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    Going Single Turbo with the ACF Top Mount Kit - PTE6062 CEA Gen2 DBB

    After much deliberation, reviewing countless threads across multiple forums, and mapping out every step of what was involved with swapping turbos, I just couldn’t overcome the scenario of going through all the labor of replacing my twin turbos with another set of twin turbos only to discover a failure or wastegate rattle shortly down the road. The GC Lites I had in my possession prior may have ended up not failing, but there were multiple confirmed cases of defective turbines within that lineup with no real clarification on what happened. That personally shook my confidence in the whole situation the second go around. A failure of that magnitude after investing the time and money of tackling that type of install would be heartbreaking, and not something I was willing to risk if at all possible. Even if the turbos were warrantied, the labor involved would be incredible, and if they’d failed once, what’s to say they wouldn’t again?


    Looking past the twin turbos themselves, silicone inlets and outlets were both areas of concern of mine. The thought of the miserable install associated with 2” driver’s side inlets plus the worry of manifold heat melting the silicone outlets were the straw that broke the camel’s back. Since back when I owned my 535i, I had ambitions of adding a top mount single turbo to an N54 equipped E82, and it was time to make that happen. A twin scroll bottom mount seemed like a nice alternative to going all out top mount, but o2 sensors seemed to be even more at risk and I’d still have difficult reaching the turbo if anything ever needed addressed. Plus when I was shopping, there hadn’t been much long term feedback on any of the newer kits.

    After getting in touch with a few different vendors, I eventually settled on a top mount single kit from ACF featuring a Precision 6062 Ball Bearing Gen2 turbocharger (with a polished compressor as the only option). I decided to forego the ceramic coating and recirculated dump pipes to keep costs in check, and because I prefer open dumps and planned on using DEI exhaust wrap anyways. Ultimately I went with ACF because a) I liked the ACF manifold design & downpipe sizes the best out of all the top mount kits, b) it seemed to include more robust components more than the Docrace alternative, and c) was slightly more affordable than others with a ball bearing option coming in at less than $5,000. The 6062 configuration with ACF’s proven twin scroll manifold should provide super-quick spool and as much power as my fuel system can throw at it. Plus if things go awry with the turbo, it’s right up top and easily serviceable. Of course single turbos come with their own set of heat problems, but hopefully I can counteract that with carefulness.

    Once my mind was made up, Anthony & Payam quickly answered the few remaining questions I had, gave me a two week lead time, and I made payment soon after. ACF has been subject to criticism with how quickly they can get a kit in your hands, but I wasn’t in a huge hurry and had made up my mind to put my faith in Anthony’s ability to deliver. So how accurate was that two week lead time? From the time I made payment to the time it was put in the mail was 21 days. I’m on the other side of the country from Anthony, so including shipping it took a total of 28 days from payment until I had everything in hand and it was well worth it. I’ll let the pictures and video do the talking, but the craftsmanship is truly impressive to see in person.



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    In the meantime, I had a lot of other areas that I wanted to address and parts I needed to order. First and foremost, was my clutch and flywheel combo. I had managed to take my 135i over the one hundred thousand mile mark (fifty thousand of that tuned on E85 at close to 20psi) and my stock DMFW and clutch were still holding up just fine. Back when I had new hybrids in hand, I had planned on a new DMFW + 335is/550i clutch to keep things simple with a stock feel, but ultimately it was destined to die a quick life at my intended single turbo power levels. I hated the idea of the increased noise and NVH of a SMFW, but hated the idea of misfires even more, so cue up the trusted MFactory Steel SMFW. I was however, curious about the performance advantages of installing a lightweight flywheel and how it affected feel when rev matching. If it was better than the heavy DMFW in that regards, I could come around to enjoy the SMFW idea quickly. The Spec Stage 2+ clutch seemed to be the best bet for a daily driven car around the 550TQ mark, and would last longer than the slightly stronger 3+. Unfortunately, jumping to any of the Spec + options, meant it was a much more expensive setup, but a necessary one. Add in flywheel bolts, pressure plate screws, a brass clutch fork pivot pin, an OEM clutch alignment tool and a service kit with new fluids/plugs, and I was looking at another $1450 on top of the ST kit to transfer all the new power efficiently.


    I already had MHD on hand to try and combat the SMFW rattle, so I could raise the idle to counteract this somewhat. In fact, I’d been experimenting with my stock clutch/flywheel by raising the idle to 950RPM for a few months prior. A lot of people are hesitant to do this for some reason, but besides the slightly louder idle decibels, on a 6MT, the car idles smoother and engages the clutch easier as the RPMs aren’t dipping so low. This should in theory make the Spec 2+ easier to engage while eliminating the majority of the unwanted noise.


    There was also the issue of single turbo kits and their tendency of killing standard o2 sensors prematurely because of the increased pressure and heat. $425 to avoid these headaches with the ADV o2 sensors. More boost required a 3.5 BAR TMAP + BMS adapter, another $125. My standard 7” upgraded FMIC from VRSF would no longer keep IATs in check during the hot South Carolina summers, so add in the humongous Phoenix Race FMIC, another $500.


    It only made sense to do bunch of maintenance items at the same time since I’d be dropping the subframe and have access to some items I wouldn’t normally have access to (and hadn’t done already). These would include: OEM engine mounts (I opted to not go with the 335is or 034 Motorsport versions and just stick with stock), an oil pan gasket & bolts, downpipe gasket & bolts, rear main seal, a rear shaft seal for my differential that has been seeping some fluid, oil level sensor o-ring, a fresh set of NGK 95770 plugs and Delphi coils, Motul 5W40 and a Mann filter, a budget walnut blast setup, BMW coolant and new aluminum water pump bolts. Another $860.


    Add in an engine support bar, a few specialty tools, the aluminum BMW Performance strut brace for bling that I bought for a decent price on eBay, supplies to heat wrap the ACF top mount kit hot side components properly and my total money spent on going single turbo tallied to more than $9,100 without any custom tuning and performing all the labor myself. The price of going single turbo the right way IS NOT for the faint of heart by any means. I was once told between cheap, fast, and reliable, you can only have two. I chose the two latter options. Here’s my total cost breakdown below, every single penny:


    ACF 6062BB Top Mount Single Turbo Kit with polished compressor housing - $5000.00 ACF
    ADV o2 Sensors - $425.00 CHRIS
    Phoenix Race FMIC - $499.01 N54TUNING
    3.5 BAR TMAP Sensor - $89.39 ECS
    TMAP Adapter - $32.50 BMS
    Downpipe Gaskets - $25.90 ECS
    Stainless Tie Wraps - $16.67 AMAZON
    DEI Exhaust Wrap - $44.88 AMAZON
    6 FT of DEI Heat Protection Sleeving - $52.58 AMAZON
    DOCRace Single Turbo Heat Shield - $120.00 DOCRACE
    Exhaust Manifold Studs x16 - $15.84 ECS
    Exhaust Manifold Nuts x 11 - $38.50 ECS
    Exhaust Gaskets - $23.94 ECS
    Intake Gaskets - $15.95 ECS
    Throttle Body Gasket - $9.89 ECS
    335D Intake Duct - $39.68 ECS
    Replacement Coolant Pipe & Oil Supply O-rings - $33.51 ECS
    MFactory Steel SMFW - $515.36 ECS
    Spec Clutch 2+ = $809.10 TOPGEAR
    Manual Transmission Service Kit - $42.58 ECS
    Clutch Alignment Tool - $25.58 ECS
    ECS Clutch Fork Pivot Pin - $34.95 ECS
    Pressure Plate Screws - $11.28 ECS
    Aluminum Bolt Set for Bellhousing - $10.95 ECS
    8 Flywheel Bolts - $22.40 ECS
    OEM Flywheel Lock Tool - $53.89 FCPEuro
    OEM Engine Mounts & Bolts - $174.98 ECS
    Oil Change Kit - $74.44 ECS
    Delphi OEM Coils - $278.52 ECS
    NGK 95770 - $79.13 AMAZON
    BimmerHelp Blasting Attachment & Wand - $68.50 BIMMERHELP
    Harbor Freight Walnut Blasting Supplies - $78.78 HARBOR FREIGHT
    Amazon Engine Support Bar - $56.99 AMAZON
    BMW Coolant/Water Pump Bolts - $35.62 ECS
    Rear Crankshaft Seal - $34.61 ECS
    Oil Pan Bolt Set - $29.12 ECS
    Oil Pan Gasket - $41.21 ECS
    Rear Shaft Seal - $12.25 ECS
    Oil Level Sensor O-Ring - $6.39 ECS
    Redline Power Steering Fluid - $11.49 ECS
    OEM BMW Performance Aluminum Strut Brace - $150.00 EBAY
    TOTAL = $9,141.36


    To put that in perspective, I could probably buy a 335i in decent condition for that kind of coin. That also means on top of the $5,000 cost of the complete single turbo kit, it took over $4,100 in accompanying mods to get everything else up to par in my eyes, and I already had a decent amount of those components necessary to go single turbo installed prior to all of this like the JB4 + MHD, stage 2 LPFP, upgraded charge pipe, Tial BOV with upgraded vacuum source, Index 12 injectors, etc. I can probably net close to $1,500 from selling my existing twin turbo setup parts to help offset costs somewhat, but is still an enormous investment. So what does dropping over nine thousand dollars on your N54 equipped ride get you? A lot, actually.





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    Before I began to totally tear the car apart for the extraordinary amount of work I was about to embark on, I thought it would be beneficial to have some baseline readings. Just a few weeks earlier I’d discovered that there was small performance shop just a few miles away equipped with a Dynojet. It only made sense to make an appointment and get some baseline numbers on the stock twins.


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    It only took getting into boost once before we realized we needed to add a few extra straps.


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    These two runs were on E40 fuel on the E85 BMS BEF on map 7. My poor, tired, and smoking turbos were targeting around 19.7psi for both runs, but were only managing to hit around 17psi and tapering off to around 14psi near redline. As instructed by Terry over on N54Tech, these runs were done in 4th gear from 2,000 to 7,000 RPM. Smoothing is set to 5. I did notice where correction was set to SAE, instead of the STD Terry suggested.





    Run 1 was the run I spun the tires, run 2 resulted in 395HP & 406TQ, run 3 resulted in 393HP & 407TQ.


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    I drove the car straight back to the garage where the single turbo conversion and got to work. I already had all the new parts to go in, as well as all the tools I’d need, neatly laid out. I started with a wide open space so I could sprawl out a bit.


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    Using the impressive Esco jacks I recently picked up, I was able to get the car high up off the ground, since I’d be spending plenty of time underneath it over the next few weeks. And because I wanted to use a creeper, so some extra clearance was needed.


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    Back in the summer of 2016 as the 135i was about to turn over 60,000 miles, I was forced to replace the aging Michelin Pilot Sport tires that I bought the car with. Because I drive my car so much, longevity was just as important as performance for me. I spent a few days digging through TireRack reviews before deciding on the 235/265 Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 combo with a 320 treadwear rating. Over the next 18 months and 42,500 miles, I put these tires through the ringer as they took on daily driving duties in every condition imaginable: 100+ degree summers, torrential downpours, 10 degree winters, snow-covered side roads, spirited driving through mountain twisties, and multiple 400+ HP/TQ pulls on dry pavement. Usually when tires last this long, they don’t do much for performance, but Hankook was able to find a very nice happy medium with these. Maybe it’s a testament to my suspension, wheel/tire setup, alignment, and driving style, but the wear pattern on the front and rears were pretty even across the board. The fronts probably had 10,000 miles left of life in them.


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    My only complaint would be when running lower pressures, these did seem to flatspot when left sitting for a few days that would take a few minutes of driving to clear up. Near the end of the life of the tires, the old TPMS also began to show up as inactive from time to time and the impending warning code was driving me crazy. When it came time to start searching for replacements, and new TPMS sensors, I was very tempted to just repurchase another set of the V12 evo2s, but another tire claiming an even better 340 treadwear rating and garnering a lot of praise online ultimately won me over: the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500s. I ordered the same 235/365 sizes as before, and as they always do, Tire Rack had them in my possession within a few days. Luckily I was able to stretch the life of my previous Hankooks out until this single turbo teardown, so I can have the old tires taken off and the new ones mounted/balanced in the meantime. I also prefer to take off the wheels myself, and mount them back to the vehicle myself once the new rubber is installed. The more I can reduce the amount of times someone other than me wrenches on my car, the better, especially with stuff I don’t want terribly over-torqued or scratched up. I can’t wait to stop staring at these and actually get them mounted up.


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    Since I knew I was going to be installing the massive Phoenix Race FMIC that requires a lot of cutting of the plastic front shroud, off came the front bumper. Now I had a full view of the existing 7” VRSF FMIC I’d been running for the past year or so.


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    Out came all the lower splash guards, plastic intake ducting out, and radiator fan so I could gain access to the t-bolt clamps on the FMIC.


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    After loosening the t-bolt clamps and removing the two aluminum screws holding the FMIC in place, it dropped out easily. Now I was ready to start unbolting some of the components in the engine bay to gain full access to the intake valves as a walnut blast was the first order of business.


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    The Mishimoto OCC hooked up to the RB external PCV in order to remove the front inlet, charge pipe and air filters.


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    Strut bars, BMS OCC, throttle body and all associated intake piping removed.


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    Vacuum canisters gone, front MMP inlet out.


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  2. #2
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    At this point, it was time to remove the studs and bolt holding the intake manifold in place so I could take a peek at my valves. As I had seen back in late 2017 when I removed the manifold to tap for a larger vacuum source, the valves were fairly gunked up despite the external PCV, but as Rob mentioned, the buildup did seem to be more evenly distributed and probably far less than what it could have been. Not to mention my turbos had been pushing oil for some time. Please excuse my poor photos. I have never been able to get great pictures of my valves using the DSLR. so had to resort to strange lighting and the iPhone X camera.


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    After noting the condition of each port, I started to assemble the supplies that Iíd gathered to try my first walnut blast. In the past Iíd used liquid and brushes, but it took forever and was messy. I already had a large air compressor on hand, and after checking out Jakeís video, it seemed easy enough to do the right way. And cheap. You can find all the supplies you need, plus a DIY on the video below.





    Ready to blast!


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    I used the remote starter to get the cylinder 1 valves closed and taped off all the others.


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    The Bimmerhelp 3D printed insert fit perfectly and seems durable.


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    I loaded up the blaster with walnut shells, turned on the vacuum, attached the feed tube and air hose, and began blasting. After letting the walnuts flow for about 30 seconds, I assessed what everything looked like, used a pick to dislodge some of the still remaining gunk, blasted for another 30 seconds, and this is what cylinder 1 looked like after. Rinse and repeat for cylinders 2-6.


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    Taking a few days off, and then Iíll be back at it this weekend getting the old clutch, flywheel, and turbos off the car in preparation for installation of the shiny new hardware.

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    Whoo boy is this is a detailed thread with a lot to digest.

    Going to read it all over.

    Great details!

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    Like I said on the other forum, glad to see this happening! Can't wait to see your final thoughts/results.
    🚀 My 750HP 135i build: my1series.com
    🔧 My budget 335i build: bmw335i.com
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    I've got the same stuff for cleaning my valves- wish I had the rest too... Click here to enlarge

    I've read the things, and watched the videos... Any first hand tips for valve cleaning, anything you wish you'd done differently or, well, anything?
    1and1
    135i - E82.N54 2009 BSM - MHD S1+ / xHP S3 / PR CP & 7.5" IC / RB PCV / Borla
    . . . . RSFI, Koni & Eibach, Dinan CP's & M3 CA's / EBC Red's & Firehawk 500's
    X1 - E84.N20 2013 MGM - JB4 - The Wife's

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    Epic write up! I haven't even read it all yet, will probably take me 3 or 4 days....

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    Sobering single turbo costs when factoring in all the ancillaries which I kind of gloss over in my mind when dreaming of going single....well worth it though to do it right...I guess gotta start saving some more ...either that or start pilfering bitcoin or something

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    @chadillac2000 Excellent post and exciting project you've embarked on. I wanted to provide some somewhat meaningless info to clarify something you said about tire treadwear ratings though, as its often misunderstood. The treadwear rating is assigned by the manufacturer and should only be used to compare the longevity of tires made by the same manufacturer. There is no regulatory agency or even guidelines that assign that number -- its solely "made up" by the manufacturer.

    Example A: 3 different tires all made by Michelin. Tire #1 has a treadwear of 220, Tire #2 has a tw of 360 and Tire #3 has a tw of 500. You can deduce that Tire #2 will last longer than Tire #1 , and Tire #3 will last longer than both #1 & #2 .

    Example B: 1 Michelin Tire with a tw rating of 300 1 Bridgestone tire with a tw rating of 350. Its not appropriate to assume that the Bridgestone will last longer than the Michelin based on the tw rating alone.. you could compare mileage ratings of tires in each respective lineup, but there is not factual basis to make an assumption off of.

    Hope that clears things up and good luck with your project!

    https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/utqg-rating
    2011 E90 M3 \ Melbourne Rot Metallic

    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 1and1 Click here to enlarge
    I've got the same stuff for cleaning my valves- wish I had the rest too... Click here to enlarge

    I've read the things, and watched the videos... Any first hand tips for valve cleaning, anything you wish you'd done differently or, well, anything?
    If you've watched my video that Chad linked to, I tried to view the best overview I could. If you follow that, you should be good. Getting the intake manifold off can be a pain with that box that's screwed on underneath. Once you're doing the job, just be aware that it can take some time to get all of the carbon off. I usually use a pick to break things up, and hit it with walnuts again.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nikitino25 Click here to enlarge
    Sobering single turbo costs when factoring in all the ancillaries which I kind of gloss over in my mind when dreaming of going single....well worth it though to do it right...I guess gotta start saving some more ...either that or start pilfering bitcoin or something
    Right! I know this is Chad's thread, but it isn't for the faint of heart. I just added up most of the receipts for my build since 2014 and it came out to over $30k. I know this 700whp single turbo journey is around $10k of that, if not more.
    🚀 My 750HP 135i build: my1series.com
    🔧 My budget 335i build: bmw335i.com
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Whoo boy is this is a detailed thread with a lot to digest.

    Going to read it all over.

    Great details!
    Yes it is, and I apologize for such a large single post! I have a full build thread going no other forums, but didn't want to spam up this one, so I thought a single build thread about going ST would be the move.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 1and1 Click here to enlarge
    I've got the same stuff for cleaning my valves- wish I had the rest too... Click here to enlarge

    I've read the things, and watched the videos... Any first hand tips for valve cleaning, anything you wish you'd done differently or, well, anything?
    Makes getting the valves completely clean easy peasy--I was impressed with how simple it was. I didn't go through the trouble of pulling the intake studs like Jake does in his video, which meant it took longer to tape off, but that's all.

    I did have to create a little lead that plugged into the starter male end, as it's recessed inside the plug and the remote starter clamp will not fit inside. It will make more sense when you're looking at the starter and trying to get the remote attached. This was my first time using a remote starter to move the valves, and it was much easier than other methods to make sure each valve was closed when blasting. Now that I have the supplies on hand, I'll probably do this annually.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nikitino25 Click here to enlarge
    Sobering single turbo costs when factoring in all the ancillaries which I kind of gloss over in my mind when dreaming of going single....well worth it though to do it right...I guess gotta start saving some more ...either that or start pilfering bitcoin or something
    Sobering is right. The cost of the actual ST kit is just the beginning. In order to do things correctly and bring everything else up to par, it really adds up. Someone not doing their own labor could easily be looking at $12,000-$15,000 in costs without blinking.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
    @chadillac2000 Excellent post and exciting project you've embarked on. I wanted to provide some somewhat meaningless info to clarify something you said about tire treadwear ratings though, as its often misunderstood. The treadwear rating is assigned by the manufacturer and should only be used to compare the longevity of tires made by the same manufacturer. There is no regulatory agency or even guidelines that assign that number -- its solely "made up" by the manufacturer.

    Example A: 3 different tires all made by Michelin. Tire #1 has a treadwear of 220, Tire #2 has a tw of 360 and Tire #3 has a tw of 500. You can deduce that Tire #2 will last longer than Tire #1 , and Tire #3 will last longer than both #1 & #2 .

    Example B: 1 Michelin Tire with a tw rating of 300 1 Bridgestone tire with a tw rating of 350. Its not appropriate to assume that the Bridgestone will last longer than the Michelin based on the tw rating alone.. you could compare mileage ratings of tires in each respective lineup, but there is not factual basis to make an assumption off of.

    Hope that clears things up and good luck with your project!

    https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/utqg-rating
    Great info about treadwear rating. I assumed they were all based on some universal scale. Regardless, if the Firestones last as long as the Hankooks, I'll be happy.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by suspenceful Click here to enlarge
    If you've watched my video that Chad linked to, I tried to view the best overview I could. If you follow that, you should be good. Getting the intake manifold off can be a pain with that box that's screwed on underneath. Once you're doing the job, just be aware that it can take some time to get all of the carbon off. I usually use a pick to break things up, and hit it with walnuts again.

    Right! I know this is Chad's thread, but it isn't for the faint of heart. I just added up most of the receipts for my build since 2014 and it came out to over $30k. I know this 700whp single turbo journey is around $10k of that, if not more.
    Exactly what I did. 60 seconds first blast, then used a pick to get any remaining pieces off, another 20 second blast, then wiped clean with brake cleaner. Worked like a charm and was done in less than a hour. Scrub & soak took so much longer, made a mess, and didn't do as good of a job. No reason not to do it the right way anymore with it being this cheap. Assuming you have a compressor already.

    I've certainly crept over $30,000 myself including the cost of the car. But damn, nothing puts more of a smile on my face or can get my adrenaline pumping like this little 1 series.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chadillac2000 Click here to enlarge
    Exactly what I did. 60 seconds first blast, then used a pick to get any remaining pieces off, another 20 second blast, then wiped clean with brake cleaner. Worked like a charm and was done in less than a hour. Scrub & soak took so much longer, made a mess, and didn't do as good of a job. No reason not to do it the right way anymore with it being this cheap. Assuming you have a compressor already.

    I've certainly crept over $30,000 myself including the cost of the car. But damn, nothing puts more of a smile on my face or can get my adrenaline pumping like this little 1 series.
    Glad the video was helpful!

    And, I know! $30k was strictly parts... with the price of the car, I'm looking at a $50k rock sitting in the garage. But there's nothing that puts a smile on my face more than this terrible investment!
    🚀 My 750HP 135i build: my1series.com
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    With the walnut blast in the books and my intake valves looking minty, it was time to dedicate the weekend to ripping out all the old twin turbo components I would no longer need, as well as address a few maintenance items I would have easy access to. To begin, the mid pipes would need to come out. As well some heat shielding before we'd have access to the driveline pieces.


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    A clear shot of the 6MT transmission still in place right before I started removal.


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    Since they'd need to come out anyways and would make more room for the bellhousing bolts, I decided to remove the downpipes next.


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    This revealed a glimpse of the front turbo that would be coming out later.


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    A few minutes later and the front and rear MMP inlets were out. They had held up fairly well, but had some cuts and bruises from installation the first time around in those tight spaces.


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    I followed a few different YouTube DIY videos to get a good overview of what was involved in changing the clutch on the N54, so I had a good idea of where the bolts were situated. An array of long extensions and swivels made quick work of the lower bell housing bolts, and because I had removed the rear inlet completely, I was able to remove the three bolts on top from under the hood with room to spare.


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    Unfortunately I did not have an extra set of hands around, so I spent the next hour carefully removing the transmission from the car myself. What a workout. I was impressed to see the clutch and pressure plate were still in pretty good condition.


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    Because I didn't have an extra set of hands, I'm glad that I had the flywheel lock tool so I was able to break loose the 8 flywheel bolts by myself.


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    While the clutch and pressure plate seemed to be in good working order, the dual mass flywheel had seen better days. To be honest, I've thought the DMFW was noisy from day 1, but this is probably why.





    Now it was time to start focusing on the fluids and remaining components between me and the turbos starting with steering. It took patience to remove the steering rack and and all the electrical connections dealing the with the active steering system, and a lot of rags to clean up all the power steering fluid, but eventually the whole rack was removed and sat aside. Then the sway bar. Then the rest of the suspension components still hanging on to the subframe, until there were none left.


    I knew that I wanted to wait to reinstall the transmission until nearly the end of this install, so that required some more robust bracing than simply the Harbor Freight support bar I originally opted for. I used that, along with the tow hook installed in the engine, as well as another support bar I welded up closer to the firewall, and secured with straps for more stabilization once the subframe was dropped out.


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    Once that was in place, just a few big bolts and the subframe was out, leaving us with a pretty nice view of the twin turbos.


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    Next up was to drain the coolant. I started with the radiator drain plug, letting as much release as possible, but I’m not naive. I’ve drained coolant on this car before, so I was aware I’d be in for a bath when releasing the drain point closer to the water pump. As expected, I was a wet, sticky mess by the time I wrestled off the water pump and thermostat I’d put on last year. I went ahead and removed the coolant reservoir from top as well.


    Click here to enlarge


    This allowed for easy access to the small v-bands holding on the stock oulets. With that pipe, along with the boost solenoids and heat shield removed, I finally got a full look at the upper part of the exhaust manifolds and was taken back by the condition of the original nuts.


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    I had Kano Kroil and stud extractors on hand, but somewhat expected the worse given their visual appearance. While I worried about the rusted manifold hardware, it was time to dump the motor oil. For the first time I decided to collect a Blackstone sample and send it in. I’ve been wanting to for a while, but never could manage to remember to submit a request for a collection kit until recently. We’ll see how my Motul is looking at 5,000 miles, but I’ll more than likely switch to 3,000 mile changes going forward with the new single setup.


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    Comfortably sitting undeneath the car on my creeper with all the room in the world, I began using extensions, swivel sockets, a deep 11mm socket, and the appropriate sized torx socket to slowly work through the manifold nuts, studs, oil feed/drain bolts, coolant bolts, until everything was free. I didn’t hit one snag with any of the old hardware coming off and didn’t need to resort to any stud extraction or even oil soaking, but then again I took my time and had the right tools.


    I will say, that if I had been re-installing twin turbos back into the car, I would have been forced to order new drain and feed lines. All 6 of mine were severely stuck to the block and water pipe and were ruined during removal. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that. And the moment I was waiting for all weekend.


    Click here to enlarge


    Confirmation that this rear turbo was pushing oil and the root of my smoking issue. I also noticed while the turbo was still attached to the car that the clip holding the wastegate rod was missing. You’ll notice in the picture, it’s actually come undone completely.


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    What a welcomed sight after a weekend of removing filthy parts and getting splashed by a plethora of different fluids.


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    But I wasn’t ready to call it a night just yet. I wanted to get the oil pan gasket and oil level sensor o-ring replaced, so that meant we needed to remove the power steering pump in order to access all the oil pan bolts.


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    Once that was removed, I quickly backed out all the aluminum bolts holding on the pan.


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    I removed the oil level sensor, and thoroughly cleaned the entire ol pan, as well as all surrounding surfaces on the bottom of the block before reassembling everything and preparing the new gasket + bolts for installation.


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    The rear main seal wasn’t giving me any problems yet, but I definitely wanted to swap it out for a new one considering I had over 100,000 miles and was staring right at it. Using a seal tool, I was able to pull the old seal out.


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    And install the new one.


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    Before I left, I also took the time to install the brand new manifold studs I ordered. While some said it wasn’t mandatory, in my case, using new studs/nuts was absolutely necessary.


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    Later this week, it’ll be time to start installing some of the new and exciting pieces that will be replacing all the stock stuff I just took off. Already, what a labor intensive job. I’ve been taking my time, enjoying myself, documenting, and doing some extra curriculars like intake valve cleaning, but I already have over 20 hours in this project so far and haven’t even installed anything yet.

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    Dude you went full on beast mode there man, RESPEKT!

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    Last night I spent some time familiarizing myself with the dual Tial MVS wastegates, MAC solenoid with PNP harness, and stainless lines that ACF provides so I'd know how everything was oriented. I decided to go with the green/white spring combination based on other people's experiences and Payam's suggestion.


    Click here to enlarge


    Getting the top of the wastegate installed was no easy task. If my fiance hadn't been able to thread the allen head bolts in while I kept A LOT of pressure on the cap/springs, I would have to resort to a vice.


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    Using Payam's pictures, I was able to mock up the included NPT/AN fittings and SS lines to where they'll be situated when installed on the manifold. The two fittings in the middle that aren't installed yet are the straight through NPT/AN that fits to the oil feed on the block, and the 45 degree NPT/AN that fits on the compressor housing.
    Not that it matters all that much, but I love how the TIAL MVS wastegates match my existing Tial BOV.


    Click here to enlarge


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    New hardware starts going on tomorrow.

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    Questions:

    6 FT of DEI Heat Protection Sleeving - $52.58 AMAZON <--What for?


    DOCRace Single Turbo Heat Shield - $120.00 DOCRACE <--Does this fit with the ACF kit? If so, pics of fitment?


    Nice write up man. It does cost a bit to do these cars up right.

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    Also, what did you use to clean the area where exhaust manifold goes?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Torgus Click here to enlarge
    Questions:

    6 FT of DEI Heat Protection Sleeving - $52.58 AMAZON <--What for?

    DOCRace Single Turbo Heat Shield - $120.00 DOCRACE <--Does this fit with the ACF kit? If so, pics of fitment?

    Nice write up man. It does cost a bit to do these cars up right.

    Also, what did you use to clean the area where exhaust manifold goes?
    I picked up the DEI heat sleeving just to have on hand in case I felt anything was too close to hot parts. I know for a fact that I'm going to use some on the two SS wastegate lines that run from port to port between the wastegates as they're very close to the manifold. Even though everything will be heat wrapped, I still would rather be safe than sorry.

    I knew I wanted a heat shield, and had aspirations of making one myself, but thought I'd just give the DOCRace version a go. It may fit straight out the box, but I'm prepared to modify it if need be. I won't really know until I get the manifold mounted and exhaust housing bolted up.

    For cleaning the surface where the manifold will go, I plugged up the ports, and used a Scotchbrite and degreaser on the whole thing. Then I used a small wire brush to get all the left over exhaust manifold gasket crud out of the ports. It cleaned up very nice by the time I was done.

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    What a thread... great updates.

    As for the costs... oh I could show you guys some receipts.

    Treat it like a toy and not an investment and you'll be fine. Even better, forget the receipts exist.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chadillac2000 Click here to enlarge
    I knew I wanted a heat shield, and had aspirations of making one myself, but thought I'd just give the DOCRace version a go. It may fit straight out the box, but I'm prepared to modify it if need be. I won't really know until I get the manifold mounted and exhaust housing bolted up.

    For cleaning the surface where the manifold will go, I plugged up the ports, and used a Scotchbrite and degreaser on the whole thing. Then I used a small wire brush to get all the left over exhaust manifold gasket crud out of the ports. It cleaned up very nice by the time I was done.
    Thanks for the info. Any idea when you will have everything mounted up to confirm heat shield fitment?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Torgus Click here to enlarge
    Thanks for the info. Any idea when you will have everything mounted up to confirm heat shield fitment?
    I plan on having everything fully buttoned up by the end of this weekend, but I imagine I'll know whether or not the heat shield will fit by tomorrow. After the block fittings and water pipe, the heat shield and manifold will be the next items I put on. The real test will whether or not it clears the oversized downpipe. I know ACF has a larger DP than most others, so things are going to get tight quickly.

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    Yesterday brought more progress on the single turbo conversion. Before I began installing any of the hot parts, I wanted to address the windshield wiper fluid fill neck that sits in an unfortunate part of the engine bay for top mounts. At least there's a viable option for relocation with only a little effort. This includes removing the passenger side front rear wheel well to unveil the full neck.


    Click here to enlarge


    There's an oval sized hole that feeds up to the cowl drain port, which the filler tube will go up through with some force. Don't do like I did, and remove the filler neck while it's full of wiper fluid. As soon as it came through the engine bay into the wheel well, I was doused in nearly a gallon of wiper fluid. Not a great start to the day.


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    Eventually you'll see the filler neck pop up in a much better place for top mount heat, that's still fully accessible.


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    And with the cap on. I'll get some more pictures regarding access when the cowl and covers are re-installed to see how easily this will be to fill on the go. Now that I won't ever have to deal with a melted filler neck, it was time to move on to installing some of the smaller, hard to reach items that need to be bolted down before moving on to the larger stuff.


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    That included the aluminum coolant pipe (you can reuse your OEM gasket, but I bought a new one for peace of mind), two coolant plug fittings (also bought new o-rings for this, but my old ones looked fine), an oil feed fitting (new o-ring here too), and freeze plug for the rear oil drain. We'll be cutting and reusing the front drain tube (w/new o-ring) from the OEM turbos to use as the drain fitting for the single turbo.


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    I started with the freeze plug to cap off the rear oil drain from the OEM twin turbos. I used a very thin layer of max temp copper RTV silicone and found a socket that fit around the outer ring, NOT the inner recessed portion. A few hits with a rubber mallet and the install had officially commenced.


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    Working in a clockwise motion, the next up was the old coolant feed on the top left of the crankcase. This is the longer of the two coolant blocks in the kit. I reused the stock bolts, but as I mentioned, used new o-rings all around on these fittings. I used these torque settings for all bolts during this process.


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    Next was the old coolant feed on the top right of the crankcase. Same process as the other side. This is the shorter of the two coolant blocks in the kit.


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    Then on to the oil drain return for the front OEM turbo, remember, we already plugged the other one. This is where the OEM drain line that we cut earlier will be reinstalled. Again, reused the stock bolt and a new o-ring. It's not included in the picture, but I went ahead and trimmed 6" of the included heater hose in the kit, secured it to the cut oil drain, and tightened the included hose clamp properly so it would be ready to drop the hard oil drain line down into once we get the center cartridge of the turbo installed later.


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    Moving on to the center of the crankcase, we use the last of the fittings included in the ACF ST kit for the oil feed. Prior to installing you'll want to install the straight through NPT to AN fitting ialso included in the kit. As I did with all the NTP connections when mocking up the wastegates, use teflon tape to ensure a proper seal.


    Once that's installed, the included ACF coolant pipe is installed using 4 new included bolts. It's okay to reuse the stock gasket for this pipe (mine looked fine), but I bought a new one and used it instead.


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    Before moving on to the manifold, I went ahead and attached the included heat shielded oil feed so it would already be in place.


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    Now on to the heart of this install: Anthony's tubular manifold.


    Unfortunately the beautiful welds were no longer visible because I wrapped the manifold and downpipe with DEI titanium heat wrap. This was no easy task using stainless steel clamps. This was my first time using these, and getting them as tight as you'd like is simply not possible. Combined with the hard to reach places in the tight bends, what I thought would be an enjoyable experience of wrapping all the pieces became a frustrating project in itself.


    I also grabbed my 6 brand new exhaust manifold gaskets, my 11 new OEM nuts, 5 shorty nuts included by ACF, the v-band clamp for the two manifold pieces, and some max temp copper RTV. And Payam's video for reference on cued up on the iPhone.


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    New gaskets on--nice and tight.


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    Here are the locations where you'll want to use the shorty nuts included by ACF. All of the other studs will accept OEM nuts with this manifold. Nearly half of the nuts are pretty hard to access, so be very patient with this part. The last thing you want is a stripped nut with no way to get it off, or an installed manifold that isn't seated properly.


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    And this is the torquing sequence I used:


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    With the subframe out, the front bank 1 manifold fits in easily, followed by the rear bank 2 manifold. Secure a few of the nuts, just so the manifolds don't slide off as we'll want to tighten the large v-band before moving on to the manifold to crankcase connections. Put a nice layer of RTV on the v-band, and tighten it down. Then move on to torquing down the manifold.


    A few things here: the exhaust manifold gaskets will seal as they are tightened down, this means some bolts that have already been torqued will need to be re-torqued as they may have gained some additional clearance as others were being tightened. I triple checked every nut--making sure the ones that I could get a torque wrench on were properly torqued down, and the ones I couldn't, were as tight as the others. ALSO, trim your stainless steel ties holding the manifold wrap on properly and fold back on itself so no sharp edges are exposed. I look like I climbed over a razor wire fence this morning because I did not do this.


    Eventually you'll have something that looks like this:


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    And finally a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.


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    I knew space was going to start shrinking quickly, so I wanted to go ahead and see how the DOCRace heat shield would fit. So far so good. Fingers crossed that the big downpipe will squeak through, as it provides a good bit of protection; and looks great installed.


    Click here to enlarge


    After checking everything again, now it was time to mock up the twin Tial MVS wastegates that I had mocked up on the table earlier. Using Payam's pictures from his install thread, I situated them accordingly.


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    I kept the v-band connections just loose enough to be able to adjust them when installing the dump tubes, but made sure to arrange the v-bands so I could access them for tightening later. I went ahead and got the stainless wastegate lines with AN fittings in place as well.


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    While I still had full access, I went ahead and grabbed the ADV o2 sensors and tightened them down. Perfect fit and hopefully will prevent any o2 related issues commonly seen on ST N54 builds.


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    I spent the next hour or so fumbling with the open dump tubes only because I didn't have a helper. Not having an extra set of hands made for a lot of frustration trying to fit these. From underneath for example, the long pipe has to be raised up in an area with tight clearance, so getting a v-band clamp on properly and the bolt & nut secured is no easy feat! I pressed onwards however and eventually had both of the dump tube connections seated properly and hand tightened.


    Using the old passenger side motor mount assembly to check clearance, I mocked up the dump tubes to impersonate the double barrel shotgun seen in Payam's picture:


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    Once I got things to my liking, I got to work on tightening down the 4 v-band connections connecting to the wastegates to the manifold and the wastegates to the dump tubes. I then went back and RECHECKED EVERYTHING AGAIN. This manifold dump tube combination is impressive visually. I imagine it will only look better with the downpipe.


    At this point, I'd been at the garage all day, and my dog was ready to leave a long time ago, but I'd gotten too far not to mock up this at least the exhaust housing.


    Click here to enlarge


    Before actually disassembling the turbocharger, I knew I wanted to use some of the DEI heat sleeve on the two wastegate lines running between the two wastegates themselves, which are located pretty close to the manifold. Probably not necessary, but again, this car is a daily driver and I'm trying to minimize issues.


    Click here to enlarge


    After taking off the 1/2 inch bolts attaching the hot side of the turbo to the center cartridge, I carefully pulled away the cartridge and cold side of the turbo and sat it aside. I grabbed the four new bolts included in the kit, the twin scroll gasket I picked up separately, and attached the 0.82 A/R housing. This is smaller than the 1.0 A/R housing used on a lot of single turbo builds, so it provided a bit more breathing room in the tight spaces.


    Click here to enlarge


    The clearance between the exhaust housing, inner fender and strut tower should perfectly accommodate the included turbo blanket, as well as hold in place securely.


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    I used the rest of the DEI heat sleeving on the hard brake line, and inconveniently located AC line (partly rubber) that will be located just above the downpipe that isn't protected by the factory heat shielding. I have another 6 feet of sleeve that I may use on the bank 2 o2 sensor wiring, as well as some of the oil drain/feed lines. Again, just for added protection, not because it needs it. Payam has been running these top mount kits for many miles using minimal heat protection at all with no issues to report.


    Now we just have a straight shot for the downpipe to feed down through.


    Click here to enlarge


    I plan on spending another full weekend on the car, so by the end of Sunday I should be getting pretty close to having everything properly buttoned up.

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    Moving right along, it was now time to attach the compressor housing to the exhaust housing that was already mounted in the car, but first it needed some of the included fittings attached. Take note of the hard oil drain line that will be routed down past the manifold and into the OEM drain + heater hose already in place.


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    No need for a traditional gasket with this design.


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    Oil drain and oil feed fittings installed and ready to be separated from the compressor cover. The heat shielded oil feed line is already attached at the crankcase and routed to the top of the engine bay, ready to be hooked to the compressor housing.


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    The most frustrating part of this step was how long it took to tighten all the bolts that secure the compressor housing to the exhaust housing. I had to grind down a wrench to make it thin enough to get to one of the bolts tucked down in a hard to reach place, but eventually it was fully tightened down with the oil feed and drain connected. I also went ahead and fitted the exhaust housing blanket just to get an idea of how tight it would be.


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    The drain angles towards the engine, letting gravity do most of the work, and the hardline should keep it protected from the heat.


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    Water pump and thermostat back in, with all hoses reconnected except the one rerouting back to the coolant reservoir that I'll be relocating to the driver's side. I went ahead and used some DEI heat shielding sleeve around the 6" or so of heater hose I have connecting the hard line to the OEM cut oil drain so it's also protected from any unnecessary heat.


    Click here to enlarge


    Before installing any more hardware I wanted to get the subframe and transmission in place so the engine would be angled properly for final assembly of the compressor housing and downpipe. I decided to use new OEM motor mounts with new bolts and mounting nut when reinstalling everything.


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    Some time later and with the help of multiple floor jacks, I had the subframe + motor mounts in place and torqued down.


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    The open dumps pipes look mean peeking out past the frame.


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    With the subframe back in place, I then turned my attention back to the transmission. The rear main seal was already seated in place, so I grabbed the MFactory steel SMFW, 8 new flywheel bolts, and my lock tool. This is after everything has been torqued down and wiped down in preparation for the clutch. As described, this is noticeably lighter and more simplistic than the DMFW.


    Click here to enlarge


    I quickly ditched the included Spec alignment tool for the OEM BMW tool.


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    Pressure plate installed and torqued down with 6 new bolts.


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    I had also had a few things to take care of with the transmission itself. It hadn't been that long since I'd done a transmission fluid change, but I went ahead and did another with new fill/drain bolts while it was out of the car. Next was to swap out some of the old, dirty hardware.


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    Spec includes a new throwout bearing and pivot arm, and I also picked up a brass pivot pin from ECS.


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    The last piece to be added prior to reinstallation was the aluminum guibo I purchased to replace my rubber version, however my OEM one looked fine even with the high mileage.


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    Multiple hours later, and using the same floor jacks that I used when installing the subframe, the transmission was in place and torqued down properly with new bellhousing bolts. The driveshaft was reconnected, and center bearing support in place. I was thoroughly exhausted after doing this all myself, but it is doable solo with the right tools and some patience.


    When I get some more time with the car, I'll continue with the cold side piping and FMIC. The Phoenix Race FMIC I purchased had some unsightly overspray on the front, so I just applied a light coat of black to make everything uniform that's visible. A quick test fit showed me that this massive front mount will require quite a bit of cutting of the plastic shrouding.


    Click here to enlarge

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    Nice update Click here to enlarge

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