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      11-03-2014, 11:48 PM   #1
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Reliability/driveability of a supercharged M3?

I know the power of the M3 will get boring to me at some point. I think the issue is the torque. While 400+hp is rather respectable for a daily driver, 295lb-ft of torque just isn't enough in my opinion. I had honestly assumed because it is a BMW that going forced induction would cost $15k-$20k just for the kit. I was rather pleasantly surprised to see that there are several ESS SC setups in the for sale section for $4500-$6500. Very affordable in the future in my opinion.

1. What does going SC on the S65 do in terms of reliability? I know it will obviously lose some reliability, but how much more unreliable would the car realistically be?

2. What about daily driveability? Would the car lose it's daily driveability just because you have all that extra power, or is the power manageable and comfortable to live with on a daily basis?

3. What are the SC'd owners doing in terms of extra maintenance? (by extra, I mean in addition to the 7500mile oil changes that most owners do). Are even more frequent than 7500mile oil changes required?

4. What about preventative maintenance? What would be some good items to consider before going SC?

5. Besides a typical ESS SC kit from the for sale section for $5000 or so, software and install (which I would most likely do myself) what would be required or recommended? How much would I expect to spend going FI in the S65 including a low mile used ESS SC kit, software and install, ready to drive?

Thanks for the help in advance. I won't be going SC anytime soon, just seeing if it is in the realm of possibility a couple years down the line.
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      11-03-2014, 11:51 PM   #2
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SC speeds up engine wear.
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      11-04-2014, 01:04 AM   #3
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I change my oil every 5000-6000KM (3100-3700 miles) or half a year, whichever comes first.

Neither my mechanic or I believe in the long life oil bs. If you drive hard, take care of your car, there's not going to be problems. If you don't drive hard, please drive harder.
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      11-04-2014, 06:21 AM   #4
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Read up on rod bearings.
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      11-04-2014, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashtaron14 View Post
I change my oil every 5000-6000KM (3100-3700 miles) or half a year, whichever comes first.

Neither my mechanic or I believe in the long life oil bs. If you drive hard, take care of your car, there's not going to be problems. If you don't drive hard, please drive harder.
This.

also it is recommended to change the spark plugs every 10k miles.
I also change my oil at 5k intervals.
Drivability is great IMO.
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      11-04-2014, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Read up on rod bearings.
he should also read up on main bearings too while he's at it
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      11-04-2014, 11:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ||||||||| View Post

2. What about daily driveability? Would the car lose it's daily driveability just because you have all that extra power, or is the power manageable and comfortable to live with on a daily basis?
Why do people ask about driveability changes with more power? That's more maximum power, not "more power all the time that you can't manage". Simply don't push the throttle pedal as hard, and amazingly you have the same power as you did before. Hell, a S/C M3 can still drive the same speed as a Geo Prizm with only 90hp, and they can even accelerate at the same rate if you want to! What's so tough about that, especially with three different throttle modes that can dull the response or liven it up? Am I missing something here....?
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      11-04-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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OP, if you are not going SC any time soon, leave stock power alone. Dont waist your money on anything else. Why? Because you will not notice any more power almost at all on s65 engine. Save your money and go SC when ready. But i have to warn you, when you install that SC, you will wish you did it sooner. I know i did.
As far as driveability, there is no evidence of SC presence untill 3500 rpm, car behaves as stock, untill you push it into higher rpm.
Reliability of ESS kits is exellent, thats why there are so many of those are sold worldwide. Will it increase engine wear? Probably, but if you change your oil every 3K miles, spark plugs every 10K miles, use high quality fuel(i only put shell or chevron 93 octane unleaded in my cars), SC oil every 7,500 miles, SC filter once a year, let engine warm up and dont push it till engine oil reaches operating temp. and you dont drive like a maniac all the time, s65 engine should be good for a long time. There are lots of SCed s65 engines with high mileage still going strong.
And dont let anyone tell you that SC will increase possibility of rod bearings failure, there is no documented evidence of that.

Last edited by Groundpilot; 11-04-2014 at 12:49 PM..
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      11-04-2014, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FRFNUGN View Post
Am I missing something here....?
Yes, I would say that you are missing something (t)here..allow me to explain:

I am well aware that just because you have 900 hp opposed to 90 it does not mean that stepping on the gas ever so slightly will send you launching into a telephone pole at 100 mph because you can't keep the wheels from spinning. Don't be ridiculous.

When I refer to "daily driveability", I am referring to the comfort of driving a car that will do 0-60 in <4.0 seconds, and run a 1/4 mile in <11.5 seconds. You, or anyone else would be lying if you said that driving a car with 500+hp and 400+ torque does not demand some level of restraint, discipline and patience. It can be very easy to get into the throttle too much at the wrong time. So my question wasn't "if I SC my M3, will all that extra power prevent me from keeping the back end straight when I take off from a light". It was more along the lines of "does owing a SC M3 take away from some of the practicality of driving it as a daily mode of transportation given that you are constantly having to be aware of the fact you have 500+ hp under the hood.

Are you tracking now? Good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundpilot View Post
OP, if you are not going SC any time soon, leave stock power alone. Dont waist your money on anything else. Why? Because you will not notice any more power almost at all on s65 engine. Save your money and go SC when ready. But i have to warn you, when you install that SC, you will wish you did it sooner. I know i did.
As far as driveability, there is no evidence of SC presence untill 3500 rpm, car behaves as stock, untill you push it into higher rpm.
Reliability of ESS kits is exellent, thats why there are so many of those are sold worldwide. Will it increase engine wear? Probably, but if you change your oil every 3K miles, spark plugs every 10K miles, use high quality fuel(i only put shell or chevron 93 octane unleaded in my cars), SC oil every 7,500 miles, SC filter once a year, let engine warm up and dont push it till engine oil reaches operating temp. and you dont drive like a maniac all the time, s65 engine should be good for a long time. There are lots of SCed s65 engines with high mileage still going strong.
And dont let anyone tell you that SC will increase possibility of rod bearings failure, there is no documented evidence of that.
Thank you for this straight forward answer. Answered almost all of my questions. And thank you to all the other serious answers. Like I said, I will not be SC'ing for a while. It was just a thought I was toying with. I have a feeling the 414hp the car already has will be enough for me for awhile, though in the future I would like to go SC as I really think the car lacks torque.
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      11-04-2014, 01:24 PM   #10
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And dont let anyone tell you that SC will increase possibility of rod bearings failure, there is no documented evidence of that.
Forced induction wears internal components of engines more rapidly. Its just common sense.
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      11-04-2014, 02:11 PM   #11
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Forced induction wears internal components of engines more rapidly. Its just common sense.
Thats exactly what im looking for!!!! SuperCharger for the win!!!!
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      11-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #12
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Thats exactly what im looking for!!!! SuperCharger for the win!!!!
And that's fine if you want to trade engine longevity for performance. But don't tell me a SC doesn't wear an engine out quicker. That's just silly.
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      11-04-2014, 02:33 PM   #13
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I never thought about owning an M3 without a blower. I ordered my M3 in summer of 2012 and bought an ESS supercharger (625 kit eventually upgrading to 650) and Akra exhaust before the car arrived. So far 22,000 miles and many of those were track and airstrip miles. Since then I've added a BBK since tracking a 600+ HP car demands more robust brakes. I also bought camber plates but that's it for mods. Tires are VERY important. You will need PSS at a minimum. I run both PSS and Nitto NT-05's (I have two sets of ZCPs). R888's are even better but they are too noisy and kills the element of comfort for daily driving.

I have not had even one hiccup in those 22,000 miles. This car has been absolutely bulletproof. I do maintenance items a little more frequently like 5,000 miles for oil and I did plugs at 18,000 miles but really should be 10,000.

I attend a lot of car events including airstrip racing events and car show events and there is no car I would rather have as my daily driver.
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      11-04-2014, 06:52 PM   #14
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Drivability is no different, except much more power!!! You'll be upset you didn't do it sooner. Maybe change the bearings if you want for a piece of mind or just start doing oil analysis to look for increased metals/wear.

I change oil every 3 k, thats it. Otherwise the car runs flawless. Make sure you research what kit works for you, cooling, power, etc. Also one of the most important things is a shop that is very familiar with the brand kit you buy and can support it. If things go wrong, you want to have a professional help you out.

Good luck!
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      11-04-2014, 08:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3ray
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentAttack View Post
Thats exactly what im looking for!!!! SuperCharger for the win!!!!
And that's fine if you want to trade engine longevity for performance. But don't tell me a SC doesn't wear an engine out quicker. That's just silly.
Not saying that at all. I bought my car knowing I would FI it at some point because 414 hp just isn't enough for my addiction. It may be in year 3 of ownership but I know I will be doing it.
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      11-04-2014, 08:26 PM   #16
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I am extremely happy with my SC. I had two avenues in mind, Dinan stroker or ESS SC. I ideally would have gone with a Dinan stroker but financially it did not make sense given the price per HP of a stage 1 ESS SC.

Will the engine wear faster? Maybe, but at 6psi (I am stage 1), the extra pressure is mild. I am not sure the extra wear will be tangible and given how most SC owners are extra careful about scheduled maintenance and care, the risk is possibly offset.
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      06-29-2020, 11:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat3d ///M View Post
I know the power of the M3 will get boring to me at some point. I think the issue is the torque. While 400+hp is rather respectable for a daily driver, 295lb-ft of torque just isn't enough in my opinion. I had honestly assumed because it is a BMW that going forced induction would cost $15k-$20k just for the kit. I was rather pleasantly surprised to see that there are several ESS SC setups in the for sale section for $4500-$6500. Very affordable in the future in my opinion.

1. What does going SC on the S65 do in terms of reliability? I know it will obviously lose some reliability, but how much more unreliable would the car realistically be?

2. What about daily driveability? Would the car lose it's daily driveability just because you have all that extra power, or is the power manageable and comfortable to live with on a daily basis?

3. What are the SC'd owners doing in terms of extra maintenance? (by extra, I mean in addition to the 7500mile oil changes that most owners do). Are even more frequent than 7500mile oil changes required?

4. What about preventative maintenance? What would be some good items to consider before going SC?

5. Besides a typical ESS SC kit from the for sale section for $5000 or so, software and install (which I would most likely do myself) what would be required or recommended? How much would I expect to spend going FI in the S65 including a low mile used ESS SC kit, software and install, ready to drive?

Thanks for the help in advance. I won't be going SC anytime soon, just seeing if it is in the realm of possibility a couple years down the line.


My car has been supercharged for 2 years no issues at all just gotta change spark plugs more often
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      06-30-2020, 08:00 AM   #18
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Tons of fun. Close to 30k on my ess625 kit. No issues.

Try and locate a used early kit with the v3si unit, as itís easily and affordable to rebuild. Not sure about the new g-chargers

Do your research on cooling mods to go along with it.
I have upgraded a few components of the ESS kit, but itís a great overall/ proven unit. I recommend starting with an intercooled kit. Temps are the great killer of the supercharger
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      07-02-2020, 06:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashtaron14 View Post
I change my oil every 5000-6000KM (3100-3700 miles) or half a year, whichever comes first.

Neither my mechanic or I believe in the long life oil bs. If you drive hard, take care of your car, there's not going to be problems. If you don't drive hard, please drive harder.
3100 miles?!? I'm not surprised in the least that your mechanic doesn't believe in "long life" oil since he/she probably gets paid to change oil! The whole "change your oil every 3000-5000" miles was peddled by companies like Oil Changers and Jiffy Lube, or from ancient advice based on mineral oils (which do need changing more often). Even Ferrari purportedly changed their interval to make it shorter purely because US dealers wanted to make more money from people that didn't drive their cars much (Rest of the world intervals stayed the same).

The only way to know how your oil is faring is to run an chemical oil analysis. I've done that many times on different cars, and almost every time the analysis comes back with something like "oil good for another 5000 miles". On break-in when anything inside the engine has been changed (from just cams or bearings to a full rebuild), yes, oil should be changed very soon after to get rid of any residual metal and/or assembly lube, but under normal circumstances, oil is good for at least 10,000 miles. Changing it more often is actually likely to cause more issues (oil starvation at startup, errors by the mechanic, etc). Personally the following schedule is what I would recommend, with or without supercharger (SC oil is self-contained, and the extra power you're using extremely rarely is not changing your oil change requirements):

- Break-in - 500 miles, and again at 2500 miles.
- Street driven - 10,000 miles or 12 months (this is the official BMW recommendation), but no less than 7,500 miles.
- Track driven - Every 4-5 track days (due to the extreme heat on track that can break down some of the additives in the oil)

If it makes you feel better changing it more often and spending hundreds on the 9L of 10W60 spec oil, then that's your choice, but as I said you run higher risks of damage caused by actually changing it, and it does nothing for the longevity of your engine (especially at 3100 miles!).

For longevity it's better to focus on changing those rod bearings. In fact I believe ESS now strongly recommend changing bearings when adding their SC, but with or without the SC, you should change those bearings to BE Bearings!

Thanks!

S.
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      07-02-2020, 09:14 PM   #20
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My 2011 has a G-Power SKII kit that was installed in 2012. Currently has 120k miles. Still on stock clutch. Runs great and has no oil consumption.
Seems like the vehicle was overbuilt and can handle the extra strain without issue imo.
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      07-03-2020, 12:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilberjj View Post
My 2011 has a G-Power SKII kit that was installed in 2012. Currently has 120k miles. Still on stock clutch. Runs great and has no oil consumption.
Seems like the vehicle was overbuilt and can handle the extra strain without issue imo.
Man, 120K miles. That's so cool. Here I am sitting at 70K wondering if I should keep it.

Never had a single car above 50K. How's your ownership experience from 60k to 120k?
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      08-20-2020, 11:06 PM   #22
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G-Power SK2CS here.
Kit was installed in '09. Car ('08) had around 6,000mi at the time of install.
The car has 59,400mi now, no issues so far, and runs great.
No weird noises, other than from day 1 the blower has always sounded like a box of rocks at idle.
Same spark plugs that the kit came with.
19.6 MPG average for the last 2 years (with 3 track days) since I reset the counter.
I'll change the plug$ soon though.
The car daily drives just fine, you can be as docile as you want. My wife is not a "Car" person and she can drive it just fine.
But, early on there was lust to drive like a jackass. But that wore off and it's not an issue to stay out of the throttle when going to the store.

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