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    HPF turbo E46 M3 (S54) upgrades/motor failures

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    He's doing a restoration and going sleeved block + stage 3
    Did anything happen to his 2.5 for him to do this or did he just want more power?
    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Did anything happen to his 2.5 for him to do this or did he just want more power?
    Just wanted more power from my understanding. He sold his Stage 2/2.5 parts to a local guy.

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    HPF turbo E46 M3 (S54) upgrades/motor failures

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Did anything happen to his 2.5 for him to do this or did he just want more power?
    Edit: here is the story: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...6&postcount=58


    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by RACEMX-M3
    I wouldn't say it blew, it ran fine until I took it apart and shipped it to HPF. In case some haven't followed this.. I had Stage 2.5 for 2 years, I was the first 2.5 car and did a lot of testing for HPF. I made several attempts to redline 6th gear and always had to lift after the knock siren went off at around 180-190. After coolant was sprayed all over my engine bay (from the coolant cap) we discovered that my head had lifted and my car did not have the stronger L-19 head studs installed. Chris offered to replace the studs, but not wanting to ship my car I opted to do it myself. I misinterpreted part of the instructions during the head stud swap and loosened all of the studs together, rather than replacing them one at at a time - which broke the head gasket seal and led to a coolant leak into one of the cylinders. I think I drove the car for about two weeks after swapping the head studs before noticing a loss of coolant. I pulled the head to replace the head gasket and discovered some very minor damage to one of the pistons, there was no visible damage to the block but HPF wanted to inspect the motor so I shipped it to thier shop in Portland. A magnaflux revealed a virtually undetectable crack in one the cylinders. I can't be sure what caused the damage but would guess it's related to the head lifting or possibly the coolant leak.
    Last edited by spdu4ea; 02-10-2011 at 12:40 AM.

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    I was mistaken.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
    Just wanted more power from my understanding. He sold his Stage 2/2.5 parts to a local guy.
    I see, they have been getting so many cars in lately getting "upgrades" hard to keep track.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    Oh, nevermind.

    So basically he lost one of the cylinders due to a mistake on his part during an install and well, Stage 3 here we are.
    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
    I was mistaken.
    No big deal, happens.
    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    So basically he lost one of the cylinders do a mistake on his part during an install and well, Stage 3 here we are.
    Imo he's falling on the sword a bit, but yeah...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    Imo he's falling on the sword a bit, but yeah...
    Mind elaborating a bit?
    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Like I relayed to you a few months back via PM -- I don't have proof, but I do suspect that from mid 2009 to mid 2010 HPF increased power at the expense of the margin of safety. For example, we started seeing stage 1/2 pump-only power outputs of 450whp when they used to be ~415whp. This is followed by threads about the knock siren, owners complaining of bad gas, and at least 3 engine failures (Batta, My Tran, and Scott).

    So when someone who had already graciously accepted all the blame when HPF's safety features failed to react to a malfunctioning fuel pump, again takes the blame for another engine failure 4 months after HPF decided his 180mph knock alarms were false positives and wound up turning down the alarm's sensitivity -- I can't help but think he is falling on the sword.


    Don't get my wrong, I still think HPF is one of the best aftermarket companies around -- I just think BMW owners tend to classify HPF as either "they suck kaboom" or this "can do no wrong" exaltation -- when the truth is somewhere in between...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    Like I relayed to you a few months back via PM -- I don't have proof, but I do suspect that from mid 2009 to mid 2010 HPF increased power at the expense of the margin of safety. For example, we started seeing stage 1/2 pump-only power outputs of 450whp when they used to be ~415whp. This is followed by threads about the knock siren, owners complaining of bad gas, and at least 3 engine failures (Batta, My Tran, and Scott).
    You may be on to something, curious, were there any failures before this period?

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    So when someone who had already graciously accepted all the blame when HPF's safety features failed to react to a malfunctioning fuel pump, again takes the blame for another engine failure 4 months after HPF decided his 180mph knock alarms were false positives and wound up turning down the alarm's sensitivity -- I can't help but think he is falling on the sword.
    Ah, there we go, now I get it. This was the big chunk I was missing.

    So they decided they were false positives? The solution was to turn the sensitivity down, clearly a mistake. Somehow I don't think he is paying the full price for this and he sure is taking it graciously to HPF's benefit. This sure does make for an string of engine failures though.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    Don't get my wrong, I still think HPF is one of the best aftermarket companies around -- I just think BMW owners tend to classify HPF as either "they suck kaboom" or this "can do no wrong" exaltation -- when the truth is somewhere in between...
    I think you are right on and also people need to understand what they are getting into with these cars. You are not going to get factory reliability and there still is a lot to learn with turbos on S54's. I do find it a bit odd that people piled up so hard on VF yet no one says anything about HPF. I'm with you, they are one of the best and have incredible customer service but something like turning down the sensitivity to fix the problem and losing a piston is something that would have the anti-VF crowd grabbing torches and pitchforks. Gracious is a great way to put how this customer handled it.
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    MyTrans failure was due to a faulty methanol injection harness. HPF distributed all-new harnesses to HPF owners that had the faulty harness...free of charge. I'm assuming they covered the costs to repair MyTrans vehicle.

    If I remember correctly, Scott's(RaceMX-M3) failure at Stage 2 was due to an improper install by his personal shop although I forget the exact details as to what they did wrong. That's why he was the first to go Stage 2.5. Built motor on his existing Stage 2 hardware.

    Don't know anything about Batta's failure.

    I wonder if the improvements in hardware, different exhaust setups, and improved tune all played a factor in seeing increases from 415whp - 450whp from the early representations. HPF states the Stage 3 CF intake, CF vents, and various exhaust setups show increased power.

    In VF's case, and I'm no VF basher, a big reason they were attacked was because they refused to accept any responsibility and incur any costs for repair. They wouldn't admit there was a problem with their tune. That's just from what I gathered. HPF has accepted responsibility for faulty parts and even covered costs on some vehicles that weren't damaged by their kit/tune.

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    I have Scott's kit on my car now as a Stage 2. 7k miles on it now with no issues other than the stock coils going bad, which is normal, I just need to break down and buy the Okada's.
    I ran into this same Vette the day I picked up my car from Scott (he did the install) and even with race gas and meth in my car it didn't go well haha. Scott was still in the car at the time,
    literally my first time in the car with the kit, I think there is a video of it somewhere.

    When the issues started happening with some of the stage 2.5 cars it was tracked down to the head studs they were using at the time. This has since been fixed, and I don't believe they have had an issue since Scott's car.
    Scott's motor went (crack in between cylinders) after the new head studs were torqued incorrectly during install, and even then after many long pulls when he was trying to get to a certain high number in Mexico.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mbowdo20 Click here to enlarge
    I have Scott's kit on my car now as a Stage 2. 7k miles on it now with no issues other than the stock coils going bad, which is normal, I just need to break down and buy the Okada's.
    I ran into this same Vette the day I picked up my car from Scott (he did the install) and even with race gas and meth in my car it didn't go well haha. Scott was still in the car at the time,
    literally my first time in the car with the kit, I think there is a video of it somewhere.

    When the issues started happening with some of the stage 2.5 cars it was tracked down to the head studs they were using at the time. This has since been fixed, and I don't believe they have had an issue since Scott's car.
    Scott's motor went (crack in between cylinders) after the new head studs were torqued incorrectly during install, and even then after many long pulls when he was trying to get to a certain high number in Mexico.
    Not trying to point fingers, but just curious, who torqued the head studs incorrectly?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    You may be on to something, curious, were there any failures before this period?
    The first 4 built engines were recalled Jan '09 for oil consumption and Scott's miswired fuel-pump blew his OEM engine mid-'08, but those weren't tune related. The only possibility was Ravi's car which went from VF sc to HPF and shortly after the turbo install it was discovered that the ringlands were toast. Most pointed the blame at VF (HPF has done leakdown tests before installs since then...)



    Ah, there we go, now I get it. This was the big chunk I was missing.

    So they decided they were false positives? The solution was to turn the sensitivity down, clearly a mistake. Somehow I don't think he is paying the full price for this and he sure is taking it graciously to HPF's benefit. This sure does make for an strong of engine failures though.
    They may have been legitimate false positives -- it is reasonable that aftermarket internals change the harmonics of the engine. That it would only come into play only at 180mph doesn't make a lot of sense to me since that same rpm/load would be hit 5 other times along the way, but whatever. That he noticed a pock-marked piston 4 months after the alarm threshold change seems a little too coincidental...

    As for paying full price, I would hope not -- especially after creating one of the most popular stages and R&Ding its tunes (and oil coolers), in addition to setting record 60-130 times and prolifically posting kill videos. But the fact its been almost a year since the failure and his engine is still in another time zone hints otherwise...



    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
    In VF's case, and I'm no VF basher, a big reason they were attacked was because they refused to accept any responsibility
    Good point, hpf has accepted more responsibility than anyone --and shared more results than anyone.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    That it would only come into play only at 180mph doesn't make a lot of sense to me since that same rpm/load would be hit 5 other times along the way, but whatever
    Exactly, and this is what does not make sense. I think there should have been a bit more investigation than turning it down. In retrospect, there were legitimate issues.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    As for paying full price, I would hope not -- especially after creating one of the most popular stages and R&Ding its tunes (and oil coolers), in addition to setting record 60-130 times and prolifically posting kill videos. But the fact its been almost a year since the failure and his engine is still in another time zone hints otherwise...
    I think it would hint at HPF simply being overloaded. There is no way after everything you mentioned he would be paying full price, everyone with these motor issues is getting "hooked up" somehow.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    Good point, hpf has accepted more responsibility than anyone --and shared more results than anyone.
    Very true.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    They may have been legitimate false positives -- it is reasonable that aftermarket internals change the harmonics of the engine. That it would only come into play only at 180mph doesn't make a lot of sense to me since that same rpm/load would be hit 5 other times along the way, but whatever. That he noticed a pock-marked piston 4 months after the alarm threshold change seems a little too coincidental...
    Knock sensing isn't a black art, but isn't a simple process either.

    All the indicators for me point to a difference between going 180mph on the dyno rollers, and 180mph on the road with substantial wind resistance and a lot more load on the engine. If on the dyno you are seeing 400rpm/sec increase, and on the road you are seeing 100rpm/second increase, that's a pretty substantial difference in load.

    As bad as this sounds, I think anyone that takes it upon themselves to hit 180+MPH is working well outside of the design and testing envelope that even HPF has done. (And I believe they are one of the best for this)

    Turning the knock threshold down was somebody's choice, and I think it didn't fully account for the situation. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe some of the "equipment" that was sent to Scott to troubleshoot this was a scanner that could data-log the knock sensor traces. (I have one, and have used it on the dyno when tuning) But in any case, we have still not seen this issue fully addressed. When it is....you can be sure HPF will let us know with a really enjoyable video. I don't however think that the knock sensing had anything to do with the block failure. I think the coolant issue caused the piston damage, and that the block failure may have been a combination of a casting flaw, and running above OEM power. I don't think that all three were related.

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    Great thread!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mpoweroo1 Click here to enlarge
    Great thread!
    hell yea, this $#@!s getting deeep. i'm just standing by the sidelines, i'm not paying in this game. justwatchig
    Burger Motorsports
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Turning the knock threshold down was somebody's choice, and I think it didn't fully account for the situatio
    Was this decision made by HPF solely or did they both decide to turn it down?

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    But in any case, we have still not seen this issue fully addressed. When it is....you can be sure HPF will let us know with a really enjoyable video.
    Their videos are great and very informative but I wonder why this has not been fully addressed?
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
    I wonder if the improvements in hardware, different exhaust setups, and improved tune all played a factor in seeing increases from 415whp - 450whp from the early representations. HPF states the Stage 3 CF intake, CF vents, and various exhaust setups show increased power.
    It is possible. But two things lead me to believe otherwise:

    1) This increase in pump-gas power coincided with the initial wave of strong anti-VF sentiment, when HPF was going out of its way to compare itself favorably to VF

    2) The pump-gas horsepower graphs started to look a little ragged/jerky:

    Current:
    Click here to enlarge

    11/09:
    Click here to enlarge

    This jerkiness isn't just on the dyno -- I initially noticed it when making the vbox dyno based on road pulls:
    Click here to enlarge
    vs
    Click here to enlarge


    Compare this to the much smoother original pump gas power output:

    2/08:
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    It is possible. But two things lead me to believe otherwise:

    1) This increase in pump-gas power coincided with the initial wave of strong anti-VF sentiment, when HPF was going out of its way to compare itself favorably to VF

    2) The pump-gas horsepower graphs started to look a little ragged/jerky:

    Current:
    http://www.horsepowerfreaks.com/imag...HPF/Stage2.gif

    11/09:
    http://www.horsepowerfreaks.com/misc...terryndyno.gif

    This jerkiness isn't just on the dyno -- I initially noticed it when making the vbox dyno based on road pulls:
    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...010/03/848.jpg
    vs
    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...010/03/850.jpg


    Compare this to the much smoother original pump gas power output:

    2/08:
    http://www.horsepowerfreaks.com/misc...mm3/jimsae.gif
    I'm not sure what to say, that is some interesting detective work.

    Obviously they would see and know this themselves. Would they push it just to distance themselves from VF at the expense of safety? I do not know the answer to that.

    Is the boost or timing significantly different from how it was before? As in, what is accounting for the power increase? You aren't the only one who has seen this I presume.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Is the boost or timing significantly different from how it was before? As in, what is accounting for the power increase?
    I don't have any way of knowing the timing and they don't often release the boost logs with the dyno plots, but my initial thought was that the oscillations were probably the result of something relatively benign like a wastegate harmonics issue. Still, even if benign the fact it has persisted for 18 months is disappointing.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    I don't have any way of knowing the timing and they don't often release the boost logs with the dyno plots, but my initial thought was that the oscillations were probably the result of something relatively benign like a wastegate harmonics issue. Still, even if benign the fact it has persisted for 18 months is disappointing.
    If it was an issue with the wastegate harmonics why would it only show up at higher power levels? An increase in boost would be necessary, correct?
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    We're starting down the possibility rabbit-hole here, but assuming the oscillations are a wastegate harmonic issue, the most likely cause is a change from something like the 0.4bar (5.8psi) wastegate spring (adjusted to a smooth 6.5-7psi via well-tuned boost control solenoid) to the 0.5bar (7.25psi) wastegate spring -- undamped by any boost control solenoid.

    This is a plausible change, a 0.4bar spring could probably handle stage 1-2's 13-15psi just fine, but have issues with stage 2.5's 23+psi

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