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bigjae1976 10-30-2012 10:38 PM

Non-M FI and track duty...not a good mix?
4 Attachment(s)
I run a stage II twinscrew with w/a injection, a zionsville radiator and oil cooler. As some may know, I had to get a new (used stuff) engine put in back in May. I've been to the track quite a bit, 19 days to be exact. Probably about 90 sessions mostly in 90-100 degree heat. I've had some misfore issues but replaced the bad coil pack and continued to go. During my last weekend, I was flogging it pretty hard and it didn't feel right. I pulled the plugs and they were gray/white from burning water wetter and coolant.

So my shop pulled the head and found that the exhaust valves were cooked, head gasket no good, the head was lifting, a cam bearing broke, the O2 sensors were cooked, and the insides of the headers were cooked as well. The valve stems where white as well. So obviously I was getting a LOT of heat, fire and maybe detonation. There is some debate about when this all went wrong but I am pretty sure it started early on back in June/July.

Now here's the theory. Apparently the MS45 DME monitors the differential between two air temp sensors between the MAF and the intake manifold. What AA (and I believe ESS) does is allow the temp sensor in the intake manifold monitor ambient temp to avoid throwing an SES light because the air after the compressor would be much hotter, engine would pull timing and throw a fault. This is OK for the street since you might get 1-2, maybe 3-4 good pulls and then you run into traffic or run out of road. On the track, you basically do a dyno pull coming out of every corner. While in the corners, I have the revs pretty damned high as well. This NEVER allows the intake charge to cool and heatsoaks quickly. The air temps go up and up but the DME cannot compensate because it is reading the mani air temps from the ambient temps of the engine bay. So the compressed air gets hotter and hotter and eventually detonates. Engine pulls lots of timing suddenly then the mixture is too rich and then shoots flames through the exhaust ports.

I've been tracking my 330 since 2008. My plugs were always black and I don't think I experience this heatsoak issue because I wasn't driving the car nearly as hard as I do now. Now with the new engine with the oil cooler, I see the oil temps top out at about 260 degrees and then the coolant gauge never moves past halfway.

I've done some asking around and apparently ESS does monitor intake temps but puts the mani air temp sensor before the compressor as well so you will probably run into the same issue.

Thoughts? Opinions? This could be a potential issue for any FI'd non-M that sees long term track use. This is a serious issue for me because this is about 2 months away from becoming a track car. I'm considering an S54 or LS swap but I would really like to keep this FI'd engine because its pretty damned fun and cool.

330i ZHP 10-30-2012 11:05 PM

damn - as we have been talking about - waiting for an answer from ESS on this

serdar255 10-30-2012 11:30 PM

I hope you find an answer. I'll look back later. Bump for a good cause.

TrippinBimmer 10-30-2012 11:36 PM


jared_wiesner 10-31-2012 09:06 AM

Maybe give Randy Mueller a call at Epic Motorsports and see if he has any ideas about this/about a tuning solution. The guy does race tunes for BMW's for a living. I'm sure he can get this running right/safely for you.

bigjae1976 10-31-2012 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by jared_wiesner (Post 14860366)
Maybe give Randy Mueller a call at Epic Motorsports and see if he has any ideas about this/about a tuning solution. The guy does race tunes for BMW's for a living. I'm sure he can get this running right/safely for you.

Thanks for the heads up and will consider Epic depending on how things go this weekend at the track.

I would like to see if this is a common issue with FI'd MS45s and maybe come up with a solution that can help everyone, regardless of brand.

TArse 10-31-2012 10:36 AM

Those valves are roasted, threats exactly what my exhaust valves on my cb750 looked like.

7to3_enthusiast 10-31-2012 10:40 AM


Contact Nick G, apparently his tuning skills are about as good as they get for BMW, he may have an idea.

NickG 10-31-2012 10:41 AM

For the record, the factory MS45 MAF has the air temp sensor built into it. There is no factory air temp sensor in the intake manifold (no need for two). So what MAF are you running with your kit? and what air temp sensor is your kit using?

From the look and description of what happened, I'm GUESSING that there was either massive detonation with the engine, with the resulting retarded ignition timing cooking the exhaust components, or the mixture was just too lean (ie, hot) causing the exhaust components to overheat.

If you like, you can send me your ECU and I can read out the knock adaption tables from it and give you the results. Just cover the shipping.

7to3_enthusiast 10-31-2012 12:32 PM

Were your ears ringing Nick? lol. Figured you'd know a little somethin.

aggieE46 10-31-2012 12:37 PM

Wow. Not cool, James. You're having some serious luck with your car lately.

330i ZHP 10-31-2012 02:43 PM

Ok, here is the official answer and exactly what I thought. The IAT has moved to the MAF in the MS45 - the oem intake has a PLUG where the IAT was plugged into the MS43 intake.

Here is Asbjorn's responses:

""""The MS45 IAT is integrated in the MAF. Only a plug is installed in the intake manifold.

On the MS45 car, there is a plug taken from the stock manifold (where the IAT is on the MS43 car) that is moved to the SC intake housing.


Asbjorn Bohn
ESS Performance Products USA Inc.
E-Mail : asbjorn@esstuning.com
Web : http://www.esstuning.com
Tel : (480)389-4377

Further - I went and picked a spare IAT today from dealer and compared it the ONLY plug (other than the DISA plug) I have and it DOES NOT FIT the IAT

I guess keep looking Jae

bigjae1976 10-31-2012 03:35 PM

Question...if I use distilled water + water wetter and I was burning coolant, would it make white smoke like 50/50 mix of coolant and water would?

330i ZHP 10-31-2012 03:42 PM

Yes. Steam is steam. It could cause the white too. Think of it as major steam clean.

Minnoe07 10-31-2012 08:46 PM

Seems like you have ruled out IAT issues.

I would agree with that conclusion. I have an ESS TS2 kit and while I haven't done as many track days as you, I have done many many mountain runs, autox's, and track days. I also run an MS45 ecu and have not had any issues.

Only thing that stood out recently for me was last time I changed plugs they were completely worn down, which I don't recall happening last time I changed plugs.

But everything is 100% operational. You do have the w/a injection which I am not a fan of. If it were to fail, could cause an issue with fuel mixture and timing.

Oil temps seem a bit on the high side. I don't think my oil temp has gone on the other side of 250 degrees.

I've also had the supercharger on since around 2008 and put over 70,000 miles on it. Car is currently at 120,000 miles.

ZHPinthe103 10-31-2012 08:51 PM

I have no idea what this thread is talking about.....

TxZHP04 10-31-2012 08:53 PM

Definitely not good news there. Yeah, as Nick pointed out, there is only a single IAT sensor and for MS45 it's integrated in the stock MAF. I don't know about the AA kit but ESS retains the stock MAF (and thus stock IAT). For MS45 cars this necessarily places the IAT sensor upstream of the compressor. For MS43 cars, ESS places the stock IAT sensor in the intake elbow just upstream of the compressor. Properly tuned this shouldn't be a major issue as the intake runner air temps are more a function of the temperature rise across the compressor due to the air being compressed combined with the thermal capacity of the aftercooler (both easily determined values) than the effects of heat soak on the rapidly flowing intake charge. Low speed intake charge velocities such as sitting idle at a stop light in summer heat would have a bigger effect wrt heat soak and intake charge temps. That said, I believe a number of factory supercharged cars have a temp sensor after the compressor and aftercooler.

James, you ran your car for a long time without this kind of trouble. I hate to say it but this is more likely a problem associated with the rebuild after the blown motor. Perhaps it was a hardware issue leading to some sort of intake leak but I seem to recall you had to use a slightly different compressor than AA originally supplied. If the car wasn't re-tuned after the rebuild it probably needed to be. If it was re-tuned for the new compressor, then I would suspect the tune was overly aggressive.

Good luck with whatever direction you decide to take this car in the future! Next time you are up this way, you and Brady and myself should all try to get together again.

bigjae1976 10-31-2012 09:21 PM

The tune does not take the w/a into account so if it runs dry then no issues. Although the tank is big enough its never an issue except for track use...then just check it after every session.

I'm trying to decide if this is a tune or a hardware issue. I think its both. Yes, the compressor is actually a kenny bell now so it makes a little more boost and I had the heads pocket ported. I had it tuned for this new compressor and the porting. The problem is you have no idea what the tuner does to the files when they resend to you because they don't or won't tell you.

The long story was it was dyno'd and then I went to the track to shake it down. It was running in the high 12s/low 13s which is pretty lean. I put race fuel in which made it a tad richer. I was told to start adding 25% 98 octane which made the AFRs drop to the low 12s at WOT. Then I was at the track on Jun 23 and the car started to run terrible. It would NOT rev above 5k RPM. I'm sure the car was pulling loads of timing. I think the head gasket was f'd at this point. So it was retuned again. I picked it up, among other issues, the tech noticed the exhaust smelled like coolant. I thought it smelled like coolant as well but I couldn't be sure since I don't have cats and it just smells mostly like fuel. The shop did a compression and leakdown test, it checked out.

I think at this point (~Jun 25), my valves got cooked, headlifted, gasket was screwed. I changed the plugs when I got the car back, they looked black like they normally do. This coinciding with shotty installation issues from the worst tech ever known on the face of the earth (he got fired) like not torqueing a/c pulley which came off and stripped my damper out, idle pulley coming off, 2 oil coolers breaking, busted belts, and just stupid ****.

So got the car back for a July 14th track day. Ran it and noticed the low coolant light kept coming on and going out. I was losing coolant...thinking it was a poor bleed job (which it was). I bled it but I still had to add coolant occasionally. And it kept coming on and I kept filling it. I kept asking if it was a head gasket issue. Tech said no way, it would not survive this long. I even suggested that the head lifted at this point. So I kept running it, never felt good about it. Finally two weeks ago, it felt significantly different. Then it started ticking a low speed and when I shut the car off after a track session. Never did that before. Then the shop finally decided to pull the head. They also found my VAC oil pump sprocket hanging on by a thread. I did spin the car once and stalled it...holy ****...one f'ing time and it comes off? I paid $400 for this? Might as well just loctite and wire the f'ing nut? The shop also found my ICV ripped and said that was leaning the car out and caused the issue. I call total BS on that because I just replaced an ICV that was seized open. Its been seized open before and never had a blow up.

That's where I'm at and that's why I am asking this question. Honestly, I think I'm being surrounded by incompetence but who knows. I guess I could just be the sickest driver ever who can just beat down anything in no time. The shop tried to charge me for the entire repair this time around which I am fighting. I f'ing TOLD the guy that it was eating coolant...a couple of times. I drove the car 200 miles for him to look at 5 f'ing different occasions for a couple of issues. If the tech had f'ing LISTENED to me I don't think we'd be having these issues. Then I seriously question the tuning techniques that both ends of the process are using.

Basically my engine is falling apart and I was moments from being back at square one...a 3400 lb paperweight. So yeah, I'm pretty f'ing pissed at this point. I'm at the end of my patience with this ****. I'm moving to Milwaukee soon. So if you see a blue 330 floating in Lake Michigan in Jan or Feb...its mine.


I'm close to just parting the car out and returning it to stock, dropping in an S54 or going with an LS1 if Vorshlag has completed the conversion kit.

330i ZHP 11-01-2012 01:02 AM


Originally Posted by ZHPinthe103 (Post 14862102)
I have no idea what this thread is talking about.....

then dont post in the FI forum

Good thoughts from other FI folks

sunnyjay 11-01-2012 01:59 AM

James do you monitor any of the engine data during your track sessions? Also pm when you get a chance.

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