BMW 335d Diesel Tuning

"Diesel by name, fun by nature".

Tuning the BMW 335d and best 335 performance parts. This diesel engine provided oodles of torque and very good fuel economy.

It was so good that some would say BMW limited the options to prevent losing sales of its petrol variants.

We take a peek at 335d tuning and highlight the best modifications. BMW 335d engines are one of the best around to work on making it a good tuning project and with carefully picked performance modifications you can substantially maximize your driving experience at little cost.

The 335d had it all, especially when it comes to power and torque and stood out in the E90 series.

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The 335d diesel engine when tuned/remapped gives the petrol M models a real run for their money and offers greater fuel economy.

Tuning a 335d

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The 335d is popular among our members for tuning projects The key to 335d tuning is getting the right mods - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

Tuning tips and articles
Many 335d owners uprate the handling of their cars as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

M series suspension parts and upgrades are suitable and offer an easy upgrade path.

Replace the worn suspension bushings to sharpen up the handling and restore the factory steering feel.

If you go for polyurethane bushings, we would recommend you source softer units, the hard ones will cause a lot more vibration and rattle

The diesel engine is heavier so you'll need to take this into account when setting up the suspension geometry.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Turning our attention to the 335d engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

Keep it looking standard and remove the badges creating a sleeper!

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Reasons the 335d didn’t take over the world.

It had a production run of just 3 years, where it was replaced with the 328d – a smaller engine that offered similar performance.

Gearbox choice was limited in the US, to a 6 speed automatic, and at the time, most driving enthusiasts were avoiding automatic boxes, which they considered clunky and cumbersome.

The reality was that this box was superb, and very well suited to the car. It was also only available as a saloon model. So there was no estate version, something diesel drivers were seeking.

Many would argue that these limitations were placed to force people to look at the petrol engined versions namely the rather stunning 335i our 2021 car of the year.

However, considering the car shot to 60mph in 5.8 seconds and still returned very good fuel economy it was a car that satisfied both the head and your heart.

335d Engine tuning mods.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you begin.

Without a doubt, the best mod is a tune/remap or piggy back ecu upgrade. Power gains of 60bhp are available.

Oil coolers are recommended if you get an aggressive map.

Turbo upgrades push these power gains into the 120bhp region, but for reliability, we would suggest you settle for a maximum of 100bhp gain, on stock internals and injectors.

The crazy thing is that this extra power will also arrive with improved fuel economy, and when compared with the fuel economy from similarly powered petrol versions of the 3 series it made the 335d look all the more impressive.

Getting the correct grade of mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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Best mods for your 335d

  1. Turbo upgrades - A New Turbo is the most dramatic method to improve intake air supply, allowing you to use more fuel and make more power. Typically one of the most complex upgrades you'll see massive gains.
  2. 335d Handling Mods (suspension) - Replacing worn bushings and shocks greatly enhances your 335d road holding and cornering. Coilovers and Bushings are the usual go to mods
  3. Lighter flywheels - a lower weight flywheel will improve the engines ability to rev freely. But not always suitable for all 335d engines.
  4. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  5. Brake Mods - Improve your ability to stop should be somewhere in your mods list.
  6. Tunes - 335d engine tuning/remapping gives the most advantage for the money, replacement ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  7. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER , but they can help lift power after other mods by lessening the restrictive flow.

335d Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm),Sports exhaust,Remap,Panel air filter,Lighter flywheel,Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
Fast road cam,Power clutch,Ported and polished head,Fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,.

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Engine balancing,Sports gearbox,Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Upgrading the turbo for a hybrid or larger turbo.

Your aim when modding the engine should be a wide torque curve. You don't want all the power to be at the top end unless you are creating a motorsport car.

The whole point of this article is to give a little insight into the world of car tuning mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your project and all aspects of modding cars.

More power needs more fuel. Using high Cetane diesel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your BMW project after fitting other mods.

Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 335 uprated injectors.

335d Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many 335d owners uprate the handling of their cars with performance suspension parts as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

We would go to a maximum drop of 25 - 44 on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Adjusting the handling is often the first step in using the 335d.Adjusting the 335d's handling is often the first step in modifying it.

When it comes to modifying your 335d, one of the most often stated objectives is to improve its handling. However, we often witness the same mistakes.

One of the most popular reasons for modifying your 335d suspension is to improve its roadholding. However, we see the same errors regularly repeated again and over.

Upgrading your Bushes

Enhancements to the bushings: Things you need to know

Bushes, which are rubber mounts, allow the 335d's suspension components to be affixed to the car's chassis. The rubber ones will lose their shape with time.

New OEM rubber bushes may have a major impact on the performance of your vehicle.

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit bumpier, but they will last longer and maintain the handling.

Increased vibration and play may also quicken the depreciation in other suspension components.

With a new set of poly bushes, the excessive play associated with rubber bushes may be mitigated.

Some poly bushings are hard to locate, but most will find the primary mounts readily available in their regions Often, custom 335d polyeyurothane bushings may be manufactured to your requirements.

A frequent misconception is that the best setup would be a non-adjustable suspension system that lowers the vehicle by 60mm purchased from a franchised component shop.

Vendors may claim that their 335d suspension kits are compatible with any or all model year 335ds.

To adequately support a diverse variety of vehicles, the "one-size-fits-all" approach is obviously a mistake as engine weights and equipment trim levels all affect the cars handling characteristics.

How low should you go on the 335d?

According to TorqueCars research and testing, the maximum amount of suspension drop for most road vehicles is 25 - 44 millimetres, whereas hot hatchbacks with lower OEM sport suspension have a maximum suspension drop of 17 millimetres.

Tolerances may be greatly lowered by altering the diameter of the wheels. Lowering a vehicle, even with 17-inch wheels and stock suspension, can create several problems.

Stability may be improved by lowering the 335d, but the ultimate goal should always be to enhance handling. It is critical to use the right shocks when employing lower springs.

We found that most 335d factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe (set some toe out to improve cornering or use toe in for better stability) and you only need around 1 to 2 degrees, and a bit of negative camber will greatly improve your cornering and handling.

335d Brake Upgrades

Improved braking performance may be achieved by installing bigger brake discs and improved high-friction brake pads.

Motorsport brake pads are notoriously loud and need a high degree of heat before they begin to perform.

Brake pads with a low operating temperature are more suited for daily driving since they are used less often and consequently stop you more effectively.

335d Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Air induction kits will only help to boost performance if your cars air intake is restricted!

Adding an induction kit to most standard 335d engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit upgrade is the answer and will help remove this restriction

Sports exhausts can help balance the flow of air through the engine. The standard 335d exhausts flow really well and do not need upgrading.

DPF and catalysts can be removed for off road use and will allow the turbo to spool up more quickly or a high flowing performance alternative added for road legal use.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional head porting and polishing.

These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods.

Your clutch can seriously let you down if it starts to fail and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 40%. Fit a sports clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission.

335d Alloy wheel upgrades.

Due to the fact that alloys are less heavy they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks.

The downside to large alloys on your 335d is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance and acceleration.

Although some people have gone larger than this without problems we would stick to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our car forums where you can discuss 335d options in more detail with our 335d owners.

It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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