Still new to the site, but I thought you guys might want to know. FBIS's released Single Review. Feel free to discuss here.
Many of the N54 owners know that I have been here for a while and I have been reviewing parts for the E9x for a long time. I have gone from a FBO stock twins car, to a nitrous FBO car, and now onto a single turbo. My plan all along was to jump to a single, but for a long time it seemed like it wasn't going to happen. After a long wait, I read earlier this year that Vishnu/FFTEC had a working single solution. After seeing some of the beating they put on their car, the dyno runs, and the drag strip times I decided this was the single turbo I have been waiting for. This review was a LONG time coming. To say I was excited when my car shipped would be an understatement.
I have now had my car enough time that I feel more comfortable writing a full review about the VF700. In this review, I am going to cover the shipping process, customer service, communication by Vishnu/FFTEC, component quality, power delivery, lag, my impressions of the Procede, and overall feel of my car. So you know what I am reviewing, here are the options that I got with my kit.
- 62mm CEA Precision turbocharger
- 44mm Tial wastegate
- Thermal wrapped coated tubular exhaust manifold
- Single 3" down-pipe with external wastegate discharge
- 2.25" Compressor output intercooler pipe
- 3.25" Charge Pipe
- Oil feed/drain line
- Coolant pipe
- 3-port boost control solenoid
- Gold insulation and WW neck heat wrap
- Air filter with recirculation
- All necessary silicon couplers, hoses, clamps, fittings and fasteners
- DME reprogramming
- Procede Rev. 3
- Vishnu PWM Methanol Kit With 4 Nozzle Upgrade
- AEM 3.5 Bar MAP Sensor
- Vishnu Charge Pipe With Forge DVs
- Ceramic Ball Bearing CHRA Upgrade
- Recirculated Wastegate
My car left in late March to ship to Vishnu/FFTEC for the upgrade. Vishnu/FFTEC has a shipping guy that will work with you to pick up the car and deliver the car back to you when the process is done. You can choose an open or enclosed trailer for your car based on your own personal preference and pricing.
I dealt with a guy named Edgar during the shipping process and he was very helpful during the entire process. Edgar organized for my car to be picked up and then the specific shipping company he hired called me. I organized a time and place for them to pick up the car. When they trailer arrived at the pickup location, they called me, I drove the car over, and even was able to help them load up the car. I was very nervous about the trailer process because I didn't want my car to get damaged, but the loading process was painless and they made me feel very good about transporting my car. I did leave them a tip with the hopes they would take care of my car. My car did arrive safely and the return process was equally easy. They even inspected my car upon pickup and drop-off for damage which I was very pleased with.
Overall, I was very happy with the transportation process. I was nervous my wheels would get damaged or I would get rock chips all over the car, but it was taken care of well. The only thing I should note is you do not want to leave anything on your car that could blow off. My stick-on CF mirrors blew off during the transportation process and it was my responsibility since I didn't remove them. I don't think I was told about this policy, but nonetheless I did have to buy new carbon fiber mirrors. It actually gave me a chance to go over to full CF mirrors, so it wasn't a bad thing in the end.
FFTEC Turbo Kit / FFTEC Install / FFTEC Communications
When my car arrived at Vishnu/FFTEC, Mike was the contact man I had with the company. Mike was really a pleasure to deal with from the first day I talked to him until the time my car was returned. Honestly, he dealt with a ton of emails from me and always kept me in the loop. There were times he actually responded to my long winded emails from his phone when he wasn't at work. He really is a great asset to Vishnu/FFTEC.
When my car shipped, Vishnu/FFTEC estimated my car would take about a month or so to complete since I was basically the first getting the kit. As the process began, Vishnu/FFTEC sent me pictures through the entire process. I got to see the pictures of the tubular manifold installed, they sent me pictures of the wastegate and y-downpipe as it was installed, and I even got to enjoy pictures of the turbo as it was installed. It was very nice of Mike to send me the pictures and it did help during the wait.
Here was one of the first pictures I got as my HKS exhaust was removed.
The manifold is definitely a thing of beauty!
The recirculated wastegate and divorced downpipe can been seen well here.
While my car was at Vishnu/FFTEC, I also had them install M3 sub-frame bushings and Turner Motorsport Delrin Differential Bushings.
After the turbo kit was installed, the PWM methanol kit was installed and the intercooler was tapped for the 4 methanol nozzles that were installed.
The install itself was clean under the car, but a few things under the hood needed to be tidied up. I had to snip a few zip ties and the bracket for my STETT oil cooler need to be changed since it was originally mounted to the vacuum canister bracket. Since I don’t have those vacuum canisters on my single turbo, I needed a new bracket. I worked with FFTEC on this and they sent me a clean bracket very quickly.
The exhaust manifold comes wrapped, the windshield washer neck is wrapped, and part of the engine cover is covered in gold insulation.
The kit is put together very well by Vishnu/FFTEC. Since the kit was installed, I obviously couldn't review each individual part, but with what I can see I have to say it was a well thought out kit. I inspected the work on the sub-frame / differential and everything was done well. In addition, I had some driveline vibrations that I caused when I installed the driveshaft center section upside down and Vishnu/FFTEC found and fixed the problem. I was VERY happy about that. It is clear the work Vishnu/FFTEC does is very good from the turbo kit to the other miscellaneous parts I had installed. The craftsmanship on the parts all seem top shelf.
The total time from the day my car left until when it returned was about 3 full months. This was longer than I expected and I was disappointed that it took so long. I was the first car to get the upgrade and I didn’t want a prototype kit, so I expected it to take a little longer but three months in my opinion was excessive. I think if I didn't insist on a production kit, then I could have cut the time from start to finish down, but that was not an option for me. Regardless, I would be lying if I said the wait part wasn’t frustrating.
Vishnu/FFTEC Install Of Charge Pipe / PWM Methanol Kit
Vishnu/FFTEC did the install work on the PWM methanol kit and charge pipe. Everything was done nicely and cleanly. There were no scratches and the work was very good. I did notice the charge pipe did not come with t-bolt clamps, so I changed out all the clamps for t-bolt to clean things up and secure the pipe. I am not sure it is fair to say the worm clamps are not sufficient, but I wanted a uniform look.
The driver's side of the engine bay is very clean. You can see the Vishnu 3.25" charge pipe, methanol Fast Acting Valve (FAV), and forge DV setup. Notice the filters to help against venting methanol into the engine bay.
Vishnu/FFTEC used my Snow Performance methanol tank and my original mounting location that I used for my pump. This ensures I would have a safe trunk mount methanol tank and the pump would be gravity fed and these are non-negotiable things for me.
Vishnu/FFTEC VFF 700 Performance Test ... Dyno Runs
When I got the car back, the first thing I wanted to do was dyno the car to see what kind of power numbers it would make. While it was in California, it dyno'd at 654 rwhp on the Dynojet closest to Vishnu. Here is the 654 rwhp run…
Since I felt an independent dyno was critical, I went out and got some numbers on my own dynojet. I did 3 consecutive runs with zero cool down to see how repeatable the numbers would be. What I found was a very, very consistent car. I did 632, 633, and 635 rwhp on each of those runs and I have the dynos below with the highest run of the day. For reference, my car made 262 rwhp stock, so this is an increase of 373 rwhp over my stock car! It think you could make the argument that my dyno reads low since it only made 262 rwhp stock, but we know the delta is what is important.
Keep in mind, all these runs were done on pump plus methanol since that is what I run daily.
For those that wanted to see and hear the dyno runs, here are the videos. The car ran and sounded like a BEAST!
I also immediately logged the car so we could see fuel trims using the Procede and ProcedeFLASH. Notice fuel trims are well under 35% for almost the entire run and only go over 20% at high rpms. I was very pleased with this!
It was obvious that my car was making the power advertised and only dyno to dyno variations existed. From here, it was time to log more and document lag / performance.
Vishnu/FFTEC VFF700 Performance
I assume this is the part of my review that most people on the forums want to read about. How does the car perform? Is there lag? How snappy is the car? Does it pull hard the entire time? How is fueling? With these questions in mind, I wanted show you video, allow you to hear the car, and quantify as much as possible through logs. I want to start this entire review by showing you a log of a multi-gear pull off the dyno to show you timing and fuel trims when running 650 rwhp. Notice that with the ProcedeFLASH and Procede tune, my fuel trims only max at 20% when running about 25 psi on this run. You can also see beautiful timing curves that max near 14 degrees advance at redline. These runs show a very happy car.
I also captured two AFR runs from my FJO high-speed digital data logger so you can see how the AFRs look. The first run is a single gear pull and the second is a 2 gear pull. Notice the AFRs target about 12.8:1 on my AFR when running methanol on each run. I am not sure if I am leaking in some air on my exhaust, but the timing is beautiful and the fuel trims are incredible, so I feel good here. *It should be noted that my wideband is in the midpipe and I think there may be a leak. The AFRs in California read about 0.5 fatter than I am seeing from my wideband. If the car wasn’t hitting targets, then it would show up in the fuel trim data.*
With a happy car, I wanted to spend a little time on one of the big topics regarding single turbos… lag. Is there much lag on the Vishnu/FFTEC VFF700? During this testing, I was looking to quantify how long it takes for the car to reach 10 psi and 20 psi after going WOT (TPS 100%). We all know that every car has its powerband, so this testing will help you see how the car responds when cruising at different rpms as you transition into full throttle. The way I set out to quantify this was using logs where I started in second gear at 2k rpms, 3k rpms, and 3.5k rpms so you could see how the turbo responds. Let’s start by looking at the first log where I transition into full throttle at 2k rpms. Keep in mind this is way out of the powerband on the car, but still worth looking at. Notice I go full WOT at exactly 1.73 seconds. The car reaches 10 psi in 4.14 seconds and reaches 20 psi in 4.95 seconds.
Next, let’s look at a log where I transition into full throttle at 3k rpms. This puts us much closer to the powerband on the single turbo setup. Notice I go full WOT at exactly 1.34 seconds. The car reaches 10 psi in 1.12 seconds and reaches 20 psi in 1.49 seconds.
Finally, I started with the at about 3700 rpms in 2nd gear and floor the car so you can see how fast the turbo comes on when the car is in the powerband. Notice I go full WOT at exactly 2.0 seconds. The car reaches 10 psi in just 0.73 seconds and reaches 20 psi in 1.01 seconds. This shows just how fast the turbo hits and just how fast you get to 500 rwtq on my car.
Hopefully this helps you understand the transient response of the PT6262 CEA turbo on our car and address “lag” on the Vishnu/FFTEC VFF700 kit. The bottom line is you need to know your powerband and drive in that power band. If you own a Ferrari, you won’t be trying to get power response from the car at 2k rpm because it is a slug down there. You will know where the car responds and drive in that powerband. That means you need to drive the car at 3k if you want to drive the car hard. The car is unbelievably responsive when you hit it above 3k rpms.
The next thing I wanted to cover had a little to do with how the car sounds and drives on the road. I shot some videos to help you get a feel for how the car sounds. I have video from inside the engine back and what it sounds like from the back of the car using a remote microphone to capture the sound! I am also including video of the speedometer, tach, and P3 vent gauge so you can get an idea of how fast the N54 is with a VF700 kit. Notice how the annoying wastegate rattle is totally gone on a nice single. The car is just incredibly fast from gear to gear and pulls endlessly. This is 500 rwtq from the second you hit about 3800 rpms until the time you stop driving. The rush you feel from a car like this is tough to capture. I hope this video helps you get the feel for what it is like to be in a car like this.
As for the ¼ mile or VBOX data, I will wait until I have some track time because I don’t feel comfortable with that testing off a proper track.
My Impressions Driving The Car
When I got my car back, there was a problem with the NLS. When I shifted from 2nd to 3rd at WOT, I got a harsh bog into 3rd gear. I made Shiv aware of this problem and had a fix within 7 days. Since then, the bog has never returned.
Driving a single turbo car is very different than driving a twin turbo car. You really must re-learn how to drive the car because the powerband is shifted to the right. Like any car, you must know where it makes power and drive the car as such. I drive my car now at about 3k rpms to keep the car ready to go.
Once you hit the throttle at 3k rpms, the car is quite frankly an animal. I cannot even begin to describe how long and how hard the car pulls. It sinks you so far into the seat from the second you step on the gas until the second you let off and it doesn’t matter what gear you are in. Everyone that has driven with me in my car turns white. They are grabbing for anything they possibly can once they feel how hard the car pulls for the first time. Most people are reaching around the back of the seat and trying to find the handle to grab onto because they are so shocked. It is brutal and refined power.
With the R888 and suspension work I have done, the car tracks straight and pulls hard. I can dead hook second gear now with no passenger and hook first with a passenger. It is a real challenge to shift properly during the 1st/2nd shift and 2nd/3rd shift because the rpms turn so fast. As I learn the car, I am getting better. This is the hardest part of driving the car.
Driving around town, the car is tame and quiet. It is nice when you don’t have any rattle coming from the turbos on the upgraded single. When you open the car up, you heard in the video above how “powerful” the car sounds. It is really remarkable how hard this car can pull. On methanol, it just pulls forever with downright brutal power. To say I enjoy the car would be one of the great understatements in my life.
One last thing I want to note is how fast the turbo responds. We have a unique car with direct injection allowing us to run so much boost on a high compression motor. This gives us unique advantages over the Supra dyno queens we all have seen. You get a very responsive motor with this upgrade and an incredible transient response from the PT 6262 CEA turbo. When above 3k rpms, the car feels almost as responsive as it did with the twins. The video shows the raw power of the car and just how fast I can boost. I have owned singles before and never expected the car to be this snappy.
This has been one of the most overwhelming and difficult reviews I have ever written. So much was done to my and it took time to re-learn my car. I have a new tune, new charge pipe, new methanol kit, then Vishnu/FFTEC installed M3 sub-frame bushings and Turner delrin sub-frame bushings on my car. When the car got back to me, I installed M3 lower guide rods and upgraded the rubber on my car to Toyo R888 tires. This completely transformed the slop in the rear end of my car and finally allowed me to hook. Once I was able to get traction, then I was able to begin this review. In addition, I know the feuds that exist between tuner camps and I never wanted to be in the cross hairs of this mess.
The entire process for this upgrade took a long time. From the time my car left to the time it returned was nearly 3 months. Part of that occurred because I had a number of extras that added time to the process. I also told Vishnu/FFTEC that I didn’t want a prototype kit but a production kit so my review would represent the exact kit others will end up buying. All in all, it took longer than I expected and that was the most difficult part of the project.
Vishnu/FFTEC simply put does quality work. From the manifold, to the y-pipe downpipe, to rear end work that was done to my car … the project was done well. I have been able to put hard miles on my car and it has been up to the task. I was really impressed with the workmanship on the manifold when I took off the wrap to inspect things. Vishnu/FFTEC could have tidied up my engine bay a bit more by snipping zip ties. Vishnu/FFTEC did go the extra mile as they fabricated a new bracket for my STETT Stage 2 Intercooler and coated it black to match my engine bay. I was really happy with the work they did.
Mike @ Vishnu/FFTEC was a pleasure to work with through the process and I was even able to talk to Sean a number of times. Mike’s customer service was great! He emailed me pictures and let me know how things were progressing on my car. He emailed me numbers when my car was on the dyno and that was very cool! If you ever get a chance to talk to Sean @ Vishnu/FFTEC, I strongly suggest taking advantage of the opportunity. He cares about his customers and it is important to him that you have a car you are ultimately happy with. Isn’t that the name of the game?
The tuning work and meth kit install was also done by Vishnu/FFTEC. The install was clean and has been problem free. When my car returned home, Shiv took the time to walk me through how the car would operate and made sure I was comfortable with the operation of my new turbo kit. He has also answered a lot of my questions through the process. I have texted / talked to him a lot of times since my car has been home. I feel I probably can be annoying at times with the number of emails and text I send, but Shiv did his best to answer me normally within 24 hours. Shiv has a lot of his plate and he did his best to get back to me asap even when he was in Asia.
The wait was a long and there were times during the process that I just wanted my BMW back. Vishnu/FFTEC built the car incredibly well and fixed the stupid mistake I made when reinstalling my driveshaft, so I am a very happy customer now. Owning this car, driving this car, and having fun in this car like I do now made it all worth it. Vishnu and Vishnu/FFTEC put together a simply unbelievably powerful car that responds freakishly fast. It is powerful, refined, and easy to modulate the requested power with the gas pedal. It is not just an animal, but it is controllable and that is necessary at these power levels. There are not many cars on the road that can run with something like this and that was my goal all along. The Veyron is one of the few production cars that is faster, but it is nice to be in that elite class. I really cannot imagine an unhappy customer with this kit.
I want to make one thing very clear. If you try to start any arguments in this thread, I will not respond. I am not expecting everyone to love everything I write, but I hope we can act adult and like BMW owners in this thread. If not, I will ask mods to delete the comments.