I think it's about time that I wrote about all the latest updates on my car, which is now pretty much finished...!!
Lots has happened over the last few weeks and months, not least a fabulous new remap by the guys at DMS Automotive
in Totton near Southampton
When I first started out modifying my car, I made the conscious decision to leave the power upgrade till the very end - it was more important to me to make the car handle better, grip better, then stop better, before making it go faster. Seems to make sense to me - get the most out of the car's factory speed, make sure everything works to the best of its ability, then up the power once you know the car can take it
To that end, I had installed the Quaife LSD
& uprated Hartge antiroll bars
, then the AP Racing 6 pot front and 4 pot rear brakes (review coming). I have also upgraded some of the front suspension components with M3 items (tension struts and lower control arms - again a review is coming) which have tightened up the front end bite and handling by replacing the standard sloppy hydraulic bushes with solid polyurethene variants. The M3 front strut brace has also replaced the normal version in my car. I have also had an upgraded intercooler from Code3 installed, along with a larger oil cooler from VK Motorwerks (review on both also coming!).
Told you it was a big list!!
What else? Have stuck a K&N panel filter in replacement of the OEM air filter. I don't particularly want to do anything to the exhaust, as although I would like a more menacing tone to the exhaust note, I can't bear the thought of having a car that drones on the motorway. Just going to keep it standard I think (I don't really need any more power...!
I've also had a full detail from Paul at Shine On Auto Detail
, and had Paintshield
applied to my car, but both those are cosmetic things so not really in the realm of 'modifications'!!
But, to the main story.... the DMS remap
I've been considering a remap on my car ever since I got it 18 months ago. Jimbob has always waxed lyrical about the Procede on his E93, and whilst I like the way it goes, I've never really got on with the inelegance of the whole setup. Although I love gadgets and things like that, I was never keen on the idea of having a unit where I could change the maps and settings on a whim. Rather, I really wanted an ECU remap that would just sit there, work well, not give any limp modes or other hassles, and would effectively be 'invisible'.
, who are good friends of mine, had at that time a solution from a company in Germany, although there were a few doubts over the effectiveness of the remap. It appeared that it didn't do exactly what the German company (NOT Hartge incidentally) claimed (a fact revealed at the first rolling road day we hosted in Marlowe). I should add at this point that Birds no longer use the mapping products from the company in Germany as Birds have since become the sole UK representatives and outlet for the highly respected Dinan Tuning company from the USA.
Without any other options, I had to wait until this summer, when the code to reprogram the MDS80 ECU in my car was 'made available' to the majority of tuners. As you all will have realised, tuners got on the bandwagon very quickly and started developing remaps for the 335i, and Evolve Motorsport
were one of the first, if not the first, to market their product.
I had thought about going to Imran and Sal at Evolve, but as it was one of the first products available I wanted to see how it faired over the first few months of its life. I can only assume that Evolve's product has developed and improved since its application in Steve's (BMWBailey) car and I wouldn't mind at some stage trying one of the latest iterations of their remaps on their demo car.
In the meantime, I'd stayed in contact with the guys at DMS who I've known for a few years. I knew that they had a reliable map already sorted, which produced an estimated 360bhp and I was keen to see what they could do with a full custom map on my car. A couple of trips to Southampton later and my car ended up on their Dyno Dynamics rolling road for initial performance measurement.
All the figures produced on the rolling road are measured at the wheel.
Given there is some debate over the automatic transmission loss percentages (anything from 18% to 24% has been bandied about - I'm sticking to 20% as an average) and other variables that can be influenced, I have decided to avoid posting any estimated flywheel graphs, as I don't want any tuner-wars
No slagging each other off!!!
As standard, my car produced 252bhp at the wheels, which is very healthy!! Assuming a standard 20% transmission loss, that equates to an estimated 315bhp at the flywheel. This was the second of a batch of three runs, and produced the healthiest standard figures.
Then, it was a case of firstly taking a direct copy of the standard ECU, just in case anything went wrong with the uploading and reprogramming. A backup is always handy! This took about an hour to read the ECU, during which time I talked a lot to Rob Young, MD of DMS, about the development programme which they undertook. They had originally bought a 335i saloon when it first was released, but due to the protection software on the ECU, couldn't get close to cracking the code without disabling the internal checksum routine that BMW had built in (this is important, as it's a key identifier of whether an ECU has been played around with or not). Those tuners who did go down the checksum-disable route wound up with ECU problems (not advised!)
Nevertheless, the solution presented itself just before the summer and work restarted in earnest. Their basic development map was loaded on to my car to get some benchmark figures - although I don't have the graphs here to show, this initially gave 284bhp at the wheels - a fairly healthy gain of 33bhp. The power curve was smooth and mirrored the standard curve quite well, with torque to match the increase too. However, this was only the start of the process and the next four hours were spent fine-tuning the fuel/air mixture ratio, ignition timing and so on...
The end result ?? After a total of eight dyno runs and a good 100 miles of actual road testing, we achieved an incredible 315.7bhp
, with a calculated peak torque of about 364lbft at the wheels
That's an increase of pretty much 64 wheel horsepower
Assuming the same 20% transmission loss, that sort of equates to 395bhp and 455lbft or 616Nm at the flywheel
It's only supposed to have 306hp and 400Nm of torque as standard!!!
One of the good things of the DMS map is that none of the BMW safety parameters in the ECU or gearbox have been removed. This way, the gearbox in particular is protected and if there is excessive torque, it will put the car into limp mode rather than blowing up!!
You can see from the graphs that the power and torque curves are ridiculously linear and smooth, and this is translated into the most seamless drive in real life. The car is totally transformed - takeoffs are completely smooth and fuss-free, as the ignition timing and fueling remains standard below 3000 revs or so. Once beyond that point, the extra power and torque really make themselves felt, although at no point does my car feel like a traditional turbo-charged motor. There is no real discernable step in power delivery - it's just one constant push towards the horizon. Gear changes are effected smoothly, with no jerks or hesitation. This is how I've always imagined the best remaps to be - an enhancement of the standard car's driving characteristics, with no drawbacks. And really, there are ZERO drawbacks. Even the MPG on a cruise has improved (I got 37mpg average on a sedate 80mph run up the M3 and round the M25)
As you can tell, I'm really really happy
The DMS guys really did a fantastic job, and the proof really is in the driving. Thanks to Rob, Darren and Mike for their hard work
I would get a fair bit more power with an exhaust and cold air intake system, but I don't know if I could live with the extra noise
I think the car is pretty much fast enough anyway!!!
That's pretty much it for the car in that case. All the hardware has been done now, and cosmetically it's beautiful... guess I'll just keep adding the miles!!