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    • Nizpro ZF 6HP21 automatic 335i/135i N54 transmission upgrade Q&A - Pricing, release schedule, TCU software, torque capacity, etc.

      Our Australian friends at Nizpro were nice enough to answer some questions for the BimmerBoost N54 community which is hungry for automatic transmission upgrade options. Nizpro recently demonstrated their upgraded ZF 6HP21 capability with hard launches on the drag strip.


      That is obviously just the beginning and development continues. BimmerBoost wanted to know when they were planning to release their transmission upgrade, what the upgrades entails, if the TCU software can be purchased separately, etc.

      These questions and answers below should provided some much needed details.

      BB: What is the expected cost?

      Nizpro: A fully internal Nizpro transmission upgrade will be approximately $ 7900 Australian dollars.

      BB: How close is it to release?

      Nizpro: We would like to be able offer full upgrades by Christmas .

      BB: Who is doing the TCU software tuning?

      Nizpro: Software calibrations are being done in house at Nizpro.

      BB: Does the $7900 AUD include software?

      Nizpro: Yes the calibration will be included as a complete package, however various calibration will be needed for various power levels.

      BB: Is it possible to purchase the software separately from the hardware?

      Nizpro: Absolutely, our plan is to offer calibrations totally separately. There will be a number of different calibration we will make available, for customers seeking different requirements. All will be based on standard transmissions, or of course our own upgraded transmission, if you have an upgraded transmission from another workshop you can certain use an off the shelf calibration but how it will behave I have no control over.

      BB: What is the expected torque capacity?

      Nizpro: Actual maximum torque numbers are a little hard to say, simply because there are many parameter that come into it. There is also a direct relationship with maximum torque numbers vs durability. In other words we could claim the transmission is capable of 1000 ft lbs of torque and in the fine print disclose it will last for half a mile at the torque figure. Customers need to be aware that the standard HP21 is rated at 450 nm, however this has a durability of 60,000 miles. It is clear that the stock transmission will cope with double its factory rating although its life expectancy is more like 20,000 miles those torque numbers.

      BB: How soon will Nizpro be testing the software as thus far the 335i with Nizpro upgrades did not utilize the software in its 1/4 mile runs?

      Nizpro: We actually have. We have track tested the car twice. Once using our upgraded transmission with Alpina for a base test data. 4 runs were recorded. We are not concerned with overall quarter mile times simply gear shift times for comparison, between calibrations. The second lot of testing using software changes were done the following weekend at a different track. The track had little grip on the day so the results were not really useful in terms of quarter times.


      This is all good news. Nizpro is on schedule to release their product this year and they will not force you to bundle their hardware and software together.

      Here are some additional details which should help get a better idea of what is involved.

      Quote Originally Posted by Nizpro
      As word has slowly spread about our progress mainly be guys posting emails that I have replied to, I decided to write a brief example of how the transmission control needs to be calibrated Ive added it below so you can get an idea of why its difficult to simply send a tune for a transmission and get a good result. There are other factors involved also, but this should give you a better idea regrading you above question 3.
      The HP21 is very limited in its torque rating due to its overall size, it is as you know a ZF upgrade from the HP19. One of the reason these vehicles are slow over the quarter for the power they produce is because of the hugh torque limits the factory calibration has, in an attempt to keep them in one piece. If you simply shorten the shift times and reduce torque limits they simply fry clutch's, if you then add on coming and applied pressures the intermediate shaft simply fails and even the input shaft.

      In short custom calibrations are very important based around engine torque and power levels, simply giving someone a cal from a 600 hp car that only has 400 hp will give the effect of very lazy shift speeds, going the opposite direction with a positive shifting 400 hp car and loading that into the 600 hp car will burn the transmission in a small number of shifts. The calibration needs to remove the appropriate amount of torque on each individual upshift, due to different diameter and number of clutches per gear. Unfortunely you can really only work out the finer part of this calculation by stripping the transmission and inspecting drive and friction plates. Of course with a large amount of experience you do get a good feel for what is working and what is not. The condition of each transmission plays a role as does what type of friction material, clutch clearances and the amount of clutch's that may have been added in an upgraded transmission. I m sure you have your head around it, but I give you an example of the torque limits that need to be applied in a HP26 with an input torque of 1200 ft lbs when upshifting into 4th gear.

      Our Level 3 HP26 behind an engine output of 1400 hp {1200 ft lbs } we are able to have zero torque reduction in the first two upshifts { 1>2 and 2>3 } however in the 3>4 upshift we need to raise the reduction from minus 192 newton meters [ Factory } to minus 468 newton meters. Now when I hold training seminars this is one area for some reason guys have problems getting their heads around. The question that they quite often raise is, if you have built a stronger transmission why do you need to increase the torque limits by over double?

      A factory Ford XR6 Turbo vehicle fitted with the HP26 produces 550 nm of torque, so on the 3>4 upshift the transmission needs a reduction of 192 nm to be able to apply the upshift reliably, the end torque number is 358 nm.

      On our 1400 hp engines we have 1600 nm of torque however we need a 468 nm reduction to carry out this shift, giving us a end number of 1140 nm. This is a total torque number of 3 x above the factory rating however the torque reduction number is 2 x the factory reduction.

      Hope this gives you some insight.
      Things are looking up for the N54 automatic scene.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Nizpro ZF 6HP21 automatic 335i/135i N54 transmission upgrade Q&A - Pricing, release schedule, TCU software, torque capacity, etc. started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 109 Comments
      1. 93siro's Avatar
        93siro -
        Too pricey. I was toying with the idea of getting a 335i and waiting for this upgrade, however swapping a dct trans is still the better choice and surprisingly, not more expensive.
      1. trebila's Avatar
        trebila -
        I'd be interested in a TCU flash for stock turbos, stock AT, but FBO.
        Can Nizpro implement this too ?
      1. lfelunden's Avatar
        lfelunden -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 93siro Click here to enlarge
        Too pricey. I was toying with the idea of getting a 335i and waiting for this upgrade, however swapping a dct trans is still the better choice and surprisingly, not more expensive.
        Yeah, for that price which I guess is without shipping. I'd get a used DCT and add dodson clutches Click here to enlarge
      1. 135pats's Avatar
        135pats -
        Think the real market is going to be dependent on what 'just' software alterations can get you. It's not sensible to ship a transmission *literally* across the planet and back. As others have noted, if you are nearing $10k just dealing with the transmission, may as well drop in a dual clutch.

        This is excellent news regardless of pricing/feasibility. For years any solutions to the 6AT were purely hypothetical.
      1. turbocripple's Avatar
        turbocripple -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 93siro Click here to enlarge
        Too pricey. I was toying with the idea of getting a 335i and waiting for this upgrade, however swapping a dct trans is still the better choice and surprisingly, not more expensive.
        its more expensive trust me, with all parts in labor it is more.
      1. Weehe's Avatar
        Weehe -
        just an fyi $7900AUD is around $5870USD. No clue on cost of shipping, but still would seem cheaper than dct swap.
      1. Stucks's Avatar
        Stucks -
        Its nice and all, but I fear this upgrade will face the same problem all the high dollar single turbo kits do.....as the platform gets cheaper and cheaper to get into, there will be a lot more younger or lower income individuals who wont want to shell out the cash for single turbo kits or transmission upgrades costing 6 grand or more. This upgrade, while nice, just wont be for everyone. lol
      1. subaru335i's Avatar
        subaru335i -
        Regardless of the cost and whatever these guys are the only people so far to actually sound like they know what the $#@! they are talking about for upgrading these auto transmissions. I love that they explain things and there is no cloak and dagger. I feel like lvl10 is just a bunch of marketing hype BS.
        It makes complete sense you have to increase the shift time and torque reduction between shifts to keep some level of durability unless you actually beef up the input shaft and increase the number of clutch plates and/or friction material.
        I think this kind of confirms though that if you want long term reliability for people aiming for 1000+ hp you are probably better off fitting a different auto transmission or manual swap. This tranny is just not made for that kind of torque.
      1. 135pats's Avatar
        135pats -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stucks Click here to enlarge
        Its nice and all, but I fear this upgrade will face the same problem all the high dollar single turbo kits do.....as the platform gets cheaper and cheaper to get into, there will be a lot more younger or lower income individuals who wont want to shell out the cash for single turbo kits or transmission upgrades costing 6 grand or more. This upgrade, while nice, just wont be for everyone. lol
        Yes x1000

        The # of threads on e90p which can essentially be boiled down to "X lower end product isn't cheap enough, why isn't there something even cheaper?!?" is voluminous. Like, when the JPworkz kit isn't cheap enough, you should not be going single turbo.
      1. AWSAWS's Avatar
        AWSAWS -
        Guys,

        how on earth is this car doing 11.25 seconds???

        I've trapped at 120mph myself and I know my starts are terrible due to traction but I wouldn't expect to go under about 11.8 with a great start.



        Also is E85 really possible with methanol injection? How safe is that? I have the stage 2 fuel it pump.
      1. ferocity02's Avatar
        ferocity02 -
        I love how they totally dodged the question of torque capacity. But I understand, it's hard to put a single number on this.

        Sounds like significant torque reduction is required in order for it to shift properly without burning clutches. This would mean that DME tuning is required as well. I wonder how MHD and others will adapt to this.
      1. natedog7700's Avatar
        natedog7700 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 93siro Click here to enlarge
        Too pricey. I was toying with the idea of getting a 335i and waiting for this upgrade, however swapping a dct trans is still the better choice and surprisingly, not more expensive.

        5,750$ USD
        250$ shipping to USA

        Taxes + Labor + new fluid and trans pan/filter

        TOTAL= 7500- 8,000 cash out of my pocket.... Yikes.

        Regardless if its a fair price or not (debatable) im not sure many of us have that kind of money. For reference, an upgraded transmission for a Nissan GTR is about 5,800 USD (similar price) for 800 ft lbs rating. A 600 Ft lb rating your talking HALF the cost (2600) from shep trans itself. With that being said, i hope one day we can look forward to a 2,000-3,000 option for us guys that only need about 650 ft lbs (550wtq).
      1. natedog7700's Avatar
        natedog7700 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 135pats Click here to enlarge
        Think the real market is going to be dependent on what 'just' software alterations can get you. It's not sensible to ship a transmission *literally* across the planet and back. As others have noted, if you are nearing $10k just dealing with the transmission, may as well drop in a dual clutch.

        This is excellent news regardless of pricing/feasibility. For years any solutions to the 6AT were purely hypothetical.
        Everything you said was spot on. I want to know (and im sure many others as well) what your TCU flashes are capable of. Can i just get away with a flash or would i need to upgrade my trans for 550whp? My second trans started slipping past 500wtq and my first one, the same.
      1. Abacus38's Avatar
        Abacus38 -
        Have you guys priced a DCT swap? I know transmission itself is about 2k. Plus you got to add in the clutch packs wiring, the diff, and etc. The guy who DCT swap his 135i had the hooked up so it only cost him 7k but if you don't your looking at 11-12k IMO.
      1. Abacus38's Avatar
        Abacus38 -
        I feel that people are gravely underestimating how much a DCT swap is. Here's the write up on how to do it http://www.bimmerboost.com/showthrea...CT-AT-gt-Metch
      1. natedog7700's Avatar
        natedog7700 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Abacus38 Click here to enlarge
        Have you guys priced a DCT swap? I know transmission itself is about 2k. Plus you got to add in the clutch packs wiring, the diff, and etc. The guy who DCT swap his 135i had the hooked up so it only cost him 7k but if you don't your looking at 11-12k IMO.

        At this point, i think most, if not all, would sell their AT 335's and put another 8k on top so they can just buy a newer DCT equipped 335. Problem SOLVED.
      1. ferocity02's Avatar
        ferocity02 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Abacus38 Click here to enlarge
        I feel that people are gravely underestimating how much a DCT swap is. Here's the write up on how to do it http://www.bimmerboost.com/showthrea...CT-AT-gt-Metch
        The cost of the DCT swap seems to depend highly on the year of your car. For us with 07's, we need to buy a ton of extra crap. Not to mention the coding nightmare it must be. I've contemplated the DCT swap for awhile.
      1. Abacus38's Avatar
        Abacus38 -
        If you want a DCT car I would sell yours and buy one. I have an 07 as well but I like shifting gears myself so I'll just keep mines stick.
      1. Milan's Avatar
        Milan -
        For those of you who think the tranny is too pricey (especially with the R&D involved) here is some food for thought: You are modding a ~$50k German car. Just because you bought it for <$20k doesn't mean it's not commanding $50k mod price tag.

        There are plenty of budget platforms to mod out there. You will find a happy home on Honda-Tech
      1. bigdnno98's Avatar
        bigdnno98 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Milan Click here to enlarge
        For those of you who think the tranny is too pricey (especially with the R&D involved) here is some food for thought: You are modding a ~$50k German car. Just because you bought it for <$20k doesn't mean it's not commanding $50k mod price tag.

        There are plenty of budget platforms to mod out there. You will find a happy home on Honda-Tech
        Wrong. GTR Tranny builds should not be cheaper than 335i. Period.