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      03-08-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
KROD
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Need advice: Modded NA do the trick or Supercharge at 6x the Cost?????

Have two options and two very different costs. I am torn between the two and need help deciding on which option is the overall better choice:

1) Test pipes, pulley, intake, tune @ ~$1,500 (including install) = +30 - 40whp gain

2) Stage 2 supercharger (used) @ ~$9,000 (including labor) = +150 - 170whp gain +

If money wasn't an option then obviously the SC would be the no brainer. I only plan on daily driving my car with the occasional joy ride and street race, with no track time planned. For those that have experience with each setup can you please advise on if the SC is worth it at 6x the price or is the car fun enough and a big difference from stock with just the test pipes and tune? Help Please!!!!
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      03-08-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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Just try the test pipes, pulley, intake and tune first. If you get an ESS tune, you can carry over the tune (there is a modest update fee) and test pipes if you go the ESS SC route.

I've been in the MRF Engineering e92 M3 with only catless exhaust/tune making 404 wheel and it was soooooo much faster than a stock M3. I was really impressed with it.
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      03-08-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
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Many people who have gone the NA route have said later on "should have bought the charger instead". Power is addictive and you will be searching for more after you get used to the 40whp gains.

That being said, ESS makes great kits for our cars that are both reliable and fun to own. Your biggest issue with the charger will be traction - especially 1st and 2nd gear. Once you go with the charger, wider tires are a must and brake upgrade is highly recomended - so the SC will bring additional cost with it.

Eventually even with the charger, you might buy a catless exhaust - which is good for 30whp peak gain at the least, and a big jump throughout the powerband. So perhaps the exhaust is a good starting point. If you spend your money on the pulley, intake and tune, and then decide to go SC you would have wasted your money because the hardware you can resell at 50-60% cost, and the tune you cannot.

My advice is to go for a drive with someone who has a SC to see if the power is the right thing for you.
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      03-08-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
Just try the test pipes, pulley, intake and tune first. If you get an ESS tune, you can carry over the tune (there is a modest update fee) and test pipes if you go the ESS SC route.

I've been in the MRF Engineering e92 M3 with only catless exhaust/tune making 404 wheel and it was soooooo much faster than a stock M3. I was really impressed with it.
Also just to point out. Different dynos measure differently. West Coast guys seem to be getting higher numbers regardless of the mods. For example bone stock M3 will dyno at 356whp out west. My base dyno was 339whp. Its really important to base dyno and before the mods and then dyno again at the same shop. Once you pick a dyno, you're kinda stuck to it if you really want to see objective results.
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      03-08-2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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I think the money is a little off on 1) above. Tune is $900 at the least, usually close to $1000. Pullies are aroudn $300 ish, test pipes are $400-$500, intake $300 or just the filter is ~<$100. Then labor on top of all that, probably looking north of $2000. Based on everything new and you paying a shop for labor.

If you buy used, maybe you get closer to your $1500, not sure about inluding labor though in that number.

Just my .02, still cheaper the supercharging so my above points are pretty worthless.

I am doing #1 above, in the future might consider #2, but becuase I love the track, I need to fix the nut behind the wheel before I get a bunch more power behind me!
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      03-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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Sc route .... The power will bring a smile to your face every time you touch the pedal.
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      03-08-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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You are caught up in the vortex that most of us get sucked into at one point or another.
Don't over-think it.
If you can afford then blow, if not tune
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      03-08-2013, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j2m View Post
You are caught up in the vortex that most of us get sucked into at one point or another.
Don't over-think it.
If you can afford then blow, if not tune
+1.
I think the first mistake was already made. What if.... Statements lead to supercharging, exhausts, brakes wheels and never seem to stop. It's like a addiction it's hard to stop once you take the initial hit. Good luck.
Happy modding
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      03-08-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KROD View Post
Have two options and two very different costs. I am torn between the two and need help deciding on which option is the overall better choice:

1) Test pipes, pulley, intake, tune @ ~$1,500 (including install) = +30 - 40whp gain

2) Stage 2 supercharger (used) @ ~$9,000 (including labor) = +150 - 170whp gain +

If money wasn't an option then obviously the SC would be the no brainer. I only plan on daily driving my car with the occasional joy ride and street race, with no track time planned. For those that have experience with each setup can you please advise on if the SC is worth it at 6x the price or is the car fun enough and a big difference from stock with just the test pipes and tune? Help Please!!!!
A stage 2 SC can add 175-200 whp
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      03-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman@ESS View Post
A stage 2 SC can add 175-200 whp
Here's a good example of that on a e92 M3 with an ESS VT2-625:



Full info in this thread: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=791701
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      03-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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If you are breaking down the cost differential then I would probably argue the SC is not worth it right now. If 10k is a drop in the bucket for you then go with the SC.
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      03-08-2013, 06:18 PM   #12
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Supercharge it. I was in your shoes a while ago. I bought test pipes and a tune and I was ok for a little while. Just as others have said, power is addictive. You'll get used to the power and want more. So to answer your question, a SC is well worth it. It'll feel like a totally different car once it's installed
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      03-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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Go the FI route. You'll just want more going with a tune, etc. If you want to save some money start with a Stage 1 setup but at the end of the day you'll spend more on upgrading. Get in touch with Andrew@Active and you'll be a VERY happy owner
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      03-08-2013, 07:02 PM   #14
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If you are concerned with cost, I'd go FBO
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      03-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #15
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The testpipes will still aid power even in a S/C'd environment. This is most of the hp gain for the normally aspirated route. In fact it could be worth more hp in a blown environment then in a NA one.

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      03-08-2013, 08:14 PM   #16
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I have never had too much power. Always wanted more. But my 08M3 has all the bolt on mods because they are all I can afford at present. I may be looking for a used supercharger in a couple of years.
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      03-08-2013, 08:51 PM   #17
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you need to take into account that test pipes and tune do carry over to your supercharger ( **most companies give a discount if you already had their tune on your car)
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      03-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #18
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get test pipes and ESS tune for 1500$ and when you'll want more, buy a used VT1 for around 5k!
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      03-08-2013, 11:06 PM   #19
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ESS Blower if you can swing it. If not def ESS Tune and bolt ons
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      03-08-2013, 11:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KROD View Post
Have two options and two very different costs. I am torn between the two and need help deciding on which option is the overall better choice:

1) Test pipes, pulley, intake, tune @ ~$1,500 (including install) = +30 - 40whp gain

2) Stage 2 supercharger (used) @ ~$9,000 (including labor) = +150 - 170whp gain +

If money wasn't an option then obviously the SC would be the no brainer. I only plan on daily driving my car with the occasional joy ride and street race, with no track time planned. For those that have experience with each setup can you please advise on if the SC is worth it at 6x the price or is the car fun enough and a big difference from stock with just the test pipes and tune? Help Please!!!!
I had option #1 full rpi exhaust, ms pulley/intake, rpi scoops, and no tune, and had about 404 whp on a dynojet. BUT I wasn't happy with the power so I went with the VF620 kit and now I'm happy. With both setups I daily the car and track it at least once a month.
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      03-09-2013, 01:13 PM   #21
KROD
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I had an 08 m3 then went to a GTR and now back to the M. If I knew I would be here long term I would definitely get the SC (job mobility), but I may end up loosing the cost in install and tune, and then to de-install and re-tune back to stock which is my biggest heartache bc its intangible costs that are just lost. With option 1 I could easily take the mods off and sell and not be too much in the hole. I did drive 2 stage 1 SC'd cars, and wasn't too impressed with the power at that level which is why I think I need at least a stage 2. What do you guys think about stage 1 vs stage 2?
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      03-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KROD View Post
I had an 08 m3 then went to a GTR and now back to the M. If I knew I would be here long term I would definitely get the SC (job mobility), but I may end up loosing the cost in install and tune, and then to de-install and re-tune back to stock which is my biggest heartache bc its intangible costs that are just lost. With option 1 I could easily take the mods off and sell and not be too much in the hole. I did drive 2 stage 1 SC'd cars, and wasn't too impressed with the power at that level which is why I think I need at least a stage 2. What do you guys think about stage 1 vs stage 2?
I'd go modded NA first. But if you're really thinking that you'll supercharge down the road, I wouldn't go too deep into NA parts that you can't utilize when you do so.

Test pipes or a catless mid-section, filter (not intake), and tune might satisfy you for a while. I was pleasantly surprised when I went catless + tune. Perhaps see if ESS (if this is your preferred supercharger co.) will work out a deal with you on multiple tunes, i.e. if you purchase their NA tune, a discount on the future tune for the blower. Don't know if they do that.

If you're not satisfied with the NA power bump, then I'd say you'll want VT2 straightaway.
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