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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

I just purchased an '02 M5 a couple of weeks ago and I have been visiting this site for a couple of months - seems like a good bunch of well intentioned people. There are a couple of recurring items (one that has gotten a little ugly recently) that perhaps I can shed some insight to. I have been in powertrain engineering for over 20 years - started with Chevrolet engineering, went to McLaren Racing, and finally moved to California to work on alternative fuels for the automotive industry.

A vehicle is a total system that is validated by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to meet customer expectations and the applicable federal and state regulations (emissions and crashworthiness for example). The engine, transmission, chassis are all extensively tested under all conditions to ensure that the warranty claims will be acceptable - both from a customer satisfaction standpoint and a cost standpoint. Modifying vehicles has always been part of the automotive industry and it provides automobile enthusiasts with an outlet. Making a change in a component or a system (increase in power level for example) is fine as long as there is either some validation testing to back the change or an understanding between modifier and customer that there is a risk level associated with the change - both for the component being changed and the affected systems. There are low risk changes - a system that lowers the intake air temperature will increase the power in proportion to the increase in air density - this already happens in the cold climates - and so it is has been covered by the original validation tesing (as long as the air is still filtered and is not vulnerable to water intrusion). Changing the engine control calibration - either directly by changing tables - or indirectly by moving sensors ( IAT for example) can be low risk or high risk depending on what is changed, how the vehicle is used, and what climate it is used in. There are lots of examples - the point is, if you are going to make a change find out what is behind it. I would also mention that everyone seems to be focused on performance, driveability, and whether the change is reliable. From an enthusiasts viewpoint this is understandable - however, throwing out the emissions compliance and crashworthiness aspect is not a feature guys. In California, the aftermarket provider must run an emissions test to show compliance to legally sell his wares - we have engine dynamometer cells and an emissions lab which several aftermarket suppliers use to show compliance. Engineering a high performance vehicle that is emissions compliant is a real challenge and the engineers at BMW have done just that. Can it be improved somewhat? - sure, just be careful. I bought an '03 M3 out of respect for the accomplishment of that engine - 100hp/litre while being 50 state emissions compliant - hats off guys!
 

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H2ICE, you must be at HCC.:hihihi:

When you where at McLaren did you have contact with BrianH in electronics?

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
6spd said:
H2ICE, you must be at HCC.:hihihi:

When you where at McLaren did you have contact with BrianH in electronics?

:cheers:
Actually our facility is in Orange County. I was with McLaren USA in Livonia, Mi - the main electronics guy there is John.
 

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I'm in the OC area also, working in Tustin/Costa Mesa.
Same McLaren, John must be Brian's boss.
 
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