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      11-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
lfelunden
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Reliability of a SC'd M3 DCT

Hi there.

At the moment I'm owning an Alpina B5S (4.4 liter supercharged from factory, 530HP/725NM).

I feel it's time for a change, but I'm afraid that I will loose the reliabilty on the SC'd M3 compared to this B5S monster.

I've held the Alpina for 10 minutes full throttle going 330-340 km/h (205-212 mph) with no problems at all (only oil heated)

I was thinking of trading my car for an 2009 M3 DCT and then put a X-pipe and ESS VT2-600/625 kit on it.

How reliable is the kit or the kits available out there, I sure know that stock is more reliable but the power is crap of the stock M3. That SC turns it into a true beast.

Anyone out there who has run his M3 with a supercharger for many km/miles ?

Thanks

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      11-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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All of the supercharger kits out there will not likely have any problems from a hardware stand point. There isn't a lot to go wrong if engineered to a decent level.
The cast aluminium plenums or CNC plenums like we use are highly unlikely to have an issue.
All of the brackets used are ultra stiff.
The blowers are all reliable.

The tuning can be the major variable of course but anyone using high ignition targets and expecting the knock detection to take care of things will have issues sooner or later.

You have to appreciate that there are cases of STOCK engines that have gone wrong. Bearings failed or conrods broken in half. Rare... but it has happened.

Overall very few supercharged engines have blown but then no one is running ridiculous amount of boost. The majority of SC kits sold are around the 5.5-7.5 PSi range and this is showing to be absolutely fine.

The tuning is probably the biggest variable from one kit to another and it's usually al related to containing cylinder pressure below a certain threshold.
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      11-03-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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I'd keep the Alpina - After seeing them each time I visit the dealer, there's more to them than the engine....unless it's hammered.
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      11-03-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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I have an ess 650 and it's got the beating of its life yesterday racing a Lamborghini for about 30min non stop from and to all kind of speeds then to a dyno day and back home driving the car VERY hard and it puts up with this kind of thing all the time
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      11-04-2012, 07:11 AM   #5
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I've looked on several kits out there, it seems like ESS is the only without upgraded spark plugs am I right ? (I've looked on G-power, ESS, AA and VF).
Any ESS user who can tell me how often those spark plugs should be replaced ?
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      11-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfelunden View Post
I've looked on several kits out there, it seems like ESS is the only without upgraded spark plugs am I right ? (I've looked on G-power, ESS, AA and VF).
Any ESS user who can tell me how often those spark plugs should be replaced ?
Defo the GPower has upgraded plugs but the are extortionate to replace.
But after speaking to Sal at Evolve he says they are not necessary if tuned correctly.
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      11-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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keep the Alpina, I went the S/charged route on my E46 M, no issues but I was always paranoid of when it was gonna break down on me.
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      11-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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Don't be too worried, I took mine from London to the nurburgring a few times and we drove hard all the way there and back, also did many laps around the ring... Zero issues.
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      11-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfelunden View Post
I've looked on several kits out there, it seems like ESS is the only without upgraded spark plugs am I right ? (I've looked on G-power, ESS, AA and VF).
Any ESS user who can tell me how often those spark plugs should be replaced ?
We do use factory plugs on all of our kits. Depending on how the car is driven we suggest replacement around 15k-25k miles. If ever in doubt about your plugs it is always best to replace them as this vehicles perfromance is very sensitive to the condition of things like spark plugs and 02 sensors.

Relibility on our SC cars has been very high over the years. We have close to 500 supercharged M3's worldwide now and I get very few service related calls, when I do they are usually related to general maintenance. We also have many customers on the forum that run our kit, you can always PM them and get feedback which is always a good idea. I am also always available for questions via PM or email.
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      11-04-2012, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donbona View Post
Defo the GPower has upgraded plugs but the are extortionate to replace.
But after speaking to Sal at Evolve he says they are not necessary if tuned correctly.
They are a colder running plug. It's a good idea but one with a huge cost behind it for the end user.
You could replace the standard plugs 3 times faster and still not spend that much.
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      11-04-2012, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal@Evolve View Post
They are a colder running plug. It's a good idea but one with a huge cost behind it for the end user.
You could replace the standard plugs 3 times faster and still not spend that much.
Ok, i see. Thanks for the response though, I'm not much into these thing and I was sure that I'd get some answers here .

The G-power with the spark plugs is much more expensive than all other kits out there .. So I'm not really sure yet what to come up with, I can't drive a stock M3, its simply too slow for me lol
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      11-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #12
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Those B5S's are real beasty things.

Change the pulley

More Boost.
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      11-04-2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal@Evolve View Post
Those B5S's are real beasty things.

Change the pulley

More Boost.
True that! It is fast enough stock, but where should i change the pulley , I did check up on some tuning for it, headers should give it 40-45 hp .. but almost as expensive as buying a SC kit for a M3 lol.
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      11-04-2012, 05:09 PM   #14
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ASA will supply a slightly bigger pulley.
Some good German tuners out there who can alter the fuelling and ignition tables for you.

Enjoy!

Headers should not cost that much. Speak to Supersprint.
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      11-05-2012, 04:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal@Evolve
ASA will supply a slightly bigger pulley.
Some good German tuners out there who can alter the fuelling and ignition tables for you.

Enjoy!

Headers should not cost that much. Speak to Supersprint.
I've been asking for headers and they cost around 6000 euro, but at least it's very reliable )
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      11-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #16
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I wouldn't do it if the car will see frequent prolonged track time. But if I had to make a choice...ESS all the way. The biggest variable is the tuning.
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      11-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #17
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Reliability with any of the s/c's are completely dependent on the owner:
  • If you take care of the car (regular preventative maintenance) and run it appropriately (always 93 octane, only drive spirited when the oil temps ready to go), it'll be fine
  • If you abuse the car & don't maintain it, your wallet's gonna take a beating

I'd contact VAC Motorsports about their experience with the VF Engineering VF620 kit. It's currently the E9x M3 stock internal 1/4 mile world record holder, uses the same Vortech V3Si Blower as the ESS (chosen for it's outstanding reliability), and they beat the HELL out of that car (regularly tracked on both the strip & road courses).


If ESS & G-Power are the only 2 options you have (TUV approval, etc), then it's a coin flip. The ESS can be purchased at a lower cost, but if you can budget it then I'd go with the G-Power just because I find it a superior, higher quality product than any other S/C on the market.

Also, EVOLVE's s/c might be another one to consider, just not sure if that has TUV approval (yet?).

Regardless, I'm jealous of everyone with an E9x M3 -- I'm dying to have that S65 power & exhaust note
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      11-08-2012, 12:30 PM   #18
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It's very reliable....we have a group of us local (me, zim, izzy, scott, sal, etc...) all with the top level ess kits and mostly DCT and we hammer the cars probably harder than anyone else and never had any issues..

I'd recommend the vt2-650 kit for power and reliability with no compromise
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      11-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #19
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why not boost your 4.4 liter? that would be the most fun. im pretty sure member pencilgeek did this. I would have stroker over fi any day tho
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      11-08-2012, 06:13 PM   #20
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For the street or drag strip, I don't see how you can run the car hard enough long enough to run into heat issues. So I don't see an issue with street use.

In my experience, the car can barely handle being pushed for 20 min in stock form. I can get the car to pull the redline from high oil temps. If you think this acceptable, read no further.

I can't imagine putting 5-7psi on it will make things run cooler. Over the long term, you significantly reduce the service life. Not to mention dealing with heat soak and having to dial it back to keep the car from overheating.

You won't see the problems now but it's for whoever has the car later in life. The simple physics is you put more load on a piece of metal and it fatigues faster.
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      11-08-2012, 11:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
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why not boost your 4.4 liter? that would be the most fun. im pretty sure member pencilgeek did this. I would have stroker over fi any day tho
His stroker went BOOM..... But there are three other stroker motor options:
  1. VAC
  2. Turner
  3. Dinan

Expect to pay $20k+
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      11-09-2012, 08:19 AM   #22
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His stroker went BOOM..... But there are three other stroker motor options:
  1. VAC
  2. Turner
  3. Dinan

Expect to pay $20k+
Do you know this for sure or are you just going by what you heard ?
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