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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 03:02:47 AM   #1
erickrayos
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Default ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

Ok, here we go again.. But I thought maybe open this topic again since both have quite a few revisions on their kits (AA is now on Gen 9! last thread I saw is when they were at gen 5 w/ HKS blower I think.).


Was wondering, is the extra money spent on the AA kit would be worth it? or just save the 2k-ish and go on w/ ESS instead?





And while on the topic, anyone knows a place or someone that can do dyno tune on a SC'd e46 m3 in SoCal area? So if I do end up SC'ing my car instead of selling (and getting a e9x M3..) I can have a custom tune and not the canned tunes from either company.



Thanks for your time.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 06:04:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

If you're gonna pay for an intercooler then get a turbo. Osh with RMS is out there.

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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 12:18:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

I assume you can get around CARB rules if you buy the non exempt blower kits you are considering?
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 06:45:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

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I assume you can get around CARB rules if you buy the non exempt blower kits you are considering?
Yes, car is registered to NV not in CA.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 07:42:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

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Originally Posted by jared212 View Post
If you're gonna pay for an intercooler then get a turbo. Osh with RMS is out there.

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Intercooler is a heat exchanger and a bit of piping and not really in the "if you got that may as well turbo" thought process. Installed turbo kit roughly twice that of supercharger with the intercooler definitely not being the key cost contributor in that difference.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 09:13:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

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Intercooler is a heat exchanger and a bit of piping and not really in the "if you got that may as well turbo" thought process. Installed turbo kit roughly twice that of supercharger with the intercooler definitely not being the key cost contributor in that difference.
To be more specific, I am not advocating considering a turbo but pointing out that I/C on a supercharger contributes more parasitic loss to overcome, weight gain, heat soak, more difficult installation and increased failure points.

Prima kits with rotrex 7.5 to 1 gearbox is better suited to to emulate the original HP curve of S54. Vortech based kits with 4.4 to 1 gearbox are better suited for traditional V8 style HP curve, particularly drag racing apps.

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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 10:51:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

well I am just asking which of the two kits is better. not how turbo is better coz I know it is but the ease of SC kits in terms of maintenance and since it is a LOT less complicated and less things to go wrong I'd rather go w/ SC.

Plus in case I end up selling the car I can easily revert it back to stock airbox and get more money out of the SC and car.


So yeah back to the original question, which one is better? Is the extra 2k for AA kit worth it?

And the secondary question, anyone knows a tuner that is experienced on tuning SC'd s54 in SoCal or Vegas area? thanks!
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 11:07:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

Pretty sure ess utilizes the vortech sc, which is rebuildable. I think aa uses rotrex? Pretty sure I read somewhere those are nearly impossible to rebuild.

Either way I prefer the ess kit. I didn’t even know it was $2k cheaper, so it’s even more attractive to me.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 11:22:20 PM   #9
erickrayos
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

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Pretty sure ess utilizes the vortech sc, which is rebuildable. I think aa uses rotrex? Pretty sure I read somewhere those are nearly impossible to rebuild.

Either way I prefer the ess kit. I didn’t even know it was $2k cheaper, so it’s even more attractive to me.
Got the price difference wrong its 1k cheaper I believe AA kit goes for 8k and ESS kit goes for 7k (7995 vs 6999).

I know someone that was running a 525 kit and got the 79mm pulley, switched pump to the 455L pump w/ advanced fuel dynamic e85 kit he said he's running at 580whp w/o changing tune which I am not sure if its right or possible w/o changing the tune from ESS.

I've been leaning on the ESS as well but I hear great things from AA as well. that's why I wanna know if the extra 1k spent on an AA kit is worth the money or not compared to ESS.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 11:46:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal?

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Originally Posted by erickrayos View Post
Got the price difference wrong its 1k cheaper I believe AA kit goes for 8k and ESS kit goes for 7k (7995 vs 6999).

I know someone that was running a 525 kit and got the 79mm pulley, switched pump to the 455L pump w/ advanced fuel dynamic e85 kit he said he's running at 580whp w/o changing tune which I am not sure if its right or possible w/o changing the tune from ESS.

I've been leaning on the ESS as well but I hear great things from AA as well. that's why I wanna know if the extra 1k spent on an AA kit is worth the money or not compared to ESS.
I donít see why AA is even worth more. Iíd go ess even if they were the same price. Since you plan to do it right and get a dyno tune, just go with the cheaper option.

Hardware and piping are pretty much proven for both, itís the tuning they come with that changes things up. I prefer the sc that comes with ess over the aa.
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Discussing ESS VT-2 525 or AA Stage 1? And custom tuner in SoCal? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)