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View Poll Results: Is this a crazy idea?
DO IT 3 37.50%
Idk that seems suspect 1 12.50%
Just buy the damn Porsche 4 50.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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      05-22-2020, 09:46 AM   #1
TheBat-Dad
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435 xDrive Project Car Idea

Hola forum,

Looking for some advice from the experts on the F32.

Back story, I currently own an SS 1LE, which I ADORE. It's an absolute riot to drive, sounds amazing, destroys backroads, and keeps up with supercars on the track. However, despite my enthusiasm (and a good set of winters) it came up short this past winter (got stuck too many times). I work remotely so I go on a lot of ski trips, essentially following the snow. I have no kids, not married, no mortgage, and make a good income, so I am trying to find the 'one' car that can truly do it all, all year round, as I travel across North America burning fossil fuels (lets ignore COVID for the purpose of this discussion, in the summer I essentially live on the road).

Unfortunately, the list of AWD cars with a manual is shockingly short. If I want something with true performance, I'm spending $120k+ (CDN) on a 911 (and used one's retain almost too much value for it to make sense to me). While I think I'll own a 911 someday, I don't think I'm quite ready to stomach the payments.

SO, in the last ~24 hours I stumbled upon the idea of buying a used 435 xDrive manual, and dumping $5-10k in parts into it to upgrade the suspension, tires/wheels, brakes, sway bars, probably exhaust, and eventually a tune. This will give me a modern(ish), comfortable, fast, and in theory good handling car with a stick that doesn't really exist in the market today. Plus the payments on a used 435 seem down right cheap compared to Porsche shopping.

Is this a crazy idea? Anyone else done something similar?

Appreciate the help!
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      05-22-2020, 09:55 AM   #2
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Nothing is crazy if the price is right and you enjoy driving it.
Sounds like a fun build, just keep a set of Blizzaks and I would imagine you're unstoppable
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      05-22-2020, 11:49 AM   #3
JamesNoBrakes
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I have a 2SS 1LE now.

IMO, the problem with the 4-series X-drives is that they are lifted like subaru outbacks. Swaybars+stiffer ACS springs+dinan shockware for the active suspension made it manageable, but otherwise, the suspension is not performance oritenated and just wallows too much to be serious. These mods didn't make it ride like a rock either, just reasonable as it should have been in the first place.

I was going through a similar dilemma. I ended up with a FWD car for the winter I'll put snow-tires on, but I miss the AWD of the BMW. BMW doesn't do remote-starts with the 3 or 4 either, which is another big deal-breaker. IMO, Audi and others are miles ahead of BMW, but they may catch up with the next 4 series.

Some ideas,

Stinger GT1 or GT2 (need GT1 to get remote start). I think a few early reviews were pretty biased (negatively), but it seems to have gained a good foothold and has some nice tech. Earlier ones didn't have an LSD, so watch out for that. Due to the resale, you may be able to find a good deal on one (there was one locally and I just didn't jump on it in time).

I didn't want a stick though, I wanted the polar opposite of the 1LE, for things like stop and go traffic, long trips, etc.

You said you were going to put some $$$ into suspension though, so that'll fix the issues, but IMO you need to get one with active suspension to match the lower springs to the shock damping...unless you plan to get aftermarket coil overs or something.

You are looking at coupes, or gran-coupe types?
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      05-22-2020, 12:44 PM   #4
TheBat-Dad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
I have a 2SS 1LE now.

IMO, the problem with the 4-series X-drives is that they are lifted like subaru outbacks. Swaybars+stiffer ACS springs+dinan shockware for the active suspension made it manageable, but otherwise, the suspension is not performance oritenated and just wallows too much to be serious. These mods didn't make it ride like a rock either, just reasonable as it should have been in the first place.

I was going through a similar dilemma. I ended up with a FWD car for the winter I'll put snow-tires on, but I miss the AWD of the BMW. BMW doesn't do remote-starts with the 3 or 4 either, which is another big deal-breaker. IMO, Audi and others are miles ahead of BMW, but they may catch up with the next 4 series.

Some ideas,

Stinger GT1 or GT2 (need GT1 to get remote start). I think a few early reviews were pretty biased (negatively), but it seems to have gained a good foothold and has some nice tech. Earlier ones didn't have an LSD, so watch out for that. Due to the resale, you may be able to find a good deal on one (there was one locally and I just didn't jump on it in time).

I didn't want a stick though, I wanted the polar opposite of the 1LE, for things like stop and go traffic, long trips, etc.

You said you were going to put some $$$ into suspension though, so that'll fix the issues, but IMO you need to get one with active suspension to match the lower springs to the shock damping...unless you plan to get aftermarket coil overs or something.

You are looking at coupes, or gran-coupe types?
Appreciate the insight as a fellow 1LE owner!

Don't care about the remote start. It doesn't get too cold (relative to the rest of Canada) where I live and I also park in a heated garage.

While I love the Stingers, they are out due to the auto. Auto and AWD opens up a lot more options (even thought about waiting for the next M3), but I really want the stick.

Coupe/Gran Coupe, or even a 335 Sedan are all on the table, since they are mostly similar. Just want one with the right options and colour.

Yes I would look at doing coilovers, so based on what you say that should work. Truth be told while I know a lot about cars, I'm fairly new to the aftermarket upgrades game (only done minor things before). I need to find a good local shop for some advice I think.
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      05-22-2020, 01:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBat-Dad View Post
Appreciate the insight as a fellow 1LE owner!

Don't care about the remote start. It doesn't get too cold (relative to the rest of Canada) where I live and I also park in a heated garage.

While I love the Stingers, they are out due to the auto. Auto and AWD opens up a lot more options (even thought about waiting for the next M3), but I really want the stick.

Coupe/Gran Coupe, or even a 335 Sedan are all on the table, since they are mostly similar. Just want one with the right options and colour.

Yes I would look at doing coilovers, so based on what you say that should work. Truth be told while I know a lot about cars, I'm fairly new to the aftermarket upgrades game (only done minor things before). I need to find a good local shop for some advice I think.
Well I think our criteria are radically different, so I'm probably not going to be much help.

Not a lot you can find out there in AWD, sporty, and manual. They are so few and far between. Even IF the model was offered with a manual, chances of finding one are exponentially worse.

As for suspension, these cars (4 and 3 series) come with dinky swaybars. I think the rear sway was something like 10mm, I just threw away the original ones a few days ago (even though I no longer have the car). But you want to have higher damping rates to not only dampen the effect of lowering springs, but also the sways, so active suspension with the dinan shockware upgrade makes a lot of sense. Whether it's ACS or dinan lowering springs won't make a big difference. I had a hell of a time finding good lowering springs for my 4-series GC, because there were some options, but they were "one-size-fits-all" and not tuned to the specific model, engine and other options, which makes the weight vary significantly. Dinan usually does this, but they don't make springs for every model and ones that "claim" they make them have be checked to make sure they aren't using the same part no. for wildly different configurations, like 2.0L RWD vs. 3.0. AWD...radical weight difference (relatively). So I settled on ACS, but it was a bit of a choice to get them, had them imported from TAG Motorsports. And installation of the sways was a nightmare, they have to drop the entire subframe, that install job is over a grand. There are also possibly some issues with wear/position of the x-drive components if you aggressively lower these.

I make this point because it's definitely the "long game" to get these cars to an acceptable state IMO. They didn't offer any M-sport suspension with the x-series. They offered "m-sport" trim, but it was just a bunch of cosmetic crap. IMO, they aren't a great platform for this.

Despite the nose-heavy aspect of Audis, they actually do offer sport-suspensions in their quattro offerings. So A/S5 and the like are probably going to feel a bit sportier. That's why I mentioned the Stinger, because they also have a sporty suspension tune. The BMW 4 series will absolutely move in a straight line and the AWD will help it put down power, but if handling is a priority...this is where things fall apart rapidly IMO. Don't forget the steering, which has that "dead spot" in the middle. It's better in "sport", but it's not great steering by any measure.

I know the feeling when there aren't many options though.
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Last edited by JamesNoBrakes; 05-22-2020 at 01:42 PM..
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      05-22-2020, 02:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
Well I think our criteria are radically different, so I'm probably not going to be much help.

Not a lot you can find out there in AWD, sporty, and manual. They are so few and far between. Even IF the model was offered with a manual, chances of finding one are exponentially worse.

As for suspension, these cars (4 and 3 series) come with dinky swaybars. I think the rear sway was something like 10mm, I just threw away the original ones a few days ago (even though I no longer have the car). But you want to have higher damping rates to not only dampen the effect of lowering springs, but also the sways, so active suspension with the dinan shockware upgrade makes a lot of sense. Whether it's ACS or dinan lowering springs won't make a big difference. I had a hell of a time finding good lowering springs for my 4-series GC, because there were some options, but they were "one-size-fits-all" and not tuned to the specific model, engine and other options, which makes the weight vary significantly. Dinan usually does this, but they don't make springs for every model and ones that "claim" they make them have be checked to make sure they aren't using the same part no. for wildly different configurations, like 2.0L RWD vs. 3.0. AWD...radical weight difference (relatively). So I settled on ACS, but it was a bit of a choice to get them, had them imported from TAG Motorsports. And installation of the sways was a nightmare, they have to drop the entire subframe, that install job is over a grand. There are also possibly some issues with wear/position of the x-drive components if you aggressively lower these.

I make this point because it's definitely the "long game" to get these cars to an acceptable state IMO. They didn't offer any M-sport suspension with the x-series. They offered "m-sport" trim, but it was just a bunch of cosmetic crap. IMO, they aren't a great platform for this.

Despite the nose-heavy aspect of Audis, they actually do offer sport-suspensions in their quattro offerings. So A/S5 and the like are probably going to feel a bit sportier. That's why I mentioned the Stinger, because they also have a sporty suspension tune. The BMW 4 series will absolutely move in a straight line and the AWD will help it put down power, but if handling is a priority...this is where things fall apart rapidly IMO. Don't forget the steering, which has that "dead spot" in the middle. It's better in "sport", but it's not great steering by any measure.

I know the feeling when there aren't many options though.
Very interesting. So maybe do a 2015 S5 manual, and all the upgrades I mentioned above would be a better choice? I'm not married to the 4 series by any means, just one of a very limited pool of options.
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      05-22-2020, 05:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBat-Dad View Post
Very interesting. So maybe do a 2015 S5 manual, and all the upgrades I mentioned above would be a better choice? I'm not married to the 4 series by any means, just one of a very limited pool of options.
Maybe, but like I said, my criteria were very different, so while some overlap, the manual really changes things IMO. I was just saying it's hard to get the 4 into an acceptable (for me) handling machine. The 1LE is way beyond what that was obviously, but the stock 4 was just not acceptable to me and it was a hassle to get to where I liked.
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      05-22-2020, 10:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
Maybe, but like I said, my criteria were very different, so while some overlap, the manual really changes things IMO. I was just saying it's hard to get the 4 into an acceptable (for me) handling machine. The 1LE is way beyond what that was obviously, but the stock 4 was just not acceptable to me and it was a hassle to get to where I liked.
Ill add that with an S5, you can have sport suspension, but the bigger issue is having to find a used car with all the right options. It's frustrating and difficult, you see something, but then there's some red flag like way too many miles or some other issue. Good luck.
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      05-22-2020, 10:34 PM   #9
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If you can swing it might as well go for a B58 powered 440i xdrive. I saw a couple manuals for sale on auto trader last night. And they had the bigger rotors and M performance brakes, I have that package on mine with the M adaptive suspension. 2014 435i xdrive coupe. I have the 8 speed ZF tho. FBO and MHD stage 2+ tune.
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