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    • Vi-PEC V88 plug & play E46 M3 MS54 standalone ECU available through Apex Speed Tech

      Apex Speed Tech has announced a plug and play S54 ECU kit utilizing the Vi-PEC V88 is available for $3400. This includes a complete plug and play harness. The ECU has dual map capability which means pump and race tunes at the flip of a switch. It also supports the E46 traction control. Apex Speed Tech is claiming they have used this ECU successfully in everything from road racing to 1200 whp twin turbo setups. We haven't seen these twin turbo setups personally or any details of to support that claim but this plug and play ECU should open up the S54 to some interesting custom setups as well as a variety of swaps.



      This article was originally published in forum thread: Vi-PEC V88 plug & play E46 M3 MS54 standalone ECU available through Apex Speed Tech started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 112 Comments
      1. Funkboy316's Avatar
        Funkboy316 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TaZaM3 Click here to enlarge
        This manifold was always being sold by HPF as well, they were selling them individually without the turbo kit I believe.
        yes HPF has been selling individual pieces for as long as they have kits. every piece of the kit is available on a piece mill basis. ex mani, intake mani, injectors, etc. etc.
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        I trained the human at apex many moons ago in the art of tuning e46 m3's. He knows his stuff which i tought him. I do expect 10% of all the money made on these units since i designed them and trained the person selling them. A small fee for something that will sell like hot cakes. Btw does this unit come with a beep warning sound?

        I keeddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd ddddddddddddddd
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        N54 is Direct Injection = expensive motor to play with. Very expensive. ECU's starting in the $15k range....

        I trained the human at apex many moons ago in the art of tuning e46 m3's. He knows his stuff which i tought him.
        I tell you what, I'll teach you how to spell "thought" and we'll call it even. Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        I tell you what, I'll teach you how to spell "thought" and we'll call it even.
        Almost "taught" him a lesson Click here to enlarge
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        N54 is Direct Injection = expensive motor to play with. Very expensive. ECU's starting in the $15k range....


        I tell you what, I'll teach you how to spell "thought" and we'll call it even. Click here to enlarge
        Sorry for forgetting the missing letter. I will rape the N54 motor btw. To the rest of the post you posted. My car will rape any n54 you have tuned WEEP at that young jedi. Until you have dyno proof of what you have done the posts you post man nothing to me. I hope you understand why. this is the internet many claims are made here. Proof is important. I'm not saying you cannot do what you say you do, but I'm not going to take what you post here has proof. Good evening. Please add beeps to the tuning you do for when the tunes you tune knock.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
        Sorry for forgetting the missing letter. I will rape the N54 motor btw. To the rest of the post you posted. My car will rape any n54 you have tuned WEEP at that young jedi. Until you have dyno proof of what you have done the posts you post man nothing to me. I hope you understand why. this is the internet many claims are made here. Proof is important. I'm not saying you cannot do what you say you do, but I'm not going to take what you post here has proof. Good evening. Please add beeps to the tuning you do for when the tunes you tune knock.
        Great, here goes GG on one of his nonsense rants again Click here to enlarge

        He wasn't comparing his N54 or making a statement about any N54 he tuned just saying it is an expensive platform with complications arising due to the direct injection.

        He has a lot of proof on his website and he isn't here to prove anything to you. Where do you get off berating a guest vendor who just joined who is sharing info with the rest of the people here who are normal?

        Please go beep yourself and leave Neel alone.
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Great, here goes GG on one of this nonsense rants again Click here to enlarge

        He wasn't comparing his N54 or making a statement about any N54 he tuned just saying it is am expensive platform with complications arising due to the direct injection.

        He has a lot of proof on his website and he isn't here to prove anything to you. Where do you get off berating a guest vendor who just joined who is sharing info with the rest of the people here who are normal?

        Please go beep yourself and leave Neel alone.
        So what you are saying is that he isnt that great and is afraid of going after the n54 tuning wise. I wasn't berating. If you look at the bottom of my post it stated in in tanish letters I KEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. You guys just suck at taking jokes, but I do want proof at what he has done with the s54. Sorry i dont believe everything posted. I question everything. If you or others cant take it sorry. Common sense tells me to question everything. I dont take everything i see on the forums as truth. I want proof of what he has tuned and how long it has been running for. Does that fully explain it? I try to make it more fun with other posts.
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
        Sorry for forgetting the missing letter. I will rape the N54 motor btw. To the rest of the post you posted. My car will rape any n54 you have tuned WEEP at that young jedi. Until you have dyno proof of what you have done the posts you post man nothing to me. I hope you understand why. this is the internet many claims are made here. Proof is important. I'm not saying you cannot do what you say you do, but I'm not going to take what you post here has proof. Good evening. Please add beeps to the tuning you do for when the tunes you tune knock.
        Relax...I dont think he was making an arrogant claim that he does the best tuning. He simply made a thread about the new standalone.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
        I question everything. If you or others cant take it sorry. Common sense tells me to question everything.
        Ok... calm down there buddy. I'm sure if you just asked Neel what his tuning background was like a normal human being instead of like some crazy spazz with poor grammar who leaves his posts up to others to decipher the jibberish spewed you would get a response.

        So, just, uh, maybe instead of berating him and insulting his tuning and telling him he needs to prove something to you, you could just ask? Ok then, let's let give Neel a chance to respond, take a deep breath.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Getting back on topic....

        The N54 would be an interesting motor for sure, but DI stuff is very difficult to work with. We have never tuned an N54 in any application. We did do a DI Mazda 2.5L Turbo last year - it was a standalone R&D application that is running on a dyno at University of California Berkely's Engine Research Laboratory. We're currently working on a DI rotary project; another R&D application. Cosworth has done DI on the Aston Martin LMP programs and the BMW Global Race Engine - something I've discussed with the engineers there a bit. DI is very hard to work with because you're dealing with multiple injection pulses and variable (and extremely high) fuel pressures. The pumps aren't simple either - they're typically cam driven with a synchronous driver setup that needs to be setup fairly precisely. Furthermore, a lot of modeling goes into injection spray patterns - to the point where you can't just swap injectors or covert a motor over to DI.

        This is why there aren't really standalone ECUs for N54's, 997's and Audi 2.OT's. The amount of engineering in just making the system run is VERY motor specific and complex. Typically, only OEMs have those kinds of development resources. For now, most DI tuning is done in the realm of OEM ECU reflashing. That said, ECUs are now becoming available (albeit at a high cost) that are capable of dealing with this. More specifically, there are standalone driver boxes from Bosch, Cosworth Electornics, MOTEC and Magneti Marelli that will do the job. However, these are very application (and injector) specific. In addition to the high cost ($15k for ECU & driver box) you are looking at a lot of engineering time that typically requires cooperation at the OEM level to get things to work.

        There is quite a challenge in using these DI applications in swaps right now. Nothing that won't eventually be overcome, but it will take time.

        It is generally my policy not to post dyno charts. Those are the sole property of my customers and it is up to them to share their information. Either way, I don't find dyno charts particularly instructive in evaluating an electronics package. First off, they only tell you how the motor performs at max power in a very idealized setting. Second, the variability between dynos is so great that its hard to compare apples to apples. Third, the talent of a tuner is to make a motor useable across a wide range of conditions - including startup, partial load, transient operation and variable atmospheric conditions. At Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, a 150ish HP Buell was racing very competitively against 190+ hp Suzukis. Clearly in this case, peak power did not define the overall performance of these racing vehicles.

        -Neel
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        Getting back on topic....
        Thanks for understanding Click here to enlarge Yes, back on topic.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        This is why there aren't really standalone ECUs for N54's, 997's and Audi 2.OT's. The amount of engineering in just making the system run is VERY motor specific and complex. Typically, only OEMs have those kinds of development resources
        From my understanding the S65 DME is more sophisticated than the N54 DME. Is the reason why we don't see a standalone on the N54 simply due to DI? The Pectel for example can't handle that?


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        It is generally my policy not to post dyno charts. Those are the sole property of my customers and it is up to them to share their information. Either way, I don't find dyno charts particularly instructive in evaluating an electronics package. First off, they only tell you how the motor performs at max power in a very idealized setting. Second, the variability between dynos is so great that its hard to compare apples to apples. Third, the talent of a tuner is to make a motor useable across a wide range of conditions - including startup, partial load, transient operation and variable atmospheric conditions. At Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, a 150ish HP Buell was racing very competitively against 190+ hp Suzukis. Clearly in this case, peak power did not define the overall performance of these racing vehicles.
        Logical and sound reasoning behind your choice.
      1. milkt's Avatar
        milkt -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        Getting back on topic....
        I agree.
        The S54 is the topic. We can talk about the N54 later.

        We are sorry about the interruption of your informative post.
        Your tuning skills are welcome in the BMW community.

        Second,
        thanks for visiting and sharing on our forum.
        This news of a VIPEC unit for the S54 is serious business.

        If this standalone can truly control all the componentsof a n S54 turbo set-up properly
        it will BREAK open the market, open the flood gates
        and allow competition to the near monopoly the HPF has on the S54 turbo assembly.

        Turbo is where my head is (I don't know about the rest of the aftermarket community.) Click here to enlarge

        Tuning a naturally aspirated S54 is not as difficult as tuning a turbo S54.
        Quite a few renown tuners already know this, so it is natural for the BMW community to naysay and ask for proof of your abilities.

        Do you have some dyno graphs (before and after) showing gains on control of the S54 powerplant?
        Do you think you can tune a turbo set-up?
        Or is this ECU kit more for the user/consumer to tune their own?

        Again,
        sorry that we had to berate and belittle that questioning forum member right in front of you.
        We are very serious about keeping our members under control here.
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        Oem help at that level...i guess thats the other thing holding this back. Unless you are part of their motorsports program i guess thats why they are very hesitant to get involved with street projects?

        I think this is what separates BMW from the real big gus out there. I remember quite a few times when we had a Porsche Motorsports tuner come down to tweak the ECU in our GT3 RSR car. They were nothing but a phonecall away.

        BMW on the other hand, from what i was told was a lot harder to get in touch with. A customer came once to dyno his E36 M3 GTR (ex PTG livery still, black white and red) and he said he was having a very hard time trying to get BMW to send someone down to uncork the ECU.
      1. brad @ evosport's Avatar
        brad @ evosport -
        FYI, from my input Neel is not a hype master. His wares are real and he and his staff have the knowledge and experience to follow though on the easy to difficult. He has done a few cars for us over the last 2 years. Just another data point.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Brad, thanks for the kind words! Brad and I have been working together for the past year, and they are a great shop to deal with. I would highly recommend EVOSport as a place to purchase or install any of our products and services.

        BMW on the other hand, from what i was told was a lot harder to get in touch with. A customer came once to dyno his E36 M3 GTR (ex PTG livery still, black white and red) and he said he was having a very hard time trying to get BMW to send someone down to uncork the ECU.
        EFI Tech ECUs? That was early in my career - my old employer did the engine management systems for the PTG E36's back in the day. I got involved with them several times after that working on those cars.

        I think this is what separates BMW from the real big gus out there. I remember quite a few times when we had a Porsche Motorsports tuner come down to tweak the ECU in our GT3 RSR car. They were nothing but a phonecall away.
        You're bringing back memories now... I'm friends with a number of the PMNA support engineers from those days - I think I've seen Henry, Ethan and Betim all in the last month. I handled data for one of the Porsche Daytona Prototypes.

        I agree.
        The S54 is the topic. We can talk about the N54 later.

        We are sorry about the interruption of your informative post.
        Your tuning skills are welcome in the BMW community.

        Second,
        thanks for visiting and sharing on our forum.
        This news of a VIPEC unit for the S54 is serious business.

        If this standalone can truly control all the componentsof a n S54 turbo set-up properly
        it will BREAK open the market, open the flood gates
        and allow competition to the near monopoly the HPF has on the S54 turbo assembly.
        Thanks again for the kind words! I think the N54 and the S54 are different animals. The N54 doesn't lend itself to much serious aftermarket modification. Since the turbine housing is cast into the manifold, you just can't do much. I've ridden around in Dinan's personal stage 3 135 before, and its very strong - but also near the limit of what you can practically do. If you need more than reflashing the stock ECU will buy you and you want a different turbo, it all stops making sense. There's nothing I know about the N54 that makes it a better platform to improve from versus the S54, so why bother?

        Let me clarify some details of our kits and S54's.

        1. We have 3 kits - Vi-PEC, MOTEC and Cosworth/Pectel. The Pectel is the more serious racer's kit, it just has more power. The Vi-PEC is a gem though - the value is absolutely incredible. The MOTEC is there because some people just prefer it, and there's a lot of used equipment out there from old Speed World Challenge & Grand Am cars.

        2. These are for swaps and race cars. They are not OBD-II compatible, nor do we have any interest in doing this. Your can wire it in as a piggyback, but your check engine lights will be on, your cruise won't work and you surely won't be smog legal.

        3. Its not "if this kit can" control - it does control everything. Its not something new for us, we've been doing custom Vi-PEC, MOTEC and Pectel kits for S54's for years. We have many cars running.

        4. I put this "kit" together because I noticed how people were selling much more inferior products around $3k and I thought we can match that price if we just standardize some components. Normally, we build to spec - and bill time & materials. The last Vi-PEC kit we did for an S54 involved a custom, 3-piece harness with chassis integration and mil-spec components. The last Pectel install we did has no less than $7k in custom harnesses. But I realized that if we simplify the spec and do what the other guys are doing - just mod the stock harness to plug into the Vi-PEC and add a few expansion connectors, we could provide a higher quality system that's a very good value. So this isn't especially new; we've just taken our experience and re-packaged things to get the price down.

        5. Keep in mind we're a company with 4 full-time engineers who do nothing but motorsports electronics. Those who work with us will get to know Rhys, Alex & Tim as well, and their contributions is what allow us to provide high-value products and industry leading support.

        What the hell happened to me. I used to be an engineer, now I sound like a friggin' sales guy!

        Turbo is where my head is (I don't know about the rest of the aftermarket community.) Click here to enlarge

        Tuning a naturally aspirated S54 is not as difficult as tuning a turbo S54.
        Quite a few renown tuners already know this, so it is natural for the BMW community to naysay and ask for proof of your abilities.

        Do you have some dyno graphs (before and after) showing gains on control of the S54 powerplant?
        Do you think you can tune a turbo set-up?
        Or is this ECU kit more for the user/consumer to tune their own?
        Actually, I wouldn't say tuning the turbo cars is more difficult, just different. The turbo setups tend to linearize the maps, whereas the NA cars have all sorts of funky resonances and other dynamics going on with them. I'm not here to prove any abilities; we have plenty of satisfied customers and I'll let them speak for me. If anyone has questions about our company's skill and abilities, please go out and ask our customers. You can find many of them on our facebook page, just search Apex Speed Tech.

        We tune turbo BMW setups all the time. We offer full tuning services and recommend them for anyone who buys a kit, but we also believe in educating our customers to be able to at least maintain their own tunes.

        From my understanding the S65 DME is more sophisticated than the N54 DME. Is the reason why we don't see a standalone on the N54 simply due to DI? The Pectel for example can't handle that?
        The sophistication of the DME is not really the issue. The DI is exactly the reason why we don't see a standalone on the N54. Pectel makes an ECU that can handle it but its very expensive - over $15k for the system. More importantly though, any mods to get more out of an N54 are so difficult it doesn't make much sense.

        I know this was a long post but hopefully its informative. Big thanks to the board administrators for letting a guest like me put up so much information, I hope to start supporting this board soon. In the meanwhile, please feel free to ask any motorsports electronics related questions we can help you with! I deal with video, engine management, data and wiring all day.

        Thanks again,

        Neel
      1. milkt's Avatar
        milkt -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        Let me clarify some details of our kits and S54's.

        1. We have 3 kits - Vi-PEC, MOTEC and Cosworth/Pectel. The Pectel is the more serious racer's kit, it just has more power. The Vi-PEC is a gem though - the value is absolutely incredible. The MOTEC is there because some people just prefer it, and there's a lot of used equipment out there from old Speed World Challenge & Grand Am cars.

        2. These are for swaps and race cars. They are not OBD-II compatible, nor do we have any interest in doing this. Your can wire it in as a piggyback, but your check engine lights will be on, your cruise won't work and you surely won't be smog legal.

        3. Its not "if this kit can" control - it does control everything. Its not something new for us, we've been doing custom Vi-PEC, MOTEC and Pectel kits for S54's for years. We have many cars running.

        4. I put this "kit" together because I noticed how people were selling much more inferior products around $3k and I thought we can match that price if we just standardize some components. Normally, we build to spec - and bill time & materials. The last Vi-PEC kit we did for an S54 involved a custom, 3-piece harness with chassis integration and mil-spec components. The last Pectel install we did has no less than $7k in custom harnesses. But I realized that if we simplify the spec and do what the other guys are doing - just mod the stock harness to plug into the Vi-PEC and add a few expansion connectors, we could provide a higher quality system that's a very good value. So this isn't especially new; we've just taken our experience and re-packaged things to get the price down.

        5. Keep in mind we're a company with 4 full-time engineers who do nothing but motorsports electronics. Those who work with us will get to know Rhys, Alex & Tim as well, and their contributions is what allow us to provide high-value products and industry leading support.

        KILLER post.
        So your goodies are for SERIOUS power...
        for users who can sacrifice their daily LEGAL driveability and only play with the vehicle on a track. You guys are no hold barred, no sissy games. Click here to enlarge

        No OBDII compliance, no passing emissions,
        but reliable turbo power and serious CONTROL of all variables therein.

        I was hoping to hear about some compatability with Federal Emissions standards. Click here to enlarge

        Believe me,
        the admins here are estatic to have active vendors.
      1. black bnr32's Avatar
        black bnr32 -
        great thread

        thanks
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        Awesome post! Gave you a rep point for that Click here to enlarge

        my current boss has been bugging me to put an N54 into the E28. But your post further solidifies the reasons i chose not too. The M50 engines will drop in...and if those will the S54 will as well...gives me something to think about.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        The sophistication of the DME is not really the issue. The DI is exactly the reason why we don't see a standalone on the N54. Pectel makes an ECU that can handle it but its very expensive - over $15k for the system. More importantly though, any mods to get more out of an N54 are so difficult it doesn't make much sense.

        I know this was a long post but hopefully its informative. Big thanks to the board administrators for letting a guest like me put up so much information, I hope to start supporting this board soon. In the meanwhile, please feel free to ask any motorsports electronics related questions we can help you with! I deal with video, engine management, data and wiring all day.

        Thanks again,
        All the information and experience you just shared outweighs vendors fees. That is why we don't have a system designed solely around forcing you into vendor fees. I feel this creates a better relationship with vendors and also means they are more inclined to sponsor out of a genuine desire to support the community.

        Very, very nice post. What Pectel model is it that supports DI? I'm guessing this is one that you don't even carry as who would be buying it when the SQ6 probably covers the needs of most of your customers.