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      03-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #23
JoM3z
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Bruce, thank you for the info. I am definitely saving up for a supercharger. I guess my end goal at the moment is to get the car to feel like stock sea level. I'm not sure if bolt-ons will get me there, but if it can then it will hold me off until I am able to drop my pennies for a FI kit.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce.augenstein@comcast. View Post
One of the problems about high-altitude performance loss is that you feel it everywhere from idle to redline. In this case the power and torque loss is about 15%, but the torque loss is what you feel right out of your driveway. Traditional power enhancers such as intake and exhaust mods tend to offer their best gains at high rpm, so no big help there except for aural enjoyment. Pulleys also tend to do their best at high rpm as well.

A tune just isn't going to do it for you, so the best advice is to save your pennies for a supercharger kit - or wait for the new car, which will almost certainly allow for sea-level power up to at least 6000 feet.

The turbo-at-altitude issue is that at, say, 15 psi nominal above ambient, you're making about 30 psi total at sea level. Assuming a loss of about 2.25 psi (15%) at your altitude while normally aspirated (netting 12.75 psi), just maintaining a 15 psi boost level means you'll drop from 30 psi to about 27.75 psi while boosted, meaning you'd only lose about 7.5% in power and torque assuming 15 psi of boost. So forced induction motors intrinsically suffer less at altitude compared to their normally aspirated brethren.

It gets better than that, however. These days, just about every manufacturer will allow for increased boost over normal spec (on turbo cars) to correct for altitude, so the car will automatically adjust the max boost to 17.25 psi in Albuquerque, getting you back to the nominal 30 psi absolute that the engine experiences at sea level.

Of course, the new M3 may not be a killer car in other ways, but I guarantee you it will be a killer car in Albuquerque, power-wise.

Bruce

PS - Don't worry about 91 octane fuel. It's all that's needed at altitude in your car.
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      03-22-2013, 12:04 PM   #24
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Im in Denver too and coming from a tuned 335i. The tuned 335 kills it at the drag strip but cant match the sound and handling of the M3.
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      03-22-2013, 12:33 PM   #25
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SID, as Bruce mentioned above, FI cars are less prone to HP loss on high altitude. Do some suspension mod and you will be good to go. I'm just slowly counting the days when I can get a FI kit for my car.

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Im in Denver too and coming from a tuned 335i. The tuned 335 kills it at the drag strip but cant match the sound and handling of the M3.
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      03-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #26
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But just think about the improved mileage you're getting...

I used to live at almost 9000 ft and I lost something like 25% of the 500hp I had in my MB ML63.
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      03-22-2013, 01:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Was thinking the same thing, who moves from NYC to New Mexico?
I lived in NM for 6 years. It's a beautiful state with some of the most outstanding sunsets! Don't even get me started on the green chili!
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      03-22-2013, 01:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoM3z View Post
I recently moved to Albuquerque from New York City. One major thing I noticed is how sluggish the car is. Given the 12% power train loss due to high altitude (1 mile above sea level) and lower octane gas (91) the car feels like it lost 100HP I am now seriously considering some performance mod to make up for it. Super charger of course is the fastest way, but I am in no hurry to drop $8k on a entry level setup, but it is not by any means out of the question. Few things I am considering...

Tune - GIAC, ESS, BPM, etc..
Test pipes, Xpipe, HFC
Pulleys
Intake

Any suggestions from folks who lives in high altitude?
Before spending all the money on mods, fill up with the highest octane of gas around and see if that would make a difference? Also where do you full up?
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      03-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #29
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I grew to love the green chili, especially the green chili stew. Don't get me started about the sunsets, it's one of the best ones I've seen in a long while...

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I lived in NM for 6 years. It's a beautiful state with some of the most outstanding sunsets! Don't even get me started on the green chili!
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      03-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #30
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Currently I'm going to Chevron and using their 91oct. I found a place that has 100oct, I'm giving that a try either today or sometime this weekend...

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Before spending all the money on mods, fill up with the highest octane of gas around and see if that would make a difference? Also where do you full up?
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      03-22-2013, 02:16 PM   #31
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I lived in NM for 6 years. It's a beautiful state with some of the most outstanding sunsets! Don't even get me started on the green chili!
I lived in many places and NM is the worst. Mexico should just buy it from the govt and help pay off the trillion dollar deficit.
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      03-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoM3z View Post
Currently I'm going to Chevron and using their 91oct. I found a place that has 100oct, I'm giving that a try either today or sometime this weekend...
You guys don't have 93 shell V-power? Write back once you use the 100oct I wanna hear if it made a difference.
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      03-22-2013, 02:25 PM   #33
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I went to Shell thinking they had it, but to my surprise they only carry 91. Few folks suggested using octane booster, never used it before, willing to experiment at this point. I will report back after using the 100oct. A friend told me that using 100oct with out a 100oct tune won't make that much of a difference.

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You guys don't have 93 shell V-power? Write back once you use the 100oct I wanna hear if it made a difference.
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      03-22-2013, 02:32 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoM3z View Post
I went to Shell thinking they had it, but to my surprise they only carry 91. Few folks suggested using octane booster, never used it before, willing to experiment at this point. I will report back after using the 100oct. A friend told me that using 100oct with out a 100oct tune won't make that much of a difference.
Your friend is right. But I've read somewhere on this forum that 95/96 octane would make a difference. Wouldn't hurt to try 100oct before you spend thousands on top of thousands on mods.
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      03-22-2013, 03:09 PM   #35
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It breaks my heart that our car performs soooooo poorly at high altitude. Supercharger is definitely the way to go to get the beast back from these beauties.

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My house is at 6 700 feet, and I regularly tool about up to about 10 000 feet. It's all I've ever known with my M3. Prior to this I had a 335 at sea level, then moved up here, with that same 335. From my limited understanding of such things, altitude does not much impact a turbo car, and my 335 pulled strongly through the canyons. When I switched to the M3 from the 335, there was a noticeable difference in the way the cars pulled up long hills in the 6 000 - 8 000 ft. range. Take it from a simple guy (when it comes to all the torque/power conversations here), the M3, in 5th gear, when floored spools up a little slower than the turbo, but it seems (to me) that it pulls longer and harder with much less effort (that's what she said). My X5 35d is very similar to my 335 in that, yes, it has stump pulling power, but a very narrow power band - thanks to an eight speed transmission though, it gets the job done for a heavy vehicle. So, my conclusions about living at altitude, yes, your car has lost some of its power, but it remains one of the best kick ass values out there, for the money. I would concur with you that a supercharger is the way to go - I never thought much about this until I drove my girlfriends F150 Quadcab (yes she wears the wifebeater t-shirt in our house). Even towing a Moomba, it pulls effortlessly at 6 000 + feet, and totally sold me on supercharging (whatever that is!)
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      03-22-2013, 03:16 PM   #36
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Quote:
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The worst part is that all things constant; the engine is worked harder at elevations. More wear.
How do figure that? The fact is, less oxygen means less fuel, (the engine management computer compensates to keep mixture correct) hence less power. Less power, less work. Just because you need to press on the throttle pedal a little further won't affect wear. Unless you're worried about the throttle pedal itself wearing out.


Cheers.
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      03-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #37
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Welcome to the "DirtyQureque" OP. I lived in England near Sea Level when I got my M3 and I moved here (PCS-Military orders) about 1.5 years ago and yeah, especially during the summer, the DA (density altidute; Pressure altitude corrected for temperature) is more like over 8,000ft. So our car has lost about 20% estimated. But so has everyone else too.

A supercharger for sure will help but I moded mine with HFC X-pipe, DINAN stage II (passes emissions here now with no CEL) and a DINAN pully. I pulled about 350hp at the wheel at a local shops dyno with the correction factor.

It'll be a nice treat when you drive cross country to a lower altitude and you'll feel the power return. Its not too bad during the winter as the DA will drop to about the elevation altitude of 5,300ft or less below 0 degrees Celsius.

But I'd be much more worried of driving your M3 here in the South West desert. I've gone through 2 windshields already due to flying rocks and about to get a 3rd. Plus the New Mexico drivers are real idiots. Be on your guard for every driver out here. Real baboons driving. Good luck!

By the way, check out http://www.racingsouthwest.com/ and also http://www.arroyosecoraceway.com/index.html probebly the only two things to do around here to enjoy your M3.

I'm part of a small group of co-workers with sports cars that from Spring till Fall regularly do some driving events around the state if you ever get board and want to meet up. Good luck!

Rob
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      03-22-2013, 05:44 PM   #38
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Just go ahead and get bolt-ons for both the wife and the car
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      03-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #39
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Honestly dont spend the cash on bolt ons. Might as well get the sc kit now.
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      03-23-2013, 12:47 AM   #40
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I'm still getting use to the altitude and the crazy ABQ drivers. I guess they just don't believe in signaling when changing lanes. I also noticed their erratic behavior when navigating lane changes. They say NY drivers are the worse, man I beg to differ. I went to a local shop here called Motiva, unfortunately most shops, including Motiva specializes in american and japanese cars. The guy I spoke knows little about M3s, but assured me they can tune the car for the altitude and thin air. I guess I have to wait and find out. At this point I am seriously considering saving my pennies for a SC kit.

How does your car feel with the bolt on mods? I'm considering doing HFC, Pulleys, test pipes, xpipe, intake and tune.

A few buddies of mine and I are going for a ride this Sunday. I think we are taking the back road to Santa Fe. Msg me if you want to go for a ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerRob08 View Post
Welcome to the "DirtyQureque" OP. I lived in England near Sea Level when I got my M3 and I moved here (PCS-Military orders) about 1.5 years ago and yeah, especially during the summer, the DA (density altidute; Pressure altitude corrected for temperature) is more like over 8,000ft. So our car has lost about 20% estimated. But so has everyone else too.

A supercharger for sure will help but I moded mine with HFC X-pipe, DINAN stage II (passes emissions here now with no CEL) and a DINAN pully. I pulled about 350hp at the wheel at a local shops dyno with the correction factor.

It'll be a nice treat when you drive cross country to a lower altitude and you'll feel the power return. Its not too bad during the winter as the DA will drop to about the elevation altitude of 5,300ft or less below 0 degrees Celsius.

But I'd be much more worried of driving your M3 here in the South West desert. I've gone through 2 windshields already due to flying rocks and about to get a 3rd. Plus the New Mexico drivers are real idiots. Be on your guard for every driver out here. Real baboons driving. Good luck!

By the way, check out http://www.racingsouthwest.com/ and also http://www.arroyosecoraceway.com/index.html probebly the only two things to do around here to enjoy your M3.

I'm part of a small group of co-workers with sports cars that from Spring till Fall regularly do some driving events around the state if you ever get board and want to meet up. Good luck!

Rob
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      03-23-2013, 12:56 AM   #41
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Ultimately I will be going this route. Only problem is sneaking this past my wife's watchful eyes

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Honestly dont spend the cash on bolt ons. Might as well get the sc kit now.
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      03-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #42
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You should move to Tucumcari or Moriarty, NM...
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      03-23-2013, 01:04 PM   #43
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Ultimately I will be going this route. Only problem is sneaking this past my wife's watchful eyes
You should bring it up as a "safety issue". The reasoning would be this:
You: Honey you know I love you very much
She: Yes, dear, what do you want now?
You: Well you know that M3 that I bought? Its a beautiful car and part of the reason tha I bought it is because I like to have this safety margin of knowing that if I'm in a situation where I need to stomp the throttle to escape danger I can do that. But since we moved up here, my car lost so much power that I can't bear to think about what would happen if I'm faced with this unusual situation. I'm pretty confident that I need a SC kit for safety reason
She: well, safety is important, why don't you go ahead and buy one
You: Thank you dear.


All jokes aside, bolt ons will not get you the power levels back up. In the endn you will spend 60% of the cost of a supercharger. On top of that, the xpipe, and exhaust can be added on later for even more gains. There are plenty of used kits for sale now, well below 8K. I think VF is running a promotion on their kits right now too. Unless someone has forgotten to check/change the oil of the blower unit, these kits are pretty bullet proof, so buying used should not be a concern.

My suggestion would be to get the charger if you are looking to gain those power levels back up.
Good luck.
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      03-23-2013, 04:12 PM   #44
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It's been 2 days for me and I am already dreading how the car feels. I am seriously considering a blower at this point, but I am willing to give some bolt-ons a try before dropping $8k on a kit.
Several points:

* You might get some of it back with those mods, but the only way to _really_ fix the problem is FI.

* Sounds like you are more or less moving to hell for her benefit. That being said, both sides in a relationship need to compromise . . . So, you moved to ABQ to keep her happy? Well, this would make you happy . . .

http://www.esstuning.com/products/E9...er-System.html

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