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View Full Version : SC'ing a CPO car- the decisions


PropellerHead
03-25-2003, 10:51 AM
This post (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=296251#post296251) draws some interesting conclusions about my choice whether or not to SC my CPO 540.

I paid what I felt like was a premium to get a CPO car from a dealer, and I like the peace of mind. I know that I'll still be able to get the little things- like the radiator, dash pixels, etc fixed when they go bad, but the engine and tranny are pretty big deals.

In discussing it with a friend, I came upon these choices:
Pay the $8,000 premium (over ESS) for a Dinan S/C and get an 18month 20K mile warranty on the engine and tranny (in case the ~$8,000 engine or tranny blow).
Put the $8,000 in the bank and wait for the ESS to blow my engione or tranny.
Wait until the 4yr/50k mile factory warranty is up in 1.5yrs.
Wait 3.5 years until my CPO is up.
It is neither a foregone conclusion nor my experience that SCing a car always results in it blowing up, but you have to admit that it's more likely to do so than one that just runs around N/A as it was designed.

I have already taken the 1st step: the Quaiffe LSD to put power down. I have just recently taken the 2nd step- bigger wheels which will allow the bigger brakes I want BEFORE I S/C. It will take some time. I am a very patient man, so time is on my side. Though I'll not likely last for 3.5 years. A realistic time frame is within the next year or so- and if it's close enough, I'll push to beyond the 4yr/50K warranty.

I post looking for other thoughts- not to question whether or not I *should* do one or the other. I can make my own descisions, but also appreciate anyone else's thoughts as they add to my own.

Greco
03-25-2003, 11:01 AM
The question I would be asking myself would be, do I really need the extra power from a s/c in my day-today and/or spirited driving?

Does the fun factor exceed the risk factor where you are willing to risk probably putting chances higher that your engine might go w/ forced induction?

Can you have more fun putting the money somewhere else?

PropellerHead
03-25-2003, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by Greco
The question I would be asking myself would be, do I really need the extra power from a s/c in my day-today and/or spirited driving?

Does the fun factor exceed the risk factor where you are willing to risk probably putting chances higher that your engine might go w/ forced induction?

Can you have more fun putting the money somewhere else? Excellent questions. Thanks for asking them.

I'll not split hairs between need and want. Driving a 540 defines my irrational decision for more power. I rode with Arjun in his SC'ed/Big Brake kit 540 and it was in a word: FUN! The power is intoxicating, and when he mashed the brakes, my fillings were nearly thrown into the windshield. It was months ago and I'm still buzzed. The car was so fast and yet could stop so well- it was the perfect balance of raw power and performance. I have lusted for it since.

Your second question is the one I wrestle with more than any other. Was it definately a lot of fun? Yes. Must my engine blow with forced induction? No. But what if it does? No fun. No fun at all. Back and forth, back and forth.

Can I have more fun putting it somehwere else? Well, Yeah- I'd like an '02 or '03 CPO M5. That would solve a lot of problems, but it would introduce one big one: In discussions last month, my wife said (and I quote), "You get a new car, and we get a divorce."

Loud and clear, honey... Loud and clear.

F1Crazy
03-25-2003, 06:50 PM
I know that depreciation of modifications is very rapid but I wonder how much of that $8K premium can you recover when selling the car in the future?

My guess is that it'll be easier to sell the car with Dinan mods as well. :dunno:

Nick325xiT 5spd
03-25-2003, 07:04 PM
What about getting a drivetrain warranty from ESS?

They offer one, as well.

jzdinan540i
03-25-2003, 07:20 PM
the cost to replace the 4.4 is going down everyday. I wouldn't worry about blowing a motor with Dinan's E39 kit, as I know 6 people that have it and not one has had serious mechanical issues. If you really want to play it on the safe side add an intercooler. Otherwise at 8lbs you should be just fine as a daily driver.
In case you want cheap power, just add some nitrous. There are a couple guys running 50 shots with no problems.
Like I said the motor is fairly reasonable to replace, get the added power and get some 14 inch floating rotors.
Or make it a challenge and try to keep in N/A.:D

Greco
03-25-2003, 07:24 PM
Or you could put $5K away, get a stoptech big brake upgrade for about $3K, wait until the factory warranty runs out, by then the Dinan S/C should have come down in price. Use the $5K plus the return and some of that vacation savings and get the s/c.

Now you have both!!

PS: I've learned that explaining to the wife that the changes are for better performance/reliability (stress on the reliability) and safety (ie: the brakes) works wonders.

jzdinan540i
03-25-2003, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by Greco
[ by then the Dinan S/C should have come down in price. [/B]

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: If anything it will go up in price. Dinan never lowers their pricing.

Ps: Brembo over stoptech

PropellerHead
03-26-2003, 09:01 AM
Originally posted by Greco
Or you could put $5K away, get a stoptech big brake upgrade for about $3K, wait until the factory warranty runs out, by then the Dinan S/C should have come down in price. Use the $5K plus the return and some of that vacation savings and get the s/c.

Now you have both!!The big brakes come before any of it. :) That's why I got the 18" wheels, last Sat. (BBS RKII's) I like to make sure I get the right parts before I get the go fast stuff. Originally posted by Greco
PS: I've learned that explaining to the wife that the changes are for better performance/reliability (stress on the reliability) and safety (ie: the brakes) works wonders. She's heard it all before. At this point, we've agreed that I don't tell her ab what I've spent or done. If she notices, she notices and keeps her trap shut. Not for everyone, but "don't ask don't tell" has worked for us so far.

PropellerHead
03-26-2003, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by jzdinan540i
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: If anything it will go up in price. Dinan never lowers their pricing. Surely at some point, SOMETIME in the future they'll simply have to lower prices. At sometime in the future somebody can get an E39 M5 (for example) for less than it would cost to supercharge a 540 E39, Dinan wouldn't be dumb enough to demand the premium they have now. I watched go fast parts for the '02 and the E30 slide as the car got further away from production and the number of vendors increased. I would expect the same from the E39.

"Never" and "always" belong only in the sentence:

When writing, always avoid using "never."

jzdinan540i
03-26-2003, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by PropellerHead
Surely at some point, SOMETIME in the future they'll simply have to lower prices. At sometime in the future somebody can get an E39 M5 (for example) for less than it would cost to supercharge a 540 E39, Dinan wouldn't be dumb enough to demand the premium they have now. I watched go fast parts for the '02 and the E30 slide as the car got further away from production and the number of vendors increased. I would expect the same from the E39.

"Never" and "always" belong only in the sentence:

When writing, always avoid using "never."

They will NEVER, ever lower their prices on these units. The demand is soft and they aren't mass produced. If you want a supercharger go buy one direct for 1200 bucks from Vortech and save a ton of money. Then again you'll have to rip off someone's kit for all the essential stuff.
As the cars get older the parts get more expensive. Eventually there will be no demand at all and all kits will be made to order, and yes Dinan charges a ton more for a one off.
The e39 is a dead car in Dinan's eyes. They will not focus anymore attention or resources to the car. The M5 SC will never make it to market.
When modding a car there is lot to be said for timing. There are a few us who were Dinans testers and unless you plan on keeping your car forever, don't put another penny into it.
I have over 40K into my 540 and it wont beat any of the new cars being made.
There just comes a point where the money spent for the power recieved is just silly.

PropellerHead
03-26-2003, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by jzdinan540i
There just comes a point where the money spent for the power recieved is just silly. I agree. You've helped me decide that ESS is the most likely candidate for my SC upgrade. But that is a decision most likely not made even this year- a bridge I will cross when I am ready. Perhaps in the next 18 mos, there will be more vendors, more competition- and lower prices. Perhaps not. If there is no good reason to spend money on the car, anyway there is certainly no reason to pay the premium for Dinan.

FWIW, I do not look at mods as an "investment." A mod is something *I* do to make my car more fun or better for me. I don't expect to get any more money out of the car with the mods. In fact, I think my potential buyer base gets smaller the more mods I do. This may not be true for all cases, but it helps me paint a more realistic picture on the value of my car throughout it's time with me.

jzdinan540i
03-26-2003, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by PropellerHead
I agree. You've helped me decide that ESS is the most likely candidate for my SC upgrade. But that is a decision most likely not made even this year- a bridge I will cross when I am ready. Perhaps in the next 18 mos, there will be more vendors, more competition- and lower prices. Perhaps not. If there is no good reason to spend money on the car, anyway there is certainly no reason to pay the premium for Dinan.

FWIW, I do not look at mods as an "investment." A mod is something *I* do to make my car more fun or better for me. I don't expect to get any more money out of the car with the mods. In fact, I think my potential buyer base gets smaller the more mods I do. This may not be true for all cases, but it helps me paint a more realistic picture on the value of my car throughout it's time with me.

You have hit the nail on the head. It is all about fun, and more importantly you do reduce the potential buyer pool. On the other hand, there are people out there that only buy modded cars, and look for signature series cars. There are many tuners who get premiums paid for their cars on the used market.
The Dinan V ESS battle is an old one. I don't think it is a fair comparison for ESS, as they might make a great product (afterall, how hard is it to buy a vortech supercharger and then copy part for part the entire Dinan kit that was sold to them). The problems with ESS are their HQ location, lack of customer support and serivice, missing parts and the worst install manual on earth. If you have an experienced mechanic none of the above matters. There are plenty of happy ESS customers.
I modded my car in Chicago, moved to Detroit and had no problems servicing my in warranty car. Dinan gets 2 thumbs up and has always taken care of me.
I will say you are one fo the few who are appraoching this correctly, because even if you don't add the SC you will still get a ton of use out of the brakes, you have good taste in rims as well.
Have you ever seen my car?

Greco
03-26-2003, 01:51 PM
Ha ha ha, I just check the Canada Dinan site, guess what the price of the S/C in Canada is.....

$19,792.

They seriously have to be kidding..... That's the cost of a 99/00 Audi A4 up here. They really are a serious joke these Dinan guys....

jzdinan540i
03-27-2003, 07:17 AM
Originally posted by Greco
Ha ha ha, I just check the Canada Dinan site, guess what the price of the S/C in Canada is.....

$19,792.

They seriously have to be kidding..... That's the cost of a 99/00 Audi A4 up here. They really are a serious joke these Dinan guys....

Actually an A4 is about 12K, S4 about 22K. Regardless, it is a ton of cash, and the vast majority of people installing this mod do so on a new car with a full warranty. Dinan supports the warranty, so it is worth the price, then some.
MOdding cars isn't for the weak or timid, and cutting corners or putting together a mixed salad only hurts the owner in the long run.
Dinan is a complete tuner, the others offering a SC like ESS offer little to no other mods.

Greco
03-27-2003, 09:29 AM
$12K US = $18K CDN so I'm pretty much in the ballpark with that one.

jzdinan540i
03-27-2003, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Greco
$12K US = $18K CDN so I'm pretty much in the ballpark with that one.

Canadian dollar worth that much? :D

Ågent99
03-27-2003, 11:07 AM
I thought I'd jump in here since I just installed an ESS S/C in a buddy's 2001 530iA. :D

Pretty much everything JZ said is right on the money with ESS:
(1) Crap for manuals :mad:
(2) Crap for customer support :tsk:
(3) Reasonable price compared to Dinan but dunno about ESS warranty :D

Yea, we had problems with the install but overall, it went together pretty smoothly. HOWEVER!!!!

My buddy had his car on the dyno and only realized 40 HP! He heard from the dyno shop that a guy with the 4.6l X5 and ESS S/C got the same: 40 HP. Somebody effed up somewhere. Needless to say, both gentlemen are pretty pissed off right now about the dyno results. :mad: :mad: :mad:

My buddy's car is great off the line (like a 540i) but from the mid-range on up there is nothing, nada, zippo.

My buddy heard another guy with a 530/ESS had 32 lb. injectors but he only had 24 lb. injectors. ESS also had different versions of s/w between these two cars but claims the 24 lb. is correct. They suspect the MAF being faulty now and I will help my buddy out with this (swapping ours) to see if it helps.

Customer service with ESS... :cry:

Chris

beewang
03-27-2003, 11:22 AM
I know JZ will disagree, but what Chris said about the ESS fiasco just confirmed my position, and that is Don't F*ck with it!!

If the cars is meant to have S/C w/ it they would've offered it.:tsk:

This is the reason why I unloaded my 2000 540ia Sports (aka Blue Thunder) and sit on my a$$ for a whole year before receiving my M5 allocation. Yeah it was painful, but I've got my M car;) And yes, its trouble free. No its not the fastest car out there (especially w/ the newer cars) but its fast enough that I'll never have to f*ck w/ it. EVER!!:D

beewang:bigpimp:

Ågent99
03-27-2003, 11:35 AM
We'll see what the MAF test shows...ESS says the MAF is very important in their s/w. :dunno:

My buddy wants the 32 lb. injectors. :rolleyes:

ESS also wants us to check the fuel pressure at idle and under load. They also have offered to reflash his s/w but man, you have to mail your **** to them and wait for them to send it back...what a pita! :mad:

Chris