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  1. #1
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    How the hell do you tune a MS45 ECU?? I really want to learn how to tune my own setup whatever it takes and adjust it myself. PLEASE HELP

    Hi all,

    I really want to be able to tune my M54 engine myself and was wondering what hardware and software is required. I have the ESS TS2 supercharger installed and I sent my ECU to ESS to have it tuned, but I have since added water/meth injection and my next mod is the TS3 upgrade, which I am currently building in my garage with forged low compression internals, race balance, FI schrick cams and port/polish headwork. I have done all this work myself, the only part I havent done is the tuning. I have contacted ESS on numerous occassions and I never receiev a reply back so I want to do it myself now purely for my own car and hobby. I dont care how long it takes or how much it tests my patience, I really want to do it myself and not rely on others or faff about sending off my ECU.

    Please, does anyone know what I need to do the job? I had to remove the ECU and send it off to have it flashed which I believe was done by opening the ecu up. Is this the only way of tuning the MS45 ECU or can i use OBD2? What software do I use to access the maps, just like ESS use?

    Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

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    You talk to @NickG is what you do.

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    As far as I know there is no actual MS45 tuning software available, at least for consumers. Ive been looking into doing this for a while on my car to try and do a diy supercharger setup and I have not found much to get around this. There seems to be ecu read/write tools that can read the files via obd and people were modifying them via tunerpro and winols, but I seem to remember there was an issue calculating check sums for the files and no one ever posted successful results. So the next best thing to do would probably be to go HPF style and use a standalone to control timing and fuel, but unfortunately its expensive.

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    Maybe I could come up with some BB flash software for this... maybe.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Maybe I could come up with some BB flash software for this... maybe.
    That would be awesome. Thats why i was hoping to check out the bbflash source code to try and apply it to the ms45, but ive been told nothing would carry over, which makes sense considering its a completely different ecu.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Hey everyone, this is great news and I really appreciate your help. I was thinking of a standalone but nobody seems to do the harness to suit my car which would mean cutting into all the wires. And also the cost would be quite significant so I would really like to learn how to manipulate the maps on the MS45 ECU. I am a complete noob to all of this and I just discovered today that WINols is the software I need to edit the maps but the person i spoke to would not give me any info on finding the map locations. I have no idea how difficult this would be but I am generally very good with computers and some programming knowledge so I assume that it wont be too difficult to do.

    Please explain more about the BB flash, what it is, what it does and how this will enable me and others to tune the MS45 ECU?

    I also made another discovery today that I will need to get myself a bench debugging module to access the files on the ECU. Can it be done via OBD, that would be so much easier than cracking open the ECU each time and using a BDM to modify the maps.

    Also, when i make modification and I want to log data like a standalone kit allows, how do I do this after modifying the maps? Someone on another forum also stated that their will be more than 600 maps and this makes it virtually impossible, what does all this mean?? It just isn't clear?

    Thanks guys!

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    @NickG

    Any input on this please? Your expertise will be greatly appreciated.

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    Sorry, just realised BB flash is Bimmerboost flash software, who developed this? Can the same thing not be made for the M54?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alun1976 Click here to enlarge
    @NickG

    Any input on this please? Your expertise will be greatly appreciated.
    He browses but its in his business to tune not tell you how to tune yourself keep in mind.

  10. #10
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alun1976 Click here to enlarge
    Sorry, just realised BB flash is Bimmerboost flash software, who developed this? Can the same thing not be made for the M54?
    Yes it can be adapted to the M54.

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    So ive been refreshing my self on this stuff and ive also discovered a few new things. Our cars communicate via k line using a kwp2000 protocol (also called iso 14230). This is done via an obd port. Using this protocol we can communicate with the ecu and tell it do stuff such as send you different files at specified locations. Its a lot of reading though so i have yet to figure this out. There are two files that are important: a hex file and an a2l file in asap2 format. The hex file is what you want for tuning as it contains all the values and maps. The a2l file is like the instructions for the ecu; it tells the ecu what addresses in the hex file to use for certain processes. By modifying this you change how the engine operates. This is probably what Nick G did to convert ms45 from dual bank o2 sensors to single bank o2 sensors. Theoretically you could add or remove amy number of features to our cars with this file. By understanding this, you could probably more easily identify the different maps in the hex file and then modify only the ones we need in tunerpro. We would then be able to put these new files back in the ecu. Once we understand this protocol and talking to the ecu, tuning our cars shouldnt be a huge problem. Hopefully one of the guys who worked on the bbflash project know a little bit more about this stuff and can lend a helping hand

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    Also, datalogging should be possible via k line if you write a program for it. Thats basically what inpa does, except inpa does not work well for recording data, only viewing live data

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bdtsulev Click here to enlarge
    So ive been refreshing my self on this stuff and ive also discovered a few new things. Our cars communicate via k line using a kwp2000 protocol (also called iso 14230). This is done via an obd port. Using this protocol we can communicate with the ecu and tell it do stuff such as send you different files at specified locations. Its a lot of reading though so i have yet to figure this out. There are two files that are important: a hex file and an a2l file in asap2 format. The hex file is what you want for tuning as it contains all the values and maps. The a2l file is like the instructions for the ecu; it tells the ecu what addresses in the hex file to use for certain processes. By modifying this you change how the engine operates. This is probably what Nick G did to convert ms45 from dual bank o2 sensors to single bank o2 sensors. Theoretically you could add or remove amy number of features to our cars with this file. By understanding this, you could probably more easily identify the different maps in the hex file and then modify only the ones we need in tunerpro. We would then be able to put these new files back in the ecu. Once we understand this protocol and talking to the ecu, tuning our cars shouldnt be a huge problem. Hopefully one of the guys who worked on the bbflash project know a little bit more about this stuff and can lend a helping hand
    Great info, keep it coming. I am more than willing to lend a hand but I just need to be told what to do and how to help (if I can), as I am a complete noob to all of this. Thanks

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    Just downloaded ISO14230, its going to take some reading but at least it is a start. An initial glance at this document though mentions that K-line is for diagnostic communication? I will have to do some more reading but do you know if this definetly allows writing to (ie flashing) ECU?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    There is a youtube video of someone flashing a MS45 ECU using WINkfp. I dont have the foggiest what WINkfp is, but i assume that if it allows data to be read and write then wont you have access to the map files and other files necessary for tuning purposes? Or am I just talking a load of nonsense?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alun1976 Click here to enlarge
    There is a youtube video of someone flashing a MS45 ECU using WINkfp. I dont have the foggiest what WINkfp is, but i assume that if it allows data to be read and write then wont you have access to the map files and other files necessary for tuning purposes? Or am I just talking a load of nonsense?
    I was reading through the iso14230 documents and there are functions for reading memory by address and writing memory by address. Also winkpf dedinitely can be used for flashing, but you need the file you are going to load onto the modual that yoi specify. So we need a hex file to modify that works with the ecu software.. I believe i have winkpf on my laptop from when i installed inpa, but i dont have my car at the moment so i cant test it

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bdtsulev Click here to enlarge
    I was reading through the iso14230 documents and there are functions for reading memory by address and writing memory by address. Also winkpf dedinitely can be used for flashing, but you need the file you are going to load onto the modual that yoi specify. So we need a hex file to modify that works with the ecu software.. I believe i have winkpf on my laptop from when i installed inpa, but i dont have my car at the moment so i cant test it
    When you say you need a file to load onto the module (ECU?), is this the map file you are referring to, the one that we wish to modify? If so, wont that be downloaded first from the ECU before loading it back onto the ECU? Or am I completely missing the point here? Or are you saying that you need a car specific (or ECU specific) hex file that is required for Winkfp to communicate (read/write) with the ECU? Sorry for the dumb ass questions.

  18. #18
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alun1976 Click here to enlarge
    When you say you need a file to load onto the module (ECU?), is this the map file you are referring to, the one that we wish to modify? If so, wont that be downloaded first from the ECU before loading it back onto the ECU? Or am I completely missing the point here? Or are you saying that you need a car specific (or ECU specific) hex file that is required for Winkfp to communicate (read/write) with the ECU? Sorry for the dumb ass questions.
    I think you're asking good questions. This isn't a basic subject.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alun1976 Click here to enlarge
    When you say you need a file to load onto the module (ECU?), is this the map file you are referring to, the one that we wish to modify? If so, wont that be downloaded first from the ECU before loading it back onto the ECU? Or am I completely missing the point here? Or are you saying that you need a car specific (or ECU specific) hex file that is required for Winkfp to communicate (read/write) with the ECU? Sorry for the dumb ass questions.
    Yeah the map hex file is what im referring to. This does need to be downloaded from the ecu because i believe they are specific to software builds on the ecu. Then i think winkpf can be used to load a new modified hex file onto the ecu. All questions are good questions at this point because everyone is still trying to understand this. If it were easy then there would be more than just one guy custom tuning this car on the factory ecu.

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    I'd love to help out with this. Though my needs are far less than yours, I'd simply like to delete the SAP and Post cat 02 monitors. Let me know If I can be any assistance. I am tackling this project myself.

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    I gave up, bought an M3. I couldn't get it to stop leaning out up top with my AA stage II

  22. #22
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bmw_knight Click here to enlarge
    I gave up, bought an M3. I couldn't get it to stop leaning out up top with my AA stage II
    Couldn't a tuner take care of that for you though?

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    It was tuned. The MS45.1 is a pain wthough. Plus I needed to upgrade the fuel pump and all, but I was tired of messing with it.

    Really it was an excuse to get an M3. But don't tell my wife that

  24. #24
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bmw_knight Click here to enlarge
    But don't tell my wife that
    Unless she joins the site you are safe.

  25. #25
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    Has anybody used an aem fic 6 piggyback on our cars? I feel like that would simplify tuning a lot, assuming there are no vanos issues. Would make supercharger tuning very easy compared to the ms45. Wouldn't help with standard turbo setups, but it would let us run rear mount turbo too
    Last edited by bdtsulev; 12-18-2013 at 04:34 PM. Reason: wasn't actually a double post

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