Last entry, I talked about the M3 feeling a bit lacking in the power department. The S50B30US was never a monster, with a rated output of 240 hp and 225 lb-ft. It’s not bad, but not great, especially by modern standards. This build wasn’t meant to create huge amounts of power, but instead to create a car with a complete package – power, control, feel and balance.
In the Clark International Speedway, the car felt great off the line and on corner exits, but the straight line speed felt lacking – it tops out at about 180kph at the end of the main straight. Given that the car at this point had stock suspension and a full interior I didn’t expect a blistering pace, but I was left wanting. While I didn’t get to time the car, I can comfortably say it can do 2 minute 30 second lap times (and lower in the hands of a more experienced driver). Not too bad, but the Vios Cup racecars do better with just 96 wheel horsepower.
A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to a product called BG by Alvin of ARC Automotive. It’s an oil additive that he had used extensively in the USA while working as a master technician for BMW. The BG Performance Oil Change works like this: you pour an additive into your engine (if it’s got more than 40,000km on the clock – it won’t help new engines much) while you do an oil change. Then you run the car. It’s that simple. It’s supposed to work within 10 minutes, and get better as you drive the car and maintain it properly. It claims that it can restore lost power (not add power to a new motor), but I’ve seen and heard of a million products that are supposed to do that, and none of them bother to back up their claims.
Alvin recommended it to me and I trust his advice, so I decided to give this BG a try on one condition: we do a dyno run before and after. I just recently did a top overhaul and have less than 1000km since my last oil change, using Motul Sport Ester 5W50 and a Bosch oil filter, so it should be interesting to see the results.
Alvin accompanied me to Dynohub, a relatively new facility in Mandaluyong that has a rolling road. Before we proceed with the oil service, we do a baseline run at about 10am. A stock M3 should see about 210 hp at the wheels, but this M3 was fitted with a Dinan carbon fiber intake and (supposedly – we tried sending the VIN to Dinan USA via email with no reply) a stage 1 chip tune. Dinan claimed a combined 22hp and 21 lb-ft power increase over stock, so in theory, our car should show up with about 230 American-trained German horses. That said, the car is nearly old enough to buy alcohol legally in the USA, so you expect figures that are down a bit from when it was new.
Alvin, Paolo (my colleague at AutoPerformance Ph and pro drifter) and I take bets as to the dyno results – Pao expected north of 210 hp, Alvin went for 200hp, and I said about 190hp. I won, sort of. Crap.
The results were odd – peaks of 183.5 hp and 236.2 lb-ft. The torque figure is pretty consistent with Dinan’s claims, but that horsepower reading is 12% below even the expected stock number, and a whopping 21% below what a Dinan car should have. Ouch. After talking it over with Alvin, we come to the conclusion that the software is still set for American variables, like fuel quality, ambient temperature, and even elevation. Perhaps this is why it feels the way it does.
We do an oil change on the spot – no sense in getting the car off the dyno and waste time. We want the car pulling runs as soon as possible to simulate the same conditions, and the day is getting hotter. A fresh batch of Motul 5W50 is poured in along with a trio of BG additives – MOA engine oil supplement, 44k fuel system cleaner, and 109/EPR compression restorer.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how each works. All I care about is the result. I tried to call in bets again, but nobody wanted to hazard a guess, though we agreed that if it brought back even 2 to 3 horses we would be impressed. With ambient temperatures rising we expect the dyno to read a bit more conservatively than in the morning.
Wow. 188.4 hp, 244.2 lb-ft. That’s 4.9 hp and 8.0 lb-ft over the baseline. With just a souped-up oil change. Color me impressed – this may bt the best bang-for-buck performance job I’ve ever done. And with the S50 underperforming, every little bit helps. Now I’m looking forward to my next track session even more.