The F32 BMW 4-series marked a departure of the 3-series sedan and coupe – the E90 and E92 had done the groundwork, differentiating the two enough that there was maybe cause to change the name of the iconic coupe. Like every generation of 3-series before it, it’s pretty darn good out of the box, but a few BMW F32 mods here and there will make your 4-series a much more enjoyable car to look at, live with and drive.
In the next few paragraphs we’ll be going over some of the best mods for BMW 435i and 428i and walking you through a few of the options so that even the beginning modder can feel comfortable making that first tweak to the car as well as the pros and cons of each. So, let’s get started!
#1 Wheels Change Your 4-Series Looks – For The Better
As we’ve probably said hundreds of times now, one of the simplest and yet most effective things you can do to make your BMW 435i or 428i look better and more importantly, different than the next guy in the parking lot. Of course, with all those numbers like offset, width, tire width to keep track of when ordering a set of wheels, it can feel overwhelming to get the fitment you want. No worries – our Mod Experts are here to help you out with guidance and advice to help you confidently make a well-informed buying decision (714-582-3330 or chat live at ModBargains.com).
Wheels for BMW 435i really set your car apart, we can’t tell you how many 4’s we’ve had come through the shop still on the OEM wheels – and the before and after of the F32 428i above on Forgestar Wheels really illustrates our point. So let’s take a look at some great wheels for BMW 428i and 435i.
F36 BMW 428i GranCoupe with Forgestar F14 Matte Black 19×8.5 Semi / 19×10 Deep Concave on BC Coilovers
Falken 453 Tires 245/35-19 / 275/30-19
Forgestar F14 Wheels for BMW 435i or 428i are a great choice – they look great on every color and are totally customizable to your tastes – each set of Forgestar Wheels is custom-manufactured to the offsets of your EXACT car – meaning they take into account your modifications like coilovers, big brake kits etc to deliver a high quality flow form wheel at a very reasonable price. Flow Form Wheels are lighter and stronger than Pressure-Cast and Gravity Cast wheels (many aftermarket wheels and most OEM wheels are LPDC or Gravity Cast) and come in at a whole lot less than a set of Forged wheels.
Another great option is a set of HRE FF01 Flow Form Wheels. Like Forgestars, HRE Performance Wheel‘s new “Flow Form” line is just that, their “flow form” line of wheels that’s more affordable than their higher end Forged and Modular wheels.
Another newcomer to the flow form game is VMR Wheels, with their new 8-series line of wheels like the VMR V810 Wheels for F32 4-Series, offering a classy parallel-twin 7-spoke design with just a hint of concavity, it lends a great Motorsports-inspired look to any 4-series, and is one of the most reasonably priced Flow Form wheels on the market.
VMR Wheels V710 19in – Hyper Silver Finish on F32 435i
Of course, if flow form is a bit spendy for your “car parts” budget, VMR’s V710 is a classic wheel that looks as good on the F32 as it does on the E46. The V710 offers that classic German sports coupe look that helped make the oldschool E46 such an iconic car. These are cast wheels as well, meaning that they’re quite affordable even on a tighter budget.
Avant Garde Wheels offer some really unique options if something really specific is more your style – like the Custom-Drilled set of Avant Garde M540 Mesh wheels on the F32 435i on the left – and even one of their “normal” wheels can be something really impressive with one of their custom powdercoat options, like the Split-5-Spoke Avant Garde M510 wheels, which are normally offered in Silver, Dolphin Gray and Matte Black but in AG’s “bespoke” color options like Antique Matte Bronze, it’s really a stunner.
Avant Garde M359 Hyper Silver 19×9 / 19×10 on F32 BMW 4-Series
Avant Garde M359 Wheels for BMW F32 4-Series are another great option, these look great on nearly any BMW in your choice of matte black or hyper silver finishes, and since they’re not flow-form, while still lighter than stock, they’re within reach for nearly everyone and put a distinct accent on your 4’s styling.
F32 435i on Niche Targa M130 20in 245/35-20 / 275/30-20
If you’re on a budget, a set of Niche Wheels like the Niche Targa M130 Wheels for F32 in Black Machined w/Dark Tint are a surprisingly economical option, they look great on the car and they won’t break the bank.
Whatever your budget, you can bet that the Mod Experts here at ModBargains and in the shop at ModAuto (our install facility) can set you up with a great looking wheel option that fits your F32’s offsets, your style and your budget – give em a call at 714-582-3330, chat live at ModBargains.com or just stop by the ModAuto shop in SoCal (La Habra on Lambert/Harbor Blvd) any time during business hours (8-5 M-Sat).
After installing a set of wheels however, you may notice that the wheel gap of the car at stock ride height doesn’t look ideal – so let’s talk about eliminating that wheelgap. Which brings us to our next mod.
#2 Eliminate That Body Roll with Suspension
A drop makes all the difference in the world when it comes to making your new set of wheels really “pop”. Right now for the F32 4-Series, the options are a bit limited – but the basics of suspension apply regardless of what brand names are on the parts. There are two primary ways to lower your F32 suspension – springs, or coilovers. Since both springs and coilovers cost the same amount of money to install (because they take the same amount of labor), you have a decision to make.
With a lowering spring, the OEM shocks/struts are now operating 1in or so lower than they were designed to when “at rest”, and because they’re operating outside of their intended range, the factory shocks wear out more quickly. Which means that while it’s cheaper SHORT TERM to install JUST springs, long term you’ll be doing more work when you have to take it all apart to replace the blown out OEM shocks – or factor in the expense of installing a set of shocks paired to work with the springs.
A set of H&R Sport Springs for BMW F32/F33 is a great place to start, lowering the car 1.1in up front and .75in at the rear for the hardtop, which really sexes up the car’s stance.It does the same trick for the F33 Cabriolet, dropping that .5in up front and .3in at the rear for a subtle drop. Springs however, are limited. They’re fixed permanently at a given height and they’re not going to deviate from that. If you don’t like the ride height, tough.
F32 435i with 20×9 / 20×10 Avant Garde M540 Mesh Wheels on Coilovers
If you want to get that really low look, or want to have control over how much lower you are, then coilovers are the way to go. Coilovers allow you a range of adjustment for ride height, giving you control over exactly how low you are, and some coilovers feature adjustable shock absorbers, so you can tailor how the car rides and handles to your specific tastes as well.
When you consider that a coilover includes both springs and shock absorbers, the price difference over springs really isn’t that big, making them a better fiscal decision than you’d think.
If you want a lot of adjustments on your coilovers without spending a lot of cash, look no further than BC Racing Coilovers for BMW F32 4-Series – offering 30 way adjustments for a hair over ten benjamins, these coilovers from BC Racing offer huge bang-for-the-buck when dropping your suspension.
If you feel like spending a bit more, or live somewhere that it snows/otherwise has sucky weather and need a stainless steel finished coilover, KW Coilovers for BMW F32 4-Series are another option to lower your 4-series.
If you want to be able to raise and lower your 4-series as the touch of a button, then a third option is for you – Airrex Air Suspension for BMW F32 will give you that functionality but the pricetag may be a bit too spendy for some.
Not sure what suspension option might be the best choice for you? You can always ask the Mod Experts for their input and advice – give em a call at 714-582-3330 or chat live at ModBargains.com
#3 Hear Your Turbo Sing With an Exhaust
The OEM BMW F32 Exhaust isn’t anything to write home about, and it’s not exactly interesting looking – and you can hardly hear the motor – hell, BMW added frigging SPEAKERS so you could hear it – god forbid you want actual engine note, right?! So let’s talk about that. Your exhaust makes up a huge part of the character of the rear of your car, but also changes the sound and performance of your car.
A great way to give your F32 a better tone is a Remus Exhaust for BMW 435i [F32] – Remus Exhaust is an OEM manufacturer for BMW and Audi so their work is outstanding quality and built to last, is loud enough to notice but not so much so that it’s detrimental – the best way of putting it is that Remus typically is the “goldilocks” exhaust that most people will like, but if you want something louder/bolder, there are other options.
Even in axleback form, there’s a modest power gain from a freer flowing muffler – you can see what we mean illustrated above on the dyno graph. Of course, the exhaust systems for BMW F32 4-Series aren’t restricted to just the 435i / 440i – we have some options for F32 428i models as well.
If you’ve got a turbo-four powered 428i, you’ve actually got a range of options to choose from- you can stay single exit or spice up your rear end with a Remus Quad Exhaust for BMW F32 428i.
Long renowned for their outstanding, top-notch work on Audi and Porsche vehicles, they’ve now expanded into BMW models including the F32. The AWE Tuning Cat-Back Exhaust for BMW F32 435i is highly customizable like all of AWE Tuning’s exhaust systems, and it’s available in axleback or catback forms, with or without resonators with your choice of 90/102mm tips.
These AWE Tuning systems look and sound great, and like Remus, delivers dyno proven horsepower and torque gains and outstanding tone. Since the 4 is a newer model, the selection as of press time is a bit limited, so be sure to check out our selection of F32 Exhaust systems here.
If you’re not sure about what exhaust system might be best, you can always ask the Mod Experts (714-582-3330).
#4 Make Big Power – Whether that’s N20 or N55!
While it’s true the N55’s twin scroll SINGLE TURBO (not TWIN TURBO like N54) doesn’t make as much power outright as the N54, the N55 under the hood of the 435i still has LOTS of power potential – as does the 428i powered by the N20.
Injen Technology has long been a player in the F32 Intake System market, and their Short Ram tuned Air Intake for the 435i streamlines airflow for enhanced power and throttle response and features a heat shield to help isolate the inlet from hot underhood air, further enhancing power. Well engineered and priced within reach, this Injen Short Ram Air Intake for F32 BMW 435i is a great option.
this BMS Performance Intake for F32 435i features a molded intake tube and high flow filter but doesn’t feature a heat shield. This system enhances airflow significantly but doesn’t have all the features of a more expensive system. Offering a great pricepoint at the expense of extras like a heat shield, this BMS intake is a great choice for power for the enthusiast on a budget.
Both of these are great choices, good for about 10whp and 15wtq at least.
We mentioned there’s quite a bit for the F32 428i as well – we cover this in greater detail in our Best Bolt On Mods for BMW N20 Engines (Part I), but we’ll talk about a few.
One of our favorite options is this intake system from Injen Technology. This Injen Cold Air Intake for BMW N20/N26 428i features metal construction and tuned intake pipes to yield higher gains, faster spool and better throttle response – let me tell you from personal experience, with an Injen intake, you WILL hear your turbo spool and the pressure valve’s little chirps, too. It’s a lot of fun. Beyond the great sound, the tuned intake yields 22whp and 9wtq at 2270rpm, the one of the biggest horsepower gains of any N20 intake system on the market.
While we’re talking about intakes, it’s just as important that we take a moment to mention the chargepipes. Evolution Racewerks offers a high flow Chargepipe for the F32 BMW 435i as well as a Evolution Racewerks Chargepipe for F32 BMW 428i which not only enhances horsepower and torque significantly, but the torque curve comes on much earlier and stronger than the stock chargepipe and increases torque across the entire powerband.
Keep Cool and Make More Power More Consistently with Big Intercooler
On a hot day, ever feel like the car is “bogging” and slower than usual? There’s a reason for this – the stock intercooler can’t quite keep up with how hot it is outside. A larger intercooler prevents this from happening by keeping the air charge temperatures low and within a few degrees of ambient air, whereas just a few full-throttle pulls on a warm day can overwhelm the stock intercooler.
Wagner Tuning Competition Intercooler VS OEM Side-By-Side Comparison
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – an intercooler is a critical supporting upgrade for anyone modifying their turbocharged car. The intercooler is a somewhat expensive upgrade, but an intercooler will make a big difference in your 428i or 435i’s performance whether you’re stock or at full bolt on, and also helps extend the life of your car. A Wagner Tuning Performance Intercooler for BMW F32 428i/435i is a solid option, offering a major decrease in air charge temperature.
Air Charge Temperature Dyno Graph OEM (RED) vs Wagner Tuning (Blue)
With more performance mods or a tune, the intercooler holds you back more until you upgrade – the larger intercooler allows you to run more aggressive timing and boost, and the lower air charge temperatures prevent horsepower loss that would occur with the OEM unit.
And of course, there’s tuning. For CA guys, we’re sorry, you’re kinda out of luck. For everyone else in the 49 other states and internationally, read on.
The JB4 is famous among turbo BMW enthsuiasts for one very good reason: It kicks ass. The BMS JB4 Tuner for F32 BMW 435i with N55 motors offers a much more stark 60hp 80tq gain (for Stage II) and response is hugely improved with just one mod (dyno shown has ONLY a high-flow catted downpipe and the JB4 and the example show is a race car not for road use).
The JB4 offers a ton of features but you’ll need to learn how to use it to take advantage of all the clever widgets it offers, like shift lights, open/closing exhaust valves on demand, boost gauge and a whole host of neat things it can do, too much to list here. The JB4 adapts to your modifications and should you be planning to go maximum power with it, the JB4 can facilitate up to a 100whp/120wtq gain on a car with full bolt on modifications supporting the tune and it’s not going to break the bank either.
Of course there’s a version for the N20 as well.
The BMS Stage I Tuner for BMW N20 is a great starting point, and just connects to four sensors in the engine bay and Stage I gains are up to 30whp and 40wtq. The gains for this setup are lower than the two competing systems, but keep in mind – that’s just Stage I.
There are more tuning options available and more will certainly hit the market with time, and eventually, there will be some CA-legal tuning options out there for you Cali guys.
This is just a quick rundown of just a few options – check out our Best Bolt On Mods Guide for F32 435i with N55 Engines here and our Best Bolt On Mods Guide for F32 428i with N20 Engines (Part I) here – click here for N20 Bolt Ons (Part II).
There are always new performance parts hitting the market, so be sure to ask a Mod Expert (714-582-3330) if you’re not sure about any mod or have questions.
#5 Stand Out With Exterior Mods
After dropping the car, fitting a set of wheels and livening up the car with a few performance tweaks, giving the car a look to match is the next logical step. So let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can do that.
One of the quickest ways to give the car a new look is a M-Sport Front Bumper, but if you already have one, there are some options to set yourself apart a bit more – like a Performance Style Carbon Fiber Front Lip for BMW F32 4-Series like the 435i above.
The same front splitters that fit on the standard 4-Series also fit on the F36 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe…
And the Cabrio, also fitted with a Performance Style Carbon Fiber Front Lip Spoiler for BMW F32 M-Sport. However this car still has one thing most cars we get here don’t – its original Chrome Kidney Grilles. Small details like the Kidney Grilles go a long way in cleaning up the appearance of your BMW 4-Series Exterior.
Here’s an F32 fitted with genuine BMW Performance Gloss Black Kidney Grilles for BMW 4-Series – this is the SINGLE SLAT style kidney grille, and personally, the style I prefer, but there’s now a thing called Dual-Slat as well. First, let’s take a closer look at single-slat.
See? It’s a single fin per slat.
The new F82 BMW M4 sports “dual slat” kidney grilles, and so these Dual Slat Gloss Black Kidney Grilles for BMW F32 4-Series are a great way to achieve that distinct “M” look.
Speaking of details, Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers for BMW F32 4-Series are a great way to tie together any other Carbon Fiber Accents you may have and gives the mirrors a bit more flair.
Another simple way to clean up the car is by getting rid of those ugly amber front reflectors. A set of Painted Front Reflectors for BMW F32 4-Series solves the problem by replacing the reflector with one that’s been painted to match the body color precisely, creating a clean, uniform look.
As long as you’re painting the reflectors, if the weird ‘vent’ in the fender bothers you, you can minimize or enhance its appearance by making it blend in with a body colored one or stand out with gloss black or another color – yep, we also offer Painted Fender Trim for BMW F32 4-Series as well.
Hate your front plate but legally have to display it? Don’t want to drill holes in the bumper? The No-Holes Front License Plate Holder for BMWs fits the F32 as well, using the front Tow Hook hole as the mount for your front license plate for a clean way to display the front plate.
There are a few ways to spice up the rear end of the car as well – a Genuine BMW Performance Rear Diffuser for F32 BMW 4-Series adds some extra aerodynamic enhancements to the rear bumper of any M-Sport BMW 4-Series.
A BMW Performance Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler for BMW F32 4-Series Coupe models is a great way to add an accent to the rear end and compliments the styling of the Performance Style Rear Diffuser.
If all Carbon-Fiber is your thing, this Carbon Fiber Performance Style Rear Diffuser for BMW F32 4-Series w/M-Sport dials up the aggression level a couple notches over the plastic BMW version – and a matching Performance Style Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler compliments the look brilliantly.
With a few tweaks here and there like we’ve mentioned above, your F32 4-Series can really stand out from the crowd.
So that’s it for our rundown of the best mods for the BMW F32 428i, 435i and 440i – Coupe, GranCoupe and Cabrio– we hope this was informative for you, and thank you for reading.
Interested in changing up the look and performance of your BMW F32 4-Series? Ask the Mod Experts what exterior upgrades are available for your car to change the style of your ride. Call us at 714-582-3330 for expert mod advice and schedule your installation at the Mod Auto shop today.
Story & Photos Nick Gregson