded the old 745i ( Turbo ) from 6psi to 21psi and sold it all over the world, as well Roundel written an article on me, such I understand a little about Turbo’s 🙂

    As I’m new to the 535-xdrive, I wish to learn.

    I have purchased a 2010 535i-xdrive, where the previous owner already added a quad exhaust flow.
    I have since upgraded to Dinan Stage 3 which I love.

    Few items I wish your feedback on.

    A.) I respect regards to cooler spark plugs, ANY Turbo wishes to run cooler from stock,
    knowing I have stage 3 Dinan, should I as well do 1 step cooler plugs?

    B.) What else would you recommend, keeping in mind I wish to keep my Dinan Stage 3

    Any feedback would be received with high respects.


  25. Hi JTM745i,

    Thanks for your comments. I would certainly recommend getting the 1 step colder spark plugs https://bmwtuning.co/product/n54-colder-spark-plugs/. It’s probably smart to replace the coils as well.

    As for other recommendations, with stage 3 I assume you have intake, exhaust, intercooler, and tune. I would recommend catless downpipes if you don’t already have a set installed. Other than that you should probably get an upgraded chargepipe.

  26. Hi Jake,

    thanks for the well written and concise info. Just wondering as someone wanting to buy my first 335i what in your opinion is the best year model to buy? Currently looking at a 2007 and I’ve read on many forums countless debates about whether the pistons are cast or forged with some saying all are cast and others saying the early models (06-08) have forged pistons. I’d love to push it beyond 500whp with stock internals in the future as I’ve seen it done on youtube with someone running a 800whp set up with stock internals. Also, is anything at all different of the year models in terms of fuel economy? What kind of fuel economy can you expect running a 500hp set up by following this article? Thanks!

    1. Nader – intake and JB4 are very easy, so I’d recommend at least doing those yourself. If you want to pay someone you could probably get those two done for like $100, although a shop might charge above that. Downpipes and intercooler will run you $400-500 in total for the both at a shop.

  27. Hi Jake,

    Great post!! I was surprised and happy to see you still responding to comments! Ok, so I’ve had my 2008 335i for almost 9yrs and now just getting into the mods. Better late than never, right? lol…Sports package and twin turbos were good enough for me but now I want to upgrade the looks and add some muscle. I’ve got my BMS DCI on the way but not sure what to do next. I don’t want to worry about passing emissions or dealing with swapping stock DPs back and forth, so no catless DPs for me (or catted for that matter). I just want to get it to 400hp – Would tuning (looking at Cobb Accessport), DCI, upgraded chargepipe and exhaust (or do I even bother with an exhaust?) do the job? And could I get away with not getting a new intercooler?

  28. Al, thanks for reading – we do our best to respond to most comments. If you’re just looking for a bit of additional power I’d just toss a JB4 on it and call it good. I ran just BMS DCI’s and the JB4 for about 6 months before adding additional mods and it should be plenty to keep you happy. Upgraded chargepipe is good for reliability purposes if you put a JB4 on it, but it won’t add any horsepower. Exhaust is way expensive and worthless from a performance perspective – only get it if you want the added sound. And yes, DCI’s and a JB4 will be completely fine without an intercooler.

    So my recommendation: just get a JB4 and maybe a chargepipe if you want to be safe. If that isn’t enough power for you, then start putting 4-5 gallons of E85 mixed with 91 or 93 octane and that’ll do the trick.

  29. Out of curiosity in your opinion what HP would this put down. I’ve found it for sale for a great price.

    2010 335 xi 10k obo
    -Pure stage 2 turbos 8k on them roughly $$
    -25psi twisted tuned 178k miles on car
    -New vanos solenoids
    -Water pump 15k roughly since changed she’s healthy
    -spec stage 3 + with flywheel
    -twisted tuning solid transfer case mount
    -Bc suspension
    -vrsf intercooler
    -Vrsf outlets
    -Vtt inlets
    -Vrsf Dow pipes to strait pipe exhaust
    -Fuel it stage 2 e85 pump
    -Whiteline toe end links
    -3.5 bar map n20 sensor
    -burger catch can
    -rob beck pcv valve
    -custom splitters all the way around
    -ngk Plug’s 2 step colder
    -new coil packs
    -stp charge pipe with meth bung ???? ready for 30 plus psi

    1. Hi Len,

      The 2009-2016 z4 35i models use the N54 engine. Not quite sure what you’re referring to with the 2.i motor, but the N54 is a 3.0l twin turbo inline 6. The mods mentioned in this post only apply to the N54 engine.

      Best Regards,

      BMW N54 Tuners

  30. Your the man Jake. I enjoyed most of the commentating, except for one 2 center attempting to only pump up their chest at the beginning of this chain. I admire how you retained your composure, kept an open mind, and still remained on track… There is always something better and nothing is perfect. The focus after all is “BMW N54 Tuners” per subject header. I look forward to hearing from you more and to our fellow N54 compadres.

  31. Hi Joey,

    Thank you for the kind words! We couldn’t say it any better – nothing is perfect and the N54 is no exception. Someone will always be faster. Another car will always look better. Yet another car will handle better. None of that really matters though; we simply love the N54.

    We received a lot of requests and questions regarding many other BMW engines and spent some time working on our other blog, https://bmwtuning.co/. Nonetheless, we still own and love our three N54’s and are dedicated to continue providing N54 content.

    As such, we finally released some N54 content that were rather big projects. N54 twin turbo, single turbo, and data-logging guides all took up a good amount of our time. We’ve got some other things in the mix currently, and plan to release content more consistently throughout the year. Stay tuned!

    Best Regards,

    Zach & Jake (BMW N54 Tuners)

  32. Albert, do you mean 400 crank hp or 400whp. Just so you’re aware, an upgraded charge pipe doesn’t add any power, nor does a bov. It’s just a safety precaution for your system and let’s it hold boost pressure better. DCI’s also will barely give you any added power – they are more for sound & aesthetics under the hood than anything without other supporting mods installed. An intake is more important once you have a freeflowing exhaust, but without an exhaust you’ll be lucky to see 5-10whp from DCI’s. And it sounds like you’re not even willing to do catless downpipes, which again, hinders the spooling of your turbos terribly. The most power will come from the tune, but I can tell you right now that an N54 with a JB4, intake, & charge pipe will not put down 400 to the wheels. The bolt-on mods that give you the most hp in order would be tune first, catless downpipes second, and intercooler third. If you get into fueling mods, then either adding a methanol injection system or an Ethanol blend like E85 fuelling will also make massive gains, similar to what you would gain from a downpipe & a tune (approx. 80-100whp). Also, manuals put down more power than automatics. If you’re not willing to do catless downpipes, there’s not much point doing any other mods than an intake & exhaust if you want a more aggressive sound, aside from the tune. You’re really limiting yourself by that.. I have stage 3 turbos, Active Autowerke catless downpipes, Stett Performance Intercooler, Stett Cold Air Intake, Stett charge pipe, TialQ blow off valve, mmp inlets & outlets, Stett vacuum canisters, BMS oil catch can, custom fabricated exhaust, Snow Performance Stage 2 methanol kit, custom tune by Eurocharged, and then this Spring I just need to install a Fuel-it Stage 2 low pressure fuel pump because the stock hpfp is running out of top end fueling – need lpfp to ramp up the boost higher, then will retune it at higher boost for more power. That setup is good for up to 600whp. If I wanted to hit 700whp+ on twins, I’d need E85 fuel and port injection. 800+whp is single turbo conversions only. I also have wider Michelin Pilot Supersports and a Spec Stage 2+ clutch to be able to put my power down. Won’t list my aesthetic, handling, suspension, or braking mods though. Hope that all helps, but yeah, JB4 is a great plug & play piggyback tune if that’s basically all you want to do to it mod-wise. Once I got more than a downpipe and started adding more bolt-ons I realized the JB4 is garbage. Inconsistent power band, sporadic boost pressure, misfires, etc. Once I got a custom tune, I can’t believe I kept my JB4 for so long! Good luck dude!!

  33. Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for your very in-depth comment. Definitely spot on with the 400whp – he’s going to need more than a tune and DCI to hit 400whp. Now, if we’re talking crank horsepower then, yes, 400hp is achievable with those basic mods. It’s obviously going to vary from N54 to N54, tune to tune, dyno, conditions, etc. Though I think somewhere in the ballpark of 325-340whp is realistic with those basic mods. Depending on the drive-train losses you factor in then you’re looking at ~370-410 crank hp.

    Downpipes are certainly essential to pushing the N54 to a true 400+whp. We believe stock turbos will max somewhere in the range of 410-425whp with FBO on 93 pump gas. Most are going to need E30+ fueling and/or meth to realistically and consistently make 400+whp. Tune, intakes, downpipes, intercooler, and E30 should get you to 400whp pretty easily on a modest 17-18psi.

    Regarding your comments on port injection, I believe you’re really going to struggle to make 600whp on direct injection. Depending on how much E85 you’re running, you will likely max out around 550whp before needing port injection. Also, there really isn’t a better tune to start with on the N54 than a JB4. Not sure why you were having sporadic boost issues with the JB4. Nonetheless, our ultimate recommendation is running the JB4 stacked with an MHD back-end flash. For those really pushing the limits, then a JB4 with a custom back-end flash is going to be the best. The JB4 is excellent for anyone looking to stick with stock turbos and simple bolt-ons all the way up to the people pushing 700+whp on upgraded turbo(s). It’s just that the JB4 has it’s limits and a back-end flash becomes required if you’re really looking to push much over 400-420whp.

    Best Regards,

    BMW N54 Tuners

  34. My tuner already tuned another customer’s FBO N54 with upgraded turbos and meth on 94 pump gas, no port injection. He put down over 600whp and it was an auto. Needless to say, his tranny was toast after 6 months though. You don’t need port injection to push 600whp is my point though.

  35. So we can have MHD and JB4 together right? Or it can only be one? Because I want the MHD for the burbles, and JB4 for performance

    1. Hi Wulf,

      A few things here. Yes, you can stack the JB4 and MHD back-end flash on the N54. This setup gives you the best of both worlds, in our opinion.

      Now, we’re not sure if any of the JB4 MHD back-end flash maps have the N54 burble tune feature. We don’t recommend the burble tune, anyways. They may not hurt longevity or reliability, but nothing good will come from burble tunes. The potential risk may be worth it if you love the sounds, but we personally don’t care for it.

      Somewhat reliable is vague. Reliability in general is vague. More boost will create more heat. That will put additional stress on the cooling system, gaskets, etc. More power and torque put additional stress on the transmission, internals, etc. How much of an effect does this have on the N54? Probably not much if the car is well maintained and you’re not pushing things to the ragged edge. But, some of it simply comes down to the luck of the draw.

      Our N54 535i has NEVER been tuned or modded and is well maintained. It’s been the least reliable of our N54’s. The other two N54’s have been modded for years and beaten to death. They’re far from perfect. Some may call them unreliable. Though, in our opinion, they’ve been reliable overall. Are they more reliable because they’ve been tuned and modded? Highly unlikely. It really just came down to the luck of the draw in our case.

      Best Regards,

      BMW N54 Tuners

  36. Hey Jake thanks for replying. I often visit this website for reference. Just had another question, so this puts a wear on the transmission right? Is it just a little bit, or how bad is it? Would it last maybe 1-2 years before the transmission gives out? I’m just looking to stay at 500whp however I’m skeptical if it wears down the transmission. Let’s say it does give out, I can always replace the transmission correct? Thanks again I thank you for all your help and making this website for all n54 tuners.

    1. Hi Wulf,

      You can always replace the transmission but it is costly to do so. In regards to how long it will last, it can really be hit or miss. Our A/T 2007 335i has been tuned for over 6 years and the transmission has held up OK. It was slipping a little bit in cold weather before the transmission warmed up. However, a few months ago we flashed the XHP stage 3 transmission tune. Ever since then, the slipping is gone and the shifts are very quick/aggressive yet still smooth. Definitely recommend the XHP transmission flashes.

      We haven’t quite pushed 500whp through this car. That is about absolutely maxing the stock turbo so don’t expect them to last long at 500whp. For the most part, expect the N54 to realistically make 420-440whp (right in the 500 crank hp ballpark) on stock turbos. With that said, our A/T N54 has been pushing an estimated 380-420whp (we’ve switched BEF and JB4 maps often so the power surely bounces around a bit) for over 6 years and the transmission is still holding up.

      Best Regards,

      BMW N54 Tuners

  37. Hello Zach,
    First off, let me say thank you so much for taking the time to write all these very informative articles on the n54. I really appreciate the knowledge and the time you are taking to write this and reply to others. Anyway, I was replacing the turbos on a 2008 335i convertible with 90k (blowing oil and lots of smoke out the tailpipe) and decided to upgrade, as the stock ones I was going to put in were already showing a little wiggle in the wastegate. I maybe went a little overboard, as this is a DD and convertible, but I bought the MMP 1K turbos due to price and the fact that I figured they wouldn’t be stressed at the 500hp mark. I bought the ARM 7in FMIC, fuel it stage 2 bucketless LPFP, MHD wifi flash adapter, JB4 with Bluetooth and intake cones, charge pipe with BOV, 2 step colder spark plugs, and already have catless downpipes. I am hoping that I don’t need anything else, so I plan to stay in the 450 to 550hp range from reading your articles. My question is that I don’t know that much about E85. I always just fill up with 93 oct at the pump. When I complete this install, would I be able to get 500hp from 93 oct gas? Is there anything else I would need to use the E85? Obviously the tune is different for E85. Do you use some 93 and some E85 at a fillup? Is so, how do you know the ethanol content for the tune to be safe on the engine?
    Thank you for any comments. I apologize if the question is completely stupid. I am trying to understand the ethanol fuel. As I stated earlier, I am used to just pumping 93 oct and going.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you for the kind words and detailed question. It’s not a dumb one at all.

      It sounds like you’ve got the necessary mods to make upwards of 500-550whp. As you mentioned, that should not be stressing those turbos at all. Additionally, that’s a fairly conservative power range for the N54. Risk is still there, but you should be safe at that power.

      Those turbos can likely make 500whp on pump gas. Id definitely recommend E85 and/or meth if you want to go any higher. You’re not looking for any crazy power based on your comment. In that case, you can stick with 93 oct or maybe run an E40-E50 tune. You can buy Ethanol test kits to occasionally confirm the E % at the pump.

      Tunes (JB4 notably) are getting increasingly better at identifying E85 and determining with a 5-10% range. There are also flex fuel kits that can read the E85 mix in the fuel system. However, this may be overkill. If you’re not pushing things to the ragged edge (highly aggressive timing) then minor differences in E85 mixes from tank to tank shouldn’t matter.

      I’m blanking the exact numbers but I want to say 50/50 93 and E85 mix works out to E40. 60% E85 and 40% 93 would be E50. I hope I got everything there.

      Enjoy the new turbos and have some fun!

      Best Regards,

  38. Thank you so much, Zach. Now I just have to figure out the programming on the mhd and jb4, after finishing the install

      1. Hi Eric,

        We actually recently wrote a post about N54 fuel system upgrades here. Fuel-it offers some good options. The route you go really depends greatly upon your goal with the upgraded single. You’d be looking at a stage 2 fuel pump at the least but should definitely consider a stage 3 or 4 setup if port injection is in the car future.

        Best Regards,
        BMW Tuning

  39. Hello,

    I am new to the BMW world but not to the car tuner scene. I own a 240 with a SR and have worked on and tuned it. I own now a 2011 BMW 335IS with a N54 motor (and of course the 240 still ;). My question is, can I follow the guides and information you all have posted? I see a lot of it deals with the 335i with and N54. So like for example when I looked up the spark plugs on the NGK website (ILZKBR7B-8G / 97968) and checked for compatibility it said it wasn’t. I find that hard to believe since its still has a N54 engine and I doubt the head would have a different spark plug thread or what ever. Any help would be great. I am leaning towards the side that even though it says for 335i with an N54 it will still work on my 335IS. but I may be wrong. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ira,

      Congrats on the purchase – the 335is is a great car. Correct, the NGK 97968 or NGK 97506 spark plugs will work on any N54 engine. Fitment for most engine related components should be exactly the same as the regular E9x 335i.

      Best Regards,
      BMW Tuning

  40. Hey Jake,
    i went through some of your trouble shooting pages and i am still stumped. i normally DIY and do most of my diagnostic on 08 335i its seems to go into limp mode after 3rd gear on a almost full throttle and as well after 120mph. Its seems to happen mainly after 4k RPMs until then its boosts perfectly fine no error codes no check engine lights. PLEASE HELP LOL!!!

    Thank You in advanced,

  41. Thanks for this great information, Zack and Jake! I hope you’re still answering questions, considering every comment below is dated June 16, 2017!
    BMS now offers a $1,500 500hp package deal on their website, but their parts list doesn’t exactly jive with yours. Would you recommend it?

    1. Hi Rob,

      Thank you for pointing this out. We recently did some site updates and it looks like the comments all got set to that specific date for some reason.

      As for the BMS 500hp kit, they have a few different options ranging from $1,499 up to $1,819. I’d consider once of the Race packages that include a FMIC. This brings the price to $1,619 with the stage 1 fuel pump or $1,819 with the stage 2 LPFP. Either should be good for 500+hp (~420-440whp) considering the fuel pump upgrades allow for E40+ blends. However, you’ll need a back-end flash (BEF) tune to actually run that much E85.

      We like MHD for a BEF option and that will run $117 for the flash license. You can then flash the free maps from N54tech.

      The one major mod the kit is missing is upgraded downpipes. They make the turbos and engines jobs a lot easier when pushing 500hp. Anyways, the BMS kits aren’t bad deals. They actually include many of the same mods we recommend. A tune, intake, FMIC, chargepipe + BOV, fuel pump, and NGK spark plugs. That said, the fuel pump upgrade isn’t needed if you don’t plan on running higher than E30 blends.

      Overall, the BMS kits are pretty complete as far as basic bolt-ons go (less the downpipe). You could certainly piece things together on your own and probably get it done a bit cheaper, especially if you don’t want or need a LPFP upgrade. That said, we like their kits enough to recommend to certain people but it really depends on each individuals goals with their N54.

      Best Regards,

  42. I just bought my first bmw, it’s a 335i and need some ideas I want past 550 HP the engine and turbos are healthy but am willing to upgrade. I dont have alot of money but can afford a decent amount

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