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      03-03-2012, 07:49 PM   #1
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ESS625 (or 600) vs. VF620 Supercharger Kit for E92 M3 DCT?

I have been strongly considering a SC kit for my E92 M3 DCT, and have been juggling between these two kits for 2 months now. I learn something new every day after talking to people more familiar with this type of mod.

If any M3 owners with these kits installed has anything to say, I'm all ears. Good or bad reviews, regrets, reliability, mechanical issues, performance, etc. I know there are way more ESS kits installed over VF, but the VF kits only came out at the beginning of the year. Eager to hear what owners have to say about both setups.

I'm planning on also upgrading to a catless exhaust, running 9.5/10.5" 19's with extreme summer tires, and KW Variant 3 coilovers (maybe Brembo's if I can foot the bill). My main goal is street performance, with a bit of fun at the drag strip from time to time, and perhaps a track day here and there.

Thanks.
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      03-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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there arent to many vf kits out currently, but there are no bad reviews on them either,
on the other hand theres over 350+ ess kits sold to date and the kit sits at a very reasonable price for power to cost ratio, i had a 535 on my 08 6mt and loved it, ill be installing a 600 kit on my e90 m3 over the next 2 weeks, if you want to come by the shop and check out the car then feel free to do so, check out our ess promotion in the vendor engine classified sections,
the 600 kit would be more then enough for a dct car imo, come buy and take a ride and see for yourself
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      03-03-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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i have the vt2 600 with a painted red manifold and it is amazing. the power is linear and i have had no issues at all. Roman is very helpful and has always been available for questions. I don't know about how the VF power increase compares to ess but the manifold is unattractive and the way the air filter sits on top of the air duct bothers me. With the ESS kit they give you a air duct insert that gives the k&n air filter a custom fit and if you spend the extra $ you the manifold will look amazing no matter what color you paint it. Also with the VF who writes the tune? With ESS you have the supercharger kit and in house tuning with the flash cable witch makes it a perfect fit and convenient. pm me your number and i'll text you a bunch of pics
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      03-04-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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Both companies make nice kits. IMO I like the VF kit a lil more. I'll be putting one on my car very soon.
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      03-04-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex@AUTOcouture View Post
there arent to many vf kits out currently, but there are no bad reviews on them either,
on the other hand theres over 350+ ess kits sold to date and the kit sits at a very reasonable price for power to cost ratio, i had a 535 on my 08 6mt and loved it, ill be installing a 600 kit on my e90 m3 over the next 2 weeks, if you want to come by the shop and check out the car then feel free to do so, check out our ess promotion in the vendor engine classified sections,
the 600 kit would be more then enough for a dct car imo, come buy and take a ride and see for yourself
Thanks for the info. I may just be stopping by to check it out soon!
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      03-04-2012, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristopher_bush@ml.com View Post
i have the vt2 600 with a painted red manifold and it is amazing. the power is linear and i have had no issues at all. Roman is very helpful and has always been available for questions. I don't know about how the VF power increase compares to ess but the manifold is unattractive and the way the air filter sits on top of the air duct bothers me. With the ESS kit they give you a air duct insert that gives the k&n air filter a custom fit and if you spend the extra $ you the manifold will look amazing no matter what color you paint it. Also with the VF who writes the tune? With ESS you have the supercharger kit and in house tuning with the flash cable witch makes it a perfect fit and convenient. pm me your number and i'll text you a bunch of pics
I'll PM you my number, thanks for the pics. Nicer is better, but my main concern is reliability and potential issues with the car post-install. How long have you had the kit installed, and how many miles have you put on it. And you're saying that you have had zero issues with the car since install?
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      03-04-2012, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristopher_bush@ml.com View Post
i have the vt2 600 with a painted red manifold and it is amazing. the power is linear and i have had no issues at all. Roman is very helpful and has always been available for questions. I don't know about how the VF power increase compares to ess but the manifold is unattractive and the way the air filter sits on top of the air duct bothers me. With the ESS kit they give you a air duct insert that gives the k&n air filter a custom fit and if you spend the extra $ you the manifold will look amazing no matter what color you paint it. Also with the VF who writes the tune? With ESS you have the supercharger kit and in house tuning with the flash cable witch makes it a perfect fit and convenient. pm me your number and i'll text you a bunch of pics
I have to wait 24-48 hours to PM you since I am a new user, they don't let you PM until you make 5 posts and then you have to wait 24-48 hours for them to upgrade your account.
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      03-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyob View Post
I have been strongly considering a SC kit for my E92 M3 DCT, and have been juggling between these two kits for 2 months now. I learn something new every day after talking to people more familiar with this type of mod.

If any M3 owners with these kits installed has anything to say, I'm all ears. Good or bad reviews, regrets, reliability, mechanical issues, performance, etc. I know there are way more ESS kits installed over VF, but the VF kits only came out at the beginning of the year. Eager to hear what owners have to say about both setups.

I'm planning on also upgrading to a catless exhaust, running 9.5/10.5" 19's with extreme summer tires, and KW Variant 3 coilovers (maybe Brembo's if I can foot the bill). My main goal is street performance, with a bit of fun at the drag strip from time to time, and perhaps a track day here and there.

Thanks.
True, ESS kits got the jump on all other S/C systems for the S65. However, two world records are already claimed by VF620-equipped M3s in its rather small window of time on the open market:

1/4mi - 10.690@129.38: VAC Motorsports


60-130 - 6.56sec: european auto source


Both records are held by S65s with stock internals, on daily street driven vehicles - and see regular track use. Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions on the VF kits, or VAC is definitely local to you - any may be able to get you a test-drive in their M3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristopher_bush@ml.com View Post
i have the vt2 600 with a painted red manifold and it is amazing. the power is linear and i have had no issues at all. Roman is very helpful and has always been available for questions. I don't know about how the VF power increase compares to ess but the manifold is unattractive and the way the air filter sits on top of the air duct bothers me. With the ESS kit they give you a air duct insert that gives the k&n air filter a custom fit and if you spend the extra $ you the manifold will look amazing no matter what color you paint it. Also with the VF who writes the tune? With ESS you have the supercharger kit and in house tuning with the flash cable witch makes it a perfect fit and convenient. pm me your number and i'll text you a bunch of pics
The VF manifolds are a bit more sophisticated than one would think.



These will be explained in detail coming very shortly in an upcoming tech article. On the induction side, the intake filter sits within the air duct on the VF620 unit. ESS setups are exactly the same.

All tuning for VF engineering is performed in-house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbauer View Post
Both companies make nice kits. IMO I like the VF kit a lil more. I'll be putting one on my car very soon.
Congrats! We just had two VF installs run through our doors last week - looking forward to seeing more VF-equipped M3s whipping some serious ass out there.
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      03-04-2012, 10:28 PM   #9
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The hardware on these kits is basically identical, just like the e46 kits.

I have driven aa, ess and vf kits for the e46. The difference is the tune.

Ess had by far the best tune in terms of smooth power delivery and also the idle was much better.

The vf kits had a lot of issues with the tune on the e46. Maybe they fixed it for the e9x, but with good performing ess kits that have been very reliable, why be the one to take that chance?

Jmo
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      03-04-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Gone FI a couple times. The first time I did it I had three criteria, hp, cost, build quality of the kit. The second time I had two criteria.....

1. Do they pick up their phone and having done so have real answers?
2. Who is most likely to be in business several years from now?

Not kidding.
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      03-04-2012, 10:57 PM   #11
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To me reliability is more important than anything else - thats why I went with ESS.

I know ESS purposely keeps the tunes conservative so there's a safe margin. Who wants a car pushed to it's limits that risk failure when one parameter exceeds the limit?

I chose ESS because they've been around the longest and have sold more kits than anyone else.

I did look at the VF kits. 1) I don't like the boxy look of the manifold and 2) the intercooler "insert" design is just asking for a leak.
I'm not speaking by experience on the VF's but they've haven't been around long enough to prove themselves - time is the biggest test.

my two cents...
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      03-04-2012, 11:46 PM   #12
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IMO a good quarter mile time on a supercharged m3 has more to do with launch than anything else, so I'm not too much concerned with records.. but vf is the only other company I'd consider besides ess
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      03-04-2012, 11:52 PM   #13
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I don't see how one can argue with the track record of ESS... Sure vf is newer, but why play guinea pig when ESS has already been put through the paces and then some. No brainier IMHO....
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      03-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
The hardware on these kits is basically identical, just like the e46 kits.

I have driven aa, ess and vf kits for the e46. The difference is the tune.

Ess had by far the best tune in terms of smooth power delivery and also the idle was much better.

The vf kits had a lot of issues with the tune on the e46. Maybe they fixed it for the e9x, but with good performing ess kits that have been very reliable, why be the one to take that chance?

Jmo
Agreed about the tune, that is most important to me. Which makes me think, why did VF take so long to release their SC kit for E9X? Was it because they were having trouble with the tune, or did they take their time to make sure it was top-notch? Just because something is new doesn't mean it can't be the best. But then again, why take the chance with so much money at stake when there is already something decent out there with a good track record? Decisions decisions.
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      03-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #15
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...2) the intercooler "insert" design is just asking for a leak.
I'm not speaking by experience on the VF's but they've haven't been around long enough to prove themselves - time is the biggest test.

my two cents...
I thought the Integrated Air / water induction cooling system was a plus on their design...at least that's what they told me, that others don't use it because it costs more to make.
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      03-05-2012, 03:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by smokeyob View Post
Agreed about the tune, that is most important to me. Which makes me think, why did VF take so long to release their SC kit for E9X? Was it because they were having trouble with the tune, or did they take their time to make sure it was top-notch? Just because something is new doesn't mean it can't be the best. But then again, why take the chance with so much money at stake when there is already something decent out there with a good track record? Decisions decisions.
Agree

ESS is proven. AA is good as well, but the prices are quite high imo. Depends on what type of setup you want in terms of running high boost / meth etc....

Again, from VF's rep with the e46 and the b6/7 s4, id be really hesitant to put that kit on my car to say the least.

Best of luck whatever you decide!
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      03-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I don't see how one can argue with the track record of ESS... Sure vf is newer, but why play guinea pig when ESS has already been put through the paces and then some. No brainier IMHO....
How long have you had your ESS kit installed, and how many miles driven since? Any issues with the engine so far that might be related to the SC kit?
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      03-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I thought the Integrated Air / water induction cooling system was a plus on their design...at least that's what they told me, that others don't use it because it costs more to make.
The ESS vt2 kits have air-water cooling but it's built into the manifold and not removable like VF's. I guess it's neat to be able to pull the cooler out of the manifold but to me thats just asking for trouble - another possible leak point. The ESS manifolds have it permanently inside.
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      03-05-2012, 03:45 PM   #19
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Agree

ESS is proven. AA is good as well, but the prices are quite high imo. Depends on what type of setup you want in terms of running high boost / meth etc....

Again, from VF's rep with the e46 and the b6/7 s4, id be really hesitant to put that kit on my car to say the least.

Best of luck whatever you decide!
I am looking for a daily driver that has power when I want to use it. Not looking to max out boost or run meth. Might take it to the track or drag strip once in a while. Reliability and least chance of engine failure is my goal here.

Thanks for your input.
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      03-05-2012, 03:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
The ESS vt2 kits have air-water cooling but it's built into the manifold and not removable like VF's. I guess it's neat to be able to pull the cooler out of the manifold but to me thats just asking for trouble - another possible leak point. The ESS manifolds have it permanently inside.
I didn't know that, thanks. What benefit is there to being able to pull out the cooler?
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      03-05-2012, 04:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by smokeyob View Post
I am looking for a daily driver that has power when I want to use it. Not looking to max out boost or run meth. Might take it to the track or drag strip once in a while. Reliability and least chance of engine failure is my goal here.

Thanks for your input.
nobody has shown logs of running excessively hot on a kit like an ess 535 or 575

depending on where you live (due to temperature and octane of fuel), one of those two kits would be my choice based on bang for your buck and reliabitlity.

there were a couple of threads showing the ess kit running about 1psi higher than listed, but I am uncertain of what the reasons for that could be. it could have been a testing error.
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      03-05-2012, 05:34 PM   #22
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the first week i had my 535 kit i took it straight to north carolina for a week then florida from NY. After the break in period of course. I redlined it every chance i got and drove it through the nice southern hot weather. I didnt have one issue with that kit the whole 30k it was on my car, i have a friend running a 650 kit. Hes moving onto his 3rd m3 and probably has close to 90k on his actual kit, never one issue. Thats what i call reliable.
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