This is the one and only engine modification I have done or wanted to do. This system uses a Vortech V-2 SQ centrifugal compressor
and a 3.5" pulley to provide 7psi of boost to the engine. New fuel maps, ignition maps, and larger injectors should provide a safe,
powerful, and reliable system with a rear wheel increase of about 100 horsepower.
I was able to complete this project in about 16 hours, however, I also did it over the course of about a week for a few hours each
night amidst taking all the pictures and stopping for breaks along the way. If you needed to, it is easily possible to
complete the installation non-stop in about 8 hours.
I recommend a fairly decent amount of mechanical knowledge and confidence with
your skills before tackling this adventure, it can get interesting, especially with the ESS-provided instructions. I will base this DIY
on the ESS manual's step by step instructions and fill in with additional pictures and information I gathered along the way.
1 - ESS SUPERCHARGER KIT
(ESS TUNING $5995.00 part #108-72U)
1 - Quart Power Steering Fluid
(LOCAL AUTO PARTS STORE $2.99)
Assorted Flathead/Phillips Screwdrivers
8mm, 10mm, 13mm, and 16mm Sockets
5mm and 6mm Allen Wrenches
3/16" and 3/8" Allen Wrenches
T20 and T25 Torx Drivers
3/16" Drill Bit and Drill
Soldering Iron & Solder
45psi Compressed Air source with Tire Fill Adapter (Schrader Valve)
Grinding Wheel or Hack Saw
Bowl, cup, or Catch Pan
CAUTION: Please take the necessary precautions during this procedure. Make sure the car is cold, not cool or warm. You will be working with
at least 3 engine fluids, none of which stay cool during operation. I recommend disconnecting the battery unless you need it. Wear eye
protection. Wear gloves if needed. Don't rush and don't force anything. It's good advice and I assume NO liability by you using these instructions. Let's begin!
I chose to remove the DME before I started this installation in order to get it shipped out ASAP, but you can skip Steps 1-3 and
wait until Step 48. If you decide to remove it now like I did, continue from here.
1. Disconnect your negative battery cable in the trunk with a 10mm socket and then WAIT about 5 minutes (Photo A). This
allows the discharge of any DME related circuitry/relays.
2. Open the hood and find the "E-Box" located right in front of the driver next to the brake fluid reservoir. Remove the four (4) bolts with a 5mm Allen Wrench (Photo B).
The box lid opens towards the fender and can be completely removed if you snap the hinges apart straight up. It made it easier for me.
3. Inside the "E-Box" you will find the DME. It has 5 plugs attached to it (Photo C). Pull the locking tabs up and disconnect
the plugs. There are retaining tabs behind the DME, press these back and pull the DME straight up. It should come out pretty easily.
Send this back to ESS to get reprogrammed.
NOTE ON DME SHIPPING:
I sent my DME back to ESS via FedEx International Overnight. It cost me about $65 and arrived in Norway two days later. ESS had it
reprogrammed and back in the mail within 24 hours. The return trip took 4 days, so overall it was out of my hands about a week.
ESS STEP #1 (I will note the ESS instructions in italics from now on)
Remove factory air filter box, MAF, and upper intake hose.
4. To remove the airbox there are 5 clips to detatch (Photo D - Red Circles). Lift the airbox cover and pop the 2 silver clips
off the MAF (Mass Airflow Sensor) to the rear of the box. Remove the airbox cover and filter element.
5. Remove the (2) 10mm screws from the airbox (Photo E - Red Circles). You can now pull the rear of the lower airbox up and out.
You will most likely pull the small front air duct out with it, this is OK, you wont need the airbox or ducting anymore.
6. Using a phillips screwdriver, loosen the hose clamps on the MAF and remove it from the intake tube. Use a thin flathead screwdriver to get under
the harness clip (Photo F) and pry up. This will release the harness connector. Remove the MAF from the car and store it someplace safe and clean.
7. Pull the vacuum connection free (Photo G - Blue Circle) and then, using a phillips screwdriver, remove the hose clamps
farther up the intake hose (Photo G - Red Circles). You will not reuse this hose.
8. I took this point to stuff a clean shop towel into the intake opening to keep dirt out.
ESS STEP #2
Remove top radiator cover, fan shield, and fan assembly.
9. The "top radiator cover" is the air intake feed box sitting above the radiator. There are 3 push rivets which can be removed
with a small screwdriver and good fingers (Photo H).
10. My car is a manual, so here is the procedure for removing the fan and shroud. Remove the T20 Torx holding the fan assembly to
the front support (Photo I - Red Arrow). Disconnect the two electrical harnesses (Photo I - Red Circle). Remove the one pop rivet from
the right hand side near the coolant reservoir tank (Photo I - Yellow Arrow). Then, simply pull up on the entire assembly and it slides
out as one piece. NOTE: If you have the Steptronic transmission, I know there is a special tool to lock the fan in place so you can
remove it, however, I am not familiar with the process so, unfortunately, I can't go into details.
ESS STEP #3
Remove left headlight and turn signal light.
11. The turn signal lamp can be removed according to my BMW CLEAR FRONT TURN
SIGNALS page. The headlamp is held in place with (4) x 8mm screws. The top two are plainly visible (Photo J - Red Circles). The
bottom two are hidden behind the painted trim beneath the headlamp housing. This trim snaps out starting with the inside edge and
can be removed (Photo K - Red Circle). Behind the trim, you can remove the remaining 8mm screws and, after disconnecting the 3 wiring
harness connections, remove the headlamp assembly.
ESS STEP #4
Remove oil dipstick tube and replace with supplied ESS dipstick tube. Bolt is installed in step 5.
12. This is not fun. Remove the oil dipstick. Look down the tube and about halfway down you can see 13mm bolt holding the
dipstick tube to the engine mount. Remove this bolt (Photo L - Red Circle). Right behind this bracket, remove the wiring harness and I
believe a vacuum line clipped into the bracket. Then, (here's the fun part), reach all the way down to the base of the dipstick tube. There you will find a drain hose attached
to the tube, pull it off. You can now pull straight up (with maybe a twist or two) and remove the dipstick.
13. If all worked out well, the O-ring should still be on the dipstick (Photo M). If not, put a finger down in the hole where
the dipstick drains into the engine and pull it out. This O-ring needs to be transferred to the new dipstick.
14. Move the O-ring to the new ESS-supplied dipstick (I like to coat any reused o-rings with a thin layer of engine
oil). Also, move the harness clips to the new dipstick (Photo N). Carefully put the ESS tube into the car. It took me a few tries
to get it to seat all the way, but it will literally "pop" into place. Reattach
the lower drain hose and fasten the wiring harness/vacuum lines back into place.
ESS STEP #5
Install supercharger bracket w/ spacer and new bolt 8x30mm in the same hole as the dipstick is secured. Do not tighten bolt
until main supercharger bracket is attached and aligned in step 23.
15. Find the angled supercharger bracket and 8x30mm bolt. The spacer on the bolt goes between the dipstick mount and the
supercharger bracket. Using a 6mm Allen wrench, install the bracket and tighten the bolt finger tight. You will need to adjust
it as needed later (Photo O).
ESS STEP #6
Unbolt servo oil canister and remove outer hose, use a bottle to drain fluid.
16. Use a 13mm socket to remove the two bolts holding the servo oil canister (power steering fluid reservoir) in place (Photo P
- Red Circles). You will only reuse one of the bolts.
17. BMW uses an interesting pinch-style hose clamp on these power steering hoses. Using a catch pan or bowl, you can actually
pull off the forward hose (closest to the radiator) by hand. Drain the tank and discard the used fluid safely (Photo Q). Once it is
empty, completely remove the piece of hose you disconnected, you won't reuse it.
ESS STEP #7
Remove old canister bracket and install supplied ESS bracket. Install hose extension according to picture. The tank will be attached
in a later step
18. The ESS supplied bracket is basically the same as the BMW one (in fact, I think it started out as a BMW part), except they
drilled out and removed one of the support legs. Using a 10mm socket, remove the bolt holding the BMW bracket on your reservoir and use
it to attach the ESS bracket to the tank.
19. The ESS-supplied hose has a 90 degree elbow on one end. This is the end that will attach to the bottom of the tank. The
purpose of this hose is to extend the feed line around the back of the supercharger. I used a pair of diagonal/wire cutters to clamp
the new hose back onto the tank using ESS's supplied clamps (Photo R). It actually worked very well.
20. The other end of the power steering line extension wraps back towards the intake and under to the connection near the
headlamp location. Insert the ribbed end into the line and clamp.
ESS STEP #8
Remove oil pressure sensor, replace with oil pressure divider and reinstall oil pressure switch in the divider, route oil pressure hose
according to picture.
21. The oil pressure sensor is located behind the oil filter housing (Photo S - Sensor unscrewed a bit for clarity). The wiring harness
comes off in the same fashion as the MAF sensor in step 6. Using a 19mm wrench, remove the oil pressure sensor.
22. ESS supplies a large square oil diverter. It has a large hole drilled straight through and two smaller holes drilled halfway. The
large hole is for the supplied banjo bolt and attaches to the engine. Be sure to use the copper washers on either side of the block
(Photo T). Using a 9/16" wrench, insert and tighten Vortech supply line to the upper hole, the pressure sensor goes back in the lower
hole. Be sure to make good tight connections here, but don't strip the aluminum. I had a leak here and it was no fun trying to get
back to this location after we were all done.
NOTE: In Photo U, you can see how I moved the diverter block for my VDO gauge sender to the lower hole, this is where your stock
sensor should go if you don't use an aftermarket oil pressure sender.
PAGE 2 - CONTINUED INSTALLATION