Project F80: Partnering with Ghassan and RB


Nov 5, 2016
Just realized that I never posted this project on Spoolstreet!
Here are all the milestones to this point.

Posting the I am excited to announce that I am partnering with both Ghassan Autmotive and RB Turbo! Our goals? To put together a car that can run 9's one weekend and then do a road course the very next weekend. We are targeting 700whp on this 1k capable build.

Like many of my stories, this one starts off with a little bit of frustration. While I knew the crank hub could be an issue, I was starting to wonder if it was a 1 in a million type of thing (only hear the bad on the internets) or was I destined for failure. Turns out, it is indeed a real thing.

After running the car FBO w PI for about 2 years, on 11/26 my crank hub finally gave up the ghost. I was still a bit surprised at this because of a few factors.
1: 2018 Comp DCT with 10k on the clock
2: The kick down switch was NEVER used
3: Auto mode has NEVER been used
4: When this failed I was only doing a 3/4 throttle pull up a hill to pass traffic and when I came to a stop I got the dreaded vanos faults that would not clear (13E201 and 3F2012)

So onward and upward!

Current drivetrain mods:
JB4, MHD Full e85 BEF, Thor GTS Flashed, Fuel-it! PI with upgraded feed line kit using 750 injectors, BMS charge and J *****, BMS intakes, Phoenix intercooler, VRSF **'s, and ACF exhaust.

Upgrades being performed by Ghassan Automotive:
Forged rods, pistons, APR studs, Max PSI pinned hub, full teardown and rebuild.

RB Turbo will be supplying us with is first set of S55 hybrids (so happy to be working with Rob again)! Rob and I set the N54 twin turbo record a few years back with the first 10 second pass (also in partnership with Fuel It!). While this only lasted what seemed like a minute, I feel it was a big step in helping pushing the platform forward.

Car was picked up on 12/5/19 and should be there on 12/7/19

Goal is to have the car back up and running in Febuary of 2020!

Car arrived at Ghassan!

Thanks again to Ghassan for taking the time to do a walk around and take photos to show that my girl made it there without issues.

Minor update for the build but major update for me.
I knew my build was not going to start until after PRI in Indy this week and Ghassan invited me up to meet him and discuss the project. I have to say, I was impressed with how professional and polite he was with me and everyone he spoke with.

Engine is out!

We have added CSF to the team and they have given me a great deal on their heat exchanger!

We are just about done collecting parts and should have the turbos late January - early February.
The car is on the rack and Ghassan will he removing the engine in the next couple days.

Parts list being installed:Mahle Pistons
Ghassan 1200whp rods
ARP bolt/studs
MaxPSI crank hub
King main bearings
ACL rod bearings
CSF Heat exchanger
RB stage 2 turbos

RB Stage 2 Turbos announcement!
Some teaser shots of the upcoming S55 RB Twos. Keep in mind these are not designed to be the end all be all setup, and we know 100% are not going to take down the competitions peak numbers, and this is 100% not our concern.

These were designed to be the perfect all around setup, the jack of all trades if you will, for the customer who wants considerably more but really doesn't want to deal with all of the crap that comes with going too crazy modifying engines beyond their intended specs (we realize the OP built his motor but he also wants to mainly bulletproof it for track use and really wanted something that was still responsive as well).

The big thing with these is that we really needed to make a custom spec'd turbine wheel, to allow for a perfect fitment into these S55 turbine housings, as such this is NOT a TD04L or TD04HL as neither fits the housing properly. This custom turbine wheel is somewhere in between those wheel sizes however is closer in size to the TD04L than the TD04HL, thus making them a better fit to be our S55 RB Twos.

At some point later we will make a S55 RB Twos Plus, that will entail another custom larger (closer to TD04HL sizing) turbine that will likely create much more lag and it may not be for everyone, unfortunately this is always the trade off for bigger power. It also will use a considerably larger compressor that will certainly not work with the OE front plastic inlet anymore, so we will have to do something entirely custom for that. No big deal there as we've had solutions dreamt up for it for years now, but this is where we are starting out and we really like where it is going...

All in all this setup has been designed to make what most people are going to want, authentic OE quality and hand built in the USA with premium top tier balancing equipment, 100+whp power potential yet retain as close to OE turbo transient response as possible, complete and packaged with port matched inlets, all at an insanely great price that is really going to shake up this platform.


RB Turbos Completed and shipped to Ghassan!
S55 RB Twos project completed and shipping today. Spent a lot of time diligently customizing, machining, and building these units; we expect one hell of a solid all around setup. Here are some more pics for you all to enjoy.











RB Stage 2 Turbos delivered to Ghassan!

Ghassan started reassembly of the car!


Nov 5, 2016

Between the world going into lockdown and trying to sort through a couple issues, things have taken a bit more time than expected.

Ghassan was and has been in contact with me throughout the build, fully transparent, and friendly to work with. They found that the timing had slipped about 20 degrees due to the spun hub.

Terry at BMS has been amazing to work with as always. He went above and beyond in trying to sort through the project. He has been incredibly helpful and responsive.

Anyways, update time!

Install completed and first startup video received!!! What an exciting day!
Then oil change after idling for a few minutes.

First Start
Ghassan / RB Build F80 First Start - YouTube

Cold Start
Ghassan / RB F80 Cold Start sounds - YouTube

3/4-3/13 - Ghassan put miles on the car for break in, gradually upping the boost and doing oil changes.

3/14 - Dyno Day!


Car was really heat soaked from running the old fuel through the system so no real data was gained here. We did see timing looking off but assumed that was due to the high IATs.

3/22 - Back on the dyno.

Having some issues with what seemed to be false knock?
Pulled from the dyno, inspected build, fresh e85, and installed new plugs.

3/24 - Back on the dyno

Really more of the same but with added fuel is seems a little better.
Unfortunately Oklahoma City went into shut down due to the virus and we paused to figure out WTF was going on.

3/27 - Back on they dyno.
Trying map 6 she made 600/681 with boost set to taper via default map and timing still being poor and erratic. Good news, the turbos spool up really quickly and hit/hold 30lbs without issue! Unfortunately the dyno numbers are nowhere near where they will be once timing is sorted.



At this point Ghassan is confident the build is solid and Terry is confident there is something hardware-related going on. After much internal struggle (I consider Terry a friend), I decided to try something totally different and go flash only tune with Cary at Jordan Tuned. I figured this was one thing that I had control of at this point and it would help prove that it was either a hardware or software issue.

Base tune from Cary Jordan on the dyno for baseline data
Timing is still an issue and Cary suspects a boost leak as the car is not hitting the targets he requested (but they are on point according to the log).

I chose to have the car shipped back home so that I could start going over it to see if we could find either the boost leak or reason for the false knock.



Did an oil change and sent a sample to BlackStone for data (I like to do this with all builds when possible).

"Typically after a rebuild we'd see some elevated metals or silicon from the wear-in of new parts and sealers/lubes used during the build, but that's not the case here. All of those early and often oil changes seems to have washed a lot of the residual metals down and out, and this fresh S55 is looking mighty fine in its first report. There's no sign of any poor wearing parts, or contamination from fuel or coolant present in the oil. The viscosity measured in the range of a 5W/30, and the low insolubles (solids) show good oil filtration. Great first report!"

I then started pulling everything apart to inspect the plugs and change the PI controller over the the SS controller per Cary's request (thankfully I still had one on the shelf from the Evil1 build).


Then I found it!!! Was this the cause of all of our frustration???

The front knock sensor was pressed HARD against the front HPFP.

Much better!!!

5/10 - 6/12
I am still working with Cary to dial in the tune. We are on V4 and for some reason it seems, the car does not want to accept his boost targets? We have tried doing a full write to stock and then full write of his flash via MHD but still no luck... Any ideas on what we could try or what I might be doing wrong here???

Anyways, the car is hitting what appears to be its targets and pulls well for such low boost. I am absolutely loving how responsive these turbos are and for just 20lbs, it is pulling strong!


With a little luck, we can figure out the issue and get her on the dyno and track in the next few weeks!!!
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