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      10-16-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
tikamak
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ESS VT2 vs VF480 vs G-power

Thoughts? experiences?
I have astonishing reviews on all 3 kits.

share please. I'm ready to drop cash for some go pedal fun.

NO FLAMING

Last edited by tikamak; 10-16-2012 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Adding information
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      10-16-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
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I'd await confirmation, but it seems that for a stage1 or 2 kit, the gpower kit on ironz4's car has a lot more power under the curve than my. Vt2-500 kit. I'd go for that once u get some real dyno sheets and verifed what kind of additional mods or boost he's running

I like the vt-500 kit but a year later, im craving more torque in gears 3-6. Meth injection made the top end stronger though.

In the USA, ess doesnt offer upgrades for the vt2-500 kit. U have to go third party
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      10-16-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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Are you going to install it yourself?
When I was shopping for a system (1,5 year ago), Gpower only sold kits when you had them installed at their works in germany. (or perhaps outside europe at one of their partners). That was for a m54 sk1 system (so for an z4 3.0i), but the hardware is basically the same. Only their small sets (no heat exchangers, no larger injectors; not available for a z4m) were sold to private customers to install for themselves.
That's why/when I chose ESS (apart form hardware specs etc), as I wanted to do it myself.

But ironz4m has his kit lying on his diningtable (around the same time), so there are some inconsistencies in that matter and you might want to check up on that.

Last edited by GuidoK; 10-16-2012 at 01:45 PM.
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      10-16-2012, 02:58 PM   #4
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ive been pondering this exact same question the last few days. i like the overall torque of the vf kit (but the g power does offer more torque). i find two issues with the gpower kit personally that dissuade me from purchasing it completely
1.) the orange, i think it would be more difficult than usual to 'smog' the car even if i am in california with that orange
2.) domestic support (for america i mean) - at least vf is in southern california.
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      10-16-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roffle Waffle View Post
I'd await confirmation, but it seems that for a stage1 or 2 kit, the gpower kit on ironz4's car has a lot more power under the curve than my. Vt2-500 kit. I'd go for that once u get some real dyno sheets and verifed what kind of additional mods or boost he's running

I like the vt-500 kit but a year later, im craving more torque in gears 3-6. Meth injection made the top end stronger though.

In the USA, ess doesnt offer upgrades for the vt2-500 kit. U have to go third party
the problem that i have with iron's dyno is its not 91(or even 93) octane (iirc)



thats a vf480 with headers on 91 octane. i
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      10-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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IronZ4m said that his first dyno was on octane 95 (R.O.N.):
Quote:
the car made 415 RWHP and 345 ft/lb on pump gas 95 (R.O.N)
Which is about equivalent to US (AKI) octane 91 I think.

But there are differences between dyno's (also at rwhp) so 1:1 comparisons without knowing which brand dynometer are a bit dodgy.
Still I think that the G-power inlet manifold looks very nicely crafted and it looks that they spend a lot of efford in optimizing the airflow from both compressor to manifold and filter to compressor judged on the nicely crafted all cast aluminium piping.

I like that car
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      10-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorifto88 View Post
i find two issues with the gpower kit personally that dissuade me from purchasing it completely
1.) the orange, i think it would be more difficult than usual to 'smog' the car even if i am in california with that orange
2.) domestic support (for america i mean) - at least vf is in southern california.
Same here. I'm still pretty set on getting a CSL type airbox, but the G-Power is so tempting with the crazy amount of torque it puts out at low psi. It takes the ESS kit about 50-70% more psi to reach the same torque. Lately I've been thinking that I'm going to have to deal with smog regardless of getting a CSL type airbox or supercharging, so why not go all the way.

I discounted the VF kit because of the Air/water intercooler. Air/water is only better than Air/Air if you use ice water. Once the water reaches ambient temperature it's downhill from there. I'm still not entirely sure what kind of intercooler the G-power uses since the description says "Air/water recuperator with front mount intercooler."

As to the orange: I agree, the G-Power is hideous, not so much the color but the design of it. If I did get the G-Power I'd powdercoat the whole thing black, blower included.

In the end for me it would be between ESS (proven, reliable) or G-Power (crazy torque at low psi).
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      10-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
I discounted the VF kit because of the Air/water intercooler. Air/water is only better than Air/Air if you use ice water. Once the water reaches ambient temperature it's downhill from there. I'm still not entirely sure what kind of intercooler the G-power uses since the description says "Air/water recuperator with front mount intercooler."

As to the orange: I agree, the G-Power is hideous, not so much the color but the design of it. If I did get the G-Power I'd powdercoat the whole thing black, blower included.

In the end for me it would be between ESS (proven, reliable) or G-Power (crazy torque at low psi).
The benefit of air to water intercooling is pretty apparent in the higher boost levels; the ESS kit looses boost through all the air to air intercooler piping. G-power uses the same type of air to water (via extra radiator at the front) system as VF. The reason air to water is actually better is because you don't loose boost while still getting cooling. Alternatively, you could do air to air and lose boost, but get better cooling; I'll take the higher boost.
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      10-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rated M Roadster View Post
The benefit of air to water intercooling is pretty apparent in the higher boost levels; the ESS kit looses boost through all the air to air intercooler piping. G-power uses the same type of air to water (via extra radiator at the front) system as VF. The reason air to water is actually better is because you don't loose boost while still getting cooling. Alternatively, you could do air to air and lose boost, but get better cooling; I'll take the higher boost.
you are going to have the vf kit installed soon, am i mistaken?
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      10-16-2012, 10:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorifto88 View Post
you are going to have the vf kit installed soon, am i mistaken?
Just waiting for it to ship. I read on another forum that the VF570 kit is ready as well; if so, I might jump on that.
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      10-16-2012, 11:10 PM   #11
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nice. do you have a general idea as to when it will be ready by? no offense but im anxious for some dyno numbers lol
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      10-16-2012, 11:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorifto88
nice. do you have a general idea as to when it will be ready by? no offense but im anxious for some dyno numbers lol
I have no idea; I'm just waiting.
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      10-17-2012, 02:17 AM   #13
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The way I see it so far, G-power is the nicest option but using ASA is meh, too expensive and complicated. No upgrade path.

Would you guys be interested in a ROTREX C38-91 build ? I got an anonymous BMW super tuning gear head ready to make that happen but it will be expensive since he refused to use low quality stuff. it will be a high-end build with no cheap hardware. Please do contact me if you're interested, i need to feel how many people are interested in this.

I just can't believe beedub is nowehere to be seen with the pulley-ed 8 PSI, ESS VT2-500 to chime in.
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      10-17-2012, 12:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rated M Roadster View Post
The benefit of air to water intercooling is pretty apparent in the higher boost levels; the ESS kit looses boost through all the air to air intercooler piping. G-power uses the same type of air to water (via extra radiator at the front) system as VF. The reason air to water is actually better is because you don't loose boost while still getting cooling. Alternatively, you could do air to air and lose boost, but get better cooling; I'll take the higher boost.
Well but once the water heats up to the temperature of the incoming air, you no longer get any cooling. At that point you might as well not have an intercooler at all.

I feel that with the g-power you don't really need an upgrade path. After a certain point extra power becomes more show than go. Lower boost also means more engine longevity.

Having said all that, I don't like that the ASA blower requires you to pipe it into your engine oil. So all three options have their pros and cons and one has to figure out what is one's usage and goals.
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      10-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
Well but once the water heats up to the temperature of the incoming air, you no longer get any cooling.
With air to water cooling you always have an extra radiator in the front to cool the water (and an extra water pump to circulate the water obviously).
It's a heat exchanger system, like an intercooler, only the transport medium is water.
One advantage of such a system is that the inlet manifold (usually aluminium in these systems) gets a bit cooled as well because it houses the (cold/cooled) heat exchangers. A normal aluminium inlet manifold will get hot by heat transferred from the cylinder head.
You can feel this very well on my ESS TS2 system, where the compressor is bolted on the inlet manifold (which is obviously bolted on the cylinder head).
If you feel the temperatures of the components after driving, you feel that the engine/cylinderhead is hot, the inlet manifold is cold and the compressor is hot.
So the air from the compressor is not only cooled by the heat exchangers themselves (situated in the manifold) but also by the walls of the manifolt itself (or rather: the walls of the manifold are not re-heating air coming from an intercooler )
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      10-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Well but once the water heats up to the temperature of the incoming air, you no longer get any cooling. At that point you might as well not have an intercooler at all.
So once an air to air system heats up you might as well not have one either; or is air to air exempt from heat soak?

Like GuidoK said, they all have a radiator to recirculate and cool the water, just like an air to air system cools air by passing through a front mount. There's just less (basically no) boost loss with an air to water system because of the lack of piping. Air to water is simply better.
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      10-17-2012, 04:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuidoK View Post
With air to water cooling you always have an extra radiator in the front to cool the water (and an extra water pump to circulate the water obviously).
It's a heat exchanger system, like an intercooler, only the transport medium is water.
Right. But here's the problem: the water is very efficient at pulling the heat out of the air, but air is very inefficient at pulling heat out of the water. So your water will slowly heat up and the intercooler is simply not able to bring the water even to ambient air temperature. So you will end up cooling your charge with warm water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rated M Roadster View Post
So once an air to air system heats up you might as well not have one either; or is air to air exempt from heat soak?

Like GuidoK said, they all have a radiator to recirculate and cool the water, just like an air to air system cools air by passing through a front mount. There's just less (basically no) boost loss with an air to water system because of the lack of piping. Air to water is simply better.
The air will always be cooled a set amount which is dependent on the ambient temperature. You don't have the problem of the medium collecting heat like in the case of a water/air intercooler.

And in a proper set up you should have little to no loss in boost from the piping. If you are losing boost, something is wrong. And in our cars, no one has done more than 10psi (I think that's ESS 650 but don't quote me on that), so it's kind of a non-issue.

From Bell Intercoolers (they make both air/air and liquid/air intercoolers):

Quote:
How can an air-to-air intercooler be more efficient than a water based intercooler?
There is an overwhelming quantity of ambient air available to cool an air-to-air core relative to the charge air thru the inside of the intercooler (The iced down water intercooler is the only exception to this argument.). At just 60 mph, with a 300 bhp engine at full tilt, the ambient air available to cool the intercooler is about ten times the amount of charge air needed to make the 300 hp. Whereas the water intercooler largely stores the heat in the water until off throttle allows a reverse exchange. Some heat is expelled from a front water cooler, but the temperature difference between the water and ambient air is not large enough to drive out much heat. Another way to view the situation is that ultimately the heat removed from the air charge must go into the atmosphere regardless of whether it's from an air intercooler or a water based intercooler. The problem with the water intercooler is that the heat has more barriers to cross to reach the atmosphere than the air intercooler. Like it or not, each barrier represents a resistance to the transfer of heat. The net result; more barriers, less heat transfer.


What are the relative merits of an air or water-cooled intercooler and which would suit my purposes best?
This depends on the circumstances. These circumstances are; street use, drag racing, or endurance racing (more than two minutes).

Street use: The air-to-air intercooler will prove superior in efficiency when sized properly.

Drag racing: The short spurt of power allows the iced water to cool the charge air to below ambient temperature.

Endurance racing: The air-to-air intercooler is clearly superior due to the shorter route of getting the heat out of the air charge and into the atmosphere. Endurance racing would preclude the use of ice water, thus negating the singular advantage of the water intercooler. Further, the air-to-air intercooler is (virtually, see comments below) maintenance free.
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      10-17-2012, 04:44 PM   #18
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beta: Use your google skills and look up how much more boost is lost through an air to air system versus and air to water system. An air to air system loses boost because of the volume of piping, not because there's a problem.
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      10-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #19
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I'm pretty sure I'm getting my full 8psi of boost from my gauge, since its taking the reading from my intake manifold, IIRC
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      10-17-2012, 05:54 PM   #20
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Does the air/air also lose some throttle response to the air/water due to piping? I'm super excited about the VF system, I'd just like to see some more user reports on how it stands up to track use from a heat perspective.

FWIW, Ford (GT, GT500), GM (ZR1, CTS-V), Audi (3.0T), and BMW (V8 turbo engines) are all using air/water systems.
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      10-17-2012, 05:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roffle Waffle
I'm pretty sure I'm getting my full 8psi of boost from my gauge, since its taking the reading from my intake manifold, IIRC
But if you had an air to water system on the same pulley, you'd be getting 9+ psi.
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      10-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rated M Roadster View Post
beta: Use your google skills and look up how much more boost is lost through an air to air system versus and air to water system. An air to air system loses boost because of the volume of piping, not because there's a problem.
Ok!

So google searches show that yes, there's a boost loss but usually it's made up by the reduction in temp. So roffle would gain 1psi, but after the water warms up, his charge temp would be higher, which means more heat soak.

Quote:
Don't intercoolers restrict the flow of air into the engine?

Yes. Any time there is an obstacle in the way of the air flowing into the engine (like an intercooler fin or louvre), a pressure loss will result. Today's intercoolers are very effective in minimizing this pressure loss so that the benefits obtained by cooling the discharge temperature normally outweigh the 1-2psi (approximate) loss in air pressure, which can be regained by running a smaller pulley and increasing the output of the supercharger.
From Supercharged! Design, Testing and Installation of Supercharger Systems

"When space permits and adequately sized air-to-air intercooler to be fitted and given access to decent airflow, it will always prove superior. The only excuse for a liquid-based intercooler is when severe space restrictions exist… or where an iced coolant can be used."
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