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      04-06-2010, 02:11 AM   #1
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ESS Supercharger DIY kit ... Review!!

I know this is a long read but I really hope this helps those who have been on the fence about installing the ESS Supercharger Kit yourself. I will be updating this thread untill the install is complete and even after I put down a few miles.

**Please note that this is not a DIY but just my personal review on this DIY kit!!**

The desision making:

Like many of you ... I wanted more power, I wanted to be one of a kind, I wanted the best. I love my M3 and work hard for it so I was really careful and did a lot of research before I decided to boost the M3. After months of waiting and lots of reading I finally decided to pull the trigger. I decided to go with the ESS VT1 Supercharger Kit. I decided to go with this kit over others because of a few main reasons ... Their many years of BMW Supercharging experience, the thousands of miles tested on the kit, how stock the kit looked, how great and responsive Roman was, and most importantly I loved the fact that I could do the install myself. Doing the install myself was the main factor. Because I live in Hawaii I did not want to ship my car off island. I mean if I could do the install myself and save a bunch of money from paying a shop or shipping the car then why not. I must say I was kinda on the fence about doing it myself so I took the instuctions to my BMW tech friend to look at. The first thing that came out of his mouth was "WOW" then he said "Come on man, you could do this yourself" I then decided to contact Roman ...

Customer service:

I contacted Roman when he first annouced the production of thier Supercharger kits. I wanted to be one of the first but I didn't want to ship my brand new M3 off island so I decided to wait. During my wait I did some research and asked a few questions to the already ESS SC'd guys. They all had nothing but good things to say about the kit and about the service they recived. We all know that if you're running it then of course your not gonna say anything bad about it right ... Well at this point I was pretty sure the kit was solid but I wanted to make sure that the service was just as solid. I also wanted to make sure that the service would continue even after I bought the kit just in case I ran into any problems. It wouldn't be as easy as hop in another car and drive down to his shop for me so this was very important. I contacted Roman again about a month ago to ask him a few questions. I would literally send him a few PMs a day asking him simple question that was already answered in his thread Roman was quick to reply and very helpful. I then read where a guy in Asia installed an ESS kit but couldn't get his car running right. My first thought was oh great, but then I saw how fast Roman replied to his problems and how fast the problem got fixed. That basicly sealed the deal for me.

The ordering process:

Well this part was pretty straight forward ... Went online, created an account and placed the order. What's nice about the ESS website is the fact that you can check for updates on your order. There was also a lot of information about all of their products. The fact that there are so my options to spice up your kit is also a nice plus!! Please note that this is my honest review and with any review, there has to be a bad! Well the bad thing about this kit is the wait. ESS will not charge your account untill they ship the kit out. I know this may sound like a good thing but when a week goes by and you still see that money in your account, you can't help yourself but to buy another mod

The customer service continues:

So after ordering the ESS VT1 supercharger kit, I went crazy!! Like anything thing else in high demand, there is a wait time. My wait time was 10-14 days. These two weeks has felt like two months!! It's just as bad as waiting for your M3 to arrive at your local dealer. While I was waiting for my kit, ESS released a IND Black version option for the manifold. I now had another desision to make so I started sending Roman a few more PMs. Even after my order was in, he still continued his exellent service with fast and profesional replys. He laid out a timeline for me to make my desision and helped me along the way. Now that the arrival of the kit was getting closer, I decied to send Roman a few more PM's about my DME. By this point we must have exchanged at least a hundred PMs but again Roman was fast to reply and very helpful. Thank you Roman for your outstanding customer service.

Starting the prep work:

My kit should be here next week so I decided to prep the car for the supercharger install. Many of you may be wonder why so early, well I wanted to make sure that I had the DME back in time for the install. Since the DME was gonna be out, then why not just get things started. I live in a condo so I had to use a friend's garage, anyways I got there at about 2:00pm today. I brought one small tool box, a few towels, a box of ziplock bags, and a sharpie. I started with the battery then moved to the front of the car. When at the front, I started removing the DME, Intake manifold and a few other things. I forgot to bring a drill so that was the only that I had to borrow. Before I knew it I was done with all the prep work and it was only 3:00pm. I must say so far so good ...

If you have any questions, please post them up here so that we can all help and so that we can see the answers ...

Sorry for the iPhone pics but here are a few for you all to see! Wife is gonna kill me if she saw that I left my intake stuff on the bed
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Last edited by 808E90; 04-06-2010 at 07:10 PM.
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      04-06-2010, 02:28 AM   #2
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Great thread. I'm looking forward to this since I'm also on the fence...

Are you worried about not having an intercooler in the Hawaiian heat?
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      04-06-2010, 02:54 AM   #3
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      04-06-2010, 03:17 AM   #4
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Congrats man!!! This is going to be sick. Wonder if this is the ultimate mod for you? Hopefully you can give us a ride around Honolulu when we visit!!
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      04-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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WOW a true DIY newbie! New tool box and a friend's garage!

This will be a true test for you and will defiantly provide some confidence to other potential ESS customers that might want to self install the kit.

Step 36/152. Pulling the fan out and back in is a little tricky. I placed a very thin piece of sheet metal between the fan motor and the radiator hose to help the assemble slide out/in. The radiator hose wants to grab the fan motor as it comes by.

Step 79. I had to modify the aluminum quick connector to fit my OEM connector (I have a 2009 model).

Step 103. Only shows the A/C belt routing for cars produced before 06/08 (single sided belt). Roman might have updated the instructions by now include the belt routing for cars produced after 06/08 with the dual sided belt.

Step 146. Installing the air filter/hose assembly is a little tricky and it's a real tight fit.

Good luck!
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      04-06-2010, 08:53 AM   #6
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Very cool that you are installing the kit on your own Enjoy the new power!
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      04-06-2010, 09:06 AM   #7
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This is going to be an epic thread. Congrats and good luck.

Cheers.


P.S. Get a real camera! iPhones should either come with a better camera or none at all.
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      04-06-2010, 09:40 AM   #8
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      04-06-2010, 10:11 AM   #9
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Congrats brother I can't wait to see and read about the completed vehicle. Is the LV wallet a required tool for the install?

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      04-06-2010, 10:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ca$hOnly View Post
Great thread. I'm looking forward to this since I'm also on the fence...

Are you worried about not having an intercooler in the Hawaiian heat?
Thanks!! I was thinking about that too .. Hawaii never gets high like AZ so I should be okay, if not then it will give me a reason to upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by armorrig View Post
Congrats man!!! This is going to be sick. Wonder if this is the ultimate mod for you? Hopefully you can give us a ride around Honolulu when we visit!!
Thanks bro ... Long has my ultimate upgrade sitting at his shop
I would be more then happy to take you guys for a ride


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewads View Post
WOW a true DIY newbie! New tool box and a friend's garage!
Aloha Mike ... Nah I've been working on cars for 14 years now. I currently live in a condo so I couldn't work on the car at home (Condo rules) I love my little tool box I don't have a garage to have a huge tool box so this one works out great and it will show others that you can do the install with just a few simple tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewads View Post
This will be a true test for you and will defiantly provide some confidence to other potential ESS customers that might want to self install the kit.
I really do hope this helps other potential customers get their confidence up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewads View Post
Step 36/152. Pulling the fan out and back in is also a little tricky. I placed a very thin piece of sheet metal between the fan motor and the radiator hose to help the assemble slide out/in. The radiator hose wants to grab the fan motor as it comes by.
So far so good ... I haven't really ran into any problems, but then again I've only removed items I know what you mean about the fan. I think that took the most time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewads View Post
Step 79. I had to modify the aluminum quick connector to fit my OEM connector (I have a 2009 model).
Did you have to modify it a lot? Would you be able to give me a little more details ... I also have a 2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewads View Post
Step 103. Only shows the A/C belt routing for cars produced before 06/08 (single sided belt). Roman might have updated the instructions by now include the belt routing for cars produced after 06/08 with the dual sided belt.
I didn't even think about that ... I guess I'm gonna have to a 2009 A/C belt routing diagram

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewads View Post
Step 146. Installing the air filter/hose assembly is a little tricky and it's a real tight fit.
I didn't remove the bumper cause I went with a Stage I but I will be removing the driver tire liner to access that area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewads View Post
Good luck!
Thank you so much for the heads up and advise Mike


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate@IND View Post
Very cool that you are installing the kit on your own Enjoy the new power!
Thanks Nate!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
This is going to be an epic thread. Congrats and good luck.

Cheers.


P.S. Get a real camera! iPhones should either come with a better camera or none at all.
I have a 7D but I didn't want to get it dirty ... I'll try and update this thread as much as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C17MooseDriver View Post
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      04-06-2010, 10:39 AM   #11
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I just finished my install over the weekend. Things when smooth and Roman was always there to answer my stupid questions!

Good luck! I am sure you have fun putting it all together!
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      04-06-2010, 11:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMRX7 View Post
... Roman was always there to answer my stupid questions!
Wow! Even on weekends? That is stupendous service!

Cheers.
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      04-06-2010, 11:54 AM   #13
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NIIIIIICE!!!!
Great work!

This is fantastic, as I am considering doing exactly the same thing at some stage - installing the VT1 myself (would avail of IND's Portfolio program, but Canada's a long way from them.... )

Subscribed. Good luck with the install!
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      04-06-2010, 12:03 PM   #14
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holy SH!T!....cant wait to see the WIP

Good luck with the install...im sure it'll come out great and you'll be insanely happy.

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tempted to buy that intake off of you though =)
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      04-06-2010, 02:31 PM   #15
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Good for you buddy!! You are braver than me! My VT2 kit arrived today from IND after it had their custom paint treatment. I have never seen items packed so well!! My kit gets installed next week, shipping the ECU to Roman on Monday
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      04-06-2010, 02:42 PM   #16
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I really like to see posts like this, makes M3 drivers look like enthusiasts more than snobby know it all's. To the OP grats on your purchase, god speed with the install.
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      04-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersin View Post
Wow! Even on weekends? That is stupendous service!

Cheers.
I recieved the same service ( and they had my car while I would call ) even got follow up calls after I recieved the car ( couple of times ) ...
All I can say to sum it up is They really care !! What company calls you at 11pm to give you an update as to what stage the car is at ?
Roman is one of a kind . ( that sounded gay )
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      04-06-2010, 02:51 PM   #18
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Good luck man and enjoy the new power!
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      04-06-2010, 03:44 PM   #19
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Great Thread! Goodluck with the DIY. Hopefully you will get your kit on time! Goodluck!
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      04-06-2010, 03:49 PM   #20
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so badass
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      04-06-2010, 04:08 PM   #21
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Good luck and I look forward to following this thread and possibly using it as a reference one day. If I ever SC I will be using the ESS kit and installing myself as well. Do you plan to upgrade your clutch or do you have DCT? I didn't catch which you had ...
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      04-06-2010, 04:48 PM   #22
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this will be interesting, I can't wait
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