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  1. #1
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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No

    New to BMW, have a few serious tuning questions..

    OK, first off, my name is Robbie. I live in Worcester, Mass and I just bought a 1995 325is, it was an awesome deal and I was looking for a fun daily driver/project. I'm really interested in getting into the tuning aspect of cars, I'm mechanically inclined and have had some serious cars in the past, but aside from bolt-ons and repairs, I've always left the major work like turbos and tuning to the pros and paid someone. I'd really like to change that now. I'm 31, married with 2 kids. One of my sons is disabled, so needless to say I've got to cut corners and do most if not all the work I can. Between cost of living and my sons special care, I was lucky to be able to buy this car. It really was a hell of a deal though!!! Only downside is its an auto, which was a plus for convincing the wife who HATES driving a stick... kind of my fault for teaching her to drive one in my 97 supra tt with 748whp, lol.

    Anyways, here are my questions. I appreciate any responses and the time you guys are taking to read and reply...

    Tuning; my car is obd1, correct? Only option is to change chips to tune, I can't use a SAFC (air/fuel controller), or piggyback/tuner/programmer, or laptop to tune or customize even the air/fuel, right? That would only be on an obd2 car? So tuning chips or nothing? Or what are my options?

    Second, i have Vanos, correct? Is IT "tune-able" like a V-Tec motor? Adjust it to kick in at lower/higher rpms with a "V-Tec-like" controller? No?

    On a BMW NA motor, how big injectors can i safely run daily? Stock is 17.5? So 19 ok? 21 better or higher? Opinions?

    Last question i can think of, if anyone can break it down or maybe walk me through it all... i can buy an eprom or similar burner, with blank 27C512(?) chips and burn different tunes to them, right? But i still have to order a tune file to burn, i cant just write/program my own? To do that i need to do what? Lets say i had 10 friends with the same car, or wanted to possibly learn to "tune"/"write" chips to sell a side business (i know, i need tons of knowledge, r&d, experience, etc... but lets just say i became great at it), what do i need? A lm1 reader or wideband or whatever, right? Can someone explain this? I looked at a kit on ebay, and it didnt have much of a description. Id need to weld the included wideband o2 sensor/bung in my pipe to determine exact mixture tk TJEN write a program based off it? I couldnt just use an air/fuel gauge in my car? Can i even wire in an air/fuel gauge without any other mods to my car, or dl i need that o2 sensor/bung even just for a gauge!?!?

    My CURRENT plan is NA, exhaust, intake, header, injectors, fuel rail, and just finding that perfect chip/tune... might do some mild machine work, porting, polishing, etc... opinions/options welcome! Turbo plans for the future, but id like to source another block/motor and build it properly, make it a good/fun learning experience. Hopefully by then ill have/know some local bmw enthusiasts or tuner friends whod like to help and join me or something. I have a few turbos from my older cars ive had... from stock cts to t3/t4 hybrid to my single t-78 off my supra, lol. Again, FUTURE build/goal.

    Sorry my post goes from basic to.advanced to basic and back, its not very organized, not well thought out or worded.... Im using my cell to surf/post which doesnt help, i can only see/write like 3 words without being able to.see/review, and ive also just been trying to read and.learn anything/everything with e36s, BMWs, german cars in general, tuning info, lots of wiki pages, etc... ive just always been into "other" imports, never even had a german/euro before, and i genuinely would like to learn the ins and outs. Thanks again!

    BTW, ive had my car for a week, not even registered yet and ive done a cat back dinan exhaust, ordered a cai, put in new eibach lowering springs, new konis, ordered a obx turbo manifold (good ebay deal, not going turbo for a while), and im just waiting to learn more so i can order more! Is the stock m3 header any different/worth it? Or any other cheap mods or stock/oem upgrades from m3 or 330s or something?

  2. #2
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    Besides the pump or injectors, fuel system is fine. eibach springs and konis will do fine. I believe someone out there will tune stock Dme but I think its only OBD2.

    Vanos doesnt exactly work like Vtec. There are no aggressive lobes to switch over to. The cam gear itself is infinitely adjustable and will adjust the intake cam's advancement or retard throughout the powerband. With basic bolt ons its best left alone, put your money towards saving for a Dr. Vanos rebuilt Vanos unit (they usually fail eventually, especially if oil change intervals are not maintained).

    Basic maintenance goes a long way, all cooling related items can get a little expensive. Usually if one hose or the radiator springs a leak, just bite the bullet and change everything if it hasnt been already. When a small leak starts and you fix it, another will appear somewhere else. And then somewhere else. Until youve spent weekend after weekend replacing cooling parts. Better off safe than sorry because the M52s like all the other straight 6s from BMw do not like to be overheated, and can warp the head in the process.

    M3 trailing arm bushings can be used, poly inserts can be used (also as front thrust bushings), aftermarket lower control arms for the rear make alignments a breeze and truss up the rear suspension compared to the flimsy stock two piece setup.

    Thats about all i can think of at the moment.

  3. #3
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    Oh good bang for the buck is switching out to stock S52 cams and valvetrain. Easy bump in hp. As far as chips go there are several out there that will fit the bill without the need for custom tuning. Save the $ for maintenance repairs

  4. #4
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by robbiegreene508 Click here to enlarge
    Tuning; my car is obd1, correct? Only option is to change chips to tune, I can't use a SAFC (air/fuel controller), or piggyback/tuner/programmer, or laptop to tune or customize even the air/fuel, right? That would only be on an obd2 car? So tuning chips or nothing? Or what are my options?
    Yes I think they went OBD-II in 1996.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by robbiegreene508 Click here to enlarge
    Second, i have Vanos, correct? Is IT "tune-able" like a V-Tec motor? Adjust it to kick in at lower/higher rpms with a "V-Tec-like" controller? No?
    It doesn't work like Vtech with a set RPM point.

    You have a lot of good questions and need to talk to some E36 specific tuners/vendors here. Where are you located? Welcome btw.
    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    check out Miller performance they make the war chip for the stock dme. four tune saved on the chip and are switchable on the fly and full editing software

  6. #6
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VCMPower Click here to enlarge
    check out Miller performance they make the war chip for the stock dme. four tune saved on the chip and are switchable on the fly and full editing software
    People seem to really like it, good suggestion.
    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

  7. #7
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    Go ICS/RK tuning. Best tuners for the m50 based motors Period
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

  8. #8
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Itsbrokeagain Click here to enlarge
    Vanos doesnt exactly work like Vtec. There are no aggressive lobes to switch over to. The cam gear itself is infinitely adjustable and will adjust the intake cam's advancement or retard throughout the powerband. With basic bolt ons its best left alone, put your money towards saving for a Dr. Vanos rebuilt Vanos unit (they usually fail eventually, especially if oil change intervals are not maintained).
    You're right that VANOS doesn't work like VTEC, it simply changes the timing of the intake cam.

    However, you are incorrect about what the VANOS in an E36 325i does you are referring to how the newer style of VANOS operates on M52TU, M54 and newer engines. The VANOS on the M50TU motor is the early style and does not vary the cam timing infinitely within a given range, it operates like an on/off switch simply advancing/retarding the intake cam by 15 degrees.

    The later series engines certainly do vary cam timing within a given range, however.
    J
    Last edited by Leo; 11-19-2013 at 01:43 AM. Reason: grammar

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