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      01-24-2011, 01:02 AM   #1

Join Date: Feb 2006

iTrader: (1)

Thumbs up RB N54 Turbo Upgrade - Full Modification Journal

Thought I'd have this thread dedicated to the build of my car over the past 3 years or so. Throughout this time I've had nothing but great times with it with the exception of a head gasket fiasco stirred up by a local dealership that in the end turned out to be a leaky injector replaced under warranty. You can find that thread on here if you search "head gasket failure" I think, pretty funny what dealerships are up for doing when they don't want to cover some work under warranty including the shop foreman saying that he "tasted" coolant on my plugs

I got the car in April 2008. Having modified my cars before, this time around I decided I'd leave any/all exterior modifications for very last and concentrate on squeezing out every last pony and bit of traction out of it I could in the safest possible manner while always pushing the envelope as far as possible. I've always researched and been patient with all of my mods but in certain cases didn't mind pioneering (as in the case of RB Turbos) as I recognized great potential and attention to detail and quality in Rob Beck's work which took no less than almost 2 years to complete.

Addition of RB Turbos to the car has changed the performance of it in a great way. Even with a much enlarged compressor wheel and turbine, spool characteristics didn't noticeably change. Given winter conditions, snow, ice on the roads, winter tires and ambient temps below zero this time of year I could only turn boost up to a low sounding 13.5 psi in order to have full traction when WOT in 3rd/4th gears. Losing traction at speeds higher than 100km/hr is not fun

Here's a full list of upgrades currently on my 2008 Saphire Black 6MT E90 335i:
  • RB Turbos
  • Wavetrac LSD
  • COBB Stage 1, awaiting Stage 3 (Dyno was done with Procede V5 rev 2)
  • Stoptech ST-60 Front BBK - silver calipers
  • Okada Ignition Coils
  • Coolingmist FS-VC2 Methanol/Water Injection Kit, Dual CM7 nozzles
  • Autobahn Exotics Dual 2.5'' Catless Exhaust
  • AR Design 3'' Catless Downpipes
  • Helix FMIC
  • STETT Charge Pipe
  • Forge Diverter Valves
  • RPI Scoops
  • ACT Street Clutch
  • DSS 800whp Rear halfshafts
  • KW V2 Coilovers
  • UUC Evo3 SSK and DSSR
  • AR Line Lock Kit
  • M3 Rear Suspension Bits (awaiting install: wishbones, toe arms, subframe and diff bushings)
  • 19x8.5f 19x10 VMR VB3 Hyperblack on Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (totally amazing street performance tires for the price, on par with Michelin PS2 and GoodYear Eagle F1 DS)
  • M-Tech Perforated Steering Wheel
  • M-Tech trim
  • OEM BMW Performance Rear Bumper & Diffuser
  • Sonic Tuning CSL Carbon Fiber 2x2 Trunk (LCI Conversion)
  • Euro LCI LED Tail lights
  • M3 rep front bumper and sideskirts
  • LeatherZ Gauge Pod
  • Dual Innovate LC-1 Wideband O2 Sensors
  • P3Cars (Rixster) OBD-II Vent Gauge
  • ZHP M weighted shift knob
  • Black Front Grill
  • 30% Tint

Down the road I'm looking at a fuel system upgrade which will most likely start out with a LPFP (Low Pressure Fuel Pump) upgrade to a single (or maybe even dual) Walbro 255lph unit as from some preliminary research elsewhere its starting to look like the initial primary cause of the fuel system bottleneck. Then it'll be off to a cylinder head, pistons/rods upgrade but that is still very much in its infancy on this platform.

Below is a journal on my RB Turbo upgrade, experiences during install and on the road, pricing of parts and labour costs incurred. I'll be updating this thread with dyno charts (Feb. 26th 2011 at Champion Motors) and various racing slips/vids as the year progresses...My new GoPro HD cam should definitely help record some of those good times

Almost forgot, here's a complete amature iPhone photo of the beast in all its humble sleeper glory


JANUARY 24, 2011:
Took some time this evening to take some pics of the RB turbos and all required OEM hardware which I got from Tischer. Tischer has saved me A LOT of money on these parts compared to if I got them locally in Canada. As a comparison one oil line here is $130+tax=$150 and Tischer is $45-$50 so 3 for 1 deal basically.

In one of the pics you can see the compressor outlet is 42mm and that the wall is 2mm thick. They look even better in person and much bigger than stock which I saw the other day at the dealership. There's also a picture of the new billet aluminum wastegate that should provide rattle free performance and hold boost MUCH better than stock.

I'm waiting on a guy I know who's a BMW tech to free up some time and install these for me. Local indy shop I heard wants around $600/turbo for install and I'm getting both installed for $700.

To break down the full cost of this upgrade from my end:

$2900 RB Turbos 1st batch reduced price + $70 shipping
$150 OEM parts (+ $200 all 4 oil lines, optional) and AR downpipe to catback gaskets
$700 install
Total (if you don't get the optional oil lines): $3820
My total (with all 4 oil lines: $4020

Now I've waited on these since June last year while they were still under development and while Rob was still figuring out his manufacturing process. From the looks of them they were totally a worth while wait and they should put down some great numbers as GeorgeSmooth has already demonstrated on this board (thanks George!) with his flash tune.

I'll run Procede with these turbos and their vanilla OTS upgraded 6MT maps initially and hopefully get them dialed in with a custom map with the Vishnu team on a dyno. All that is probably out by about 2 weeks awaiting install.

Now for the pics, enjoy!

February 5, 2011
Last night I took 15 mins and did 9 pulls on the RBs and latest 1-21 V5 beta maps...initially boost control gain for stockers is set to 50% as their wastegates are setup in most cases a considerably looser than RB ones...talked to Shiv, set the boost gain to 40% to start out, reset wg compensation through command center mode 4, command 7 and off I went...I did a total of 9 pulls...first 6 pulls were map1 default settings (13psi, 50% ignition correction)...autotuning is off on these maps and ONLY the wastegate compensation autotuning is'll notice how initial boost overshoots a tiiiiny bit in the first few pulls as procede's wastegate compensation autotunes about 3rd 4th pull its already settled and boost is flat...I know have boost control gain at 37.5 in the user adjustables which is where procede seems to want it with its wg autotuning...

last 3 pulls are on map2 also set to defaults (15psi, 50% ign correction)...power ALL the way to redline, ZERO drop off anywhere felt...all pulls were done in 3rd gear starting at around 85-90km/hr to almost 7k rpm...

Look at those Timing and AFR curves and take a look at the wg dc% at ~35% for 15psi I'm REALLY happy with them...i have to say that 15psi feels like 18-19psi with meth on stockers if not better as they don't fade above 6k rpm...You can also see on a few logs RPMs spike due to loss of traction at above 100km/hr which is NOT fun

Enjoy the logs!

PULL 1 - 13psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 2 - 13psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 3 - 13psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 4 - 13psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 5 - 13psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 6 - 13psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 7 - 15psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 8 - 15psi, 50% ignition correction

PULL 9 - 15psi, 50% ignition correction

Feb. 7, 2011:
Last dynos on STOCK N54 turbos (401whp 445wtq, 18.5psi, 94 pump gas + 50/50 meth, V4 autotune):

March 02, 2011

PUMP GAS (94 Sunoco) - NO METH - 16psi - 450whp

RACE GAS - 75/25 METH - 18psi - 496whp

DATALOG - 496whp run

March 25, 2011

UPDATE: Innovate LC-1 AFR wideband controller and a BSH Oil Catch Can have been added on the car as well.

Jun 25, 2011

UPDATE: Misfires that were occurring are still present. They are NOT tune related and are still under investigation...

July 7, 2011

UPDATE: Misfires FIXED! I replaced the TMAP, both intake/exhaust CAMSHAFT as well as the CRANKSHAFT (CPS) sensor and the car is back in the game.

Aug 22, 2011

UPDATE: COBB Stage 1 flash installed, awaiting stage 3. From this point forward going with a flash instead of a piggy for better AFR control and direct timing control.

Last edited by dzenno; 02-20-2012 at 06:03 PM.