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    • The N54 finally comes into its own - Vargas Turbo Tech Stage 3 N54 (335/135) twin turbocharger upgrade sets new N54 horsepower record with 693 wheel dyno

      Congratulations are in order to Vargas Turbo Tech as well as Cobb tuning and ProTuning Freaks for raising the bar as to what the BMW N54 inline-6 twin turbo motor is capable of. There are two platform records here the first of which it is important to note was achieved without methanol injection. There are certain tuners on the N54 platform that mask their ability to upgrade and control the stock fueling system and any fueling issues are "solved" by dumping in a ton of methanol.

      Well, with no meth and the cars own fuel system (with High Pressure Fuel Pump tweaks courtesy of Vargas Turbo Tech) responsible for all the fueling 673 wheel horsepower was achieved in STD correction on a Dynojet. That is a record for horsepower on the platform without methanol injection and was done with a blend of MS109 fuel and 93 octane.

      Meth injection was then added and the figures rose to 693 wheel horsepower. If more time was available for the parties involved including Josh at Cobb as well as Jake and Dzeeno at ProTuning Freaks the 700 wheel barrier likely would have been crossed. This will happen sooner rather than later now but this is still a major milestone and a new era the N54 is entering. The motor is finally starting to mature and although it is not on a comparable power level yet with the top BMW aftermarket options this is a huge step step forward for a platform that spent considerable time in limbo due to fueling and tuning issues.

      It must be satisfying for all involved especially Vargas Turbo who was doubted by many early on due to being a fresh entrant on the N54 tuning scene with many fanboys blindly following another tuner providing a turbo upgrade. Vargas Turbo Tech, Cobb, and PTF have surprisingly quickly surpassed the results from a competing turbo kit that uses a single turbo setup and have done so without relying on meth injection band-aids. A true fueling upgrade is here as well as a turbo upgrade making some serious power and setting the standard.

      Congratulations and much respect to all the parties involved, dyno graphs and videos are below.

      693WHP 572WTQ Graph:


      693 WHP 572WTQ Graph 0 Smoothing:


      Back to back no meth / meth run
      673WHP 564WTQ no meth / 680WHP 556WTQ


      A few runs stacked to see how consistent the car is:


      693WHP 572WTQ with speed to prove it was in 4th gear:


      Octane Calculator pic:


      693WHP 572WTQ Pull video:


      Back to back no meth / meth run:


      This article was originally published in forum thread: 693WHP 572WTQ - 98 Octane, with meth - 673 WHP 564 WTQ 98 Octane NO Meth VTT VTX-R63 Early Dynos PTF / COBB Protune started by VargasTurboTech View original post
      Comments 367 Comments
      1. Sered's Avatar
        Sered -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Josh@Cobb Click here to enlarge
        The wastegates work like stock, so we had no issues there at all. I learned a lot while we worked on the car, so I'll be doing my best to implement changes to make for even better control. This stuff is very time consuming and I'm not trying to keep anything from end-users, we just need to get everything working and completely stable before release. The initial "race code" is not at this state and that's why it hasn't been released. Should be exciting times coming very soon. Don't worry, when it makes it to ATP, it will make it ATR at the same time (or close to it).
        Thanks for sharing, that's good info. My only concerns at this point in time are tune-related for my own personal car and this makes me feel a lot better Click here to enlarge
      1. lulz_m3's Avatar
        lulz_m3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Josh@Cobb Click here to enlarge
        The wastegates work like stock, so we had no issues there at all. I learned a lot while we worked on the car, so I'll be doing my best to implement changes to make for even better control. This stuff is very time consuming and I'm not trying to keep anything from end-users, we just need to get everything working and completely stable before release. The initial "race code" is not at this state and that's why it hasn't been released. Should be exciting times coming very soon. Don't worry, when it makes it to ATP, it will make it ATR at the same time (or close to it).
        Great info Josh, can you comment on how progress is going towards pushing past the ~22psi DME barrier?
      1. Josh@Cobb's Avatar
        Josh@Cobb -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
        Great info Josh, can you comment on how progress is going towards pushing past the ~22psi DME barrier?
        I can tell you that we were well beyond 22psi for this testing. It's not the perfect solution yet, but I hope to make it that way before this kit is released. Its very tedious work, but with what I learned I think we'll be able to make several good changes. Changing the boost limit will only be part of the solution. We'll also need to change some of the load request functions and more. I have some really good ideas to play with that should help out everyone.
      1. Black Sheep's Avatar
        Black Sheep -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Josh@Cobb Click here to enlarge
        I can tell you that we were well beyond 22psi for this testing. It's not the perfect solution yet, but I hope to make it that way before this kit is released. Its very tedious work, but with what I learned I think we'll be able to make several good changes. Changing the boost limit will only be part of the solution. We'll also need to change some of the load request functions and more. I have some really good ideas to play with that should help out everyone.

        Click here to enlarge
      1. CannonFodder's Avatar
        CannonFodder -
        Great!
      1. lulz_m3's Avatar
        lulz_m3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Josh@Cobb Click here to enlarge
        I can tell you that we were well beyond 22psi for this testing. It's not the perfect solution yet, but I hope to make it that way before this kit is released. Its very tedious work, but with what I learned I think we'll be able to make several good changes. Changing the boost limit will only be part of the solution. We'll also need to change some of the load request functions and more. I have some really good ideas to play with that should help out everyone.
        Awesome news! Not sure if you feel like disclosing, but is the DME seeing/modeling based off the absolute pressure, or are you guys still using "other" methods like changing the voltage scaling for the MAP sensor?
      1. Josh@Cobb's Avatar
        Josh@Cobb -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
        Awesome news! Not sure if you feel like disclosing, but is the DME seeing/modeling based off the absolute pressure, or are you guys still using "other" methods like changing the voltage scaling for the MAP sensor?
        There's a lot going on right now, and I'll keep some discretion for PTF since they are the owners of this tune (I was more of a consultant). However, in the end, the idea is to have the DME monitoring everything as it did from the factory... it will just have more tolerance for requests that would currently be out of bounds.
      1. Carl Morris's Avatar
        Carl Morris -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Josh@Cobb Click here to enlarge
        The wastegates work like stock, so we had no issues there at all.
        I understand they function in the same manner but I've assumed that there would be a learning curve to getting a boost curve where you wanted it even when all the tools are available. If you just slap an OTS map on it with the Stage 3 turbos, don't you end up with a different boost curve independent of spool issues? I would think the WGDC would need to be adjusted to get the same boost with such different turbos.

        I learned a lot while we worked on the car, so I'll be doing my best to implement changes to make for even better control. This stuff is very time consuming and I'm not trying to keep anything from end-users, we just need to get everything working and completely stable before release. The initial "race code" is not at this state and that's why it hasn't been released. Should be exciting times coming very soon. Don't worry, when it makes it to ATP, it will make it ATR at the same time (or close to it).
        OK, thanks. I had been under the impression that the ATP guys have had access to some boost control tools for a while now (to support RBs) that the ATR guys did not have access to. It sounds like you're saying that the "race code" that supports upgraded turbos has been limited to just a few beta people.
      1. Josh@Cobb's Avatar
        Josh@Cobb -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Carl Morris Click here to enlarge
        I understand they function in the same manner but I've assumed that there would be a learning curve to getting a boost curve where you wanted it even when all the tools are available. If you just slap an OTS map on it with the Stage 3 turbos, don't you end up with a different boost curve independent of spool issues? I would think the WGDC would need to be adjusted to get the same boost with such different turbos.



        OK, thanks. I had been under the impression that the ATP guys have had access to some boost control tools for a while now (to support RBs) that the ATR guys did not have access to. It sounds like you're saying that the "race code" that supports upgraded turbos has been limited to just a few beta people.
        Ahh, yes, current OTS maps would definitely not be compatible with this setup. There was/is a large learning curve, but PTF has done a great job on their end and I'll do what I can to provide the best control possible for everyone down the road. The "race code" is definitely only in a few peoples' hands because of its nature. If it was completely stable, it would be in all ATP/ATR releases. Its always up to the end-user or ProTuner to know what they're doing with what we provide or face the consequences.
        Part of what makes the N54 DME great is all of the safety features that keep you from screwing up anything too bad. Now that these cars are being pushed harder, we finding out how some the DME's safety features can be a hindrance to power. As more gets exposed, control will be put more in the hands of the tuner instead of the DME. I know this is something you've been waiting for, so keep an eye out for new features in the coming months.
      1. V8Bait's Avatar
        V8Bait -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Josh@Cobb Click here to enlarge
        Ahh, yes, current OTS maps would definitely not be compatible with this setup. There was/is a large learning curve, but PTF has done a great job on their end and I'll do what I can to provide the best control possible for everyone down the road. The "race code" is definitely only in a few peoples' hands because of its nature. If it was completely stable, it would be in all ATP/ATR releases. Its always up to the end-user or ProTuner to know what they're doing with what we provide or face the consequences.
        Part of what makes the N54 DME great is all of the safety features that keep you from screwing up anything too bad. Now that these cars are being pushed harder, we finding out how some the DME's safety features can be a hindrance to power. As more gets exposed, control will be put more in the hands of the tuner instead of the DME. I know this is something you've been waiting for, so keep an eye out for new features in the coming months.
        Release some more values as beta or "advanced" then, I know you have them... ATR is great, but I know you must have O2 tables, min/max values or tables for many of the safety features, etc. I bet you've cracked code for anything related to any of the trouble codes in the DME, and there are many of them. If there are any hysteresis between values not evident already I guarantee they would be discovered in short order with some of us tinkering around.

        Pleeeeaaaaassse! I only get to play for another two months!
      1. benzy89's Avatar
        benzy89 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Carl Morris Click here to enlarge
        It's actually a good question, long term. I don't expect dzenno to give away any of his work, but Cobb has been very slow to give all the ATR people the ability to control boost above a certain point. I'm hoping that changes because otherwise a pro tune will be the only way. So really it's more a question for Cobb than for Tony/dzenno. If Cobb also released a basic OTS map that will at least somewhat control the wastegates properly for that hardware that will just be a bonus.
        You're kidding, As long as the logic it ATR is available, OTS Maps are the least important thing, especially because this is still a completely stock motor with a turbo system operating identical to OEM.

        Let's be real: if you can afford a ~$5k+ turbo system, you can afford the $500 it costs to PROtune
      1. Carl Morris's Avatar
        Carl Morris -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
        You're kidding, As long as the logic it ATR is available, OTS Maps are the least important thing, especially because this is still a completely stock motor with a turbo system operating identical to OEM.

        Let's be real: if you can afford a ~$5k+ turbo system, you can afford the $500 it costs to PROtune
        I get what you're saying, but I'm a tinkerer and like to play with things myself and I do a lot of experimentation with things like E85. I'd pay for a base 91 octane map if that got me an unlocked map that I could tinker with myself from there, but I don't expect Dzenno to sell unlocked maps. So I'm dependent on Cobb to provide/sell me the tools I need. As much as I like this platform I'm not in the mood to start disassembling from scratch. This is a lot more complicated than the 1g DSM code was.
      1. benzy89's Avatar
        benzy89 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Carl Morris Click here to enlarge
        I get what you're saying, but I'm a tinkerer and like to play with things myself and I do a lot of experimentation with things like E85. I'd pay for a base 91 octane map if that got me an unlocked map that I could tinker with myself from there, but I don't expect Dzenno to sell unlocked maps.
        But like I said, that's having the logic made readily available in ATR. It's not like anything drastic has been changed: the Vargas Stage 3s are still a twin turbo setup that operate in the OEM vacuum controlled WG fashion. You'll need to monitor all your normal channels when tuning, you just slow increase your values.

        I understand that it'd be a lot easier to have a starting point closer to a finished product (vs. using the OEM Turbo OTS Maps and slowly building them to support twin GTXs), but it's still going to tuning the exact same way.


        Side Note: Tuning yourself with stock turbos, you're more than likely to destroy the snails before you seriously inflict damage on the motor. With the Stage 3s, you're more than likely going to ruin the motor before the turbos. Because I have no credible tuning knowledge, I wouldn't "tinker and play" with this kind of setup in ATR unless I had a concrete understanding of what I was doing.
      1. Carl Morris's Avatar
        Carl Morris -
        I know what I'm doing. There are limitations in the currently released Cobb ATR tool that you may not be aware of, though. Josh@Cobb has adequately addressed those concerns for now. I'll be able to follow the process you are envisioning once the tool is updated and I buy some bigger turbos.
      1. Wescuddles's Avatar
        Wescuddles -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
        You're kidding, As long as the logic it ATR is available, OTS Maps are the least important thing, especially because this is still a completely stock motor with a turbo system operating identical to OEM.

        Let's be real: if you can afford a ~$5k+ turbo system, you can afford the $500 it costs to PROtune
        Don't get me wrong I can afford the protune and would prefer it, but being north of the border on an island west of Vancouver Canada makes it expensive to ship to someone I would feel comfortable doing the tuning. Just was curious if an ots map was feasible or not.
      1. Dfv2's Avatar
        Dfv2 -
        It's awesome to see this hardware pushing the known boundaries on all fronts. I expect we will all benefit from the knowledge gained on the tuning end by Cobb/PTF in the form of new, stable "race" firmware in future ATR releases. Carl, I'm with you. As more and more people move to upgraded turbos this ability will HOPEFULLY filter into the hands of the shadetree tuner. Gotta give credit where credit is due though; Cobb/PTF are killing it on the tuning front, and what they're doing with/to the DME is valuable IP.
      1. bmw335iguy's Avatar
        bmw335iguy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wescuddles Click here to enlarge
        Don't get me wrong I can afford the protune and would prefer it, but being north of the border on an island west of Vancouver Canada makes it expensive to ship to someone I would feel comfortable doing the tuning. Just was curious if an ots map was feasible or not.
        No reason why you couldn't get PTF to do an e tune for you. That's what ill be doing.
      1. Tony@VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        Tony@VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wescuddles Click here to enlarge
        Don't get me wrong I can afford the protune and would prefer it, but being north of the border on an island west of Vancouver Canada makes it expensive to ship to someone I would feel comfortable doing the tuning. Just was curious if an ots map was feasible or not.
        Why would you have to ship anything? D tuned this car with Dropbox and text message. We actually have a very efficient system going. He has never even seen the car and got 693, I am confident he can repeat.
      1. Josh@Cobb's Avatar
        Josh@Cobb -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Why would you have to ship anything? D tuned this car with Dropbox and text message. We actually have a very efficient system going. He has never even seen the car and got 693, I am confident he can repeat.
        ^Agreed. E-tuning should be a viable solution for this kit.
      1. Wescuddles's Avatar
        Wescuddles -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Why would you have to ship anything? D tuned this car with Dropbox and text message. We actually have a very efficient system going. He has never even seen the car and got 693, I am confident he can repeat.
        Ahh gotcha. I'm a cobb noob I never knew it was capable of e-tuning! Right on that definitely helps with my decision on this kit.