Originally Posted by pbonsalb
Good salesmen sell stuff to ignorant customers every day. I don't think the AA kit is much superior. And as noted below, you could have applied the $3000 price difference towards an intercooled ESS kit, but the salesman did not tell you that and you did not bother to do any of your own research.
I did note the differences between the 2 and he is well aware of the differences in modularity.
We are authorized sales distributor and installation facilities for both of those companies in Ontario, as well as VF-engineering and are well aware of the differences between the products as we have them on our own shop cars. What is most important is what are the differences between all the kits? What the differences translate into for the customer. Having all these features are great - what do they do for YOU?
A stage 1 AA kit compared to the 535 kit is superior by having an independent belt system, and charge cooling. As Roman stated, a more fair comparison between the 2 would be a AA stage 1 kit and the ESS 575 kit.
-Vortech V3Si supercharger unit.
- Vortech bypass valve system
- uni-belt drive system with additional OEM quality rollers.
-K&N high flow air filter.
-High temperature casted plastic intake system for SC
-High capacity liquid intercooler system (VT2 only).
-Cast aluminium ESS intake manifold with integrated velocity stacks optimized for boost.
-ESS oil breather assembly designed for boost.
-2yr./unlimited mileage warranty.
Boost pressure: 6 PSI Intercooled
I personally have not seen it dynoed, but 18% loss of 575hp is 471whp.
AA Stage 1 kit:
HKS GTS8555 Supercharger
AA Blow Off Valves & Bypass Valve
Dedicated Belt Drive System (does not share belt with accessories)
Eight-rib Pulley System
AA Front-mount Air to Air Intercooler
Independent Supercharger Oil Cooler
Cold Air Intake Box
AA Oil Breather System
Two-year unlimited mileage warranty
Boost: ~ 5.5 psi
I have seen a dyno of ~460whp with the old GT8550 blower.
Now what are the differences and what do they mean:
The AA/HKS unit has proven to give more midrange power, and better part throttle response. The ESS/Vortech unit is more peaky, and can flow more up top which can translate to more power up high. As noted the AA kit has an independent oil system, which has an oil cooler to regulate temps of this fluid. The ESS kit has an internally oiled S/C unit with no external cooler or lines. Both fluids have a manufacture recommended flush interval and is a simple replacement. The cost difference is in the $100-$200 range depending on source of oil. The added cost is offsetted by the drive characteristics of the blower. If you want better part throttle and mid range, the HKS wins. I have had both blowers, (V3SI) even ASA and powerdyne and have tried them all.
Keep in mind there are no AA dyno's with the new GT5555 blower on the E9X M3 when compared to ESS.
Drive belt for the blower
There is a difference between these 2. ESS uses a single belt design, which shares your accessories. AA has an independent belt system. So what's the difference? In the event you have an issue with the blower and/or the belt driving it (say a seized blower, failed wood drift key, broken pulley) the car is rendered useless where as having an independent belt system still will let you drive the car home under light loads. There are the odd ones that have over 100 000miles apparently from what I read on this board (how many is on the car?!?!) on their ESS kit with no issues of that kind reported online so the track record is good. It is more of a peace of mind feature.
ESS has thermoplastic piping where as AA uses aluminium piping. Thermoplastic piping is much more heat resistant compared to the aluminium. Aluminium is the stronger material of the 2. Myself having thermoplastic piping on my E36 M3 S/C for years, I had no issues except for slightly leaking fittings (fixed with teflon tape on the threads - logical).
AA uses an air to air intercooler system which is a more reliable and less complicated system. You have piping, intercooler and hoses. The routing of the pipes is more complicated and requires cutting of the fan shroud to fit the cooler and S/C oil cooler. The intercooler is also located in front of other heat exchangers, which may hinder the cooling ability of your radiator or A/c condenser.
ESS uses a water to air cooling system which can provide more effective cooling. The system has a cooler in front, and a heat exchanger within the manifold to charge it right before it enters the stacks. This means the coldest air into the stacks. There are water lines and an pump which can make the system more costly to repair in the event of a failed pump. If your charge cooler leaks, and you are stuck - simply drive it at part load and keep the RPMs to a minimum and you can limp it to the shop or home to get it repaired.
AA's intake system is located within the engine bay and is in a sealed air box. ESS's intake system routes down towards the bumper. The bumper location can attain colder air, with the hazard of catching anything down low (water, dirt, debris, hurricane sandy debris etc.)
The AA system utilizes the factory ducting through the grills and hood to feed air to the filter.
BOV vs Bypass valve
AA kit utilizes a BOV (blow off valve) system which releases the air to the atmosphere, recognized by a "whoosh" noise. Some may not want a BOV although it is required for smooth on/off throttle transitions.
ESS uses a bypass valve, which recycles the unused air when the throttle bodies close - this system makes no audible noises (it does, but so quiet with your exhaust it cannot be heard).
Between the 2, those are the most pronounced and differentiating points about the 2 kits.
Support for the product - Both companies have outstanding customer support and are dedicated to customer satisfaction.
Software download - U it can be disastrous of the vehicle falls asleep while writing with the user end hardware provided - so we handle the installation of your S/C software for you.
Chris, contact me if you have any questions.
ESSM3...keep in mind, not everyone drives WOT in straight lines. In regards to blowing up motors, I see your position but do not turn this thread into another childish fued of blowing motors when the only people who know the truth aren't posting the fact of it. Your car does not need to be retuned for meth with your kit. The ECU is constantly recalbrating itself as required based on constantly variable conditions on these cars, if we are talking 1995 M3 then I can understand the significance of your post (well, if basically adding fuel and no retune is a significance to you, to others it may not be so enticing). From your display of technical understanding on that one topic I would suggest leaving out the whole blown motor subject. Engineering these systems is not as simple as you may think, let alone the software aspect of it.
Don't take it personal, but your blown motor "fact" without facts does not match the integrity of the target clientele of these cars and products. Also to put it out there BMW has a track record of blown S65 and blown S54...yet you still own one. Think about it.