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Thread: Another M50 Turbo build - E30 Chassis

  1. #1
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    Another M50 Turbo build - E30 Chassis

    I started a build thread on R3v months ago, but I'm running mostly E36 stuff and finding alot more info here on BF. So I figured I'd update a little thread here with some photos and questions of current.

    Here's my e30 right before I put it away for the winter. I bought it a could years ago for dirt cheap because it was misfiring and running like crap, it had a m50 in it, the owner was fed up trying to fix it... The body was in excellent condition for MN so thats all I really cared about. But after some looking at the problem, I was able to fix all the issues and turned it into a super reliable summer fun car. I found 90% of the issues were due to cut corners and a poor job swapping the m50. Honestly I'm still finding things to this day that I'm like "wait.... what, this is how he connected the steering linkage?...." Either way, heres a pic:





    So I've wanted to boost it for quite some time now, so its happening this winter now for better or worse. Here's the details:

    SPECS:
    Body: 87 325es
    Motor: M50tub25
    Trans: G250 (we'll see how long it lasts)
    Diff: 2.93 LSD

    BOOST PARTS:
    Garrett 57 trim t3/t4 hyrbid turbo .63 A/R
    RSI (GoodNtight) t3 manifold
    Megasquirt pro PNP
    FX stage 3 Clutch w chromoly flywheel
    Wyntonm Ebay Wastegate + BOV
    CXRacing 18x12x3 intercooler
    ARP Headstuds
    Bosch EV1 42lb injectors
    Inovate LC-2 Wideband
    Hallman Manual Boost Controller

    CURRENT PLAN:
    about 10psi on stock headgasket with ARPs. Might go e85 route pretty quick if the headgasket holds my 8-10psi pretty well, I honestly have no idea how old the headgasket is but my compression numbers are solid... If I've gotta pull the head apart I'll likely go CES cutring gasket + spacer and forget the E85 parts... but right now I already have a full tank of 93 and 42lb injectors so lets see what happens on low boost first!


    heres a few pics:

    Diff I swapped in a 2.93 before storing it for the winter. I had a 3.46 before, it was fun NA but i think it would be way too short for boost.


    always bring your pup into the garage with you


    first attempt at taking the harmonic balancer off... man that sucker was on there!


    It gave tho eventually.. so did the timing cover.. going to tap the oil drain into the cover






    First time wraping an exhaust. went pretty good, would do a few things different next time.. Also not real happy with this cheap wrap seems to be fraying already. I bought different stuff for the downpipe later.




    Test fitting, clearance is tight!



    moching up intercooler sizes


    ended up going with something slightly smaller, I wanted to run the piping under the headlights to minimize piping and make it easy and simple.


    Took the turbo apart and cleaned it. My brother painted the housing with some high heat paint. He also painted my Valve Cover for me, big thanks to him








    Did the ARP's the ghetto way. one at a time. But hopefully it will keep my head in tact.. I guess it will all rely on how solid that gasket is... I have no earthly idea how many miles this engines seen but it sure runs nice and has solid compression numbers. fingers crossed



    Turbo drain + feed line. Yup that will work



    Exhaust Bits


    Had my buddie Zack come out and help with some welding. Big thanks to him. We are not done with the whole exhaust yet, he's coming back out later this month.. but we got some major things done.







    Wrapped and done:


    Went with NGK 4091 plugs. gapped them to .023



    modifying / test fitting the grill.. also putting on some charge piping.. everything fits, very tight but its gonna work. I hate that green intake filter I got, but it was dirt cheap and it will work so I cant really complain





    ripped apart the interior and got all the new wiring done for the new gauges + wideband sensor ( I grounded the sensor the same spot as the ECU... I've heard this can cause inconsistencies otherwise).. sorry for the potato photos!











    Okay... heres where things get fun.. this is where I have a couple questions.. I pulled the tranny yesterday in order to put in a beefier clutch. its a getrag G250, I know its a weak point already for boost, but I figured it could likely hold my 10psi this year. Its always driven nice and smooth and worked good.
    Here it is on the floor... pretty aint it


    Well... as soon as I started removing it I noticed a huge crack in the bell housing... this doesn't sit too well for it holding together... it's probably been there for awhile. I'm sure I didn't do it today while pulling at least. But I flipped the fluid in it about 6 months ago and I definitely didn't notice it then... or even recently as I've been under it working on the exhaust. Its hard to see in the photos, I'm shinning a light through it, but its obvious in person




    Is this worth fixing? I mean, the only thing I can think of to fix it would be welding it to help it from getting larger... Or am I just putting a band aid on a time bomb anyways?... should I suck it up and buy a ZF + all the associated driveshaft pieces to make it fit in my e30... Does anyone know the input shaft play specs? Input shaft has some good play too... its hard to tell without a dial indicator if its too much tho.... either way, It feels slightly stupid to go through all the effort to put it back in right now... but I've spent so much money on this car in the last few months that I really wanted to skip the ZF till it was necessary! lol

    any opinions on this?



    also... really glad I decided to replace the clutch. lol I dont think this thing woulda held up real great once I started hitting boost!


  2. #2
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    Good luck with the build! I'll be following

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    '94 E34 525i - M50 w/ cams
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  3. #3
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    Nice ES. My car is a 86 ES. You could probably weld that crack in the bell up. Drill a hole in each end of the crack and fill it up with a tig welder, but if you can find a cheap enough ZF just do the swap. If you know somebody with a Tig welder it would take about 15 minutes to do. I can do it if you happen to find yourself in Brainerd.


    86 325es, 2.8L m50, S472sxe, MS3pro Ultimate, e85, solid rear axle, 4 link, spool, TH400 trans, Protorque converter, 28x10.5w slicks, zip ties
    Best = 9.43 @ 149.15 mph, 1.30 60 foot 28 psi boost

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy2800 View Post
    Nice ES. My car is a 86 ES. You could probably weld that crack in the bell up. Drill a hole in each end of the crack and fill it up with a tig welder, but if you can find a cheap enough ZF just do the swap. If you know somebody with a Tig welder it would take about 15 minutes to do. I can do it if you happen to find yourself in Brainerd.
    ES love! Appreciate that offer man, I'll keep it in mind. I have another friend who could Tig weld it too, but he's the opposite direction into Wisconsin... Good to have options, it'l all depend on if I can source a ZF + driveshaft for a good price... Here's my question, do you have any idea what driveshaft's are usable with a ZF in an e30?... I'm seeing alot of mismatched information, and finding a Driveshaft might be just as expensive as the ZF.

    I've concluded these options work:
    e36 M3 manual trans DS + E30 Center Support Bearing (4 bolt flange) = for sure will work
    e36 328i manual trans DS + E30 Center Support Bearing (4 bolt flange) = for sure will work
    early model ES driveshaft = maybe? same length apparently... but how would it connect to the Guibo?... apparently the ZF has a slightly larger Guibo..

    (I have no idea what driveshaft is in the car now... but the car is an 87 ES.. I'll have to look at the production month...) but since its mated to a G250 I have to assume my current shaft wont work

    Either way, anyone who has more info on this and can point me in the right direction or can confirm what exactly works and what exactly doesn't I'd appreciate it
    Last edited by SirMaxximus; 03-12-2018 at 01:17 PM.

  5. #5
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    You fancy fuckers with your ESs. The rest of us have to live with regular 86 Es.

  6. #6
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    The early E cars came with the larger Guido. Mine had one from the factory. I can't help you with the parts interchange. I'm so far removed from stock I don't even remember what parts fit what. I always read you need a ZF driveshaft with a ZF and a getrag with a getrag.


    86 325es, 2.8L m50, S472sxe, MS3pro Ultimate, e85, solid rear axle, 4 link, spool, TH400 trans, Protorque converter, 28x10.5w slicks, zip ties
    Best = 9.43 @ 149.15 mph, 1.30 60 foot 28 psi boost

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy2800 View Post
    The early E cars came with the larger Guido. Mine had one from the factory. I can't help you with the parts interchange. I'm so far removed from stock I don't even remember what parts fit what. I always read you need a ZF driveshaft with a ZF and a getrag with a getrag.
    Gotcha, kinda what I figured. Sourcing a DS is just as expensive it seems... I'll keep a lookout for one... since my current one was attached to a G250 I dont think theres any real way it would work

  8. #8
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    Here's another thought... has anyone ever swapped the output shaft between to getrag and ZF... I wonder if the splines would line up... If so I don't see why it wouldn't work.. I'd be loosing the advantage of the larger output shaft / larger guibo... but would save me a load in parts and would be just as easy to upgrade later

  9. #9
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    I've done several engine/transmission swaps in all kinds of cars. I've found that the best thing to do is to find a transmission that will bolt up to the engine, and then simply have your driveshaft modified to bolt up to the transmission. A good driveshaft shop can usually cut off the end of your shaft (since you know it fits the diff, and the centerbearing is in the correct place) and weld on the end that will fit your tranny. It doesn't usually cost more than a couple hundred dollars, and you know it'll work.

  10. #10
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    Very cool build. I had a turbo e30 once, was a lot of fun! I also had a m50 vanos with 60trim and it was great on the street, very spooly. However, I went through 2 getrags at 350wtq

    To zf swap you need trans
    Guibo
    Front half of zf driveshaft
    Shift carrier aluminum thing
    And selector rod



    Sent from my SM-G892U using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the reply's gents. forward progress this weekend:


    Hello Engine Butthole, you look nice today.





    Hello new clutch and flywheel. you also look quite fine.





    Oh and whats this! New ZF320!... yeah I bit the bullet and just picked up a ZF this week... that getrag probably woulda worked for a bit if I welded up the bell housing... but it just seemed like it didn't have long left in it.








    Found a place that makes adapters for my current driveshaft. So should be good there. My backup plan was to have my local driveshaft shop make me one like you mentioned C3Ferrari. But the adapter looks like it will work pretty nice, I'll see once I get it in the mailbox. My local guy who sold me the tranny said he'd get me whatever linkage and carrier I need from his stockpile. But wasnt sure exactly what was needed so I told him I'd let him know what I need once I get it in. Confirmed for sure I will need longer linkage, this ones not even close.. the carrier is really close tho! sits about perfect front to back. but sits a bit to the passenger side.. Substance D you mentioned I'd need the right carrier to have it sit centered perfectly? I think this carrier I have is an E36 one, not 100% sure. But maybe not an M3 or 328 one.... It looks like it would work but might be tough to get into 5th... hard to tell without the linkage in yet.







    Also Big shout out to my buddie zack. He came back out today and we finished up the exhaust. Wastegate re-routed into the mid-pipe.














    My niece is pretty cute



  12. #12
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    Is that a vibrant muffler?

  13. #13
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    Nice call on going with the ZF. It's starting to come together! Even though you're really close on the carrier, Substance D is right, it needs to be perfect. Remember, that thing is going to move around some as the engine torques up under load. BMW made a zillion different configurations of those carriers, depending on engine, chassis, and transmission configurations, and you could end up looking forever through junkyards trying to find one that's perfect, unless you knew that your chassis was made with your engine/transmission configuration from the factory. Whatever you have is very close, so you might want to just relocate the mounting holes to put it in the correct location. Just a thought!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mklock View Post
    Is that a vibrant muffler?
    Yup, Vibrant 1149. the mid muffler is a Borla ProXS muffler.... the old exhaust I welded up when I first got the car had the same mufflers but it was all 2.5" versions... Was really happy with the sound it made. So basically we did the same set-up but with 3" all the way back. Wastegate routing is 1.75", hopefully thats enough to not disrupt flow on lower boost.

    Quote Originally Posted by C3Ferrari View Post
    Nice call on going with the ZF. It's starting to come together! Even though you're really close on the carrier, Substance D is right, it needs to be perfect. Remember, that thing is going to move around some as the engine torques up under load. BMW made a zillion different configurations of those carriers, depending on engine, chassis, and transmission configurations, and you could end up looking forever through junkyards trying to find one that's perfect, unless you knew that your chassis was made with your engine/transmission configuration from the factory. Whatever you have is very close, so you might want to just relocate the mounting holes to put it in the correct location. Just a thought!
    Yea I had his thought too, I could probably modify it make it sit perfectly centered... but as long as I'm going to my local guys garage to find a linkage rod, I'm gonna bring the carrier with and compare it to some others he has just to see... Thats really the trouble with buying a car that someone else had already swapped, I have no idea what carrier he used, tranny mounts, crossmembers, alot of random bits I end up unsure if he used the e36 or e30 version for! But all is good, got the engine and tranny to line up really nice.

  15. #15
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    Okay... After alot of messing around I got something that will work. Unfortunately I don't have a definite answer for anyone looking to do this in the future. I had at my disposal an entire assembly from a (ZF) 328 as well as an entire assembly from an (getrag250) 325. The honest answer is nothing works perfectly. Here's the ZF carrier:


    Here's the G250:


    I ended up taking a torch and bending the G250 carrier so it would sit more centered. this was surprisingly easy and worked great. but lining up the shifter was an entirely different story, slightly too far back or forward depending on the linkage rod used. also depending on the shifter and which way you flip it, any of these variations would work fine realistically, but they dont sit perfect and would have bothered me... I ended up modifying some things with a welder and got it to sit perfect. So I'm happy. Here's the end result:





    Also got the intake + injectors on. Filled the tranny up with some Redline. Hoping to start up in a couple weeks



    This is truly feeling like a project car now... everytime I think I have everything worked out.. I run into another issue...

    Current issues:
    1riveshaft adapter I bought wont work... my current driveshaft is an 1" too long to fit... I had a driveshaft shop that was going to shorten and rebalance it for me... but then they called me and told me they wouldn't do it because BMW used friction welds... didn't realize this was a thing... either way that idea went out the window... so I actually found and bought the "correct" shaft out of a 328 from someone here on the forums... I have doubts it will fit, I'll believe it when I see it at this point!

    2: picked up a SPAL fan on craigslist for cheap. my stock fan was dangerously close to the radiator and I thought it was time to make a switch.. I thought the SPAL I got would fit... but it doesn't, its too thick to fit between the intercooler + radiator. or radiator + engine... there's more room between the intercooler and radiator so I'm gonna try to mount a pusher there... either way, frustrated, now I gotta sell this useless fan and useless driveshaft adapter!

    3: I planned on bending the intake elbow downward in order to run just one straight pipe for my charge piping... well I didn't think about my brake master being in the way for the idle control nipple.... not a big deal.. I'll just need to pick up a couple 45 degree couplers to solve this... starting to feel pretty broke and havn't even done first startup yet.... I'm pretty well past the point of no return now tho, I left my original budget back in 2017 somewhere
    [/url]

  16. #16
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    Picked up a skinnier SPAL pusher. Really tight. Jumped the switch and she turned right on.








    Finished Charge piping. Also routed a makeshift catch can out of an old water bottle.











    FIRST START UP WILL BE SOON. just waiting on a driveshaft, needs fluids, and a few little odd's and ends back together.

  17. #17
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    SHE STARTS and runs! did the first startup last night! I think something is not correct in my settings tho, seems to go pretty rich at idle then falls on its face after you give it a little gas, goes very lean as soon as you give it gas. I'm going to post all my settings below and ask some questions. I based and started entirely off of a "stock m50 tune" that came with my msproPNP, I just changed things from there and tried to leave the sub 100kpa maps alone. I'll post up a startup video soon!




    My brother takes selfies as I try to wrap my head around tuning!


    I used the "required fuel" calculator and ended up with 5.9ms. Questions here: I have 440cc injectors (bosch 42lb green giants)... but that is at 3bar of pressure, I always understood bmw's to be at 50psi or 3.5bar. So I calculated and entered 472cc injectors... is this correct or does megasquirt already take this into the equation?



    This morning I found a whole other section where it specifies... obviously here it states my pressure being 43.5psi... so one of these needs to change so that they agree with each other.



    Final question regarding fuel.... I didn't change anything in the Accel/Enrichments section.... Should I? perhaps this is why it goes lean and falls on its face when I give it throttle. This is how the "stock M50 tune" had it set up... it looks like its entirely TPS based instead of MAP based.



    Sensor settings:



    Next lets talk about ignition settings:

    #1 tooth was at 327 degree's from the "stock M50" tune... I saw others online stating 324 degrees or 324.5... in toothed wheel mode it should be pretty straight forward? i mean the wheel only goes on one way... Can you even realistically check this with a timing light on coil on plugs? I didn't notice any marks to look for timing wise but perhaps someone can point me in the correct direction here... I set it to 324.5, no backfires at idle, no kickbacks upon startup. seemed fine... again tho I didn't get the engine far off of idle before it leans out though.



    Here's the ignition map. I just took the stock m50 set up and rescaled and adjusted the curve a bit.. I think I'll need more advance at WOT, it seems extremely conservative based on what I've seen from others... But obviously if #1 tooth is 327 in their stock tune then that would drastically effect the ignition map... which I changed to 324.5....



    Fuel Map:



    VE Map: used VE generator, ideally use autotune to adjust this based on my desired AFR.



    Clearly something is wrong here... just not sure what...

    Otherwise here's the good news: it actually idled pretty decent! All of my sensor inputs seem to be reading correctly! My AFR gauge and megasquirt are perfectly in sync.

    Bad news: New fan not turning on! Jumped the switch and it fires right on, so I'm kind of deducting that I have a faulty switch right off the bat...
    Last edited by SirMaxximus; 04-08-2018 at 05:15 PM.

  18. #18
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    Nice job on getting the car running. Are you planning on trying to get it to MN C&C next month or anything?

    I got my e36 running N/A on e85 right now, but I'm thinking about making an adapter and running a prebuilt MS3x.


  19. #19
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    The injector settings are right. Megasquirt doesn't know or care what the fuel pressure is because you don't have a sensor hooked up. The fuel pump and pressure control window you posted is only for a pulse width controlled fuel pump which you don't have.

    Yes, you will need to tune the accel enrichment settings. This only has an effect when throttle position is changing. Its like the accelerator pump on a carburator. First you will need to tune the fuel table under steady state load.

    Your timing map and fuel map need work. The VE generator is not much help, you will need to tune it yourself to get it close and then let the auto tune fine tune it. To start getting the fuel map right rev it up to a certain RPM and hold it there, then adjust the fuel table up and down based on the oxygen sensor feedback. Once you have all the areas of the map that you can hit in the garage tuned it will give you an idea of what the cells above and below should be.

    If you need help I will be in the cities this week. Probably wednesday or thursday.


    86 325es, 2.8L m50, S472sxe, MS3pro Ultimate, e85, solid rear axle, 4 link, spool, TH400 trans, Protorque converter, 28x10.5w slicks, zip ties
    Best = 9.43 @ 149.15 mph, 1.30 60 foot 28 psi boost

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy2800 View Post
    The injector settings are right. Megasquirt doesn't know or care what the fuel pressure is because you don't have a sensor hooked up. The fuel pump and pressure control window you posted is only for a pulse width controlled fuel pump which you don't have.

    Yes, you will need to tune the accel enrichment settings. This only has an effect when throttle position is changing. Its like the accelerator pump on a carburator. First you will need to tune the fuel table under steady state load.

    Your timing map and fuel map need work. The VE generator is not much help, you will need to tune it yourself to get it close and then let the auto tune fine tune it. To start getting the fuel map right rev it up to a certain RPM and hold it there, then adjust the fuel table up and down based on the oxygen sensor feedback. Once you have all the areas of the map that you can hit in the garage tuned it will give you an idea of what the cells above and below should be.

    If you need help I will be in the cities this week. Probably wednesday or thursday.
    Awesome, good to know I have the settings right. That makes sense about the fuel pressure setting. I will give this idea a try tomorrow, if you ease it to an RPM it gets there, so that seems possible. But your talking about manually adjusting the VE table while the engine is running. The "A/F table 1" is literally just my desired A/F ratio correct?

    Any idea on the #1 tooth setting? 324.5 degree's seems to be what I see around...

    I'll PM you my cell #, no pressure to come by when your in town, but if your around I wouldn't turn down some help and can provide food and beer!

    Quote Originally Posted by hotdish View Post
    Nice job on getting the car running. Are you planning on trying to get it to MN C&C next month or anything?

    I got my e36 running N/A on e85 right now, but I'm thinking about making an adapter and running a prebuilt MS3x.
    I usually try to make it to at least one C&C each year... its usually more of a spur of the moment thing for me, no definite plans to make it next month but its definitely possible!

  21. #21
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    Yes, manually adjust the VE table up and down from the VE tuning menu. Once you get it running at a good AFR then you can tune the accel enrichment so that it no longer stumbles when you push the accelerator quickly. Yes the A/F table 1 is the desired AFR that it want to get to via oxygen sensor feedback, but there are limits set in the oxygen sensor menu of how much correction is allowed and under what conditions. 324.5 degrees is what I found to be correct verified with a timing light. There is a raised notch just to the right of the crank position sensor on the front of the timing cover. This mark lines up with the tlo mark on the damper to indicate TDC. its difficult to see with everything assembled but it is possible to see it with a timing light.


    86 325es, 2.8L m50, S472sxe, MS3pro Ultimate, e85, solid rear axle, 4 link, spool, TH400 trans, Protorque converter, 28x10.5w slicks, zip ties
    Best = 9.43 @ 149.15 mph, 1.30 60 foot 28 psi boost

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy2800 View Post
    There is a raised notch just to the right of the crank position sensor on the front of the timing cover. This mark lines up with the tlo mark on the damper to indicate TDC. its difficult to see with everything assembled but it is possible to see it with a timing light.
    Got it, verified with a timing light last night. tried a few different numbers, I also found 324.5 to be dead on for me as well.

    Tried adjusting the VE table manually as I ran it last night. My AFR seemed all over the place and inconsistent with my changes, once it would finally settle it always landed quite rich (11's) but would initally start at 7.5 even then jump way lean in moments... my first was that my wideband wasnt hooked up correctly. Rechecked everything, recleaned grounds (I have it grounded in the same place as the ECU) made sure wiring was away from speaker wires and interference. Also pulled a couple plugs and verified that it was indeed idling rich... exhaust didn't look super rich at idle... perhaps I just didn't let it run long enough and get out fully of its warm up stage.. I'm going to try again in a couple days when I get some time

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirMaxximus View Post
    Tried adjusting the VE table manually as I ran it last night. My AFR seemed all over the place and inconsistent with my changes, once it would finally settle it always landed quite rich (11's) but would initally start at 7.5 even then jump way lean in moments... my first was that my wideband wasnt hooked up correctly.
    I've been playing around with TunerStudio before I buy MS. Have you tried adjusting the lambda output smoothing on the LC-2 or the megasquirt lambda input smoothing? Are you disabling o2 and accel enrichment in megasquirt while you're tuning VE? The LC-2 manual also says to use a ground isolated from the ECU.


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotdish View Post
    I've been playing around with TunerStudio before I buy MS. Have you tried adjusting the lambda output smoothing on the LC-2 or the megasquirt lambda input smoothing? Are you disabling o2 and accel enrichment in megasquirt while you're tuning VE? The LC-2 manual also says to use a ground isolated from the ECU.
    I'm looking at the LC-2's manual right now and I don't see that at all. My thought was if my wideband gauge and my ECU are grounded at the same spot then they will read identical...

    Good tips, I just found the o2 soothing option, Ill definitely try that. Is there an easy way to fully disable accell enrichments? I suppose I could just move the "zero accell above RPM" notch down to idle

  25. #25
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirMaxximus View Post
    I'm looking at the LC-2's manual right now and I don't see that at all.
    Page 3, section 2.2:1: "Circuits that share power with the vehicle’s stereo, ignition system, ECU, lighting, or fuel pump should not be used." I was thinking this means both power and ground.

    I can't find it in the manual, but it looks like setting the MAPdot or TPSdot threshold to max is how a lot of people disable AE.


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