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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > N55 FBO turbo whine



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      01-13-2014, 04:11 PM   #1
iuhutch
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N55 FBO turbo whine

Anyhow, purchased the car in April of 2013 as a CPO with 37k miles and I starting modding her as soon as I learned how special our engines really were. She's basically FBO minus exhaust (see part specific details in my footer) and has been FBO since August. Never really noticed the whining before August and lately I've noticed that the Turbo whining is more apparent. Did some quick research and found an ancient thread on bimmerforums containing controversial comments/opinions on if this meant that the turbo was going out. The OP also had N54.

I finally got around to getting the gopro in the car to record the whine noise my turbo has been making.

The Turbo still pulls hard and i'm peaking at 19psi and thus I do not feel it is a boost leak. This is not during low engine temps or low rpm whistle from the n54. Anyone else have a similar noise with n55? Car has 43k miles and has been FBO for 6 months ~7k




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Last edited by iuhutch; 01-13-2014 at 04:22 PM.
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      01-13-2014, 04:34 PM   #2
evo335xi
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Car pulls fine? How long has the whistle been and do you have an intercooler? A leak would make your turbo work harder for the designated boost, so it could be leaking from a hose/clamp etc. still
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      01-13-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
iuhutch
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I do have an intercooler (aa). turbo feels to be pulling fine...and seems to meeting its target on the logs? that being said, i do not remember the turbo whining much before the intercooler install?...hmm

Anyway to test / trace this down?

Last edited by iuhutch; 01-13-2014 at 04:51 PM.
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      01-13-2014, 05:02 PM   #4
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Maybe loose windshield trim allowing air into the car causing it to whistle? Just throwing possiblities out there. Can't watch the video from work comp.
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      01-13-2014, 05:10 PM   #5
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No, engine cowl removed running bmw cabin filters. Only whines under load and above 4k. Interesting thought on inter cooler piping, in intake side was a bitch but all clamps are on extremely tight
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      01-13-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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I bet it's the intercooler piping/couplers.
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      01-13-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iuhutch View Post
No, engine cowl removed running bmw cabin filters.
There you go. Put the cowl back on and see what happens.
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      01-13-2014, 07:47 PM   #8
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Mine whistles like a slide whistle in a circus- consider yourself fortunate.
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      01-13-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
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yeah, removing the cowl lets more noise in, that's probably what you're hearing
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      01-13-2014, 08:24 PM   #10
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I prefer running the BMS cowl. It's easier to hear engine audios, temp and weight. Buddy has same setup. Can hear his but not like mine but he also only has 24k...
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      01-13-2014, 08:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evo335xi View Post
I bet it's the intercooler piping/couplers.
I think your onto something. Can I wait till it get warm out? Is this hurting the turbo?
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      01-13-2014, 08:38 PM   #12
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How much it is throwing off your air/fuel might be up to the size of the leak. Your turbo will be working harder no doubt, the question is how much. Look up whistling/siren noises after intercooler installs. They don't have to be Bmw specific either. I might be completely off but imo check it out.
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      01-14-2014, 01:55 AM   #13
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This would be easier to identify if you get some logs pulled. I'm going with the majority in saying its a leak in the system and if it is, logs will show AFR's out of the norm.
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      01-14-2014, 11:31 AM   #14
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Attached is a log and csv from FBO testing (2 days after AA intercooler install). I also had a video from this and it was making the noise during this log. I'm going to go back through my video's to determine roughly when it started becoming more apparent but from memory, it was when i started running e85 and obtaining higher boost.

I prefer to leave the cowl off and run the bms cabin filters. This way, i can listen to and diagnose the engine if needed, it keeps the temps a littler lower in the engine bay and its a weight saver.

I like the theory but based on all my logs, i've never really had an issue with AFR...
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      01-14-2014, 12:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iuhutch View Post
I do have an intercooler (aa). turbo feels to be pulling fine...and seems to meeting its target on the logs? that being said, i do not remember the turbo whining much before the intercooler install?...hmm

Anyway to test / trace this down?
do you have an open style intake? After i installed my burger intake i heard all the whistles and whines from the turbo...didn't think it was a problem! I have heard an intercooler will make the whine even louder which I will soon be able to attest.
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      01-14-2014, 12:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evo335xi View Post
How much it is throwing off your air/fuel might be up to the size of the leak. Your turbo will be working harder no doubt, the question is how much. Look up whistling/siren noises after intercooler installs. They don't have to be Bmw specific either. I might be completely off but imo check it out.
I did this and found a FAQ on Garretts website:

Q. What is/causes Shaft Play?
A. Shaft play is caused by the bearings in the center section of the turbo wearing out over time. When a bearing is worn, shaft play, a side to side wiggling motion of the shaft occurs. This in turn causes the shaft to scrape against the inside of the turbo and often produces a high-pitched whine or whizzing noise. This is a potentially serious condition that can lead to internal damage or complete failure of the turbine wheel or the turbo itself.


Unfortunately this sounds like my issue besides the fact that mine only whines during full WOT and not at low rpms like the old n54 whining issues...

Assuming there is nothing I can do about it? Is best bet to go back to stock and make an appt with bmw? I ruined the stock intercooler piping (cut the metal clamp and went into the plastic piping itself. I think besides that and with some work, I can get her back to stock). Oh, and should i take downpipe off too? I'd have to have the shop do that
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      01-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_Sardells View Post
do you have an open style intake? After i installed my burger intake i heard all the whistles and whines from the turbo...didn't think it was a problem! I have heard an intercooler will make the whine even louder which I will soon be able to attest.
Yes, I am FBO. Buddy has the same car and very similar mods (same FMIC, intake, jb4, flex fuel, etc.). His whines but very faintly compared to mine which just screams as you can hear in the vid
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      01-14-2014, 01:11 PM   #18
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I've never heard a noise like that before, best of luck!
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      01-14-2014, 01:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iuhutch View Post
Yes, I am FBO. Buddy has the same car and very similar mods (same FMIC, intake, jb4, flex fuel, etc.). His whines but very faintly compared to mine which just screams as you can hear in the vid
Definitely something wrong if there is a difference. Please keep us posted on the problem / solution!
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      01-14-2014, 07:20 PM   #20
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Good luck!
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      01-14-2014, 07:31 PM   #21
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Your log looks almost exactly the same as mine. Slightly higher PWM and slightly higher psi boost but you were also running more E85 so I don't know.
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      01-14-2014, 07:41 PM   #22
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Tried a few different maps on the way home.

1. Map 2 (14psi) and gave her a run. The whine was audible but not as distinct/loud as on map 5 running 18/19psi.

2. Map 1 (12psi) - whine barely audible and not until late in a 3rd gear pull.

3. Map 0 (stock map) - car actually still felt more peppy than what it was completely stock and no whine at max boost ~9psi. Not sure what this proves? Good that turbo sounded happy but bad that I wouldn't be able to reproduce this issue with all stock parts to have bmw investigate

I'm not sure what to do. I think I may go to map 2 for a bit so that it's not asking too much from the turbo. At the same time, this sucks bc I have all supporting mods for full boost yet I could run 14psi with many less parts. Maybe if the whine continues to get worse I can get it to reproduce at 9psi and have bmw look/replace turbo as I'm in warranty till 15'...
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