N54 water to air intercooler street build

RSL

Sergeant
Aug 11, 2017
345
I've sourced an OE S55 charge cooler. Now going to order BMS S55 inlets and outlets and see what it takes to make them compatible with the N54 environment. You guys keep up the good work here on the control aspects!
Good luck. If at all possible, leave height clearance for the engine cover on the outlets. Even if it needs to be modified on the sides, I'd personally rather have that then none at all.
 

[email protected]

Lieutenant
Free Vendor
Dec 7, 2016
610
St. Louis, MO USA
Good luck. If at all possible, leave height clearance for the engine cover on the outlets. Even if it needs to be modified on the sides, I'd personally rather have that then none at all.
Understood, fit and finish is also very important to myself. From what I can see, at least without not exploring alternative (and unlikely) entire valve cover swaps, is that the best decision would be to clearance the OE engine cover much like the S55 has done. While the 740i engine cover is also a candidate, it seems like it would not fair any better than the N54 cover... so may as well stick with the N54 cover if at all possible. In short the native N54 engine cover would be involved, but it would need to be clearanced significantly the process, well worth it IMO.

Rob
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: RSL

aus335iguy

Lieutenant
Nov 18, 2017
915
So its starting to look like a commercial article is in our future. Personally i think a kit with most of the bits you need would be great. Price would need to be low though.
 

[email protected]

Lieutenant
Free Vendor
Dec 7, 2016
610
St. Louis, MO USA
So its starting to look like a commercial article is in our future. Personally i think a kit with most of the bits you need would be great. Price would need to be low though.
Don't think this is going to be a low dollar project, regardless lol. If that is what the consumer is looking for, they probably should look into a standard A2A VRSF/Phoenix racing IC setup.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Panzerfaust

Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
I'm not sure if any of you looking to do this have seen This aftermarket S55 cooler from Forge, but it has it's own dedicated coolant reservoir as well as a highest-point fill cap to prevent air bubbles, cast end tanks, and doesnt *look like* itd take up much more physical space despite more cooling surface area from the comparison pics.

The reservoir may make things easier for retrofitting purposes and the end tanks + fill cap location could prevent headaches in making sure the system is running correctly so the only other R&D will be of the N54 connections and potentially the WP power depending how you want it to run.

@bantam if you havent already ordered a new cooler maybe check this out. And if someone could quote my post for @[email protected] so he could maybe look into it too since he has me blocked, but I'm all for pushing the platform forward regardless of vendor or passed personal issues. I know Rob tends to prefer OE stuff but this could at the very least help with the initial R&D phase I think, since it uses stock mounting points but has some additional goodies that would make things easier!
 

RSL

Sergeant
Aug 11, 2017
345
I'm not sure if any of you looking to do this have seen This aftermarket S55 cooler from Forge, but it has it's own dedicated coolant reservoir as well as a highest-point fill cap to prevent air bubbles, cast end tanks, and doesnt *look like* itd take up much more physical space despite more cooling surface area from the comparison pics.

The reservoir may make things easier for retrofitting purposes and the end tanks + fill cap location could prevent headaches in making sure the system is running correctly so the only other R&D will be of the N54 connections and potentially the WP power depending how you want it to run.

@bantam if you havent already ordered a new cooler maybe check this out. And if someone could quote my post for @[email protected] so he could maybe look into it too since he has me blocked, but I'm all for pushing the platform forward regardless of vendor or passed personal issues. I know Rob tends to prefer OE stuff but this could at the very least help with the initial R&D phase I think, since it uses stock mounting points but has some additional goodies that would make things easier!
Quoted. That's a nice setup either for use or design reference.

My first thought on the suggestion of a produced kit for N54 was that the M tax is super strong on S55 aftermarket parts and what might be nice is a parts kit for plumbing/control/possibly exchanger and let people source cores/exchangers how they want since those will cause the largest swings in total cost.
 

[email protected]

Lieutenant
Free Vendor
Dec 7, 2016
610
St. Louis, MO USA
The reason we prefer OE S55 charge cooler is for modeling purposes- certainly not because we feel it is the best for performance.

Most of the aftermarket does the same, models aftermarket parts (ie. charge coolers) around fitment of the OE style plumbing; so using an OE charge cooler to model for outlets (for needed adaptations into the N54 environment) is typically the most ideal way to go for the best possible all around fitments for all aftermarket charge coolers of which that were designed to work around OE style outlets.

Now if there is a charge cooler that has its own distinctive outlet setup- chances are it has offered its own outlet kit to work with it accordingly in its own S55 environment and that would likely be more of a one-off as far production goes. However it does not appear that even the Forge unit is like this so it all seems like a moot point to discuss, and modeling with the OE charge cooler would still be the ideal method as had planned (as it should encompass most if not all of the aftermarket S55 air charge coolers as well).

Rob
 
Last edited:

The Convert

Lieutenant
Jun 4, 2017
966
The reason we prefer OE S55 charge cooler is for modeling purposes- certainly not because we feel it is the best for performance.

Most of the aftermarket does the same, models aftermarket parts (ie. charge coolers) around fitment of the OE style plumbing; so using an OE charge cooler to model for outlets (for needed adaptations into the N54 environment) is typically the most ideal way to go for the best possible all around fitments for all aftermarket charge coolers of which that were designed to work around OE style outlets.

Now if there is a charge cooler that has its own distinctive outlet setup- chances are it has offered its own outlet kit to work with it accordingly in its own S55 environment and that would likely be more of a one-off as far production goes. However it does not appear that even the Forge unit is like this so it all seems like a moot point to discuss, and modeling with the OE charge cooler would still be the ideal method as had planned (as it should encompass most if not all of the aftermarket S55 air charge coolers as well).

Rob
I’d love to see one with a single inlet too...
 

Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
The reason we prefer OE S55 charge cooler is for modeling purposes- certainly not because we feel it is the best for performance.

Most of the aftermarket does the same, models aftermarket parts (ie. charge coolers) around fitment of the OE style plumbing; so using an OE charge cooler to model for outlets (for needed adaptations into the N54 environment) is typically the most ideal way to go for the best possible all around fitments for all aftermarket charge coolers of which that were designed to work around OE style outlets.

Now if there is a charge cooler that has its own distinctive outlet setup- chances are it has offered its own outlet kit to work with it accordingly in its own S55 environment and that would likely be more of a one-off as far production goes. However it does not appear that even the Forge unit is like this so it all seems like a moot point to discuss, and modeling with the OE charge cooler would still be the ideal method as had planned (as it should encompass most if not all of the aftermarket S55 air charge coolers as well).

Rob
For sure, I understand the use of the OE cooler just for making sure outlet fitment would be right if your plan is to mass-produce outlets/charge pipes for it. I was just thinking as far as making sure the entire system works that the Forge setup might solve some potential problems that anyone planning to run the exchanger on their car full-time might run in to.

Regardless, itd be nice if you end up making some PnP outlets for the S55 setup. I hope you'll offer them in a form that would fit competitors turbos out of the box too though - I know you have a new larger cast turbo coming soon too though I dont know the outlet size, but chances are most looking to purchase an S55 setup will be running larger outlet sized turbos (1K/S3s, GC line, etc) so something other than the factory style connection might be ideal.
 

bantam

Specialist
Nov 20, 2017
77
I'm not sure if any of you looking to do this have seen This aftermarket S55 cooler from Forge, but it has it's own dedicated coolant reservoir as well as a highest-point fill cap to prevent air bubbles, cast end tanks, and doesnt *look like* itd take up much more physical space despite more cooling surface area from the comparison pics.

The reservoir may make things easier for retrofitting purposes and the end tanks + fill cap location could prevent headaches in making sure the system is running correctly so the only other R&D will be of the N54 connections and potentially the WP power depending how you want it to run.

@bantam if you havent already ordered a new cooler maybe check this out. And if someone could quote my post for @[email protected] so he could maybe look into it too since he has me blocked, but I'm all for pushing the platform forward regardless of vendor or passed personal issues. I know Rob tends to prefer OE stuff but this could at the very least help with the initial R&D phase I think, since it uses stock mounting points but has some additional goodies that would make things easier!

I do like the aftermarket versions, but I was able to pick up a used stock cooler for $200, so I am headed down that path for now. The Ali-express $600 (CSF?) looks to be a pretty good bargain for some users, but the Forge at the $2000 price tag is into the price point that an interested party could design/build their own.

I would probably go ahead and upgrade turbos before going down the aftermarket charge cooler path.

EDIT:

FYI to anyone buying a charge cooler, especially the used ones: make time to immediately pressure test the cooler. The used OEM core that I just received had a crack in the plastic housing, AND the coolant circuit was leaking into the charge path :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

I presume that these are generally coming out of totaled cars, so buyer beware! At least the first one that I got looked OK, this thing should obviously have never been shipped out.
 
Last edited:

Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
I do like the aftermarket versions, but I was able to pick up a used stock cooler for $200, so I am headed down that path for now. The Ali-express $600 (CSF?) looks to be a pretty good bargain for some users, but the Forge at the $2000 price tag is into the price point that an interested party could design/build their own.

I would probably go ahead and upgrade turbos before going down the aftermarket charge cooler path.

EDIT:

FYI to anyone buying a charge cooler, especially the used ones: make time to immediately pressure test the cooler. The used OEM core that I just received had a crack in the plastic housing, AND the coolant circuit was leaking into the charge path :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

I presume that these are generally coming out of totaled cars, so buyer beware! At least the first one that I got looked OK, this thing should obviously have never been shipped out.
I get where you're coming from too - that's quite the hefty price tag no matter how you look at it, but it is also an all-in-one solution aside from the charge piping. Forge also mentions that they were seeing a lot of cracked heat exchangers which is why they built it the way they did, so I'd just as easily assume that the plastic end tanks dont like increased boost + heat cycles + lots of miles and end up cracking fairly often just like our stock FMICs.

If a great condition exchanger could be sourced for $200 then that's a no brainers for a DIY person, but if you're going to end up paying anything close to retail for a perfect shape one I personally would want to go with one of the better, upgraded options because I'm anal about stuff like that - hence why I linked the Forge one, on top of the other stuff I mentioned.
 

bantam

Specialist
Nov 20, 2017
77
I was searching for another cooler on ebay and found this gem:

"CORNER HAS BEEN REPAIRED (VIEW PICS TO SEE CONDITION)"
26930
 

[email protected]

Lieutenant
Free Vendor
Dec 7, 2016
610
St. Louis, MO USA
Bummer on the replacement being buggered up bantam, hopefully you can find another in short order that is in good shape. There has to be a ton of them floating around as good take-offs...

Anyway I received the OE S55 charge cooler and am in awwwee how it just drops right on the N54 intake manifold. Super cool, and just as stated by the OP.

Couple things:
1) Does anyone have a complete BMW OE parts list of all the lines/etc etc that is needed to get this thing completely setup from a coolant perspective?
2) Is the control all figured out?

Trying to figure out if customizing the lines will also be necessary, or if the OE stuff can be used. Same with the outlets and j-pipe, want to get things on order but don't want to put too much effort into it if the control aspect just is not quite there yet either.

Thanks,
Rob
 
Top