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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > AMJ development thread: why bmw engineers are a sneaky bunch



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      02-23-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
allmotorh22
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AMJ development thread: why bmw engineers are a sneaky bunch

and why manifold swaps don't yeild as much power as actual 330i's.

it has to do with valve lift...

After studying my dyno's (tuned 325i) vs 328i vs 330i dyno's (all from the same dyno)

I've noticed that 325i's plateau @ 4700 rpm. as if the valves are not opening enough. It looks as if the only gains to be had from a flash tune is only done with timing and fuel.

328i's are strong, it seems that their power is had from more valve lift (still not as much as a 330i, short 25hp or so.) but a tuned 328i still gets 16 more hp than a tuned 325i.

anyway I've since learned that the reason why a 325i w/manifold swap is still missing out on about 20whp (vs. real 330i) is because of the limitations BMW engineers placed on the 325i DME.

put it this way... BMW engineers are sneaky, because they put anti-tuning software on their DME's knowing that tuning companies will come out and crack it someday. But when the tuning companies (Alientech, CMD, Dimsport etc more on http://tuningtools.co.uk/) create their universal products to modify fuel maps and timing, they forget one very important aspect about the N52 engine, the Valvetronic system (how much it lifts).

Not only do tunners need to upload a file to modify timing and fuelmaps, a legit conversion would need to upload totally separate modified file for the Valvetronic system (aka, how much the valve lifts)

in conclusion, i believe the only way to get the most power from the N52 (naturally aspirated) is to swap-out/convert the DME to a 330i DME FIRST and then tune for timing/fuel. (proofs in the pudding, uk companies can get an N53 to produce 290 BHP)


...
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      02-23-2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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WhAts wrong with a company preventing otherS from tampering with THEIR product?

They spent millions in R&D and you expect them to just let you easily modify thier work?

What happens when a tuner blows the n54? They try to put it back to stock and play dumb, expecting BMW to bite the cost.

Edit: ok now this out of context.

I dont ever call people names on this forum but Your the a-hole.....

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      02-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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the N53 is not Valvetronic though, and its direct injected - 2 big changes from the N52.

Also, if you recode the 325DME for a 330 Vin, you need to do the same to the transmission unit for them to sync up. (unless its a 6MT)
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      02-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #4
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My bad admin, let me change that "risque" thread title... rest stays the same. just contributing some information to the forum.
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      02-23-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin@MMW View Post
the N53 is not Valvetronic though, and its direct injected - 2 big changes from the N52.

Also, if you recode the 325DME for a 330 Vin, you need to do the same to the transmission unit for them to sync up. (unless its a 6MT)
your right.

model stockhp/tunedhp/stock torque/tuned torque
325i 218/234/270/295
330i 258/274/300/325 <--- would probably see 290 with exhaust/delete
330in53 272/287/315/324
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      02-23-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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You are right about the valve lift though, without a proper tuner sitting down with the car on a dyno and watching the car and seeing where its pulling and dropping, a simple flash - from anyone - wont give the same result.

Most of the tunes available are mostly timing + fuel changes to the car, along with some throttle response changes to give the illusion of increased power, when its really just kicking it sooner to the input of your foot.

Very few people can actually change the lift, and change it for the better.

Keep it up Jay, your bringing some good info to the N52 guys
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      02-23-2011, 05:26 PM   #7
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I thought that Active Autowerks and others did change the valve lift with there maps? I'm based in the UK and as far as I know it's fairly common. Which UK company are you reffering to who can get 290bhp out of the N53?
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      02-23-2011, 05:31 PM   #8
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You can totally see the 325 ecu actually reduce valve lift past 5500 rpm in dynos. I always wondered why the 325 stock died so quickly past 5500. Now it only really dies past 6500 but there is a small plateau past 5500 rpm. Not sure if that's coming from the ECU or if the engine just doesn't flow up there.
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      02-23-2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser-Z4 View Post
I thought that Active Autowerks and others did change the valve lift with there maps? I'm based in the UK and as far as I know it's fairly common. Which UK company are you reffering to who can get 290bhp out of the N53?
Q1: well maybe they'll chime in

Q2: Pretty much all of them, but here's where I got my figures: http://www.dyno-chiptuningfiles.com/...ing-files/bmw/

it seems that the industry works like this, someone takes a stock car, tunes it, makes 15 horse and sells the tune through their flash distributors.

some of their competitors may buy the tune legally or rip it off and change it slightly due to copyright infringement.

but for the most part it looks like most companies all share the information. (but guess what, for the most part they are just sharing protocols/files for fuel and timing)

anyway, here's a graph of my tuned 325i illustrating what e90pilot is seeing:Name:  171056_1643025674469_1201667975_31437385_4489729_o.jpg
Views: 733
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      02-23-2011, 08:25 PM   #10
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this is great info, i was pretty sure it was pointless to spend thousands on a few horsepower on this car. im at the point where im deciding if i want to keep it or trade it in, its a great car but it seems like if i want to get anything out of it down the road i may want to start thinking about an engine swap. does anyone know if you can change the ecu to a 330, ive read you can program it to a 330 but no one will do it, as in it must be dealer installed and the dealer will not do it. also what i am taking from this post is that even changing cams you will not gain much.
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      02-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #11
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What is your point?

AMJ-
Not sure what you are trying to prove here. Are you saying that BMW used Valvetronic to limit the power of the 325/328 compared to the 330, or are you to saying it is not possible for a tuner to increase valve lift via reprogramming? Or maybe you are saying Valvetronic can be tuned, but no tuner is currently doing it?

The long-time members of this forum have been saying for years that we need a tuner to crack the Valvetronic code and increase lift to 330 levels. This is nothing new.

I am 100% confident that Jeremy at OE Tuning would disagree with your theory that he cannot/does not tweak the valve lift on the 325 and 328. There is not way the power increase on my car is due to fuel and spark tuning alone.

Where is your evidence that Valvetronic/valve lift cannot be tuned? Just because your "mystery tuner" has not been able to access the Valvetronic maps, that doesn't mean that OE, AA, or any other long time BMW tuner can't do it.

I appreciate the fact that you are investing your time and money to learn and share the inner workings of N52 tuning. I just don't understand the point you are trying to make here, or in your previous threads.
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      02-24-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiec View Post
AMJ-
Not sure what you are trying to prove here. Are you saying that BMW used Valvetronic to limit the power of the 325/328 compared to the 330, or are you to saying it is not possible for a tuner to increase valve lift via reprogramming? Or maybe you are saying Valvetronic can be tuned, but no tuner is currently doing it?

The long-time members of this forum have been saying for years that we need a tuner to crack the Valvetronic code and increase lift to 330 levels. This is nothing new.

I am 100% confident that Jeremy at OE Tuning would disagree with your theory that he cannot/does not tweak the valve lift on the 325 and 328. There is not way the power increase on my car is due to fuel and spark tuning alone.

Where is your evidence that Valvetronic/valve lift cannot be tuned? Just because your "mystery tuner" has not been able to access the Valvetronic maps, that doesn't mean that OE, AA, or any other long time BMW tuner can't do it.

I appreciate the fact that you are investing your time and money to learn and share the inner workings of N52 tuning. I just don't understand the point you are trying to make here, or in your previous threads.
Hell, they've had enough time to do it already but nobody's done it. It's not worth the investment anyways, seeing as the NA IL6 is going to be replaced with BMW's new IL4T, which is probably much easier to get power out of.
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      02-24-2011, 12:53 PM   #13
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Rob, he isn't saying its the only way. He is saying its a limiting factor for what we are given currently. Yes valvetronic IS limiting the amount of power the 325 and 328 make. I refer yet again to the air pump analogy. Which coincides with valve lift. The more the valves open the larger volume of air can pass through. He didn't say it cannot be tuned. He is saying its not being utilized to its full potential in current tuning, because there is a lockdown on that function built into the ECU of the 325/328.
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      02-24-2011, 01:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Rob, he isn't saying its the only way. He is saying its a limiting factor for what we are given currently. Yes valvetronic IS limiting the amount of power the 325 and 328 make. I refer yet again to the air pump analogy. Which coincides with valve lift. The more the valves open the larger volume of air can pass through. He didn't say it cannot be tuned. He is saying its not being utilized to its full potential in current tuning, because there is a lockdown on that function built into the ECU of the 325/328.
That, and all Locks can be cracked. And have been by OE Tuning and Active.

Now, the reason they are not pulling monster power out of the car - is because the ECU still has its limitations built in to the VIN and other modules in the car, so they can increase lift only so much to deem it safe. I have stated many times that the OE Tune in my personal car trumps everyone else, because we have pushed it pretty far, and it will still give more. We have somewhere around 30 hours of on the dyno tuning in my personal car alone, and while I wont tell you the exact changes, I can tell you that Fuel, Timing, Valve Lift and throttle response are all factors in the power, and you need to balance them in order to make a good performing car.

without an actually recoding of the ECU to allow for a higher models specs (re VIN and code the DME and Tranny), only so much can be done within a tune itself.
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      02-24-2011, 01:11 PM   #15
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Just out of interest how could the ECU limit power when coded to a certain VIN number? Wouldn't it just detune the settings for valve lift, cam timing etc?
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      02-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #16
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I am sure there is a portion of a file that can be modified easily to remove the limitations so it isn't vin coded anymore. If not there has to be a parameter that tells it to go into a test mode where it ignores those limitations. All a mater of how comfortable you are in tampering with something you aren't quite sure what it does.

There are many ways BMW could limit the power with VIN coding. Limiting the fuel map, valve lift (as is being discussed here), and even going as far as retarding timing and reducing spark which will burn less fuel all causing the engine to produce less power. There are several tricks they can use. None of which are foolproof and non bypassable. As I said all depends on how much you worry about having a 20-30k dollar brick should you do something to cause the DME not to be able to function. (everything can be recoded)
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      02-24-2011, 02:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiec View Post
AMJ-
Not sure what you are trying to prove here. Are you saying that BMW used Valvetronic to limit the power of the 325/328 compared to the 330, or are you to saying it is not possible for a tuner to increase valve lift via reprogramming? Or maybe you are saying Valvetronic can be tuned, but no tuner is currently doing it?
to clarify, what I'm suggesting is that a one step (single file flash) manifold conversion/tune is not going to produce the real potential of this motor (~280hp before mods).

I just think a proper manifold conversion would need a 2 step process (1. a DME conversion, 2. a Tune)

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiec View Post
Just because your "mystery tuner" has not been able to access the Valvetronic maps.
I'm not saying that at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiec View Post
I appreciate the fact that you are investing your time and money to learn and share the inner workings of N52 tuning.
thanks
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      02-24-2011, 02:25 PM   #18
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In the case of N53 the power difference between 325i and 330i is 54 hp but it’s not in the valve lift. The camshafts and the valves are identical. Mechanically engines are identical and ECUs are identical. The only difference is the manifold and software.
As far as I know nobody was able to successfully reflash 325i ECU with 330i software. The problem is that software must match with all the electronic components. I found the hard way. The software loaded with modified VIN but the car ran in a limp mode.
The manifold swap without the software update didn’t increase hp but it increased the torque especially in the low RPM. DS Motorsport successfully modified the original software and tuned the car on dyno. It was expensive (~ $2,500) but well worth.
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      02-24-2011, 03:40 PM   #19
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Jay, have you figured out what kind of signal is sent to the valvetronic motor on the cylinder head? There may be a way to intercept it and see what it's doing (see if it's a simple voltage signal or not)
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      02-24-2011, 04:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Jay, have you figured out what kind of signal is sent to the valvetronic motor on the cylinder head? There may be a way to intercept it and see what it's doing (see if it's a simple voltage signal or not)
yeah, you could probably bump up the voltage for everything but it would probably have idling issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BudVlad View Post
In the case of N53 the power difference between 325i and 330i is 54 hp but it’s not in the valve lift.
btw, Vlad is living proof of the potential of this motor with a proper tune, he's making 248 wheel ---> 292 flywheel. those with N53 motors are lucky, they don't have to deal with valvtronic. I've read that N52's max lift is 9.5-10 mm. I wonder how much lift the N53 pushes?
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      02-24-2011, 04:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Jay, have you figured out what kind of signal is sent to the valvetronic motor on the cylinder head? There may be a way to intercept it and see what it's doing (see if it's a simple voltage signal or not)
That would be a cool mod! Intercept and modify the eccentric shaft actuator signal at WOT. Valves go to full lift at WOT regardless of RPM. Just like good old fashioned non-variable lift engines!
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      02-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #22
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that's what I am getting at. Monitor the signal, then add a multiplier based on rpm and throttle input. something like a pbx for the valvetronic.
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