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BMW N54 Twin Turbos vs Single Turbos

636b24f4 twins vs single

You’ve gotten your BMW N54 powered car and are eager to up the boost and turn it into a street slayer. The top way to accomplish this task is to convert it from a twin-turbo setup to a single turbo. Many go the route of maxing out the stock twins, then get upgraded hybrid twins or a single turbo setup. Your best move is to go straight to a single turbo setup. The main reasons are its easier maintenance, ease on your drivetrain, and a wider choice of turbos.

I have nothing against upgraded twin setups, but I like to keep things simple. For example, if one of the twin turbos fails, it will take you a better part of the day to rectify the issue. Compared to a single turbo setup, especially a top mount one, you can have the turbo off within half an hour. Ultimately the reason why I went from a hybrid twin setup to a top-mount single turbo set. After a failure, I didn’t want to do a twin install ever since it’s a real knuckle buster. I also don’t even like to mention the possibility of a wastegate rattle. If you’ve ever heard it before, it’s one of the most embarrassing sounds from a car. With my current top mount setup have easier access to everything. Well, not everything; for top mounts, the hardest thing to get access to is the wastegate(s), and for bottom mounts, it would be the turbo. But in either case, it’s way easier than a twin setup.

The one thing every N54 owner remember when they first drove their car is the instant acceleration when they hit the gas pedal. It’s only 8 lbs. of boost, and it brought an instant smile to your face; I know it did for me. With the twin turbos, full-boost comes at around 2.5k rpm. As we double, triple, and quadruple the boost levels on the stock engine, it puts you at a higher chance to grenade your motor. With a single turbo setup, the power curve gets shifted to the right. Meaning you will make more power, but spool time would be longer. So instead of making full boost at 2.5k, you make it at around 3.5k. To decrease the lag, just make sure to downshift, and the lag won’t be noticeable. I’d sacrifice instant boost for some longevity in my motor.

I remember the days I used to say with 300 hp ill be happy, then that number jumps to 500 hp, then 700 hp. It’s as though at each milestone I reach, I end up wanting more powweerrr! Upgraded twins can support up to 850 hp, and that is more than enough for some people. But I tend to want to be able to have a lot more headroom. There is just so much space to fit an even bigger twin-turbo setup. Hence with the single turbo setup, you have a large selection of turbos you can choose. Giving you the option to fully spec out your setup in a way that suits your driving style. Such as a smaller frame turbo for a quicker spool or a larger one for immense power.

To wrap things up, convert your N54 BMW to a single turbo, save yourself much headache, and enjoy the newfound feel of a single setup. You will enjoy the benefits of easier maintenance, ease on your drivetrain, and a wider choice of turbos, which will equate to making your N54 ownership a lot easier. Since we all know the N54, life is not a path for the faint of heart. The next question is whether to go top mount or bottom mount turbo setup?

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