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      03-11-2016, 03:38 AM   #1
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03.09 Playing w/The Big Boys] tiltmode43's X1 Build Thread - An E84 Off-Road Journal?

Many like to lower their X1's, install beefy sway bars, or upsize to 19" wheels but this was never my intent. To me, the X1 was something I could comfortably drive in the streets, yet enjoy on backroads or take camping without any drama. I've got friends with 'real' 4x4 rigs and when I told them my plans to take the X1 out on some trails they, among others, scoffed at the idea. "You should have gotten a Jeep!" was the most common response. However, I appreciate the refinement BMW's offer on a daily basis and with a solid AWD system I figured, why not try to have my cake, and eat it too? Having owned the CUV for 7 months, I've already taken the X1 out a few times and plan to continue pushing it past it's comfort zone. This thread will be dedicated to chronicling the journey, now that things are starting to get fun.

I'll skip the 'intro' part and just leave a link to my Z4M build here -> http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1025546 In there, you can also find pics of my other cars/bike, as well as what I've done to the Z4M. Onto the important part, the E84 X1!

I was dead set on picking up the F48 before it came out. I brought my F30 in for service and got a loaner E84 to try it out. My thinking was, the space should be comparable to the F48 so it would give me an idea what I was getting myself into. After driving the F30 with it's ultra soft electronic steering, the E84's hydraulic steering felt amazing! The E84 also had more noticeably stiffer chassis tuning than the F30; Despite being a CUV, this inspired a surprising amount of confidence in the canyons of Topanga, CA. After driving it for 24hrs my consensus was that it had a rawer feel than the F30, without feeling prehistoric, while offering decent creature comforts; The F48 would likely feel more like the F30. I started looking and soon found out BMW dealers had HUGE pushes to move their E84 inventory (due to the soon release of the F48). At this point, I was sold - I would get a car with exact dynamics I was after, yet save $$ due to the timing. I picked up a CPO 2013 X1 xDrive28i with Tech package, Pano roof, power seats, w/34k miles. The CPO warranty would last me 3yr8mo/66k miles - more miles than a new BMW warranty with nearly the same month count! Based on how much I love driving this thing, I'll hit 100k before time is up

Purchased 08.02.15
2013 X1 xDrive28i - Jet Black w/Black Interior
Technology Package, Panoramic Roof, Power Electric Seats

A couple shots while stock



Being a dork and testing the approach and departure angles lol


Love the utility, can finally transport car parts without issue!


Compared to a buddy's real off-road machine


I have had Weathertech window visors on past cars and appreciated the look + functionality, so this was the first mod purchased - ordered the day after driving the car home

Ordered the AFE intake on Black Friday. After having the F30 328i with N20 engine + an aftermarket intake, I knew how much it increased the driving enjoyment. I did not expect any power gains, but looking more for aural pleasure. The OEM bypass valve WHOOOOOOSHHHH is way too much fun. One of my coworkers thought the sound was fake, and coming through my speakers - this is how apparent it is!



After that, had to upgrade the OEM boat anchors, err, wheels. My goal was OEM+. I wanted aggressive, yet something that looks like it was designed for the E84 X1 by BMW's ///M division. I went with the infamous CSL styled, concave VMR V703 in gunmetal 18x8.5 ET35. I also installed 3mm spacers to give a slightly more aggressive look. I was happy that stock tires are suitable for this wheel size. I dropped 7.0 LBS per corner compared to the OEM 18x8.0" wheels! Went from 30.4 down to 23.4 lbs per wheel, and gained .5" in width (18x8.0 Vs 18x8.5").



VMR V703 + weathertech side window visors installed. Nice drive up Angeles Crest to play in some snow.





Some basic off road fun at Gorman/Hungry Valley in Lebec, CA. Doesn't look like much here but it was a blast. It's fun to get loose!


Some more off-road fun at Holy Jim trail in Trabuco Canyon, for you OC natives. Doesn't look like much in the pic, but really enjoyed it. Had to keep the speed down and be careful which lines I took which is a joke compared to real SUV's/trucks. Sometimes a less capable vehicle yields more enjoyment.


At this point, decided to head back. Once the all terrains are on + lift, we'll see what lies down the road.


Holy Jim trail again, but after rain.

These VMR V703 wheels have taken a beatin' but keep on tickin'!

Definitely put xDrive to work this night!



Right now I have a set of Eibach Pro-Lift-Kit springs en route, scheduled to deliver tomorrow, shipped from Germany. http://eibach.com/global/za/products...s/pro-lift-kit Eibach USA will not sell this kit so I had to go straight to the motherland and order from Eibach Germany. Luckily the USD is fairly strong Vs the EUR, helped take some of the sting off. This kit has never been tested on a US car before so fingers crossed that it'll be fine. Advertised 25-30mm lift, so ~1-1.2", we shall see! To my knowledge, I may be the first lifted X1 in the USA?



I also have a set of Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S 225/55/18 on order, scheduled to deliver on Monday. I'm gambling a bit, but hoping the lift from the Eibach springs will minimize or eliminate any rubbing. The 225/55/18 has a .88" thicker sidewall when compared to my OEM 225/45/18's. Technically These tires are only rated to install onto a wheel 8.0" wide but my VMR's are 8.5" - we'll see how that goes



In total, with springs and tires, I should see a ground clearance increase of ~2.2". This will bring my overall ground clearance to ~9.2" - That's more than the Nissan Xterra (9.1"), Toyota Land Cruiser (8.9"), or Jeep Cherokee (8.7")! More capable factory 4x4 vehicles (i.e. 4Runner 4x4, Jeep Wrangler, Etc.) still will have more, but I think 9.2" of ground clearance compared to our measly factory 7" will be a nice increase (31.4%).

June 2016 @ Carnegie SVRA





February 2017 @ Gorman (Hungry Valley SVRA)



...#FLEX lol.

Current Mods:
Eibach Pro-Lift-Kit Springs
Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S 225/55/18
VMR Wheels V703 18x8.5 ET35 w/15mm spacers front (effective ET20) & 21mm spacers rear (effective ET14)
AFE Pro Dry S Intake
Kuat Vagabond X roof basket
OEM BMW Crossbars
Weathertech window guards/visors
Side/Rear Tint
HID headlights + fogs

Future mods/ideas?
Gloss black grills?
Light bar?
Aftermarket muffler + tips?

Last edited by tiltmode43; 03-09-2017 at 01:09 PM.
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      03-11-2016, 01:35 PM   #2
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Now I see why you queried the scrubbing.

Roll the fender lips and you should be fine!

Bet this is fun
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      03-11-2016, 03:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRANTLDN View Post
Now I see why you queried the scrubbing.

Roll the fender lips and you should be fine!

Bet this is fun
Haha yeah, we'll see. Not too concerned with fender lip as I am with front and rear portion of fender liner for the front wheels, during full lock/compression. I was considering 255/55/18 at one point but decided it would be far too large. Ended up going with the only smaller option of 225/55/18.

It is quite a bit of fun! My other car is lowered so it's kind of liberating to go the other direction for once, and not have to worry about speedbumps and road imperfections



This just showed up today!

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      03-12-2016, 07:47 PM   #4
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I have done lite off-roading in my X1 a number of times. It does ok but it is not a 4x4 by any means. But I would much rather raise my X1 than lower it.
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      03-12-2016, 10:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtpisgah View Post
I have done lite off-roading in my X1 a number of times. It does ok but it is not a 4x4 by any means. But I would much rather raise my X1 than lower it.
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      03-14-2016, 01:19 PM   #6
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Can't wait to see it after the lift!
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      03-14-2016, 08:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtpisgah View Post
I have done lite off-roading in my X1 a number of times. It does ok but it is not a 4x4 by any means. But I would much rather raise my X1 than lower it.
Haha yeah, this is no Rubicon! I'm kind of treating it like a Subaru, similar sort of off roading. We'll see how it does after this round of mods!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMRWheels View Post
Can't wait to see it after the lift!
Don't get your hopes up too high, it's a mellow lift and the tires aren't too aggressive, will be curious to see how different it is from stock. Will have to find one in the wild to park next to


Lift springs are being installed tonight, tires came in today and getting installed later this week. These are the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S in 225/55/18. The A/T-S are all terrains, but as you can see, aren't the most aggressive tread pattern. The next size up for all terrains is 255/55/18 from what I could find and I'm afraid that simply would have been too large. Wish the 255/55 would fit because General Grabber AT2, BFG KO2, and Nitto Terra Grapplers are ALL offered in that size, and are all much more aggressive looking than the Geolandar A/T-S. Still looking forward to how these perform off the pavement. Also curious how loud they will be and how long they will last - some have reported 30-40k miles on them! Unfortunately I won't be able to try these out with stock suspension, but we'll see how close it is with the lift.



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      03-18-2016, 09:07 PM   #8
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So, did you get the springs installed? How'd it go? How's it look?
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      03-18-2016, 11:51 PM   #9
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pics naow!
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      03-21-2016, 04:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
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So, did you get the springs installed? How'd it go? How's it look?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Jack View Post
pics naow!
Hit a couple snags during the install last week. First, my buddy damaged one of the rear lower shock mounts - we had to order, and wait for one to come in. From there, when doing the fronts realized the axles are fairly short. You can read about other front xDrive install drama here -> http://e84.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1004515

So we decided, the X1 will have to go to a real BMW shop for the front install, just to be safe!

Note how comparable the rears are to stock. Perhaps a bit thicker and one extra coil, but not sure how much longer they are - the angle isn't really the best to be able to tell.





I have to finish up this week though, heading out for a camping / 4x4 trip this coming weekend
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      03-22-2016, 11:42 AM   #11
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225/55 will look much better with the lift kit
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      03-28-2016, 12:29 AM   #12
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OEM BMW crossbars, Eibach lift kit, and 225/55/18 Yokohama Geolandar All Terrains are on!

Just got back from a camping trip to Gorman SVRA (State Vehicular Recreational Area). Wow, what a blast! Anyone in the Southern California area who has even a bit of interest in getting their tires a little dirty should check it out. The trails range from extremely mild, to challenging (though I didn't dare head on any black diamond trails).

These new tires provide amazing grip and the lift kit offers nearly enough clearance to run them. I had to get creative with clearance in the back portion of the fender well to prevent rubbing. There is no way these tires would work on a stock height X1! After around 4hrs of 4 wheeling today, and about 1hr yesterday, my initial feedback is that the X1 with my current configuration can climb and wow, does hill descent work wonders. When rolling up to the first couple descents we were expecting some drama, we weren't really sure how the car would handle it. I was pleasantly surprised by relatively uneventful descents, which means things were absolutely under control (a good thing, though less exciting). I also took the X1 to the 4x4 park and tried it out on specific obstacles and was impressed with the responsiveness of the xDrive system - it sends power to the wheels in need QUICKLY! Unfortunately no pics from this section this time around.

With some proper gripping tires and an increase in ground clearance, the xDrive X1 series proves more capable than I think anyone would really give it credit (including myself, before this trip).

Camp was set up. My buddy's awesome long travel to the left, another buddy acting a dork in the background of the pic


Pic from the first day, still pretty clean! Overall the car has a much 'beefier' look to it.


Nothing like campfire cooked steaks and ribs with some cold beers to end the day!


First climb of day 2!


A few shots from atop one of the crests of the vast mountainside




This picture does not tell the entire story - this was a very steep grade, nearly not possible to walk/run down/up. X1 handled it like a champ, both up and down!


Another climb mid-trail. This one was not too bad, but the pic helps give perspective to some of the others. That tiny silver dot at the top is my buddy's Honda Pilot.


The trails are all either easy (green), intermediate (blue), or difficult (black), rated for 4x4, dirtbikes, and quads. This was one of the tricker trails we took, intermediate all around. After the first bend we were hit with a steep and severely rutted curved descent, wish I could have got a photo of this one!


The dirty aftermath of many hill climbs, hill descents, loose riverbed runs, and trail blazing adventures.
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      03-28-2016, 02:26 PM   #13
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Looks good! What did you do to eliminate the problem with the fender well?
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      03-28-2016, 10:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandTimes View Post
Looks good! What did you do to eliminate the problem with the fender well?
There are a couple ways to do it. I suppose the cheaper way involves the most valuable tool in the box and I'm not sure many BMW drivers would appreciate it. The proper way to do it involves cutting, welding, and painting. The FJ Cruiser suffers from a similar issue, but to a much worse extent. Next time you're near your car take a look in the back of the fender well and you'll see areas of fender liner that push forward - this is where the issue is, as there is metal behind these portions. Check out this link to get an idea, although the X1 doesn't have anything that large protruding at all -> http://www.offroaders.com/directory/...Mount-Chop.htm

For what it's worth, different offset wheels may have an effect on this, I'm not really sure. Right now my setup is fairly aggressive and I do wonder how changing the offset would have made a difference.
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      04-07-2016, 10:29 PM   #15
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I love it. You may have a legitimate need for running boards. I think they would look great on your car.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FOR-2010-201...3D200992073476
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      04-09-2016, 09:12 AM   #16
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Looks fun
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      04-21-2016, 05:41 PM   #17
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Hi tiltmode43,
I'm just about to put Weathertech Side Window Deflectors on mine.
Good to see how they look on yours and the Mods you are doing for offroad.

Recommended for 8.5" MIN.225 - IDEAL 235/245 - MAX.255.

Great write up of how you are enjoying your X1.
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      04-25-2016, 10:17 AM   #18
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Your X1 looks sweet. I'm in the market and had an idea of how I wanted it to look after throwing some mods at it. Your's pretty much nailed it. Looks like it's ready for the zombie apocalypse HaHa
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      05-08-2016, 04:27 AM   #19
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Looks great!

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      06-20-2016, 01:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derSpeed View Post
I love it. You may have a legitimate need for running boards. I think they would look great on your car.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FOR-2010-201...3D200992073476
These are pretty sweet! Definitely considering ordering these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRANTLDN View Post
Looks fun
Thanks! It's a very different feeling to turn traction control off, put it in manual mode, and mash on the gas in some loose dirt, or climbing up something that an average road-going vehicle wouldn't make it up

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTony View Post
Hi tiltmode43,
I'm just about to put Weathertech Side Window Deflectors on mine.
Good to see how they look on yours and the Mods you are doing for offroad.

Recommended for 8.5" MIN.225 - IDEAL 235/245 - MAX.255.

Great write up of how you are enjoying your X1.
This is true for 225/45/18 however 225/55/18 is spec'd to 18x6.0"-18x8.0" per the tire manufacturers. Installing and running on the 18x8.5 has been fine so far *knocks on wood*.

The weathertechs are great, nice purchase. I appreciate the kind words! It's been fun driving the X1 differently than I would a normal car, or how most others do around here. Hopefully it helps add some more flavor to the boards. It's also fun seeing the looks on peoples' faces when they see a BMW rolling into an OHV area

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony3series View Post
Your X1 looks sweet. I'm in the market and had an idea of how I wanted it to look after throwing some mods at it. Your's pretty much nailed it. Looks like it's ready for the zombie apocalypse HaHa
Thanks! Most X1 owners lower them and make them more car-like. I tried the other approach and am loving every second of it! It's kind of funny though, compared to other X1's it might look different but to the average driver it just looks more like an X3 now, haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole View Post
Looks great!

Thanks!
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      06-20-2016, 02:23 PM   #21
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I've been looking to get a roof basket for a while now. Surprisingly, google didnít pull up ANY pics of X1's with roof baskets installed so I was really curious how it would turn out. This didnít turn me off from the idea at all though since it seems I'm blazing a new trail with this car either way (figuratively and literally, sometimes even ). I was lucky enough to score some crossbars for a fair price a few months back (although now craigslist seems flooded with them in my area) so it was only a matter of time before I made it happen. I had my heart set on the Thule Canyon 859 due to the shape and style. It wasn't a traditional 'off road' basket but my car isn't a traditional off-road vehicle either. I wanted something that wouldn't look too out of place and I thought the Thule Canyon's lines would be at home on a Euro CUV:



Apparently Allroad Outfitters thought the same and put the same rack on their Q3 in April. Great minds think alike! I had the idea first though Their Q3 looks BAD-ASS but I'm curious how that fitment would work off road, looks pretty aggressive for full compression. Would love to see that thing in action




After endless debating and hunting I, by chance, came across the Kuat Vagabond X. This basket was similarly shaped and has a couple big features the Thule Canyon does not - it has 2 built in bike skewers and includes locks to ensure your basket stays put in the presence of a thief. These two features were a slam dunk and very useful for me, so I went for it! The real bronze badging is a nice touch. Oh, it's also a bit longer than the Thule as well



I was excited to pick this up just in time for a 1000 mile round trip to Sonoma, CA this past weekend. I knew I would be hurting my MPG but I wanted to see just by how much. When passing Tracy, CA on the 5N I noticed a sign for Carnegie SVRA (State Vehicular Recreation Area, AKA OHV/Off Highway Vehicle Area, AKA Legal Off-Road driving area http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1172) and while I didn't have time to stop on the way up, I knew I would have to make time on my way back down and that's exactly what I did. This OHV area is mainly intended for dirt bikes and quads but they do have a "4x4 Playground" with various man-made obstacles of different sizes to test your vehicle. Again, the X1 surprised me. It doesn't have much of articulation and ground clearance is lacking, but really, this vehicle can do more than most would guess. I took a couple videos of a little hill climb I did with a rutted entry and loose terrain; I may upload to show the AWD system in action along with some loud turbo spool thanks to the AFE intake but for now I’ve just included a few crummy screen caps.

Front passenger wheel is clear off the ground here. The ¬ďelectronic differential¬Ē kicks in and sends the power to the other 3 wheels and pulls you up and over. Here the passenger rear traction was a bit light so you see a little dirt kicked up before the e-diff slows the speed of that particular wheel, sending the power where the firm traction is.

Other side angle, note passenger front wheel! This entry would not have been possible without the lift + tires to improve my approach, break-over, and departure angles.

Lastly, these perspectives don’t do the grade and pack justice. It really was decently steep and pretty loose, not something you would want to try to walk up & down by foot.

Various shots just before getting back on the road.







The basket is pretty big relative to the size of the X1, too big for many. Due to the downward arch of the rear half of our car, combined with the rear shape of the basket, the back portion looks gigantic from some angles. When I first put it on, I was skeptical about the size. The Thule Canyon would have definitely been a bit more understated, though any basket may look high due to our cross-bars sitting high above the roof due to moon roof. Still, I'm a fan of the style and don't plan on removing this basket in the near future, and look forward to loading it up with gear.



Next up, I am going to Jawbone Canyon (http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=28617) for a 4th of July camping trip. Lots of dirt bike areas, not a whole lot of 4x4 but more options than Carnegie. Maybe this time I will bring out a real camera and take some actual shots.

Until next time!
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      06-20-2016, 07:14 PM   #22
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Awesome build so far man
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