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Elias' 135i project

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1 hour ago, charles28 said:

A good time for a turbo CHRA upgrade.  :) 

yeah will be looking into turbo options once the engine is out. Will all depend on how much the new engine and all the gaskets, bolts, seals etc cost me

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Been a minute... Have been very busy with work. Recently acquired a new motor for the car, 89,000km semi complete engine, missing a bunch of bits but I plan on using most of my own parts from the old engine anyway. Collected it from Kamo, just north of Whangarei with a trailer and the trusty E91, and have been stripping it down and cleaning it up in preparation for a thorough refresh.



It will be getting all new gaskets all round, new rod bearings and a baffled sump. Still need to order the parts for it, hopefully will get around to it in the next week or so. Had a look under the valve cover and pulled the sump off and it all looks exceptionally clean, no sludge whatsoever.


Have also managed to acquire some VTT high flow turbo outlets, as the factory RHD outlets have a kink in them which reduces the flow. Was a lucky find on marketplace as they are very hard to find nowadays, seemingly discontinued.



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Have been busy finishing off cleaning the engine, now that ive removed everything, all bolts in labeled bags.



Also been ordering parts for the new engine. All new gaskets for the motor, everything from oil pan to oil filter housing, font and rear main seals, vanos solenoid seals, valve cover gasket, complete turbo install kit (all manifold studs, nuts oil/coolant feed and drain gaskets/o rings, intake and exhaust manifold gaskets etc, basically everything except the head gasket. Rod bearings and rod bolts on the way also as well as a new drive belt. New solid UHMW engine and gearbox mounts ordered from Condor speedshop also as well as a oil pan baffle from VAC motorsport. Now just a matter of waiting for parts to arrive...

In the meantime I have also purchased walnut blasting tools, managed find the official bmw service tools for sale locally, so will be cleaning the intake valves soon.

Got bored waiting for parts so I decided to take the oil pan off, oil pump out and pull a rod cap off, rod bearings looks in good shape, but will be getting replaced regardless, just wanted to see their condition as an indication of main bearing condition. In the meantime will order new oil cooler cores as I don't want to risk reusing ones that have metal in them from the old motor, and one I pull the old motor out I will be sending turbos off for a rebuild too.


Car should be absolutely mint once its back together, tempted to try make a stainless exhaust from the downpipes back...

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Put the rod bearing back in, and decided to do the walnut blast while i wait on gaskets and rod bearings to arrive. Found the genuine bmw vacuum to intake port adapter, media blasting lance, large bag of walnut media locally, and then got a portable sand blaster from SCA.  Already have a shop Vac and a Air compressor. Brother machined a brass adapter on the lathe to get the lance to fit the blasting gun, and it all worked pretty well. Intake valves are now nice and clean. Will be selling the tools now that i no longer need them so let me know if anyones keen to do their N54. Definitely worthwhile doing, this engine only had done 89,000kms and the valves were caked. happens very quickly due to the motor being Direct Injection and there is no fuel to was the valves clean as you would have on a port injection engine.

Before and after


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Since it apparently happens so quickly, wouldn't you be best advised to keep the tools? And perhaps hire them out from time-to-time to recoup the cost?

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22 hours ago, M3AN said:

Since it apparently happens so quickly, wouldn't you be best advised to keep the tools? And perhaps hire them out from time-to-time to recoup the cost?

that is correct, but i will be installing a catch can which reduces carbon build up, and it will be quite some time before the car does enough kms to require another walnut blast, as it is not daily driven, so probably wont be required for a few years yet. Been offered enough money for the tools that i could buy/make them again for less anyway. In the meantime with all the parts im needing/wanting to purchase it makes more sense to put the money towards that.

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A bunch of parts have arrived, the entire ECS tuning order of all the gaskets and one time use bolts, as well as the rod bearings. Condorspeedshop engine and transmission mounts showed up too, as well as some oe braided vacuum line. Also got the aftermarket oil pressure sensor and wiring i will be hooking up to the ECU as from factory there is only a pressure switch.


Pulled the sump back off again, oil pump back out, and began replacing the rod bearings.


Pretty straight froward job just have to pay attention and be careful, and make sure to work in a clean environment. Did rod bearings one at a time, cap off,


push rod off crank, remove both bearing shells, clean surfaces, install new rod bearings, clean crank shaft, install dry with plastiguage, torque back down with old bolts, remove cap, check clearance, clean up plastigauge residue, lubricate bearing surfaces and crank, bolt back together with new OEM rod bolts and torque to 20nm + 2x 70* as prescribed by bmw NEWtis. Just got to do it 6 times.


Then put the oil pump and tray back on, all new bolts once again, torqued and stretched to spec. Then placed sump back on, not putting on new gasket/bolts just yet as I am still waiting for VAC motorsport to ship my baffle, they are being extremely slow. 


In the meantime, trying to organize turbo rebuild, also need to order 6x new injector seals and decoupling elements from bmw as well as a coolant temp sensor. Will also need new oil coolers... but getting there.

Been seeing lots of interesting videos of turbolamik 8hp swaps which have me intrigued, the shift times look pretty damn quick...




Edited by elias
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Has been a busy few weeks but have managed to get a fair bit done. Took advantage of the long weekend (Auckland Anniversary) and pulled to old motor out the car. Wasn't too bad of a job, a bit messy with all the coolant and oil that keeps spilling out and a few bolts that were a little tricky to reach but not too bad all in all apart from the downpipes that put up a real fight. So, old motor is out, most parts stripped off it. New motor is mostly assembled apart from the hot side. Turbos will be getting dropped off for a rebuild and slightly different CHRAs tomorrow. 

Have since installed a VAC sump baffle in the new motor, put on the sump with a new gasket and new bolts torqued to NEWtis spec of course. Valve cover is on, also new genuine gasket, same with oil filter housing vanos solenoids etc etc, all new gasket the whole way round and new bolts where applicable. Injectors are in again new seals and decouplers. Front main seal going in soon, wiring loom is half on. Waiting on turbos before i install water pump and thermostat. Then inlets and outlets will go on and the motor can go back in the car. I have cleaned the entire empty engine bay subframe steering rack etc and installed new Condorspeedshop engine mounts, have matching ones for the gearbox also. Have also stripped and cleaned the inline oil thermostat to ensure there are no metal bits in it and reassembled it with a 93C insert instead  of the 85C insert to help car reach operating temp when street driven. 

Some photos below.


Front end of the car coming off


Engine coming out


Sump baffle going in


New motor with baffled sump installed


New genuine gaskets


Inejctors getting new seals and decouplers


Engine bay being cleaned up


Valve cover and injectors on the new engine


New engine mounts


Loom half on


Oil thermsotat rebuild

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