RB GF 19T Cast Turbo Review and Results

Blaster3500

Sergeant
Nov 5, 2016
286
227
0
SC
Now that I have a couple thousand miles and some results for the setup I feel I can leave a proper review for these. For those that don't know RB recently released a set of cast turbos in two offerings. One a 17t and the other 19t, both with custom turbine wheels. I was torn between these and the Speedtech kit, after much discussion with Rob @ RB I pulled the trigger on the GF's. They consist of a stainless cast turbine housing with increase A/R, TDO4 CHRA, TD04 compressor cover, cast manifold (cnc ported), billet upgraded wastegate parts, etc. All machining, balancing and assembly is done in house. Overall I am 100% happy with my choice. The quality/fit finish is second to none in my opinion. No corners were cut on these! As expected they do spool slower vs a stock setup, but are definitely not laggy and the absolutely rip. As with anything on the n54 it was a very tight setup, but everything fit like a glove! Below are pics of the turbos, install pics, logs, time slips, videos and the overall setup of the car. I hope to have some 93 and e85 dyno numbers in the new couple weeks. I believe retail is around $3200 for the turbos and RB has offered a nice discount if by paying with a check/wire/cash in the two setups I have purchased.

07 E90 6MT- Full Weight 3695lbs without driver
19T RB GF Turbos
RB Inlets/Outlets and heat sheild
V8bait tuned on MHD(93 & full e85) 93- (21-22) psi, e85 (25-26psi)
PI Intake manifold, 52lb bosch injectors, AIC controller
BMP stage 3 lpfp
CPE downpipes
Helix Intercooler
Injen Intake
Spec stage 2+ clutch and SMFW

Fresh out of the box
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Genuine TIAL clamps with upgraded ARP hardware
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Compared to Stock
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From top to bottom- Stock, GC, GF
Screenshot_20190927-152633_Messages.jpg


From top to bottom- Chinafold, Stock with TD04 flange, GC, GF
Screenshot_20190927-152706_Messages.jpg


GF vs. Stock w/ TD04 flange
Screenshot_20190927-152731_Messages.jpg


Before CNC porting
Screenshot_20190927-152554_Messages.jpg


After CNC porting
20190622_152612.jpg


Left- ports machined
Screenshot_20190927-152530_Messages.jpg


Wastegate Parts- GF vs standard. All billet and the bushing size has been increased
Screenshot_20190927-152651_Messages.jpg

Screenshot_20190927-152841_Messages.jpg


Install Pics
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CNC Porting
20190622_152612.jpg


Track Results and pics of the setup

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On 93 tune. Suffered from high IAT's and was running on street tires.
20190802_215618.jpg


On e85 tune: This is not a max effort tune and the turbos definitely have more in them if desired. I am not one to push a setup to the ragged edge. Once again IAT's starting were around 110+ due to sitting in the staging lanes. I was only able to get two passes, but hit my 130+ goal. Yes I realize the ET is horrible. Once it cools off I will go back to the track for more runs in hopes it hit closer to 135. (RIGHT LANE)
20190920_220909.jpg


Logs-
93 Log- https://datazap.me/u/blaster3500/rev-3-3rd-gear-after-track
E85 Log- https://datazap.me/u/blaster3500/v1-e85-gfs?log=0&data=3-22

Video- 40-130 pull on e85
 

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Seaneezy

Corporal
Mar 12, 2018
130
34
0
Ride
e90 LCI 335i
Are you using the Phoenix intake manifold? I love the new VTT/FF manifold but I can't justify spending $1500 on an intake manifold when i need my turbos redone and slowly buying parts for a manual swap. How is that manifold? I was going to purchase it primarily to relocate my PI injectors to the top rather than the MMP rail I am currently using. Does it have a vacuum port on the bottom or will I have to weld one in?
 

Brule

Corporal
Feb 20, 2017
238
213
0
Ride
335i 2007 6spd manual
Very good in depth review showing all the comparisons.
Well done.
 

Asbjorn

Lieutenant
Mar 10, 2018
811
552
0
European, based in China
Ride
Z4 N54 DCT

Blaster3500

Sergeant
Nov 5, 2016
286
227
0
SC
Are you using the Phoenix intake manifold? I love the new VTT/FF manifold but I can't justify spending $1500 on an intake manifold when i need my turbos redone and slowly buying parts for a manual swap. How is that manifold? I was going to purchase it primarily to relocate my PI injectors to the top rather than the MMP rail I am currently using. Does it have a vacuum port on the bottom or will I have to weld one in?
This is the Phoenix style. It was definitely a chore getting everything to fit to my standards, but overall fit pretty well. The VVT/FF is a beautiful manifold but I couldn’t justify the cost either. There are 3 1/8 npt and one 1/4 npt on the Sharpe/Phoenix style manifold. Unsure on the VTT manifold but I am sure they have them.

Very good in depth review showing all the comparisons.
Well done.
Thanks!

Thanks for sharing all the pics and logs. I like what they did to the compressor outlet, we did something similar to mine to be able to use a wider clamp.

Torque limiter is active in your 93 log fyi.

Agreed. I know they start with a blank casting and machine the rest. It is definitely nice to have a nice surface to clamp to vs a raw casting. Yeah that was my fault I didn’t turn off DCT.
 

V8bait

Sergeant
Nov 2, 2016
493
753
0
Texas
Now that I have a couple thousand miles and some results for the setup I feel I can leave a proper review for these. For those that don't know RB recently released a set of cast turbos in two offerings. One a 17t and the other 19t, both with custom turbine wheels. I was torn between these and the Speedtech kit, after much discussion with Rob @ RB I pulled the trigger on the GF's. They consist of a stainless cast turbine housing with increase A/R, TDO4 CHRA, TD04 compressor cover, cast manifold (cnc ported), billet upgraded wastegate parts, etc. All machining, balancing and assembly is done in house. Overall I am 100% happy with my choice. The quality/fit finish is second to none in my opinion. No corners were cut on these! As expected they do spool slower vs a stock setup, but are definitely not laggy and the absolutely rip. As with anything on the n54 it was a very tight setup, but everything fit like a glove! Below are pics of the turbos, install pics, logs, time slips, videos and the overall setup of the car. I hope to have some 93 and e85 dyno numbers in the new couple weeks. I believe retail is around $3200 for the turbos and RB has offered a nice discount if by paying with a check/wire/cash in the two setups I have purchased.

07 E90 6MT- Full Weight 3695lbs without driver
19T RB GF Turbos
RB Inlets/Outlets and heat sheild
V8bait tuned on MHD(93 & full e85) 93- (21-22) psi, e85 (25-26psi)
PI Intake manifold, 52lb bosch injectors, AIC controller
BMP stage 3 lpfp
CPE downpipes
Helix Intercooler
Injen Intake
Spec stage 2+ clutch and SMFW

Fresh out of the box
View attachment 31308
View attachment 31309
View attachment 31310
View attachment 31321
View attachment 31312
View attachment 31314
View attachment 31315

Genuine TIAL clamps with upgraded ARP hardware
View attachment 31316

Compared to Stock
View attachment 31320
View attachment 31318
View attachment 31317

From top to bottom- Stock, GC, GF
View attachment 31336

From top to bottom- Chinafold, Stock with TD04 flange, GC, GF
View attachment 31338

GF vs. Stock w/ TD04 flange
View attachment 31339

Before CNC porting
View attachment 31335

After CNC porting
View attachment 31311

Left- ports machined
View attachment 31334

Wastegate Parts- GF vs standard. All billet and the bushing size has been increased
View attachment 31337
View attachment 31340

Install Pics
View attachment 31322
View attachment 31326
View attachment 31323
View attachment 31325

CNC Porting
View attachment 31311

Track Results and pics of the setup
View attachment 31328
View attachment 31333
View attachment 31330View attachment 31329

On 93 tune. Suffered from high IAT's and was running on street tires.
View attachment 31332

On e85 tune: This is not a max effort tune and the turbos definitely have more in them if desired. I am not one to push a setup to the ragged edge. Once again IAT's starting were around 110+ due to sitting in the staging lanes. I was only able to get two passes, but hit my 130+ goal. Yes I realize the ET is horrible. Once it cools off I will go back to the track for more runs in hopes it hit closer to 135. (RIGHT LANE)
View attachment 31331

Logs-
93 Log- https://datazap.me/u/blaster3500/rev-3-3rd-gear-after-track
E85 Log- https://datazap.me/u/blaster3500/v1-e85-gfs?log=0&data=3-22

Video- 40-130 pull on e85

Glad you hit your goal, and on the v1 e85 tune nonetheless lol. Everything on that map is pretty conservative so plenty still on the table if/when desired.
 

Torgus

Major
Nov 6, 2016
1,841
1,297
0
Boston
Ride
ACF 6466 E92 + METH
The RBs sure look nice. Nice results to boot.

You would never expect such a stock looking 4 door grocery getter to perform so well if you ran into it on the street. You should grab a 328i badge, rear bumper and a single exhaust to stock tip. Be a sleeper for sure...
 

ShocknAwe

Captain
Jan 24, 2018
1,166
542
0
Charleston, SC
Ride
N54/3 1er ///Mutt
Nice looking snails. Appear at first glance to be well thought out.

What are your goals and what prompted you go to with a 19t setup?
 

Blaster3500

Sergeant
Nov 5, 2016
286
227
0
SC
Glad you hit your goal, and on the v1 e85 tune nonetheless lol. Everything on that map is pretty conservative so plenty still on the table if/when desired.
The pass was actually on the v2, but I believe that is pretty conservative as well! I plan on putting it on the dyno this weekend so maybe we can turn it up a bit before then. Thanks for the awesome tunes!

The RBs sure look nice. Nice results to boot.

You would never expect such a stock looking 4 door grocery getter to perform so well if you ran into it on the street. You should grab a 328i badge, rear bumper and a single exhaust to stock tip. Be a sleeper for sure...
Thanks! Yeah I like a clean simple look. The only giveaway would be the drag radials. Anything under 40-50mph and below is useless on a street tire.


Nice looking snails. Appear at first glance to be well thought out.

What are your goals and what prompted you go to with a 19t setup?
My goals were 600-650whp and to trap 130+ in the 1/4. I am not huge on e/t's as it would take some serious abuse to run good times being a 6mt car. It is purely a street car that may see the track once a year for a couple passes. To be honest I went with the 19T because those were the first available. I had been in contact with Rob at the end of 2018 about this setup. The turbine housings were originally available machined for the L and HL. The machining was not up to RB standards so these started as a L housing and were machined in house to accept a custom turbine wheel (a touch smaller than a HL). Since he has been able to obtain housings that have not been machined. That being said I probably still would have gone with the 19t's so I am not pushing the turbos to their limits.

Speedo was moving nice. Definitely fun to drive

Thanks! It is a ton of fun.
 

derekgates

Lieutenant
Feb 23, 2018
727
344
0
NW FL
derekgates.us
Ride
2011 335is
Any updates on how the car is running or how you are liking the turbos?

I am in the market for 17T GF or some RB Twos. This thread was a joy to read with the level of detail.
 

Blaster3500

Sergeant
Nov 5, 2016
286
227
0
SC
Any updates on how the car is running or how you are liking the turbos?

I am in the market for 17T GF or some RB Twos. This thread was a joy to read with the level of detail.

Car is still running well and loving the turbos! I do not drive the car a ton. I believe I have around 4,000 miles on them now. Recently I have been cruising around on 93 since e85 is about 30 miles away from me. I have made a few updates, the car now has an M3 LSD Diff, axles, custom diff brace, VRSF street exhaust, Redline MT90 in the trans. I have a few more things to do and plan on getting back to the track when it cools off. I will try the update the thread with results and videos. Also I will try to get some videos against a few local single turbo cars.

To be installed:
VRSF Race IC
VRSF ceramic coated downpipes (3" vs the 2.5" CPE)
Borla 3.5" XR muffler (VRSF Street has lots of drone and some rasp)
Add a dedicated MAP sensor to the IM for the PI
M3 front arms, new inner/out tie-rod ends and a fresh alignment

Pics after a recent detail/ ceramic coating and the m3 rear end.
MVIMG_20200808_123737.jpg



IMG_20200701_154837.jpg
 

derekgates

Lieutenant
Feb 23, 2018
727
344
0
NW FL
derekgates.us
Ride
2011 335is
Car is still running well and loving the turbos! I do not drive the car a ton. I believe I have around 4,000 miles on them now. Recently I have been cruising around on 93 since e85 is about 30 miles away from me. I have made a few updates, the car now has an M3 LSD Diff, axles, custom diff brace, VRSF street exhaust, Redline MT90 in the trans. I have a few more things to do and plan on getting back to the track when it cools off. I will try the update the thread with results and videos. Also I will try to get some videos against a few local single turbo cars.

To be installed:
VRSF Race IC
VRSF ceramic coated downpipes (3" vs the 2.5" CPE)
Borla 3.5" XR muffler (VRSF Street has lots of drone and some rasp)
Add a dedicated MAP sensor to the IM for the PI
M3 front arms, new inner/out tie-rod ends and a fresh alignment

Pics after a recent detail/ ceramic coating and the m3 rear end.
View attachment 43267


View attachment 43269

You have certainly blown me away with a thread update, holy crap! Car is looking great and your garage looks like it is from a catalog. :hearteyes:

I am such a fan of your 'stock looking' E90. Nobody would have a clue. I'd be interested in hearing how that exhaust sounds, if you ever record it. I've been warned of the drone/rasp of VRSF exhaust and haven't seen a solid solution to that.


And look at that diff brace for the M3 diff!!!!!

I went with a different style that mimics the Defiv kit from many years ago:
IMG_2116.JPEG
 

Blaster3500

Sergeant
Nov 5, 2016
286
227
0
SC
You have certainly blown me away with a thread update, holy crap! Car is looking great and your garage looks like it is from a catalog. :hearteyes:

I am such a fan of your 'stock looking' E90. Nobody would have a clue. I'd be interested in hearing how that exhaust sounds, if you ever record it. I've been warned of the drone/rasp of VRSF exhaust and haven't seen a solid solution to that.


And look at that diff brace for the M3 diff!!!!!

I went with a different style that mimics the Defiv kit from many years ago:
View attachment 43270
Thank you I really appreciate it! Unfortunately it is not my garage. My wife and I were cat sitting while our good friends were out of town. I took advantage of the garage to knock out the ceramic coating. My poor sits outside at our home. That is reason why there are parts sitting waiting to be installed. South Carolina summers are hot, humid, ands lots of mosquitoes. It gets old fast working in the elements. That being said I purchased the car stock MANY years ago, so it has been built on jack stands in the elements.

I try to keep installs as clean as possible and go for the "OEM plus" look. I have linked a few videos below of the exhaust. The rasp caught me off guard. I am not sure if it is my 2.5" downpipes, the turbos housings, or a possible leak causing the rasp. Most clips and reviews I have seen do not have much if any rasp. Multiple people did complain about the drone. The Borla XR1 just got delivered today so I will update clips once that is installed mid exhaust. It should tone it town and not take away much flow.

Nice! I actually had that style on my stock diff. I did not realize they made a plate for the m3 diff. I would have gone that route haha. The diff brace was a little DIY COVID project. I designed it and had it cut/bent locally.

If you have any specific questions about the turbos, would like certain logs, etc just let me know!

Rev- sorry for the odd angle, I just set my phone some plants on the edge of our driveway

Quick pull

Inside the car-
 

langsbr

Captain
Apr 5, 2017
1,189
678
0
Ride
07 335i 6MT e90
Did you find a Borla muffler that matches the inlet/outlet of the VRSF or is the XR1 a bullet to go inline?
 
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Blaster3500

Sergeant
Nov 5, 2016
286
227
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Did you find a Borla muffler that matches the inlet/outlet of the VRSF or is the XR1 a bullet to go inline?

It is a 3.5 straight through muffler that will go inline. It hopefully will take out the rasp and drone. It was between this and a vibrant resonator and I felt the borla was better quality. Both had an outer case of 5 and similar length. This is called a muffler but it is essentially a race muffler/ resonator.
 
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derekgates

Lieutenant
Feb 23, 2018
727
344
0
NW FL
derekgates.us
Ride
2011 335is
Thank you I really appreciate it! Unfortunately it is not my garage. My wife and I were cat sitting while our good friends were out of town. I took advantage of the garage to knock out the ceramic coating. My poor sits outside at our home. That is reason why there are parts sitting waiting to be installed. South Carolina summers are hot, humid, ands lots of mosquitoes. It gets old fast working in the elements. That being said I purchased the car stock MANY years ago, so it has been built on jack stands in the elements.

I try to keep installs as clean as possible and go for the "OEM plus" look. I have linked a few videos below of the exhaust. The rasp caught me off guard. I am not sure if it is my 2.5" downpipes, the turbos housings, or a possible leak causing the rasp. Most clips and reviews I have seen do not have much if any rasp. Multiple people did complain about the drone. The Borla XR1 just got delivered today so I will update clips once that is installed mid exhaust. It should tone it town and not take away much flow.

Nice! I actually had that style on my stock diff. I did not realize they made a plate for the m3 diff. I would have gone that route haha. The diff brace was a little DIY COVID project. I designed it and had it cut/bent locally.

If you have any specific questions about the turbos, would like certain logs, etc just let me know!

Rev- sorry for the odd angle, I just set my phone some plants on the edge of our driveway

Quick pull

Inside the car-

LOL, those cats have it good!

Loving your approach to OEM+ look. I am a huge fan of 'sleepers' as these cars are relatively common but most do not rip up the asphalt when the boost kicks in. I used to have goals for OEM+ with my MKIV GTI; there were so many Audi offerings (and R32) that really spruced up the car. It feels like BMW has plenty of those upgrades as well.


Holy shit that video of inside the car. That thing RIPS.

Exhaust sounds fantastic, I do hear the rasp in the first video... but I have similar sounds with my 335is exhaust and catless DPs...



Regarding specifics about the turbos... hmm. I am mostly interested in how the day to day feels with them. I've been bothering Rob with a million emails about impacts on daily driving specifically with how quick boost builds. My 104k+ stock turbos are a little lethargic and I don't know how to compare with any offerings. I don't want to downgrade from current responsiveness.

Is there a way to get a 'feel for responsiveness' through logs? I have a few logs from last weekend, including:

I personally am not looking to drag my car, but I have been impressed with the slips you posted. Getting into big turbo territory! What goes through my head is 'what is the day to day like with turbos targeting so much power?'


I get brought back down to earth with my 'instant spool' expectations after reading:

What turbo? Well what track?

First of all, of course nothing N54 will feel like NA, so get that expectation out of your system first haha.

Personally I have only tried OEM and GC Lites (16T I guess, but with cast manifold). Smaller turbos and less target boost obviously helps. With the GC lites, I only feel boost lag at the smallest tracks, or if I try to come out of a corner from 3000rpm in 3rd gear because I missed a downshift.
There is one track in Hunan province where parts of the track is actually a go-kart track. Going through the tight go-kart section of the track, I do feel some lag with the GC lites. At larger tracks this is not an issue, and is not something I ever think about as holding me down on track. The oil pressure and cooling is a much larger issue with the N54 on track.

Anyway, I would say anything below GC lites should be fine at larger tracks. If you go larger, you can expect some turbo lag coming out of hairpins at any track. I know of one 1M that installed HP650s (17T I guess?) and got turbo lag coming out of hairpins even at the largest tracks here in China. But the sheer power of that setup means it is still more than competitive. So in conclusion:
  • Small tracks or autocross: OEM or stage 1s are recommended in combination with a low boost map and a good throttle map.
  • Medium sized tracks: Up-to smaller hybrids are recommended if you can afford a quality setup. Medium boost should be enough to be competitive. With DCT, GC lites and 16-18psi I dont have problems with lag on larger tracks, and I can keep up with the stock or slightly modded S55s powered cars.
  • Large tracks: Larger hybrids or smaller singles are recommended. Here my 16-18psi map is not quite enough to keep up with the tuned S55s of the world. You can also max out a smaller hybrid, but that will cost some reliability. If single, you probably need ball bearing + twin scroll as a minimum to minimize lag in real world driving. However I can't imagine any single being right for you. I say this maybe not so much because of the spool, but more due to the transient response (weight of the wheels). The only experience I have here myself is the pure stage 2 single turbo for the N55. Although the peak power potential of that JB twin scroll turbo is arguably smaller than the GC lites, the actual boost lag feels much worse in daily driving.
  • Drag racing: The larger the better lol


Other than spool speed and feel on day to day, do you have anything else to share? It seems like you document thoroughly!