E90Post
 


VIBE Motorsports
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Powerbox and common sense



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      09-15-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
moveson
New Member
 
Drives: 2006 330xi Mystic Blue Metalli
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Boulder, Colorado

Posts: 6
iTrader: (0)

Powerbox and common sense

OK, so I've been reading up on the many posts on Powerbox and similar mods. They claim increased bhp/torque, no reduction in fuel economy, and no other apparent problems. As always when something seems too good to be true, I have to assume that...it is too good to be true. The thing is a replacement chip, so the parts can't cost anything. So why wouldn't BMW install it to begin with? Someone in a garage in Simi Valley is so much smarter than everyone in Munich, that BMW just can't figure out how to duplicate the effect?

Please help me understand this. I want to believe...so much...that I can add 10 horsepower for $280 without any negative effects...but I can't. Both physics and economics scream out: "Highly unlikely."

Anyone else having a trial of faith?
__________________
Mark my words: People who aren't scared now will look pretty stupid if it turns out that they should have been. Harold Jefferson, Founding Member, American National Citizen's Institute for Alarm
moveson is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
3Coupe4Me
Private First Class
 
3Coupe4Me's Avatar
 
Drives: 2007 328i Coupe
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: S.FL

Posts: 167
iTrader: (1)

BMW cannot afford to let the 328i feel even remotely close in performance to the 335i because given the cost difference some people would choose the 328i. I'm not saying it is close with the BMS Powerbox installed but what you get from the better throttle response makes the car immensely more enjoyable to drive. I can heal and toe on my downshifts now with ease. I can't tell the difference in horse power gains but since I've installed the Powerbox the car feels way better and should have come from the factory this way.
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------
3Coupe4Me is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
benzo23
Colonel
 
benzo23's Avatar
 
Drives: 14 F30 AW MSport
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: FL

Posts: 2,886
iTrader: (1)

I'm going to award the rant of the week to this thread...
benzo23 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2011, 08:57 PM   #4
Johnny D
Major
 
Johnny D's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 BMW 325i
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hot Springs, AR

Posts: 1,124
iTrader: (4)

Garage List
2006 BMW 325i  [4.58]
Quote:
Originally Posted by moveson View Post
OK, so I've been reading up on the many posts on Powerbox and similar mods. They claim increased bhp/torque, no reduction in fuel economy, and no other apparent problems. As always when something seems too good to be true, I have to assume that...it is too good to be true. The thing is a replacement chip, so the parts can't cost anything. So why wouldn't BMW install it to begin with? Someone in a garage in Simi Valley is so much smarter than everyone in Munich, that BMW just can't figure out how to duplicate the effect?

Please help me understand this. I want to believe...so much...that I can add 10 horsepower for $280 without any negative effects...but I can't. Both physics and economics scream out: "Highly unlikely."

Anyone else having a trial of faith?

Dont expect the power gains. Look at the Powerbox as a throttle correction that BMW should have made from the factory. Its a known fact that most drive by wire systems are delayed and hinder performance, whether is be very little or moderate. The Powerbox is there to apply the cars potential faster and earlier in the throttle range. Thus, the feel of the performance gain. I doubt most people could feel a 10 hp difference in most cars...its the throttle remap that you feel. Well worth the $300 for it.
Johnny D is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2011, 09:12 PM   #5
mlifxs
Diamond Geezer
 
mlifxs's Avatar
 
Drives: Jet Black 2007 328i Saloon
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Florida

Posts: 1,619
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Before I went ahead with an AA tune for my 328i, I had the same concerns. Why in this competitive automotive world would BMW leave 10-15 hp on the table? So I decided to ask the local shop that flashed my car.

In a nutshell, they pointed out that the N52 is used in many applications across many countries. They (BMW) let a few horses go in order to provide a tune that meets many requirements.

I don't know specific details on that claim and I'm not a mechanic but I can imagine / speculate that some allowance is made for different people putting various grades / qualities of fuel in the car, drive at various altitudes, meet various emission requirements etc.

I look forward to reading other folks' view / knowledge on this.

That said, I am convinced that my car drives better after it's AA tune. Part of it is throttle mapping but the car does seem to pull more at around 3000 rpm and upward. Glad I did it.
mlifxs is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2011, 09:25 PM   #6
edirtaynine
Major General
 
Drives: e92
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SoCal

Posts: 6,093
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by benzo23 View Post
I'm going to award the rant of the week to this thread...
lolz
edirtaynine is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2011, 09:29 PM   #7
mlifxs
Diamond Geezer
 
mlifxs's Avatar
 
Drives: Jet Black 2007 328i Saloon
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Florida

Posts: 1,619
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by benzo23 View Post
I'm going to award the rant of the week to this thread...
I nominate this one:
http://www.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=586251
mlifxs is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2011, 09:40 PM   #8
DESI4life10
Banned
 
DESI4life10's Avatar
 
Drives: Coding: Desi4life10@gmail.com
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: West of Toronto, Canada

Posts: 3,365
iTrader: (18)

Because it takes a lot of engineering time to make different engines for each class (and not necessary. Therefore it makes sense to make one style of engines for the na motors and just control (dumb down) the motors to produce a certain hp output. They need to lock it out so that it does not compete directly (closely) with the next class (i.e 330, 335).

The proper way to unlock these engines is to crack into the vanos system and adjust the valve length.

Fuel consumption is affected with the pbx (as with any american tune) as they change the afr to get the increased power (along with other things).
DESI4life10 is offline   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
      09-18-2011, 07:13 AM   #9
Mike@N54Tuning.com
BimmerPost Supporting Vendor

 
Drives: 07335i
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Earth

Posts: 14,506
iTrader: (86)

On the tuning end BMW runs the motor leaner *and under advanced at wide open throttle for various reasons including smog and mileage standards. Changing these improves power output with no reliability drawbacks. It's as simple as that. The throttle remapping is just a nice bonus. A lot of people spend $300+ on throttle remaps alone.

Mike
Mike@N54Tuning.com is offline   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 10:09 AM   #10
Hooy
Colonel
 
Hooy's Avatar
 
Drives: 2008 328i Coupe
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston, TX

Posts: 2,765
iTrader: (12)

Garage List
2008 E92 328  [2.50]
Quote:
Originally Posted by moveson View Post
OK, so I've been reading up on the many posts on Powerbox and similar mods. They claim increased bhp/torque, no reduction in fuel economy, and no other apparent problems. As always when something seems too good to be true, I have to assume that...it is too good to be true. The thing is a replacement chip, so the parts can't cost anything. So why wouldn't BMW install it to begin with? Someone in a garage in Simi Valley is so much smarter than everyone in Munich, that BMW just can't figure out how to duplicate the effect?

Please help me understand this. I want to believe...so much...that I can add 10 horsepower for $280 without any negative effects...but I can't. Both physics and economics scream out: "Highly unlikely."

Anyone else having a trial of faith?
This entire stupid rant could've been completely avoided had you done more reading. Besides, if you're freaking out about a piggyback that actually changes AFR values claiming to increase power, I can't imagine how you feel every time you see a K&N air filter claiming to add 14 horsepower.

Good luck to you.
__________________
Hooy is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 12:47 PM   #11
t1mmy
Second Lieutenant
 
Drives: BMW 328i 2008 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 247
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
that was great
__________________
BMW 328i 2008, 6MT, Perf Exh + Perf Int, Continental DWS and BMW Perf SSK
t1mmy is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 01:23 PM   #12
boogiee90
POGI
 
boogiee90's Avatar
 
Drives: 06 E90 Jet black
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Posts: 1,060
iTrader: (6)

Garage List
2006 e90  [2.75]
5 post??? and this is what you have to say? take a hike
boogiee90 is offline   Philippines
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #13
krnboy817
Major
 
krnboy817's Avatar
 
Drives: 2008 328i coupe
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: DFW texas

Posts: 1,012
iTrader: (3)

well if these throttle remaps are so great... then why is the FOR SALE THREADS filled with...

FS: PBX.

along with what seems to be the most popular...

AFE STAGE 2 INTAKE.

especially most of them at half price... shipped!


yes at $100 - $150 i would buy one and try... but not for $250 - $299 because at $100 - $150 i could always resell to a power hungry noob and get my money back. sad part is i probably wont even have to try and drop a single sweat to sell it.

and if this offends someone, well you can thank me later for saving you $250 - $300 bucks
__________________

driving is poetry in motion.
krnboy817 is offline   South Korea
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #14
Gavin@MMW
Brigadier General
 
Gavin@MMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MMW Supercharged E90 328i
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: 818/805

Posts: 3,902
iTrader: (18)

Quote:
Originally Posted by moveson View Post
OK, so I've been reading up on the many posts on Powerbox and similar mods. They claim increased bhp/torque, no reduction in fuel economy, and no other apparent problems. As always when something seems too good to be true, I have to assume that...it is too good to be true. The thing is a replacement chip, so the parts can't cost anything. So why wouldn't BMW install it to begin with? Someone in a garage in Simi Valley is so much smarter than everyone in Munich, that BMW just can't figure out how to duplicate the effect?

Please help me understand this. I want to believe...so much...that I can add 10 horsepower for $280 without any negative effects...but I can't. Both physics and economics scream out: "Highly unlikely."

Anyone else having a trial of faith?
Well, Lets break this down...

First, the Fuel economy is a biased observation, because with more power and better response, comes the issue of a heavier foot. If you drive like a jerk, well - your going to get worse mileage. The Mod itself doesn't alter the fuel consumption - but it does have the ability to negatively effect the MPG you get due to driver input.

your "stock" input from your foot will be more then the "modded" input of your foot, so it could be easy for the driver to use more gas at any given time, but the car itself isn't. Get it?

Moving on to the Munich Vs. Simi Valley thing...

What BMW does is make cars for a broad market, and within that market they need to meet or exceed certain Smog/EPA/World pollution specs. To do so, they run the car at about 70% of its ability, with conservative tuning and fueling. Which is fine and dandy for most people who are not on this Forum. And that is where BMW markets their cars, especially the N52 cars. They are meant for commuters who want a sporty ride and want to take the "long way home" on occasion. BMW also knows it has a huge underground following and someone somewhere will always be messing around with a way to make it faster, louder, "better" for the enthusiast.

So it doesn't mean Terry or the BMS boys are smarter then the Munich boys, or vice versa, It means they are catering to different crowds. Can BMW make a performance map? Obviously, the 335is is a "performance" tune from the factory, but Terry and BMS are still going over the top of that software also and making 500hp cars..

As for the reliability factor, I was one of the original Beta testers for this mod and personally ran 30K miles on it in my own 328i - NEVER once did I get a hint of an error. No CEL, No dealer issues, No rough idles, No overly worn seals or parts, it was and still is Solid.

so to answer your question, Yes it is possible to add some Pep to your car for under $300.
Gavin@MMW is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #15
Propagator
Captain
 
Drives: 2011 328i LMB 6MT
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CA

Posts: 808
iTrader: (0)

I for one think the OP's skepticism is well warrantied. Stupid rant? I don't think so.

It is of course true that engines come in various states of tune from the factory, and sometimes aftermarket companies can squeeze out a bit more HP if the factory tune was particularly conservative (which is likely the case with N52).

HOWEVER, when a tuning shop, as it usually does, makes claims about having NO adverse effect on fuel economy and reliability, I am yet to see one example where sufficient evidences have been produced that can scientifically support those claims. Why? Because that kind of large scale research would be completely outside the scope of what these shops can do.

So we are left with our common sense, and the reputation of the shop, to judge for ourselves whether we really believe the given modification to the factory setting will have unforeseen side effects in efficiency and reliability or not. But if anyone thinks he knows enough already to feel 100% confident about these questions, then he/she is just being unscientific. You SHOULD be skeptical.
Propagator is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 08:07 PM   #16
Hooy
Colonel
 
Hooy's Avatar
 
Drives: 2008 328i Coupe
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston, TX

Posts: 2,765
iTrader: (12)

Garage List
2008 E92 328  [2.50]
Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy817 View Post
well if these throttle remaps are so great... then why is the FOR SALE THREADS filled with...

FS: PBX.

along with what seems to be the most popular...

AFE STAGE 2 INTAKE.

especially most of them at half price... shipped!


yes at $100 - $150 i would buy one and try... but not for $250 - $299 because at $100 - $150 i could always resell to a power hungry noob and get my money back. sad part is i probably wont even have to try and drop a single sweat to sell it.

and if this offends someone, well you can thank me later for saving you $250 - $300 bucks
They're for sale because people end their leases or sell their cars. A PBX is something most people never remove until the car goes.
__________________
Hooy is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 08:29 PM   #17
krnboy817
Major
 
krnboy817's Avatar
 
Drives: 2008 328i coupe
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: DFW texas

Posts: 1,012
iTrader: (3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooy View Post
They're for sale because people end their leases or sell their cars. A PBX is something most people never remove until the car goes.
may be true for many, but whatever the reason may be, the seller always has his/her interest in front... so i wouldn't believe everything typed.

hopefully im wrong and perhaps PBX is something that only makes you want or encourages you to trade up or sell for that 335.
__________________

driving is poetry in motion.
krnboy817 is offline   South Korea
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #18
mike-y
just another bmw douche bag
 
Drives: 1.9L of fury
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Posts: 3,396
iTrader: (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy817 View Post
hopefully im wrong and perhaps PBX is something that only makes you want or encourages you to trade up or sell for that 335.
how is that?
mike-y is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #19
3Coupe4Me
Private First Class
 
3Coupe4Me's Avatar
 
Drives: 2007 328i Coupe
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: S.FL

Posts: 167
iTrader: (1)

There are three must do mods for a 6MT 328i if you drive hard and push your car. BMS Powerbox, CDV delete and modified clutch stop. Why you ask? well BMW does not make a perfect car for every driver and so what these mods offer are customizations. For instance the throttle response that the BMS offers to us 328i guys is somewhat similar to what some M cars offers with optional settings that's stock with that particular car. The modified clutch stop is also a nice mod to give you a closer engagement point than the stock clutch. The BMW clutch has a longer travel and it's probably to cater to novices to a manual transmission but some of us prefer a shorter travel and so mods offer this.

So for me the Powerbox fills a need and has worked flawlessly for almost a year now.
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------
3Coupe4Me is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-19-2011, 11:06 PM   #20
krnboy817
Major
 
krnboy817's Avatar
 
Drives: 2008 328i coupe
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: DFW texas

Posts: 1,012
iTrader: (3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
how is that?
3 reasons

1.) well first, you must not be satisfied with the way 328i comes as far as the "feel" goes if you are wanting to make it feel "faster" "better" and "gain" more of HP/TQ.

2.) you obviously bought a BMW because you like something about them. whether that be the looks, price, quality, or the name, but im also pretty sure you would of opted for 335i if "fast" was priority at the time of purchase.

3.) prob had the car for a while and now you're bored or used to your 328 and learned a bit more about BMW in depth. on top you heard and read about 335i and prob want something like it but not in the situation to get it right away.

so you opt for PBX or at least think about getting one to subdue you're want until that moment when you can trade or return.


its just like the 335i guys want to be m3 (mostly exterior look wise) ... so the cycle never ends.

OP driving an xi prob doesnt help the "feeling" any either. im sure the regular rwd 328i versions prob feel better.
__________________

driving is poetry in motion.
krnboy817 is offline   South Korea
0
Reply With Quote
      09-20-2011, 04:50 AM   #21
Dark_Knight_335
Came to the N55 Darkside
 
Dark_Knight_335's Avatar
 
Drives: 2011 335 E93 M-Sport
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NY/NJ

Posts: 9,934
iTrader: (26)

Just get an Active Autowerke and be done with it. Been there with the powerbox, done that, sold it.
Dark_Knight_335 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      09-20-2011, 07:07 AM   #22
overkill1125
Captain
 
overkill1125's Avatar
 
Drives: 2013 328i xdrive
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Montreal, Canada

Posts: 656
iTrader: (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDeFranco1 View Post
Just get an Active Autowerke and be done with it. Been there with the powerbox, done that, sold it.
AA tune sounds like a good option but it has no residual value once installed since it cannot be sold afterwards. At least you can get some $ back for your old pbx.
overkill1125 is offline   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:43 PM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST