We learned from a source that there was material in the oil pan. What was that material? Well, here is the answer, a broken ringland:
What causes a broken ringland? Detonation is usually the source. Here are the types of failure that detonation usually causes:
1. Mechanical damage (broken ringlands or rod bearing failures)
2. Abrasion (seen on the piston crown)
3. Overheating (piston skirts scuffed due to excess heat)
You already saw that number 1 took place, in the pictures below you can see that numbers 2 and 3 seemed to be a factor as well:
Those look like classic signs of detonation folks. The motor looks like it wore itself out over time which would explain the claims of the owner "driving" shortly before disassembly. Sure, it ran, but not for long according to the pictures and definitely was not healthy.
What appears to have happened is heat built up over time as a result of detonation from possibly a lack of fuel or from the pre-ignition due to too much timing on high compression, as in, poor tuning.
We sent these pictures to an engine builder as well as tuner, people you all know but who asked not to be named, to get their take on what happened:
Well there you have it folks, this motor died rather quickly detonating itself into oblivion. Why? Well, ESS tuning has not been able to have any success tuning supercharged motors outside of the factory internally stock S65. Remember, this in no way reflects on their stock motor kits which are very solid options. The issue rather is their ability to tune for setups beyond the stock motor and this is why they abandoned their Stage 3 low compression supercharged motor. Did this motor failure play a factor in it? Possibly, but either way ESS currently has a 0% success rate with any built motor S65 application.
What many people do not realize is ESS files actually originate overseas. We have heard from more than one tuner that their base files come from the same tuner that does the tuning for G-power. Well, many of you know that G-power kits have failed. This is not odd, we would not be surprised if several kits on the market today share some file similarities that originated from the first G-power kits. This is how it works folks, there is no magic. The problem though lies in that ESS is limited in custom tuning ability as they are forced to work within the narrow confines of what they have been given. This works great for the stock motor setups, but in custom setups, the results can be disastrous as you see here.
What makes this all the more amusing? The owner of this vehicle and ESS has engaged in a cover-up claiming nothing was wrong. Look at what the ESS file loader / US tuner Asbjorn wrote to us:
=Sam@AutoTalent]- Robert / Pencil Geek / PG's motor was never blown or had any problems. The reason for the re-build is to make more power to achieve the 200 mph goal in the Texas Mile. He drove his car from Northern California to Southern California to take care of the next step. Robert has been very upfront about everything he's done with his car & it's performance.
Now, we are sure the owner and ESS are already steaming and wondering what can they do to spin this. Maybe try to claim this is not Robert's motor? Well, good luck with that, as Robert happened to send me in an e-mail hi-resolution photographs of his bored block, take a look here:
That is before the supercharger. See the serial number there to the left? Feel free to match it up to the block of the failed motor:
Same motor. That not good enough for you? You can clearly see it is a bored block and additionally that those are aftermarket pistons in the failed motor. If you look at the top you can see an arrow on the pistons, which the stock BMW pistons do not have:
Stroker/bored piston in failed motor:
And a stock piston:
What led to this entire situation?
1. Envious and arrogant owner who became upset other and much younger owners were supercharging their cars and outperforming him for far less money.
2. No foresight to realize forced induction would be the way to go for big power.
3. Lack of experience and knowledge with BMW tuning as the owner should have built the motor with low compression pistons to begin with but did not know what he was doing and has now paid the price.
4. Using a tuner that has not demonstrated the ability to complete custom projects outside of a narrow framework.
So there you have it. What makes this all worse is that these people have been attacking Active Autowerke as of late just as Gintani used to be attacked. ESS has been using their marketing tools, and I use tools with emphasis, to spread misleading information of Active Autowerke and their supercharged motors to continue to create this illusion of superiority and better reliability. I hate to burst the bubble for you folks, but every tuner has had some issues. We have not played favorites showing you the Active failure (which may be attributed to rod bearings), Gintani rod bearing failure, and now the ESS stroker failure. We would probably list a VF-Engineering failure as well but they have to get on the market first (although they have enough S54 failures that they are set in the engine failure department for some time to come).
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no magic tuner. There is no one super reliable superior setup. These are high compression motors being pushed to HP levels that are almost double what they come with in some cases. There will be bumps in the road. We do not wish to chastise ESS Tuning but considering how they have attacked everyone else and blatantly lied, it's time for this information to come out. We find their tactics and threats absolutely deplorable. Omar at Active Autowerke actually put it best:
There are four vendors all selling competing supercharger kits on BimmerBoost. EAS sells VF-Engineering, Precision Sport sells Active Autowerke, Gintani sells their own, and IND-Distribution sells the ESS Tuning kit. These companies all get along and do not bash one another. IND in particular provides quality builds, support, and we fully recommend the ESS setups they sell as some of the highest quality options one can buy. Notice they don't sit around bashing each other? What is the missing element? Well, that is for you to decide and we believe you are bright enough to figure it out.
All the motor failure pictures are posted below, analyze them yourself if you wish.