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Old 06-08-2008, 01:11 PM   #1
AzN_M5
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E46 M3 ESS VT 440 S/C Review

Here is my car:


ESS Tuning E46 M3 VT440 Supercharger Review

Install

When the package first arrived, I was absolutely ecstatic. I think one of the most amazing things about the VT440 is that everything fits in entirely one fairly small box. The largest part of the kit is obviously the bracket and the Vortech supercharger, which take up the majority of the space in the box. Otherwise the kit contains only the new belts, pulley, the new sleeve that connects the intake manifold with the blower and adds a new MAF, the air filter, and of course misc bolts and hose clamps. I think the box for my AFE intake may actually have been larger, but this intake makes a little more power though.

The install is fairly straightforward with the two most difficult parts being the removal of the intake manifold to access some of the lines underneath as well as put in your new oil return line for the supercharger. And the second most difficult being installing the new fuel injectors which, because they are longer than stock, require the use of spacers that ESS provides. The fitment of everything is perfect.

I feel that the most impressive aspect of the kit may very well be the bracket that holds the supercharger in place. Out of the box, it is a work of art. It is nearly an inch thick of high quality aluminum and the fit and finish of a factory vehicle component.

Performance

First off, the drivability of the S54 with this kit is beyond phenomenal. My M3 actually drives smoother than it did stock. The tuning from ESS is nothing short of spectacular. The power delivery is so smooth it is near impossible to tell how much faster your M3 has become, until of course you look at your speedometer or race a stock E46 M3 and see how badly you crush it.

As far as gas mileage goes, it all depends on the driver. As for me, I run through first, second, and third as often as possible...anything into fourth and fifth, well I rarely get the opportunity...unless of course I'm on my way to Bimmerfest on a long stretch of open highway... Even with driving like a bat out of hell basically, I am still averaging near 23-25 mpg in the city and near 27-28 mpg on the highway, if you can believe that. I know I couldn't at first, but like I said, it's like my car is just more efficient now overall.

As for what the car put down, I have Evo sport headers and the Rogue Engineering El Diablo exhaust, all together that produced a whopping 390 rwhp on 91 octane, and near 405 rwhp on 100 octane. All for about $6k...yeah, my headers/exhaust setup were over $2500...this kit is so worth it.

Additional Changes

Prior to the supercharger install, Asbjorn recommended that since my car was a higher mileage E46 M3 (I installed the kit with just over 80k on the odometer), I replace just a few things for longevity sake which were:

-My coilpacks (I had the original Bremi coilpacks, BMW now uses Bosch in the S54)
-Spark Plugs (He didn't say this was necessary, but I wanted a colder plug and went to the Denso Irridiums, which feel fantastic)
-Fuel Pump ( Anyone with over 60k miles should probably change their fuel pump, forced induction or not, it's just smart)
-Fuel Filter (this just goes along with the new fuel pump)

That's about all I can think of right now, and primarily just my initial impressions, every time I drive the car I feel like I'm falling more and more in love!

And I'll be happy to answer any questions I can, but nothing too technical, I'm not Asbjorn...that guy is insane! Crazy ass Norwegians...
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the club.

Now post some times, so I can compare them to my heavy arsed `vert.
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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Nice review
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:48 PM   #4
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so which m3 kit comes with the ASA blower?
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
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Beautiful car Chris. The kit looks so simple, but like the say, simplicity is the best form of complexity.

It was nice meeting you at Bimmerfest!

Here is an up close picture of the VT440 in the engine bay.

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Old 06-08-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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so which m3 kit comes with the ASA blower?
The CFR series.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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May as well pic ***** mine as well.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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Congrats on the kit, ESS builds quality components

Oh btw there's no way your driving like a bat out hell and getting almost 25mpg in the city. I'll just assume your mpg calibrations are off due to the new injectors.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:42 PM   #9
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Chris was getting very good gas mileage on the way to Bimmerfest. It was sooo good the CHP stopped him to tell him how good it was. His car runs very good and has really nice power for a $6k kit. For the money and simplicity this is a really nice kit for the M3. ESS really has this kit perfected.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:44 PM   #10
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Chris was getting very good gas mileage on the way to Bimmerfest. It was sooo good the CHP stopped him to tell him how good it was. His car runs very good and has really nice power for a $6k kit. For the money and simplicity this is a really nice kit for the M3. ESS really has this kit perfected.
I assumed he had to play catch up after the CHP complimented him on his ride.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EIAlfonso View Post
Congrats on the kit, ESS builds quality components

Oh btw there's no way your driving like a bat out hell and getting almost 25mpg in the city. I'll just assume your mpg calibrations are off due to the new injectors.
That's what I assumed as well, so then I just went to plain old math.

Filled up the tank, reset the trip odometer, drove the tank dry with my normal driving habits, filled the tank again, divided my trip odometer at fill up time with the number of gallons I had put in the tank, and that was my number.

And yes, this kit is some serious quality!
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:47 PM   #12
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For under 6k, you can't beat this!
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:06 PM   #13
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Too bad that ESS will not stand behind their product after the sale! Very upset customer over on the Z4 forums that is upset that his SC is not up to show quality due to a major pit in the casting. Would you pay this much money to be left with an open gouge in the casing?????

Ongoing thread:
http://www.z4-forum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5083
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:29 PM   #14
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Too bad that ESS will not stand behind their product after the sale! Very upset customer over on the Z4 forums that is upset that his SC is not up to show quality due to a major pit in the casting. Would you pay this much money to be left with an open gouge in the casing?????

Ongoing thread:
http://www.z4-forum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5083
Quite the contrary, ESS stands behind their product 100%.

As I mentioned in the other thread, please refrain from posting off topic. If you had created your own thread for this subject, you wouldn't have to repeat the information in every other thread in existence.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:10 PM   #15
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the ESS kit was my 2nd choice.

thank you for the great write up

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Old 09-16-2008, 08:04 PM   #16
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can you add a front intercooler to this kit?
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:54 PM   #17
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can you add a front intercooler to this kit?
Yes the kit can also be upgraded to higher levels of boost if you do add the FMIC.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:48 PM   #18
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im sold. how much more boost are we talking about? whats the sq2's safe limit? where can i find this info. seems to be scarce.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:32 AM   #19
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thanks for the review -- been looking for some notes on these kits for a while -- one question; how does tuning work? do you send it out to them? I ask because i really cant afford any downtime. If so, i suppose I could take it down to san diego and get it installed/tuned one of these days.

i'm seriously considering the ESS kits -- the VT kit looks like a right fit for my budget (and power needs) at the moment. I'm sure ill step up to VF St2 or HPF in the future.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cicada View Post
thanks for the review -- been looking for some notes on these kits for a while -- one question; how does tuning work? do you send it out to them? I ask because i really cant afford any downtime. If so, i suppose I could take it down to san diego and get it installed/tuned one of these days.

i'm seriously considering the ESS kits -- the VT kit looks like a right fit for my budget (and power needs) at the moment. I'm sure ill step up to VF St2 or HPF in the future.
The ECU is sent to Arizona to be reflashed and is then sent back to you.

The VT kit can be upgraded all the way to a 700bhp kit. Or you can opt for the CFR525 and then wait for the CFR700 to be released. The kits are by no means dead end kits in relation to future upgrades.
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