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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 09:21:35 AM   #1
Tchleung
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Default ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

This is super long. If you don't like to read, just skip to the end of this first post for dyno results or hit BACK now

If you're reading this, then chances are you have the same seed planted in your head as most of us already in here have. "I want to go fast" Well you're in luck, my name is Tom and this is my story of going from N/A to a supercharged M3 and the many extra things I have changed and done aside from a "bolt on" kit.

First of all, for performance enhancements I already had before supercharging was the following:

140,000kms stock engine
Evolve tune
Euro replica headers(catless)
Magnaflow catback(modified)
4.10 Motorsports gear set

It all started with this...ESS Tuning's VT1-455



Now, I'm not going to go into the install portion as it is all very straight forward so I'll just link you to my original thread. Please post here if you have a question from that thread.

CLICK ME FOR INSTALL PICS THREAD

I ran it for a while and loved the extra power I got from a very basic and very very easy to install bolt on kit. Everything fit well and under light load it drove like stock! You could easily fool anyone, until you went wide open and scared the crap out of them.

Unfortunately, I'm someone that can not leave things alone. Even if I am 100% satisfied with something, I'll still tear it apart to try to find different ways of doing things, maybe even a better way or just a way to improve upon it. It's all about self motivation and the strive that I have to keep learning. Keep pushing.

So my next step? Lets just throw a smaller pulley on and see what she can do!! Easy right? Not exactly. Coming from a drag racing background and building very high hp/tq engines, I knew even a simple pulley upgrade is not so simple. You can't change one thing and leave everything else alone and expect it to just work.

First things first. Lets get a proper boost gauge and air fuel gauge setup. This is key. Without it, you are just praying and riding the, "Oh it feels fine, it MUST be running great" train.

I hate ugly unsightly gauges. I wanted something that not only blended in, but also complimented the M3's fine interior. I set out to create my own driver side vent gauge system much like the P3Cars setup that they offer for all the newer BMW's.

After 1 semi successful attempt at making a functioning boost gauge only, I now had the knowledge and an idea in my mind for a second and hopefully, final attempt. I contacted Neil @ VEI Systems and had his team build me a slim boost/air fuel gauge that had peak memory recall and could dim when I turned the headlights on so they were not over powering at night. Their system works in conjunction with an external wideband source in which I have my AEM UEGO wired to.

Success...! PS, the vent still fully functions and has full adjust ability




Perfect, now I can see what boost I am hitting and what my A/Fs were like. How will I know if I am knocking or not? I need a way to monitor ignition timing before and after. I contacted a friend who constructed me a bezel that mounted in place of the ash tray spot. It's designed to house a ScanGauge2. This connects to the OBD2 port and gives you most of the basic readings you need such as IAT, IGN, VSS, RPM, ECT, etc... And it also can read and erase codes!(Not the BMW extended codes). For practicality and again, going with the OEM look, the lid is still able to close over the display to hide everything. So I just flip it open whenever I want to see something.



Now the next issue. More air = more fuel needed. The ESS tune that you will receive is already quite conservative and on the rich side. Chances are I could put the new pulley on and still be in the safe region for timing advance and fuel. But just in case, lets throw a water meth kit on. With the meth/water, it will help in aiding with a little extra fueling that I might need and also help with cooling the air charge since I'll be pumping hotter air from the charger now and I still don't have an intercooler. It was just all around a good idea as I did not want to pay a lot more extra on top for another retune yet.

I went with the AEM single nozzle progressive injection kit. The install is very easy and their kit is kind of all bundled together in a neatly packaged controller and is very user friendly. I installed the smallest nozzle and set the kit to start spraying at 1psi and max spray by 7psi. I mounted the controller under the fuse panel in the glove box and the reservoir is in the pocket by the left rear tail light in the trunk. The pump is mounted by the flat tire pump under the trunk floor board.




NOW I'm ready to do a pulley upgrade! The VT1-455 kit utilizes the factory crank pulley and a 3.40" supercharger pulley which yields on average 5.5-6 psi. I was getting 6psi. I live somewhat in a low altitude region so while I may get 6psi, I may only get 5psi when I'm 3000 feet up so take my readings for what they are and how they effected my car and location.

I ordered the next size down which was a 3.33" Vortech pulley. Now here is a tip for all of you. ESS has their pulleys custom made. Their pulleys are not the same off the shelf pulleys that Vortech sells. ESS's pulleys snout end that mounts against the supercharger is 1/8" shorter. So if you just slap the pulley on, chance are you'll walk the belt off or move it 1 rib forward on all your other pulleys or vice versa. You have 2 options. Either space the charger 1/8" back with spacers, or have the new pulley milled down 1/8". Please be smart and do it the proper way and have it machined down guys.

Belt wise, I was able to reuse the original belt that the kit came with, the factory tensioner has enough swing to compensate for the tiny bit extra belt length now and still have good belt tension on everything. But just for reference, I used:

Gates# K060900 OR Continental# PK060900

Where did this land me for boost and air fuel? 7psi @ 8000rpm with A/F hovering in the mid to low 11's. Juuust right!

Let me tell you, with 7psi and 4.10 gears, the car absolutely rips. I couldn't believe how just 1 pulley size change and adding meth could help. I have found the power and feeling I was looking for. I drove with this setup again for a few months and was 100% satisfied...

But like I said before, why stop at satisfactory?

What was my next step to be...

An intercooled kit of course.

I have always been one to never like sticking with the whole manufacture's suggestions of what you should and shouldn't do with their stuff. I like to make my own stuff and be able to say, "Yeah I did that" even if it means being slightly worse then doing the proper upgrade. So instead of going with the basic VT2-500 upgrade from ESS Tuning, I ventured out to build my own upgrade kit.

My list of things to do were hardware, than software when it came to the upgrade. I hit all the for sale sections looking for someone parting an intercooler kit, this soon became obvious that finding an intercooler kit by itself was going to be much harder than I anticipated and probably more costly than just buying the proper upgrade kit from ESS. I had inquired about buying just an intercooler from ESS but they were pushing me to buy the proper upgrade from them and didn't seem to want to sell the intercooler alone which I completely understand where they are coming from. To avoid constantly poking a stick at someone to get what I want only to piss someone off that I had no issue with, I dropped my inquiries and pursued other options. I ended up being in contact with Active Autowerke and after a few short emails and a phone call, I purchased their intercooler from their Stage 1 kit. Yes folks that's right, I have an Active Autowerke intercooler on my ESS Tuning kit! *Gasp* :p



The mounting process is very straight forward and the intercooler came with the mounting brackets so that was nice. Both ESS and AA kits have the same style pipe routing. Really there are not many options for where you can run the pipes with the tight space we have. So I saved a bunch of pictures that I could find on the internet and started to copy them and make my own. Frankly, I am embarrassed by how these pictures look but it was general mock up and all the pipes are now flat black and nicer looking. I used Vibrant Performance hose connectors in most places. Love their stuff.




Next thing up now is my pulley situation. With so much more volume from the intercooler and pipes and any inefficiencies with air flow it is a natural result that you will now run less boost pressure. But by how much? I took the car for a spin. Needless to say, it was slow as hell. The boost pressure had dropped by much more than I anticipated and I was now running about 5psi at redline and the air fuel was pig rich at flat 10's since the fueling of a Apha-N tune does not adapt to boost pressure change, it is still supplying fuel for for my previous 7psi setup. I needed to spin the blower faster to compensate and I had 2 options once again. Either run a larger crank pulley or a smaller supercharger pulley. I didn't like the idea of trying to drop down 2 sizes to a 3.125" pulley to try to get to 7+psi in fear of belt slip on such a small pulley, so I opted to go for a larger crank pulley.

To recap, I'm currently running a 3.33" SC pulley with stock 4.5" crank. ESS VT2-500 run a 3.33" SC pulley with what I believe is a 5.25" crank to obtain 7psi. Just like the intercooler issue, finding just a crank pulley was near impossible. Anything I did find was all way too large in the 6" range. I didn't want to purchase an AA or ESS crank pulley just yet, so I started looking into other BMW options. Maybe a crank pulley from another vehicle will fit that is also larger? Perhaps? Then I struck gold... I came upon an Euro E36 forum regarding many people with Euro E36 M3's with the S50B32 engine were upgrading to a S54 crank pulley because to them, our pulley acts like an underdrive pulley and is a direct fit. So...That means installing their pulley onto my engine would be an overdrive pulley! After researching for a few days, turns out their pulleys are a 5.25" pulley. Almost a bang on fit to what ESS was running AND, it's an OEM part! AC portion of the pulley was slightly different sized as well but nothing too major, although some came with the option of no AC, so if you go this route, make sure it has AC :p Since many of them had upgraded to our pulleys, a lot of them had their factory pulley for sale! I was about 5 seconds from pulling the trigger on one when a user had posted up their custom aluminum 5.5" pulley for sale on here. He was ready to sell, I was ready to buy, and the slightly larger pulley meant more boost for me then a standard VT2-500 kit so I decided to go with it instead after all my research.

So why did I bother going into the whole story of the S50B32 pulley? Well that's just a tid bit of information for any of you guys looking to upgrade that run a 6 rib belt system And we'll call my free research time given to you as thanks for still reading this non sense

So now I am at 3.33" SC and 5.5" crank pulley. This should put be around 8psi. I had to run a larger belt as well which was:

Gates# K060915 OR Continental# PK060915

Before getting to really run it hard, this time I knew I had to pay for a retune. Running the base VT1-455 tune on what is basically a VT2-500 kit would be dumb. So I contacted the guys at ESS Tuning and they set me up with an awesome deal on a VT2-500 reflash tune. Finally I get to open her up. As soon as I started to load it up, it was apparent that the 5.5" crank made a much larger difference than I thought, I would estimate if I reved it to redline I would have easily hit 9 psi. I stopped and immediately put my old 3.40" pulley back on to be safe. I was able to still use the same longer belt. This is what I got:



As indicated by the gauge. 7.5psi @ 8000rpm @ 12.0:1 AF. A bit on the leaner side for me, I like to stay low to mid 11's to be on the extra safe side. I recently found I had developed boost leaks at the intake manifold which may have happened during the intercooler upgrade even and now I am actually at 7.9psi @ 8000rpm Oh ya and if you are wondering, that glowing dot to the left by the boost display is the meth indication light which also progressively glows depending on flow rate.

I wanted to have the car run a little more fuel, and I didn't want to run the next size water/meth nozzle because then my car will start having to rely on the meth kit which is not what I wanted. Around the same time, I stumbled upon Obioban's thread here regarding some special tuning Sal @ Evolve did for him. Being a previous Evolve customer, I knew what they were capable of and what they could do. I decided to give it a shot and email Sal to see if he'd be interested in working with me. To my surprise, he has actually tuned many supercharged BMW's, mainly E9X's but some E46's etc so he already have a very good grasp of what to do and was easily able to accommodate me and my needs.

We connected well and I was up and running an Evolve tune via Evolve-R flash cable in a matter of a couple weeks. Right away I knew I had more power! And I mean more power everywhere! It felt so smooth and the midrange and top end improvements are incredible. My A/F's under boost are back down to mid to low 11's like I had asked for. I've only had one flash done but he said it will take a coupe flashes to get the car dialed perfectly, but I can say even for a quick base flash, it already feels better then the ESS tune I had just recently purchased.

After all is said and done, if I had to name my setup. It would probably be VT2-500+ Being that it runs about 1psi more and is lightly spraying water/meth and also Evolve tuned.

There was a couple month period I didn't drive my car much but I have attended a few shows. Here are a few quick pictures.







Now I'm sure you're all going to ask, what kind of numbers does it make?? Well the other night I finally got to do a few pulls. The dyno was a Dynocom loaded type Dyno, not inertia like DynoJet. Similar to a "Heart Breaker" Mustang dyno. The dyno operator and owner said the load calibration was very similar to a Mustang dyno and that numbers would be similar if I ran on a Mustang dyno and that if I ran on a DynoJet which is what most have, the numbers would be higher.

All my passes were in 5th gear and they were all consistent and only varied slightly. The max run being 456whp/312wtq

I'm still waiting on my dyno plots so they'll be up shortly. In the meantime, here are some videos for your pleasure! 1080p!


Dyno Pull #1

Dyno Pull #2

Dyno Pull #3


It's late, and there is a very good chance I have typoed or blurted out something that makes no sense at all, if so, please point it out!
Enjoy and thanks for sticking with me and reading my story.
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462whp/311wtq @ 9.5psi(SuperFlow)
4.10 / Headers / ESS VT2-550+


Last edited by Tchleung; Sun, Sep-09-2012 at 08:07:53 PM.
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 09:22:14 AM   #2
Tchleung
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

Here is the dyno of my setup when it was at 8psi. Sorry it took so long. I just noticed now that the operator only went to around 7750 instead of 8200!! My TQ looks to stay about the same but I just drew a lien to continue the climb but with a little less angle to be realistic, and it still landed me at about 475whp. I sure hope that now I'm running 9psi I'm over 500whp!!


Ambient temp @ 87.5*F with 25% Humidity. Dyno is a DynoCom loaded type dyno, calibrated to Mustang Dyno "heart breaker" numbers. Dynoed in 5th gear. SAE corrected.


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Last edited by Tchleung; Thu, Sep-20-2012 at 01:34:43 AM.
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 09:22:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

I have now been running my 3.33" SC pulley along with my 5.5" crank and have been experiencing no belt slip. I was able to reuse my existing belt from my 3.40" setup. I initially tried 1 belt shorter but it was way too tight and would not fit. Car is running great and at 8000rpm I am at about 9psi now. The power difference is awesome and noticeable over my previous posted dyno chart at 8psi. Hope to dyno again soon after some tweaks to the tune by Evolve


I made a rough chart...

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Last edited by Tchleung; Sun, Sep-23-2012 at 09:25:58 AM.
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 12:56:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

Very Nice write up! Evolve recently tuned a VT Stg 2 car in UAE. EVOLVE FTW
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 03:06:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

Great writeup Tom! I read through it and you pretty much saved me countless hours researching what path I should take to upgrade this winter!

On a side note, how well do you think our blocks will be able to handle 7-9lbs safely? I'd hate to rebuild after 10k miles!
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 04:26:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

Thanks guys. I was kind of bored last night on a Friday evening alone so figured I'd finally do a write up haha. I updated the first post with a couple things, mainly belt sizes that I am running for the different pulley configurations!

I think our blocks will hold up well, the VT2-550 runs 9psi and is still meant to be ran on a stock engine. I'm really not worried about the engine, I am worried about my clutch haha. At 8psi now, my car runs very well. As you can see on the dyno, the vehicle doesn't smoke at all except for when I let off at redline and let it slowly rev down with the high vacuum it smokes a bit but goes away almost immediately. Under load and actually driving and shifting into next gears at redline there is no smoke. Remember, I'm at 140,000kms! :p
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 05:55:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

something is wrong with the wordwrap, but these gauges are sick where can I buy them?

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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 06:04:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBlaze View Post
something is wrong with the wordwrap, but these gauges are sick where can I buy them?
Are you viewing this thread with a phone? Further up I mentioned about the gauge, I made it And sorry it's not for sale.. :p
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Last edited by Tchleung; Sat, Sep-01-2012 at 06:23:39 PM.
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 08:15:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

Nice write-up and pics Tom!
Your psi/afr gauge is the best looking setup I've seen.

Is your fuel 95 RON (91 AKI US) or 98 RON (93 AKI US)?

Looking forward to the 3.33" s/c pulley software/dyno results!


BTW, I'm reading the thread on my usual laptop, and also do not see the wordwrap in this thread, but I do in others.
Not sure what it takes to make the original post wordwrap.
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Old Sat, Sep-01-2012, 09:56:53 PM   #10
Tchleung
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Default Re: ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG)

Thanks Norm! I love the gauge. It's one of the best things!

I'm running Chevron 94 octane which should be the same as your 93/94 octane in US I think. But if I remember correctly I think the tune is for 91/92 octane, I'll have to recheck on that.

I'm going to put on the smaller pulley tomorrow when I install my new water pump, mines has developed a leak through the shaft/bearing area I don't know when I'll be hitting a dyno again though.

EDIT: Fixed the word wrap issue... It was my pictures that was extending the work space way too wide for a normal screen. I'm working on a 32" screen so it seemed okay for me... haha sorry guys

Tom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by normcaldwell View Post
Nice write-up and pics Tom!
Your psi/afr gauge is the best looking setup I've seen.

Is your fuel 95 RON (91 AKI US) or 98 RON (93 AKI US)?

Looking forward to the 3.33" s/c pulley software/dyno results!


BTW, I'm reading the thread on my usual laptop, and also do not see the wordwrap in this thread, but I do in others.
Not sure what it takes to make the original post wordwrap.
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02 Carbon Black M3 6MT - Fun Car
462whp/311wtq @ 9.5psi(SuperFlow)
4.10 / Headers / ESS VT2-550+


Last edited by Tchleung; Sat, Sep-01-2012 at 10:06:52 PM.
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Discussing ESS VT1-455 to VT2-500+ and Evolve Tuning(LONG) 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)