BMW M4 Turbo Upgrade – Which Turbo Is Best?
This article demonstrates how to use the turbo size calculator by using a BMW M4 turbo upgrade (S55 engine) as an example. The article shows how we get the numbers we need from the turbo calculator to analyse turbo compressors maps.
NOTE: This example is for illustration purposes only. We are not dealing with the practicalities of converting twins to a single. We just want to find the hypothetical ideal Garrett G-Series turbo for the M4 Competition.
To start we need to know some basic information about the S55 as it is used in the M4 Comp.
- Boost Pressure vs RPM
- Horsepower vs RPM
- Engine Capacity
Step One – Finding the VE of the S55
Find the Volumetric Efficiency of the engine and from that hypothesise the Volumetric Efficiency of the engine without the turbos.
To get the numbers we need, we use data from the Bluespark website. The page gives up dyno graphs for the M4 Competition, it also gives us graphs showing the boost the engine is running throughout the rev range.
When we plug the Bluespark numbers into the volumetric efficiency calculator we get the numbers in the above table.
These numbers tell us that the volumetric efficiency of the S55 engine in the M4 is pretty flat (graph on the right). Peak efficiency comes at around 5000rpm and it looks like it starts to tail off as it gets to 7000rpm.
From these numbers we are going to say (conservatively) that the volumetric efficiency is on average around 85% without the turbo.
Step Two – Turbo Size Calculator
Now we have a VE number we can use the turbo size calculator to see which Garrett turbo suits the engine in stock form and we can also see what turbo we can upgrade to, if we want to increase the power of the motor by increasing the boost from 15PSI to 30PSI.
So which turbo from Garrett suits the engine when it is running stock boost levels (around 15PSI) and which turbo would suit the engine if the boost were raised to 30PSI?
Compressor Maps – BMW M4 Turbo Upgrade Analysis
We can plot the LBS/MIN and Pressure ratio numbers from the table above onto Garrett turbo compressor maps to see which turbo suits our engine.
The green dots are 30PSI of boost, the blue dots are stock boost. I took 3 turbos from the Garrett G-Series range and plotted our M4 numbers (lbs/min vs pressure ratio). First turbo is the smallest, bottom turbo is the biggest.
Which Turbo? – BMW M4 Turbo Upgrade
For 15PSI to 21PSI, the G30-770 looks good. For 30PSI the G30-900 and the G40-900 look very close, even at lower RPMs. If I had to choose I think I’d go with the G40 just because it spends more time in the higher efficiency islands and maybe there would not be that much difference at lower RPMs, lower loads. Having said that, the G35-900 might be the optimum (as used on the car in the video above).
Wrap Up – Turbo Size Calculation
So this was a quick example of how to use the calculators on StrikeEngine to compare different sized turbos, in this case the BMW M4 but the principle is the same for any engine. The process can be used for a naturally aspirated engine which we want to put a turbo on and for engines where we want to upgrade an existing turbo.
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