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    Turbo upgrade advice

    My turbos have high mileage so I plan on rebuilding them shortly. I have been looking into possible upgrades. First let me start by saying I am not spending the money on VTS2 or RB's. This is my daily and while I have the turbo's out I am looking at less expensive upgrades. I know the turbine wheel is what seems to be the limiting factor of the stock turbos. I plan on having the turbine wheel clipped. I have seen anywhere from 5-8 degrees. Any suggestions on how many degrees? I am not sure if even 3 degrees will make a huge difference. My next decision is the compressor wheel. I am looking at 2 different options. KTS makes a redesigned billet wheel that fits into the stock housing. KTS also makes a billet TD03 wheel that has 39.60 inducer with a 56 exducer. Obviously the compressor housing and back plate will need to be machined driving up the cost a bit. Is there much to be gained by going with the larger compressor wheel if the turbine wheel is the limiting factor?

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    Why not just go with VTT Stage 1's?
    2008 135i - Cobb AP, JB4 G5 w/2Step&FSB, MS DP's, Berk street exhaust, AMS IC, VTT Inlets, UR Intake, ER CP w/Tial BOV, Spec 3+ & Steel FW, CDV delete, Quaife LSD, DSS Axles, M3 control arms, M3 rear SF bushings, M3 Trans bushings, SS brake lines. Pics

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    The rebuild kits are 200, clipping the wheels is 60, billet wheels are 150, and balancing is another 100. For the wastegates I am going to have a bushing machined since I can not find SS wastegate parts. I do not want to spend the money to get them custom made. Pretty much for 200 I can clip the turbine and upgrade the compressor. The main thing I am working if there is much benefit to spend another 200 to upgrade to a larger comp wheel if the turbine will limit it. I would love to buy the vargus stage 1 but do not want to spend that kind of money for the upgrade

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blaster3500 Click here to enlarge
    The rebuild kits are 200, clipping the wheels is 60, billet wheels are 150, and balancing is another 100. For the wastegates I am going to have a bushing machined since I can not find SS wastegate parts. I do not want to spend the money to get them custom made. Pretty much for 200 I can clip the turbine and upgrade the compressor. The main thing I am working if there is much benefit to spend another 200 to upgrade to a larger comp wheel if the turbine will limit it. I would love to buy the vargus stage 1 but do not want to spend that kind of money for the upgrade
    Vargas stage one are only $1700, by the time you buy biker wheels and pay for someone to rebuild your stock one's I'm sure you'll surpass that number. $1700 is cheap!

    Have you gotten any quotes from anyone yet for a simple tear down and rebuild? Forced performance could probably do it.
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    A simple rebuild is around 250-300 per turbo. If I assemble them myself I can have billet stock sized wheels with clipped turbines for around 500 for both. The only setup I can compare that to is a guy who used bep batmo wheels and had the wheels clipped. Gained 21 whp and 48 ft lbs. With just the comp wheels he lost power.

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    Man, I understand saving some cash, but to me unless you're doing the labor of turbo removal/installation yourself, the cash you save on doing this trickery with stock turbos becomes a fairly small part of the total $ invested for turbo work. I'm not going to tell you that you can't do it, I don't like nay sayers at all, just hope you recognize the risk vs. reward scenario you're getting yourself into.

    That said, if you do know what you're getting yourself into, this would be a really interesting thread if you could take pictures and all that jazz. I'm not going to be one of those douchebags that think you should do a dyno every time you change your windshield washer fluid to prove results but a VD would be cool before and after if you're so inclined.

    Turbo clipping is still sort of debated, but in theory if done correctly you should get some better breathing up top and reduced lag, at the expense of spool, which is certainly allowable on our little guys. Might work. Good luck, keep us updated, I really look forward to your success here.

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    I will be doing the install myself. I will be happy to take pics during the process and provide VD's. There is not a ton to a journal bearing MHI turbo. Lots of the DSM guys rebuild them without even having them balanced. That I will not take a chance on I will be using a quality rebuild kit and having them balanced. I will most likely go with the upgraded stock sized billet wheel and have the turbine wheel clipped. As far as I can tell these stock sized billet wheels have not been used on the platform but the company seems to make good quality parts. I purchased a used set of CHRA's so I can have them ready to swap when I pull the turbos. Also if I loose power I can swap back to a stock chra without having to source a new compressor housing if I go with a bigger wheel. I know it will not make huge number but If i have 200-300 more invested in it for 20+ whp it is worth it to me. I would be happy with a solid 400whp on 93. I appreciate you at least understanding what I am after here. I knew when making this post I would hear just buy x x or x.

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    Was proven that the billet compressor wheel actually loose power. Either get rebuilded stock or go stage 2 or 3
    07 335i AT - MOTIV 750 - MHD BMS E85 - BMS PI - JB4G5 - Okada Coils - NGK 5992 Plugs - Helix IC - Stett CP - Custom midpipes with 100 HJS Cats - Bastuck Quad - PSS10 - QUAIFE LSD - BMS OCC - Forge DVs - AR OC - ALCON BBK - M3 Chassi - Dinan CP - Velocity M rear Toe arms - Advan RZ-DF - LUX H8 - Level 10 AT upgrade
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blaster3500 Click here to enlarge
    I will be doing the install myself. I will be happy to take pics during the process and provide VD's. There is not a ton to a journal bearing MHI turbo. Lots of the DSM guys rebuild them without even having them balanced. That I will not take a chance on I will be using a quality rebuild kit and having them balanced. I will most likely go with the upgraded stock sized billet wheel and have the turbine wheel clipped. As far as I can tell these stock sized billet wheels have not been used on the platform but the company seems to make good quality parts. I purchased a used set of CHRA's so I can have them ready to swap when I pull the turbos. Also if I loose power I can swap back to a stock chra without having to source a new compressor housing if I go with a bigger wheel. I know it will not make huge number but If i have 200-300 more invested in it for 20+ whp it is worth it to me. I would be happy with a solid 400whp on 93. I appreciate you at least understanding what I am after here. I knew when making this post I would hear just buy x x or x.
    Was just doubting the cost is all, doing everything yourself obviously changes the game. I wish you luck with your project. Are you doing anything to the wastegates to improve reliability?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by enrita Click here to enlarge
    Was proven that the billet compressor wheel actually loose power. Either get rebuilded stock or go stage 2 or 3
    This is a different wheel then the BEP batmo wheel. Here is a picture below. The guy that lost power with the batmo wheel went back and clipped the turbine wheel 8 degrees and gained 20whp. I am not sure if just the clipped turbine wheel have the 20 whp gain. I am not sure if this billet wheel will provide gains because I do not know anyone who has used it on this platform. Like I have said know this will not be a HP monster and perform like the stage 2's.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mjmarovi Click here to enlarge
    Was just doubting the cost is all, doing everything yourself obviously changes the game. I wish you luck with your project. Are you doing anything to the wastegates to improve reliability?
    I wanted to do SS wastegate parts but there is nothing available. My next best option to press in a SS bushing. My father runs a machine shop so that part will be free. This is the solution that TD uses.

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    If your father runs a machine shop why not just DIY your own stage 2s. All you need is a saab td04-15t chra, bridgeport mill, and some cast iron welding wire.

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    Unless your doing all the labor yourself I would say clipped turbos is a waste of money. rock those turbos till they break then worry about replacing them with either another set or a better upgraded set. Maybe down the road you find someone with a used set of rbs that you can swap
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Aerotest Click here to enlarge
    If your father runs a machine shop why not just DIY your own stage 2s. All you need is a saab td04-15t chra, bridgeport mill, and some cast iron welding wire.
    Did not realize this what people are doing. Rob stated it is a lot harder then it seems at i will look into this. Upgraded compressor wheels and clipped wheels seem to have decent gains for the money. I do not plan on have over 500 in the setup
    Last edited by blaster3500; 11-24-2013 at 10:38 PM. Reason: added to post

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blaster3500 Click here to enlarge
    I will be doing the install myself. I will be happy to take pics during the process and provide VD's. There is not a ton to a journal bearing MHI turbo. Lots of the DSM guys rebuild them without even having them balanced. That I will not take a chance on I will be using a quality rebuild kit and having them balanced. I will most likely go with the upgraded stock sized billet wheel and have the turbine wheel clipped. As far as I can tell these stock sized billet wheels have not been used on the platform but the company seems to make good quality parts. I purchased a used set of CHRA's so I can have them ready to swap when I pull the turbos. Also if I loose power I can swap back to a stock chra without having to source a new compressor housing if I go with a bigger wheel. I know it will not make huge number but If i have 200-300 more invested in it for 20+ whp it is worth it to me. I would be happy with a solid 400whp on 93. I appreciate you at least understanding what I am after here. I knew when making this post I would hear just buy x x or x.
    Solid thinking. Stg 1 makes sense only if you build them yourself and keep the total cost at $500.

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    I think most are not doing this because of the machining requirements. It is not rocket science but does require machinist experience which most dont have. Once you figure out what needs to be done, a decent machinist can make it happen fairly easy. The nice thing is you can rebuild the CHRAs for $60 parts and $65 for balancing if you dont need new wheels.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blaster3500 Click here to enlarge
    The rebuild kits are 200, clipping the wheels is 60, billet wheels are 150, and balancing is another 100. For the wastegates I am going to have a bushing machined since I can not find SS wastegate parts. I do not want to spend the money to get them custom made. Pretty much for 200 I can clip the turbine and upgrade the compressor. The main thing I am working if there is much benefit to spend another 200 to upgrade to a larger comp wheel if the turbine will limit it. I would love to buy the vargus stage 1 but do not want to spend that kind of money for the upgrade
    I will just say this, you can do what you want with this information. We hesitantly sell rebuild kits over the counter and I say hesitantly because and this is a very real number, 80-90% of the customers who buy a rebuild kit, are back in under a month, with either a completely failed turbo, and then they are paying for a core, and a rebuild or they bring us the unfinished turbo for us to finish it. If it was so easy to upgrade and rebuild turbos, and all you need is a bridge port mill, and some cast iron welding wire, I am pretty sure there would be more than 2 vendors making an N54 stage 2 upgrade. This upgrade is incredibly detailed, and takes an incredible amount of time to build each set from start to finish. The people who are stating all you need is this or that, I would love if they took a set of stock turbos and came up with a functioning stage 2 style upgrade, including fully replaced waste gate parts, etc. My advice to you OP. You will be wasting more money trying to do this yourself as you will end up doing it twice including labor to pull the turbos. The failure rate on these N54's turbos is already incredibly high due to the stress they see when turned up, now add into the mix, possible improper building, balancing, etc. The odds of you having a set that lasts or even functions properly to begin with, goes down quick.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blaster3500 Click here to enlarge
    This is a different wheel then the BEP batmo wheel. Here is a picture below. The guy that lost power with the batmo wheel went back and clipped the turbine wheel 8 degrees and gained 20whp. I am not sure if just the clipped turbine wheel have the 20 whp gain. I am not sure if this billet wheel will provide gains because I do not know anyone who has used it on this platform. Like I have said know this will not be a HP monster and perform like the stage 2's.

    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo...b15060c5-1.jpg



    I wanted to do SS wastegate parts but there is nothing available. My next best option to press in a SS bushing. My father runs a machine shop so that part will be free. This is the solution that TD uses.
    Press in a SS bushing? The arm itself is always worn, not just the bushing in the housing, not to mention to get the old wastegate parts out, you have to grind the weld off and beat them out, rendering them basically useless. So what are you going to put back in after you press in this new bushing? This thread is a prime example of underestimating what is done on these things. Some products companies try to spin into a black art that are very hard to reproduce etc, when that is not the case. In this instance, this actually is the case. Just having a machine shop does not mean you can build these. Our parts go to 4 yes thats FOUR different machine shops for all the processes we do to them. You think this is because we like to shuttle parts around, no its because some shops specialize in certain things and other specialize in others. To the guy who thinks he can machine a set of stage 2 housings with any bridgeport mill, all I have to say is, I will send you a housing and if you can send me back a housing machined even CLOSE to what is required, I will send you a free set of turbos. I can promise you, you wont be close.

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    +1 to Tony/VTT.

    In all honesty I'd just buy a new set of OEM Turbos if price is an issue. It will get you the furthest along with the least risk, save many $k's in the long run, and for 20rwhp extra if you are lucky (which will amount to next to nothing in the real world as compared to driving, etc) it is just really not worth it. Go Stock, Stage 2, or Stage 3/ST; or go home.

    If you do want to experiment with the batmowheels I do have a set of CHRAs as we had discussed, you can try them again if you'd like which is practically only the expense of your labor of R&R'ing turbos. But getting into the machining process of a Stage 2 is like deciding to pick up an 8# sledge and hitting yourself in the head repeatedly with it, which anyone who actually tries will see for themself.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Rob@RBTurbo Click here to enlarge
    +1 to Tony/VTT.

    In all honesty I'd just buy a new set of OEM Turbos if price is an issue. It will get you the furthest along with the least risk, save many $k's in the long run, and for 20rwhp extra if you are lucky (which will amount to next to nothing in the real world as compared to driving, etc) it is just really not worth it. Go Stock, Stage 2, or Stage 3/ST; or go home.

    If you do want to experiment with the batmowheels I do have a set of CHRAs as we had discussed, you can try them again if you'd like which is practically only the expense of your labor of R&R'ing turbos. But getting into the machining process of a Stage 2 is like deciding to pick up an 8# sledge and hitting yourself in the head repeatedly with it, which anyone who actually tries will see for themself.

    One post for the day,
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    1 post for the day? I don't understand this...you usually make a decent post when you do, but why not just become a vendor?
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    If you read carefully, OP did not plan to do stage 2 upgrade. Stage 1 is piece of cake in comparison.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blaster3500 Click here to enlarge
    I will be doing the install myself. I will be happy to take pics during the process and provide VD's. There is not a ton to a journal bearing MHI turbo. Lots of the DSM guys rebuild them without even having them balanced. That I will not take a chance on I will be using a quality rebuild kit and having them balanced. I will most likely go with the upgraded stock sized billet wheel and have the turbine wheel clipped. As far as I can tell these stock sized billet wheels have not been used on the platform but the company seems to make good quality parts. I purchased a used set of CHRA's so I can have them ready to swap when I pull the turbos. Also if I loose power I can swap back to a stock chra without having to source a new compressor housing if I go with a bigger wheel. I know it will not make huge number but If i have 200-300 more invested in it for 20+ whp it is worth it to me. I would be happy with a solid 400whp on 93. I appreciate you at least understanding what I am after here. I knew when making this post I would hear just buy x x or x.
    Yea but still..
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Rob@RBTurbo Click here to enlarge
    +1 to Tony/VTT.

    In all honesty I'd just buy a new set of OEM Turbos if price is an issue.
    I fully agree that the latest version of OEM turbos are better than stage 1. However, they also cost more. If his budget is $500, the OEM turbos are not an option and his ONLY option is to build stage 1 just like he has planned.

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    ^ (FWIW, my "Latest and Greatest" OEM turbos started howling within a month of being installed)

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    Personally I would stay away from anything that involved machining the housings. There is just too much to go wrong there.

    With that said, I am willing to bet you could use a newer generation compressor wheel with extended tips and a clipped turbine to see some gains, provided the compressor fits in the stock housings. Considering you are doing the work yourself, it might be worth it. Like you say, with using a quality rebuild kit and paying to have the CHRA balanced this should not be out of the reach of a skilled DIY'er.

    At the very least you would have a freshly rebuilt set of turbos, and a decent learning experience. I would consider any gains a bonus.

    I would be prepared to fork over the money for new stock turbos if something goes wrong, however.
    Eppur si muove.

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    Wow this tread went south in a hurry. I never planned/claimed I could build a set of stage 2's. The main purpose of this tread was to see if I should go with a stock sized billet comp wheel or was it worth the cost to machining the comp cover and use a larger wheel if the turbine cant flow it. I will most likely go with the stock sized billet wheel unless I can find a set of comp covers. As far as the wastegates go TD seems to have no problem milling/drilling the wg arm off and installing a sleeve? If it get it apart and it will not work I will address then then. Worst case I will leave them as they are working fine. My whole purpose of this is to fix my leaking turbo seals. While I am it a figure I may as well do a small upgrade. I am not really even looking for more power. Is this the best option for turbos on this car no? and I never claimed it was. It is merely a rebuild with a little bump in power. Tony I appreciate the concern and if it does not work out it does not work out. I enjoy the hobby and the time working on my car. I see no reason why if I buy a quality rebuild kit, measure housing/ shafts, get it balanced/ shafts checked for straightness that it will not be just as good as any other rebuild turbo.

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