Jake’s 135i: The Beginnings of a Beast
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.
My 135i 600hp Build
Alright, the title says 600hp but we’re about building our cars, not buying them, and everyone has to start somewhere. It just happens that my start is at about half that number, with a bone stock 2008 BMW 135i. This post will be an introduction of myself and of my new 1-series, with a little bit of insight on my build plans to reach 600hp.
Who Am I?
Well if you couldn’t guess, my name is Jake. I am a 22-year old full-time BMW enthusiast and part-time web geek. These damn cars are expensive, and I have yet to find a way to make money by modding cars instead of just spending money, so I also have a full-time job with the largest bank in the US. I, along with my brother Zach, have spent the past four years attending college and running an online BMW parts store. I work too much with my new full-time job, so Zach and I decided to pass the business off, and start a blog dedicated to our cars. This section of our blog (Jake’s 135i – 600hp Build) will serve as a log and build thread for my progress in reaching 600hp. My hopes are to continually update this section throughout the course of my 135i ownership.
Meet the One’r: 2008 BMW 135i
In May of 2017, I purchased this 2008 BMW 135i, with only 33k miles on the odometer. The car is a 6-speed manual with the sport package and factory oil cooler. For a nearly 10 year old car, it is as immaculate as it gets. The car was a one owner, so it had clearly not been driven a lot at all – and given it being all stock, I assume it hadn’t been abused – just yet.
This car was a pain in the ass to find. My first car was a standard, and after spending six years driving it, I was just unable to switch over to an automatic car, even if it had the DTC that people love to say is “practically manual”. So many of the 135i’s that were made are convertible’s in the first place, which is a no-go for me. And out of the one’s that were coupes, so many were automatics. The 135i market is saturated with automatic coupes, but the market for 6-speed coupes is on fire. I wanted something with less than 50k miles because I didn’t want to run into any wastegate issues considering all of these cars have run out of factory warranty at this point. Manual coupes with under 50k miles would be snatched up from the internet within hours of being listed. I finally found this one at a Carmax all the way in Indiana, and called and paid their $550 shipping fee within 30 minutes of seeing it online. It took less than a week to get down to Texas, and here we are now.
The Tuning Begins
I haven’t gotten into anything big yet, but in the first month of owning the car I installed BMS cowl filters, BMS dual cone intakes, and matte black kidney grills. Next to come is window tint, no doubt. The black interior with no window tint in the Texas sun is blistering hot, no matter what time of day you get in it. In my opinion, mods aren’t fun unless they’re illegal, so I’m thinking going with 15% tint on the front windows with 5% in the back. Should add some nice sun protection and be aesthetically pleasing with the black exterior. Aside from that, here are my plans over the next couple months:
- JB4 Tuner (Will add link to my post about it here when ready)
- VRSF Downpipes
- Front Mount Intercooler – haven’t decided brand yet, but will keep you guys updated
- LPFP for E85
- Short throw shift kit – the shifter on this car has way too much distance between the gears
And here are some of the longer term plans to come to fruition after the above:
- CCW Classic Wheels – unless I find something more appealing, but I’m not going to be another BMW guy that puts VMR’s on his car
- Rear diffuser for dual exit exhaust
- Full dual exit exhaust
- UPGRADED TURBOS – here is where the 600hp is coming from
My car only has 33k miles, so I would ideally prefer for my stock turbo’s to last a decent while before I blow them. But with my tuning plans, it is quite possible that I blow them fairly quickly once I get all my bolt-on mods taken care of. Once the OEM turbo’s are blown is when the upgraded turbos come.
Help Me Name the Beast
I wanted to get a custom license plate that was “V8KILLR” but unfortunately the DMV wouldn’t let me do that because killer is apparently inappropriate. Also I didn’t want to be that jackass that only has 350hp but thinks he can take on a ZR1. So now I’m in the need of a new name or license plate for the car, and haven’t come up with anything yet. Shoot some comments below if you have any good ideas!
Stay Up To Date On My 600hp Progress
Also, subscribe to my mailing list below to keep up to date on my progress towards 600hp, and also receive an occasional special offer for performance parts. I promise I don’t send very many emails, and the one’s I do, you will enjoy.
Should be your license plate code name
Haha – we love it! N54’s have eaten a few too many V8’s to count. Despite that, they still honestly believe there is no replacement for displacement. Hopefully the N54 is slowly chipping away at that misconception, one butt-hurt V8 owner at a time.
BMW N54 Tuning