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    • Budget N54 block reinforcement? Cylinder Support System for the BMW N54 I6

      The N54 is an open deck design which holds up very well but at higher horsepower and torque levels will run into issues. There are many engine builders out there who will build you a reinforced closed deck N54 block that will take whatever you want to throw at it.


      Those builds do not come cheap. What does come cheap is the CSS system from Cylinder Support System.

      Priced at $795 there is no disputing the value here. Does it work as advertised though?

      CSS makes bold claims but they also have a bevy of Honda motors that back up their assertions:

      Quote Originally Posted by Cylinder Support System
      Simply the BEST way to protect your High Horse Power block from cracking!!! The Cylinder Support System is a proven method of strengthening open deck engine blocks while maintaining OEM integrity. It prevents cylinder cracking, walking, and bell mouthing. Unlike traditional aftermarket cast iron sleeves, the support ring is made from aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum.

      This material will actually pull post combustion heat away from the chamber, decreasing intake charge temps, unlike thick cast iron which tends to heat soak because of poor heat transfer properties.

      The Cylinder Support System process is NOT to be confused with the industry known “blockguard.” Why? Because it does not rely on the loose tolerance and taper(draft angle) of the factory casting. The Cylinder Support System process involves precisely machining the water passage, to accept our precision machined billet 6061 support rings. Our precision fit gives equal support pressure around the cylinders from the top of the support ring to the bottom of the support ring. Even the most finely filed/sanded blockguards cannot compete with the precision of our high quality CNC milling machines.
      Considering the N54 is becoming more and more of a value tuning platform this may be perfect for the current climate.

      Who is going to sign up to find out if it works?

      Let's see what what the established N54 engine builders have to say on the topic.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Budget N54 block reinforcement? Cylinder Support System for the BMW N54 I6 started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 39 Comments
      1. BMWJunkie's Avatar
        BMWJunkie -
        Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky2's Avatar
        Sticky2 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BMWJunkie Click here to enlarge
        Click here to enlarge
        Why?
      1. iminhell1's Avatar
        iminhell1 -
        So would it work with a factory head gasket? (I'm thinking no)
      1. GreyNBlueE92's Avatar
        GreyNBlueE92 -
        This is from the website http://www.cylindersupportsystem.com

        "GUARANTEE: If you crack a sleeve within 1yr at or under 500wHP 4cyl or 750wHP 6cyl. We will reimburse the full price of the CSS process."

        Hope to get to 650 one day, seems like it could work for me.
      1. GreyNBlueE92's Avatar
        GreyNBlueE92 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by iminhell1 Click here to enlarge
        So would it work with a factory head gasket? (I'm thinking no)
        I don't see a reason why it wouldn't work.
      1. AWSAWS's Avatar
        AWSAWS -
        It would be interesting to know how long the typical N54 block can actually withstand 600 or 700whp to understand if this is a good investment.
        In the early days people predicted 400whp would be too much for this block, then 500, then 600 then 700 etc.
        An N54 probably wouldn't last long at 800whp without this mod but I think Payam ran one close to that number on a dyno.
      1. Optigrab's Avatar
        Optigrab -
        im curious about the company's past. Do their other products actually work how is the customer service?
      1. langsbr's Avatar
        langsbr -
        There is quite a bit of information about them on the internet and they appear to be heavy into Honda's since at least the past 5 years. Lots of good reviews on them from high HP Honda users.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        Surprised things like this aren't done more often for open-deck engines. Seems like a great idea to me.

        Given how strong the N54 is to start with, I have to imagine that for even 99% of people tuning them, this would be adequate.
      1. langsbr's Avatar
        langsbr -
        That video is pretty telling that he got 600+ HP and 9700 rpms out of it considering that CSS says the B20 sleeves suck so bad that they offer no warranty on them.
      1. Abacus38's Avatar
        Abacus38 -
        There's a bunch of 900whp Kseries Hondas using CSS blocks. One guy in my old mr2 group made 915whp using 6870. Heres his YouTube channel - > https://www.youtube.com/user/beerad12 he eventually swap the motor into a nsx she'll he found
      1. AWSAWS's Avatar
        AWSAWS -
        Payam stock block run at 800WHP.

        Did you ever re-dyno after finding your boost leak???

        http://Payam stock block run at 800W...-to-the-wheels
      1. GreyNBlueE92's Avatar
        GreyNBlueE92 -
        My understanding is the cylinders can only take that high power for so long before they become out of round and everything goes south. So long as this insert expands the same as the block it should keep the cylinders from warping. If they heat up at different rates I think the cylinder would crack....
      1. Payam@BMS's Avatar
        Payam@BMS -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by AWSAWS Click here to enlarge
        Payam stock block run at 800WHP.

        Did you ever re-dyno after finding your boost leak???

        http://Payam stock block run at 800W...-to-the-wheels
        Yes it made very little difference, that turbo moves so much air. Made 835whp 720wtq, I was on that setup for a couple months. It blew when I was testing higher psi with a 6266. I think the smaller turbo did it because of the violent spool and torque it made vs the slower spooling 6870.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GreyNBlueE92 Click here to enlarge
        My understanding is the cylinders can only take that high power for so long before they become out of round and everything goes south. So long as this insert expands the same as the block it should keep the cylinders from warping. If they heat up at different rates I think the cylinder would crack....
        Absolutely but they say the system helps in heat dissipation. No idea if that is true is or not.
      1. DirtKurt's Avatar
        DirtKurt -
        I don't think there is a difference between what this company is doing and what the other vendors offering "closed deck" setups for far more money are doing.
      1. Weehe's Avatar
        Weehe -
        Agreed, the last picture looks like it was machined flat.
      1. Optigrab's Avatar
        Optigrab -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DirtKurt Click here to enlarge
        I don't think there is a difference between what this company is doing and what the other vendors offering "closed deck" setups for far more money are doing.
        Have any of those vendors elaborated on what their process is for a closed deck?
      1. Payam@BMS's Avatar
        Payam@BMS -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Optigrab Click here to enlarge
        Have any of those vendors elaborated on what their process is for a closed deck?
        Usual process would be to machine the pieces, possibly freeze them and then press fit them in. After it is done and brought to normal temp, they will hone and deck the block.