335xi: A Sleeper Story

So you may be wondering what's so special about a 335xi? In most cases there's nothing in particularly special, but here we transformed a seemingly factory BMW into a true sleeper that can withstand all the complexities thrown at it by mother nature.

Bmw 335xi SleeperBmw 335xi Sleeper

We started this build one Friday morning as Peter from Alabama was looking to make this particular E92 a little more special. He drove over two hours to come see us in Atlanta, Georgia just because he knew we could provide the excellent craftsmanship and diligent service in order to make this car what he wanted it to be. Previously the car was bone stock sans a strut tower brace. After visiting us he left with a great start with these modifications:

  • E9X N54 JB4 (W/Optional Bluetooth)
  • Alpina Transmission Flash
  • VRSF Intercooler
  • VRSF Upgraded Chargepipe
  • ER Sports Series Oil Cooler Upgrade Kit

The VRSF Intercooler:

Bmw 335xi SleeperBmw 335xi Sleeper

VRSF has been known to offer quality at a reasonable price in the BMW aftermarket scene for years. This intercooler is upgraded from the factory in the sense that it allows more cool air to flow throughout its fins (due to a larger cooling surface in both length,width, and height) and also berids the plastic endtanks with aluminum which can handle higher boost levels. Here',s an excerpt directly from VRSF's website.

"The VRSF 7" FMIC was designed to be one of the best performing direct bolt on intercoolers available on the market. The VRSF intercooler features 3D CAD designed cast aluminum end tanks for improved flow over sheet metal end tanks & durability. We use a custom bar & plate intercooler core and a custom fin pack designed to our exact specification which we've developed over the past 7 years with great success on our Evo & DSM platforms."

This particular intercooler does require slight modification to the core support due to its increased size and with our top techs, this can be executed cleanly and properly. No hack jobs here! A larger intercooler is necessary for running higher boost levels safely as it directly lowers the Intake Air Temperature (which can rob power and reliability!)

VRSF Charge Pipe (cold side):

Bmw 335xi Sleeper

The factory equipped charge pipe, on the cold side of the intercooler, is made of thermoplastics which usually hold up fine at stock boost levels, but will shatter when dealing with the rigors of increased boost pressure. They quite often crack at the elbow of the pipe connecting to the throttle body which will cause rough running and illuminate the CEL, all of our worst nightmares. Of course when this happens the car will not have the ability to create boost as it is now escaping out of the crack in the elbow, therefore causing a feeling of a limp-mode error. The upgraded VRSF charge pipe eliminates the situation by making a cast aluminum unit that can be ordered to either accommodate your factory diverter valves or add a optional (and most often suggested) blow off valve.

Sports Series Oil Cooler Upgrade Kit :

Bmw 335xi Sleeper

"It's well known that the N54 and N55 engines runs very hot. Turbos that build a lot of heat and a small radiator play into why this engine runs so hot. A quick look at your gauge cluster on your dash after a few minutes of "spirited" driving, you'll notice oil temperatures over 250 degrees. Considering that most cars don't even exceed 230 degrees tells you quite a bit. As oil temperatures get too high, thermal degradation occurs. This is when the oil starts to lose viscosity due to heat and start to break down and becomes more susceptible to "shearing" or oil breakdown. An internal combustion engine like the N54/N55 engine, imparts high shear forces on the motor oil, which is sandwiched between two rotating or sliding forces under load and heat. "Shearing" is when the molecular structure is essentially torn apart by these mechanical shear forces. Lower your operating oil temperature will greatly reduce this. Thus your motor oil is in better shape to protect the bearings in your car's engine, thus improving longevity."


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