DIY competition Thermostat plate - E46Fanatics E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-23-2017, 08:03 PM   #1
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
DIY competition Thermostat plate

Ok, I finally got the mill going to make a 'competition thermostat' like the units produced/sold by bimmerworld/zionsville.

These:


Here's my work flow on this one.

I bought a new Tstat, (Whaler) and discovered that you shouldn't use those for this project. I'd already chopped it up a bit before I figured that out.
Basically, the temp probe sticks into the actual Tstat. It's a nice design, but makes ripping out the old tstat problematic.

Get a Behr Tstat. My car had one on it. The temp probe is mounted in the end of the housing so that it can stick around even after you've ripped out the old mechanical tstat.

With the gutted tstat, I was able to place it flat onto my wifes scanner. I took that image and pulled it into coreldraw. From there I laid out a set of vectors to match up with the outline of the Tstat.

Then I used the new vector set to cut out a custom gasket. The gasket material is literally sold as 'gasket material' at the hardware/auto store.
We'll need that to mate the adapter plate to the block. The tstat gasket will mate to the adapter plate.

Meanwhile, I'd ordered a 'replacement' tstat from Bimmerworld. It turns out that it's just a Calorstat made by Vernet, Part number TH5111.80J. This is the 80C thermostat. I may change it up for something a bit warmer but I want to see how the car runs first.


The new stat is mechanical and comes with an oring. We'll use the oring to seal against the adapter plate and the lip of the tstat will rest against our custom gasket.

Now I've sucked my design into my cad/cam software and have fed data to my CNC mill. It's cutting right now, I'll update when I have either something cool to show off or a disaster in which a break my freakin' end mill again.
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 02:35 AM   #2
daniel_f.
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 3,091
My Ride: 330iC
Always wondering why one would do all the work if you just need to change the coolant setpoint in the ecu.
__________________

Current licensing status:
Security implementation *done*
Implementing Flex Fuel


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

daniel_f. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 08:08 AM   #3
SoloII///M
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 806
My Ride: Many
Yes, I'm not sure I get the point here. The DME can be controlled to open the t-stat at a lower temperature if you desire... we do this with the megasquirt.
__________________
John V
No more BMWs...
SoloII///M is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-24-2017, 10:15 AM   #4
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Everything below here is my opinion...

Honestly, I feel that the stock unit is questionable.
Just read about various overheat failures and you'll see why I don't like the thing.
Combine that with the idea that overheating a M54 can be exceptionally bad for the engine.

If/when the heater fails, you're now defaulting to a really hot temp. 97c == 206.6.
The stock design runs the system at an overly hot temperature, thus the cooling system wanting 2 freakin bar of pressure.
Now, if the wax pellet fails and the thermostat sticks open, you're probably going to run too cool. This can also be very bad.
So yeah, I feel safe in saying that the likelyhood that the thermostat will fail is just increased with this design.
Add some age to the car and I think this risk only increases. Even with a new thermostat, wiring can fail, power to the heating element could reduce from tarnishing connections, etc.

Let's take it a step further. If you reduce the set point in the ecu (yay), you're effectively running that heater even more.
Since those sort of components survive x heat cycles and x time, we can extrapolate that it'll fail sooner.
If that's the case, you're now at higher risk of overheating.
Let say that a failure does happen. If I'm running at a lower temp normally, I now have more time to prevent a catastrophic overheat while driving.
Not much, but I can probably set the upper limit in torque and have it bitch if it gets higher than I like.

Now lets look at the argument for power.
It's pretty well documented that running a given engine at a lower (effective) temperature will generate more power output.
This is really a curve, if you go too far your output falls off pretty badly. There are loads of arguments about where to go here.
Go too hot and you're tossing power out the window. Too cold can do pretty bad things as well - un-burned fuel could get into the oil, more carbon, etc.

So, I get a little bit of peace of mind with this change.
I get a little more buffer in which to stop driving if I start to overheat.
I get to make stuff which I love to do.
I'll likely get a bit of a power boost as well.

Ironically, I play with computer controlled temperature systems all the time. (Hell, my hot tub runs on a raspberry pi)
From an engineering standpoint, I simply don't like the design of the thermostat interface on the M54.
There's also a limit to how much control you'll have. When the tstat opens, the coolant will suck heat off that tstat and make it close again.
Considering that loop, I don't think that you're going to really have very fine control over the system that way. It's more of a nudge in the right direction.

Keep in mind that I'm beefing the living crap out of my cooling system. New hoses, new hard lines, CSF racing radiator (all aluminum) stewart pump, zionsville expansion tank (also all aluminum). The new tstat is just one more piece of that build. If I decided I don't like it, it's pretty trivial to toss a stock one on there.

I will say this: This needs to be tuned for your car and typical driving conditions. Just chucking in a cooler tstat is not really a great plan. The temperature should (and will be in my case) be monitored and the tstat adjusted as needed.

I personally live at 9500 ft. I drive down to 5400 ft all the time. That's pretty hard on an engine. (coming up at least) Now consider that the thinner air reduces the amount of heat that my engine can dump via the radiator. The thinner air also means less power at altitude. If I can keep my temps down a bit, I should have less heat soak which should help increase air density to my engine - thus more power and better performance. This is probably a much bigger deal to me than to most drivers here.

Anyhow, I'm having fun here. That's what it's all about for me.
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 10:59 AM   #5
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
sigh. Did I mention that I'm home sick? This is entertaining me while I feel like crap.
Anyhow, I messed up and told my cam software that my bit was smaller than it was. Everything on my first prototype is overcut by about 3/32 of an inch.

It's actually probably still usable, but I'm going to finish cutting it out and then use it to validate the design so it's not wasted.
The only real issue is that the mounting holes are all the same diameter as the brass inserts in the tstat housing. I think they'd pull through and then the housing would break.
Everything else has enough material to seal.

Oh well, I have a crap ton of aluminum plate, so it's not really a big deal, just time.
I think I'm going to face cut both sides before I cut any holes this time. The finish on the plate isn't terrible but I can have nearly perfect faces on both sides that way.
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 07:56 PM   #6
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Finished it up this afternoon. (Let the robot work while I'm sick.)

I modded the old thermostat from my car, which is a Behr. It's much easier to seal off once you rip out the element inside.
After removing the old stat and heater core, I plugged the small exposed area with a bit of black RTV just to be safe. I think the outer seal is untouched this way, but a little extra effort can go a long way.
I cut off the mounting tabs with my dremel (and then burned my finger on hot plastic) and the housing sits perfectly on my new adapter plate.



I tuned the plate alignment a bit, so I may remake my gasket, but that's pretty easy.
The entire unit should work perfectly, I just need to get some longer bolts. The originals are m6x25 so I just need some M6x35s and the big bolt is M8x30, so M8x40 for that guy.
The finish is mildly awful, but I hit the sealing surfaces with the buffer and some rouge to smooth things a bit. It looks a bit worse since there's still residue in the tiny surface imperfections.
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build

Last edited by WilloCO; 05-24-2017 at 07:58 PM.
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 04:24 AM   #7
Blu302
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 491
My Ride: '98 E46 323i
Year: 98
Model: E46
Transmission: Manual
I have been watching for a while. I am going to look at weather just wiring the factory thermostat heater core to +12v(or ground, whatever is needed) permanently will keep it at 80degC.

The idea of the bypass design is to have better temperature control than the Ford/GM design of blocking the flow.
When the "cold" coolant hits the other side of the t/stat, it will give a blended outlet temperature(inlet to engine/water pump) that matches the temperature setpoint.
__________________
_______________________________________________


Power is knowledge, So share the knowledge!!
Blu302 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 12:43 PM   #8
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
After giving the first real version a good look, I decided to make the hole for the thermostat and o-ring just a bit deeper. As it is, I think it's sticking out about .01 inches too far and could cause the side of the tstat to fail to seal. One side ended up just a hair deeper, so I'm going to run the next version with a milled face. If I was bolting the thing to an iron block, extra torque would crush the oring, but with the aluminum block I want to aim for stock torque here.

Otherwise, the fit between the plate, the o-ring and the tstat is awesome on the flat axis.
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 05:49 PM   #9
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Sweet. My revision looks pretty good. I added just a bit more depth to the oring seat and then milled the face to ensure that the tstat sits perfectly parallel to the face of the plate itself. I should get a solid seal. If anything, I could add maybe 5 thou to the seat but the fit is really very good. Also the gasket actually creates another sealing surface against the face of the tstat to the block.

The new version is cutting out now...

Notes for myself if I make another revision - the inner tstat mounting hole could be a little bit smaller.
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2017, 04:15 PM   #10
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Installed version 2 yesterday. I had to drill out the large hole for fitting but otherwise it went on nicely. I picked up small head flange bolts and they worked great.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2017, 09:01 PM   #11
SoloII///M
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 806
My Ride: Many
We dyno tested my engine at 170F coolant temp and 200F coolant temp. No difference in power.

Given that the cooling systems on these cars start to disintegrate every 60,000 miles or so I don't see any reason to mod the thermostat. But if you like making things, go for it.
__________________
John V
No more BMWs...
SoloII///M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2017, 04:30 PM   #12
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Yeah, I enjoyed this one.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2017, 11:15 PM   #13
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
I'm curious about your dyno testing.
Was that solely based on coolant temp? Did you heat soak the thing before testing at higher coolant temps?

I'm actually really happy with the final version of my thermostat. I'm pretty curious to see how my temps log once I start driving my car again.

Now, this is a bit interesting. Turner offered a freakin 140 degree tstat that was made by BMW.
https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-1...-with-housing/

I wonder if one of the ideas behind the really low TSTATs is to simply let the system start flowing sooner to reduce drag in the motor. You'd have some from flowing the coolant, but I imagine that there's more when the tstat is closed. When racing, the engine would tend to hit an entropic level...
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2019, 11:48 PM   #14
Mel279
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Brunei
Posts: 19
My Ride: E46 M3 & E46 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilloCO View Post
I'm curious about your dyno testing.
Was that solely based on coolant temp? Did you heat soak the thing before testing at higher coolant temps?

I'm actually really happy with the final version of my thermostat. I'm pretty curious to see how my temps log once I start driving my car again.

Now, this is a bit interesting. Turner offered a freakin 140 degree tstat that was made by BMW.
https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-1...-with-housing/

I wonder if one of the ideas behind the really low TSTATs is to simply let the system start flowing sooner to reduce drag in the motor. You'd have some from flowing the coolant, but I imagine that there's more when the tstat is closed. When racing, the engine would tend to hit an entropic level...

did you successfully making the adapter plate? and any feedback so far?
Mel279 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2019, 09:30 AM   #15
WilloCO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 655
My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel279 View Post
did you successfully making the adapter plate? and any feedback so far?
It's been flawless. No temperature issues and no leaks.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using E46Fanatics mobile app
__________________
Quote:
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
WilloCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2019, 06:05 PM   #16
Mel279
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Brunei
Posts: 19
My Ride: E46 M3 & E46 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilloCO View Post
It's been flawless. No temperature issues and no leaks.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using E46Fanatics mobile app
I would be interested to buy from you if you can make me one.
Mel279 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 02:38 AM   #17
Guru
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 6
Same here.
Guru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 02:39 AM   #18
Guru
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel279 View Post
I would be interested to buy from you if you can make me one.
Same here.
Guru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2019, 05:03 PM   #19
SoloII///M
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 806
My Ride: Many
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilloCO View Post
It's been flawless. No temperature issues and no leaks.
So in other words, just the same as a stock one?
__________________
John V
No more BMWs...
SoloII///M is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

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
Censor is OFF



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) 1999 - VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.