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Turbo vs S14


JackF

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After a two year resto, I brought the turbo home from Matt's on Friday. It is incredibly fine. They are such a good shop. I'm delighted with the quality of work done and very pleased at the way the relationship worked from start to finish. Given what is involved, that is very important. There are a lot of people with the skill to do high quality work who don't execute. You have to have the heart to execute it and Matt and his young guns have it. It was fun!

There are many who want the S14 conversion in an '02, and yes, I have counted myself amongst them, but in driving this turbo'd M10 I think it worthwhile to kinda push that option. I know that when Korman finished my motor and I was driving it for the first time, he said, kinda quizzically, "I don't know why we don't build more of these".

My motor runs the 6.9:1 cr with the factory dished Mahles. Stock, balanced Con rods. 8-8.5 # boost on the Garrett T3. Stock sodium filled exhaust valves. The factory manifold is still available. To assist cooling the E36 piston skirt oil spray was added. It comes onto boost at about 1,800rpm and is all in in the low twos and it just flys. By 5500 rpm it is time to shift and you have had a heck of a quick run. No boom, no bluster, completely non-plussed power. You can be in third, fourth or fifth gear on the highway cruising along at 3k rpm push on the gas and you are just gone, again, smoothly, quietly and in a hell of a hurry. These specs represent the lower end of the turboed M10. Pat will expand on the wilder side of higher boost/cr performance. Based upon my motor, his must be just outrageous. My motor dynoed at 190hp before the IC was added.

It is my understanding that the S14, while highly desirable, is expensive to source, build and is high rpm power. As well, it has a reputation of being kinda buzzy and not smooth in operation. I don't know if the later points are dependent upon the installation or not. I cannot criticize this highly desireable mod, but I also can't imagine a more "driveable" hi performance M10 than this turbo motor I have.

The key to the turbo motor is cooling, oiling, intercooling and how you map the fuel. Fueling was the whole issue with the k-fisch, which kinda put me into my own personal twilight zone, but I think that with Megasquirt you could build a very high performing, durable motor for relatively short money compared to the S14, given the acqusition cost of the S14.

Any opinions on this topic?

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A Korman built turbo sounds amazing to me. Check out Pinepig's project blog for a detailed home built turbo m10. He seems to be very happy with the setup. Chris

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i really love my s14 car but it wasnt a cheap endeavor. i have 3 02's here. 2 m10 powered cars, both with 40 side drafts and the s14 car. they are totally different cars. the s14 changes the character of the car. not in a good or bad way, just different. i imagine a turbo would too. i think the only feasible solution is to have one of each

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Sounds like an amazing car, I think now that Korman figured out the bugs, more people would be interested in that option, especially the purists like me that believe the 2002's heart and soul is the M10. I guess I have to wait to see it in a few years around the Grass Valley area.

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That is an interesting question. I have driven a few factory turbos, but none that have been sorted and improved to the level of yours. I have owned a couple of s14 powered 02's along with a couple of modified M10 powered cars and a stock tii or two. It would seem to me that 190 hp is a really good match for the car and would retain the balance. My sense is that there are modifications that can be made (bigger bars, springs, lsd, 390 diffs, cams, carbs, etc.) that enhance the nature of the car but do not fundamentally change it. I think you can do pretty much whatever you want to an M10 and not cross the line. I do believe that the s14 conversion changes the fundamental nature of the 2002. The S14 has a very different power band and creates a different level of vibration. Mine (2.5 evo3)makes 265 hp and that requires a bunch of serious mods. It is a very cool little hot rod, but some of the inherrent nature of the car is lost (not necessarily bad, just different). The S14 conversion, if done right, is extremely expensive. S14 rebuilds can get beyond 20k very easily and the engines (all M engines) require a lot of maintenance. For that reason alone, cheaper alts are attractive. As for me, as much as I am enjoying the new s14 car, a 2002 that is the state of the tuner's art in period is still very attractive and I expect to have another at some point. A while back the E28 guys tried to put together the "ultimate E28 test drive" which was going to end up as an artice for Bimmer. The plans were to include a Euro M5, US M5, and tuner cars from Alpina, Schnitzer, and Hartge. The idea was to document the differences and profile the driving experiences, not to have a competition. We could never get all the players in one spot to pull it off. It would be interesting to see the same thing with 02's. Perhaps stg2 cars, A4 cars, turbos, and S14's. There should be plenty of each at V@V in 09. Can't wait to see your car Jack. Tim

More former BMW's than it is possible to list.

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Yeah, turbos are good.

They aren't all that cheap, though, as the plumbing and development's

pretty involved.

I'm surprised that you've got such a traditional low- compression setup-

the stock 8:1 ratio seems like a good starting place,

then add 10-12 lbs of intercooled boost, starting at maybe 2500.

Megasquirt, baby!

But that's the cool thing about 'tuning' with turbos-

you really can build power anywhere you want it, just like cam design.

It would be neat (but difficult) to do a 'turbo starter kit' that had all

the hard- to- design and build parts, then let the individual nutcase

build her(or his) own car from there. But that's the Honduhh world, innit?

t

"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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I love my s14 powered 02, but it's not a car to be driven slowly, and isn't what you'd describe as relaxed. I'm sure a turbo 02 could be both - wild and relaxed whether you're on or off the throttle. But I simply prefer NA power.

I think the inherent draw of the s14 has been the motorsport heritage and 200 reliable horses out of the box with no tuning and no imponderables. M-Racer said that all M powered engines require a lot of maintenance - in my experience and from what I've read the s14 is very much the opposite. The basics of maintenance will keep it singing for 200k without issues, which is another big plus point.

For an every day driver I'd love Norms 2.5 stroker m10, but with megasquirt...

Nick

ps I wonder how many fewer m2's would have been built if BMW didn't design such a cool cam cover for the s14?

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As far as development of my engine, both Ray and I did research on the Garrett conversion. A simple mod. Bolt it on in place of the kkk and go. That was the intial intention and all the other specs were original factory turbo, such as the 6.9:1 cr. Didn't quite work out that way. The fuelling was the issue and that is where the development work was required. We had to retain the K-fisch but it was a pitn getting it all resolved.

The M10 is ideal for the turbo. The issue is, how do you feed it. I wouldn't know where to begin with an efi mod but if a hand knows how to deal with the injection development the motor itself can handle it very well. The factory quit making the turbo because the original injection could not feed the motor and they melted motors. The original turbo project engineer, whom we tracked down confirmed that. Andy, that is why you were always "concerned" when driving your turbo. You knew if was kinda like riding the sharp edge of the knife. Oh, man, I cannot wait to see how your wagon turns out. The lines are excellent. It is just right.

As far as the plumbing goes, the factory manifold is the key, or at lest one of them. The turbo is carried down low. Feed the intake similar to the factory, or put an IC in front of the radiator and feed the intake from there.

As far as increasing the cr and boost, sure you can, but with the factory spec, 6.9:1 and 8-8.5 # boost the car is an incredible drive. Again, it is smooth, responsive and powerful. Having added the intercooler I could increase the boost on my car, but there is no reason to do so. I just don't think more power is necessary or desirable. 190-200 hp is pretty impressive in a 2100# car.

One of these days, I'll dip into the pile of Korman receipts, something I asiduously avoid doing, to gather up some part numbers for critical components and list them, to assist others if they choose to go there.

One of the things Korman said in the early discussions was there was notneed to go with a lot of exotic components. The factory pistons ere fine, stock rods are very strong. The lower end can handle it. Be careful with the head. You save a great deal of money this way and all the acton is lower rpms. You are simply not going to be carrying hi rpm.

What Ray, the consumate salesman, said on my maiden voyage in the turbo was this. "Jack, I don't know about the new M3's but the E30 and E36's had best stay clear of you in this thing" Was it part of Ray's pitch?Certainly, but he is not far off, if at all.

I'm with Blunt, eveyone should have at least one of each!

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I love my s14 powered 02, but it's not a car to be driven slowly, and isn't what you'd describe as relaxed. I'm sure a turbo 02 could be both - wild and relaxed whether you're on or off the throttle. But I simply prefer NA power.

I think the inherent draw of the s14 has been the motorsport heritage and 200 reliable horses out of the box with no tuning and no imponderables. M-Racer said that all M powered engines require a lot of maintenance - in my experience and from what I've read the s14 is very much the opposite. The basics of maintenance will keep it singing for 200k without issues, which is another big plus point.

For an every day driver I'd love Norms 2.5 stroker m10, but with megasquirt...

Nick

ps I wonder how many fewer m2's would have been built if BMW didn't design such a cool cam cover for the s14?

Nick, That is terrific to hear that you have gotten 200k from the s14. I just spent 8k to refresh the one in my E30 M3 with 75k. I have had a few and none of them went more than 100k without some serious work (even with meticulous maintenance). That is also my experience with the M88 and S38 mills. Tim

More former BMW's than it is possible to list.

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Nick, That is terrific to hear that you have gotten 200k from the s14. I just spent 8k to refresh the one in my E30 M3 with 75k. I have had a few and none of them went more than 100k without some serious work (even with meticulous maintenance). That is also my experience with the M88 and S38 mills. Tim

blimey - that's the first time of heard such few miles without major work. Which is not so terrific.

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My turbo 02 is totaly quiet and civilised when driven moderately.

It behaves like a normal car, normal beign relative...

I tweaked every single aspect of the turbo set-up to have a nice broad power band.

I have several turbo housings and different a/r so i did try them all and found the perfect combo to fit my needs.

i prefer a very small responsive turbo rather than a huge one that makes a lot of lag but more power, but at the end breaks everything in the drivetrain.

With the turbo power, the car become a totaly different machine. The torque of the turbo when it kicks is not reproductible with a normaly aspirated engine at the same rpms. Thats what i like, i dont need to rev the hell out of it to have a lot of fun. I can keep it below 5krpm and it is already scary fast.

i like the fact that i can play with turbo housing and boost ## very easely.

I can still put a mid size housing to release few ponies on the top of the rpm without changing anything else. The boost # raise by itself with the bigger housing by 4-6psi and frees up the exhaust path a bit.

The biggest housing i have makes the car totaly undriveable. It makes stupid amount of hp at 6krpm, it realy feels like the ring gear into the diff or a whell will fly out and kill a pedestrian. In order to keep it that way i would need to stiffen so much things...

2006 530xi, 1974 2002 Automatic summer DD
1985 XR4TI, 22psi ±300hp
1986 yota pick-up, 2006 Smart FT diesel

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Nick, That is terrific to hear that you have gotten 200k from the s14. I just spent 8k to refresh the one in my E30 M3 with 75k. I have had a few and none of them went more than 100k without some serious work (even with meticulous maintenance). That is also my experience with the M88 and S38 mills. Tim

blimey - that's the first time of heard such few miles without major work. Which is not so terrific.

Same experience with my 85 Euro M5 (M88) which got a redo at 100k. I do not know anyone who thinks the M10, M20, M30 engines are not more trouble free than the M variants. I do think it is slendid that you are getting that kind of life out of an S14, just not my experience.

More former BMW's than it is possible to list.

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