E90 (163bhp) 320D tuning options that can be set up/installed by owner?

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  1. 2005 E90 (163bhp) 320D tuning options that can be set up/installed by owner? 
    #1
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    Just making enquiries here in advance of needing this, but I want to find out what chip/remap options are available and if there are particular pros & cons to certain ones.
    Car is 2005 E90 320D, and has got just over 30k miles on it.

    The main issue here for me is I'm in a fairly remote location (Isle of Man) and I basically cannot take the car to someone for them to map it in the uk, and need an option that I can install myself by one means or another, whether that means a plug in module of some sort or a way I can flash a provided map somehow via my laptop for instance.

    I do have some minor experience of working with ECUs/maps as I meddle with them on my other car, but have no experience of this stuff with diesels, or beemers for that matter.

    Am familiar with the general differences between a plug in piggyback and a proper remap, but I don't know if there's any particular reason why one may be particularly good in the case of my car as opposed to other cars, or which ones around are good and which are to be avoided. I've currently got a dastek unichip on my discovery and have nothing bad to say about it except the odd engine light I have to reset with the Nanocom - it's a vast improvement over standard and still not smoky so I know that plug ins can do a good job when done right. That's not to say that others might not be better of course.

    I don't have a diagnostic tool for the beemer (hopefully will get one of some sort in due course), so if the only options are plug ins they need to be ones that won't cause the car to get upset

    I don't actually have the car yet - it'll be later in the week when I get it, and to be honest I want to drive it for some time standard and just enjoy that before getting it tuned, but I'm pretty sure from previous cars that I will want to do it, probably in a few months from now, so I thought I should find out what's best now.

    I've seen a couple of tuners posting on threads here and they seem to both get good feedback so that's good, but not sure what options are available to me given I pretty much need to install myself, and whether or not that's going to hamper how good an all round tune it'll be, ie if it'll have to be a 'generic' map that's not as accurate as a properly prepped one specific to my actual car.

    Appreciate any suggestions, thanks!
    Last edited by DervJim; 21-02-2012 at 02:32.
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    You have options of a tuning box which will increase fuel pressure and therefore injection quantities, or a remap that works out similar but increases boost and other limiters at the same time.
    There isn't much in the way of specific diesel tuning at this level, on a petrol car, it'll be tuned for maximum power but on a diesel, it is tuned for safe power.
     
     

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    Thanks for the reply. Is it the case that all of the tuning boxes available only change the injector pressure, or do their capabilities vary from one brand to the next?

    And with a remap - specifically re' the main issue of my question (that I cannot drive the car to a mapper) how do I achieve a self install of that without currently having my own hardware to speak to the ECU or flash it etc? As I mentioned I've some degree of familiarity with map tweaking etc on a petrol car, but am not savvy enough to do my own remapping on the diesel as I've no experience in the fineries of diesel maps, and don't currently have the means of flashing one.

    I assume it's not the case that it can just be done via laptop via an ODB2 cable or something (once sent a suitable set of maps)?

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    I think there may be a few tuning boxes that do boost pressure too but they seem quite rare.
    There isn't any cheap way of getting files on and off your ECU, unless you unsolder the memory chip, and even then I'm not 100% certain that works as there are in-circuit programmers that are used instead. I don't think anyone will have unsoldered one of the memory chips for a long time.
     
     

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    Ok cheers.

    So basically my options are either get a tuning box or next time I come across to the uk take it to someone to map it, and no easy way for me to load a new map in that someone can sell me.

    That's a pain I suppose. A proper map would be preferable ideally but it could be quite some time before I get over to the uk.
    Do these cars tend to behave well with tuning boxes in terms of giving fault codes etc?

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    I think I may have an option for you when the time comes.
     
     

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    Cryptic and intriguing!

    Ok cheers then. Not quite sure when it will be but I'd guess within a few months from now. Car is heading down to my house as I type!
    Part of me wants to just map it asap but I know I'll appreciate it more if I get used to what it has now, and then get it improved afterwards, otherwise I wouldn't really notice the benefit as such.
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    I'm not sure if any of the BMW specialist mappers offer the same, but when I had my old Skoda Octavia vRS a company called shark performance offer what they called an STS unit.

    I never used so am not 100% on the specifics but basically it is a box you plug into the car and download a copy of the current map, this file is then e-mailed to the tuner and they e-mail a map back which is loaded onto the STS unit and plugged into the car to install.

    This is a more expensive option as iirc the STS unit was £150, then you obviously have to pay for the map on top.

    May be worth giving shark performance a shout to see if they can strike a deal, they had an excellent reputation on Articles - The Skoda Forum and Community

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    Yes, I'd say wait until you are used to the feel of it, and the changes will be more apparent.
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon.etheridge View Post
    I'm not sure if any of the BMW specialist mappers offer the same, but when I had my old Skoda Octavia vRS a company called shark performance offer what they called an STS unit.

    I never used so am not 100% on the specifics but basically it is a box you plug into the car and download a copy of the current map, this file is then e-mailed to the tuner and they e-mail a map back which is loaded onto the STS unit and plugged into the car to install.

    This is a more expensive option as iirc the STS unit was £150, then you obviously have to pay for the map on top.




    May be worth giving shark performance a shout to see if they can strike a deal, they had an excellent reputation on Articles - The Skoda Forum and Community

    Jon


    These are better than tuning boxes as it is actually a remap you load yourself, I don't trust tuning boxes.
    Also these devices sometimes have inbuilt generic code readers.

    My indy showed me one of these devices, good bit of kit, very useful if you live in a remote area.

    Give AP Automotive in Telford a call see if they can sort you out with one.

     
     

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