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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Power Mods for a HPDE/wknd fun car N54



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      12-10-2018, 03:01 PM   #1
CRCE90
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Power Mods for a HPDE/wknd fun car N54

So I have done some lurking on this forum and it seems that a great number of n54's experience limp mode issues due to overheating on the track. I have participated in 5-6 weekends of HPDE's @ tracks including Roebling Road, VIR, and CMP. I have done a good many suspension mods resisting the urge to chase more HP/TQ for fear of nervously watching my oil temp gauge and waiting for limp mode to cut power on the track. I live in SC and try to stay away from events in the summer for this reason as well as hanging out on tarmac all day in the Savanna, GA or Kershaw, SC heat isn't my idea of a fun weekend. I have reached the point with suspension and skill that I believe I could benefit from some additional horseys under the hood. But I want to do so without breaking the bank or potentially having heat management issues. The important parts of my setup needed to answer this question I believe are as follows. 6 Speed Manual, Factory Oil Cooler, Dinan Axle Back, and BMS Dual Cone intake. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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      12-10-2018, 10:57 PM   #2
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You’re in good shape with a manual. If you want to avoid heat issues, my recommendation is a CSF radiator, straight distilled with a bottle of water wetter (no antifreeze), and ideally two big oil coolers.
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      12-11-2018, 03:33 PM   #3
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Thank you for your input. So I may have not made my question very clear in the initial post, but what I am trying to do is start to add power mods to the car. For example higher flow DP's, tune, FMIC. If I added those three things before upgrading to a performance radiator would I likely have limp mode issues on the track or should I be in the clear? I know alot of it depends on the specific car/driver/weather situation but I was trying to get a few opinions to see. I think probably the safest thing to do would be to start upgrading the cooling system first before adding power, but I am trying to maximize my fun/dollar ratio while keeping the engine safe. I would think DP's and a conservative tune maybe adding some Mocool to the coolant could be a safe solution, but I really do not know. Thanks again for any input.
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      12-11-2018, 04:40 PM   #4
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At advanced pace a driver in a tuned, stock radiator/oil cooler n54 can hit temp thresholds for limp mode within a few laps if ambient temp is upwards of 80 degrees. On a 90 degree day, you'll overheat the car SEVERAL times during a 20 minute session if traffic is light.

If its 60-70 degrees out you can probably make it through most of a session.

I second the suggestion davidwarren made. Keeping water temps down will help avoid knock. The smaller 5/7 inch FMICs aren't very effective at keeping IATs down on track so you may want one of the 7.5"ers. Also be sure that your car is happy with the tune its running, and iron out any big timing corrections
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      12-13-2018, 04:57 PM   #5
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It has been 5 years, 3 years on 8psi, 2 years on 13psi, 50+ truck days, mixed intermediate and advance HPDE. Never had any issue with over heating. Factory oil cooler and AUX coolant radiator. 6spd MT. It has lot to do with the driving. If style is "park it and punch" instead of carrying speed engine and brake will over heat.
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      12-28-2018, 03:21 AM   #6
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I'm with feuer. I don't rev past 6000 unless I need to (rare) and my oil peaks at 127C peak on a 25C (80F?) day. N54 PPK.
DPs are good to lower your EGT, just turn off code for it. You might need to adjust WGDC table as well if you can learn/log and DIY it.
Also slap on custom/MHD cooling parameters.
For oil, I think the best solution is a lower temp external thermostat, blockoff plate with AN/ORB barbs and the largest oil cooler you can fit.

You might need coding to turn off some of the non M nannies.
Power reduction to due to brake temperatures comes to mind.
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      01-15-2019, 09:51 AM   #7
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I have had multiple track days in the 90f Minnesota/Wisconsin summers and I have only had limp mode once when I didn't turn on the heater on / my water pump was failing. Someone i managed to limp it home over 600 miles without issues.

A couple things that helped me was removing the engine plastic belly pan-saw a 10f drop in oil temp on regular cruising. I also turn the heater on and blow it through the side vent- helps a little since it acts a mini radiator and its typically hot as hell anyhow.

These cars a very sensitive to heat and i have seen oil temps hit 275/280f with stock power and oil cooler. I typically shift around 6-6.5k since the power drops off after that.

I installed a new 5" intercooler this fall so i'm interested to see if that helps lower coolant/oil temp at the track next year.
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      01-15-2019, 03:41 PM   #8
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I have done a few track days in 100+ weather here in Cali and have not went into limp mode yet(knock on wood). I am using MHD's flash tuner to set the water pump to "Race" mode, so it activates the waterpump and thermostat at a lower temp to help with cooling. I also have the factory oil cooler and I use water wetter in my coolant also. BTW I'm running stage 1 turbos, E50, FBO, etc.. 400+ hp.
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      02-08-2019, 01:48 PM   #9
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+1 to above about MHD coolant targets

Running e60/E85 keeps my oil temps about 25 degrees F cooler. The combustion is just colder.

There's also a oil thermo you can buy from BMS.

Would recommend adding an additional, bigger oil cooler to your wish list.

If you can stomach it, cut vents in the hood on the turbo/pass side.
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      03-07-2019, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tisdrew View Post
+1 to above about MHD coolant targets

Running e60/E85 keeps my oil temps about 25 degrees F cooler. The combustion is just colder.

There's also a oil thermo you can buy from BMS.

Would recommend adding an additional, bigger oil cooler to your wish list.

If you can stomach it, cut vents in the hood on the turbo/pass side.
Trackspec makes great hood vents for our cars.
E85 makes it runs that much cooler, i'll have to try it out this year to hope to see better oil temps in the summer
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      03-15-2019, 12:20 AM   #11
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There are so many factors at play, really it's a matter of if you *personally* see overheating issues, then take steps to fix it.

Track layout, driving style, run group pace, ambient temps, etc. are all variable and one track's intermediate pace can be hell on temps while advanced pace on another can keep it under control.
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      03-15-2019, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r4dr View Post
There are so many factors at play, really it's a matter of if you *personally* see overheating issues, then take steps to fix it.

Track layout, driving style, run group pace, ambient temps, etc. are all variable and one track's intermediate pace can be hell on temps while advanced pace on another can keep it under control.
true, but if youre hoping that the pace is good enough to keep things cool, you should take steps to make sure it doesn't happen. I hate going to the track only to be able to do 2/5 sessions cause of something i know i could've prevented
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