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Discussion Starter #1
Hello I just joined the site the other day and plan to pickup a M6 here within the next 2 years. I am a big horsepower & musclecar guy and do allot of custom turbo systems, custom tuning, fuel systems and pretty much the whole shebang for Ford and GM cars. Ok enough with the intro and onto the main question at hand.

I am curious if any of you guys tune your own ECU's here and if so then what tuning platform do you use to do it? I have done some searching around and found a small thread on someone (had the name bonneville in their name or something) who looked like they were going to offer this. Are there any real viable options out there for us hardcore guys who prefer to tune our own vehicles? Thanks.

P.S. I did do a search but pretty much any results netted were referring to people paying others to tune their M6.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
My friend, this is an extrmely complicated ECU and as a natural consequence, not at all easy to tune yourself.

Ask any tuning company and they shall tell you that they spent at least 6 months to a year in research before they were able to tune anything.

I completely understand your concern and agree with that 100% if I weren't covered under special circumstances. However, I have been custom tuning my personal vehicles and other peoples cars for about 6 years now. While the tuning between a Ford, BMW, GM, and Lambo ,for instance, is different (usually in how the graphs and table arrangement and the units of measurement) there are still a huge amount of the tuning principles which are the same. The ECU still needs to be calibrated to understand what amount of airmass is making it into the engine so WOT AFR's can be calibrated, spark advance, transmission shift speeds and RPM's, Desired clutch slip times to name but a few of the thousands of parameters that can be changed in an ECU tune. And of those thousands of parameters in a tune most will not be changed in a performance tune anyways, whether staying N/A or going forced induction. Trust me just because Ford and GM vehicles are not considered "exotic" doesn't make them any simpler to tune; just different.

Please don't assume what I just said as me thinking that I will be able to custom tune an M6 tomorrow and the result be just as good as any of the other tuners in here who have been doing M6's longer. I am well aware that getting the best result out of a vehicle takes time and patience. When getting to know what a new model of car prefers, tunewise, there is always an initial learning curve. Some engines operate better with a richer WOT AFR while others like it a little leaner. Some you can get away with throwing 30 degrees spark advance at peak torque at WOT while other engines can only take 20 degrees before detonation starts to occur, and so on and so forth. Basically the only real way to truly learn how to tune a specific vehicle is to actually do it but while also being methodical about it. Of course if you have previous custom tuning experience then it makes the learning curve for tuning a new model of vehicle and its accompanying different tuning software/platform MUCH MUCH easier. I attribute learning to tune various makes & models of vehicles to something like being multilingual. Once you have taken the time and know the process to learn a few different languages then it becomes much easier to learn more in the future. That doesn't negate the fact that each language has its own specific challenges, but previous experience with the learning process shortens the learning curve of other languages in the future.

I understand your concern but if a tuning platform exists for the BMW M6 that a company is willing to license for the private end-user then I am confident that I will be able to operate it proficiently without an inordinate amount of time invested. Hasan I appreciate your advice. Please don't interpret what I just said as being cocky because I don't intend it that way at all. I just want to know if a tuning platform for the BMW M6 exists that will allow an individual to tune their own M6, versus taking it to a shop. As I said in my original post, I seen one a few days ago that I found via a search on here but my account wasn't approved yet so I could not post in the thread. And now that I am able to post I cannot find it. I literally searched for 2 hours last night trying different strings and search phrases but to no avail.

So does anyone know of an ECU tuning software/hardware platform that exists that allows the end-user to tune their own M6?
 

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+1 if you find something , let me know
Would be nice to be able to make incremental adjustments without sending the ECU in every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Will do. I found someone that was looking to offer it to the M6 community back in 2008-2009 but I cannot find the darn thread now. I wish I could remember the phrasing I used for those searches. Yep, the ability to make incremental changes to account for smaller items such as transmission shift speed/rpm, rear gear ratios, and tire revs/mile is how I first got started in custom ECU tuning; then it just snowballed from there. Hopefully something is out there and we just aren't aware of it. I suppose we will see what my continuing research and this thread nets.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Finally found the darn thread link. http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e6...n/118212-program-tune-your-own-ecu-m5-m6.html It is a very old post and it doesn't bode well that we haven't heard anything more from them but it is a step in the right direction. I will see if I can dig more information up on this bonnevillemotorwerks and Jim Conforti fella. Chances are likely that it all just fell through due to lack of interest.


See http://www.bonnevillemotorwerks.com/sharkedt/SharkEDT.pdf

For Pricing see http://www.bonnevillemotorwerks.com/sharkedt/SEPrice.pdf

The M5 / M6 uses the Bosch MS S65 ECU.

Jim Conforti, is one of the few talented tuners left that can get access to the encrypted ECU / DMEs of modern BMWs.

There is a little crackdown happening in the 335 world. BMW is cracking down on aftermarket tunes. Not only are they not honoring warranties for tuned cars but they are also putting detect mechanisms for tunes. Additionally, they are adding a higher level of encryption for the 335i.

The 335i is not really relevant for M5 / M6 which uses the Bosch MS S65 instead the 335i's Siemens MSD80 / 81.

Basically what Jim is offering is a OBD2 / CAN programmer that you can plug into your car. It will record the VIN so the unit can only work on your car. It appears that you will be able to adjust your own tuning but I am really curious to see what else I can play with.

Available July 08....

I have no financial interest. I just want to play around with the M5 / M6's variables!


EDIT: See http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139026 for some gory discussions on BMW's crackdown.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did some more digging and sent some emails out. So far the bonnevillemotorwerks option is not looking too good from what I found, or the lack therof, on the other BMW forums. But who knows, we will have to wait and see.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mike I tried to reply to your PM but apparently I need 50 posts before I can do so. Thanks for the links. I had not seen them before.
 

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Gentlemen,

Although I have nothing to add to this thread, regarding Ecu tuning by your selves, I would like to draw your attention to the following

fact :

The M5/M6 DME is a very-very-very complicated and sophisticated unit. It does not operate on its own but in collaboration with three

other electronic units on the car to give you the final result.

There are only six ( 6 ) people in Europe adequately trained and experienced to effectively tune these cars, without unwanted

side-effects.

One is working for AC Schnitzer, one for G-Power, one for Hammann, one for ESS tuning, one for Hartge and one in England for CA

Automotive and DMS Automotive. These are the best high-profile electronic tuners and most respected ones. I am sure there are others

But with questionable results.

I had the opportunity to see once in my life, one of these people tuning my own car. He worked for SIX HOURS on a Maha Dynometer.

What he did can't be described with words. I have seen hundreds of "tuning sessions" in my life with a simple map upload, but nothing

like this.

I can't state here what he did. And even if I wanted to, I did not understand much.

To cut a long story short. Please stay away from such kind of experiments.

George
 

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In addition, you cannot just change the values for anything.

This is an daptive ECU that works within pre defined limits for each variable. Therefore, we can program the ECU to change a variable, but with time, as the ECU adapts, it shall bring the variable back to the normal range.

The ECU has two values for each variable, the base value and the target value. To tune properly, we need to change the target value, ensuring the the value is within the pre defined limits programmed in the ECU. If a variable is programmed beyond this range, the ECU shall start working up from the base value and adapt itself to reach at a target value based on the information from the sensors and driving charateristrics.
 

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Thank you Hasan,

Let me add some more facts.

Regarding the OP post. No offense meant and with all due respect. American muscle cars are not exactly as complicated and sophisticated

as ///M cars.

The ///M cars are already very highly tuned vehicles, thus the potential of extracting big horse power gains from them without forced

induction or stroking is small to minimal. Further more big $$$ are requested - for example for the M6 in order to extract 70-80 CRANK

horses, you must be prepared to fork out at least 10k-12k only for the engine.

So, do you really believe people that playing dangerous ( to possibly catastrophic ) games with your DME for a 10-15 hp gain on SUCH

A CAR is worth it ?????

I REALLY DO NOT THINK SO.

George
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Gentlemen,

Although I have nothing to add to this thread, regarding Ecu tuning by your selves, I would like to draw your attention to the following

fact :

The M5/M6 DME is a very-very-very complicated and sophisticated unit. It does not operate on its own but in collaboration with three

other electronic units on the car to give you the final result.



Yes that is commonly referred to as a CAN (Controller Area Network) system. Allot of modern vehicles utilize that, and have for about 5-10 years now. Separate ECU, TCU, Stability control unit and so on. I have tuned CAN vehicles before by the way. :blink:




There are only six ( 6 ) people in Europe adequately trained and experienced to effectively tune these cars, without unwanted

side-effects.

One is working for AC Schnitzer, one for G-Power, one for Hammann, one for ESS tuning, one for Hartge and one in England for CA

Automotive and DMS Automotive. These are the best high-profile electronic tuners and most respected ones. I am sure there are others

But with questionable results.

I had the opportunity to see once in my life, one of these people tuning my own car. He worked for SIX HOURS on a Maha Dynometer.

What he did can't be described with words. I have seen hundreds of "tuning sessions" in my life with a simple map upload, but nothing

like this.

I can't state here what he did. And even if I wanted to, I did not understand much.

To cut a long story short. Please stay away from such kind of experiments.

George
You seem to be making a few assumptions here which is usual of people who haven't actually custom tuned vehicles. First and foremost, I don't believe that any of you that have replied with doubts in this thread so far have a basis for comparison when saying that the BMW tuning is "more complex" than any other tuning. The only way for you to accurately compare the two is to have custom tuning experience with both; not just looking over another guys shoulder for one and probably never having witnessed the other in action. So my question to those of you who have shown doubt in this thread so far is this.....Exactly how many vehicles of any type have you custom tuned the ECU/TCU on? I am talking actual full on recalibration and not just loading a canned tune that another tuner developed. If your answer is 1 or more AND you have actually observed the tuning process for a BMW M6 then I am all ears to any accurate FIRSTHAND insight you may be able to provide for comparison between BMW tuning and GM, Audi, Volkswagon, Ford, Mercedes, or other tuning. If the answer is less than 1 then you have no grounds to make any accurate comparison here and are probably better off listening rather than posting doubts based solely on presumption.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
In addition, you cannot just change the values for anything.

This is an daptive ECU that works within pre defined limits for each variable. Therefore, we can program the ECU to change a variable, but with time, as the ECU adapts, it shall bring the variable back to the normal range.

The ECU has two values for each variable, the base value and the target value. To tune properly, we need to change the target value, ensuring the the value is within the pre defined limits programmed in the ECU. If a variable is programmed beyond this range, the ECU shall start working up from the base value and adapt itself to reach at a target value based on the information from the sensors and driving charateristrics.

I am aware of this. It is referred to as adaptive learning......and other makes of vehicle have this as well. Not exactly limited to BMW tuning. And yes I have tuned this as well.......for years. Also, not all parameters in an ECU are adaptive. Some absolutely CANNOT be due to how the vehicle needs to operate in differing operating conditions. I will provide an example so you can better understand what I mean. In the spark timing advance tables the X axis is usually "ENGINE RPM" and the Y axis is usually "LOAD" (aka the calculated aircharge measured in volumetric efficiency taken into the engine). Lets say the 6000rpm/.90 load cell commands base timing to 25 degrees spark advance in the tune before knock starts to occur; and the car was tuned on a 50 degree day. The engine will take more spark advance due to the cooler weather. So now you take that same car and drive it on a 100 degree day in the summer and all of a sudden you have issues because the base spark of 25 degrees in that one cell is now too much for the engine to maintain without knocking. This is when either one or two things will kick in to control that. Either your knock sensors will kick in as a reactive measure and utilize predesignated spark r*tard values in the tune. Or as a proactive measure your intake air temperature sensor would see that your engine is ingesting a higher temperature airmass and thus reference PREDESIGNATED spark r*tard values in the IAT Spark tables and keep the knock from ever occuring in the hotter weather. While it may appear as "adaptive learning" if you don't know exactly how things function in the ECU it really is not. It is predefined. People commonly confuse adaptive learning with this all the time. Adaptive learning has the ability to generate its own learned values while the example I gave above allows the vehicle to adapt to differing weather conditions but it is still referencing predefined values in the tune. That is why most modern vehicles have anywhere between 5-40 different tables that control spark based upon predefined values that are only achieved with proper calibration in controlled situations. And each table will have between 100-400 cells in them. That is JUST for spark advance alone, let alone the other thousands of parameters that are controlled in a tune. This is why it takes us custom tuners usually around 6+ hours to properly recalibrate a tune for changes made because we have to work in so many tables in the tune; which in turn also means datalogging before making those changes so we aren't flying blind.

Most adaptive learning features center around two main items. One is part throttle fueling (otherwise known as closed-loop in many circles) and the other dealing with transmission driveability function. Adaptive learning cannot predict what weather you are about to drive into or what barometric pressure you will encounter and thus because it cannot control those variables it is not given access to learn figures to replace the ones input by the custom tuner. Things, like closed-loop fueling for instance, adaptive learning can control because it can monitor the AFR and also based upon the data modify the AFR. Adaptive learning cannot modify the temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, or actual altitude you are driving in. Some functions are calibrated to within a certain tolerance and then adaptive learning takes over and dials them in a little bit more. Other areas of the tune are more "hard" which adaptive cannot control; and for good reason. This is just part of the science behind custom tuning, and is in no way specific to just one make or model of vehicle regardless if you paid $20,000 or $200,000 for a car.
 
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Yes that is commonly referred to as a CAN (Controller Area Network) system. Allot of modern vehicles utilize that, and have for about 5-10 years now. Separate ECU, TCU, Stability control unit and so on. I have tuned CAN vehicles before by the way. :blink:






You seem to be making a few assumptions here which is usual of people who haven't actually custom tuned vehicles. First and foremost, I don't believe that any of you that have replied with doubts in this thread so far have a basis for comparison when saying that the BMW tuning is "more complex" than any other tuning. The only way for you to accurately compare the two is to have custom tuning experience with both; not just looking over another guys shoulder for one and probably never having witnessed the other in action. So my question to those of you who have shown doubt in this thread so far is this.....Exactly how many vehicles of any type have you custom tuned the ECU/TCU on? I am talking actual full on recalibration and not just loading a canned tune that another tuner developed. If your answer is 1 or more AND you have actually observed the tuning process for a BMW M6 then I am all ears to any accurate FIRSTHAND insight you may be able to provide for comparison between BMW tuning and GM, Audi, Volkswagon, Ford, Mercedes, or other tuning. If the answer is less than 1 then you have no grounds to make any accurate comparison here and are probably better off listening rather than posting doubts based solely on presumption.
Mr. Rocket scientist, there is no reason to get so defensive. We are all entitled to an opinion, right or wrong and will not accept statements

or even insults of the kind "... you are better off listening than posting ...".

If you came to this board to teach us how to tune an ECU, thank you, but frankly speaking 99,99 % of us do not care.

If you came here to show off your knowledge, please send your biography notes to Dinan and you might get a job there.

BUT if you came here with a true intention to discuss, please do so in a polite manner. People on this board know how to respect each other

and help each other.

As for me ??? If I insulted your vast fields of knowledge I thruthfully apologise. I retract my statements based on presumption, for your

peace of mind. And I am all ears to learn how to destroy my beloved M6. :7:
 

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I am aware of this. It is referred to as adaptive learning......and other makes of vehicle have this as well. Not exactly limited to BMW tuning. And yes I have tuned this as well.......for years. Also, not all parameters in an ECU are adaptive. Some absolutely CANNOT be due to how the vehicle needs to operate in differing operating conditions. I will provide an example so you can better understand what I mean. In the spark timing advance tables the X axis is usually "ENGINE RPM" and the Y axis is usually "LOAD" (aka the calculated aircharge measured in volumetric efficiency taken into the engine). Lets say the 6000rpm/.90 load cell commands base timing to 25 degrees spark advance in the tune before knock starts to occur; and the car was tuned on a 50 degree day. The engine will take more spark advance due to the cooler weather. So now you take that same car and drive it on a 100 degree day in the summer and all of a sudden you have issues because the base spark of 25 degrees in that one cell is now too much for the engine to maintain without knocking. This is when either one or two things will kick in to control that. Either your knock sensors will kick in as a reactive measure and utilize predesignated spark r*tard values in the tune. Or as a proactive measure your intake air temperature sensor would see that your engine is ingesting a higher temperature airmass and thus reference PREDESIGNATED spark r*tard values in the IAT Spark tables and keep the knock from ever occuring in the hotter weather. While it may appear as "adaptive learning" if you don't know exactly how things function in the ECU it really is not. It is predefined. People commonly confuse adaptive learning with this all the time. Adaptive learning has the ability to generate its own learned values while the example I gave above allows the vehicle to adapt to differing weather conditions but it is still referencing predefined values in the tune. That is why most modern vehicles have anywhere between 5-40 different tables that control spark based upon predefined values that are only achieved with proper calibration in controlled situations. And each table will have between 100-400 cells in them. That is JUST for spark advance alone, let alone the other thousands of parameters that are controlled in a tune. This is why it takes us custom tuners usually around 6+ hours to properly recalibrate a tune for changes made because we have to work in so many tables in the tune; which in turn also means datalogging before making those changes so we aren't flying blind.

Most adaptive learning features center around two main items. One is part throttle fueling (otherwise known as closed-loop in many circles) and the other dealing with transmission driveability function. Adaptive learning cannot predict what weather you are about to drive into or what barometric pressure you will encounter and thus because it cannot control those variables it is not given access to learn figures to replace the ones input by the custom tuner. Things, like closed-loop fueling for instance, adaptive learning can control because it can monitor the AFR and also based upon the data modify the AFR. Adaptive learning cannot modify the temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, or actual altitude you are driving in. Some functions are calibrated to within a certain tolerance and then adaptive learning takes over and dials them in a little bit more. Other areas of the tune are more "hard" which adaptive cannot control; and for good reason. This is just part of the science behind custom tuning, and is in no way specific to just one make or model of vehicle regardless if you paid $20,000 or $200,000 for a car.
Dear Rocket!

I agree with what you have said and I must confess, I am thoroughly impressed by the knowledge you posess.

As I said earlier, it shall ne interesting to know how you tune your car and what results you get.

As for me, I am happy allowing a reputed company doing the work for me.

Thanks
 

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tech

I for one would take my hat off to you if you can 1, get through the encryption, 2 learn the language BMW use.

The tables you talk about that you have seen before with regard to knock sensing, AFRs etc will NOT be in the same format you may have seen on even high end ECUs due to the Ionic current sensing data supplied by the spark plugs. That`s not to say it can`t be learnt because obviously it can.

With sufficient $ investment in hardware and obviously time anything is possible.

Good Luck!
 
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