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  • Carbon airbox ideas

    Hello everyone, I hope everyone's well. I am looking to do a Carbon airbox conversion on my car next year. I have been told by a few people to go down the route of using and emerald ecu set up instead of alpha n. Has anyone had any experience in this field? Are there any pros or cons to either? I am based in the UK and would like to acumilate all the bits I need and get my mechanics to do the install and then get it set up. Is Markus the best source for everything I need? Other than the emerald ecu? My car is a US spec car, and I am also considering a pair of schreik cams.
    I would appreciate any help on this.
    Cheers.

  • #2
    30 minutes of searching this site will reveal almost everything you need to know.

    of course there are pros and cons to any setup. The common issue is time and money.
    1988 BMW M3
    2010 Ferrari 599
    2013 BMW X1

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    • #3
      They key thing is the installer/tuner. Most of the budget ECUs are much of a muchness in terms of capability. A budget ECU, if installed and tuned professionally, well will likely be better than a high end ECU installed and tuned badly.
      Sport Evo No.47

      My Sport Evo Restoration

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      • #4
        Thanks Stevesingo. So do you reckon it would just be easier to go the Alpha N route and not have to mess about with a different ecu?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Has csl View Post
          Thanks Stevesingo. So do you reckon it would just be easier to go the Alpha N route and not have to mess about with a different ecu?
          Either way you have to tune it or someone has to tune it and tune it well be it MAXX piggyback or a full standalone.
          There is no "free lunch" in converting to a non-AFM system. Anything you implement will need to be tuned (or should).
          Avoid anyone who tells you to just use someone else's tune because its close to what you have.

          If you can afford it I would always suggest to go full stand alone.
          Take your stock ECU and stock unmodified engine harness off, place it in a box for possible future reversion, and then bolt in 30 years of improved engine management.

          Oh and Steve is 100% correct, most of the ECU "boxes" are all fully capable of running a simple engine like an S14, even the most basic ones,,, buy whatever your chosen tuner likes to tune. The tuner is WAY more important than the actual box.
          Last edited by jimmy p.; 10-27-2020, 02:09 PM.
          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

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          • #6
            OK thanks Jimmy. I was just reading and came across the Miller maf and War chip. Seems like a good compromise and alot simpler. Maybe like a halfway house?
            Maybe if I can find a carbon plenum and couple that with the Miller maf, it could be what I'm looking for. I hear the afm Is quite restrictive on our cars, so maybe the Miller route could be a vast improvement without going all out standalone?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Has csl View Post
              OK thanks Jimmy. I was just reading and came across the Miller maf and War chip. Seems like a good compromise and alot simpler. Maybe like a halfway house?
              Maybe if I can find a carbon plenum and couple that with the Miller maf, it could be what I'm looking for. I hear the afm Is quite restrictive on our cars, so maybe the Miller route could be a vast improvement without going all out standalone?
              you can't mount an MAF in the snorkel of the carbon airbox. it defeats the whole purpose of the CF airbox. its completely unnecessary.

              the miller solution is just as archaic as the Moronic system that is in the car now. its not live. you have to make changes, load them in the chip and start all over.

              the MAXX is by far the easiest to implement. you can install it, turn on the Wideband O2 closed loop and go drive. its that good. it will create a compensation map that you can then update your base fuel map with the comps and over time it will tune your map for you.

              It is always better to put it on a dyno and tune the base fuel map in open loop (no WBO2 compensations) and get it as close to perfect as you can, then the WBO2 comps will be closer. it only has about a 10% comp limit either way so if the base fuel map isn't that dialed in there could still be some issues running too lean or too rich.

              being able to tune the ignition maps is where most of the drivability changes and torque are found. you can use an off the shelf chip to go along with the MAXX but it won't be 'right'.

              the biggest cost going stand alone is the wiring harness. if you have someone build it for you its not cheap.

              There is a MAXXecu that is plug and play with the stock moronic harness that seems to be the way to go. @Nils knows who to get this from.

              T

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Has csl View Post
                OK thanks Jimmy. I was just reading and came across the Miller maf and War chip. Seems like a good compromise and alot simpler. Maybe like a halfway house?
                Maybe if I can find a carbon plenum and couple that with the Miller maf, it could be what I'm looking for. I hear the afm Is quite restrictive on our cars, so maybe the Miller route could be a vast improvement without going all out standalone?
                There is a guy (Eric Adams) who frequents this forum that implemented a carbon DTM air box with the Miller MAF and the Miller WAR chip. Apparently it was quite the process and he actually had Dan Miller do the tuning. From what I understand he would not go that route again. You can find some information here

                https://s14net.vbulletin.net/forum/s...maf-conversion (see post #24)

                https://s14net.vbulletin.net/forum/s...ith-miller-maf

                PM Eric Adams (4DAFUN) if you want more information on his setup.

                The Miller solution using his MAF and the chip provided with the MAF is a decent solution if you want to keep your OEM airbox. There is no programming required, just a small modification necessary to the wiring harness at the ECU connector.

                Having said that if you must have a DTM style carbon airbox listen to the guys on this forum who have implemented it. Take their advice and go MAXX A/N along with their advice about finding a knowledgeable and reliable tuner. This is critical for a successful and trouble-free implementation. Don't cheap out and get some obscure management system. You will hate yourself for it.

                John at s14power.com can also sell you the MAXX A/N system.

                Keep in mind that back in the day BMW raced the M3 with the factory AFM in Group N. It's not really as bad as you have been led to believe.
                1990 M3

                Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your M3

                Comment


                • #9
                  The key differences between MAXX piggy pack and stand alone is MAXX uses the existing Motronic ECU which dates back to the mid '80s and the ignition map cannot be live tuned, as opposed to burning new chips and trying it.

                  Being able to live tune ignition opens up tuners. In the UK, there are only a handful of tuners who can burn chips there and then, Wayne at ChipWizards for one.

                  Where in the UK are you?
                  Sport Evo No.47

                  My Sport Evo Restoration

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stevesingo View Post
                    The key differences between MAXX piggy pack and stand alone is MAXX uses the existing Motronic ECU which dates back to the mid '80s and the ignition map cannot be live tuned, as opposed to burning new chips and trying it.

                    Being able to live tune ignition opens up tuners. In the UK, there are only a handful of tuners who can burn chips there and then, Wayne at ChipWizards for one.

                    Where in the UK are you?
                    Thank you all for your input. Its given me alot to think about.
                    I am in the borders or London and Kent.
                    My local mechanics are eta motorsport. They look after my car, but don't do the mapping side of things. The owner has a 320is with carbon airbox and running a emerald ecu, he recommended the set up, and a guy local to brands hatch could do the fine tunning apparently.
                    I would rather go alpha n route but I'm not sure three re is anyone near to me that has the know how.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HANDBLT View Post

                      you can't mount an MAF in the snorkel of the carbon airbox. it defeats the whole purpose of the CF airbox. its completely unnecessary.

                      the miller solution is just as archaic as the Moronic system that is in the car now. its not live. you have to make changes, load them in the chip and start all over.

                      the MAXX is by far the easiest to implement. you can install it, turn on the Wideband O2 closed loop and go drive. its that good. it will create a compensation map that you can then update your base fuel map with the comps and over time it will tune your map for you.

                      It is always better to put it on a dyno and tune the base fuel map in open loop (no WBO2 compensations) and get it as close to perfect as you can, then the WBO2 comps will be closer. it only has about a 10% comp limit either way so if the base fuel map isn't that dialed in there could still be some issues running too lean or too rich.

                      being able to tune the ignition maps is where most of the drivability changes and torque are found. you can use an off the shelf chip to go along with the MAXX but it won't be 'right'.

                      the biggest cost going stand alone is the wiring harness. if you have someone build it for you its not cheap.

                      There is a MAXXecu that is plug and play with the stock moronic harness that seems to be the way to go. @Nils knows who to get this from.

                      T
                      Maybe I wasn't clear. I meant mounting a Miller maf onto a carbon plunum that is a replica of a stock one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Has csl View Post

                        Maybe I wasn't clear. I meant mounting a Miller maf onto a carbon plunum that is a replica of a stock one.
                        Yes, you can do that. The Miller MAF will replace the OEM AFM. Stock plenum or carbon REPLICA plenum will work just fine.
                        1990 M3

                        Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your M3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Please explain to me why we can’t mount the stock AFM to a longer runner carbon airbox I’m just looking for information for future reference of advantage/disadvantage
                          mike

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by evommm View Post
                            Please explain to me why we can’t mount the stock AFM to a longer runner carbon airbox I’m just looking for information for future reference of advantage/disadvantage
                            mike
                            Well technically yes you could, there is no technical or physical reason why you couldnt. With enough size adapters you could probably figure something out. The early DTM cars even had a fake AFM in place on the original CF plenums, ducted to a blocked port on the side of the airbox.
                            I'll see if I can find a pic of it. Its pretty awkward looking but I think it was a rules thing early on. My Gruppe A car is an '87 chassis and has one of those early plenums but its been repaired / modified to death over the years.

                            Why would be the main question everyone will ask.
                            The AFM breathes (and I use that term loosely) through a spring loaded, flapping door that fits "inside" a 3" diameter circle.
                            If you take an AFM and actually look at what the air comes through, then look at the business end of a CF plenum that should answer the "why" would I go through the trouble of even trying.
                            Not trying to be negative nancy,,, but if you really want to see CF when you open the hood, and stay with an AFM, just get a stock stye CF plenum.
                            Last edited by jimmy p.; 10-29-2020, 11:34 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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post

                              The early DTM cars even had a fake AFM in place on the original CF plenums, ducted to a blocked port on the side of the airbox.
                              I'll see if I can find a pic of it. Its pretty awkward looking but I think it was a rules thing early on.
                              Here is the picture you referred to.

                              Click image for larger version

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                              1990 M3

                              Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your M3

                              Comment

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