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      02-28-2017, 02:01 PM   #1
fmtriple
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New X1 - Mod Advice

I’m the proud owner of a CPO X1 and I would like to research a few modifications I plan on making in the near future. I searched the forum on some of these items, but some of the coversations happened more than a year ago so I would like the most up-to-date information.


2013 X1 xDrive35i (Sport line)
35k miles (no longer under factory warranty, CPO until late 2018)
I live near Ann Arbor, Michigan

N55 Tuning

I’m researching the Dinan stage 2 and JB4 stage 1/2 tunes. It’s nice to see the Dinan tune discounted, but the warranty benefit will not apply to my vehicle since it is out of the factory warranty (Dinan does not cover the CPO warranty). I’m leaning towards the JB4 since it’s cheaper and I can install it myself, but if the Dinan is worth the extra cash I would consider that as well.

Coding/Alpina Flash

So far, I’ve found the six speed automatic to be a good transmission (I’ve experienced the ZF8 in the M235i). Shifts are smooth around town, but I do find it sluggish when around full throttle, even in sport mode. I’ve heard great things about the Alpina flash, so I would like to hear the reviews of those that have run it for a while. Can this be a DIY job (see below)?

I’d also like to code a few things on the X1. The two common methods I’ve read are the ODB cable/laptop program method and the Carly phone app/ODB bluetooth dongle method. I work in IT, so I would be comfortable coding myself, but if there is a shop/person in the SE Michigan area that can take care of these I’d be happy to give them a call. If I decide to code it myself, what ODB cable and program should I use, or is the Carly app the preferred method? Here are the two sites I’ve used as a reference:

http://codinge90.com/getting-started/
http://www.mycarly.com/product/bmw-app/

Sound System Upgrade

I have the Hifi sound in the X1, and I’d like to upgrade the system. I’ve looked at the Bavsound and Focal plug-and-play kits so far. Which one should I purchase?

Other items

- Are there any TSBs I should be aware of? Carfax didn’t report the airbag recall on my vehicle, so am I in the clear?
- The doors close with a cheaper, hollow sound. I’ve read that changing the seals improves the feel and sound. Is that something I can take care of under warranty?
- Preventative maintenance items - Are there known areas I should address to prevent larger issues in the future?
- Any recommended mods I should look into that I didn’t cover here?


Thanks for any feedback and guidance.

Last edited by fmtriple; 02-28-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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      02-28-2017, 02:19 PM   #2
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http://e84.xbimmers.com/forums/showt...ghlight=alpina

Here's a thread I made on doing the reflash and link to instructions.

Getting the flashing software up and running is the challenging part. After that, coding the car is relatively easy.


I really, really like the noises swapping out the DP gives you.
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      02-28-2017, 03:42 PM   #3
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Yeah, you should have the bad bag, but if you replace it too early, you just get a direct replacement. Takata hasn't even made a true replacement for their airbag propellant. The good news, is it's NBD, as it takes years and high humidity to be a problem.
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      03-01-2017, 12:15 AM   #4
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I can only address the audio upgrade. Posted a lot about it on the Bimmerfest forum. Upgraded one step at a time: speakers, then ghost subs, then Bimmertech amp. Each step improved sound dramatically. Can't say which upgrade was best, but I wasn't happy until the whole deal was complete. If you hate the stock stereo as much as I, have $2k to spare and don't mind spending several hours installing everything yourself, then go for it. I'm more than happy. The biggest issue encountered was Bimmertech had no custom amp mounting bracket for the car. I provided pics and measurements and it looks like I'll have a bracket soon.

Forum people greatly prefer the jb4 to Dinan , probably due to cost, mostly. It's my impression the Dinan software also modifies the TCU, so maybe you won't need the Alpina flash.

From day one, everyone has raved about the alpina flash. I read a lot and found the necessary software, but the more I read, the less clear the process seemed, so I decided to live without it. I love the smoothness of the transmission around town, and that's most of my driving. I also have a tendency to not get things quite right the first time. That could lead to catastrophic consequences. There is the option of paying someone to code your car remotely. Prices are reasonable. However, if the dealer has to do anything to your car's software, any custom settings may be wiped out. My car needed complete re-programming to clear an error a while back, so was glad I hadn't paid for custom coding.

Enjoy the ride
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      03-01-2017, 12:28 PM   #5
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I just had the Alpina flash done last night. I have yet to really evaluate the sport and manual modes, but I noticed immediately that the standard drive mode shifts are much smoother. That was one of the main things I wanted to fix, as the stock transmission programming made for sluggish throttle response and "jerky" shifts into second or third. The cable below will work AS LONG AS YOU REMOVE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN PINS 7 & 8.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/331970275854

I upgraded my speakers with BavSound speakers. The upgrade is substantial because the stock, paper cone speakers are pathetic.

Next on my list is installing some Bilstein B6 struts which I purchased a few months ago. Waiting until it warms up a bit to get started.

Last edited by LevinBR; 03-01-2017 at 12:43 PM.
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      03-01-2017, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Next on my list is installing some Bilstein B6 struts which I purchased a few months ago. Waiting until it warms up a bit to get started.
eeeesshhh, I wouldn't install those. you should probably just sell them to me.
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      03-01-2017, 02:01 PM   #7
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eeeesshhh, I wouldn't install those. you should probably just sell them to me.
I'll sell them to you! $1,500 USD for all 4, shipping not included.
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      03-01-2017, 03:42 PM   #8
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I'll sell them to you! $1,500 USD for all 4, shipping not included.
LOL I am jealous though. I really need to grab a set. I found the whole set for about 700 USD.
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      03-01-2017, 03:56 PM   #9
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Dinan was only half price for February.
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      03-01-2017, 11:19 PM   #10
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I was leaning towards the JB4 anyways. I'll start researching how to install it myself. Unfortunately there aren't many video tutorials or write-ups on the installation process for the E84. If there is another similar install process I can reference please let me know. I still have to decide if I'm willing to risk voiding the CPO warranty, so I may put this off until I've had some time with the car.

After looking into the coding and the price of the cable, I will most likely try out remote coding from bimmerscoding. I found the site via a thread on this forum and the reviews were positive.

Thanks for the feedback on the Bavsound kit, this will most likely end up being my first mod.
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      03-02-2017, 02:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmtriple View Post
I was leaning towards the JB4 anyways. I'll start researching how to install it myself. Unfortunately there aren't many video tutorials or write-ups on the installation process for the E84. If there is another similar install process I can reference please let me know. I still have to decide if I'm willing to risk voiding the CPO warranty, so I may put this off until I've had some time with the car.

After looking into the coding and the price of the cable, I will most likely try out remote coding from bimmerscoding. I found the site via a thread on this forum and the reviews were positive.

Thanks for the feedback on the Bavsound kit, this will most likely end up being my first mod.
Good choice with bimmerscoding! That's what I did and worth every penny. Steve did my coding, and he was even patient enough to deal with my phone dying halfway through!
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      03-03-2017, 10:53 AM   #12
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The bimmerscoding guy is one of the pioneers that first tried Alpina B3 trans flash for our transmissions and also helped work out the kinks like paddle shifters not working. I went through him also. I would recommend you get your own cable though and preferrably have an old XP laptop that you could use for dedicated coding. He will set it up remotely and leave it like that so that in the future you can do your own, knowing you have a working setup (which like others have said is the hard part). I bought the expensive cable from One Stop that is linked in the Alpina tutorial. A few months ago, the dealer erased all my coding and Alpina flash when I had the combox retrofit but was able to redo the flash myself.

That said, I find that MyCarly is the way to go for easy coding. I would recommend the official MyCarly adapter with it.

Alpina Flash is definitely worthwhile if you use the manual shifting a lot. Some find the shifts are not the smoothest because they are so fast. I use manual shifting 99% of the time and love the flash--feels like a different car.

JB4 is easy to install. The directions for E90 are good enough to install it on our cars. Just remember to set the JB4 to "stock" when going for service or coding or diagnostics. I also had issues doing coding/diagnostics with the engine running so don't do that and make sure your battery is good and has charge. Performance and drivability is awesome. More effortless acceleration! You probably have one of the fastest crossovers short of a Macan Turbo!
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      03-07-2017, 02:18 PM   #13
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Alpina Transmission Flash Update

A quick update:

Sport and Manual mode shifts are much faster, and the shift points are more appropriate. Rev matching is nice, and the car seems to have a more natural response to downshifts when engine braking (helps for mountain driving).

My favorite part about this mod has to be the new Drive mode. It is SO smooth compared to stock. It really makes the X1 feel like a new car / new transmission.
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      03-07-2017, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmtriple View Post
I was leaning towards the JB4 anyways. I'll start researching how to install it myself. Unfortunately there aren't many video tutorials or write-ups on the installation process for the E84. If there is another similar install process I can reference please let me know. I still have to decide if I'm willing to risk voiding the CPO warranty, so I may put this off until I've had some time with the car.

After looking into the coding and the price of the cable, I will most likely try out remote coding from bimmerscoding. I found the site via a thread on this forum and the reviews were positive.

Thanks for the feedback on the Bavsound kit, this will most likely end up being my first mod.
Very easy to install. Same process on any N55 car. Exactly the same. Your E84 is just an E90 on longer springs.

Here you go...

www.burgertuning.com/instructions/n55_stage1.pdf
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      03-07-2017, 06:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LevinBR View Post
A quick update:

Sport and Manual mode shifts are much faster, and the shift points are more appropriate. Rev matching is nice, and the car seems to have a more natural response to downshifts when engine braking (helps for mountain driving).

My favorite part about this mod has to be the new Drive mode. It is SO smooth compared to stock. It really makes the X1 feel like a new car / new transmission.
Could you please confirm whether the Alpina transmission flash changes the gear display (i.e. does "D" change to be D1, D2, D3 etc. and does "DS" change to be S1, S2, S3 etc.) ?
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      03-07-2017, 10:36 PM   #16
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Yes, you will see gears with D And S modes in middle of gauge cluster when properly flashed with Alpina trans flash.
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      03-13-2017, 03:19 PM   #17
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Subbing to your thread as I have a similar car. Hope to do some of them in the future too.
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      03-15-2017, 11:06 PM   #18
fmtriple
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I'm in the process of scheduling a remote coding with the Alpina flash. I'll report back with my review of the results.

I'm leaning towards installing the JB+ instead of the JB4. While the extra power is enticing, my research found that modifications were often required for a "clean" mounting install. I may also look into a Cobb AccessPort.
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      03-16-2017, 09:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmtriple View Post
I'm in the process of scheduling a remote coding with the Alpina flash. I'll report back with my review of the results.

I'm leaning towards installing the JB+ instead of the JB4. While the extra power is enticing, my research found that modifications were often required for a "clean" mounting install. I may also look into a Cobb AccessPort.
Mounting? Nothing gets mounted.

There are absolutely no modifications required (or even that one might want to do) to install the JB4. It's extremely easy and straight forward. Who told you that?

No question, JB4 over the JB+. Seriously, don't even consider it.
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      03-16-2017, 09:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
Mounting? Nothing gets mounted.

There are absolutely no modifications required (or even that one might want to do) to install the JB4. It's extremely easy and straight forward. Who told you that?

No question, JB4 over the JB+. Seriously, don't even consider it.
not true. you do have to splice into the ecm. it's not hard, but you do have to do that. clean install still applies though. I wouldn't do a jb+ either.
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      03-16-2017, 09:42 PM   #21
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JB4 and use the Bluetooth kit and mobile app for gauges and logging....
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      03-17-2017, 10:49 AM   #22
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not true. you do have to splice into the ecm. it's not hard, but you do have to do that. clean install still applies though. I wouldn't do a jb+ either.
No, the CAN wires are not spliced. There's no cutting of wires, you're not splicing the JB4 CAN wires in between anything. There's no modification to anything factory.

The car's CAN wires are twisted together from the factory, with a removable cover slipped over them. You simply remove the cover, twist the JB4s wires over the factory wires, and slip the cover back over. You're not modifying the factory connection, it stays intact at all times.
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Last edited by PrematureApex; 03-17-2017 at 11:15 AM.
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