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.

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

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

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


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 by as much as 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 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 car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  6. 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 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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