BMW 135i Project
Ahead of the 135i's North American launch, we acquired one of the first cars to hit US soil. This head start meant we were the first to lower the 135i using H&R coilovers supplied by Turner Motorsport (www.turnermotorsport.com) - an installation guide is at www.eurotuner.com.
So what lies ahead for Project Silverstone? We're going to install and test the Snow Performance water/meth kit along with 034Motorsport's track density mounts and H&R's 28mm rear sway bar.Sam
The lower and stiffer suspension greatly improved the handling when we tested it through challenging canyon roads (et 6/08), but the comfort is still surprisingly good. So while we were still happy with its 300hp and 300 lb-ft, we decided to find the right set of wheels.
After helping us with our '06 VW GLI project car (et 9/06), we returned to DCR Forged wheels (www.dcrwheels.com) to outfit the 1-Series. The GLI showcased a handsome set of color-matched 20x8.5" Monte Carlo five-spokes, but the 135i needed something more motorsport-inspired, so DCR's classic Nurburgring mesh design was chosen in 19x8" front, 19x9" rear.
The company invited us to see how the three-piece forged wheels were built. However, we first needed to finalize what finish we wanted for the centers and outer lips.
With so many options, we considered black, grey or silver centers; in the end, we went for old-school, motorsport-themed gold centers. Chrome lips were added to make the wheels stand out on our silver 135i.
The forged centers were machined when we arrived at DCR Forged, but we saw how they were prepped for powdercoat. The process required a thorough cleaning before being manually powdercoated and baked. The powdercoat is sprayed on when the wheels are electro-statically charged to attract the powder.
Once all the lips were sealed and bolted to the centers with heavy-duty hardware, they were ready for mounting. The front wheels have a conservative lip to fit over the massive six-piston stock brakes, but the rears sport a deeper lip, wide enough to fit an iPhone!
After wheel assembly, The Wheel Supply in Walnut, CA (www.thewheelsupply.com) mounted and balanced our Continental ContiSportContact3 tires - 225/35 front, 255/30 rear. It was the night before Bimmerfest and there was a mad rush to get the it finished.
Unfortunately, since these were among the first 135i wheels ever made, we experienced some rubbing issues. This was expected because we'd tried to get an aggressive offset. So after Bimmerfest, we returned to TWS where they recommended slight machining on the front wheels and a narrower lip on the rear.
Stay tuned to www.eurotuner.com for more updates on Project 135i.Greg
Daily driving duties for my '03 VW GTI 1.8T have resulted in 120k miles on the odometer. If you think we drive new cars every day, you're very wrong! And since all high-mileage haulers need plenty of maintenance, I decided to take Project Silverstone to ABD Racing in Riverside, CA (www.abdracing.com) for a service and tune-up.
Known for recent projects like its Street Tuner Challenge Mk5 GTI (et 11/06) and the "Ballin' on a Budget" B6 Passat (et 1/08), ABD is also a common place for local VW/Audi drivers to get their car serviced.
With maintenance required on a broken oil tube and worn spark plugs, ABD replaced the parts in minutes and carried out an oil change using Pennzoil Platinum synthetic oil. Now my GTI is ready for the upcoming Wstefest caravan from LA to Vegas, which should rack up another 600 miles round trip!