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      07-15-2015, 03:25 AM   #1
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Lightbulb In-Depth Guide to Tuning your M235i

I thought I would make this thread to try to help folks new to the M235i platform and that want to know how to make it faster. I've learned some useful information through some personal experience and communicating with Terry of BMS both online and in person. Many of the info here would have been helpful to me 6 months ago. I'll try my best to improve the post as well.This thread will only be about the piggy back tunes.

The first decision I suggest you to make is whether or not you are getting or plan to get a downpipe down the line.

Path #1: "No Downpipe!"

You may want to consider this path over the other for the following reasons:
  • Best HP/dollar value or "Bang-for-Buck"
  • Very easy to install or uninstall mods for dealer visits
  • Don't have to touch the Catalytic Converter
  • Lower chance of getting codes or lights on the dash
  • No need to update or tweak your tune
What you need:
  • A Stage 1 tune
Dyno charts show 323whp and a whopping 365wtq! This will be about 30 more whp and about 35whp over stock, not bad for a few hundred bucks.

This is a very comfortable setup as the car will be making power well within its capabilities. Just choose a plug and play tune such as the BMS Stage 1 or the aFe Scorcher, both popular and very similar products with similar results. The Dinan Stage 1 may also be something to consider if you value your warranty as Dinan offers a factory-matching warranty, but expect to pay an extremely large premium for this.

You can pair one of these tunes with its respective intake for power and a lot of sound. I've personally had the BMS Stage 1, the more popular of the two, with the BMS F30 intake. Additionally a catback or axelback exhaust of your choice could be added for pleasure but not power gains.

Stage 1 Tune Options
BMS N55 Stage 1: http://burgertuning.com/N55_Jb_BMW_P...nce_Tuner.html
aFe Scorcher: http://afepower.com/shop/details_new...rtno=77-46304&
Dinan Stage 1: http://www.dinancars.com/product/d44...ries&mid=1183/
RaceChip: https://www.racechip-usa.com/chiptun.../M-235i-240kw/
Even more STG1 choices: http://www.2addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1110399
Intake Options
BMS Intake: http://burgertuning.com/F30_335_F32_...ke_filter.html
aFe Intake: http://afepower.com/shop/details_new...rtno=51-12202&
Dinan Intake: http://www.dinancars.com/product/d76...ries&mid=1183/
Injen: http://www.x-ph.com/injen-short-ram-...-335i-435-n55/

Path #2: "I want a Downpipe!"

Why you would want to take this path?
  • Even more power
  • The effective use of E85 Mixes and Race Gas
  • Awesome spooling sounds from being catless
What you need:
  • EWG N55 F series BMS JB4
  • Your choice of a downpipe
  • An Intercooler (Recommended)
  • A Chargepipe (Recommended)

Now this is where things can get more expensive and risky as you can push the car closer to it's limits. With addition of a downpipe, the car will no longer have a "bottleneck" effect going on due the elimination of the restrictive factory cat. The turbo will be able to run higher boost and spool much quicker for a gain of 40-80whp and 50-90wtq more over stock depending on tuning and fuel.

Pick up a downpipe such as the Evolution Racewerks 4in Catless DP, fitment was spot on for me. I've heard that Shifteck isn't bad either and also made in the USA; VRSF is made overseas. The new PDU downpipe looks to have a fantastic design. I would *personally* advise against catted downpipes. Save your money here because chances are you won't pass smog anyways, and if you do then the downpipe isn't very effective.

You will also need a BMS EWG JB4 for F series in addition to the downpipe. The M235i is equipped with an Electronic Wastegate that is also found in 2014+ 335i and 435i, therefore the "EWG Specific Board" should be used. And to my knowledge, the JB4 is the only tune that will allow for EWG control. The JB4 will tune the car to be able to take advantage of the downpipe as well as automatically clear the light that will occur from being catless. Additionally, the JB4 will allow you to run different "Maps" and fuel for different power applications. Such is the reason why I advise against spending the extra money on a JB4 unless you go with a downpipe, you would only be using Map 1 which has practically the same gains as the BMS Stage 1 (or other Stage 1 tunes I mentioned) but you add the complications of user adjustments and firmware updates.

Do not pass on the USB datacable as you MUST datalog your car with this setup to make sure that your car is running optimally, and yes you will want a USB extension cable. Also purchase the $35 "EWG Harness Adapter", this is currently under upgrades but should be considered necessary because it lets you consistently hit target boost. Without this, you will be only able to effectively run Map 1 or 2 on the JB4. You will also need the recently released "F Series OBDII CANBus Interface" upgrade because all updates now will be using an OBDII Firmware. FlexFuel wires are standard now on JB4's currently sold.

Some nice upgrades to have are an intercooler and chargepipe upgrade from ER. I suggest going with ER as their chargepipe best fits their own intercooler. Map 7 in the JB4 is the most aggressive tune for the car and pretty much warrants these two upgrades. The intercooler helps makes a little power, cooling, endurance for turbos + engine, and just all around beneficial. The chargepipe (CP) will not give you gains but under Map 7, the stock plastic CP will eventually see failure. There have been instances of stock N55 cars with failed CP. The way I look at it, being able to run Map 7 should be the reward of doing these upgrades. Familiarize yourself with the difference Maps here.

Lastly, taking this path will require you to be a more active and knowledgable than the the other path. The JB4 firmware for our cars I still consider as beta since there is much more room for improvement, N55 F series cars are running very lean. You will need to be in touch with what's going on on N54tech and be prepared to run into codes. If you've made it this far in the post, then you can see how much more involved and nuanced this path is. Isn't it crazy how one downpipe warrants so many more upgrades? Though I can say that it is a very rewarding experience

Tune
BMS JB4 (Choose EWG option to get the EWG Specific Board): http://burgertuning.com/N55_JB4_F_ch...BMW_tuner.html
http://www.burgertuning.com/N55_JB4_upgrades.html

Catless Downpipes
Evolution Racewerks:http://www.evolutionracewerks.com/node/213
PDU: http://www.performancedesignunlimite...tless-downpipe
Shifteck: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Shifteck-N55...1fd94c&vxp=mtr
Fabspeed: http://www.fabspeed.com/bmw-m235i-f2...pass-downpipe/
VRSF: http://www.vr-speed.com/vrsf-ceramic...0-f32-f33.html
Intercooler and Chargepipe
ER IC and CP: http://www.evolutionracewerks.com/catalog/212

Now that you know what it takes, hit up the vendors
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      07-15-2015, 05:12 AM   #2
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So a catless dp, jb4 map 7, cp, and intercooler, what do u think the whp and wtq will be from ur estimates? 420whp? 430wtq?
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      07-15-2015, 06:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the clear, concise list of options for us more power want-to be(s)
I think a BMS stage 1 is in my future. But if I were younger......
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      07-15-2015, 08:18 AM   #4
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Nice post..

Mike
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      07-15-2015, 09:14 AM   #5
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Very informative post, huge difference between the two setups. Do you have any future mod plans?
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      07-15-2015, 09:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveslaine View Post
So a catless dp, jb4 map 7, cp, and intercooler, what do u think the whp and wtq will be from ur estimates? 420whp? 430wtq?
At the moment, 400-410whp will be very close to the limit of a stock turbo N55 without meth, but you will need race gas or an e85 mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Mann View Post
Very informative post, huge difference between the two setups. Do you have any future mod plans?
I'm pretty much done in terms of power mods. The tuning on the car is falling behind the hardware at the moment.
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      07-15-2015, 10:07 AM   #7
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i would add the racechip and manhart stage 1 to your list of stage 1 options
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      07-15-2015, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
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i would add the racechip and manhart stage 1 to your list of stage 1 options
I added racechip but not manhart due to the lack of English information. There are indeed even more I could have added but I feel 4 Stage 1 options are plenty. BMS and aFe's tunes are still the most popular.
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      07-15-2015, 10:19 AM   #9
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english info is available, what do you need? i dynoed it at +56hp over stock. if you're including the dinan stage 1 you should definitely include the manhart, phenomenal tune.

my review:http://www.2addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1145207
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      07-15-2015, 10:23 AM   #10
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Nice post.
You forget couple stage 1 tunes options AA,Remus,ESS
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      07-15-2015, 10:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
english info is available, what do you need? i dynoed it at +56hp over stock. if you're including the dinan stage 1 you should definitely include the manhart, phenomenal tune.
Sounds cool! They definitely look like quality products and remind me of stuff like the Remus Powerizer. If you post a link of where the product can be purchased from the company, I'll add it in. I only found stuff in Dutch lol
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      07-15-2015, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike@x-ph.com View Post
Nice post.
You forget couple stage 1 tunes options AA,Remus,ESS
Thanks!

I'm aware of those tunes but they seem pretty niche to me, I'll add a link with a thread of almost all if not all the stage 1 tunes.
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      07-26-2015, 01:16 PM   #13
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Thanks for this post! it was actually very informative for someone like me who is starting to look at tuning. I do have a couple of questions though:

1. If I wanted to stick with no downpipe, are there any additional "worthwhile" upgrades I can make for power gains besides the Stage 1 tune, intake and (I guess) exhaust?

2. You don't recommend catted downpipe and I've read a lot of other posts with similar recommendations, however, I would like to keep my car catted, so are there any catted downpipes that have not caused any issues for the M235? I don't mind taking a bit of a hit on performance because of the a good catted downpipe.

3. Here in Canada, we have 91 and 93 octane readily available, so if I went with option "2", would I still be able to get higher boost without having to mix e85?
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      07-27-2015, 12:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artinz View Post
Thanks for this post! it was actually very informative for someone like me who is starting to look at tuning. I do have a couple of questions though:

1. If I wanted to stick with no downpipe, are there any additional "worthwhile" upgrades I can make for power gains besides the Stage 1 tune, intake and (I guess) exhaust?

2. You don't recommend catted downpipe and I've read a lot of other posts with similar recommendations, however, I would like to keep my car catted, so are there any catted downpipes that have not caused any issues for the M235? I don't mind taking a bit of a hit on performance because of the a good catted downpipe.

3. Here in Canada, we have 91 and 93 octane readily available, so if I went with option "2", would I still be able to get higher boost without having to mix e85?
1- In terms of power, tune and downpipes are the only helpful mods. Exhaust would would help with weight reduction which results in a faster car. It is also strongly recommended that you get the Evolution Racewerks charge pipe because the stock one will fail once you get a tune

2-Evolution Racewerks catted downpipes are very popular. It is by far the most popular choice for catted downpipes for our customers.

3- You wont get higher boost just by changing fuel without changing the map. using 93 will assure that you won't have any timing pulls with the pump gas maps. If you get a JB stage 1 or JB4 stage 2, you can increase boost for more power
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      07-27-2015, 12:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artinz View Post
Thanks for this post! it was actually very informative for someone like me who is starting to look at tuning. I do have a couple of questions though:

1. If I wanted to stick with no downpipe, are there any additional "worthwhile" upgrades I can make for power gains besides the Stage 1 tune, intake and (I guess) exhaust?

2. You don't recommend catted downpipe and I've read a lot of other posts with similar recommendations, however, I would like to keep my car catted, so are there any catted downpipes that have not caused any issues for the M235? I don't mind taking a bit of a hit on performance because of the a good catted downpipe.

3. Here in Canada, we have 91 and 93 octane readily available, so if I went with option "2", would I still be able to get higher boost without having to mix e85?
Thanks!

1. Not really... I'd say a chargepipe upgrade in addition to Stage 1 tune, intake, and exhaust. There have been some instances where the stock chargepipe failed under stock boost levels. And a FMIC upgrade wouldn't hurt either, but both upgrades aren't "worthwhile" imo (unless you're doing path #2).

2. Yes! The fabspeed sport cat downpipe is reported to have a 100% success rate in not triggering a CEL. It's just a little pricey but people who have them seem to like them.

3. The answer is no, you cannot hit your very high boost levels on pure 93. Race gas or e85 will be needed. But you should be able to run Map 2 with a downpipe and 93 AKI Octane, but only logs will tell (some who have 93 have seem reported to be octane deficient when trying to run high boost).
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      09-04-2015, 10:28 PM   #16
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Meth Injection?

Has anyone installed meth on their M235i?

I've got the JB4 on Map 2, an AFe CAI, and ER Catless DP. The car feels quick but I haven't found a good tuning shop in Dallas to dyno it and compared to my old Evo X (similar bolt-ons and custom tune), it just doesn't have the same pull. Although, on paper, it should be the same.

Any suggestions?
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      09-19-2015, 10:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocN55 View Post
Thanks!

1. Not really... I'd say a chargepipe upgrade in addition to Stage 1 tune, intake, and exhaust. There have been some instances where the stock chargepipe failed under stock boost levels. And a FMIC upgrade wouldn't hurt either, but both upgrades aren't "worthwhile" imo (unless you're doing path #2).

2. Yes! The fabspeed sport cat downpipe is reported to have a 100% success rate in not triggering a CEL. It's just a little pricey but people who have them seem to like them.

3. The answer is no, you cannot hit your very high boost levels on pure 93. Race gas or e85 will be needed. But you should be able to run Map 2 with a downpipe and 93 AKI Octane, but only logs will tell (some who have 93 have seem reported to be octane deficient when trying to run high boost).
Reading your input on the JB4 and had a question for you

So if I have no plans of doing any more modding or fuel mixtures etc I really only want a tiny bump in power and the ability to clear my downpipe CEL would you recommend going with the Jb4 and running map 1 -2? only mods are fabspeed dp and M Performance muffler with 93 octane down here? not sure what I need on the jb4 ewg wires or not if only wanting to use the auto code cleariing feature for the dp and stay on 1-2 map Still hoping the New JB4 is just a direct PNP I don't want to tap or splice anything
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      09-19-2015, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocN55 View Post
2. Yes! The fabspeed sport cat downpipe is reported to have a 100% success rate in not triggering a CEL. It's just a little pricey but people who have them seem to like them.
No catted DP will give you 100% success rate for unlimited number of years.
The higher end ones Like Fabspeed and Evolution Racewerks will surely last you a lot longer than the cheaper options.

That being said they will all fail eventually ( could take years). A customer posted this month about the Fabspeed catted failing on his car.
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      09-19-2015, 03:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane060 View Post
Reading your input on the JB4 and had a question for you

So if I have no plans of doing any more modding or fuel mixtures etc I really only want a tiny bump in power and the ability to clear my downpipe CEL would you recommend going with the Jb4 and running map 1 -2? only mods are fabspeed dp and M Performance muffler with 93 octane down here? not sure what I need on the jb4 ewg wires or not if only wanting to use the auto code cleariing feature for the dp and stay on 1-2 map Still hoping the New JB4 is just a direct PNP I don't want to tap or splice anything
Yes you can do that. If you skip the EWG wires you must stay on only map 1 or 2, don't even try anything else without logging. And if you get the OBD CANbus cable you don't need to splice. Though I'm not sure why so many are afraid of splicing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike@x-ph.com View Post
No catted DP will give you 100% success rate for unlimited number of years.
The higher end ones Like Fabspeed and Evolution Racewerks will surely last you a lot longer than the cheaper options.

That being said they will all fail eventually ( could take years). A customer posted this month about the Fabspeed catted failing on his car.
I think that goes without saying mike
One member even melted his stock cat. But these parts are still new to see ubiquitous failures.

Also if you read my op, you'll know I'm not a fan of hfc in general.
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      09-22-2015, 01:25 PM   #20
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JB4

Does the JB4 tune work on the 2016? Does it have any issues that need to be sorted out before installing?
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      09-22-2015, 01:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver.mertins View Post
Does the JB4 tune work on the 2016? Does it have any issues that need to be sorted out before installing?
I would think it does. I would be very very surprised if it did not since nothing significant has changed between the 15 and 16.
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      09-30-2015, 01:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocN55 View Post
Sounds cool! They definitely look like quality products and remind me of stuff like the Remus Powerizer. If you post a link of where the product can be purchased from the company, I'll add it in. I only found stuff in Dutch lol
Hello, this is my first post with this account. I just started with Manhart and will try to answer all open questions. We have focussed on the European market in the past and simply did not have the manpower to show a worldwide presence.

Here is a link to the product site. You might need to switch to english in the top right corner. Also the prices include 19% German VAT, sa that should be taken off for export from Germany.
http://www.shop.manhart-performance....RT-MHtronik_18

Hope this helps and also a big thank you to Luminous for his review.
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