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Thread: S54 FI Comparo

              
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    S54 FI Comparo

    I am currently in the process of reviewing all options for a weekend/track car that I will be purchasing in the spring. The e46 M3 is at the top my list. I plan on learning how to drive the car and then adding power if in fact I go down this path.

    Because it is fun to theorcraft about power potential, I have been doing a ton of research on FI options for this car. I have put together a rough comparo of the 3 leading options (these are current options, this will change when the MAX PSI kit comes out).

    Some things to note about the graph I have put together:


    • The HPF information was taken from their website, (their new 6766 options has proven to produce more power)
    • The AA information was taken their website
    • The ESS graph was derived from information posted on this forum recently


    Cost Info (taken from websites)
    HPF Stage II: $15,500
    AA Gen 7 Stage II: $11,995
    ESS: $8,495 (this is the 550 kit cost but ESS has stated that the 575 kit is no different, just tuning)

    Graph
    Click here to enlarge

    You can draw your own conclusions here but HPF clearly has the advantage on power but that comes at a premium. The best value here appears to be the ESS kit but again that is assuming the 575 kit does not come at a premium over the 550 kit. I am anxiously awaiting to see information from MAX-PSI on pricing and power results with improved tuning or perhaps pump + meth.

    A major decision point for me will also be proximity of support. The compexities of the HPF kit over SC options scares me a little. I live in Toronto, have a trusted BMW master mechanic I go to but I fear that if I go the HPF route I will have to ship the car for install and potentially ship it again if any major problems arise.

    At any rate, this is fun times for me as I am in the cognitive phases with respect to this platform. I still have not decided if I am going to get an S54 as I am also looking at getting back into an N54 or perhaps looking at an S65.


    Would appreciate anyone's feedback and experience.
    2008 E92 M3 - 6MT - Jerez Black
    | Evolve | Apex | H&R | Exotics Tuning |

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    If it's a dedicated track car...add driver skills, lightness, suspension, tires and brakes first. The sum of these things will be quite spendy if done correctly Will get you furthest. Then add power.

    If it's a street car...well the same is still kinda true, just more difficult to measure the gains.
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DefactoM6 Click here to enlarge
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    If it's a dedicated track car...add driver skills, lightness, suspension, tires and brakes first. The sum of these things will be quite spendy if done correctly Will get you furthest. Then add power.

    If it's a street car...well the same is still kinda true, just more difficult to measure the gains.
    Don't disagree, hence my initial statement about learning how to drive the car prior to adding power. That said, I will be adding power so the evluation is important.
    2008 E92 M3 - 6MT - Jerez Black
    | Evolve | Apex | H&R | Exotics Tuning |

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    I am currently in the process of reviewing all options for a weekend/track car that I will be purchasing in the spring. The e46 M3 is at the top my list. I plan on learning how to drive the car and then adding power if in fact I go down this path.

    Cost Info (taken from websites)
    HPF Stage II: $15,500
    AA Gen 7 Stage II: $11,995
    ESS: $8,495 (this is the 550 kit cost but ESS has stated that the 575 kit is no different, just tuning)

    You can draw your own conclusions here but HPF clearly has the advantage on power but that comes at a premium. The best value here appears to be the ESS kit but again that is assuming the 575 kit does not come at a premium over the 550 kit. I am anxiously awaiting to see information from MAX-PSI on pricing and power results with improved tuning or perhaps pump + meth.


    At any rate, this is fun times for me as I am in the cognitive phases with respect to this platform. I still have not decided if I am going to get an S54 as I am also looking at getting back into an N54 or perhaps looking at an S65.
    What are you using the car for? Road racing, HPDE, Autocross, or drag-racing and 60-130mph events? Have you considered power delivery and traction @Irishace?

    The HPF kits power come on aggressively.... violently one might say. I have some limited seat time in a stage 2 and a 2.5. The traction control (outside of Pro-efi) was largely useless, but they are stupid fast when you can keep the tires planted. Also, you will require meth or an E85 tune to maximize the potential of the kit.

    I have sat in a Vt2-500 kit making 465rwhp on pump (91 e10) with 3.91 gears and Evolve tune (@normcaldwell's beast). Silky smooth with some wicked blower whine. Very predictable power and smooth delivery.

    The HPF kit will have a higher ceiling than the blower kits, however the behavior and character of the car is completely changed. This may be acceptable if you are into the Texas mile events, or roll on races.

    An intercooled ESS, VF or AA kit with proper tuning (cough... @evolve) will perform and still maintain the character of the 46M.

    You will have fun with any of the kits.
    Last edited by MisterEm; 01-09-2013 at 06:20 PM. Reason: phone fart

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MisterEm Click here to enlarge
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    What are you using the car for? Road racing, HPDE, Autocross, or drag-racing and 60-130mph events? Have you considered power delivery and traction @Irishace ?

    The HPF kits power come on aggressively.... violently one might say. I have some limited seat time in a stage 2 and a 2.5. The traction control (outside of Pro-efi) was largely useless, but they are stupid fast when you can keep the tires planted. Also, you will require meth or an E85 tune to maximize the potential of the kit.

    I have sat in a Vt2-500 kit making 465rwhp on pump (91 e10) with 3.91 gears and Evolve tune (@normcaldwell 's beast). Silky smooth with some wicked blower whine. Very predictable power and smooth delivery.

    The HPF kit will have a higher ceiling than the blower kits, however the behavior and character of the car is completely changed. This may be acceptable if you are into the Texas mile events, or roll on races.

    An intercooled ESS, VF or AA kit with proper tuning (cough... @evolve ) will perform and still maintain the character of the 46M.

    You will have fun with any of the kits.
    Thanks for your response. I must say I have been following along with the threads regarding Evlove tuning on ESS hardware and its extremely intriguing to me. The SC option is really appealing for that linear throttle response and feel as the car will be a summer driver that will see road course track time and the occasional drag strip run.

    The HPF option, is appealing for the sheer power, that said I am not a good enough driver to likely put that power to the road effectively and I often wonder what it would be like to drive a stage 2 on a road course. Additionally, I do not have the desire or the financial means to have a huge rwhp monster, I want to stay on stock internals and I want to have fun and maximize the uptime of the vehicle without having to constantly dig into my wallet.

    If I go down the S54 path, an evolve tune ESS 550 is really what I am leaning towards. I just do not want to feel buyers remorse about what could have been with the HPF kit. Time will tell and I am still very much following the MAX-PSI progress here along with advancemnts in the other BMW platforms that I like.
    2008 E92 M3 - 6MT - Jerez Black
    | Evolve | Apex | H&R | Exotics Tuning |

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    in for updates, ill be doing the same thing this time next year... but the s2000 is also on the list of cars
    JB4LIFE

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    The last thing you want is a turbo car on the track especially if you are learning. The s54's power band was made for the track don't ruin it!

    Contact Jon over at bimmer sport in Canada. They install tons of s54 kits Active and Ess.

    Fyi the dyno I posted is from an older kit hks 8550 blower. unfortunately I only have dynapak and mustang dynos of the 8555.
    Last edited by Andrew@activeautowerke; 01-09-2013 at 10:54 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
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    T
    Out of curiosity where did you get the ess dyno from? I saw the one they posted and it did not make the same power band as us under 5k.
    Me thinks he posted a graph withOUT an AJ tune (FFS, NickG or Evolve) but with ESS parts. Its a shame, but necessary to maximize the kit even with more conservative timing targets. The vendor slinging continues even though this phenomenon has been proven by several tuners not named Evolve.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
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    The last thing you want is a turbo car on the track especially if you are learning. The s54's power band was made for the track don't ruin it!
    Very true. Look at how much fun traction is for the high HP turbo cars are as well. That is one thing Mert has right to push the S54 platform forward. Enough with the power.... work on traction!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    I am currently in the process of reviewing all options for a weekend/track car that I will be purchasing in the spring. The e46 M3 is at the top my list. I plan on learning how to drive the car and then adding power if in fact I go down this path.

    Because it is fun to theorcraft about power potential, I have been doing a ton of research on FI options for this car. I have put together a rough comparo of the 3 leading options (these are current options, this will change when the MAX PSI kit comes out).

    Some things to note about the graph I have put together:


    • The HPF information was taken from their website, (their new 6766 options has proven to produce more power)
    • The AA information was taken their website
    • The ESS graph was derived from information posted on this forum recently


    Cost Info (taken from websites)
    HPF Stage II: $15,500
    AA Gen 7 Stage II: $11,995
    ESS: $8,495 (this is the 550 kit cost but ESS has stated that the 575 kit is no different, just tuning)

    Graph
    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...3comparo-1.jpg

    You can draw your own conclusions here but HPF clearly has the advantage on power but that comes at a premium. The best value here appears to be the ESS kit but again that is assuming the 575 kit does not come at a premium over the 550 kit. I am anxiously awaiting to see information from MAX-PSI on pricing and power results with improved tuning or perhaps pump + meth.

    A major decision point for me will also be proximity of support. The compexities of the HPF kit over SC options scares me a little. I live in Toronto, have a trusted BMW master mechanic I go to but I fear that if I go the HPF route I will have to ship the car for install and potentially ship it again if any major problems arise.

    At any rate, this is fun times for me as I am in the cognitive phases with respect to this platform. I still have not decided if I am going to get an S54 as I am also looking at getting back into an N54 or perhaps looking at an S65.


    Would appreciate anyone's feedback and experience.
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MisterEm Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    What are you using the car for? Road racing, HPDE, Autocross, or drag-racing and 60-130mph events? Have you considered power delivery and traction @Irishace ?

    The HPF kits power come on aggressively.... violently one might say. I have some limited seat time in a stage 2 and a 2.5. The traction control (outside of Pro-efi) was largely useless, but they are stupid fast when you can keep the tires planted. Also, you will require meth or an E85 tune to maximize the potential of the kit.

    I have sat in a Vt2-500 kit making 465rwhp on pump (91 e10) with 3.91 gears and Evolve tune (@normcaldwell 's beast). Silky smooth with some wicked blower whine. Very predictable power and smooth delivery.

    The HPF kit will have a higher ceiling than the blower kits, however the behavior and character of the car is completely changed. This may be acceptable if you are into the Texas mile events, or roll on races.

    An intercooled ESS, VF or AA kit with proper tuning (cough... @evolve ) will perform and still maintain the character of the 46M.

    You will have fun with any of the kits.

    Are you planning to keep the car street legal? If yes, are there emissions OBDII checks in your area?
    I ask this because I believe the HPF kit uses a standalone engine management system. SES light will be on, and OBDII check will show not ready.

    Another turbo kit possibility is the Maximum PSI kit, which will be tuned by Nick G using the stock DME, and MAF. This kit should pass OBDII check points. For both turbo kits, another consideration is the location/height of the charge pipe above ground. I believe it will be lower than some of the subframe. Where I live, that could be an issue. Plus, there is MisterEm's first-hand seat drive and observation to consider about power delivery and control, which is an excellent point.

    The centrifugal hair dryer, a.k.a. supercharger, setup keeps the S54 linear delivery characteristics. In other words, easier to drive fast. The combo of 3.91 gears plus the s/c kit is a smooth and fun to drive setup.

    If you have access to 93 AKI fuel, and go with the ESS setup, definitely get the 550/575 kit. They are currently showing a dyno with the 575 setup with 522 rwhp SAE. What might that setup do with an Evolve calibration? I'd love to see someone do this.

    There is apparently an outside chance that Evolve will develop a Rotrex C38-91 based S54 kit. If that happens, someone's gonna get a good deal on a VT2-500 setup . . . . .

    Regardless of which way you go with FI, I believe you will find a need to increase heat dissipation capability; particularly if you track the car. It took a Bimmerworld CR radiator and AA sport fan clutch to give mine decent heat management, especially on track.
    Click here to enlarge
    2006 M3 Coupe | 6MT | Carbon Black Metallic | Cinnamon | No Sunroof | OE CSL Bootlid | 3.91 Diff | TCK | DrVanos | Volk
    StopTech ST-40 | Supersprint V1 Stepped | Bimmerworld C&R | BSW| Carbon Dynamics | Vorsteiner | Radium Engineering | Hoen

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    I've been researching FI myself for my e46 M3 and like you, I came from an N54. Based on my research, cars I've ridden it, and companies I've dealt with, the best course of action in terms of money would be to buy a supercharger kit used on the forums and get it tuned by Evolve. New would come at a premium but would of course provide peace of mind. Although I would still get it tuned by Evolve. That would make for a very predictable and fast track car. Big turbo is awesome but honestly not nearly as good on a more technical track IMO. On the street it's whatever floats your boat.

    My advice would be to go ahead and purchase smaller things such as headers and wheels while learning to drive it on a track and then go FI when you have the supporting mods and the hunger for more power. I just installed headers yesterday and I've been romping around town making noise all day.
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
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    The last thing you want is a turbo car on the track especially if you are learning.
    It's fine to take a turbo car out on the track as long as you respect it...I found it just fine.

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    For those of you commenting about not using a turbo car on the track, particularly an S54 turbo, I have to ask....."Have you actually DRIVEN an S54 with a turbo kit to base your comments on?"

    Up until now, the only S54 turbo setup commonly available was the HPF kit. I agree that the HPF setup would be a handful on the track due to the shape of it's torque curve (hard hitting boost in the midrange, ala 80's Porsche 930).

    The MaximumPSI turbo kit has a completely different power delivery. On the street (ie, real load), you get 8psi by about 3500rpm, and it comes on smoothly, not abruptly. This makes it ideal for all type of driving (or racing) conditions. If you haven't driven this setup yet, I suggest you actually do so before commenting on it. Making comments and evaluations about something you've never experienced does a disservice to the product and, most importantly, the community.

    Another thing worth mentioning is the lack of methanol on the MaximumPSI kit. It was designed with only pump fuel in mind. That means no meth pumps to go bad, no jets to clog, no tanks going empty, etc. This maximizes reliability of the kit and the car, something that is very important for FUN operation. You want more power? Throw in a tank of high octane (103) unleaded fuel and turn up the boost a couple psi (~10-10.5). Bam....around 520rwhp and totally reliable, with no hardware changes or meth setups to worry about.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    I want to stay on stock internals and I want to have fun and maximize the uptime of the vehicle without having to constantly dig into my wallet.
    If this is the case, then I'm curious as to why you would want to wait for a kit new to the market. Wouldn't you want a setup that has documented track time and one that, one could argue, would be less likely to have growing pains?

    I bring this up because you're thinking everything through carefully so I suspect this may have more value to you than to others seeking newer solutions.

    As an aside: No need to jump all over this. I'm just isolating one factor. I think new contenders are excellent for everyone.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by NickG Click here to enlarge
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    For those of you commenting about not using a turbo car on the track, particularly an S54 turbo, I have to ask....."Have you actually DRIVEN an S54 with a turbo kit to base your comments on?"

    Up until now, the only S54 turbo setup commonly available was the HPF kit. I agree that the HPF setup would be a handful on the track due to the shape of it's torque curve (hard hitting boost in the midrange, ala 80's Porsche 930).

    The MaximumPSI turbo kit has a completely different power delivery. On the street (ie, real load), you get 8psi by about 3500rpm, and it comes on smoothly, not abruptly. This makes it ideal for all type of driving (or racing) conditions. If you haven't driven this setup yet, I suggest you actually do so before commenting on it. Making comments and evaluations about something you've never experienced does a disservice to the product and, most importantly, the community.

    Another thing worth mentioning is the lack of methanol on the MaximumPSI kit. It was designed with only pump fuel in mind. That means no meth pumps to go bad, no jets to clog, no tanks going empty, etc. This maximizes reliability of the kit and the car, something that is very important for FUN operation. You want more power? Throw in a tank of high octane (103) unleaded fuel and turn up the boost a couple psi (~10-10.5). Bam....around 520rwhp and totally reliable, with no hardware changes or meth setups to worry about.
    Its obvious you have tuned it to not make much power down low because your graph is very similar to a s/c curve. Studying your graph you make power 1k rpm sooner and the same tq as a supercharger. To me it seems all the benefits of having a turbo are thrown out the window. So why not just go the S/c route?

    Methanol is not that complicated and rarely does it clog or have a problem due to the aem security features. I rather have meth on tap with 100% performance for pennies than hunt down some $9 race gas but that's just me. When it comes to reliable power and a proven track record our kit just makes sense.

    E46 m3 level 2 at the 2009 one lap of america WET TRACK!
    <strong>
    Last edited by Andrew@activeautowerke; 01-10-2013 at 11:41 AM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
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    Its obvious you have tuned it to not make much power down low because your graph is very similar to a s/c curve. Studying your graph you make power 1k rpm sooner and the same tq as a supercharger. To me it seems all the benefits of having a turbo are thrown out the window. So why not just go the S/c route?
    You really want to compare graphs? Put up one of your kit's dynojet graphs when running 8psi, 93 octane fuel, no meth, and a stock muffler. That way we can compare the power under the curve of the two setups running the same fuel and same boost.

    Hopefully somebody can copy the dynojet graphs of the MaxPSI kit, posted elsewhere on this forum, over to this thread for comparison.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MisterEm Click here to enlarge
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    Me thinks he posted a graph withOUT an AJ tune (FFS, NickG or Evolve) but with ESS parts. Its a shame, but necessary to maximize the kit even with more conservative timing targets. The vendor slinging continues even though this phenomenon has been proven by several tuners not named Evolve.
    I used the data from a recent dyno post on another forum by EAS on the results of the 575 kit. I did not use data from an ESS kit running an evolve or other tune.
    2008 E92 M3 - 6MT - Jerez Black
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by normcaldwell Click here to enlarge
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    Are you planning to keep the car street legal? If yes, are there emissions OBDII checks in your area?
    I ask this because I believe the HPF kit uses a standalone engine management system. SES light will be on, and OBDII check will show not ready.

    Another turbo kit possibility is the Maximum PSI kit, which will be tuned by Nick G using the stock DME, and MAF. This kit should pass OBDII check points. For both turbo kits, another consideration is the location/height of the charge pipe above ground. I believe it will be lower than some of the subframe. Where I live, that could be an issue. Plus, there is MisterEm's first-hand seat drive and observation to consider about power delivery and control, which is an excellent point.

    The centrifugal hair dryer, a.k.a. supercharger, setup keeps the S54 linear delivery characteristics. In other words, easier to drive fast. The combo of 3.91 gears plus the s/c kit is a smooth and fun to drive setup.

    If you have access to 93 AKI fuel, and go with the ESS setup, definitely get the 550/575 kit. They are currently showing a dyno with the 575 setup with 522 rwhp SAE. What might that setup do with an Evolve calibration? I'd love to see someone do this.

    There is apparently an outside chance that Evolve will develop a Rotrex C38-91 based S54 kit. If that happens, someone's gonna get a good deal on a VT2-500 setup . . . . .

    Regardless of which way you go with FI, I believe you will find a need to increase heat dissipation capability; particularly if you track the car. It took a Bimmerworld CR radiator and AA sport fan clutch to give mine decent heat management, especially on track.
    This is a great post, I am very interested in keeping the car both ODBII and emissions compliant which is another deterent for the HPF approach.

    It is also another reason why I am looking forward to more udpates on the MAX-PSI stock DME approach. That and I love the power curve of that turbo from what they have shown so far. Its not that massive torque bomb pop, it looks smoother in delivery which, for me, would be much easier to drive.
    2008 E92 M3 - 6MT - Jerez Black
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by NickG Click here to enlarge
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    You really want to compare graphs? Put up one of your kit's dynojet graphs when running 8psi, 93 octane fuel, no meth, and a stock muffler. That way we can compare the power under the curve of the two setups running the same fuel and same boost.

    Hopefully somebody can copy the dynojet graphs of the MaxPSI kit, posted elsewhere on this forum, over to this thread for comparison.
    Here you go.. The lower dyno is just a level 1 no meth using our old blower. If you add meth to our level 1 kit without any other changes we avg about 20 whp more.

    If you want to compare mustang dyno results ill have alot more graphs to compare with.

    Click here to enlarge
    Last edited by Andrew@activeautowerke; 01-10-2013 at 12:56 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jbfrancis3 Click here to enlarge
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    If this is the case, then I'm curious as to why you would want to wait for a kit new to the market. Wouldn't you want a setup that has documented track time and one that, one could argue, would be less likely to have growing pains?

    I bring this up because you're thinking everything through carefully so I suspect this may have more value to you than to others seeking newer solutions.

    As an aside: No need to jump all over this. I'm just isolating one factor. I think new contenders are excellent for everyone.
    This is a great point, nothing like proven products. I am not much for trailblazing but the power curve of that MAX-PSI kit is gorgeous Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by NickG Click here to enlarge
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    You really want to compare graphs? Put up one of your kit's dynojet graphs when running 8psi, 93 octane fuel, no meth, and a stock muffler. That way we can compare the power under the curve of the two setups running the same fuel and same boost.

    Hopefully somebody can copy the dynojet graphs of the MaxPSI kit, posted elsewhere on this forum, over to this thread for comparison.
    I will dig out your dyno and throw it into the mix. I believe the pump gas result was in the 460 range so on the top end it will show lower but it would be really intriguing to see the power under the curve in comparison to the others. If I recall your race gas testing yielded 550 at the wheels which is incredible.

    I would also be interested in seeing some pricing on this kit Click here to enlarge
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    Just noticed that MAX-PSI has advised that the kit will be in the $10k area for catted option on a 6 speed manual. Pretty darn competitive.
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    Max PSI's dyno:
    Click here to enlarge

    OP, i suggest you driving the options. IMHO, with Max PSI kits on sale, the HPF stage 1 is off the window. it's pricey and it uses a standalone.
    The SC kits will give you silky smooth power delivery that matches the S54's character. But no matter what, they can't be as efficient as a turbo kit. Check out the Power/boost ratios between Max PSI kit and the dyno provided by Andrew. Also with looking at the dyno of the Max PSI kit, it doesn't seem to be much laggy at all.

    EDIT: For track using though, i suggest you building a NA setup. Check the thread linked below to see some awesome NA power that surprisingly is relatively cheap.
    http://germanboost.com/showthread.ph...d-Dyno-Results

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    I agree an N/a setup would be the best for anyone starting out on a track. You will find you have much to learn regarding suspension setup's, brakes, driving lines ect..

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
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    Max PSI's dyno:
    Click here to enlarge

    OP, i suggest you driving the options. IMHO, with Max PSI kits on sale, the HPF stage 1 is off the window. it's pricey and it uses a standalone.
    The SC kits will give you silky smooth power delivery that matches the S54's character. But no matter what, they can't be as efficient as a turbo kit. Check out the Power/boost ratios between Max PSI kit and the dyno provided by Andrew. Also with looking at the dyno of the Max PSI kit, it doesn't seem to be much laggy at all.

    EDIT: For track using though, i suggest you building a NA setup. Check the thread linked below to see some awesome NA power that surprisingly is relatively cheap.
    http://germanboost.com/showthread.ph...d-Dyno-Results

    That Maximum PSI turbo graph is sweet!
    When I go to the Max PSI website, I see nothing about the E46 M3 S54 kit.
    Here's the URL: www.maximumpsi.com
    Am I going to the correct URL?
    Click here to enlarge
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    S54 Stroker with either the CSL/CF Airbox or Velocity Stacks. It'll give you plenty of WHP for the street, retains the N/A setup on the track (so no heating concerns when you run it at the track) & it'll sound $#@!ing glorious
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by normcaldwell Click here to enlarge
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    That Maximum PSI turbo graph is sweet!
    When I go to the Max PSI website, I see nothing about the E46 M3 S54 kit.
    Here's the URL: www.maximumpsi.com
    Am I going to the correct URL?
    Yes, that's the website and it seems it needs a major update.

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