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  1. #1
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    2008 535 modification reference list - personal experiences.

    Since it appears the 5 series doesn't have a ton of information on mods, I figured I would do a writeup on what I've found so far and keep it updated with new posts as I get further into modding the car.

    First off, the tune! I am using the Cobb AP for the 535 and it has worked flawlessly. I started with stage one on a stock car and wow, what a difference. Highly recommended and I can guarantee you the first time you hit the peak boost, you'll pee a little in your pants. Yes, it is that good. I am waiting for my dyno charts but on the dyno run yesterday, Stg 1 aggressive added 50 HP from a completely stock (tune completely removed) car.

    I added the BMS DCI's next. The jury is honestly still out on this. Now it sounds wicked cool and looks pretty rad but I have not found any huge performance differences between it and the stock airbox aside from the sound. I do plan on going back and getting dynos done between it and the stock airbox, but for now, if there is any gain, its pretty minimal (aside from the sound). To describe it, you definitely hear an air sucking sound, you definitely hear the turbos spooling and when you let off, you hear the wastegate opening up. It's not the same as a blow off valve but it is pretty cool. Keep in mind this is with a tune - without one the results are much less audible. It takes twenty minutes at most and all you need is a screwdriver.

    Next, the Downpipes. This is where the modding starts to get a little painful for the 535i. There was only one company that I could find with a guaranteed fit for the 5 series. AR Design. Their downpipes are also very expensive as well but as they are the only "tusted" game in town, it was the right choice for me. Oh well, you pay to play, right? I found a local shop to do the install for me. They quoted 3 hours at $100 an hour. In the end, it took about 4 hours to do the job. I cannot speak to the results yet as I haven't been back to the dyno and i'm afraid my butt dynometer isn't properly calibrated so I can't say either way what it has done. It has indeed made the engine sound deeper and a little nastier, and it also feels like the turbos spool up faster, but I can't really measure that. I sure hope I'll see some horsepower gains out of it (Im sure I will but the Stg2 301 cobb map only has a linear pedal so far, which makes the engine feel a little dead because of its linear nature - it's certainly got power though).

    Will update this thread as I get an FMIC and/or exhaust.
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    have you found a fmic that will fit the 535i

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    The only one I have found that has any hope so far is the cp-e. They told me they have sold many of them to 5'rs and not had a return, but have not actually fitted one themselves. I will probably be leaning into installing one in the next month or so and unless I can find something else that is confirmed, I will go that direction.
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Great idea for a thread, the FMIC is really the next big question.

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    Here are my dyno results with Cobb AP - Stg 1 v301 installed and one bone stock (AP completely removed). Please ignore the actual #'s as I was a dumbass and ran it in 3rd gear instead of 4th. Yes, duh. It does show a nice 50 HP gain though (was running DCI's and Tune).

    Garage was about 75 degrees, ran open hood with a medium fan (about 18" blades) in front.

    Click here to enlarge
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by xclone Click here to enlarge
    Here are my dyno results with Cobb AP - Stg 1 v301 installed and one bone stock (AP completely removed). Please ignore the actual #'s as I was a dumbass and ran it in 3rd gear instead of 4th. Yes, duh. It does show a nice 50 HP gain though (was running DCI's and Tune).

    Garage was about 75 degrees, ran open hood with a medium fan (about 18" blades) in front.

    Click here to enlarge
    Seems a little choppy in the mid range there?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Seems a little choppy in the mid range there?
    Ya, I think it was throttle modulation but, to complete my dumb ass quotient for the day, I forgot to press the button to actually "log" the runs. Damn i'm a tool some days.

    Anyway, going back tomorrow at lunch to re-dyno and I just ordered my FMIC today from CP-E. They are a really cool company and gave me a great deal to get a confirmed fitment (with pictures) for the install on a 535i.
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by xclone Click here to enlarge
    I just ordered my FMIC today from CP-E. They are a really cool company and gave me a great deal to get a confirmed fitment (with pictures) for the install on a 535i.
    Now this I look forward to. Please create a separate thread with detailed info/pics once it comes in so we know once and for all regarding the FMIC fitment for the 535.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Now this I look forward to. Please create a separate thread with detailed info/pics once it comes in so we know once and for all regarding the FMIC fitment for the 535.
    No problem Sticky.. will be happy to do that!

    Well, color me disappointed. Just got back from the dyno where I ran 3 times with the Stg2 v301 software and the addition of catted AR downpipes (and once with a stage 0 map). Not one single change - best run was 320hp MAX. I had actually removed the tune yesterday as I went into the dealer but drove about 120 miles once it was re-installed, so ECU adaption should not have played a factor (and it had a fresh tune on it). I dropped it down to stg 0 and ran a 278, which was a little better for stock with the DP's but i'm not sure if still having the Cobb in the ECU would make a difference on that.

    I'm A/T and the #'s are SAE corrected but I would think the addition of DP's and running stg 2 would of netted me 20-30 HP. As it stands i've got 2 HP. Bah! I'll get my logs and my dyno charts posted soon. I'm also going to talk with Cobb to see if they can clarify what differences I should be seeing on the dyno/logs between stg1 aggressive and stg2 aggressive (no FMIC)
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Just got off the phone with Cobb - good news! Click here to enlarge

    They confirmed the difference between Stg1 v301 aggressive & Stg2 v301 aggressive (no FMIC) is pretty much torque only. Per their tuner, they have already maxed out the stock FMIC on the 535 with stage 1 so without an aftermarket IC, you will not see much of a difference between stg1 & stg2 on a 535. The #'s they have on their 535i was 365hp with 425Tq on stg 2 aggressive+fmic. wow!

    I also asked about the possibility of getting a stock throttle map for stg2 v301 aggressive... the response was no, they don;t have one.. yet. That makes me happy. Click here to enlarge

    So I'll update this once I get my FMIC on (as well as create an install thread for it).
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Here's a cobb log from the aggressive dyno pull (which was about 320hp). Still waiting on the dyno logs.

    Click here to enlarge
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    who is doing the install

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LAF motor sports Click here to enlarge
    who is doing the install
    A local company in Cary, NC. Import Motor Werks. They installed my downpipes as well on the 535i (no easy feat) and did a great job.

    Sticky - sorry in advance if linking is bad. http://www.importmotorwerks.com/
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by xclone Click here to enlarge
    A local company in Cary, NC. Import Motor Werks. They installed my downpipes as well on the 535i (no easy feat) and did a great job.

    Sticky - sorry in advance if linking is bad. http://www.importmotorwerks.com/
    It's fine man, good to suggest great shops that do good work.

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    So xclone, I realize it's still early in your journey, but do you think the DPs will provide a greater benefit as you crank up the power? Maybe they (and maybe even the DCIs) are not the bottleneck in the system initially?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M1Fan Click here to enlarge
    So xclone, I realize it's still early in your journey, but do you think the DPs will provide a greater benefit as you crank up the power? Maybe they (and maybe even the DCIs) are not the bottleneck in the system initially?
    It's of course very possible. What I also found out was that transitioning from STG1 (Cobb) to STG2 really only affects the Torque (and I cant get the dyno place to send me the stg 2 runs). However, after reading thru at least a thousand pages of forum posts and user experiences, I think the DP's are indeed a restriction (moreso then the stock airbox) but you'll only see more HP from the car when you up the boost. I dont pretend to know anything about tuning but it makes sense.

    On the bright side, I'm getting my aftermarket FMIC put on tomorrow morning and I will be able to run STG2 + FMIIC which should get me up around 370hp. I may do an exhaust down the road but I need to do alot more research before deciding on the solution. It will be hella fun running around in a sleeper 4 door sedan that will keep up a stock srt8. Click here to enlarge
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    So I wanted to update this thread. I wrote up my intercooler upgrade install in this thread - http://www.bimmerboost.com/showthrea...tall-with-pics!, but this is about personal experiences (so others can get from it as well).

    So with a new FMIC I am now able to run Cobb Stg 2+ and, ya, it's pretty damn fast. The car is still easily driveable, but when the boost kicks in it really throws you back in your seat and I would NOT recommend playing with it on wet roads with your traction turned off, even at hwy speeds. I've gotten out of shape at 30 & 45 mph. On bone dry, warm pavement you'll loose traction in 1st at about 4k rpm with stock tires.

    So, in short, upgrading the DP's alone really didn't give me that much noticeable power, but when I put the new IC in (which really is a must for going cobb stg2+ - the 535 stock IC sucks), it transformed the car again.
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    I think going to stage 2 made the difference rather than the Fmic. I mean yeah it helps but with iat consistency. IMO dps anyday will yield more hp than Fmic

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Cn555ic Click here to enlarge
    I think going to stage 2 made the difference rather than the Fmic. I mean yeah it helps but with iat consistency. IMO dps anyday will yield more hp than Fmic
    Ya, let me be more specific. I ran Stg2 without the FMIC (Cobb stg2 no FMIC aggressive) and there was very little increase in the amount of HP (more Torque though). After talking with the Cobb guys, running stg +fmic WITHOUT an aftermarket IC is just not a good idea. Getting the new FMIC installed then switching over to the +fmic map made a huge difference. So yes, adding the IC itself did not do a whole lot (it did make the engine sound deeper), it allowed me to go to the +fmic map which did make a difference.
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Update - Everything on the car is running great on Stg2 +. Logs are clean and 2nd gear is getting interesting. Click here to enlarge

    After doing some more research, I decided to replace my stock DV's to get a quicker spool up, less boost loss into the engine and everything I found pointed to the DV's being the last "weak" point for the intake. I called up Modbargains as, of course, there is not much available for the 5's out there. I spoke with Alan and ended up getting a set of turbo smart DV's. They just arrived last night and I took a quick look but the build quality looks incredible on these.

    I'm expecting a small HP gain (maybe 5-10) just from the better quality but also hoping for better boost control then from the OEM's. I opted to NOT go with a BOV because I don't necessarily need the sound and I've seen enough "common sense" data that shows the car kind of expects the additional boost to be re-routed back into the intake, so why mess with it for a sound. FYI - with the DCI's installed, the DV sound is already pretty apparent.

    Once I get them installed I'll write that up and post my thoughts on it.

    I will say this - I think I surprised the hell out of an 08 Mustang GT the other day. Wasn't a race but he tried to take off and found me still gaining on him. Got a nice thumbs up. Click here to enlarge I don't think he was expecting a 5 series 4 door sedan to do that.
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    xclone,
    Check out this quad tip dual exhaust for a 535i
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...9537108&type=1

    sick.

    This company did mine on my 335xi. They update their facebook page all the time. Website, not so much.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by boom Click here to enlarge
    xclone,
    Check out this quad tip dual exhaust for a 535i
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...9537108&type=1

    sick.

    This company did mine on my 335xi. They update their facebook page all the time. Website, not so much.
    They seem to have a pretty wide range there. Wonder why they don't advertise more?

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    THey're just starting out. They have years of experience at other shops but got tired of dishonest practices at their last one. It's just two guys and a bay working hard to make quality stuff. I think they're getting quite a following in the DMV.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by boom Click here to enlarge
    xclone,
    Check out this quad tip dual exhaust for a 535i
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...9537108&type=1

    sick.

    This company did mine on my 335xi. They update their facebook page all the time. Website, not so much.
    Thanks Boom! I will definitely check them out and see what options I've got!
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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    Golf Tee Mod on a 535i - why are the "simple" things such a PITA?

    Everything I read about doing the golf tee mod on the 335 made it seem easy. I mean, the easiest mod you could do to the car. In short, the exhaust on the X35's are true dual exhaust, but BMW has a vacuum activated valve which closes a flapper on the 2nd pipe (left pipe on the 335, right pipe on the 535) to quiet the exhaust and to help the engine warm up quicker. I only found information on how to mod the 3 series so how different could the 5 be, right?

    As I am looking at exhaust systems, I wanted to permanently "open" the valve on the exhaust to get a better feel for the sound. I had read up on multiple procedures and figured zip tying the vacuum line to the exhaust flap would be the easiest and most quickly reversible method. So I go out this morning, zip it and hop in my car to get the "louder exhaust" sound when I crank it up. Except, wtf? It sounds the same? I put my hand down by the pipe and, ya, you guessed it, no exhaust from the right pipe.

    So I pull out the pliers, re zip tie the thing to insure no vacuum is getting thru and try again, still no luck. Argh. I go ahead and pull the vacuum line off, start the car and realize, on the 5 series, the default (spring loaded) position on the flap is closed. So the golf tee mod WILL NOT WORK. Argh!!

    So I head down to the local auto parts store and grab some generic "wire" and head back under the car, determined to wire the actuator closed. After a few loops, the actuator is now closed and the exhaust definitely has a little more boominess and volume to it. It's no 8 cylinder, and the sound will be no different at WOT, but it definitely is a little more audible at idle and low RPM's. Gonna drive around a few days to see how it sounds.
    2008 BMW 535iA | Cobb Stg2+ | FBO | Meth

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