The Build Thread!
So almost 2 years ago and reading M44lee’s and Prince’s supercharger threads for their 318 coupes really got me thinking about some extra power. Since then I have been on the lookout for a DASC kit. Downing Atlanta stopped making these a few years ago, so the only option now is second hand. Needless to say they are rarer than rocking horse shite! I haven’t seen a kit for sale at all in that time (about 18 months ago when I first read those threads). And they are expensive.
However, I did hear about a possible kit being developed for the M42 and M44 engines by GKD sports cars in Maidstone (GKD Sports Cars), again through a thread on here: M42/M44 Supercharger kit (mini blower)
GKD make a track-type sports car (looks similar to a Caterham) using parts from E36s, the idea being you can buy the chassis and body from GKD and source the rest of the parts from a breaker yourself from wherever you are in the world (as the E36 was so popular). So you can build yourself a high performance sports car fairly cheaply.
Back to the charger: GKD have developed a supercharger kit for the M42 and M44 that uses the Eaton M45 charger from the BMW mini from approx. 2002 to 2007 (again, quite widely available). A quick call to GKD confirmed that this was indeed the case, with the first few kits expected to be available from around end of December 2012 or beginning 2013. These were meant primarily for use on the GKD Legend but of course you can use the kit on any M42 or M44. The kit comes with everything you need but without the supercharger itself, leaving you to source this separately.
After a few months wait the kit is finally ready, and I went over to GKD in Maidstone to collect it on Sunday. While I was there I got lots of photos of the car it’s fitted to, to help me with installation!
The GKD Legend, the car it was originally designed for:
The kit on the engine (M44):
Note that on the above car, the throttle body plenum is different, to enable the air intake to be positioned behind the engine near the firewall. In the kit I have the TB plenum is different and allows the air intake down towards the front in the usual position. The photos show the use of aftermarket air filter, but I am going to try keeping the original airbox so I can keep the cold air intake (there is already a BMC filter in the box).
Here is what you get in the kit itself:
Clockwise from top left:
New drive belt
Idler pulleys and brackets
Supercharger support bracket
BEGI aftermarket fuel management unit (RRFPR)
BEGI installation kit and support bracket (incl. vacuum lines, unions, etc.)
Fuel rail banjo unions
New inlet manifold gasket
Aluminium intake plenum
Bypass valve (already bolted to IT plenum)
Throttle body intake plenum
Supercharger gaskets and spacer plate
All bolts, nuts, bungs etc.
Fuel line hose clips
Fuel line (8mm)
So all good. A nice little kit. The plenums being aluminium are of course extremely light, making the total weight penalty of fitting the kit approx. 2 kilos more than standard - most of the extra weight is from the supercharger unit itself (which is quite lumpy on its own). So hardly any weight difference really to standard which is good news!
Some more pics of the plenums:
We did run into a little hiccup though. When we opened the hood on my car, Pete noticed that the battery is in the engine bay. He was expecting it to be in the boot (as it is on his prototype e36 – a 4 door 318is from South Africa). He wasn’t expecting to see the battery in the engine bay in my car. Therefore there is not enough room for the 90 degree bend on the throttle body intake plenum as it will foul the battery. However, the new TB plenum part currently being made has a different design and will fit (this is the one that will also fit an E30). So, I need to wait until that part is made before the kit is fitted, and it will be swapped out with the new design. I haven’t seen an is with the battery in the boot, I thought that was only on the straight six cars (i.e. 320i and up). The SA 318is must be different then!
So it will be a while longer before I can fit the kit. This is ok, as I have been advised to upgrade the fuel pump before fitting, as they have had a couple of old pumps go pop when setting up the onset fuel pressure. This makes sense, as you are suddenly asking a 14year old pump to output almost double what it’s used to! So it’s wise to do that first I think. The OE pump will be replaced with a Walbro 255 lph unit, thanks to M44lee for helping to source this!
I also need to buy an in-line fuel pressure gauge in order to set up the fuel pressure straight after fitting (not expensive, about £20). You can fit this in-line permanently in the fuel intake line, but I think I will buy an adaptor to fit it directly to the fuel rail so it can be removed straight afterwards - I’m concerned leaving one fitted would increase the chance of leaks, as you’re introducing two more fuel line unions into the system. I’ll also get a new air con drive belt as well while I’m at it.
At the same time I fancy fitting some gauges into the centre console, maybe oil pressure, oil temp. and boost. It will be easier to fit these whilst the OE intake manifold is off and out of the way so will be sourcing these first as well.
I have agreed with GKD that, whilst I will be fitting myself, I will bring it into their workshop to do it. That way GKD will be on hand to help if I get stuck or confused (quite possible!). Which sounds spot on to me! Likely to be at some point in July.
Cheers for taking a look!