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Thread: Article: Anyone and everyone can lose a motor - Blown ESS-Tuning VT3 supercharged M3 S65 V8 engine

              
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    ESS VT3 M3 - Engine Fails Before 2,000 Miles

    Just saw this on M3P, reposting:

    It's a long story and the thread's title is self-speaking but I want to share that $#@!ty situation I've been dropped in these "Happy New Year" days....Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    My car is E90 M3 2008 with DCT - well known in Russia (Moscow Unlim 500+) and Europe being the fastest ESS car there.

    The story started in October 2009 when my car became the world's 1st production E9X M3 with ESS SC kit. The milleage was 13,000 miles at that moment. The car was DD and going through lots of pulleys and soft modifications, I was running VT2-625 with 92mm pulley (which is equal to VT2-650) for 2.5 years when in May 2012 at 67,000 miles the engine decided to blow... Piston is 7th cylinder was broken somehow and 3 inches hole appeared in the block...

    That time I bought low-milleage (less that 1,000 miles) used 2011 engine and installed it. In May 2013 I installed VT2-650 spec crank pulley and 94mm SC pulley which resulted to almost 9 psi boost. That setup was used for 1 day Race Event (1 Mile race) only with 104 RON race fuel. After that day the car was reverted to normal VT2-650 specs.

    However, in 2 weeks after that day this new engine also decided to blow, being used for 13,000 miles only... The hole in the block appeared in the 4th cylinder...

    No need to say that the car was always serviced with love and oil was changed every 3,000 miles and fuel used was 98+ RON...

    So, 2 engines gone is 1 year((((((((((

    That time I agreed with ESS to send the car as it is to Norway from Russia for full VT3 build... That was late June 2013.

    31 October 2013, after lots of problems with availability of BMW OEM spare parts, I received the car!!! However, it was tested on dyno for 50 runs and only half day of driving after the build cause it was very cold already in Norway...But the car was running absolutely clean during that testing (per ESS understanding) and Hans delivered the car to me!!!

    ESS did:

    1) fully build VT3 engine (low milleage "donor" was bought by them in Germany) with 10:1 pistons, Carillo rods, ESS rod bearings etc.

    2) fully build VT3 fuel system.

    3) VT3 belt system.

    I was very happy and started my long trip to Moscow (1,500 miles) which I considered the best way for breaking in the engine on good european fuel...

    On my trip to Moscow engine RPMs were no more than 4,000 - I am very conservative in breaking in procedures.... When I came to Moscow, I changed the oil and decided to go and make 2-3 runs from 40 to 250 kmh to understand the difference...

    In the 1st run the car was extremely fast and was spinning the wheels at 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 gear changes like it was lauch control from the stand point...Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge even spinning the wheels so badly and hitting the RPMS limiter at all gears 100-200 kmh time was 5,7sec which is almost 0,9 sec faster than my VT2-650 best summer time on DRs!!!

    I decided to start againg and at 4th gear at 6000 RPMS I felt some "boom-boom" sound in the exhaust and little jerking during the acceleration... That time I stopped testing and the next day the car was taken to a trailer to be delievered to my native town (1,000 miles from Moscow)...

    I went to BMW dealer for diagnostic of any potential problem and had conversations with ESS on that... Nothing was found, except for some instability in fuel pressure regulator work, and ESS sent me out that regulator which I was waiting for 3 weeks from US... In the meantime, I was driving the car moderately and found the thing that the car was starting jerking at any speed if I floor the pedal more that 1/4, but at the same time could easily heat 270 kmh if pushing the peda moderatedly....

    The whole milleage by the day of receiving new fuel pressure regulator and new sparks and coils (ESS recommendation to change) was 400 miles... Also, I ordered and received by that day Awron Gauge with full options...Click here to enlarge

    However, when we let off the sparks, the following picture was with the spark from 4th cylinder... It was melted.... All other sparks were OK...

    We measure the compression ration in all the cylinders and.... 10.5-10.7 in all except 4th cylinder - 8.8....(((

    So, we installed all the new plugs, coils and FPR, and also fully discassembled the manifold for installation of EAS stack for boost gauge, then assemble all back and I leaved the dealer for testing... The car was running sooo clean that day on mid RPMS and fast driving!!! So, I decided to go full throttle...

    1st run from 3rd gear from 40 to 230 kmh was clean and the time from 100 to 200 kmh was VT3 time...) I stopped the car and tried againg but from 2nd gear from 30 kmh. And.... at 7000 RPMS of that 2nd gear the car started jerking and afterwards working like 2 or 3 cylinders are not working.... (((

    On that conditions I drove to the dealer (15 miles)... So, the whole milleage after changing the sparks etc was 70 miles. We took off the spark from that 4 th cylinder and it was melted the same wayClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge We measured the compression in that cylinder and it was 5.... Changing the spark did not help at all and the car did not work properly....

    I decided to take it to the trailer to Moscow fro investigation by letting off the heads to understand the problem in detail... That was discovered:

    1) From the side of 1-4 cylinders:

    > burn-through of cylinder head gasket near 3-4 cylinder (2.7sm approx hole)
    > scratches in 3 and 4 cylinder
    > broken piston in 4th cylinder around the bottom of piston and not good piston in 3rd cylinder

    2) From the side of 5-8 cylinders:

    > scratches in 5 and 8 cylinders

    The guys told me that the traces of detonation could be found in all 8 cylinders...

    Fotos attached...

    The only thing I am doing for last 7 days is crying in the situation of full silence and absence of support from anywhereClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
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    Photos in OP
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    M3Post Thread
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    ouch

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    Wow, this guy went through 3 engines now? Why is he having so many issues I wonder? You don't hear many people with supercharged s65's and these many problems...

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    Prob doesn't help he's in Russia, but that's not an excuse
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    I have limited knowledge of ESS products, but are all of these kits using an OTS tune or do they dyno tune each kit specifically to the car?
    2007 BMW 335i 6MT / Alpine Weiss

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    This sounds like poor tuning. I'm assuming fuel is good quality, oil is good, and no workmanship mistakes on actual install of everything.
    2009 335i coupe PARTING OUT!


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    Here's Roman's (ESS) response

    Sergi

    You have been told for a very long time you have no warranty or support on your kits because you have always modified them with additional boost going back to your very first kit which ran a 92mm pulley. The VT2-625 runs a 96mm pulley with much different software than a 650 kit. You should never run a VT2-625 with a 92mm pulley unless you intend to take full responsability. AJ has always told you that your motors will blow if you run more than intended boost while racing at your events. Your 2008 car was over boosted and lasted 67,000 of hardcore racing. It lasted much longer than it really should have, you were lucky.

    Your second motor you ran the VT2-650 crank and the same 92mm pulley which generates close to 12 psi of boost. This is far beyond what we run on our production kit. Off the shelf VT2-650 runs a 99mm SC pulley and generates 8 psi which is max you can run. Even if you claim 94mm with the 650 crank this is much smaller than what we spec and still generates close to 11 psi, you knew this at the time.

    We do not sell a VT3 product to the public currently, there is no such product on our website and we do not offer support for such a product currently. You were informed that if we built you a prototype high boost setup there would be no support on it. You also picked up the vehicle without allowing us to do any road testing. You were informed by AJ at the time that we did not have proper time or road conditions due to weather to do any extended testing but you insisted on taking delivery anyway. You later contacted AJ complaining of hesitation on acceleration and a diagnostic report showing a failed 02 sensor. You were told NOT to drive the car at all until you could install gauges to monitor fuel delivery / AFR's which you did not do. You decided to continue driving the car anyway despite AJ's instructions up to speeds 180 mph according to your email. Your motor failed after you were warned to not drive it. I’m not surprised the motor gave out considering you most likely had a fuel delivery issue like a failed pump pickup or fuel pressure regulator and maybe a bad 02 sensor with continued high load use.

    We told you before the motor blew to send the car in for inspection and you refused. You said you wanted to do it local. After your motor failed Hans told you over the phone last week to get the motor inspected locally then and follow up so we could see what could be done. You just emailed AJ and Hans yesterday with the results. Why would you make a post saying no one has followed up with you when we just got your email this weekend and we offered to help you out before the motor ever failed?

    This is a very good reminder as to why we tell customers to NOT modify our products and run more boost than designed and to follow our instructions at all times. Hopefully customers who currently are doing so or are considering doing so will learn from your mistake and not run more boost than we design the kit to run.
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    Sounds like a combination of poor ownership and ESS releasing an unfinished product into a customer's hands. I feel like I confidently say that if AA, Evolve or Gintani (especially Gintani after the bad rep they've unfairly gotten) had a customer's car that wasn't 100%, that they wouldn't release into their hands specifically for these reasons.


    What I did find very interesting is that Roman is saying that ESS does not offer the VT3 to the public (but we've got Izzy & Drew on the forums, Zim was getting his ready when he was banned) and that there is no product support (but there's at least 3 confirmed customers with VT3 E9x M3s).
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    It's obvious his head gasket failed.

    What I don't understand is why he kept driving it while waiting for the fuel pressure regulator (400 miles).

    When he first started having problems while testing and brought it to the dealer, they must not have checked the plugs or they would have seen the two tips were melted. Some debris from the plugs could have caused the scoring/scuffing on the cylinders. He didn't help his case.

    Looks like changing the plugs and going full throttle didn't produce the miracle he wanted Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Sounds like a combination of poor ownership and ESS releasing an unfinished product into a customer's hands.
    This exactly. They should not have sent the car back to him before being done all the testing and the dude doesn't seem to have a lot of common sense.

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    In the end, its always the customer's fault......
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    AJ (ESS) comments

    Again, just to make this 100% clear: There is a very good reason we set the maximum boost pressure the way we do in the various kit stages. We do not leave massive amounts of safe power on the table as some people seem to think. If you increase boost over our standard settings, there will be a much greater risk of failure as Sergei has demonstrated. The fact that the bolt-on 625 kit ran for 67.000 miles with a massively overboosting 92mm pulley is actually much longer than expected.

    When Sergei was getting ready for the Moscow unlimited 1 mile race on his second engine he asked me what I thought of running the 650 crank/92mm SC combo, and I specifically told him that he may get through the race but that the engine will with very high probability be damaged in a short period of time. The stock S65 simply can not take 11-12 PSI. He made his race, and the car ran for another week or two before caving in -as expected. The cost of a new engine is the price he chose to pay to run 4PSI overboost at his event.

    When it comes to the VT3, it is critical that fuel delivery is monitored at all times. If any part of the new stand-alone, high capacity fuel system fails the engine will be damaged in a matter of seconds at high load. In Sergei's case with a brand new VT3 prototype setup being installed, I told him that I strongly recommend leaving the car with us for 6-8 weeks after assembly to properly test it in various conditions. He did not have time for this and forced us to deliver the car 1 day after assembly with only a few dyno pulls and a short road test in 35F, wet roads conditions on it's back. He then chose to ignore my specific instructions on not operating the car hard without O2 monitoring equipment installed. I specifically recommended the EAS gauge setup. He chose to ignore all warnings, and he denied to send us the car back when he experienced high load acceleration hesitations and a primary O2 sensor on bank 2 error code. Instead he kept driving the car without any monitoring equipment until the engine eventually had massive failure due to fuel starvation combined with high load operation.

    We received the email of the engine condition yesterday from Sergei, and my initial plan was to simply have the car sent back to us in Norway as previously instructed and sleeve the block/install new pistons and go through the entire fuel system/O2 sensor system again to find the error that most likely has developed during his 2000 miles of use as the car operated and dynoed correctly before we delivered it. This is a relatively quick and easy fix that does not cost very much, however we do not and we never will give any kind of warranty on high-boost custom setups as the chance of failure is very high unless the driver is attentive and has proper measurement gauges installed. The VT3 is a race setup, and it should only be used by people who are aware of it's risks and high chance of long term problems due to the massive power delivery and the complex nature of the system. Sergei was informed over and over again of these risks, both on overboosting his previous VT2 kits as well as on the prototype VT3 setup.

    Sergei's VT3 engine build, boost and software is identical to Drew's setup. The only difference that keeps Drew's still running strong is the awareness of the driver when operating such a complex and delicate beast. If an O2 sensor goes bad, back off it! If one of the fuel pumps stops working correctly, back off it! Follow these simple rules and the VT3 will live for a long time as Drew has demonstrated.
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    If the customer indeed "forced" ESS to return the car by threatening legal action or whatever...I don't see a problem. The customer failed to follow direct instructions. I would, however, like to hear the customers response.

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    Besides the third blown engine that might have been the customers fault. Why did the other 2 engines blow?? Sounds like bad tuning. Which completely looks like it from all that detonation, those pitons looked like it has rock chips... Horrible

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    ESS stated that the customer overboosted the engines for an extended time.

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    Lol. Seems ess is having a tough time keeping up with all their lies, I mean stories, I mean products they sell and dont sell/specs

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    This is what happens when you keep racing 1000 whp gtr's...so much for the s65 potential...big revs big boost equals kaboom!!! There is just no excuses for detonation...

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    the problem sounds like its a canned tune for 8psi and the customer is upping the boost with no way to tune for it. More boost and the same fuel=lean AFR and detonation. WTF did he think was going to happen?
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    When upping the boost yourself and you still got to go to a dealer to do a diagnostic test it spells a recipe for disaster. You should at least have the basic on board tools to tell that something is not wrong after the first hesitation of any sort.

    As a matter of interest on my Dashdaq device I have both bank AFR, rail pressure and short term fuel trims on constantly.
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    This is not the first Vt3 to blow up user name M33 motor melted plugs and blew too.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Ging Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This is not the first Vt3 to blow up user name M33 motor melted plugs and blew too.
    For real? They guy that had a build thread last year on M3post? I think he finally got a perma-ban on BP for continuous bashing of Gintani.

    Karma

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    The whole tune/software thing is bogus from ESS. Roman refused to assist myself and AR design when we originally decided to go with the 650 kit. We managed a pathetic 520hp and 6psi (due to 6000ft) elevation, and when asked, we were told anything else would cause the car to run very lean and unsafe. Well, we made some inhouse changes to the hardware, boost up to 9psi and the DME/tune adapts and added the fuel as needed.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    For real? They guy that had a build thread last year on M3post? I think he finally got a perma-ban on BP for continuous bashing of Gintani.

    Karma
    Thats not y he was banned.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlownE92M3 Click here to enlarge
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    The whole tune/software thing is bogus from ESS. Roman refused to assist myself and AR design when we originally decided to go with the 650 kit. We managed a pathetic 520hp and 6psi (due to 6000ft) elevation, and when asked, we were told anything else would cause the car to run very lean and unsafe. Well, we made some inhouse changes to the hardware, boost up to 9psi and the DME/tune adapts and added the fuel as needed.
    They have the more Take it or leave it approach LOL. Once they sell a kit, they got the money it's done. Your problem now to figure out what you want to do to void that warranty hahaha. You have two beautiful cars brotha.

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