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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 04-25-2014, 05:23 AM   #81
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I used JB Water weld. It's a putty you mold. Worked great. I will probably do a JB Weld top coat at some point.


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Old 05-10-2014, 10:06 AM   #82
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Well, we are still struggling to understand why the car is down on power compared to the twin car that this setup is based off of.

I did a compression test on the engine and all the cylinders were between 175 and 190. I did a leakdown and all the cylinders were between 4% and 8%. So by all rights the engine should be healthy. one thing of concern is that it burns quite a bit of oil. As it turns out, the valve stem seals are bad on this engine. Not surprising given the abuse it has taken over the years and the number of years it was sitting before we purchased it. So next weekend I'll be installing new valve seals and re-timing the cams. During the last round of dyno testing we wanted a little more advance on the exhaust cam, so hopefully re-centering them will give us a little extra range.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:53 PM   #83
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Well, we are still struggling to understand why the car is down on power compared to the twin car that this setup is based off of.

I did a compression test on the engine and all the cylinders were between 175 and 190. I did a leakdown and all the cylinders were between 4% and 8%. So by all rights the engine should be healthy. one thing of concern is that it burns quite a bit of oil. As it turns out, the valve stem seals are bad on this engine. Not surprising given the abuse it has taken over the years and the number of years it was sitting before we purchased it. So next weekend I'll be installing new valve seals and re-timing the cams. During the last round of dyno testing we wanted a little more advance on the exhaust cam, so hopefully re-centering them will give us a little extra range.

I'm glad you're reworking the head, I literally Cringed when I read the 4 to 8% leakdown numbers. I'm quite sure you'll get both motors within 5 WHP of each other when done.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:51 PM   #84
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I've never come close to using full retard on the exhaust so I've always wondered if more static advance would be good.

I'm looking forward to your results!
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:34 AM   #85
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M50 manifold conversion

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I'm glad you're reworking the head, I literally Cringed when I read the 4 to 8% leakdown numbers. I'm quite sure you'll get both motors within 5 WHP of each other when done.

I'm not reworking the head. I'm just doing the valve stem seals. 4 to 8% leak down is perfectly fine.

And anyway everything I could detect was leaking past the rings into the oil pan. Reworking the head wouldn't help.

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Old 05-11-2014, 09:53 AM   #86
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Thanks for documenting this build. I love reading about the unorthodox things people do to these cars.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:45 AM   #87
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I'm glad you're reworking the head, I literally Cringed when I read the 4 to 8% leakdown numbers. I'm quite sure you'll get both motors within 5 WHP of each other when done.
Those leakdown results are within race engine-build specifications. They are pretty nice.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:46 AM   #88
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Rob, what is the other build you mention?
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #89
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Those leakdown results are within race engine-build specifications. They are pretty nice.
I've always considered "good" leakdown numbers to be 5% or less. I've never had a freshly built (BMW M50) SCCA race motor above 4% leakdown, a few of them were less.


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Rob, what is the other build you mention?

If you go back to post #82, there's the mention of........"compared to the twin car that this setup is based off of", that's where I'm getting it from.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:59 PM   #90
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If it was a freshly built race motor then under 5% would be achievable.

Given that the other car and I make the same peak power and the same peak torque I doubt it is an engine health issue.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:59 PM   #91
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I've always considered "good" leakdown numbers to be 5% or less. I've never had a freshly built (BMW M50) SCCA race motor above 4% leakdown, a few of them were less.





If you go back to post #82, there's the mention of........"compared to the twin car that this setup is based off of", that's where I'm getting it from.
Thats pretty good result, did you test it later after carbon buildup around the valves?

The engine referenced in post #82 (which I though was by you at the time I asked the question) is the engine I was wondering more about. The build in general.

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Old 05-12-2014, 05:17 PM   #92
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As far as I know, the engine is a stock 2002 330Ci engine, the same one that was in the car when it left the factory.

Aside from ZHP cams that were installed later in life and the aforementioned port matching work, it's a stock engine.
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:11 PM   #93
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John, I'm having a hard time with you trying to figure out why your engine is making the same power as the other one. Decked head, bored block, tune, etc. Did you calculate your new compression ratio and cc the chamber? How much was removed from the cylinder head?

Would you ever consider running a custom tuned DME and 93 oct fuel just to eliminate the possibility of the MS3 tune hindering performance (which I do not see why it would, but to eliminate the electronics being at fault, this would be about the only way)

It could just be that his is a factory-freak?
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:37 PM   #94
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I think you're confused about the state of tune of both cars. Both of use are running MS3. Both of us have the same modifications. M50 manifold, headers and exhaust, intake, intake port matching, injectors. Both are making the same peak horsepower, 242whp@6200RPM. Both of us are making the same peak torque. The only difference is the power being made in the middle of the RPM range.

His engine is a BMW factory replacement that has pretty low miles on it (I think it's two years old). I don't have his compression or leakdown numbers, but I should have him run that test. Mine was supposedly a rebuild, bored over, with a decked head. By my calculations, a factory overbore should add less than 1 horsepower. A head decked to the BMW minimum thickness of 139.7mm (from a factory 140mm) should add less than 0.1 points of CR. So those modifications, if they were done (which I doubt) would not add any measurable power.

There is definitely more power to be made on these engines than we are making. The header primaries (for my Technik V3 and his Supersprint) are not optimal length or diameter for maximizing power from 4k-6.5k. The unequal length of the front and rear bank primaries sacrifices a little power. But it doesn't explain the difference between his engine and mine. I believe that with stock (ZHP) cams, we should be able to both make about 250 at the wheels. Which would be pretty impressive.

We have some other things to try to get my engine closer to his. It will probably consume most of the next month getting there.

Hope this helps your understanding a bit.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:31 PM   #95
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I think you're confused about the state of tune of both cars. Both of use are running MS3. Both of us have the same modifications. M50 manifold, headers and exhaust, intake, intake port matching, injectors. Both are making the same peak horsepower, 242whp@6200RPM. Both of us are making the same peak torque. The only difference is the power being made in the middle of the RPM range.

His engine is a BMW factory replacement that has pretty low miles on it (I think it's two years old). I don't have his compression or leakdown numbers, but I should have him run that test. Mine was supposedly a rebuild, bored over, with a decked head. By my calculations, a factory overbore should add less than 1 horsepower. A head decked to the BMW minimum thickness of 139.7mm (from a factory 140mm) should add less than 0.1 points of CR. So those modifications, if they were done (which I doubt) would not add any measurable power.

There is definitely more power to be made on these engines than we are making. The header primaries (for my Technik V3 and his Supersprint) are not optimal length or diameter for maximizing power from 4k-6.5k. The unequal length of the front and rear bank primaries sacrifices a little power. But it doesn't explain the difference between his engine and mine. I believe that with stock (ZHP) cams, we should be able to both make about 250 at the wheels. Which would be pretty impressive.

We have some other things to try to get my engine closer to his. It will probably consume most of the next month getting there.

Hope this helps your understanding a bit.
This clears things up perfectly


If I'm not mistaken, there's around 1/8" to be shaved off the block's deck in order to zero-deck it (if the valves allow for it, which I think they do). I'd go ahead and do that if I were extracting power from every place possible, which has been your trend with the motor. If you had equal-length headers you'd make up some of the mid-range power you lost with the manifold, then again the engine spends of its life above mid-range.

If you did do zero-deck it, you'd be able to tell if it was in fact rebuilt to the claimed specs (if you cared).
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:51 PM   #96
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This clears things up perfectly


If I'm not mistaken, there's around 1/8" to be shaved off the block's deck in order to zero-deck it (if the valves allow for it, which I think they do). I'd go ahead and do that if I were extracting power from every place possible, which has been your trend with the motor. If you had equal-length headers you'd make up some of the mid-range power you lost with the manifold, then again the engine spends of its life above mid-range.

If you did do zero-deck it, you'd be able to tell if it was in fact rebuilt to the claimed specs (if you cared).
By the rules of my class I cannot deck the head beyond what BMW specifies in their TIS, which is 0.3mm. That's much less than 1/8".

I do agree there is power to be had in improving the leakdown numbers. But it's a big expense for what is likely a very small gain.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:04 PM   #97
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Yeah that wouldn't be worth it.

I assumed you could deck this block just like the S5x blocks. IDK if they are different specs according to BMW TIS, but a local had zero-decked a few S5x motors without any problems, years later. They also do not track the cars often.

I want to say he did it to his M54, too.
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:57 PM   #98
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Fixing the old leaking valve seals and re-timing the cams. The exhaust cam was retarded a few degrees from the baseline position, so I'll fix that (And probably advance it a little bit beyond the baseline) when the cams go back in.




We never use full retard on the exhaust cam so it makes sense to bias it towards the advanced side.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:00 AM   #99
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Confused in the last picture. Looks like a valve dropped in, what am I missing there?

Are you getting on the dyno afterwards?
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:03 AM   #100
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I think you're looking at a head bolt.

Yes, I'll have to re-dyno after re-centering the cams.
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