Matth5

N55 turbo upgrade options - local?

51 posts in this topic

Well I don't seem to have any decent options that can deliver in time. Vargas hasn't even replied to me.

Pure has a good enough reputation that I'd be ok going with them if they could have shipped in time. They require the old turbo so they clearly use those. Vargas... No idea, but your observations are a red flag.

Guess this isn't happening, for now. Might just get a catlesss downpipe installed so I can enjoy a little performance boost for now :)

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39 minutes ago, Matth5 said:

Might just get a catlesss downpipe installed so I can enjoy a little performance boost for now :)

This can be a good step along the way.

It's unfortunate... We all know that we should plan these things, but the time to do them tends to come along very quickly. Perhaps book in with crunchy for a time when he can help? All sorts of benefits to that - price, local supplier, etc.

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That's what I'm thinking, I'll try to find a used turbo that I can leave with him and he can take as long as he likes to finish it. 

That does depend how much a turbo swap would cost me though. Full day job for a workshop I imagine. 

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I get many customers from Oz who are sick of the Chang market there that do nothing but supply crap portraying it as quality products and they are sick of it, fair enough if they charged little and didn't hide that fact but not the case.

Like i said i can supply OEM parts built unit and still make enough to pay the bills, and sleep at night.  

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The Vargas ones are chinese cast , the housings are not custom. Just the internals. 

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I dare not have a look they will pull me into their evil ways !

I get this daily people trying to save a dollar and i well understand why, i just refuse to scrape a couple of bucks to get a sale.

Many of these companies are just polishing a turd and best of luck to them, as its been stated part of the process is removal and install and that alone isn't cheap to which need to be considered.

The margins between cheap chang and OEM use to be large, not so much anymore thus OEM suppliers have dropped their prices to dangle the carrot.

 

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Well things seem to be moving slow at the workshop, they are down 2 techs apparently. They've sent me some interesting photos.

They also said if I want to do the turbo, now is the time, even if it takes a few weeks. So I've decided I will get comfy with the 116i loaner and tough this out.

@crunchy Steve, I understand you're swamped. If you think you can manage something within a 1 month timeframe (more or less), then I'd love to drop my turbo at your doorstep. If you can, PM me an estimate? 

Otherwise I think I'll place my order with Pure. They use the OEM housing, I'll just have to deal with the hassle of shipping the old one back. It would be pretty cool to have something made locally though, if timing allows :)

Also they have confirmed my head gasket leak. "We have found that the Cyl Head bolt for Cyl 6 Exhaust side was loose compared to the rest. – warped perhaps?"
Exact same issue I've read from other reports online. Must be a factory fault! Real shame this didn't get picked up with the past owner(s). Really should have been sorted by BMW.

Also I have ordered a VRSF downpipe :)

Pics for those interested:

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I'll order the parts and do my best within your time frame

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Parts are ordered should be here in a week

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Wow you don't limit yourself to 9-5 working hours :D

Awesome! I'll PM you my contact details

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Blah i wish mate, me and coffee are great mates !

Had a customer of sorts the ring and asked if i got his email of 2 weeks, i replied yes and when i get a chance ill configure all you need for your setup.

His reply " but i need it now and you could potentially get a turbo sale from it"

Potentially ? I asked, so he got told how it was. I've got well over 400 messages on my FB page to which i answered 100 of them one night ( they keep growing ) till 2 am and over the next week 5 people replied....so i may potentially get a sale from you?

He changed his tune.

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Oh look at what the courier dropped off :)

They didn't stick the invoice on the box and it slipped right past customs... man I have ridiculous luck with that!

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Stopped at BM Workshop on Friday to fetch the turbo. Got to see the inside of my engine up close, pretty interesting. Aside from a little oil where it shouldn't be due to the loose headbolt, the engine looks perfect. The workshop suggested replacing a few seals on parts of the DCT transmission that are unreachable when it's in the car, since they'd be easy to do now, so I agreed and said to just do a full service while they're at it. Breaking My Wallet pretty hard here :D

And this is what a 150 000km N55 turbo looks like, which has endured some hard driving with the MHD tunes...

The turbine wheels spin nice and smooth with no visible play. My untrained eyes can't see any sign of wear. 

I'm thinking I should get some solid subframe bushings. Inserts are cheaper than a full replacement, and my bushings all look fine. So I'm leaning towards ordering some Powerflex Delrin inserts.

Already got a differential lockdown brace on the way so I'll leave diff bushings for now.

Looked into getting an LSD... that's looking like it'll cost even more than the turbo upgrade... so that's for another time! 

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Edited by Matth5

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Just for you Matt 

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Car is almost ready, ETA next week. A few little holdups like a part suddenly needing to be ordered from Germany...
Crunchy shared pics of his work on the turbo here, he has upgraded the compressor wheel:


While the DCT transmission was out of the car I had the shop replace the otherwise unreachable side seal and wiring loom o-ring, just for long term peach of mind. 

Dropped off their 116i loaner because it got about 2000km past it's service indicator and swapped it with an E46 318ti hatch. Interesting ugly little thing, quite nimble and feels quicker than you'd expect, quite fun to drive actually, feels like a go-cart, more so than the regular E46 models :)

Here's a pic of the AKG subframe bushings and a pic stolen from Google of the diff lockdown brace I got (didn't bother taking  a photo)

Edit: BM Workshop now say that they can fit the pre-cat sensor but not the post-cat. As the post-cat sensor is just used for emissions, we might be ok after all. 

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Edited by Matth5

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Dropped off their 116i loaner because it got about 2000km past it's service indicator and swapped it with an E46 318ti hatch. Interesting ugly little thing, quite nimble and feels quicker than you'd expect, quite fun to drive actually, feels like a go-cart, more so than the regular E46 models :)

Ugly  like art only in the eyes of the beholder. If you feel the 318ti is nimble and quick you don't know what you are missing hit the go pedal when it has a b25 or b30 fitted then the fun really begins ;)

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Yes I can imagine that'll be fun! Part of me still misses my old E46 328i even, it just had something about the way it handled, it was fun.

Anyway BM Workshop says they have got my 335i back together and finished the long list of other stuff I requested. Should be ready to collect tomorrow and the bill will be... well let's not think about that :)

Can't wait!  They said I should treat it gently for a little while due to the engine work, and bring it back in ~1000km so they can do some checks. So it'll be a while before I can thrash it and arrange tuning. 
It'll feel so good to drive my 335i again, it's been over 2 months...

By the way would I die if I eat nothing but rice for a month? 

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Out of curiosity what was the waste gate like? Did it have play in the shaft like the n54 units do?

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@Matth5, no, that just makes you a ricer :P

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I had a flatmate that just used to eat rice and tinned tuna.  She was pretty fit, if that helps ;-)

Great to hear this car is almost back on the road.  Mine's been off for a year, so no sympathy from me!

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6 hours ago, Herbmiester said:

Out of curiosity what was the waste gate like? Did it have play in the shaft like the n54 units do?

Hmm don't think so, but I don't really know what to look for here, never touched another turbo before. Like if you moved it back and forth, it was like a direct connection to the flap, no wobble there, so as far as I can tell it seemed solid. 

Got it back last night. Took it for a test. The disconnected secondary O2 makes for a check engine light that MHD doesn't disable, so I've asked them if they can disable that code too.

Combination of downpipe and PE exhaust mod makes the car pretty damn loud, too loud I think. Will consider doing something to tone it down later. Disabling the cold start in MHD makes the startups reasonable though. 

Subframe bushing and chassis brace aren't in yet, that'll be done after I've broken in the engine again (~1000km), when I bring it back for a check-up. 

Thought I might be bothered by a fuel smell or smoke when going catless and the car was idling or stuck in traffic, but... there's nothing at all, even with windows open. Mine has no secondary cats so it's completely catless.

Quote

I had a flatmate that just used to eat rice and tinned tuna.  She was pretty fit, if that helps ;-)

I think the tuna would have to be a once-a-week treat :)

Edited by Matth5
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The gate pin wasnt too bad better than most i see, down side at some point itll rattle enough to be a issue then i re sleeve it

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Random guy on the street says "man that's a cool sounding beemer" as I park. 
Flattering but I'm not sure he'd think it's so cool if he realised it was loud ALL THE TIME :D I can hear the overrun burbles loud and clear occasionally while driving... with the windows closed!

Did some research and I've found what seems to be the perfect solution. A few guys on E90post with similar setups have found a pair of resonators added to the exhaust make for a much less obnoxious but still great sound. Most have gone with the 'Vibrant 1972" resonators with great results, and seeing as they're not too expensive on Amazon I've ordered a pair :)

Done some moderate pulls up to about 4000rpm so far, still avoiding full throttle, but it sure is responsive. It's tough not being able to go all-out yet...

Edited by Matth5
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Good stuff Matt!  Probably a bit like my old Polo 1.8t when I put a Milltek catless downpipe on it.  Mine was one of the ones that didn't have a central resonator standard, so without the cat, it was just a bit too loud for my liking.  Sounded wicked with the odd little pop when backing off, but that disappeared when I put a resonator in there, which didn't seem to make a notable difference to the performance.

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