Drives: 2008 335xi Coupe
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Newtown, PA
Bringing Vishnu to the East Coast (Experience Documented)
Thought I would share this experience for anyone considering the Vishnu Procede/Flex Fuel setup. Two thumbs up to Vishnu Tuning and VAC Motorsports.
Stage 1: Early discussions with Vishnu
In the never ending quest to squeeze more and more horsepower from the N54ís, I decided to throw in the towel on the current COBB setup I had and began researching some of the cutting edge setups that Vishnu Tuning had to offer. What initially caught my eye was the unique ability for the Procede to integrate with their Methanol kits. Having already been down the Ďcustom tuneí route time and time again (at a few hundred bucks a tune might I add), this was an attractive feature. As the vehicle is still what I use to drive 10 miles to and from work each day, I wanted to be able to take advantage of the meth kit at varying ethanol percentages, should I so desire. However, this wasnít enough to make me switch the current setup I had. What really got my attention was the Flex Fuel kit that was laying down some serious power figures on the dyno, really taking advantage of all the N54ís have to offer. So, I decided it was time to speak to someone at Vishnu, plus I was very curious to hear more about the recent single turbo kit theyíve released.
After getting past the 3 hour time zone difference, being from PA, I learned the Flex Fuel kit also auto tunes based on ethanol content Ė an almost essential feature due to the varying content of e85. Robert was very knowledgeable and able to answer 98% of my questions on the spot and allowed Shiv to speak to the remaining 2% directly. I decided I was ready to see what this setup could do. I went ahead and purchased to Procede, Meth Kit with Trunk Mount, and the Flex Fuel Kit. I overnighted the DME out to be re-flashed, and eagerly awaited my delivery. In the meantime, I noticed a very interesting looking fuel pump on Vishnuís Facebook page. Upon calling in, I was unhappy to hear that this pump assists the LPFP and was almost a necessity when running the setup I recently purchased. Translation, an additional $500 in costs, but hey, it costs money to go fast.
Stage 2: Who to use for install?
Having bad experiences in the past with some local shops, I thought I would ask Robert if he had any recommendations on where to get all this installed. Iíve been able to do a decent amount of the install work on my car myself, but wasnít interested in toying with this type of a job. I was referred to VAC Motorsports in Philadelphia, PA. I connected there with an all round solid guy named Steve. We discussed my plans and Steve provided me an install estimate (pretty much ranging from 1300-1500) but with the heads up that things like this can take some troubleshooting so these times were really their best estimates, which was fine. I then hit my first speed bump. Steve informed me that there was some hesitation on their parts to install the Flex Fuel kit as they were unsure as to how the fuel system in the N54ís would respond to the corrosive nature of e85, given the prior issues the fuel system has already faced, AND the fact that it was still technically a daily driver. I was fortunate enough to get a conference call with Shiv and Steve on the line to walk through this issue. After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the nature of the job, I was confident enough to sign a waiver, removing liability from VAC, to get the job initiated. Let me add this write up in not intended to stir up discussion over whether or not running e85 is a good idea, although I am curious to hear any and all comments from those who are running the Flex Fuel kit (good or bad). As frustrating as it was to lose a day or two install time in decided whether or not VAC was going to do the job, looking back I really appreciate being made aware of potential pitfalls.
Stage 3: Completing the job
I set myself up for disappointment in scheduling all the deliveries and installs during the holidays. I had to wait a bit longer for the delivery to reach my house (same with DME), and there were days that VAC was simply not in the shop due to the holidays. To top things off, Klevis, the installer from VAC working on my vehicle, caught some nasty cold spiking a 103 degree fever, forcing him to take a sick day, pushing things back even further. With frustration beginning to set in, I was incredibly relieved to hear that Klevis came in on a sick day just to finish my car, before heading back home to rest. It was all coming together...
Stage 4: Post Install
As I had travel plans relating to work forcing me to take the car from VAC and run, another week went by before I was able to test the vehicle. Steve tried to get me some e85 to test the flex fuel kit before returning the car to me, but was unable to once things started getting close to deadline and explained I had flights to catch, etc. Upon returning from work, I hit my second and third speed bumps. I ended up going back to VAC to complete some last minute trouble shooting with the Procede interacting with the Flex Kit. I really have to give my thanks again to both Shiv and Klevis for helping me troubleshoot on a Saturday. I thought for sure I was going to be at least another week before being able to test the setup.
After getting everything straightened out, I linked up the Procede to the laptop, worked through some first time software questions with Robert, and hit the pump to grab some e85. My very first pull I began blowing codes . Having no idea what was going wrong, I texted Shiv on his cell. Within a few minutes, Shiv called me asking when the last time I changed my spark plugs, explaining e85 demands a solid ignition system. It had been 30K miles, 65K on car now, and Shiv told me to check the DME codes on the Procede, and that I had probably misfired due to old spark plugs. Sure enough, the Procede confirmed this. The very next night, I swapped a new set of plugs and went out for round 2.
Stage 5: The Payoff
Running 60% e85, I headed out praying there were no more issues. I gradually pushed the car in third a few times before I decided to get on it. Good god! What a difference!! It reminded me of when I first put the Cobb on the vehicle. I explained to Steve and Shiv, it felt like I was adding a Cobb to my already existing Cobb. Even better was the fact that the Voshnu software feels WAY more integrated, no offense to Cobb whatsoever as their product is incredible. Iím incredibly excited to run 80%+ e85 as thatís where Iím told this setup produces the most power, however, Iíll be waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer as the car doesnít like initially starting in cold weather while running e85. At that time, Iíll most likely be heading back to VAC to get some dyno figures running 93 pump gas, 100% meth with 93 pump, and 100% e85. Dyno slips and photos to follow within a few months.
335 XI Coupe/ RB Turbos/ JB4 w/ Wedge Backend / Meth / Inline LPFP / E85 / UUC SSK / Spec2+ SMFW / HPF 7'' IC / Forged DV's / AR DP's / BMS DCI / Apex Arc-8 /Hankook Ventus V12 EVO / KWV1 / HPF Exhaust/ NGK/