TAftonomos New Reader
4/30/09 10:31 p.m.

Coming from a mitsubishi background, we had tons of mostly low cost options to tune the cars. You could use DSM-link, a rom based realtime datalogger with a MAF and run into the 10's in the 1/4. Some hit mid 9's running the link, and it was nice.....factory driveability, WOT tunability.

DSMlink cost $650

If you wanted to go faster, you stepped up to a stand-alone. AEM EMS was what I used. Plugged into the car, cost me $1100. Already had the wide band, and away I went. Steep learning curve, but SOOO many options.

AEM $1100

Now I"m looking at tuning options for the 318. First plans are to get a M50 in it, and then boost it. I don't think I'd be satisfied with a s50 or even s52 really, and if I'm going to boost it there isn't any point (IMHO) in paying more money for a S motor when I can run a few psi more and get the same power.

CHEAPEST option to tune that I've found is $700 +dyno time? AEM for a 3 series is $2300?

Is this country club tax or something?

I don't have the electronic background or software/hardware to tune the car, but $1000 for a car to be tuned is retarded. At most the most experienced tuners were getting $500 to fully tune an AEM...

This whole pay someone 1000 for 2-3 hours of there time is making me reconsider the M50 + boost option all together. By the time I rebuild the motor, build the turbo bits and tune it, I can buy a ls6 motor and trans, weld up some mounts and fab a set of headers, and drop it in the car.

I'm figuring:

$1000 M50 motor $500 to freshen (lower end bearings, rings, gaskets $1500 ish for turbo, manifold, IC....I have tons of aluminum and stainless pipe around already. $1000 tune

$4K already, and I'm sure I'm missing a few things.

$3k will buy a LS6 w/trans complete swap, $500 custom driveshaft $200 foam dummy block to facilitate making the mounts $300 VR steering shaft $50 scrap steel plate I have laying around for the actual mounts

Heck, you could just buy a 5.3 ls1 truck engine that makes what 350hp/350ft-lbs for $1000 if you don't wanna pay up. How much more does the iron block weigh?

Goal is 400whp/400ftlbs. I don't care how I get there, but would like to have fun either way.

End thought.

z31maniac Dork
4/30/09 10:35 p.m.

E30 318 or E36 318ti?

It makes a big difference in what I'd say to do. In an E30, I'd say a built a built S52.

E36, LSx all the way.

Toyman01 Reader
4/30/09 10:35 p.m.

The only thing to beat cubic inches is cubic dollars. There is a 5.3 truck motor that is aluminum. you might try one of them.

TAftonomos New Reader
4/30/09 10:55 p.m.


My dumbarse forgot all about megasquirt. That might change things up a bit. But gawd a ls1 rumble from a 318 would be quite a bit of fun :D

mad_machine SuperDork
4/30/09 11:01 p.m.

just remember, the 318ti, unlike the other e36s is already slightly nose heavy (I think somewhere around 52 or 54% is on the nose) so try not to add too heavy an engine

Paul_VR6 Reader
5/1/09 7:51 a.m.

I was going to say before your last post is that the best option to paying tuners is to do it yourself. Megasquirt is an obvious solution to that problem. You don't want to know what it'd cost to do what you're asking with chipped Motronic in a BMW.

$700 for what kind of tune? Full load range on something like a Mustang or Dynapac? Road + dynojet? It really depends on what the customer wants obviously but it doesn't sound too bad. The Vanos system makes it a bit more complicated, though not as bad as tuning a K series with K-Pro.

docwyte New Reader
5/1/09 9:19 a.m.

No available tuning "kits" for BMW's out there. Most guys with turbo's are either going full stand alone, or there are a few guys that can tune via the factory DME, however, that's $$$.

Welcome to the world of BMW's. If you want cheap forced induction, stick with Honda's and DSM's...

TAftonomos New Reader
5/1/09 9:40 a.m.

Squirt will be a good option, or the shark tuning box coming out.

I paid CFT $500 to fully load tune my AWD Eclipse w/AEM a few years ago. It's a darn country club tax I tell ya on these bimmers....

$1000 to tune a car for 2-3 hours is

Paul_VR6 Reader
5/1/09 10:41 a.m.

Apparently I need to start tuning BMW's!

Our Preferred Partners