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VEMS Engine Management for an E30 M3

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  • VEMS Engine Management for an E30 M3

    Does anyone here know anything about VEMS?

    Via their Faceplant page, I asked if they were able to do a kit for an E30 M3, to which they said they had already done one.

    Iím wondering if this would be a more modern option versus MAXX Alpha N with its archaic interface.

    Definitely appreciate any info and opinions.

  • #2
    Two totally different systems. The MAXX is a piggy back computer that changes the new variable TPS signal to the old AFM signal and provides fueling required.

    The VEMS is a complete stand alone system that will require custom engine harness and tuning.

    T

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    • #3
      Yeah, as Tony said it looks like a completely standalone EMS. That is cool to have and brings with it a lot of capability, but don't underestimate the time and cost of the wiring and tuning. Actually, the tuning never ends. I have been running standalone since about 2005, and I still tweek things here and there....LOL

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
        Yeah, as Tony said it looks like a completely standalone EMS. That is cool to have and brings with it a lot of capability, but don't underestimate the time and cost of the wiring and tuning. Actually, the tuning never ends. I have been running standalone since about 2005, and I still tweek things here and there....LOL
        Bingo bango. Make sure you know what you are getting into or have a competent tuner who is willing to tweak things here and there.

        I am having a new engine tuned on am engine dyno, but I know there will be drivability stuff to tweak, here and there, as the weather changes, and elevation, temperatures, track or street, shitty gas, etc etc etc

        T

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HANDBLT View Post

          Bingo bango. Make sure you know what you are getting into or have a competent tuner who is willing to tweak things here and there.

          I am having a new engine tuned on am engine dyno, but I know there will be drivability stuff to tweak, here and there, as the weather changes, and elevation, temperatures, track or street, shitty gas, etc etc etc

          T
          It's funny...tuning WOT and mid range is easy. It is the idle and part/light throttle driveability that never seems to be "perfect" and that I am constantly messing with.

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          • #6
            Ironhead, are you running a closed loop 02 system? With OEM engine management and some newer standalone kits the closed loop system really helps with drivability and not needing to tweak things regularly. Basically the engine tunes itself, by keeping within a specified fuel/air ratio that the 02 sensor reads and feeds back.

            I ran a MIller war chip on my M20 stroker and it kept the OEM narrow band closed loop system for idle and part throttle. Only at full throttle is it open loop, which the tuning can be done on the dyno. I am planning to run the WAR chip on my m3 until I build up the funds and time to go to stand alone. When I do choose a stand alone, it will definitely be a system with closed loop as an option.

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            • #7
              Would VEMS do away with the AFM then? That would be my ultimate goal since we all know it is a major restriction.

              Plus VEMS is not that much more expensive than a MAXX setup, so why not go for an overall more advanced setup?

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              • #8
                Just be careful to collect all the facts on the system.
                As has been posted above, the computer / ECU is sometimes the least expensive part of the system. Unless its engineered to work via stock engine harness (doubtful) you will need a bespoke engine harness, more likely all new input devices / sensors, probably new injectors, possible injector drivers, etc.
                Just do your homework. Many on here have done stand alone, so there is a good knowledge base, but I think a huge part of the reason that MAXX is so popular is it does "much" of the benefits of full stand alone without the ancillary costs and complications.
                Last edited by jimmy p.; 05-19-2019, 08:04 AM.
                jimmy p.
                87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                04 Ford F350 - V10

                Comment


                • #9
                  One good thing with piggy backs like Maxx (don't let them hear I called it a piggy back lol) and WAR is they keep all the BOSCH Motronic programming that went into the car at factory. Having not have to rewrite all that software is a big plus. Cold start, part throttle, idle up for AC etc.... its all still there.

                  A stand alone requires hours and hours of tuning, so the actual cost of the systemis only part of the total cost as Jimmy said.

                  Having said that one member on here who is a friend of mine has built a complete MOTEC wiring harness for his, and installed and tuned a basic MOTEC system with alpha-n and it is running perfectly. I am super jealous lol.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by basketcase View Post
                    Ironhead, are you running a closed loop 02 system? With OEM engine management and some newer standalone kits the closed loop system really helps with drivability and not needing to tweak things regularly. Basically the engine tunes itself, by keeping within a specified fuel/air ratio that the 02 sensor reads and feeds back.

                    I am running a Motec M84 based system with closed loop WBO2. It's funny you mention that, Motec specifically and deliberately designs the system so as NOT to allow "self tuning". Their philosophy is to kind of minimize the role of the WBO2 sensor. I saw a video where a Motec tech explained why "self tuning" of the engine with the WBO2 is a bad idea. It made sense at the time...sort of....but it was kind of abstract and I don't really remember what their reasoning was...and I never completely bought it. I know many, many Motec distributors are also high end tuners, and I cannot help thinking Motec is somewhat protecting that "industry" by selling ECUs that require manual tuning.

                    Motec also strongly recommends that no more than 5% correction either way...rich or lean....be dialed into the WBO2 system. Their reasoning here is sound. WBO2 sensors are not the most reliable devices in the world, and if one goes bad on an engine where the settings allow something like a 25% correction, the bad sensor could easily grenade the engine if....say....it erroneously took out 25% of the fuel.

                    So Motec stresses a philosophy of getting a very good "base tune" of the fuel tables, and only allowing the closed loop WBO2 to make very minor corrections as needed due to unforeseen circumstances. If the ECU receives a WBO2 reading that requires more than the allowable correction (5% is where I have mine set) it trips an error and shuts off WBO2 correction completely to protect the engine.

                    So clearly the engine has to be pretty well tuned to begin with....5% isn't much correction.

                    I know other systems are different though. And, like I said, I am a bit cynical about some of Motec's reasoning.
                    Last edited by Ironhead; 05-19-2019, 11:57 AM.

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                    • #11
                      You would think a ďlearning ECUĒ that could tune itself would be pretty simple to accomplish in 2019.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
                        Motec also strongly recommends that no more than 5% correction either way...rich or lean....be dialed into the WBO2 system. Their reasoning here is sound. WBO2 sensors are not the most reliable devices in the world, and if one goes bad on an engine where the settings allow something like a 25% correction, the bad sensor could easily grenade the engine if....say....it erroneously took out 25% of the fuel.

                        So Motec stresses a philosophy of getting a very good "base tune" of the fuel tables, and only allowing the closed loop WBO2 to make very minor corrections as needed due to unforeseen circumstances. If the ECU receives a WBO2 reading that requires more than the allowable correction (5% is where I have mine set) it trips an error and shuts off WBO2 correction completely to protect the engine.

                        So clearly the engine has to be pretty well tuned to begin with....5% isn't much correction.
                        .
                        I strongly agree with this.
                        I think a solid base tune is essential. WBO2 sensors fail pretty regularly if you use leaded race fuel, I replace them pretty regularly. I feel its a good fine tune, but I hate relying on anything other than a good tune. I dont want to have an engine fail if something that gets blasted by hot exhaust gases at 8000 RPMS for 30 minutes at a time gets a little "fuzzy".
                        jimmy p.
                        87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                        88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                        88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                        92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                        98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                        04 Ford F350 - V10

                        Comment

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