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Thread: Not A Project: Peterís 2009 335i M Sport

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    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Picton, ON

    Not A Project: Peterís 2009 335i M Sport

    year: 2009 (5/4/09 build date)
    model: 335i M Sport
    trans: 6MT
    drive: RWD
    color: alpine weiss mit schwarz leder
    mileage at purchase: 73K KM (~45K miles)
    current mileage (11/21/18): 78K KM (5K KM in the first month!)
    spec: 1/10 for canada

    let me get one thing straight: this thing is Not A Project car. which... despite the crazy 'tuner' appeal of this car, especially in this spec... it's going to stay pretty much stock.

    i needed a calm, sedate car for my increased long commutes... and something my wife wouldn't hate (this aspect alone has a lot of depth to it). i hate turbocharged cars. i don't like automatics. and i don't like AWD very much. yet, for some reason, i was drawn to a 2011 335ix M Sport steptronic that was for sale at a local GM dealership. it only had 85K KMs on it, and was a 1-owner car. it was super clean... i actually really liked it. enough to negotiate with them and come to an agreement. and while the steptronic was awesome with the paddles (and the option of aftermarket software enhancements), the E90 xi front suspension really sucks - it has limited damper travel, and was constantly crashing over bumps. i actually drove another low-mileage 335xi to confirm it's the design and not the individual car.

    so that naturally led me to find a RWD one... and while i hate turbos, the N55 (2011) is a twin-scroll, single-turbo engine that has almost zero lag. it's pretty darn quick in stock form. but i couldn't find a RWD 2011 model, so i elected to check out a 2009 335i RWD 6MT that was a 2-owner car (last owner had it since 2011), with only 73K KMs (45K miles!!). it already had the HPFP replaced, water pump replaced, and some other good maintenance. it came with a new set of firestone firehawk indy 500's, and a separate set of winter wheels with almost-new blizzaks. and it was cleeeeeean (look at the engine bay pic - that is a stock 45K mile canadian engine bay, never been cleaned - WTF? it even smells like a new car). before i even left the parking lot with this thing, i knew it was the right choice.

    so...... i hate turbos. and here i am with a stupid twin-turbo engine'd car. it makes 300hp and 300ft-lbs of torque and can be knocking on 400hp with, um, very little effort (software flash and bigger intake plumbing). BUT... i'm going to keep it stock. any maintenance or mods will be for reliability, efficiency, safety, comfort, or utility.

    and i've modded it already: i installed some retractable grocery bag hooks in the trunk (utility) that i had in my ZHP sedan. and i put on some 10mm/12.5mm (F/R) spacers (safety). other than that, i replaced a dead windshield washer pump (maintenance).

    and i will mod it further: i'm retrofitting OEM lumbar support into the seats (comfort).

    i should discuss the E46 vs E90 differences, from my point of view:

    - ergonomics: E46 wins here. with M3 seats (lower) in the Touring, i am more comfortable in the E46. which sucks. that said, i do not have lumbar in the E90 sport seats yet, so i am looking forward to installing that. and if they still aren't working, then maybe some E90 M3 seats. but i'm nitpicking (as i do, LOL).... the E90 sport seats are actually more padded than the E46 and feel more 'plush' if you want to call it that.

    - build quality: E46 doors close nicer, but E90 feels really well-put together.... although quality of materials isn't as nice on some things. i can live with it.

    - motor: M54B30 ZHP is a honey of an engine. the N54 is super smooth... and makes stupid power even in stock form. tons of torque down low. my only gripe is the lack of engine braking... but again, nitpicking. it delivers 30mpg on the highway, is super smooth and makes great power, with almost no lag.

    - trans: E90 M Sport is really nice. they really did a nice job with the stock shifter - super smooth, but almost no slop; the knob is quite low, but i may extend this to be a bit higher. definitely better than the E46 here.

    - braking: both ZHP and 335i deliver stellar braking performance.

    - suspension: the E90 M Sport suspension is exactly how i wanted the ZHP to feel stock - good damping (not GREAT damping, but a set of dialed-in koni yellows would help a lot), good spring rate, VERY rigid chassis, and very little body roll - way less than the ZHP. the rear end feels kinda squirmy under load, but i'm pushing a LOT more power through it than i ever felt in the ZHP. so subframe lockdown and strategic bushing upgrades would help a lot here. if feels very, very composed.

    - steering: E90 wins here, hands-down. wonderful linearity and a nice heavy (read: positive) feel.

    - lighting: E90 stock xenons are great. as good as the TRS EvoX kit i've got in the Touring.

    - tech: i think it may be a toss-up.... i like simple, and i like the old-school key-in-the-ignition system in the E46. as for the car is a non-iDrive car, so i just have basic audio and hands-free BT calling. it's simple and sufficient. the trip computer is superior in the E90, always showing temp and time in the top part of the cluster, and you can then cycle through the other metrics. the lighting is cool with the under-door lighting and the lighting in the door handles - and everything is LED. triple-blink is stock, and the blinkers never fully engage... you just press them up/down one 'click' and they turn on. weird, and still getting used to it.

    - interior: i actually prefer the cupholders in the E90 - i don't like them getting in the way of the shifter. i like the E46 dash and cluster design way better. the M Sport steering wheel in the E90 is actually a bit smaller than the E46 M Sport wheel, which is subtle, and nice.

    and that's it for now. i'm actually really pleased with the car in stock form - it could stand some improvements in a few areas (dampers, rear subframe bushings), but it's damn good for a stock car. i hope nate will give his impressions - he drove it a couple weeks ago when he was up here for work.

    and now for some crappy iPhone pics! i actually really like the stock wheels (193M), but i also really like the apex EC-7 on this body style. thoughts?

    EDIT: added some more info...
    Last edited by slater; 11-21-2018 at 11:45 AM.

    2009 BMW 335i M Sport 6MT

    2015 VW Golf TSI Comfortline 5MT

    2007 BMW X3 3.0si M Sport 6MT

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