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      06-01-2018, 11:12 AM   #1
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ESS Claims Headers Will Destroy N52 Engine

Reading up on the ESS supercharger for the N52 engine when I saw this message at the bottom of the page:

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Do NOT under any circumstance run headers on the N52 engine, this generates a massive O2 feedback timing issue and incorrect AFR control as a result. This can cause catastrophic failure when combined with boost! We will not support any issues whatsoever on a N52 equipped with aftermarket headers.
Are they saying its only an issue with their supercharger or universally you should never put headers on that engine? Since when do headers break your car?

https://esstuning.com/ess-n52-vt1-su...-system-gen-2/
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      06-01-2018, 11:18 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyeah View Post
Reading up on the ESS supercharger for the N52 engine when I saw this message at the bottom of the page:



Are they saying its only an issue with their supercharger or universally you should never put headers on that engine? Since when do headers break your car?

https://esstuning.com/ess-n52-vt1-su...-system-gen-2/
Not so good with the NA engines but shouldnt it be that you are supposed to run headers when supercharging your car since the car will produce more exhaust gases and the stock exhaust headers act as a restriction. Correct me if im wrong but thats the whole point of headers in the first place; to increase exhaust flow.
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      06-01-2018, 11:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by GotPwned View Post
Not so good with the NA engines but shouldnt it be that you are supposed to run headers when supercharging your car since the car will produce more exhaust gases and the stock exhaust headers act as a restriction. Correct me if im wrong but thats the whole point of headers in the first place; to increase exhaust flow.
They say it creates O2 feedback. Maybe that isn't an issue if you have a tune that knows what to do about that.
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      06-01-2018, 11:34 AM   #4
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there is a back story to this which is somewhere in the N52 section. One member purchased the ESS supercharger kit when they first came out , this member already had AA headers installed. ESS was unable to tune the car to work correctly with the AA headers. ESS went back and forth with the customer trying to make it work without any luck , then ESS blamed the headers , made the customer removed the headers and everything worked out

However, since then , we have seen other members running AA headers with the ESS supercharger kit , BPC was able to tune the ESS supercharger with AA headers, Bob at BPC mentioned that they found out what the problem was with the tuning and they were able to resolve it. So ess is full of s** on this one as it has been proved that it was a tuning issue on their side

Also there is a lot of members running AA headers without any issues , I have been running them for about 2 years and my car hasn't explode yet. There are other members that have been running them for a lot longer than me. There are other member that have been tracking with headers . You could even do a search on the N52 forum to see if anyone had an engine blown because of the headers , I do not recall seeing anyone blowing anything with headers. Only issues that you may see is the erratic idle , which usually goes away after a driving cycle , or ends up being someone forgot to plug something back in when doing the installation .

The truth of the matter is ESS is not capable to come out with a proper tuning for their ESS supercharger and AA headers. If you are planning on doing this combo, I would highly recommend talking to BPC

ESS do not want to bother spending more time on their tuning , so they just take the easier way out on this one. They probably have other projects on the go to even bother

Last edited by rick100; 06-01-2018 at 01:30 PM..
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      06-01-2018, 12:08 PM   #5
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+1 ^
Its possible and no problem, just need the right people working on it.
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      06-01-2018, 12:16 PM   #6
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if thats what they say...i would just stick with the stock headers.
I dont think its really worth your time to try to get it work and risk blowing up your engine.

Headers on a supercharger do not yield as large benefits compared to a turbo charger since the supercharger is crank driven and not driven by exhaust gases like the turbo.

you would probably make more power going to a smaller super charger pulley or larger intercooler.

but at $4700, it would probably be cheaper for you to trade in your car and just buy a 335i, unless you really really love your 328i. In the used market the difference between a 328i and 335i is around $2-3k from what i seen.
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      06-01-2018, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TemjinX2 View Post
if thats what they say...i would just stick with the stock headers.
I dont think its really worth your time to try to get it work and risk blowing up your engine.

Headers on a supercharger do not yield as large benefits compared to a turbo charger since the supercharger is crank driven and not driven by exhaust gases like the turbo.

you would probably make more power going to a smaller super charger pulley or larger intercooler.

but at $4700, it would probably be cheaper for you to trade in your car and just buy a 335i, unless you really really love your 328i. In the used market the difference between a 328i and 335i is around $2-3k from what i seen.
it really depends... In my case it would not be cheaper. I spent a lot of money doing preventive maintenance ( 2000$) car already has headers ( 600 $) , 3 stage intake ( 400$) , tune ( 500 $) , opti coating pro ( 800). I had the car since it had 8000 miles so I know the whole history, condition of the car. I was about to do a suspension upgrade ( 2000$) . If I were to put it up for sale , I would not get anywhere near the amount of money that I ve spend on this car. I would be trading my perfect condition 328 for an unknown condition 335. Then I would have to spend probably around 1k on licensing , tax , insurance , safety.. The 2-3k easily becomes a 5k difference if you factor all in , maybe even more. Then you may have to still worry about maintenance on the 335 ( blown turbo's , etc , etc)

Other guys have full suspension upgrade, and other mods done to their cars

So its not easy to just say trade a 328 for a 335. There are a lot of factors to consider.

For someone that has a stock 328 and that has not done any maintenance or upgrades to their car , and they know the car will need some major maintenance done sooner or later, or for someone having issues with their 328 , sure the trade is worth it , there isn't much risk involve.

Also keep in mind , maintenance on an older 335 can be pretty expensive.


If I had a FBO RWD 6 speed 328 that has been reliable , I would consider the ESS supercharger. The car would be a beast , specially around the track
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      06-01-2018, 12:33 PM   #8
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Let me clarify. I'm not looking to actually do a forced induction conversion. Was just curious what was out there and found this supercharger and the worrying message at the bottom. I've got AA headers going in soon and wanted to ask you guys about this "O2 feedback" issue they are talking about.
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      06-01-2018, 12:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick100 View Post
it really depends... In my case it would not be cheaper. I spent a lot of money doing preventive maintenance ( 2000$) car already has headers ( 600 $) , 3 stage intake ( 400$) , tune ( 500 $) , opti coating pro ( 800). I had the car since it had 8000 miles so I know the whole history, condition of the car. I was about to do a suspension upgrade ( 2000$) . If I were to put it up for sale , I would not get anywhere near the amount of money that I ve spend on this car. I would be trading my perfect condition 328 for an unknown condition 335. Then I would have to spend probably around 1k on licensing , tax , insurance , safety.. The 2-3k easily becomes a 5k difference if you factor all in , maybe even more. Then you may have to still worry about maintenance on the 335 ( blown turbo's , etc , etc)

Other guys have full suspension upgrade, and other mods done to their cars

So its not easy to just say trade a 328 for a 335. There are a lot of factors to consider.

For someone that has a stock 328 and that has not done any maintenance or upgrades to their car , and they know the car will need some major maintenance done sooner or later, or for someone having issues with their 328 , sure the trade is worth it , there isn't much risk involve.

Also keep in mind , maintenance on an older 335 can be pretty expensive.


If I had a FBO RWD 6 speed 328 that has been reliable , I would consider the ESS supercharger. The car would be a beast , specially around the track

Its up to you i guess. When you start adding FI to a NA car...your basically re-engineering the whole car. Things can break or other things needed to be modified to be able to deal with the extra power.

I would personally just rather pay the extra $60-100 a month to have a car already engineered from the ground up to have turbo from BMW.

I tried added FI to hondas when i was younger...it always ends up being more expensive then you think and other things break or need to be modified that you didn't think needed to be done.

It can turn into a head ache of its own vs dealing with maintence items of 335i, that is already known and have improved oem replacement parts for.

There comes a point where your just better off moving to a higher plateform then you try do massive modifications.

Me personally, i wouldn't go back FBO and tune, anything more then that i would move to a higher plateform.
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      06-01-2018, 12:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyeah View Post
Let me clarify. I'm not looking to actually do a forced induction conversion. Was just curious what was out there and found this supercharger and the worrying message at the bottom. I've got AA headers going in soon and wanted to ask you guys about this "O2 feedback" issue they are talking about.
There basically saying they cant control the AF ratio with those headers installed for there supercharger.

bad AFR in FI applications = engine go boom.

if your not going FI, i wouldn't worry about it.
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      06-01-2018, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TemjinX2 View Post
Its up to you i guess. When you start adding FI to a NA car...your basically re-engineering the whole car. Things can break or other things needed to be modified to be able to deal with the extra power.
Case and point the N52 is an open deck block. You can do whatever you want to the head and surrounding systems but at the end of the day the block wasn't made for boost. I'm going FBO and then leaving it alone as you suggest. I would sooner LS swap it than boost it
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      06-01-2018, 12:57 PM   #12
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yes but you are comparing a turbo to a supercharger

supercharger is a lot more reliable , less moving parts, easier installation

the guys running the ESS supercharger have been pretty happy. At the beginning there were some tuning issues , but they have been resolve for the most part

There have been a lot of progress in the aftermarket scene for the N52 engine. One member with full bolts on is running on par with stock 335 number 0-60 ( 5.2-5.3 sec) .

If you want to move to massive numbers I can think of better platforms than a 335 that would cost less and be a lot more reliable.

Honestly for tracking a solid 300 whp with a good suspension set up , good brakes , a nice set of tires and somewhat reliable is more than enough to have a lot of fun . There is not need to have a 400 whp , vas majority of people wouldn't be able to control it anyways

If we are talking about drag racing , unfortunately there are much better platforms out there, C6 , any V8 muscle car ...

Like I said , to me , it all depends on how much money you have already invest or dump on a car to see if a trade in for an unknown condition car is really worth it. Unless I was upgrading to a whole different car or a m235 , even 435i , m3 or 335 IS , is not really worth the trade

Now if someone came here and ask which one is better to purchase and he wanted power, no doubt , get a 335 from the start, specially now with such low prices
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      06-01-2018, 01:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyeah View Post
Case and point the N52 is an open deck block. You can do whatever you want to the head and surrounding systems but at the end of the day the block wasn't made for boost. I'm going FBO and then leaving it alone as you suggest. I would sooner LS swap it than boost it
yeah i agree, LS probably the easier and most reliable way of making power if your going to mod.

I really wanted to get a higher mileage brz for $10k and do a ls swap in that. Basically make a 2800lb corvette.

I did the math for it, and i didn't like the numbers i saw.
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      06-01-2018, 01:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyeah View Post
Case and point the N52 is an open deck block. You can do whatever you want to the head and surrounding systems but at the end of the day the block wasn't made for boost. I'm going FBO and then leaving it alone as you suggest. I would sooner LS swap it than boost it
you should check BPC's build and digidon turbo build. Both these guys running over 400 WHP on their N52. I believe digidon has been running his car for years , he has a video out there of his N52 at over 500 WHP

Unfortunately they found tranny is good up to 350 whp ,after that N54 tranny is a better option.

Thats why I think 300 whp on the ESS supercharger has been pretty reliable thus far, still have not heard of any blown engines or trannys
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      06-01-2018, 01:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TemjinX2 View Post
yeah i agree, LS probably the easier and most reliable way of making power if your going to mod.

I really wanted to get a higher mileage brz for $10k and do a ls swap in that. Basically make a 2800lb corvette.

I did the math for it, and i didn't like the numbers i saw.
Most projects like that don't make a huge amount of sense unfortunately. You really gotta want it. I'm looking at LS or RB26 swapping a Datsun 240z. Stripped those are under 2000lbs. Beautiful car.
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      06-01-2018, 01:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TemjinX2 View Post
There basically saying they cant control the AF ratio with those headers installed for there supercharger.

bad AFR in FI applications = engine go boom.

if your not going FI, i wouldn't worry about it.
Exactly... ESS can't control them. Doesn't mean that someone else doesn't have the skillset to work the problem out. In this case (like rick100 said), BPC managed to develop a tune for FI cars (turbo or supercharger).

Hell, BPC turbo'd their N52, which is now making over 500whp.


Look up BPC project Alice.
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      06-01-2018, 01:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyeah View Post
Most projects like that don't make a huge amount of sense unfortunately. You really gotta want it. I'm looking at LS or RB26 swapping a Datsun 240z. Stripped those are under 2000lbs. Beautiful car.
I would go with the LS...the RB is heavier since its a iron block. You'll have less weight in the front with the LS. Also you can fix a LS from parts from walmart versus the RB. The 2jz would easier to get parts for compared to the rb as well.

but i'm past my mass mod days...i'd rather just have something straight out of the box and add a tune and call it a day.
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      06-01-2018, 01:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W37V View Post
Exactly... ESS can't control them. Doesn't mean that someone else doesn't have the skillset to work the problem out. In this case (like rick100 said), BPC managed to develop a tune for FI cars (turbo or supercharger).

Hell, BPC turbo'd their N52, which is now making over 500whp.


Look up BPC project Alice.
anything can be made fast with enough money. ESS has a very good reputation for add on supercharger kits, me personally i would heed there advice.

But end of the day, its your car. you can do whatever you want.
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      06-01-2018, 01:29 PM   #19
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C6 corvette and have fun

keep your 328 as a beater , grocery getter , some fun around town
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      06-01-2018, 01:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick100 View Post
yes but you are comparing a turbo to a supercharger

supercharger is a lot more reliable , less moving parts, easier installation

the guys running the ESS supercharger have been pretty happy. At the beginning there were some tuning issues , but they have been resolve for the most part

There have been a lot of progress in the aftermarket scene for the N52 engine. One member with full bolts on is running on par with stock 335 number 0-60 ( 5.2-5.3 sec) .

If you want to move to massive numbers I can think of better platforms than a 335 that would cost less and be a lot more reliable.

Honestly for tracking a solid 300 whp with a good suspension set up , good brakes , a nice set of tires and somewhat reliable is more than enough to have a lot of fun . There is not need to have a 400 whp , vas majority of people wouldn't be able to control it anyways

If we are talking about drag racing , unfortunately there are much better platforms out there, C6 , any V8 muscle car ...

Like I said , to me , it all depends on how much money you have already invest or dump on a car to see if a trade in for an unknown condition car is really worth it. Unless I was upgrading to a whole different car or a m235 , even 435i , m3 or 335 IS , is not really worth the trade

Now if someone came here and ask which one is better to purchase and he wanted power, no doubt , get a 335 from the start, specially now with such low prices
i disagree on superchargers being more reliable then turbo chargers. There plenty of evo's with over 100k on original turbo chargers.

I've had both turbo charged and supercharged cars.

There pros and cons to both, it really depends on the manufacturer in how long they want to design there parts to last. theres a cost to value ratio that every manufacturer chooses.

In terms of plateform you want to use, thats up to your personal choice. Mine was my personal opinion.
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      06-01-2018, 01:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick100 View Post
there is a back story to this which is somewhere in the N52 section. One member purchased the ESS supercharger kit when they first came out , this member already had AA headers installed. ESS was unable to tune the car to work correctly with the AA headers. ESS went back and forth with the customer trying to make it work without any luck , then ESS blamed the headers , made the customer removed the headers and everything worked out

However, since then , we have seen other members running AA headers with the ESS supercharger kit , BPC was able to tune the ESS supercharger with AA headers, Bob at BPC mentioned that they found out what the problem was with the tuning and they were able to resolve it. So ess is full of s** on this one as it has been proved that it was a tuning issue on their side

Also there is a lot of members running AA headers without any issues , I have been running them for about 2 years and my car hasn't explode yet. There are other members that have been running them for a lot longer than me. There are other member that have been tracking with headers . You could even do a search on the N52 forum to see if anyone had an engine blown because of the headers , I do not recall seeing anyone blowing anything with headers. Only issues that you may see is the erratic idle , which usually goes away after a driving cycle , or ends up being someone forgot to plug something back in when doing the installation .

The truth of the matter is ESS is not capable to come out with a proper tuning for their ESS supercharger and AA headers. If you are planning on doing this combo, I would highly recommend talking to BPC

ESS do not want to bother spending more time on their tuning , so they just take the easier way out on this one. They probably have other projects on the go to even bother
Like Rick mentioned, it's all about the tune. just because ESS couldnt figure out a way to tune the N52 engine to handle FI and catless headers at the same time does not mean there is some sort of issue with running both together.

This especially does not mean that running just headers alone will cause you any issues (provided you have a good tune, of course)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyeah View Post
Case and point the N52 is an open deck block. You can do whatever you want to the head and surrounding systems but at the end of the day the block wasn't made for boost. I'm going FBO and then leaving it alone as you suggest. I would sooner LS swap it than boost it
well that's what everyone says about the N52, but it's not true. the block can actually handle a very fair amount of power - up to 350HP. I'd be more concerned about what sort of tune the engine has.
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      06-01-2018, 01:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TemjinX2 View Post
I would go with the LS...the RB is heavier since its a iron block. You'll have less weight in the front with the LS. Also you can fix a LS from parts from walmart versus the RB. The 2jz would easier to get parts for compared to the rb as well.

but i'm past my mass mod days...i'd rather just have something straight out of the box and add a tune and call it a day.
The LS is definitely the more practical option. No comparison there. I like the idea of the RB26 because it stays in the Nissan/Datsun family and its just a really sexy motor that I've always wanted.
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