Originally Posted by y cymro
Like Richard, and no doubt many others any here, I've been around the clock a few times and my statements are made due to my experiences as well as applied theoretical knowledge. I've had many cars re-mapped - n/a, and turbocharged petrol and diesel. The petrol motors have been in competition and road cars. I've attempted to map a couple myself.
Here's a challenge for you to help understand this discussion: take your car to a reputable remapper with a rolling road. Run up your normally aspirated Z3, map it and repeat. I recommend Superchips. If the gain is '30-40bhp' I'll buy a hat and eat it.
This reply will appear as an article in my monthly thread in Kitcar Magazine in two months time.
A wise man, Mr Chris Welch told me how to deal with people who will try to discredit you publically (basically saying you are lying) on internet forums. His advice was to take a breath and respond the next day professionally. So here goes.
I made a statement that it is possible to gain 30-40 BHP on a 3.0i normally aspirated BMW engine. Let me tell you why I stated this fact. The general consensus is this is impossible (I’m being polite here). Firstly I am not pertaining to be an expert at anything, however I have a thirst for knowledge and only listen to people who are qualified to wear the title ‘expert’.
I tend to disregard what my mate says down the pub or have read it on the internet till its proven either way. There are some dodgy tuners out there who you will never get proper gains with. In my other business of developing and selling Supplemental Hydrogen Fuel Systems I had to find a solution to running with a different fuel, which meant learning everything about fuelling and fuel maps. I sought out many experts.
Seven years ago I travelled to Southern Ireland to see the most revered and respected re-mapper on the planet. I will not mention his name as he prefers to work under the radar. This is where I first heard the term ‘Tall poppy Syndrome’ (google it). This chap wrote most of the generic maps which 90% of the re-mappers out there copy and use in their work. He explained the truth behind why re-mapping works which I will come to later. He let me play with some fuel maps to show what could be done and how to unlock ‘look up tables’ that you would never get the chance to see or work with.
About five years ago I was privileged to have a consultation with Dr Steven Samuels of Oxford Brookes University. He is one of the leading experts in the world on Combustion and Thermodynamics. Testing for many BMW’s (funded by BMW) was done at his establishment before their own technicians get to work on the fuel maps. I asked him many questions about fuel maps and remapping for several hours.
Three years ago I paid for independent testing of my systems at Hertfordshire University by Dr Gareth Williams whose facility has a state of the art rolling road and laboratory testing for emissions and fuelling. We tested two vehicles and BHP was an interesting section of this eight hour testing. As you can imagine my knowledge increased.
I also paid for one of my employees to go on the Alientech re-mapping course (certainly one of the best our there) to gain more knowledge and be able to write and modify our own maps. This sometimes meant opening the vehicles ECU and connecting a device to read from the EPROM.
Two years ago I bought a BMW Z3 3.0i as a donor for the first prototype 250SWB Kalifornia. I was interested to see what could be done with this normally aspirated engine. I contacted my Irish contact and he directed me to a Truck mapper who gets phenomenal boosts in power and fuel economy. He agreed to retune my car under two conditions. 1. I had to be running on premium fuel (not the p**s weak supermarket fuel) and 2. It had to be run on a rolling road.
I hired a local rolling road for the day and tested several vehicles, mainly for emissions and fuelling. However I also got four runs with the BMW. Now it’s worth pointing out that the re-mapper did not operate the rolling road and the rolling road people made no modification to the vehicle. So there was no ‘making the figures look better than they actually were’.
The base run was 231 BHP which surprisingly was the exact figure that BMW quoted for that vehicle. The expert suggested it probably had more and had lost a couple of BHP over the years and suggested it had been ‘run in’ correctly to give such a good standard figure. After two runs with new maps it reached 264 BHP. The re-mapper adjusted it on the fourth and last run to 259 BHP which gave a margin of safety for the vehicle and his guarantee it would not blow up on the first track day!
I of course asked many questions to all of these industry experts as to how this is possible to gain so much on the BMW maps as they spend a fortune on developing the software. They all said the same answer, which in short is the following.
All motor manufacturers are restricted by EU law and more importantly their shareholders as to fuelling and emissions on their vehicles. If they give their customers more power they increase the chances of mechanical failure which hurts their pockets. They are having to ‘strangle’ their vehicles outputs to meet stricter emission, less fuel, less power. Also on a generic European fuel map the vehicle has to perform perfectly in 50 degree heat (eg, India) and minus 30 degrees (eg, Austria). The re-mappers can tweak the maps for our temperate climate. The question of the quality of the fuel is also important also. Our fuel here is better than some third world countries so gains can be had there also. Premium fuels can help unleash more horsepower also. The motor manufacturers have been lobbying governments to stop remapping as they say it’s unfair to them and their parameters. Tough. I am not suggesting a generic, safe remap will give you these type of gains but most remappers will guarantee you 10% improvement or your money back.
So what was the gain I got on my vehicle feel like. After 30+ years of competing in every type of motor sport I can honestly say I know what a 28 BHP increase feels like! I usually can drive any car and guess the BHP output to within 5 – 10 BHP. The car feels much more responsive to the throttle and has a definite shove in the back over the standard fuelling. I believe pound for pound it’s the cheapest way to extra geegees! Im at Brands hatch on Wednesday (all day!) for a VIP day with Burton Power so I can enjoy all of the extra BHP.
So no hat munching today sorry Mr Y Cymro!