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    • Power under the curve - Comparing the Active Autowerke Level II and ESS VT2-625 + VT2-650 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kits and HP/TQ curves

      All centrifugal superchargers for the BMW S65 V8 do not produce the same powerbands. For example one kit with a certain supercharger compressor map may have much stronger mid-range punch and another may have a much stronger top end. It is this aspect that sparked a large debate after a video was posted of BimmerBoost members akh23456 and LostMarine comparing their Active Autowerke and ESS M3 supercharger kits respectively.


      Fanboys and vendors from all sides came out stating their cases and why their system must better than the other. BimmerBoost will not be choosing favorites in this battle but wishes to expand on the topic. It is with this that BimmerBoost member @flipm3 (third party with no affiliation with any of the E9X M3 supercharger producers) posted the comparison below of dyno chart overlays of the Active Autowerke Level 2 system and ESS VT2-625 and VT2-650 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kits. The graphs clearly show one compressor used has more mid-range and area under the curve and the other has much more top end. These kits are similar yet have different approaches making for different curves. BimmerBoost will explore doing a similar comparison to this with all the kits although readers should keep in mind that paper results are not the same thing as real world.




      Since this seems to be the master thread of comparing the AA Stage 2 with Meth versus a plethora of ESS kits, I figured I would share some of the DynoJet data that I have been looking at in WinPEP7. I asked Andrew@activeautowerke if he could send me a DynoJet DRF file of an average and standard AA Stage 2 with Meth. He kindly replied with an attached file and clarified that it was a normal AA Stage 2 with Meth complemented by a 100% catless exhaust system. My assumption is that it's running 93 Octane fuel considering the dyno was conducted in Florida, from my understanding. It must be noted that the DRF file that I received was actually of an older Stage 2 running the HKS GTS5550. It is proposed that the present and newer HKS GTS5555 may hold power better at the top end.

      Now having a hold of a single DRF file of the AA kit, I decided to look at the vast amount of data on the large online dyno database publicly accessible to download DRF files from various E9X M3s.

      There has been a hot debate on the difference between the AA Stage 2 and a multitude of ESS kits. Me, trying to stand a neutral ground and currently no where near being in the market for a supercharger, I decided to simply just compare dyno results. This is only that. Comparing solely dyno graphs. I am noticing a large trend on various message forums of people focussing on max values. What some may or may not understand is that, max values tell only a very short part of the story. What people often forget is to observe the shape of the curve or the area under the curve. Although not always 100% indicative, this could very well help predict how car will perform on the street and track.

      What I decided to do was choose a handful of different ESS VT2 kits that would look like a good match to compare with the AA Stage 2 with Meth. I based this solely off personal judgement. To be fair, I chose what I thought to be the "best" run for each respective ESS kit. To me "best" means which had, not necessarily the highest max value, but what had the strongest curve and looked to provide the most power throughout the power band.

      Please Note: The following dynos are property of Active Autowerke, ESS Tuning, respective owners of the vehicles, and the publicly available S65 dyno database. My intention is not to prove that one kit is better than the other, but solely to entice people to take the time to really study dyno graphs. Although dyno graphs are not the end-all be-all, it can very well depict how a car performs. Of course there are endless variables that play into role, but I choose not to get into that right now. So as I always say, take all these dyno graphs with a grain of salt and even skepticism. Also please note that all of these dynos were conducted on different DynoJets and in some cases, different States. This alone provides a potentially influential confounding variable.

      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs Lalit@ACM ESS VT2-625
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      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs DLSJ5 ESS VT2-625 (95 Octane)
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      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs Sal@ACM ESS VT2-650
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      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs m33 ESS VT2-650
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      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs m33 ESS VT2-650 w/ Meth
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      Again, this post is simply to provoke discussion, as well as, raise the awareness that there is more than simply max values. I hope that many of us, being hardcore automotive enthusiasts, will take the initiative to make it a habit to study dyno graphs with a bit more thought. In addition, for anyone in the market at buying anything related to your car, I encourage you to take the time to do the research, to contact respective tuners, current clients, all simply to gather as much data, information, and opinions as you can. Ultimately, it's you who chooses what you put on your car. ESS Tuning, Active Autowerke, VF-Engineering, G-Power, Gintani, and Evolve Automotive all make amazing supercharger kits. In the end, regardless what route people take, I don't think anyone will complain with the monstrous power that they add to their car. I have much respect for all these companies simply because it is a very cut throat industry, but their passion for automotive tuning prevails and they keep improving upon themselves and their products. To all the tuners and companies out there, keep at it because competition is what pushes you to better your product and service. Now a days, I don't even think there are "bad" options anymore since everyone will have many pros that may very well out way, some of their own cons.

      I forgot to add another comparison which I think is very relevant!


      AA Stage 2 w/ Meth vs DLSJ5 ESS VT2-625 w/ Meth
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      One thing that I purposely did not bring up was boost levels. The biggest reason being that I didn't see all the logs within the embedded DRF data. It must be noted and appreciated that all of these cars are making more or less power at different levels of boost. I'll be the firs to admit that I am fairly new to really digging into the engineering of Forced Induction. So my level of understanding of overall kit efficiency, boost efficiency, size of pulleys, intercooler design, etc is still fairly new to me. Instead of trying to prove a point with evidence that I am not 100% comfortable with, I chose not to bring in that variable. Although it is very important!

      These comparisons are solely just comparing curves. Simple as that. How they play into role during a road coarse or straight line race, I don't know. How they play into role in the 1/4 mile or from a rolling race at varying speeds, not sure about that either. This is just to provide a visual aid in the difference between a handful of kits.

      There is no doubt that the ESS and Vortech V3si have AMAZING power up top. It holds a very steep slope of power increase nearly until the very end of redline. On the other hand, the HKS GTS5550 seems to have a very nice foothold in the midrange. Once again...pros and cons. The consumer should do their research and pick what meets their demands the most.

      I hope you all enjoy the visual aids I posted. Again, this is still a very short page in the book of comparison.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: AA level II and ESS VT2-625/VT2-650 dyno comparisons started by flipm3 View original post
      Comments 87 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        We have to compare manual vs manual here as the gearing is so close and we are trying to compare power bands.

        The majority of tuned E39's are not even producing stock figures. Take a low mileage E39 with setup cam timing and hardly any carbon build up and then it's a fair comparison.

        One has way more torque, the other has min 20hp on top and more revs to use.

        It is such a good example.
        Yes it's a good example but in this example the top end HP wins if it is a drag race or roll on race. If they were equal weight it might be better.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Very 1 dimensional - flat out race comparisons.

        E60 M5 kills and E39 in a race.

        Real world everyday driving - E60 is frustrating in comparison.

        There is so much more to life than flat out racing and peak HP.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Real world everyday driving - E60 is frustrating in comparison.

        There is so much more to life than flat out racing and peak HP.
        Winning is winning:

        Click here to enlarge

        The E60 M5 doesn't have less torque than the E39.
      1. M&M's Avatar
        M&M -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        he said about 30hp by spraying water on it. if i had a heat exchanger, i would test it. I know it was a trick on a few previous platforms ive had as well
        No way it makes 30hp, I've done it on the dyno with 3 supercharged M3's.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M&M Click here to enlarge
        No way it makes 30hp, I've done it on the dyno with 3 supercharged M3's.
        just stating what i read and was told
      1. Tikamak's Avatar
        Tikamak -
        FI'd like to see a VT2-625 ESS tuned by sal@evolve overlayed with a VT2-625 ESS tuned by ESS.I believe that part of the difference between the dynos in the midrange is not only due to supercharger compressor map differences, it is also due to the tuning perfection.


        anyone with an E92 M3 ESS ready to take it to sal@evolve and do a pre and post dyno and show it here ?? This is very crucial and interesting information. There are a few threads here and there about ESS cars tuned by evolve and that are producing more power in the midrange and up top and with a smoother power delivery. Awaiting this information anxiously
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        haha!! Thanks for your vote of confidence!

        I'm cannot do majic though Click here to enlarge

        The most anyone could do is alter the cam overlap but that's not going to make that much difference. It cannot make up for the massive difference in air flow in the midrange.
        Right now, no SC S65 competitor cars will be tuned otherwise all manner of accusations will start flying out there about how we 'copied' the tuning. We already have a competitor who is stupid enough to think we copy his stuff and everytime we make more power than his tuning. Silly Muppet.

        We are tuning a surprising number of SC E46's though and getting some impressive gains from going more conservative on the tuning. But that's another story.