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infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
10/9/22 10:33 a.m.

Picked up a 2008 328ix not too long ago for a good price. It has a tiny leak at the valve cover, which is common on these, but is otherwise in good shape. Black on black, all wheel drive, sports package which on this model means great seats and a nicer steering wheel. No sports suspension. 137k miles, 6 speed manual, and heated seats that feel like they can cause burns. I'm curious if they'll be too hot for 5 degree weather. 

Previous owner swapped out the stock 328 intake for the 330 3-stage intake and gave it a stock 330 tune, so it's essentially a 330ix. Fun car, excellent seats, reasonable gas mileage. I'm looking forward to fixing a few things and finally autocrossing again after so many years. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
10/9/22 10:43 a.m.

With the tiny oil leak I decided to add a bit of extra oil to the car. That was when I discovered the hood shocks needed to be replaced. To be more specific, I was bending over the fender and the hood came down on my head. At least the shocks were super easy to install. 

One of the headlights burned out so I replaced that with some portable suns. Wasn't too difficult once I realized there was an access panel in the fender liner. 
 

Also got xDelete to tune the all wheel drive. Now, instead of 50/50 it has a rear bias of 30/70. I figure that'll help with auto crossing while still being safe in snow. Had to buy an overpriced little WiFi thing to plug into my car but otherwise it was a 5 minute job 

ugh, this is why I hate uploading photos from my phone to this site. They always end up sideways. Anyways, the pink thing is the wifi adapter. 
 

I have all new front brakes coming in the mail, as mine are pretty worn. Hopefully that won't be too annoying but it's a German car so I imagine it'll be a headache. 
 

Future plans include factory sport package springs, bilstein shocks, and figuring out exactly what I want to do with the exhaust. Stock tires are 225/45R17, and once they wear down I'd like to replace them with 255/40R17. I'd love to run 18s on this car but Cleveland has such horrible roads I don't think that's wise. 
 

Not sure what I'll do after that. Maybe replace the factory subwoofers with ones that don't suck. Definitely window tint. Maybe an intake. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/9/22 11:30 a.m.

That's a good looking car and seems interesting with the changes in awd bias.  I did not know that was possible.  

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
10/9/22 1:27 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I'm very happy with the car. I think with a few tweaks it'll really be something special. Even with blown shocks (due to Cleveland roads) it still handles great. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
10/21/22 12:41 p.m.

There's a 328i at the local pull-a-part, so I might run over there today so see if there's anything worth grabbing. Granted, it's the rwd version so a few things are different, but I still want to try. Maybe I'll luck out and it'll be rolling on BBS LM wheels. Ha!

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
10/31/22 7:38 a.m.

Finally tackled my brakes yesterday after we returned from our trip to LA. With us living in an apartment, that meant I had to find a parking lot and work on it there. At least I was smart enough to get the jack point insert, because of course German cars can't just have a normal place to put a car jack! The moment I started, I realized the mistake I made—living in the rust belt and not using PB Blaster! Some of those lug nuts took more than 200 lb/ft to break loose. Don't even get me started on the bolts that held the caliper on.

 

Anyways, my front rotors are heavily worn so I swapped them out. The pads on the car looked nearly new, and the ones I got from ECS tuning had odd metal clips on the back of the pads themselves and clearly didn't fit, so I left the pads on the car.  Also replaced the pad wear sensor, although honestly it didn't need it. Took a look around while I was under there and everything looks solid on the car; no real rust other than some on a metal clip that holds the brake pad sensor wire out of the way. That's pretty awesome considering I'm in Cleveland, where things rust out insanely fast.

 

I still have the slight leak from the valve cover gasket, so perhaps next paycheck I can try to tackle that. I'm a bit intimidating by that, mostly because I'll have to do it quickly and in a parking lot. I don't believe it'll be too hard, though.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/31/22 8:36 a.m.

If you can do brakes you can certainly tackle a valve cover gasket. You'll be fine. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
11/1/22 7:46 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

It's a bit more involved on this car when compared to others. There is a lot of extra stuff that has to be removed, some bolts are very difficult to get to, and the biggest thing is that I don't have a set place to work on a car. I'll be grabbing another spot in a parking lot to do this, and I have to do it quickly before it gets cold.

 

Also in a perfect world I'll do the MILVs while I'm in there and get a bit more effective lift out of the intake cam. Good for 10 hp or so. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/1/22 10:03 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

read the tech tips on pelican parts website, watch a bunch of videos.  VCG shouldn't be too bad, there's some things to move out of the way but not too many that have to be disconnected. if it has the same "ValveTronic" solenoid thing as the N52 in my 2007 E60, that is probably the most challenging aspect of the job, and it's not too bad.  IIRC there's a relearn procedure that's easy to execute.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
11/3/22 2:53 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

There's a 328 in the local pull-a-part, so I was thinking of tinkering on that one for some practice. My biggest concern is that I don't have a place to really work on my car, so I have to go to a parking lot and work quickly. Whenever I do this job I'm going to do the MILVs as well. Maybe a header if I'm feeling brave.

In more positive news, after doing my brakes I tested the VC bolts where the oil leak is and found one that wasn't as tight as the others. I didn't have my torque wrench on hand but I gave it a quarter turn and that seems to have mostly fixed the issue. I haven't been able to floor my car or really go above 3K RPM because it smokes pretty badly, but in the past few days I've redlined it a few times and seen no smoke and only smelled the tinest bit. I'm going to use a degreaser and clean off the bits of oil in that area and see how it is. Either way, next Spring I'll be doing the gasket and MILVs. I already have the gasket so might as well.

Also, flooring this car is a lot of fun. It's pretty quick! With the all wheel drive it just grips and goes. I'm going to try to build up a collection of nice mods over the winter and install a bunch when the weather warms again.

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled HalfDork
11/3/22 3:37 p.m.

Not sure it makes logistical sense since I believe you're on the east side, but I have a fairly large concrete driveway that you're welcome to use for reasonable projects if you want to make the drive.  Also available for unreasonable projects, they just have to be cool enough to convince swmbo, I already have enough dead cars here cheeky

I'm on the west side of valley city.  It's outdoors and uncovered, but I'm happy to lend a hand if I'm around and you don't have to worry about having it towed if you have to wait for parts. 

Offer stands for future projects as well.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
11/8/22 12:43 p.m.

In reply to Dead_Sled :

Thanks! I might take you up on that if I find a good deal on a header. I really appreciate the kind offer.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
11/11/22 2:55 p.m.

I was hoping to have the time to finish my brakes after work yesterday, but the sun sets so early that it's difficult, especially considering I'm working in a parking lot. So, I decided to do something much faster: a high-flow air filter and a silicone air intake boot.

According to the e90 forums, "cold air intakes" for this car are basically garbage and don't really provide a performance boost. The stock airbox is a decent design that pulls air from the grill, but it's slowed with a typical stock filter and an additional charcoal filter in the way. The airbox is quite large, and removing it opened up a ton of space in the engine compartment.

 

And once I opened up the air box, you can see the high flow filter on the left and the additional charcoal filter on the right

 

Like other E90 owners, I removed the charcoal filter completely.

Next, I swapped out the stock intake tube for a smooth silicon one. The differences are pretty clear.

Bolted it all back together and the sun had gone down. I guess I'll just have to finish my brakes tomorrow in the cold!

Others that have done this with the intake have claimed a few horsepower and better intake noise. I didn't really notice much of anything. Perhaps my butt dyno isn't properly calibrated. I rolled my window down and floored it in 1st gear and I think I may have heard a bit more clear engine noise from the intake, but it's so subtle that it was possibly my imagination. Oh well. 

Also I tried to remove my chrome grills so I could paint them black, but the screws have eroded to the brass inserts in the hood. I guess they're staying in there for now. Best solution is probably a carbon fiber hood, wink wink.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
11/22/22 1:57 p.m.

This is the first all wheel drive car I've owned. We got 10 inches of snow the other day, so I got to try it out. The difference when compared to my wife's Prius was pretty astounding. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/19/22 8:53 a.m.

I've really been in the mood to buy some rims for this car lately. For now I'll stick with 17s, as Cleveland is full of potholes and they'll be lighter than 18s. E90s look great on 18s though, so it'll happen one day.

 

Also got this in the mail. New headlight bulbs and some Dinan camber plates. These cars aren't the easiest to get negative camber up front, but this will give me I think 1.5 degrees when installed. I just have to wait on the weather to warm up, so the install will probably happen in the springtime, along with new springs and shocks (and maybe rims).

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/23/22 8:40 p.m.

I've decided on rims. I'll getting some lightweight 17X9s. I just need to decide on color. What color goes best on a black car? I don't think I like silver. Either dark gray or bronze. Right now, I'm leaning towards bronze.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/23/22 9:38 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Go for contrast.  Go white.  Or maybe chrome.  Ok I'm three drinks in but I feel I'll still be right in the morning.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/23/22 9:46 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Anthracite?

759NRNG
759NRNG PowerDork
12/23/22 9:46 p.m.

Hey IFNXuS......is Cleveburg err Shaker Heights......Coventry .....still home for the time being? You had mentioned awhile ago that Oh Canada was it for you and the crew....ultimately

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/25/22 8:25 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

They have silver and hyperblack, but I felt they looked a little, I guess you could say "factory" in that color. I'm leaning towards bronze, but I'm not certain.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/25/22 8:28 p.m.
759NRNG said:

Hey IFNXuS......is Cleveburg err Shaker Heights......Coventry .....still home for the time being? You had mentioned awhile ago that Oh Canada was it for you and the crew....ultimately

I'm in Cleveland Heights. Our dream is to move to Canada, but with their immigration system being based on points and me being 41 with only an associate's degree it's extremely difficult. We simply don't have the money. Still hoping to move somewhere better in about a year, after saving, but it'll probably have to stay in the states. Just looking for that magical combination of affordable houses in good school zones, weather that I like, race tracks nearby, and tech jobs.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/25/22 8:37 p.m.

So, like all the other e90 drivers, I'm getting some Apex ARC-8s in 17X9. They're super light, fit perfectly, and will allow me to run a 255/40R17 in a square setup. These rims are exactly what I want, and they've been sitting in the shopping cart (along with camber bolts) on the ECS webpage for 5 days now. I just can't seem to click "buy". Maybe it's because I grew up poor, I dunno, but making large purchases like this is always stressful. I have the money, I just can't do it haha. I've been trying to make a mental compromise with myself and buy something cheaper for the time being, but I can't really decide on that either. There are a handful of things I ultimately want for this car:
Carbon fiber hood
Carbon fiber trunk
Apex wheels
Bilstein B14 coilovers or Dinan springs and Bilstein B8s
Headers
MILVs
And that's about it, for the most part. I'm really happy with this car. I do want to do something with the exhaust, but that's a source of frustration as well. Aftermarket exhausts for these cars don't offer much power and they are all expensive as well—like a grand and up for just a cat back. Right now I have the muffler delete which sounds great but has a bit of drone at highway speeds. I want it a bit louder, but without the drone. I'll figure something out.

With it being winter here, I can't really install most of those things anyways so it makes sense to wait. I do have a couple things coming in the mail right now, though. Either way, once springtime comes and the autocrossing starts again, I'll be ready!

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/26/22 8:49 p.m.

In the future, after I buy a house and have more money, I would absolutely LOVE to get another one of these, especially a wagon, and install X3 suspension on it to lift it an inch or two. Get some lightweight 16" rims and off road tires, fabricate some skid plates, and take it rallycrossing (and to handle all the snow)

 

Read an article today that said the E90 328i is the most reliable 3 series ever made. It felt good to read that. The looks took a bit to grow on me (I'm an E46 M3 kind of guy) but I've grown to really love this car.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/26/22 9:52 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

I understand the not checking out the cart thing.  I've had several eBay tabs open for months with wheels for Suprang.  It hurts knowing I ran $80 wheels at the Challenge that I like but I need to spend $400-800 for street wheels because there ain't many $80 wheels laying around.

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/26/22 10:08 p.m.

Buildings in your first pic are incredibly familiar 

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