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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 02:12:48 AM   #1
ccsykes
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Default VF-E "Streetsport" kit review (Dyno Posted)

VF-Engineering “Street Sport” Review

First I must say I have not been compensated, nor am I affiliated with VF-engineering, any shop or this forum. I am a relative newcomer to the BMW scene and have embarked on a yearlong project to transform a 2002 M3 Convertible into an F/I custom built street and show car. The installation of the VF-E “Street Sport” kit concluded my planned performance upgrades (for now). This is my unbiased review and contribution to the forum.

I will rate 5 areas on a scale of 1-10, Customer Relations, The kit itself, Installation, Technical Support and Performance. 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest satisfaction.

Customer Relations (7.5 )

Having worked in the public relations field I will admit that going into this purchase I did not expect very few performance vendors would get high marks. Most automotive performance vendors are typically owned and operated by “gear heads” and not business minded people. They have turned a love into an income, but come up short in true customer service.

After much research I had decided the “Street Sport” kit was best suited for my intended purposes. There was no need to sell me on the product. When I initially placed my order I was informed that some minor items would be on back order and that it might delay the shipment. I was fine with this and informed the sales rep. After I had paid the full amount for the kit however I was informed that not only were a few minor items out of stock, but the Vortech unit itself was also back ordered. Whether or not this was an intentional sales tactic to secure the order, or simply internal miscommunication I cannot comment on. In the end, the kit was shipped within a reasonable amount of time and what appeared to be a stall tactic was not really necessary.

I mailed my DME/ECU next day air to VF-E for flashing. I confirmed they received it the following morning. A week later my DME/ECU had yet to be flashed. I was informed over a three day period that my DME/ECU was “being flashed” as we spoke. This led to some frustration, mainly because I was simply dying with anticipation to get the car fired up and running.

Overall the customer service was what I expected from a typical performance shop. I am a believer in simply telling a client or customer the truth and not sugar coating anything. I believe in a poor economy most vendors will apply as much sweetness as possible to attract and retain the customer, but in most cases this strategy is more sour than sweet. I give 7.5 out of 10 for Customer Service.

The “Street Sport” Kit (10)

I can’t say enough to the quality of the kit itself. The packaging, the design and materials where top notch. It was apparent a lot of effort was put into making a solid kit. There is not much to say on this subject, simply bravo. I give the kit 10 out of 10.



Installation, a DIY Perspective (9)

I decided to install the kit myself. I felt my years of experience working on a large range of different vehicles were sufficient to tackle the project. The simplicity of the kit also made a DIY a no brainer. My only complaints were the directions provided and the hose clamps. I feel customers should be given a choice of the style of hose clamps prior to ordering. I ended up having to replace a large number of the hose clamps due to the fact that I did not have the tool required to crimp the ones provided. I could not locate a tool at any of the local automotive parts houses so I simply replaced them with standard hose clamps. I can see the reasoning behind using the special hose clamps as they have a more OEM appearance, however I believe the DIY’er should have choice.

The directions appeared to be outdated as they had instructions on connecting the oil supply and drain to the S/C unit. The newer kits come with a self contained S/C and thus render these steps obsolete. The directions did indicate that they were not intended for a novice and were simply a guideline for more experienced mechanics. Overall I had no difficulty in making sense of the directions and installing the kit. I believe attention to detail, and a few hours spent refining the directions to be more “novice” friendly would have impressed me more. As a result I give 9 out of 10 for the DIY’er.






Technical Support (10)

Customer service may be one thing, but ultimately what makes or breaks a vendor is their technical support. I can’t say enough about VF-E’s technical support. All my inquiries were met with intelligent replies and a need to please attitude. After completing the installation I ran into problems with my throttle by wire. The car, at about 50% throttle would go into limp mode and throw both an EML and DCS light. I contacted VF-E and was assisted by “Nik”. Even though this problem was not related to the kit itself, but moreover an installation error on my part, Nik gladly and eagerly walked me through and was knowledgeable about what mistake I had made and what to look for. The kit itself was so simple that I had virtually no problems to provide VF-E with. However, I am confident with how my situation was handled that VF-E would have gone beyond what was necessary to tackle any situation. Nik even offered to provide me his personal cell phone number… 10 out of 10 hands down.



Performance (N/A)


I currently have 448 miles on the car since install. The car is a totally different car now. Under normal driving conditions, the car has excellent part throttle response and idles smoothly. In every aspect the car preforms better than stock trim. From a "seat of the pants" perspective the kit is worth every penny. For those looking to do performance mods on their M3, consider going F/I before spending money on intakes and exhaust. I did the N/A bolt on route first as documented in my 2002 Performance M3 performance project thread. Even though I planned to take the route I have, for those looking to maximize their costs, go F/I and don't waste money on the other stuff.

With that said, I am pleased with the performance of the kit. For those that want hard numbers, I took the car to get dyno'd at Houston Performance in NW Houston. Houston Performance uses a Dynojet Research Dyno and is known as one of the lower reading dyno's in Houston. This should be taken into account when reviewing the results.

The car was dyno'd at full operating temperature. The car has JVT headers, no cats and full Borla exhaust. Outside temperature was 68F. The S54 engine has 88K miles on the clock. The car was running Sunoco 260GT Plus unleaded 104. In fairness, I do plan to check for boost leaks and conduct another dyno in a few weeks at a different location in order to compare results. I will hold off on providing a rating on performance until I have insured the kit is performing as it should and the dyno results are accurate. I will be posting videos later.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx2LVJSKUIA



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Last edited by ccsykes; Tue, Dec-15-2009 at 12:43:14 AM. Reason: Update
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 04:15:03 AM   #2
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Subscribed.
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 04:36:33 AM   #3
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Congrats, can't wait to see your results.

One question, are you running catless?
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 04:38:39 AM   #4
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You will be happy once you fix your minor issues. My car has been running perfectly! BTW welcome to the VF family!
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 04:56:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJGM3 View Post
Subscribed.
Ditto!
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 05:16:50 AM   #6
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subscribed also. Please do post Dyno's. thx in advance
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 01:50:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpoweroo1 View Post
Congrats, can't wait to see your results.

One question, are you running catless?
Yes, I am currently running catless. I have been told adding in cats would increase my HP? Something about that doesn't make sense to me.

If there is a proven 15-20HP gain by removing them, I can't see where adding forced induction would change that. Back pressure IS NOT from my 20+ years of performance experience something you want. Increasing scavenging, or velocity has always been the preferred method.

I will keep an open mind however if my dyno results don't pan out. I am at sea level here in Houston and the car will be dyno'd in cooler temps. So I should get a good baseline.
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 01:53:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leletyM3 View Post
You will be happy once you fix your minor issues. My car has been running perfectly! BTW welcome to the VF family!
Even with my Throttle issue, I have seen a noticeable change part throttle. The car is very light on its feet and eager. I can only imagine what it will feel like WOT.

I'm also impressed with the quality of low RPM drivability. It drives better than it did stock! I do have idle surge/search like many have reported, but it only lasts a few seconds and really isn't an issue.
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 03:55:52 PM   #9
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Default Welcome to VF

You will be pleased, my stage 1 has run flawless, Nik and the crew are always willing and able to address my questions. As for drivabilty I think you will find the software and hardware provide a refinement over stock.

Best of luck!
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Old Sat, Nov-14-2009, 04:26:26 PM   #10
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Removing the cats doesn't make the power, adding a properly designed header and getting the cats out from the headers makes the power. Adding a set of cats underneath the car away from the headers doesn't cost any power and at least on supercharged E46 M3's has been proven to add 20-30whp.

I'm making 486rwhp with the euro cats in place...
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Discussing VF-E "Streetsport" kit review in the Forced Induction (F/I) Forum - Discuss the ever growing F/I options here! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)