s62sleeve4

Are cylinder sleeves bad for your BMW engine?

There seems to be a bit of controversy surrounding cylinder sleeves and BMW engines.  Oil consumption, excessive noise, sleeves dropping, Alusil blocks not liking sleeves – you name it.  I took some time to talk to our machine shop foreman, (the man with 50 years experience) Tony (VAC owner) and our manufacturing partners (Darton and LA Sleeve) about the drawbacks of using sleeves in the S54, S62 and S65 engines.

Short answer:  There are no drawbacks.

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rem5

Ring and Pinion – What is REM Treatment?

REM treatment is a proprietary process which eliminates the imperfections left over by the machining process. In very simplified terms, the “peaks” left on metal parts by various manufacturing processes are removed using vibratory equipment in conjunction with patented solutions to speed up the process.

Although the result of the REM(tm) process is a beautiful finish, it is Important to realize that the system does not polish the part. The process involves two steps. The first, referred to as the refinement process involves a chemical interaction on the surface of the part. A soft, thin (one micron) film is formed on the surface of the part. The part interacts with the ceramic media in a special vibratory tub, this film is physically removed from the “peaks” of the processed part and the “valleys” are unaffected. The chemically induced film re-forms only at the peaks that are interacting with the vibratory media, and the process repeats itself. Over time, the peaks are removed, leaving only the valleys, producing the improved micro finish. The second step is referred to as the burnish process. After the required micro finish is achieved, a mild alkaline mixture is introduced. After a relatively short period a polished, chrome-like finish is produced. In addition to the polishing effects, this step effectively removes all traces of the film formation from the refinement process.

The result is a much more uniform surface that provides many impressive benefits for motorsports, including:
-Reduced Friction
-Lower Operating Temperatures
-Extended Component Life
-Reduced Noise
-Increased Efficiency
-More Power To The Ground

Pictured:  E46 M3 Performance Built Differential with optional REM Treatment

credits:  http://www.taylor-race.com/isotropic.cfm, http://www.remchem.com/

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335i135idiffs

335i and 135i Differential FAQ (No LSD, really?)

Shortly after the N54 powered 335i and 135i were released, enthusiasts and tuners wanted to ‘fix’ the lack of limited slip differential.  Making easy and abundant power was simple with the twin turbo inline 6, but putting it to the ground was not.

Enter the infamous final drive.  Open, LSD, welded, bolted, large body, small body, 3.08, 3.46 etc etc.  We will try to make sense of everything with this blog entry.

Open vs. LSD:
The 335i and 135i were not offered with a limited slip differential.  Yes, BMW sold a twin turbo, 6MT sporty car without a LSD.  No factory option, nothing.  So, owners had to rely on the aftermarket for a solution.  Initially the solution was pretty simply, till BMW switched things up on us.

Open:

LSD – limited slip differential:

Welded vs. Bolted:
Very early 6MT equipped cars had a traditional ‘bolted’ setup where the ring gear was bolted to the gear carrier.  Shortly after, the engineers in Munich decided to weld, not bolt the ring gear to the gear carrier.  Well, that complicates matters a bit!

Bolted: (we are using a bolted aftermarket diff for illustration purposes)

Welded:

Master Reference Chart:

Does your car have a welded or bolted differential??
See chart above.  As you can see, the majority of 335i and 135i owners are blessed with the welded differential.  This makes adding a LSD a bit challenging, as the ring gear must be separated from the carrier carefully to ensure it can be re-used.  Very few shops can do this properly and consistently, but we pioneered the best way of performing this operation which allowed us to add a Quaife ATB etc. with no problems.

Large or small differential?
There are 2 differential (housing or ‘pumpkin’) sizes.  The table above shows which cars have which size.  So, a Quaife ATB limited slip unit designed for the 6MT large housing will not work in your 2009 335i automatic.  Fortunately, we have Quaife ATB, Wavetrac and OS Giken solutions for both the large and small differentials in stock at all times.  Here are some pics so you can see the dramatic difference:

Gear Ratios:
See chart above.  All 6MT cars were equipped with 3.08 final drive ratios.  Automatic cars had 3.46 ratios.  Note:  we have built a few 3.46 differentials for 6MT cars and the owners were thrilled.  They were willing to sacrifice top speed for an incredible power band around town :-)  Lastly, DCT equipped cars have 2.56 and diesel cars have 2.81 final drive ratios.

Conclusion:
When you modify your N54 or N55 powered E9X or E8X, a proper differential is an essential modification if you want to put all of that power to the ground.  While it is quite confusing, I hope this entry makes it a bit easier to understand.  We have built 100s of differentials, so you can rely on our sales staff to answer any other questions you may have!

Click here to see how a 335i 135i VAC Performance Built Differential is made!

Click here to buy a 335i 135i VAC Performance Built Differential!

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