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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 > <SOLVED: VRSF failure> FBO N54 under-boosting, lag/surging, does log show ANYTHING?



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      03-29-2020, 04:18 PM   #1
m3illa
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Arrow <SOLVED: VRSF failure> FBO N54 under-boosting, lag/surging, does log show ANYTHING?

Update: Poor build quality of VRSF silicone inlets were the root cause. Details in post #6 below.

Hi all - happy Sunday.

My FBO N54 (mod list below) is having the following issue:
  • Not hitting target boost
  • Boost slow to build and surges 2-3 times throughout the power band of a given gear
  • WGDC jumps up to 99 then tapers off

I've tried self-troubleshooting to no success:
  • Pressure test found no leaks that I could hear or see with soap water bubbles
  • Replaced vacuum lines with silicone
  • Replaced boost solenoid
  • Checked charge pipe connection several times
  • Tightened upper intercooler clamps (boost problem existed before FMIC install so I doubt lowers are the culprit)
  • Dissembled and reassembled TAIL BOV, doesn't seem to be sticking but I'm no expert (boost problem existed before BOV)

Most of the parts I replaced needed replacing anyhow since I'm at 105k miles, but I don't want to keep replacing functional parts, unnecessarily.

I'd truly appreciate some guidance here with my log (3rd gear, map 5, running ~7 gallons of e85 + 93), as I'm still learning to interpret logs: https://datazap.me/u/m3illa/n54-fbo-...log=0&data=1-4

Thanks, and stay safe.

-----------------------------------------
Key modifications (list doesn't include various supporting mods):
  • 98k miles on car/engine/trans (rarely driven hard)
  • JB4 G5 + MHD Backend Flash
  • 7 inch VRSF Performance HD intercooler
  • VRSF Charge Pipe with Tial BOV
  • Fuel-It Stage 2 fuel pump
  • OEM 335is/550i clutch
  • 3 inch kittyless downpipes w/ stock catback
  • 1.75 inch VRSF inlets & 3-inch cone filters (prob. could use cleaning)
  • Walnut blasted ~26k miles ago
  • Battery, plugs, and coils could probably use replacing
  • Alternator, belts, oil filter housing gasket, water pump replaced 2k miles ago

Last edited by m3illa; 03-30-2020 at 05:01 PM..
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      03-29-2020, 04:29 PM   #2
ragingpanda
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Check out your vrsf inlets and inspect it to see if they aren't collapsing. I had a similar issue where I inspected all the usual culprits like you but it ended up being those piss poor quality inlets collapsing under boost which resulted in blown turbos.



Sorry for the big picture, but you will get the point.

Last edited by ragingpanda; 03-29-2020 at 04:35 PM..
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      03-29-2020, 04:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingpanda View Post
Check out your vrsf inlets and inspect it to see if they aren't collapsing. I had a similar issue where I inspected all the usual culprits like you but it ended up being those piss poor quality inlets collapsing under boost which resulted in blown turbos.



Sorry for the big picture, but you will get the point.
Oh wow, thanks for the tip. Is that a known issue with inlets in general or specific to a batch or all VRSF inlets?
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      03-29-2020, 06:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3illa View Post
Oh wow, thanks for the tip. Is that a known issue with inlets in general or specific to a batch or all VRSF inlets?
Hopefully other people can chime in, but I only know a couple of other people who had the same issue with the vrsf brand. I am now using bms inlets without any issues.
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      03-29-2020, 07:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingpanda View Post
Hopefully other people can chime in, but I only know a couple of other people who had the same issue with the vrsf brand. I am now using bms inlets without any issues.
Unbelievable... are they not a trusted vendor for our platform?

I just took a look at mine and I believe I see a similar choking point on the inlet that's visible (who knows about the second). My boost issue surfaced immediately after I installed the VRSF down pipes and inlets....

I'm going to get a second pair of eyes on them and/or try to take a photo to share before I jump to conclusions, but I think you're really on to something. Either this or the waste gates are obstructed/stuck.

Last edited by m3illa; 03-29-2020 at 08:36 PM..
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      03-30-2020, 04:18 PM   #6
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ragingpanda

Update: the root cause is in fact the poor quality of the VRSF silicone inlets. HUGE thanks to ragingpanda for the guidance, and for helping me avoid thousands in forced repairs.
  • This is NOT due to installer failure. My trusted shop and I thew the car on a lift to get a better look... confirmed both front & rear inlets are pinched/have shamelessly poor fitment.
  • Also, unprompted, the tech echoed your exact comment regarding VRSF-specific inlets (and one other brand that I won't name because I don't have personal experience with their product) being of incredibly laughable quality for a "trusted" vendor.

I'm a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt so I understand more than most that (& why) this kind of thing happens. Hell... even BMW themselves R&Ds, produces, and delivers structurally and functionally faulty parts - difference being they actually stand by their product, and attempt to make consumers whole.

While I'm not upset that VRSF clearly produced a batch of poor-quality product, I'm absolutely astonished that to my knowledge VRSF have:
  • Yet to acknowledge that a portion of their inlet units are clearly defective. &/or make an attempt to make consumers whole
  • Continued to knowingly vend the laughably poor product at a premium... what differentiates them from a shoddy eBay seller, especially for simple non-moving parts?

In retrospect, I recall my email correspondence with the owner (if I'm not mistaken) prior to my issuing them $3k for several items: the individual spoke to me as if I were a stray person off of the street, asking to borrow $3k from him! Now for this, I take full responsibility. As a consumer, I should have taken the poor initial service as a clear red flag to desist from conducting any business with VRSF. As a result, I have no interest in playing email tag to beg for my money back or a functional replacement. Also - I'm not a scumbag therefore I refuse to re-sell this (karma is a blank) - into the bin it goes.

In closing - I do not enjoy what I just typed... (I've never, ever done this) then again I do not enjoy paying good money for garbage from a vendor who seemingly sold it knowingly. I consider myself extremely lucky and wanted to provide an objective account of my experience with VRSF and this particular item (The FMIC, down pipes, and other items have given me zero issues) as a data point for prospective consumers. Maybe it was just a bad batch, but understanding that this company will continue knowingly vend said defective product should be extremely alarming to those eyeing their product(s), regardless of VRSF's track record. If anyone has supplemental data points which I could not find (e.g. VRSF stating they are aware and/or providing options to impacted customers) I'll happily delete this post and update to clear the air.

My objective opinion: go with other vendors (e.g. BMS) those guys are nothing short of legends and stand by their products. I urge you not to make the same mistake as a few of us have... you may end up forking over exponentially more (via. ~$5k+ for new turbos & labor) for a seemingly simple non-moving part.

Pardon misspelling and grammar, I typed this via phone.

Last edited by m3illa; 03-30-2020 at 04:34 PM..
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      03-30-2020, 05:34 PM   #7
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Happy to help someone else out before going through the experience I went through trying to find a 'boost leak'.
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      03-30-2020, 05:59 PM   #8
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Hey man, didn't you experience something similar and dynamic autowerks ate up the costs? This happening to more than one person simply cannot be a coincidence.
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      03-30-2020, 06:26 PM   #9
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I wonder how many people prematurely blew their stock or aftermarket turbos and falsely/unknowingly chalked it up to the turbo vendor when it was in fact a defective (in this case VRSF) inlet.

I wouldn't install these on your car even if you got them for free.
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      03-30-2020, 06:36 PM   #10
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I wonder if it it just a bad batch(es)? I have had my 1.75 OE VRSF inlets for 3+ years(60k + miles) and have no issues, and no kinking/collapsing of either one.

Sorry to hear about your situation, at least you figured it out quickly once Panda posted.
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      03-30-2020, 06:47 PM   #11
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Are they defective? That bend seems completely out of whack
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      03-30-2020, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
Are they defective? That bend seems completely out of whack
Both of mine were like Panda's but even worse. Categorically defective, no question.

If you have these installed in your car I urge you to take a close look at them. Wouldn't hold my breath on VRSF doing the right thing - it's very clear that they are aware of this but simply have no interest in addressing it.
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      03-30-2020, 07:15 PM   #13
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They will simply say that it was install error. Mine were professionally installed by a BMW indy shop along with upgraded turbos. I chased around a boost leak for ages until the rear turbo took a dump. Someone else mentioned to me to inspect the inlets I was running (vrsf relocated inlets) and to change them out as they had a similar issue which resulted in blown turbos as well. I ate up the costs for another set of upgraded turbos and different brand inlets and it has been rock solid since. I would not wish a 5k nightmare on anyone due to a defective product. I know they are sponsors on this forum, but that doesn't excuse that more than one person has had this issue as well.
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      03-30-2020, 09:33 PM   #14
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Man, now i am scared to try the arm inlets. This is disappointing that a company is not taking care it's coustmers
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      03-30-2020, 10:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted12a View Post
Man, now i am scared to try the arm inlets. This is disappointing that a company is not taking care it's coustmers
I'm not at all implying that aftermarket inlets are inherently flawed, just recommending that prospective buyers go with the many other solid options. I guess VRSF have forgotten that consumers like us (and our referrals) keep their lights on.

I can't speak to that vendor (I have no experience with them), but highly recommend avoiding VRSF unless you're a gambling man/woman. Paying ~$200 to potentially lose $5k+ (especially in this looming recession) is a fool's game.

I'm genuinely considering stripping all VRSF parts completely for peace of mind. Panda said his BMS ones work great - that's who I'm going with.
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      03-31-2020, 09:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B4ll1st1c View Post
Stating that doesn't really help you much dude. 90% of that method is such utter bs. Great for the company, very very bad for the consumer. Never work with Lean/Agile methods!!



Truth has been spoked. So much truth, your post will probably get deleted as this is a propaganda forum for VRSF and few other companies alike. All respectable vendors have left this forum and moved to other or thier own forums.

VRSF is selling major crap. From thier downpipes to thier inlets and intercoolers, I cannot recommend them to anyone. Apart from crap stuff, the aftersales service is abosultely horrible. It's always your fault, never the products so you will never get any support or replacements.

Death to VRSF, asap please!
While I cannot wish harm on anyone, I cannot in good faith reccomend VRSF.

I got a hold of my buddy who heads an informal pack of M3/M4 guys and girls. Several of them have showstopper builds planned for this & next year and I renigged on my prior recommendation of VRSF parts. I understand the priceless value of ones name/word - clearly some do not.
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      03-31-2020, 09:54 AM   #17
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what's wrong with their downpipes?
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      03-31-2020, 01:55 PM   #18
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Have you contacted them about the issue? Tiago has an amazing customer service reputation, Iím sure he will send a replacement.
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      04-07-2020, 11:47 AM   #19
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Why haven't we been contacted regarding this issue? We have literally thousands of these on the market and I personally have never been made aware of this problem at all. Please post your order info so we can assist.

All of our inlets are wire reinforced and it's almost impossible to create a bend in them unless they're forced excessively. They're wire reinforced to prevent collapsing under vacuum.

I find it comical that people with poor experiences in this thread either have 0 post history or end up this thread to promote a direct competitor which they advertise a bit too excessively.

Every major vendor on this forum sells VRSF parts and not one of them will agree with the libel spewed in this thread.
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      04-07-2020, 12:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted12a View Post
Man, now i am scared to try the arm inlets. This is disappointing that a company is not taking care it's coustmers
ARM inlets aren't wire reinforced and will collapse immediately under vacuum. Avoid at all costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeef View Post
what's wrong with their downpipes?
We have thousands of customers and hundreds of positive reviews available that prove there's more reasons to buy them than not

https://www.google.com/search?q=vrsf...hrome&ie=UTF-8

Quote:
Originally Posted by m3illa View Post
While I cannot wish harm on anyone, I cannot in good faith reccomend VRSF.

I got a hold of my buddy who heads an informal pack of M3/M4 guys and girls. Several of them have showstopper builds planned for this & next year and I renigged on my prior recommendation of VRSF parts. I understand the priceless value of ones name/word - clearly some do not.
Thankfully our S55 market base is growing faster than ever and while I appreciate your initial consideration of our brand, we're disappointed to hear that you've had a bad personal experience and we hope that we're given the opportunity to make it up to you in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredcase View Post
Have you contacted them about the issue? Tiago has an amazing customer service reputation, Iím sure he will send a replacement.
I find it odd how this shill post was created in such detail and the OP spared to contact us at all. Smells a bit fishy.
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      04-09-2020, 11:42 PM   #21
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Which inlets are they, stock or passenger-side.
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      04-10-2020, 05:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiago@VRSF View Post
Why haven't we been contacted regarding this issue? We have literally thousands of these on the market and I personally have never been made aware of this problem at all. Please post your order info so we can assist.

All of our inlets are wire reinforced and it's almost impossible to create a bend in them unless they're forced excessively. They're wire reinforced to prevent collapsing under vacuum.

I find it comical that people with poor experiences in this thread either have 0 post history or end up this thread to promote a direct competitor which they advertise a bit too excessively.

Every major vendor on this forum sells VRSF parts and not one of them will agree with the libel spewed in this thread.
Well in my case, the reason why I never contacted you regarding the issue with the VRSF inlets is because it took me a LONG time (well over a year) to figure it out. I had my turbos and inlets installed professionally as I simply do not have the time to do this job myself as I am in the medical field. I am even more busy nowadays thanks to everything thats going on right now, but let me share my story about why your inlets caused me a great deal of mental and financial agony:

I had all of the bolt ons on a stock turbo setup and a different brand of inlets for a long time but decided to jump the gun on a mildly used upgraded set of turbos with 5k miles. I placed an order on a aluminum set of relocated inlets and your downpipes (order number is 100048874) as I wanted brand new parts to accommodate my new turbo setup.

Here is a log on stock turbos and a different brand of inlets with a custom tune: https://datazap.me/u/rnmevo9/bq-v2-l...og=0&data=4-21

As you can see, there is no issue here and its running good.

And here is my first log on upgraded turbos and vrsf inlets: https://datazap.me/u/rnmevo9/rb-e45-...og=0&data=3-22

As you can see, its not holding boost whatsoever at high rpms and the wgdc shoots up as well. My tuner tells me that I have a boost leak. So I spent a lot of time and money chasing this 'boost leak' and doing repeated 3rd gear pulls to see if the new parts fixed it or not (they didn't). I did everything from doing smoke tests, pressurized tests, boost solenoids, etc and nothing fixed the issue. Then one day upon doing another 3rd gear run, I heard a loud bang and a LOT of white smoke started coming out of my exhaust. Turns out my rear turbo took a dump and I sent the turbos in to the manufacturer for an inspection, rebuild and have it upgraded to a larger wheel. I ate up the costs and figured maybe the USED turbos were the culprit of my issues.

Here is a log of my rebuilt turbos: https://datazap.me/u/rnmevo9/ng?log=0&data=3-22

Wow!! Apparently, the issue still exists even with rebuilt turbos. You can probably guess that these turbos didn't last long either and blew up once again. I bought a brand new set of turbos and a different brand of inlets this time and once again, had it professionally installed..

https://datazap.me/u/rnmevo9/2nd-rev...=0&data=3-4-20

Eureka! Turns out your inlets was the main cause of my turbo problems starving them of air and blowing up. If my friend hadn't told me to try out a different brand of inlets, I would have still been in this crazy loop of chasing a 'boost leak' when in fact it was your inlets causing this issue. I'm not here to promote other competing brands, I'm just here to share my story of how your 200 dollar part was the main issue to cause me over 6k in damages for a malfunctioning part.
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