Project BMW 135I
Not much to report with Project 135i this month. To be honest, we just have been enjoying the car. The Alpine Blackbird sat nav we got last month is helping us find our way around. DCR Forged wheels, H&R coilovers and sway bars continue to delight and surprise us with its supple ride considering the "if it's not rubbing it's not low enough" ride height.
I have to make a small confession. The car could be too low. There, I've said it. I'm not happy about it but I can't hide my head in the sand.
Visually, it's spot on. And the ride hasn't suffered. But we do scrape every driveway we enter. And we can't turn and take bumps at the same time without the top of the tires rubbing the front fenders.
Ordinarily, I can tolerate a little rubbing in the name of "a good stance", but this might actually do some damage eventually and it can't be safe. So we're going to poke our heads under the fenders to see how much we can raise the front. Last time we looked, I was told the coilovers were set at their highest, but that can't be right.
We still haven't tuned the engine. I'm still worried about blowing it up or voiding the warranty, so we have been hesitant. However, I do find myself enjoying the stock power delivery on a daily basis. With 300 lb-ft, I use first, third and sixth gears only. However, the 135i shocks me every time I change down and actually use its 300hp rather than its fluid torque. The car really picks itself up and scurries down the road.
Such a great exhaust note accompanies the action, that I'm afraid to change the system. I'd like to simply amplify the sound but wouldn't want to lose its sophistication. It's a dilemma.
Hopefully we'll grow some balls and tune the 3.0 twin-turbo by next month. Although, this isn't the first time we've said that
You know when something seems like a good idea, but in the cold light of day you wonder what the hell you were thinking? Welcome to my world as I realized we'd taken on a POS.
OK, it's not that bad but this '03 B6 Audi A4 1.8T quattro needs a lot more work than we originally envisaged. Bought for $8500 and with 100k miles on the odometer, it seemed like a bargain that just needed tidying up. However, the reality is we're going to have to start from scratch.
The previous owner clearly had some big ideas. He'd fitted an "Oettinger-style" body kit and went for a black 'n white theme - painting the roof and stock wheels black, fitting a carbon hood and window tint.
Unfortunately, the body kit is junk. It doesn't fit anywhere and is a good example of why you shouldn't necessarily buy whatever is cheapest. But because we don't have the stock panels, we're going to fit a new body kit.
The car also has some lowering springs and a chip. Our plan calls for 19" wheels, coilovers, brake upgrades and then we'll start on the engine. It'll get a front-mount, exhaust, turbo pipes and new software. We'll test everything as we go and see what can be squeezed out of the stock turbo and high mileage motor.
Take a good look at Project B6. Hopefully, it'll start looking much better next time you see it. Greg
It felt like we were back in high school Chemistry again. CH3OH - one carbon, one oxygen and four hydrogen atoms. It's the formula for the alcohol compound, methanol, which is a key ingredient used to make your car faster!
We're talking about water-methanol injection and the trend has been catching on with the 1.8T and 2.0T crowd. So we decided to give it a try on our own Project Silverstone.
The concept behind water-methanol injection is quite simple. A blend of water and meth is injected into the fuel and air mixture before it reaches the combustion chamber. The liquid is evaporated under the high temperatures of a firing cylinder, pulling heat away from the charged air by the action of latent heat of vaporization.
This cooling process allows the engine to run more ignition and boost to make more power. It simulates an octane boost, meaning cars on pump gas can perform as if they were on race fuel.
Snow Performance (www.snowperformance.net) offers a kit for all VW/Audi 1.8T engines called the Stage 2 Boost Cooler that utilizes the factory windshield wiper reservoir as its water-meth tank.
Because of this, many 1.8T owners opt for the Euro washer fluid reservoir which holds 5.5 liters rather than the US-spec 3.0 liter bottle.
The parts included in the $439 kit are a 150psi water pump, all necessary tubing, hardware and wiring loom, MAF controller and nozzles.
We sought the help of Evolution Racewerks in Baldwin Park, CA (www.evolutionracewerks.com) and it was a breeze for them to install. In fact, they had Project Silverstone buckled up and ready to go in a couple of hours.
The high-pressure pump fits alongside the factory side-mount intercooler behind the front bumper. Since we already had an Evolution Racewerks FMIC, mounting the pump was simpler.
We then fed a tube from the washer fluid reservoir to the intercooler piping, where a nozzle was placed. An electronic digital controller is tapped into the MAF and wired to the cabin so we can adjust the injection settings. For Project Silverstone, we mounted the controller in the glovebox, although we've seen trick installs where owners mount them in the dash or armrest. For the complete installation of the Snow Performance water-methanol injection kit, visit our Tech pages at www.eurotuner.com
Next month, we'll have some simple tuning techniques and dyno charts in an effort to find the substantial gains promised by this equipment. Sam