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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 > Intake Air Temperature IAT Sensor Relocation



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      07-20-2019, 08:41 AM   #1
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Intake Air Temperature IAT Sensor Relocation

Edit/Update Part 2 - I figured out the OBDlink to some extent so did some more data logging at night

Later on that night - Driving at 80 Degree Temps per dash

MAF at Idle 111.2f - Short Stop light



MAF at Speed 100.4f - Cruising



MAF at Speed 96.8f - Extended Cruise



MAF Graph from Stop to Cruise



IAT Relocate At idle 91.4f - Long Stop Light



IAT Relocate at Speed 82.4f - Cruising



IAT Relocate at Speed 80.6f - Extended Cruise



IAT Relocate Graph from Stop to Cruise



Like I said this mod has not made the car gain power - just feels more consistently the same liveliness and torqueness, like it feels first thing in the morning from dead cold.

Edit/Update Part 1 - I purchased an OBDlink LX and tried it at work.

Quick Test Idling at my Job - Ambient 95 Degree Temps per dash

I ran the MAF first showing 180-190f Coolant Temps
MAF Readings were 144f at idle / 136f after revving at 2600rpm for 30 seconds

I ran the IAT Relocation second showing 195-205f Coolant Temps
IAT Relocation Readings were 113f at idle / 107f after revving at 2600rpm for 30 seconds

---------

Hey Folks. I recently acquired a cool 330i 6MT with modifications - MILVs / SS Headers / AA Tune / Euro Intake / Scoops - that I noticed ran significantly better when it was first driven when completely cold. 20-30 minutes later after it was beyond warm and heat soaked it would lose a lot of its torque and quickness. I looked into reasons for this and there are a lot of older generation cars that had heat soak issues remedied by relocating the Intake Air Temperature sensor. I did this mod to my car and it made a huge difference in how it idles and runs. It is not quicker or more powerful, just more consistently the same no matter how hot it gets or how long I have driven it.

In some of those older generation cars that did this trick the sensor was already a stand alone part and so they lengthened the harness wire and placed it towards the front of the chassis. In our N52 it is integrated into the MAF sensor. Turner Motorsports makes a plug and play kit with wire harness adapater (although I found the wire length for the new IAT Sensor short) for the N52 that comes with an appropriate Bosch Sensor.

Many people with that did this mod to their M3 / M5 found that it ran smoother and that it more so maintained that power and torque felt at cold start up. I do not have any ECU diagnostic software or OBD connection so I can not provide before and after data. There is a good amount of that data out there that suggests the IAT when relocated and not heat soaked should read a few degress to maybe 15 degrees max higher than the Ambient Air Temp. There is also data out there that shows the stock location MAF based IAT sensor reads temperatures from 25-55 higher than Ambient Air Temp.

I used an EV1 plug extension to get my sensor to reach in front of the radiator support in the snorkel entrance so that it would not be affected by the heat of the radiator and radiator fans. The Turner / ECS Tuning setup seems to reccommend placing the sensor in the front snorkel entrance of the air box, which is above the radiator and affected by the radiator fans, which from my infared gun temperature reading shows to be very hot around 141 degrees.






The parts - EV1 Plug extension not shown



The EV1 Plug extension I bought - It is super cheap quality - Might get a custom one made:


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I deleted some of the infared temp gun readings as they were confusing / miscontruing the information being conveyed.
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      07-20-2019, 11:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23psi4age View Post
Hey Folks. I recently acquired a cool 330i 6MT with modifications that I noticed ran significantly better when it was first driven when completely cold. 20-30 minutes later after it was beyond warm and heat soaked it would lose a lot of its torque and quickness. I looked into reasons for this and there are a lot of older generation cars that had heat soak issues remedied by relocating the Intake Air Temperature sensor. I did this mod to my car and it made a huge difference in how it idles and runs. It is not quicker or more powerful, just more consistently the same no matter how hot it gets or how long I have driven it.

In some of those older generation cars that did this trick the sensor was already a stand alone part and so they lengthened the harness wire and placed it towards the front of the chassis. In our N52 it is integrated into the MAF sensor. Turner Motorsports makes a plug and play kit with wire harness adapater (although I found the wire length for the new IAT Sensor short) for the N52 that comes with an appropriate Bosch Sensor.

Many people with that did this mod to their M3 / M5 found that it ran smoother and that it more so maintained that power and torque felt at cold start up. I do not have any ECU diagnostic software or OBD connection so I can not provide before and after data. There is a good amount of that data out there that suggests the IAT when relocated and not heat soaked should read a few degress to maybe 15 degrees max higher than the Ambient Air Temp. There is also data out there that shows the stock location MAF based IAT sensor reads temperatures from 25-55 higher than Ambient Air Temp.

I used an EV1 plug extension to get my sensor to reach in front of the radiator support in the snorkel entrance so that it would not be affected by the heat of the radiator and radiator fans. The Turner / ECS Tuning setup seems to reccommend placing the sensor in the front snorkel entrance of the air box, which is above the radiator and affected by the radiator fans, which from my temperature reading shows to be very hot around 141 degrees.

Some Temperature Readings I gathered using a Infrared Thermometer Gun:
92 Degrees = Ambient Air Temp Per On Board E90 Temp
118 Degrees = Front of Snorkel Temp (In Front of Radiator)
141 Degrees = Front of Air Box (Above and Behind Radiator)
163 Degrees = MAF location Temp
172 Degrees = Intake Runner Temp





The parts - EV1 Plug extension not shown



The Temp Readings (On Board Computer stated 92 Degrees Ambient Temp)




I really don't see this as being the correct way.

All you are doing is giving the DME incorrect information. It uses the actual AIT for air density and load management calculations (timing), Sure the car might feel perkier at first, but in time the DME will relearn the "noise levels" and put the actual timing back to your original start points.

Fuel mixtures will also start out a little rich until the DME adapts those errors out as well.

A good engine tune will put the timing were it needs to be and leave room for the DME to make adjustments based on IATs.
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      07-20-2019, 12:16 PM   #3
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It is not giving the DMW incorrect info. It is giving the DME the same info that it gets when the car is cold/ambient temperature before heat soak. You can't tell me your car does not feel faster at night or in the colder weather?! If what you were saying made sense then the factory tune would compensate to make the car always have the same power no matter the outside environment. And so if what your saying made sense, a turbo car especially, or a non turbo car, would not run faster at night or in the cold weather - it would always run the same no matter what - which is simply not true.....

It has already been documented - through instrumented testing - that at normal operating temperatures, the temperature of the intake air as it travels through the air filter / MAF sensor / intake manifold is in fact very close to that of the Ambient Air Temperature.

The Sensors and Components of the Engine and Engine Bay heat up to 140-170 degrees but the actual air intake temp because it originates from outside of the engine bay (factory intake snorkel in front of the radiator support) and is continually travelling and being ingested by the engine - is again very close to that of the outside ambient air temp.

The heat soak of these sensors adversely affects their readings of the actual air temp inside of the air intake system - and the close loop tune corrects for it, resulting in less Torque / HP. Granted it is only a small loss like 10-20HP, it is still a decline you can feel. Just like you can feel that same amount of 10-20HP gain when its freezing cold outside!

All of this is relative to Non Turbo cars as Turbo Cars inherently bake their own intake temps due to the turbo charger being literally connected to the exhaust and so actual air temps in a turbo car after the intercooler are still super hot regardless of heat soak.
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      07-20-2019, 10:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23psi4age View Post
It is not giving the DMW incorrect info. It is giving the DME the same info that it gets when the car is cold/ambient temperature before heat soak. You can't tell me your car does not feel faster at night or in the colder weather?! If what you were saying made sense then the factory tune would compensate to make the car always have the same power no matter the outside environment. And so if what your saying made sense, a turbo car especially, or a non turbo car, would not run faster at night or in the cold weather - it would always run the same no matter what - which is simply not true.....

It has already been documented - through instrumented testing - that at normal operating temperatures, the temperature of the intake air as it travels through the air filter / MAF sensor / intake manifold is in fact very close to that of the Ambient Air Temperature.

The Sensors and Components of the Engine and Engine Bay heat up to 140-170 degrees but the actual air intake temp because it originates from outside of the engine bay (factory intake snorkel in front of the radiator support) and is continually travelling and being ingested by the engine - is again very close to that of the outside ambient air temp.

The heat soak of these sensors adversely affects their readings of the actual air temp inside of the air intake system - and the close loop tune corrects for it, resulting in less Torque / HP. Granted it is only a small loss like 10-20HP, it is still a decline you can feel. Just like you can feel that same amount of 10-20HP gain when its freezing cold outside!

All of this is relative to Non Turbo cars as Turbo Cars inherently bake their own intake temps due to the turbo charger being literally connected to the exhaust and so actual air temps in a turbo car after the intercooler are still super hot regardless of heat soak.

The biggest reason for an engine to make more power when it's cold is called Air Density. More Oxygen per cycle. We've had this phenomenon well before computers took control of our cars.

The Modern BMW / N52 does tailor ignition timing during higher temps but it's also constantly monitoring the knock sensors and making small changes to the stored adaptive ignition tables. Think of it as a Close loop ignition advance system. Unless you make change to the actual ignition, load or knock factors, it's going to relearn pretty quickly. I've logging a knock/noise induced timing pull in one gear and watched it pull timing in the next gear at the same RPM, without the Knock/noise. It preemptively pulled timing at that spot.

Other than extreme circumstances, You are not going to pick up 10-20 HP by simply changing the IAT location. Hell, it takes a full tune, vanos, timing, fueling to pick up 15 HP on a stock motor /N52.

Living in Florida, I have a good understanding of heat soak. I went back and looked at some of my N52 Logs, I logged everything when I tuned that car. It seems like the recorded IATs recovered pretty quickly. I'm seeing a typical 7 degree C drop in about 6 seconds. Max values, stop and go Florida traffic are about 50 Degrees C, I don't think the IAT sensors ever reach the temperatures you mention.



Ya FI motors are different beasts, stop and go traffic in the hot summer sun, I actually think my N54 IATs are lower then the N52. Some of my N52 logs show 50+ degrees in stop and go traffic, but I rarely see over 40 with the N54. Build up a little boost and that changes.
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      07-21-2019, 12:35 AM   #5
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You're not going to make more power. The actual intake temperature, whatever the air is when it enters the cylinders - did not change at all. There's no possible way moving the sensor could change the actual IAT, and thus the density of the intake charge.

Even if it did read significantly different (which is doubtful), all you would succeed in doing is throwing off the model of air density used by the computer to calculate everything from traction control to ignition to fueling (and more).

Given that there is basically zero evidence that the stock IAT heat soaks due to its position, and BMW probably spent millions figuring out the best position for every sensor - this is definitely another totally pointless N52 mod.
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      07-21-2019, 03:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjahl View Post

Other than extreme circumstances, You are not going to pick up 10-20 HP by simply changing the IAT location. Hell, it takes a full tune, vanos, timing, fueling to pick up 15 HP on a stock motor /N52.

Living in Florida, I have a good understanding of heat soak. I went back and looked at some of my N52 Logs, I logged everything when I tuned that car. It seems like the recorded IATs recovered pretty quickly. I'm seeing a typical 7 degree C drop in about 6 seconds. Max values, stop and go Florida traffic are about 50 Degrees C, I don't think the IAT sensors ever reach the temperatures you mention.

Ya FI motors are different beasts, stop and go traffic in the hot summer sun, I actually think my N54 IATs are lower then the N52. Some of my N52 logs show 50+ degrees in stop and go traffic, but I rarely see over 40 with the N54. Build up a little boost and that changes.
I understand air density and closed loop a little lol. I didnt say you pick up 10-20HP, I said you would not lose 10-20HP due to heat soak. And in the very cold weather your car feels like it gained 10-20HP - due to air density.

I said "Granted it is only a small loss like 10-20HP, it is still a decline you can feel. Just like you can feel that same amount of 10-20HP gain when its freezing cold outside!"

The IAT relocate simply results in you maintianing your HP that the car was tuned for or the stock HP it came with. You said that you logged your N52 when tuning it and IAT values at stop and go were 50c which is 122f - so you are confounding the reality that the IAT is reading higher than ambient air temp because it is never 122f in Florida - which is what I was conveying in the original post. The air entering the engine is not 122f.

I said "data out there that shows the stock location MAF based IAT sensor reads temperatures from 25-55 higher than Ambient Air Temp"

Whats interesting about the IAT relocation is that most people who do it - says it works and most people who are saying it does not work - did not do it lol.

Anyways good info and insight my friend.
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      07-21-2019, 03:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
You're not going to make more power. The actual intake temperature, whatever the air is when it enters the cylinders - did not change at all. There's no possible way moving the sensor could change the actual IAT, and thus the density of the intake charge.

Even if it did read significantly different (which is doubtful), all you would succeed in doing is throwing off the model of air density used by the computer to calculate everything from traction control to ignition to fueling (and more).

Given that there is basically zero evidence that the stock IAT heat soaks due to its position, and BMW probably spent millions figuring out the best position for every sensor - this is definitely another totally pointless N52 mod.
I didn't say the air temp is changing by relocating the IAT. I actually said the air entering the engine changes temperature very little - and so the air entering the engine basically is the same as the ambient air temp. Your not reading what I said at all.

And there certainly is evidence that the MAF heat soaks...Read the post literally above yours - rjahl just stated that he logged 122f IAT readings in traffic in florida. The ambient air temperature in Florida is not 122f.

Whats interesting about the IAT relocation is that most people who do it - says it works and most people who are saying it does not work - did not do it lol.
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      07-21-2019, 09:05 AM   #8
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I don't know how that tiny bead of sensor element that is connected to the rest of the MAF via tiny bare wires will be heat soaked by the outside of the MAF while there is constant air flowing over it inside the intake pipe .

One way to test this would to have two MAFs, one placed on the engine where it should be, the other kept outside cool. Run the engine hot by idling at high RPM. Note the IAT value report from ECU. Shot down and very quickly replace the MAF with the cool one and very quickly run the engine and get the IAT values. If newly replaced one reports same or very similar it is doing its work as it is designed. There will some lower value due to opening the hood and removing the MAF and etc, but I suspect it will go back to same value before shortly.
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      07-21-2019, 10:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23psi4age View Post
I didn't say the air temp is changing by relocating the IAT. I actually said the air entering the engine changes temperature very little - and so the air entering the engine basically is the same as the ambient air temp. Your not reading what I said at all.

And there certainly is evidence that the MAF heat soaks...Read the post literally above yours - rjahl just stated that he logged 122f IAT readings in traffic in florida. The ambient air temperature in Florida is not 122f.

Whats interesting about the IAT relocation is that most people who do it - says it works and most people who are saying it does not work - did not do it lol.
Do you really believe that intake air pulled from beside a very hot radiator, run through a non insulated duct and into a plastic filter compartment will not pick up any heat from those surfaces? The question is not "if?", it's "how much?". As the recorded IATs dropped pretty quickly with increased combustion air volume, I really feel that IAT's at 10-20 degrees above ambient in those stop and go conditions is very reasonable. Apparently so did BMW, as they designed a very complicated engine management system that uses this data.

You need to fully research the DME before you can appreciate how much effort went into the "Engine performance Model". There are factors/tables for nearly everything and then correction factors for nearly all of them. There is no way BMW did not resolve or account for any inaccuracies in the primary sensors.
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      07-21-2019, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjahl View Post
Do you really believe that intake air pulled from beside a very hot radiator, run through a non insulated duct and into a plastic filter compartment will not pick up any heat from those surfaces? The question is not "if?", it's "how much?". As the recorded IATs dropped pretty quickly with increased combustion air volume, I really feel that IAT's at 10-20 degrees above ambient in those stop and go conditions is very reasonable. Apparently so did BMW, as they designed a very complicated engine management system that uses this data.

You need to fully research the DME before you can appreciate how much effort went into the "Engine performance Model". There are factors/tables for nearly everything and then correction factors for nearly all of them. There is no way BMW did not resolve or account for any inaccuracies in the primary sensors.
Often, I sum up these up by figuring: if this were so easy and had consistent, proven gains, BMW would've already done it.
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      07-21-2019, 02:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23psi4age View Post
I didn't say the air temp is changing by relocating the IAT. I actually said the air entering the engine changes temperature very little - and so the air entering the engine basically is the same as the ambient air temp. Your not reading what I said at all.

And there certainly is evidence that the MAF heat soaks...Read the post literally above yours - rjahl just stated that he logged 122f IAT readings in traffic in florida. The ambient air temperature in Florida is not 122f.

Whats interesting about the IAT relocation is that most people who do it - says it works and most people who are saying it does not work - did not do it lol.
If it's the same temp then what is the point in moving it? How do you figure power is gained when nothing else changed?

Don't get into a pissing match about how other people haven't done anything lol. You will not win..
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      07-21-2019, 07:29 PM   #12
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I think the OP believes the sensor gets warmed by surrounding parts. And he thinks that although the air entering the engine is the same temp as ambient, the warmed sensor reports a higher temp to the DME.

I’m trying to be neutral here but it doesn’t add up to me. OP, look at that sensor pictured above. The black bulb is what actually reads the temp. Look how little contact it has with any surrounding surfaces to get “heat soaked” by them. Also don’t forget it’s in a constant stream of fresh flowing air which will also minimize it getting heat soaked.

Maybe those older cars you mentioned used a more primitive, inferior temp sensor. For our cars I don’t think moving the sensor does anything. I’m only going with my gut though.

I would love to see actual data to prove me wrong. Very easy to do, you already have both sensors installed now on your car. Can’t you just run your motor plugged into stock sensor and then swap to the extended plug and run it again? Sample the 2 temp data.
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      07-21-2019, 09:08 PM   #13
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With E39 M5 and E46 M3 vehicles this is a proven and popular mod. Turner has made a plug and play solution for N52 that is very cost effective. I never said this mod gains power - I said it more so retains the power you feel when the car is first started up before it reaches heat soak. I feel it works great. Why everyone is so triggered? I don't know. Hope everyone has a great week!
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      07-21-2019, 09:54 PM   #14
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      07-22-2019, 04:31 PM   #15
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IAT

I also live in florida. its been very hot 100f+ it feels like. my car would feel gutless like a honda civic with the a/c running full blast during the day. however in the night time even with the a/c running it feels like a different car. not sure if sensor relocation would make a difference. hot is hot!!!! no matter where you put that sensor!! warm is warm.. cold is cold...
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      07-23-2019, 04:16 PM   #16
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I know how much everyone likes and needs data. My butt dyno already confirmed this. The first 13 comments above were made prior to these readings having been provided...I purchased an OBDlink LX and did a quick test.

Quick Test Idling at my Job - Ambient 95 Degree Temps per dash

I ran the MAF first showing 180-190f Coolant Temps
MAF Readings were 144f at idle / 136f after revving at 2600rpm for 30 seconds

I ran the IAT Relocation second showing 195-205f Coolant Temps
IAT Relocation Readings were 113f at idle / 107f after revving at 2600rpm for 30 seconds
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      07-23-2019, 04:59 PM   #17
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WTF,
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      07-23-2019, 06:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23psi4age View Post
I know how much everyone likes and needs data. My butt dyno already confirmed this. The first 13 comments above were made prior to these readings having been provided...I purchased an OBDlink LX and did a quick test.

Quick Test Idling at my Job - Ambient 95 Degree Temps per dash

I ran the MAF first showing 180-190f Coolant Temps
MAF Readings were 144f at idle / 136f after revving at 2600rpm for 30 seconds

I ran the IAT Relocation second showing 195-205f Coolant Temps
IAT Relocation Readings were 113f at idle / 107f after revving at 2600rpm for 30 seconds
A) you can't accurately measure intake temps at a standstill.
B) an infrared temp sensor doesn't work the way you think it does. You can log the actual IAT, but there is no point anyway because:
C) true intake temps have NOT CHANGED. All you've done is send the DME inaccurate data, at most. Probably not even, because when you are moving the air temp will be a lot more even (and there is no way you can lower actual IAT by moving the sensor).
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      07-23-2019, 07:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
A) you can't accurately measure intake temps at a standstill.
B) an infrared temp sensor doesn't work the way you think it does. You can log the actual IAT, but there is no point anyway because:
C) true intake temps have NOT CHANGED. All you've done is send the DME inaccurate data, at most. Probably not even, because when you are moving the air temp will be a lot more even (and there is no way you can lower actual IAT by moving the sensor).
A - so cars cant accurately measure their own intake at a standstill? Yes you are right especially with heat soaked MAF's!

B - the infared temp sensor was to show the differences in temperatures of the underhood components versus the front intake snorkel.

C - your right - true intake temps have not changed - they are pretty much the same as ambient air temps yet the heat soaked MAF tells the car that much hotter air is entering the engine.....Ill post some readings from driving back to back tonight.

no one is trying to lower the air temps. just measure it more accurately independent of the under hood temperatures of the engine approaching 200f!!!
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      07-23-2019, 08:39 PM   #20
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      07-23-2019, 10:39 PM   #21
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The thing is im not arguing - I'm just posting my findings and feel that the modification, and how I installed it, worked. I put some graphs and temperature logs now to help justify what I felt.

Why everyone is mis-understanding what I am saying is beyond me - they are reading into it all way past what I wrote.
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      07-24-2019, 08:11 AM   #22
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I appreciate you posting that data for us. It seems to have made a difference in your application.

I suspect this would make a difference maybe when you initially start off from a red light on a hot day. But once you have a high volume of airflow from rpms above idle I would think the stock sensor would quickly change temp to indicate accurately. Maybe not. I can’t argue with the figures you posted which are compelling.

Here’s what I don’t get, and my major hang up. This is the pic from Turners website...



They have moved the sensor maybe 8-10” but it’s still very close to the motor. I don’t see why the new sensor in that location would be any less likely to heat soak. So seeing that and without them publishing any real data on their website it reeks of snake oil.

Where you have placed the sensor is farther away and kind of makes sense to get less heat soak. But it also sees much less airflow than stock location or the Turner location, so would be less subject to rapid drop in temp vs the stock location if that new sensor was heat soaked.

In the end it’s only a $100 outlay so it’s money well spent if it works I guess.
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