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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > VRSF New 7" N54 Intercooler Review



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      08-02-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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VRSF New 7" N54 Intercooler Review

Background/Mods:
2007 335i, Procede Rev 2.5 5_23 E85 maps, 50/50 E85 and 91 mix, BMS DCI, Eisenhaus Mufflers, VRSF downpipes,
VRSF 7” intercooler
Quality/Visual Impressions:
Welds appear clean. Fins look good with only 1-2 slightly bent. The VRSF core was noticeably heavier/denser than the stocker. Quality tbolt clamps included along with new hosing to remove stock rippled tubing. Also support brackets that mount to bottom of intercooler and utilize stock sway bar bolts to mount to.

Mounting Hardware

Much bigger than stock

Fins look very nice



Installation/Fitment:
Installation actually took me a bit longer than expected. Mostly due to me being careful about cutting off stock 1 time use clamps on factory piping. I was scared to cut too deep with the dremel and damage pipe below. Since my car is out of warranty the cutting required to front shrouding did not bother me at all. Instead of trying to retain all the plastic I could I just cut out most of the shrouding to make the install easier.

Everything aligned well and hoses were of adequate length to slip over stock piping and still have enough to seal on the intercooler side. Tightening the tbolt clamps can be a chore. Definitely recommend getting some gear wrenches to save some headache. I did have some trouble mounting the stock intercooler bolts through the tabs. The bolts were in a slight bind and I actually ended up stripping one since they screw into plastic. This was really not an issue though as the bottom support brackets do a fabulous job of supporting the intercooler and pushing it up into position.

Shroud Cutting

Shroud cut, Intercooler in place


Performance/Driving Impressions:
On to the ‘butt dyno’ readings. Butt dyno says it’s about the same delta I felt as when I installed VRSF downpipes. The difference isn’t too noticeable in lower rpm ranges but becomes very apparent in higher rpms of 3rd and 4th gear. In the higher rpm/load ranges the car just feels much more “alive” for lack of a better word. The car just pulls and pulls to redline now without struggle. I’m sure this difference can be attributed to the stock intercooler’s poor performance in the higher load ranges where it just can’t stop Intake Air Temps from rising rapidly causing timing reductions etc.
No apparent increase in lag was noticed at all.

Log Compare
***PLEASE READ****
I know the log I have is far from ideal for a comparison but it was the only stock log I had to compare the VRSF to.
Same day logs would've been nice but on the day I installed it weather wasn't fitting to high speed driving and I was anxious to install. So anyway, some data at least.
Important details on the log:
1. Ambient temps were within ~5deg of each other but humidity was much higher on the VRSF log as it was done recently vs the stock log which was done before desert monsoon season
2. The VRSF log was the 3rd of 3 runs vs the stock being the 1st run. Log failed to start on the first 2 runs. So I know the car was getting hotter on subsequent runs.
3. I shortshifted on the stock log for some reason. To match up the data I cutoff the log from the VRSF around the same point. From the graph it is clear to me the delta in temps would have only increased further had the stocker been ran out further towards redline.
4. I believe #1-3 made the situation much WORSE for the VRSF yet it still shows to be clearly superior


Most impressive to me from the log was how long the IAT curve stayed relatively flat with the VRSF vs the near immediate rise with the stocker.

Conclusions:
VRSF has done it again for the N54 market. I'm convinced it's definitely a performer. Great product + great price = WINNING
Go, buy now…

Last edited by FirstBMWLA; 08-03-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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      08-02-2012, 12:15 AM   #2
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What were ambient temps on the day you were testing?

Barely a 20 degree temp drop vs. stock intercooler seems low isn't it? I was just looking at some logs that showed a 40F difference in IAT's vs. stock, why's this one so much less?
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      08-02-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperBmw View Post
What were ambient temps on the day you were testing?

Barely a 20 degree temp drop vs. stock intercooler seems low isn't it? I was just looking at some logs that showed a 40F difference in IAT's vs. stock, why's this one so much less?
About 97deg.
Read #1-3 and you'll see why.
This stock log is older and I cannot take a new "good" log.
The VRSF log actually had 32F+ improvement but you don't see it here since i clipped the data at that point I had shortshifted on the stock log.

I didn't post the comparison with the full run since the graph was sort of confusing. You had the VRSF being ran out to redline vs the stock being shortshifted. I have no doubt if I had a stock log out to redline the peak deltas would easily hit 40deg F

Also like I said I know this isn't ideal comparison but it's what I've got. People wanted to at least see some logs. On identical runs with both logs from the first run and each ran to the same redline shift I'm sure the difference would show itself even more.
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      08-02-2012, 12:25 AM   #4
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Read the part where he says the VRSF log was the 3rd run of 3 runs and stock log was the first run...
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      08-02-2012, 12:42 AM   #5
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Firstbmwla-

I'd love to see this first hand, as I am interested in getting it. send me a pm next time you know you'll be in Phoenix and I'm willing to meet you where you'll be to get a visual on this.
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      08-02-2012, 04:11 AM   #6
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Man with a 7inch I would have expected more drop in IAT's than that...but then again its really not an EVEN comparison.
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      08-02-2012, 05:38 AM   #7
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Nice, that looks identical to my AMS FMIC
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      08-02-2012, 06:24 AM   #8
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I thought the temps would dip below stock fmic
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      08-02-2012, 08:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazze90
I thought the temps would dip below stock fmic
Not sure what you mean.
They definitely are lower from graph.

Maybe it's because I took the data but it's clear to me. In an uneven comparison it's still clearly better.
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      08-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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Which gear did you do the pulls?
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      08-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gboop View Post
Which gear did you do the pulls?
Both logs were done as a 3rd to 4th pull. But because for some reason the stock log I had was shortshifted I cut the data off to line them up.
Thus the graph comparison is 3rd gear only to ~6000rpm.

The full VRSF log actually goes out to right at redline then into 4th for a bit. I had a graph of a full comparison of the logs but I didn't post it because I thought it would be confusing having different shift points and the stock barely going into 4th gear vs the VRSF going higher into 4th. Not easy where I'm at to take any log deep into 4th gear with roads and traffic.

The full log comparison actually shows higher delta once both are into 4th gear. I was just trying to line up the graphs closer to one another so I cut off the data and only showed the 3rd gear portion.
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      08-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstBMWLA View Post
Both logs were done as a 3rd to 4th pull. But because for some reason the stock log I had was shortshifted I cut the data off to line them up.
Thus the graph comparison is 3rd gear only to ~6000rpm.

The full VRSF log actually goes out to right at redline then into 4th for a bit. I had a graph of a full comparison of the logs but I didn't post it because I thought it would be confusing having different shift points and the stock barely going into 4th gear vs the VRSF going higher into 4th. Not easy where I'm at to take any log deep into 4th gear with roads and traffic.

The full log comparison actually shows higher delta once both are into 4th gear. I was just trying to line up the graphs closer to one another so I cut off the data and only showed the 3rd gear portion.

Would you mind sharing at what IAT and RPM was the full VRSF log finished at in 4th?

I also assume that you were running Stg 3 v5 e85 maps during both logs?
Those are pretty aggressive maps. Most vendors use stage 1 for marketing
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      08-02-2012, 09:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gboop View Post
Would you mind sharing at what IAT and RPM was the full VRSF log finished at in 4th?

I also assume that you were running Stg 3 v5 e85 maps during both logs?
Those are pretty aggressive maps. Most vendors use stage 1 for marketing
Yes Stage 3 map.
True, data can def be staged to make something look better/worse etc.
I feel as presented my circumstances are unfair against the VRSF actually and it's still clearly better. That's the take away for me at least
I'll have to look at the graph to see for your other question.

If I had a csv log of another aftermarket intercooler in similarly hot temps it would be interesting for curiosity sake anyway to overlay it with my VRSF log.
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      08-02-2012, 09:43 AM   #14
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Thanks again for taking the time to post your thoughts and thank you for the efforts with the logs. I wish I didn't put our shop 335 back to stock, otherwise I'd have a few logs already.

If both intercoolers were logged in similar conditions, we'd have a larger delta as well, but even with the fact that the stock FMIC was done on the first run vs this on the 3rd.

Event though it's not the most fair comparison, this shows how quickly our intercooler goes down in temp after a couple of runs.

Thanks again for the logs & the review!

Last edited by Tiago@VRSF; 08-02-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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      08-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #15
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Also for those interested, the GB has begun

http://www.vrspeedfactory.com/index....oduct_id=24715
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      08-02-2012, 11:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Also for those interested, the GB has begun

http://www.vrspeedfactory.com/index....oduct_id=24715
Will there be a group buy for the 5"? Will that require any cutting?
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      08-02-2012, 12:02 PM   #17
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5" will not require cutting but won't be available for another 2 months or so unfortunately.
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      08-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Also for those interested, the GB has begun

http://www.vrspeedfactory.com/index....oduct_id=24715
So, no post-intercooler chargepipe included?
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      08-02-2012, 01:22 PM   #19
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Nope, just couplers & clamps to replace the factory connections, just like the Helix, AMS or BT.
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      08-02-2012, 01:54 PM   #20
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That's a nice delta. As stated, if the logs were carried out over multiple gears the delta would be even better. Keep in mind, even the best air to air intercooler in the world can only do so much so if you have unreasonable expectations that's not really the fault of the manufacturer.
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      08-02-2012, 02:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_connected View Post
That's a nice delta. As stated, if the logs were carried out over multiple gears the delta would be even better. Keep in mind, even the best air to air intercooler in the world can only do so much so if you have unreasonable expectations that's not really the fault of the manufacturer.
Exactly!
After Tiago mentioned the difference in rpm as well I began to dislike that graph more. I scrapped time entirely as it wasn't needed and mapped the temps vs RPM as X axis now. Before temp delta was shown vs time whereas now it's shown vs an RPM mapping. Much better for comparison I think.
I like this one much more.
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      08-02-2012, 05:27 PM   #22
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FWIW, I've done extensive logging of the stock FMIC and it really doesn't do that bad of a job on *JUST* 3rd gear pulls on the highway.

The real test is a full gear pass.... going WOT through 1st and 2nd heats the core up SIGNIFICANTLY, then the 3rd gear log looks a LOT different.

So a real significant test would be to do a full pass first through third and then check out the deltas.... hell, I've had some 3rd gear only passes only change 15F with the stock FMIC if I was cruising in 6th for a mile or so before hand.
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